Archive for July, 2009

Golden Chains

Posted in an-Nawawi, Ibn Kathir on July 24, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

In ‘Sahih Muslim’ (2880), Sufyan bin ‘Uyaynah narrated from Zaynab bint Abi Salamah from Habibah from Umm Habibah from Zaynab bint Jahsh that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) woke up one day and said: “Woe to the Arabs from an evil that has come closer! Today, a gap this size has formed in the wall containing Ya’juj and Ma’juj (Gog and Magog),” and Sufyan formed a circle with his fingers to demonstrate what was relayed to him. So, Zaynab asked: “O Messenger of Allah, can we be destroyed while there are righteous people among us?” He said: “Yes, if corruption becomes widespread.”

an-Nawawi commented in ‘Sharh Sahih Muslim’ (9/180):
“This chain of narration contains four female Companions – two of the Messenger of Allah’s wives and two of his step-daughters – narrating from each other in a continuous chain. And it is not known that any other hadith besides this combines four female Companions with each narrating from the other in a continuous chain.”

And Ibn Kathir mentioned the following gem in ‘Tafsir al-Qur’an al-‘Adhim’ (2/142):

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Applying What You Know

Posted in The Words of the Salaf on July 20, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

In ‘Siyar A’lam an-Nubala” (7/184), Sufyan ath-Thawri said:

ما بلغنى عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم حديث قط إلا عملت به ولو مرة

“There isn’t a single hadith of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) that has reached me except that I acted upon it, even if only once.”

ِAnd in ‘as-Siyar’ (9/457), it’s mentioned that al-Imam Ahmad bin Hambal said:

ما كتبت عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم حديث إلا وقد عملت به حتى مر بي في الحديث أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم احتجم وأعطى أبا طيبه ديناراً فأعطيت الحجام ديناراً حين احتجمت

“I never wrote down a hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) except that I acted upon it, to the point that I came across a report that the Prophet (peace be upon him) got cupped and gave Abu Taybah (his cupper) a dinar. So, I got cupped and gave the cupper a dinar.”

Four Points from Surat al-Kahf

Posted in Ibn Kathir on July 18, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

After reading ‘al-Kahf’ today, I decided to skim through Ibn Kathir’s commentary on it. Here are a few nice points I came across:

Verse 13: {“We narrate unto you their story with truth. Truly, they were young men who believed in their Lord , and We increased them in guidance.”}

Here and in the verse before it, Allah begins telling the story of a group of men who decided to believe in Him and worship Him alone, and then escaped to a cave on the outskirts of their city to save themselves from the persecution and wrongdoing of their disbelieving folk. Ibn Kathir commented on their age:

“Allah mentioned that they were young men, i.e. youths. And they are more accepting of the truth and better guided than the older men who had mired and drowned in a lifestyle of falsehood. This is why most of those who answered the call of Allah and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) were youths. As for the older men of Quraysh, most of them remained upon their old way of life, and none became Muslim except a few. Likewise, it’s pointed out here that the inhabitants of this cave were a group of youths.”

Verse 18: {“And you would have thought them awake while they were asleep. And We turned them on their right and on their left sides, with their dog stretching forth his two forelegs at the entrance…”}

As these young men slept inside the cave for a miraculous length of time, their dog was stretched out at its entrance. With all the heavy subjects addressed in the Qur’an, why would Allah dedicate this verse and others to mentioning this dog?

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Our Women: The Essence of the Ummah

Posted in Abu Qatadah on July 15, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

“…It is not a coincidence that the Qur’an tells us in ‘al-Qasas’ about the conflict between Musa and Fir’awn (Moses and Pharaoh), and the Qur’an’s focus on this conflict is the verse: {“And We wished to do a favor to those who were oppressed in the land, and to make them rulers and to make them the inheritors.”} [al-Qasas; 5] So, this transferal of power began with a woman, as Allah Said: {“And We inspired to the mother of Musa: “Suckle him. But, when you fear for him, cast him into the river and do not fear or grieve…””} [al-Qasas; 7]

So, the woman is the focal point of our conflict with our opponents, and the outcome of either victory or defeat will come through her. These are not words for a speech or poetry. Rather, it is the reality that we must all pay attention to.

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The Man Behind the Armor

Posted in Ibn Kathir, Original & Misc., The Lives of the Salaf on July 10, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

Salah ad-Din al-Ayyubi.

He defied the odds in an era of darkness. He set aside the criticism of those who called him crazy for wanting to do the seemingly impossible: uniting the Ummah, standing up to the Crusaders, and returning honor where it belonged. He was respected by both his friends and foes, and is perhaps one of the few men whose name evokes feelings of honor and pride in the minds of so many people in every era and place. Even the generally anti-Muslim film industry in America could not help but portray the honor and righteousness that Salah ad-Din was known for.

We all know of how he laid waste to the Crusaders and had them chasing their tails in the battles of Alexandria, Hittin, Acre, Tyre, Beirut, Nablus, Haifa, Tiberius, Gaza, ‘Asqalan, Jerusalem, and dozens of other cities and towns across Sham and North Africa. We know of Salah ad-Din the warrior.

But, who was the man behind the armor? What was he like as a person? What was he like as a Muslim? What personality does it take to carry out such heroic feats and achieve such a status?

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