Archive for the Ibn al-Qayyim Category

Being Generous: A Source of Relaxation

Posted in Ibn al-Qayyim, Ramadan on September 7, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

“…The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was the most generous person in giving away what he owned, and he would never look at something as being either too big or too insignificant to give up for the sake of Allah.

Nobody would ask him for anything except that he gave it to them, regardless of how big or small it was.  He gave things away in a way that made it seem that he never feared poverty, and generosity and charity were the most beloved things to him. His happiness and joy in giving something away was more than that felt by those who would accept his gifts. He was the most generous person, and his generosity was like the blowing wind.

If a person in need would approach him, he would always prefer that person to himself. This was sometimes in the form of food, and was sometimes in the form of clothing.

He would have variety in terms of how he would give things away:

Continue reading

Only for the Lovers of Knowledge…

Posted in Ibn al-Qayyim on June 10, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

There are a number of verses in the Qur’an showing that the inhabitants of Paradise will visit and remind each other of what they had between them and what they used to occupy themselves with during their time in this life (see as-Saffat; 50-51 and at-Tur; 25-28).

Ibn al-Qayyim, in his book ‘Hadi al-Arwah’ (p. 338), concludes a chapter on this topic by describing the state of those who loved to read, discuss, and otherwise occupy themselves with Shar’i knowledge during their time in this world while everyone else was doing their thing:

“…And if they will discuss the things that happened between them, then discussing what they were curious about in this world related to knowledge, understanding the Qur’an and Sunnah, and the authenticity of ahadith is even more likely and appropriate. This is because discussing these things in this life was more pleasurable for them than eating, drinking, and sex.

So, discussing this in Paradise would be even sweeter, and this is a pleasure that only the people of knowledge experience, and it’s what distinguishes them from everyone else…”

The Best Thing to Do

Posted in Ibn al-Qayyim, Original & Misc. on May 27, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

One problem many of us face is that we want to do so much at once, and thus become overwhelmed in our thoughts trying to establish exactly what we should be doing and what our obligations are at a given point in time. This leads us to focus on what we can’t accomplish moreso than what we can accomplish. This can be well and good, and as Ibn al-Jawzi said, a person can be rewarded for his intentions more than for his actions. However, the point of intending is to be productive and extract something physical from that intention.

Part of being productive is to have a methodical approach as to when to focus on what. For example, if your worship and intentions for specific efforts are organized and you properly place your focus where and when it should be, you’ll find yourself accomplishing much more as a Muslim, no matter if you’re a scholar who teaches, a caller to Allah who motivates, or a general worshipper who simply wants to get closer to your Lord.

Without wanting to get into immense detail, I thought it sufficient to present a few words to to illustrate this that Ibn al-Qayyim had written in ‘Madarij as-Salikin’ (1/188):

Continue reading

The Secret in Having Your Supplication Answered

Posted in Ibn al-Qayyim on May 22, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

“…And I often find that people supplicate with certain prayers and have their prayers answered, and they couple their supplication with their neediness and turning towards Allah, or a good deed they carried out that caused Allah to respond to this supplication out of gratitude for this good deed, or they happened to supplicate at a time in which it is more likely to be accepted, etc. So, his supplication was answered because of this.

One might think that the secret was in the specific wording of his supplication, and might therefore approach it simply from this angle while ignoring all of these other things that were coupled with it by the person supplicating. This is like someone who uses beneficial medicine at its proper time and in the proper manner and it benefits him as a result, and someone else thinks that simply using this medicine regardless of these other factors will bring about the same benefit. This person is wrong, and this is where many people fall into error.

An example of this is when a needy person supplicates near a grave. So, the ignorant one thinks that the secret of his supplication being answered lies in this grave, and he doesn’t know that the real secret is in his neediness and full dependence on Allah. So, if this happens in a House from the Houses of Allah, this would be better and more beloved to Allah.

And supplications and prayers of refuge are like weapons, and a weapon is only as effective as the one using it, not just based on how sharp it is. So, as perfect and flawless a weapon is, as strong as the arm is that is using it, as much as there is nothing to nullify its effectiveness – the more damaging it will be against the enemy. And whenever one of these three elements is absent, the effect will be held back.

So, if the supplication itself is not good, or the one supplicating does not have both his heart and tongue present when making it, or there is some element present to prevent it from being answered, it will have no effect…”

[‘ad-Da’ wad-Dawa”; p. 40-41]

Recognizing the Bounds of Our Mannerisms

Posted in Ibn al-Qayyim on April 4, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

“…Mannerisms have limits. When these limits are crossed, this is transgression. When they are fallen short of, this is deficiency and disgrace.

Anger has a limit: and it is to be bold while being above having negative and deficient traits, and this is the perfect form of anger. If this limit is exceeded, you become a transgressor. If you fall short of it, you will be a coward and will not be able to raise yourself above negative traits.

Covetousness has a limit: it is to take all you need from this world and what it has to offer you. When you fall short of this limit, it becomes disgrace and wastefulness. When you exceed this limit, you end up wanting what you shouldn’t want.

Envy has a limit: and it is to compete in becoming perfect and to excel such that your rival is unable to excel over you. When this limit is exceeded, you transgress and oppress in which you wish that the good things are taken away from the one you envy and are keen to harm him. When you fall short of this limit, you become low, weak in aspiration, and you belittle yourself. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “There should be no envy except in regards to two things: a man who was granted wealth by Allah and he was able to spend it for the sake of the truth, and a man who was granted wisdom by Allah and he takes it and teaches it to the people.” So, this is an envy of competition, where the envious one pushes himself to be like the one he envies without wishing that he is deprived of the good things that are with him.

Continue reading

The ‘Ibadah of al-Muraghamah

Posted in 'Abdullah 'Azzam, Ibn al-Qayyim on February 17, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

Ibn al-Qayyim said in ‘Madarij as-Salikin’ (1/222-223):

“…the firmer he is when calling to Allah and fulfilling His commands, the more the enemy becomes intent upon tempting him through foolish people. So, he has essentially put on his body armor when facing this obstacle, and has taken it upon himself to confront the enemy for Allah’s sake and in His Name, and his worship in doing so is the worship of the best of those who know Allah, and it is known as the act of muraghamah, and none are aware of this except those with complete and perfect insight.

And there is nothing more beloved to Allah than one of His awliya’ engaging in the muraghamah and angering of His enemy, and He has alluded to this type of worship in various places in the Qur’an.

Continue reading

Their Kufr Is Worse than Their Bombing of Gaza!

Posted in Ibn al-Qayyim on January 6, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

In the Name of Allah, we praise Him and invoke peace and blessings upon His Messenger.

While we are all following the attacks on our brothers and sisters in Gaza in increasing anger, it is necessary to remember an essential theological concept with every dead woman or child we see on TV lying in a pile of rubble: our enmity towards this accursed nation should be first and foremost because of their kufr. Their offenses against Allah and His Prophets since the start of their existence far outweigh in evil and vileness all of the bombs, missiles, killing, starvation, and expulsion they have afflicted us with since 1948.

Continue reading