Archive for the Ibn Taymiyyah Category

Hardship Isn’t the Point

Posted in Ibn Taymiyyah on September 12, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

“…And it should be known that Allah’s Pleasure and Love are not dependent on you torturing yourself and going through hardship, such that something is better simply on account of how hard it is. It is assumed by many ignorant people that the reward is obtained in accordance with hardship in everything. No! Rather, the reward is in accordance with the benefit of the act and how much it manifests obedience to Allah and His Messenger.

So, the more beneficial an act and the more obedient its doer, the more virtuous it is. Actions aren’t virtuous due to their quantity. Rather, they are virtuous due to the effect they have on the heart.

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The Believer Fears No Person!

Posted in Ibn al-Qayyim, Ibn Taymiyyah, Original & Misc., Sayyid Qutb on January 1, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

Ibn Taymiyyah commented (‘Majmu’ al-Fatawa’; 1/77-78) on the verse: {“It is only Satan that suggests to you the fear of his allies. So, do not fear them, and fear Me if you are believers.”} [Al ‘Imran; 175]:

“So, this verse proves that Satan makes his allies sources of fear, and he causes people to be afraid of them. And the verse shows that it is not permissible for the believer to fear the allies of Satan, and he should not fear people, as it was Said: {“So, do not fear the people, and fear Me…”} [al-Ma’idah; 44] So, we are commanded to fear Allah, and we are prohibited from fearing the allies of Satan. Allah Said: {“…So that men may have no argument against you except those of them that are wrong-doers. So, fear them not, and fear Me!”} [al-Baqarah; 150] So, He prohibited the fear of the wrong-doer, and He commanded us to fear Him.

He also Said: {“Those who convey the message of Allah and fear Him, and fear none except Allah…”} [al-Ahzab; 39] And He Said: {“…and fear Me, alone…”} [an-Nahl; 51]

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The Rule of Interaction and Imitation

Posted in Ibn Taymiyyah on October 6, 2008 by Tarek Mehanna

“…Allah fashioned the human, as well as every type of creature, to naturally interact with similar creatures. The closer these two creatures are, the more they will interact and become similar to each other in their manners and characteristics, to the point that one would be unable to distinguish between them except in terms of their physical appearance.

Since human beings are closest to each other, their interaction with and imitation of each other is the strongest. Although not as strong, the closeness of humans to animals is intermediate, and there must be interaction and imitation between them to a certain degree as well. Although extremely weak, there is also a degree of closeness between humans and plants, and there must also be interaction and imitation between them to a certain degree.

Due to this principle, human beings are affected by each other in obtaining certain manners and characteristics as the result of being close to and living with each other. So, if a human lives amongst a certain type of animal, he will eventually obtain some of that animal’s characteristics. This is why boastfulness is a characteristic of camel-herders, tranquility is a characteristic of sheep-herders, and those who raise mules eventually develop some repugnant characteristics of mules, and this is also the case with those who raise dogs. The same applies for animals that spend much of their time around humans: you will find that they obtain some of the characteristics of humans due their constantly being around them.

So, external closeness between creatures gradually and silently leads to internal closeness between them. I have seen how the Jews and Christians who live amongst the Muslims are not as severe in their kufr as those who don’t live amongst them. Likewise, the Muslims who live amongst the Jews and Christians are generally weaker in their faith than the Muslims who don’t…”

[‘Iqitida’ as-Sirat al-Mustaqim’; 1/220]

Ibn Taymiyyah’s Attitude Upon Entering Prison

Posted in Ibn Taymiyyah on May 4, 2008 by Tarek Mehanna

It was related that when Ibn Taymiyyah was being transported by the ruler’s representative to prison in Alexandria, a bystander saw him and said: “My master, this is the time for patience.”

So, Ibn Taymiyyah looked at him and replied: “Rather, this is the time to be thankful. By Allah, such joy and happiness are descending upon my heart at this moment that if it was divided between the people of Sham and Egypt, there would be some left over, and if I had that amount in gold and distributed it, it would not equal even a tenth of the blessing that I am experiencing.”

Later on, on Monday the 6th of the month of Sha’ban 726 AH, he was again arrested on orders from the ruler, and was ordered transferred to the Citadel Prison in Damascus. When he first learned of this, he said: “I was waiting for this, and this contains great benefit.” When he was later in the prison, he said: “If this prison was exchanged for its weight in gold, I would not consider this to be enough to repay this blessing I am in and the good that it has brought me.”

When he entered the grounds of the Citadel Prison in Damascus, he stood and looked at its walls, reciting the verse: {“…So a wall will be put up between them with a gate therein. Inside it will be mercy, and from the outside, it will be torment.”} [al-Hadid; 13]

[See Ibn ‘Abd al-Hadi’s ‘al-‘Uqud ad-Durriyyah’; p. 177-178, 365, as well as p. 44 of Ibn al-Qayyim’s ‘al-Wabil as-Sayyib’]

How Many People Did the Prophet Ever Kill?

Posted in Ibn Taymiyyah on February 9, 2008 by Tarek Mehanna

“…And bravery is defined by two things:

a) the strength and firmness of the heart in the face of fears, and
b) physical strength when fighting, such that one can kill with immense force and magnitude.

The first is the definition of bravery. As for the latter, it indicates physical strength and ability, and not everyone who possesses physical strength has strength of heart, and vice versa.

Because of this, you may find that it is said regarding a man who kills many people: ‘He would do this if he had with him those who could guarantee his safety.’ But, if he becomes scared, he is stricken with cowardice, and his heart becomes detached. And you would find the man with a firm heart who has not killed many people with his own hands firm in the face of fears, going forth in the face of hardships, and this is a characteristic that is required by the commanders, leaders, and forerunners of war, more so than the other, as the forerunner, if he is brave and firm at heart, will go forth and remain firm and will not be defeated, and his supporters will fight alongside him. If he was a coward and weak at heart, he will be humiliated, will not go forth, and will not remain firm, even if he is physically strong.

And the Prophet was the most complete in regards to this bravery that is appropriate for the commanders in war, and he did not kill with his hand anyone except Ubayy bin Khalaf. He killed him on the day of Uhud, and did not kill anyone else with his hand before or after this.”

[‘Minhaj as-Sunnah an-Nabawiyyah’; 8/78]

The Wisdom in Seeking Refuge from the Anti-Christ At All Times

Posted in 'Abd ar-Rahman as-Sa'di, Ibn Taymiyyah on February 9, 2008 by Tarek Mehanna

The Messenger of Allah used to end his prayer with the following du’a’:

“O Allah, I seek refuge with You from the punishment of the grave, and from the afflictions of the Anti-Christ, and from the afflictions of life and death.”

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said:

“…and since the claim to lordship of the Anti-Christ is impossible in and of itself, and none of the miracles that he will perform will be sufficient proof of his truthfulness – rather, they will be a test and trial with which Allah misguides whom He Wills and Guides whom He Wills, such as the test of the golden calf with the Children of Israel – it will nevertheless be the greatest trial. And the implications of this trial are not limited to those who are present to witness him personally. Rather, the reality of his trial is the falsehood that is at odds with the Shari’ah, backed up by apparent miracles. So, whoever goes along with what contradicts the Shari’ah because of his amazement at some supposed miracle, then he has been afflicted by this trial, and this is widespread in every time and place. The trial of the Dajjal in particular is the severest of trials. So, if Allah protects His servant from it – whether he witnesses it personally or not – he will then be protected from the lesser trials.”

[‘as-Sab’iniyyah’; p. 483]

Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Rahman bin Nasir as-Sa’di said:

“…and the reference to the trial of the Anti-Christ is simply a reference to a type of trial. So, the servant should seek refuge from every trial that is similar to his, and they are the trials of falsehood and doubts and ‘miracles’ that misguide many people, such as the fitnah of disbelief, as well as that of the materialists who have deluded many people with their powerful technological inventions, wonderous advancements, etc., until they thought them to be upon the truth. And in reality, this glimmering materialistic pompousness of theirs is beautified on the outside, while its inner core is nothing but ruin and wreckage. So, to seek refuge from the trial of the Dajjal encompasses these types of trials.

So, in reality, everyone is in need of the protection of Allah from the trial of the Dajjal in every time and in every place.”

[‘Majmu’ al-Fawa’id wa Iqtinas al-Awabid’; p. 217]

Allah’s Sunnah With Those Who Insult His Messenger

Posted in Ibn Taymiyyah on February 9, 2008 by Tarek Mehanna

“…And from the ways of Allah is that in regards to those who harm Allah and His Messenger whom the believers cannot punish, then Allah Himself takes sufficient revenge on behalf of His Messenger. For example, the story of Allah’s one-by-one destruction of those who mocked the Prophet (peace be upon him) is well known, as has been mentioned by the scholars of history and tafsir. They were a small group of the heads of Quraysh, including al-Walid bin Mughirah, al-‘As bin Wa’il, al-Aswadan bin ‘Abd al-Mutallib, Ibn ‘Abd Yaghuth, and al-Harith bin Qays.

Also, the Prophet (peace be upon him) wrote to Kisra (the king of Persia) and Caesar (the king of Rome), while neither of them had entered into Islam. However, Caesar respected the letter of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), and treated his ambassador in a fine manner, so his kingdom was kept for him, and this is why it was said: “His kingdom remains for him among his descendants until today.” As for Kisra, he tore the letter of the Messenger of Allah into pieces and mocked him. As a result, Allah caused Kisra to be killed soon after, and caused his kingdom to be torn into pieces, and there did not remain for any of the future Kisras any kingdom, and this – and Allah Knows best – is in accordance with the phrase “the flesh of the scholars is poisonous.” So, how would it be with the flesh of the Prophets (peace be upon them)?

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