Friday, June 15, 2007

The Hajj - A Poem

The Hajj - A Poem
by Imâm Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah Translated by Usama Hasan

The Hajj[1] - The Journey

By Him whose House the loving pilgrims visit,
Responding with ihram at the appointed limit,
Uncovering their heads in total humility
Before One to Whom faces bow in servility.
They exclaim in the valleys,
"We have responded to You -All Praise is Yours, and Kingdom too!"
He invited and they answered, with love and pleasure;
When they called upon Him, nearer came the Divine treasure.
You see them on their mounts, hair dusty and dishevelled,
Yet never more content, never happier have they felt;
Leaving homelands and families due to holy yearning,
Unmoved are they by temptations of returning.
Through plains and valleys, from near and far,
Walking and riding, in submission to Allah.
At the Ka’bah
When they see His House - that magnificent sight
For which the hearts of all creatures are set alight -
It seems they’ve never felt tired before,
For their discomfort and hardship is no more.
Now the eye of the Lover drowns in its streams,
It sees through its tears the goal of its dreams;
Now for Allah, how many tears are issued,
Each one being followed by a multitude?
When the eye perceives the House, its darkness clears,
And from the sorrowful heart, pain disappears;
Vision cannot encompass this beautiful sight:
Each glance returns with greater delight!
No wonder at this, for when the Merciful preferred
The House for Himself, it became most honoured.
He clothed it in Majesty, a magnificent garment;
Embroidered it with Beauty, a wonderful ornament!
The hearts all love the House therefore,
Awed and humbled, in respect and honour.
Now to ‘Arafat, hoping for Mercy and Forgiveness
From the One overflowing with Generosity and Kindness;
Now for Allah is that Magnificent Standing
Like, though lesser than, the Day of Reckoning.
The Irresistible draws near, His Majesty manifest,
Boasting to His angels, for He is the Mightiest,
"My slaves have come to Me so lovingly,
I’ll be Generous and Merciful, willingly.
I have forgiven their sins, – to this you are witness –
Fulfilled their hopes, and showered them with goodness.
" So joyous news! O people of that standing,
When sins are forgiven and Mercy is spreading;
How many slaves are set completely free?
Whilst others seek a cure, and heal will He.
Now Satan is never known to lose such face:
He’s blameworthy, rejected, in utter disgrace.
For he sees a matter that enrage him must:
He flees, slaps his face and covers it in dust!
Such Forgiveness he never did seeAs granted by the Lord, and such Mercy!
He built his edifice from every temptation available
Till he thought it was complete, unassailable;
Then Allah struck his building at its very foundation,
So it fell upon him, tumbling in devastation;
What worth has his structure, this evil ploy,
That he does build, and the Lord does destroy?
Muzdalifah & Mina
Now to Muzdalifah, to spend the night
In the Sacred Area, then Prayer at first light;
Now on to the Great Pillar, which they need
To stone at the time of the Prayer of ‘Id;
Now to their tents for the sacrifice prepared,
Reviving the tradition of a Father revered.
If sacrificing themselves were Allah’s demand,
They would respond, submitting to the command;
Just as they’d expose their necks in Jihad
To Allah’s enemies, till these stream with blood;
They discipline themselves, presenting the head for a shave:
Bringing humility and happiness to the obedient slave.
The Tawaf of Ifadah/Ziyarah
So when they’ve removed those natural growths,
Completed their rites, and fulfilled their oaths,
He invites them again to visit His House:
What honour and welcome this visit allows!
By Allah, they visit it in so much splendour,
Receiving their rewards and plenty of honour;
There Allah bestows Grace, Favour and Kindness,
Showing Generosity, Mercy and Forgiveness.
Then they return to Mina, each to his tent,
Every minute wish is granted, and they are content;
They stay there a day, then another, then a third,
They’re allowed to depart early, but to stay is preferred;
They stone the pillars daily after the sun’s decline,
With a slogan of Takbir in the presence of the Divine!
If only you could see their standing there:
Palms outstretched, hoping for Mercy’s share!
"O Lord! O Lord! Knowing as You do
That we hope for no-one, only You!
Then grant our wish, O You All-Knowing,
We pray for Your Mercy overflowing."
The Farewell Tawaf
When they’ve achieved at Mina all their gains,
Once more they fill the valleys and plains:
To the Ka’bah, the Sacred House, by the end of the day,
To circle it seven times, and then to Pray.
When departure nears and they are certain
That the bond of proximity is about to loosen,
There’s only a last stand for a final farewell:
Now for Allah are the eyes that swell,
And for Allah are the heavy hearts that turn
Into cauldrons of desire where fire does burn;
And the passionate sighs whose heat so vigorous
Nearly melts the Lover, ecstatic, rapturous!
Now you see those bewildered, perplexed in the throng,
Whilst others chant their sorrowful song:
"I depart, but there remains for You my yearning,
My fire of grief is raging and burning;
I bid farewell, but longing pulls my reins -
My heart is encamped in Your eternal plains!"
No blame today for saying what you feel:
No blame for expressing what you used to conceal!
(1) Taken from: Awdah al-Masalik ila Ahkam al-Manasik by 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Muhammad al-Salman, Riyadh, 12th edition, 1403 H, pp. 265-272.

Rendered into English, with apologies for not doing justice to the Arabic original, by Usama Hasan. Many thanks to 'Abd al-Rahman al-Helbawy and Shaykh Suhaib Hasan for their help with some difficult words.

Polishing the Hearts

Polishing the Hearts
Imaam ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (d.751 H), rahimahullaah 1
From al-Istiqaamah magazine Shawwal 1418H/ February 1998

Allaah - the Most High - said:

"O you who believe! Remember Allaah and remember Him a lot." [Soorah al-Ahzaab 33:4I].

"Those men and women who remember Allaah a lot." [Soorah al-Ahzaab 33:35].

"So when you have finished the rights of your Pilgrimage, then remember Allaah as you remember your fore-father, or with more intense remembrance." [Soorah al-Baqarah 2:200].

These verses contain a command to remember Allaah intensely and abundantly, since the worshipper is in dire need of [remembering Allaah] and cannot do without it even for a twinkling of an eye. This is because every moment that a person does not spend in the dhikr (remembrance) of Allaah will not be of any benefit to him. Rather, the harm entailed in being neglectful of the dhikr of Allaah is far greater than any benefits that can be gained. One of the 'aarifeen (those who are knowledgeable about Allaah) said:"If a person were to spend such and such number of years engaged [in the dhikr of Allaah], then he turns away from it for just a moment, what he will lose is far greater than whatever he has already gained."

Al-Bayhaqee relates from 'Aaishah radiallaahu 'anhaa that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "There is no time in which the son of Aadam does not remember AIIaah in it, except that it will be a source of regret for him on the Day of Judgement" 2

Mu'aadh ibn jabal radiallaahu 'anhu relates that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "The people of Paradise will not have any regrets except for those moments in which they were not engaged in the dhikr (remembrance) of Allaah." 3

Mu'aadh ibn Jabal also relates that Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam was asked: What action is the most beloved to Allaah? So he replied: "That you continue to keep your tongue moist with the dhikr of Allaah, until you die." 4


Abu Dardaa radiallaahu 'anhu said:"For everything there is a polish and the polish for the heart is the dhikr of Allaah".

Al-Bayhaqee relates from Ibn 'Umar radiallaahu 'anhu that AlIaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "For everything there is a polish, and the polish for the hearts is the dhikr (remembrance) of Allaah. There is nothing more potent in saving a person from the punishment of Allaah than the dhikr of Allaah." It was said: Not even Jihaad in the path of Allaah. So he replied: "Not even if you were to continue striking with your sword until it breaks."5

There is no doubt that hearts becomes rusty just as copper and silver coins become rusty. The polish for [this rust] is the dhikr of AIlaah. This is because [dhikr] is like a polish [which polishes the heart] like a shiny mirror. When dhikr is left, the rust returns. But when dhikr resumes, then the heart is [again] polished. And hearts become rusty due to two things:-

(i) neglecting remembering Allaah, and
(ii) committing sins.

The polish for these two things is:-

(i) seeking Allaah's forgiveness and
(ii) dhikr.


Whoever neglects [remembering Allaah] most of the time, then his heart will become rusty in accordance with how neglectful the person is. And when this [filthy] rust accumulates on the heart, then it no longer recognises things as they really are.

Thus, it views falsehood as if it is the truth, and truth as if it is falsehood. This is because this rust darkens and confuses the heart's perception, and so it is unable to truly recognise things for what they really are. So as the rust accumulates, the heart gets blackened, and as this happens the heart becomes stained with this filthy rust, and when this occurs it corrupts the heart's perception and recognition of things.

The heart [then] does not accept the truth nor does it reject falsehood, and this is the greatest calamity that can strike the heart. Being neglectful [of dhikr] and following of whims and desires is a direct consequence of such a heart, which [further] extinguish the heart's light and blinds its vision. Allaah - the Most High - said: "And do not obey him whose heart We have made to be neglectful of Our remembrance, one who follows his own whims and desires and whose affairs are furat [have gone beyond bounds and whose deeds have been lost]." [Soorah al-Kahf 18:28].


So when a worshipper desires to follow another person, then let him see: Is this person from the people of dhikr, or from the people who are negligent [about remembering Allaah]? Does this person judge in accordance with his whims and desires, or by the Revelation? So, if he judges by whims and desires then he is actually from those people who are negligent; those whose affairs have gone beyond bounds and whose deeds are lost.

The term furat [which occurs in the above verse] has been explained in many ways. It has been explained to mean:-
(i) losing the rewards of that type of action which is essential to do, and in which lies success and happiness;
(ii) exceeding the limits of something;
(iii) being destroyed;
and (iv) opposing the truth. Each of these sayings are very close in meaning to each other.

The point is that Allaah - the One free from all imperfections, the Most High - has prohibited following all those who possess such attributes. So it is absolutely essential that a person considers whether such attributes are found in his shaykh, or the person who's example he follows, or the person that he obeys.

If they are, then he should distance himself from such a person. However, if it is found that the person is, in most cases, pre-occupied with the dhikr of Allaah and with following the Sunnah, and his affairs do not exceed the limits, but rather he is judicious and resolute in his affairs, then he should cling to him very firmly.

Indeed, there is no difference between the living and the dead, except with the dhikr of Allaah; since [the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam] said: "The example of one who remembers Allaah and someone who does not, is like the example between the living and the dead."6

Dead Hearts

Dead Hearts
Imaam ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah rahimahullaah
Taken from Al Jumuah, Vol 8 Issue 4

While thousands of Muslims are killed all over the world, and while tens of thousands are imprisoned and tortured for calling to the path of Allah and for enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, most Muslims remain remarkably silent and have no worry except for the material things of life. Their hearts have been filled with the love of this life and the forgetfulness of the Hereafter.

Allah says in the Qur'an: "You will indeed find them, of all people, most greedy of life, even more than those who do not believe in Resurrection. Each one of them wishes he could be given a life of a thousand years. But the grant of such life will not save him even a little from due punishment. For Allah sees well all that they do." (Al Baqarah, 2:96)

Many Muslims today have become so much attached to their life that their desire is to dwell among their family, house, money and commerce. They have forgotten that matters of the Hereafter should come before matters of this life and that we must strive to follow the orders of Allah, not just those we find easy and convenient to follow. Some Muslims today claim that it is better to perform extra prayers and extra fasting rather than enjoin the good and forbid the evil or defend the lives of weak Muslims. Such people would even blame the Muslims who strive to perform these obligations.

This is what Ibn al-Qayyim had to say about such people: ''The Shaitan has misled most people by beautifying for them the performance of certain voluntary acts of worship such as voluntary prayers and voluntary fasting while neglecting other obligatory acts of worship such as enjoining the good and eradicating the evil, to the extent that they do not even make the intention of performing them whenever they are able to.

Such people are considered by the scholars to be on the bottom of the scale of religion: For the essence of our religion is to perform what Allah ordered us to do. The one who does not perform his obligations is actually worse than the one who performs sins. Anyone having some knowledge about the revelation of Allah, the guidance of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, and the life of the companions would conclude that those who are pointed at today as the most pious people are in fact the least pious.

Indeed, what kind of piety is there in a person who witnesses Allah's sanctities being violated, his religion abandoned, the Sunnah of His Messenger shunned, and yet remains still with a cold heart and a shut mouth' Such a person is like a dumb Shaitan! In the same way the one who talks falsehood is a speaking Shaitan.

Isn't the misfortune of Islam due only to those who whenever their life and food are secure, would not care about what happens to the religion? The best among them would offer a sorry face. But if they were challenged in one of the things their heart is attached to like their money, they would spare no efforts to get it back. These people, besides deserving the anger of Allah, are afflicted with the greatest calamity without even knowing it: They have a dead heart. Indeed the more alive a person's heart is, the stronger its anger for the sake of Allah and the more complete his support to Islam and Muslims." (A'alaam al-Muwaqqi'een, volume 2, page 176).

Gratitude in the Qur’ân

Gratitude in the Qur’ân

by Imâm Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah
Patience and Gratitude. By Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah. An abridgement of his original work entitled, “Uddat as-Sâbireen wa Dhâkirat by TaHa Publications


Allâh tells us:

“Then remember Me; I will remember you. Be grateful to Me, and do not reject Me” (al-Baqarah 2:152).

And He has told us that only those who are grateful to Him truly worship Him:

“... and be grateful to Allâh, if it is Him you worship” (al-Baqarah 2:172)

Allâh has mentioned gratitude alongside îmân, and has made it clear that He gains nothing from punishing His people if they give thanks to Him and believe in Him:

“What can Allâh gain by your punishment, if you are grateful and you believe?...” (an-Nisâ’ 4:147)

In other words: if you carry out the duties for which you were created, namely gratitude and îmân, why should Allâh punish you?
Allâh has divided people into two categories, the people of gratitude (shukr) and the people of ingratitude (kufr). The thing most disliked by Him is kufr and the people of kufr, the thing most liked by Him is gratitude and the people of gratitude:

“We showed him (i.e. man) the way: whether he be grateful or ungrateful (rests on his will).”(al-Insân 76:3)

According to the Qur’ân, the Prophet Sulaymân (AS) said:

“... This is by the grace of my Lord! - to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful! And if any is grateful, truly his gratitude is (a gain) for his own soul; but if any is ungrateful, truly my Lord is free of all needs, Supreme in honour!” (an-Naml 27: 40)

And Allâh said:

“And remember! your Lord caused to be declared (publicly): ‘If you are grateful, I will add more (favours) unto you; but if you show ingratitude, truly My punishment is terrible indeed’” (Ibrâhîm 14:7).

“If you reject (Allâh), truly Allâh has no need of you; but He likes not ingratitude from His slaves: if you are grateful, He is pleased with you...” (az-Zumar 39:7).

There are many âyât in the Qur’ân where Allâh makes a contrast between gratitude (shukr) and ingratitude (kufr). For example:

“Muhammad is no more than a Messenger: many were the Messengers that passed away before him. If he died or were slain, will you then turn back on your heels? If any did turn back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allâh, but Allâh (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve Him) with gratitude” (Āl ‘Imrân 3:144).

The rewards of gratitude
The reward of gratitude is unlimited:

“ ...If you are grateful, I will add more (favours) unto you...” (Ibrâhîm 14:7)

In contrast, other rewards and divine favours are conditional upon His will, for example, relief from poverty:

“... but if you fear poverty, soon will Allâh enrich you, if He wills...” (at-Tawbah 9:28)

answering prayers:

“Nay – on Him would you call, and if it be His Will, He would remove (the distress) which occasioned your call upon Him...” (al-An‘âm 6:41).

rizq (sustenance, provision):

“... He gives Sustenance to whom He pleases” (ash-Shura 42:19).


“... He forgives whom He wills, and He punishes whom He wills…” (al-Fath 48:14).

Divine mercy:

“Again will Allâh, after this, turn (in mercy) to whom He will...” (at-Tawbah 9:27).

But Allâh has made the reward for gratitude free from any conditions, as in:

“... And swiftly shall We reward those that (serve Us with) gratitude” (Āl ‘Imrân 3:145).

“But Allâh will swiftly reward those who (serve Him) with gratitude” (Āl ‘Imrân 3:144).

Iblîs and gratitude
When the enemy of Allâh realized the virtue of gratitude, he made his main aim to keep people away from it:

“‘Then will I assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and their left: nor will You find, in most of them, gratitude (for Your mercies).’” (al-Ā‘râf 7:17)

Allâh has described the people of gratitude as being very few:

“... But few of My slaves are grateful!” (Sabâ’ 43:13).

Gratitude and ‘ibâdah
Allâh explained in the Qur’ân that the only people who truly worship Him are those who give thanks (gratitude) to Him, so those who are not among the people of gratitude are not among the people of ‘ibâdah:

“... and be grateful to Allâh, if it is Him you worship” (al-Baqarah 2:172)

He instructed His slave Mûsâ (AS) to accept what He had be­stowed upon him with gratitude:

“...O Mûsâ! I have chosen you above (other) men, by the mission I (have given you) and the words I (have spoken to you): take then the (revelation) which I give you, and be of those who give thanks.” (al-Ā‘râf 7:144)

Allâh has told us that His pleasure may be attained through gratitude:

“... If you are grateful, He is pleased with you...” (az-Zumar 39:7).

Allâh praised Ibrâhîm (AS) for being grateful for His favours:

“Ibrâhîm was indeed a model. Devoutly obedient to Allâh, (and) true in faith, and he joined not gods with Allah. He showed his gratitude for the favours of Allâh, Who chose him, and guided him to a straight way.” (an‑Nahl 16:120‑121)

Allâh mentioned that gratitude is the purpose of creation:

“It is He Who brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers when you knew nothing; and He gave you hearing and sight and intelligence and affection: that you may give thanks (to Allâh).” (an-Nahl, 16:78)

“Allâh had helped you at Badr, when you were a contempt­ible little force; then fear Allâh; thus may you show your gratitude.” (Āl ‘Imrân 3:123).

As well as being the purpose of creation, gratitude was also the purpose of sending the Prophet (SAAS):

“Then remember Me; I will remember you. Be grateful to Me, and do not reject Me.” (al‑Baqarah 2:152).

Patience and Gratitude. By Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah. An abridgement of his original work entitled, “Uddat as-Sâbireen wa Dhâkirat by TaHa Publications

How Do You Benefit From the Qur'aan

How Do You Benefit From the Qur'aan

Author: Ibn al-QayyimSource: Al-Fawaa'id

Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said in al-Fawaa’id:

Allaah the Exalted said:
Verily, therein is indeed a reminder for him who has a heart or gives ear while he is heedful. (Qaaf 50:37)

When you desire benefit from the Qur’an, then bring your heart together during its recitation, listen heedfully and have the presence of the one who is being addressed and spoken to, since it is a speech from Him, the Sublime, to you, upon the tongue of His Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam).

This is because the best and most complete effect is suspended between the following:
1. That which produces the required effect,
2. A place which receives this effect,
3. The condition which is necessary to receive such an effect and
4. The absence of that which prevents this effect from being obtained.

This verse has included all of the above with the most concise and clear of wording, which is most direct in expounding the intended meaning.

His speech: (Verily, therein is indeed a reminder...) is an indication of what has preceded from the beginning of Surah Qaaf to the present and this constitutes that which produces the desired effect.

And His speech: (...for him who has a heart...) this is the place which receives the effect and what is desired by it is: a living heart which understands from Allaah, just as the Exalted has said:

It is but a Reminder and a Manifest, Clear Qur’an, that he (Muhammad) may give warning to him who is alive (i.e. the healthy and live heart of the believer.) ( YaaSeen 36:69-70)
And His speech: (...or who gives ear...) the one who directs his listening and the perceptive faculty of his hearing to what is being said to him, and this is the condition of benefiting and receiving the desired effect from the words (that one hears).

And His speech: (...while he is heedful) meaning his heart is present and witnessing, not absent and unmindful.

Ibn Qutaibah said: "Listen to the Book of Allaah, while your heart and understanding are present, not while you are unmindful and forgetful."

And this is an indication of that which prevents the desired effect [from the Book of Allaah] from being obtained and that is the forgetfulness and absence of the heart from understanding what is being said to it, looking at it with care and pondering slowly and carefully over it.

So when that which produces the effect and that is the Book of Allaah; a place which receives the effect and that is the heart; the necessary condition, which is paying attention; the absence of that which prevents the effect and that is the hearts occupation and distraction away from the meaning of the speech and its turning way to something else are all present, then the effect will be obtained and realized and that is benefiting from the Qur’an and its remembrance.

The Four Poisons Of The Heart

The Four Poisons Of The Heart

Taken from the book “Purification of the Soul”, one of the great books on the matters of the heart. The book is a compilation of the works of Ibn Rajab al-Hanbalî, Ibn Al-Qayyim al-Jawzî and Abî Hamîd al-Ghazalî...

You should know that all acts of disobedience are poision to the heart and cause its sickness and ruin. They result in its will running off course, against that of Allâh, and so its sickness festers and increases.

Ibn al- Mubârak said:

I have seen wrong actions killing hearts, And their degradation may lead to their becoming addicted to them. Turning away from wrong actions gives life to the hearts, And opposing your self is best for it.

Whoever is concerned with the health and life of his heart, must rid it of the effects of such poisons, and then protect it by avoiding new ones. If he takes any by mistake, then he should hasten to wipe out their effect by turning in repentance and seeking forgiveness from Allâh, as well as by doing good deeds that will wipe out his wrong actions.
By the four poisions we mean unnecessary talking, unrestrained glances, too much food, and keeping bad company. Of all the poisons, these are the most widespread and have the greatest effect on a heart's well-being. Unnecessary Talking It is reported in al-Musnad, on the authority of Anâs, that the Prophet sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam said:

"The faith of a servant is not put right until his heart is put right, and his heart is not put right until his tongue is put right." [1]

This shows that the Prophet sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam has made the purification of faith conditional on the purification of the heart, and the purification of the heart conditional on the purification of the tongue.At-Tirmîdhi relates in a hadîth on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar:
"Do not talk excessively without remembering Allâh, because such excessive talk without the mention of Allâh causes the heart to harden, and the person furthest from Allâh is a person with a hard heart." [2]

Umar Ibn al-Khattâb, may Allâh be pleased with him, said:
"A person who talks too much is a person who often makes mistakes, and someone who often makes mistakes, often has wrong actions. The Fire has a priority over such a freqent sinner." [3]

In a hadîth related on the authority of Mu'âdh, the Prophet sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam said,
"Shall I not tell you how to control all that?" I said, "Yes do, O Messenger of Allâh." So he held his tongue between his fingers, and then he said: "Restrain this." I said, "Oh Prophet of Allâh, are we accountable for what we say?" He saw said, "May your mother be bereft by your loss! Is there anything more than the harvest of the tongues that throws people on their faces (or he said 'on their noses') into the Fire?" [4]

What is meant here by 'the harvest of the tongues' is the punishment for saying forbidden things. A man, through his actions and words, sows the seeds of either good or evil. On the Day of Resurrection he harvests their fruits. Those who sow the seeds of good words and deeds harvest honour and blessings; those who sow the seeds of evil words and deeds reap only regret and remorse.

A hadîth related by Abû Huraira says,
"What mostly causes people to be sent to the Fire are the two openings: the mouth and the private parts." [5]

Abû Huraira also related that the Messenger of Allâh sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam said,
"The servant speaks words, the consequences of which he does not realise, and for which he is sent down into the depths of the Fire further than the distance between the east and the west." [6]

The same hadîth was transmitted by at-Tirmîdhi with slight variations
"The servant says something that he thinks is harmless, and for which he will be plunged into the depths of the Fire as far as seventy autumns." [7]

Uqba ibn Amîr said
"I said: "O Messenger of Allâh, what is our best way of surviving?' He, may Allâh bless him and grant him peace, replied: "Guard your tongue, make your house suffice for sheltering your privacy, and weep for your wrong actions." [8]

It has been related on the authority of Sahl ibn Sa'd that the Prophet sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam said,
"Whoever can guarantee what is between his jaws and what is between his legs, I guarantee him the Garden." [9]

It has also been related by Abû Huraira, may Allâh be pleased with him, that the Prophet, may Allâh bless him and grant him peace, said,
"Let whoever believes in Allâh and the Last Day either speak good or remain silent." [10]
Thus talking can either be good, in which case it is commendable, or bad, in which case it is harâm.

The Prophet sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam said:

"Everything the children of Adam say goes against them, except for their enjoining good and forbidding evil, and remembering Allâh, Glorius and Might is He." This was reported by at-Tirmîdhi and Ibn Mâ'jah on the authority of Umm Habîba, may Allâh be pleased with her. [11]
Umar ibn al-Khattâb visited Abû Bakr, may Allâh be pleased with them, and found him pulling his tongue with his fingers. Umar said "Stop! may Allâh forgive you!" Abû Bakr replied; "This tongue has brought me to dangerous places." [12]

Abdullâh ibn Mas'îd said: "By Allâh, besides Whom no god exists, nothing deserves a long prison sentence more than my tongue." He also used to say: "O tongue, say good and you will profit;desist from saying evil things and you will be safe; otherwise you will find only regret."
Abû Huraira reported that Ibn al-Abbâs said: "A person will not feel greater fury or anger for any part of his body on the Day of Judgement more than what he will feel for his tongue, unless he only used it for saying or enjoining good."

Al-Hassan said: "Whoever does not hold his tongue cannot understand his deen."
The least harmful of a tongue's faults is talking about whatever does not concern it. The following hadîth of the Prophet saw is enough to indicate the harm of this fault: "One of the merits of a person's Islâm is his abandoning what does not concern him."[13]

Abû Ubaida related that al-Hassan said: "One of the signs of Allâh's abandoning a servant is His making him preoccupied with what does not concern him."

Sahl said, "Whoever talks about what does not concern him is deprived of truthfulness."

As we have already mentioned above, this is the least harmful of the tongue's faults. There are far worse things, like backbiting, gossiping, obscene and misleading talk, two-faced and hypocritical talk, showing off, quarrelling, bickering, singing, lying, mockery, derision and falsehood; and there are many more faults which can affect a servant's tongue, ruining his heart and causing him to lose both his happiness and pleasure in this life, and his success and profit in the next life.
Allâh is the One to Whom we turn for assistance. Unrestrained Glances The unrestrained glance results in the one who looks becoming attracted to what he sees, and in the imprinting of an image of what he sees in his heart. This can result in several kinds of corruption in the heart of the servant. The following are a number of them:

It has been related that the Prophet sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam once said words to the effect: "The glance is a poisoned arrow of shaytân. Whoever lowers his gaze for Allâh, He will bestow upon him a refreshing sweetness which he will find in his heart on the day that he meets Him."[14]

Shaytân enters with the glance, for he travels with it, faster than the wind blowing through an empty place. He makes what is seen appear more beautiful than it really is, and transforms it into an idol for the heart to worship.
Then he promises it false rewards, lights the fire of desires within it, and fuels it with the wood of forbidden actions, which the servant would not have committed had it not been for this distorted image. This distracts the heart and makes it forget its more important concerns. It stands between it and them; and so the heart loses its straight path and falls into the pit of desire and ignorance. Allâh, Mighty and Glorious is He, says:

And do not obey anyone whose heart WE have made forgetful in remembering Us- who follows his own desires, and whose affair has exceeded all bounds. (18:28)

The unrestrained gaze causes all three afflications. It has been said that between the eye and the heart is an immediate connection; if the eyes are corrupted, then the heart follows. It becomes like a rubbish heap where all the dirt and filth and rottennes collect, and so there is no room for love for Allâh, relating all matters to Him, awareness of being in His presence, and feeling joy at His proximity-only the opposite of these things can inhabit such a heart. Staring and gazing without restraint is disobedience to Allâh:

Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and quard their modesty; that is more purifying for them. Surely Allâh is aware of what they do. (24:30)

Only the one who obeys Allâh's commands is content in this world, and only the servant who obeys Allâh will survive in the next world. Furthermore, letting the gaze roam free cloaks the heart with darkness, just as lowering the gaze for Allâh clothes it in light. After the above ayah, Allâh, the Glorious and Mighty, says in the same sûrah of the the Qur'an:

Allâh is the light of the heavens and the earth: the likeness of His light is as if there were a niche, and in the niche is a lamp, and in the lamp is a glass, and the glass as it were a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil is well nigh luminous, though fire scarce touched it. Light upon light. 'Allâh guides whomever He wants to His Light. Allâh strikes metaphors for man; and Allâh knows all things. (24:35)

When the heart is a light, countless good comes to it from all directions. If it is dark, then clouds of evil and afflictions come from all directions to cover it up. Letting the gaze run loose also makes the heart blind to distinguishing between truth and falsehood, between the sunnah and innovation; while lowering it for Allâh, the Might and Exalted, gives it a penetrating, true and distinguishing insight.

A righteous man once said: "Whoever enriches his outward behaviour by follwing the sunnah, and makes his inward soul weathy thorugh contemplation, and averts his gaze away from looking at what is forbidden, and avoids anything of a doubtful nature, and feeds soley on what is halâl-his inner sight will never falter."

Rewards for actions come in kind. Whoever lowers his gaze from what Allâh has forbidden, Allâh will give his inner sight Abundant light. Too Much Food The consumption of small amounts of food guarantees tenderness of the heart, strenghth of the intellect, humility of the self, weakness of desires, and gentleness of temperament. Immoderate eating brings about the opposite of these praiseworthy qualities.

Al-Miqdâm ibn Ma'd Yakrib said: "I heard the Messenger of Allâh sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam say: "The son of Adam fills no vessel more displeasing to Allâh than his stomach. A few morsels should be enough for him to preserve his strength. If he must fill it, then he should allow a third for his food, a third for his drink and leave a third empty for easy breathing."[15]

Excessive eating induces many kinds of harm. It makes the body incline towards disobedience to Allâh and makes worship and obedience seem laborious- such evils are bad enough in themselves. A full stomach and excessive eating have caused many a wrong action and inhibited much worship. Whoever safeguards against the evils of overfilling his stomach has prevented great evil. It is easier for shaytân to control a person who has filled his stomach with food and drink, which is why it has often been said: "Restrict the pathways of shaytân by fasting."[16]

It has been reported that when a group of young men from the Tribe of Israel were worshipping, and it was time for them to break their fast, a man stood up and said: "Do not eat too much, otherwise you will drink too much, and then you will end up sleeping too much, and then you will lose too much." The Prophet saw and his companions, may Allâh be pleased with them, used to go hungry quite frequently.
Although this was often due to a shortage of food, Allâh decreed the best and most favourable conditions for His Messenger, may Allâh bless him and grant him peace. This is why Ibn ‘Umar and his father before him-in spite of the Abundance of food available to them- modelled their eating habits on those of the Prophet sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam.

It has been reported that ‘Aisha, may Allâh be pleased with her, said: "From the time of their arrival in Madina up until his death saw, the family of Muhammad sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam never ate their fill of bread made from wheat three nights in a row."[17]

Ibrahîm ibn Adham said: "Any one who controls his stomach is in control of his deen, and anyone who controls his hunger is in control of good behaviour. Disobedience towards Allâh is nearest to a person who is satiated with a full stomach, and furthest away from a person who is hungry."

Keeping Bad Company Unnecessary companionship is a chronic disease that causes much harm. How often have the wrong kind of companionship and intermixing deprived people of Allâh's generosity, planting discord in their hearts which even the passage of time-even if it were long enough for mountains to be worn away-has been unable to dispel. In keeping such company one can find the roots of loss, both in this life and in the next life. A servant should benefit from companionship.
In order to do so he should divide people into four categories, and be careful not to get them mixed up, for once one of them is mixed with another, then evil can find its way through to him: The FIRST category are those people whose company is like food: it is indispensable, night or day. Once a servant has taken his need from it, he leaves it be until he requires it again, and so on. These are the people with knowledge of Allâh-of His commands, of the scheming of His enemies, and of the diseases of the heart and their remedies- who wish well for Allâh, His Prophet saw and His servants.
Associating with this type of person is an achievement in itself. The SECOND category are those people whose company is like a medicine. They are only required when a disease sets in. When you are healthy, you have no need of them. However, mixing with them is sometimes necessary for your livelihood, businesses, consultation and the like.
Once what you need from them has been fulfilled, mixing with them should be avoided. The THIRD category are those people whose company is harmful. Mixing with this type of person is like a disease, in all its variety and degrees and strengths and weaknesses. Associating with one or some of them is like an incurable chronic disease. You will never profit either in this life or in the next life if you have them for company, and you will surely lose either one or both of your deen and your livelihood because of them. If their companionship has taken hold of you and is established, then it becomes a fatal, terrifying sickness.

Amongst such people are those who neither speak any good that might benefit you, nor listen cloesly to you so that they might benefit from you. They do not know their souls and consequently put their selves in their rightful place. If they speak, their words fall on their listeners' hearts like the lashes of a cane, while all the while they are full of admiration for and delight in their own words.

They cause distress to those in their company, while believing that they are the sweet scent of the gathering. If they are silent, they are heavier than a massive millstone-too heavy to carry or even drag across the floor. [18]

All in all, mixing with anyone who is bad for the soul will not last, even if it is unavoidable. It can be one of the most distressing aspects of a servant's life that he is plagued by such person, with whom it may be necessary to associate. In such a relationship, a servant should cling to good behaviour, only presenting him with his outward appearance, while disguising his inner soul, until Allâh offers him a way out of his affliction and the means of escape from this situation. The FOURTH category are those people whose company is doom itself.
It is like taking poision: its victim either finds an antidote or perishes. Many people belong to this category. They are the people of religious innovation and misguidance, those who abandon the sunnah of the Messenger of Allâh saw and advocate other beliefs. They call what is the sunnah a bid'a and vice-versa. A man with any intellect should not sit in their assemblies nor mix with them.
The result of doing so will either be the death of his heart or, at the very best, its falling seriously ill. What Gives the Heart Life and Sustenance You should know that acts of obedience are essential to the well being of the servant's heart, just in the same way that food and drink are to that of the body. All wrong actions are the same as poisonous foods, and they inevitably harm the heart. The servant feels the need to worship his Lord, Mighty and Glorious is He, for he is naturally in constant need of His help and assistance.
In order to maintain the well being of his body, the servant carefully follows a strict diet. He habitually and constantly eats good food at regular intervals, and is quick to free his stomach of harmful elements if he happens to eat bad food by mistake. The well being of the servant's heart, however, is far more important than that of his body, for while the well being of his body enables him to lead a life that is free from illnesses in this world, that of the heart ensures him both a fortunate life in this world and eternal bliss in the next.
In the same way, while the death of the body cuts the servant off from this world, the death of the heart results in everlasting anguish. A righteous man once said, "How odd, that some people mourn for the one whose body has died, but never mourn for the one whose heart has died-and yet the death of the heart is far more serious!"
Thus acts of obedience are indispensable to the well being of the heart. It is worthwhile mentioning the following acts of obedience here, since they are very necessary and essential for the servant's heart: Dhikr of Allâh ta'âlâ, recitation of the Noble Qur'ân, seeking Allâh's forgiveness, making du'as, invoking Allâh's blessings and peace on the Prophet, may Allâh bless him and grant him peace, and praying at night.
1. Dâ'îf hadîth, Al-Mundharî, 3/234; and al-Irâqî in al-Ihyâ, 8/1539.
2. Dâ'îf hadîth, at-Tirmdîhî, Kitâb az-Zuhud, 7/92, gharib; no one else has transmitted it other than Ibrahim ibn Abdullâh ibn Hatib, whom ath-Dhahabî mentions, 1/43, stating that this is one of the gharib hadîth attributed to him.
3. Dâ’îf hadîth, Ibn Hibbân and al-Baihaqi, and al-Irâqî in his edition of al-Ihyâ, 8/1541.
4. Sahih hadîth, at-Tirmîdhî, al-Hâkim, ath-Dhahabî.
5. Sahih hadîth, at-Tirmîdhî and Ahmad; also al-Hakîm and ath-Dhahabî.
6. Al-Bukhârî in Kitâb ar-Riqâq, and Muslim in Kitâb az-Zuhud.
7. At-Tirmdihî, Kitâb az-Zuhud; he said the hadîth is hasan gharîb.
8. At-Tirmdîhi in Kitâb az-Zuhud with a slightly different wording; he said the hadîth is hasan. This wording is reported by Abû Nâ'im in al-Hilyâ.
9. Al-Bukhârî , Kitâb ar-Riqâq, 11/308 and Kitâb al-Hudûd, 12/113.
10. Al-Bukhârî , Kitâb ar-Riqâq, 11/308; Muslim, Kitâb al-Imân, 2/18. The complete hadîth is: "Let whoever believes in Allâh and the Last Day either speak good or remain silent; and let whoever believes in Allâh and the Last Day be generous to his neighbour; and let whoever believes in Allâh and the Last Day be generous to his guest."
11. The hadîth is hasan and is reported by at-Tirmdîhî in Kitâb az-Zuhud and by Ibn Mâjah in Kitâb al-Fitan. At-Tirmîdhî classifies it as hasan gharib. We have no report of it other than from Muhammad ibn Yazid ibn Khanis.
12. Hasan according to Abû Yâ'la, Baihaqî and as-Suyutî. Musnad, 1/201; as-Sâ'ati.
13. Sahîh, at-Tirmdîhî, Kitâb az-Zuhud, 6/607; Ahmad, al-Musnad, 1/201; as-Sâ'atî, al-Fath ar-Rabbâni, 19/257; hadîth number 12 in an-Nawawi's Forty Hadîths.
14. Da’îf , at-Tabarânî, 8/63; al-Hâkîm, al-Mustadrak, 4/314; Ahmad, al-Musnad, 5/264.
15. Sahîh, Ahmad, al-Musnad, 4/132; as-Sa'ati, al-Fath ar-Rabbâni, 17/88; at-Tirmîdhi, Kitâb az-Zuhud, 7/51.
16. Dâ’îf ; it does not appear in most of the sources of the sunnah, but is mentioned in al-Ghazzâlî's al-Ihyâ, 8/1488.
17. Al-Bukhârî , Kitâb al-At'ima, 9/549; and Muslim, Kitâb az-Zuhud, 8/105.
18. Ash-Shâfî', may Allâh be pleased with him, is reported to have said, "Whenever a tedious person sits next to me, the side on which he is sitting feels lower down than the other side of me."

Love of Allah

Love of Allah

by Imâm Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah


The love of the Belovedmust
be unconditionally returned.

If you claim love
yet oppose the Beloved,
then your love is but a pretence.
You love the enemies of your Beloved
and still seek love in return.

You fight the beloved of your Beloved.

Is this Love or the following of shaytaan?

True devotion is nothing
but total submission
of body and soul
to One Love.

We have seen humans claim to submit,
yet their loyalties are many.

They put their trust here, and their hope there,
and their love is without consequence.

The Heart and its Enslavement (Uboodiyyah)

The Heart and its Enslavement (Uboodiyyah)
On the Hardness of the Heart
Source: Al-Hijrah Magazine

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.

Ibn al-Qayyim's beautiful description of Paradise from 'Haadi al-Arwaah'

Ibn al-Qayyim's beautiful description of Paradise from 'Haadi al-Arwaah'

from the amazing and beautiful book Haadi al-Arwaah ilaa Bilaad il-Afraah by Ibn al-Qayyim, pg. 193

Ibn al-Qayyim said, in regards to the description of the Paradise and the delights that it contains:

"And if you ask about its ground and its soil, then it is of musk and saffron.

And if you ask about its roof, then it is the Throne of the Most Merciful.

And if you ask about its rocks, then they are pearls and jewels.

And if you ask about its buildings, then they are made of bricks of gold and silver.

And if you ask about its trees, then it does not contain a single tree except that its trunk is made of gold and silver.

And if you ask about its fruits, then they are softer than butter and sweeter than honey.

And if you ask about its leaves, then they are softer than the softest cloth.

And if you ask about its rivers, then there are rivers of milk who's taste does not change, and rivers of wine that is delicious to those who drink it, and rivers of honey that is pure, and rivers of water that is fresh.

And if you ask about their food, then it is fruits from whatever they will choose, and the meat of whatever birds they desire.

And if you ask about their drink, then it is Tasneem, ginger, and Kaafoor.

And if you ask about their drinking cups, then they are crystal-clear and made of gold and silver.

And if you ask about its shade, then a fast rider would ride in the shade of one of its trees for a hundred years and not escape it.

And if you ask about its vastness, then the lowest of its people would have within his kingdom and walls and palaces and gardens the distance that would be travelled in a thousand years.

And if you ask about its tents and encampments, then one tent is like a concealed pearl that is sixty miles long.

And if you ask about its towers, then they are rooms above rooms in buildings that have rivers running underneath them.

And if you ask about how far it reaches into the sky, then look at the shining star that is visible, as well as those that are far in the heavens that the eyesight cannot possibly reach.

And if you ask about the clothing of its inhabitants, then they are of silk and gold.

And if you ask about its beds, then its blankets are of the finest silk laid out in the highest of its levels.

And if you ask about the faces of its inhabitants and their beauty, then they are like the image of the Moon.

And if you ask about their age, then they are young ones of 33 years in the image of Adam, the father of humanity.

And if you ask about what they will be hearing, then it is the singing of their wives from among the Hoor al-'Ayn, and better than that are the voices of the Angels and the Prophets, and better than that is the Speech of the Lord of the Worlds.

And if you ask about their servants, then they are young boys of everlasting youth who resemble scattered pearls.

And if you ask about their brides and wives, then they are young and full-breasted and have had the liquid of youth flow through their limbs; the Sun runs along the beauty of her face if she shows it, light shines from between her teeth if she smiles; if you meet her love, then say whatever you want regarding the joining of two lights; he sees his face in the roundness of her cheek as if he is looking into a polished mirror, and he sees the brightness from behind her muscles and bones; if she were to be unleashed upon the World, she would fill what is between the Heavens and the Earth with a beautiful wind, and the mouths of the creation would glorifiy, praise, and exclaim greatness, and everything between the East and the West would be adorned for her, and every eye would be shut from everthing but her, and the light of the Sun would be outshone just as the light of the Sun outshines the light of the stars, and everyone on the face of the Earth would believe in the Ever-Living, the One who Sustains and Protects all the exists.

And the covering on her head is better than the World and all that is in it, and she does not increase with age except in beauty; free from an umbilical cord, childbirth and menses, and pure of mucous, saliva, urine and other filthy things; her youth never fades, her clothing is never worn out, no garment can be created that matches her beauty, and no one who is with her can ever become bored; her attention is restricted to her husband, so she desires none but him, just as his attention is restricted to her so she is the sole object of his desire, and he is with her in utmost safety and security, as none has touched her before of either humans or Jinn.

And if you ask about the Day of Increase (in reward) and the visit of the all-Mighty, all-Wise, and the sight of His Face - free from any resemblance or likeness to anything - as you see the Sun in the middle of the day and the full Moon on a cloudless night, then listen on the day that the caller will call: 'O People of Paradise! Your Lord - Blessed and Exalted - requests you to visit Him, so come to visit Him!' So they will say: 'We hear and obey!'

Until, when they finally reach the wide valley where they will all meet - and none of them will turn down the request of the caller - the Lord - Blessed and Exalted - will order His Chair to be brought there. Then, pulpits of light will emerge, as well as pulpits of pearls, gemstone, gold, and silver. The lowest of them in rank will sit on sheets of musk, and will not see what those who are on the chairs above them are given. When they are comfortable where they are sitting and are secure in their places, and the caller calls: 'O People of Paradise! You have an appointment with Allaah in which He wishes to reward you!' So they will say: 'And what is that reward? Has He not already made our faces bright, made our scales heavy, entered us into Paradise, and pushed us away from the Fire?'

And when they are like that, all of a sudden a light shines that encompasses all of Paradise. So, they raise their heads, and, behold: the Compeller - Exalted is He, and Holy are His Names - has come to them from above them and majestified them and said: 'O People of Paradise! Peace be upon you!' So, this greeting will not be responded to with anything better than: 'O Allaah! You are Peace, and from You is Peace! Blessed are You, O possessor of Majesty and Honor!' So the Lord - Blessed and Exalted - will laugh to them and say: 'O People of Paradise! Where are those who used to obey Me without having ever seen Me? This is the Day of Increase!'

So, they will all give the same response: 'We are pleased, so be pleased with us!' So, He will say: 'O People of Paradise! If I were not pleased with you, I would not have made you inhabitants of My Paradise! So, ask of Me!' So, they will all give the same response: 'Show us your Face so that we may look at it!' So, the Lord - Mighty and Majestic - will remove his covering and will majestify them and will cover them with His Light, which, if Allaah - the Exalted - had not Willed not to burn them, would have burned them.

And there will not remain a single person in this gathering except that his Lord - the Exalted - will speak to him and say: 'Do you remember the day that you did this and that?' and He will remind him of some of his bad deeds in the Worldy life, so he will say: 'O Lord! Will you not forgive me?' So, He will say: 'Of course! You have not reached this position of yours (in Paradise) except by my forgiveness.'

So, how sweet is this speech to the ears, and how cooled are the righteous eyes by the glance at His Noble Face in the Afterlife...{Some faces that Day will be shining and radiant, looking at their Lord...} (al-Qiyaamah:22-3)[from the amazing and beautiful book Haadi al-Arwaah ilaa Bilaad il-Afraah by Ibn al-Qayyim, pg. 193]



by Dr. G. F. Haddad

Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr ibn Sa‘d, Shams al-Din Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Zur‘i al-Dimashqi al-Hanbali, known as Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (d. 751). A specialist in Qur’anic commentary, hadith, fiqh and its principles, Arabic philology and grammar, and the foremost disciple of Taqi al-Din Abu al-‘Abbas Ahmad ibn ‘Abd al-Halim ibn Taymiyya al-Harrani (d. 728), whose anthropomorphic and anti-madhhab teach­ings he helped perpetu­ate.

Ibn Taymiyya had suggested that Allah was a corporeal entity in writings such as al-‘Aqida al-Hamawiyya, al-‘Aqida al-Wasitiyya, and al-Ta’sis al-Radd ‘ala Asas al-Taqdis. Here and in other works he in­dicates that Allah’s “Hand,” “Foot” (qadam), “Shin” (sâq), “Face” (wajh), and “Ele­vation” (‘uluw) are literal (haqîqi) attrib­utes, and that He is upon the Throne “in person” (bi al-dhât), a phrase which his student al-Dhahabi frequently condemns as innovated in the Religion.

Ibn Taymiyya’s error was in be­lieving such Attributes to be literal, and declaring as nullifiers-of-the-Attributes (mu‘attila) all the Ahl al-Sunna who be­lieved them to be metaphorical. These are among his unwarranted inno­vations in faith which Shaykh al-Islam Taqi al-Din al-Subki (d. 756) refuted in his al-Durra al-Mudiyya and al-Rasa’il al-Subkiyya fi al-Radd ‘ala Ibn Taymiyya.

Al-Sakhawi in al-Tawbikh (p. 61) noted: “Certain people gave rise to disa­vowal and a general reluctance to make use of their knowledge despite their stature in knowledge, pious scrupulosity, and asceticism. The reason for this was the looseness of their tongues and their tactlessness in blunt speech and excessive criticism, such as Ibn Hazm and Ibn Taymiyya, who were subse­quently tried and harmed.”

Ibn Qayyim followed the same path as his teacher in his infamous poem entitled al-Qasida al-Nuniyya (“Ode Rhyming in the Letter N”). This lengthy poem on the tenets of faith is filled with corrupt suggestions about the divine Attributes, which Subki analyzes in detail in his al-Sayf al-Saqil fi al-Radd ‘ala Ibn Zafil (“The Burnished Sword in Refuting Ibn Zafil” i.e. Ibn al-Qayyim).

Subki gives the verdict that the anthropomor­phisms of the Divinity in the poem are beyond the pale of Islam. The poem could not be openly circulated in Ibn al-Qayyim’s lifetime but only secretly, and it seems that he never abandoned it, for the Hanbali historian Ibn Rajab heard it from its author in the year of his death as stated in his Dhayl Tabaqat al-Hanabila (2:448).

Today, some “Salafi” followers quote this poem indiscriminately, heedless of the deviations it promotes. Shaykh Nuh Keller observed:

[An] unfor­tunate peculiarity the poem shares with some of Ibn al-Qayyim’s other works on Islamic faith is that it pre­sents the reader with a false dilemma, namely that one must either believe that Allah has eyes, hands, a descend­ing mo­tion, and so forth, in a literal (haqîqi) sense, or else one has nullified (‘attala) or ne­gated these Attributes.

And this is erro­neous, for the literal is that which cor­responds to an expression’s primary lexical sense as ordinarily used in a lan­guage by the people who speak it, while the above words are clearly in­tended otherwise, in accordance with the [Qur’anic] verse (There is noth­ing whatsoever like unto Him) (42:11), for if the above were intended lit­erally, there would be innumerable things like unto Him in such respect as having eyes, hands, motion, and so forth, in the literal meaning of these terms.

The would-be dilemma is also far from the practice of the early Mus­lims, who used only to accept such [Qur’anic] verses and hadiths as they have come, consigning the knowledge of what is meant by them – while af­firming the absolute Transcen­dence of Allah Most High above any resemblance to created things – to Allah Most High alone, without trying to determinately specify how they are meant (bi lâ kayf), let alone suggesting people understand them literally (haqî­qatan) as Ibn al-Qayyim tried to do.

While granting that his other scholarly achieve­ments are not necessarily compromised by his extreme ab­errances in tenets of faith, it should not be forgotten that depicting the latter as a “reform” or “return to early Islam” rep­resents a blameworthy innovation on his part that ap­peared more than seven centuries after the time of the Prophet, Allah bless and greet him, and his Companions.

A particularly unsa­vory aspect of it is that in his at­tempts to vindicate the doctrine, Ibn al-Qayyim casts aspersions upon the Islam of anyone who does not sub­scribe to it, at their forefront the Ash‘ari school, whom his books castigate as Jahmiyya or Mu‘attila, implying, by equating them with the most extreme factions of the Mu‘tazilites, that they deny any significance to the Divine Attributes, a misrepresentation that has seen a lamentable recrudes­cence in parts of the Muslim world today.

Ibn al-Qayyim’s “Book of the Soul” (Kitab al-Ruh) ranks among the best books on the subject of the Islamic understanding of life after death according to the Qur’an, the Sunna, and the doctrine of the Salaf and the Four Imams, establishing without doubt that the dead hear the living and know of them. Since this hearing of the dead is a contradiction of the fun­da­men­tal Wahhabi tenet that the dead cannot hear the living, mumblings are sometimes heard about the authenticity of his authorship of the book among the “Salafis.”[2]

However, the book is undoubtedly by Ibn al-Qayyim and is attributed to him by over two dozen scholars both in his time and after.[3] It also contains internal proofs of his authorship, such as his mention of his own book – now lost – entitled Ma‘rifa al-Ruh wa al-Nafs[4] and his identifying two of his direct teachers as Abu al-Hajjaj (al-Mizzi), and Ibn Taymiyya:

“Our shaykh Abu al-Hajjaj, the hadith master, used to say that.”[5]
“I heard Shaykh al-Islam, Ibn Taymiyya stress this…”[6]
“Our shaykh said: ‘The sun itself does not descend from the heaven, and the sunrays that are on earth are neither the sun nor its attribute, but an accident (‘arad) caused by the sun and the mass (jirm) opposite it.’”[7] This is taken verbatim from Ibn Taymiyya’s notorious “Explanation of the hadith of Allah’s descent.”[8]
An­other internal proof of Ibn al-Qayyim’s authorship of Kitab al-Ruh is his lapsing into excessive criticism of Ash‘aris and misattributions of spurious positions to them as is typical of his school,[9] although in much of his book he cites from al-Tadhkira, a book by the Ash‘ari scholar al-Qurtubi.

Ibn al-Qayyim violently attacked imitation (taqlîd) of the four schools of Law among traditional Sunni Muslims and voiced his anti-madhhab stance in a two-volume work on the principles of the Law entitled I‘lam al-Muwaq­qi‘in.

In the latter book he rejects the evidence that the Com­panions and great Imams endorsed imitation as inapplicable to later gen­erations and instead advocates a kind of populist ijtihâd in which every Muslim is his own imam and is urged to apply his or her own mind to­ward inter­preting the Qur’an and Sunna independently, untrammelled by the burden­some quali­fi­cations in jurisprudence, language, hadith meth­od­ol­ogy, and the Qur’anic sciences that are required for ijtihâd.

It is enough refutation of this Islamically-veiled Protestantism that Ibrahim al-Nakha‘i said: “If the Companions made ablution to the wrists I swear I would have done the same, even as I read the verse of ablution as stating [to the elbows] (5:6).”[10] More explicitly, al-Shatibi said: “The fatwas of the mujtahids are to the laymen what the Shari‘a evidences are to the mujtahids.”[11] The Indian jurist and hadith scholar Habib Ahmad al-Kiranawi blasted Ibn al-Qayyim’s theses in a 100-page epistle entitled al-Din al-Qayyim[12] in which he states:

He [Ibn al-Qayyim] also said: “Your claim that the imitator (mu­qallid) is closer to being right by imitating those who are more knowl­edgeable than he is, than by exerting his own reasoning (ijtihâd) is an empty claim.

For the muqallid is like a blind man who does not know whether what fell into his hand is a stick or a viper. Whereas he who leaves taqlîd is a mujtahid who has two rewards if he is correct and one reward if he is incorrect. How then can the blind man’s being right and his supposed reward compare with the seeing man’s being right, who exerts every effort?”[13]

The ignorance, inanity, arrogance, and hostility of the preceding words are not hidden to anyone. For he has equated the muqallid with a blind man and the one who leaves taqlîd with a seeing man although the latter is blinder than the muqallid. If sight consisted in leaving taqlîd it would follow that he who most assiduously follows his own opinion must be the most sighted of people, for he is as far from imita­tion as can be.

And if taqlîd were blindness then the most assiduous follower of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless and greet him, would be the blindest of people, for he is a pure imitator! Whereas the sighted one sees the truth as does the imitator, while the blind one does not see it, nor does the one who leaves imitation, following his own guidance despite the fact that he is blind and castigating anyone who might imitate the sighted and follow the latter’s guidance.

As for exerting every effort, if reward depended on exerting every effort in absolute terms then the muqallid has exerted every effort toward following the truth, having realized that he is incapa­ble to do more than to imitate the knowledgeable person.

How then could he be committing a sin and be deprived of reward? But if reward depended on exerting every effort in other than absolute terms then how could he who leaves taqlîd, be rewarded when he is cutting wood in the dead of night? Is this anything but absurd?

Whoever knows the conditions for being qualified to give legal responses in Allah’s Religion according to the statements of Ahmad ibn Hanbal,[14] al-Shafi‘i,[15] and Ibn al-Mubarak,[16] does not doubt at all that those who leave taqlîd without having achieved those condi­tions are not allowed to give fatwa on the basis of their opinion and what they have understood of the Book and the Sunna. The reason is that their knowledge is virtually no knowledge. This is a far cry from possessing sight and obtaining reward while being wrong. For theirs is only the bane of the ijtihâd of the non-mujtahid.

He [Ibn al-Qayyim] also said: “The muqallid is closer to being right only when he knows that the correct position is with the one he is imitating exclusively of others. At that time he is not a muqallid for him but a follower of the evidence (muttabi‘ li al-hujja).[17] But if he does not know this at all, then how can you claim that he is closer to being right than he who has exerted his every effort and applied all his strength in searching for the truth?”[18]

This objection is spurious because the reason that the muqallid is closer to being right is that he is led by the guidance of his imam who is a mujtahid. His being right is through his imam’s being right, and his being wrong is through his imam’s being wrong. This is other than the one who leaves taqlîd, whose being right is through his own person’s being right, and whose being wrong is through his own person’s being wrong.

Now the error of the mujtahid is less probable than that of the non-mujtahid just as his being correct is more probable than that of the non-mujtahid. It follows that the muqallid is closer to being right than the one who leaves taqlîd as is readily apparent. This puts to rest what is being claimed by this man without understanding the meaning of what he uses for evidence.

He [Ibn al-Qayyim] also said: “The one who is nearest to being right when the Ulema are in dispute is he who adheres to Allah’s com­mand [[refer it to Allah and the Messenger] (4:59)] and refer to the Qur’an and the Sunna whatever over which they dispute. As for who­ever refers the matter to the one he follows exclusively of others, then how can he be closer to being right?”[19]
This is worthless sophistry.

It is those who are in dispute who are commanded to refer to Allah Most High and the Messenger, Allah bless and greet him. So when the Ulema dispute it is incumbent upon them to refer to Allah Most High and the Messenger, Allah bless and greet him.

But if the ignorant dispute, such as the muqallid and other than the muqallid, then their referring to Allah Most High and the Messenger, Allah bless and greet him, cannot take place except through referral to the ‘âlim who knows the Book and the Sunna – not to the Book and the Sunna themselves, for they are ignorant of them. Else, it would necessarily follow that the ignoramus is the arbiter among the Ulema, and nothing is more patently false than such a claim. It is all-too-apparent that what he said is pure sophistry, and it stems from failing to meditate on the Qur’an.[20]

Ibn al-Qayyim wrote extensively on tasawwuf with which he evidently felt strong affinities. He wrote an extensive commentary on al-Harawi al-Ansari’s slim Sufi manual entitled Manazil al-Sa’irin ila al-Haqq which he named Madarij al-Salikin and in which he says:

Religion is all moral character (khuluq), and whoever bests you in moral character, bests you in Religion. It is the same with tasawwuf. Al-Kattani said: Tasawwuf is moral character, and whoever bests you in moral character, bests you in Religion…. Truly, the hardest thing for human nature is the modification of the moral qualities and traits with which the selves have been stamped.

Those who earnestly enga­ged in harsh discipline and arduous strivings worked on nothing else. Most of them did not succeed in changing the self, but the latter became fully employed in those exercises and thus unable to wield its influence…. One day I asked Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyya – may Allah have mercy on him! – about this matter and how to eliminate defects and occupy oneself with the cleansing of one’s path.

The gist of his reply was that the self is like a garbage pile: the more you dig in it, the more of it comes out to the surface; if you can pave a pathway over it and go past it, do so, and do not preoccupy yourself with digging into it for you shall never reach its bottom!…. Tasawwuf is one of the cornerstones (zawâyâ) of true wayfaring (al-sulûk al-haqîqî) and the purification and disciplining of the self (tazkiya al-nafs wa tahdhîbuhâ) so that it may prepare itself for its journey to the company of the Highest Assembly and for being together with its beloved. For “One is with the one he loves”[21] as Sumnun stated: “The lovers of Allah have gained the honor of both the world and the hereafter, for ‘he is with the one he loves.” And Allah knows best.[22]

Sources: Reliance p. 1058.

[1]See posting titled, “Allah is now as He ever was,” toward the end.
[2]Cf. Albani’s remark in his notes on al-Alusi al-Ayat al-Bayyinat (p. 22): “See the book al-Ruh attributed to Ibn al-Qayyim, for it contains the strangest and oddest narrations and opinions”! But there is virtually nothing in al-Ruh which cannot also be found or confirmed in al-Qurtubi’s al-Tadhkira, Ibn Rajab’s Ahwal al-Qubur, ‘Abd al-Haqq ibn al-Kharrat’s al-‘Aqiba, al-Suyuti’s Sharh al-Sudur, Ibn Abi al-Dunya’s al-Qubur, etc. See “The Hearing of the Dead” from Kitab al-Ruh at
[3]Al-Dhahabi (d. 748) in al-Mu‘jam al-Mukhtass bi al-Muhaddithin (fo 145), al-Safadi (d. 764) in A‘yan al-‘Asr (fo 129) and al-Wafi bi al-Wafayat (2:170-172), al-Husayni (d. 765) in Dhayl al-‘Ibar (5:282), Ibn Kathir (d. 774) in al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya (14:234), Ibn Rafi‘ (d. 774) in al-Wafayat (2:6-7), Ibn Rajab (d. 795) in Dhayl Tabaqat al-Hanabila (2:447), Ibn Nasir al-Din (d. 842) in al-Radd al-Wafir (p. 68), Ibn Hajar (d. 852) in al-Durar al-Kamina (3:400), al-Biqa‘i (d. 885) in Sirr al-Ruh (introduction), etc.
[4]“We mentioned this in our large book, Ma‘rifa al-Ruh wa al-Nafs…” Ibn al-Qayyim, al-Ruh (1975 ed. p. 38=1998 ed. p. 125).
[5]Ibn al-Qayyim, al-Ruh (1975 ed. p. 37=1998 ed. p. 122).
[6]Ibn al-Qayyim, al-Ruh (1975 ed. p. 83=1998 ed. p. 227).
[7]Ibn al-Qayyim, al-Ruh (1975 ed. p. 45=1998 ed. p. 141).
[8]Ibn Taymiyya, Majmu‘a al-Fatawa (5:438).
[9]“This is a position rejected by the Book, the Sunna, the Consensus of the Compan­ions, as well as the evidence given by reason, common sense, and primordial nature, and is the position of one who does not know his own soul let alone the souls of others.” Ibn al-Qayyim, al-Ruh (1975 ed. p. 111=1998 ed. p. 286).
[10]Ibrahim al-Nakha‘i as cited by Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani in al-Jami‘ fi al-Sunan (p. 150 #18).
[11]As cited by Dr. Salah al-Sawi in his al-Thawabit wa al-Mutaghayyirat (Cairo: al-Muntada al-Islami, 1994) p. 66.
[12]Included in full in his Fawa’id fi ‘Ulum al-Fiqh in the second volume of the general introduction to al-Tahanawi’s I‘la’ al-Sunan (2:1-99). This epistle is probably the most comprehensive rebuttal of “Salafi” anti-madhhabism.
[13]Ibn al-Qayyim, I‘lam al-Muwaqqi‘in (Dar al-Jil ed. 2:273).
[14]Zakariyya ibn Yahya al-Darir said to Imam Ahmad: “How many memorized hadiths are sufficient for someone to be a mufti? Are one hundred thousand suffi­cient?” He said no. “Two hundred thousand?” He said no. “Three?” He said no, until Zakariyya said: “Five hundred thousand?” Ahmad said: “I hope that that should be sufficient.” Al-Dhahabi, Siyar (9:469=al-Arna’ut ed. 11:232).
[15]See Ibn al-Salah’s Adab al-Mufti wa al-Mustafti at the beginning of his Fatawa wa Masa’il (1:5-133).
[16]“He [Ibn al-Mubarak] did not give fatwa except upon strength and on the basis of transmitted reports.” ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Shaqiq as cited by Ibn Abi Hatim in his introduction to al-Jarh wa al-Ta‘dil (p. 262).
[17]This reasoning is at the origin of the invented terminology of “Salafis” whereby one “should be a muttabi‘ and not a muqallid,” and their barefaced prohibition of taqlîd as reported of ‘Eid ‘Abbasi by al-Buti in al-Lamadhhabiyya (p. 99-108).
[18]Ibn al-Qayyim, op.cit.
[19]Ibn al-Qayyim, op.cit.
[20]Al-Kiranawi, al-Din al-Qayyim in the second volume of the general introduction to al-Tahanawi’s I‘la’ al-Sunan (2:62-63).
[21]A mass-transmitted hadith of the Prophet, Allah bless and greet him, narrated from fifteen Companions – as stated by al-Kattani in Nazm al-Mutanathir – in the Nine Books.
[22]Ibn al-Qayyim, Madarij al-Salikin (2:307).

Strangeness and the Strangers

Strangeness and the Strangers

Imam Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah

Adoptted by Ammar ibn Abdullah al-Hindi Based on a booklet by ibn Qayyim entitled al-Ghurbathu wa al-Ghuraba Some modifications and additions have been made, © 1994 Basheer Publications

"Islam began as something strange, and it shall return to being something strange, so give glad tidings to the strangers."

The Meaning of "Strangeness"

Many times in many situations the people that follow the religion of Allah feel a sense of not belonging, of being out of place, of not fitting in, and, in other words, of being strange. This feeling could occur in a gathering of non-Muslims, but, unfortunately, this feeling sometimes also occurs when one is with his fellow Muslims.

A person sees his brothers and sisters doing acts that are contrary to Islam, or taking part in innovations that sometimes even border on kufr (apostasy), yet he feels that he does not have enough power or courage to stop them in these acts. Some brothers and sisters, especially if they do not have enough taqwa or Islamic knowledge, sometimes buckle under the pressure of their peers and join in these acts, knowing that this is not what Allah wants them to do. However, feeling helpless, since it seems that they are alone in their ideas and without any support to help them do what is right, they succumb to such pressures.

These brothers and sisters, may Allah have mercy on them, should take consolation in the verses of the Qur’an and the many statements of the Prophet (peace be upon him) describing this very situation of strangeness that they feel.

Why Have They Been Called "Strangers"?

Allah says in the Qur’an, "If only there had been, in the generations preceding you, people having wisdom, prohibiting others from evil in the earth; except a few of those whom we have saved from among them." (Hud 116).

This verse speaks of the few people on earth, the "strangers", who prohibit mankind from evil. These are the same people the Prophet (peace be upon him) spoke about when he said, "Islam began as something strange, and it shall return to being something strange, so give glad tidings [ar. Tooba. This is a tree in Paradise. So the Prophet (peace be upon him) is giving the good news of Paradise to these strangers.] to the strangers."

It was asked, "Who are those strangers, O Messenger of Allah?" He replied, "Those that correct the people when they become corrupt." [Reported by Abu Amr al-Dani, from the hadith of ibn Masoud. It is authentic according to al-Albani. Another narration says, "Those that correct my sunnah which has been corrupted by the people after me."] In another narration he said in response to the same question, "They are a small group of people among a large evil population. Those who oppose them are more than those who follow them." [Reported by ibn Asaakir. It is authentic according to al-Albani.]

These praiseworthy people are called strangers since they are a small minority among mankind. Thus, Muslims are strangers among mankind; the true believers are strangers among Muslims; and the scholars are strangers among the true believers. And the followers of the Sunnah, those that clear themselves from all peoples of innovation, are likewise strangers.

In reality, however, their strangeness is only because they are the minority and it is not because their actions and beliefs are strange. This is what Allah says in surah al-Anaam, "And if you obey most of the people on Earth, they will lead you astray" (al-Anaam 116). Allah also says, "And most of mankind will not believe, even if you (O Muhammad) desire it eagerly" (Yusuf 103);

"And truly, most of mankind are rebellious and disobedient (to Allah)." (al-Maidah 49); "But nay, most of mankind are ungrateful" (Yusuf 38). Therefore, Allah, the all-Knowing Creator, knows the most of mankind will not follow the truth. Instead, only a small group of people will be set apart that truly and correctly believe in Him, the strangers from among mankind.

The strangers in belief, however, and the strangers in character and actions are in reality the majority of mankind, for they are strange to Islam and to the laws that Allah has revealed. Thus we see that there are various types of strangeness, of which some are praiseworthy, some are blameworthy and some are neither praiseworthy or blameworthy. We will discuss these various categories separately below.

The Various Types of Strangeness

You should know, may Allah have mercy upon you, that strangeness is of three types:
The first type of strangeness is the strangeness of the "People of Allah and the People of His Messenger" (peace be upon him), which we mentioned previously. This strangeness is a praiseworthy strangeness, as it has been praised by Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him).

Therefore, this kind of strangeness should be sought and its people must be supported. This strangeness occurs in different times, in different places, and among different peoples. These strangers, then, are the true "People of Allah" for they do not worship ought save Him, and they do not take support from any path except the path of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and they do not call to anything except that which has been brought by the Prophet (peace be upon him).

These are the people who left mankind when they (the strangers) were in need of them the most. For, on the Day of Judgment, when all other groups will go with that which they used to worship, they will stay in their places. It will be said to them, "Will you not go as the other people have gone?" They will answer, "We had abandoned the people (in this life), and we were more in need of them then we are today, and we will wait for our Lord whom we used to worship." [Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Thus it is apparent that this strangeness does not cause its bearer any discontent. Rather it is a comforting strangeness, a solace to the believers. This is because he knows that his helpers are Allah, His Messenger and those who believe [This is a reference to verse 55 of surah al-Maidah], even if all of mankind left and abandoned him.

These strangers are again described in a hadith narrated by Anas ibn Malik, in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "It is possible that a disheveled, dusty person, with not many belongings [Literally, "with two headdresses"], who is not noticed among the people, if he asks of Allah, Allah will fulfill his prayer." [Reported by at-Tirmidhi and al-Hakim.

Al-Albani said it is authentic.] Al-Hasan al-Basri [a very famous Follower – tabi` - known for his piety, asceticism and knowledge] said, "A believer is a stranger in this world, he is never afraid of its humiliation, and he never competes for its glory. The people are in one situation and he is in a different situation. The people are content with him, yet he is in turmoil [Literally, "tired"] with himself."

From the characteristics of these strangers that the Prophet (peace be upon him) described is the holding on to the sunnah of the Messenger (peace be upon him), even if the people abandon it. They, the strangers, leave all the innovations that their people invent, even if such practices should be common among them. They also stick to tawheed, even if the people corrupt it with shirk.

They do not ascribe themselves to anything besides Allah and His Prophet (peace be upon him); they do not, that is, ascribe themselves to a shaikh, tariqah, particular madhhab or a group of people. They are dedicated only to Allah, with their sincere worship of Him and Him alone, and to His Prophet (peace be upon him), by following the path that he followed.

These are the people who grasp the glowing hot embers [A reference to the hadith that is to follow], even though most of mankind - nay, all of them - blame them for this. This is the meaning of the statements of the Prophet (peace be upon him) alluding to the fact that they stick to his sunnah, even if the people corrupt it.

Allah, all praise be to Him, sent His Prophet (peace be upon him) when mankind followed different religions, for there were those who worshipped rivers and trees, and there were those who worshipped idols, and there were Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians.

Islam, when it first appeared among these people, was strange to them. If a person from among them accepted Islam and followed the call of Allah and His Prophet (peace be upon him), he would be shunned by his family and his tribe. He would live the life of a stranger among his people. Eventually, however, Islam spread far and wide. The Muslims became stronger and stronger, so much so that the strangers were those that did not accept the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

But, alas, Satan deceived mankind again. People took to the ways that their forefathers, who had accepted Islam, had abandoned until, finally, Islam became strange again, just like it had started and just like the Prophet (peace be upon him) had foretold.

Nay, indeed, rather the true Islam - that which the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Companions were following [this is a reference to the reply that the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave when asked what the characteristics of the "Saved Group" were] has become even stranger to the people then when it initially appeared, even though its outward signs and external relics are well known and widespread. [This is what ibn al-Qayyim, wrote in the 8th Century of the Hijrah, wrote. Imagine our situations six centuries after him. May Allah protect us.]

How can it not be so, when these strangers are only one group among seventy-two others [the Prophet (peace be upon him) said in an authentic hadith that this Ummah would divide into seventy-three groups, all of which would go to Hell except the one Saved Group.], each of which follows its own desires and takes its passions as gods?

Those are the groups that base their teachings on doubts and innovations and whose sole purpose is the gratification of their own desires. Thus, the group whose goal is to achieve the pleasure of Allah by following the path of His Messenger (peace be upon him) will be the strange one among all of the other groups.

This is why the true Muslims - those that adamantly cling to the Sunnah - will have the reward of fifty Companions. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked about the verse, "O you who believe!

Take care of your own selves. If you follow right guidance, no harm can come to you from those who err" (al-Maidah 105), he said, "Nay indeed, order good and forbid evil until you see stinginess being obeyed, and desires being followed, and this world preferred [over the next], and each person being deluded by his own opinions. Then take care of yourself and leave the common people.

For indeed, after you there will be days of patience, where patience will be like holding on to glowing embers. Whoever is able to do this will have the reward of fifty people that do like him." They asked, "O Messenger of Allah, the reward of fifty of them?" He replied, "The reward of fifty of you" [Recorded by al-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud with a weak chain but it has supporting evidence. Al-Albani calls it sahih. See al-Sahiha, #957]. This reward is due to his strangeness among the people.

So, if the believer whom Allah has blessed with wisdom and knowledge wants to tread upon this path, the path of Allah, then let him be prepared to resign himself to the life of a stranger among his people, just like his predecessors who accepted Islam were treated by the people. For indeed, he will be a stranger in his beliefs, because his people have corrupted their beliefs.

He will be a stranger in his religion, due to what the people have done to it. He will be a stranger in his manner of praying, because the people are ignorant of the prayer of the Prophet (peace be upon him). He will be a stranger in his ordering of good and prohibiting evil, for the people have taken what is evil as good and they have abandoned what is good as evil. In short, then, he will be a stranger in all his matters of this world and the Hereafter, calling to the path of Allah and withstanding the harm of all those that go against him.

As for the second type of strangeness, then know, O reader, that this strangeness is the blameworthy strangeness, for its people are the evil sinners, the ignorant and the arrogant of mankind. Their strangeness is due to their refusal to follow the correct and straight path of Allah. This strangeness is the strangeness of not conforming to the religion of Islam and, as such, it will remain strange even if its followers are numerous, its power is strong and its existence is widespread. These are the strangers to Allah. May Allah keep us from becoming one of them.

The third category of strangeness is, in essence, neither praiseworthy or blameworthy. It is the strangeness that a traveler experiences when he travels to a different country, like a person who lives in a place for a short period of time, knowing that he has to move on. One aspect of this strangeness is that all of us, whether we realize it or not, are strangers in this world, for we will all go one day to our permanent abode in the Hereafter.

This is the meaning of the hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) when he told Abdullah ibn Umar, "Live in this world as though you are a stranger or a wayfarer." Thus, this category of strangeness has the potential to become a praiseworthy strangeness if we realize the meaning of this statement of Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him).

We pray that Allah bless us to be Muslims, knowledgeable and pious, and that He forgive us our sins and bless us with His Mercy.

Glorified be your Lord, the Lord of Honor and Power! (He is free) from what they attribute to Him And Peace be on the Messengers. And all Praise and thanks be to the Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.