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Archive for the ‘Practical Steps’ Category

The sign of scrupulous piety (al-wara`) is considering ten things mandatory upon oneself:

1. Guarding the tongue from backbiting due to the saying of the Most High: “Do not backbite one another.” [49:12]

2. Shunning suspicion due to the saying of the Most High: “Avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin.” [49:12] And also due to the saying of the Messenger, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, “Avoid suspicion, for airing suspicion is the most lying form of speech.” [Musnad Ahmad]

3. Shunning mockery due to the saying of the Most High: “Let not a people ridicule another people; perhaps they may be better than them.” [49:11]

4. Lowering gaze from forbidden things due to the saying of the Most High: “Tell the believing men to lower their gaze.” [24:30]

5. Truthfulness of the tongue due to the saying of the Most High: “And when you speak, be just.” [6:152]

6. Recognizing the blessings of Allah the Most High upon oneself in order to avoid conceitedness due to the saying of the Most High: “Rather, Allah has conferred favor upon you that He has guided you to the faith, if you should be truthful.” [49:17]

7. Spending one’s wealth on good rather than bad things, due to the saying of the most High: “And those who, when they spend, do so not excessively or sparingly.” [25:67] Meaning, they do not spend on sinfulness and do not prevent obedience, “but are ever, between that, [justly] moderate.” [25:67]

8. Not seeking haughtiness and pride for oneself, due to the saying of the Most High: “That home of the Hereafter We assign to those who do not desire exaltedness upon the earth or corruption.” [28:83]

9. Maintaining with care the five prayers on time, with proper bowing and prostration, due to the saying of the Most High: “Maintain with care the [obligatory] prayers and [in particular] the middle [`asr] prayer and stand before Allah, devoutly obedient.” [2:238]

10. Steadfastness upon the way of Sunnah and Jama`ah, due to the saying of the Most High: “And, this is My Path, which is straight, so follow it; and do not follow [other] ways, for you will be separated from His way. This has He instructed you that you may become righteous.” [6:153]

 

(Taken from Islaam.com)

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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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In the first chapter of ‘Kitab at-Tawhid,’ Muhammad bin ‘Abd al-Wahhab mentions the hadith of Mu’adh where the Prophet said to him: “The right of Allah upon the servants is that they worship Him and associate none with Him, and the right of the servants upon Allah is that He will not punish them if they do not associate anything with him,” and Mu’adh said: “O Messenger of Allah, shall I not give the people the good news?”

In the 17th comment on this chapter, he refers to this hadith and how it shows “the virtue of giving the Muslim good news that will make him happy.”

In ‘Taysir al-’Aziz al-Hamid’ (p. 46), Sulayman bin ‘Abdillah commented on Mu’adh’s question “…shall I not give the people the good news?” by saying:

“It shows the practice that the Companions were upon of giving each other cheerful news.”

In al-’Uthaymin’s ‘al-Qawl al-Mufid ‘ala Kitab at-Tawhid’ (1/32), he commented on the same phrase, saying:

“This shows that giving people cheerful news is something required when it comes to making people happy in both worldly and religious issues. This is why the Angels gave Ibrahim good news where Allah Said: {“…and they gave him glad tidings of an intelligent son, having knowledge.”} [adh-Dhariyat; 28] and this was Ishaq, and the patient one was Isma’il. And the Prophet gave his family the good news of the birth of his son Ibrahim, saying: “A boy was born for me tonight, and I gave him the name of my father Ibrahim.” What we learn from this is that a person should bring about joy upon his Muslim brothers as much as possible through words and actions, and this will result in a lot of goodness, relaxation, and tranquility and openness of the heart.

Likewise, he should not bring about negativity upon the Muslim, and this is why it was narrated from the Prophet: “None of you should talk to me about another person, as I like to come out to you while my heart is clean.” Although this hadith contains some weakness in its chain, its meaning is correct, because if you hear something bad about someone, your heart will automatically be uneasy with him even if he deals with you in a good way. However, if you deal with him without knowing the bad things he has done and there is no danger in dealing with him, this will be much better and he might be more likely to accept your advice, as our hearts are quicker in being turned off from each other than our bodies are.

These are very specific points that are only clear to the intelligent one who reflects…”

And the Messenger of Allah said: “The best actions are to cheer up your believing brother, to relieve him of a debt, or to feed him.” [‘Sahih al-Jami”; # 1096]

 

(Taken from Bro Abu Sabaya’s site)

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بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

الحمد الله

 

Seek Istighfaar For Your Sins And Have Taqwaa

“So be afraid of Allaah; and Allaah teaches you. And Allaah is the All Knower of each and everything.” 2:282

Rasoolullaah said, “By Allaah, I seek forgiveness and I repent to Allaah more than seventy times a day.” He also said, “O people repent! Verily I repent to Allaah one hundred times a day.” Muslim 4/2076
The Prophet also said, “Whoever says, Astaghfirullaahal-ladhee Laa Ilaaha Illaa Huwal Hayyul Qayyoomu wa atoobu ilaihi, Allaah would forgive him even is he was one who fled during the advance of an army.” Meaning: “I seek Allaah’s forgiveness, besides whom none has the right to be worshipped (in truth) except HE, The Ever Living, The Self Subsisting and Supporter of all, and I turn to HIM in repentance.” At Tirmidhee 5/569 Al Haakim authenticated it, Imaam Adh Dhahabee agreed.

 

Have Sincere Intentions

Sufyaan Ath-Thawree , said,“We do not know of anything better than seeking knowledge with (a sincere) intention (for the sake of Allaah).” Siyar A’laam an-Nubalaa. – Vol. 7, Pg 244
Jaabir narrated that Allaah’s Messenger said: “Do not acquire knowledge in order to compete with the scholars, nor to argue with the ignorant, nor to gain mastery over the gatherings. Since whoever does that, then, The Fire! The Fire!” Reported by Ibn Maajah (254) and others. This hadeeth has a witness from the hadeeth of Ka’b ibn Maalik reported by at-Tirmidhee (2654) and others and also from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah reported by Ahmad (2/338) and others.

Seek Refuge In Allaah From Ash Shaytaan

Allaah ‘Azza Wa Jall said,

“So when you want to recite the Qur’aan, seek refuge with Allaah from Shaytaan (Satan), the outcast (the cursed one).” An-Nahl 16:98

 

Guidelines For Acquiring ‘Ilm

Imaam Ash Shaafi’ee said, “I complained to Al Waakee’ about poorness of my memory, so he directed me to abandon disobedience. He informed me that Knowledge of Allaah is Light, the Light of Allaah doesn’t guide the disobedient.”

There are 6 matters to acquire ‘ilm:

• Intelligence
• Zeal
• Striving
• Competence
• Companionship of a teacher and
• A long time

lbn Mas’ood said: “Indeed I hold that a person forgets knowledge that he used to know because of sins that he commits.”[6]

Wakee’ (d.197H) said: “I seek help in memorization by abandoning sin and disobedience.”[7]

Maalik (d.179H) said to Ash-Shaaf’ee when they first met: “Indeed I see that Allaah has placed a light upon your heart so do not extinguish it with the darkness of disobedience and sin.”[8]

Imaam Ash-Shaafi’ee (d.204H) said:“Whosoever loves that Allaah Should open up his heart for him and grant light to him, then let him abandon speech about that which does not concern him, and abandon sins and turn away from acts of disobedience. Then there will be between him and Allaah a hidden treasure of good actions. So if this is done, then Allaah will open up such knowledge for him, that will pre-occupy him. And indeed in death is the greatest pre-occupation.”

 

Study Time

Study before and (or) after Salaatul Fajr. Allaah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’Aalaa said,

“Verily, the rising by night (for Salaatut Tahajjud) is very hard and most potent and good for governing oneself and more suitable for understanding the Word of Allaah.” 73:6

This is the best time to study and memorize. The Prophet said, “The nearest the LORD comes to HIS servant is in the middle of the night, so if you are able to be of those who remember Allaah at that time, then be so. At Tirmidhee 3/183

 

Companionship

Keep good, pious, studious companions. Maalik Ibn Anas said, “Whoever does not love knowledge, then there is no good in him. So, there should not be any acquaintance between you and him, and nor any friendship.” Al Khateeb in Al Faqeeh Wal Mutafaqqih Volume 1, Page 15, Mabaahith fee Ahkaam Al Fatwa Page 12.
Sufyaan Ath Thawree said, “Hence you must take to the original affair, hold tight to it, and you should take to being unknown, for indeed this is the age to remain unknown. And take to remaining aloof, secluded, and associating little with the people, because when people used to meet, some of them would benefit the others. But as for today, then that has gone and in our view, salvation lies in abandoning them. Related by Aboo Nu’aym in Al-Hilyah (6/376-377)

Fruits

Shaykh Fawzee Al Atharee, said that apples, and grapes (raisins) increases the memory. White raisins are better than the brown ones.

 

Al Hijaamah

Al Hijaamah: Cupping also known as bloodletting (phlebotomy). Cupping increases the memory tremendously. Al Hijaamah is a cure for ALL illnesses:

Saheehul Muslim: Book of Transactions #3830 – On the authority of Humaid, that Anas Ibn Malik was asked about the earnings of the cupper, he said that the Prophet got himself cupped. The cupper was Abu Taiba, the Prophet commanded (someone) to give him 2 sa’a of corn. He talked to his family, and they lightened the burden of tax for him. He said, “The best treatment that you can take is cupping.”
In another narration, the Prophet said that healing is found in 3, cupping, a gulp of honey and cauterization (branding with fire). I forbid my followers to use cauterization. Bukhaaree 5317 in the Book of Medicine.

Shaykh Fawzee recommends the new cupping kits (pumps), as they are safer (no fire needed).

Do not practice Hijaamah unless you are qualified to do so.

Aboo Dawood 39/4570: ‘Abdul ‘Azeez ibn ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Azeez said, “Some people of the deputation which came to my father reported the Prophet of Allaah as saying, Any physician who practices medicine when he was not known as a practitioner before that and he harms (the patients) he will be held responsible. ‘Abdul ‘Azeez said, Here physician does not refer to a man by qualification. It means opening a vein, incision and cauterization.

Shaykh Abu Anas was asked about Hijaamah, and replied by saying that it is not a Sunnah of the Prophet it is a medical practice.

Rest & Exercise

Get plenty of rest, exercise and water. All these things help your overall well being. You can not retain much if you are tired. Rest, water (healthy diet) and exercise revitalizes you and increases your energy and mental perception. Study in a place that is quiet (if you can). This way you can focus completely. If you can’t set aside a full hour to study, begin small, try 10 – 15 minutes a day Bi Idhnillaah. Keep to your study schedule as much as possible.

Al Miswak (Siwak)

Miswak literally means tooth brushing stick. Miswak is the root of the Arak tree (salvadora persica), more commonly known as the ‘toothbrush tree’. The Arak grows in Saudi ‘Arabia, Sudan, Southern Egypt, Chad and Eastern parts of India. In other parts of the Muslim world where the Arak tree is not found, other trees are used for the same purpose. Strips of bark are used in Morocco and the Nim tree in India.

Ahadeeth From Saheehul Bukhaaree Regarding Miswak

Narrated Abu Hurairah, the Prophet said, ‘If I had not found it hard for my followers or the people, I would have ordered them to clean their teeth with siwak for every prayer.” Kitaabus Salaatul Jumu’ah #845
Anas that the Prophet said, “I have told you repeatedly to use the Siwak.” He put emphasis on using Siwak. Kitaabus Salaatul Jumu’ah #846

‘Aaishah said, “The Prophet died in my house on the day of my turn while he was leaning on my chest closer to my neck, and Allaah made my saliva mix with his Saliva. ‘Aaishah added, ‘Abdur Rahman came with a siwak and the Prophet was too weak to use it so I took it, chewed it and then gave it to him and he cleaned his teeth with it.” The Book of 1/5 of War Booty # 2890

Miswak Improves The Memory & More

Dental research has discovered interesting information about the miswak. Chemical analysis revealed that it contains a total of 19 natural substances which are beneficial to dental health. Its natural antiseptics have a bactericidal action, killing harmful micro-organisms in the mouth, the tannic acid it contains has astringent qualities which protect the gums from disease, and its aromatic oils increase salivation. Because of its built-in antiseptics, the miswak needs no cleaning, and because its bristles are parallel to the handle rather than perpendicular, it can reach more easily between the teeth, where a conventional toothbrush often misses. The Miswak improves one’s memory as well.

Revision

Az-Zuhree, said: Indeed knowledge departs due to forgetfulness and leaving off revising. Siyar A’laam an-Nubalaa. – Vol. 5, Pg 337. It may help you to do the following:

1. Read from the same book, (same mushaf, matn, etc) every time you study. Constant use of the same book creates a picture in your memory. You will able to close your eyes and see the image of the page as clear as the actual book, In Shaa Allaah.

2. Try writing out the aayat, ahaadeeth, or parts of the matn three to five times a day, and say each word as you write it out. This will increase your memory, strengthen your vocabulary, spelling, pronunciation, and penmanship of the ‘Arabic language. Start off small. Date each entry. This will allow you to see your study habits. Do not cheat yourself.

3. If you have a voice recorder, then record your recitation (no peeking). Check your recitation by playing back the tape and follow it with the text. Listen carefully. Be sure that every Fathah, Dhammah, Kasrah, etc., are in place, In Shaa Allaah. It helps to have someone familiar with the ‘Arabic language (and the various texts) listen to your recitation just incase you do not pick up on your own errors.

4. Listen to a proficient recitor of whatever it is that you are studying. If you have a cd player, put it on repeat. The repetition helps tremendously. Do not stress over trying to memorize things. Allow the cd to play while you are cooking, cleaning, etc. You will find that after hearing the recitation about three or four times, some words you can actually say along with the recitor without much effort.

5. Share what you have learned with others. Teaching is a form of revision. Ibn Hazam Al-Andalusee mentions: A man who is a miser with his knowledge is worse than a man who is a miser with his money, for the money miser is afraid of using up what he possesses, but the knowledge miser is being mean with something which does not get used up and is not lost when it is given away. (Al-Akhlaaq Was-Siyar)

6. Take advantage of your youth. Hasan Al-Basree said: Seeking knowledge when one is young, is like etching on a stone. The narrator said, “In other words, the knowledge which one memorizes when one is young will be so strong in one’s memory, that it is as if it had been etched on a stone, Wallaahu Aa’lam.” Mabaahith fee Ahkaam Al-Fatwa – Page 28

7. Attend the gatherings of dhikr as much as you are able. Do not allow Ash Shaytaan to divert you by whispering excuses to you like “its raining,” or “it’s hot outside.” The Salaf would walk (and sometimes crawl) in the desert heat for long periods of time for one hadeeth, becoming tired, dehydrated, and fainting along the way. This shows us the love, zeal and respect that they had for seeking knowledge.
8. Take ‘ilm from the trustworthy only. Muhammad Ibn Sareen said, “Indeed this ‘ilm is the Religion, so look and see from whom you are taking your Religion.” He also said, “They had not used to ask about the chain of narration but when the fitnah (the fabrication of hadeeth) occurred they said, “Name your men to us.” So, as for Ahlus Sunnah, then their narrations would be accepted, and as for Ahlul Bid’ah, their narrations would not be accepted. (Introduction of Imaam Muslim in his Saheeh with a saheeh isnaad.)

9. Do not be shy when seeking ‘ilm. The Messenger of Allaah said: “One who is shy will never gain knowledge, nor one who is proud.” The narrator adds, “What is implied here is one who is shy of asking questions, Wallaahu Aa’lam.” Bukhaaree, Mabaahith fee Ahkaam Al-Fatwa – Page 25

10. Be patient while seeking ilm.

Do Not Take ‘Ilm From Four

Shaykh Fawzee Al Atharee said, “Do not take ‘ilm from four,” A fool, a liar, a person of desires and one who has goodness and virtue but he doesn’t know what he is talking about. (Take from the recorded lecture, “Who is the innovator.” 06/23/02)

Seek ‘Ilm And Allaah Will Raise Your Rank

Shaykh Saalih As Suhaymee said, The word Soorah means chapter, elevation and height. The reader moves from one stage to another. Aayah means sign or pause. It’s a wonder because mankind is unable to produce something like it. The plural form of aayah is aayat, aayy, and aayay.

Shaykh ‘Uthaymeen said, “There is no comparison between one who has knowledge and one who does not, just as there is no comparison between the living and the dead, and one who hears and one who is deaf, and one who can see and one who is blind. Knowledge is light with which one is guided, and with it removes one from the darkness (of ignorance) to the light (of knowledge, i.e. Islaam). With knowledge, Allaah raises the ranks of whom He wishes from His creation.” Kitaabul-‘Ilm.

Allaah has said,

“Allaah will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge.” Mujaadalah, aayah 11.

Make Du’aa

Allaah said,

“And Say, My Lord Increase Me in Knowledge.” 20/114

 

(Author Unknown)

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Ten Oppressors

Imam Sufyaan ath-Thawri (rahimahullah) said that ten people are regarded as oppressors:

1. The person who prays for himself, but forgets his parents and other believers.

2. The person who does not recite at least a hundred verses of the Qur’an daily.

3. The person who leaves the Masjid without performing at least two raka’ahs of salah.

4. The person who passes a graveyard without greeting the deceased or praying for them.

5. The person who enters a city on a Friday and leaves without performing the Friday prayer.

6. That man or woman in whose vicinity a learned person comes and none acquires any religious knowledge from him.

7. Those two people who love each other for the pleasure of Allah but are unaware of each others names.

8. That person who is invited by another but does not accept his invitation (when acceptance does not contradict the Shari`ah).

9. That youngster that has no commitments yet does not acquire any religious knowledge or manners.

10. That person who has eaten to his fill while his neighbor goes hungry.

[Imam as-Samarqandi’s Tanbeeh al-Ghafileen]

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Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: When `Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) came out after visiting the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) during his last illness, the people asked: “How is Messenger of Allah (PBUH), O Abul-Hasan?” He replied: “Praise be to Allah, he (PBUH) is feeling better.”

[Al-Bukhari]

Commentary: This Hadith shows that if a patient is in a critical condition and people are advised not to visit him, it will be appropriate to enquire of his blood relatives about his health. The family members, too, are supposed to give an encouraging report about the patient’s condition to enquirers.

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From among the teachings of Allah’s Messenger (sallahu alayhi wa sallam) is to keep sins a secret matter. If someone commits a sinful act which is against the Commandments of Allah, or is against the moral character, or is such an act that may cause harm to one’s honor, then he should keep it a secret and seek forgiveness from Allah in the darkness of night.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “My entire nation is safe, except al-Mujahirin (those who boast of their sins). Among the Mujaharah is that a man commits an (evil) act, and wakes up in the morning while Allah has kept his (sin) a secret, he says: “O so- and-so! Last night I did this and that.” He goes to sleep while Allah has kept his (sin) a secret but he wakes up in the morning and uncovers what Allah has kept a secret!” [Saheeh al-Bukhari]

Abdullah Ibn Masoud (May allah be pleased with him) related, `A man came to the Prophet and said: `O Messenger of Allah! I have mingled with a woman in the far side of al-Medina, and I fulfilled my desire short of actually having sexual intercourse with her. So, here am I, judge me according to what you decide.’ Umar Ibn al-Khattab (May allah be pleased with him) then said: `Allah had kept your secret, why did not you keep your secret?’ [Sharh Muslim]

Similarly, if one becomes aware of somebody else’s sin, he should keep it a secret. Allah’s Messenger (sallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “He, who relieves a hardship of this Dunya (world) for a believer, Allah will relieve (from him) a hardship of the Day of Resurrection; he who makes easy an indebted person, Allah will make it easy for him in the Dunya and the Hereafter; he who covers a Muslim (meaning his mistakes and shortcomings), Allah will cover him in the Dunya and the Hereafter …” [Sahih Muslim]

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Ways To Increase The Memory

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
الحمد الله

Seek Istighfaar For Your Sins And Have Taqwaa

Qaallaahu Ta’Aalaa,

وَاتَّقُواْاللّهَوَيُعَلِّمُكُمُاللّهُوَاللّهُبِكُ لِّشَيْءٍعَلِيمٌ

“So be afraid of Allaah; and Allaah teaches you. And Allaah is the All Knower of each and everything.” 2:282

Rasoolullaah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, “By Allaah, I seek forgiveness and I repent to Allaah more than seventy times a day.” He also said, “O people repent! Verily I repent to Allaah one hundred times a day.” Muslim 4/2076
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) also said, “Whoever says, Astaghfirullaahal-ladhee Laa Ilaaha Illaa Huwal Hayyul Qayyoomu wa atoobu ilaihi, Allaah would forgive him even is he was one who fled during the advance of an army.”

Meaning: “I seek Allaah’s forgiveness, besides whom none has the right to be worshipped (in truth) except HE, The Ever Living, The Self Subsisting and Supporter of all, and I turn to HIM in repentance.” At Tirmidhee 5/569 Al Haakim authenticated it, Imaam Adh Dhahabee agreed.

Have Sincere Intentions

Sufyaan Ath-Thawree (رحمة الله ), said,”We do not know of anything better than seeking knowledge with (a sincere) intention (for the sake of Allaah).” Siyar A’laam an-Nubalaa. – Vol. 7, Pg 244

Jaabir (رضي الله عنه) narrated that Allaah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Do not acquire knowledge in order to compete with the scholars, nor to argue with the ignorant, nor to gain mastery over the gatherings. Since whoever does that, then, The Fire! The Fire!” Reported by Ibn Maajah (254) and others.

This hadeeth has a witness from the hadeeth of Ka’b ibn Maalik reported by at-Tirmidhee (2654) and others and also from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah reported by Ahmad (2/338) and others.

Seek Refuge In Allaah From Ash Shaytaan

Allaah ‘Azza Wa Jall said,

فَإِذَا قَرَأۡتَ ٱلۡقُرۡءَانَ فَٱسۡتَعِذۡ بِٱللَّهِ مِنَ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنِ ٱلرَّجِيمِ

“So when you want to recite the Qur’aan, seek refuge with Allaah from Shaytaan (Satan), the outcast (the cursed one).” An-Nahl 16:98

Guidelines For Acquiring ‘Ilm

Imaam Ash Shaafi’ee (رحمة الله) said, “I complained to Al Waakee’ (رحمة الله) about poorness of my memory, so he directed me toabandon disobedience. He informed me that Knowledge of Allaah is Light, the Light of Allaah doesn’t guide the disobedient.”
There are 6 matters to acquire ‘ilm:
• Intelligence
• Zeal
• Striving
• Competence
• Companionship of a teacher and
• A long time

lbn Mas’ood (رضي الله عنه) said: “Indeed I hold that a person forgets knowledge that he used to know because of sins that he commits.”[6]

Wakee’ (d.197H) (رحمة الله) said: “I seek help in memorization by abandoning sin and disobedience.”[7]

Maalik (d.179H رحمة الله) said to Ash-Shaaf’ee when they first met: “Indeed I see that Allaah has placed a light upon your heart sodo not extinguish it with the darkness of disobedience and sin.”[8]
Imaam Ash-Shaafi’ee (d.204H) (رحمة الله) said:”Whosoever loves that Allaah Should open up his heart for him and grant light to him, then let him abandon speech about that which does not concern him, and abandon sins and turn away from acts of disobedience. Then there will be between him and Allaah a hidden treasure of good actions. So if this is done, then Allaah will open up such knowledge for him, that will pre-occupy him. And indeed in death is the greatest pre-occupation.”

Study Time

Study before and (or) after Salaatul Fajr. Allaah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’Aalaa said,

إِنَّ نَاشِئَةَ ٱلَّيۡلِ هِىَ أَشَدُّ وَطۡـًٔ۬ا وَأَقۡوَمُ قِيلاً

“Verily, the rising by night (for Salaatut Tahajjud) is very hard and most potent and good for governing oneself and more suitable for understanding the Word of Allaah.” 73:6

This is the best time to study and memorize. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, “The nearest the LORD comes to HIS servant is in the middle of the night, so if you are able to be of those who remember Allaah at that time, then be so. At Tirmidhee 3/183

Companionship

Keep good, pious, studious companions. Maalik Ibn Anas (رحمة الله) said, “Whoever does not love knowledge, then there is no good in him. So, there should not be any acquaintance between you and him, and nor any friendship.” Al Khateeb in Al Faqeeh Wal Mutafaqqih Volume 1, Page 15, Mabaahith fee Ahkaam Al Fatwa Page 12.
Sufyaan Ath Thawree (رحمة الله) said, “Hence you must take to the original affair, hold tight to it, and you should take to being unknown, for indeed this is the age to remain unknown. And take to remaining aloof, secluded, and associating little with the people, because when people used to meet, some of them would benefit the others. But as for today, then that has gone and in our view, salvation lies in abandoning them. Related by Aboo Nu’aym in Al-Hilyah(6/376-377)

Fruits

Shaykh Fawzee Al Atharee (حفظه الله), said that apples, and grapes (raisins) increases the memory. White raisins are better than the brown ones.

Al Hijaamah

Al Hijaamah: Cupping also known as bloodletting (phlebotomy). Cupping increases the memory tremendously. Al Hijaamah is a cure for ALL illnesses:

Saheehul Muslim: Book of Transactions #3830 – On the authority of Humaid, that Anas Ibn Malik (رضي الله عنه) was asked about the earnings of the cupper, he said that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) got himself cupped. The cupper was Abu Taiba, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) commanded (someone) to give him 2 sa’a of corn. He talked to his family, and they lightened the burden of tax for him. He (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, “The best treatment that you can take is cupping.”

In another narration, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said that healing is found in 3, cupping, a gulp of honey and cauterization (branding with fire). I forbid my followers to use cauterization. Bukhaaree 5317 in the Book of Medicine.
Shaykh Fawzee recommends the new cupping kits (pumps), as they are safer (no fire needed).

Do not practice Hijaamah unless you are qualified to do so.

Aboo Dawood 39/4570: ‘Abdul ‘Azeez ibn ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Azeez said (رحمة الله), “Some people of the deputation which came to my father reported the Prophet of Allaah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) as saying, Any physician who practices medicine when he was not known as a practitioner before that and he harms (the patients) he will be held responsible. ‘Abdul ‘Azeez said, Here physician does not refer to a man by qualification. It means opening a vein, incision and cauterization.

Shaykh Abu Anas (حفظه الله) was asked about Hijaamah, and replied by saying that it is not a Sunnah of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم), it is a medical practice.

Rest & Exercise

Get plenty of rest, exercise and water. All these things help your overall well being. You can not retain much if you are tired. Rest, water (healthy diet) and exercise revitalizes you and increases your energy and mental perception.

Study in a place that is quiet (if you can). This way you can focus completely.

If you can’t set aside a full hour to study, begin small, try 10 – 15 minutes a day Bi Idhnillaah. Keep to your study schedule as much as possible.

Al Miswak (Siwak)

Miswak literally means tooth brushing stick. Miswak is the root of the Arak tree (salvadora persica), more commonly known as the ‘toothbrush tree’. The Arak grows in Saudi ‘Arabia, Sudan, Southern Egypt, Chad and Eastern parts of India. In other parts of the Muslim world where the Arak tree is not found, other trees are used for the same purpose. Strips of bark are used in Morocco and the Nim tree in India.

Ahadeeth From Saheehul Bukhaaree Regarding Miswak

Narrated Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه), the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, ‘If I had not found it hard for my followers or the people, I would have ordered them to clean their teeth with siwak for every prayer.” Kitaabus Salaatul Jumu’ah #845

Anas (رضي الله عنه) that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, “I have told you repeatedly to use the Siwak.” He (صلى الله عليه و سلم) put emphasis on using Siwak. Kitaabus Salaatul Jumu’ah #846

‘Aaishah (رضي الله عنه) said, “The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) died in my house on the day of my turn while he was leaning on my chest closer to my neck, and Allaah made my saliva mix with his Saliva. ‘Aaishah added, ‘Abdur Rahman came with a siwak and the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was too weak to use it so I took it, chewed it and then gave it to him and he cleaned his teeth with it.” The Book of 1/5 of War Booty # 2890

Miswak Improves The Memory & More

Dental research has discovered interesting information about the miswak. Chemical analysis revealed that it contains a total of 19 natural substances which are beneficial to dental health. Its natural antiseptics have a bactericidal action, killing harmful micro-organisms in the mouth, the tannic acid it contains has astringent qualities which protect the gums from disease, and its aromatic oils increase salivation. Because of its built-in antiseptics, the miswak needs no cleaning, and because its bristles are parallel to the handle rather than perpendicular, it can reach more easily between the teeth, where a conventional toothbrush often misses. The Miswak improves one’s memory as well.

Revision

Az-Zuhree (رحمة الله), said: Indeed knowledge departs due to forgetfulness and leaving off revising. Siyar A’laam an-Nubalaa. – Vol. 5, Pg 337. It may help you to do the following:

1. Read from the same book, (same mushaf, matn, etc) every time you study. Constant use of the same book creates a picture in your memory. You will able to close your eyes and see the image of the page as clear as the actual book, In Shaa Allaah.

2. Try writing out the aayat, ahaadeeth, or parts of the matn three to five times a day, and say each word as you write it out. This will increase your memory, strengthen your vocabulary, spelling, pronunciation, and penmanship of the ‘Arabic language. Start off small. Date each entry. This will allow you to see your study habits. Do not cheat yourself.

3. If you have a voice recorder, then record your recitation (no peeking). Check your recitation by playing back the tape and follow it with the text. Listen carefully. Be sure that every Fathah, Dhammah, Kasrah, etc., are in place, In Shaa Allaah. It helps to have someone familiar with the ‘Arabic language (and the various texts) listen to your recitation just incase you do not pick up on your own errors.

4. Listen to a proficient recitor of whatever it is that you are studying. If you have a cd player, put it on repeat. The repetition helps tremendously. Do not stress over trying to memorize things. Allow the cd to play while you are cooking, cleaning, etc. You will find that after hearing the recitation about three or four times, some words you can actually say along with the recitor without much effort.

5. Share what you have learned with others. Teaching is a form of revision. Ibn Hazam Al-Andalusee (رحمة الله) mentions: A man who is a miser with his knowledge is worse than a man who is a miser with his money, for the money miser is afraid of using up what he possesses, but the knowledge miser is being mean with something which does not get used up and is not lost when it is given away. (Al-Akhlaaq Was-Siyar)

6. Take advantage of your youth. Hasan Al-Basree (رحمة الله) said: Seeking knowledge when one is young, is like etching on a stone. The narrator said, “In other words, the knowledge which one memorizes when one is young will be so strong in one’s memory, that it is as if it had been etched on a stone, Wallaahu Aa’lam.” Mabaahith fee Ahkaam Al-Fatwa – Page 28

7. Attend the gatherings of dhikr as much as you are able. Do not allow Ash Shaytaan to divert you by whispering excuses to you like “its raining,” or “it’s hot outside.” The Salaf would walk (and sometimes crawl) in the desert heat for long periods of time for one hadeeth, becoming tired, dehydrated, and fainting along the way. This shows us the love, zeal and respect that they had for seeking knowledge.

8. Take ‘ilm from the trustworthy only. Muhammad Ibn Sareen (رحمة الله) said, “Indeed this ‘ilm is the Religion, so look and see from whom you are taking your Religion.” He also said, “They had not used to ask about the chain of narration but when the fitnah (the fabrication of hadeeth) occurred they said, “Name your men to us.” So, as for Ahlus Sunnah, then their narrations would be accepted, and as for Ahlul Bid’ah, their narrations would not be accepted. (Introduction of Imaam Muslim (رحمة الله) in his Saheeh with a saheeh isnaad.)

9. Do not be shy when seeking ‘ilm. The Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “One who is shy will never gain knowledge, nor one who is proud.” The narrator adds, “What is implied here is one who is shy of asking questions, Wallaahu Aa’lam.” Bukhaaree, Mabaahith fee Ahkaam Al-Fatwa – Page 25

10. Be patient while seeking ilm.

Do Not Take ‘Ilm From Four

Shaykh Fawzee Al Atharee (حفظه الله تعالى) said, “Do not take ‘ilm from four,” A fool, a liar, a person of desires and one who has goodness and virtue but he doesn’t know what he is talking about. (Take from the recorded lecture, “Who is the innovator.” 06/23/02)

Seek ‘Ilm And Allaah Will Raise Your Rank

Shaykh Saalih As Suhaymee (حفظه الله تعالى) said, The word Soorah means chapter, elevation and height. The reader moves from one stage to another. Aayah means sign or pause. It’s a wonder because mankind is unable to produce something like it. The plural form of aayah is aayat, aayy, and aayay.

Shaykh ‘Uthaymeen (رحمة الله تعالى) said, “There is no comparison between one who has knowledge and one who does not, just as there is no comparison between the living and the dead, and one who hears and one who is deaf, and one who can see and one who is blind. Knowledge is light with which one is guided, and with it removes one from the darkness (of ignorance) to the light (of knowledge, i.e. Islaam). With knowledge, Allaah raises the ranks of whom He wishes from His creation.” Kitaabul-‘Ilm.

Allaah has said,

يَرْفَعِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مِنكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْعِلْمَ دَرَجَـتٍ

“Allaah will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge.” Mujaadalah, aayah 11.

Make Du’aa

Allaah said,

وَقُل رَّبِّ زِدۡنِى عِلۡمً۬ا

“And Say, My Lord Increase Me in Knowledge.” 20/114

وصلى لله وسلم على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم تسليما كثيراً

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Khawât b. Jubayr – Alläh be pleased with him – said:

Sleeping in the first part of the day is ignorance, and in the middle of the day [good] character, and in the last part of the day stupidity.

Al-Bukhârî, Al-Adab Al-Mufrad. Shaykh Al-Albânî graded its chain of transmission sahîh. See Sahîh Al-Adab Al-Mufrad hadith #947.
Related Links: Sleep & Dreams

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From amongst the expressions for straightening the rows are:

  • Istawoo” i.e. straighten your lines,
  • istaqeemoo” i.e. be straight, upright,
  • “i’tadiloo” i.e. align yourselves, and
  • “aqeemoo saf” i.e. establish the rows.

Straightening the Rows: From the Perfection of Salaah

The following addresses some of the conclusions reached in the book “Laa Jadeed fee Ahkaam as-Salaat” of Shaykh Bakr Aboo Zayd (may Allaah have Mercy on him):

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful…

May His Salaat and Salaam be upon the Final Messenger…

1. The obvious meaning of the order: “fill the gaps” is to not leave any space between people when praying. When two people stand side by side and connect to each other – their shoulders and feet connect. If they were to move even closer; their hips, (sides of) knees, and (sides of) calves touch. (Try it) Oddly shaped people (obese or otherwise) may not be able.

2. The obvious meaning of the prohibition: “do not leave gaps for the shaytaan” is to not leave any space, or to stand next to each other: connected.

3. The obvious understanding of the Companions when addressed with this speech was to not leave any space, to the point that they joined their ankles, knees, and shoulders, as narrated explicitly by the likes of Anas and Nu’maan (may Allaah be pleased with them both).

4.
Their understanding and application was witnessed by the Prophet (sallallahau ‘alayhe wa sallam) who did not rebuke them for extremism or harshness. This is something called “taqreer” and thus becomes legislation, and can be easily identified as the correct understanding.

5. It is possible to join knees when standing, so to claim that this is impossible and necessitates ta’weel (leaving the obvious understanding) of the action of the Companions is false. (Again – try it) Of course the whole knee is not intended (that would be impossible), rather it is a case of “itlaaq al-kull wa iraadatul-ba’dh”. The intended meaning is the sides of the knees, as is obvious.

6. al-Khattaabee’s words in al-Ma’aalam (1/184) “wa laa yahaak-ku bimankibihi mankiba saahibhi” do not in any way imply that one should leave spaces in the row. It means that they should not “grind” their shoulders together in a way that causes friction, and thus a distraction for one’s prayers. Joining shoulders does not necessitate any friction between them. Actually the hadeeth, “The best of you are the softest (or easiest) with their shoulders in prayer.” is a proof that the shoulders are indeed supposed to be connected in the row, since how could a person be described as being “soft-shouldered” while he is not touching anything?!

7. Ibn Hajr’s words in Fat-hul-Baaree (2/211) are clear in conveying how important it is to not leave gaps. Nothing he said could be interpreted as an indication that we are to leave gaps. His reference to the actions of the Comapanions (joining their shoulders and feet) as a “mubaalaghah” does not in any way mean a negative mubaalaghah (extremism, excessiveness, etc.) Rather it is a praiseworthy mubaalaghah (devout fulfillment of an order), like in the hadeeth “Baalighoo fil-istinshaaq…” (Sniff in a lot of water when performing wudhoo…) Had they engaged in a blameworthy mubaalaghah, how could the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) remain silent about it?!

8. al-Bukhaaree called the chapter he collected this hadeeth in: “The chapter of joining the shoulders and feet together in the row“. This is the obvious meaning understood from the reports of the Companions actions, as mentioned.

9. Joining the feet and shoulders does not necessitate being “overly obsessed” with it, nor being distracted from one’s devotion to the prayer. People who claim this are often used to praying without anyone touching them, so a simple touch disturbs them.

10. Swaying in the prayer line has become common, both front to back swaying, and side to side. Joining the shoulders in the row is the prophetic solution for this modern day innovation that comes from the Jews and their manner of prayer. This swaying is a kind of heedlessness that desperately needs a solution, as pointed out by the scholars, including Shaykh Bakr Aboo Zayd (may Allaah have Mercy on him) himself in his book Tas-heeh ad-Du’aa’.

11. Joining the feet and shoulders does not mean hurting people. There are people who hurt the Muslims by literally “jamming” their ankle bone to their brother’s ankle bone and maybe even grinding it, perhaps excessively. This is a clear contradiction to the sense of ease and tranquility we are to establish in the prayer.

12. Many people are confused about how to line up for prayer. Some people draw a line and ask the people to put their toes on it. Others say we should put our heels on it. This is a practice that was not done in the time of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam), one that has arisen as a solution to a problem that exists because we left the original guidance of the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) and do not join our shoulders and ankles together in the row. A row with people’s ankles and shoulders connected is a straight and connected row and usually only needs a few minor adjustments before starting the prayer.

13. Anas’ statement about the manner of lining up that “If I would do this with any of them today, they would flee like wild mules!” proves that he was describing the actual physical joining of the feet and shoulders, not an allegorical one.

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