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Archive for February, 2011

So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me.

This verse encapsulate the core being of Muslim character. Muslims are told to remember Allaah azza wa jal, and to be thankful for the blessings bestowed upon them. One can truly thank Allaah, by understanding the concept of tawheed and reinforce this continuously by praising Allaah. By denying the existence of the Creator is the ultimate downfall of humanity, it defies the divine laws and consequently leads to  eternal damnation.

O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.

These beautiful words inspire the Believer to hold on to their faith despite the hardships they face. Endurance strengthens the soul, and it’s cure is patience and prayer. By turning to the Creator, it allows the soul to humbly admit its weakness, for one can only rely and trust Allaah azza wa jal, everything else is vain and fragile. Therefore, having constant reliance and faith in Allaah through times of calamity and hardship, not only purifies the heart, but also strengthens one’s emaan.

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by Imam Nawawi

65. Chapter: On remembering death and constraining expectation

Allah Almighty says, “Every self will taste death. You will be paid your wages in full on the Day of Rising. Anyone who is distanced from the Fire and admitted to the Garden, has triumphed. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of delusion,” (3:185)

and the Almighty says, “No self knows what it will earn tomorrow and no self knows in what land it will die.” (W31:33; H31:34)

The Almighty says, “When their specified time arrives, they cannot delay it for a single hour nor can they bring it forward,” (16:61)

and the Almighty says, “O you who believe! Do not let your wealth or children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. Whoever does that is lost. Give from what We have provided for you before death comes to one of you and he says, ‘O Lord, if only you would give me a little more time so that I can give sadaqa and be one of the righteous.’ Allah will not give anyone more time, once their time has come. Allah is aware of everything you do.” (63:9-11)

The Almighty says, “Until, when death comes to one of them, he says, ‘My Lord, send me back again. so that perhaps I may act rightly regarding the things I failed to do!’ No indeed! It is just words he utters. Before them there is an interspace until the day they are raised up. Then when the Trumpet is blown, that Day there will be no family ties between them, they will not be able to question one another. Those whose scales are heavy, they are the successful. Those whose scales are light, they are the losers of their selves, remaining in Hell timelessly, forever. The Fire will sear their faces making them grimace horribly in it, their lips drawn back from their teeth. ‘Were My Signs not recited to you and did you not deny them?'” to His words, “‘How many years did you tarry on the earth?’ They will say, ‘We tarried for a day or part of a day. Ask those able to count!’ He will say, ‘You only tarried for a little while if you did but know! Did you suppose that We created you for amusement and that you would not return to Us?'” (W23:100-116; H23:99-115)

The Almighty says, “Has the time not arrived for the hearts of those who believe to yield to the remembrance of Allah and to the Truth He has sent down, and not to be like those who were given the Book before for whom the time seemed over long so that their hearts became hard. Many of them are degenerate.” (W57:15; H57:16)

574. Ibn ‘Umar said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, took me by the shoulder and said, ‘Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveller on the road.”

Ibn ‘Umar used to say, “In the evening, do not anticipate the morning, and in the morning do not anticipate the evening. Take from your health for your illness and from your life for your death.” [al-Bukhari]

575. Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “It is not right for a Muslim man who has anything to bequeath to spend two nights with having a written will in his possession.” [Agreed upon. This is the variant in al-Bukhari]

In a variant of Muslim, “To spend three nights.” Ibn ‘Umar said, “Not a night has passed since I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say that without my having had my will with me.”

576. Anas said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, drew some lines and said, ‘This is man and this is end of his lifespan. That is how he is when this nearest line comes upon him.” [al-Bukhari]

577. Ibn Mas’ud said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, drew lines making a square and then drew a line in the middle which extended beyond it. He drew some small lines up to this middle line from the side within the square and said, ‘This is man, and this is end of his lifespan which encircles him – or by which he is encircled – and this which goes beyond it is his hope and these small lines are things that happen. If this one misses him, that one gets him, and if that one misses him, this one gets him.'” [al-Bukhari]

578. Abu Hurayra reported the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Race to good actions as fast as you can. What are you waiting for except delayed poverty, oppressive wealth, debilitating illness, dottering senility, a swift death or the Dajjal? Or are you waiting for an unseen evil, or the Last Hour? The Last Hour will be most bitter and terrible.” [at-Tirmidhi]

579. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Remember frequently the thing that cuts off pleasures,” i.e. death.” [at-Tirmidhi]

580. Ubayy ibn Ka’b said, “When a third of the night had passed, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, stood up and said, ‘O people! Remember Allah! The first blast has come and it will be followed by the second blast. Death has come with all that it involves. Death has come with all that it involves.’ I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, I do a lot of prayer on you. How much prayer should I allot for you?’ He said, ‘However much you like.’ I said, ‘A quarter?’ He said, ‘However much you like, but if you do more, it will be better for you.’ I said, ‘A half?’ He said, ‘However much you like, but if you do more, it will be better for you.’ I said, ‘Two-thirds?’ He said, ‘However much you like, but if you do more, it will be better for you.’ I said, ‘I will allot all my prayer for you.’ He said, ‘Then you will be spared from worry and forgiven your wrong action.'” [at-Tirmidhi]

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Tunisia and Egypt: A Call For True Revolution

The Need for an Intellectual Insurgency against Westernization and Liberalism’s Ideological Hegemony

A.H & U.R

The taghi Bin Ali has fallen and Mubarak might follow, but the ideological hegemony of westernization has not. Their secret police may no longer roam the roads but the mental bondage and amnesia of intellectuals and mass psychology from the fallout of colonialism still pervades. Leaving one to ask, how liberating was this revolution? Our answer lies on top of the mass amount of literature published shortly after the fall of the Bin Ali’s regime calling the Jasmine Revolution a victory for democracy and the beginning of a road towards it. But is democracy our only alternative? Or does the fact that it sets itself up as the only option and alternative to authoritarianism represent the westernization of Arab and Muslim intellectuals and Liberalisms ideological hegemony originating in its colonial legacy?

In reaction to the colonization several movements emerged, mainly the anti-colonial nationalist movements and the modernist-progressive movements. An interesting paradox emerges upon examining the tenants of both these movements even if one were to have a rudimentary or superficial knowledge of their platform and beliefs. They sought military independence, but worked off of and within the colonial nation-state template and framework. The result was military independence, but mental and intellectual colonization. Islamists were not the only ones to come to this realization but even the likes of Frantz Fanon a psychiatrist who worked for Algerian independence. He notes that despite the military emancipation, full emancipation was “undermined by its ‘imperial genealogy'” (Burnell 2007: 36). Secular, and non-Secular scholars alike have pointed towards the colonizing of the mind from India (Partha Chatterjee and Ramachandra Guha) to Kenyan writers (Ngug wa Thiong’o). Even history was defined by a ‘metahistory’ that created an overarching explanation and view of history that although was European in origin and nature, defined the means of attaining modernity for all the colonial subjects. Post-Colonial states were marked and shaped by the colonial legacy and its institutions. If one wanted to trace the lineage of most post-colonial states it would be traced more to the colonial predecessors as the ideological, institutional, and various other subtle methods had a more immediate influence than the states pre-colonial history. Increasingly, colonies became “underfunded and overextended laboratories of modernity” (Prakash 1999: 13) that became an interface for imported ideologies such as nationalism, socialism, liberalism, etc (Burnell 2007: 43).

Military independence was not granted until our apparent narrative or future (a shining road towards a democratic secular state) was firmly understood by the intelligentsia in the Muslim world. Our trajectory, and where we ought to head became part of a normative fact. Democracy is then seen as an inevitable successor to authoritarianism, an organic step which seems to be imprinted into our primordial disposition. As our history began with independence from colonial military rule, thus it is defined by a colonial legacy. The modernity project seemingly becomes more clearly a form of westernization. Eventually, this powerful discourse becomes naturalized in that it shapes “common sense” (Nye). Its corresponding worldview even shaping ones “principles of rationality” (MacIntyre). As was the case with the polytheistic discourse of Quraysh whom upon hearing the call of the Prophet (Salallahu ‘Alaayhe wa-Salaam) exclaimed “What! makes he the gods a single Allah? A strange thing is this, to be sure!”. Despite going against, what was deemed “common sense”, the liberating movement led by Muhammad did not compromise, or wax their message in the dominant and powerful discourse which they came to destroy … and succeeded in what is without doubt a cosmic revolution.

It is one thing to hear the overtly secular intelligentsia speaking in a distinctly Liberal discourse, which has “already acquired hegemonic status” but it is another to hear it from “Islamist”. The “political liberalization” and concessions to a Liberal discourse by many Islamist movements, namely an-Nahda party (a fact evident, no clearer than in Rashid Ghannoushi’s rhetoric) and the overt political liberalization of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Despite the contestation of Liberal theory as a political doctrine, the numerous reassessment to its normative and conceptual assumptions by Liberals in an attempt to mend its immutable philosophical faults – our ideologically regressing movements cannot be appeal to it. Often scrambling to show the conformity of Islam to many Liberal values, ignoring the incommensurable and insurmountable foundational assumptions of Liberalism, which define its essence and core. As Sayyid Qutb, an Islamic intellectual and supporter of the Brotherhood wrote in his 1963 book, Milestones, (Ma’alim fi al-Tariq), “The leadership of mankind by Western man is now on the decline, not because Western culture has become poor materially or because its economic and military power has become weak. The period of the Western system has come to an end primarily because it is deprived of those life-giving values, which enabled it to be the leader of mankind”, consequently the ideological hegemony of the west has in fact failed despite its dominance politically, Sayyid Qutb further states, “It is necessary for the new leadership to preserve and develop the material fruits of the creative genius of Europe, and also to provide mankind with such high ideals and values as have so far remained undiscovered by mankind, and which will also acquaint humanity with a way of life which is harmonious with human nature, which is positive and constructive, and which is practicable. Islam is the only System which possesses these values and this way of life”.

Re-capturing the Islamic paradigm and constructing our own discourse based purely on the tawhidic worldview would show the foundational presence of concepts such as freedom and human rights. Saba Mahmood asks “It is striking that the normative claims of liberal conceptions such as tolerance are taken at face value, and no attention is paid to the contradictions, struggles, and problems that these ideals actually embody. As scholars of liberalism have shown, the historical trajectory of a concept like tolerance encompasses violent struggles that dispossessed peoples have had to wage to be considered legitimate members of liberal societies”. And goes on to point out “Islam, might have their own resources for imagining such an “ethic that respects dissent and honors the right to adhere to different religious or non-religious convictions?” ”. She then highlights some historical examples from the Ottoman era. In fact, Chatterjee in speaking of India points towards the “transformations [were] brought about in the doctrines and practices of Hinduism and Islam so as to facilitate liberal political rule”. The current political and social unrest of Tunisia and Egypt are a modern embodiment of the flaws within the fundamental principles of Liberalism. From the tawhidic perspective it is paramount that these states return to the Shariah of Allaah, rather than the fallible and imperfect constitutions of Liberalism. In essence the Islamic paradigm which encapsulates guidance for the individual and the nation state, is perfect in its entirety. By abandoning the principles of westernization and its flawed liberal democracy thus the success of these revolutions lies in their politics returning to their state to an Islamic discourse.

Instead of accepting the normative claims made by Liberal Democracy on its commitment to justice, equality, and freedom it would have been more suitable to ask what metaphysical grounding they have to make such claims? And what is the source of such values? Classical observers such as Tocqueville, and more contemporary writers such as Hurd point towards the religious roots of these foundational values which Liberal Democracy holds dear and defines its very ontology. The truth is, secularist cannot do otherwise. Values such as equality have no legitimacy if one were to base morality on “public reason” or a “scientific worldview”. Hence, the sly resort to religion. Instead of pointing out this absurd inconsistency, most Muslim and Christian “Modernist” succumb to secularisms claims to be the exclusive upholders of these values. That is why we hear statements like “I support freedom of opinion and equality, because I am a Liberal Muslim” instead of “I support freedom of opinion and equality because Islam teaches me to do so” or “I support women’s rights, well, because I am a Muslim Feminist” instead of “I support women‘s rights because Islam was the first movement to liberate women on all levels, to an extent no secular ideology has done“. Is it not time we take Secularism off its self-constructed pedestal? It is ironic that Islamic movements have to appeal to, and associate with secular ideologies for values which secularism, as even the “freeloading” neo-Liberal Atheist Richard Rorty admitted, inherited from religion.

Many may contend that democracy and Liberal theory is universal despite its western origins. Arguing that it appeals to a human nature which yearns for the essential elements found in the Liberal doctrine. The point of this paper however is not to prove otherwise, but to point out the overt paradox of supporters of diversity and pluralisms inability to consider other traditions and doctrines as alternatives to authoritarianism – immediately after the fall of Bin ‘Ali as though their resort to Liberal doctrine was reflexive. The world is witnessing the political, social, and economic struggles of Egypt. Western liberalism is directly threatened by Egypt’s fragile condition, its main fear dominated by the idea that the country may return to its Islamic roots. Indeed this does seem like an attractive alternative, as Islam supersedes any other ideology.

A true revolution would come with intellectual liberty and our ability to transcend the hegemonic and ideological discourses imposed on us through colonial legacy and harbored by our amnesia, inferiority, and fixation within the disillusioned binaries that create a false reality; its democracy, or another dictator. In doing so, we can ask real and more legitimate questions such as whether or not the system is legitimate as opposed to those who hold key positions in the already Jahili regime. To many, this would be deemed radical, in that it does not conform to the mainstream. But when the mainstream is defined by a colonizing enemy proclaiming a “civilizing crusade“, the radical doesn’t seem so bad. Key and practical steps towards this must begin with the Islamist who must adopt a genuine Islamic discourse and expound a purely tawhidic worldview. Consequently, their political platforms must follow. Social and economic policies are context-sensitive. How these values and principles are disseminated to the public depends largely on the social dynamics of the Tunisian society and not the topic of this paper. What is obvious though, and not contingent to any political or social context is the need for Islamist movements to reform their methodologies.

Obedience and good words. And when the matter [of fighting] was determined, if they had been true to Allah , it would have been better for them. [Muhammad: 21]

No doubt, much of what has been said is indeed drastic. But Islam has never been a religion to accommodate a status-quo or succumb to “the reality of things”,. Nor a stagnant set of metaphysical doctrines and social conventions. It is a religion which defines reality. The recent turn of events point towards the inevitability of a return to Islam as a manifest way of life and that the future will be for this deen as history testifies to the utter failure of secular doctrines such as Liberal Democracy and Arab Nationalism.

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Allah commanded His servants to use patience and prayer to acquire the good of this life and the Hereafter. Muqatil bin Hayan said that this Ayah means, “Utilize patience and the obligatory prayer in seeking the Hereafter. As for patience (here), they say that it means fasting.” There are similar texts reported from Mujahid. Al-Qurtubi and other scholars commented, “This is why Ramadan is called the month of patience,” as is mentioned in the Hadith literature. It was also said that `patience’ in the Ayah means, refraining from evil, and this is why `patience’ was mentioned along with practicing acts of worship, especially and foremost, the prayer. Also, Ibn Abi Hatim narrated that `Umar bin Al-Khattab said, “There are two types of patience: good patience when the disaster strikes, and a better patience while avoiding the prohibitions of Allah.” Ibn Abi Hatim said that Al-Hasan Al-Basri was reported to have said similarly.

Allah then said,

﴿والصَّلَوةِ﴾

(And As-Salah (the prayer).)

The prayer is one of the best means of assistance for firmly adhering to Allah’s orders, just as Allah said;

﴿اتْلُ مَا أُوْحِىَ إِلَيْكَ مِنَ الْكِتَـبِ وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَوةَ إِنَّ الصَّلَوةَ تَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَآءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ وَلَذِكْرُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ﴾

(Recite (O Muhammad ) what has been revealed to you of the Book (the Qur’an), and perform As-Salah. Verily, As-Salah (the prayer) prevents from Al-Fahsha’ (i.e. great sins of every kind), and Al-Munkar and the remembrance of (praising) of (you by) Allah is greater indeed) (29:45).

The personal pronoun in the Ayah,

﴿وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ﴾

(And truly, it is extremely heavy and hard) refers to prayer, as Mujahid is reported to have said, and it was also the choice of Ibn Jarir. It is possible that the pronoun might be referring to the advice – to observe patience and the prayer – mentioned in the same Ayah. Similarly, Allah said about Qarun (Korah),

﴿وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْعِلْمَ وَيْلَكُمْ ثَوَابُ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ لِّمَنْ ءَامَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَـلِحاً وَلاَ يُلَقَّاهَآ إِلاَّ الصَّـبِرُونَ ﴾

(But those who had been given (religious) knowledge said: “Woe to you! The reward of Allah (in the Hereafter) is better for those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and this, none shall attain except As-Sabirun (the patient).”) (28:80).

Also, Allah said,

﴿وَلاَ تَسْتَوِى الْحَسَنَةُ وَلاَ السَّيِّئَةُ ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِى هِىَ أَحْسَنُ فَإِذَا الَّذِى بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُ وَلِىٌّ حَمِيمٌ – وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَا إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ صَبَرُواْ وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَآ إِلاَّ ذُو حَظِّ عَظِيمٍ ﴾

(The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend. But none is granted it (the above quality) except those who are patient ـ and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion (of happiness in the Hereafter and) in this world.) (41:34-35) meaning, this advice is only implemented by those who are patient and the fortunate. In any case, Allah’s statement here means, prayer is `heavy and burdensome’,

﴿إِلاَّ عَلَى الْخَـشِعِينَ﴾

(except for Al-Khashi`in.)

Ibn Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas commented on this Ayah, “They (Al-Khashi`in) are those who believe in what Allah has revealed.”

Allah’s statement,

﴿الَّذِينَ يَظُنُّونَ أَنَّهُم مُّلَـقُوا رَبِّهِمْ وَأَنَّهُمْ إِلَيْهِ رَجِعُونَ ﴾

(They are those who are certain that they are going to meet their Lord, and that unto Him they are going to return.) continues the subject that was started in the previous Ayah. Therefore, the prayer, or the advice to observe it is heavy,

﴿إِلاَّ عَلَى الْخَـشِعِينَالَّذِينَ يَظُنُّونَ أَنَّهُم مُّلَـقُوا رَبِّهِمْ﴾

(except for Al-Khashi`in. (They are those) who are certain (Yazunnuna) that they are going to meet their Lord,) meaning, they know that they will be gathered and face their Lord on the Day of Resurrection,

﴿وَأَنَّهُمْ إِلَيْهِ رَجِعُونَ﴾

(and that unto Him they are going to return.) meaning, their affairs are all subject to His will and He justly decides what He wills. Since they are certain that they will be returned to Allah and be reckoned, it is easy for them to perform the acts of obedience and refrain from the prohibitions. Ibn Jarir commented on Allah’s statement;

﴿يَظُنُّونَ أَنَّهُم مُّلَـقُوا رَبِّهِمْ﴾

(Yazunnuna that they are going to meet their Lord)

Ibn Jarir said; “The Arabs call certainty as well as doubt, Zann. There are similar instances in the Arabic language where a subject as well as its opposite share the same name. For instance, Allah said,

﴿وَرَأَى الْمُجْرِمُونَ النَّارَ فَظَنُّواْ أَنَّهُمْ مُّوَاقِعُوهَا﴾

(And the Mujrimun (criminals, polytheists, sinners), shall see the Fire and Zannu (apprehend) that they have to fall therein)”(18:53).

It is recorded in the Sahih that on the Day of Resurrection, Allah will say to a servant, “Have I not allowed you to marry, honored you, made the horses and camels subservient to you and allowed you to become a chief and a master” He will say, “Yes.” Allah will say, “Did you have Zann (think) that you will meet Me” He will say, “No.” Allah will say, “This Day, I will forget you, just as you forgot Me.” If Allah wills, we will further elaborate on this subject when we explain Allah’s statement,

﴿نَسُواْ اللَّهَ فَنَسِيَهُمْ﴾

(They have forgotten Allah, so He has forgotten them) (9:67).

﴿يَـبَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ اذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَتِى الَّتِى أَنْعَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَأَنِّى فَضَّلْتُكُمْ عَلَى الْعَـلَمِينَ ﴾

(47. O Children of Israel! Remember My favor which I bestowed upon you and that I preferred you over the `Alamin (nations))

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عَنْ عِمْرَانَ بن حُصَيْنٍ، عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، قَالَ:”إِنَّ أَفْضَلَ عِبَادِ اللَّهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ الْحَمَّادُونَ

Imran bin Hussain (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated:

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)said: “ The best Muslims on the Day of Judgment are those who praise Allah highly.”

Collected by At-Tabarani in Al-Kabeer # 14673. Shaykh Al-Albani graded this hadeeth as being Saheeh in Jami’ #1571.

Benefits for this topic:

Muhammad ibn Abdur Rauf Al-Manaawee commented on this hadeeth in Faydul Qadeer. He wrote :

1. The best people on the Day of Judgment refer to the Day of reward and punishment. That is the day where the veil will be lifted and whatever is unknown will become known. That is the day where the results for actions will be given.

2. Those who praise Allah highly refers to the people frequently praise Allah with His most beautiful characteristics: belonging to Him only. These people regularly praise Allah during good and bad times. Allah deserves praises from all mankind all the time.

Al-Hamdulilah

Translated by Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Battle

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Hudhayfah (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

“Whenever the matter became serious the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would pray.”

Collected by Abu Dawud (1319) and others. Graded as being Hasan by Shaykh Al-Albani (May Allah have mercy on him)

Benefits for this topic:

1. Muhammad Abdur Rauf Al-Manawee (may Allah have mercy on him) commented on this hadeeth. He wrote the words” Whenever the matter became serious” means- If the Prophet was attacked by surprise, on the verge of being subdued or an important matter aroused which caused him to worry or feel sad.

“He (peace and blessings be upon him) would pray.” Means- He’d pray because prayer helps against the removal of all heavy blows, disasters and misfortunes. Through prayer one is seeking the assistance of the Creator who allowed it to happen. Prayer is a means to draw nearer to Allah and whoever resorts to prayer to his lord will be protected and averted from all evil. [ Faydul Qadir # 6641]

2.Al-Mulla Ali Qari 1014H (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “The meaning for this Hadeeth is derived from the verse “Seek help in patience and prayer” Al-Baqarah 45. [ Sharh Musnad Abu Haneefah page 342 printed by Darul Kutubul Ilmeeyah Beriut Lebanon.]

3.Shaykh Muhammad ibn Salih Al-Uthaymeen (may Allah rest him in Firdous) commented on this issue in his Tafseer for Surahtul Baqarah. He wrote: “The excellence of prayer is that it’s one of the things a person can seek assistance in for all matters and worldly affairs. Allah mentioned prayer and we believe with certainty that this speech is the truth. It’s been reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would pray whenever the matter became serious. Also this is supported by the Prophet’s action during the Battle of Badr. He prayed in the shade and appealed to his Lord for help.[ Tafseerul Quran Al-Kareem Al-Fateehah-Baqarah vol 1 page 163-164]

Translated by Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Battle

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The Weapons of the Prophet

The Prophet had nine swords: he inherited Ma’thur from his father, and it was the first sword he ever owned. He also possessed al-’Idb and Dhu al-Fiqar, which never left his sight. Dhu al-Fiqar had a hilt, circular guard, tuft, buckles, and a base made of silver. He also had al-Qal’i, al-Battar, al-Hatf, ar-Rawb, al-Mikhdam, and al-Qadib, which had a base made of silver and silver circular hand guards. The Prophet acquired Dhu al-Fiqar during the battle of Badr, and saw a dream about it; when he entered Makkah during its conquering, his sword was beautified with gold and silver.

The Prophet had seven pieces of armor: Dhat al-Fudul, which he later pawned with Abu ash-Shahm – a Jew – in return for some thirty sa’ (weights pertaining to food) of barley for his family. The debt was for a year. Dhat al-Fudul was made of iron. The Prophet also had Dhat al-Wishah, Dhat al-Hawashi, as-Sa’diyyah, Fiddah, al-Batra’, and al-Khirniq.

The Prophet owned six bows: az-Zawra’, ar-Rauha’, as-Safra’, al-Bayda’, al-Katum – which was broke during the battle of Uhud, and was taken by Qatadah bin an-Nu’man – and as-Saddad.

The Prophet had a quiver called al-Kafur, and a strap for it made from tanned skin, as well as three silver circular rings, a buckle, and an edge made of silver. We should mention that Ibn Taymiyyah said that there are no authentic narrations that the Prophet ever wore a strap around his waist.

The Prophet had several shields: az-Zalluq, and a shield called al-Futaq. al-Futaq was given to him as a gift, and had a picture of a statue on it. So, he placed his hand on the image of the statue, and Allah made the image fade away.

The Prophet owned five spears: al-Muthwi, al-Muthni, a lance called an-Nab’ah, a bigger lance called al-Bayda’, and a short lance, like a staff, called ‘Anazah, which he held while attending the ‘Id festivals, and used to place in front of him when he led the prayer, using it as a sutrah. Sometimes, the Prophet walked while holding the ‘Anazah.

The Prophet had a helmet
made of iron called al-Muwashah – which was adorned with copper – and another helmet, called as-Sabugh, or Dhu as-Sabugh.

The Prophet had three long shirts (jubbas) that he wore during battle. One of them was said to be made of fine green silk brocade (sundus). It is well known that ‘Urwah bin az-Zubayr had an outer garment made of silk brocade (dibaj) with embroidery made of fine green silk, and used to wear it during war. In one of the narrations from Ahmad, he said that it is allowed to wear silk during war.

The Prophet had a black banner or flag, called al-’Uqab. Abu Dawud collected a hadith in his ‘Sunan’ from one of the Companions who said: “I saw the Prophet’s banner, it was yellow.” [*] The Prophet also had white banners that were sometimes mixed with black.

The Prophet had a pavilion called al-Kann, and a crook that was one cubit’s length long, that he would carry while walking or riding.

The Prophet also had a baton
called al-’Arjun, and a staff called al-Mamshuq. It is said that this is the same staff that the khulafa’ succeeding the Prophet used to hold in their hands.”

[‘Zad al-Ma’ad’; 1/50]

[*] This hadith is weak.

 

Source

 

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Collected by Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr in ‘Jami’ Bayan al-‘Ilm wa Fadlih,’ the chapter titled: ‘The Virtue of Looking Through Books and the Praiseworthiness of Tending to Them’:

2414: Abu ‘Abdullah Muhammad bin Isma’il al-Bukhari was asked:

“What is it that strengthens one’s memory?”

He replied: “Constantly looking through books.”

2415: Ahmad bin Abi ‘Imran said:

“I was with Abu Ayyub Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Shuja’, and he was staying in his house. So, he sent one of his sons to Abu ‘Abdillah bin al-A’rabi to invite him over.

The boy returned, saying: “I asked him this, and he said to me: “I am with a group, and when I am done being taught by them, I will be over,” and I did not see a single person at his house. Rather, he had in front of him books that he was looking through. He would look in this book for some time, and then look in another book for some time.”

Shortly thereafter, he arrived. So, Abu Ayyub said to him: “O Abu ‘Abdillah! Glory be to Allah, the Mighty! You stayed behind and prevented us from your presence, and my son said that he did not see anyone with you, and that you said you were with a group, and that you would come as soon as you were done being taught by them!”

So, Ibn al-A’rabi said:

We have company who sit with us and do not bore us * Loyal ones who can be trusted while they are present or away;

They benefit us from their knowledge of what happened in the past * And intelligence, manners, and opinions that are correct;

With no fear of conflicts or bad companionship * And one does not fear from their tongue or hand;

So, if you say that they are dead: nay! You are a liar * And if you say they are alive, you are not far from the truth…

Translator’s note: He did not lie, as he was referring to his books as his companions, and this is from the ma’arid (metaphoric speech) that do not count as lies, as was narrated authentically from ‘Imran bin Husayn, ‘Umar bin al-Khattab, and Ibn ‘Abbas.


2416: It was said to Abi al-‘Abbas Ahmad bin Yahya (Tha’lab):

“The people have greatly missed you. If only you could leave your house for just a bit and show yourself to the people so that they could benefit from you, and you could benefit from them.”

So, he stayed silent for an hour, and said:

If we accompanied the kings, they would act arrogantly with us * And would belittle the rights of those they were accompanying;

Or if we accompanied the merchants, we would become sorrowful * And would become mere counters of money;

So, we remained in our homes, extracting knowledge * And filling with it the stomachs of these pages…
ِ

2419: From what was memorized in the past:

What a great speaker and companion the book is! * You can seclude yourself with it if your friends bore you;

It does not reveal your secrets, and is not arrogant * And you can gain from it wisdom and uprightness…


2420: Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Ahmad recited to me:

And the sweetest that a youth can desire after piety * Is knowledge that is beautified for him to seek it;

And for every seeker, there is a pleasure that he desires * And the pleasure of the scholar is his books…

2421: And he asked me to add to the above, and I immediately followed up with this in his presence:

The book relieves the concerns of its reader * And when he reads, his exhaustion disappears;

What a great companion it is if you seclude yourself with it * You do not fear it plotting against you, or causing commotion…


2424: Abu ‘Amr bin al-‘Ala’ said:

“I never entered upon a man or passed by his door – seeing him with a book in his hand, and his companion doing nothing – except that I judged him to be the more intelligent one.”


2425: ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz bin ‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz
said:

“I never saw a better admonisher than the grave, or anything more satisfying than a book, or anything safer than lack of socialization.”

2426: al-Hasan al-Lu’lu’i said:

“Forty years of my life have passed in which I never awoke or went to sleep except that a book was resting on my chest.”

(Taken from Yahoo group)

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al-Imam al-Bazzar wrote a long, first hand account of the life of Ibn Taymiyyah, who was his personal friend and companion. The book is called ‘al-A’lam al-’Aliyyah fi Manaqib Ibn Taymiyyah,’ and this is a very, very small glimpse from it:

“During the nights, he would separate himself from everybody, secluding himself with his Lord, strictly maintaining his recitation of the Mighty Qur’an, and repeating the various types of daily and nightly worship.

When the night was over, he would rejoin the people for the Fajr prayer, praying the optional prayer before meeting them. When he would begin the prayer, your heart would want to fly from its place just from the way in which he would make takbirat al-ihram. When he would begin the prayer, his limbs would shake, moving him left and right. When he would recite, he would elongate his recitation, just as was authentically reported in regards to the recitation of the Messenger of Allah. His bowing and prostration, as well as his coming up from them, are from the most complete of what has ever been reported in regards to the obligatory prayer. And he would severely lighten his sitting for the first tashahhud, and would say the first taslim out loud, to the point that everyone who was present would hear it…

…And I came to know that it was his habit that nobody would speak to him unless absolutely necessary after the morning prayer. He would remain in a state of dhikr of Allah, listening to himself. Sometimes, he would let those sitting next to him listen to his dhikr, all the while constantly turning his eyesight to the sky. He would remain in such a state until the Sun rose, and the time in which prayer is forbidden had passed.

During my stay in Damascus with him, I would spend some of the day and most of the night with him. He would draw me near to him, sitting me beside him. I would hear what he would recite and repeat, and I saw that he would repeat ‘al-Fatihah’ over and over again, and would spend all of his time between Fajr and sunrise doing this.

So, I kept thinking to myself, wondering: why would he recite this specific chapter of the Qur’an in exclusion to the others? Eventually, it became clear to me – and Allah Knows best – that his intention in doing so was to combine with his recitation between what was narrated in the ahadith and what was discussed by the scholars, in regards to whether the narrated adhkar should take precedence over recitation of the Qur’an, or vice versa. So, he saw that in repeating ‘al-Fatihah,’ he could combine between both opinions, and reap the benefits of both actions, and this was from his strength in logic and depth of insight.

After this, he would pray Duha, and if he wanted to hear Hadith in another place, he would rush to that place with whoever was with him at the time.

It was rare that any intelligent person would see him and not come and kiss his hands. Even the busiest of businessmen would walk from what they were doing to greet him and seek his blessings. With all of this, he would give everyone of them their share of time, greetings, etc.

If he saw any evil in the street, he would work to remove it, and if he heard of a funeral taking place, he would rush to pray in it, or would apologize for missing it. Sometimes, he would go to the grave of the deceased after he finished listening to Hadith and pray over it.

Afterwards, he would return to his mosque, where he would remain either giving fatawa to the people or fulfilling their needs, until it was time to pray Dhuhr in congregation. He would spend the rest of the day in such a manner.

His classes were general for the old, the young, the wealthy, the poor, the free, the slave, males, and females. He appealed to everyone that would pass by him of the people, and everyone of them would feel that Ibn Taymiyyah was treating them better than he was treating anyone else present.

He would then pray Maghrib, and would follow it up with as much optional prayer as Allah made possible. I, or someone else, would then read his writings to him, and he would benefit us with various points and notes. We would do this until we prayed ‘Isha’, after which we would continue as we were before, delving into the various fields of knowledge. We would do this until much of the night had passed. During this entire time – night and day – Ibn Taymiyyah would constantly remember Allah, mention His Oneness, and seek His forgiveness.

And he would constantly raise his eyesight to the sky, and would not stop doing this, as if he saw something there that kept his eyesight hooked. He would do this for as long as I was staying with him.

So, Subhan Allah! How short were these days! If only they were longer! By Allah, until this day, there has never been a time in my life that is more beloved to me than the time I spent with him, and I was never seen in a better state than I was at that time, and this was for no other reason than the barakah of the Shaykh, may Allah be Pleased with him.

Every week, he would visit the sick, especially those at the hospital.

I have been informed by more than one person – whose trustworthiness I do not doubt – that the entire life of the Shaykh was spent in the way that I witnessed (and described above). So, what worship, and what jihad is better than this?”

(Taken from Bro Abu Sabaya’s site)

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