Explanation of the intro to Sharhus Sunnah of Barbahaaree

In the name of Allaah, the Beneficent, Most Compassionate. May peae and blessings be upon the Messenger Muhammad, his family and companions. As for what follows;

The Imaam, Aboo Muhammad, al-Hasan bin ‘Alee ibnul Khalaf al-Barbahaaree, may Allaah have mercy upon him, says in his monumental book Sharhus Sunnah pg.45-49:

“All praise is for Allaah, the One who has guided us to al-Islaam, bestowed His favor upon us by way of it, and has brought us out from the best nation. Therefore, we ask Him for success in that which He loves and is pleased with and protection from that which He dislikes and hates.”

Sheikh Saalih al-Fouzaan, may Allaah preserve him, says in his explanation of this statement:

“This is the opening speech of the book. He began with the hamdalah, i.e. saying al-hamdulillaah, acting in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet, sallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam. The Prophet, sallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam, would praise Allaah and extol Him in his letters (he would send) and sermons (that he would give). And like this were the Rightly Guided Predeccecers and the People of Knowledge.

They would begin their books with the basmalah, i.e. saying bismillaah, following the Mighty Book of Allaah and with “all praise is due to Allaah, the Lord of all that exists” emulating the action of the Prophet, sallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam.

For if he intended to give a sermon or speech, or make a point regarding something, he would praise Allaah and extoll Him, then begin to clarify that which he intended to clarify, sallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam. So the author treaded this same methodology following those who precedded him by beginning with the hamdalah.

The mening of the [hamdalah] is: All of the praises are unrestrictedly due solely to Allaah, ‘azza wa jall.

“Al-hamd” is extolment and commendation upon the one who is being praised. So Allaah, jalla wa ‘alaa, is praised due to His essence, praised due to His names and attributes and praised, be He glorified, due to His actions. Therefore He deserves all of the types of praise. Because all of the blessings are from Him.

As for other than Him, then he is thanked due to the extent of good that he does only.

However the all-comprehensive, complete, absolute praise, is for Allaah, ‘azza wa jall, alone. So it is not permissible for you to say “all praise is due to so-and-so.” Intending by that the unrestricted praise, this is not permissible except for Allaah.

As it comes in the Qur’aan:

“All the praises and thanks be to Allaah, the Lord of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinns and all that exists). The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.” [1:2-3]

“All praises and thanks be to Allaah, Who (Alone) created the heavens and the earth…” [6:1]

As for you to say: “I thank so-and-so” or “I thank so-and-so for what he did” meaning that you are specifying that thing which he did, there is no problem with this. But to say “all praise is to so-and-so” then this is not permissible except for Allaah, Glorified be He, Most High.

[Allaah] is a name from His (beautiful) names, the Most High, and it means the One worshipped. This name is exclusively for Allaah and no one has ever been named with it besides Him. Even from amongst the tyrannicals and infidels, none of them named themselves ‘Allaah’. (Even) Fir’awn didn’t say: ‘I am Allaah.” Rather he said: “I am your lord, the most high” [79:24]. Thus, this name is strcitly for Allaah, ‘azza wa jall.

[Lord of all that exists]: Ar- Rabb means: The King, the Governer.

[Al-‘aalameen] is the plural of ‘Aalam and it is all of the creation. Allaah is it’s Lord, Creator, Disposer of affairs, its God and (True) Diety.

[All praise is for Allaah, the One who has guided us to al-Islaam] Al-Islaam is the greatest blessing.

The Most High says:

“This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islaam as your religion” [5:3]

By Islaam the favor was completed for the Muslims. Allaah, jalla wa ‘alaa, says:

“Say: “In the Bounty of Allaah, and in His Mercy therein let them rejoice.” [10:58]

The fadl of Allaah, i.e. in the verse, is Islaam and the rahmah is the Qur’aan. So let them rejoice with Islaam and the Qur’aan. In this is an acknowledgement from you that this bounty is from Allaah by guiding you to Islaam, directing you towards it and making you firm upon it, all of this is from the bounty of Allaah. Not by your might, power or wits, it is only by the success of Allaah, the Most High. He is the One who guided you, and for this the People of Paradise will say when they enter it:

“All the praises and thanks be to Allaah, Who has guided us to this, never could we have found guidance, were it not that Allah had guided us!” [7:43]

[And favored us by way of it…] Islaam is a favor from Allaah, the Most High. This is because Allaah doesn’t owe anyone anything. Rather He is the One who bestows (His) favors upon His slaves by Islaam, blessings, good health, different types of provisions, etc.

[And has brought us out in the best nation….] This is extracted from the statement of the Most High:

“You (true believers in Islaam, and real followers of Prophet Muhammad, sallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam, and his Sunnah) are the best people ever raised up for mankind.”[3:110]

Where He says: “You were….” this is addressing the Muslims. “The best nation…” means the best
of all the nations and the intent by ‘Ummah’ is jamaa’ah (group). Ponder over His statement: “for the people” The good of this nation isn’t restricted to it. Rather it exceeds them and affects the people by calling them to Allaah, striving in Allaahs’ cause, teaching, instructing, etc.

It isn’t sufficient for a person to learn and simply act on the knowledge within himself and leave the people (wandering). Rather he must call them, propagate the knowledge, spread the good, call to Allaah, command the good, forbid the evil, etc., so that he becomes an active member in the community of the Muslims.

Therefore, Allaah’s statement: “Brought out for the people” means that they weren’t only brought out for
themselves, rather Allaah brought them out for (themsleves) and for the (benefit of) the people.

[Thus, we ask Him for success in that which He loves and is pleased with….]

A person must constantly ask Allaah for firmness even if he knows the truth, acts upon it and believes in it. He should never feel safe or secure that he won’t deviate or be put to trial (in his religion). Whereas certain trials might arise and destroy him and mislead him from the path of Allaah. And because of this, the Prophet, salaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, would say: “O Turner of the hearts! Make my heart firm upon Your religion.”

The intimate friend of Allaah, Ibraaheem, ‘alayhis salaam, said in his supplication to Allaah:

“….and keep me and my sons away from worshipping idols. O my Lord! They have indeed led astray many among mankind.”15:35,36

He feared for himself! Likewise, everytime an individual increases in eemaan, his fear increases and he does not feel secure from tribulations nor does he deem himself self-righteous. Instead he constantly asks Allaah for stability and for a good ending. He dreads an evil end, trials, deviance, misguidance and callers to evil and mischief.

[And protection from that which He dislikes and hates.]

This is that Allaah grants us success in doing that which He loves and is pleased with from statements, actions and beliefs. And that He protects us from all which angers Him from statements, actions and beliefs. For indeed He is the Director, Granter of Success, The Instructor and the One who guides to the straight way.”


Abu Fouzaan Qaasim

Islaamic University of Medinah

Al-Medinah An-Nabawiyyah,KSA

Dhull-Hijjah 11,1432-November 7,2011


About Abu Fouzaan Qaasim
American student studying in the Islaamic University of Medinah from Chester,PA.

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