“The example of a good pious companion and an evil one is that of a person carrying musk and another blowing a pair of bellows. The one who is carrying musk will either give you some perfume as a present, or you will buy some from him, or you will get a good smell from him, but the one who is blowing a pair of bellows will either burn your clothes or you will get a bad smell from him.” (1)
Explanation of the Hadith
The wisdom of Allah (may He be Exalted) in His Creation entailed that man inclines to associate with others, sit with them, and meet with them.
This association and sitting have great impact on man’s thoughts, way of life, and behavior, and perhaps it was an effective cause in determining man’s fate and his worldly and hereafter happiness. This was proved by the Shari`ah, reason, and reality.
An unjust person shall regret on the Day of Recompense because he accompanied those who went astray and deviated from the Straight Path, and those were the cause of his error and deviation.
“And (remember) the Day when the Zâlim (wrong-doer, oppressor, polytheist) will bite at his hands, he will say: “Oh! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger (Muhammad peace be upon him). * Ah! Woe to me! Would that I had never taken so-and-so as a Khalîl (an intimate friend)! * He indeed led me astray from the Reminder (this Qur’ân) after it had come to me. And Shaitân (Satan) is to man ever a deserter in the hour of need.” [Surat Al Furqan: 27].
Ibn Hajar said: The Hadith contains prohibition of sitting with those who may harm a person when sitting with them in terms of religion and the world, as it contains exhortation to sit with those who benefit a person when he sits with them. (2)
An-Nawawy said: The Prophet (peace be upon him) likened a good and righteous companion with a person who carries musk and likened the bad companion with the one who blows a pair of bellows.
The Hadith also indicates the virtue of accompanying righteous and good people and forbidding sitting and associating with bad people, the people of heresies, those who backbite people, those who spread falsehood, and all dispraised kinds of people. (3)
Lessons gained from the Hadith
A- Showing the excellence of accompanying righteous and good people and exhorting people to do so, and of its benefits:
1- Those who sit with good people shall be included with the blessings and goodness that are being sent down on them in their gatherings even if their actions are not equal to one another because whoever sit with them shall never taste misery.
2- Getting affected by them because a person follows the way and doctrine of his friend, so let a person choose his friends carefully.
How beautiful the saying of:
Do not ask about a person and ask about his friends * because each person follows his friend
If you are among some people, so befriend their best * and do not befriend their worst lest they may do harm to you
3- Showing a person his defects so that he may fix them because a believer is like a mirror to his Muslim brother (through him, he can see his defects), when a person sees in his Muslim brother something which he does not like, he should correct him and protect him in secret and in public.
4- The people of goodness guide those who sit with them to the people of the like so that you may benefit from their companionship.
5- Stopping those who sit with them from committing sins, preserving their times, and occupying it with something beneficial.
6- Seeing righteous people remind the people of Allah (Glory be to Him). So, if this good is gained from just seeing them, how about those who sit with them?!
7- Righteous people are good companions in prosperity, support one another at the time of hardship, and good provision after death by their supplication to their companions and those who used to sit with them.
8- Sitting with pious people is a cause for the love of Allah (may He be Exalted) to a person. It was reported in a Hadith: “My love is entailed for those who love each other in Me, and those who sit with each other (to mention) Me.” (4)
B- Warning against sitting with bad and evil people, and of which harms are:
1- A bad person makes his companion doubt his sound beliefs and directs him away from them, exactly as the state of the people of Fire. “A speaker of them will say:
“Verily, I had a companion (in the world), * Who used to say: “Are you among those who believe (in resurrection after death). * “(That) when we die and become dust and bones, shall we indeed (be raised up) to receive reward or punishment (according to our deeds)?” [Surat As-Safat: 51- 53].
Look at the death of Abu Talib who died as a disbeliever because of his bad companions when they said to him: Would you abandon the religion of `Abdul-Muttalib?! So, he died as a disbeliever.
2- A bad companion invites his companion to commit deniable and prohibited acts as he does because a wrong doer likes to see all people do deniable actions like him and because associating with him reminds of sin and urges a person to do it.
3- Getting affected with bad habits and bad manners of a wrong doer.
4-A bad companion introduces you to evil people whose gatherings are not free of backbiting and gossip. Moreover, because of him you shall be deprived of accompanying righteous people who occupy their times with obeying and mentioning Allah (may He be Exalted).
(1) Sahih Al Bukhari No. (5534) and Sahih Muslim No. (2628).
(2) See: Fathul-Bary, commentary on Sahih Al Bukhari of Ibn Hajar Al `Asqalany, 4/ 324.
(3) See: The commentary of An-Nawawy on Sahih Muslim, 16/178.
(4) Reported by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad, 5/ 233, No. (1711) and Al Albany graded it as authentic. See: Sahih Al Jami` No. (4331).
Author: Shaikh Rabee’ bin Haadee al-Madkhalee
Source: Makaanat Ahl ul-Hadith (trans. by Bilal Davies, forthcoming SP release)
They are those who proceed upon the way of the Companions and those who followed them in righteousness, in clinging to the Book and the Sunnah, biting onto that with their molar teeth, and letting them (i.e., the Qur’aan and the Sunnah) take precedence over any statement or code and conduct – whether in belief, or acts of worship such as dealings and transactions, mannerisms, politics or social life.
They are those who are firm in regards to the fundamentals of the religion and its subsections, upon that which Allaah sent down and revealed upon his servant and Messenger Muhammad (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam). They are those establishing the call to that with all effort, sincerity and firm will. They are those carrying the knowledge of the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam), expelling from it the distortions of those who have exaggerated (in its regard) and the undue claims of the people of falsehood and the interpretations of the ignorant ones.
They are those who are observant and lie in wait for every group that has deviated from the way of Islaam, like the Jahmees and the Mu’tazilees and the Khawaarij and the Rawaafidh and the Murji’ah and the Qadriyyah and all of those who have deviated from the way of Allaah and have followed their desires in every time and place – they not affected by the reproach of the blamers, in the cause of Allaah.
They are the group that the Messenger of Allaah has praised and commended in his saying, “There will not cease to be a group from my Ummah manifest and upon the truth not being harmed by those who forsake them neither by those who oppose them until the hour is established.” 
They are the Saved Sect firm upon that which the Messenger and his Companions were upon, those who have been distinguished and defined by the Messenger of Allaah when he mentioned that this Ummah shall divide into seventy three sects all going to the Hell-fire except one and it was said, “Who are they, O Messenger of Allaah?” He said, “They are those who are upon that which I and my Comapnions are upon.”
And this is not something we say in exageration or a mere claim, but verily we speak a reality that the text of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah bears witness to, which history bears witness to, and to which their (i.e., the Ahlul-Hadeeth’s) statements, their state of affairs, their writings and works also bear witness to. They are those who put before their eyes the statement of Allaah: And hold fast, all of you together, to the rope of Allaah.  And His statement: And let those who oppose the Messengers commandment beware lest some fitnah befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them. 
They are the most staunch in distancing themselves from opposing the command of the Messenger and the most distant from fitnah. They are those who make their constitution: But no, by your Lord! They can have no faith, until they make you (O Muhammad (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept them with full submission. 
They are those who give to the Qur’aan and the Sunnah their true worth and give it the honour and veneration it deserves, giving priority to them over all the statements of mankind, and give precedence to their guidance over the guidance of all the people, and they judge by them in all affairs with complete pleasure, with chests which are expanded and free of restraint or constriction, and they submit to Allaah and His Messenger (with) a complete submission in their ‘aqeedah and their worship and their dealings. They are those concerning whom the statement of Allaah holds true: The only saying of the faithful believers when they are called to Allaah and His Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) to judge between them, is that they say, “We hear and we obey,” and such are the prosperous ones.
They after all of the Comapanions – and at the head of them the rightly guided Caliphs – are the leaders of the taabi’een and at the head of them: Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib (d. 90H), ‘Urwah ibn Zubair (d. 94H), ‘Alee ibn al-Hussain Zain al-‘Aabideen (d. 93H), Muhammad ibn Hanafiya (d. 80H), ‘Ubaydullaah ibn ‘Abdillaah ibn ‘Utbah ibn Mas’ood (d. 94H or later), Saleem ibn ‘Abdillaah ibn ‘Umar (d. 106H), Qaasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abee Bakr as-Sadeeq (d. 106H), al-Hasan al-Basree (d. 110H), Muhammad ibn Sireen (d. 110H), ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul-‘Azeez (d. 101H) and Muhammad ibn Shihaab az-Zuhree (d. 125H).
Then the Atbaa’at-Taabi’een and at the head of them: Imaam Maalik (d. 179H), al-Awzaa’ee (d. 157H), Sufiyaan ibn Sa’eed ath-Thawree (d. 161H), Sufyaan ibn Uyayna (d. 198H), Ismaa’eel ibn Ubyana (d. 193H), Layth ibn Sa’d (d. 175H) and Aboo Haneefah an-Nu’maan (d. 150H).
Then those who followed them and at the head of them: ‘Abdullaah ibn al-Mubaarak (d. 181H), Wakee’ ibn al-Jarraah (d. 197H), the Imaam Muhammad ibn Idrees ash-Shaafi’ee (d. 204H), ‘Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Mahdee (d. 198H), Yahya ibn Sa’eed al-Qataan (d. 198H) and Afaan ibn Muslim (d. 219H).
Then their students who followed them in this methodology, and at the head of them: the Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d. 241H), Yahya ibn Ma’een (d. 233H) and ‘Alee ibn al-Madeenee (d. 234H).
Then their students like al-Bukhaaree (d. 256H), Muslim (d. 261H), Abee Haatim (d. 277H), Abee Zara’ (Aboo Zur’ah?) (d. 264H), Aboo Daawood (d. 275H), at-Tirmidhee (d. 279H) and an-Nasaa’ee (d. 303H).
Then those who proceeded in their way in the generations that preceded them, like Ibn Jareer (at-Tabaree?) (d. 310H), Ibn Khuzaymah (d. 311H), ad-Daaraqutnee (d. 385H) in his time, al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee (d. 463H) and Ibn ‘Abdul-Barr an-Niwaaree (d. 463H).
And ‘Abdul-Ghanee al-Maqdasee (d. 620H), Ibn Salaah (d. 643H), Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H), al-Mizzee (d. 743H), adh-Dhahabee (d. 748H), Ibn Katheer (d. 774H) and their contemporaries who lived in their time and those who came after them, and followed their footsteps in holding on to the Book and the Sunnah up until the present day.
These are who I mean by Ahlul-Hadeeth.
 Hadeeth saheeh, collected by Muslim (3/1523), Ahmad (5/278-279), Aboo Dawood (3/4), Tirmidhee (4/420), Ibn Maajah (1/4-5), Haakim (4/449-450), at-Tabaraanee in Mu’jam al-Kabeer (7643) and Aboo Daawood at-Tayaalisi (p. 94, no. 689). Authenticated by al-Albaanee in As-Saheehah (270-1955).
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?
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.
Upon 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]
Bismillaah Al-Hamdulillaah wa salatu wa salaamu ‘ala rasulullaah
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
Those who fear Allah are the ones who have knowledge (i.e. Ulemah)… [Q 35:28]
One of the compulsory types of knowledge upon the Muslims is to respect the Scholars of Islam (Al-Ikraam Al-Ulemah). One of the main references that is cited to understand the great position of an Alim (Scholar) has in Islam is the saying of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saw) who said, “The Scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets.” [Abu Dawud and Bukhari]. This and other authentic statements tell us clearly that the Ulemah do not inherit prophet hood, they are not infallible, nor can they perform miracles and they do not receive any revelation from the Angel Gibrael (as). Therefore these scholars inherit a series of attributes and characteristics that were common amongst the Messengers of Allah (swt) such as being steadfast on the truth, being at the forefront of the struggles of their times, being accessible to the people, enjoining righteousness and forbidding vice, inviting the people (nations) to Tawheed, educating, culturing and teaching society. They never compromised in their message nor did they ally themselves with any form of tyranny, despot or oppressive system. Rather they sacrificed their lives to promote and make the word of Allah (swt) supreme. A small but much needed article (based upon authentic proofs and books like Warning from The Bad Scholar) has been written to determine the relationship between the Ulemah and the legitimate Umarah (rulers i.e. Caliph).
Ibn Abbas (ra) reported that the Prophet (saw) said, “Whoever lives in the desert becomes rough (harsh), whoso follows the game (hunt) becomes careless, and whoso comes to the ruler falls into Fitna.” [Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi]
Abu Hurairah (ra) reported that Muhammad (saw) said, “Whenever a person becomes closer to a ruler he will be further away from Allah.” [Ahmad]
Imam Rafi recorded that Abu Hurairah (ra) reported that Muhammad (saw) said, “One of the most hated creation to Allah is the scholar who keeps visiting the government and the people who work in the streets (i.e. smaller departments).”
Abu Hurairah (ra) reported that Muhammad (saw) said, “The most hated Qarees (Quran Reciters) to Allah are those who visit the rulers.” [Ibn Majah] Abu Hurairah (ra) reported that Muhammad (saw) said, “If you see a scholar mixing with a ruler regularly be aware that this man is a thief.” [Daylami Musnad Firdows]
The question that needs to be entertained is what do we say to those scholars who work for the Tagooth regimes of today, get paid by them and sleep in their palaces. Muhammad (saw) said, “There will be a people from my Ummah who will study the Deen deeply (Quran etc.) and will say lets go and visit the ruler we may get some of the worldly benefit (by visiting them) and we will never make them spoil our Deen (i.e. we wont compromise). They will never be like this, it is like saying, ‘I want to work (cultivate) where there are thorns and the thorns will never prick him’. They will never take anything closer to them except the sins.”
Thawbaan (the servant of Muhammad (saw)) narrated that he said, “Oh Messenger of Allah am I from the family of your household (Ahlul Bayt), Oh Messenger of Allah am I from the family of your household.” Muhammad (saw) never answered him. Thawbaan then said, “Am I one of the sons of your family?” Muhammad (saw) said, “Yes unless you spend your time at the gate of the ruler or you go to the ruler regularly asking from him (I need this or I need that etc.).” [Tabarani]
Imam Mundhiri commented on this particular Hadith and said the gate of the Sunnah here is the gate of the Caliph. Imam Abu Hanifah (rh) said, “If you see a scholar visit the Caliph regularly accuse him in his Deen” and he himself refused to work as a judge for the Caliph of his era, because of this he was punished. This is teaching us that the onus is on the ruler to come and see the scholar and not that the scholar should go running after the ruler. It is recorded on the authority of Abdullah ibn Umar (ra) who said Muhammad (saw) said, “There will be rulers after me whoever believes in their lies and helps them in their injustice (oppression) and visits them regularly he is not one of me and I am not one of them (i.e. he has nothing to do with me and I have nothing to do with him) and he will never come to my fountain on the day of judgement. And the one who never helped them in their own injustice and doesn’t go to their doors he is one of me and I am one of them and he will come to my fountain on the day of judgement.” [Imam Shirazi and Tirmidhi]
Imam Ali (ra) reported that Muhammad (saw) said, “The Fuqa’hah (Islamic Juristic Scholars) are the trustees of the Messengers as long as they did not enter or indulge in the Dunyah (materialistic matters) or follow the ruler if they do so be careful from them.” [Imam Askari]
There is an Islamic principle that the Ulemah need to be free to serve the Deen by answering questions studying and not be preoccupied in an occupation. Umar (ra) said, “Prevent your scholars or satisfy your scholars needs (by providing for them) so that they do not seek a job which will preoccupy them from studying the Deen deeply.” Mu’adh ibn Jabal (ra) reported that Muhammad (saw) said to him, “Whenever a scholar goes to a ruler by his own free will he will be his partner in any form of injustice he did and he will be punished because of that with him in hellfire.” [Hakim and Daylami]
Mu’adh ibn Jabal (ra) reported that Muhammad (saw) said, “Whoever recited the Quran and studied deeply and became a Faqeeh in the Deen and he goes to the door/gate of the ruler in order to get closer to him, to compromise himself on what he sees of the ruler (i.e. doesn’t speak out against his evil) all this to seek the Duniyah (e.g. money, medicine, property etc.) which is in the hands of the rulers either for himself or the people after him he will follow him step by step in hellfire.” [Imam Suyuti]
Muhammad (saw) said, “Towards the end of time (i.e. during the last days) there will be scholars who ask or encourage people to work for the hereafter but they never acted upon this themselves. They will also motivate people to desert the Duniyah and yet they themselves never deserted it and they will forbid people to go to the rulers so not to occupy themselves with worldly affairs like seeking businesses however the same people will visit the rulers (double standards).”
Hassan ibn Ali (ra) narrated that Muhammad (saw) said, “This Ummah (global Muslim community) will always be blessed under the hand of Almighty Allah and His shade unless its Qarees (Scholars) compromise with the rulers.” [Abu Amradaani in his Kitab-ul-Fitan]
Once one Sahabi (companion) came to the Prophet (saw) and touched his beard and said, “Oh Messenger of Allah what makes you sad?” Muhammad (saw) replied, “All of us belong to Allah and all of us will be returned to Allah. Gibrael (as) came and told me about a great Fitnah (trial).” The companion asked, “Where is this Fitnah going to come from?” Muhammad (saw) replied, “From the anger of the good (beautiful) orators of the Quran and the rulers. The rulers will prevent people from getting their rights and the orators will follow the desires of the rulers.” Muhammad (saw) said, “Oh Gibrael what will the people from my Ummah who want to save themselves (from this Fitnah) need to do to?” Gibrael (as) responded by saying, “To keep away from those rulers and keep firm. If they are given what they have a right to take it but if they are not given their due rights then leave it (i.e. don’t chase them for it).”
Abdullah ibn Harith (ra) narrated that the Muhammad (saw) said, “There will be after me rulers who will have a Fitan (big test) outside their doors, it will be like the big herd of camels, and whenever they give anything to anybody they will take an equivalent amount from his Deen.” [Hakim]
Abdullah ibn Umar (ra) narrated that the Muhammad (saw) said, “Be careful from the doors of the rulers and all its departments (smaller offices). The people closest to the doors of the rulers and its government departments are the furthest away from Allah (swt). And the one who favours the rulers over the Deen of Allah in any matter by justifying him and even if he is silent (i.e. consenting to the evil) Allah will make Fitnah in his heart (both) inner and outer and will make him have no Wara’ (i.e. no fear of Allah) and Allah will leave him confused.” [Daylami]
Ibn Abbas (ra) narrated that Muhammad (saw) said, “There will be a people after me from my Ummah who will recite the Quran, study the Deen, Shaytan will come to them and say if you go to the rulers they will make sum of your Duniyah better for you however do not let them pollute your Deen.” Ubaid ibn Umayr (ra) narrated that Muhammad (saw) said, “Whenever a person comes closer to the rulers (governors, Caliph etc.) he will be far from Allah.” This Hadith is stating that you will not be eligible for the Mercy of Allah (swt).
Abu Darda (ra) narrated that Muhammad (saw) said, “Whoever goes to an unjust ruler by his own free will, whether just to go and see him or to have a good relationship with him or to give Salam to him; then the distance he will enter (walk) into the hellfire will be based upon the amount of steps he took to go to see that ruler including the steps that he took to take him back home. Whoever is inclined to the rulers desires or supports him on what he says then whenever Allah’s curse is on that ruler he will get the equivalent amount (of curse). And whenever that ruler is punished in hellfire for anything that so called scholar will get the same punishment.” Abdullah ibn Umar (ra) narrated that Muhammad (saw) said, “Whoever recites the Quran and studies the Deen deeply and goes to the ruler seeking worldly benefit Allah will seal his heart and punish him everyday.”
A man from the tribe called Salim said, “Oh Messenger of Allah advise me.” Muhammad (saw) said, “Be careful from the doors of the rulers.” [Bayhaqi]
Imam Ali (ra) narrated that Muhammad (saw) said, “Be careful from the companionship of the rulers this (companionship) is what will make your Deen disappear (erode away) and be careful from helping him you will never be able realise the consequences and you will never be praised after that.” [Daylami]
Ibn Abbas (ra) narrated that Muhammad (saw) said, “There will be rulers you will know who will condemn you and you will command them to enjoin the good and forbid the evil and those who are silent about them or those who start to incline towards them…” [Tabarani]
Ibn Abi Dharr (ra) narrated that Muhammad (saw) said, “The best of those from my Ummah are those who do not become close to the gates of the rulers.”
All these narrations (there are many other similar narrations) are warning us from rulers who are Muslims who implement the Shari’ah, are Caliphs and Ameers thus being classed as legitimate rulers. Today we are witnessing the Presidents, Prime Ministers, Kings, Queens, Colonels, Chiefs and Sultans who are far away from implementing the Shari’ah. Who are Faasiqs, Zaalims and Kaafirs so the ruling related to these evil rulers is that they must never be obeyed and completely eradicated and replaced.
Qowl us Sahabah
The sayings of the Sahaba are a binding proof (Hujjah) for all of us and we are not allowed to differ with people who have attained citizenship of Paradise. Abdullah ibn Masud (ra) said, “There will be on the doors of the rulers (doors of the state) and its departments a lot of Fitnah. You will never receive anything from their authority except that they will take away something similar from your Deen.” [Bayhaqi]
Abdullah ibn Masud (ra) said, “Whoever wants to protect, respect, honour his Deen he should not go and accompany rulers those whom he will have seclusion with, like the foreign woman (i.e. khalwah (one to one)), those he will compromise with and who follow Hawa (desires).” [Saheeh Sahabi]
Abdullah ibn Masud (ra) said, “A man will enter the ruler (e.g. sit, eat, talk, give him greetings, take a photo with him etc.) with his Deen and he will walk away without his Deen.” [Bukhari’s Tareekh & Saheeh Sahabi]
Once Salamah asked his father to tell him what Muhammad (saw) advised him of and he said, “Look my son if you visit the ruler and you get anything your people will get from you (i.e. its equivalent). Oh my son I fear to sit with them (rulers) in a congregation (gathering) that will take me to hellfire.” Abdullah ibn Masud (ra) said, “Whoever seeks knowledge for four reasons will go to hellfire to challenge the Ulemah and to compromise with the corrupted rulers/people (i.e. find Fatwas for them)…” [Darimi and Saheeh Sahabi]
Abdullah ibn Masud (ra) said, “Knowledge and the people will lead in their own times but they study the Deen for the sake of the people of the Duniyah (i.e. get salaries, positions etc.)” [Ibn Majah and Saheeh Sahabi] Hudaifah (ra) said, “Be careful from any position of Fitn.” Someone asked, “Where is all the Fitn?” Hudaifah (ra) replied, “On the door of the Amir (i.e. ruler), a man will go to the Amir and believe all of his lies and he will say about him what he is not.” [Ibn Abi Sheebah and Saheeh Sahabi]
Imam Hassan ibn Ali (ra) was passing by and saw some of the best Qarees outside the gates of the ruler (Caliph) and he dispraised them.
The Salaf and the Scholar
Hassan Al-Basri found out that some people (which included some scholars) were going to the house of Amru ibn Humayrah. He said, “Oh Qarees did he ask you for advice?” They replied, “No, but maybe we can get some worldly benefit by going there.” Hassan said, “What about if you stay back at home it will be better for you and if he needs you he will come to you. Have Zuhd and the Duniyah will come to you. You violate the sanctity of the scholars (by going there). May Allah violate your sanctity.” Hassan Al-Basri started to supplicate against them. Hassan Al-Basri said, “Do not sit with innovators nor go to the rulers they will confuse (pollute) your Deen.”
It has been widely said that the most authentic book after the Quran is the Sahih of Imam Bukhari. Let us read about how this Imam responded to the ruler of his time. Imam ibnul Munir narrates that one of the rulers of Bukhara said to Imam Bukhari bring to me the books of Jami and Tareekh so I can hear from you your knowledge (i.e. come and teach me the collections of Hadeeth). Imam Bukhari said to the envoy of the ruler, “Tell him I will never humiliate the knowledge or the Deen. I would never go to the door of the Sultan (ruler) and if you are needy for that knowledge then know that nothing will supercede that knowledge. You come to me, you come to the Masjid (mosque), you come to my home (if you want to learn).”
All the rulers in the Muslim world are Murtads (apostates) of the highest order, they have declared war on Allah (swt) and the Sunnah of Muhammad (saw) from many fronts. They openly declare their wholesale Kufr and do not hesitate to ally with the enemies of Islam to kill and torture Muslims all over the world. However we do have some deviant sects and scholars which promote the concept of tolerating these hypocritical rulers and say we cannot rise against them, we must advise them, we must obey them even if they lash us. These proofs that they use to justify their stance are correct proofs but are being misapplied. The Naseeha (advice) is given to a ruler who follows the laws of Allah (swt) and not one who submits to the whims of the United Nations. You obey the ruler who punishes you as long as he doesn’t disobey the commands of Allah (swt) and not the ruler who asks you to ally with America to bomb Muslims in Iraq. You submit to the ruler who protects the Muslims all over the world and not the ruler who prisons you and sends you to camp x-ray. You follow the commands of the ruler who sends the Muslim armies to liberate one Muslimah and not the ruler who wines and dines whilst our sisters are being raped and abused. These Pharoahs, Nimrods and Hammans were never accepted by the prophets of Allah they were told clearly not to follow Shaytan and rule only by what Allah (swt) has revealed.
Unfortunately the so called scholars of today have remained silent about the injustices that are happening in front of their very eyes. The masses have been numbed by this type of socialisation and commonly say we are not very literate but this scholar knows a lot more than us and he doesn’t call the ruler an apostate and he says they give us so much money, privileges, freedom etc. to talk about Islam so how can you attack them. Indeed the Salaf and the Khalaf used to remind the people that there are two types of people in the Ummah if they are good then the state of the Ummah will be good and if they are bad then the state of the Ummah will be bad. These two types of people are the scholars and the rulers. At this moment in time both types of people mentioned in the Hadith are bad and both need to be dealt according to the Shariah.
To raise the sword against these current apostate rulers is an obligation that has been prescribed by Islam. It is a duty to fight them and remove them and have them executed for betraying the Deen and its followers.
It has been authentically narrated by Junada bin Abi Umaiya who said, “We entered upon Ubada ibn As-Samit while he was sick. We said, “May Allah make you healthy. Will you tell us a Hadith you heard from the Prophet (saw) and by which Allah may make you benefit?” He said, “The Prophet called us and we gave him the pledge of allegiance for Islam and among the conditions on which he took the pledge from us, was that we were to listen and obey (the orders) both at the time when we were active and at the time when we were tired and at our difficult time and at our ease and to be obedient to the ruler and give him his right even if he did not give us our right and not to fight against him unless we noticed him having open kufr for which we would have a proof with us from Allah.” [Bukhari]
Today every apostate ruler in the Muslim world has committed not one open kufr but many open kufrs. From legalising Khamr (alcohol), permitting Riba (usury), promoting Assabiyyah (nationalism) all the way to accepting the international laws and stopping the Jihad Feesabilillah.
Muhammad (saw) said, “The one who strikes the head (i.e. kills) of the Pharoah of his time will get the reward of Ahlul Badr.” The reward of the Muslims of Badr was so great that Allah (swt) said they could do whatever they wanted to in the rest of their life but it would not upset their scale and position on the day of judgement and in the hereafter. They were guaranteed Jannah.
The dogs and donkeys are the names given by Allah (swt) to the scholars of Batil (falsehood) and these animals will be punished and humiliated by Allah (swt) both in this world and the hereafter. And we sincerely ask the Muslims to reject these artificial scholars for dollars.
As for the scholars of Haq (truth) then we find them far away from the gates of the rulers in fact we find them behind bars, hundreds and thousands of them reside in the prisons because they refused to remain silent and accept the Kufr Suraah, Kufr Buwaah and Istihlaal of these Tawagheeth. We pray that Allah (swt) releases all of our Muslim brothers and sisters from captivity.
Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. [Hadith Qudsi]
How many times in our lives have we heard this phrase? How many times have our parents, teachers, elders stated this same thing over and over again? This quote by Sir Francis Bacon emphasizes that when you have knowledge, you have authority. It alludes to the fact that there is something about acquiring knowledge that gives you a controlling influence. But more importantly, this is a non-Muslim phrase which has only been around since 1597.
The teachings of religion of Islam came to us well over 1400 years ago. From the beginning of revelation, there was an emphasis on seeking and acquiring knowledge. I remind you that the first words of revelation were “Read!”
“Recite in the name of your Lord who created.” [Qur’an, 96:1]
The intention of this article is not so much to remind you the importance of seeking knowledge. It is assumed that we know as Muslims that we have been commanded to seek knowledge.
The quest for knowledge is a compulsion on every Muslim. [Hadith Hassan]
Note: The knowledge referred to above is knowledge in deen because that is the only knowledge that is wajib (compulsory).
The main goal of this article is to motivate you to continue to seek Islamic knowledge, and to encourage you to take joy and pride in doing this act of worship, because we can understand from various Qur’anic statements and ahadith (statements of the Prophet ﷺ) that there are definite returns for these efforts in the form of rewards and blessings from Allah.
Raised Status and Rank
“Allah will raise those who have believed among you and those who were given knowledge, by degrees.” [Qur’an, 58:11]
Let us take a hypothetical scenario where you work for a reputable company. One day your boss entices you with a promotion upon completion of a certain project under your lead. I guarantee you would put your heart and soul into getting that promotion. Well, Allah wants to give you a promotion, not just in this dunya but in Jannah (Paradise)! Scholars agree that the term “high ranks” in this statement refers to bounties in this world and the Hereafter. Just because the promises of Jannah are intangible at the moment should not allow us to ignore such a huge blessing of seeking knowledge. We have to believe in the ayat (verses, signs) of our Lord.
Superiority over all beings
“And He taught Adam the names – all of them. Then He showed them to the angels and said, ‘Inform Me of the names of these, if you are truthful.’ They said, ‘Exalted are You; we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Indeed, it is You who is the Knowing, the Wise.’ He said, ‘O Adam, inform them of their names.’ And when he had informed them of their names, He said, ‘Did I not tell you that I know the unseen [aspects] of the heavens and the earth? And I know what you reveal and what you have concealed.’ And [mention] when We said to the angels, ‘Prostrate before Adam’; so they prostrated…” [Qur’an, 2:31-34].
When Allah taught Adam (`alayhi assalam – peace be upon him) the names of all things, He asked the angels and Iblis (who had reached the level of angels) to prostrate to Adam (as). I remind you that angels are pure creations of Allah. They are made of light, are in complete obedience to Him and are doing tasbih (glorifying Allah) at all times. Such a pure creation of Allah was commanded to show respect to our ancestor Adam (as), who was made of clay and was prone to sinning. This prostration was performed as a form of respect and took place based on one and only one factor: knowledge.
In one of Michelle Obama’s speeches at an all-girls’ high school, she told the students that she was where she was only because of education. Even in this dunya, the way to gain superiority over other human beings is through knowledge – you get a better income, you enjoy a more luxurious lifestyle, you have a higher reputation in the society. But to be higher in front of Allah you have to be knowledgeable in your deen, and this is how you will truly become superior to all other creations of Allah.
Scholars truly understand the Qur’an
“And these examples We present to the people, but none will understand them except those of knowledge.” [Qur’an, 29:43]
Scholars agree that this ayah is actually referring to all people of knowledge (and not just the scholars). People of knowledge who read, learn, and understand the Qur’an are the ones who truly comprehend the parables it contains. The parables mentioned in the Qur’an are important in telling us which actions are harmful to our akhira (Hereafter) and hence should be avoided. They also guide us in which actions are more rewarding than others, so that we can strive to do them.
Sign of Allah’s love for a person
“Whosoever Allah wishes good for, He gives him understanding (fiqh) of the Religion.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
As children we are always looking for signs of love from our parents. If a parent buys gifts for their child, the child is assured that their parents love them. Love and compassion from parents makes a child feel happy and special. Allah tells us through the Prophet ﷺ that if He loves us, He gives us understanding of the religion of Islam. The difference is that the love of Allah is far greater than anybody else’s love. Acquiring the love of Allah is the ultimate goal of this life.
However, this love does not come without striving, trying hard and putting in a lot of effort. You have to earn the love of Allah by striving to gain Islamic knowledge – even if there are not many resources around you, even if the knowledge seems hard to retain, even if there are many distractions around you.
Statement of Imam Shafi’i
“After the obligatory deeds, nothing is more beloved to Allah than studying knowledge.”
While this statement holds the obvious meaning of how much Allah loves for a person to seek Islamic knowledge, it also a much deeper implication. The process starts off by gaining knowledge that is absolutely essential for a Muslim to perform their obligatory deeds. Once a person gets accustomed to performing obligatory deeds and does not find them burdensome, then because of the impact of knowledge, they will automatically do acts that are more than obligatory.
Let us take an example of a sister who finds is hard to pray two sunnah rakat (units of prayer) at the time of fajr. She skips the sunnah rakat, prays the obligatory units quickly, and jumps back into bed. She takes a class where she learns of the great blessings of praying the sunnah units of fajr prayer. After gaining knowledge, she makes it a point not to miss her sunnah units of prayer.
Hadith of Abu Darda
“If anyone travels on a road in search of knowledge, Allah will cause him to travel on one of the roads of Paradise. The angels will lower their wings in their great pleasure with one who seeks knowledge, the inhabitants of the heavens and the Earth and the fish in the deep waters will ask forgiveness for the learned man.
The superiority of the learned man over the worshipper is like that of the moon, on the night when it is full, over the rest of the stars. The learned are the heirs of the Prophets, and the Prophets leave neither dinar nor dirham, leaving only knowledge, and he who takes it takes a big fortune.” [Abu Dawud]
This hadith outlines multiple blessings of seeking knowledge, but we will concentrate on two main benefits. The two main benefits of treading on the path of knowledge are the protection of angels and the du’a of Allah’s creatures. Angels provide protection in two ways: they lower their wings for a student of knowledge (i.e. they allow the student of knowledge to walk over their wings, much like a red carpet), and out of respect for the student of knowledge, they stop flying until the student has passed them. Allahu Akbar! Despite the purity of the angels, knowledge allows us to gain a higher rank than them in the eyes of Allah!
The inhabitants of the heavens and the earth make du’a for the student of knowledge. This includes the du’a of the angels and all other creatures on this earth, such as ants and all the fish in the sea. This is a great honor for children of Adam (as)! Striving for knowledge is one of the best deeds we can do to attain mercy of Allah.
Statement of Ibn Hazm (may Allah be pleased with him)
“If the learned ponders how the hours he spent learning saved him from the humiliation of being dominated by the ignorant and from the distress of having no access to the facts, and how those hours provided him with the joy of discovering that which is hidden from others, he would excel in praising Allah, the exalted, full of majesty, and would be more pleased with the knowledge he has and would deepen his desire to increase his knowledge.”
This is a beautiful statement by Ibn Hazm (ra). The direct implications of his statement are obvious. Possession of knowledge will save us from the humiliation of being dominated by the commands of ignorant people. Moreover, possession of knowledge will save us from the distress of having no access to reliable and authentic information. Furthermore, possession of knowledge will give us the joy of knowing that which others do not know. Correct knowledge allows us to worship our Lord in a better manner, a manner which pleases Him. Once we have the knowledge, we will become even more pleased with its advantages and benefits in our lives. This would deepen our desire to gain more knowledge. It is a sweet yet vicious cycle, which takes initial effort and indulgence, but once we taste the sweetness of knowledge, we become addicted!
Are you satisfied?
“Two persons are never satisfied, one who is seeking knowledge, and the other who is seeking the world.”
(Note: there is a disagreement about the above statement. Some say this is a hadith, and some say it is a statement of Ali (ra). Either way, we concern ourselves with the beneficial message of this statement.)
We have a choice in this world. We can either get addicted to this dunya, which we will leave after 60-80 years of life along with everything in it, or we can get addicted to seeking knowledge, which will reap heavy rewards on the Day of Judgement. The path of this dunya leads us away from Allah, and the path of knowledge leads us towards Allah. Likewise, the path of this dunya destroys our Hereafter, and the path of knowledge secures our Hereafter. The choice is entirely ours.
When should you be jealous of others ?
“No one should be jealous of anything except two people – a man whom Allah has blessed with knowledge and he teaches it; and a man who has money and he spends it in the sake of Allah.” (Bukhari)
This hadith alludes to the etiquettes of seeking knowledge. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is saying we should not get envious of others for anything other than two things, one of them being knowledge. Observing other people who have knowledge of the Qur’an and the Sunnah should make us feel envious; the idea is to use this feeling as a motivation to gain knowledge. This hadith does not imply that we question Allah’s decree as to why He made the other person knowledgeable and why we were not given similar knowledge. Instead, we should ask Allah to make us learned in our deen.
“My Lord, increase me in knowledge.” [Qur’an, 20:114]
I hope this article has served as a motivation to continue seeking knowledge because of the numerous benefits and blessings associated with it. Seeking knowledge will help us appreciate our deen, better our connection with Allah, and allow us to find solutions to our problems from the Quran and sunnah to simplify our lives.
Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allaah (saws) said: “Ramadaan has come to you – a blessed month. Allaah has made it obligatory on you to fast in it. During this month, the gates of heaven are open, the gates of the Hellfire are closed and the evil devils are chained. To Allaah belongs a night in it, which is better than a thousand months. Whosoever is prevented from its good, then he has been deprived.” 
The hadeeth is a glad tiding to the righteous servants of Allaah, of the coming of the blessed month of Ramadaan. The Prophet (saws) informed his Companions of its coming and it was not just a simple relaying of news. Rather, his intent was to give them the glad tidings of a magnificent time of the year, so that the righteous people who are quick to do deeds can give it its due estimate. This is because the Prophet (saws) explained in it (the hadeeth) what Allaah has prepared for His servants from the ways towards gaining forgiveness and His contentment – and they are many. So whoever has forgiveness escape him during the month of Ramadaan, then he has been deprived with the utmost deprivation.
From the great favors and bounties that Allaah has bestowed upon His servants is that He has prepared for them meritous occasions so that they may be of profit to those who obey Him and a race for those who rush to compete (for good deeds). These meritous occasions are times for fulfilling hopes by exerting in obedience and uplifting flaws and deficiencies through self-rectification and repentance. There is not a single occasion from these virtuous times, except that Allaah has assigned in it works of obedience, by which one may draw close to Him. And Allaah possesses the most beautiful things as gifts, which He bestows upon whomsoever He wills by His Grace and Mercy.
So the one who achieves true happiness is he who takes advantage of these virtuous months, days and hours and draws closer to His Guardian in them, by doing what is prescribed in them from acts of worship.
Thus perhaps he will be showered with one of the many blessings of those occasions and be helped by it, with an assistance that is enough to save him from the Fire and what it contains, such as its blazing heat. 
Being able to reach Ramadaan is itself a magnificent bounty that is bestowed on the one who reaches it and rises to its occasion, by standing in prayer during its night and fasting during its day. In it, he returns to his Protector — from disobeying Him to obeying Him, from neglecting Him to remembering Him, from remaining distant from Him to turning towards Him in submissive repentance.
A Muslim must be conscious of this bounty and acknowledge its magnitude. For indeed, many people are prevented from fasting, either because they die before they reach it, or because they are not capable of observing it or because they oppose and turn away from it. Thus, the one who fasts must give praise to his Lord for this bounty and should welcome this month with joy and delight that a magnificent time of the year out of all the occasions for performing obedience is welcomed. He should exert himself deeply in doing good deeds. And he should invoke Allaah to grant him the ability to fast and stand in night prayer, and that He provide him with seriousness, enthusiasm, strength, and energy in that month. And that He awaken him from heedless oversleeping so that he may take advantage of these virtuous times of good.
It is unfortunate to find that many people do not know the value of this virtuous occasion, nor do they consider it to be sacred. So the month of Ramadaan no longer becomes a significant time for obedience, worship, reciting the Qur’aan, giving in charity and making remembrance of Allaah. Rather, to some people, it becomes a signifcant time to diversify their foods and drinks and to prepare different types of meals before the month begins. Some other people do not know Ramadaan except as a month of sleeplessness and constant recurring gatherings, while sleeping by day. This is to the point that some among them sleep past the time of the obligatory prayers, thus not praying them in congregation or in their proper times. Other people do not know Ramadaan except as a signifcant time for conducting worldly affairs, not as a significant time for conducting affairs for the Hereafter. Thus, they work busily in it, buying and selling, and they stay in the market areas, consequently abandoning the masaajid. And when they do pray with the people, they do so in such a hurried manner. This is because they find their pleasure in the market places. This is the extent that the notions and views (of Ramadaan) have been changed.
Some of the Salaf used to say: “Indeed Allaah, the Most High, has made the month of Ramadaan as a competition for His creatures, in which they may race with one another to His pleasure, by obeying Him. Thus, one group comes first and so they prosper and another group comes last and so they fail.” 
Also, the individual does not know if this is perhaps the last Ramadaan he will ever see in his life, if he completes it. How many men, women and children have fasted with us the past year, and yet now they lie buried in the depths of the earth, relying on their good deeds. And they expected to fast many more Ramadaans. Likewise, we too shall all follow their path. Therefore, it is upon the Muslim to rejoice at this magnificent occasion for worship. And he should not renounce it, but instead busy himself with what will benefit him and what will cause its effect to remain. For what else is it, except numbered days, which are fasted in succession and which finish rapidly.
May Allaah make us, as well as you, from among those who are foremost in attaining good deeds.
1. This hadeeth is reported by Ahmad and An-Nasaa’ee. See Ahmad Shaakir’s checking of the Musnad (no. 7148) and Saheeh at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb of al-Albaanee (1490) as well as Tamaam-ul-Mannah (395)
2. These are the words of Ibn Rajab in Lataa’if-ul-Ma’aarif: pg. 8
3. Lataa’if-ul-Ma’aarif of Ibn Rajab: page 246
Author:’Abdullaah Ibn Saalih Al-Fawzaan
Source:Ahaadeeth As-Siyaam: Ahkaam wa Adaab (pg. 13-15)