Being a Shaykh and be humorous … is that possible?

In the name of Allah (The One). I send peace and blessings upon His Messenger (Al-Mustafa) and upon His Messenger’s family, companions, and those who follow him in righteousness until the Day of Judgement (Yowm Al-Qiyaamah).

Shaykh Wasiullah ‘Abbaas (hafithahullah — may Allah preserve him) teaches ‘Awn Al-Ma’bood which is the explanation of Sunan Abi Dawod (Imam Abu Dawod’s collection of Hadith) in Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah three days a week. We have reached Kitab Al-Jihad (The Book of Jihad) and there is a chapter entitled “What a man should say when he mounts (his means of transportation)”. The Hadith goes:

Narrated Ali (ibn Abi Talib): Ali ibn Rabi’ah said: I was present with Ali while a beast was brought to him to ride. When he put his foot in the stirrup, he said: “In the name of Allah.” Then when he sat on its back, he said: “Praise be to Allah.” He then said: “Glory be to Him Who has made this subservient to us, for we had not the strength, and to our Lord do we return.” He then said: “Praise be to Allah (thrice); Allah is Most Great (thrice): glory be to You, I have wronged myself, so forgive me, for no one forgives sins but You.” He then laughed. He was asked: At what did you laugh? He replied: I saw the Apostle of Allah ﷺ do as I have done, and laugh after that. I asked: Apostle of Allah , at what are you laughing? He replied: Your Lord, Most High, is pleased with His servant when he says: “Forgive me my sins.” He knew that no one forgives sins except Him. [2596]

Before getting into the Shaykh’s explanation and story it’s imperitive to explain one sentence in Arabic so that it is understood, which is, “and to our Lord do we return”. The last part, “do we return” in Arabic is لمنقلبون (LaMunqaliboon) which is an emphasized plural tense of the word منقلب (Munqalib). Munqalib is the infinitive of the verb ينقلب (Yanqalib) which is to return or also to fall down. So in summary you can understand the word LaMunqaliboon as we return or we fall down.

Shaykh Wasi explained, in summary, that this supplication is something that is necessary for the Muslim, specifically the student of knowledge, to learn and say. Also, this supplication is to be said when mounting any means of transportation, whether it’s fueled or otherwise. Additionally, someone performing an action that the Prophet ﷺ did, even if it from his nature or habits, with the intention of following the way of the Prophet ﷺ will be rewarded.

Then the Shaykh began to chuckle and said this reminded him of a story one of his closest Shaykhs, Shaykh Taqiuddeen Al-Hilaali (rahimahullah — may Allah have mercy upon him) told him. Shaykh Tabqiuddeen was very well traveled and from his travels was to Iraq. There was a small stream where the water would reach about your mid calf or knees, so people would carry others across on their shoulders (as a means to make money). So, when Shaykh Taquiddeen got on the man’s shoulders he began to say the dua (supplication), “Glory be to Him Who has made this subservient to us, for we had not the strength …” This angered the man and he said (finishing the dua), “And to our Lord LaMunqaliboon (we will return)”, and he dropped the Shaykh off of his shoulders angrily. I apologize if it’s a bit confusing due to the language barrier but in a nutshell the man carrying Shaykh Taqiuddeen used the rest of the dua as a pun while he kicked the Shaykh off his back.

Upon hearing this story the entire circle started chuckling and laughing, as well as the Shaykh, so much so he had to stop for about fifteen seconds and was even chuckling while he was reading the next Hadith. But SubhaanAllah (glory be to Allah) we can benefit from this explanation and story in many many ways, and Insha Allah (by the will of Allah) I will list a few of the ways I benefited from it:

  1. Islam is a complete religion and did not leave anything untouched except that it clarified it. So much so as to when we mount our means of transportation there is a specific prophetic supplication for us to say. May Allah make us from those who truly believe and implement these affairs, Ameen!
  2. Islam was not sent for a specified time period; rather to all of mankind and until the Day of Judgement. Just because people typically aren’t riding on horseback or donkeys does not mean that the dua that we have is not applicable any longer. No, it can be applied to anything that is used in the same context.
  3. Like the companions of the Prophet ﷺ we should strive to follow the Sunnah in every possible way. Ali laughed simply because he knew the Prophet ﷺ laughed. Also, when Shaykh Wasiullah read this Hadith he himself laughed as well.
  4. There is no harm in telling stories, so long as they are truthful.
  5. There is no harm in joking, so long as it is truthful and not harmful to anyone. Shaykh Taqiuddeen was simply trying to say the supplication for riding since he was being carried across the stream and the other man became offended by it; thus dropping him angrily finishing the dua which in Arabic is a pun.
  6. Not being excessive in joking. SubhaanAllah, Shaykh Wasiullah’s natural disposition is very jovial and he constantly tells humorous stories in his classes. But he controlled his laughter and pushed on into the next Hadith as to not go overboard.
I ask Allah to make us firm upon our belief and practices of Islam, without being extreme, based upon beneficial knowledge and righteous actions, Ameen. With that I conclude by  sending peace and salutations upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and his companions. 

About Abdul-Malik Merchant
Muslim. Husband. Father. Associate Imam @ISBCC. UQU grad. Boston resident. DC native. Biker. Goofy. Straight up.

4 Responses to Being a Shaykh and be humorous … is that possible?

  1. If possible make the Arabic , more clear to read , I would like to benefit from that since I am a Talb of the Arabic lang now

  2. Mashallah I able to copy to see in Google Translate , so i could make the word bigger to see the Arabic

  3. Pingback: Being a Shaykh and Humorous … is that Possible? | al Balad al Ameen

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