The People of Bliss

Imaam ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah
From the book Ar-Risaalat ut-Tabukiyyah

Contrary to the miserable people discussed in the last chapter, our discussion will now focus on the people of happiness and bliss. These can be divided into two classes.

The First Class of Happy People

The first class consists of those who possess the quality of intellectual independence; they are described by Allah (Ta’ala – the Most High) as follows:

“The first and foremost of the Muhaajireen and the Ansaar , and also those who follow them in the best way; Allah is well-pleased with them, and they are with Him.”

These are the happy ones for whom Allah’s acceptance is confirmed. They are the Companions of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (May Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him)) and those who follow them in the best way until the Day of Resurrection.

The conventional expression ‘Taabi’oon’ applies to the companions’ followers who have met with them in person. However, the description here is not restricted to them, but includes anyone who righteously follows their way; and any such person is of those with whom Allah (Ta’ala) is pleased and who are also pleased with Him.

FOLLOWING WITH IHSAAN

The manner of following the Sahaabah (in this aayah) is not ambiguous. It is restricted by Allah (Ta’ala) to being in the ‘best way’. It cannot be fulfilled merely by wishes, or by adhering to them in some matters while rejecting them in others. It should always be done with Ihsaan (with righteousness and in the best way); this is a condition to deserve Allah’s (Ta’ala) acceptance and His Gardens. He (Ta’ala) said:

“He it is Who has sent among the unlettered a messenger from among themselves, to convey unto them His messages, to sanctify them, and to instruct them in the Book and the Wisdom, although they had been before in manifest error. And He has sent him also to other people who have not quite reached them (the Sahaabah); He is All-Mighty, All-Wise. That is the bounty of Allah which He bestows on whom He wills. Allah is the One of great bounty.”

The first group of people mentioned here are those who met the Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and accompanied him. The latter are those who did not meet the first group; this applies to anyone who comes after them and adheres to their way, until the Day of Resurrection. This group falls behind the first group (the Sahaabah) both in era and in stature, even though both groups are of the happy ones.

THREE KINDS OF HEARTS

A third group of people would be those who reject the Guidance that Allah (Ta’ala) sent with His Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), or who do not benefit from it. Those are described by Allah (Ta’ala) in the following:

“The likeness of those who were entrusted with the responsibility of the Torah, but who subsequently failed in that, is as the likeness of a donkey which carries a huge burden of books …”

The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) also classified people into three groups based on their response to his Message and Guidance. He said:

“An example of the guidance and knowledge with which Allah (Ta’ala) has sent me is that of a rain that falls on different kinds of land:

1) One land is good; it accepts water and produces vegetation and grass in plenty.

2) Another land is dry with a solid bed that reserves water so that people can drink and irrigate with it.

3) The third kind is a porous land that can neither retain water nor produce vegetation.

This is an example of those who acquire the knowledge of the Deen and benefit from that with which Allah (Ta’ala) sent me, and of those who do not take heed and who insist on rejecting Allah’s (Ta’ala) Guidance.”

The Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) likens the knowledge (with which he came) to rain, because both are causes of life. Rain is the cause of life for the body, while knowledge is the cause of life for the heart. He (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) also likens different hearts to different valleys, as Allah (Ta’ala) said:

“He sends down water from the sky, making different valleys flow according to their different natures…”

Thus, just as there are three kinds of land, there are three kinds of hearts:

1) The first is a good land which accepts water and is ready to produce vegetation. When rain falls on it, it absorbs the water eagerly, giving rise to all sorts of pleasant vegetation.

This is an example of one with a healthy, pure, and intelligent heart, which embraces knowledge, and is guided by its true intelligent nature, blossoming by that wisdom and true faith. Therefore, it is eager to take the knowledge, and ready to bear fruits because of its good nature.

It is also like a rich business man who has experience in different trades and investments, which enables him to invest his wealth in that which brings the best profit.

2) The second kind is a hard, solid land prepared to preserve and keep water: It benefits people who visit it to drink or irrigate.

This is an example of one whose heart preserves knowledge and safeguards it so as to convey it just as he hears it, without changing it or deriving conclusions from it. This is also described in another hadeeth (saying, action or silent approval of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam):

“There is often one who conveys knowledge to one who is more knowledgeable than himself; and there is often one who carries knowledge when he himself is not knowledgeable.”

It is also like a rich man who does not possess the knowledge or experience to invest his wealth, but who knows very well how to preserve it.

3) The third is a barren land which is incapable of holding water or producing vegetation: no matter how much rain falls, it does not profit by it.

This is an example of one whose heart does not accept any knowledge or wisdom. It is also like a poor man who neither possesses wealth nor knows how to preserve it.

The first of the above three examples applies to a learned man who teaches knowledge, and who calls people to Allah (Ta’ala) with clear guidance; such are the inheritors of the Prophets.

The second applies to one who preserves the knowledge, and who transmits what he hears precisely; he carries to other people precious goods that they can use for trade and investment.

The third applies to one who neither accepts Allah’s Guidance nor benefits from it.

Thus this hadeeth covers the different types of people and their different attitudes toward the Prophet’s (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) Da’wah, which makes them either happy or miserable.

The Second Class of Happy People

The second class of Happy People consists of the believers’ followers from their offspring who die before reaching the status of takleef . They will be with their parents , as Allah (Ta’ala) said:

“As for those who believe and whose offspring follow them in faith, We shall unite them with their offspring, and We shall not let any of their deeds go to waste; every person is responsible for that which he has earned.”

Allah (Ta’ala) tells that He unites the offspring with the parents in the Jannah , just as He united them in faith (Eemaan). And because the offspring did not do deeds that would make them deserve this high honour, Allah (Ta’ala) informs that this union does not waste any of the deeds of the parents. They receive their full reward for what they did, plus the bonus of uniting them with their offspring.

Also, because this reunion in rewards and ranks is a bounty from Allah (Ta’ala), one might imagine that it would be in violation of the rules of justice. To clarify this, the ayah indicates that if the children committed sins, they alone would be liable for punishment, and that every person is responsible for what he does without involving others with him in punishment. Thus this union takes place in terms of rewards and bounties, but not in terms of justice and penalty.

This is indeed one of the keys and treasures of Qur’aan, the knowledge of which Allah (Ta’ala) gives only to those whom He wills.

Thus this ayah covers all people: the miserable and the happy – those who are followed, and those who follow them.

Consequently, let a prudent person who cares about his well-being see to which class he belongs. Let him not be influenced by habits or ruled by laziness. If he finds that he belongs to a happy class, let him strive to move to a higher rank, seeking Allah’s help and facilitation. And if he finds that he belongs to the miserable class, let him move out of it into a happy class while it is still possible, and before he would have to say:

“Oh! Would that I had followed the path shown to me by the Messenger.”

FOOTNOTES:
1. Muhaajir: A migrator – one who undertakes hijrah. Plural: muhaajiroon or muhaajireen. Reference here is specifically to those who migrated from Makkah to al-Madeenah in obedience to Allah
2. Ansaar: Those who give help and aid. It usually refers to the citizens of al-Madeenah who gave aid to the Muhaajireen when they migrated to their town
3. Al-Bukharee and Muslim
4. Narrated by Zayd bin Thaabit, Anas bin Maalik and others; recorded by Aboo Daawood, at-Tirmithee, Ahmad, and others; authenticated by al-Albaanee (as-Saheehah no.404)
5. Takleef: Responsibility for one’s deeds
6. Jannah: Literally: garden. It usually refers to the Gardens of Paradise.

Beneficial and Comprehensive Principles Concerning Afflictions and Trials

Imam Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah

“The Delight of Faith”

“The affair of the believer is amazing! The whole of his life is beneficial, and that is only in the case of the believer. When good times come to him, he is thankful and it is good for him, and when bad times befall him,, he is patient and it is also good for him.”

1. The evil that the believers are inflicted with is less than that which occurs to the disbelievers.

2. When the believers are inflicted with anything it should be accompanied with pleasure with Allah’s decree and hoping for His reward. Hence, if they miss anything that they want, this should lead them to patience and hoping for reward and this will, without doubt, lessen the catastrophe.

3. The believer will be relieved of such hardship according to the amount of his obedience, purity and the existence of the realities of Faith in his heart to the point that if this hardship had occurred to another , he would not be able to bear it. This is how Allah repels hardship from His believing slave.

4. If the love of Allah is firmly planted in the heart, then bearing the pain from the Beloved will be pleasureful for those who love Him and will not be something hated.

5. What the disbeliever and evildoer attain of power and strength is also accompanied with its opposite.

6. Allah afflicting His believing slave is like a kand of medicine that removes a disease. If that disease were to remain, it would destroy the person or lessen his reward.

7. Such occurrences are part of the necessary aspects of being a human.

8. In such ocurrences, Allah has a great and recognized wisdom.

9. Those afflictions and trials make it apparent who is the truthful person and who is the liar.

10. Humans by their nature are social creatures. They must mix with others. However, they have different natures and desires that may cause difficulties. The believer is obliged to fulfill his responsibilities concernig them and this makes the trial much easier.

11. The affliction that occurs to a person cannot but be from one of four types: Either it is with respect to his life, or with respect to his wealth, or with respect to his honor, or with respect to his family and those whom he loves from among mankind. These things affect all different peoples. Those who are not believing pious people are afflicted by much more than the believing pious person, as is witnessed.

Provisions for the Hereafter (Zaad Al-Ma’ad)

Author:  ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah|  Size: 15mb | Pages: 245 | Format: PDF
Allah has sent the Messenger (S) with guidance and the Religion of Truth. Strict adherence to the guidance of His Prophet (S) is required from the followers of Islam. The scholars of the Islamic community have attached great importance to it and produced texts regarding the Acts of Worship, Dealings and Habits in the light of the Divine guidance.

This book is one of the most famous works written on this subject.

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Love of Allah

Author:  Salih al Munajjid |  Size: 99kb | Pages: 12 | Format: PDF
Love of Allah is life itself, and to be deprived of it entails a terrible death; it is the light without which one would sail in a sea of darkness; it is the cure without which one’s heart will be overwhelmed by a multitude of diseases; it is the joy without which one will remain in permanent grief; it is the essence of faith and deeds, without which they become like a soulless body.

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The Station of Firasah

Imam Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah
From “Madarij As-Salikeen”

Firasah is a sense of visual acumen, perception and insight. Allah says, “Surely! In this are the signs for the mutawassimeen.”

And with the regard to the meaning of mutawassimeen, here is what some of the great interpreters of the Qur’an said about it: Mujahid said it is “those who have visual acuity”. Ibn Abbas said that it means “those who watch closely”. Qatadah said that it means “those who learn the lessons”. And Muqatel said that it means “those who reflect”. There is no contradiction or apparent incompatibility amongst these interpretations. For example, one who sees the ruins and houses of those who belied Allah’s Messengers would receive insight, admonition and reflection.

Alllah, subhanahu wa ta`ala, says the following with the regards to the hypocrites, “Had He willed, We could have shown them to you and you would have known them by their marks, but surely you will know them by the lahn of the speech!” The first thing mentioned is the firasah of the eye and watching and the second thing noted is the firasah of the ear and hearing. The lahn of their speech is namely two varieties. One is proper and the other is wrong.

The proper lahn may mean eloquence as stated in the hadeeth: “And perhaps some of you are more eloquent in their claim than others.” (Bukhari and Muslim) Or it may mean an indirect reference or indication. The wrong lahn is the speech that has grammatical mistakes. By using it, people tend to change the meaning to something incorrect or to a hidden meaning which may not have been intended.

The meaning of the verse is that Allah has confirmed to His Prophet, sallallahu `alayhe wa sallam, that he would know them from the lahn of their speech. It is more likely that one may know more about the speaker and what is within his mind from his speech and the tone of his voice than from his physical appearance. The words and the tone of voice can tell much more, than the appearance, about the intention of the speaker. Firasah can be either visual or auditory. The Prophet, sallallahu `alayhe wa sallam, is reported to have said, “Beware of the firasah of the believer, for he sees with the light of Allah,” then he recited the verse, “Surely,?¢â‚¬A¦.mutawassimeen.” (Tirmidhi) The firasah of the believer is always truthful.

The firasah is a light which Allah, subhanahu wa ta`ala, deposits in the heart of His servant. By this light, His servant distinguishes between truth and falsehood and between right and wrong.

The reality of firasah is a sharp thought that enters the heart and dominates its opinion. It overwhelms the heart just as the lion does to its pray, fareesah. Note the similarity between firasah and fareesah in Arabic. However, in their linguistic forms, fareesah is an object whereas firasah is similar in form to wilayah (authority and power), imarah (authority and command) and siyasah (administration and leadership).

The strength of firasah is dependent on the strength of faith. A person with stronger faith has sharper firasah. Amr bin Nujaid said that Shah al-Kermani had sharp firasah and was never wrong. He also used to say that whoever lowers his gaze away from prohibitions, restrains himself from vain desires, constructs his interior according to muraqabah (knowledge that Allah is watching over us), his exterior according to the Sunnah, and accustoms himself to eat only halal, his firasah will never be wrong.

Ibn Masoud said, “There are three people with the sharpest firasah. The Egyptian who bought Yusuf and then said to his wife, ‘Make his stay comfortable, maybe he will profit for us or we shall adopt him as a son.’ . The other was the daughter of Shuaib, who said to her father with regards to Musa, ‘Hire him!’ And Abu Bakr, for he appointed Omar as his successor.” Another narration includes the wife of Pharaoh who said about Musa, “A comfort of the eye for me and for you. Kill him not, perhaps he may be of benefit to us, or we may adopt him as a son.’

Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq is considered to be the one with the greatest firasah in the ummah and Umar was the second. The incidents that prove Umar’s firasah are numerous, familiar and well-known. He never said with regards to anything, “I think this is so,” but it was what he thought. The fact that the Quran approved of his opinion sin many incidents is sufficient evidence of his sharp firasah. One of which was his opinion regarding the redemption of the captives from the Battle of Badr.

Once a man named Sawad Bin Qarib passed by and Umar dind’t know him. Umar said, “This is either a soothsayer or he was so in the days of jahiliyyah.” Upon sitting before Umar, Sawad said, “O commander of the faithful! You never received any of your guests the way you did me.” Umar said, “What we used to do in the days of jahiliyyah is worse than this. But tell me about what I have asked you.” Sawad said, “You were true, O commander of the faithful! I was a soothsayer in the days of jahiliyyah, then he told him the story.”

The sahabah, in general, had the most accurate and sharpest firasah. The true firasah is obtained from life and from the light Allah grants to whom He wishes from amongst His true servants. The heart receives life and light and then its firasah will almost never be wrong. Allah says, “Is he who was dead and We gave him life and set for him a light whereby he can walk amongst men, like him who is in the darkness from which he can never come out?”

The verse describes the person as “dead” because of the disbelief in his heart and the life of jahiliyyah or ignorance he was leading, but then Allah gave him life through emaan or faith of knowledge. Upon his acceptance of these gifts, the Qur’an and faith become the light by which he sees his way out of the darkness (of disbelief and ignorance) and onto the straight path.

Firasah is linked to three human organs: the eye, ear and heart. His eye examines the look and the signs, his ear examines the speech, the over expressions, oblique inferences and hints, content, logic and tone of voice. And his heart analyzes both what is seen and hear to perceive hidden thoughts of others. His analysis and examination of the interior compared to the exterior is like one who examines currency to see if it is counterfeit after examining the outside. It is also similar to Ahlul-Hadeeth (scholars who specialize in the knowledge of the hadeeth), who will read a hadeeth that has a sound isnad (chain of narrators) but upon examination of the matn (text of the hadeeth), it is found that it is a fabricated hadeeth.

There are two factors in firasah. One is the quality of one’s mind, the sharpness of the heart and the intelligence. The second is the appearance of the signs and indications on others. When both factors are present than one’s firasah may not be wrong. Iyaas bin Mu`awiyah had great firasah and he was well-known because of it , as was Imam Shafiee who was also reported to have written about it.

Tazkiyah and Adaab Articles

Allah says in Surah A’la, ayah 14:
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Succussuful is the one who purifies himself

The Station of Firasah – ibn Qayyim al Jawziyyah
Perfecting One’s Character – ibn Qayyim al Jawziyyah
Requirements of the Journey – ibn Qayyim al Jawziyyah
Seeking Refuge with Allah – ibn Kathir
Achieving High Aims – ibn Qayyim al Jawziyyah
The Great Virtue of Lowering the Gaze – ibn Qayyim al Jawziyyah
Enumerating the Blessings of Allah – Imam al Bayhaqi
Ten Useless Matters – ibn Qayyim al Jawziyyah

The Ideal Muslim

Author: Mohammed Ali al Hishami | Size: 1MB | Pages: 110 | Format: PDF

The ideal Muslim is a man of the highest moral character. In his relation with his rabb (lord), himself, family, parents, relatives, friends, and the community at large, he has a most excellent example in the Prophet of Islam (pbuh). His idealism is further strengthened by the characters of the first generations of Muslims who excelled in all the various fields of human endeavour. He is reassured by the teachings of Islam that he also can reach these noble heights by working to improve his character daily.

In this title, the author gives a clear overview of the practical aspects of the Islamic lifestyle, as exemplified by the Prophet (pbuh) and his Companions (pbuh). Moving from the innermost aspect of the individual’s spiritual life to his dealings with all those around him, one can see how the Muslim is expected to interact with all others in his life.

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Purification of the Soul

Author: ibn Rajab, ibn Qayyim, al Ghazali | Size: 3.2mb | Pages: 170 | Format: PDF

Tazkiyat an-Nufus wa Tarbiyyatuha kama Yuqarriruhu ‘Ulana as-Salaf .According to the earliest sources, compiled from the works of Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya and Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, collected and arranged by Ahmad Farid. One the most concise references that can have a big impact on you once you read it. Topics gone into detail include symptoms of the heart’s sickness and signs of its health, doing without the pleasures of this world, perseverance, complete reliance on Allah, the life of this world, to mention only a few.

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Diseases of the Heart and Its Cures

Author: Ibn Taymiyyah | Size: 22MB | Pages: 154 | Format: PDF

Actions are distinguished, one from the other, with respect to their excellence in the Sight of Allaah in accordance with the condition of the heart, not by their number or form, but rather due to the strength of the caller, his truthfulness, his sincerity and the extent to which he prefer Allaah over himself… Al-Haafidh ibn Hajr al-Asqalaanee, may Allaah have mercy upon him and provide us with his knowledge, said: “The heart has been singled out for this because it is the leader of the body, and through the purification of the leader the subjects become purified, and with his corruption they become corrupted. So if you, Observant of Allaah, wish to cure your hear then it is upon you to be truthful with regards to seeking refuge with Allaah and putting your trust in Him, to pray a great deal of supererogatory prayers, to perform the actions of obedience to Allaah frequently, to pray the night prayer while the people are sleeping, and to treat your heart by making it continuously stick to the remembrances and by befriending only the righteous… and to frequently recite the Qur’aan. And Allaah will indeed allow all of this to be preserved by him.”

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Dealing with Worries and Stress

Author: Salih Munnajid | Size: 100kb | Pages: 124 | Format: PDF
It is the nature of this life that people will suffer from worries and stress, because this world is the place of disease, hardship and suffering. It is also the nature of this life that people have to put with suffering and hardship for various reasons. So people feel regret for what has happened in the past, anxious about that may happen in the future, and worried about what is going on in the present. The things that cross our mind and make us feel distressed are things in the past that have caused grief, things in the future that we are worried about, and things in the present which concern us.

People react differently to stress and worries, depending on how many things are concerning them, whether the worry is continuous or not, and on whether they have faith in their hearts or are rebellious and sinful. We may describe people’s hearts as being of two types: either the heart is the throne of Allaah, filled with light, life, happiness, joy and all the treasures of goodness; or it is the throne of Shaytaan, wherein is distress, darkness, death, grief, worry and anxiety.

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