Archive for the Scholarly Selections Category

Advice on Dealing with Family

Posted in Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi on October 14, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

“…And I want to remind you of the saying of the Prophet  (صلى الله عليه و سلم): “The believer who mixes with the people and is patient with the harm they inflict is better than the believer who doesn’t mix with the people and isn’t patient with the harm they inflict,” as reported by Ahmad and others from Ibn ‘Umar.

Based on this, what I advise you to do is to be patient with your family and to withstand their harm and to strive to give them da’wah and try to save them from the Fire, as in the verse: {“O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is men and stones. It has stern, severe Angels watching over it who don’t disobey Allah in what He orders them with, and they do all that they are ordered.”} [at-Tahrim; 6]

And I hope you don’t think of leaving the house and abandoning them. Exhaust all means of da’wah with them, especially if staying with them will have some effect on even a few of them.

Beware of starting off in a harsh and extreme way that will turn them off. Rather, talk to them according to what they understand with wisdom and kindness, as Allah Said: {“Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and kind way of speaking, and discuss with them in the best way.”} [an-Nahl; 125]

And remember the saying of the Prophet  (صلى الله عليه و سلم): “Give glad tidings, and do not turn people away,” and: “Indeed, gentleness isn’t found in something except that it beautifies it, and it isn’t removed from something except that it ruins it.”

And start with the most important issues, and go in order. Don’t get into arguments with them over secondary matters while their principles are messed up. Instead, begin by addressing the principles, and if you happen to come across problems in secondary issues, tie it to the main principles and don’t make your enmity with them except when it comes to the basic principle of the Religion, Tawhid, its nullifiers, and what breaks its firm handhold…”

Original Arabic

“…Which group should I join?”

Posted in Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi on October 8, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

“…You ask about which group you should join.

I advise you to aid the truth and Tawhid (pure monotheism) and its adherents, and to search for those who best fulfill this description and be patient alongside them, as Allah Said to His Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم): {“And be patient alongside those who call upon their Lord in the morning and afternoon, seeking His Face…”} [al-Kahf; 28]

You have to first know and learn the truth and Tawhid in order to know its adherents, because people are recognized in light of the truth. So, if you come to know the closest people to the call to Tawhid, hold tightly to their friendship and help them as much as you can.

Beware of blind allegiance to personalities, as this will block you off from much good.

The people of the truth that I advise you to stick with must combine these important characteristics:

  • they adhere to the belief of Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah
  • they follow the Prophetic method in calling to Tawhid and disassociating themselves from shirk
  • they do this openly, just as Prophet Ibrahim and his followers did
  • they do not have blind allegiance except to textual evidence
  • they do their part in aiding and giving victory to the Religion
  • they are not hurt by those who oppose them or betray them, as in the description of the Ta’ifah al-Mansurah (the Victorious Group – may Allah make us from it)…”

Original Arabic

Avoiding the Satanic ‘Intellect’

Posted in The Scholars of Najd on October 5, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

This was a piece of advice from Hamad bin ‘Atiq an-Najdi to Muslims in general, written around two hundred years ago. It finds itself very relevant today.

“…And it should be known that intellect (‘aql) is of three types:

  • Natural intellect
  • Faith-based intellect obtained from the Prophetic light
  • Satanic, hypocritical  ‘intellect’

And the possessors of this last type think they are something special, and this type of intellect is found among many people – most of them, in fact. It is the essence of ruin and the fruit of hypocrisy, as its possessors think that intellect is to please everyone and to not go against their interests and desires, as well as to gain their friendship (at the expense of speaking the truth). They say that the best thing for you is to just be part of the people and don’t cause them to hate you.

This is the corruption and ruin of the soul, and this is due to four things:

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The Hypocrites of Today

Posted in The Words of the Salaf on October 3, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

These are some timely narrations collected by Muhammad Musa Nasr in his book ‘al-Munafiqun’ (p. 95-98). They are all authentic.

1 – Jubayr bin Nufayr said:

“I went to visit Abu ad-Darda’ at his home in Homs, and I found him praying at his mosque. When he sat for the tashahhud, he began seeking refuge with Allah from hypocrisy. When he finished, I went to him and asked: “May Allah Forgive you, Aba ad-Darda’! What do you have to do with hypocrisy?”

He replied: “O Allah, Your Forgiveness! (he said this three times) Nobody who feels safe from tribulation will be safe from it! By Allah, a man can be tested for a single hour and turn back on his religion.””

2 – ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr said:

“There will come a time when people will gather in their mosques, and there won’t be a single believer in them.”

3 – al-Hasan said:

“The Hour will not come until each people will be overwhelmed by their hypocrites.”

4 – Hudhayfah said:

“The hypocrites among you today are worse than the hypocrites who lived at the time of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم)!”

He was asked: “O Aba ‘Abdillah, how is this so?”

He replied: “They used to hide their hypocrisy. As for the ones today, they display it openly.”

“Enjoy this House.”

Posted in The Words of the Salaf on September 30, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

With Hajj season coming up, I thought it appropriate to present these narrations regarding the Ka’bah from Hamud at-Tuwayjri’s ‘Ithaf al-Jama’ah’ (3/214):

Ibn ‘Umar narrated that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Enjoy and take advantage of this House, as it has been destroyed twice and will be raised up on the third.”

[Reported by Ibn Hibban in his ‘Sahih’ and the ‘Mustadrak’ of al-Hakim, and adh-Dhahabi agreed on its authentication in his ‘Talkhis’]

Ma’mar said: “It has reached me from some that the Ka’bah will be destroyed three times, and will be raised up on the third or fourth time. So, enjoy and take advantage of it.”

[Reported in the ‘Musannaf’ of ‘Abd ar-Razzaq]

Ka’b said regarding the Ka’bah: “You will destroy it three times, O people. It will then be raised up on the fourth time. So, enjoy and take advantage of it.”

[Reported in the ‘Musannaf’ of ‘Abd ar-Razzaq with a chain that is authentic according to the conditions of al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Mothers: Producers of Heroes

Posted in 'Abdullah 'Azzam on September 22, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

“…Mothers play a great role in building a generation. The better a mother is at raising her children, the more successfully the Ummah is built and the more successful it is at producing heroes. You hardly ever see a great man except that a great woman is behind him who left some of her traits in his personality by way of the milk from which he was fed and the warm embrace in which he sought refuge.

Most men find it hard to remove these shining images from their minds that they retain of their mothers. These outstanding images that ran through his veins from a young age remain engraved in his mind, and he cannot help but to remember them with veneration and pride. He recalls the simple, clear words that his mother left his spirit with, and these words grow to become milestones on his path and guiding lights on his quest.

He cannot help but to place himself under the vast shade that his mother provided for him throughout the long course of his life, nurtured by the pleasant emotions and mixed with the eternal days of his life. These realities grow in his spirit and become an inseparable part of his personality that he cannot let go of without letting go of his humanity.

This is why preserving this affection and repaying this kindness with kindness is an obligation in Islam that is directly partnered with Tawhid: {“…and your Lord ordained that you worship only Him, and that you treat your parents with excellence…”} [al-Isra’; 23] And disobedience to them is directly partnered with kufr.

Respect for mothers occupies a very high position on the ladder of Islam, and is very heavy in its scales. It is reported in the ‘Sahih’ that a man came to the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and said: “O Messenger of Allah, who is most deserving of my kind treatment?” He replied: “Your mother.” The man asked: “Then who?” He replied: “Your mother.” The man asked again: “Then who?” He replied: “Your mother.” The man asked again: “Then who?” He replied: “Your father.”

I once said to Ibrahim al-Akhdar – the imam of the Haram in Makkah – “Why do you prevent your sweet voice from being heard by the Muslims who come from everywhere to hear it? How can you request to return to Madinah when some people say that hearing you recite the Qur’an is like hearing it descending fresh from the heavens?”

So, he replied: “My treasures in this world are my grandmother and mother, and I must fulfill my responsibilities to them and treat them well. Nobody can do this but me.”

I said: “Why don’t you bring your grandmother here?”

He said: “She refuses to leave Madinah out of fear that she might die outside of it, and her greatest wish is to be buried in the graveyard of al-Baqi’.”

And indeed, Ibrahim actually left the Haram in Makkah and went back to leading a small mosque in Madinah, sticking to the Paradise that is at the foot of his mother and grandmother…”

[‘Majallat al-Jihad’; #36, Rabi’ al-Awwal 1408]

In the Shade of Laylat al-Qadr

Posted in Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani, Ibn Kathir, Ramadan, Sayyid Qutb on September 13, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

1 – The Meaning of Qadr

Ibn Hajar said in ‘Fath al-Bari’ (4/323-324):

“There are various explanations of the meaning of the qadr that this night is ascribed to.

It was said that it means veneration, as in the verse: {“…and they didn’t venerate (qadar) Allah as He deserved…”} [al-An’am; 91] This refers to it being a night of veneration due to the revelation of the Qur’an taking place in it, or due to the descent of the Angels in it, or due to the blessing and mercy and forgiveness that descend in it, or that those who stay up that night in worship are venerated.

It was also said that qadr here means constriction, as in the verse: {“…and who is constricted (qadara) in his provision…”} [at-Talaq; 7] This refers to it being a night of constriction due to the exact night being hidden, or because the Earth is constricted due to the presence of such a large number of Angels.

It was also said that it is qadar, derived from the word for judgment. This refers to the fact that all the judgments of that year are made on this night…”

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