Conditions of a Saheeh Hadith

A hadith must meet the five criteria in order to be accepted according to Islaamic law as a source of legal ordinance.  Ibn as-Salaah defined the Hadith Saheeh as follows:

“A Hadith Saheeh is one which has a continuous isnaad(chain), made up of trustworthy narrators narrating from trustworthy narrators, which is found to be free from any irregularities or defects.”

1. Ittisaal as-Sanad (Continuity of the chain of transmitters)

The chain of narrators or transmitters, who are relating the Matn (text), has to be unbroken for the hadith to be considered. That is none of the transmitters must be missing from the chain and each narrator, Raawee, has to have met the transmitter directly preceding him as well as the one directly following him. Each Raawee has to be a known individual, otherwise he is classified as majhool (unknown) and the sanad is classified as broken.

2. ‘Adaalah (integrity)

The integrity of the narrators is the second key condition for a hadith to be considered valid. By integrity we mean that the narrator was a practicing Muslim and was not known to have done any of the major (forbidden things) if he was a known liar he is classified as kaththaab and the hadith that he has transmitted is classified as da‘eef. These are the conditions verified through the references of the biographical science of hadith known as Kutub ar-Rijaal.

3. Dabt (accuracy)

The accuracy of the text is determined by two factors either of which is sufficient by itself. 

(a) Dabt as-Sadr (Soundness of memory) Each narrator must be known for his ability to memorize and repeat with a high degree of accuracy. If a narrator had a tendency to repeat hadith in a number of different ways such a hadith is classified as Mudtarib (confused) and any other hadith that he narrates will be classified as Da‘eef.  When the narrator’s level of accuracy is mediocre but the other conditions for authenticity are fulfilled, the hadith is classified as hasan.

(b) Dabt al-Kitaabah (Written accuracy) Each narrator who does not fulfil precondition “a”, must be known for recording his hadith in books accurately and his narrations only be from his books, these two preconditions (a,b) are also verified by Kutub ar-Rijaal (books on Biographies of narrators).

4. Ghayr Shaathth (conformity)

It is critical that the hadith conform to similar hadiths narrated on the same topic whose chains are stronger. If the text of a hadith contradicts that of another well-known text whose chain of narration is stronger, or it is in conflict with a group of other narrators of a similar status, it is classified as shaathth (errant), which is one of the categories of hadith da‘eef(weak).

5. Laa ‘Illah (absence of hidden defect) 

The hidden defect is one that causes the hadith to appear to be sound and only become evident after deep investigation. For a hadith to be considered sound (saheeh) it has to be free of hidden defects. A hadith with hidden defects is called ma‘lool or mu‘allal. Ibn al-Madeenee (d. 324AH) said that a defect can only be revealed if all the isnaads of the hadith are collated. In his book, al-Ilal, he listed 34 Successors and the names of the Companions they heard hadiths directly from. For example, he said that al-Hasan al-Basree (d. 110AH) did not meet ‘Alee (d. 40AH), although there is a slight possibility that he may have seen him during his childhood in Madeenah. Such information is very important as it disproves the many Sufi traditions in which they claim that al-Hasan heard from ‘Alee. Only a few hadith scholars compiled books on this topic, among them, Ibn Abee Haatim ar-Raazee (d. 327), al-Khallaal (d. 311) and ad-Daaraqutnee (d. 385) 

Ruling of Hadith Saheeh 

A hadith that fulfils all the five conditions of sihhah(authenticity) is referred to as a hadith Saheeh. Such a hadith can be used to establish points of Islamic law and, if it isn’t abrogated, it must be accepted and applied. The ruling of a hadith saheeh can only be superceded by that of another hadith saheeh stronger than it. 

Taken from the book Usool Al-Hadith by Abu Ameenah Bilal Phillips

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The Art of Happiness

Among the greatest of blessings is to have a calm, stable, and happy heart.  For in happiness the mind is clear, enabling one to be a productive person.  It has been said that happiness is an art that needs to be learned.  And if you learn it, you will be blessed in this life.  But how does one learn it? A basic principle of achieving happiness is having the ability to endure and to cope with any situation.  Therefore you should neither be swayed nor governed by difficult circumstances, nor should you be annoyed by insignificant trifles.  Based on the purity of the heart and its ability to endure, a person will shine. 

When you train yourself to be patient and forebearing, then hardship and calamity will be easy for you to bear.  The opposite of being content is being short-sighted, being concerned for no one but one’s own self and forgetting about the world and all that is in it.  Allah described his enemies as follows:

“Thinking about themselves” [as how to save their own selves, ignoring the others and the prophets][Surah Aal Imran: 154]

It is as if such people see themselves as being the whole universe, or at least at the centre of it.  They think not of others, nor do they live for anyone but themselves. It is incumbent upon you and I to take time out to be pre-occupied with more than just us, and to sometimes distance ourselves from our own problems in order to forget our wounds and hurts. By doing this we gain two things; we make ourselves happy, and we bring joy to others.

Basic to the art of happiness is to bridle our thoughts and to restrain them, not allowing them to wander, stray, escape, or go wild.  For if you were to leave your thoughts to wander as they wish, then they will run wild and control you.  They will open the catalogue of your past woes. They will remind you of the history of your misfortunes, beginning from the day that your mother gave you birth.  If your thoughts are left to roam, then they will bring to you images of past difficulties and images of a future that is frightening.  These thoughts will shake your very being and will cause your feelings to flare.  Therefore bridle them, and restrain them by directing them to the concentrated application of the kind of serious thought that begets fruitful and beneficial work.

“And put your trust in the Ever-Living One who dies not” [Surah Furqan: 58]

Also among the principles of the art of happiness is to value life on this earth according to its true merit and worth.  This life is frivolous and does not warrant anything from you except that you turn away from it. This life is filled with calamities, aches, and wounds.  If that is the description of this life, then how can one be unduly affected by its minor calamities, and how can one grieve over such material things that have passed by him? The best moments of life are tainted, its future promises are mere mirages, the successful ones in it are envied, the one who is blessed is constantly threatened, and lovers are struck down by some unexpected misfortune.  And in a hadith reported from the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, he said;

“Verily, knowledge is only acquired by the practice of learning, and tolerance is acquired by the practice of tolerating.”

If one were to attempt to apply the meaning of this hadith to the topic under discussion, then he could go one step further and say that happiness is acquired by assuming it.  It is acquired by constantly smiling, by hunting for the reasons that make one happy, and even by forcing it onto one’s own self, however awkward that may seem.  One does all of these things until happiness becomes second nature.

The truth of the matter is that you cannot remove from yourself all remnants of grief, and the reasons for this is that life was created as a test.  As Allah says in the Qur’an; 

“Verily, We have created man in toil”[Surah Al Balad: 4]

“That He might try you, which of you is the best in deeds” [Surah Hud: 7]

But the message i wish to convey to you is that you should, as much is possible, reduce the amount and intensity of your grief.  As for being completely free from grief, this is for the inhabitants of paradise in the hereafter.  This is why the dwellers of paradise will say;

“All the praise and thanks be to Allah, who has removed from us [all] grief” [Surah Faatir: 34]

This is considered to be a proof that grief will not be removed from them except in paradise.  Likewise, grudges and bitterness will not be completely removed except in paradise.

So when a person knows the nature of this world and its qualities, he comes to realise that it is dry, deceitful, and unworthy; and he comes to fully understand that, that is its nature and its description.  If the description of this world is as I have described it to be, then it is worthy of the intelligent person not to help it in its onslaught, nor to surrender to depression and anxiety.  What should we do is defend ourselves from all feelings that may spoil our lives, in a war that we must wage with all the strength that we have endowed with.

“But they never lost heart for that which did befall them in Allah’s way, nor did they weaken nor degrade themselves” [Surah Aal Imran:146] 

Pause to reflect…

Do not be sad. If you are poor, then someone else is immersed in debt.  If you do not own your own means of transportation, then someone else has been deprived of his legs.  If you have reasons to complain concerning the pains of sickness, then someone else has been bed ridden for years.  And if you have lost a child, then someone else has lost many children.

Do not be sad. You are a Muslim who believes in Allah, his Messengers, His Angels, the Hereafter, and Preordainment – both the good and the bad of it.  While you are blessed with this faith, which is the greatest of blessing, others disbelieve in Allah, discredit the Messengers, differ among themselves concerning the book, deny the hereafter, and deviate in their understanding of divine preordainment.  Do not be sad, because if you are, you disturb your soul and heart, you prevent yourself from sleeping and living a happy life.

 Taken from the book Don’t Be Sad by A’id al Qarni

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Ways of Strengthening Patience

 

The Patience of noble people and the patience of ignoble people

Every person has to exercise patience in order to face difficulties, whether he does so willingly or unwillingly. The noble person exercises patience willingly, because he realizes the benefits of patience, and he knows that he will be rewarded for his patience and will be criticized if he panics. He is aware that if he does not have patience, panicking and impatience will not help him to regain missed opportunities, and will not take away things he dislikes. Whatever is decreed and is qada’ wa qadr cannot be prevented from happening, and whatever is decreed not to happen cannot be made to happen. So an attitude of impatience and panic actually causes harm.

A wise man said: “A man with wisdom as soon as adversity appears does that which a foolish man does after a month (i.e. he resorts to patience).”

The ignoble man exercises patience only when he realizes he has no choice. After wasting a lot of time and energy and panicking and struggling, he realizes that his impatience will not help him. Then he exercises patience in the same way that a person who has been tied up to be whipped exercises patience.

The noble person practices patience in obeying Allah, whilst the ignoble person exercises patience in obeying the Shaytân. So ignoble people have the greatest patience in following their own whims and desires, and have patience in spending in the way of Shaytân and no patience when it comes to spending even a few pennies in the way of Allah. They will endure many difficulties in order to follow their own whims and desires, but cannot bear even the least difficulties in order to please their Lord. They will endure slander for the sake of committing wrong actions, but cannot exercise patience in putting up with slander for the sake of Allah. Such people will avoid enjoining the good and forbidding the evil for fear of what people will say about them for doing so, but they will expose their honour to slander and bear it most patiently for the sake of following their own whims and desires. Similarly, they are not prepared to practise patience in devoting themselves to Allah, but when it comes to devoting themselves to Shaytân and their own whims and desires, they will exercise remarkable patience. Such people will never be noble in the sight of Allah, and on the Day of Resurrection they will not be raised with the people of nobility and decency.

Ways of strengthening patience

As patience is fard (obligatory), Allah has provided us with ways and means of obtaining and strengthening the quality of patience, for He has never instructed us to do something without providing us with help and support to do it, and ways and means of achieving it. He has never created a disease without creating a cure for it, and He has guaranteed cure when medicine is used. Even so, patience is difficult, but it is not impossible to attain. Patience consists of two elements: knowledge and action, and from these two elements are derived the remedies for all spiritual and physical troubles. Knowledge and action, combined, are always essential.

Knowledge

The element of knowledge is necessary in order to realize the benefits of following the commands of Allah and the sense of happiness and fulfilment that one may attain by following them; and to understand what it is in the forbidden things that causes harm, imperfection and evil. When a person realizes that, and adds strong willpower, the desire for spiritual achievement and the wish to live as a complete human being (as opposed to as animal-like existence), then it will become easy for him to attain the quality of patience. The bitterness of patience will become sweet and the pain of patience will become joy.

Action

Patience is a constant battle between the motives of reason and religion on the one hand, and the motive of whims and desires on the other. If a person wants reason and religion to overcome whims and desires, then he has to strengthen the former and weaken the latter, just like promoting good health and reducing the risk of illness.

For example, a person who has a strong desire to commit adultery can take steps to combat it. He may have such a strong sexual urge that he cannot stop committing adultery; or he may not commit the act itself, but is unable to stop looking at women; or he may be able to stop looking at women but he cannot stop thinking of sex, to the extent that all his thoughts are devoted to this subject, and he never gives any thought to things which could benefit him in this life and in the hereafter. If he is really serious about finding a cure for this disease, then he has to follow these steps:

1. He can find out what types of food increase sexual desire, and then he can reduce his intake of them, or avoid them altogether. If this does not work, then he can fast, as fasting reduces sexual desire, especially if the food eaten when he breaks his fast is moderate.

2. He should lower his gaze and avoid looking at women, as looking at women may provoke sexual desire. The Prophet (SAAS) warned us, “Looking (at women) is one of the arrows of the Shaytân.” Shaytân aims his arrows from reaching its target unless one lowers one’s gaze. But if a person keeps looking, he is exposing his heart to these arrows, any one of which may be fatal.

3. He should enjoy permissible sex (i.e. within marriage), because any desire that Allah created in us has a permissible outlet. This is the best cure, as the Prophet (SAAS) has indicated.

4. He should think of the harm and damage that may befall him in this world as a consequence of his fulfilling his sexual desire in a prohibited way. Even if there were no Paradise or Hell, the harm that could be caused in this world by such an action should be enough to stop him from doing it. The damage caused by such actions is so great that it can barely be quantified, but sexual desire makes some people blind.

5. He should think of the ugliness of the person who is tempting him to commit adultery with her, especially if she is known to have other partners. He should feel too proud to drink from the same place as dogs and wolves! 

Strengthening the motive of reason and religion

In the battle between reason/religion and whims/desires, we have the following “weapons” at our disposal:

1. We should remember the glory and greatness of Allah, and feel that He is too great to be sinned against as He is all-seeing and all-hearing. Whoever thinks of the greatness of Allah will never be at ease in committing wrong actions.

2. If we claim to love Allah, then we should not disobey Him, because of that love. A person should be obedient to the One he claims to love. Those who refrain from committing wrong actions out of their love for Allah are of the highest status in His sight, as are those who worship Him out of love for Him. There is great difference between the one who obeys Allah and abstains from wrong action out of love, and the one who does so out of fear of punishment.

3. We should think of the blessings and favours of Allah, as a decent and noble person would never act against the one who has been treating him kindly. Only base and ignoble people do such a thing. If we think of the blessings and favours of Allah, we will realize that we should not respond by doing against His commands and committing wrong action.

4. We should think of the wrath and punishment of Allah, as He will be angry with the person who persists in committing wrong action. Nothing can stand in the way of the consequences of His anger, least of all this weak slave of His.

5. We should think of what the person who commits wrong action has to lose, in this world and the next. It should be sufficient to think of the loss of îmân (faith), of which the smallest amount is worth much more than everything in this world. How can anyone be willing to lose his îmân in return for some brief moment of pleasure the consequences of which might last forever? In a sahîh hadîth, the Prophet (SAAS) said: “No adulterer is a believer at the time of when he is committing adultery.” Commenting on this hadîth, one of the Sahâbah said: “His îmân will be dragged out of him until it goes over his head like a cloud. If he repents, then his îmân will return to him.”

6. We should relish the idea of defeating the Shaytân and being victorious over him, because of overcoming him, and our whims and desires, is a thing of joy and carries a great reward. It is like taking medicine and being rewarded with restoration to good health.

7. We should bear in mind the reward and compensation which Allah has promised to those who control their whims and desires, and abstain from that which is haram.

8. We should think of the special companionship of Allah, as He has told us: “Allah is with those who patiently persevere” (al-Baqarah 2:153) “For Allah is with those who restrain themselves and those who do good” (an-Nahl 16:128) “For verily Allah is with those who do right.” (al-‘Ankabût 29:69)

9. We should be ever mindful of death, which could come upon us at any time, suddenly and without warning.

10. We should stop thinking of falsehood and bad ideas. Even if bad thoughts cross our minds, we should not let them stay, otherwise they may become hopes and wishes which we may act upon, and harm ourselves and others in the process.

11. We should gradually strengthen our religious motive in fighting whims and desires. Once we have tasted the joy of defeating those whims and desires, then our determination and willpower will grow stronger.

12. We should direct our thoughts towards contemplation of the signs of Allah which He has encouraged us to think about, whether they are in the Qur’an or in the universe around us. If such thoughts are constantly in our hearts and minds, this will help us to shun the whisperings of the Shaytân. There is no greater loser than the one who, instead of thinking of Allah, His Book, His Prophet and his Sahâbah, dwells on Shaytân and the ideas of Shaytân.

13. We should remember how short is our stay on this earth. No-one would want to feel that all he has achieved in this life is the worst kind of deeds, except a person who has no spiritual ambition, whose heart is dead and who is careless. Such a person will ultimately regret his deeds when he realizes that, far from benefiting him, they will lead to punishment. Even the person who has many good deeds to his credit will feel that sense of regret when he realizes that he could have done even more.

14. We should know that Allah has created us to live an eternal life with no death, a life of pride and ease with no humiliation, a life of security with no fear, a life of richness with no poverty, a life of joy with no pain, a life of perfection with no flaws. Allah is testing us in this world with a life that will end with death, a life of pride which is accompanied by humiliation and degradation, a life that is tainted by fear, where joy and ease are mixed with sorrow and pain. So many people are mistakenly seeking an easy life of power and pleasure in this world, but most of them never manage to achieve it, and those who do, enjoy it only for a brief time before it vanishes. The Prophets called people to an eternal life of plenty, and whoever answers their call will have the best life in this world, better than the life of kings and their followers, for zuhd in this life is true richness. This is something which the Shaytân greatly envies the believers.

Merely knowing the facts that we have outlined above is not enough. We have to strive and do our utmost to achieve our aim and attain perfection. The best way to do so is to put a stop to the habits that are controlling our lives, as these are the main obstacles which prevent us from succeeding. We should avoid places of fitnah and temptation, as the Prophet (SAAS) told us, “Whoever hears of the Dajjâl should keep away from him.” The best way to protect ourselves from wrong is to keep away from anything that could lead to it. One of the favourite tricks of the Shaytân, which deceives everyone except those who are clever enough to see it, is to show a person some goodness in a wrong thing, and call him to go towards what is good; when the person gets close to it, he falls into the trap.

‘uddat as-saabireen wa dhakhiraat ash-shaakireen’ of  Ibn Al-Qayyim rahimahullah

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The Journey of a Haafidh

 

Memorizing the Qur’an is not just about memorizing the words of Allah `azza wa jall. No. It’s a lot more than that. By understanding the meanings and by making a sincere move to truly live these words; you’ll come to see that it’s actually a magnificent journey…

It’s a journey that takes you through paths you never thought you’d ever tread. A breath-taking trip that will throw you into a sea of knowledge, cast you under the shade of guidance, ascend you to lofty clouds, and bring you back to the harsh realities of life – but as a hakim (wise one). It will take you through paradigm shifts, open your eyes to the unseen and the unheard, it will challenge you, test your limits, break you down and then rebuild you from new.

It will teach you what patience really means, what endurance is, what reliance tastes like, where sincerity comes from, what it means to believe in yourself and most importantly, it will teach you that your success in life and this unpredictable path truly comes from Allah in accordance to who you are, who you want to be, and the level of your faith & driving force.

It is a journey designed so specifically for you, so unique to you. Don’t run lest you stumble, don’t dally lest you miss the signs, and don’t stop lest the gale winds throw you off.

Days and nights will never be the same again. You will struggle with yourself and others, you will feel pains that only Allah knows of, but the sweet taste in your mouth will never let you give up. There will be dashed hopes, failed attempts, and you might miss the train more than once, but the ignited flame of passion within you, will not let you be, so you carry on.

You will be tested and taught your boundaries not as a punishment but as the greatest act of kindness you will ever witness: being shown that your barriers are just that; your barriers. And not Allah’s. He will truly show you your strengths and increase them for you, show you your weaknesses and help you overcome them. He will make sure that you witness all the battlefields known to the Son of Adam; you will battle forces from Shaytan, forces from your surroundings, forces from your emotions, and you will battle the greatest force to reckon with: your mind and soul. Allah will let you fight in these plains, but He will make sure that you not only win the battle, but that you win the entire war.

As you endure and develop grip on this path you will start to feel physically, mentally, and spiritually stronger. You breathe on a deeper level, you see further than you did before, your heart captures what it could not before, and it dawns on you that you are emerging as a completely different person. Your mind is alarmingly clearer, your knowledge more vast, and your ability to understand and comprehend is more than you thought. The blessings in your life don’t stop coming, you see the responses to your du’a, you feel the secure presence and serenity of Allah in your life, you are continuously being taught and continuously improving and the signs all seem to point in one direction: Go forward.

As you arrive in the end, you arrive as a musafir (traveler) arrives home, as a hero returns from the front line, as a beloved comes back home. You arrive with the greatest smile on your face, and a radiant glow in your heart. You look back and see that you’ve crossed over a realm and a world you didn’t know existed.

As an enlightened believer you emerge walking with light upon a lighted path… Your name is the same, but you? No, you will never be the same. What just took place is a transformation like no other; promised to all who decide to take this route. Don’t leave this world without treading this glorious path. Don’t leave without memorizing, learning, rather living this Qur’an. Angels align with you as your brothers, and Allah is guiding you back to Him for rewards that no eye has seen, no ear has heard of and no heart of yours ever thought possible. Wa billahi tawfiq.

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The Fruits of Putting One’s Trust in Allaah

 

As for the fruits of putting one’s trust in Allaah (i.e. tawakkul), then they are many. The greatest of them is that Allaah will suffice him in whatever he seeks after. “And whoever puts his trust in Allaah, He will suffice him.” [Surah At-Talaaq: 3]

So whoever relegates his affairs to Allaah, relies on Him alone, and believes that no one can give him good or repel harm from him except Allaah, “He will suffice him.”

This means that Allaah will protect him from all harms since the recompense is based on the action a person does. So when someone puts his trust in Allaah in the correct manner, He rewards him by sufficing him and taking charge of his affairs. Allaah Himself takes charge of this individual’s affairs and does not relegate it to anyone else. This is the greatest fruit of tawakkul (reliance upon Allaah).

Allaah says: “O Prophet, Allaah is sufficient for you.” [Surah Al-Anfaal: 64]

And He says: “And if they intend to deceive you, then verily Allaah is sufficient for you. It is He who supported you with His help and with the believers.” [Surah Al-Anfaal: 62]

So in summary: The greatest fruit of putting one’s trust in Allaah is that Allaah will suffice and take care of whoever relies in Him. This is why Allaah informs us of His Prophet Nooh when he told his people: “If my staying with you and my reminding you of the verses of Allaah are hard on you, then I put my trust in Allaah. So devise your plot – you and your partners – and let not your plot be in doubt for you. Then pass your sentence on me and give me no respite.” [Surah Yoonus: 71]

And He quotes His Prophet Hood as saying: “I am free from that which you ascribe as partners in worship apart from Him. So plot against me – all of you – and give me no respite. I put my trust in Allaah, my Lord and your Lord. There is not a creature that moves (i.e. lives) except that He has a grasp of its forelock. Verily, my Lord is on a Straight Path.” [Surah Hood: 54-56]

He quotes His Prophet Shu’aib as saying: “And my guidance is only due to Allaah. In Him I trust and to Him I repent.” [Surah Hood: 88]

And He said to His Prophet Muhammad to say: “Call your associates and then plot against me and give me no respite. Verily, my Protector is Allaah who has revealed the Book. He is the One who protects the righteous. And those whom you call upon besides Him cannot help you nor can they help themselves.” [Surah Al-A’raaf: 195-197]

Allaah informs us through the statements of these noble messengers that they challenged their people and their false deities to bring harm to them in some way. They did this because they had complete reliance on Allaah. And whoever puts his trust in Allaah, He will be sufficient for him.

Another fruit of relying upon Allaah is that it brings about love from Allaah, as He says: “Verily, Allaah loves those who put their trust in Him.” [Surah Aali ‘Imraan: 159]

So if someone truthfully puts his trust in Allaah, Allaah will love him. And if Allaah loves this person, he will find success and happiness in this life and the next since he will be from among Allaah’s friends and allies.

Also from the fruits of putting one’s trust in Allaah is that a person will proceed in doing beneficial things and not fear or dread anyone except Allaah. So for example, those who are engaged in Jihaad by way of fighting battles against disbelievers – they only do so because they put their trust in Allaah. So in turn, this reliance on Allaah instils courage and strength into them and as a result, all of the hardships and difficulties that face them become lessened. And they take delight in dying in the Way of Allaah and attaining martyrdom in His Cause. All of this is due to their reliance and trust in Allaah.

Another fruit of putting one’s trust in Allaah is that it encourages one to go out and seek sustenance or to acquire knowledge or to do any of the other beneficial things. The one who puts his trust in Allaah perseveres and puts his heart into seeking after the useful and necessary means of life because he knows that Allaah is with those who rely on Him and that He will aid them. So he perseveres in seeking after all of the beneficial things of this life and the Hereafter and he is not from those who are lazy and weak.

It is for this reason that the Companions were the bravest of people. They genuinely put their trust and reliance in Allaah to the point that they were able to conquer lands in the east and the west. They conquered lands through victory in battle and conquered hearts through calling them to Allaah. All of this was because they put their trust in Allaah and because they relied on Him. Allaah says: “O you who believe, whoever amongst you apostates from his religion, Allaah will bring a people whom He will love and they will love Him, humble towards the believers and stern towards the disbelievers, fighting in the Cause of Allaah and never fearing the blame of the blamers. That is the Grace of Allaah which He bestows upon whom He wills. And Allaah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knowing.” [Surah Al-Maa’idah: 54]

So they didn’t fear for the sake of Allaah the blame of the blamers since they relied on Him to the utmost degree and entrusted their affairs in Him absolutely. They did not turn to anyone else regardless if the people were content or discontent with it, so long as they continued to do what was pleasing to Allaah. It is stated in the hadeeth: “Whoever seeks to please Allaah by (doing something that is) displeasing (to) the people, Allaah becomes pleased with him and makes the people pleased with him. And whoever seeks to please the people by (doing something that is) displeasing (to) Allaah, Allaah becomes displeased with him and makes the people displeased with him.” [1]

So relying upon Allaah, putting one’s trust in Him, and entrusting one’s affairs to Him is the foundation of Tawheed. It is the foundation of actions. And it is the foundation of goodness. This is why Allaah made it a condition of Faith, where He says: “So in Allaah put your trust if you are truly believers.” [Surah Al-Maa’idah: 23]

There still remains one issue related to this topic, which we would like to discuss, and it is the issue of tawkeel, or delegating authority to someone else. If you entrust someone to obtain something for you, such as buying a product for you or renting something for you or litigating on your behalf, does this mean that you have put your trust in someone other than Allaah? No, this does not mean that. Choosing someone to represent you and act on your behalf is not tawakkul.

Tawakkul means complete reliance and relegation of one’s affairs, which cannot be done except on Allaah.

As for tawkeel, it is when you appoint someone else to obtain something permissible that you are looking for, which he has the ability to obtain. This is one of the allowable means. So hire a representative from the perspective of implementing the means and put your trust in Allaah when obtaining your objective from the perspective of worship. But do not put your trust (tawakkul) in this representative. Instead put your trust in Allaah.

So therefore, commissioning someone else to handle some of your affairs does not violate your creed nor does it mean that you are putting your trust in someone other than Allaah. It is merely working hand in hand with someone towards achieving an objective. Allaah says: “Assist one another in (matters of) piety and righteousness and do not assist one another in sin and transgression.” [Surah Al-Maa’idah: 2]

So a wakeel (representative) is only there to assist an individual by taking his place and serving as a means to get what he wants. In the same way that him doing something on his own constitutes a means, then likewise, his commissioning a representative to handle his affairs is also a means. And it does not fall under the realm of putting one’s trust in other than Allaah.

In conclusion, I ask Allaah to make us and you from those who put their trust in Allaah in truth – those who implement the required means and rely upon their Lord, those who do not rely on anyone else nor entrust their affairs to anyone else. May Allaah send the peace and praises on our Prophet, Muhammad, his family and all of his Companions.

Footnotes:

[1] Reported by Ibn Hibbaan in his Saheeh (1/435) and At-Tirmidhee in his Sunan (7/133) in a similar narration, both on the authority of ‘Aa’ishah; Others reported it as well.

Taken from Haqeeqat-ut-Tawakkul (pg. 35-42) of Shaikh Saalih Al-Fawzaan

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Three Beautiful Pieces of Advice

On the authority of Abu Ayyoob al-Ansaaree:

A man came to the Prophet and said “Oh Messenger of Allaah give me advice and summarize it”. The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said (what means) “When you stand to pray, pray as if it is your last prayer, don’t speak with that which you would apologize for tomorrow,and be hopeless for that which is in the hands of the people”
(Musnad Ahmad/Authenticated by al-Albaanee)


Shaykh Abdur-Rahmaan bin Naasir as-Si’dee (may Allaah have mercy upon him said about this narration): “These are three pieces of advice and how beautiful they are . If the servant holds o­n to it, his affairs would be complete and he will be successful.

The first piece of advice consist of completing the prayer and striving to perform it in the best manner.That is by him (the servant) taking account of himself for every prayer that he prays, also that he will complete all of that which is within the prayer from that which is obligatory and recommended. He actualizes the state of Ihsaan (perfection) in it which is the highest of states. That is by him standing in the prayer bringing to mind his standing in front of his Lord, and that he is addressing Him with that which he says from his recitation, words of remembrance and supplication. He humbles himself to Him in his standing, bowing, prostration, lowering of himself and rising up in the prayer. That which will aid him upon this noble goal is settling o­neself upon that (which was mentioned) without wavering and no laziness of the heart.

He also brings to mind in every prayer that it is the last prayer as if he will pray no other prayer. From that which is known that the o­ne who is bidding farewell strives with his utmost and exerts himself in his affair with all that is at his disposal. He does not cease to carry these beneficial meanings and strong means (of attainment) until the matter becomes easy for him and he becomes accustomed to that. The prayer (being performed) in this manner prevents the o­ne who is praying from every repugnant characteristic and encourages him to observe every beautiful characteristic. That is due to the effects of the increase of faith, the light of the heart, its happiness, and complete desire for the good within himself.

As for the second advice: It is the preserving of the tongue and closely watching over it. Indeed upon the preservation of the tongue there is the pivot (of o­nes life) and it is the controlling of affair of the servant. Therefore when the servant controls his tongue he controls all of his limbs. However when his tongue controls him and doesn’t protect him from the harmful speech then indeed his affair(s) become disorderly in his religion and worldly life. Therefore he should not speak with any speech except that he knows its benefit in his religion and his worldly life. Every speech that possibly has in it something that the person will be criticized for or apologize for then let him leave it. That is because if he speaks with it his speech owns him and he becomes a prisoner of it. Or it is possible that it brings about a harm upon him and he wont be able to fend it off.

As for the third advice: It is settling o­neself upon being connected to Allaah alone in the affairs of his lively hood and hereafter. He doesn’t ask anyone except for Allaah. Nor does he desire (anything) except for His bounty. He settles within himself the despair for that which is in the hands of the people (he doesn’t hope for getting from them what they have). Indeed giving up hope (for that which is in the hands of the people) is a protection. Whoever gives up hope for having something becomes independent of it. So just as he doesn’t ask with his tongue except Allaah, likewise he doesn’t connect his heart to anyone except for Allaah. As a result of that he truly remains a servant of Allaah, free from the servitude of the creation. He certainly has freed himself from their slavery and he has earned by way of that the honor and the nobility. For indeed the o­ne who is attached to the creation earns the disgrace and the downfall according to the degree of his attachment to them (the creation) and Allaah knows best”.

Taken from Bah-ja-tu Quloob al-Abraar. Explanation of Hadeeth 74.

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One Of The Poisons Of The Heart

Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyyah (d.751H) said:

Unnecessary companionship is a chronic disease that causes much harm. How often have the wrong kind of companionship and intermixing deprived people of Allah’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 Allah – of His commands, of the scheming of His enemies, and of the diseases of the heart and their remedies – who wish well for Allah, His Prophet 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 closely 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 [1]

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 Allah 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 poison: 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 Allah 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 Allah ta’Ala, recitation of the Noble Qur’an, seeking Allah’s forgiveness, making du’as, invoking Allah’s blessings and peace on the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and praying at night.

From the book, Purification of the Soul.

Footnotes

[1] Ash-Shafi`ee, may Allah 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.”

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