Archive for March, 2008

Accustom Yourself to Harsh Conditions

Posted in Ibn 'Uthaymin on March 31, 2008 by Tarek Mehanna

Commenting on Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd’s words in ‘Hilyat Talib al-‘Ilm’:

“…and do not indulge in luxury and comfort…”

Shaykh Muhammad bin ‘Uthaymin (may Allah have Mercy upon them both) said:

“This is a piece of advice that should be given to both the student of knowledge and other than the student of knowledge. This is because indulging in these things contradicts the guidance of the Prophet, as he used to forbid excessive luxury, and would sometimes enjoin others to be barefoot. The person who becomes accustomed to comfort will find it difficult to face various situations, as he will face things that do not correspond to the luxury and comfort that he is used to.

Let us take an example, and it is the example we mentioned of the hadith enjoining occasionally being barefoot. Some of the people do not leave their feet bare at times. They always have to have socks, khuffs, or shoes, and you never find them walking much. Such a man, were you to suggest to him that he walk 500 meters without anything protecting his feet, you would find this to be extremely hard on him. His feet might even start bleeding from the harshness of the ground! However, if he makes himself accustomed to harsh conditions and avoids constant comfort, you would find that he would be blessed with much good.

If the body is not accustomed to such conditions, it will not have immunity to pain. So, you would find such a person feeling pain from anything, while if he possessed immunity, he would pay it no mind. This is why you find the hands of laborers to be much stronger and firmer than the hands of students of knowledge. There is nothing to deter or prevent a laborer from doing anything since his hands have become accustomed to these conditions. This is to the point that if you touch the hands of a laborer, it is as if you are touching a rock because of the roughness and harshness, and if he were to wrap his fingers around your hand, it would hurt a lot. This is due to his long hours handling mud and bricks, and because he has accustomed himself to this.

So, when a person accustoms himself to comfort and luxury, there is no doubt that this will harm him greatly…”

[‘Sharh Hilyat Talib al-‘Ilm’; p. 43]

The Scales of Allah

Posted in 'Abdullah 'Azzam, Books & PDFs on March 27, 2008 by Tarek Mehanna


“…This is the cream of the people. Search for it. Live with it. Travel with it as your guide and under its leadership. Worship Allāh by way of the light that you see and hear from them…”


Two funny narrations regarding the beard

Posted in The Words of the Salaf on March 20, 2008 by Tarek Mehanna

Ibn Hajar reported that az-Zubayr said:

“Qays bin Sa’d did not have any hair that grew on his face, and the Ansar used to say: “We wish that we could use our money to purchase a beard for Qays bin Sa’d!””

[‘al-Isabah fi Ma’rifat as-Sahabah’; 5/360]

In the biography of Dia’ bin Sa’d bin Muhammad bin ‘Uthman al-Qazwini al-‘Afifi, it is narrated that:

“…his beard was so long that it reached his feet, and he would not sleep except that it was wrapped in a bag, and it would divide into two parts whenever he rode a horse.”

[as-Suyuti’s ‘Baghyat al-Wu’ah’ (2/14) and ‘Durrat al-Hijal fi Asma’ ar-Rijal’ (3/37)]

Clarifying the Obligation of Hijrah

Posted in Books & PDFs on March 15, 2008 by Tarek Mehanna


“…The more one is in contact with an environment, the more he becomes desensitized to it…”


“O people! Repeat your prayer, for your imam has disbelieved!”

Posted in Ahmad Shakir on March 11, 2008 by Tarek Mehanna

“Taha Husayn (a well-known secularist) had just graduated from the Old Egyptian University, and he was blind at the time. It was decided that he could be sent abroad to Europe (to complete his studies). So, the ruler invited him to a generous reception and showered him with many nourishing and helpful gifts. After this incident, Muhammad al-Mahdi gave the Friday sermon, and at that time, he was a government preacher whose sermons were attended by scholars and secretaries and other major figures. So, the preacher (Muhammad al-Mahdi) began praising the ruler excessively, to the point that he said, regarding the ruler: “And the blind one came to him, so he did not frown or turn away” (a mocking reference to the Prophet – peace be upon him – in the story the chapter of ‘‘Abasa’).

And from the attendees of this sermon was my father, the Shaykh, the Qadi, Muhammad Shakir. So, he got up after the prayer and said to the people: “O people! Repeat your prayer, for your imam has disbelieved!” Then he made the call to prayer from anew and prayed, and behind him prayed every single person in the masjid.

I swear by Allah that afterwards I saw Muhammad al-Mahdi with my own two eyes as a pathetic and subdued servant at the entrance of a masjid in Cairo, taking the shoes of the worshippers and putting them away for them in a state of humiliation and lowliness.”

[‘Kalimat Haqq’; p. 173]

Three Distinctions Often Confused

Posted in Ibn al-Qayyim on March 8, 2008 by Tarek Mehanna

There are certain things that the soul often confuses and mixes up, and only those with deep insight and wisdom are able to properly distinguish between them. Ibn al-Qayyim points out some of these fine details and distinctions that should be made.

Continue reading

Alliance and Disavowal in al-Mumtahanah

Posted in Books & PDFs on March 3, 2008 by Tarek Mehanna


“…The hardest thing I came across in the course of this short journey was moving from one verse to the next, since each verse in this chapter takes the one who reads them – let alone reflects on them – and imprisons him such that he cannot break free….”