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Archive for the ‘Hadith’ Category

Hadith 40:

By way of Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, who said that Allah’s Messenger (S) said, “One of you should not wish for death because of a difficulty that has affected him. If he must [say something], then let him say, ‘Allahumma, aheenee maa kaanatil hayaatu khairan lee, wa tawaffanee  idhaa kaanatil wafaatu khairan lee.’ (Allah, give me life as long as life is good for me, and cause me to die when death is good for me.)” Agreed upon.

COMMENTARY:  

In this hadith, the Prophet (S) forbids a person from wishing for death due to a difficulty that has affected him. An individual may be afflicted by a difficulty which proves to be heavy for him and so he becomes tired of it and starts to wish for death, saying: “Lord, cause me to die.” It is the same whether he physically utters it or says it in his heart. The Prophet (S) forbade this by saying, “One of you should not wish for death because of a difficulty that has affected him,” because there may be good in it for him. Whenever you are afflicted by harm, then you should say: “Allah, cause me to be steadfast during it,” so that Allah will help you be patient, and this will be good for you.

However, when you desire death, you are not aware that this would be bad for you as it would not cause you to rest, because not every death will bring with it rest, as a poet once said: One who died is not at rest; because death is only for the life. It may be that a person dies only to face punishment and torment in the grave, we seek Allah’s refuge from this; if he had remained alive, he would have become remorseful, repented, and returned to Allah, and this would be a cause of good for him. So when an affliction affects you, do not wish for death.

If the Prophet (S) forbade a person from desiring death, because of an affliction that affected him, then what can be said about the one who commits suicide because of a calamity; this is found among some foolish people, who, when suffering from a prolonged calamity, hang, stab, poison, etc, themselves. These people only move from one affliction to another that is even more severe, because the one commits suicide will be punished in the same manner that he committed suicide in the fire of Hell, where he will remain for eternity, as related by the Prophet (S). So if he commits suicide by the use of iron—such as a dagger, a knife, a nail, or anything else—then he will be in the Hell [continuously] stabbing himself with that piece of iron that he used to commit suicide with. If he commits suicide with poison, he will continue consuming it in Hell. If he committed suicide by throwing himself off of high place, then that place will be erected for him in the Hell, and he will throw himself repeatedly from it eternally.

Since the Prophet (S) forbade a person from wishing for death, because of an affliction that he is suffering from, then [the forbiddance] is even move severe for committing suicide, being hasty with Allah’s [decree] concerning his soul. We ask Allah for security [from this]. It was the practice of the Messenger (S) that whenever he forbade a thing which had a legal substitute, he would mention [that substitute], which is also the style of the Qur’an. Allah, the Glorious, says, “Believers, do not say [to the Prophet] raa‘inaa (be careful and listen to us), but say unzurnaa (make us understand).” (2:104) So when Allah prohibited the use of the word raa‘inaa, He directed [the believers] to a legal word by saying, “but say unzurnaa.” (2:104) Also, when some good dates were brought to the Messenger (S) he was astonished and asked, “Are all the dates of Khaibar similar to these?” They replied, “Messenger of Allah, no, by Allah. We purchase a sa‘ of these with two sa‘s (of another type) and two sa‘s with three.” He said, “Do not do that, instead sell the inferior dates for dirhams and then use the dirhams to buy the superior dates,” meaning the good dates. Having forbidden him from one practice, he related to them its legal substitute. Here [in the hadith being discussed] he said, “One of you should not wish for death because of a difficulty that has affected him. If he must [say something], then let him say, ‘Allah, give me life as long as life is good for me, and cause me to die when death is good for me,” through which he opened a door for you which is secure. Since wishing for death is an indication of a person’s displeasure and impatience with Allah’s decree; however with the supplication, “Allah, give me life as long as life is good for me, and cause me to die when death is good for me,” a person entrusts his affair to Allah; since he is unaware of the unseen, so he entrusts his affair to its Knower, the Mighty and Sublime [Allah].

A person wishing for death is hastiness in desiring that Allah ends his life, as that may prevent him from many good things; it may prevent him from seeking repentance and an increase in righteous deeds. That is why it was reported in a hadith, “There is no one who dies but he shall regret. If he was a doer of good, he shall regret that he did not do more, and if he is doer of evil, he shall regret that he did not stop.” Meaning that he will seek a reprimand for his sins and ask to be reprimanded, i.e., to be excused.

If someone were to ask: How is that one can say, “Allah, give me life as long as life is good for me, and cause me to die when death is good for me?” We answer: This is because [only] Allah, the Glorious, knows what will occur [in the future] of which a person is unaware, as Allah says, “Say, ‘No one in the heavens and the earth knows the unseen except Allah,’” (27:65) and “No person knows what he will earn tomorrow, and no person knows in what land he will die.” (31:34) So you are unaware of whether life or death is better for you. This is why whenever someone supplicates for a person to have a long life he should restrict it by saying, “May Allah grant you a long life in obedience to Him,” so that the duration of his life is lived in goodness.

If someone was to say: Maryam, the daughter of ‘Imraan, was reported to have wished for death when she said, “Would that I had died before this, and had been forgotten and out of sight.” (19:23). How is it that she fell into doing that which is prohibited? Then answering that we give [is the following]:

  • First: We must know that when it comes to the Law of the previous nations, if our Law mentions something that is contrary to theirs, then their law cannot be used as proof because our Law abrogated all that of the former religions.
  • Second: Maryam did not desire death, but she wished that she had died before this fitnah (trial) [that she was afflicted with] even if she had lived a thousand years. What is important is that she wished to die without any fitnah. An example of this is the statement of Yoosuf, “You are my protector in the world and the Hereafter, cause me to die as a Muslim, and join me with the righteous.” (12:101) What is meant here is not that he asked Allah to cause him to die, rather asked Him to cause him die as one who has submitted (Muslim), and there is nothing wrong with this. It is similar to you saying, “Allah, make me die on Islam, faith, tawheed (monotheism), and ikhlaas (sincerity), or cause me to do what You are pleased with me,” and so forth.

It is necessary to understand the difference between a person who wishes for death because of difficult circumstances that afflicted him, and a person who wishes to die in a specific state that Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, is pleased with. The first type is prohibited by the Messenger (S), while the second type is permissible.

The Prophet (S) only prohibited a wish for death borne from an afflicted calamity, because the one who does so is not patient, and it is required that the person be patient with an affliction and to anticipate the reward from Allah, the Mighty and Sublime. The afflicted calamity—whether it is anxiety, grief, illness, or any other calamity—is expiation for your sins; so if you anticipate the reward, then it will be a cause of raising you in rank.

Whatever affliction, illness, or anything similar affects a person it is never infinite, rather it will end and there is no doubt in this. When it does end, and you have earned a good merit by anticipating the reward from Allah and an expiation of your sins, then it turns into goodness for you. This is affirmed from the Prophet (S) when he said, “The case of the believer is amazing. All his affairs are good, and that is not for anyone but the believer. If something happens to him that makes him happy, he is grateful, so that is good for him. If something happens to him that harms him, then he is patient, so that is good for him.” So in all circumstance there is goodness for the believer, whether in times of calamity or in times of prosperity.

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Hadith 29

By way of Aboo Zaid Usaamah b. Zaid bin Haarithah, the mawlaa (freed slave) of Allah’s Messenger, his beloved friend, son of his beloved friend, may Allah be pleased with them both, who related, “The daughter of the Prophet (S) sent a message to him [saying], ‘The time has arrived for [the death of] my son, so come to us.’ So he sent a message conveying the salutations and saying, ‘What Allah takes is His, and what He gives is His; everything with Him has a stated term, so be patient and anticipate [Allah’s reward].’ So she sent a message to him beseeching him to come to her. So he set off, and with him was Sa‘d b. ‘Ubaadah, Mu‘aadh b. Jabal, Ubayy b. Ka‘b, Zaid b. Thaabit, and some other men, may Allah be pleased with them. The child was brought to the Allah’s Messenger and he sat him in his lap; his [the child’s] breathing was sporadic (taqaqa), so his [the Prophet’s] eyes flowed [with tears]. Sa‘d asked, ‘Messenger of Allah, what is this?’ He replied, ‘This is mercy which Allah, the Exalted, places in the hearts of His servants.’” In one narration, “In the hearts of whomever among His servants He wills; and Allah only has mercy upon His servants that are compassionate.’” [Agreed upon].

The meaning of taqaqa is departing and troubled.

 

Explanation of Hadith

The author, may Allah have mercy with him, [records the narration] related by Aboo Zaid Usaamah b. Zaid b. Haarithah, may Allah be pleased with both of them; Zaid b. Haarithah was the freed slave of Allah’s Messenger; he had [initially] been a slave who was gifted to the Prophet by [his first wife] Khadeejah; he freed him and so he became his mawlaa (freed slave). He was nicknamed Hibbu Rasul Allah meaning: Beloved One of Allah’s Messenger. His son [Usaamah] was also nicknamed Hibbu. So, Usaamah was his beloved and son of his beloved, may Allah be pleased with both of them.

He [Usaamah] relates that one of the daughters of the Messenger (S) sent a herald to him informing him that the time, meaning the time of death, had arrived for her son, and she wanted the Prophet (S) to be in attendance. The herald informed the Messenger of Allah (S) to which he (S) said, “Whatever Allah takes is His, and what He gives is His; everything with Him has a stated term, so be patient and anticipate [Allah’s reward].”

So the Prophet (S) ordered the man whom his daughter had sent, to command his daughter, the mother of this dying son, with these statements:

He said, be patient, that is, anticipate the reward from Allah for your patience. There are some who are patient but do not expect reward from Allah: patient in staying away from disobedience and is not angry [with the decree], but they do not hope for Allah’s reward; resulting, in huge loss of reward. However if he is patient and anticipates Allah’s reward – meaning, he wants Allah to reward him for his patience and to grant him recompense – then this is called al-ihtisaab (anticipating the reward from Allah).

So be patient with this affliction and anticipate from Allah the reward for that. His statement, what Allah takes is His, and what He gives is His, is tremendous indeed. Since all things belong to Allah, if He removes a thing from you, then it was His possession, and if He bestows on you a thing, then it was His possession. How then can you be angry when He takes from you something that [already] belongs to Him?

Therefore if Allah takes from you a thing that you adore, then you should say: this is Allah’s; He takes what He wills and gives what He wills.

This is why the Sunnah teaches that when a person is afflicted with a suffering, then he should say, “We belong to Allah and to Him we shall return,” meaning, we are Allah’s property and He does with us as He wills. Likewise, when He takes away a thing that we adore, then it was His: what He takes is His, and what He gives is His.  So whatever He gives to you, you are not its owner, rather it belongs to Allah, and so you are unable to use what He gives you except in accordance with what He has permitted. This proves that whatever is in our possession was bestowed on us by Allah; ours ownership of it is lacking, and we do not have absolute control over its disposal; so if a person wants to have absolute control on the spending of his wealth in a way not allowed by the Law, we tell him to cease because it is not possible to do so; that wealth belongs to Allah, as He says, “Give them something out of the wealth of Allah.” (24:33) This wealth belongs to Allah, so do not spend it in a manner other than what you have been permitted. This is why he said, what Allah takes is His, and what He gives is His, so if what Allah takes is His, then why should we be concerned? How can we be angry with the Owner taking back what belongs to Him. This is contrary to reason and to what has been revealed.

 He said, everything with Him has a stated term, meaning, everything has been apportioned by Allah. Allah says elsewhere in the Qur’an, “Everything with Him is in due proportion.” (13:8) [Meaning,] apportioned in its time, place, essence, attributes, and all that relates to it for a stated term, meaning, it is specified. So when you are certain of this – what Allah takes is His, and what He gives is His, and, everything with Him has a stated term – then you will be satisfied. The last part, [everything with Him has a stated term,] means that a person cannot alter the stated term, neither advancing it nor delaying it, as Allah says,  For every nation there is a term appointed; when their term comes, neither can they delay it nor can they advance it a moment.” (10:49)

 So when something has been predetermined, unable to be advanced or delayed, then there is no benefit in being worried or annoyed concerning it, because even if you are [affected], you can never alter what was been ordained.

The envoy related to the Prophet’s daughter what he was commanded to say, but she sent a message back to him requesting him to come. The Prophet (S) stood up, along with a group of his companions, to go to her. [When he arrived] the boy was given to him while he was gasping: his breath was disturbed, going up and down. The Messenger (S) wept, his eyes shedding tears. Sa‘d b. ‘Ubaadah, who was with him and was the Chief of the Khazraj, said, what is this? He thought the Messenger (S) was weeping out of worry. The Prophet (S) replied, This is mercy, that is, I weep out of mercy for the child and not in dissatisfaction with what has been ordained.

Afterwards, he (S) said, Allah only has mercy upon His servants that are compassionate. In this lives evidence for the permissibility to cry of mercy for the one afflicted.

So when you see a person suffering an affliction mentally or physically, and you weep out of mercy for him, it is proof that Allah, the Exalted, has placed mercy in your heart, and when Allah places mercy in a person’s heart, then he is counted among the compassionate upon whom Allah will have mercy. We ask Allah to bestow His mercy upon us.

In this narration is evidence for the obligation of patience, as the Messenger (S) said, so be patient and anticipate [Allah’s reward].

 

It is also indicative of a better way of offering condolence, better than the saying, “May Allah increase your reward, make good your condolence, and forgive your deceased.” Some scholars recommended this phrase, however the one expressed by the Messenger (S), what Allah takes is His, and what He gives is His; everything with Him has a stated term, so be patient and anticipate [Allah’s reward] is better, because when the afflicted hears it, he becomes pleased.

To offer condolences, in reality, is not to celebrate, as some ignorant masses wrongly believe it to be a celebration: setting up chairs, lighting candles, readers, and varieties of food present on such occasion. Rather, condolence is meant to bring solace and to strengthen the afflicted, so that he endures patiently. Thus, if a person shows no concern for an affliction: for example if his cousin dies and he shows no concern for it, then there is no need to show any condolences to him. That is why the scholars have said, “It is from the Sunnah to offer condolences to the afflicted,” and they did not say that it is Sunnah to give condolences to the relatives; it is possible that a relative may not grieve from the death of a relative, while a non-relative may grieve, owning to the strength of the friendship, for example, that existed between the two of them.

Thus, condolences are only offered to the afflicted and not the relatives. However, today it is the opposite, unfortunately, the tables have turned: condolences have become the standard for the relatives, to the extent that even if he is pleased with the death of his relative, beating a drum [in happiness], he is offered condolences.

 [An example is:] a person is poor and many problems exist between him and his cousin, the cousin then dies and leaves behind millions of dirhams. [Now,] would he be happy that his cousin died or would he feel like a great calamity has befallen him? In most cases he would be happy, saying, “Praise Allah, who saved me from his problems and caused me to inherit his wealth.” Condolences are not offered to this person; if we were to say anything to him, then it would be congratulations.

It is important for us to know that condolences are meant to strengthen the patience and sense of stability of the one who is afflicted with the distress, so the best and most appropriate words should be chosen that convey it, and there can be no better way of offering condolence than what was said by our Prophet (S). Allah is the granter of success.

 

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[The Ruling of Semen]

 Hadīth 25a

 25.) ‘Ā’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, narrated that “Allah’s Messenger, may the peace and blessing of Allāh be upon him, used to wash off the semen, then depart for prayer in that garment, while I could still see the trace of the washing on it.” It is agreed upon.[1] 

 Explanation

 From ‘Ā’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, she is the Mother of the Believers, the daughter of Abū Bakr al-Siddīq. Her mother is Umm Rūmān, the daughter of ‘Āmir. The Prophet proposed marriage for her in Makkah and then married her in Shawwāl in the tenth year of the Prophethood while she was six years old. He consummated the marriage in Al-Madīnah in Shawwāl in the second year of the hijrah – when she was nine years old – and there are other opinions. She was widowed at the age of eighteen, and he did not marry another virgin besides her. She asked the Prophet for a kunyah so he told her, “Take a kunyah based on the son of your sister, ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr.”[2]

She was a faqīhah and a scholar. She was eloquent and noble and narrated many adīths from Allāh’s Messenger. She was also knowledgeable concerning the history and poetry of the Arabs. A number of the Companions and the Tābi’īn narrated from her and ten verses from Sūrah al-Nūr were revealed to prove her innocence (of adultery). Allāh’s Messenger died in her house and was buried in it. She died in Madīnah in the year 57 – and it is also said 58 – on the night of Wednesday, the seventeenth day of Ramaān. She was buried in al-Baqī’ and Abū Hurayrah prayed over her. At the time, he was the khalīfah (deputy) of Marwān in Madīnah.

It is agreed upon. It was also reported by Bukhārī from the adīths of ‘Ā’ishah with different wordings that she would wash the semen from his (the Messengers) garment. In some of them, it is reported as, “While the mark of washing on his garment was like spots of water.” [3] In another wording, “So he would depart for prayer while spots of water were on his garment.”[4]  Also in another wording, “While the mark of washing on it was like spots of water,”[5]  Another has it as, “Then I would see it on it as if it were a spot or spots.”[6]

However, al-Bazzār said, “This adīth of ‘Ā’ishah revolves around Sulaymān ibn Yasār and he did not hear from ‘Ā’ishah.”[7] Al-Shāfi’ī preceded him in this view in al-Umm, citing it from someone else.[8] The response to what al-Bazzār said is that al-Bukhārī’s authentification of it – as well as Muslim – necessitates that he heard from ‘Ā’ishah and that the correct view is that it is marfū’.[9]

This adīth is used as a proof by those who hold the opinion that semen is impure such as the Hādawīyyah, the Ḥanafīyyah, and Mālik; and it is a narration from Aḥmad. They said that washing is not for anything except that which is impure, and they made qiyās between it and other filthy bodily excretions like urine and feces. The reasoning is that they all end up in the same place, they are all transformed from sustenance (food and drink). Also, any bodily excretions that require purification are impure (according to their argument), and semen is from those. Another reason is that it comes from the same route as urine, so it should be washed with water like the rest of the impurities. They formulated explanations to reconcile the following statement with their view.

Hadīth 25b

Muslim reports, “I used to scrape it from the garment of Allah’s Messenger, may the peace and blessing of Allāh be upon him, then he would pray in it.”[10]

 In one wording of his, “I used to scrape it, while dry, from his garment with my fingernail.”[11]

 Explanation

 Muslim has from ‘Ā’ishah, a wording which Bukhārī did not narrate, and it is her statement, “I used to scrape it from the garment of Allah ’s Messenger, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, by rubbing (farkan). This is a madar of emphasis to confirm that she was rubbing it and scraping it.[12] Al-fark is to rub, so it is said, “he faraka the garment” if he rubbed it.

Then he would pray in it.”  In one wording of his, that is from Muslim from ‘Ā’ishah, “I used to scrape it, referring to the semen, while it was in the state of being dry, from his garment with my fingernail.”

Muslim is alone in narrating the mention of scraping and it was not reported by Bukhārī. However, rubbing and scraping were also narrated by al-Bayhaqī, al-Dāraquṭnī, ibn Khuzaymah, and ibn al-Jawzī from the ḥadīths of ‘Ā’ishah. The wording from al-Bayhaqī is, “Sometimes I would scrape it from the garment of Allāh’s Messenger while he was praying.”[13] The wording from al-Dāraquṭnī and ibn Khuzaymah is, “She used to scrape the semen from the garment of Allāh’s Messenger while he was praying.”[14] The wording of ibn Ḥibbān is, “I have found myself scraping the semen from the garment of Allāh’s Messenger while he was praying.”[15] Its narrators are from the narrators of the aī.

Similar to this adīth is the adīth of ibn ‘Abbās found with al-Dāraquṭnī and al-Bayhaqī that Allah’s Messenger was asked about semen getting on the garment so he said, “It is of the same status as mucus and spit,” and he said, “It is sufficient that you wipe it with a rag or idhkhirah.[16] After reporting it, al-Bayhaqī commented, “It was narrated by Wakī’ and ibn Abī Laylā in mawqūf fashion from ibn ‘Abbās and that is what is correct.”[17]

So those who hold the opinion that semen is impure interpreted these adīths to mean scraping along with washing with water and that is a far-fetched explanation. Conversely, the Shāfi’īyyah say that semen is pure, and they use these adīths as a proof for its purity. They said the adīths of washing are understood to mean that it is preferable and washing is not a proof for impurity because it could have been done for the sake of cleanliness and removal of filth and similar to that. They said that his likening it to spit and mucus is also a proof that it is pure, and the order for wiping it with a rag or idhkhirah is for removing filth that is disliked to remain on the garment of the muallī.[18] If it was impure, it would not be sufficient to just wipe it.

As for likening semen to the filthy excretions like urine and feces as those who say it is impure did, then there is to be no qiyās in the presence of a text. They (those who regard it impure) also say that these adīths about scraping and rubbing are only in regards to his (the Prophet’s) semen, and his (the Prophet’s) excretions are pure so others are not included in this. The response to this is that ‘Ā’ishah has informed about the scraping of the semen from his (the Propehet’s) garment, so it is possible that it was due to sexual relations and could have been mixed with the female ejaculate as well, therefore it would not be his (the Prophet’s) semen alone.[19] Wet dreams are not possible for the Prophets since it is from the toying of the devil,[20] and he has no power over them (the Prophets).

It is also said that it was his (the Prophet’s) semen alone and that it came from the effects of desire that came about after the causes for it coming out, such as foreplay and similar to that, and nothing else was mixed with it. Since this is possible, it cannot be used as an evidence in the presence of this possibility. The Ḥanafīyyah held the opinion that semen is impure, like others, however they said it is purified by washing or scraping or removing it with idhkhir or a rag, in acting upon both adīths. There are numerous debates and lengthy, drawn out discussions between those who say it is impure and those who say it is pure, which we have mentioned in full in the footnotes to Shar al-‘Umdah.[21]

 

 


[1] Al-Bukhārī (no. 229) and Muslim (no. 289).

[2] Reported by al-Bukhārī in al-Adab al-Mufrad (no. 850) and ibn Sa’d in al-Tabaqāt al-Kubrā (8/66) and it appears to be aḥīḥ. ‘Abdullāh ibn al-Zubayr was the son of her sister, Asmā’.

[3] Al-Bukharī  (no. 230).

[4] Al-Bukharī (no. 229).

[5] Al-Bukharī (no. 231).

[6] See ḥadīth no. 232.

[7] As cited by ibn Ḥajar in al-Talkhīṣ (1/33-34).

[8] Al-Umm (1/74).

[9] Al-Dāraquṭnī also graded it aḥīḥ in his Sunan (1/125), and the narration of al-Bukhārī is explicit that he heard the ḥadīth from ‘Ā’ishah.

[10] Muslim (no. 288).

[11] Muslim (no. 290).

[12] The maṣdar of a verb is sometimes mentioned along with the verb to emphasize the action performed as in this case.

[13] Cited by ibn Ḥajar in al-Talkhīṣ (1/32). It is mentioned by al-Bayhaqī in al-Sunan al-Kubrā (2/416-417) with different wording from what is mentioned here in the commentary.

[14] Reported by ibn Khuzaymah (no. 290) and attributed to al-Dāraquṭnī by ibn Ḥajar in al-Talkhīṣ (1/32). To see the wording of the narrations of al-Dāraquṭnī, see his Sunan (1/125).

[15] Ibn Ḥibbān (no. 1377).

[16] Idhkhir or Idhkhirah is a pleasant-smelling grass that the people of Makkah would use in the building of their homes as mentioned in a long ḥadīth reported by al-Bukhārī (no. 112) and Muslim (no. 1353); also, see ibn al-Athīr’s al-Nihāyah (1/33).

[17] Al-Dāraquṭnī (1/124-125) and al-Bayhaqī in al-Sunan al-Kubrā (2/418). Al-Bayhaqī and al-Dāraquṭnī indicated that the correct version is mawqūf from ibn ‘Abbās; ibn ‘Abdil-Hādī stated likewise in al-Tanqī (1/81).

[18] Muṣallī: one performing the ṣalāh.

[19] The Arabic word manī is also used for the sexual fluid of the woman, but has been translated as semen for the most part as that is its most common usage.

[20] With the human being.

[21] Another argument used for the view that it is pure is that it is the origin of the human being, therefore it should be pure. This argument has been mentioned by ibn Bāz in his lectures on Bulūgh al-Marām and al Bassām in Taysīr al-‘Allām (1/89).

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Hadīth 1: [The Purity of Sea Water]

Abū Hurayrah, may Allāh be pleased with him, narrated that Allāh’s Messenger, may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him, said regarding the sea, “Its water is tahūr (i.e. purifying) and its maytah (dead) are lawful (to eat).”  It was reported by the Four and ibn Abī Shaybah, and this is his wording. Ibn Khuzaymah and al-Tirmidhī graded it sahīh. [And Mālik, al-Shāfi’ī and Ahmad reported it.] [1]

 

Abū Hurayrah,[2] may Allāh be pleased with him: Abū Hurayrah is the exalted Companion and Hāfiz who narrates a great deal. Due to considerable differing amongst the scholars, there are about thirty different opinions concerning his name and the name of his father. Ibn ‘Abdil-Barr said, “Out of all of these opinions, the one with which one can feel most comfortable is that his name is ‘Abdur-Rahmān ibn Sakhr, and that was the opinion of Muhammad ibn Ishāq.” Al-Hākim Abū Ahmad said, “There were 5,074 hadīths mentioned for Abū Hurayrah in the Musnad of Baqī ibn Makhlad;[3] he has the most hadīths of all the Companions for none of them has this many, nor even close to it.”

This is how it is quoted in the commentary, but what I saw in al-Istī’āb[4] was, “except that the heart finds rest in the opinion that his name in Islām was ‘Abdullāh or ‘Abdur-Raḥmān.” Then he stated in it, that is, al-Istī’āb, “He died in al-Madīnah in the year 59 at the age of 78 and was buried in al-Baqī‘.” It is also said that he died at al-‘Aqīq. Al-Walīd ibn ‘Uqbah ibn Abī Sufyān lead the prayer upon him, and at that time, he was the governor of al-Madīnah as stated by ibn ‘Abdil-Barr.

[He] said, Allāh’s Messenger, may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him, said concerning the sea, that is concerning its ruling. Al-bahr (البحر) is a large body of water or of salty water only as stated in al-Qāmūs.[5] This word is not from his (the Prophet’s) words, rather, his (the Prophet’s) words are, “Its water… which is the fā’il[6] of purification. The pronoun “it” in “its water” refers to the sea, meaning its place, rather than the seawater itself, for then, the meaning of the statement would be ‘the water, its water is tahūr.’

Is tahūr; when pronounced tahūr, it is a masdar as well as a name for that with which purification is made. One could also say it is something that is both pure and purifying as stated in al-Qāmūs.[7] In the shar’, it is used for what is purifying. When pronounced tuhūr, it is a masdar.[8] Sībawayh said, “With a fathah, it has both meanings” and he did not mention it in al-Qāmūs with a damma, nor did al-Jawharī.

And lawful, which is the verbal noun form of ‘a thing is lawful’ the opposite of ‘it is prohibited.’ The wording of al-Dāraqutnī is “al-halāl (permissible).” [9]

Is its maytah (dead), which is also a fā’il.

It was reported by the Four and ibn Abī Shaybah, who is Abū Bakr. Al-Dhahabī said concerning him, “The proficient Hāfiz, without match, Abdullāh ibn Muhammad ibn Abī Shaybah, author of al-Musnad (المسند), al-Musannaf (المصنف), and other works. He is the teacher of al-Bukhārī, Muslim, Abū Dāwūd, and ibn Mājah.”

And the wording is his. The wording of the hadīth just mentioned is that of ibn Abī Shaybah, and the others whom he mentioned reported it with the same meaning.

And ibn Khuzaymah graded it sahīh. Al-Dhahabī said, “He is the great Hāfiz, Imām of Imāms, Shaykh al-Islām, Abū Bakr Muhammad ibn Ishāq ibn Khuzaymah, he was at the pinnacle of Imām and hifz in Khurasān during his time.”

And al-Tirmidhī authenticated it; he stated after relating the hadīth, “This is a hasan sahīh hadīth. I asked Muhammad ibn Ismā’īl al-Bukhārī about this hadīth, so he said, ‘It is a sahīh hadīth.’”

These are the words of al-Tirmidhī as cited in Mukhtasar al-Sunan of al-Hāfiẓ al-Mundhirī.[10] The definition of a sahīh hadīth according to the scholars of hadīth is one that has been related by an ‘adl (upright), dābi (precise narrator) from one like himself with a connected sanad,[11] having no ‘illāh,[12] nor being shādh.[13]

Additionally, the author has related this hadīth in al-Talkhī from nine routes from nine of the Companions.[14] None of its routes are free of criticism, but you have already heard the names of those who deemed it sahīh. It was also graded sahīh by ibn ‘Abdil-Barr, ibn Mandah, ibn al-Mundhir, and Abū Muhammad al-Baghawī.[15] The author stated, “A number of hadīths that do not reach the level of this hadīth nor even approach it have been graded sahīh.”

Al-Zarqānī stated in Sharh al-Muwatta’, “This hadīth is from the foundational principles of Islām; it has been accepted by the Ummah all together and circulated amongst the scholars of all the provinces, in all ages, in all the nations. It has been related by the major Imāms.” Then he mentioned those who narrated it and those who declared it sahīh.[16] The hadīth occurred as an answer to a question as related in al-Muwatta’[17] that Abū Hurayrah said,

 “جاء رجل” وفي مسند أحمد: “من بني مدلج” وعند الطبراني “اسمه عبد الله، إلى رسول الله صَلّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلّم، فقال: يا رسول الله إنا نركب البحر، ونحمل معنا القليل من الماء، فإن توضّأنا به عطشنا، أفنتوضأ به”؟  وفي لفظ أبي داود: “بماء البحر” فقال رسول الله صَلّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلّم: “هو الطهور ماؤه الحل ميتته.”

“A man came,” And it is stated in the Musnad of Ahmad[18] [that he was] “from Banū Mudlij” – and according to al-Tabarānī,[19] “His name was ‘Abdullāh,” – “to Allāh’s Messenger, and said, ‘O Messenger of Allāh, indeed we ride upon the sea, and we carry little water with us, so if we use it for wudū’, we will become thirsty, so may we use it (i.e. the seawater) for wudū’?’” –In the wording of Abū Dāwūd, “‘with the water of the sea,’ so Allāh’s Messenger said, ‘Its water is tahūr and its maytah is lawful.’”

This hadīth shows that the water of the sea is pure and purifying; it does not lose its property of being pure under any condition except in the particular cases, which shall be clarified shortly, when one of its attributes changes.

He (the Prophet) did not respond by simply saying ‘yes’ even though it would have accomplished the objective, but he responded with this wording to connect the ruling to its reason, that water has a purifying nature which only comes to an end in a certain manner. It is as if the questioner, seeing that the water of the sea differs from other types of water in the saltiness of its taste and its odor, believed that it was not intended in the statement of Allāh, “So wash…”,[20] as with the water which is known to be intended by Allāh’s statement or once he knew Allāh’s statement, “And we sent down from the sky purifying (tahūr) water”[21]

He thought it to be specific, so he asked about it. Allāh’s Messenger informed him of the ruling for that as well as an additional ruling which he did not ask about – the permissibility of its maytah. Ar-Rāfi’ī said, “When the Prophet came to know that the matter of the water of the sea was unclear to the questioner, he feared that the ruling of its maytah would be unclear to him, as this is something that the traveler on the sea might be afflicted with, so he followed up his response to the question by clarifying the ruling of its maytah.”

Ibn al-‘Arabī said, “This is from the excellent manners of giving fatwās that in responding, one give more information than what was asked about in order to provide a complete benefit, and to provide knowledge about other than what was asked. This is even more important when some need for that ruling becomes apparent as was in this case, for the one who hesitates concerning the pure nature of sea water is even more likely to hesitate concerning the permissibility of its maytah as there is a prohibition against maytah. What is meant by maytah of the sea is that which dies in it from its animals. Animals which are unable to live except in the sea, and not everything that dies in it even though it would be true linguistically to call it maytah of the sea, it is known that only what we have mentioned is intended. However, from the apparent meaning it would seem that whatever dies in it is permissible, even if it were a dog or a pig.”[22]

 The discussion concerning this shall come in the appropriate place, if Allāh wills.

—————————————————–

[1] Abū Dāwūd (no. 83), al-Tirmidhī (no. 69), al-Nasā’ī (no. 59, 331), ibn Mājah (no. 386, 3246), ibn Abī Shaybah (1/136), ibn Khuzaymah (no. 111), Mālik in al-Muwatta’ (no. 12), al-Shāfi’ī in al-Umm (1/16), and Aḥmad in al-Musnad (2/237, 361, 378, 392). Al-Albānī graded it Ṣaḥīḥ in al-Irwā’ (no. 9).

[2] The expression “from Abū Hurayrah” is being translated as “Abū Hurayrah narrates.”

[3] It should be kept in consideration that the number of ḥadīths of any given Companion in the Musnad of Baqī ibn Makhlad is not necessarily representative of the number of ḥadīths he actually narrated. This is because many of those ḥadīths are repetitions of the same ḥadīth through different chains of narration and some of them are not established as being authentic from that Companion. The reason that the number of a Companion’s ḥadīth is often taken from the Musnad of Baqī ibn Makhlad is because his is the largest Musnad, although it is now lost, and therefore the most encompassing, so one can feel comfortable that all the ḥadīths that have been related from any given Companion are likely contained therein.

[4] The book of ibn ‘Abdil-Barr which lists the names of the Companions and their biographical details.

[5] Al-Qāmūs pg. 441.

[6] The performer of the action.

[7] Al-Qāmūs pg. 555.

[8] That is, the word tuhūr means “to become pure” while tahūr is that which is used for purification.

[9] This particular wording has been narrated by al-Dāraquṭnī (1/34) from the ḥadīth of Jābir ibn ‘Abdillāh and ‘Abdullāh ibn ‘Amr. He narrates from Abū Hurayrah with the same wording as that mentioned here in Bulūgh al-Marām.

[10] Mukhtaṣar al-Sunan (1/81).

[11] Chain of narration

[12] Hidden weakness.

[13] In contradiction to a more reliable narration or narrations.

[14] Al-Talkhīṣ al-Ḥabīr (no. 1).

[15] Naṣb al-Rāyah (1/95-99).

[16] Sharḥ al-Muwaṭṭa’ (1/53).

[17] Al-Muwaṭṭa’ (no. 43).

[18] Musnad (2/237, 361).

[19] Al- Ṭabarānī No. 1759, and it is weak.

[20] Qur’ān Sūrah al-Mā’idah (5):6.

[21] Qur’ān Sūrah Al-Furqan (25):48.

[22] Ibn al-‘Arabī’s ‘Āriḍah al-Aḥwadhī (1/89).

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Hadeeth 26

By way of Aboo Sa‘eed, Sa‘d b. Maalik al-Khudree, may Allah be pleased with the two of them, “Some people from the Ansaar asked Allah’s Messenger [for something] so he gave it to them; they [again] asked him and he gave to them, until all that he had with him was exhausted. So when everything he had spent out with his two hands was exhausted, he said to them, ‘Whatever good there is with me, I would not keep it from you, and whoever seeks to be chaste, Allah will grant him chastity; whoever seeks to be independent of need, Allah will grant him independence of need; whoever seeks to be patient, Allah will grant him patience. No one has ever been given any gift better and more generous than patience.’”[1] 

COMMENTARY 

It was from the noble character of the Messenger (S) that whenever he was asked for something, which was in his possession, he would give, and it was not from his (S) mannerism to deny anything to the one who asked; rather, he would give like one who has no fear of poverty, while he lived a life of poverty. At times [it would so sever that] he would tie a stone to his stomach because of hunger.

He (S) was the most generous person and the bravest amongst the people.

So whenever that which was in possession would become exhausted, he told tell them that whatever goods he had, he would not withhold it from them – meaning, that it was impossible that he should withhold anything from them and deny them [of their requests] – but there was nothing that remained with him.

The Prophet (S) stressed the importance of chastity, independence of need, and steadfastness; he said, Whoever seeks to be chaste, Allah will grant him chastity; whoever seeks to be independent of need, Allah will grant him independence of need; whoever seeks to be patient, Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, will grant him patience.”

So these are three matters:

1) Whoever seeks to be independent of need, meaning, he suffices with what is with Allah and thus has no need of what is in the people’s possession, then Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, will make him independent of any need. Concerning the one who solicits from people, being in need of what they posses, then his heart will remain poor and he will not attain independence of need; we seek refuge in Allah.

Real wealth is richness of the heart, so when a person is enriched by that which is with Allah, having no need of what is in the possession of people, then Allah will make him independent from the people, and make his soul powerful so that it may stay far away from soliciting.

2) Whoever seeks to be chaste, Allah will grant him chastity; whoever seeks to be chaste, staying away from what Allah has prohibited to him regarding women, Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, will make him chaste.

The person who follows his heart’s desires concerning women is ruined. We seek refuge in Allah. When he follows the desires of his heart – chasing after women – then he is ruined, because he commits fornication (zinaa) with the eyes, fornication with the ears, fornication with the hands, fornication with the feet, and then, finally, fornication with the private parts; this last type is the true immoral behavior. We seek refuge in Allah. So when a person seeks chastity from this prohibited act, Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, will make him chaste, protecting him and his family.

3) Whoever seeks to be patient, Allah will grant him patience. That is, Allah will give him patience. So when you are patient and you restrain yourself from Allah’s prohibitions; and you are patient, being content with what you have and during poverty, without persisting in solicitation of the people [for your needs], then Allah, the Exalted, will grant you steadfastness and aid you with perseverance. The proof for this lies in this hadeeth; and it is cited in the Chapter on Patience.

 Subsequently, the Prophet (S) said, no one has ever been given any gift better and more generous than patience, meaning, Allah has never bestowed a gift on anyone – whether it is provisions or anything else – which is better and more generous than patience. The reason for this is that if a person is patient, he is able to bear all things. If a harmful thing occurs to him, he is patient; if Satan presents an opportunity to perform a prohibited thing, he is patient; if he fails to perform one of the commandments of Allah due to Satan, he is patient.

So when Allah bestows the gift of patience upon a person it is the best and most generous gift a person can receive. This is why you find the person who is patient – if he is harmed, hears what he dislikes, or wronged by the people – in a state of calmness, not becoming harsh or angry, because he is patient with Allah’s trial. This is why you find that his heart is always tranquil and his soul is always calm and is why the Messenger (S) said, “No one has ever been given any gift better and more generous than patience.” 

It is Allah Who grants success.


[1] Recorded by Al-Bukhari no. (1469) and Muslim no. (1053).

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Hadeeth 30

By way of Suhaib, may Allah be pleased with him, from the Messenger of Allah (S) who said, “There was a king among those who came before you, and he had a magician. When he (the magician) grew old, he said to the king, ‘I have grown old, so send to me a boy to whom I can teach magic.’ He sent him a boy to teach, and when he was on his way to him he met a monk, and he sat down and listened to what he said, and he liked it. When he would go to the magician he would pass by the monk, and he would sit with him, than when he came to the magician, he would beat him. He complained about that to the monk, who said, ‘If you are afraid of the magician, say: “My family kept me,” and if you are afraid of your family, say, “The magician kept me.”’

While this continued, [one day] he came upon a huge beast that was blocking the way of the people, and he said, ‘Today I will find out if the magician is better or the monk.’ He picked up a stone and said, ‘Allah, if the monk’s affair is dearer to You than that of the magician, then kill this beast, so that the people may move freely.’ He threw it and killed it, and the people were able to move freely. He came to the monk and told him, and the monk said to him, ‘My son, today you are better than me, and you have reached a stage where I think you will be tested. If you are tested, then do not tell anyone about me.’

The boy started to heal the blind and the lepers, and to cure the people of all kinds of sickness. A companion of the king who had gone blind heard of that, brought him many gifts and said, ‘All of this is for you, if you will heal me.’ He said, ‘I do not heal anyone; rather it is Allah Who heals. If you believe in Allah, I will pray to Allah to heal you.’ So he believed in Allah, and Allah healed him. He came to the king and sat with him as he used to do and the king said to him, ‘Who gave you back your sight?’ He said, ‘My Lord.’ He [the king] said, ‘Do you have a lord other than me?’ He said, ‘My Lord and your Lord is Allah.’ The king took hold of him and tortured him until he told him about the boy.

The boy was brought and the king said to him, ‘My son, you have become so proficient in magic that you heal the blind and lepers, and you do such-and-such.’ He said, ‘I do not heal anyone, rather it is Allah Who heals.’ The king took hold of him, and kept torturing him until he told him about the monk. The monk was brought and it was said to him, ‘Leave your religion,’ but he refused. He called for a saw and placed it in the middle of his head, and cut him in two. Then the companion of the king was brought and it was said to him, ‘Leave your religion,’ but he refused. The saw was placed in the middle of his head, and he was cut in two. Then the boy was brought and it was said to him, ‘Abandon your religion,’ but he refused.

The king handed him over to a group of his companions and said, ‘Take him to such-and-such mountain. Then take him up the mountain, and when you reach the top, if he recants his faith [release him], otherwise throw him down.’ They took him there and took him up the mountain, and he said, ‘Allah, save me from them however You will.’ The mountain shook and they fell down, and the boy came walking back to the king. The king said to him, ‘What happened to your companions?’ He said, ‘Allah saved me from them.’ He handed him over to another group of his companions and said, ‘Take him out in a ship to the middle of the sea. Then if he recants his faith [release him], otherwise throw him overboard.’ They took him, and he said, ‘Allah, save me from them however You will.’ The ship capsized and they drowned, and the boy came back walking to the king. The king said to him, ‘What happened to your companions?’ He said, ‘Allah saved me from them,’ then he said to the king, ‘You will not be able to kill me unless you do what I tell you to.’ The king asked, ‘What is it?’ He said, ‘Gather the people in one plain, and crucify me on the trunk of a tree, then take an arrow from my quiver and place the arrow in the bow, and say, “In the Name of Allah, the Lord of the boy,” then shoot me. If you do that, you will kill me.’

So the king gathered the people in one plain and crucified him on the trunk of a tree. Then he took an arrow from his quiver, placed it in the bow and said, ‘In the Name of Allah, the Lord of the boy,’ and shot him. The arrow struck his temple and the boy put his hand to his temple, where the arrow had landed, and died. The people said, ‘We believe in the Lord of the boy, we believe in the Lord of the boy, we believe in the Lord of the boy.’ [The king’s ministers] went to the king and said, ‘Have you seen what you wanted to avert? By Allah, what you feared has happened to you: the people have believed.’ He ordered that ditches be dug at the side of each road, fires be lit, and he said, ‘Whoever does not recant his faith, throw him into it,’ or it was said, ‘make him jump into it.’

They did that until there came a woman with her infant son who hesitated to jump into it, but the child said to her, ‘My mother, be patient, for you are following the truth.’” Recorded by Muslim.[1]

 

COMMENTARY

This narration, which the author records in The Chapter of Patience, consists of an amazing story. There was kings from the previous generations who had a magician that he took as a confidant for his personal benefit at the expense of his religion, because he was not concerned about anything, except what benefited him. He was an oppressive king, who subjected his people to his worship, as related later in the narration.

As the magician grew old, he said to the king, I have grown old, so send to me a boy to whom I can teach magic. He requested a boy, because a boy is better suited to learning, as a boy’s education last and will not be forgotten. This is why it is better to learn while young than learning while old, although there is good in both, yet learning while young has two tremendous benefits, rather it exceeds even that:

[Benefits Derived:]

First: The youngster, in majority of the cases, is able to memorize quicker than an older person, because he does not have to occupy himself with concerns and problems that would keep him busy.

Second: Whatever the youngster memorizes will remain, and what is memorized by an older person may be forgotten. For this reason, there is a common saying among the people,: “Knowledge during youth is like an inscription on a stone.” It does not vanish.

Third: If the youngster master the knowledge from the beginning, then the knowledge becomes an acquired behavior and instinct; it is as if it is an instinct acquired from childhood, and he is raised upon it.

This magician was old and his years had advanced; he was experienced in life and was familiar with things, so he requested the king to select a boy to whom he would teach magic. The king sent him a boy, and he taught him what he wanted, but Allah, the Exalted, wanted good for the boy. One day, the boy passed by a monk; listening to him, he was amazed by his speech, because this monk was a devout worshipper of Allah and would not say anything but good. He was knowledgeable and was always occupied with worship, because of which he became affiliated with the monastic life.

Whenever this boy left his family, he would sit with the monk and this would cause him to be late for the magician, and so the magician would beat him, [asking] him why he was late? The boy complained to the monk about the beating he received from the magician for being late. So the monk taught him sentences to escape the beating. He said [to the boy]: whenever you go to the magician and fear being punished by him, say, “My family kept me,” meaning, my family made me late, and when you return to your family, say, “The magician kept me.” This way you will be safe from both.

It appears, and Allah knows best, that the monk instructed him with that, although it was a lie, because he considered the benefit of the lie greater than its harm, and other interpretations can also be found.

So he [the boy] did that; he would come to the monk, listened to him, and then go to the magician. If the magician wanted to punish him for being late, he would say: “My family kept me,” and when he returned to his family after being delayed by the monk, he would say, “The magician kept me.” One day, he came upon a huge beast – its type is not specified in the narration – blocking the way of the people so that they were unable to pass. In order to test who was better for him, the monk or the magician, the boy picked up a stone and supplicated to Allah that if the monk was better then this stone would kill this beast. He threw it and killed the beast, and the people were able to move freely.

Thus the boy realized that the monk’s affair was better than the affair of the magician; there is no doubt in this, because the magician was either a transgressing oppressor or a polytheist disbeliever. If he sought help from the devils for his magic to appease, worship, supplicate, and seek aid from them, then he was a polytheist disbeliever, but if he did not do these things, but instead transgressed against the people with magical spells, then he was a transgressing oppressor.

Concerning the monk, if he was worshiping Allah with knowledge and wisdom, then he was guided. But if he was somewhat ignorant and astray, then his intentions were good, even if fault existed in his deeds.

What is important is that this boy informed the monk of what had happened. The monk said to him, today you are better than me, because the boy supplicated to Allah, and Allah responded to him. This is one of Allah’s favors upon His servants: when an individual has doubts about a certain matter and requests a sign to clarify this matter for him, Allah makes the matter clear to him. This is why the prayer for Istikhaarah[2] has been legislated whenever a person is concerned about a certain matter being good for him to precede with it or to abstain from it. [Under this situation] he should seek the decision from Allah, and when he seeks, with sincere faith, the guidance from Allah, He will surely grant him an indication of whether the goodness lies with proceeding that thing or abstaining from it. Either [he receives a response] through something that affects his heart: opening his chest to this or that, or by a dream while sleeping, or through advice he receives from some one else, or by other means.

Among the miracles which this young boy began to perform was that started to heal the blind and the lepers, meaning, he would supplicate to Allah to heal them and they were healed. This is not similar to the story of ‘Eesaa the son of Maryam, who would wipe over a person with a physical defect and he would be healed. In this case, the boy would supplicate to Allah, and Allah would answer his supplication; thus the blind and the lepers were healed through his supplication.

The monk informed the boy that he will be tested; meaning, he would be subjected to a test and an inquisition, and he requested, do not tell anyone about me, while suffering these tests.

It seems that this boy was an individual, whose supplications were answered, and Allah knows best; whenever he supplicated to Allah, He would grant it to him.

The king had a companion who had gone blind, and was incapable of seeing. Upon hearing about the boy, he brought him many gifts and said, “All of this is for you, if you will heal me.” He replied, “It is Allah Who heals.” Gaze upon this faith, he did not let his soul tempt him in claiming that he was the one who healed the sick, rather he said that only Allah can heal you.

This is similar to a particular event that occurred [in the life of] Shaykh al-Islam ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy on him. A man possessed by a jinn was brought to him, so the Shaykh recited over him, but the jinn refused to leave. The Shaykh then started to severely beat the neck of the man to such an extent that the Shaykh started to suffer. The jinn inside the man started to speak and said, “I will leave in honor of the Shaykh,” but the Shaykh, may Allah have mercy upon him, replied to him, “No, you will not leave in honor of me, but rather you will leave in obedience to Allah and His Messenger.” He did not want the virtue for himself, rather, the virtue belongs to Allah from inception to conclusion, so the jinn left. When the jinn left, the man awoke and said, “What has brought me in the presence of the Shaykh?” This is because when he was possessed, he was likely to have been in his house or in the market place. They replied, “Glory be to Allah, did you not sense the beating you received?” He said, “I did not sense it, nor do I have any ailment.” They informed him of what had occurred, and the man recovered.

The point here is that those endowed with knowledge and faith will not attribute Allah’s favor to themselves; instead attributing it to its owner, the Mighty and Sublime, Allah.

The boy said to him, “If you believe in Allah, I will pray to Allah to heal you.” The man believed and the boy supplicated to Allah to heal him and Allah healed him; he stood up as a seeing person.

So this companion of the king came and sat with him as he was accustomed to. The king asked him: “Who gave you back your sight?” He replied, “My Lord.” Thereupon, he [the king] said, “Do you have a lord other than me?” He said, “My Lord and your Lord is Allah.” So the king began to torture him and did not stop until he informed him about the boy. The boy was brought, and he [the king] related to him what he was informed, and he began to severely torture him saying, “Who taught you this?” The monk had [earlier] said to the boy, “You will be tested. If you are tested, then do not tell anyone about me,” but the boy told about the monk, perhaps because he was not able to be patient.

When the oppressive king, refuge is sought from Allah, was informed of the monk, he summoned the monk and said to him, “Abandon your religion,” but he refused. So they brought a saw and cut him from the middle of his head, and cut him in two. They began at the head, then down to the neck, then down to the back until he was divided into two portions, one here and another there. However, that did not dissuade him from his religion and he refused to leave it [while this was occurring to him]. He was more pleased in being killed in this manner than abandoning his religion. All Praise to Allah.

Then the man who had been blind was brought, he was the companion of the king who later believed in Allah and disbelieved in the king. He was asked to abandon his religion but he refused, so he was dealt in the same manner as the monk, but that did not sway him from abandoning his religion. This indicates the necessity of a person being patient.

[The question now arises,] is it necessary for the person to be patient with death or is permissible for him to utter a statement of disbelief, which would not harm him if he was compelled?

There are varying factors concerning this. If the matter is related only to himself, then he has a choice: if he wants he can utter the statement of disbelief to ward of the coercion, provided that his heart has tranquility of faith, or he can persist and refuse even if he is killed. This is the case when the matter deals with the person individually: for example, it is said to him, “Prostrate to the idol,” and he refuses and is killed, or he prostrates to ward off the coercion and he is not killed.

Concerning the matter when related to the religion, meaning he utters disbelief or utters a statement of disbelief in front of other people, in this case it is not allowed for him to utter a statement of disbelief. Rather it is obligatory upon him to remain patient, even if he is killed. This is similar to jihad in Allah’s cause. The one who partakes in jihad fights even [though he knows that] he may be killed, because he seeks to make the word of Allah superior. Likewise, if he is a leader among people and is threatened to utter a statement of disbelief, then it is not permissible [for him] to do so, specifically during times of turmoil. Rather he must be patient, even if he is killed.

An example is what occurred with Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal, may Allah have mercy with him, when he was subjected to a trial that is well known: to utter that the Qur’an is created and not the word of Allah, which he refused. He suffered harm and punishment; he was dragged around the market places by a mule – [can you imagine] the Imam of Ahl al-Sunnah being dragged around the market places by a mule and beaten with whip until he became unconscious! But whenever he would regain consciousness, he would say, “The Qur’an is the word of my Lord, and is not created.” He did not permit himself to utter the statement of disbelief, even though he was under coercion, because the people were watching to see what Imam Ahmad would say. If he would have said that the Qur’an is created, then everyone would have started saying that the Qur’an was created and the religion would have been corrupted. But Imam Ahmad, Allah be pleased with him, ransomed himself for the religion; he endured patiently in anticipation of Allah’s reward. The end result was in his favor as the present Caliph died and the one who preceded him also died, and then Allah brought about a righteous Caliph who honored him with tremendous respect. Imam Ahmad did not die [from this ordeal]; [he would died] after Allah soothed his eye since he proclaimed the truth publicly in a loud voice, and the people proclaimed the truth with him.  His enemies, who enticed the Caliph against him, were frustrated. All praise is due to Allah. This is evidence that the end result is in the favor of the patient; and this is the truth; it is Allah who grants success.

When the king killed the monk and killed his companion, the young boy was summoned. He was told to abandon his religion and return to the religion of the king. The religion of the king was idolatry, because he called the people to his worship and deification, and refuge is sought from Allah.

The boy refused to abandon his religion. So the king handed him over to a group of his followers and said to them, “Take him to such-and-such mountain,” which was known to them; it was a towering and elevated mountain. He told them that when you reach the top, they should throw him down, meaning throw him down to the ground after presenting to him to abandon his religion, so that he would fell down from the peak of the mountain and die; so he either abandons [his religion] or they cast him down from the top.

When they reached the top of the mountain, they asked him to abandon his religion but he refused; faith had settled in his heart and it was not possible to alter or displace it. When they were about to cast him over the edge, he uttered a supplication of a believer who is in dire straits, “Allah, save me from them however You will,” meaning, by any means You will, without any specifics. Allah shook the mountain at their feet, and they all fell off of it and died [except the boy], who came to the king. The king said, “How did you come back? What happened to your companions?” He replied, “Allah saved me from them.”

He [the king] handed him over to another group and instructed them to carry him out on a ship and when they reached the deep part of the sea, they should demand from him to abandon his religion. If he does not do so, then they should throw him into the sea. When they reached the middle of the sea, they demanded that he abandon his religion, meaning his faith in Allah, the Mighty and Sublime. He refused, and said, “Allah, save me from them however You will.” The ship capsized and they drowned, but Allah saved him [the boy]. Then he came to the king, who asked him, “Where are your companions?” He informed him of the incident.

He then said to the king, “You will not be able to kill me unless you do what I tell you to,” so the king asked, “What is it?” He said, “Gather the people in one plain,” gather all of the people of the land in one place, “and crucify me on the trunk of a tree, then take an arrow from my quiver and place the arrow in the bow, and say, ‘In the Name of Allah, the Lord of the boy,’ then shoot me. If you do that, you will kill me.”

So the king gathered the people in an open field and crucified the boy, then he took an arrow from his quiver and placed it in the bow, aimed it at him and said, “In the Name of Allah, the Lord of the boy,” and shot at him. The arrow hit him in his temple, and he placed his hand upon it, and died. The people started saying, “In the Name of Allah, the Lord of the boy.” They all believed in Allah and disbelieved in the king and is exactly what the boy had wanted to happen.

This part of the narration contains evidence for the following issues:

First: The strength of this boy’s faith, because his faith never shook or altered.

Second: It is a sign from Allah, as He honored the boy by answering his supplications; He made the mountain tremble and caused those who wanted to push the boy off the top to fall themselves.

Third: Allah answers the supplication of the person who supplicates to Him while being in dire need. If a person supplicates to his Lord being in dire need, with certainty that Allah will respond to him, then Allah responds to him.

[This is the case for] even the disbelievers: while being in dire need they supplicate to Allah and He responds to them even though He knows that they will return to disbelief. When the gloominess of the oceans waves covers them, they call upon Allah, making the religion purely for Him, and when He saves them, they commit idolatry. He saved them as they were sincere, when they called upon Him, in seeking refuge; He responds to the one who is in dire need even if he is a disbeliever.

Fourth: It is permissible for a person to place himself in difficulty [if it is for] the general good of the Muslims. The boy related to the king the method by which he would be able to kill him, which would bring upon himself destruction: to take an arrow from his quiver, place it in the bow and say, “In the Name of Allah, the Lord of the boy.”

Concerning this Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah commented, “This is jihad in Allah’s cause; [because of him] an entire nation believed [in Allah] and he did not lose anything, because death would have come to him sooner or later.”

Regarding what some people do by committing suicide: fastening explosives to their bodies, proceeding to the disbelievers and then detonating it while in their midst, this is a form of suicide, and we seek refuge with Allah. Whoever kills himself, will abide eternally in Hell, as related by the Prophet (S).[3] This person did not kill himself for the benefit of Islam, because when he killed himself he also kills ten, a hundred, or two hundred [disbelievers] and there is no benefit for Islam in this, because [under this scenario] people did not submit to Islam, contrary to the story of the boy, where everyone present in that open plain accepted Islam.

As for the death of ten, twenty, hundred, or two hundred enemies [in a suicide bombing], it does not cause the people to accept Islam; rather, this action may cause an increase in the enemy’s wickedness and vengefulness, thus launching a greater assault on the Muslims. This can be seen in with the Jews concerning the Palestinians. Whenever a Palestinian performs a suicide operation, killing himself and six or seven [Jews], the Palestinians [as a whole] are punished and sixty or more are killed in retaliation. There is no benefit for the Muslims in that. Likewise, there is not benefit for those amongst whom these explosions are detonated. Based on this, we see that the suicide bombing that people partake in, is a form of taking a life without right and therefore warrants the Fire, and refuge is sought from Allah. A person [who partakes in this] is never a martyr.

However, if a person performs this action based on an interpretation which he deems permits it, then we hope that he is removed from the sin. As for him being written as a martyr, then [the answer is] no, because he did not tread the path of martyrdom; however he is removed from sin, because he had a interpretation, and whoever struggles to find the truth and is then mistaken, for him is a reward.

Toward the end of this marvelous narration, which offers lessons to those who might reflect, the disbelieving king called the people to his worship; when the people believed and said, “We believe in the Lord of the boy,” some people, who were evil and had rancor for Allah’s faith, came and they said to the king, “Have you seen what you wanted to avert?” This was faith in Allah, which he was afraid of, because he had made himself out to be a deity that was to be worshipped, similar to the Pharaoh, and refuge is sought from Allah. He was an oppressive and unjust king. He ordered that ditches (akhdood) be dug at the side of each road. Akhdood refers to a very deep ditch, similar to a canal, at the side of a path; meaning the edges of the sides and streets. He said to his soldiers, “Whoever does not recant his faith, throw him into it,” because fires had been lit inside them, and refuge is sought from Allah. So the people come, but they did not recant from their faith, so they threw them into the Fire. All who refused to turn back from their religion, meaning faith in Allah, was thrown into the fire. As they were cast into the fire and burnt in it, they went from the abode of delusion and perdition to the abode of favor and peace, because the angels, while taking their souls in a good state, must have been saying,

Salaamun ‘alaikum (peace be upon you) enter you Paradise, because of (the good) which you used to do (in the world). (An-Nahl 16:32) 

Nothing can exceed this steadfastness: a person sees the fire blazing and jumps into it, fearing for his faith and having patience with it. A woman came with infant suckling child. When she saw the fire, she hesitated from jumping into it with her child. So the child said, “My mother, be patient, for you are following the truth.” He spoke, although he was an infant who had never spoken before, but Allah who gives all the ability to converse, gave him the ability to speak. This was a miracle for this mother: Allah gave her son the ability to speak so that she could be strong to jump into the fire, remaining firm in her faith. This infant’s speech while in the cradle is a marvelous sign, and is a rectification of his mother following the truth; she was patient and jumped into fire. This is among the signs of Allah, whose evidence is that Allah, the Exalted, says,

Allah will deliver those who have Taqwaa to their places of success (Paradise). Evil shall touch them not, nor shall they grieve. (Az-Zumar 39:61)

Maryam bint ‘Imraan (Mary), may Allah be pleased with her, left her people for a secluded place while pregnant with her son, ‘Eesaa, whom Allah, the Exalted, created with a statement: Be.

And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a date-palm. (Maryam 19:23)

What drove her were the pains of childbirth. Allah provided for her stream which flowed where she walked. It was said to her,

And shake the trunk of date-palm towards you; it will let fall fresh ripe-dates upon you.  (Maryam 19:25)

Ripe dates which fell from the branches of a date-palm; fresh and having not fallen on the ground; this was one of the signs of Allah, because it is commonly known that if a ripe date falls from the hand of a person, even if he is only standing, it will splatter; but these ripe dates did not splatter, despite the fact that they fell down from the branch of a date-palm. This woman, who was weak from the pains of childbirth: never having given birth until now, managed to shake the trunk of a date-palm tree. This is one of the signs of Allah, because, normally, a date-palm would not shake, unless shaken by a strong person and from one of its branches. It was said to her,

So eat and drink and be glad (Maryam 19:26) 

Then, she brought him [‘Eesa] to her people, and they shouted at her,

O Mary! Indeed you have brought a thing Fariyya (Maryam 19:27)

Meaning, [you have brought] something grave, because they were certain in their view that she had committed fornication, refuge is sought from Allah. How is it that she brings a child without a husband?

O sister of Haaroon! Your father was not a man who used to commit adultery, nor your mother an unchaste woman.  (Maryam 19:28)

Meaning, your father was not an evil man; similarly, your mother was a chaste woman, that is, she was not an adulteress. Where then did you get this from? These were slanderous allegations against her, so she pointed to him [the infant], meaning, ask him. They replied,

How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle? (Maryam 19:29)

They thought that she was mocking them, so Allah endowed the infant with the ability to speak,

He said: “Verily! I am a slave of All[[ah; He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet. And He has made me blessed wherever I may be, and has enjoined on me Salaah, and Zakaah, as long as I live. And (to be) dutiful to my mother, and He made me not arrogant, unblessed. And Salaam (peace) be upon me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive!  (Maryam 19:30-33)

This infant uttered ten statements in the most eloquent manner he could, while still in the cradle. Look at the power of Allah, He offers these infants the ability to speak the most eloquent words, from one possessing intellect. All of this is indicative of the power of Allah. It also contains exoneration for Maryam, may Allah be pleased with her, from the accusations that were leveled against her: becoming pregnant without a husband.

This is similar to the woman with an infant who was hesitant to jump into the fire. Allah honored her by making her infant speak so that she could jump into the fire and remain firm with her faith.

Within these stories and their likes, is proof that Allah, from His mercy, saves every deserted believer. A deserted person – meaning that he is in a location where he might meet his ruin –, who has fear of Allah, is rescued by Him because of his taqwaa. The proof for this is his saying (S), “Recognize Allah in comfort, and He will recognize you in adversity.” Allah is the grantor of success.


[1]  Recorded by Muslim no. (3005).

[2] Salātul-Istikhāraah is a prayer where a person seeks guidance from Allah for a matter that is in front of him.

[3]  See Al-Bukhārī no. (5778) and Muslim no. (109).

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