A “Qualified” Student of Knowledge

In the name of Allah — The Most Gracious, The Bestower of Mercy. All praise is due to Allah — Lord of The Worlds. I send prayers and salutations upon our messenger Muhammad, upon his family, and all of his companions.

We find many speakers rising amongst the ranks of the people discussing issues of the religion that they may or may not be ready for, to the extent that the value of a person is not held in what he says, but how he says it. Basically, his knowledge is not the point of benefit or value, but the way he speaks. This goes against the pure Islamic teachings, as Allah mentions the people who have the most awareness of him are the scholars [of the religion], and that they are the ones who we are commanded to turn to in times of trials and tribulations and our questions, and they are the ones who are praised in the Quran and in many ahadith of the Prophetic Sunnah salalahu alaihi wa salam. The reality is that knowledge is acquired, while speaking is a gift, and the Prophet salalahu alaihi wa salam described it as a type of magic, and unfortunately we have seen its effect, to the point they’ve fallen into another warning from him salalahu alaiihi wa salam about taking the ignorant as their leaders, be it in their masjid, concerning their religious affairs, giving fatwa, or other than that.

The question then arises: who are the people of knowledge and how do I connect myself to them?

As for who they are, then there are books written about the characteristics of the scholar and his etiquettes, but these books help us recognize a scholar, not proclaim scholarship for an individual. In essence, the scholars are recognized by scholars. The same way a person, when he is ill, asks his friends for a good doctor, they will direct him to who they feel is most knowledgeable concerning medicine. When this individual reaches that recommended doctor, he will in turn direct him to a specialist. Why? Because a professional in a field knows his peers, so how much more a person who has dealt with other teachers and educators in Islam?

Is there a set curriculum an individual has to go to, in order to ascertain scholarship? Not necessarily, but scholarship is usually attained in two ways, after tawfeeq from Allah:

1. Academically, by going through a curriculum focused in different Islamic sciences, focusing on a particular science, be it Fiqh, Hadeeth, Aqeedah or other than that.

2. Apprenticeship, in which an individual accompanies a scholar for a long period of time taking most of the sciences from that particular scholar.

In our time, the first is what is most prevalent, and a combination of the two also take place (which is the best), but in times before the establishment of universities and learning institutions most scholars became such via the second way.

This is not so strange, as in previous generations, and even in some parts of the world today, including certain fields in the West, apprenticeship has and still takes place. Before universities, if a man wanted to become a blacksmith, he would go to a blacksmith and be his apprentice and learn the trade from him, similar to medicine, masons, carpenters, and other than them. So why is it so backwards if it’s done concerning Islamic sciences?

Similarly, just as a scholar is known by other scholars, these scholars also know the students of knowledge, who in turn know other students of knowledge. So if an individual claiming to be a student comes up to your community, there is no harm in asking for his credentials and his recommendations either from his teachers and/or peers, just as you would in any other science, actually this is even important than that because this is about your religion!!

Concerning connecting yourself with these individuals, be they scholars or students, then it is upon the Muslim to keep righteous company, as the Messenger of Allah salalalhu alaihi wa salam said a person is on the religion of his close friend, so what better friend to make except from the scholars and their students?! As for how it’s done, then we have to realize they are humans just as we are, so you will find some easier to approach than others, but Allah has given them the tawfeeq of learning and preserving His religion, so it is upon us, no matter how friendly we are, to respect and honor them and to keep boundaries concerning them, similar to our relationships with our parents, granted the boundaries are different but still there. So it not upon us to venerate them to the point of perfection, or pure innocence, but at the same time we do not bring them down to our levels, as Ahlus Sunnah, we keep our affairs on the middle path, and Allah knows best.

Abu Sahl Farhan ibn Irfan Siddiqi

Makkah al Mukarramah

23/2/1434 H

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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. 

Sh. Wasiullah ‘Abbaas’ New Website!

In the name of Allah (The One). I send the 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).

Masha Allah Tabaarik Allah, by the permission of Allah some of the foreign students studying at UQU (Umm al-Qura University) created a website for Shaykh Dr. Wasiullah ‘Abbaas. It has audio recordings of many of the multiple lectures he gives in Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah weekly as well as PDF photocopies of all of the books he has authored. For anyone who can read Arabic or knows please check out the website and share it. Jazaakm Allahu Khayr!

http://wasiullahabbas.wordpress.com/

Also, to read the Shaykh’s biography click here!

And the peace and blessings are upon our prophet Muhammad, upon his family and companions.

“The pinnacle of nobility is persistence upon righteousness …”

In the name of Allah (The One). I send the 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). To proceed:

Here’s small benefit I found on Shaykh Saalim At-Toweel’s[1] website:

Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn At-Taymiyah said, “The pinnacle of nobility is persistence upon righteousness. So, there is nothing comparable to granting a worshipper nobility by aiding him in doing that which Allah loves and is pleased by, increasing him in that which draws him nearer to Allah, and raising his status.[2]”

 

[1] Shaykh Saalim At-Toweel is from the Mashayikh (scholars) of Kuwait and studied for many year with Shaykh Muhammad ibn Al-Uthaymeen, as well as others. May Allah preserve him and have mercy upon those who’ve past, ameen.
[2] TN: “Raising his status” is referring to with Allah and the angles in Jannah. This is not referring to raising his status in this Dunya (worldy life), wallahu ‘alim (and Allah knows best.

And the peace and blessings are upon our prophet Muhammad, upon his family and companions.

Poem by Imam Ash-Shafi’e: “It is upon you to have Taqwa of Allah when you are forgetful …”

Bismillah!

This is a poem that hangs in the window of one of the bookstores here in Makkah. I noticed it one day while walking by with Abu Fouzaan and took a picture. After doing a little research, I found out it was written by Imam Ash-Shafi’e (may Allah have mercy upon him) and I love his poems. Masha Allah it’s meaning is VERY deep, as are all of his poems. Enjoy!

‎”It is upon you to have Taqwa of Allah when you are forgetful,
sustenance will come to you from where you dont know.
How are do you fear poverty when Allah is the provider,
indeed he provided for the birds and the whales in the sea.
And whoever thought that sustenance comes with power,
when the bird ate something with the eagles.
This world goes by you and you do not know,
if the night covers will you live until Fajr?
Who many healthy died without a reason,
and how many weak live forever?
How many youth go to sleep and wake up laughing,
and we buried him at sunset and he didn’t even know?
So whoever lives a thousand then a thousand years after that,
no doubt there will come a day when you will to the grave!”

Benefitting from Al-Hasan Al-Basree (may Allah have mercy on him)

Bismillah,

Who was al-Hasan Al-Basree?

He is Abu Sa’eed al-Hasan ibn Abee al-Hasan Yasaar al-Basree.  He was born in al-Madeenah al-Munawarrah during the caliphate of Umar bin al-Khataab (may Allah be pleased with him) and he is from the Taabi’een (the generation after the companions).  He was the leader of the people of his time in knowledge and action.  Mu’tar bin Sulaymaan said, “My father used to say, ‘al-Hasan is the sheikh of the people of al-Basrah (a city in Iraaq)’.[1]

Reports from the life of al-Hasan al-Basree:[2]

It was reported that a man entered into al-Basrah, and he had never seen al-Hasan al-Basree (may Allah have mercy on him).  So the man asked as-Sha’bee about the whereabouts of al-Hasan. So as-Sha’bee said to the man, “Enter the masjid, may Allah protect you from all evil, and if you see a man that you have never seen anyone like him before then that is al-Hasan”.

It is said that Muhammad bin Waasi’a sat with Thaabit bin Muhammad al-Bunaanee.  So Muhammad saw Thaabit laughing and joking in his sitting, so Muhammad said to Thaabit, “May Allah protect you from all evil!  Indeed you joke in your sittings.  We used to sit with al-Hasan, and when he presented himself to us it was as if he came from the hereafter and he would speak to us about the seriousness of it (i.e. the hereafter)”.

A man said to al-Hasan, “How are you Abu Sa’eed?”  Al-Hasan said, “I’m not good at all”.  So the man asked, “And why is that?”  Al-Hasan said, “Because I am a person that is awaiting death when I awake and when I go to sleep, and I don’t know what my condition will be when I die”.

Al-Hasan (may Allah have mercy on him) used to say, “Repent to Allah for eating too much and sleeping too much”.

He also used to say (may Allah have mercy on him), “I don’t know of any form of worship more difficult than the Salaat in the middle of the night.  Indeed it (i.e. the Salaat in the middle of the night) is from the actions of those who fear Allah, The Most High”.

It is reported that al-Hasan used to say, “Indeed Ahlul Khair (the people of good) have signs that they are known by: truthfulness in their speech, fulfilling their trusts, keeping their promises, having very little pride and conceit, keeping the ties of kinship, being merciful to the weak, being courteous, having good manners, being very patient, spreading knowledge, and having very little association with women”.

We ask Allah, The Most High, to make us from Ahlul Khair, and may the prayers and peace be upon our prophet Muhammad.

 


[1] Ath-Thahabee, Imaam Shamsu-Deen. Siyar ‘Alaam An-Nubalaa. Beruit: Mu’asasah Ar-Risaalah AH1412/1992 4/563

[2] Al-Jawzee, Ibn Jamaal Ad-Deen. Aadaab Al-Hasan Al-Basree. Daar An-Nawaadir 1429H./ 2008

This was shared from our brothers at Al Thamaraat. To view the original article click here!

The Coinciding of Worshiping Allah and Good Character

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:

Allah says in the Qur’an,

“Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful.” — Surah An-Nisa 4 : 36

It was narrated that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, “Fear Allah wherever you are, and follow up a bad deed with a good one and it will wipe it out, and behave well towards people.”

On authority of Sufian bin Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I said: “O Messenger of Allah, tell me something about Islam which I can ask of no one but you”. He said: “Say:’I believe in Allah’, and thereafter be upright.”

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day either speak good or keep silent, and let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day be generous to his neighbor, and let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day be generous to his guest.”

So, we can see clearly from this ayah and these ahaadith that good character and obedience to Allah worshiping him go hand in hand and that one is not sufficient without the other. Therefore, it is obligatory upon us as Muslims, and as human beings, to strive to achieve the highest level of Iman (belief), which is called Al-Ihsan (to worship Allah as if you see him and if you cant see him he sees you). Keep in mind that Iman is of three types: 1- statement upon the tongue, 2- Belief in the heart, and 3- Actions upon the limbs. Furthermore, along with striving to achieve Al-Ihsan and fulfilling the third part of Iman, we have to striving to perfect our character.

I ask Allah to grant us grant us complete Iman and the best of character and the highest level of paradise, Ameen. Anything I said that was correct is from Allah alone, and anything that was incorrect is from myself and Shaytan. And all praise due to Allah the lord of the worlds, and the peace and blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and his companions.