Archive for the Ibn al-Jawzi Category

The Likeness of Ramadan and Prophet Yusuf

Posted in Ibn al-Jawzi, Ramadan on August 25, 2008 by Tarek Mehanna

“The month of Ramadan to the other months is like Yusuf to his brothers. So, just like Yusuf was the most beloved son to Ya’qub, Ramadan is the most beloved month to Allah.

A nice point for the nation of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) to ponder over is that if Yusuf had the mercy and compassion to say {“There is no reproach for you today…”} [Yusuf; 92], Ramadan is the month of mercy, blessing, goodness, salvation from the Fire, and Forgiveness from the King that exceeds that of all the other months and what can be gained from their days and nights.

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“Am I one of the oppressors…?”

Posted in Ibn al-Jawzi, The Lives of the Salaf on February 9, 2008 by Tarek Mehanna

When Ahmad bin Hambal was imprisoned, one of the prison guards came to him and asked him:

“O Abu ‘Abdillah! The hadith that is narrated regarding the oppressors and those that aid them – is it authentic?”

He said: “Yes.”

The prison guard then said: “So, I am considered to be an aide of the oppressors?”

Imam Ahmad replied: “No. The aides of the oppressors are those that comb your hair, and wash your clothes, and prepare your meals, and buy and sell from you. As for you, then you are one of the oppressors themselves.”

[‘Manaqib al-Imam Ahmad’; p. 397]

“Do not envy anyone who has not been harmed for the sake of this affair.”

Posted in Ibn al-Jawzi on February 9, 2008 by Tarek Mehanna

“al-Harith bin Miskin entered upon Ahmad bin Hambal while he was being tortured, and narrated:

“Yusuf bin ‘Umar bin Yazid narrated to me that Malik bin Anas said: “az-Zuhri was dragged away until he was beaten with a whip.” So, it was said to him: “But az-Zuhri was brought out in front of the people had has books hung from his neck!” So, Malik said: “Sa’id bin al-Musayyib was beaten with a whip, and his hair and beard were shaven off, and Abu az-Zinad was beaten with a whip, as was Muhammad bin al-Munkadir.””

And ‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz said: “Do not envy anyone who has not been harmed for the sake of this affair (i.e., Islam)!””

So, Ahmad became pleased at these narrations of al-Harith’s.”

[‘Manaqib al-Imam Ahmad’; p. 321]

“And the people are still being put to trial for the Sake of Allah, and being patient upon that. For example, the Prophets would be killed, and the righteous people of the previous nations would be killed and burned alive. One of them would even have his flesh combed off of his body with a metal comb, and he would remain upon his religion, despite this.

The Messenger of Allah was poisoned, as was Abu Bakr. ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, and ‘Ali were all killed. al-Hasan was poisoned, and al-Husayn was killed. ‘Abdullah bin az-Zubayr, ad-Dahhak bin Qays, and an-Nu’man bin Bashir were also all killed, and Khubayb bin ‘Udayy was crucified.

al-Hajjaj killed ‘Abd ar-Rahman bin Abi Layla, ‘Abd ar-Rahman bin Ghalib al-Hidani, Sa’id bin Jubayr, Abu al-Bukhtari at-Ta’i, Kumayl bin Ziyad, and crucified Mahan al-Hanafi. He had also crucified ‘Abdullah bin az-Zubayr beforehand.

al-Wathiq killed Ahmad bin Nasr al-Khuza’i and crucified him.

As for those who were persecuted from the major scholars: ‘Abd ar-Rahman bin Abi Layla; he was whipped by al-Hajjaj over four hundred lashes, then al-Hajjaj killed him.

Abu az-Zinad was whipped by Banu Umayyah, and Abu ‘Amr bin al-‘Ala’ was whipped by Banu Umayyah over five hundred lashes, and Rabi’ah ar-Ra’i was also whipped by Banu Umayyah.

‘Atiyyah al-‘Awfi was whipped by al-Hajjaj over four hundred lashes, and Yazid ad-Dabiyy was also whipped over four hundred lashes by al-Hajjaj.

Thabit al-Binani was whipped by al-Jarud (the successor of Ibn Ziyad), and ‘Abdullah bin ‘Awn was whipped over seven hundred lashes by Bilal bin Abi Bardah.

al-Imam Malik bin Anas was whipped by al-Mansur over seventy lashes, and Abu as-Sawwar al-‘Adawi and ‘Uqbah bin ‘Abd al-Ghafir were also lashed several times.”

[‘Manaqib al-Imam Ahmad’; p. 322]

Shabat (one of Ahmad’s torturers who later repented) said:

“I whipped Ahmad bin Hambal with over eighty lashes. If I had struck an elephant with these lashes, they would have caused it to collapse.”

[‘Manaqib al-Imam Ahmad’; p. 157]

Abu Muhammad adh-Dhuhali

Posted in Ibn al-Jawzi, The Lives of the Salaf on February 9, 2008 by Tarek Mehanna

He was known as Abu Hamdun ad-Dallal. He was one of the well known recitors, and was known for his righteousness and abstinence from worldly pleasures.

He learned to recite from al-Kisa’i and Ya’qub al-Hadrami.

Abu al-‘Abbas Ahmad bin Masruq narrated:

“I heard the recitor Abu Hamdun say: “I prayed at night one time, so I accidentally mispronounced a letter from the Qur’an. I lifted my eyes to see a light in front of me, saying to me: “Between you and Allah is me.”

So, I asked: “And who are you?”

It said: “I am the letter that you mispronounced.”

I said: “I will never do so again.”

So, I continued reciting, and I never mispronounced a letter after that again.””

Abu Muhammad al-Hasan bin ‘Ali bin Sulayh narrated:

“Abu Hamdun at-Tayyib bin Isma’il lost his eyesight, so he had someone leading him into the masjid. When they entered the masjid, his assistant said to him: “Mister, take off your shoes now.”

So, Abu Hamdun asked: “O my son! Why should I take them off?”

He said: “Because there is some impurity on them.”

ٍSo, Abu Hamdun became distressed that he could bring filth from his shoes into the masjid, so, he raised his hands and supplicated, then Allah returned his eyesight to him, and he continued walking.”

Abu ‘Abdullah bin al-Khatib narrated:

“Abu Hamdun had a scroll on which was written the names of 300 of his close friends, and he used to supplicate for them – one by one – every single night. One night, he went to sleep without doing so. So, in his sleep, he heard a voice saying: “O Abu Hamdun, why did you not light your lamps this evening?” So, he woke up, and lit his lamp, and began supplicating for each and every name on the list until he completed it.”

And Abu al-Husayn bin al-Munadi narrated:

“Abu Hamdun at-Tayyib bin Isma’il adh-Dhuhali is from the best of the righteous who is well known for his recitation of the Qur’an. He used to purposely visit the areas where there was a lack of recitors for the people and teach them. When they had memorized from him, he would move on to a different area doing the same. He used to always pay special attention to the outcasts in the community. May Allah have Mercy upon him.”

He narrated hadith from al-Musayyib bin Shurayk, Sufyan bin ‘Uyaynah, and Shu’ayb bin Harb.

[‘Sifat as-Safwah’; 1/492-493]

A Man from Egypt

Posted in Ibn al-Jawzi, The Lives of the Salaf on February 9, 2008 by Tarek Mehanna

One of the wise men of the past said:

“I passed by a village in Egypt seeking to engage in Ribat (guarding the Muslim frontier against the disbelievers), when suddenly I passed by a man in sitting in the dark. His was missing his eyes, as well as his hands and legs. He was suffering all types of difficulty, while saying: “Praise be to You, Allah – a praising that combines the praises of all of Your Creation – for what You have blessed me with, and preferred me greatly over many of those whom You have Created.”

So, I said to him: “For what blessing are you praising Allah? For what preference are you thanking Him for? By Allah, I do not see any type of difficulty except that you are experiencing it!”

So, he said: “Do you not see what has happened to me? By Allah, if He were to cause the heavens to rain fire down upon me, and I were to be burned up because of it, and He were to command the mountains to crush me, and He were to command the oceans to drown me, I would not increase except in praising and thanks to Him, and I request something of you: I have a daughter who used to serve me and break my fast with me. Can you see if you can find her?”

I said to myself: “By Allah, I hope that in fulfilling the request of this pious servant, I will gain nearness to Allah – the Mighty and Majestic.” So, I went out looking for her in the desert to discover that she had been eaten by wild beasts. I said to myself: “To Allah we belong and to Him we return! How will I tell this pious servant that his daughter had died?” So, I went to him and asked him: “Are you better in the Sight of Allah than Prophet Ayyub? Allah put him to trial with his wealth and his children and family.”

He replied: “No, rather, Ayyub is better!”

I said: “Well, the daughter that you had asked me to find, I found that she has been eaten by wild beasts.”

He said: “Praise be to Allah who has taken me out of this World without putting in my heart any love for it.” Then he collapsed and died.

I said: “To Allah we belong and to Him we return! Who will help me to wash his body and bury it?” Suddenly, a group of horsemen engaging in Ribat passed by, so I motioned for them to stop. They came over, so I informed them of what had happend, so we washed the man’s body, shrouded it and buried it in this village, and the group of men then went on their way.

I spent the night in the village unable to leave this man. When a third of the night had passed, I began dreaming that I was with him in a green garden. He was wearing two beautiful green garments, and he was standing up and reciting the Qur’an. I said to him: “Are you not my companion from yesterday?”

He said: “Yes, I am.”

I said: “How did you reach your current state (of health and happiness)?”

He replied: “I have reached a level that none of the patient reach, except those who are patient during times of calamity and thankful during times of ease.””

[‘Sifat as-Safwah’; 2/452]

‘Ali bin Bakkar

Posted in Ibn al-Jawzi, The Lives of the Salaf on February 9, 2008 by Tarek Mehanna

He was detached from the worldly pleasures. He became a fighter and guarder of the Muslim lands; a truthful worshipper.

He lived in al-Masisah (in Sham) as a fighter, and he was a scholar of Fiqh.

Musa bin Turayf said:

“‘Ali bin Bakkar’s slave-girl used to spread his bed for him, so he would touch it with his hand and say: “By Allah, you feel good; by Allah, you feel cool; by Allah, I will not lay on you tonight,” and he would pray until the next morning with the same wudu’.”

Abul-Hasan bin Abi al-Ward said:

“A man said to us: “We came to ‘Ali bin Bakkar and said to him: “Hudhayfah bin al-Mar’ashi sends you his greetings.” So, he said to us: “May peace be upon you and him. I know of him that he has only eaten that which is lawful for over thirty years, and I would love to meet Satan more than I would love to meet him.” I asked him why this was, and he said: “I am afraid that I would try to beautify myself for him out my respect for him, and then be guilty of beautifying myself for other than Allah, and as a result, have my status lowered in the Eyes of Allah – the Mighty and Majestic.””

Yusuf bin Muslim said:

“‘Ali bin Bakkar wept until he became blind, and his tears would leave marks on his cheeks.”

Fayd bin Ishaq said:

“I came to ‘Ali bin Bakkar, seeking to go out in the Path of Allah, so asked him to advise me. He said: “Fear Allah and stay in your dwelling, guard your tongue, and avoid unnecessarily mixing with the people, and wisdom will be poured on you from above you.”

Yahya bin Zakariyyah said:

“We were with ‘Ali bin Bakkar, so some clouds passed by overhead. I asked him about something, so he said to me: “Be quiet! Do you not fear that these clouds will be followed by rocks that will be poured down on us?”

It has been narrated to us that ‘Ali bin Bakkar was stricken with an injury during a battle that he fought in, as a result of which his intestines spilled out of his stomach. He then gathered his intestines and pushed them back into his stomach, then tied the wound up with his turban. He then jumped back into the battle and was killed after he himself had killed thirteen disbelievers.

‘Ali bin Bakkar narrated hadith from Hisham bin Hassan, Abu Ishaq al-Fizari, Abu Khaldah, etc. He was a close companion of Ibrahim bin Adham.

He was killed in al-Masisah in the year 199 H.

[‘Sifat as-Safwah’; 2/410-411]

Maymunah as-Sawda’

Posted in Ibn al-Jawzi, The Lives of the Salaf on February 9, 2008 by Tarek Mehanna

al-Fudayl bin ‘Iyad narrated:

‘Abdul-Wahid bin Zayd said: “I asked Allah – the Mighty and Majestic – for three nights in a row to show me my future companion in Paradise in a dream, so in my dream, I heard a caller saying: “O ‘Abdul-Wahid! Your companion in Paradise is Maymunah as-Sawda’.” So, I asked: “And where is she now?” The voice replied: “She is among such-and-such a tribe in Kufah.”

So, I went out to Kufah and asked about her, so I was told: “She is among us, and she takes care of the livestock.” So, I said: “I wish to see her.” I was taken to the place where she was, and found her standing in prayer with a walking stick to support her. She was wearing a wool cloak, with a sign written on it that said: “Not to be bought or sold.” ِAlso, the sheep that she was supposed to be caring for were surrounded by wolves. However, the wolves were not trying to attack the sheep, and the sheep were not afraid of the wolves.

When she saw me, she ended her prayer and said to me: “Go back, Ibn Zayd. Our meeting place is not here. Rather, it is later on (in the Hereafter).”

I said to her: “May Allah have Mercy upon you! Who told you that I am Ibn Zayd?”

She said: “I know that the souls are like a unified army, so the souls that go together are one, and the souls that differ from each other are divided.”

I said to her: “Advise me.”

She said: “Strange! An admonisher who wishes to be admonished? O Ibn Zayd, it has been related to me that a servant is not given anything of this worldly life and wished for more of it, except that Allah ceases to allow that servant to love Him and desire Him, and He exchanges the closeness that he had with Him for distance…” Then she recited:

O admonisher! The accounting has begun * To drive the people away from sin

You forbid others while you are the one who is truly ill * This is indeed a strange evil

If you had rectified yourself beforehand * Your mistakes and repented recently

Then – my dear – what you you said * Would have had a position of truth in the heart

You warn against temptation and excess * While you yourself are in a state of doubt”

I then said to her: “I see these wolves with the sheep, but the sheep do not run away from the wolves, and the wolves do not try to eat the sheep! What is this?”

She said: “This is a sign to you from me: since I made peace between my Master and I, He made peace between the wolves and the sheep.””

[‘Sifat as-Safwah’; 2/115]