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(Part 2)

Erecting the Catapults for Destroying the Story of the High-Flyers

Nasb al-Majānīq li-Nasf Qissat al-Gharānīq

نصب المجانيق لنسف قصة الغرانيق

by Sh. Muhammad Nasir-ud-Dīn al–Albani

Before getting into the narrations:

Now before I bring forth all the narrations regarding this story, I see that it is important to highlight a matter so that the benefit from this Treatise would be thorough.

I say:

This story was mentioned by the scholars of Tafseer, [when commenting on what] Allah [Glorified is He] said: {And We did not send before you any messenger or prophet except that when he Tamanaa (i.e. recited), Satan threw fee Umneyatuh (i.e. in his recitation). But Allah abolishes that which Satan throws in; then Allah makes precise His verses. And Allah is Knowing and Wise [52]. [That is] so He may make what Satan throws in a trial for those within whose hearts is disease and those hard of heart. And indeed, the wrongdoers are in extreme dissension [53]. And so those who were given knowledge may know that it is the truth from your Lord and [therefore] believe in it, and their hearts humbly submit to it. And indeed is Allah the Guide of those who have believed to a straight path [54]} [Al-Hajj 22:52-54].

[Now, the scholars of Tafseer] differed in regards to the meaning of the words: (Tamanaa) and (Umneyatuh), and the best thing that was said about them was that (Tamanaa) comes from (Al-Umniyah) and refers to Al-Tilawa i.e. Recitation.

This can be seen in the words of the poet, who said regarding the death of ‘Uthman [May Allah be pleased with him]:

تمنى كتاب الله أول ليلة * وآخرها لاقى حمام المقادر

Tamana Kitab Allah Awala Laylatin * wa Akhiraha Laqa Himam Al-Maqadir

He recited the Book of Allah in the beginning of the Night *

And by its end he had faced his predestined death.

And upon this view are the Majority of the scholars of Tafseer, and the scholars of proper examination. Additionally, Ibn Katheer attributed it to the majority of the scholars of Tafseer, while Ibn Al-Qayim in [his book] “Ighathat Al-Lahfaan” (1/93) attributed it to the [scholars of the Salaf] altogether.

He said:

“And the Salaf altogether are in agreement that the meaning is: Except that when he recites, the devil throws fee (during/amongst) his Tilawa (recitation).”

Al-Qurtubi clarified this in his Tafseer (12/83) when he said:

“Sulaiman b. Harb said: That (fee) means: at/during/amongst, thus the devil threw [these words] in the hearts of the disbelievers during the Prophet’s recitation, as Allah the Exalted said: {wa Labithta feena i.e. and you remained amongst us for years of your life} [Al-Shu’ara 26:18], and that is the meaning that Ibn ‘Atiyah narrates from his father, from the scholars of the East, and it was highlighted by Al-Qadi Abu Bakr ibn Al-‘Arabi.”

I say: And the words of Ibn Al-‘Arabi will come later on, by the Will of Allah.

Now, what we have mentioned regarding the meaning of the verse is also what was chosen by Al-Imam Ibn Jarir [Al-Tabari] where he said after [transmitting] what was narrated from a group of the Salaf (17/121):

“And this view is more resembling to the [true] interpretation of the verse, as it is what is evident in His Words: {But Allah abolishes that which Satan throws in; then Allah makes precise His verses} [Al-Hajj: 52], where the verses which Allah says that He makes precise are undoubtedly the verses of His revelations, thus it would be known through this that what Satan threw in is what Allah (Exalted is He) said that he abolishes from it and made it void, then made His verses precise through the abolishment of these from it”.

So contemplate upon the verses [and what Allah is saying]:

(And We did not send before you any messenger or prophet except that when he recites the Book of Allah and reads, or narrates and speaks, Satan throws during/amongst the Book of Allah that [the Prophet] recited and read, or in his narration which he narrated and spoke, so Allah abolishes that which Satan threw in, with His Words (Exalted is He): So Allah would remove that which Satan threw in and would abolish it.)

That is the meaning intended from that noble verse and it is, as you can see, containing nothing except that the devil would throw in [words] during the recitation of the Prophet [Blessings of Allah and Peace upon him], which would be a trial for those within whose hearts is a disease.

Yet, the enemies of this religion who sit on every path, threatening and averting from the way of Allah, would not be pleased except by inserting into [this Religion] that which is not from it, or that which was not said by the Prophet. So they would bring forth what you will see from narrations, which are not suited for the status of Prophethood or the Message [he carries].

That is their pattern from long ago, just as they did with other verses that were mentioned about other than [the Messenger of Allah (Blessings of Allah and Peace upon him)] from among the other Prophets, such as Dawud, Sulaiman, and Yusuf [Blessings and Peace be upon them] where they narrate in the interpretation [of these other verses] from the Israelites narrations that which attributing to a normal Muslim would not be acceptable, how then [can it be accepted about] a noble Prophet.

[These narrations can be found and are clarified] in their appropriate location in the books of Tafseer and [books about the] Prophet’s stories.

So beware, O Muslim, of being deceived by any of that, lest you be from among those who perish, and “Leave that which you are in doubt of, for that which does not make you doubt” as was said by your Prophet (Blessings of Allah and Peace upon him), {And indeed Allah is the Guide of those who have believed to a straight path} [Al-Hajj 22:54].

 

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Milestones on the Road to Seeking Knowledge

by Sh. Abdul Aziz Al-Sadhan

Translation and Editing by: Al-Sirat Al-Mustaqeem team

Examples of the Salaf’s concern with Time

Here, I will be giving you examples from the lives of the Salaf so that we see how much of our time we have wasted; hoping that these examples (by the Grace of Allah) would be a reason to motivate us towards seeking knowledge and would give us a sense of the mountain of time we waste.

These examples would make it clear to all of us that the Salaf were very stingy when it came to every second of their life, for Time is, as Yahya ibn Hubayra [1] described:

Time is the most precious thing you should safeguard **

And yet I see it the easiest thing you lose

الوقتُ أنفسُ ما عنيتَ بحفظه *** وأراهُ أسهلَ ما عليكَ يضيعُ

From these examples:

What was mentioned by Al-Sam’aani[2] in his book “Adab Al-Imlaa’ wa Al-Istimlaa’”:

“And that is an example that shows that he did not spend any of his time except in seeking [knowledge], or [acts of] Remembrance such as Istighfar (asking Allah for forgiveness), Tasbeeh (saying: Subhan Allah), or Tahleel (saying: La Illah Illa Allah).

In the past, the circles of knowledge were attended by a huge number of people, and it was mentioned that the lectures of Muhammad Ibn Ismael were attended by twenty thousand”[3].

The point to take from this story is what Al-Sam’aani mentions about the Muhadith (Narrator of Hadith) that whenever he narrates [a tradition and says]: Waki’ narrated [to me] (as an example) [and pauses], during the time those attending used to write down what he just said, the Muhadith used to then use these few seconds in Istighfar, and Tasbeeh, etc until they have had a chance to record what he said, then would continue with the narration.

So look at these few moments and how he refused to waste them, and then look at how many hours and days pass from our lives without even noticing!

One of the scholars said about ‘Abdullah the son of Imam Ahmad, that: “By Allah I did not see him except smiling or reciting or going through a book”, and another said about Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi: “I never saw Al-Khatib except that in his hand was a book that he was reviewing”.

As a Poet once said:

Days pass us by, one after the other, and we are **

being led to the end of our lives while the eyes are watching

تمر بنا الأيام تترى وإنما *** نساق إلى الآجال والعين تنظرُ

Our youth that had passed isn’t coming back **

and this depressing white hair isn’t going anywhere

فلا عائد ذاك الشباب الذي مضى *** ولازائل هذا المشيب المكدرُ

Al-Hasan Al-Basri [May Allah have mercy on him] says:

“O Son of Adam, you are but a number of days, whenever a day passes then a part of you has gone”[4].

So know that time is divided into three categories, as Al-Khaleel ibn Ahmad said:

“Time that has already passed and would never return, time that you are currently in, so be watchful of how you will spend it, and time [yet to come] which you are waiting for, but might never reach”[5].

If all the Humans, the Jinns, and the Angels gathered together, and they were assistants to one another, they would never be capable of bringing back even one second that passed from our lives.

Al-Dhahabi said in the biography of ‘Abdulwahab ibn ‘Abdulwahab ibn Al-Ameen:

His times were preserved, where not an hour would pass except in reading, remembrance, prayers, or recitation[6].

And Muhammad ibn ‘Abdulbaqi says:

“I do not know that I wasted one hour of my life in wastefulness and play”[7].

Certainly, you do not know how long you will live. Therefore, you have to put aside procrastination, pull up your sleeves, and you should not get tired from gathering goodness and benefit with all its kinds.

We hear of people complaining about having no time to read and others complaining about their little memorization and others complaining about their times not being organized.

We all live in one society even if the distances between us are relatively large, and we all see in ourselves and in our brothers some negligence and shortcomings in different aspects, which I will be mentioning a few of them.


[1] Zayl Tabaqaat Al-Hanabila (1/182)

[2] Adab Al-Imlaa’ wa Al-Istimlaa’ by Al-Sam’aani (1/74)

[3] Adab Al-Imlaa’ wa Al-Istimlaa’ by Al-Sam’aani (p. 17)

[4] Hilyat Al-Awliyaa by Al-Asfahani (2/148)

[5] Tabaqaat Al-Hanabila (1/288)

[6] Ma’rifat Al-Quraa Al-Kibar (2/465)

[7] Siyar A’laam Al-Nubalah (20/26)

 

TimeClockSand

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Erecting the Catapults for Destroying the Story of the High-Flyers

Nasb al-Majānīq li-Nasf Qissat al-Gharānīq

نصب المجانيق لنسف قصة الغرانيق

by Sh. Muhammad Nasir-ud-Dīn al–Albani

Introduction:

In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

All praise is [due] to Allah, who has chosen our Prophet above all people. He safeguarded him from the Devil, [in such a way that prevented the devil] from inspiring to him any evil. He – the all Mighty – said, while addressing the cursed Satan: {Indeed, My servants – no authority will you have over them, except those who follow you of the deviators} [Al-Hijr 15:42].

Rather, Allah the Exalted has given his messenger authority over his Qareen [1] from amongst the jinn, so how then would a more distant [jinn or evil spirits] affect him [in any way]?

This was made clear by the words of our noble Messenger: “There is none amongst you with whom is not an attache from amongst the jinn (devil)”. They (the Companions) said: Allah’s Messenger, with you too? Thereupon he said: “Yes, but Allah helps me against him and so I am safe from his hand and he does not command me but for good[2] [3].

And May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad who Allah -the Exalted- enabled him to overpower Ibless (Satan), until he was about to strangle him and was about to fasten him to one of the pillars of the mosque of Medina[4], and [may the peace and blessings of Allah be] upon his household, companions, and those who follow in his guidance until the Day of Judgment.

After which,

Some of the teachers from among my dear brothers from Pakistan wrote to me on 14/7/1952 CE, asking me of my view on the narration of the Gharaniq, which [the grading of] was differed on by two great scholars of hadith, and they are: Ibn Katheer Al-Dimashqi and Ibn Hajar Al-Misri. The tradition was rejected by the first, and strengthened by the second.

The [brother] requested me not to hold back the answer. I stayed for a few months waiting for an opportunity where I can fulfill his request.

After that, I met one of my beloved brothers after Eid Al-Adha prayers of that year (1371 H), and he also asked me about the narration of the Gharaniq, so I answered him that it is not authentic, rather it is false and fabricated. So he told me that a young man, whose heart has been diseased, used it to claim that the Prophet [Peace be Upon him] – and truly he is free from all such falsehood – used to speak with that which pleases the polytheists [of Mecca] so that he may attract them to himself, since he wasn’t, as [that man] falsely claims, a truthful Prophet and was just pretending to be [a Prophet] so that he may take up [positions of] leadership over his people, as some of the atheists of the past and present ramble about.

So this motivated me to take the opportunity of the aforementioned Eid, and I started [relying on Allah] to gather all the different chains of this story from the books of Tafseer and Hadith, and then showed the defects [they have] in both the chains and the Text.

After that I mentioned the words of Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar in strengthening it, and followed it with points that would show the weakness of what he mentioned.

After which I mentioned some of the words of some great scholars who have a strong critical skills in both the fundamentals and the branches that supports what we concluded from the falseness of this story, its voidness, and the obligation of rejecting it and not accepting it, thereby fulfilling what Allah ordered us to do when he said: {In order that you may believe in Allah and His Messenger (SAW), and that you assist and honor him (i.e. the Prophet), and (that you) glorify (Allah’s) praises morning and afternoon} [Al-Fath 48:9].

So it came as a Treatise, unique in its subject, powerful in its content. It removes the confusion of the believing brother, and destroys the doubts of the stubborn heretics, and I named it:

The Erection of the Catapults for the Destruction of the Story of the Gharaniq (High Flyers)

I ask Allah the Exalted to make it sincere and solely for His sake, and to accept it from me as my way of defending His Messenger. I ask Allah to keep its reward for me, for the day when we will be most needy of [our Messenger’s] intercession, {The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail, Except him who brings to Allâh a clean heart} [Ash-Shuara 26:88-89].

Verily, Allah is the All-Hearer All-Knower, the Most Subtle, Kind, Courteous, Generous, and the Most Merciful.

Damascus: 2/1/1372 H[5],

Muhammad Nasir Al-din Al-Albani


[1] Qareen is the jinn allotted to the son of Adam to be his constant companion in attempt to misguide him.

[2] Narrated by Ahmad (# 3647, 3778, 3801, 4393) and Muslim (8/138) from the way of Ibn Mas’ud.

[3] Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “Fa aslamu (and I am safe from him) or fa aslama (and he became Muslim). These are two well-known versions. One means ‘and I am safe from his evil and his temptation.’ The other means that ‘the qareen became Muslim and became a believer, so he does not tell me to do anything but good’. There was some scholarly dispute as to the form of the word. Al-Khattaabi said that the word was Fa aslamu (and I am safe from him); al-Qaadi ‘Iyaad said that it was fa aslama (and he became Muslim), which is more correct, because the hadeeth says, ‘so he only enjoins me to do that which is good’. They also disputed as to the meaning of the word fa aslama. Some said that it meant that he (the qareen) submitted and surrendered, as it was narrated elsewhere than in Saheeh Muslim, fa astaslama [he gave up and surrendered]. It was also suggested that it means that he became a Muslim and a believer. The latter is the apparent meaning. Al-Qaadi said: Note that the ummah is unanimously agreed that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was protected from the Shaytaan physically, mentally and with regard what he said (Read more: islamqa).

[4] This was narrated in Sahih Al-Bukhari (3/62) with the explanation of Ibn Hajar, and in Muslim (2/72), and others.

[5] Around 22nd of September 1952

Fire_Catapult

Firing catapults

* images obtained from online sources *

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Milestones on the Road to Seeking Knowledge

by Sh. Abdul Aziz Al-Sadhan

Translation and Editing by: Al-Sirat Al-Mustaqeem team

Chapter 1: 10 Obstacles in the way of Seeking Knowledge

The first thing I choose to speak about are the barriers and obstacles that stand in the way of the students of knowledge … Barriers which prevent them from remaining steadfast upon that path.

While the barriers and obstacles that students of knowledge may face are many, they can be gathered into the following ten obstacles:

Obstacle 1: An Insincere Intention

The intention is the pillar of any deed and its foundation. Any deed would contain as much deficiency as is contained in the intention.

And our prophet [peace be upon him] said: The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended[1].

So if the intention is tainted by the stains of the love of fame, the love of leadership, and their likes; then that would be a huge barrier in the face of the seeker of knowledge.

However, for those who strive to clear their intention, Allah [All Mighty] has assured them in the Quran that: {As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our Paths} [2].

And Sufyan Al-Thawri [May Allah have mercy on him] says:

The most difficult thing I had to treat was my intention [3].

So if that was Sufyan the great scholar, then what about us?

That is why we all have to make sure that our intention is clear and that we are seeking this knowledge solely for the sake of Allah. And if the intention gets stained through the deceptions of Iblees (i.e. Satan), that won’t be strange, but the strange thing is if the student of knowledge knows about these stains and accepts them. That is why it is critical for the seeker of knowledge to fight and struggle with his intention until he clears it from these stains, and to never get tired or lose hope.

Obstacle 2: Love of Fame, and Leadership

This obstacle would also fall under the intention; however, it is given its own section due to its importance.

Love of fame and leadership is a serious illness that only through Allah’s protection one can be safe from it.

Al-Shatibi [may Allah have mercy on him] said:

One of the last things to leave the hearts of the righteous is the: Love of leadership and authority [4].

So if the intention of the student is that his name becomes well-known, or that he becomes famous and respected wherever he goes, and these were his only concerns and hopes, then he has put himself in a very dangerous situation.

I think it is sufficient for us to know one prophetic tradition, where Prophet Muhammad [Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him] said:

The first of men (whose case) will be decided on the Day of Judgment will be …

Then will be brought forward a man who acquired knowledge and imparted it (to others) and recited the Quran. He will be brought And Allah will make him recount His blessings and he will recount them (and admit having enjoyed them in his lifetime). Then will Allah ask: What did you do (to requite these blessings)?

He will say: I acquired knowledge and disseminated it and recited the Quran seeking Thy pleasure. Allah will say: You have told a lie. You acquired knowledge so that you might be called “a scholar”, and you recited the Quran so that it might be said: “He is a Qari” and such has been said. Then orders will be passed against him and he shall be dragged with his face downward and cast into the Fire …[5].

So this desire and love of fame is a tough test, except for those who Allah has protected their hearts.

The Salaf [may Allah shower them with mercy] were the furthest away from this love of fame, and from the examples that were narrated about them that demonstrates this are:

What was mentioned about Ayyub al Sakhtiyani [may Allah have mercy on him] that he said:

People have come to know me, while I hate to be remembered [6].

And Hamad said about him:

I used to walk with him (i.e. Ayyub), and he would take routes that I am amazed how he discovered them, escaping from the people so that they don’t say: There is Ayyub [7].

Imam Ahmad said to one of his students, when he heard people praising him:

Oh Abu Bakr, if a man knows himself then what benefit would the words of people bring [8].

And he said:

“… that Abdul Rahman ibn Abi Laila said: I met 120 of the Ansar, from the companions of Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him), whenever one of them is asked a question, he would hope that one of his brothers would answer instead” [9].

Obstacle 3: Neglecting attending lectures

The Salaf of this Ummah used to say: “Knowledge is sought-after, and does not seek”, however, today knowledge is seeking students but is not sought after, and that is with a very few exceptions.

These lectures of knowledge, if the only good that would come to you from it is that tranquility would descend upon you and that mercy would cover you, and that the angels would surround you, and on top of all this, Allah makes a mention of you in the presence of those near Him (as has been reported in the prophetic tradition), then that would be a sufficient enough reason for attending it. How then should your eagerness be when you would receive two great benefits: the knowledge that is gained in this life and the rewards awaiting you in the next life?

And In-Sha-Allah (god willing), a separate section would be used to discuss the manners and etiquette a student of knowledge must have when attending lectures.

Obstacle 4: Excusing yourself with being busy

This obstacle is a tough barrier in the face of many. How many people were encouraged to seek knowledge, but the devil enticed them to take a different direction.

You would find that those who have neglected seeking knowledge have made their work an excuse for not attending the lectures of knowledge, and constantly use being busy as an excuse, until it became an acceptable excuse in their sights.

However, those who Allah cleared their vision and managed to organize their times properly and benefited with that time will truly find great benefit.

And those who organized their time and benefited from this time organization would tell you (as mentioned by Al-San’ani in his poem about Hajj):

And who does not try would never realize its value **

So try and you shall find the truth in what we mentioned

ومن لم يجرب ليس يعرف قدره *** فجرب تجد تصديق ماقد ذكرناه

Obstacle 5: Neglecting seeking knowledge at a young age

We feel really proud when we see students who are much younger than us but have a bigger determination. You find them the first ones to lectures seeking knowledge. Truly, we feel proud when we see them. At the same time, we regret the times that passed from our lives and we did not spend it in seeking knowledge and memorization.

Al-Hasan said:

Seeking Knowledge at a young age is like carving on stone [10].

And ‘Umar [May Allah be pleased with him] said:

Learn before you become heads (or leaders) [11]

[i.e. heads of families, or states, etc. meaning learn at a young age before you get busy with responsibilities].

Imam Al-Bukhari commented on this and said: “And after you have become heads (or leaders), for many of the Prophet’s companions learned at a late age”.

So go ahead, and start seeking knowledge at a young age and do so even at a later age, and do not lose hope since all of life is a time for seeking knowledge. This is because seeking knowledge is a form of worship, and Allah said in the Quran: {And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (i.e. death)} [12].

Obstacle 6: Abstaining from seeking knowledge

Many refrain from seeking knowledge, by claiming that most of their time is spent following the news and following what is happening around the world.

People differ in this between the excessive, the negligent, and the moderate, and the first two are definitely mistaken.

Seeking knowledge encourages you to know the reality of the world around you; however, you would never be able to solve any problem that befalls you if you do not try to deal with it using the scale of the Sharee’ah (i.e. the Religion and Rulings of Allah) and returning to what the scholars have said, and instead you try to deal with it using your own views and rationale.

What is disappointing is that you find a Muslim who is upset and angry about the situation of the Muslim Ummah, and at the same time you find him ignorant about the basic teachings of Islam. You find him ignorant about the proper way to pray, while the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him) said: Pray as you have seen me praying [13].

You find him ignorant about the morning Azkhar and other basic things that are known among even the young students of knowledge.

Ibn Taymiyah [14] [May Allah shower him with mercy] was one of the most knowledgeable people of his time and about the situations around him, yet this did not stop him from seeking knowledge.

Truly, if you seek knowledge, you will find that for every trial or calamity that this Ummah faces, there is always something in the book of Allah and the teachings of his Prophet that would fix it.

Obstacle 7: Praising yourself

This obstacle includes the love of praising yourself, attaching titles and names to yourself, and being proud when people praise you.

There is no doubt, however, that when people speak good about you, that this is glad tidings to you, as Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him] said when he was asked: “What is your opinion about the person who has done good deeds and the people praise him? He said: It is glad tidings for a believer[15].

However, be very careful and be very watchful that someone praises you for something that is not in you, and you feel happy about that. Caution must be taken so that this doesn’t become one of my or your traits, and remember the words of Allah when he belittled those people who: {love to be praised for what they have not done} [16].

Remember that praising yourself is criticized in most cases, with a few exceptions that have been specified by the Sharee’ah.

Allah the Exalted says:

{So ascribe not purity to yourselves. He knows best him who fears Allah and keep his duty to Him} [17].

Allah also dispraised the people of the Book and said:

{Have you not seen those who claim sanctity for themselves. Nay – but Allah sanctifies whom He pleases, and they will not be dealt with injustice even equal to the extent of a Fatilâ (A scalish thread in the long slit of a date­stone)} [18].

And Prophet Muhammad –peace be upon him- said: "Don’t hold yourselves to be pious. It is God alone who knows the people of piety among you" [19].

Yes, in some cases –as was mentioned- it is permissible for someone to speak well of himself, as Yusuf [peace be upon him] said: {Set me over the storehouses of the land; I will indeed guard them with full knowledge}[20].

But in most cases this love of praise is a doorway the devil uses to get to the servants of Allah, so beware that you become among those who become happy and arrogant when praised, and be from among those who do not concern themselves with hearing such praise.

If you wanted to see the danger of this: Look at all your shortcomings when it comes to the acts of obedience, then look at he who has praised you, and ask yourself: If that person knows of all your shortcomings and all the deeds you have committed that do not please Allah the All Mighty, do you think he will still praise you?

The point here is: Be cautious of praising yourself, and be cautious of attributing to yourself titles and names that do not belong to you, because whoever rushes for something before its time has come is punished by being deprived from it.

Obstacle 8: Not acting upon the knowledge you gained

Not acting upon the knowledge you have gained is one of the reasons of losing the blessings of that knowledge, and Allah has defamed those who are of this type when He said: {Most hateful it is with Allah that you say that which you do not do} [21].

That is why the Salaf were very careful to act upon what they have learned. The noble companion Ibn Mas’oud [May Allah be well pleased with him] said:

“The person from among us, whenever he learns ten verses, would not exceed them until he knows their meanings and the action that comes with them” [22].

‘Ali [May Allah be well pleased with him] said:

“Knowledge will call upon Action, it (i.e. Action) will either answer it (i.e. Knowledge), or else it (i.e. Knowledge) will depart” [23].

Always remember that if knowledge existed without action, it will be a witness against its carrier.

Bishr Al-Hafi [may Allah have mercy on him] said:

“Give out the Zakaah of your knowledge: five hadith from every 200 hadith you learn” [24]-[25].

Acting upon knowledge would assist in engraving this knowledge [in his heart], and if you wanted an example then look at the morning and afternoon Azkhar, as well as the Azkhar of sleeping, entering and leaving the washroom and your home, etc.

If someone just memorizes them, then he could easily do it, but he will soon forget them, however, if he acts upon them for a long time, it will be as engraved in him because of the time he acted upon them.

Imam Al-Dhahabi [may Allah have mercy on him] said about the age he lived in:

“… and today: there only remains a small portion of the few sciences that we once had, in only a few people, and how little are those from among them who are acting upon this little [knowledge], so Sufficient for us is Allah, and [He is] the best Disposer of affairs.” [26].

So if these were the words of Al-Dhahabi in the 8th century of Hijra, then what about us today?! This is the reason why it is mandatory on us to struggle with ourselves, and Allah is the most Merciful with his servants.

So remember that the Zakah of knowledge is acting upon it, as Shaykh Muhammad ibn Abdulwahab [May Allah have mercy on him] said:

"Know –may Allah have mercy on you- that it is obligatory for every believing man and believing woman to learn four issues: The first is: Knowledge, The second: Acting upon it, The third: Calling to it, and The fourth: Being patient about the harm faced" [27].

And: {whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty)}[28].

Obstacle 9: Despair and loosing hope in yourself

O Student of Knowledge, me and you, and Shaykh Al-Islam ibn Taymiyah, and Al-Bukhari, and Ibn Hajar, and the rest of the scholars, are all included in what Allah says: {And Allah has brought you out from the wombs of your mothers while you know nothing. And He gave you hearing, sight, and hearts that you might give thanks (to Allah)}[29].

We are all that person, so do not belittle yourself, and at the same time, do not praise it. Losing hope and trusting in oneself is a major obstacle to gaining knowledge, so do not belittle yourself. If you find yourself weak in memorization, or weak in understanding, or slow in reading, or fast in forgetting … all these illnesses disappear if you clear your intention and take by the reasons.

Al-Imam Al-‘Askari said about himself:

"Memorization used to be difficult on me when I started seeking knowledge, until I got myself used to it and memorized Ru’bah’s poem in one night" [30].

And Ru’bahs poem is close to 200 verses, so no doubt that this came after a sincere and continuous effort.

So do not belittle yourself, rather: clear your intention, take by the means, and use your time wisely, after which you will find that you have gained goodness that would make you regret all the time that passed without any benefit.

Another thing that would also assist in improving your memory is staying away from sin. Al-Imam Al-Shafi’ee says something beautiful that is important to keep in our minds:

I complained to Wakee’ about my bad memory **

So he guided me to staying away from sin

شكوت إلى وكيع سوء حفظي *** فأرشدني إلى ترك المعاصي

And he said to me that: "Indeed this knowledge is light **

and the Light of Allah is not granted to a sinner”[31]

وقال: اعلم بأن العلم نور *** ونور الله لا يؤتاه عاصي

Obstacle 10: Procrastination

Procrastination (Tasweef) as some of the Salaf used to say is: “One of the soldiers of Iblees” [32].

Procrastination is someone’s hope to start accomplishing a task after some time and keeps delaying it, while forgetting that death might surprise him.

A poet once said:

And do not delay the deeds of today till tomorrow **

For tomorrow might come when you are gone

ولا ترج عمل اليوم إلى غد *** لعل غدا يأتي وأنت فقيــــــد

Abu Ishaq narrates that: A man from ‘Abd Al-Qays was asked: Advice us, so he said: "Beware of ‘I will [do so in the future]’" [33].

Some students of knowledge set for themselves times and say: I will start to memorize so-and-so on that day, and I will start reading that book after so-and-so.

So we say:

If he is currently busy in seeking knowledge, and reading, and researching, then he is in goodness, and will be going from goodness to goodness.

However, if he means that he is delaying starting until that day, then no doubt that this is from the deceptions of Iblees. That is why it is compulsory for everyone that wishes to seek knowledge and wishes to bear the attributes of the people of knowledge not to waste his or her time. And we sit in amazement whenever we read how the Salaf made use of their times!


[1] Agreed Upon

[2] Surah Al-’Ankabut 29:69

[3] Tazkirat al-saami’ wa al-mutakalim (p.68) – ibn jamaa’a. (The reminder to the listener and the speaker)

[4] Al-I’tisaam – al-Shatibi

[5] Narrated by Imam Muslim

[6] Seyar A’lam Al-Nubala’ (6/22) – Al-Zahabi. (The Life of the Nobles)

[7] Previous source (10/476)

[8] Previous source (11/211)

[9] I’laam al-muwaqi’een – ibn al-qayim (1/28)

[10] Jami’ Bayan Al-Ilm wa Fadlih p.99 (The comprehensive statements on knowledge and its virtue)

[11] Fath Al-Bari (1/991)

[12] Surah Al-Hijr 15:99

[13] Narrated by Al-Bukhari

[14] I mentioned him [May Allah shower him with mercy] since he was one of the most significant scholars in replying to all the deviant sects around, but there are many other scholars besides him [May Allah have mercy on them all].

[15] Imam Muslim in the book of Birr

[16] Surah Al-‘Imran 3:188

[17] Surah Al-Najm 53:32

[18] Surah Al-Nisa’ 4:49

[19] Narrated by Muslim

[20] Surah Yusuf 12:55

[21] Surah Al-Saaf 61:3

[22] Tafseer ibn Katheer 1/2

[23] Narrated by Ibn ‘Abd Al-Baar in "Al-Jami’" 2/11

[24] Adab Al-Imlaa’ wa Al-Istimlaa’ p. 110

[25] Know that this is only for the traditions that speak about virtue. As for those that speak about Ahkham, Halal, Haram, and obligations then, you have to act upon them all.

[26] Tazkirat Al-Hufaaz by Al-Zahabi 2/1031

[27] Al-Usool Al-Thalatha by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Abd Al-Wahab

[28] Surah Al-Talaq 65:2

[29] Surah An-Nahl 16:78

[30] Al-Hath ‘Ala Talab Al-‘Ilm wa Al-Ijtihad fee Tahseelih (Encouragement to seeking Knowledge, and putting an effort in gaining it) by Abi Al-Hilal Al-‘Askari p.71.

[31] Benefit: Some have raised doubt about the authentic attribution of these verses to Imam Al-Shafi’ee; and they said that Imam Al-Shafi’ee was not a student of Wakee’. This can be answered by the following: Imam Al-Shafi’ee has narrated from Wakee’ as can be seen in his book "Al-Um" in the book of Sadaqat, as for the verses they are quite famous from the way of Imam Al-Shafi’ee.

[32] "Iqtida’ Al-‘Ilm Al-‘Amal" by Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdadi p.114

[33] same as footnote # 32 p. 114

 

Obstacle_thumb1

Abu Muhammad Ismail ibn Abi Bakr ibn al-Muqri, May Allah shower him with Mercy, authored a book that gathered 5 different Islamic Sciences, which he drafted in the most unique and brilliant manner.

Al-Sakhawi, May Allah Shower him with Mercy, said of the book, that it was: “amazingly composed”, and that the manner Abu Muhammad Al-Muqri drafted it “was never done before him” [1].

What’s unique about this book is that it was written in such a way that it discusses different Islamic Sciences depending on the way you read it!

1) When reading the complete text of the book, you will see the author discussing Fiqh.

2) When reading the first column by itself, you will see the author discussing the Science of Al-A’rud (i.e. the study of Poetic meters and the rhythmic structure of poems).

3) When reading the second column by itself, you will see the author discussing Islamic History.

4) When reading the third column by itself, you will see the author discussing the Science of Nahw (i.e. Grammar).

5) When reading the fourth column by itself, you will see the author discussing the Science of Al-Qawaafi (i.e. Rhymes)

He called the book [2]:

‘Unwan Al-Sharaf Al-Wafi

Fi ‘Ilm al-Fiqi wa-al-‘Arud wa-al-Tarikh

wa-al-Nahw wa-al-Qawafi

عُنوان الشرف الوافي في علم الفقه والعروض والتاريخ والنحو والقوافي

The book is 113 pages. A sample page can be seen below (with arrows added for clarity).

 

Unwan al-sharaf al-Wafi

 

[1] Al-Daw’ Al-Laami’ 1/451 by Al-Sakhawi

[2] Book Downloadable from: http://al-mostafa.info/data/arabic/depot3/gap.php?file=i002766.pdf

الحمد لله ولي الحمد ومستحقه الذي لا يــقوم بحمده أحد من خلقه وأشهد أن لـا

معبود للخلق إلا الله ولا إله لهم سواه وصـلى الله على سيد البشر رســول

ربنا ما رفع منار حق فلمع وأضاء نور علم وســطع اعلم أن العلم مصـباح

تستضيء به الأمة قد حمده الله واثنى عليه وأشرف ما استفتح من العـلوم علــم

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