Sharh on the Hadeeth of the Siraat

In Saheeh al-Bukhaari (7439) and Muslim (183) it is narrated from Abu Sa‘eed al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) in a lengthy hadith: “……Then the bridge will be laid across Hell.’ We said, “O Messenger of Allah! What is the bridge?’ He said, ‘It is a slippery (bridge) on which there are clamps and (hooks like) thorns which are wide at one side and narrow at the other and have bent ends. A plant with such thorns is found in Najd and is called al-Sa’daan. Some of the believers will cross the bridge as quickly as the wink of an eye, some others as quick as lightning, a strong wind, or fast horses or she-camels. So some will be safe without any harm; some will be safe after receiving some scratches, and some will fall down into Hell (Fire). The last person will cross by being dragged (over the bridge).”

Muslim added: Abu Sa‘eed said: I heard that the bridge is narrower than a hair and sharper than a sword.

An-Nawawi said in Sharh an-Nawawi ‘ala Muslim (3/29):

“The words “So some will be safe without any harm…” mean that they will fall into three categories: one category will be safe without experiencing any harm at all; another category will be scratched, then released and will be saved; and a third category will be snatched and thrown and will fall into Hell.”

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Sharh Riyaadh as-Saaliheen (1/470):

The siraat is a bridge that will be set up over Hell; it is narrower than a hair and sharper than a sword. People will pass over it according to their deeds. Whoever used to hasten to do good deeds in this world will pass quickly over the siraat; whoever was slow to do good deeds and whoever used to mix righteous deeds with bad deeds, and his bad deeds were not forgiven by Allah, may slip into the Fire; may Allah protect us.

People will vary in the ways in which they pass over the siraat. Some will pass in the blink of an eye, some will pass like lightning, some will pass like the wind, some will pass like swift horses, some will pass like fast camels, some will walk, some will crawl, and some will be thrown into Hell. No one will pass over this siraat except the believers only. As for the disbelievers, they will not pass over it, because on the Day of Resurrection they will be driven directly to Hell.

 

Sharh of the Hadeeth: “The Hour will not begin until time passes quickly…”

Ahmad narrated (10560) that Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The Hour will not begin until time passes quickly, so a year will be like a month, and a month will be like a week, and a week will be like a day, and a day will be like an hour, and an hour will be like the burning of a braid of palm leaves.

Ibn Katheer said: Its isnaad is (saheeh) according to the conditions of Muslim. And it was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 7422.

The scholars differed concerning the meaning of the phrase taqaarub al-zamaan (time passing more quickly). There are many views, the strongest of which is:

That the phrase taqaarub al-zamaan (time passing quickly) may be interpreted literally or metaphorically.  The metaphorical meaning is that barakah (blessing) will disappear from time, which is something that started a long time ago. This was the view favoured by al-Qaadi ‘Iyaad, al-Nawawi and al-Haafiz ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on them).

Al-Nawawi said: what is meant by its becoming short is that there will be no barakah in it, and that the benefit that a person gets from one day, for example, will be the equivalent of the benefit that he used to get in a single hour.

Al-Haafiz (Ibn Hajr) said: The fact of the matter is that what it means is that barakah will disappear from everything, even from time. That is one of the signs that the Hour is at hand.

In al-Fath, al-Haafiz quoted Ibn Abi Jamrah as saying:

It may be that what is meant by time passing quickly is that time will literally become shorter, based on what is said in the hadeeth: “The Hour will not begin until a year is like a month.” Based on this, then the shortening of time may be understood in a literal sense, or it may be metaphorical. In the real sense it has not started yet, but it may be one of the things that will happen when the Hour is at hand. With regard to the metaphorical sense, it appeared some time ago. This is known to the religious scholars and also to those who are smart and involved in worldly affairs, for they find that none of them can do as much work as they used to do before, and they complain about that and do not know the reason for it. Perhaps that is because of the weakness of faith and the emergence of things that go against Islam in many ways. The worst of that lack of barakah is mostly manifested in provision, because the sources of provision are either completely haraam or are dubious, as is obvious to everyone, to such an extent that many people do not care where their provision comes from; wherever they can get they take it and they do not care.  In fact the barakah in time, provision and agriculture can only be obtained by means of strength of faith, following Allaah’s commands and heeding His prohibitions. The proof of that is the words of Allaah : “And if the people of the towns had believed and had the Taqwa (piety), certainly, We should have opened for them blessings from the heaven and the earth” [al-A’raaf 7:96]

Al-Suyooti said something similar in al-Haawi li’l-Fataawi (1/44), where he said concerning the meaning of this hadeeth:

It was said that this is in fact literal, and that the hours of day and night will grow shorter when the onset of the Hour is at hand. And it was said that it is metaphorical, and that what is meant is that days will pass quickly and the barakah will be removed from all things, even from time…. And there are other opinions as well. And Allaah knows best.

 

And Allaah knows best.

See Fath al-Baari, 13/21, commentary on hadeeth no. 7061.

Ittihaaf al-Jamaa’ah by al-Tuwayjri, 1/497

Al-Sunan al-Waaridah fi’l-Fitan wa Ghawaa’iliha wa’l-Saa’ah wa Ashraatiha by Abu ‘Amr ‘Uthmaan al-Daani, ed. By Dr. Rida’-Allaah al-Mubaarakfoori

Ashraat al-Saa’ah by al-Waabil, p. 120.

 

 

 

Sharh on the hadeeth: “but whoever refrains from asking (of people), Allaah will make him content, [and] whoever seeks to be independent of means, Allaah will make him independent”

Al-Bukhaari (1469) and Muslim (1053) narrated from Abu Sa‘eed al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) that some people from among the Ansaar asked the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and he gave them, then they asked him and he gave them, then they asked him and he gave them, until what he had was exhausted. He said: “Whatever I have of good I will never withhold from you, but whoever refrains from asking (of people), Allah will make him content, whoever seeks to be independent of means, Allah will make him independent, and whoever strives to be patient Allah will bestow patience upon him, and no one is ever given anything better and more abundant than patience.”

Imam Ahmad (11091) narrated it via another isnaad with the wording: “whoever strives to be patient, Allah will make him patient, whoever seeks to be independent of means, Allah will make him independent of means, and whoever refrains from asking (of people), Allah will make him content, and I cannot find any provision for you that is more abundant than patience.” Its isnaad is hasan.

With regard to the words “whoever refrains from asking (of people), Allah will make him content”, al-Qurtubi said: “whoever refrains from asking (of people), Allah will make him content” that is, He will reward him for his refraining from asking by preserving his dignity and meeting his needs.

Ibn at-Teen said: What is meant by the words “Allah will make him content” is that either Allah will grant him sufficient wealth so that he will have no need to ask of others, or He will bless him with contentment.

Al-Fath (11/304-305)

Al-Qaari said in Mirqaat al-Mafaateeh (4/1311):

“whoever refrains from asking” that is, whoever tries to force himself to refrain from asking of others. At-Teebi said: or he asks Allah, may He be exalted, to help him to refrain from asking (of people), “Allah will make him content” that is, He will help him to refrain, which is protecting him from falling into that which is prohibited. In other words, he will be content with the least provision and will refrain from asking of others; it will be easy for him to become content, and that is a treasure that will never fade. End quote.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Whoever seeks help to refrain from that which Allah has prohibited of women, Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, will make him content (with what Allah has permitted) and will make him chaste.

The person who follows his own whims and desires with regard to carnal desires is surely doomed – Allah forbid – because if he follows his own whims and desires, and begins to pursue women, he will be doomed. His eyes will commit zina, his ears will commit zina, his hand will commit zina, his feet will commit zina, then his private part will commit zina, which is the obscene deed – may Allah protect us.

But if a person strives to refrain from this prohibited action, Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, will make him content, and He will protect him and will protect his family too.

End quote from Sharh Riyadh as-Saaliheen (1/196)

With regard to the words “whoever seeks to be independent of means, Allah will make him independent” – and according to another report, “whoever is content with his lot, Allah will suffice him”:

Al-Qurtubi said: The words “whoever seeks to be independent of means” refer to the one who seeks the help of Allah and no other, and the words “Allah will suffice him” mean that He will surely give him that which will make him independent of means so that he has no need to ask of people, and He will create in his heart contentment, because contentment is the wealth of the heart.

Al-Fath (11/304)

Al-Qaari said in al-Mirqaat (4/1311):

The words “whoever seeks to be independent of means” mean: whoever outwardly acts as if he is independent of means and as if he has no need of people’s wealth, and refrains from asking them, so that the unaware would think that he is well off because he never asks of others, “Allah will suffice him” that is, He will make him independent of means, i.e.,  He will make him feel content  and that he has no need of others. End quote.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

That is, whoever wants to be content with what Allah has given him and wants to feel that he has no need of what people have, Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, will suffice him. As for the one who asks of people and feels that he needs what they have, he will continue to feel that need – Allah forbid – and will never feel that he has no need of others. For contentment is in the heart, so whoever wants to feel content with what Allah has given him and wants to feel that he has no need of what people have, Allah will suffice him and make him feel that he has no need of people, and He will make him a man of pride and dignity who will never ask of people.

End quote from Sharh Riyadh as-Saaliheen (1/195)

It was narrated that Hakeem ibn Hizaam said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say: “The upper hand (the one it gives) is better than the lower hand (the one that receives), and one of you should start (when giving charity) with those for whom he is responsible. The best of charity is that which is given when one is well off. Whoever seeks to be independent of means, Allah will make him independent, and whoever refrains from asking (of people), Allah will make him content.” I said: (Should we not ask) even of you, O Messenger of Allah? He said: “(Not) even from me.” I said: Hakeem said:  I shall never let my hand be beneath the hand of another man of the Arabs.

Narrated by Ahmad (15578) with a saheeh isnaad

As-Sindi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: I say: “(Should we not ask) even of you” means: is it not appropriate to ask even from you?

End quote from Haashiyat al-Musnad (24/344).

With regard to the words “whoever strives to be patient, Allah will make him patient”, al-Qurtubi said: “whoever strives to be patient” means that he strives and struggles with his nafs to restrain himself from asking and to show patience until Allah grants him provision. “Allah will make him patient” means: He will give him strength and control over his nafs until he is in control of himself, and accepts to go through hardship (without asking of people). At that point, Allah will be with him and help him to attain what he is seeking.

Al-Fath (11/304)

Ibn al-Jawzi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Because refraining from asking requires one to conceal his situation and need from people and act as if he has no need of them; in that way a person will be acting as Allah wants him to act, but in a hidden way, so he will gain reward commensurate with his level of sincerity. Patience is described as the best gift one may be given because it restrains the nafs from doing what it likes and compels it to do what it dislikes now with regard to that which if he does it or refrains from doing it, it will harm him in the long run.

End quote from al-Fath (11/304)

Al-Qurtubi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

The words “Allah will make him content” mean: He will reward him for the virtue of refraining from asking of people by protecting his dignity and meeting his needs.

End quote from al-Mufhim (9/66)

With regard to the words “and no one is ever given anything better and more generous than patience”, al-Qaari said:

That is because the status of patience is the highest status, for it combines a number of virtues that are connected to it.

End quote from Mirqaat al-Mafaateeh (4/1311)

Ibn Battaal said:

The highest in status before Allah of those who are patient is the one who is patient in refraining from what Allah has forbidden, and is patient in doing acts of obedience to Allah. Whoever does that is one of the elite of Allah’s slaves. Do you not see that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “and no one is ever given anything better and more abundant than patience”?

End quote from Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhaari (10/182)

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

This hadith encourages us to strive to be independent of people and refrain from asking them, by being patient, putting our trust in Allah and waiting for what Allah grants as provision. Patience is the best thing that a person may be given, because the reward for it is unlimited.

End quote from al-Fath (11/304)

An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

In this hadith we are encouraged to refrain from asking of people and to be content with what is available, so as to preserve one’s dignity, even if what is available is little.

End quote from Sharh Muslim (7/126)

Islam Q&A

O Allah, bless us in Rajab and Shabaan?

‘When Rajab began, the Messenger of Allaah said: “O Allah, bless us in Rajab and Sha‘baan, and let us reach Ramadan.”’

Since we are now in Sha’baan, a few days away from Ramadaan 1436 – it is worth mentioning that the above oft quoted “hadeeth” which many people quote is actually a weak narration.

The hadeeth was classed as da‘eef by an-Nawawi in al-Adhkaar (p. 189) and Ibn Rajab in Lataa’if al-Ma‘aarif (p. 121). It was also classed as da‘eef by al-Albaani in Da‘eef al-Jaami‘ (4395).

In terms of something beneficial that we can do in preparation for Ramadaan, Ibn Rajab mentions the salaf used to prepare for Ramadaan 6 months in advance and Yahya ibn Abi Katheer said: One of their du‘aa’s was: “O Allah, keep me safe until Ramadan, keep Ramadan safe for me, and accept it from me.”

Abu Bakr b. al-Warraq al-Balkhi said: “Rajab is the month to sow the seeds; Sha’ban is the month to irrigate the crop; and Ramadan is the month to reap the harvest.

Al Muntaqa min akhbar al Mustafa – new book release from Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen

Imagine receiving constant wages in your bank account even after you pass away. A new book release from Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen (rahmahullah) was announced a few days ago, even though he passed away 14 years ago! People are still benefitting from his knowledge and new releases are still coming out, only increasing his account of good deeds for The Day of Accounting inshaAllaah.

As Ali ibn Abu Talib (ra) said: “Verily knowledge is more precious than wealth. The possessors of wealth have died, while the possessors of knowledge live on. Their (the scholars) bodies have passed away, but they are still present in the hearts of the people.” [Adab Al-Dunya Wa Al-Deen, p.48]

The book is Ibn Uthyameen’s ta’leeq of the hadeeth book “Al Muntaqa min akhbar al Mustafa” by Ibn Taymiyyah al-Harrani (not THE Shaykhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah).

“When a person dies, all his deeds come to an end except three: ongoing charity, beneficial knowledge, or a righteous child who will pray him him” (Tirmidhi no.1376)

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Following the Messenger

Allaah’s slave cannot implement <<You (Alone) we worship>> except with two great principles.

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (rahimullah) mentions in Taken from ‘Madarij as-Salikeen’ Volume 1, p.104-106:

Allaah’s slave cannot implement <<You (Alone) we worship>> except with two great principles.

One of which is following the Messenger –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam.

The second is Ikhlaas (sincerity) for the One worshipped.

This is then implementing <<You (Alone) we worship>>

The people are divided into four categories in relation to these two principles.

The first of which is the people who have Ikhlaas for the One worshipped and for following the Messenger sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam. They are, in reality, the people of << You (Alone) we worship>>

So all their actions are for Allaah, their sayings are for Allaah, their giving and their prohibiting are for Allaah, their loving is for Allaah and their hating is for Allaah.  Their apparent dealings and hidden dealings are for Allaah’s Face Alone.

They do not want reward from the people for this or thanks, nor do they desire position with them, nor do they request praise or status in their hearts or escape from their criticisms.

Rather they hold the people at the same status as those who are in graves. They do not possess any harm or benefit for them, neither life or death, nor the Day of Resurrection.

So, action done for the sake of the people, desiring refuge and status among them and hoping for harm and benefit from them, never emanates from the one who knows the people, but rather itemanates from the one who is ignorant of their affairs and one who is ignorant of his Lord.

The one who knows the people places them according to their status.  So whoever knows Allaah, then he makes his actions and sayings sincerely for Allaah, he obeys Him and prohibits for Him,loves for Him and hates for Him.

A person does not deal with any thing from the creation, to the exclusion of Allaah, except due to his ignorance of Allaah and his ignorance of the creation.  Otherwise, if he knew Allaah and knew the people, he would prefer his dealing with Allaah to his dealing with the people.

Likewise, all his actions and worship should be in agreement with the command of Allaah and with what Allaah loves and is pleased with.

These are the only actions which Allaah accepts from the one who performs them.

Due to this, He tries His worshippers with life and death.

Allaah –Ta’ala – said:

<< Who has created death and life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed. >> [Mulk: 2]

He made whatever is on the earth as beautification for it so He could test which of them is the best in action.

Fudayl bin ‘Aayaad said: ‘A good action is one that is sincere and correct.’

They said: ‘O Abu ‘Alee which one is sincere and correct?’

He answered: ‘If the action is sincere but is not correct, then it will not be accepted and if it is correct but not sincere it will not be accepted, until it is sincere and correct.’

Khaalis (sincere) is that which is for Allaah.

Sawaab (correct) is that which is according to the Sunnah.

This is what is mentioned in the saying of Allaah –Ta’ala-:

<< So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.’  >> [Khaf: 110]

And in His saying:

<< And who can be better in religion than one who submits his face (himself) to Allaah (i.e. follows Allaah’s Religion of Islaamic Monotheism); and he is a good-doer. >> [Nisa: 125]

So Allaah does not accept actions except those that are sincerely for His Face, following His command. Anything other than these are rejected and returned to the one who performs them– even though he is in a great need of their being accepted – them being scattered in all directions.

In the Saheeh, from the hadeeth of ‘Aeysha, on the authority of the Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam: ‘Every action which we have not commanded then it is rejected.’

Every action without a precedent does not increase the one performing it except in distance from Allaah.

Indeed Allaah –Ta’ala – is surely worshipped according to His commands and not by opinions and desires.

The second category is the one who neither has Ikhlaas nor does he follow.  His action is then not in accordance with the Sharia’ nor is it sincerely for the one worshipped, such as actions which are beautified for the people, those who show off hypocritically by other than what Allaah and His Messenger legislated.

These people are the most evil of creation, they are the most hated to Allaah –Azza wa Jal.  They have a greater share in the saying of Allaah:

<< Think not that those who rejoice in what they have done (or brought about), and love to be praised for what they have not done,- think not you that they are rescued from the torment, and for them is a painful torment.>>

[aal-Imraan:188]

They rejoice in what they have been given of Bida’, misguidance andShirk and they love being praised for falsely following the Sunnah and Ikhlaas.

There are many of this type – from those who ascribe themselves to knowledge, poverty and worship – from those who deviated away from the Sirat al-Mustaqeem (straight way).

Indeed they perform Bida’ and misguidance, they show off – boasting about their actions, loving to be praised for that which they have not done of Ittiba (following the Messenger), Ikhlaas (sincerity) and Ilm (knowledge). They are the people who have Allaah’s Anger upon them and are the people of misguidance.

The third category is he who is sincere in his actions, however he is not upon path of following the command, just like the ignorant worshippers and those who ascribe themselves to paths of Zuhudand poverty.

Everyone who worships Allaah without following Allaah’s command, believing that his act of worship is a form of drawing closer to Allaah, then his condition is like this.  Such as the one who thinks that listening to whistling and the clapping of hands is a form of drawing closer to Allaah or that being in isolation – which necessitates leaving the Jummah prayer and the congregational prayer – is a form of drawing closer to Allaah.

Or the one who thinks that continuous fasting, day and night, is a form of drawing closer to Allaah or fasting the day which all the people refrain from fasting is a form of drawing closer to Allaah or other similar examples.

The fourth category is when his actions follow Allaah’s command, but they are for other than Allaah, such as obedience to those who hypocritically show off or like a man who fights to show off, or fanatically or for bravery or performs Hajj so it can be said that he performs Hajj or reads Qur’aan so it can be said that he recites Qur’aan.

Outwardly, the actions of these people are righteous actions which have been commanded, however they are not righteous and so they will not be accepted.

<< And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allaah, and worship none but Him Alone (abstaining from ascribing partners to Him), and perform prayer and give the Zakaat: and that is the right religion >>[al-Bayyinah: 5]

So everyone has been ordered not to worship other than Allaah except by what He has commanded, having Ikhlaas for Him in worship and these are the people of

<<You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything) >>’

Modern day Map of Muhaditheen

Below is a modern day map showing where the great collectors of hadeeth (like Imam Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi etc.) are from. The majority of them (rahimahullah) are from modern day Afghanistan/Iran and the surrounding areas – all non Arabs.

“O people! Your God is one and your forefather (Adam) is one. An Arab is not better than a non-Arab and a non-Arab is not better than an Arab, and a red person is not better than a black person and a black person is not better than a red person, except in piety.” [The Prophet (salAllaahu alayhi wa salam) in his last sermon – narrated in Ahmad, #22978]

muhaditheen_map

Imam al-Bukhaari (may Allaah have mercy on him) 

He is the great imam, scholar, leader of the believers in hadeeth, Abu ‘Abd-Allaah Muhammad ibn Ismaa’eel ibn Ibraaheem al-Bukhaari. He was born in Bukhaara in Shawwaal of 194 AH, and grew up as orphan.

Among those who narrated from al-Bukhaari were: Muslim ibn al-Hajjaaj the author of al-Saheeh; al-Tirmidhi; al-Nasaa’i; Muhammad ibn Nasr al-Marwazi; and many others.

Al-Bukhari wrote many books, the most famous of which are: al-Jaami’ al-Saheeh; al-Tareekh al-Kabeer; al-Adab al-Mufrad; Khalq Af’aal al-‘Ibaad.

He died, may Allaah have mercy on him, on the night of Eid al-Fitr, 256 AH.

Imam Muslim (may Allaah have mercy on him) 

He is the great imam, hafiz and scholar, Abu’l-Husayn, Muslim ibn al-Hajjaaj ibn Muslim al-Nisaboori. He was born in 204 AH, or it was said in 206 AH.

His well known books include: al-Jaami’ al-Saheeh; al-Kuna wa’l-Asma’; al-Tabaqaat; al-Tamyeez; and al-Munfaridaat wa’l-Wahdaan.

He died, may Allaah have mercy on him, in Rajab 261 AH.

Imam Abu Dawood 

His full name was Sulaymaan ibn al-Ash’ath ibn Shaddaad ibn ‘Amr ibn Ishaaq ibn Basheer al-Azdi al-Sajistani, from Sajistan. Abu Dawood was the leading hadeeth scholar of his age. He is the author of al-Sunan, which is one of the six reliable books of hadeeth. He was born in 202 AH.

He remained in Basrah until he died in 275 AH.

Imam al-Tirmidhi 

His full name was Muhammad ibn ‘Eesa ibn Soorah ibn Moosa ibn al-Dahhaak al-Salami al-Tirmidhi, Abu Eesa. He came from Tirmidh, once of the cities of Transoxiana, after which he was named. He was one of the leading scholars of hadeeth and memorization of hadeeth. He was born in 209 AH and studied under al-Bukhaari; they had some of the same teachers.

He was blind for the latter part of his life, after he had travelled around and compiled saheeh reports from prominent and well-versed scholars. He died in 279 AH at the age of 70.

Imam al-Nasaa’i 

His full name was Ahmad ibn Shu’ayb ibn ‘Ali ibn Sinaan ibn Bahr ibn Dinar al-Nasaa’i, Abu ‘Abd al-Rahmaan. He came from the city of Nasa in Khurasaan, after which he was named (Nasawi or Nasaa’i). He was born in 215 AH, and he was one of the leading scholars and muhaddiths of his time.

He lived in Egypt, where his books became famous and people learned from him. Then he moved to Damascus, where he died on Monday 13 Safar 300 AH, at the age of 85.

 

Imam Ibn Maajah 

His full name was Muhammad ibn Yazeed al-Rab’i al-Qazwayni, Abu ‘Abd-Allaah. His father Yazeed was known as Maajah, so he was known as Ibn Maajah. The name al-Rab’i refers to Rabee’ah, after whom he was named because his father was a freed slave of Rabee’ah . He was a famous hafiz and the author of the book of hadeeth called al-Sunan. He was born in Qazwayn, after which he was named, in 209 AH.

Ibn Maajah died on Monday 22 Ramadaan 273 AH, at the age of 64.

 

Sharh of the Hadeeth: “No one overburdens himself in his religion but he will be unable to continue in that way”

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“Religion is easy, and no one overburdens himself in his religion but he will be unable to continue in that way. So do not be extremists, but try to be near perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded. Gain strength by worshipping in the mornings and afternoons and during the last hours of the night.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari (39) and Muslim (2816).

Ibn Rajab (may Allaah have mercy on him) said Fath al-Baari by Ibn Rajab (1/136-139):

“The meaning of this hadeeth is that it is not allowed to go to extremes in religion, by overburdening oneself with acts of worship that one cannot do except with extreme hardship. This is what is meant by the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “No one overburdens himself in his religion but he will be unable to continue in that way”, i.e., religion is not to be approached in an extreme manner, and whoever does that will be defeated.

In Musnad al-Imam Ahmad (5/32), in a report which was classed as hasan by the commentators on the Musnad, it is narrated that Mihjan ibn al-Adra’ said: I came with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and when we were at the door of the mosque, we saw a man who was praying. He said: “Do you think he is sincere?” I said: “O Prophet of Allaah, this is So and so, he is one of the best of the people of Madeenah, or one of those who pray the most of the people of Madeenah.” He said: “Do let hm hear you lest you be doomed” – two or three times – “you are an ummah for whom I want ease.”

According to another report: “The best of your religion is that which is easiest, the best of your religion is that which is easiest.” Musnad Ahmad (3/479). It was classed as hasan by the commentators.

According to a marfoo’ report narrated by ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas:

“This religion is very profound so approach it in a gentle manner and do not make yourself hate the worship of Allaah because the traveller who does not let his mount rest will not reach his destination and his mount will not be able to keep going.”

al-Sunan al-Kubra by al-Bayhaqi (3/19); classed as da’eef by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Da’eefah (1/64).

The one who does not let his mount rest will not reach his destination and he will become like one who is cut off, because his mount is no longer able to continue, so he is close to doom. Had he been kind to his mount and taken it easy during his journey, his mount would have been able to travel the distance with him and get him to his destination.”

bn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Fath al-Baari by Ibn Hajar (1/94):

“What is meant is that no one goes to extremes in religious deeds and forsakes the easy approach but he will become incapable and will be unable to continue in that way.

Ibn al-Muneer said: This hadeeth is one of the signs of Prophethood. We have seen and the people before us saw that everyone who goes to extremes in religious matters will be cut off and doomed.

It does not mean that we should not seek to be more perfect in worship, for that is something praiseworthy. Rather what is forbidden is the kind of extremism that leads to getting bored with it, or going to such extremes in doing voluntary acts that one ends up forsaking that which is better, or it leads to delaying the obligatory act until the time for it is past, like one who stays up and prays all night, until sleep overcomes him at the end of the night and he sleeps and misses offering Fajr prayer in congregation, or until the preferred time for it is over, or until the sun rises and the time for the obligatory prayer ends.”

Al-‘Allaamah ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Sa’di (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Bahjat Quloob al-Abraar wa Qurrat ‘Ayn al-Akhyaar fi Sharh Jawaami’ al-Akhbaar (p. 77-80) regarding this hadeeth:

“How great this hadeeth is and how concise and good is its beneficial advice and comprehensive principles. At the beginning of it the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) established this important principle, and said: “Religion is easy” i.e., it is easy and simple in its beliefs, morals and deeds, in its actions and abstentions.

The beliefs that have to do with belief in Allaah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, the last Day, the divine decree both good and bad – these are sound beliefs in which hearts find rest and which will bring the one who believes in them to the best end.

Its morals and deeds are the most perfect of morals and the most righteous of deeds, in which are the best interests of religion, this world and the Hereafter. By missing out on them, nothing good can be achieved. They are all easy and simple; everyone who is accountable sees himself as able to do them and does not find any hardship or difficulty in doing so.

Its beliefs are sound and simple, acceptable to the sound mind and sound human nature.

Its obligations are the easiest thing.

The five prayers are repeated five times every day and night, at the appropriate times. The All-Knowing, All-Aware has made them more easy making it obligatory to offer them in congregation and gathering to offer them, because gathering to perform acts of worship makes them easier, and decreed that there should be a great deal of goodness in religious commitment and soundness of faith, and that there should be both immediate and deferred rewards, which makes the believer find comfort in doing them  and praise Allaah for enjoining them on His slaves, for they cannot do without them.

Zakaah is not required of any poor person who does not have wealth that reaches the nisaab or minimum threshold at which zakaah becomes due. Rather it is required of the rich so as to complete their religion and their Islam, to purify their wealth and their hearts, to ward off calamities from them and their wealth, to cleanse them of their sins, to offer comfort to the needy and to bring about harmony in society. But despite that it is a very small amount when compared with what Allaah has given them of wealth and provision.

As for fasting, it is obligatory for one month of the year, in which all the Muslims come together and forsake their basic desires – for food, drink and physical relations – during the day, and Allaah compensates them for that by His grace and kindness, completing their religious commitment and faith and increasing their perfection, with His great reward, and many other good things that come as the consequence of fasting. It is also a means of attaining piety (taqwa) which is the basis of doing all kinds of good deeds and avoiding evil things.

With regard to Hajj, Allaah has only enjoined it on the one who is able to do it, and only once in a lifetime. There are many religious and worldly benefits in it, more than can be counted. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “That they may witness things that are of benefit to them” [al-Hajj 22:28], i.e., in both religious and worldly terms.

Then after that there are all the rituals of Islam which are very easy and have to do with the rights of Allaah and the rights of His slaves. They are easy in and of themselves. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Allaah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you” [al-Baqarah 2:185]. Nevertheless, if something prevents a person from doing things, such as sickness, travel and the like, Allaah has granted some concessions, and waived some duties, or allowed doing them in a different way, as is well known.

Moreover, if a person looks at the various things that people do day and night, both obligatory and naafil, prayer, fasting, charity and so on, and wants to follow the example of the most perfect of mankind and their leader, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), in doing them, he will find that it is not too difficult for him, and it will not keep him from attending to his worldly interests, rather by doing that he will be able to do all his duties, his duties towards Allaah, his duty towards himself, his duty towards his family and friends, and his duty towards everyone who has a right over him, quite easily.

But the one who overburdens himself and is not content with that with which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was content or that which he taught to his ummah, rather he goes to extremes and overburdens himself with acts of worship, will be overwhelmed and in the end he will be unable to continue and will stop doing it. Hence he said: “and no one overburdens himself in his religion but he will be unable to continue in that way.”

So the one who overburdens himself with regard to religious matters and is not moderate will be overwhelmed by it and will lose steam and will find himself going backwards.

Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined and encouraged moderation, and said: “I urge you to be moderate and you will reach your goal.”

Then he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined avoiding extremism and trying to be near perfection, and encouraged people to be hopeful and not to yield to despair.

Avoiding extremism means saying and doing the right thing, and following a wise path; it means saying and doing the right thing in all senses. If he cannot do that in every situation, then let him fear Allaah as much as he can, and draw near to the goal, because if a person cannot manage to get things completely right, let him come close, and if he cannot do all that then let him do as much as he can.

From this may be taken a useful principle which is also indicated in the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“So keep your duty to Allaah and fear Him as much as you can”

[al-Taghaabun 64:16]

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When I tell you to do something, do as much of it as you can.” The issues that are based on this principle are innumerable.

In another hadeeth it says: “Make things easy (for people) and do not make things difficult, give glad tidings and do not put people off.”

Then the hadeeth ends with advice that is easy for people, but is extremely beneficial, which is: “Gain strength by worshipping in the mornings and afternoons and during the last hours of the night.”

These three times are times when, if the traveller travels at these times, he will be able to reach his destination, whether it is far or near, and he and his mount will both still be in good shape. Also these three times could help a person to reach his destination in the Hereafter and travel the straight path and reach Allaah in an easy manner. So if a person occupy himself with good and righteous deeds that are suited to the time – at the beginning and end of the day and part of the night, especially at the end of the night, that will bring him a greater share of good and he will attain happiness, victory and prosperity, and he will be successful in finding ease and rest, as well as attaining his worldly and psychological goals.

This is one of the greatest signs of Allaah’s mercy towards His slaves in this religion which is the means of eternal happiness, as Allaah sent it as guidance to His slaves and explained it on the lips of His Messengers, and has made it easy, and helped with it in all ways, and show kindness to those who strive hard and protected them from obstacles and impediments.

Thus it is known that a number of principles may be derived from this great hadeeth:

1.     Islam is easy in general

2.     Hardship opens the door to relief

3.     If I tell you to do something, do as much of it as you can.

4.     It encourages those who strive hard and gives them glad tidings of goodness and reward that stem from their actions.

5.     Comprehensive advice on how to reach Allaah, advice which may be sufficient on its own and no other advice could take its place.

May the blessings and peace of Allaah be upon the one who was given the power and benefit of concise speech.”

Criticizing Narrators in Hadeeth

Regarding criticizing narrators in the chains of ahadeeth, Ibn Rajab said in Sharh ‘Ilal At-Tirmidhee, 2/808:

“As for the people of knowledge and understanding and those who adhere to the sunnah and the Jamaa’ah, then indeed they only mention the defects of the hadeeth out of sincerity to the religion and in order to preserve and safeguard the Prophet’s sunnah and to identify what befell the narrators of hadeeth from error, forgetfulness, and weakness.

This type of criticism was not required for other than weak and defective hadeeths. Rather, in their view, this strengthened the authentic hadeeths, since they were free from these defects and errors. So these individuals are the ones who are truly aware of the sunnah of the messenger of Allaah. And they are the great intellectual critics who criticeze the hadeeth after having skillfully and efficiently examined them in order to discredit the fake from the authentic…

Elsewhere in Al-Farq Bayna An-Naseeha Wat-Ta’yeer (p.30) he said:

“The righteous Imaams went to great lengths in forsaking the weak sayings (opinions) of some of the scholars. And they refuted them with the highest degree of refutation, as Imaam Ahmad used to censure Aboo Thawr and others in their opinions that they were alone in saying. And he went to great extremes in refuting them in these opinions.”

Regarding one’s intention when criticizing , Ibn Rajab says in Al-Farq Bayna An-Naseeha Wat-Ta’yeer (p.30-33)

“As for the inner affairs, then if one’s intention in doing that (criticism) is to just clarify the truth so that the people will not be deceived by the saying of someone who erred in his opinions, then there is no doubt that this individual will be rewarded for his intention. And by doing this with this intention, he falls into the category of being from those who show sincerity to Allaah, His Messenger, the leaders of the Muslims and their common folk…

But if the intention of the one refuting is to expose the faults of the one being refuted and to debase him and manifest his ignorance and shortness of knowledge, then this is forbidden whether the refutation is done in the presence of the one being refuted or in his absence, or whether it is done during that person’s lifetime or after his death.

This type of action falls under the acts which Allaah condemns in His book and which he threatens the one who does it, concerning his slander and backbiting.

It also falls into the statement of the Prophet (saw):

O you group of people that believe with your tongues but not with your hearts! Do not abuse the Muslims nor seek after their faults, for indeed, he who seeks after their faults, Allaah will seek after his faults. And whoever has Allaah seek after his faults, he will expose them, even if he may have committed them in privacy of his own home.

All of this talk is with respect to the scholars that are followed in the religion. As for the people of innovation and misguidance and those who imitate the scholars but are not from them, then it is permissible to expose their ignorance and manifest their deficiencies, in order to warn others against following them.”

How to start seeking knowledge of Hadeeth

How can I start to seek knowledge of hadeeth?


What do you say about the one who wants to seek knowledge of hadeeth? How should I start? Please note that I have studied ‘aqeedah (beliefs) in depth, praise be to Allah, and now I find myself inclining a great deal towards studying hadeeth. I want to start and I need your advice.

Praise be to Allaah.We may sum up our advice concerning the methodology of seeking knowledge of hadeeth as follows:Firstly:

Paying a great deal of attention to memorising the texts of the Prophet’s Sunnah, because this is the aim and purpose for which the scholars established all the sciences of hadeeth. So it is not permissible for the seeker of knowledge to be distracted from the aim by the means.

Memorising the texts of the Prophet’s Sunnah begins with memorising the hadeeths on which there is agreement between the two Saheehs (al-Bukhaari and Muslim), then by memorising those which were narrated only by al-Bukhaari, then by memorising those that were narrated only by Muslim. This will lead to accomplishing the first and most important stage in forming the hadeeth mentality in the one who is seeking knowledge of hadeeth.

After that, he moves on to memorising hadeeths that are extra to those of the two Saheehs, which are to be found in the six books and the well-known Musnads. He may seek help in doing so by means of many books in which these extra reports (zawaa’id) are compiled and classified.

The best ways of memorising include repeating the text to be memorised for a few days after the day on which he memorises it. This method was recommended by az-Zarnooshi (may Allah have mercy on him) when he said:

The seeker of knowledge should recite the text repeatedly because he will not be able to memorise properly until he dies that. He should repeat what he memorised on the previous day five times, and repeat what he memorised the day before that four times, and repeat what he memorised on the day before that three times, and what he memorised on the day before that two times, and what he memorised before that one time. This will help him to memorise and repeat. End quote.

Ta‘leem at-Ta‘allum, p. 60

If the student is not able to memorise completely, then he should do no less than reading these hadeeths often, so that he will be able to call them to mind and have a full comprehension of them.

This topic has been discussed in detail previously in the answer to question no. 113469

Secondly:

It is essential for the seeker of hadeeth knowledge to memorise different types of isnaads and whatever he can memorise of the names and biographies of narrators. The isnaads of the Prophet’s Sunnah can be divided – in terms of how well known they are – into three categories:

1.

Well known isnaads, through any of which hundreds of hadeeths were narrated and they are regarded as one of the main channels through which the Prophet’s Sunnah came to us. Indeed there is no book among the six books that did not rely on them and narrate from many of them. Examples include:

The isnaad of al-A‘mash from Dhakwaan Abu Saalih al-Sammaan, from Abu Hurayrah

The isnaad of az-Zuhri from Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan from Abu Hurayrah.

The isnaad of Hammaad ibn Salamah, from Thaabit ibn Aslam, from Anas.

The isnaad of ‘Ubaydullah ibn ‘Umar al-‘Umari, from Naafi‘, from Ibn ‘Umar.

It is possible to find out about these chains of narration, through which hundreds of reports were narrated, from the book Tuhfat al-Ashraaf by Imam al-Mazzi.

The student may also seek help in memorising the narrators of these isnaads from the book Tabaqaat al-Mukthireena min Riwaayat al-Hadeeth by Shaykh ‘Aadil az-Zarqi, with a introduction by ‘Abdullah as-Sa‘d (published by Dar Tuwayq).

If the seeker of hadeeth knowledge pays attention to these isnaads and memorises them, then start to connect these isnaads to the texts that he has previously memorised from the books of Sunnah, he will thus have instilled in his mind hundreds of hadeeths with their isnaads. In this way he will have started a new stage of acquiring deep knowledge of this noble science.

2.

The second category is isnaads that are less well-known, through which dozens of reports were narrated, but they include some well-known issues such as interruptions in the chain of narration, ambiguity, omission of the name of the Sahaabi (mural report) and so on. The student may study some of these isnaads in the book Tuhfat al-Tahseel by al-‘Alaa’i.

If the seeker of knowledge pays attention to these isnaads too, and learns the problems associated with these types of isnaads, then he will achieved a great deal in this branch of knowledge.

3.

The third category is the isnaads of mawdoo‘ (fabricated) and da‘eef (weak) isnaads, through which many hadeeths were also narrated, and which the seeker of knowledge must pay attention to, because it is not appropriate for the specialist to be unaware of reports that are well known among the scholars of hadeeth to be weak, faulty or fabricated. To achieve this, it is essential to persist in reading the books Meezan al-I‘tidaal by Imam adh-Dhahabi, al-Kaamil fi Du‘afa’ ar-Rijaal by Ibn ‘Adiyy, and al-Mawdoo‘aat by Ibn al-Jawzi.

Thirdly:

When the seeker of knowledge of the Prophet’s Sunnah has memorised a great deal of Sunnah texts, after that he may start to examine these texts more closely, finding out about ambiguous or difficult texts (ghareeb al-hadeeth) and the different ways in which they are interpreted. Al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Knowledge is understanding and cognizance, not memorizing and narrating a great deal.

End quote from al-Jaami‘ li Akhlaaq ar-Raawi, p. 174

But the seeker of knowledge must be aware of the necessity of limiting himself – at the beginning of his pursuit of knowledge – to the abridged commentaries that will explain the difficult texts, and not engage in lengthy study of fiqhi and other issues, which may be too difficult and too time-consuming for the student. He would do well to read an abridged commentary such as al-Mufhim lima Ashkila min Talkhees Saheeh Muslim by Imam al-Qurtubi, al-Minhaaj Sharh Saheeh Muslim ibn al-Hajjaaj by Imam an-Nawawi. He can sum up the meaning of the hadeeth and explanations of its vocabulary from these books in notes written in his own copy from which he is memorising the hadeeth, so that when he reviews what he has memorised of the Prophet’s Sunnah, he will also be able to read this summarised explanation of the hadeeth, thus attaining two benefits at the same time.

With regard to studying fiqhi issues that are derived from the hadeeths, that is another matter altogether which he should not seek to learn from the commentaries on hadeeth; rather he should learn that from the books of fiqh which organise fiqhi issues into basic essentials and minor issues, according to one of the four madhhabs.

Fourthly:

With regard to sciences of hadeeth terminology (mustalah al-hadeeth), we advise the seeker of knowledge to obtain a copy of the book Tahreer ‘Uloom al-Hadeeth by Shaykh ‘Abdullah al-Juday‘ and read it, study it and memorise its contents, because it is a pioneering book in its field which is distinguished by its highlighting the principles of the hadeeth sciences through examination of the different ways of hadeeth critics and through examination of all the principles that are mentioned in the books of biography. This is in addition to other books of mustalah al-hadeeth.

If the book is too difficult for the student or he is a beginner, he should limit himself to Nuzhat an-Nazr Sharh Tuhfat al-Fikr by al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar, or write a summary of the book of Shaykh ‘Abdullah al-Juday‘ and study his summary, so that when he understands it properly, he may move on to study of other books to increase his knowledge, the most important of which are an-Nukat ‘ala Ibn as-Salaah by al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar and Fath al-Mugheeth by al-Haafiz as-Sakhaawi.

Fifthly:

It is essential to give sufficient time to reading two other types of books too:

1.

Books on ‘ilal wa takhreej, which represent the practical application of hadeeth sciences, from which the student may examine many examples of the rulings on and evaluation of hadeeths and isnaads; this will open up to him more areas of research and study.

2.

Contemporary studies by specialists in the area of hadeeth, such as the books of al-‘Allaamah ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan al-Mu‘allimi (may Allah have mercy on him) and specialist academic essays. We are living in a time – praise be to Allah – when there is a revival of interest in hadeeth sciences the like of which you can hardly find in later periods of the history of Islamic knowledge. Many of these studies include academic debates and important research on essential topics, which the seeker of hadeeth knowledge should not ignore or fail to pay attention to. By reading these contemporary studies he will find that he will increase in knowledge and understanding, and new ideas will come to his mind that require further research and examination, and perhaps he will play a part in achieving that.

Over and above all that, he has to remind himself to fear Allah, may He be exalted, for this is the purpose of all knowledge, and the one who is distracted by the pursuit of knowledge from acting has gone astray and is doomed. Rather the effect of acquiring knowledge has to be seen in the humility of the student and his good manners and attitude towards people.

It was narrated that al-Hasan al-Basri (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

A man would seek knowledge, and soon that would be seen in his humility, his conduct, and the way he spoke and acted. End quote.

Az-Zuhd by ‘Abdullah ibn al-Mubaarak, no. 79

Ibn al-Salaah (may Allah have mercy on him) says:

If a person wants to start seeking knowledge of hadeeth or to learn any of the hadeeth sciences, let him first ensure that his intention is correct and sincere and purify his heart of any worldly aims, and let him beware of the trial of love of leadership. End quote.

‘Uloom al-Hadeeth, p. 213

And Allah knows best.

courtesy of Islam Q&A