Shaykh ul –Islaam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah

Taken from ‘Miftah dar as-Sa’ada’(key to the land of happiness)

Translated by Abbas Abu Yahya


The saying of Allaah Ta’ala :   ((By Al-‘Asr (the time). Verily! Man is in loss, except those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth and recommend one another to patience.))

Ash-Shafiee – may Allaah be pleased with him – said: ‘If all the people reflected over this Soorah it would be sufficient for them.’

The explanation of this is that this Soorah has four levels, and by completing these, a person can achieve the highest goal in being complete.

The first is: Knowing the truth.

The second: his acting upon the truth.

The third: Him teaching the one who is deficient in the truth.

The fourth: Being patient in learning the truth, and acting upon it, and teaching it.

Allaah Ta’ala mentioned these four levels in this Soorah, and Allaah Subhanahu testified in this Soorah by al-Asr (the time) that everyone is in loss, except those who believe and do righteous, good deeds and they are those who knew the truth, and they testified to the truth. So the above is a level.

They did righteous, good deeds and they are those who performed worship with what they knew about the truth.

So this is a level. They advise with the truth; they advise one another, teaching and guiding each other.

So this is the third level. They advise with patience; they were patient with the truth, and they advised each other with patience upon the truth, and to be steadfast.

And this is the fourth level. This is the end of completeness; indeed completeness is that a person is complete in himself, and completes others.

His completeness is by correcting his two strengths, the strength of knowledge and the strength of actions.  Correction of the strength of knowledge is with Emaan, and correction of the strength of actions is by doing righteous deeds, and by completing people other than himself, and by learning this knowledge, and being patient upon it, and his recommending with patience upon knowledge and action.

So this Soorah, even though it is brief, is one of the most collective soorahs of the Qur’aan for goodness from all its different angles. Praise be to Allaah Who has made the Qur’aan sufficient for everything, a cure from every disease, a guidance to all that is good.

1 – Bishr al-Haafi said: “That I seek the world with a wind instrument is more beloved to me than that I seek it with my Deen.”
2 – Ibraaheem an-Nakha’i said: “When Shaytaan comes to you while you are in prayer and says: ‘You are showing off,’ make it longer.”

3 – One of the Salaf said: “Direct me to an action by which I will never cease to be performing for Allaah the Exalted.” It was said to him: “Always intend good, because you will never cease to be performing even if you do not perform any actions. The intention is made even in the absence of any actions. Whoever intended to pray at night and then slept, the reward for what he intended will be written for him.”

4 – One of them said: “I love that I have an intention for every single thing; even my eat, drink and sleep.”

5 – It was said to Sahl: “What is the hardest thing for the soul (to achieve)?” He said: “Sincerity, when there is no other desire in it.”

6 – Ya’qoob al-Makfoof said: “The sincere person is the one who hides his good deeds just like he hides his evil deeds.”

7 – One of them wrote to his brother: “Make your intention sincere in all of your actions, and little action will suffice you.”

8 – Ayyoob as-Sakhtiyaani said: “Purifying the intention is harder than all other actions for those who act.”

9 – Yahyaa bin Mu’aadh said: “Sincerity separates good actions from faults like the separation of milk from dung and blood.”

10 – as-Soosi said: “What Allaah desires from the actions of His creation is sincerity and nothing else.”

11 – al-Junayd said: “To Allaah belong servants who understand, and when they understand they act, and when they act they make their actions sincere. Their recalling of sincerity at the time of doing righteousness is what accumulates the greatest good for them.”

12 – Hawshab used to cry and say: “My name has reached the large Mosque (meaning, the people will know who I am)!”

13 – as-Soosi said: “Sincerity is to lose the vision of sincerity in oneself.”

14 – One of them said: “Whoever sees sincerity in his sincerity, his sincerity is itself in need of sincerity. The destruction of every sincere person lies in his sincerity to the extent that he sees sincerity in himself. When he abandons seeing sincerity in himself he will be sincere and purified.”

15 – Abu ‘Uthmaan said: “Sincerity is to forget about the creation by constantly looking at the Creator (in terms of gaining admiration for your deeds).”

16 – Ibraaheem bin Adham said: “The one who loves fame is not truthful to Allaah.”

17 – Sufyaan ath-Thawri said: “They (the Salaf) used to hate fame and reputation due to wearing nice garments because eyes would stretch towards them.”

18 – Na’eem bin Hammaad said: “‘Abdullaah ibn al-Mubaarak frequently used to sit in his house for long periods of time, so it was said to him: ‘Don’t you feel lonely and isolated?’ He said: ‘How can I feel isolated while I am with the Prophet (saw)?’.”

19 – Ja’far bin Hayyaan said: “The foundations of these actions are the intentions. Indeed a man reaches with his intentions a position he does not reach with his actions.”

20 – One of the people of wisdom used to say: “When a man is speaking in a gathering and his speech amazes him, let be silent. When he keeps silent and his silence amazes, him let him speak.”

21 – Mutraf bin ‘Abdullaah ash-Shakheer said: “That I spend the night sleeping and wake up remorseful is more loved to me than that I spend the night standing in prayer and wake up in admiration.”

22 – an-Nu’maan bin Qays said: “I never saw ‘Abeedah performing any voluntary prayers in the mosque of al-Hayy.”

23 – ‘Ali said: “The one who shows off has three charactersistics: he is lazy when by himself, he is lively and energetic when with others and he increases in his actions when he is praised and decreases in them when he is criticised.”

24 – al-Hasan said: “The one who shows off desires to overcome what Allaah has decreed for him. He is an evil person who desires to inform the people that he is righteous in order to hear what they would say. He has obtained a position of vileness and wickedness from his Lord. It is therefore essential for the hearts of the believers to recognise him.”

25 – Sahl bin ‘Abdullaah said: “There is nothing which is tougher upon the soul than acheiving sincerity. How many times have I tried to remove the inclination to show off from my heart except that it sprouted in a different colour?”

26 – Ibn Mas’ood said: “Do not learn knowledge for three reasons: to amaze and confound the foolish, to argue with the learned and to make people’s faces turn towards you. Rather, seek what is with Allaah with your hearts and actions, since only that will remain and whatever is besides it will go.”

27 – Abu Sulaymaan ad-Daarini said: “Glad tidings for the one who took a single step desiring nothing but the face of Allaah by it.”

28 – Some of the Salaf said: “Whoever had a single instance in his lifetime which was purely and sincerely for the sake of Allaah – the Exalted – will be saved, and this is due to the greatness of sincerity.”

29 – Abu Sulaymaan ad-Daarini said: “When the servant is sincere, the inclination to show off and the many whisperings (of the Devils) are cut off from him.”

30 – It has also been said: “Sincerity is that the servants inward and outward actions are equal. Riyaa’ is when the outward appearance is better than the inner self and truthfulness in one’s sincerity is when the inner self is better cultivated and more flourishing than the outward appearance.”

31 – Some of the Salaf have said: “Sincerity is that you do not seek a witness over your action besides Allaah or one who gives reward besides Him.”

32 – Makhool said: “Never does a servant maintain sincerity for forty days in succession except that the streams of wisdom from his heart appear on his tongue.”

33 – ‘Adiyy ibn Haatim said: “The people destined for the Fire will be ordered towards Paradise until they come close to it and smell its fragrance, see its palaces and what Allaah has prepared in it for its people. Then an announcement will be made that they be turned away from it. There will be no portion for them in it. They will return in loss and ruin just like the ones before them. Then they will say: ‘O our Lord! If you had entered us into the Fire before You showed us what You have shown us from Your reward and what You have prepared for your friends and allies, it would have been easier upon us.’ Then the Exalted will say: ‘This is what I intended with you. When you used to be alone you would combat me (or show boldness to Me) with grave sins and when you used to meet people you would meet them with humility. You would show to the people other than that which you used to give Me from your hearts. You feared people but you did not fear Me. You honored the people but you did not honor Me, you abandoned actions for the people but you did not abandon them for Me. This day, will I make you taste a tormenting punishment as well as prevent you from receiving that reward.”

34 – It has been said: “The damage caused to every servant lies in his being pleased with himself. Whoever looks at his soul and sees something in it which he deems to be good has caused its destruction. And whoever does not suspect his soul at every single moment is one who is deceived.”

35 – Ibn al-Qayyim said: “Sincerity is the unification of one’s wish and intent.”

[Collected by Shaykh Husayn al-‘Awaa’ishah from ‘Ihyaa’ ‘Uloom ud-Deen’ of al-Ghazaali, ‘Mukhtasar Minhaaj ul-Qaasideen’ of Ibn Qudaamah and ‘az-Zuhd’ of ‘Abdullaah Ibn al-Mubaarak]

Dead Hearts

by Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah

While thousands of Muslims are killed all over the world, and while tens of thousands are imprisoned and tortured for calling to the path of Allah and for enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, most Muslims remain remarkably silent and have no worry except for the material things of life. Their hearts have been filled with the love of this life and the forgetfulness of the Hereafter.

Allah says in the Qur’an: “You will indeed find them, of all people, most greedy of life, even more than those who do not believe in Resurrection. Each one of them wishes he could be given a life of a thousand years. But the grant of such life will not save him even a little from due punishment. For Allah sees well all that they do” (Al Baqarah, 2:96).

Many Muslims today have become so much attached to their life that their desire is to dwell among their family, house, money and commerce. They have forgotten that matters of the Hereafter should come before matters of this life and that we must strive to follow the orders of Allah, not just those we find easy and convenient to follow. Some Muslims today claim that it is better to perform extra prayers and extra fasting rather than enjoin the good and forbid the evil or defend the lives of weak Muslims. Such people would even blame the Muslims who strive to perform these obligations.

This is what Ibn al-Qayyim had to say about such people: ”The Shaitan has misled most people by beautifying for them the performance of certain voluntary acts of worship such as voluntary prayers and voluntary fasting while neglecting other obligatory acts of worship such as enjoining the good and eradicating the evil, to the extent that they do not even make the intention of performing them whenever they are able to. Such people are considered by the scholars to be on the bottom of the scale of religion: For the essence of our religion is to perform what Allah ordered us to do. The one who does not perform his obligations is actually worse than the one who performs sins. Anyone having some knowledge about the revelation of Allah, the guidance of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, and the life of the companions would conclude that those who are pointed at today as the most pious people are in fact the least pious. Indeed, what kind of piety is there in a person who witnesses Allah’s sanctities being violated, his religion abandoned, the Sunnah of His Messenger shunned, and yet remains still with a cold heart and a shut mouth’ Such a person is like a dumb Shaitan! In the same way the one who talks falsehood is a speaking Shaitan. Isn’t the misfortune of Islam due only to those who whenever their life and food are secure, would not care about what happens to the religion? The best among them would offer a sorry face. But if they were challenged in one of the things their heart is attached to like their money, they would spare no efforts to get it back. These people, besides deserving the anger of Allah, are afflicted with the greatest calamity without even knowing it: They have a dead heart. Indeed the more alive a person’s heart is, the stronger its anger for the sake of Allah and the more complete his support to Islam and Muslims.”

(A’alaam al-Muwaqqi’een, volume 2, page 176).

Author: The Eminent Qur’anic Sciences Scholar: Imaam Abdur Rahman As Sa’dee (rahimahuAllah)

Source: Tayseer Al-Kareem

Ar-Rahmaan and his commentary on Al-Aqeedah Al-Waasitiyyah

Compiled and Translated: Zaid Lites

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah send peace and blessings upon him) informed us that the following verse- Aayatul-Kursi- is the greatest verse of the Qur’an, due to the splendid meanings it comprises of:  The many attributes of Allah, The Exalted Inventor  of all things  (Al Baaree Ta’aala). Tawheed: completely singling out Allah, alone, without any partners, in all acts of worship.  Allah says: 

Allah-there is no deity worthy of worship except Him, “Al-Hayy”:  The Ever-Living, “Al-Qayyoom”:  The Sustainer of all existence.  Neither drowsiness nor sleep overtakes Him.  To Him belongs whatever is in the  heavens and whatever is on earth.  Who is it that can intercede with Him, except by His permission?!  He knows what lies ahead of them  and what is behind them, and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge, except for that which He wills.  His kursi extends over the heavens and earth, and their preservation does not tire Him.  And He is The Most High, The Most Great.  [al-Baqarah, 2:255]

In this verse, Allah informs us that He is  “Allah”:  Meaning, The One to whom belongs worship, in all its senses.  None deserves divinity nor to be worshiped except Him.  Therefore, deifying and worshipping other than Allah is futile and absurd. He is “Al-Hayy” :  The Ever-Living :  To whom belongs all of the qualities of perfect life; including perfection in hearing, vision, ability, will, might, knowledge, wisdom, mercy, and other  proper attributes relating to His essence. He is  “Al-Qayyoom”:  The Sustainer, Who is independent and free of any need of His creation.  He sustains all of existence.  He originated everything into existence, maintained and provided everything with sustenance, and all the necessities for existence and survival.  Allah’s name:   “Al-Hayy” indicates all of Allah’s attributes relating to His essence, while, “Al-Qayyoom” entails all of His attributes describing His actions. Thus, all of His lofty attributes refer back to these two beautiful names. Hence, it is narrated that “Al-Hayy, Al-Qayyoom” is the greatest name, which if Allah is invoked by, He answers, and if requested by, He grants.   Due to His perfect qualities of life and sustainment, “Neither drowsiness nor sleep overtakes Him.” Drowsiness and sleep only occur in the creation, which experiences weakness, exhaustion, and inability, and does not apply to the One of magnificence, greatness, and splendor!   He informs us that He is The Owner of everything that is within the heavens and earth.  So everything is a possessed slave of Allah.  None can depart from this state.

“There is none in the heavens and earth, except that it comes to the Most Merciful as a slave.”  [Maryam, 19:93]So He is The Owner of all sovereignties.  And He is The One, to whom belongs the attributes of dominion, authority, reign, majesty, and management of universal affairs.  Through His supreme rule and authority; none can intercede with Him, except by His permission.  All of the notable and distinguished interceders are slaves belonging to Him. None can proceed with intercession, until He permits them:

“Say:  To Allah belongs all intercession.  To Him belongs the dominion of the heavens and earth…” [Az-Zumar, 39:44] Allah does not allow anyone to intercede, except intercession for one He is pleased with.  And Allah is not pleased, except with the implementation of: o Tawheed:  completely singling out Allah, alone, without any partners, in all acts of worship.  o Following all of His Messengers. Therefore, whomsoever this does not apply to is not entitled any share of intercession.  Allah has negated intercession for those who worship others besides Him.  They seek intercession from others besides Allah, and without His permission. Their intercession is futile. Then Allah informs us of His unlimited, all-encompassing knowledge.  He knows what awaits the creation of infinite future events, as well as “what is   behind them”, of unlimited past affairs.  No concealed thing is hidden from Him:

“He knows that which deceives the eyes and what the breast conceal.”   [Ghaafir, 40:19] None of the creation can encompass anything of Allah’s knowledge and information, “except for what He wills”, i.e., what He has disclosed to them, by different means, including prescribed and legislative affairs.  Yet, this in its entirety, still amounts to nothing, with respect to the knowledge and information of The Inventor (Allah).  This is affirmed by the most knowledgeable of Allah, amongst His creation; the messengers and angels.  They said (as Allah has informed us):

“Exalted are You!  We have no knowledge, except what You have taught us.” [al-Baqarah, 2:32] Allah then informs us of His greatness and magnificence, and that “His kursi extends over the heavens and earth”, and that He maintains the heavens and earth, and all of its inhabitants, by means of causation and universal orders, which He has placed in the creation.  This describes Allah’s grace upon His creation:  He has created the heavens and earth for them, and everything within it, as well as maintained it and preserved it from destruction.  He has governed it by an amazing system of universal laws, having countless benefits.  All of this, while; “its preservation does not tire or burden Him”, due to the perfection of His greatness, ability, and His abundant wisdom in His ordinances.

“And He is The Most High” He is the absolute Most High, in all senses:  The Most High in His essence; above all of His creation, having risen over the Throne.  The Most High by the exaltedness and greatness of His attributes and status:  To Him belongs every perfect attribute of excellence.  The Most High by His subjugation of the creation:   All of existence submits to Him.  Even the stubborn and obstinate are subdued to His subjugation. And He is “The Most Great”: He is the possessor of all the qualities of greatness, magnificence, nobility, and splendor:  The One whom the hearts love, and the souls glorify.  The hearts of His prophets, angels, and allies are in complete glorification of His Majesty.  There is none greater than Him!  Those of knowledge and acquaintance recognize that the greatness of anything and everything, even if it surpassed eminence and was considered indescribable, is still nothing compared to the greatness of The Most High, Most Great! Clearly, this verse, which is comprised of such extraordinary meanings, entitles it to be the greatest verse of the Qur’an.  The heart of one who reads it in contemplation and reflection- while comprehending its meanings- deserves to be filled with certainty, acknowledgement, and Eemaan (Faith).  Furthermore, by that, he/she will be safeguarded from the evil of Satan.

I complained to Wakee`about my poor memory.
So he advised me to abandon disobedience.
and he said, ‘know that knowledge is light.
And the light of Allaah is not bestowed upon a disobedient’.

Abu Dharr (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) was asked: “Tell us about a person who does some good deed and people praise him, will this be considered as showing off?” He replied, “This is the glad tidings which a believer receives (in this life).”

Commentary: We learn from this Hadith that if a person does a virtuous act to please Allah (i.e., not with the intention to show off) and people praise him for it, then there is nothing wrong with it. In fact, such praise is the glad tidings which he receives in this world. Expression of such good opinion about him by the public is akin to a declaration that Allah is pleased with him. Sincere admiration and praise of someone by the public is not a disqualification. It is, in fact, an evidence of his virtuous conduct and its recognition by Allah.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “The martyrs are of five kinds: One who dies of plague; one who dies of disease of his belly; the drowned; one who dies under the debris (of construction, etc.), and one who dies while fighting in the way of Allah.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: The Hadith mentioned four categories of people, besides those who were slain on the battlefield, whom Allah will, by His Special Grace, give on the Day of Judgement an award similar to martyrs on condition that they are true believers and practising Muslims. In some other Ahadith, certain other persons have also been mentioned who will be given the status of martyrs by Allah. There is no contradiction in these Ahadith for the reason that first of all the Prophet (PBUH) was told about five categories of martyrs which were disclosed by him. Subsequently Almighty Allah added some more people to them which were also mentioned by him. The real Shaheed is one who voluntarily gives his life for the sake of Allah provided that he wholeheartedly fights on the battlefield.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Whom do you reckon to be martyr amongst you?” The Companions replied: “The one who is killed in Allah’s way.” He said, “In that case, the martyrs among my people would be few.” The Companions asked: “O Messenger of Allah! Then who are the martyrs?” He replied, “He who is killed in the way of Allah is a martyr; he who dies naturally in the Cause of Allah is a martyr; he who dies of plague is a martyr; and he who dies of a belly disease is a martyr; and he who is drowned is a martyr.”

This Hadith shows the care Allah has for this Ummah, which is the best Ummah of mankind. (Editor’s Note)

Commentary: “He who dies naturally in the Cause of Allah”, here signifies such a person who does not die because of his being killed in the war by sword, lance, bullet, etc., but meets the death on account of some other causes while going for Jihad such as falling from the horse, or who dies while defending his family or property, or defending other Muslims against attackers or robbers, etc. Such a person will also be a martyr.

`Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`As (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “He who is killed while defending his property is a martyr.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: The Hadith highlights the fact that whoever gets killed in an effort to protect his property is a martyr.

Sa`id bin Zaid bin `Amr bin Nufail (May Allah be pleased with him) reported, one of the ten Companions who were given the glad tidings of entering Jannah reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying: “He who dies while defending his property is a martyr; he who dies in defence of his own life is a martyr; and he who dies on defense of his faith is a martyr, he who dies in defence of his family is a martyr.”
[Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].

Commentary: Those ten Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) whom he gave the glad tidings of entering Jannah are known as “Al-Asharatul-Mubashsharuna bil-Jannah”. They are Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, `Umar bin Al-Khattab, `Uthman bin `Affan, `Ali bin Abu Talib, Talhah bin Ubaidullah, Zubair bin Al-`Awwam, `Abdur-Rahman bin `Auf, Sa`d bin Abu Waqqas, Abu `Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah and the narrator of this Hadith, i.e., Sa`id bin Zaid, may Allah be pleased with all of them. The Prophet (PBUH) also foretold that some other people will enter Jannah, but these ten people are called Al-Asharatul-Mubashsharuna bil-Jannah for the reason that the prophecy about these ten people was made at one time, in a single Hadith. This Hadith includes the names of some other people also who will be given the reward of martyrdom.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: A man came to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and asked, “O Messenger of Allah! What shall I do if someone comes to me with the intention of taking away my property?” He replied, “Do not hand over it to him.” The man asked, “What shall I do if he fights me?” The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Then fight him.” “What will be my position in the Hereafter if he has killed me?” The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) replied, “In that case you are a martyr.” The man asked: “What if I killed him?” The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) replied, “He will be in the Hell-fire.”

Commentary: We learn from this Hadith that in the course of struggling to protect one’s life and property, it is quite fair to kill a dacoit, robber or plunderer. Such a killing is not deemed a sin. In case he is a Muslim, he will go to Jannah after suffering the punishment of his attacking a Muslim. But if he regards the act of attacking Muslims and encroaching upon their property lawful, he will be in Hell forever. It should be borne in mind that if a person dies while struggling to protect his life and property, he will be granted the status of a martyr, with the difference that a martyr of this kind will be given bath and funeral prayer because he is a martyr by Divine order not by his own will and desire. He who is martyred in Jihad at the battlefield is exempted from bath and the funeral prayer.