Numerous ways to do good …

In the name of Allah, all praise is due to He, The One. I send peace and blessings upon his final messenger (Al-Mustafa), and upon his family, companions, and those that followed him in righteousness until The Day of Resurrection (Youm Al-Qiyaamah). To proceed:

Abu Hurayrah (radiAllahu ‘anhu—may Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “The five [daily] Salat (prayers), and from one Jumu’ah prayer to the [next] Jumu’ah prayer, and from Ramadan to Ramadan are expiations for the [sins] committed in between [their intervals]; provided the major sins are avoided [not committed].” [1] 

Abu Hurayrah (radiAllahu ‘anhu) reported: Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Should I not direct you to something by which Allah obliterates the sins and elevates [your] ranks?” They said: “Yes, O Messenger of Allah”. He said, “Performing Wudu properly, even in difficulty, frequently going to the Masjid (mosque), and waiting eagerly for the next Salat after a Salat is over; indeed, that is Ar-Ribat.” [2]

The author said (rahmahullah—may Allah have mercy on him) in what was reported on Abu Hurayrah (radiAllahu ‘anhu) that The Prophet said, “The five [daily] Salat, and from one Jumu’ah prayer to the [next] Jumu’ah prayer, and from Ramadan to Ramadan are expiations for the [sins] committed in between [their intervals]; provided the major sins are avoided [not committed].” I.e., The five [daily] prayers expiate the sins: from Fajr (dawn prayer) to Thuhr (noon prayer), from Thur to Asr (afternoon prayer), from Maghrib (sunset prayer) to Esha (night prayer), and from Esha to Fajr; they forgive the sins that is between them. Therefore, if a person does a evil action and performed these five prayers then they erase the sins. But, he ﷺ said, ” … provided the major sins are avoided [not committed].”

And the major sins are: every sin that The Shari’ah (Islamic law) has coupled with a specific punishment. So, every sin that The Prophet ﷺ cursed its doer is from the major sins; everything that has a punishment in this Dunya (worldly life), such as Zina (fornication/adultery); there is a threat, such as using Rebaa (interest); there is a negation of Iman (religious belief), like, “None of you [truly] believes until you love for your brother that which you love for yourself”; there is a liberation [of Allah] from the person, like, “Whoever cheats is not from us”; or anything that resembles that is from the major sins.

The scholars [of the religion] (rahimahum Allah—may Allah have mercy upon them) differ in the statement, ” … provided the major sins are avoided [not committed].” Is the meaning of the Hadeeth that the minor sins are expiated if you avoid the major sins; furthermore, they are not expiated except with two conditions, which are: the five prayers and avoidance of the major sins? Or, is the meaning of the Hadeeth that the expiation is for what is between them [i.e., the five prayers] excluding the major sins, for there is no expiation for them? With this [second definition] for the expiation of the small sins is one condition, and it is upholding the five prayers (or Jumu’ah to Jumu’ah, Ramadan to Ramadan). This is more easily understood (Allah knows best), the meaning is the five prayers expiate what is between them except for the major sins, for they are not expiated. In addition, Jumu’ah to Jumu’ah and Ramadan to Ramadan. That is because the major sins necessitate a specific repentance. So if there is no specific repentance then the good deeds don’t expiate them; rather, the repentance has to occur.

                                                                             ————————————————–

As for the second hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah, The Prophet ﷺ presented something to the Sahaba (i.e., companions of The Prophet ﷺ) and he knew ﷺ what they were going to answer with, but from his beautiful [methods of] teaching he would sometimes present an issue so that the person will pay attention to it and know what he is about to encounter. He [ﷺ] said, “Should I not direct you to something by which Allah obligates the sins and elevates [your] ranks?” He presents something to them, does he inform them? It is obvious he knew that they were going to say, “Yes, Oh Messenger of Allah, inform us”, but he ﷺ used this wording and this style so that they would be attentive to what they were about to encounter. He [ﷺ] said, “Performing Wudu properly, even in difficulty, frequently going to the Masjid, and waiting eagerly for the next Salat after a Salat is over … “ These are three things:

1.) Perform the Wudu properly, even in difficulty. I.e., complete the Wudu in the winter, because in the winter days the water is cold. Complete the Wudu, i.e., carry it out [in totality, exceeding the obligatory areas to ensure they have been covered], and in this will be some difficulty on one’s self. Therefore, if one carries out [in totality, exceeding the obligatory areas to ensure they have been covered] his Wudu along with this difficulty, then this proves the completion of the person; so, Allah will raise with that the slave in levels, covering for him his sins.

2.) Frequently going to the Masjid. I.e., for the person to intend the Masjid, whereas it has been legislated to go to; even if its far. For indeed, the further the Masjid is from the home the greater the reward for the person. Therefore, if the person makes Wudu in his home and completes the Wudu [in totality, exceeding the obligatory areas to ensure they have been covered] then leaving to the Masjid, not leaving for anything other than the Salat, then he will not take a footstep except Allah will raise him in levels by it and expiate his sins.

3.) waiting eagerly for the next Salat after a Salat is over. I.e., that the person from his strong affection for the Salat. Every time he completes a Salat his heart is attached to the next Salat waiting for it. For indeed, this proves Iman, love, and affection for these great prayers that The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “And the Salat was made a coolness to my eye.” [3] So, if one waits for the Salat after the Salat, then this is from what Allah will raise him in levels and expiate for him his sins.

[Lastly,] his statement ﷺ, ” … that is Ar-Ribat.” The origin of Ar-Ribat is the calling for fighting the enemy with war and tying the numerous horses, and this from the noble actions. Therefore, it was compared to what was mentioned from the righteous actions and worship in this Hadeeth. In other words, continuation upon purity [i.e., upholding Wudu], Salat, and worship such as Jihad for the sake of Allah.

It is [also] said that Ar-Ribat here is a noun that is used when it ties to something. And the meaning is that characteristics tie its performer from evil actions and expiate for him

These two Ahaadeeth were mentioned by the author in the chapter “Numerous ways of doing good”, because these numerous ways are from goodness: The five prayers, Jumu’ah to Jumu’ah, Ramadan to Ramadan, frequently going to the Masjid, completing Wudu [in totality, exceeding the obligatory areas to ensure they have been covered], and waiting eagerly for the next Salat after a Salat.

Taken From: Sh. Muhammad bin Saleh Al-Uthaymeen‘s explanation of Al-Riyad Al-Saliheen

______

[1] Muslim

[2] Muslim

[3] Al-Nisa’i and Ahmed

And all prays due to Allah the lord of the worlds, and the peace and blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and his companions.

_________________________________

Translated by:

Abdul-Malik Merchant

Umm al-Qura University

Makkah Al-Mukarramah, KSA

Rabi’ Al-Awal 23, 1432 — February 26, 2011

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About Abdul-Malik Merchant
A student at Umm al-Qura University, but nowhere NEAR a scholar. Just a normal dude who was blessed with a wonderful opportunity

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