Archive for the Scholarly Selections Category

Qur’an in Ramadan: Read or Memorize?

Posted in Ibn 'Uthaymin, Ramadan on August 12, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

Q: What is better in Ramadan – to recite the Qur’an by reading visually or to work on memorization?

A: Your priority is to read the entire Qur’an visually, while also preserving what you have already memorized in order to avoid forgetting it. This is because the entire Qur’an is beneficial for the person to read, as the reader will come across all of the Words of Allah and benefit from the rulings and stories that are contained in its verses. You’ll miss out on all this if you limit yourself only to the chapters that you’d memorize.

By limiting yourself to the specific chapters you memorize, you’ll benefit from them in that your attachment to them will grow. However, this isn’t something you’ll miss out on if you do it at another time because you can recite what you’ve memorized at home, at the mosque, or anywhere else you go.

So, your priority is to make sure you read the entire Qur’an, and then put in extra effort in regards to what you had been memorizing.


One Moon Sighting

Posted in Abu Qatadah, Ramadan on August 12, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

Q: What is your opinion on fasting in unison? Should each country have its own moon sighting?

May Allah reward you.

A: In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

Naturally and according to the Shari’ah, there is to be only a single Moon sighting for the whole world. This is the opinion of the three Imams except for the Shafi’is, whose opinion in this is rejected and incorrect.

Because of the fact that people begin their fasting on different days, we have become the laughing stock of other nations.

However, it should be mentioned that what we are in today is because of the absence of the Shari’ah and the authority of the murtaddin over our lands. They have changed the symbols of this religion and have made them like toys in their hands. So, O Allah, how has today’s absence of the Religion from the Muslims brought about disasters and tribulation…

And Allah is sufficient for us, and He is the best Disposer of our affairs.


When the Reward Equals Fifty

Posted in The Scholars of Najd on August 6, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

In ‘ad-Durar as-Saniyyah’ (8/91-95), Shaykh Hasan bin Husayn (a grandson of Muhammad bin ‘Abd al-Wahhab) was asked about the hadith: “…the one who does this will have the reward of fifty.” So, he replied:

“First of all, you should know that the hadith in question was reported by Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah from ‘Utbah bin Hakim, from ‘Amr bin Harithah, from Abi Umayyah ash-Sha’bani, from Abi Tha’labah al-Khushani who commented on the verse: {“O you who believe! Take care of your ownselves. If you follow the right guidance, no hurt can come to you from those who are in error…”} [al-Ma’idah; 105] He said:

“By Allah, I asked the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) about this, and he said: “Rather, what this means is enjoin the good and prevent the bad until you see people succumb to covetousness, follow their desires, become corrupted by the worldly life, every one impressed with his own opinion, and you see that there is nothing else you can do. At that point, take care of yourself and don’t worry about the affair of the general populace, because there are indeed ahead of you days that require patience. Whoever is patient during those days will be like someone holding to a burning coal. And the one who does this from them will have the reward of fifty men who do what he is doing.” The Companions asked: “Messenger of Allah, the reward of fifty of those with him?” He said: “The reward of fifty of you.”

…If you know this, you will see that the reason such a person deserves this great reward and his virtue is made equal to fifty of the Companions is that he has no helpers or aides, according to al-Hafidh Sulayman al-Khattabi and Abu al-Faraj ‘Abd ar-Rahman bin Rajab and others.

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Thoughts on a Statement of al-Miqdad

Posted in Original & Misc., The Words of the Salaf on August 4, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

‘Abd ar-Rahman bin Jubayr bin Nufayr related that his father said:

“We were sitting with al-Miqdad bin al-Aswad one day, and a man came by and said: “How fortunate those two eyes of yours are that have seen the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم). I wish I had seen what you have seen and witnessed what you witnessed.”

So, al-Miqdad became angry, and I was surprised! The man only said something good!

He then walked over to the man and said: “What makes this man wish to be where Allah made him absent when he has no idea how he would’ve acted there? By Allah, there were people who saw the Messenger of Allah who will be dragged by Allah on their noses in Hell because they didn’t respond to his call and did not believe in his message. Will you not thank Allah that you were born knowing only your Lord, believing in what your Prophet came with, and have been relieved of trials that others had to go through?””

This was reported by Ahmad (6/2), Ibn Hibban (1684), and al-Albani declared it authentic in ‘Sahih as-Sirah an-Nabawiyyah’ (p. 141).

Here are a couple of points on this statement:

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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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