Monthly Archives: May 2013

Narratives in the Sunnah

blue_fields_by_luizalazar-d613y9jPraise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger the trustworthy, his family, companions and those who followed them in good faith until the Day of Judgment. In what is to follow…

The incident related to causes and consequences makes the hearing yearn for it. When interspersed by instances of lessons to be learned from the News of those of past times, the eagerness to know about them becomes among the strongest factors in the entrenchment of the morale behind it in the psyche. The etiquette surrounding the narrative has today become a peculiar art amongst the arts of language and literature. Among its most significant depictions, the narrative in the book and the Tradition (of the prophet).

The meaning of narratives:

The narrative is following one’s trail. It is said: I tracked his trail, i.e: I followed it, and the term “narrative” is an infinitive. The Almighty said: ((So they went back on their footsteps, following (the path they had come).)) [Al-Kahf: 64]. He said on the tongue of the mother of Moses: ((And she said to his sister: “Follow him”:)) [Al Qasas:11], ie, follow his trail to see who will take him.

A narrative is also: the News followed. The Almighty said: ((This is the true account)) [Al-Imran: 62], and said: ((There is, in their stories, lessons to be learned for men endued with understanding)) [Yusuf: 111].

The narrative: The command, the report, the matter of importance, and the circumstance.

The narratives of the Sunnah: Its reporting about the conditions of the past nations, past prophecies and incidents which occurred. The Sunnah has included many of the facts of the past, conditions of people, their news and what happened to them, and narrated about them a talking picture on how they were.

Types of narratives in the Sunnah:

The narratives in the Sunnah come in types, including:

First type: Narratives about the Prophets, by mentioning something from what has happened to them of incidents; the story of Ibrahim with his wife and his son Ismail in their coming to Makkah, and Moses with Al-Khidhr and others.

Second type: narratives relating to bygone incidents, past news, the story of the people of the cave, the man who killed ninety-nine souls, and the one who used to excuse the well to do and relieve the one in hardship and the like.

Benefits of narratives:

The narratives have many benefits, including the following:

1 – Believing the prophets, reviving their memory and showing their virtues, as in the story of Abraham in building the Kaaba.

2 – It is a kind of literature, to which the hearing listens and the lessons behind them are deeply established in the persona ((There is, in their stories, lessons to be learned for men endued with understanding)) [Yusuf: 111].

3 – To urge on doing good deeds and encourage for it by mentioning its immediate and postponed fruits, as in the story of the people of the cave.

4 – To strongly discourage bad actions, showing their bad consequences, as in the story of the three people, including the bald man and the leper.

Narratives in the Sunnah, a fact and not fiction:

We firmly believe that Mohammed, peace be upon him, is sincere in his Prophethood, sincere in his call and sincere in his words, since what he utters is from inspiration, as the Almighty says: ((Nor does he say of (his own) Desire, it is no less than inspiration sent down to him)) [AnNajm: 3 – 4].

And therefore the facts found in the narratives are fact not fiction, rather the narratives in the authentic Sunnah is among the most authoritative sources, and is stated therein is in complete agreement with reality.

The impact of narratives in education and discipline:

There is no doubt that the coherent and precise story touches the hearing passionately, penetrates the human soul with ease and facility, while taught and instructional lessons generate boredom. Young people are only able to follow them up and grasp their elements with difficulty, and for a short while. Therefore, the narrative style makes more sense and is more beneficial.

The common trend in souls is that they tend to listen to tales and stories, which remain longer in memory. Therefore educators should make use of them in the areas of teaching and education.

In the Prophetic narratives fertile material to help educators succeed in their mission, and provide them with disciplinary provisions, from the conducts of the Prophets and news the past ones. The instructor can elucidate the prophetic narratives in the style that suits the intellectual level of the learners at every stage of education.

Due to the importance of narratives in the Sunnah of the Prophet, we have chosen an adequate part of it from the books of Sunnah, according to the following process:

1 – Limitation to those (Statements) where the chain of narration has been authenticated, for there is sufficiency and wealth in them.

2 – Referencing the Statements from the books of Sunnah in use.

3 – Vocabulary of unfamiliar terms within the body of the Statement, with an overall explication of the Statement when in need to do so.

4- A mention of the most important benefits derived from the story.

5 – Return to the main sources, from the annotations of the Sunnah, Ghareeb Statements and language books, with reference to that in the footnote.

We ask Almighty Allah to benefit through it, He is the most Generous, Oft-Giving, and all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.



Does the shaytaan know the thoughts and intentions of man?

Q. Does the shaytaan know what crosses our minds of ideas which no one knows except Allah and thus whisper to us what is in accordance with our thoughts, or what?.

A. Praise be to Allaah.

The sound evidence indicates that the shaytaan is close to man, and indeed he flows through him like blood, so he whispers to him at moments of heedlessness and withdraws from him when he remembers Allah.

Through this constant closeness he knows what whims and desires occur to man, so he makes them appear attractive to him and he whispers to him regarding them. Al-Bukhaari (3281) and Muslim (2175) narrated from Safiyyah bint Huyayy (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: ’The shaytaan flows through man like blood.“

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

They smell a good smell or a bad smell [meaning the angels, who smell a good smell when a person is thinking of a good deed, as was narrated from Sufyaan ibn …Uyaynah]. But the devils do not need that [smell] in order to know; rather they even know what is in the heart of the son of Adam, and they see and hear what he says to himself. Moreover, the devil has full control over man‘s heart, then when man remembers Allah he withdraws, and when he neglects to remember Him, he whispers to him. He knows whether he is remembering Allah or is neglecting to remember Him, and he knows the whims and desires of his heart and makes them appear attractive to him.

It is proven in al-Saheeh, in the hadeeth mentioned by Safiyyah (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: ’The Shaytaan flows through the sons of Adam like blood.“

The closeness of the angels and the shaytaan to the heart of the son of Adam is something that is confirmed in many reports, whether the person is a believer or a disbeliever.

End quote from Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa, 5/508

The shaytaan is aware of what a person is thinking to himself, and he knows his inclinations and his whims and desires, both good and bad, so he whispers to him accordingly.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy upon him) was asked — in a lengthy question –: If I intend in my heart to do something good, does the shaytaan know and try to divert me from it?

He replied:

Every person has a devil and an angel with him, as the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said:
’There is no one who does not have a companion from among the jinn and a companion from among the angels.“ They said: Even you, O Messenger of Allah? He said: ’Even me, but Allaah helped me with him and he became Muslim (or: and I am safe from him), so he only enjoins me to do that which is good.“

And he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) told us that the shaytaan dictates evils to man and calls him to evil, and he has some control over his heart. And he can see, by Allah’s will, what a person wants and intends to do of both good and bad deeds. The angel also has some control over his heart that makes him inclined towards good and calls him to good. This control is something that Allah has enabled them to have, i.e., He has given some power to the companions from among the jinn and from among the angels; even the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) had a shaytaan with him who was the companion from among the jinn as mentioned in the hadeeth quoted above.

The point here is that every person has with him a companion from among the angels and a companion from among the devils. The believer suppresses his shaytaan by obeying Allah and adhering to His religion, and he humiliates his shaytaan until he becomes weak and is unable to prevent the believer from doing good or to make him fall into evil except that which Allah wills. But the sinner, through his sins and bad deeds helps his shaytaan until he becomes strong enough to help him to follow falsehood and he encourages him to do so and he becomes strong enough to keep him from doing good.

The believer has to fear Allah and strive to resist his shaytaan by obeying Allah and His Messenger, and seeking refuge with Allah from the Shaytaan. And he should be keen to support his angel to obey Allah and His Messenger and to follow the commands of Allah.

End quote from Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 9/369

And Allah knows best.

Be mindful of your duty to your Mother!

duty-parents-islamUpon the authority of Ataa Ibn Yasaar who narrates from Ibn Abaas – Radhiyallahu ‘anhumaa – that a man approached him and said: “Indeed I proposed to a woman but she refused to marry me, then someone else proposed to her and she desired to marry him, so i became jealous and I killed her. Is there any taubah (repentance) for me?

He (Ibn Abaas) said to him: ”Is your mother alive? the man said ‘No’ so he said “Make taubah to Allah Azza wa Jall and draw near to him as much as you are able (So the narrator said) so i went and asked Ibn ‘Abaas “Why did you ask him if his mother was alive?” so he responded “Because indeed I do not know of an action that draws one closer to Allah than being dutiful to one’s Mother”

[Collected by Imaamul Bukhaari in his ‘Adabul Mufrad’ and is declared saheeh by shaikh Al Albaani in Saheeh Adabil Al Mufrad hadeeth 4 and Silsilah Saheehah (2799)]

Upon the authority of S’ad ibn Abi Waqaas – Radhiyallahu ‘Anhu who said:

“Four verses in the book of Allah were revealed concerning me:

1- My mother had taken an oath that she would not eat or drink until i left Muhammad so Allah revealed: ” And if they strive against you to associate partners with Allah with that which you have no authority then do not obey them, but behave with them with good in the life of this world” (S Luqmaan:Vs 15)

(A longer version of the incident mentions that she said to him”Either you leave this religion of yours or i will not eat or drink a thing until i die! then it will be said ‘Oh you who have killed your mother! and you will be dispraised because of what you did to me! so he responded “do not do this mother, because i will not leave this religion for anything. So she left food and drink for a day and night and she rose in the morning exhausted from not eating. Then she did so for another day and was even worse the following morning. So when i saw this I said: “Oh Mother By Allah! if you had a hundred souls and they left you one by one i would not leave this religion! so eat if you wish or abandon food if you will!” so she ate.)

2- I had taken a sword that i liked (from the spoils of war) and i said “Oh Messenger of Allah, may i have this as a gift? so Allah revealed: “They ask you about the spoils of war say: the spoils of War are for Allah and his Messenger..” (S Anfaal Vs 1)

3- I had become ill and so the messenger came to (visit) me so i said to him “Oh messenger of Allah! i wish to give half of my wealth away (in charity) as a bequest (before death) so he said: “No!” so i said: Then (i wish to give) a third and he remained silent thus a third was deemed permissible

4- ” I drank intoxicants with a people from the Ansaar, then a man from among them pushed my nose into the lips of a Camel, so i went to the messenger of Allah and Allah revealed the prohibition of Intoxicants

(Collected by Imaamul Bukhaari in his ‘Adabul Mufrad’ (hadeeth 24) and declared ‘Saheeh’ By Shaikh Al Albaani in ‘Saheeh Adabil Al Mufrad hadeeth’ 18 and Mishkaat 3072)

Upon the authority of Asmaa bint abi bakr who said: “My mother (who was a non-muslim) came to me seeking (for me to tie the bonds of kinship with her) so I asked the messenger (Sallallahu alaihi wa salam): “Should I tie the bonds of kinship with her? He said: “Yes!” so Allah revealed:

“Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion and did not drive you out of your homes. Verily Allah loves those who deal with equity”  (Suratul Mumtahinah Vs 8)

[Collected by Imaamul Bukhaari in Adabul Mufrad Hadeeth 25) and declared ‘Saheeh’ by Shaikh Al Albaani in ‘Saheeh Adabil Mufrad’ Hadeeth 18]

What is Imitation (taqleed), and what is following the evidence (daleel)

Q: How can a person not make Taqleed and still at the same time follow the teachings of one of the madhhabs – Hanafi, Maaliki, Shaafi and Hambali (may Allah have mercy on them all). Did Allamah Ibn Baaz (rahimahullah) follow the madhhab of Imam Ahmad ibn Hambal (rahimahullah), yet he did not do Taqleed?


Firstly: The followers of the madhhabs are not all the same. Some of them are mujtahids within their madhhab, and some are followers (muqallids) who do not go against their madhhabs in any regard.

Al-Buwayti, al-Muzani, al-Nawawi and Ibn Hajr were followers of Imam al-Shaafa‘i, but they were also mujtahids in their own right and differed with their imam when they had evidence. Similarly Ibn …Abd al-Barr was a Maaliki but he differed with Maalik if the correct view was held by someone else. The same may be said of the Hanafi imams such as Abu Yoosuf and Muhammad al-Shaybaani, and the Hanbali imams such as Ibn Qudaamah, Ibn Muflih and others.

The fact that a student studied with a madhhab does not mean that he cannot go beyond it if he finds sound evidence elsewhere; the only one who stubbornly clings to a particular madhhab (regardless of the evidence) is one who lacking in religious commitment and intellect, or he is doing that because of partisan attachment to his madhhab.

The advice of the leading imams is that students should acquire knowledge from where they acquired it, and they should ignore the words of their imams if they go against the hadeeth of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam).

Imam Abu Haneefah (rahimahullah) said: ’This is my opinion, but if there comes someone whose opinion is better than mine, then accept that.“

Imam Maalik said: ’I am only human, I may be right or I may be wrong, so measure my words by the Qur‘aan and Sunnah.“

Imam Al-Shaafa‘i said: ’If the hadeeth is saheeh, then ignore my words. If you see well established evidence, then this is my view.“

Imam Ahmad said: ’Do not follow me blindly, and do not follow Maalik or al-Shaafa‘i or al-Thawri blindly. Learn as we have learned.“ And he said, ’Do not follow men blindly with regard to your religion, for they can never be safe from error.“

No one has the right to follow an imam blindly and never accept anything but his worlds. Rather what he must do is accept that which is in accordance with the truth, whether it is from his imam or anyone else.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:

“No one has to blindly follow any particular man in all that he enjoins or forbids or recommends, apart from the Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam). The Muslims should always refer their questions to the Muslim scholars, following this one sometimes and that one sometimes. If the follower decides to follow the view of an imam with regard to a particular matter which he thinks is better for his religious commitment or is more correct etc, that is permissible according to the majority of Muslim scholars, and neither Abu Haneefah, Maalik, al-Shaafa‘i or Ahmad said that this was forbidden.”

Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa, 23/382.

Shaykh Sulaymaan ibn …Abd-Allaah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

Rather what the believer must do, if the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) have reached him and he understands them with regard to any matter, is to act in accordance with them, no matter who he may be disagreeing with. This is what our Lord and our Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) have enjoined upon us, and all the scholars are unanimously agreed on that, apart from the ignorant blind followers and the hard-hearted. Such people are not scholars.”

Tayseer al-…Azeez al-Hameed, p. 546

Based on this, there is nothing wrong with a Muslim being a follower of a certain madhhab, but if it becomes clear to him that the truth (concerning a given matter) is different from the view of his madhhab, then he must follow the truth.

The Danger of Compromising with Ahlul-Bid’ah (Must Read) !!

Bismillaah Al-Hamdulillaah wa salatu wa salaamu ‘ala rasulullaah
Amma ba’d

Abul Hasan Malik – reading from the works of Shaikh Muhammad ibn Hadee al-Madkhalee (hafidhahullaah) – gave a khutbah under the heading “Boycotting the People of Innovation and Desires.

Addressing those who leave the path of the Salaf to compromise with ahlul-bidah, Shaikh Muhammad ibn Hadee al-Madkhalee (hafidhahullaah) said:

Some of them try to make excuses (for leaving Ahlus-Sunnah [The Saved Sect] and joining Ahlul-Bid’ah) (saying), “If I don’t do this, I’ll find some harm in the University. Maybe, I will not get accepted.” Or “maybe I won’t get my Masters.” Or whatever it may be from their statements. If I don’t do these things, the organization that I am with, I will find some harm within my organization.

But the reality is opposite to what they say. The truth is that no harm was going to come to them. They construe things. And the door of ta`weel (interpretation) is expansive. Once one starts making interpretations, how far can one go. No harm has come to him, but he imagines this. He puts it in his mind [convinces himself] that if he doesn’t do these things [compromise with ahlul-bidah], some harm will come to him and he’ll be destroyed.

May Allaah have mercy on our pious predecessors who understood the likes of these things, and therefore were extremely firm against it. Because this kind of person [who desires to leave the truth for falsehood, sell his religion] is dangerous to others, if he remains upon the Sunnah. He becomes a proof for everyone who wants to deviate. That individual, with his excuses and falsehood, becomes an excuse for everyone who tries to deviate and intends to deviate from the straight path. They use him as a hujjah (evidence, proof). This is IF he remains upon the Sunnah, but the majority of those – the likeness of whom we have mentioned – end up becoming like the people of desires.

Abu Bakr al-Marroodi, the companion of Imam Ahmad ibni Hanbal [d.241H], mentioned about Ahmad ibni Hanbal [The Imam of Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jama’ah in his time] that Yahya ibnu Ma’een (the great imam of hadeeth) entered upon Imam Ahmad ibni Hanbal and gave him salaams. Imam Ahmad did not return the salaams to Yahya ibni Ma’een.

Imam Ahmad did not return the salaams to Yahya ibni Ma’een. Yahya ibni Ma’een was a great Imam of hadeeth, from the leaders of the People of Hadeeth, but at the time of the fitnah when the people were falsely saying, “The Qur`an is created,” Yahya ibni Ma’een was from those who when threatened [with beating], he gave in and said, “The Qur`an was created,” not believing it, but he said it so he wouldn’t be beaten. And because of this, Imam Ahmad lam yarud ‘alaihi salaam (did not return the salaam to him).

[Now, I want to make mention of this, ikhwaan, I’m going to tell you a story to show you who Yahya ibni Ma’een was. Someone came to Ahmad ibn Hanbal and said, “I have some narrations; in them are errors (mistakes), so can you point them out for me. What did Imam Ahmad say? “It is upon you to go to Abu Zakariyah (who was Yahya ibnu Ma’een). For indeed, he knows the error in hadith. So this is an imaam – a great scholar of hadith, and imam of the Sunnah – whom Imam Ahmad originally told the people to go to beyond the shadow of a doubt. So do not be in doubt who this man was.]

Shaikh Muhammad ibn Hadee continued: “And who is like Yahya ibn Ma’een? But the point is this: he gave salaam to Imam Ahmad, and Imam Ahmad did not return the salaam. Imam Ahmad took an oath that he would never speak to those who spoke in the fitnah of the [deviated, invented belief] of the creation of the Qur`an. So he was fulfilling his oath, ikhwaan. Yahya Ibnu Ma’een was from those mutaa`awaleen. So Imam Ahmad did not give him the salaam. Listen to [read] this story; in it are so many benefits.

So Yahya began to make excuses for himself before Imam Ahmad ibni Hanbal. He said, “Ya Aba ‘Abdillaah (O father of ‘Abdillaah) Hadith ‘Ammaar. (What about the hadith of ‘Ammaar ibnu Yaasir?)”

‘Ammaar was the companion of the Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), who when the mushrikin (polytheists) beat him and punished him and told him to deny the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), he denied the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) [on the tongue only]. Then, he went to the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and told him what happened. The Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said to him:

“How do you find your heart?” He said: mutama`inna bil eeman (strong in faith). Then the Prophet told him: fa idha ‘addu fa ‘udd (if they do the same thing to you, then do the same thing again).

We have to listen to the fiqh that Imam Ahmad extracted from this affair. So Yahya ibnu Ma’een brought this narration to Imam Ahmad as a hujjah (evidence) to defend himself. And he mentioned the ayah:

Whoever disbelieved in Allaah after his belief, except him who is forced thereto and whose heart is at rest with Faith… (An-Nahl 16:106)

After mentioning that ayah and the narration of ‘Ammaar, Imam Ahmad did not respond to him and he turned his face away from him – toward the wall. He didn’t respond and looked away from him, so Yahya left and said, “Uff” [an expression of disgust]. Yahya said, “We make excuses and he doesn’t accept them from us. And Allaah said: Whoever disbelieved in Allaah after his belief, except him who is forced thereto and whose heart is at rest with Faith… (An-Nahl 16:106)”

Then he sat outside the door of Imam Ahmad. He didn’t leave. He waited until Abu Bakr Marroodi (the narrator of this narration) left the house of Imam Ahmad, and Yahya asked him, “What did Ahmad say? Did he say anything?” Abu Bakr Marroodi said, “Na’aam (yes)!” Yahya asked, “What did he say?”

Marroodi said: I heard him say: Hadeeth ‘Ammaar. Hadeeth ‘Ammaar. [Meaning are you going to use the the hadeeth of ‘Ammaar?] Then Ahmad mentioned the ayah: Whoever disbelieved in Allaah after his belief, except him who is forced thereto and whose heart is at rest with Faith… (An-Nahl 16:106)

Imam Ahmad was rejecting Yahya’s use of this hadeeth and ayah as a hujjah (proof) for his actions.

Listen to (read) what Imam Ahmad extracted from this narration. He said,

“As for ‘Ammaar, what comes in the narration is: Ammaar said: ‘I passed by the mushrikeen (polytheists), and I found them cursing you and belittling you. So I forbade them and rebuked them for doing this. Then they beat me.’

But as for you, when they told you they were going to beat you, you gave in. They didn’t actually beat you; they just said they were going to beat you, and you answered (gave in). You were not beaten. They said they were going to beat you, and you gave in.

(In other words, as for ‘Ammaar, he was actually beaten. And then after the suffering that he couldn’t take any more, then he said this. As for you, you didn’t even get beaten. They threatened you, and you said “khalaas” (that’s it, I’m giving in).)

So Yahya ibnu Ma’een said [this ikhwaan, is Insaaf (justice)]:

“Lillaahi Darruk, ya Aba ‘Abdillaah” (Allaah has given you success, oh Abu ‘Abdillaah). “Murr, ya Aba ‘Abdillaah” (Do as you must do, oh Abu ‘Abdillaah). This was Yahya ibnu Ma’een, whom Imam Ahmad had just refused to give salaam and shunned.

If someone says a word about us – even if it is the haqq (truth) regarding us – we turn from them and curse them and speak evil of them. But the imams of the Sunnah “Murr, ya Aba ‘Abdillaah.” Where are we from these individuals of the Salaf-us-saleh. Yahya said, “Do as you must do, oh Abu ‘Abdillaah, for I do not know of anyone under the heavens more knowledgeable (having greater fiqh in these affairs) than you Imam Ahmad. This is after Imam Ahmad turned away from him, and refused to return the salaam to him.

Look at the difference: ‘Ammaar was beaten after he rebuked them. And the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: if they repeat this, you say the same thing. But as for you, it was said, “we’re going to beat you, and you answered (gave in) immediately.”

So as for these who leave Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jama’ah and leave the people of guidance, and say, “They’re going to harm me if I don’t do this, that or the other. So they go [give in] immediately; no harm has even touched them yet. They haven’t even spoken out first, and then found some harm. They just shut up (gave in) immediately. So they sell their religion for the dunya (wordly life). So look at the justness and fairness of Yahya ibnu Ma’een, who said to Ahmad, “Say what you need to say.” This is the true fiqh of the religion of Allaah.

So these people have sold the religion for the dunya for (a reason) that they only imagined, due to their weakness. They sell their Religion. So nothing remains from them from the Deen, and their dunya will not be established for them. So they go with the people of bid’ah and hizbiyah, and become soiled with the filth of bid’ah and hizbiyah, and have left their brothers and the scholars and have become of those people of bid’ah.

Ash-Sha’bee (rahimahullaah) narrated that the Salaf used to say:

“Do not ask anyone after three matters: who he enters and leaves with; whom he walks down the street with; and whom he sits with.”

So if you see who a man walks with, whom he sits with, and whom he companions, what do you want to know about him after that?

Article originally from brother Maher Attiyeh

Zaynab bint Jahsh (RadiyaAllaahu ‘Anha)

Zaynab-bint-JahshShe was the daughter of Umaimah bint ‘Abdul Muttalib bin Hashim, who was the Messenger of Allah’s paternal aunt. Her brother was the distinguished general, ‘Abdullah bin Jahsh. Another brother was a noted author of religious poetry, Abu Ahmad bin Jahsh. Her sister was another famous women Companion, Hamnah bint Jahsh. Her paternal uncles were the Leader of the Martyrs’ Hamzah bin ‘Abdul Muttalib, and ‘Abbas bin ‘Abdul Muttalib, who was renowned for his works of charity. Her paternal aunt was Safiyyah bint ‘Abdul Muttalib bin Hashim.

She was born about thirty years before the Hijrah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), She was influenced by the teachings of her brother, ‘Abdullah bin Jahsh, to convert to Islam. Beautiful, intelligent, wise and of noble birth she was the envy of many.

The increasing popularity and influence of Islam roused a towering rage among the Quraysh; the new converts faced indescribable tortures. Some were made to lie on beds of coal, while others some were dragged naked across the burning desert sands. Still others were wrapped up in straw mats and strung over smoke, to suffocate them. Everyday saw new methods of the art of torturing these people who had sworn allegiance to the Allah.

The sole purpose was that they should give up the belief and practices of Islam. Makkah became too small to hold both them and the Quraysh. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) exhorted his followers and friends to be patient and brave, but finally he gave them orders to migrate; first to Abyssinia and then to Al-Madinah. Under the leadership of ‘Abdullah bin Jahsh, the Jahsh family set out. The caravan included the blind poet Ahmad bin Jahsh, who was admired for his linguistic mastery. He wrote an epic poem depicting in detail the tortures inflicted by the Quraysh, the reasons for migration and the heroic deeds of the Muslims. This poem is considered to be a masterpiece of Arabic literature.

Time passed peacefully in Al-Madinah, and the ties between the immigrants and the Ansar, the original inhabitants created an atmosphere of brotherly love and affection. It seemed they were members of one united family. The best individual in the society was neither master nor slave, neither man nor woman, neither rich nor poor, but a God-fearing person of good character and morals.

In the context of such an ideal society the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) suggested to his cousin Zaynab that he had decided to get her engaged to Zayd bin Harithah, his adopted son and a freed slave. When Zaynab heard this she was stunned; she told him that she was from a noble family and she was neither keen nor willing to marry a freed slave. She was doubtful if they could get along with each other. He answered that he had chosen Zayd for her and she should accept him. Before Zaynab could answer him, an Ayah was revealed to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). This was Ayah of Surat At-Ahzab,

“It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disbelieves Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed into a plane error.” [Noble Quran 33:36]

Thus Zaynab and Zayd were married, but separated as they were from totally different social backgrounds, and their marital life was far from peaceful.

Zaynab was biased and from the very beginning the relations were always strained. Zayd felt that the respect and importance that a husband should get from his wife was never given to him. Disappointed in his marriage, he went to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and told him that he was very upset as he and Zaynab seemed totally incompatible. The advice that he received from his mentor, Allah has incorporated in the Noble Quran,

“Keep your wife to yourself, and fear Allah.” [Noble Quran 33:37]

But in spite of all the best efforts the marriage did not work out, and finally he divorced Zaynab.

Arabs thought it was wrong for a man to marry the widow or divorcee of his adopted son. Allah wanted to abolish this uncivilized custom, so He sent the Angel Jibril to tell the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in secret that Zaynab would one day be his wife. He was very distressed as it was against the accepted norm of behavior. He feared social censure and was very ashamed and embarrassed at the implications. But the decision had been made in the heavens by Allah and soon he received the revelation,

“And (remember) when you said to him (Zayd bin Harithah) on whom Allah has bestowed grace (by guiding him to Islam) and you have done favour (by manumitting him): “Keep your wife to yourself, and fear Allah.” But you hid in yourself that which Allah will make manifest, you did fear the people (i.e., their saying that Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) married the divorced wife of his manumitted slave) whereas Allah had a better right that you should fear Him. So when Zayd had accomplished his desire from her (i.e. divorced her), We gave her to you in marriage, so that there may be no difficulty to the believers in respect of (the marriage of) the wives of their adopted sons when the latter have no desire to keep them. And Allah’s Command must be fulfilled.” [Noble Quran 33:37]

When Zaynab completed her period of waiting, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) sent her a proposal through Zayd bin Harithah. When he went to her, she was kneading dough; keeping his back turned to her, he gave her the Prophet’s message, that he wanted her to join the select group of the Mothers of the believers. She said she could not answer immediately, but would have to consult her Maker. She began praying to Allah for guidance. She was still in the middle of her prayer, when the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) received a revelation that the marriage had already been performed in the Heavens by Allah Himself. After this Heavenly order, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) immediately went to Zaynab without observing any of the formalities that were observed with acquaintances and friends. He did not inform her in advance nor did ask for permission. There are some exceptional points to be noted regarding this marriage.

Only the order of the Quran was based as a guardian or a witness.

It abolished a barbaric custom that equated a blood relationship with an adoptive one; in which the father could not marry an adopted son’s ex-wife or widow.

Zaynab used to say very proudly to the other Mother of the Believers that her marriage had been performed not by her family but by Allah above the Heavens with His beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).

When the hypocrites criticized the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) for this marriage, Allah replied,

“There is no blame on the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in that which Allah has made legal for him. That has been Allah’s way with those who have passed away of (the Prophets of) old. And the Command of Allah is a decree determined. Those who convey the Message of Allah and fear Him, and fear none save Allah. And Sufficient is Allah as a Reckoner.” [Noble Quran 33:38-39]

And to clarify the finer points still further he revealed Ayat which again are part of Surat Al-Ahzab,

“Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the last of the Prophets. And Allah is Ever All-Aware of everything.” [Noble Quran 33:40]

On this occasion Allah revealed the order clarifying the position of adopted sons as,

“Nor has he made your adopted sons your real sons. That is but your saying with your mouths. But Allah says the truth, and He guides to the (Right) Way. Call them (the adopted sons) by (the names of) their fathers, that is more just with Allah.” [Noble Quran 33:4-5]

On the occasion of this wedding Allah revealed revelation regarding Hijab and also made it clear that no man could marry any of the Mothers of the Believers after the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). These two commands were revealed in Ayat of the same Surat,

“O you who believe! Enter not the Prophet’s houses, unless permission is given to you for a meal, (and then) not (so early as) to wait for its preparation. But when you are invited, enter, and when you have taken your meal, disperse without sitting for a talk. Verily, such (behavior) annoys the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), and he is shy of (asking) you (to go); but Allah is not shy of (telling you) the truth. And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts. And it is not (right) for you that you should annoy Allah’s Messenger, nor that you should ever marry his wives after him (his death). Verily, with Allah that shall be an enormity.” [Noble Quran 33:53]

‘A’ishah says that in terms of values and position, Zaynab was her equal. She said she had never seen any other person who was so eager to get closer to Allah to gain nearness to Him she was more charitable than most, and her generous behavior with relatives was impeccable. When ‘A’ishah was wrongfully accused, the whole of Al-Madinah was polluted with taunts and filthy talk; in fact even the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was disturbed. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) asked Zaynab what her opinion was of ‘A’ishah. The noble character of this lady is revealed in her answer; she promptly said she did not wish to be involved, and did not want to defile and taint her ears, her eyes and her tongue with such terrible accusations. Swearing by Allah she said, she found ‘A’ishah to be a truly God-fearing lady of exemplary character. She found in her the most wonderful traits of integrity, sincerity and honesty. She said she had not seen in her anything but goodness and virtue. ‘A’ishah narrated that Zaynab very easily could have taken advantage of the situation and passed derogatory remarks about her, for after all, in a sense they were rivals. ‘A’ishah says she never forgot the fact that she stood by her at the worst time in her life when almost the whole world had turned against her.

On one occasion Zaynab called Safiyyah a Jewess and this deeply distressed the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). In fact he was so upset that he stopped talking to her. Zaynab felt guilty and realized that she committed a grave mistake and offended the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Finally she requested ‘A’ishah to advocate her case with him and tell him that she was sincerely repentant; she was the only one who could talk to him in such a direct manner. When the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) visited ‘A’ishah, she looked for an opportune moment and brought up the subject, pleading the case for Zaynab. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) forgave her and family life returned to normal in the household.

When Zaynab passed away ‘A’ishah recalled an occasion when the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), said that among the Mother of the Believers, she would meet him first who had the longest arms. Zaynab was short compared to the others and naturally her arms were also shorter. All the ladies took this statement literally and started measuring their arms. It was only upon the death of Zaynab that they realized what this meant. It really meant that the person with the longest arms was the most generous or liberal person, who only thought of how she could benefit others. There was an implicit prophesy in this statement, which became clear when Zaynab passed away. It meant she would meet him in Paradise before the others. And she passed away before any of the other wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). ‘A’ishah says Zaynab worked with her own hands, and what she thus earned she spent on works of charity. She said she was a God-fearing, straight-forward lady who practiced abstinence. All her actions were aimed at pleasing Allah. Sometimes she could lose her temper, but then she was quick to repent and ask for forgiveness. She was very pure at heart and never carried resentments and grudges.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had a very organized routine. After the ‘Asr prayers he would visit the different apartments to inquire about the well being of the ladies of his household. He was always very just in the attention he paid to them and the amount of time he spent with each one of them. Once Zaynab received some special honey from a relative, and it so happened that this was the Prophet’s favourite. Whenever she offered it to him he would spend some time longer in her apartment, as it took time to really flavor and enjoy it. The other wives felt impatient and restless waiting for their turn with him. So ‘A’ishah, Sawdah, and Hafsah worked out a plan. Each of them would tell him that there was a peculiar smell in his mouth. And if all of them said the same thing he would certainly believe them and realize that the only thing which could have given him bad breath would have been the honey he just had. Since he was very concerned about personal hygiene, he would definitely stop eating the honey. Of course the three Mothers of the Believers did what they did, not out of spite, but because they loved him and wanted him to come to them sooner. In fact Allah has Himself spoken of them in the highest terms of respect in the Quran.

“O wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) you are not like any other women.” [Noble Quran 33:32]

And it happened as they planned; the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) developed a distaste for honey and decided he would never eat it again. In the case of an ordinary human being this may not have been a problem. But the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was swearing not to have something that actually was not forbidden by Allah ; this could lead to any follower of his also forswearing something not forbidden by Allah. So Allah rebuked him,

“O Prophet! Why do you forbid (for yourself) that which Allah has allowed to you, seeking to please your wives? And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Noble Quran 66:1]

As a result the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) broke the oath he had taken and performed the penance for this in accordance with the injunctions of Allah.

Zaynab made a little mosque in a corner of her house and used to spend a lot of time there in prayer and meditation. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would also pray there sometimes. She believed strongly in asking Allah for counsel through prayer and supplication, before taking any action. All her life’s major decisions were made in this way. In fact even when the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) proposed she turned to prayer for guidance.

This righteous lady died during the caliphate of ‘Umar Faruq at the age of fifty-three. When she realized she was about to meet her Maker, she told the people around her that she already prepared a shroud for herself. If ‘Umar Faruq sent one for her, one should be used and the other given away in charity. She was such a modest lady that a curtain was drawn in front of her dead body, even though it was wrapped in a shroud.

‘Umar Faruq led the funeral prayers and all her close relatives – Usamah bin Zayd, Muhammad bin’ Abdullah bin Jahsh, ‘Abdullah bin Abi Ahmad bin Jahsh and Muhammad bin Talhah bin ‘Abdullah got down into the grave to lower her gently into her final resting place in Jannatul Baqi’.

She was so generous and soft-hearted that the poor and distressed of the city broke into tears when they heard they lost their benefactress and patron. On her death she left a house which was bought by Walid bin ‘Abdul Malik for fifty thousand Dirhams and included by him in the precincts of the Prophet’s Mosque at Al-Madinah.

“O the one in (complete) rest and satisfaction! Come back to your Lord – well pleased and well pleasing. Enter you then among My (honored) servants, and enter you My Paradise.” [Noble Quran 89:27-30]

Source: “Great Women of Islam” – by Dar-us-Salam Publications

Nationalism : An Erroneous Concept

nationalismFor most of this century, the Muslim world continues to hobble along a treacherous path that has been constructed for them by others. The destination for this course is one that they have led us to believe is beneficial and worthy of striving for. The fuel for this journey is extracted from the false concepts that Imperialist implanted in the Muslim World.

Origins of Nationalism

One of these poisonous concepts that stigmatises the Prophet’s (saws) Ummah is Nationalism. It is a dangerous concept that has become the emotional basis for the state of the Ummah today and one, which visibly fortifies the division among those who profess to believe in the same ideology. Furthermore, the Muslims identify themselves as Turkish, Arab, African and Pakistani. If this is not enough, Muslims are further sub-divided within each country or continent. For example, in Pakistan people are classed as Punjabis, Sindhis, Balauchis and Pathans. This fragmentation continues to gain momentum amongst the Muslims.

The Muslim Ummah was never confronted with such a dilemma in the past during Islamic rule. They never suffered from disunity, widespread oppression, stagnation in science and technology and certainly not from the internal conflicts that we have witnessed this century like the Iran-Iraq war. So what has gone wrong with the Muslims this century? Why are there so many feuds between them and why are they seen to be fighting each other? What has caused their weakness and how will they ever recover from the present stagnation?

There are many factors that contributed to the present state of affairs, but some of the main ones are the abandonment of the Arabic language as the language of understanding Islam correctly and performing Ijtihad, the absorption of foreign cultures and thus the abandonment of Islamic beliefs, the gradual loss of central authority over some of the provinces, and the rise of Nationalism since the 19th Century.

Nationalism did not arise in the Muslim world naturally, nor did it come about in response to any hardships faced by the people, nor due to the frustration they felt when Europe started to dominate the world after the industrial revolution. Rather, nationalism was implanted in the minds of the Muslims through a well thought out scheme by the European powers, after their failure to destroy the Islamic State by force.

Nationalism Defined

The concept of nationalism is very large and cannot be understood without studying the way humans identify and relate to each other in society. This study will enable a differentiation to be made between various forms of grouping and nationalism. Human beings can identify or group together on the basis of:

  • Love of a particular land or a country – patriotism
  • Tribe, lineage or race – nationalism
  • Religion – mere spiritual rituals
  • Faith or Aqeedah – creed

Patriotism arises when people come together due to the love of a country. It is a form of unity that comes about when that particular country is under external threat e.g. military conflicts with other nations. The effect of this bond results in people of different backgrounds setting their differences aside to form a common front in support of the government. The concept of patriotism is often confused with nationalism. The inherent weakness of patriotism, as a basis of uniting people, is that it unites people temporarily and only then if an external threat is looming in the horizon. Hence, patriotism has no role to play during peacetime, and it cannot, therefore, be a basis of a permanent unity.

Nationalism is a bond between people that is based upon family, clan or tribal ties. Nationalism arises among people when the predominant thought they carry is that of achieving domination. It starts from the family, where one member asserts his authority to achieve leadership in the affair of the family. Once this is achieved, the individual extends his leadership to the wider family. In this way, the families would also try to achieve leadership in the community they reside in. The next stage is that of tribes competing with each other, all trying to dominate others in order to enjoy the privileges and the prestige that comes with this authority. This breeds arrogance and ignorance along with extreme pride.

Nationalism cannot unite the people because it is based on quest for leadership. This quest for leadership creates a power struggle between the people and this leads to conflicts among various strata of society. Another drawback of nationalism is that it gives a rise to racism. This is expected if people are allowed to compete with each other on the basis of their race. Some whites, for example, may see themselves as superior to the blacks, or vice-versa, leading to polarisation of the races and a divided society.

The spiritual bond among non-Muslims is a grouping of people based on their ‘religious belief’ which is not a comprehensive belief covering every aspect of life. An example of a spiritual bond is when people identify with each other on the basis of being a Christian, a Hindu or a Jew. Islam is not classed among these as it is a Deen rather than a religion. The term Deen comprehensively takes on the meaning as “A complete way of life”. This spiritual bond does not unite people on issues other than matters of belief and worships, hence it is limited and cannot be the basis of any complete unity.

The Complete Lasting Bond

In Islam, love and hate is only for the sake of Allah (swt). Our Emaan (faith) and Taqwa form this basis. Allah says: 

The believers, men and women, are Awliya’ (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another, they enjoin (on the people) good, and forbid evil, they perform Prayers and give the Zakat, and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah will have his Mercy on them. Surely Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise“. [Qur’an 9:71] 

From this verse we can note that Islam is not merely a ritual belief but rather one also encompassing the actions and deeds reflected upon by faith.

So the final way in which people can group together is on the basis of Aqeedah or faith. It is Islam that provides the set of rules, regulations, and instructions according to which man lives and which he refers to in order to solve his problems. This bond only takes into account the Aqeedah and nothing but that belief. Colour, race and gender are irrelevant. This is the type of bond found within Islam.

Therefore bonding through the Aqeedah and Emaan is a permanent bond because it arises from a conviction pertaining to the meaning of life. The creed is never influenced by colour, race, language, love of a land or local issues. Hence, it is the true basis for permanent unity. Islam calls for this type of unity.

Islam came and eradicated nationalism. The nationalistic structure of the pagan Arabian society, which existed for centuries, was diminished by its arrival. Islam invited people to believe in one God, Allah (swt), and to follow His commands. For Allah (swt) says, 

“And they have been commanded no more than this: to worship Allah, offering Him sincere devotion, being true (in faith); to establish regular prayer and to practise Zakat; and this is the deen right and straight.” [Qur’an 98: 5]

It asked for loyalty to the deen of Allah (swt) rather than to the tribes. Ties between the Muslims were therefore based upon the Aqeedah of Islam. All Muslims were treated exactly the same, irrespective of their family background, and anyone who declared the Shahada “La ilaha illa Allah Muhammad Rasul Allah” became part of the Muslim Ummah.

The Prohibition of Nationalism

Nationalism is a concept alien to Islam because it calls for unity based on family and tribalistic ties, whereas Islam binds people together on the Aqeedah and Emaan. That is, belief in Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saws).

Therefore grouping together on tribalistic lines is clearly forbidden. It is narrated by Abu Dawud that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said, He is not one of us who calls for ‘asabiyyah, (nationalism) or who fights for ‘asabiyyah or who dies for ‘asabiyyah. And in another hadith, the Messenger of Allah (saws) referring to nationalism, racism, and patriotism said Leave it, it is rotten. [Muslim and Bukhari]

There are many examples in the Seerah where the Me

The messenger of Allah (saws) had rebuked those who upheld nationalism. On one occasion a party of Jews conspired to bring about disunity in the ranks of the Muslims after seeing the Aus and Khazraj within Islam. A youth from amongst them was sent to incite remembrance of the battle of Bu’ath where the Aus had been victorious over the Khazraj, and he recited poetry to bring about division between them. As a result there was a call to arms. When the news reached the Messenger of Allah (saws), He (saws) said, O Muslims, remember Allah, remember Allah. Will you act as pagans while I am present with you after Allah has guided you to Islam, and honoured you thereby and made a clean break with paganism; delivered you thereby from disbelief; made you friends thereby? When they heard this they wept, and embraced each other. This incident clearly highlights how the messenger of Allah (saws) rebuked any forms of tribalism and nationalism. Allah (swt) then revealed the verses,

“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared and die not except in a state of Islam. And hold fast together all of you to the rope of Allah, and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah’s favours on you; for you were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace you became brothers; and you were on the brink of the pit of fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes His signs clear to you that you may be guided.” [Qur’an 3: 102-103]

The incidents above demonstrate that tribal ties have no place in Islam. Muslims are commanded to stick together and not to disassociate themselves from each other just because they comes from different tribes or backgrounds.

The Messenger of Allah (saws) also said, The Muslims are like a body, if one part of the body hurts, rest of the body will also suffer [Muslim] meaning that the Muslims, whether they are of Chinese, African, or Arabian or European origin, are one Ummah and they cannot be separated from each other. Furthermore, Allah (swt) says:The faithful are but brothers…” [Qur’an 49: 10] . No nationalistic ties should ever break their unity. That is the beauty of Islam.

Now the speech of Allah (swt) addressed to the Messenger (saws) is also a speech to his Ummah, unless specific evidence comes to restrict this. In this case, there is no such restriction, so it becomes obligatory for the Muslims to rule according to Islamic teachings. And ruling according to Islam leaves no room for nationalistic constitutions whatsoever because what is applied (and what forms the criteria for judgement) is the Book of Allah (swt) and the Sunnah of the Messenger (saws). Allah (swt) says, 

“It is not for a believer (male or female) that when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter that they should have any choice in the matter.” [Qur’an 33: 36]

Hence since Islam has prohibited nationalism, it becomes a duty of every Muslim, in the present situation, to work towards tearing down the nationalistic boundaries that are artificially created in Muslim lands, and to remove any obstacles which allow its propagation. And those who still uphold nationalism, remember what Allah (swt) says,

“Those who oppose Allah’s order have to be warned that a calamity may strike them or a painful doom may fall upon them.” [Qur’an 24: 63]

I ask Allah (swt) to guide us all and make our hearts pure..

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