Archive for the The Scholars of Najd Category

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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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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Why did the scholars include weak ahadith in their books?

Posted in The Scholars of Najd on February 9, 2008 by Tarek Mehanna

“The people of knowledge would include weak and fabricated ahadith in their books in order to make their chains – and the condition of their chains – known, and not out of dependence on and belief in them. The books of the Muhaddithin are filled with such narrations, such that some of them will mention the defects in the hadith, clarifying its status as being weak, if it was weak, or fabricated, if it was fabricated, while some of them would clarify the conditions of the narrators of a given hadith by simply providing the isnad, and would consider that they had done their duty in making this easy by simply providing the isnad, as was done by al-Hafidh Abu Nu’aym*, as well as Abu al-Qasim Ibn ‘Asakir**, and others.

So, mentioning narrators, and remaining silent about them, does not necessarily mean that a given scholar considers the hadith to be sahih (authentic), hasan (good), or da’if (weak). In fact, he could even consider it to be mawdu’ (fabricated)! In any case, his silence in regards to a hadith is not taken to mean that he sees the permissibility of acting upon it.”

[‘Taysir al-‘Aziz al-Hamid fi Sharh Kitab at-Tawhid’; p. 126]

* : Abu Nu’aym al-Asfahani, the author of ‘Hilyat al-Awliya”
**: Ibn ‘Asakir, the author of ‘Tarikh Dimashq’

How is it that Allah can test those who are beloved to Him?

Posted in The Scholars of Najd on February 7, 2008 by Tarek Mehanna

In his explanation of ‘Kitab at-Tawhid,’ Sulayman bin ‘Abdillah bin Muhammad bin ‘Abd al-Wahhab mentioned the hadith of the Prophet: “If Allah Loves a people, He tests them.”

This hadith is hasan, and was reported by at-Tirmidhi (4/2396). It is also included in ‘Sahih al-Jami” (275).

After explaining some aspects of the hadith, Shaykh Sulayman asked the question: how is it that Allah can test those who are beloved to Him?

Summarizing the words of Ibn Taymiyyah, he answered:

“…because this forces the servant to repent.

Allah tests the servants with the punishments of this world in order that they repent from their sins, as He Said: {“…that He may make them taste a bit of that which they have done, in order that they may return.”} [ar-Rum; 41] So, for whoever is granted the chance to repent by Allah as the result of an act of disobedience, this is from the greatest of blessings of Allah upon him, because this will result in his invoking and supplicating to Allah with submission and humility. Because of this, Allah has condemned those who do not lean on their Lord, and do not invoke Him when crisis occurs: {“And indeed, We seized them with punishment. But, they did not humble themselves to their Lord, nor did they invoke Him with submission.”} [al-Mu’minun; 76] And supplicating and invoking Allah with humility is from the greatest of blessings, and this blessing is from the greatest paths by which one can rectify his religious practice, as the rectification of one’s religious practice is in his worshipping Allah, alone, depending on Him, and not calling upon any deity besides Him – not a du’a’ of worship, nor a du’a’ of request.

So, if you are granted the chance to perform repentance, which entails worshipping Allah, alone, and you obey His Messengers by doing that which you are commanded, and abandoning that from which you are forbidden, you are from those who worship Allah. And if you are granted the chance to supplicate to Allah – which is to ask Allah for whatever you need, and you ask Him for what will benefit you, and you seek refuge with Him from anything that would harm you – this is from the greatest of Allah’s blessings upon you.

This is usually what happens when a disaster strikes, and if such blessings emerge when crisis strikes, it would only make sense that the people most deserving of this are those who are beloved to Him, and it is upon such people to thank Allah.”

[‘Taysir al-‘Aziz al-Hamid’; p. 353-355]