Posted by: Dawud Israel | May 14, 2022

Spiritual Tarbiya Lessons from Khalid ibn al-Waleed (ra)

Spiritual Tarbiya Lessons from Khalid ibn al-Waleed (ra)

There are few individuals in history whose mark and record put them in a category of their own. Khalid ibn al-Waleed (radiallahu anhu) is one of those individuals. It is one of the miracles of Islam that we had our own Alexander the Great. In his military career, he was undefeated, and there are almost no other military leaders in all of history with such a record. I found two lectures on Khalid ibn al-Waleed (radiallahu anhu) and I uploaded their highlights to my youtube channel.
In awe, I could barely wrap my head around his achievements. Now, I started to glean and reflect on Khalid ibn al-Waleed (radiallahu anhu)’s successes. Surely, I could never be at that level, but maybe I can learn from his success. How did he overcome such great odds?

Khalid (radiallahu anhu) fought the Sasannian Persians and there was a point where he was told to come back, but he decided to keep going. What was a short period turned into years and numerous battles. Whatever forces he had he just kept going defeating the Persians over and over again. With the help of Allah, you can keep going, because there is no limit to divine assistance. 12 days now after Ramadhan and I thought, what if like Khalid (radiallahu anhu) I keep going with the fasting, Qur’an and late night prayers? What was it that said to him, keep going?

Picking the Best Steed
Why did Allah give the Arabs the fastest and toughest horses in the world? That should give us pause. Divine assistance surrounds the Muslims, even after the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasalam). I mean, Muslims discover coffee which fuels their intellectual progress and they create Damascus steel and Greek fire with Arabian horses which makes them unstoppable. Khalid (radiallahu anhu) used the fastest and most durable steed for his battles. His tribe of Makhzum were trained to be the best horsemen. Likewise In our ibada, we should pick the furthest reaching good deeds that will survive the arduous journey to Jannah, and train to perfect those forms of ibada. Khalid (radiallahu anhu) was also a blacksmith so he knew what sword to use and knew how to stay sharp in battle and know how to best maximize use of his tools.

Surrounding the Enemy
Repeatedly, in the battles of Khalid (radiallahu anhu) we see the unorthodox military tactic of approaching the enemy from different sides. He overcame the Muslims in Uhud by flanking them and surprising them from going around the mountain. Like Iblis, who swears in the Qur’an, he will attack the believers from front and behind to overwhelm them, Khalid (radiallahu anhu) overcame the combined forces of Sasannian Persians and Byzantine Romans in the Battle of Firaz by breaking his soldiers into three groups and attacking them from multiple sides at once. We too cannot easily overcome a foe such as our nafs and shaytan by attacking from one place. We need to make sure we can be righteous in different settings from different angles. If we come at it in a predictable way, then the nafs will counter it easily, but if we approach it with surprise tactics then it is not a matter of force but direction. If we have multiple good acts running at the same time, they will eventually combine in a way that will make us victorious.

Piecemeal Warfare
In three of the battles Khalid (radiallahu anhu) faced against the Persians he decided to break his army into 3 groups to travel separately and arrive at the same time against the smaller groups of Sasannian Persians who were yet to meet with the rest of their soldiers to combine their forces to attack Khalid. He acted fast before they could combine. In this way, his group of 15,000 would break into 5,000 and then meet where they would surprise 20,000 Persian soldiers and catch them off guard and take them out with no loss to the Muslim forces. Like the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasalam) hiding and changing his destination in battle from the hypocrites, Khalid (radiallahu anhu) and the Muslims were undetectable as smaller groups, traveling as fast as they could in coolness of night, to arrive at a meeting point of success. Today, we would call this something like covert operations, but even those don’t involve huge armies which is what Khalid (radiallahu anhu) did something impossible to replicate today. As Muslims, we cannot approach our obstacles all at once or we risk burning out, but we have to break it up into smaller battles we can overcome. We don’t need to pray all of tahajjud at once, we can take breaks and do it slowly. We don’t need to recite Qur’an all at once, but can break it up here and there.

Blocking the Enemy
Similar to the piecemeal approach of battle, Khalid (radiallahu anhu) would block his enemies escape using the environment. In the Battle of Yarmouk, he used the ravines and rivers to block the Byzantine Roman’s escape. By blocking the enemy and their escape, he maximizes his advantage and limits the damage the enemy can cause by bringing reinforcements or escaping. We don’t need to win on the terms of our enemy, we need to realizing winning in the face of difficult odds can only happen on our own terms. Khalid (radiallahu anhu) pulled his army away from all the different places it was defending to combine at Yarmouk for larger numbers. This was the final push on driving Byzantine Romans out of Arabia. Over the course of the battles, he detected his army was afraid and weakening in parts and he strengthened his flanks to withstand the repeated push of the Byzantine Romans. When the Byzantine Romans realized they won’t overcome the Muslims that easily and wanted to negotiate, Khalid (radiallahu anhu) refused and used a surprise attack to take them out. When your nafs wants to bargain it is because it is losing. By shifting the field, our surroundings to limit the sinning, to limit the escape routes of our nafs, we can corner our bad habits and sinful conduct. If we then withstandd the blows on our iman with resolve, we can surprise it. If we let our nafs have an escape route, it will surely take it. But if we give it an impasse, and immobilize it, we are in control and it is just a matter of using another tactic to overcome it.

There is surely more to reflect on Khalid (radiallahu anhu)’s military career…maybe there is a spiritual meaning to Khalid (radiallahu anhu)’s knowledge of terrain, when Khalid (radiallahu anhu) tried to impersonate Umar (radiallahu anhu) only to be discovered by the Christians, or when he made an oath to Allah to do Hajj if he wins, or the fact he thought he would die a martyr but he did not, that even the Sword of God, cannot be killed but must submit to the decree of God. The lessons are plentiful, even in secular worldly pursuits, the stamina and genius of Khalid (radiallahu anhu) is something we Muslims take for granted and don’t appreciate as much as we should. We cannot have another Khalid ibn al-Waleed (radiallahu anhu), but we can surely learn from his genius and apply it in our own endeavors and the endeavors of the Muslim community.

Posted by: Dawud Israel | November 14, 2021

Modern Tasbihs Ranked

Making dhikr in our time is not the same as in the past. Traditionlly, the sibha/tasbih we use with a 99 or 100 count broken into 3 x 33 sections with smaller counter tassels provides the basic need. It is a classic and places like UNS Fine Crafts can make you customizable tasbihs. But as we are living in an era where other methods are available to us, I’ve realized it’s not the best method. Yes, it is the most beautiful method but even if you get a 1000-count tasbih (which will tangle up constantly by the way) it is not practical if you want to do a lot of dhikr daily. What is the most efficient way?

Here are some I have tried…

MECHANICAL TALLY COUNTER – this is great for counting into 5-figures. I used this method for a long time but it is noisy and cumbersome as the counter is large. Eventually, the painting of the numbers disappeared and now no numbers are visible. But it will never break.

RING COUNTER – this cute little ring finger counter is great because it is small, easy to carry and click. The downside is the battery dies quick, it is easy to overcount, it is not reliable at all. Unless you buy 10 of these at a time, you will get tired of this as it’s still a cheap Chinese product.

ROTATING TALLY COUNTER – this one is the coolest one of all but it breaks very quickly and counts even a small movement as a count. Again also a cheap Chinese product.

APPS – there are several apps for dhikr on your smartphone. They do work well enough when you have nothing else ahing else available. The trick with these is using the volume button instead of tapping on the screen. Some apps will log the amount. But I think this is cumbersome as well.

WINNER: HAND DIGITAL COUNTER – this tally counter is something that I found online. I gave it a shot as I found nothing else suitable and was tired of using my phone. After a month, it came from China. A single AA-battery is all you need. And it is very durable so far. In fact, it went through the washing machine and dryer and is still working great! It is much more practical, easy to hold, easy to store and easy to hit big numbers. The only small downside is there is no off button, so it will keep counting if it touches your leg while in your pocket. I think this is the best one despite being a fairly cheap Chinese product like so many of these tasbihs.

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la ilaha illa Ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.

Posted by: Dawud Israel | November 7, 2021

Tried and Tested Dua to Stop Sinning

It is amazing that we seek a way to protect ourselves from sins and search for awrad and wazaif but the solution to our problem is already given by Rasulullah ﷺ. It is perhaps a victory of shaytan that he has made us forget this hadith and it does not appear in many books of adhkar nor have I heard it mentioned in a bayaan or lecture. In any case, here it is…

We relate in the book of at-Tirmidhi and others that Abu Dharr reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Whoever says ten times, after the salah of Subh (i.e. Fajr), whilst sitting in the position of tashahhud and before speaking: There is no god but Allah, He is One and has no partner. To Him belongs sovereignty and to Him belongs all praise, He gives life and He gives death, and He has power over all things will have ten good deeds written for him, ten of his sins will be forgiven and ten stages will be raised for him. It will be a shield for him against all repulsive things, he will be guarded from Shaytan, and no sins will be allowed to reach him that day unless it be from assigning partners to Allah.” At-Tirmidhi declared this to be a hasan hadith and in some texts hasan sahih.

Footnote: At-Tirmidhi (3470), who also states that this is a hasan sahih gharib hadith. It was also graded as hasan by Ibn Hajr owing to its narration by witnesses.

Kitab al-Adhkar The Book of Remembrances, by Imam Yahya ibn Sharaf an-Nawawi, revised and edited by Muhammad Isa Waley, Turath Publishing p. 125-126.

I only found this hadith online on one other website but I came across it first in this book Kitab al-Adhkar. There are many ahadith in it that are not well-known. I tested this particular adhkar and found it to be work without fail.

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la ilaha illa Ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.

Posted by: Dawud Israel | October 8, 2021

The Sufi Handyman

The Sufi Handyman

I cannot help but think of islaah in terms of cleaning but also repair.

I remember my first bit of Islamic art was a doodle of a kitchen and all the areas with hidden dirt, grease, dust, broken glass, and food particles and spills. I drew this doodle after cleaning behind the stove. To me it was the perfect illustration of tasawwuf, tazkiya and tarbiya. How many forgotten utensils are lost under a fridge too heavy for us to bother to clean underneath it? Or how much grease is built up on the ceiling above the stove, the mark of years of gluttony? This is what I see tasawwuf as – cleaning what is hidden, those stubborn stains that are too difficult to find the strength to clean, those cracks and crevices that filth loves to hide in, that sets in for far too long to be removed easily. Soaking, scrapping, washing, wiping, rinsing away the sins are for the light sins. But sometimes you need steel wool to dislodge a stain, CLR to chemically treat, a snaking augur to break up a clog, or a hydro vac jet to flush out, or pressure wash to reveal what gunk and residue that is built up with the love of dunya. There is even a treatment to use bacteria to eat away, like sucker fishes, the fat that clogs up kitchen pipes.

“O Allah, wash off my sins with the [melted] water of ice and snow, and purify my heart of sins, just as white clothes are cleansed of filth.” (Sunan Nasai)

The kitchen is an extension of us. The home itself reflects our nafs and our self control. Exhibiting cleanliness and order is not the same as actualizing cleanliness and order. We can be like the munafiq, hiding away our sins in the closet or sweeping them under the rug. That is the essential lesson here: tasawwuf is a never-ending routine of cleaning and organizing and polishing, from dirty to clean to more clean to sparkle. There is an endpoint to a clean room, but not to a clean heart. Ask yourself this riddle: how clean can Jannah be? Are there any caretakers?

The other aspect of tasawwuf is the repair and handyman aspect. The jack-of-all-trades who knows how to use every odd appliance, how it works, how to fix it, the quick fixes, the tricks and lifehacks to save time but also the long fixes. Its the folk knowledge and problem solving IQ that can’t be found on a test. How to fashion a solution from few resources. This is how you can address the spiritual problems that are more insidious and deeper than those that need just cleaning. These are the problems that need repair. This is where patience is needed in islaah. Trauma, addiction, abuse, tragedy, suffering, doubt and depression need fixing that can take many years. The handyman has a truck full of tools and gadgets we don’t have names for. Diagnosing and treating can take time. Bedbugs are easier to prevent by wrapping mattresses in plastic wrap than treating with fumigation. Poverty has its own repair demands – intergenerational trauma, substance abuse, domestic violence – these are akin to when the whole house is falling apart and breaking down from wear and tear. The damage and repair are not the point here: it is that hearts are valued by Allah despite the repairs needed. There is something essential to the heart of a Muslim. Broken, whole, the heart of the Muslim matters most to Allah. Some things can’t be repaired and likewise some hearts will be like that and Allah knows that. I find many devices always break but its about finding to make them work best broken and Allah wants us to learn to accept broken things. Yet, often islaah for these hearts is not going to come from our wisdom or actions, it will only happen through sincere dua for that person’s islaah. Tribulation makes one experience brokenness and purity at the same time. After all, many broken people will be in Jannah with the One who created them whole and put them on a path to become broken in this world, and more beloved to Him broken than they were whole.

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la ilaha illa Ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.

Posted by: Dawud Israel | August 4, 2021

A Critical Meta-Analysis of the Qurbani

A Critical Meta-Analysis of the Qurbani

This title is just for kicks – it is neither critical nor a meta-analysis. I just wanted to set the tone for taking the udhiya (qurbani) in a serious light and pondering it’s meanings. I recently did my qurbani – that is – not by payment but by hand. It is an interesting sight. It is easy to see it as cruel but for the facts of life in that these animals will be consumed by Muslim and non-Muslim alike anyways.

It is fascinating to see the various traditions of slaughtering. Some cultures prize the cow, others the goat and its brains, Africans like to torch the body of the animal, while others value the intestines. We are blessed to be able to eat different parts of the animal, as the Jews are forbidden to eat certain parts of the animal. Moreover, they cannot do qurbani as the Temple Mount is no more and can only sacrifice at most a chicken once a year and in the days of Bani Israil would sacrifice even herbs.

With but a few words does the animal become halal for a Muslim to eat and with a few words – the kalima – does a Muslim affirm his faith and uttering them before he/she dies. The butcher skins, pieces, minces, and weighs each part of the animal, just as the angels size us up in our grave and our deeds are weighed in the scale like beef by the gram. The taqwa of the sacrifice is what reaches our Lord we are told in the Qur’an. The reminder of death in the qurbani that makes us moderns shake a little and cringe at the blood squirting is all too clear a sign of how far we are from our fitra and the norms of Muslim life around the world.

In the Qur’an, we hear of how Ibrahim ran to slaughter a lamb and bring it to roast for his guests. When you are slaughtering an animal, skinning it, piecing it and getting it ready to eat, you understand Ibrahim must have took a long time with a lot of labour to ready this meal, and this shows the height of his generosity. We just rather have food prepped by a caterer or pick up takeout or if we prepare for our guests, it will be a chicken at most, never a roasted lamb.

In Jannah, death will come in the form of a lamb/goat (I can’t remember which?) that will be slaughtered and then death will end. There is a great poetry in this fact that all those animal sacrifices, those qurbanis, we felt may be a little tough to watch an animal die, will end with death’s death in the form of a qurbani. This is the difference between our qurbani for taqwa, and Allah’s ‘qurbani‘ to gift us eternal life or eternal damnation. Will we bask eternally like sheep in a heavenly ethical organic farm to never be slaughtered? Or will we roast in the hellfire for eternity to be slewn over and over again?

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la ilaha illa Ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.

Posted by: Dawud Israel | April 13, 2021

Ramadhan 2021 based on 7 Productivity Books

This Ramadhan I wanted to apply productivity literature to achieving a successful Ramadhan. Ramadhan is a time for improvement, where no matter how lazy you are, you have to fast and worship. It is a time to transform and discover your potential.

Planning, executing and doing your own tarbiya in a strategic and practical manner is the focus here. Understanding weaknesses and improving your spirituality is my aim here. There is a lot of expensive deen self-improvement courses floating around online ($400 masterclasses?) and I also want to point out here this information is not hidden but easily available at your bookstore or elsewhere online. This is not rocket science.

(My apologies for not posting in a while…and my editing is not as clear as I wanted with this new wordpress but thats what happens when you are a parent!)


Mental models as I understand them are questions to ask that will help frame and focus on succeeding in whatever you are aiming for.

  • First mental model: Ask the opposite of what is a success?
    • “How can I be as unbeneficial to my deen today?”
      • No fasting
      • Watch TV all day
      • Missed prayers and taraweeh

So now I know what I need to focus on and what the passing mark will be.

  • Second mental model: Break down the essential parts of what works
    • What are the components of success to a good Ramadhan?
      • Less food
      • More worship
      • Guarding eyes, tongue and private parts
      • Avoiding TV, movies, music
      • Sadaqa
  • Third mental model: What are the Second order effects?
  • What are the long term consequences of Ramadhan success or Ramadhan failure?
    • A weaker Ramadhan next year.
    • Lost ajr.
    • No forgiveness.
    • Setting a bad example to family and kids.


OKR – objective & key results is the main idea in this book

Objectives: “If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure you will fail above everyone else’s success.” – James Cameron

An example is do 20 khatms of Qur’an in Ramadhan.

Key results – how much Qur’an you read in a day in Ramadhan. A metric of juz/day. Or counting pages and aiming for a 2% increase in pages recited per day. Here is a chart I used last Ramadhan so you get an idea…

4 AGREEMENTS by Don Miguel Ruiz           

This book speaks to 4 promises you make to yourself. What I find beneficial of this book is how it aligns with Islamic values and controlling the tongue. Lastly it helps me personally in not beating myself up for my failings but to keep trying.

  1. Be impeccable with your words
    • Qur’an is the best word
  2. Don’t take anything personally
    • Don’t let hunger cause crankiness and make you angry
  3. Don’t make assumptions – ask questions and clarifications
    • Give people benefit of the doubt
    • Tell people “I am fasting” if they argue with you
  4. Always do your best – if you fail forgive yourself and move on
    • Keep moving and don’t get discouraged when you fail


Every distraction is preceded by some discomfort

  1. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy – Aim to rid bad urge by waiting for 10 minutes: Imagine urge on a leaf doing down the river. This method is helpful for smokers trying to quit. Visualizing
  2. Ego Depletion is a Lie – you have an inexhaustible will power reserve and can’t run out of willpower. Resisting urge increases willpower. The idea that the more you resist the weaker you willpower becomes is actually not true. This is a lesson that applies to Ramadhan especially where it may seem like willpower is weakening but its actually getting stronger.

3 Pacts you have to make with yourself:

  1. Effort Pacts – add effort between you and what you want (i.e K-safe timer lock for cookies)
    • Put food away and hide TV remote from yourself
  2. Price Pacts – spend $ or burn bill if break the pact
    • Give sadaqa if you miss salah or look at something unlawful
  3. Identity Pacts – tell people you don’t do xyz so people will stop you
    • Everyone knows you are fasting at work so they will not let you lie or do anything wrong

“Anecdote to Impulsiveness is Forethought”

KAIZEN WAY by Robert Maurer

  1. taking embarrassingly small steps to a goal weakens resistance to change
    • do wudhu before iftar
  2. ask smaller questions
    • can you read Qur’an in 10-20 minute intervals?
  3. focus on smaller steps and rewards
    • stay awake for 20 minutes more per day

COMPOUND EFFECT  by Darren Hardy

  • Focus on % Percentage gain over Net gain: Will I still be reading Qur’an after Ramadhan in the same amount?
  • Trade Immediate Results for Core Values: How can I keep being a good Muslim free of pride? Is my impatience making my deen suffer?

EAT THAT FROG by Brian Tracy

  • If I disappeared and went on a road trip for a month – what would be the consequences to my work/business/project?
    • Uncomfortable (tadpole) vs. Fatal consequences (frog) – confront and eat the frog
  • What are key results to keep going? 
  • What one task can you do all day long to contribute to great value?

The obvious answer is to just read Qur’an and to let listening to the hundred different Islamic lectures that come out in Ramadhan. My key results are whether I think I got laylatul qadr or if I unlocked a new all time in high in how much khatm Qur’an I do.

This article was just a glimpse on how this knowledge can be used by Muslims for free. I can go further and share even more material that is available. What money and time and knowledge cannot do however is apply it to your nafs and tarbiya. That you have to do on your own. 🙂

Subhanaka Allahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la ilaha illa Ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.

Posted by: Dawud Israel | March 1, 2020

Making Sense of the False Sufi Shaykh

Lately there has been credible reports of sufi (and sufi-affiliated) shaykhs who have been exposed as frauds. (See here and here) This is not new. There have been so many Muslim scandals and controversies online in the past year or so, it is best if you are a scholar, to just be away from the Internet and be forgotten.

The False Shaykh

But the nature of this news makes me wonder as to human nature and how much Islam changes a person – for the better or the worse.

For one thing, what makes one sufficiently purified to be a murshid? Doesn’t the ahadith say that rust comes on the heart every day and so how can one ever reach that point of being purified? Even, if one claims they are protected by Allah from sin, there is no way of verifying that. And so it is fertile ground for abuse.

There have always been false shaykhs. Salesman by other names, wolf in sheep’s clothing, who prey on Muslim money and women, who dress ornately in pristine white clothing that make them look angelic. Whose words are so smooth and eloquent, it is essentially sihr. I always wonder do these shaykhs ever go on 40 day khalwa? Why are they always in the public eye? Why are they people of the zahir (outward) yet claim to be people of the batin inward? Isn’t riyya a sin? Why is it when it comes to problems, they never spill the beans? Or when it comes to deep spiritual secrets, they only explain from the latest English translated Islamic texts? If they are so erudite, why not teach us those Arabic books? Why are their murids middle-class or upper-class? Where are the poor?

“Sidi, sidi, sidi, Can’t you see? Sometimes your words just hypnotize me. And I just love your Sufi flavour…”

This brings me to my next point: maybe the false shaykh never was a shaykh. Or maybe he was a shaykh at some point, even for 15 minutes, and then was corrupted. Really, today, our false shaykhs have millions of Muslims giving them attention, how can a human being not be corrupted sooner or later? How much more dhikr and istighfar do you need to do when you have followers confessing to you their sexual secrets, bad thoughts and sins? Imagine you are a naive pious sufi shaykh who has never heard of these sins and your mind runs wild and now you have to clean this laundry, these difficult to wash stains, from the clothing of your followers. And now you have to see these people or talk to them. Maybe one or two of your female followers is beautiful and enamoured by you. Can you resist? Can you keep your heart pure? Really, the ideal shaykh would have to be a robot. The whole shaykh-murid-tariqa structure is problem-ladden for abuse and sin, not spiritual refinement and betterment. It closes Muslims off from the rest of the ummah, to permit sin and enable criminals.

The old sins of the Muslim world are rife in the modus operandi of these false shaykhs: Women are abused, disrespected, blamed victims, seen as objects, disbelieved when they cry out. Dementia and 70 excuses are cited as excuses. Someone has a dream of Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wasalam) supporting their agenda. Inaction and silent complicity abound. Bribery, blackmail and spilling secrets are primary weapons. The tariqa turns into a microcosm of the Middle Eastern dictatorships; weaponized with sihr, death threats and mukhabarat. The ayah, uphold justice and bear witness to God, even if it is against yourselves… (Surah Nisa, v. 135) is quickly forgotten. Those still loyal can’t see past their fallacy of sunk costs. They may even justify it with self-serving hadith like ‘if you feel no shame, do as you please.’ Those who leave the tariqa, may even lose their Islam.

Sufism in the West as a whole is a minefield of sins and dangers. The number of righteous shaykhs is few and hidden. The false shaykhs who do financial and sexual abuse are never called out by the true shaykhs. Perennialism is accommodated. Riyya is commonplace. Photographs of the shaykh, as if he is an Arab king, in the place of ibada and dhikr is permitted. Free-mixing is encouraged. The Qur’an is neglected while singing is emphasized. Distance from the mainstream Muslim Jama’ah is encouraged. And in some cases magic (sihr) is confused with spiritual experiences. All in all, a Muslim will not have his iman strengthened, but risk losing it all.

And thus I clothe my naked villany / With odd old ends stol’n out of holy writ, / And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.” Richard III (I, iii, 336-338) 

‘Tis too much proved, that with devotion’s visage / And pious action we do sugar o’er / The devil himself.

Sufi Shaykh compared to the Sunnah

For those who confuse these false shaykhs with the Sunnah it should be made clear that the Sunnah and the Sirah are quite different from the behaviour of these false shaykhs. I made this chart below to make things clear:

Reverting Back to Old Ways or Creating a False Face

What I have noticed is converts or even born-Muslims clean up their act, but at some point, revert or regress back to their old ways, if not fully, than partially. The sahabas fought each other but resolved it. Yusuf Islam publicly went back to music to some degree. Many converts go backwards somewhat or are Muslim only in name. Muslims who have been given tarbiya go back fully or partially to their old ways. What matters not is going back to old habits, its what happens after that. Will they go back fully? Or find a compromise or a balance? Or repent and return to their Islamic self?

That is the test of iman.

Reverting back to old ways is not an extreme. Its lesser of two evils.

What is worse than this is what happens in the other scenario: going too far towards piety to the point you create an image of never sinning, of false piety, until one is no longer authentic to who they are and no longer authentic to being a Muslim. Your entire life is a lie. This is when piety becomes a false face of piety that corrupts the soul. It makes one inhuman. And then religion becomes about preserving the lie of being pure and righteous. Until we believe our own lie. This is what I believe happens to false shaykhs who have fallen who were perhaps pure at some point but no longer. This is what I believe tawba is meant to prevent.

The Nature of Corruption

I met a former Christian priest that was kicked out of their congregation and I saw this priest was so corrupted now to the point all they said was lies and delusions. I think spiritual power corrupts. Allah does not give us that level of power. He can act through His servants but we have no such claim to any spiritual authority. We are all dependant on Allah. And Allah choses His friends but He doesn’t need friends who look impressive or who fundraise or who give bayans. If a wali does a karama (miracle) in a forest, and no one sees him, is he still a wali? Of course. The inner reality and what our social experience sees is different. I believe in our age the masjid uncle is more likely to be a wali than some of the scholars we listen to, for no other reason than he has been protected from fame by being ignored. The hidden awliya are perhaps hidden for a divine reason – to protect them from corrupting their heart. Maybe Allah gets His real work done through the unacknowledged.

Perhaps this is the wisdom behind the hadith: The Hand of Allah is over the Jama’ah.

The Greeks had an understanding of the dangers of being too virtuous. They felt the gods would become jealous of their gifts and smite them. They also had an institution called ostracism, a ten-year exile, where a politician was removed from office just to reduce the envy people felt for him. Aristides, the Just, was removed because of excess virtue because people were fed up of hearing him called The Just everywhere (only Allah is The Just by the way). After ten years jealousy died out, he could safely return and everyone forgot his justice. So even the Greeks knew hiding the virtuous is in the best interests of everybody. Perhaps we should exile our righteous to protect them from spoiling their deen and the dangers that come with being seen as righteous.

Becoming a Spiritual Orphan

What those avid for Allah’s Friendship and Closeness are left with trying to stay away from harm and trying one’s level best to be a good Muslim. The old staples of righteous Muslim are still available: the Qur’an, dhikr, istighfar, fasting, righteous friends, the masjid, studying and reading Islamic books. And lets not forget the sahaba spent much time memorizing Qur’an and studying and acting on hadith. Some may be surprised I never took bay’ah, not for lack of trying. Somehow I was always blocked off by Allah and it just never happened. I have just made do with what the deen provides, Qur’an, books and bayans from as many scholars as I can, which is plenty, and in all that their are plenty of spiritual experiences and openings to experience.

The Muslim world is historically in the period the Christians and Jews were before Islam – they are slowly falling apart and going astray. The decision we have is that of the hunafa – before Nubuwwa; which guidance do we follow when everybody’s guidance is breaking down? Before the advent of the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasalam), Zaid ibn Amr al-Nawfal decided to avoid the way of the Jews and Christians, seeing the Christians disputing over their theology and the Jews oppressed, he took the way of Abraham and submitted to Allah, to be hanif. He clung to monotheism and will be raised on qiyama as an ummah on his own. Our Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasalam) did the same in the beginning. Near the End of Time, we must remember the beginning of Islam, the pre-revelation wisdom of Nabi (salallahu alayhi wasalam): seclusion, tawhid, shunning idolatry, generosity, trustworthiness, truthfulness and searching for Allah away from the dunya and away from what perturbs the heart. That is how Muhammad ibn Abdullah (salallahu alayhi wasalam) became Muhammad Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wasalam). That is how he (salallahu alayhi wasalam) sought Allah.

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la ilaha illa Ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.

Posted by: Dawud Israel | February 23, 2020


Let’s talk about Jerusalem.

I watched the old movie Kingdom of Heaven which much excited Muslims for its great portrayal of Salahuddin.

My reflection on this movie was that the reality of the holy city of Jerusalem is that it is not conquered with any permanence, by physical force, but by spiritual and moral high grounds.

Like the hill of Golgotha, the moral high ground, is seen by the whole Jerusalem not just in space but in time. The religious and symbolic value of this holy city, Jerusalem, to not one but 3 faiths, means the ownership or guardianship, has to be with those with the highest moral traits – trustworthiness, honour, justice, etc. And hence the reality of the affair is Jerusalem is about which religion can produce the best man.

The most upright person deserves a holy city – not the most corrupt. And whichever religion can and does produce the most upright individual – merely by doing so, that religion has has the claim to guarding the amanah of Jerusalem.  


Salahuddin learned how to conquer a holy city – the haram al sharif – from the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasalam). Salahuddin established a moral high ground over the Christians by letting Jerusalem’s Christian folk go free and in a sense they acquiesced to him being the better man and worthy of being the guardian of Jerusalem. If they cannot do a better job of guarding the city and honouring its subjects as if on behalf of God, then why object? Hence the Muslims have checkmated the Christians in the Jerusalem’s chessboard of deserving righteousness. 


The Jews and Muslims now square of. Each faith without a champion of piety. Under the intoxicants of nationalism and secularism, the religious champion has a diminished meaning. Islam can produce a religious champion – but it has not yet.

Umar took the city by prophecy.

Salahuddin by treaty.  

What will make the Muslims reach the moral high ground needed to deserve al-Quds? That’s the question to answer to get Jerusalem back.

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.

Posted by: Dawud Israel | February 16, 2020

Ambiya as Men

Ambiya as Men

Stand firm like Nuh

Punch like Musa 

Vandalize like Ibrahim

Endure like Ayyub

Mob control like Harun 

Speak truth to power like Yahya 

Flip tables like Eesa 

Conquer like Sulayman

Be the Underdog like Dawud 

Pelt like Ishaq 

Lift like Isma’il

See through bullsh*t like Yaqoub 

Humble them like Yusuf 

And Charge into the fray like Abu’l Qasim (salallahu alayhi wasalam) 

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.

Posted by: Dawud Israel | January 19, 2020

Meditation on Modality of Mercy of the Most Merciful

My meditation and theory is that the Mercy of Allah given to the Muslims is unique, but that most of the mercy has come to us in this world, before the Day of Judgment, through Islam, Rasulullah ﷺ, and the Qur’an. The mercy of the afterlife is justified by the mercies in this world that the Muslims gather.

My fear and my guess is that Allah’s Mercy overpowering His Wrath is interpreted that we have many avenues and opportunities to win that Heavenly Mercy. We are forgiven after wudhu, we are forgiven with the 5 salat, we are forgiven with each jumuah and each Eid, forgiven with istighfar, tahajjud, sadaqa, hajj, Ramadan and zakat, etc.

All the ahadith of these ibadat mention forgiveness over and over and over again as if it is almost impossible not to be forgiven with practice of Islam. Rahma is overflowing. Bursting mercy.

Now today when it comes to mu’amalat like mortgages and halal and haram, Muslims will quote modern scholars and say, “Allah will forgive it” and “Allah is more merciful than a mother to her child.” The attitude is we can neglect the deen as if it has no mercy in it because all the Mercy of Allah will come out on the Day of Judgment. As if there is no mercy in the Prophet ﷺ. As if there is no mercy in ibadat. As if there is no mercy in the Qur’an. But the reality is these are the avenues of mercy in Islam. If we turn away from Allah’s Rahma here, in the deen, can we really expect to win it on the Day of Judgment?

This is foolish in my opinion. Anyone with common sense can understand with the signs of the Day of Judgment things are not getting better – they are getting worse. Yajuj Majuj, Dajjal, the Qur’an being raised and the seas boiling. Time is running out to make tawba and enter Islam. In that sense dunyawi rahma is running out. It is stupid to expect mercy when we persist so long in sin without tawba. I suspect Mercy is limited more and more with fewer Muslims lobbying for Divine Mercy with ibadat. Islam gives us all the tools of earning Allah’s Mercy in this world.

The framework for Islam in our time should be lobbying Divine Mercy and warding off Divine Wrath as per the last ayahs of Surah al-Fatiha. Divine Wrath will be on us when we follow the footsteps of the Jews and Christians. All that separates us from them is the Qur’an and Sunnah.

Now, you may say while this dunya has 1/99th of Allah’s Mercy. Perhaps I am wrong. InshaAllah I am wrong as I need more Divine mercy. But perhaps the 1/99th of Allah’s Mercy in this world will lead to winning the remaining 99. They are connected.

Maybe I am completely wrong in thinking this. But it is nonetheless I am fearful of Allah in misunderstanding His Mercy. Allahu Alam.

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa Ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.

Posted by: Dawud Israel | December 5, 2019

A Muslim Book Review: The Year of Living Biblically

Imagine someone in our era living an entire year according to the rules and details of the Bible – Old Testament and New Testament. This is the premise of this book which journals a Jewish New York comedian’s attempt at living the Bible to every minute point. 

This is one of my favourite books. The combination of life-experiment, religious sitcom-like humour, and search for spirituality are the best parts of this read. I heard of this book, but only after watching two episodes of the TV show by the same name, did I feel the book might be a worthy read. The author is a man who went through the whole Encyclopedia Brittanica so he’s already more committed than any observant believer I know and likely erudite enough for his thoughts to matter. The writing quality is excellent too (his word-selection as an example, when he comes home his son Jasper is eating pineapple ‘wedges,’ not ‘slices.’

As a Muslim I’ve benefited by A.J.’s courage. Surely, if an agnostic can sport a very lengthy beard and dress in all-white than certainly so can I as an observant Muslim (granted, New York is home to many zany individuals).

There are a few insights I realized Muslims may have imported from the Judaic tradition (hearing from Muslims to separate milk and meat by a few hours as “You are not to boil a young goat in the milk of its mother” p. 69) – and separate the eating utensils that touched them. Or the historical point I heard one or two Muslim scholar say, that the human race started out as vegetarian, up until Noah who was the first to eat flesh (p. 307). Some Christian imports would be sola scriptura which is the Protestant idea of interpreting scripture yourself without mediation. This is essentially motto of Wahabbism and I have heard one Muslim scholar compare the two systems of belief.

A verse that likens Moses to a house and Jesus to the builder of a house. 265

After reading this book, I also appreciate how much more workable, manageable, realistic and down-to-earth Islam is compared to the Judeo-Christian tradition. Yes, Islam has its challenging high-notes; Hitting the pre-wash button in the washing machine, istinja of dog hairs in the Shafi’i madhhab, and the rituals of Hajj and Umrah. OK, not that challenging. But because we have a well-documented living example in the Prophet Muhammad’s (peace and blessings be upon him) life we have reference points for almost all aspects of living. Also thankfully, there isn’t as much sexual lewdness in Islamic tradition as their is in the Bible. And in Islam, the spiritual lessons are not as confusing or ambiguous. And Islam is not as confusing on its literalism. Islam is not as wide in what is open to interpretation and there are set boundaries to interpretation. Islam is definitive. Wara (pious cautiousness), Bid’a (innovation without a basis in Islam) and ijtihad (interpretation) keep Islam jogging through the centuries. Nowhere does Islam lose its “do-ability” – except, only due to its adherents’ willfulness, or lack thereof.

The agnosticism pervades this book. The constant wrestling with faith. The lack of clarity of who is God. Even outright blasphemous statements (“It sounds strange to say it, but in the Bible, God is on a learning curve.” p. 268). No clear aqida / theology is elucidated in the manner for example Surah al-Ikhlas or 99 Divine Names in Islam. It makes one grateful for Islam. Alhamdulilahil ladhi at’amana, wasaqana, waj’alna min-al Muslimeen – Praise be to Allah Who has fed us and given us drink and made us Muslim.

By the 6-8 month mark of the one-year experiment, the man is genuinely searching for guidance. Does he find it? Not on his own terms nor where he expects it. That happens over and over again. The closest he comes to a divine spiritual experience is a hypnotic snake-handling church sermon where he lets himself go, that is until, his mental defences activate.

Other peculiarities in the book did confound me. The number of trips to synagogues are few. Little mention of friars and nuns is made. We get the average priest, but he does not bite into the raw spiritual tradition of those who commit their entire life to the Judeo-Christian God. We are stuck with the conservative and liberal dichotomy, the evangelical and the progressives, the orthodox and the zany. The populist Judaism and populist Christianity. Not the upper echelons of believers nor anything aside from middle-class religion.

I couldn’t help but feel at times the author wanted to explore Islam a little – the only Abrahamic faith excluded from his thesis. Or even explore other religions to get the full human dimension of religion. But alas. The author does make the passing mention of Muslims – almost inconveniently or accidentally. Maybe he feared criticism from his family – just as he was fearful of his extending family responding to him associating with his eccentric uncle.

But I can’t help but wonder if the book was “A Year of Living Quranically” how would it have gone?

Here are quotes and paraphrased bits from the book. Many parts are paraphrased in my own words. I comment on them in italics

Difficulties of Religious life

    • “Hate the sin not sinner – like saying love Jesse Jackson except fact he is black.” p. 263. A little bit of an exaggeration, but the point is a a less than 100% form of love. 
    • “OCD and rituals reinforcing each other” p. 148 – repetition, taxonomy, fixation with im/purity  p. 148. For me germophobia and purity blending into one another resulting in dry skin. 
    • “Lashon hara evil tongue eventually butt heads with treating wife well who wants to gossip.”  p. 158.
    • (Paraphrased) Utilitarian rationalization for stealing Starbuck straws: amount of pleasure outweighs the couple of cents it’ll cost Starbucks. Or in the end helps out struggling straw industry. Stealing internet to make myself a better person and learn about God so its ok.  p. 139.
    • Cafeteria Christianity – pick and choose like a buffet p. 327 everyone practices cafeteria religion – key is choosing right dishes  p. 328. We have Muslims saying the same thing of the deen being a buffet – but what they meant was it was large.
    • Stop looking at Bible as self-help book Not about joy or meaning or make sure son not evil. Prayer as a therapy session vs. quick prayer in busy day? The second better because only for God. Sacrificing my time for the higher good. I’ll become a more selfless person. A better person. And then I realize: I’m back to self-help again. I can’t escape it.  p. 208. The only command is deen with ikhlas – the side benefits are what we often prioritize but should not. 
    • Saying fudge instead of f-word can’t help but smile because too folksy. I say mother faaaaajr. 

Useful ideas for Muslims to take note of in this book: 

    • Zagat guide to aid orgs or Charity Navigator website. A Muslim guide to sadaqa would be useful ! 
    • no using smiley face emoticons p. 104. Some ulema do not use emoticons or smiley faces.
    • Clean Flicks – rental services that sanitizes Hollywood films  p. 131 Clearplay which filters content out of movies – backfire because so focused on whats being filtered out imagine things that are worse than if had just watched it  p. 134. For films, I utilize Kids-in-Mind so I am aware of how inappropriate the film may be. Nonetheless, for Muslims we are discouraged from watching films as it is ghafla – heedlessness – and many believe sinful.
    • stealing straws from Starbucks – I can rationalize almost anything p. 113. Freeloading is a form of theft in a sense, and due to Muslim generosity, we usually do not say anything.  
    • stealing wifi signal  p. 113. Likewise, the theft of the intangible…what we view on a network affects the meta-data so others on that network will see ads for what we are searching or shopping for online.  
    • Rev. Billy Graham before he arrives at a hotel has his room swept for potentially tempting images  p. 130. Very much in the vein of Saudi Arabia.
    • ‘To me going to pray is like going to do a hundred thousand dollar deal’ Mr. Berkowitz says  p. 250 The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) compared spiritual rewards to red camels and mountains of gold.
    • Mental whac-a-mole of controlling thoughts. An apt metaphor
    • Playing cards made of gelatin  p. 203 Darkness upon darkness – often time we find we try to make a questionable thing halal and in doing so, find it was haram or questionable in another way
    • Elton Richards: negative words as verbal pollution. Thoughts get lazy, “Well, we’ll never make it out into the world so why even bother!”  p. 157 Some say our words never actually disappear but keep echoing in the air and atmosphere
    • Matthew 5:27-8 on committing adultery with her in heart p. 286 There are hadith that speak to all organs and soul of the body committing zina – adultery
    • Recite a paragraph of Bible you memorize when tempted by a woman p. 287. And Do not objectify and focus on woman as a person or think of her as your mom. p. 288 There are more effective ways prescribed by sufis and ulema to fight temptation

Comparing the Abrahamic Religions:

    • tithing of giving away 10 percent of income. Zakat is 2.5 % of wealth – so often doesn’t even apply to poor
    • Puritans can’t go to church with unseemly haste or on too showy a horse. Muslims should not run to mosque but walk because they are considered in prayer while walking if the prayer has already started.
    • On the divine dwelling more easily in text than images – text allows for more abstract thought, more of a separation between you and the physical world, more room for you and God to meet in the middle. p. 106 The first words of the Qur’anic revelation is ‘Read!’ or ‘Recite!’
    • Purification by finding a red heifer: unblemished, never plowed a field, sacrifice, burn it with cedar wood, mix ashes with water. Jews need it to build Third Temple and be pure from contact with dead and for Christians for messiah to arrive. p. 190 We Muslim can do nothing to change the End of Time. Its purely in the Creator’s Control. But this verse reminds me of the Qur’anic verse with Moses and his people looking for a red heifer to sacrifice and how they put difficulty on themselves when any calf would’ve sufficed. Also, Muslims have much easier rules of purification. 
    • 7 angels will sound 7 trumpets at the End of Time Israfil alone with trumpet in Jerusalem and is ready to blow his trumpet
    • Praying on behalf of others – intercessory prayer p. 127 story of 1902 coronary artery bypass patients – patients who knew they were being prayed for actually had more complications than those that didn’t. “If I’m sick enough people are praying for me, I must be in really bad shape.” p. 128 Muslims also have intercessory prayer where the angel says ameen and to you likewise. But we Muslims always pray for each other regardless of in good health or not.
    • “Can you imagine the mockery he [Noah] must have received from doubting neighbors?” p. 152 – Coincidentally, the Qur’an and Hadith tell us all about that mockery!
    • Rabbis tell them to put on shoes – right foot first, then left, then tie left shoe then tie right shoe p. 142 serious religious micromanagement. freedom from choice – structure and stable architecture of religion – no longer overwhelming and paralyzing with too many options p. 142 Shulchan Aruch every small thing is defined with rules – going to bathroom outside face north south, not east/west. p. 143. Muslims likewise, put the right shoe on first and take off left but this comes from the practice of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and is optional for reward. Likewise, using the bathroom, we should not face the qibla – direction for prayer knowingly.
    • Jewish peoples would sacrifice fruit, grain, incense, goats, oxens, turtledove, rams, lambs — very often, due to sin, death, birthday, holidays, but was only allowed at the Temple so happens no longer. Now Jews only do kaparot – live chicken – in front of you. We Muslims still do the sacrifices but only with animals and it can be done everywhere. Even on the airplane tarmac !
    • Messianic age: “Money will grow on trees. And clothing will also grow on trees. And the sand will be like candy. Everything will be provided for, so all we have to do is study Torah all day.” p. 163 When Jesus defeats the Antichrist Muslims say that the fruits will be so large that people will use them as houses to eat and live in.
    • Psalms urging them to rise at midnight and praise God p. 88 Jewish most spiritual time of day is midnight to eight. p. 221. Muslims likewise have tahajjud prayers in the mid of the night or last one-third of the night. 
    • Listening is key theme in the Scripture – Shema – Hear O Israel — p. 242. Islam is about Reciting but also we ‘Hear and Obey’. 
    • Bible is anti-winking – coercing the winkee at being part of little cabal p. 205. The Qur’an mentions the hypocrites winking before doing something malicious against the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him.
    • Judaism has slogan – deed over creed – emphasis of behaviour follow rules of Torah and eventually come to believe. Evangelical Christianity says must first believe in Jesus then good works naturally follow. p. 257 Islamic scholars say Islam is in between the two extremes of Christianity and Judaism in all its aspects; we must believe and act. Some non-Muslims do the acts and then somehow faith does come. But in no way are we discharged from belief and righteous actions and it is the right intentions that make the deed acceptable to God for not all deeds are accepted by God. 
    • Abraham getting guests veal, cakes and milk p. 303. The Qur’an also talks about this how he rushed to bring forth a roasted lamb for two guests that turned out to be angels.
    • 19th century rabbi in Lithuania who would tell students to do ridiculous things to break their ego p. 305. A similar method of spiritual training as Sufis have used for past 1400 years, telling their students to sit on garbage heaps to break their pride. Only then do spiritual openings come.
    • ‘Cannot be my disciple until hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters even own life cannot be my disciple.’ (Luke 14:26) p. 290. This is juxtaposed against the hadith that a Muslim does not love the Prophet (peace be upon him) more than his family, loved ones and even himself.
    • When you give alms, sound no trumpets before you p. 272. Islamic speaks of the reward of secret charity being greater than open charity and The Qur’an says do not hurt people after charity by reminding them of the charity you gave them.
    • Speak in new tongues, pick up serpents and drink deadly thing and it will not hurt them Mark 16:17-1 p. 294. This is a miracle also in Islam of the poison that did not kill the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him.

Crying out for Islam

At many points in this book there are question marks that point out the incompleteness of the Judeo-Christian tradition despite its lengthy history as if God deliberately left a … (ellipses)

    • Christians say the allegory of the Good Samaritan that rescues is Jesus.p. 219 It is as if he is saying ‘think outside the box and look at the outsiders’ and the ultimate outsiders were the Ishmaelites.
    • “But my friends the Bible means exactly what it says. If God wanted it changed, He would have had the prophets change it.”  p. 297 Why yes! God did send another Prophet!
    • “If you insist that God revealed himself only at one time, at one particular place, using these discrete words, and never any time other than that – that in itself is a kind of idolatry.” p. 329 A perfect stepping stone and reasoning leading to Islam!  
    • Bible may have not been dictated by God, it may have had a messy and complicated truth, one filled with political agendas and outdated ideas – but that doesn’t mean the Bible can’t be beautiful and sacred. p. 316. Well then, how much more sacred is a revelation if that scripture is dictated by God! 

By the end of the book I did really feel the author has shown how incomplete the Judeo-Christian tradition is and how Islam fills in the gaps. Islam is much more coherent and internally consistent. 

Alhamdulillah for Islam. 

Subhanaka Allahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa Ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen. 

Posted by: Dawud Israel | October 19, 2019

False Hopes and Prolonged Hopes

Prolonged hopes are something our Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasalam) warned against. We do not hear many bayans or read much in our Islamic literature about this failing. I find this failing in myself so I am going to write about it in hopes Allah guides me out of it.

When your list of goals grows longer and you fulfill not one of those goals that is prolonging hopes. When you imagine you will become a hafiz or learn Arabic or get in shape, but you never do, that is prolonged hopes. You anticipate you will always have time in the future so you leave it off. You say to yourself, ‘yeah I could easily do all that if I really wanted to, but I am busy.’

Its a delusional state. Its a way of perpetual procrastination. Much of Islam is about the moment (waqt). Our prayer is about this moment. The next prayer is about that moment. It is about organized time and habits.

Prolonged hopes are false hopes. They allure us. I realize now that as a child I imagined I would buy this or that toy when I grow up. Now that I am older, those things don’t appeal to me. The hopes are always changing, for better or worse. And in that change, often the more positive lasting hopes get pushed down and buried under the negative, transient and short-lived hopes. We hope problems are solved more than blessings are given. We prefer the temporary joy over a lasting accomplishment.

Hence, the danger of all prolonged hopes is we put it off past our lifespan and show up in the hereafter unprepared and without good deeds. The limit of a prolonged hope should be a week or even a day. ‘What will I accomplish today or this week’ should replace ‘what will I accomplish in my life’.

Our Prophet salallahu alayhi wasalam pointed this out by drawing the lifespan of a believer.

“This is the human being, and this square is his (inevitable) death, encircling him from all sides, and this line which is outside (the square) is his HOPE, and these small lines are the calamities and troubles (which may befall him), and if one misses him, another will befall him (i.e. overtake), and if that misses him, a third will befall him (i.e. overtake).” (Al-Bukhari, volume 8, Book 76, #426. Narrated by ‘Abdullah.)

Prolonged hopes that exceed our lifespan are not the only danger. The other danger likelihood is we will face a trial or fitna that will divert us from accomplishing our hope. We will be subverted from that potential we swear we have by a trial or tribulation that will make us question ourselves. So that is why one must be active and short-sighted with hopes, accomplishing as much as you can as soon as you can.

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la ilaha illa ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.

Posted by: Dawud Israel | October 5, 2019

What Practicing Muslims Don’t Know about Rasulullah ﷺ

What Practicing Muslims Don’t Know about Rasulullah ﷺ

There are riwayat that tell us facts about our Prophet ﷺ we likely were unaware of.

  • Near the end of his life, Rasulullah ﷺ learnt to read and write. This is the opinion of Ibn al-Jawzi, Abu Bakr ibn al-Arabi, and al-Suyuti. All that was needed was proof of being unlettered. Another proof of this is his advice to Mu’awiya writing letters, ‘put ink to the side and sharpen your pen…make the baa standing and separate the seen and don’t make meem like a dot, make it round and when you write Rahman make it long and make Rahim clear.’
  • Rasulullah ﷺ likely never ate beef, though it was slaughtered for his wives. We have no hadith saying he actually ate the beef. See here.
  • Rasulullah ﷺ may have eaten paan as an Indian king sent a gift of betel leaf after the splitting of the moon. See below quote from Shaykh Yusuf Motala’s “Manifestation of Prophet Muhammad’s Beauty.”
  • There were Sahabis amongst the jinn, amongst Indian kings, amongst animals and trees that are still standing today.
  • 12 Prophets wanted to join the ummah of Rasulullah ﷺ.
  • Rasulullah ﷺ knew how long he would live. The proof for this is the hadith that (paraphrased) true dreams are 1/46th of Nubuwwa, as revelation came for 6 months in dreams over 23 years. I heard this in a lecture from Shaykh Hamza Maqbul.
  • Idols would recite poetry about Rasulullah ﷺ. Abbas bin Merdas his idol Damar recited poetic verses about the Prophet ﷺ and bird came and said, “O Abbas, do you feel astonished at the speech of Damar; whereas you are not full of astonishment with yourself that Allah’s Messenger calls for Islam while you are sitting?” That was the cause of Abbas embracing Islam. (Shifa of Qadi Iyad, p. 359)
  • Angels will open the door of Paradise only for Rasulullah ﷺ. He is the first out of the grave, first to make Shafa’a, first to cross Sirat and first to enter Paradise.
  • Rasulullah ﷺ could see from behind after the Farewell Pilgrimage.
  • Rasulullah ﷺ would spit in to zamzam water and it would smell fragrant. (Shifa of Qadi Iyad)
  • The Name of Muhammad ﷺ is written on the Arsh (or Kursi?) of Allah.
  • The Name of Muhammad ﷺ is mentioned in the Torah even up to today.
  • In early days of Islam, all of Mecca accepted Islam and went into sajda when Surah al-Najm was revealed accepting the Prophet salallahu alayhi wasalam. Only after the mustahzi’un returned to Mecca did they disbelieve.
  • Dua is answered before Fajr (suhur time) because this was the time of day Rasulullah ﷺ was born. “The patient, the true, the obedient, those who spend [in the way of Allah ], and those who seek forgiveness before dawn.” (Surah Ale-Imran, v. 17)
  • The weddings of Rasulullah ﷺ were done by Allah subhana wa ta’ala Himself. No ceremony nor any ritual was needed as this was one of his privileges – see here.
  • Rasulullah ﷺ had a room in his home separate from his wives with only a reed mat dedicated solely to worship and seclusion (khalwa). See this class
  • Allah subhana wa ta’ala will have Rasulullah ﷺ sit on the Arsh in the Akhira. The Arsh is ultimately just another of Allah’s creations. To learn more about this, read here or watch this video.

Posted by: Dawud Israel | September 28, 2019

On Becoming a Father

In our age we are repeatedly captivated by our smartphones. Every time we look at our phone we hope for something new. Operant conditioning has made us thus.

Recently, I became a father and I realized a baby precedes the smartphone in the level of attention I give it – that is, I look at my baby over and over every time expecting something new, or just staring or just wondering. There is no competition. A blind man was asked what he’d like to see if he recovered his sight – he said, a child’s smile. Honestly, I might as well throw away my phone now.

So many wazaif and ayat for delivery and for preparing for pregnancy. Surah Inshiqaq, jaggery, Ya Latif, Ya Karim, the coolness of our eyes. It is no surprise the most often sought wazaif are those relating to pregnancy and the prayers for children are repeatedly mentioned in the stories of the ambiya.

Some quotations below from Fath-ud-Dayyan, an old Shafi’i fiqh manual I found written in English from Sri Lanka published around 100 years ago. It includes many wazaif, duas and remedies not found in modern books.

Babies are little astronauts. They come from ‘mother earth’ where they are nourished without any effort and emerge into a world where they gasp for air and learn a whole new skill set to survive. Like astronauts who struggle to see far into the distant, babies struggle to see far away. Moms are their only aid…I guess that makes dad’s lifeless planets!

Imam an-Nawawi says in Kitab al-Adkhar citing a few hadith, that a child is to be named on the 7th day, have an animal slaughtered and to have harm warded off (which is interpreted to head shaved and charity distributed per weight equal in gold). Why these rites for a baby?

Didn’t Allah teach Adam the Names? What exactly does the name signify? We wonder at the creator of Names. And hair is equated with intelligence or plentitude of salvation or forgiving sins? Hair and gold. Perhaps to have us ponder the value of the material in light of our loved ones. Shaykh Abdul-Qadir al-Jilani would hold his baby when it was born and say you are dead to me. Shocking, but he intended to detach himself from everything in this world, to be attached to Allah.

When I went to slaughter the lamb I thought about the qurbani for a child. Did not Allah SWT ‘sacrifice’ his favourite angel, Iblis, when he created Adam? Did not Ibrahim (unintentionally) slaughter a ram for Isma’il? Didn’t Abdul Muttalib sacrifice almost 90 or 100 (I can’t remember exact amount) of animals for Abdullah to compensate for the oath he swore he’d slaughter a son if he had 10 or 12 sons? Qurbani is to build an animal farm in the akhira or the ghayb for ourselves. Maybe that animal is running around in the ghayb distracting the dogs of fitan and imtihaan so those difficulties never visit us.

And what have we done to deserve the blessing of children? It is a way of appreciating the blessings of parents we could not appreciate as children growing up. Allah cares for us. We only really want his care. The West is young and independent, but the ummah is child-like in its nature. That is the reality of Muslims: child-like innocence and need for Allah. A shaykh said if we want our duas answered as per the ayah fal yastajeebu lee…then we must make dua like a baby crying.

I really don’t know much about being a parent. I just know the list of blessings I don’t deserve but am still blessed with grow everyday. May Allah grant me tawfiq to be a good dad, ameen.

Subhanakallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa Ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.

Posted by: Dawud Israel | August 25, 2019

The Way of Shukr

Islam in the West has been a hodge-podge of various trends in the Muslim world. Amongst the spiritual trends, and various tariqa traditions, the one that has emerged the strongest is shukr. Rooted in Shadhili teaching and the Ghazali’s Ihya mention this value as one of the highest. The fact Muslims in the West are more fortunate than much of the ummah make this an ideal teaching to highlight, one that coalesces nicely with a prosperity gospel.

Shukr is opposite of kufr. And Dr. Aref Ali Nayed says, “ihsan is shukr.” There are ahadith that say that shukr after eating is equal to sabr with fasting. “If you thank Allah, He will increase you.” (Surah Ibrahim, v. 7). The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasalam) sacrificed 63 animals at the Farewell Hajj out of shukr for each year of his life. The ahadith mention, “One who is not thankful to people is not thankful to Allah.” And part of our deen is to be grateful to Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wasalam) hence the love of mawlid. Imam Shafi’i would request drink very cold water in very hot water, he said so that when I make shukr to Allah its from depths of my hearts. And Abu Hanifa would make shukr in times of difficulty as much as in times of ease.

At this blog post this point caught me directly:

If you look for the words “most people” in the Qur’an, you will find that most of mankind:

“do not know” [7:187],
“do not give thanks” [2:243]
“do not believe” [11:17].
“defiantly disobedient” [5:59],
“ignorant” [6:111],
“turning away” [21:24],
“do not reason” [29:23], and
“do not listen” [8:21].

So be of the “few”, whom Allah says about them:

“And few of My servants are grateful.” (34:13)
“But none had believed with him, except a few.” (11:40)

I want to highlight various Duas and Amal I have collected, many of them are rare, related to shukr and thankfulness for blessings:

  1. Dua for shukr after going to the washroom: “Ghufranaka. Alhamdulillahilladhi la razaqani la dhatuhu, wa abqafi quwattahu, wa adh-hab anni adahu.” This is why Nuh was called shakireen, because he never relieved himself without saying this dua.
  2. Adam said “O Lord, You have kept me occupied with earning by my hands, so teach me something that contains complete praise and exaltation.” So Allah revealed to him: “O Adam, say thrice when you get up in the morning and thrice in the evening… That will be complete praise and glorification. Alhamdulillah hamdan yuwafi ni’amahu wa yukafi’u mazidah – Praise be to Allah, such praise as fully befits His favours and suffices for increase from Him. (Abu Nasr at-Tammar from Muhammad ibn an-Nadr, Kitab al-Adkhar, chapter 71)
  3. Dua for losing and replacing with better – Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’oon + Allahumma ajirni fi musibati wakhlufi khayrum minha/hum (Umm Salama dua for remarriage and ended up marrying Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasalam).
  4. Dua of Musa: Allahumma arzuqnu kama tarzuqu ata tu datul abiya sakhrata dhalma sakhrata sama fil laylatin dhalma – O Allah provide for us like you provide for a blind worm, in a hard rock in a dark night.
  5. Shaykh Mukhtar’s dua: Alhamdulillah bi jami bi hamdihi kulli ha ma alimta minha wama lam alam. Huwa ala jami nima kulliha ma alimta minha wa ma lam alam. Adada khalqa kullihim ma alimtu mina wa ma lam alam.
  6. Ibn Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wasalam) said: “If one says thrice in the morning and evening, “O Allah, I have awoken having from You abundance, good health and protection, so complete that abundance, good health and protection in this world and the Hereafter,” it is obligatory for Allah to complete it for him.” Allahumma inni as’aluka ilman nafi’a wa rizqan tayyiba wa amalan mutaqqabala. (Ibn as-Sunni (54), Ahmad, (3/406), ad-Darimi (2/262))
  7. Dua for the getting and wanting more of a blessing you just enjoyed, according to shaykh Faraz Khan is the verse Surah Tawba, v. 59.
  8. Salat Duha is essentially a prayer for shukr. The virtues are many but key among them is Allah sufficing you for everything.
  9. From Abdallah ibn Ghannam al-Bayadi, a Sahabi, who reported that the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wasalam) said: “If one says in the morning: “O Allah, all the favours that I have received in the morning are from You Alone; You have no partner. To You belong all praise and all thanks,” then he has fulfilled the thanks (that are due) for that day. If he says it in the evening, then he has fulfilled the thanks (that are due) that night.” Allahumma ma asbaha bi min ni’matin fa-minka wahdaka la sharika lak, fa-laka-l hamd, wa laka-sh-shukr. (Sunan Abu Dawud, good isnad)
  10. 3x for Shukr for whole day: Allahumma inni asbahtu minka bi ni’matin wa afiyatin wa sitrin fa-atima nimatika alaya wa afiyatika wa sitrika fid-dunya wa’l akhira

Value of Alhamdulillah

  1. Surely Allah has chosen four sentences from all speech – 1) Subhan Allah 2) Alhamdulillah 3) La ilaha il-lal-lah 4) Allahu Akbar. So whoever says ‘Subhan Allah’, twenty good deeds are written for him/her and twenty bad deeds are omitted from his/her account. And likewise for ‘Allahu Akbar’ and ‘La ilaha il-lal-lah’. And whoever sincerely says ‘Alhamdulillahi rabbil alameen’ thirty good deeds are written for him/her and thirty bad deeds are omitted from his/her account. (Reported in Musnad Imam Ahmad)
  2. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “There is no favour which Allah bestows upon His servant for which he says, “Alhamdulillah,” except that that which he gave was better than that which he took.” (Ibn Majah)
  3. “Alhamdulillah ala nimatil Islam wa kafa biha nima bi Ahmad.” Thanks be to Allah for the blessing of Islam, and it suffices as a blessing.
  4. La uhsi thana’an alayk, Anta kama athnayta ala nafsik. I am unable to exalt You sufficiently; You are as You have praised Yourself.

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la ilaha illa Ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.

Useful resources:

Posted by: Dawud Israel | August 19, 2019

O Muslim Men, Be Like Uthman!

Today marks the death of Sayyidina Uthman (ra) on 18th Dhul Hijjah. 

I believe he is the least appreciated of the Khulafa Rashidun. But in fact, Sayyidina Uthman (ra) is the ideal role model today for Muslim men in the West. 


  1. Uthman (ra) lived as a Muslim minority in Abyssinia and contributed to that society economically. We, too are living as minorities, are we taking advantage of the system or contributing to the economy here?
  2. Uthman (ra) was chaste and shy such that angels were shy of him. He too covered his face due to it’s handsomeness. Today we are shameless and lack hayya, making a fool of ourselves before the angels.
  3. Uthman (ra) was financially independent.
  4. Uthman was trustworthy because Nabi gave his dearest possessions, his two daughters, as brides to him. This is distinct from Sayyidina Ali (ra) because Ali (ra) was a close relative and grew up with his wife, Sayyida Fatima (ra) whereas Uthman is practically a stranger and is very distantly related to Nabi ‘s grandfather Ka’b. Are you as reliable and trustworthy a man that Nabi would let you marry his daughters?
  5. Uthman (ra) had the most adab with Rasulullah . Umar (ra) was bold, Abu Bakr (ra) was best friends with Rasulullah , and Ali was a cousin, so they could speak openly around Nabi . We are none of those things – our relationship to Rasulullah resembles that of Uthman (ra) more than Abu Bakr, Umar and Ali (ra).  
  6. Uthman (ra) focused on preserving Islam, namely by systematically recording the Qur’an. Are we preserving Islam as meticulously and boldly as Sayyidina Uthman (ra) did?
  7. Uthman (ra) was obsessed and attached to the Qur’an. He finished the whole Qur’an start to finish in 1 rakat nafil behind Maqam Ibrahim. 
  8. Uthman (ra) bore tribulation and fitan alone without violence and met his end without hurting Muslims, even though they were in the wrong. Uthman (ra) even did not want Hasan and Husyan to defend him. Today, we have many people calling for action, Muslims fighting Muslims, but very few who are wise enough to try and make the best of a down-hill situation.
  9. Uthman (ra) listened to the Muslims and their public opinion preceding his assassination.
  10. Uthman (ra) was lenient on the Muslims, whereas Abu Bakr and Umar were rigorous and strict with the Muslims


Look, you aren’t 7 foot tall like Umar (ra), you aren’t a fighter like Ali (ra) and its not likely you weep from hearing the Qur’an like Abu Bakr (ra). But you live as a minority like Uthman. Like Uthman you can be trustworthy, shy, and care for the needs of Muslims in difficult times. If you have it in you, you can be attached to the Qur’an and preserve this religion for future generations. 

Uthman (ra) stood on his own merits. He was not closely related to the Prophet ﷺ either through friendship or blood, but came to be trusted by Rasulullah ﷺ such that he was in the inner circle. Muslim men in the West are the same – we are outsiders – and we must earn the trust and confidence of Allah and His Rasul . We must learn to listen to our dissenters, learn to lead through difficult times and learn to not harm Muslims in any way. Just think about it: The Middle East would be a very different place if they took the example of Uthman refusing to fight Muslims. 

We must ponder that the fitan (trials) for the Muslims begin with the death of a Caliph who refused to defend himself against the violence of Muslims.

*Hafiz Ibn ‘Asakir (Tarikh Dimashq 39:447) quotes the Sahabi Hudhayfa (keeper of the Prophetic secrets) who said: “The first fitna is the assassination of Uthman ibn ‘Affan, and the last fitna is the emergence of the Dajjal. I swear by Allah Who controls my life, anyone who carries in his heart any amount of satisfaction or pleasure in the murder of Uthman, then he will follow the Dajjal if he meets him, or if he dies before meeting him, he will believe in the Dajjal in his grave.”

Perhaps, when we return to “Uthmani pacifism” and not raise our hands against Muslims, the doors of fitnah will finally close. Allahu Alam – Allah knows best.

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.

Posted by: Dawud Israel | February 11, 2019

Things I learned in 2016, 2017 and 2018

Things I learned in 2016

  1. I can imagine my coffin as a chart or infographic of my lifespan.
  2. I love muslims but don’t respect them unless it is for their deen. It is very hard for any one to respect Muslims for anything they do or say – except our religion. The shadow of Islam overshadows anything else.
  3. I have learned to love family and friends unconditionally and even if they are wrong. Horribly wrong.
  4. Attachment makes separation harder.
  5. People do what they see you do; not what you say. lisan al haal abligh min al lisan al maqal – words of your state and more eloquent than speech of words.
  6. The psychological clutter and babbling of the mind impairs brilliance and wisdom. Write it all out to sift it out: opinions of xyz, how you don’t like this individual/group/race, gluttony, consumerism and lust. This is all useless and nafsi babbling. People will spend 95-99% of their time speaking on these things; but the 0-1% on wisdom and gems of truths come after digging all that out.

Things I learned in 2017

  1. I read someone’s diary accidentally about where their life is at 37 and I vowed to never be that person – to get ahead further than them at that age.
  2. Only kindness cuts through the echo chambers dividing people.
  3. ‘Over-reading’ but ‘under-thinking’ on what I’ve learned causes deadening of intellectual vigor.
  4. Knowledge turns into ‘meme’ thats powerful but its meaning quickly diluted.
  5. Islamic tarbiya in North America is turning the average North American Muslim male into a tepid taciturn introvert, only interested in making their point.
  6. Millennial Muslim in the West: selfish, echo chamber, antisocial, unable to even consider compassion to one’s fellow man, won’t ask about friend or visit or bring food for sick or just check up on people. The old akhlaaq of the Muslim world is gone.
  7. ‘It is a shame for the birds to wake before you do.’ – Abu Bakr (ra)
  8. The tongue requires care. Their are punishments for misusing it: angels may say ameen to what you say and it comes to pass, you face the same deficiency you point out in others, your words come back to haunt you, you give people ideas they apply back onto you or force you to make them a reality, or you influence people in the way you did not intend.
  9. One must remove the choice of failure in order to succeed. There is no choice: only do and succeed. If I am in a situation where failure will make a second attempt impossible or going on living will be very hard then I put in my all. Determination because there will be horrible consequences that I may not recover from if fail.

10.  Tokens of the Muslim

  • A flame – for when I sin
  • A mirror – for reflecting on my akhlaq
  • An hourglass – for realizing time is fleeting
  • Empty pockets – for realizing I am leaving dunya with no possessions
  • Ghazalis well
  • Shipwrecked survivors when we’re resurrected in the Akhira
  • Jibril, whose true form fills the horizon and is at the Right hand of Throne of Allah, turned into a small bird out of fear of Ridwan and feared turning into an iota if he were to pass Sidratul Muntaha

11. Ambiya as Men (alayhim salam)

  • Punch like Musa
  • Vandalize like Ibrahim
  • Come back like Dhun Nun
  • Endure like Ayyub
  • Mob control like Harun
  • Denounce rulers like Yahya
  • Flip tables like Eesa
  • Conquer like Sulayman
  • Underdog like Dawud
  • Pelt like Ishaq
  • Lift like Ishmail
  • See through lies like Yaqoub
  • Humble them all like Yusuf
  • Charge into the fray like Abu’l Qasim (salallahu alayhi wasalam)

Things I learned in 2018

  1. Most good people will veer towards or into corruption and injustice and may even get steeped in it. It is whether they can pull themselves out of it and be determined to not get into it again that determines who they are.
  2. Even positive character traits can hurt you. Virtue has its negative side. Generosity to the point of overextension and burdening the receiver with near impossible reciprocity. Tepidness and ineffectualness due to politeness. Contentment which makes one lazy and not want to achieve anything. Never getting angry which removes passion and makes one never be critical.
  3. Negative character traits can be controlled to uplift and give me an edge. Anger motivates me to come up with strong intellectual arguments. Fear to stay up late. Envy pushes me to compete with peers. Ambition to aim higher. Ambition and envy are more powerful motivators than selfless ideals. I know these can make us go lower than the devils in Hellfire, but I suspect it may be they also uplift us higher than the angels in Heaven.
  4. It is easy to dehumanize people – women, soldiers, sweat workers, employees – but we can humanize them by remembering they have hopes dreams and fears too.
  5. Much of the pain of the Muslim world is rooted in envy, jealousy and fear of missing out (FOMO) on the dunya.
  6. Ibadat becomes incredibly easy while in a state of shukr.
  7. I need to stop hiding who I am from who I want to be.
  8. Facebook is like a book of deeds and reactivating it and looking back is like looking at life lived after death. Only a few beautiful words impress me. Perhaps Allah, the All-Knowing and All-Seeing, is only impressed by a few of our beautiful words from all our deeds.
  9. Social media creates a false artifice of unreal strength hidden behind an ever-felt impotency.
  10. Many a time, I embark on noble deeds for utilitarian reasons – like a nadhr oath to do this ibadat for xyz dunya problem – and I feel this is a type of sin one should repent from. The deontological reasons for a good deed – out of shukr, to do good out of ihsan, because it is a good deed – is not a sustainable motivation for a flawed individual like myself. The gap between a utilitarian niyyah and a deontological niyyah is as wide as a good deed and a sin are apart. To do a good deed because it is good is something I must learn anew.

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa Ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.

Posted by: Dawud Israel | December 23, 2018

75 Hadith on Politics, Power and Justice

Politics literally means ‘affairs of the cities’ and government. But more operantly, distribution of power and resources and inter-relationships. What guidance then does Islam provide us in regards to politics?

I began this article intending to only list 40 hadith on politics and power, as per the Arba’in tradition, but I quickly realized the need for this guidance, especially in the age of the Khawarij. This knowledge can assist in preventing radicalism, resolve family disputes and masjid disputes, making sense of social media interactions and interactions with non-Muslims. It will lay bear what we need to watch out for in terms of violence, war, tribalism, sectarianism, religious confusion, fitan, controversy, and on and on.

I looked at everything I had from my lecture notes and books and realized this knowledge isn’t easily accessible but it could save lives and souls. In this age of confusion and violence, where jihad and extremism are confused, this research could make a big difference. It took a great deal of time to compile this in order to give maximum benefit to Muslims around the world. But that said, not everything here is sourced fully as it is my notes from lectures or the source got lost, but I trust it can be found with some elbow grease. I have only commented maybe 4 times on hadith/topic in all of this with my own thoughts, for whatever its worth, but in no way am I putting myself out to be a scholar or expert.

I expanded from the intial 40 hadith to include:

  • 75 Ahadith with necessary commentary
  • 12 ayahs of Qur’anic guidance
  • Numerous Sayings of the saliheen
  • Sayings of contemporary and classical scholars

Most discussions around politics and Islam focus on the ideas of government (siyasa) proposed by al-Mawardi, Imam al-Ghazali, and later on, Ibn Taymiyyah. All of these political systems are quietist and anti-revolutionary. The two impulses in the Muslim heart now are revolution or quietism. Quietism remains the orthodox position, from the Tabi’in era onward to colonial times. Even in the ideas of Ibn Taymyyah this quietism exists and you can learn more in the video below (see the comments in the video for a transcript).

Yet revolution too has a beating heart in Islam, with Musa (as) and Husayn (ra) being its exemplar. Yet what is forgotten is Musa was not just fighting oppression: he was fighting Firawn, the antichrist of Bani Israel, who claimed to be god (nauzobillah) and liberating his entire qawm.  Sayyidina Husayn (ra) too was fighting oppression but he was foremost fighting to preserve the religion of his grandfather ﷺ. The stakes were very high in that they approached existential levels – the destruction of monotheism and all its people. And lastly, both were not rebels but were completely authorized to do so; Allah calls Musa ‘sultan’ in the Qur’an and Sayyidina Husayn was from the Ahlul Bayt and had legitimate claim to rule.

Outside of politics, revolution and quietism exist in the microcosm of the heart, revolution against the nafs and quietism with Qadr (Destiny) . But more commonly, we reverse these two polarities – revolution against Qadr and quietism with nufus. We tolerate our selfish ego and try to change what cannot be changed. Revolution is ego-tistically fueled, in mosque management disputes, firing of ulema who become embroiled in controversy or get on the wrong side of someone with authority. I say, benefit from ulema before they reach an ‘expiration date’ – when controversy & politics visit them & they remind you of other than Allah. Likewise, with social media where most commentary is fighting and disagreement, a zero sum game where no one has ever been a winner but the ego powers a merry-go-round of endless fighting.

Disclaimer: I do not endorse any particular outset or political orientation or any political movement. This post is purely for educational purposes. I have sourced as much as I can. If someone is writing a paper and requires more accurate sourcing for footnotes, comment below and I will try my best to assist.  

Qur’anic Guidance:

  1. “But the people divided their religion among them into sects – each faction, in what it has, rejoicing.” (Qur’an, 23:53)
  2. “And when it is said unto them: Make not mischief in the earth, they say: We are peacemakers only.” (Qur’an 2:11)
  3. If I were Musa (alayhis-salam) and was in his dire condition and I helped some bashful ladies out, I might ask for help or compensation from them. But he helped them and then left and asked Allah for help, and Allah accomplished for him all he needed. “O Moses!” (It was said), “Draw near, and fear not: for thou art of those who are secure.” (Qur’an, 28:32) When Musa and Khidr fixed the collapsing wall for the inhospitable townspeople, Musa mentions they could have been paid for their work and it is only then Khidr finally says, “This is the parting (firaqu) between me and you.” (Qur’an, 18:78).
  4. “And do not incline to those who are unjust, lest the fire touch you, and you have no guardians besides Allah, then you shall not be helped.” (Surah Hud v. 113)
  5. “We willed to show favor to those who were oppressed on earth, and to turn them into leaders, and make them the inheritors.” (Qur’an, 28:5)
  6. “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allâh, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allâh is a Better Protector to both (than you). So follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you may avoid justice, and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily, Allâh is Ever Well Acquainted with what you do. ” (Qur’an, 4:135)
  7. “…and do not help one another in sin and oppression; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah; surely Allah is severe in requiting evil.” (Qur’an, 5:2)
  8. “The way of blame is only against those who treat the people unjustly, and resort to aggression without provocation. These have incurred a painful retribution” (Qur’an, 42:42)
  9. “And [there are] those [hypocrites] who took for themselves a mosque for causing harm and disbelief and division among the believers and as a station for whoever had warred against Allah and His Messenger before. And they will surely swear, “We intended only the best.” And Allah testifies that indeed they are liars.” (Qur’an, 9:107)
  10. “And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided.” (Qur’an, 3:103)
  11. “O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result.” (Qur’an, 4:59)
  12. And the king said, “Bring him to me; I will appoint him exclusively for myself.” And when he spoke to him, he said, “Indeed, you are today established [in position] and trusted.” [Joseph] said, “Appoint me over the storehouses of the land. Indeed, I will be a knowing guardian.” And thus We established Joseph in the land to settle therein wherever he willed. We touch with Our mercy whom We will, and We do not allow to be lost the reward of those who do good. (Qur’an, 12:54-56)
Sayyidina Ali said: “wa hadhal Qur’an innama khatan masturan bayna dafatayn, la yantiqu innama yatakalahu bi rijal – “This Qur’an, it is simply that, lines that are written between two bindings. It doesn’t speak itself, but instead, men speak for it.” -From Shaykh Na’eem talk 

Ahadith of Rasulullah ﷺ


  1. “If an Ethiopian slave with a cut off nose and ear were appointed as your ruler, you would have to listen to and obey his orders as long as he rules in accordance with the Book of Allah.” (Ibn Majah; Bukhari, Ahkam, 4)
  2. Hudhayfa b. al-Yaman said that he ﷺ said, “Rulers will come after me who will not be guided by my guidance, nor will they follow my sunna. There will be among them men who have the hearts of devil in human bodies.” He said, “What shall I do, O Messenger of Allah, if I come upon that?” He ﷺ said, “Listen and obey the ruler. And if he beats you and usurps your wealth, listen and obey.” (Sahih Muslim)
  3. It was narrated that Abu Dharr said: “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said to me: ‘O Abu Dharr, I think that you are weak, and I like for you what I like for myself. Do not accept a position of Amir over two people, and do not agree to be the guardian of an orphan’s property.’ (Sunan an-Nasa’i, The Book of Wills)
  4. “The master or leader of the people (nation) is the one who serves them (sayyid al qawm khadimuhum).”
  5. “Qur’an and Government will go separate ways, so go with the Qur’an.” (Hadith from Hamza Yusuf’s Life of the Prophet Muhammad CD set)
  6. Aisha: “When Allah desires a good for a ruler, he appoints for him a sincere minister (wazir) who will remind him when he forgets and helps him when he remembers. And if Allah wishes the contrary, he appoints an evil minister.” (Sunan Abu Dawud) Sidenote: In the Qur’an Allah appoints Harun as a wazir to Musa.
  7. Commentary on Obeying the Ruler:
    1. Some sahabas disagreed with Uthman bin Affan during his khilafa in regards to shortening or not shortening the prayer when traveling. But they would all follow his opinion, because he was the Khalifa and Imam of the Muslims.
    2. Abdullah ibn Umar said, “If a leader is just, he is rewarded and thanked; and if he is unjust, the burden is his and you have to endure.”
    3. A saying of Ka’b al-Ahbar said, “Islam, the ruler, and the people are like a tent, a pole, and pegs. The tent is Islam, the pole is the ruler, and the pegs are the people. Each is useful only with the others.”
    4. Umar ibn al-Khattab, may God be pleased with him, said, “Only the lenient without weakness and the strong without violence are good for this matter [of ruling].”
    5. Imam al-Shafi‘i: “Become a faqīh before you become a leader, since when you are a leader there is no path to becoming a faqīh.”
    6. Hasan al-Basri, the last bad trait that gets out of the hearts of the champions of truth is love for leadership (or fame).
Justice and Oppression
  1. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Being just for one hour in government is better than worshiping for sixty years.”
  2. And he ﷺ said, “Each of you is a shepherd, and each shepherd is responsible for his flock.”
  3. “Not one of you has faith until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself” or “of what is good” in Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal version. (Abdal Hakim Murad, Commentary on the 11th Contentions, p. 41)
    1. Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad says the Imam Ahmad version of the hadith is better than the Golden rule of ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ since it is not subjective, but for what is good. 
  4. “Verily, tyrannical rulers will come after me and whoever affirms their lies and supports their oppression has nothing to do with me and I have nothing to do with him, and he will not drink with me at the fountain in Paradise. Whoever does not affirm their lies and does not support their oppression is part of me and I am part of him, and he will drink with me at the fountain in Paradise.” (Source: Sunan An-Nasa’i 4207)
  5. “The Messenger of Allah sent Mu’adh [bin Jabal] to Yemen, and said: ‘Beware of the supplication of the oppressed; for indeed there is no barrier between it and Allah.'” (al-Tirmidhi)
  6.  “Verily, the oppressed one prays against his oppressor until he takes his right, then continues to the point where the oppressor has a claim over him, which he will demand on the Day of Judgment.”  (إنّ المظلوم ليدعو على ظالمه حتى يكافئه ثم يبقى للظالم فضل عنده يطالب به يوم القيامة) (note: still trying to find a source for this)
    1. Commentary: A person once spoke out at length against Hajjaj (a Muslim tyrant). One of the pious predecessors (salaf) said to him, ‘Allah will take vengeance for Hajjaj against those who attacked him verbally, just as He will take vengeance against Hajjaj for those whom he has oppressed.’” (Imam Al-Ghazzali in ‘The Beginning of Guidance.’)
  7. “If anyone aids an evildoer, God will give that man (the evildoer) power over him.” (Cited by Imam Ghazali in his ‘al-Munqidh ad-Dalal’)
    1. Commentary: “Whoever condemns his brother for a sin that he repented from, will not die until Allah tests him with it. (i.e. the same sin)” ~Hasan
  8. ‘Allah is with the judge as long as he does not transgress.’ (Hadith mentioned by Abdal Hakim Murad in his Commentary on the 11th Contentions, p. 161)
  9. Narrated Anas: Allah’s Apostle ﷺ  said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one. People asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?” The Prophet said, “By preventing him from oppressing others.” (Sahih Bukhari: Volume 3, Book 43, Number 624)
  10. Commentary on Aiding an Oppressor:
    1. “A tyrant and the one who helps an oppressor as well as the one who is pleased with such injustice all the three are accomplices in the sin.” ~Muhammad al-Baqir
    2. “Whoever assists an oppressor against an oppressed one always remains under Divine anger until he stops aiding the tyrant.” ~Ja’far al-Sadiq
    3. When Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal was imprisoned, one of the prison guards came to him and asked him:“O Abu ‘Abdillah! The hadith that is narrated regarding the oppressors and those that aid them – is it authentic?” He said: “Yes.” The prison guard then said: “So, I am considered to be an aide of the oppressors?” Imam Ahmad replied: “No. The aides of the oppressors are those that comb your hair, and wash your clothes, and prepare your meals, and buy and sell from you. As for you, then you are one of the oppressors themselves!” [‘Manaqib al-Imam Ahmad’, by Ibn al-Jawzi, p. 397]
    4. Dawud Israel (compilers’) comment: In the Muslim community there is a riwaya’s of shaytanic transmission – our connections with people and picking up their bad habits and also the riwaya of heavenly transmission (i.e. religious knowledge and tarbiya). These riwayas give us a nisba that is demonic or heavenly. We can’t excise the despots in our ummah because we are connected to them in some way. They represent our demons. They are the personification of our sins. Somewhere in their actions we see how we too would be corrupted, we too see the same language our fathers use, the same pessimism, the same bleak outlook on life. Perhaps our distant or near relatives are acquaintances with this despot. These despots ‘inhere’ in our community on a micro level, in our everyday sins and shortcoming. What do we say then? Are we complicit? Have we bonded with these men that we can’t condemn this. How else can we define this – is it a societal Stockholme syndrome we suffer from? No doubt growing up Musa saw Pharaoh how corrupt he was, but no doubt he saw some acts of good and no doubt he saw Asiya in the house of Pharaoh. Asiya is the good element amongst the demonic elements – she is the one who may be the last means of guidance by way of filial piety. She will restrain Pharaoh. I think of the ‘Asiya element’ in our time are ulema like the late Shaykh Ramadan al-Bouti. Yes, we turn to God to give us the strength to forgive. But we also can turn to God to give us the strength to punish. If we can’t forgive with our hearts and if we can’t punish with our hands, then what? Then we turn to God to punish. Musa did not slay Pharaoh – God slew Him. In some strange way, I imagine Musa knew Pharaoh well enough from his childhood that he knew Pharaoh would never change. Maybe he knew and maybe it is through guidance that God brought about His punishment. Maybe God wanted Moses to guide Pharaoh as a way to guide the Pharaoh within Moses’ followers. Or because this was the only way God’s intervention and immense punishment could be justified. Perhaps if a man can’t punish, nor forgive, he can compromise by preaching guidance – in some pain-striken corner of his heart, hope more than anything in the world they reject God’s message and God’s punishment descend on them, while in the same corner hope more than anything in the world, they accept God and God’s mercy descends.
  1. Man adana li fi adani – “Whoever harms a non-Muslim subject of Islam (dhimmi), has harmed me.”
  2. “Whoever killed a person having a treaty of protection with Muslims, shall not smell the scent of Paradise, though its scent is perceived from a distance of forty years.” (Source Tafsir ibn Kathir)
  3. In a Sahih Hadith, Anas ibn Malik, Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah, Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him, his family and companions, said, “Beware of the supplication of the oppressed, even if they are without faith, for there is no veil between it and Allah.”اتَّقُوا دَعْوَةَ الْمَظْلُومِ وَإِنْ كَانَ كَافِرًا فَإِنَّهُ لَيْسَ دُونَهَا حِجَابٌ (Musnad Imam Ahmad)
    1. Note: this particular narration is unlike the other narrations as it mentions even the oppressed non-Muslim dua is answered.
  4. Commentary:
    1. A Jewish man gave salam to Ibn Abbas who returned the salam. Ibn Abbas then said, “If Firawn said something nice to me I would say it back.”
    2. Under Prophet ﷺ and Khulafa Rashida, Jizya was not taking from women and children and elderly. A Jew who couldn’t work under Muslim rule was paid for state. Umar saw a person in street who was old and working and told him no don’t work, pay him. Umar passed by a woman with child crying, “I had to wean him off and he’s not 2 yet.” ‘Why?’ “Because Umar doesn’t give grant to kids until they are weaned off.” So Umar went back to workers and said “Free grant to kids from time of birth.” (Via Shaykh Ahmad Saad)
    3. How Ecumenical Was Early Islam? by Fred M. Donner, it mentions some facts of Early Muslim rule:
      1. No historical evidence that Muslims ever destroyed any churches in their conquest.
      2. The early historical sources on Muslims were from Byzantines whom Muslims conquered so they were hateful of Muslims.
      3. Mu’awiya allowed minorities to worship as they wanted.
      4. The first governor of Jerusalem was a Jew.
      5. Sayyidina Umar allowed the Jews of Yemen to live on the Arabian Peninsula, he only expelled the Christians.
    4. Ottoman’s abolished jizya under Sultan Abdul Majid in 1830s. (Shaykh Hamza Yusuf talk)
    5. When Christians first met Muslims: A Sourcebook of the Earliest Syriac Writings on Islam by Michael Philip Pen
    6. See “Historical Lessons” at the end of this post for more commentary on Non-Muslims in Muslim lands.
Not Rebelling against the Ruler
  1. “…As for rebelling against them (ie. rulers) or fighting them (rulers) it is unlawful by scholarly consensus, even if they are oppressors. A large number of hadiths clearly support what I just said…Scholars explain that the reason why a ruler is not automatically removed from his office or why it is unlawful to rebel against him is the civil discord, bloodshed, and civil strife that thereby results: the harm that results from removing him, therefore, is greater than the harm of keeping him in office.” (Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim, 12.229)
  2. Hasan al-Basri: “If people called on Allah when put to trial because of their rulers, Allah would relieve their suffering; but instead they resorted to the sword, so they were left to it. And not one day of good did they bring.” Then he recited Qur’an 7:137  (Ibn Abi Hatim, Al-Tafsir no.8897)
  3. “One moment of anarchy is worse than 60 years under tyranny.” ~Imam Malik
  4. Abbasid Caliph al-Mansur, putted to death Umayyads, forced bay’ah from people and Malik narrated hadith: laysal mustakral talaaq, a coerced divorced is invalid, which suggests to Abbasids their rule is invalid so the Khalifa forbade narration of this hadith. Imam Malik refused. The then Khalifa sends spies to Maliks house to see. The Governor of Madina arrests him and tortures him, spread on rack, shoulder dislocated and passed out. After this Imam Malik says, “I forgive al-Mansur because I don’t want to meet the Prophet ﷺ in the afterlife having prayed against a member of his family.” The torturers aren’t happy with this, so they humiliated him, shaved his beard, to get him to renounce the divorce fatwa, but Imam Malik says, “Whoever knows me and knows me, whoever doesn’t my name is Malik bin Anas and I say…a coerced divorced is invalid.” Eventually, al-Mansur lets him go.
  5. “There is no rebellion in Islam, but if it does happen, afterwards the Shariah supports whoever can brings stability to society.” (Jonathan Brown)
Commentary on Controversies around Khilafa Rashida
  1. “There will be strife between my Companions for which Allah will forgive them due to their companionship. Then, people will adopt this sunnah (way or example) after them and will therefore be admitted to Hellfire.” (al-Qurtubi in al-Tadhkirah)
  2. Sayyidina Ali said, “If I had any instructions (from Rasulullah ﷺ to take the Khalifa), I would have taken my sword and fought Abu Bakr. Nabi ﷺ didn’t die suddenly and he instructed Abu Bakr to lead salah and he saw me (i.e Ali) when he instructed Abu Bakr. So whom he (salallahu alayhi wasalam) chose for our deen (Abu Bakr), we choose him for our dunya.” (Sirah al-Halabiyya via Shaykh Abdur-Raheem al-Limbada)
  3. A lady came and asked for something from Rasulullah ﷺ. She said: “What if I don’t find you?” (ie you have passed away) “Go to Abu Bakr.”  (via Shaykh Abdur-Raheem al-Limbada)
  4. Ali ibn Abi Talib: “Muhammad the Prophet is my brother and father-in-law, Hamza the master of martyrs, is my uncle; Ja’far, the man who flies with angels morning and evening, is my mother’s son; Muhammad’s daughter is my bride and partner, And our flesh and blood are intertwined; Ahmad’s grandsons are my own two sons; So who among you, then, has a status like mine? I was the first of you all to enter Islam, still a boy whose adolescence had not yet begun.” Imam al-Bayhaqi said, “These lines of poetry should be memorized by anyone who is ignorant of the truth about ‘Ali, so that he can recognize his proud place in Islam.”
  5. It is a mistake to think that Ali did not pledge bayah to Abu Bakr until after death of Fatima i.e for first 6 months. His bay’ah took place normally except he didn’t do so at Saqifa Banu Sa’ida because he was with Ahl al-Bayt doing burial rites for Nabi ﷺ. The following day Abu Bakr sat on pulpit of Masjid al-Nabawi and entire assembly pledged allegiance but Ali was not there. But Ali pledged bay’ah on the third day after the burial. The confusion is that Sayyida Fatima became ill for 6 months from the day of the demise of Nabi ﷺ so he was occupied with her. He only offered his help to Abu Bakr after those 6 months and this was his second pledge. This error comes from al-Zuhri who made additions who his contemporaries said, “Distinguish your speech from the speech of the Prophet ﷺ.” The chain is 25 different chains of transmission, within which 9 are contradictory and don’t contain words of Fatima becoming angry or breaking ties with Abu Bakr. Numerous chains do not mention delay in pledging baya. Besides al-Zuhri, there are 11 chains of transmission that relate differently to what he has narrated. See Mufti Taqi Usmani’s ‘Takmila Fath al-Mulhim’. Later on, Ali would stop Abu Bakr from leading the army in war of apostates, out of fear the Khalifa would be killed. Under Umar, Sayyidina Ali would receive an allowance from bayt al-mal of 5 thousand (dirhams) whereas Umar got 4 thousand and Umar married Umm Kulthum, Ali’s daughter, and Umar gave a dowry of 4000 dirhams. Under Uthman, Ali refuted the rebels that came from Egypt and he had Hasan and Husayn guard Uthman’s house. (From Manifestations of the Prophet Muhammad’s Beauty, p. 245)
  6. Ahnaf ibn Qays narrated, “I was on my way to support this man (i.e Ali) when Abu Bakrah met up with me. He asked, “Where are you going?” I replied, “I’m on my way to help this man.” He said, “Go back, for I have heard Allah’s Messenger ﷺ say, ‘When two Muslims have an encounter with their swords, both the killer and the victim will go to the Fire.’ I asked, ‘Messenger of Allah! This killer’s (outcome is logical) but what was wrong with the victim?’ He said, ‘Indeed, he was eager to kill his companion.’ (Sahih al-Bukhari)
    1. Commentary: Abu Bakrah felt that the Prophet’s ﷺ words applied to every altercation between Muslims but in reality it applied to only those altercations which are baseless and have no connection to religious truths. Ahnaf accepted Abu Bakrah’s explanation but later he changed his mind and joined Ali. (Fath al-Bari I:117) Scholars forbid involvement in civil strife due to this hadith to the extent they say even self-defence isn’t allowed against a Muslim. Abu Bakrah and Abu Said al-Khudri held this view (Tabaqat). Imran ibn Husayn and Ibn Amr disagree and say you can defend yourself if targeted. The majority of Sahaba and Tabi’un say getting involved and supporting the group that is on the truth is compulsory quoting Surah Hujurat v 9. Allamah al-Ayni agrees with this and says if no action is taken against the people who cause social unrest, there would be communal disorder. This group views this hadith applicable in cases where neither party is fighting for the truth; their motives cannot be justified in light of any shariah based text. (Umdat al-Qari I:316; Commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari, Bukhari Publications)
  7. When Hasan al-Basri was asked the question concerning the wars between the noble Companions of the Prophet ﷺ he replied, “Those were fights in which the Companions were present and we were not. They knew all the circumstances and we do not know them. The matter in which the Companions are unanimous, we follow; and the matter in which there is difference of opinion, we observe silence.”
  8. Once a man said to al-Mu’afa bin Imran: How far Muawiya still is from Umar bin Abdul Aziz? Therein he felt angry and said, “No one is put into comparison with the Companions of the Prophet. Muawiya is his companion, his relative, his writer and keeper of Divine Revelation.” -Shifa of Qadi Iyad, the Prophet’s ﷺ rights upon mankind, Rights due upon his ﷺ Companions p. 496
  9. It is related that Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz once said, “In a dream I beheld Allah’s Messenger ﷺ sitting in the company of Abu Bakr and Umar (ra). I greeted them, and then sat down. While I was seated, Ali and Mu’awiya were brought, led into a room, and the door was closed on them while I watched. At once, Ali (ra) emerged, declaring, “By the Lord of the Kaaba, judgment is passed in my favour.” Then Mu’awiya came out immediately behind him and said, “By the Lord of the Kaaba, I am forgiven!” (al-Ghazali, Kitab Dhikr al-Mawt)
  10. Hasan told Husayn, “Don’t go up against Mu’awiya. Leadership of deen and dunya are not going to come together in this family.” He was content with riyasa of the deen. (from Hamza Yusuf’s Life of the Prophet Muhammad CD set)
  11. Chapter 8 (of al-Qawanin al-Fiqhiyyah of Ibn Juzayy On the Imamate, concerning which there are two issues:
    1. First issue: on affirmation of the Imamate of the Four Khulafa, may Allah be pleased with them. The proof of the Imamate of all of them has three aspects: first, each of them united the conditions of the Imamate completely; second, the Muslims who lived in the time of each one of them were unanimous in pledging allegiance to him and in coming under obedience to him, and consensus is a proof; third, that companionship (with the Prophet) which each of them had, [their] emigration, majestic deeds, Allah’s praise of them, and the Truthful One’s, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, bearing witness of the Garden for them. Moreover the Messenger of Allah, ﷺ indicated the Khilafah of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, and he commanded that people model themselves on them. He put Abu Bakr in charge of the Farewell Hajj and made him lead the prayer in his final illness which is an indication of his being appointed Khalifah. Then Abu Bakr appointed Umar Khalifah, then Umar made the matter the business of consulation among six [people] and they agreed on putting Uthman forward. He was wrongfully killed, for which there is the testimony of the Prophet ﷺ and his promise to him of the Garden for that. Then the man with most right to it was Ali because of his noble rank and his sublime virtues. As for that which happened between Ali and Mu’awiyyah and those Companions with each of them, then the most fitting thing is to withhold oneself from mentioning it, and that they should be remembered in the best way, and that one should seek the best interpretation for them, because it was a matter of ijtihad. As for Ali and those with him, they were on the truth because they exercised ijtihad and were correct [in it] and so they will be rewarded. As for Mu’awiyyah and those with him, they exercised ijtihad and were mistaken, and they are to be excused. It is required that one respect them and all of the Companions and love them because of the praise of them that occurs in Qur’an and because of their accompanying the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alayhi wasalam. He ﷺ said, “Allah! Allah! concerning my companions. Do not make them a target after me. Whoever loves them, then it is for love of me he loves them. Whoever hates them, it is because of hatred of me that he hates them. Whoever harms them has harmed me, and whoever harms me has harmed Allah.”
    2. The Second Issue: the pre-conditions of the Imamate are eight: Islam, maturity (puberty), intellect (i.e. sanity), maleness, justice, knowledge, competence, and that his descent should be from Quraysh, but on this [last] there is a difference of opinion. So that if people agree [on pledging allegiance] to one who does not meet all of the conditions then it is permitted, from fear of causing dissension and sedition. It is not permitted to rise up against people in authority even if they are tyrannical, unless they openly display clear disbelief. It is obligatory to obey them in [both] whatever a man loves and [whatever] he dislikes, unless they order disobedience [to Allah] for there is no obedience due to a creature if it involves disobedience to the Creator.
Making Peace between Muslims
  1. Abdullah ibn Amr narrated, The Prophet ﷺ said, “A Muslim is a person whose tongue and hands other Muslims remain secure from, and a migrant is a person who forsakes everything Allah has forbidden.” (al-Bukhari)
  2. Reported by Um Kulthum bint Uqba (ra): That she heard Allah’s Apostle ﷺ saying, “He who makes peace between the people by inventing good information or saying good things, is not a liar.” (al-Bukhari)
    1. Commentary: “Soft words, soften the hearts that are harder than rock. Harsh words, harden hearts, that are softer than silk.” ~Imam alGhazali
  3. Kathir bin ‘Amr bin ‘Awf Al-Muzani narrated from his father, from his grandfather, that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Reconciliation is allowed among the Muslims, except for reconciliation that makes the lawful unlawful, or the unlawful lawful. And the Muslims will be held to their conditions, except the conditions that make the lawful unlawful, or the unlawful lawful.” (Book: The Chapters On Judgements, Jami’ at-Tirmidhi)
  4. Shaykh Abdur-Raheem Limbada narrated this beautiful incident in Shamail al-Tirmidhi: This reminds me of a beautiful advice of sayyiduna Ali. When he sent Abdullah Ibn Abbas (ra) to talk to the Khawaarij, he instructed Ibn Abbas to stress on the Sunnah of Rasulullah ﷺ. He encouraged him to avoid using texts from Quran and Hadith, because words can be interpreted in many ways. He told him to give them daleel from the Sunnah. Abdullah Ibn Abbas spoke to them. They said “Quran says Hukm is for Allah alone, and Ali has agreed to the hukm of two arbitrators, so he has gone against the Quran, thus he is a kafir.” Abdullah Ibn Abbas replied that Rasulullah ﷺ himself made a truce with the mushrikeen, in the treaty of Hudaybiyyah, so did he become a kafir by agreeing to the proposals of the arbitrators from the mushrikeen side? Why did he not wait for the hukm of Allah? So, we should always base our lives on the Sunnah of Rasulullah ﷺ.
    1. Ibn Abbas said the verse “And whoever does not decide by what Allah has revealed, they are Kafirs,” refers to a kufr that is close to the ultimate kufr. “The kufr mentioned in this verse is not the kufr disbelievers resort to nor is it the kufr that moves a person outside the parameters of the religion.” (Mustadarak ala al-Sahihayn 3219)
    2. Al-Azhari says when kufr is used in the Qur’an it has 4 connotations:
      1. Rejection (inkar): to disbelieve in Allah’s divine exclusivity (tawhid) from the heart and to articulate that disbelief.
      2. Denial (juhud): to believe in Allah’s tawhid from the heart but to refuse to articulate that belief eg. Shaytan
      3. Stubbornness (inad): to believe in Allah’s tawhid from the heart and to articulate it, but refuse to accept Islam as a religion eg. Abu Talib
      4. Hypocrisy (nifaq): to disbelieve in Allah’s tawhid from the heart but publicly declare belief in it eg. munafiqun. It also has connotations of disassociating (bara’ah) as shaytan says, “I disassociate (kufr) myself from your associating me with Allah in His divinity before.” (Qur’an 14:22). Kufr is also applied to enormities a Muslim commits such as murder,  communal unrest, spreading corruption, rebelling against authorities and therefore kufr can have varying degrees. (Umdat al-Qari I:300)
  5. It was narrated that Anas bin Sirin said: “I heard Anas bin Malik say: ‘The Shaitan disputed with Nuh, peace be upon him, concerning the grapevine. One said: “This is for me,” and the other said: “This is for me.” Then they agreed that Nuh would have one-third and the Shaitan would have two-thirds.'” (The Book of Drinks. Sunan an-Nasa’i)
    1. Dawud Israel’s comment: Ponder on how Nuh (alayhi salam) was fair and made peace even with Shaytan!
  6. The Prophet ﷺ forbids that a person be an opportunist; rather, they should always be beneficent, following the way of trust. Hudhayfa (ra) reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Do not be opportunists, saying: “If people are good we are good; and if the people are wicked, we are wicked.” ‘Resolve to be good if the people are good; and if they are bad, do not yourselves be wicked.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)
  7. “None of you can (truly) believe until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” (al-Bukhari, Muslim)
  8. “Bring out good character out of people, by having good character towards them.” (via Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa talk)
Muslim Unity
  1. “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ prayed one day, and made the prayer lengthy. When he finished we said (or they said): ‘O Messenger of Allah, you made the prayer lengthy today.’ He said: ‘I offered a prayer of hope and fear. I asked Allah for three things for my nation, and He granted me two and refused one. I asked Him not to let my nation be destroyed by enemies from without, and He granted me that. And I asked Him not to let them be destroyed by drowning, and He granted me that. And I asked Him not to let them be destroyed by fighting among themselves, but He refused that.’” (Ibn Maja)
  2. “When a nation takes an action after mutual consultation, it is surely guided towards the correct course.” (Adab al-Mufrad, Bukhari)
  3. Abu Thalama as-Shamani (spelling?) on caravan journeys we would take break and get off to rest and would scatter in different corners to rest. The Prophet ﷺ said: “This is the actions of shaytan who tries to divide the Muslims.’ (Musnad Ahmad) (I recall the imam in his khutba was relating this to Muslims sitting scattered about in the masjid)
  4. al-majalis bil amana Gatherings are with a trust. (Hadith narrated in Za’d al-Talibeen)
  5. Abu Barzah al-Aslami: The Prophet ﷺ said: “O community of people, who believed by their tongue, and belief did not enter their hearts, do not back-bite Muslims, and do not search for their faults, for if anyone searches for their faults, Allah will search for his fault, and if Allah searches for the fault of anyone, He disgraces him in his house.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, 2283)
  6. Ibn Umar (ra) reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “A Muslim is a brother of (another) Muslim, he neither wrongs him nor does hand him over to one who does him wrong. If anyone fulfils his brother’s needs, Allah will fulfil his needs; if one relieves a Muslim of his troubles, Allah will relieve his troubles on the Day of Resurrection…” [Bukhari and Muslim].
  7. Hadith of Abi Dharr reported: “There are three persons that Allah loves: (1) A group of people who travel by night until the point where sleep becomes more preferable to them. So they all lay down their [weary] heads. Except for one of them who stands the night [in prayer], ingraciating himself to Me (yatamallaqani) and reciting My verses. And (2) a group of people who were in an offensive charge but were routed, except that one of them turned [alone] to face their adversaries, and remained steadfast until he met his end. And he also mentioned (3) a group who were approached by a beggar who petitioned them yet they didn’t give to him [and continued along] yet one from among them broke away [returning] to give to him secretly)). So these three individuals separated from their groups to engage with Allah secretly between themselves and Him; and so Allah loved them. (Jami al-Tirmidhi)
  8. There is a hadith on shaytan: Shaytan overcomes you with 2 things: 1) put fear in your mind, 2) making you deny reality/belie the truth, takdhib bil haqq. (via Shaykh Abdullah Adhami talk)
  9. “If you start seeking faults in Muslims, you will cause dissent among them or you will at least start dissension.” (Kitab al-Futuwwa, al-Sulami)
  10. “The believer is the one with whom one can be close. The one who is not close and to whom one cannot be close is of no use. The good among men are those from whom others profit.” (Kitab al-Futuwwa, al-Sulami)
  11. “Allah approves the keeping of old friendships.” (Kitab al-Futuwwa, al-Sulami)
  12. “The best of my people will enter Paradise not because of their achievements, but because of the Mercy of Allah and their quality of being satisfied with little for themselves and their extreme generosity toward others.” (Kitab al-Futuwwa, al-Sulami)
  13. “As you wish people to come to you, go to them.” (Kitab al-Futuwwa, al-Sulami) 
  14. “What thing most attracts the anger of Allah?” He replied, “When one considers himself and his actions highly, and worse still, expects a return for his good deeds.” (Kitab al-Futuwwa, al-Sulami)
  15. “One of the signs of a good Muslim is that he leaves alone everything that does not concern him.” (Kitab al-Futuwwa, al-Sulami)
  16. Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah (May God be pleased with him. Ameen!) said, “The Messenger of God (May the peace and blessings of God be upon him. Ameen!) said, “Do not curse each other, do not curse your children, do not curse your servants and do not curse your property lest it should coincide with a time from God in which gifts that are asked for are granted.” (Muslim, Abu Dawud)
  17. Jama tu rahma wa firqatu adhab – The mainstream consensus is a mercy and differences are a punishment. -Hadith via Faraz Khan at Rihla 2018
  18. From Mulla Ali al-Qari’s Arbain p. 45ukhbir taqlih Test and you will loathe -Abu Nu’aym via Abu Darda Allamah Sindhi’s Commentary: Examine and test people and when you have tested and have had your experience with them it will lead you to loath them and leave them. Taqlih is derived from qaly (to loath). This can be put in perspective through a statement of Hasan al-Basri who said: “Handpick brothers, friends and company. Love them moderately and hate them moderately. Truly, many nations loved others excessively and it destroyed them; many nations hated others excessively and that destroyed them. If you see a veil before your brother, do not remove it.” See Abu Nu’aym, Hilyat al-awliya, 5:154; ad-Daylami, Musnad al-Firdaws, 1:522 (1759); al-Qud’ai, al-Musnad, 1:369 (409); at-Tabarani, al-Musnad ash-Shamiyyin (1493); al-Amthal of Abu ‘sh-Shaykh, p. 117; Ibn al-Mubarak, Kitab az-Zuhd, p.185; al-‘Ajluni, Kashf al-khafa’ (151); al-Munawi, Fayd al-Qadir, 1:206-207 and his compilation Kunuz al-haqaiq, 1:23 (207), as-Sakhawi, al-Maqasid al-hasanah, p.26; Ibn al-Jawzi, al-‘Ilal al-mutanahiyah, 2:723 and 2:235-236 and Ibn Hajar, al-Matalib al-aliyya (2702)
  19. Commentary on Unity and Brotherhood
    1. “The jama’ah with its impurity is greater than the sect with its purity.” ~Sayyidina Ali ibn Abi Talib
    2. Muhammad Ibn Al-Hanafīyah – Allāh have mercy on him – said: “He is not wise who does not live in a good way with the person he has no choice but to live with, until Allāh gives him relief from that [situation]. (Al-Dhahabī, Siyar A’lām Al-Nubalā` 4:117 et al)
    3. “He who doesn’t praise a brother’s intention, will not praise his good deed.” -Sayyidina Ali
    4. Ibrahim at-Taymi was a tabi’i who lived in the same time as Ibrahim an-Nakha’i. an-Nakha’i opposed Hajjaj and when Hajjaj came after him, an-Nakha’i hid and the soldiers found Ibrahim at-Taymi thinking he is Ibrahim an-Nakha’i, so they imprisoned Ibrahim at-Taymi. Ibrahim at-Taymi rather than say he is not an-Nakha’i let them believe he is an-Nakha’i ‘I will stay here in prison so that Ibrahim an-Nakha’i can continue to teach outside.’
    5. Imam Mujahid: “What would you like them to say about you on your behalf, pretend that person is present…”
    6. Imam as-Shafi’i said of a man who keeps anothers company then says he knows his face but not his name, “That’s the knowledge of fools.”
    7. “If it were not for the munafiqun, you would feel all alone in the streets (the streets would be empty).” -Hasan al-Basri
    8. “Whoever looks at the faults of others is blind to his own faults. Whoever looks for his own faults cannot see the faults of others.” -Dhun-Nun al-Misri
    9. The great saint Ibrahim al-Nakha’i said, “Beware of the mistake of the learned. Do not cut him off, but await his return [that is, to the straight path].”
    10. Abu Darda (radiya Llahu ‘anhu) referred to this verse when he was asked, “Do you not hate your brother when he has done such and such?” to which he replied, “I only hate what he has done, otherwise he is my brother.” (al-Ghazali, On the Duties of Brotherhood, the Ihya’).
  1. Ibn Abbas reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “There is no human being except that the wisdom of his mind is in the hands of an angel. When he shows humility, the angel is ordered to increase his wisdom. When he shows arrogance, the angel is ordered to decrease his wisdom.” (Source: Mu’jam Al-Kabeer At-Tabarani 12771 Grade: Hasan (fair) according to As-Suyuti)
  2. Man samata Naja – The silent one is saved.” (al-Tirmidhi, no.2501)
  3. al-hilm sayyidul akhlaq – Forbearance is the foremost of character traits.”
  4. Mutakalifeen are pretenders. There is a hadith: “I am not one of those who pretend.” He ﷺ went according to his nature. Takalluf — do something out of burden. Whenever you do something out of one’s nature. (From a Shaykh Samer al-Nass tafsir class)
  1. “I know when you (Aisha) are upset or happy with me, when you are happy with me you say, “By the Lord of Muhammad” and when you are upset, you say, “By the Lord of Ibrahim.” (Hamza Yusuf Seerah class)
  2. In a khutbah there is a story of Aisha being angry with Rasulullah ﷺ and Abu Bakr was made the arbitrator. Aisha said: “You are the one who thinks they are a prophet of God.” Rasulullah ﷺ smiled. “Do you have any doubt ya Aisha?” Then Abu Bakr slapped (or tried to slap) her and she ran behind Rasulullah ﷺ for protection.
  3. “Whoever endures his wife’s bad character, Allah will give him a reward like that He gave to Ayyub (alayhi-salam) for his tribulation, while to one who endures the bad character of her husband, Allah will give a recompense like that of Asiya, the wife of Firawn.” [Ihya Ulum ad-Din, Vol. 2]
  4. Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Love your beloved mildly, perhaps he will become hateful to you someday. Hate whom you hate mildly, perhaps he will become your beloved someday.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhī 1997)
    1. Commentary: 56% of American-Muslim marriages today end in divorce.  (shaykh Omar Qureshi’s remarks at Rihla 2018)
Transactions – Bribery, Satisfaction and Sharing
  1. Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wasalam) once sent somebody to collect zakat from a certain region. When the man returned he handed some of the zakat over and kept some for himself saying that he had received it as a gift from the people. Allah’s Apostle then ascended his pulpit and addressed everybody. In it he said: “I employ some men from among you for some job which Allah has placed in my charge, and then one of you comes to me and says, ‘This (amount) is for you and this is a gift given to me.’ Why doesn’t he stay at the house of his father or the house of his mother and see whether he is given gifts. By Allah whoever takes anything unlawfully will bring it on the Day of Resurrection by carrying it over his neck.” [Bukhari]
  2. Narrated ‘Aisha: Allah’s Apostles used to accept gifts and used to give something in return.  (Bukhari, Book #47Hadith #758)
  3. Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-‘As: The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) cursed the one who bribes and the one who takes bribe.  (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book #24, Hadith#3573)
  4. Narrated Abu Umamah: The Prophet (peace be upon_him) said: If anyone intercedes for his brother and he presents a gift to him for it and he accepts it, he approaches a great door of the doors of usury.  (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book #23, Hadith #3534)
  5. Narrated Abdullah Ibn Umar ; Abdullah Ibn Abbas: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: It is not lawful for a man to make a donation or give a gift and then take it back, except a father regarding what he gives his child. One who gives a gift and then takes it back is like a dog which eats and vomits when it is full, then returns to its vomit.  (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book #23Hadith #3532)
  6. “The wealth of a Muslim person is not ḥalāl (lawful) except with the happiness of his heart.” (Musnad Imam Ahmad 20695, Sunan Daraqutni)
  7. It was narrated from ‘Amr bin Shu’aib, from his father, from his grandfather, that the Prophet ﷺ said: “The two parties to a transaction have the choicer so long as they have not separated, unless they reach an agreement before parting, and it is not permissible to hasten to leave for fear that the other party may change his mind.” (Sunan an-Nasa’i The Book of Financial Transactions.)
  8. It was narrated from ‘Aishah that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ sent Abu Jahm bin Hudhaifah to collect Sadaqah. A man disputed with him concerning his Sadaqah, and Abu Jahm struck him and wounded his head. They came to Prophet ﷺ and said: “Compensatory money, O Messenger of Allah ﷺ!” The Prophet ﷺ said: “You will have such and such,” but they did not accept that. He said: “You will have such and such,” and they agreed. Then the Prophet ﷺ said: “I am going to address the people and tell them that you agreed.” They said: “Yes.” So the Prophet ﷺ addressed (the people) and said: “These people of Laith came to me seeking compensatory money, and I have offered them such and such. Do you agree?” They said: “No.” The Emigrants wanted to attack them, but the Prophet ﷺ told them not to, so they refrained. Then he called them and offered them more and said: “Do you agree?” They said: “Yes.” He said: “I am going to address the people and tell them that you agreed.” They said: “Yes.” So the Prophet ﷺ addressed (the people) then said: “Do you agree?” They said: “Yes.” (Sunan Ibn Majah, The Chapters on Blood Money)
  9. It was narrated that ‘Abdullah said: “Sa’d, ‘Ammar and I entered into a partnership on the day of Badr, (agreeing to share) whatever was allotted to us. ‘Ammar and I did not get anything, but Sa’d got two men (slaves).” (Sunan ibn Majah, The Chapters on Business Transactions)
  10. Ibn Abbas narrated that when the Prophet ﷺ conquered Khaybar, he stipulated that the land, and all the yellow and white, meaning gold and silver belonged to him. The people of Khaybar said to him: “We know the land better, so give it to us so that we may work the land, and you will have half of its produce and we will have half.” He maintained that, he gave it to them on that basis. When the time for the date harvest came, he sent Ibn Rawahah to them. He assesses the date palms, and he said: “For this tree, such and such (amount).” They said: “You are demanding too much of us, O Ibn Rawahah!” He said: “This is my assessment and I will give you half of what I say.” They said: “This is fair, and fairness is what heaven and earth are based on.” They said: “We agree to take (accept) what you say.” (Sunan Ibn Majah, The Chapters Regarding Zakat)
  1. “When you notice people being overwhelmingly stingy, desires being followed. worldly gain being preferred to the Hereafter and everyone being proud of their own opinion – then mind to your own affairs (alayka khuwaysa bi nafsik).” (Ibn Majah)
  2. Recorded in al-Hakim’s Mustadrak, the Prophet ﷺ  is reported to have said, “When the Muslims begin to loathe scholars and are preoccupied with commerce and its development, obsessing over accumulation of wealth, God will then direct at them 4 tribulations: loss of productivity, oppressive rulers, corrupt justice systems, and enemies who find them easy prey.”
  3. Ali bin Abi Talib narrated: “When Allah revealed: “And Hajj to the House is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, for whomever is able to bear the journey. They said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! Is that every year?’ He ﷺ remained silent. So they said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! Is that every year?’ He ﷺ  said: ‘No. If I had said yes, then it would have been made obligatory.’ So Allah revealed: “O you who believe! Do not ask about things which, if made plain to you, may cause you trouble.” (Book: The Book on Hajj -Jami at-Tirmidhi 814 English translation : Vol. 2, Book 4, Hadith 814)
  4. It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas, that the Prophet ﷺ said: “Whoever resides in the deserts, he becomes ignorant, whoever follows game, he becomes heedless, and whoever comes to the door of the Sultan, he will suffer a fitnah.” (Book: Chapters On Al-Fitan, Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2256 English translation : Vol. 4, Book 7, Hadith 2256)
    1. Dawud Israel (compiler’s) comment: each spiritual disease is directly connected to what is mentioned alongside with it – the desert and ignorance are linked as both are barren, game is aimless as is following it, and the door of the sultan itself is where all fitna begins or ends.
  5. Ka’b bin ‘Iyad narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said: “Indeed there is a fitnah for every Ummah, and the fitnah for my Ummah is wealth.” (Book: Chapters On Zuhd, Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2336 English translation : Vol. 4, Book 10, Hadith 2336)
  6. ‘Udaisah bint Uhban said: “When ‘Ali bin Abu Talib came to Basrah, he entered upon my father and said: ‘O Abu Muslim, will you not help me against these people?’ He said: ‘Of course.’ So he called a slave woman of his and said: ‘O slave woman, bring me my sword.’ So she brought it, and he unsheathed it a span, and (I saw that) it was made of wood. He said: ‘My close friend and your cousin ﷺ advised me, if tribulation (fitnah) arose among the Muslims, that I should take a sword of wood. If you wish I will go out with you.’ He said: ‘I have no need of you or of your sword.’” (Sunan Ibn Majah, Book of Tribulations)
  7. Commentary:
    1. Where the price of bread becomes more expensive than the wage of the labourer, two things become cheap: the honour of women and the integrity of men. ~Salahuddin Ayyubi
    2. The hadith master ibn Shahin al-Ḥanbalī said, “Two righteous men have been tried because of astray people: Jaʿfar [aṣ-Șādiq] ibn Muḥammad and Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal.” In a similar fashion, ibn aṣ-Șalāh, another great ʿĀlim, elucidated these remarks, having said, “Two Imāms have been afflicted because of their followers although they are innocent of them.” That is, Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal was tried with the anthropomorphists and Jaʿfar aṣ-Șādiq with the Shīʿah.
    3. “Beware debt for it begins with worry and ends with war.” ~ Sayyiduna Umar ibn al Khattab
End Times
  1. “My community is like rain, it is not known if its beginning is better or its end.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)
  2. ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ  said: “There shall be a fitnah of extermination of the ‘Arabs. Its fighters are in the Fire. During it, the tongue is stronger then the sword.” (Book: Chapters On Al-Fitan, Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2178. English translation : Vol. 4, Book 7, Hadith 2178)
  3. One of signs of End of Time in a hadith: “wa yakunal ghazu, siyaha” the ghazwa (battle) would just end up being shouting.” (Tabarani, mentioned by al-Ghumari, Morroccan muhaddith, Source: Shaykh Hamza Yusuf talk)
  4. “No tribulation will afflict you as long as this man (pointing to Umar bin al-Khattab) is amongst you.” (al-Tabarani al-Mu’jam al-Awsat)
    1. Dawud Israel (compiler’s) comment on this: I suspect one reason for this may have to do with the famous dua Umar (ra) would regularly make: Allahumma nas’aluka salaha as-sa’ati wa al-barakaa fi al-aqwati – “O Allah grant me righteousness of the Hour and Your Blessing in our time.”
  5. The Prophet of God The Exalted ﷺ  said, “Soon will come a time upon humanity when nothing of Islam will remain but only its name, and nothing of the Qur’an will remain but its script. The Muslim’s Mosques will be in fine opulence, will be full of people but completely devoid of true guidance. Their Scholars will be the worst of people beneath the sky, from whom will emerge corruption and into them it will return.” [Hadith collected by Bayhaqi, and vigorously authenticated by many]
    1. Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali’s commentary of “…and into them it will return.” “…. that they will call for bloodshed on the account of Islam….. that they will honour the dead on the account of martydom….. that they will speak disparagingly against the rightly guided people of knowledge……that they will alter the religion on the account of being united…. and only corruption will arise from them, and return to them. They will not stand for justice themselves and if they do will be amongst the first to be killed. When they speak against the rightly guided people or alter this religion, proof will be against them and there will be remaining a few who will preserve the truth…..”
    2. Imam Nawawi commentary: “they will call and their gatherings will be full, yet devoid of guidance…”
  6. “I’m not worried about Persia they will have one nat-ha (and become Muslim) but I fear the Europeans (Rum) – they will have one after another. Every time a nation among them dies a new one will emerge to oppose you. And they are not finished off until the Hour.” (Hadith from Hamza Yusuf Seerah class)
  7. “Your companions are the Europeans as long as theirs good in life.” (Kanzul Ummal via Hamza Yusuf talk)
  8. Amr ibn Al-As reported: The Quraish importer said to him that he heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, say, “The Hour will be established and the Romans will be a majority of the people.” Amr said, “Be careful what you say.” The man said, “I have said what I heard from the Messenger of Allah.” Amr said, “If the Prophet said that, indeed, there are four qualities in them: they are the most judicious of people during a tribulation, they are the quickest to recover after a calamity, they are the quickest to return to battle after a retreat, and they behave well with the poor and weak. Their fifth quality is good and beautiful: they are best at preventing the oppression of their kings.” (Sahih Muslim 2898)
  9. Hadith on the Sign of the End times: the Ruwaybidta – who are they? Ignorant people that who give their opinion of affairs of the community. ~Shaykh Hamza Yusuf talk
  10. Hadith: “The end of time won’t come until the kaffir will argue with the Muslim with the words of his religion.” ~Shaykh Hamza Yusuf Rihla class August 4 2016
  11. Hadith: “End of time will not come until people put forward imams just to hear a beautiful voice.”
  12. Abu Dawud mentions in the Sunan, related by Ahmad: “This my Ummah, is a Ummah that has mercy upon it, ‘Marhooma’- a Ummah that has mercy that’s been wrapped in Mercies; there is no punishment for this Ummah in the Hereafter except their punishment that they experience in the Dunya — killing and death and dying, trials and tribulations, earthquakes and the like.” And the wording of Abu Dawud is: ‘This Ummah reminds of the Ummah, that Allaah has placed His mercy upon. This Ummah will not have any punishment in the Hereafter, this punishment is in this world with fitan (trials, tribulations and punishments and difficulties), and earthquakes and killings (murder, death).”
  13. Anas Ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (May Allah exalt his mention and protect him from imperfection) said: I wish that I could meet my brothers. The Sahabah asked: Are we not your brothers? He replied: You are my companions, but my brothers are those who will believe in me without having seen me. (Ahmad)
    1. During his return from the visit, the Messenger (saw) cried. The companions said, “What makes you cry, Oh Messenger of Allah?” He said, “I miss my brothers.” They said : “Are we not your brothers, Oh Messenger of Allah?” He said, “No, you are my Companions. My brothers are those who will come after me and they believe in me without seeing me.” (Ad-Darimi, At-Tabarani, Al-Hakim)
  14. “The work of deen in the latter days will happen through money.” (Imam al-Sha’rani’s, Lawahiqul Anwar)
    1. “Religious knowledge will not be gained or imparted (in end of times) except for dirhams and dinars (i.e giving and spending money).” (Sufyan at-Thawri)
  15. More ahadith in the video below.

Sayings of the Saliheen

Justice and Oppression
  1. al-mulk yabqa ma’al-kufr wala yabqu ma’a zulm” “Nations do not collapse because of kufr, they collapse because of injustice.” ~Sayyidina Ali
  2. “The oppression of the kings is from the punishments of Allah Ta’ala.” ~Hasan Al-Basri
  3. “The one who oppresses himself the most is: The one who humbles himself for one who does not honour him, And strives in the friendship of one who does not benefit him. And accepts praise from one who does not know him.” – Imam al-Shafi’i
  4. Hasan al-Basri was invited to al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf court and he rebuked him severely. Hajjaj then invited him back again and the court looked like Hajjaj would execute him. Then Hasan al-Basri said a dua to be protected from al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf when he was about to kill him in his court: Allahumma wa li nimati wa maladhi inda kurbati ijal niqmatahu aliy bardan wa salaman kama ja-alta nara ala ibrahim bardan wa salaman – O Allah! He who grants me favour! My refuge during my affliciton. Make his anger upon me cool and safe, as You made the fire cool and safe upon Ibrahim.  (From Manifestations of the Prophet Muhammad’s Beauty, p. 253)
  5. Another dua attribued to Imam al-Shafi’i for protection from the Khalifa or ruler.
  6. Story of Harun ar-Rashid came to visit Bishr al-Hafi who refused him entry to his home, ‘Leave me with my prayers.’ ‘We want your dua just as everyone does.’ He finally agreed but said, ‘Wait, let me blow out the candles’ (i.e because he did not want to see them). They couldn’t see anything so Bishr took his hand. Bishr took Harun’s hand in the dark and stroked it, ‘So soft, for Hellfire.’ This made Harun ar-Rashid cry. ‘You have made the commander of the believers cry.’ ‘Who will tell him this, if not me?’ ‘Bishr, make dua for me.’ ‘What dua? You have made the people suffer.’ Bishr said, ‘Fear Allah, that’s all I have to say for you.’ ‘Bishr take this sack of gold. Its from my mother.’ ‘I help you, I make dua for you and this is how you help me? You want me to burn with you!’ ‘You distribute it to the poor.’ ‘No you distribute it to the poor.’ Source
  7. “When you are content with somebody all you see is their perfection, but when you dislike someone all you see is their faults. And I don’t feel respect towards the one who shows me no respect and I don’t see in others what they don’t see in me. If you draw near to me, my love draws close to you, but if you turn away from me- you’ll see me turn away from you. Each is independent of each other and when we die we’ll be even more independent of each other.” -Imam ash-Shafi’i
Advice to Muslim Rulers
  1. “The fundamental principle is that in any matter between you and … God you should observe the same obedience as you would deem right that your servants towards you; and that in any matter between you and mankind you should treat people in a way in which, if you were subject and another were sultan, you would deem right that you yourself be treated.”  He must rule as he would be ruled. (From Imam al-Ghazali’s “Counsel of Kings”)
  2. “In matters solely between you and the True God pardon is quite likely, but in anything involving injustice to mankind will not in any circumstance be overlooked at the Resurrection.”   (From Imam al-Ghazali’s “Counsel of Kings”)
  3. “May God grant… the King a clear eye… for a thousand thousand or more of God’s creatures are his subjects. If he governs them justly, they will all be intercessors for him… and he will be secure against rebuke and punishment; but if he governs them unjustly, they will all be his adversaries, and the position of one who has so many adversaries will be very, indeed terribly, dangerous. When intercessors become adversaries the case is hard.” (From Imam al-Ghazali’s “Counsel of Kings”)
  4. The Sufi Shaykh Edebali’s advice to his son in law, Osman Ghazi, the first Ottoman Empire ruler, shaped and developed Ottoman administration and rule for six centuries. In one famous declaration, Shaykh Edebali told Osman: O my son! Now you are king! From now on, wrath is for us; for you, calmness! For us to be offended; for you to please! For us to accuse; for you to endure! For us, helplessness and error; for you, tolerance! For us, quarrel; for you, justice! For us, envy, rumor, slander; for you, forgiveness! O my son! From now on, it is for us to divide; for you to unite! For us, sloth; for you, warning and encouragement! O my son! Be patient, a flower does not bloom before its time. Never forget: Let man flourish, and the state will also flourish! O my son! Your burden is heavy, your task hard, your power hangs on a hair! May God be your helper!
  5. The Prophet ﷺ did not write in his letters “to the king of …” but wrote to the ‘Adheem’ – Great one. Why? If he said ‘King’ it indicates acknowledgement of his kingdom. You can’t acknowledge kingdom and invite to Islam at same time. Or Adheem al-Habasha, Adheem al-Furs means the one people venerate. But Malik means to acknowledge his kingdom. Shaykh Zarruq al-Fasi: so he is not acknowledging his kingdom. (Shaykh Ahmad Saad)
  6. Shaykh Muhammad Nawawi Jawi commented on the verse where Yusuf asks to be made in charge of the store-houses because inni hafidhu aleem (Surah Yusuf, v. 55) means ‘I can deal with money’ but also means ‘I can speak different languages.’
  7. ‘Khilafa is the shariah for this ummah. Muluk (kings) were for Bani Israil.  When we do mulk we have problems politically.’ (Shaykh Ahmad Saad)
  8. An ambassador should be wise and told how to approach an issue but also handsome. This is taken from the fact Allah sent Jibril in the form of Dihya al-Kalbi who was a very handsome sahabi.
  1. “The religious scholars of our time are a disaster, to seek prosperity in them is to court bankruptcy, there is no one to depend on but God Alone.” -Ibn Aqil, teacher of Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani
  2. Hasan al-Basri is reported to have said: “Believe the scholars in all that they say except what they say about each other.” يروى عن الحسن البصري أنه قال: صدقوا العلماء في كل ما يقولون إلا فيما يقول بعضهم عن بعض
  3. “If you find someone claiming to be a shaykh, then be wary of him if he is completely partisan to the political authorities, or is completely adversarial to them. The former is with them, while the latter is overly busy with that which does not concern him. The sign of this is an abundance of praise for them, or the opposite. And the truth is in supplication for their rectification and facilitation and the like, and the love of all that is good for them from every aspect, without partisanship or enmity, except that which is commanded by God and His prophet.” – Shaykh Ahmad Zarruq (Moroccan scholar of the 9th/15th century via Shaykh Walead Mossad)
  4. Until a scholar is not fully established and proven to be amongst the corrupt ‘Ulama, one should never pass a judgement. The Qur’an Chapter 17, v.36 reads, “and do not exercise matters you have not fully researched; ears, eyes and heart, each person will be questioned about these” and to dismiss the statement of a scholar without proper investigation (of his credibility), on the ill assumption that he may be amongst the corrupt scholars is an even bigger crime.” ~Shaykh Zakariyya al-Kandhelwi in Faza’il al-Amaal.
  5. Abu Darda: “Do not learn knowledge to adorn yourself with it, because the time is coming soon the time will come when people will learn this knowledge to adorn themselves with it like a fancy suit.” (But nothing under that suit but nakedness).
  6. Abdullah bin Muhammad narrated that Abdullah ibn Umar (radiallahu anhuma) said: “One does not become a truly knowledgeable alim except: 1) If he is not met with the jealousy of those higher in rank; 2) if he is not belittled by those who are less knowledgeable than he; and 3) as long as he does not take advantage of his knowledge for monetary gain.” (Hilayatul Awliya)
  7. “Too much rationality can lead us astray. Too much scripturality, without the application of reason can also lead to catastrophes of the Khawarij. The scripture is fully accessed by the human mind, we do not have full access to it unless we have full use of our mental faculties. We ask Allahu subhana wa ta’ala to bestow that.” (Abdal Hakim Murad in his Abu Hanifa lecture)
  8. Ibn Khaldun on religious scholars and politics: “Scholars are, of all people, those least familiar with the ways of politics. The reason for this is that (scholars) are used to mental speculation and to a searching study of ideas which they abstract from the sensibilia and conceive in their minds as general universals, so that they may be applicable to some matter in general but not to any particular matter, individual, race, nation, or group of people. (Scholars,) then, make such universal ideas conform (in their minds) to facts of the outside world. They also compare things with others that are similar to or like them, with the help of analogical reasoning as used in jurisprudence, which is something familiar to them. All their conclusions and views continue to be something in the mind. They come to conform (to the facts of the outside world) only after research and speculation has come to an end, or they may never come to conform (to them). The facts of the outside world are merely special cases of the (ideas) that are in the mind. For instance, the religious laws are special cases derived from the well-known (texts) of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. In their case, one expects the facts of the outside world to conform to them, in contrast with the intellectual sciences, where, in order to (prove) the soundness of views, one expects those views to conform to the facts of the outside world. Thus, in all their intellectual activity, scholars are accustomed to dealing with matters of the mind and with thoughts. They do not know anything else. Politicians, on the other hand, must pay attention to the facts of the outside world and the conditions attaching to and depending on (politics). (These facts and conditions) are obscure. They may contain some (element) making it impossible to refer them to something like and similar, or contradicting the universal (idea) to which one would like them to conform. The conditions existing in civilization cannot (always) be compared with each other. They may be alike in one respect, but they may differ in other respects. (Now,) scholars are accustomed to generalizations and analogical conclusions. When they look at politics, they press (their observations) into the mold of their views and their way of making deductions. Thus, they commit many errors, or (at least) they cannot be trusted (not to commit errors). The intelligent and alert (segment) of civilized people falls into the same category as (scholars). Their penetrating minds drive them toward a searching occupation with ideas, analogy, and comparison, as is the case with jurists. Thus, they (too) commit errors. The average person of a healthy disposition and a mediocre intelligence has not got the mind for (such speculation) and does not think of it. Therefore, he restricts himself to considering every matter as it is, and to judging every kind of situation and every type of individual by its particular (circumstances). His judgment is not infected with analogy and generalization. Most of his speculation stops at matters perceivable by the senses, and he does not go beyond them in his mind, like a swimmer who stays in the water near the shore, as the poet says: Do not go out too deep when swimming. Safety lies near the shore. Such a man, therefore, can be trusted when he reflects upon his political activities. He has the right outlook in dealing with his fellow men. Thus, he makes a good living and suffers no damage or harm in the (process of making a living), because he has the right outlook. “And He knows more than any scholar.” This (situation) makes one realize that logic cannot be trusted to prevent the commission of errors, because it is too abstract and remote from the sensibilia. (Logic) considers the secondary intelligibilia. It is possible that material things contain something that does not admit of (logical) conclusions and contradicts them, when one looks for unequivocal conformity (between them and the facts of the outside world). It is different with speculation about the primary intelligibilia, which are less abstract. They are matters of the imagination and pictures of the sensibilia. They retain (certain features of the sensibilia) and permit verification of the conformity of (the sensibilia to the primary intelligibilia).”
  1. Hasan al-Basri when he came across a group of people disputing: “These ones have become tired of worship, speaking has become easy for them, and their piety has diminished, and that is why they talk.”
  2. ”The intelligent person’s tongue is behind his heart: when he wants to speak, he first thinks. If [his words] will be in his favor, he says them, and if they will be against him, he does not speak. And the ignorant person’s heart is behind his tongue: when he merely thinks of saying something, he says it, whether it is for or against him.” -Hasan al-Basri
  3. “Let me debate with you about Religion.” Hasan replied, “As for me I know my religion if you have lost your Religion then go & look for it.”
  4. Imām al-Shāf’i wrote, “A Muslim should not rebuke others on issues of legitimate difference, or try and force them to follow his opinion.”
  5. Abu l-‘Arab al-Tamimi has related on the authority of Ibn Farrukh that he wrote to Malik b. Anas, “Our land has much innovation, and I have compiled a work refuting them.” Malik wrote to him, saying, “If you think that about yourself [i.e. that you are able to refute them], I fear that you will slip up and perish. Only one who is well-grounded and knows what to say to them should refute them, for they will not be able to be devious with him: there is no harm in that. As for anyone other than that, I fear that he will address them and err, so they will pursue his error or succeed in scoring points over him. Thus they will transgress and increase in their obstinacy upon their innovation.”
  6. Imam Malik, may Allah show mercy to him, said, “Discussion concerning religious matters I abhor; and the inhabitants of our town (meaning Madinah) have not ceased to hate it. I do not approve of discussion except with regards to that which serves a specific practical purpose. As for [futile] discussion concerning religious matters and Allah, silence is preferable to me; as I have seen the people of our town prohibiting discussion of religious matters except for that which serves a practical purpose.” (Kitab Tahrim al-Kalam by Ibn Qudamah, edited by G. Makdisi)
  7. Sayyidina Ali said: ‘as shabab shubatu min al-junun‘ – youthfulness is one of the branches of insanity. 
  1. “People only turned away from religion, because of how little they observed its own people benefiting from it.” ~Imam Ali
  2.  Hasan al-Basri: “Who says good but doesn’t do good will have his words compared to his deeds by Allah…Who says good & does good will have his words raised by his deeds. Allah said: ‘To Him ascends the good word& the righteous deed.'”
  3. Hasan Al-Basri said: “There is no backbiting in the case of a person of innovation or a person who openly commits sins.”
  4. “The legacy of company of Munafiqun is having a bad opinion of the righteous.” ~Sayyidina Ali
  5. “The stupidest person is the one who sells his deen for dunya. The next stupidest sells his deen for another person’s dunya.” ~Imam Malik
  6. Sa’d ibn ‘Abdullah said, “Whoever desires people to know what is between him and his Lord is in the state of heedlessness.”
  7. Allahumma man kana min hadhihil ummati ‘ala ghayril haqqi wa huwa yadhunnu annahu ‘alal haqqi faruddahu ilal haqqi liyakuna min ahlil haqqi. O Allah! Whoever from this ummah is upon misguidance but thinks he is on the truth, return him to the truth so that he may be from those on truth.Hafiz Ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) has cited this as the du’a of Imam Ahmad ibn Hambal (rahimahullah). Imam Ahmad (rahimahullah) would recite this du’a in sajdah (probably in nafl Salah). (Al Bidayah Wan Nihayah, vol. 11 pg. 166)
  8. Mujahid narrated that Abdullah ibn Umar (radiallahu anhuma) said: “Today loyalty (mwalat) to people is centered exclusively around selfish wordly interests, and such politically motivated endorsements bring its people nothing but havoc.”
Idiots Learning Islam
  1. Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said: “How will your situation be when there comes upon you a trial in which the elderly (i.e. wise) are harmed and the young (i.e. foolish) are raised and the people think that is a sunnah, so that when it changes, the people say, ‘ A sunnah has been changed’? They asked, ‘When will that be?’ He replied: ‘When the ones who can read are many but the ones with understanding are few, and when the leaders are many but the trustworthy are few, and the actions of the Hereafter are used to attain this world.”
  2. Ibn Mas’ud: People will remain in a good state as long as they take knowledge from their elders. When they start taking it from the ashraar, they will go astray.
  3. Umar (ra) said I know when people will be sound and when corrupted. If this knowledge of religion comes from the saghir (immature) then the mature will find it difficult to accept it from him. If it comes from the elder, then the younger one will follow him.
  4. Ibn Majah said, “When should we stop amr bil maruf nahi wal munkar?” “When you see a cajole, flattery in the best of you, and see fiqh in the worst, despicable of you. At that time, there is no point in amr bil maruf nahi wal munkar.”
  5. Sufyan saw a Coptic studying Islam and was upset about it. “This knowledge was in the best of people, if it goes down, then the religion will be changed.”
  6. Ibn Wahb: With the fiqh of the rabble is the ruin of the world, with the fiqh of degraded people is the ruin of the religion.  (All quotes in this section from Hamza Yusuf Rihla or RIS class)
  7. ضاف ضيف رجلا من بني إسرائيل وفي داره كلبة مجح فقالت الكلبة والله لا أنبح ضيف أهلي قال فعوى جراؤها في بطنها قال قيل ما هذا قال فأوحى الله عز وجل إلى رجل منهم هذا مثل أمة تكون من بعدكم يقهر سفهاؤها أحلامها Our master Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-’As said, that the Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alayhi wa ‘alaa Alihi said: A man from Bani Isra’il invited someone to his house, and in his house was a pregnant dog. The dog said: By Allah, I will not bark at my owner’s guest. But her pups barked from inside her. It was said: “What is this?” So Allah – ‘azza wa jall – inspired to one of the men that: this is like an ummah that will come after you, whose sufahaa’ (vulgar people) will overpower its hulamaa’ (people of hilm: forbearance). Narrated by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal. It is Sahih according to shaykh Ahmad Shakir. Sufaha’ are those vulgar and foolish people who are easily aroused to reactionary states, while the hulamaa’ are those who patiently persevere and remain clement.  SOURCE

Sayings of contemporary scholars and/or lecture notes without factual sources/references:

Spirituality and Problems
  1. “The more transparent you are, the more transparent Allah will make your rulers” ~ Shaykh Hamza Yusuf
  2. “Most of the worlds problems are due to amzija (temperaments).” – Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah
  3. Habib Umar said: “We should be strict about being gentle, but be gentle about being strict.”
  4. Sufaha are impulsive people who are always reacting to things. ~Shaykh Hamza Yusuf
  5. In a khutbah the imam said (paraphrased): ‘A mu’min can sin, do adultery or murder but never lie. Why? Because lying is a word and we must remember we came into Islam with a few words (i.e the shahada) and we can do kufr with a few words. This is the power of words in the divine sight and the enormity of lying in Islam.’
  6. Dr Umar said you should never make dua against someone, but say, “Allahumma amilhu bima yastahiq – May God deal with him as he deserves.”
Historical Lessons
  1. Benjamin Franklin said, “Ever since Muhammad ﷺ rebuked Khalid (for killing a prisoner) the Muslims have always treated their prisoners of war in just ways.”
  2. Professor Khalid Blankenship: “Muslims haven’t been in political harmony since 632.″
  3. Professor Khalid Blankenship: “The Prophet ﷺ left Abdullah ibn Umm Maktum, the blind man from Surah Abasa, in charge of Madina. Does that sound like a modern state to you?”
  4. Shaykh Faraz Rabbani: “During the Crusade, Masjid al-Aqsa was not prayed in for 190 years.”
  5. Rumi never mentioned in the Mathnawi his teacher who was killed by Mongols because you don’t mix the medicine with the disease.
  6. “Some materialists may see the collapse of Ottoman Empire as a good, because the unified decision of the ummah has been lost. It doesn’t mean we are saying Ottoman empire was perfect, no, but there was something unified. Habib Abu Bakr says, “Those political groups that delude the community and masses by telling them political reform in Muslim countries will lead to the establishment of Shariah, are lying to them. Because these regional reforms will not lead to a massive reform. Because we are not in charge of the universal decision. Muslims are not United Nations, Muslims are Divided Nations, we are not in charge, this is the Qada of Allah. When someone tells you, ‘if you topple your president, you will be in charge’ he is lying to you. Because the people in charge can simply make this project fail in a minute. We have to be smart and understand we are not in charge of the situation. Being unrealistic is one of the qualities of being stupid.”  ~Shaykh Ahmad Saad
  7. “The Prophet ﷺ knew about Abdullah ibn Salul and the hypocrites plans, but he did not uncover it until it had manifested clearly. Why? To teach us, we should not be rushing to be judgmental and not accuse others of nifaq. And secondly, the existence of such a (harmful) microbe in the society are needed for a society to exist and grow. Like an antibiotic, that makes you grow a resistance to it, rather than let it grow hidden. Another example, the Prophet ﷺ gave general amnesty to people of Quraysh, he did not conduct a tribunal to hold the people of Quraysh accountable for everything they had done, even though there was bloodshed and there were many crimes. Why? Because after a change or revolution or first thing you have to establish the … When Uthman was killed, Ali said: I know that the Khalifa was killed and people who killed them, but these individuals had tribes behind them, and the society was still semi-tribalistic. If you take one individual from this tribe, one individual from here, one individual from here, you are not dealing with 4-5 people, you are dealing with 4-5 tribes, maybe 20,000 people. Now, the khalifa has been killed and the awe of government has collapsed. If you punish these people it will be reasonable. Let us establish leadership and calm things down, after some time, it can be dealt with. This is what Sayyidna Ali wanted to do, but Sayyidina Mu’awiya didn’t understand, he wanted killer of Uthman to be punished first.  Hatib was a companion with small family in Mecca and no tribe to protect them. When the Prophet ﷺ was planning to conquer Mecca, Hatib wrote a message and gave to a girl to deliver to people of Mecca about the invasion. The Prophet ﷺ was informed by revelation, sent sahabas and he obtained the message. ‘Why did you do this?’ “I have some family in Mecca. I was afraid if Quraysh heard this news and they knew I knew, they would hurt my family, and I knew Allah would inform you about that. So it stopped. But if Quraysh attacks my family, then I can say I tried to tell them of the invasion.” Umar took his sword: Let me kill him. Prophet ﷺ: Allah has looked at people of Badr and said, ‘Do whatever you want, for I have forgiven you.’ That is a big lesson that when someone has a long record of serving the community and he makes a mistake which we disagree it, we don’t eliminate his history of service with an eraser. People in our time did this with Shaykh al-Buti.” ~Shaykh Ahmad Saad
  8. In a khutbah: ‘Umar bin al-Khattab started the social welfare system, the pension system we know today. His father thought his son couldn’t even take care of sheep. “I don’t think he can even care for these sheep.” And under Umar the Muslim world expanded faster and further than any other empire in such a short amount of time.
  9. The Crusades were retaliation for the Fatimid Shi’as burning the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, even though the Muslims rebuilt it.
  10. The Mongol invasions were in response to some of the arrogant Muslim governors and statesman killing an emissary of the Mongols. The Mongol leader went to the mountaintop, standing on on foot and prayed, “O God of the Muslims I want vengeance for the killing of my emissary.”
  11. Shaykh Yusuf Motala said, that Allah contracted the Earth so Nabi ﷺ saw the East and West and the rule of umma would reach the East and West. Thus we find Islam reached Far East and West but not much in North and South. (From Manifestations of the Prophet Muhammad’s Beauty, p. 164)
  12. Shaykh Yusuf Motala said, “The enemies of Islam say Islam was spread by the sword. We reply by telling them that the sword was never struck; it was merely shown.”  (From Manifestations of the Prophet Muhammad’s Beauty, p. 241)
  13. The Fall of Muslim Delhi: Ulema and Hindu Rajput army were loyal to the Delhi Sultan until the very end. These armies of the British, mainly from Muslim principalities and kingdoms are sieging Delhi. An eclipse happened which is inauspicious for the Hindus so began to flee and only the ulema were left defending the Muslim ruler. The British hung 2 senior scholars every hour (from the walls of Delhi) and over 50 years of Islamic scholarship wiped out.  (Shaykh Hamza Maqbul)
  14. There were never any more than 20,000 white people in Indian subcontinent at any one time (during colonialism). The entire colonialism was with them dividing and conquering our people, us them against themselves. That’s not their bad, that’s our bad. So remember next time you get into a fight in the masjid, this is how shaytan got our forefathers and this is still how he’s getting us right now. (Shaykh Hamza Maqbul)
  15. Kopruluzade was one of Ataturk’s man who wanted to introduce pews and organs into mosques to bring it in line with modernity. (Abdal Hakim Murad, Commentary on the 11th Contentions, p. 78)
  16. USSR split up because of Muslim birthrates, within 30 years would have had a Muslim majority spelling end of Tsarist dream of Drangnach Osten of the Slavic herrenvolk.  (Abdal Hakim Murad, Commentary on the 11th Contentions, p. 74)
  17. “The challenge of modern muslimness is to combine a confident dissent from the global culture with a sense of service and humility. Triumphalism is no less damaging to the soul than an inferiority complex. Where loyalty is to God, and love is for what human is called to become, the believer can combine pity for the monoculture’s shrunken victims with gratitude for God’s guidance.” (Abdal Hakim Murad)
  18. “To the puzzlement of Islamophobes, it was the Christians, not the Muslims, who defaced the temples of Egypt. To their further puzzlement, the Sahaba did not destroy the Buddhas of Bamiyan. This fiqh wisdom continued in 1999, when Mullah Omar declared that the statues would be protected: ‘The Taliban decree that the Bamiyan Buddhas shall be conserved and not damaged.’ Only with the growing influence of Arab al-Qaeda zealots, and with international interference on behalf of the status provoking Afghan national pride, did the position change. Despite the condemnation of an international delegation of ulema, the statues were destroyed.” (Abdal Hakim Murad, Commentary on the 11th Contentions, p. 58)

See also:  

Commentary on Abdal Hakim Murad’s Contentions – Islamic Ideologies and Isms Terrorism is to Jihad as Adultery is to Marriage The State and the Comprador Bourgeoisie Part I The State and the Comprador Bourgeoisie Part II The Oppressor and the Oppressed Yours Deed are Your Rulers – Ulema of South Africa The State Seeking to Domesticate Rulers The Leadership Process of Muhammad (s) from Hadith Turkey & 3 ways of Establishing Khilafa – Hamza Yusuf  Rage and the Signs of Qiyama – Ibrahim Osi-Efa Fatāwā that Appear Islamic But Actually Serve the West By Imam Muḥammad Saʿīd Ramaḍān al-Būṭī On Scholars, Politics and the Prophetic Imperative to Truly Spread Peace


Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti in his Tarikh al-Khulafa, the chapters on the Khulafa ar-Rashidun being translated into English and published as The Khalifahs Who Took the Right Way, Ta-Ha Publishers Ltd., London 1995

Qadi Abu Bakr ibn al-Arabi al-Qawasim min al-Awasim which is translated into English and published under the title The Defence Against Disaster by Madinah Press.

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa Ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.

Posted by: Dawud Israel | November 12, 2018

Fitness Hikam 

Of Gyms and Tariqas

Many Muslim speakers point out analogies between Islamic tarbiya and physical fitness. After joining a gym I realized maybe there is more to it than just the passing comparison. Here are some passing thoughts on the convergence of faith and fat.

“Try us out for 7 days and see if you like us!” “Do this wazifa for 7 days and see the results!”

“We are more of a club with members who get exclusive access to our facility.” “You have to take bayah and then you can attend the private dars at the zawiya/khanqa.”

“We coach and hold you accountable by meeting with you once a month to see your progress. This way members get results.” “You can get one on one time with the shaykh once a year.”

“Our gym is an intimidation free zone. No judgment.” “This is a safe third space for all Muslims.”

“Planet fitness is for the awamm, layman beginner. It has no smith machines or heavy weights. Just cardio machines, TVs and fat people.” “The masajid should be a hospital for the spiritually sick.”

“Then where do the spiritually healthy/physically fit go to maintain their progress if not the masjid/gym?”

“Pizza on the first Monday of the month at our gym.” “There will be free food at the Islamic event.”

“We can take the mureeds to an outing – use the soft love approach.” “We have tanning beds, massage chairs and couches.”

The deeds and reps are to elicit a response in your heart or body, which will cause the change. The khariq al adaa.

The diversity of amal and exercises elicits a deeper response. More angels and more cells are activated. HIIT exercises the whole body so a bigger response with HGH and testosterone, likewise variety of spiritual activity is needed to exercise and stimulate the purification of the heart.

Stretching is like the niyyah, the distance and flexibility of your limits and how far reaching your results will be.

Rhythm and timing – the beads tapping and davening while reciting – the bounce of the elliptical and thump of the treadmill – make consistency and results easy.

Fitness of muscles and firmness of faith are functions of time and energy – wisdom, ease, speed and familiarity.

The muscles / heart buried under a ghishawa of fat / dunya. Alterities of heedlessness insulate the nur and abs within.

Abstaining from sinning is like eating clean.

Getting your Macros: praying behind a righteous imam and sitting near them, just as you would eat from a cook who is righteous and does much dhikr, listening to a bayan every other day, and reading much Qur’an.

Spiritual metabolism

Much like the body’s metabolism of processing and activity, the ruh has a similar process.

Certain things slow it down, and other things speed it up. Transform or transmutation of food, prayers, ibada, taqwa, etc…into spiritual experiences and results.

Or Allah overrides the metabolism to transform you suddenly.

Spiritual Benefits of Physical Exercise

  • even when lazy you are active
  • makes one time conscious
  • understand organic nature of gradualism/incrementalism/tadarruj works
  • time management
  • appreciate what effort is
  • burning feeling in body
  • boost self-confidence
  • inculcate endurance
  • discipline
  • body is centre of mind/spirit so laziness in body carries over into laziness with spirit and thought

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa Ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.

Posted by: Dawud Israel | October 14, 2018

17 Truths about Muslim Sectarianism

17 Truths about Muslim Sectarianism

I am a traditional Sunni Muslim with love for a Sufi understanding of Islam and studying the deen. But I’ve realized when it comes to Muslims talking about religious differences, Allah subhana wa ta’ala, Rasulullah ﷺ and the Qur’an itself have usually nothing to do with the differences among Muslim (or Muslim-related groups).

So I want to identify a number of truths for whenever we talk about ‘deviant’ sects or non-Sunni groups or misguided Sunni sects or what have you.

  1. There are no first hand accounts of the so-called ‘deviant’ group. It is all second-hand and third-party stories of what every single person of this group does or secretly believes. ‘These people do this or that’ or ‘I heard for so-and-so they do this.’ Lawyers call this ‘hearsay‘ and it is not valid evidence in court. Most of these stories are exaggerated, for the gullible and intellectually weak and utilized to encourage hatred – not hidaya. The reality is Islamophobes do the exact same to Muslims as Muslims do to deviant groups; they learn of Islam from anti-Muslim Arab sounding Christian preachers and have no first hand experience with practicing Muslims and stereotype us just as we do with Muslim sects.
  2. The followers of a sect have little knowledge of their beliefs and are therefore not really guilty of any deviance in any substantive way. Often their religious leaders deliberately hide their religious texts from their followers. I have not talked to a Shi’a or Qadiani follower who actually truly understood their beliefs. Their belief was cultural and blind following the religion of their family. Ulema know this too. I recall an opinion of Maulana Rashid Gangohi saying the leaders of Shi’a are not Muslim, but the same cannot be said of their followers.
  3. The ‘deviant’ beliefs are usually: 1) minute 2) ancient and 3) hypothetical and/or theoretical in nature, and therefore forgettable and not really ironclad written-in-stone beliefs. In fact, most of these beliefs don’t affect aqida’s to the core and could not be rationally and fairly discussed except amongst seasoned ulema familiar with very obscure texts. For example, I doubt many Deobandi or Tablighi brothers understand the reasons why Imam Ahmad Raza Khan opposed the ulema of Deoband almost a century ago.
  4. Muslim sects are political scapegoats for Muslim governments just as Muslims are scapegoats of Western governments. The cycle of oppression mimics its way down the geopolitical gutter.  The scapegoats are, almost always, poor. 
  5. It is easier for Muslims to work with Christians than it is to work with Muslims of different sects because one can preserve their moral authority as spokesperson of all Muslims.
  6. The main beneficiary of Muslim sectarianism are corporations and non-Muslim superpowers. If no sectarianism amongst Muslim exists, it is artificially created covertly by non-Muslim powers using false-messianism or colonial divide and conquer strategy explained in this video
  7. Most Muslims have not made full sense of the reality of difference in Islam. That is, they don’t believe there to be any divine wisdom in diversity or even the possibility of any divine wisdom. Only one correct way  of doing things exists. But why is it so hard to imagine Allah can accept diversity? We need to learn to imagine more than one valid truth, way or interpretation. The seven varying recitations of the Qur’an (listen here for a very different qira’at) and Khidr’s action in Surah al-Kahf are challenging for Muslims to make sense of.
  8. Religious difference very rarely manifests in day to day Islamic activity. Charity, compassion, prayer and fasting are all common amal for Muslims of all stripes. A Tablighi friend of mine became upset with me because I never told him the roommate he’d been living with for months was actually Shi’a. The only thing that tipped him off was when he heard his roommates’ full name. If it took months to notice, than I wonder how smart he was, or whether, my Shi’a friend was de facto Sunni and only Shi’a in name. On a 1 to 10 scale of Shi’a-ness, he was probably a 1 and I suspect most people who call themselves Shi’a are around there as well.   
  9. Overlapping sharing of religious, intellectual and spiritual resources is commonplace amongst sects. They all use same religious texts but re-work or re-interpret to suit their understandings. For example, the Salafi and Asharis all teach Aqida Tahawiyya but with different explanations. This summer I studied works of Imam al-Sha’rani, one work was taught by a Deobandi mufti and the other work by a Barelwi aalim but both managed to stay pretty neutral. Likewise, I recall reading a Salafi publication quoting Ibn Ata’illah discretely saying he was a zahid. 
  10. The Prosperity gospel is alive and well among Muslims. Many Muslim groups recruit only from the wealthy, privileged and attractive much like the modus operandi of Scientologists. The calculus is: Poverty leads to religious ignorance and confusion. The rich are learned and guided, while the poor are ignorant and astray. This enforces a prosperity gospel belief of privilege being an indicia of divine blessing and favour which is contrary to the example of the Ahlu-Suffa. You see this among MAC, sufi groups, modernists and perennialists. They all dress nice and buy quality goods to re-enforce the pious look, above and beyond that of the average Muslim. Likewise, you will see the same in church-going Christian families.
  11. Money is the main reason for barricading off other sects. At the back of everybody’s mind is the thought, ‘Money will be lost if our group cooperates with the other group, so lets not do it.’ The same goes with mosques not cooperating. There is very little basis for mixing money and Islam. The various for-money institutes in America, the Barelwi Madina City in Karachi with its Green Dome-d apartment complex, the various Ismaili and Qadiani ‘taxes’ are all about fuelling growth of the sect / group leader. Likewise, if you walk into the Aga Khan museum in Toronto you will not see a single photograph of Mecca or Madina because then they’d be indirectly endorsing the competition – the Saudis.
  12. Dress is used deliberately to indicate adherence to a specific religious understanding. We see even among Sunnis the different colours and styles of turbans, hijabs and abayas. Yet often the basis of dress has little to do with the sunnah dress.
  13. Sects do not neatly fit into binaries. For example, the Houthi Shi’a of Yemen, another sect no one had ever heard of are doctrinally closer to Sunni Islam than the Shi’ism of Iran. But they are hated by Sunnis for being Shi’a but also hated by Shi’as as being crypto-Sunnis. 
  14. Similar patterns of sectarian behaviour exist in other religions. I remember over hearing young Christians talk in a coffee shop of how they love the ‘foreign’ preachers and how it was great when they all stand up in unison. This eerily reminded me of the standing up in mawlids and the love of overseas scholars.  
  15. Even the most orthodox groups have a modicum of unusual and questionable activities that they may hide, overlook or sweep under the rug. For example, in many masjids you find the smell of onions in Ramadhan, but most Sunni ulema know angels stay away from the smell of onions. Are the mosques then void of angels? Guidance therefore is likely a difference in degree, not kind.
  16. There are sects in obedience as there are in disobedience – different types of religious personalities. The Qur’anic categories of the sa’imin, dhakirin and siddiqin are sects of obedience and are rarely talked about but these are the groups Allah talks to us about and wants us to join.  
  17. Truly righteous people can easily guide the misguided. Unrighteous people can easily misguide or fail to guide. These righteous people are inwardly worthy of being followed and Allah gives them sway over hearts. They put periods and full stops where the unrighteous put question marks and exclamation points. And only Allah can guide you to these righteous people.

I hope from this people can see how much of the intellectual and spiritual truth and power of Islam gets lost in the economic, political, sartorial pressures and historical, psychological and sociological realities. The labels are bigger than the differences.

Love of money, love of authority and power are the real obstacles to unity of Muslims. Sectarianism originates from narcissism and a love of the nafs. The reality of istighfar goes against any notion of feeling one is guided or saved from Hellfire. The stick should go against one’s own nafs – not against the nafs of others.

In the previous ummahs, like those of Bani Israel, they had to do qitaal for forgiveness — a group had knives and others kneeled, a cloud descended with darkness, they were ordered to kill each other until the cloud lifted and then they were forgiven. I feel this is a perfect metaphor for Muslim infighting – only their is no forgiveness.

The Truth of Islam is an amalgam of various narratives. This is why you find the great masters of Sunni Islam were trained in different madhaib. You also find the scholars saying no one can be an aalim if they only have one shaykh. The more of the tradition of Islam one learns, the more hesitant one becomes to condemning different Muslim sects. Often, their will be a kernel of truth or logical rationale as to why a ‘deviant’ group does what they do. But this should not make one complacent with pure unadulterated misguidance when it rears its ugly head. 

The ummah is so big that their are groups of Muslims out there you have never heard of and never will and even if you did, you would not be able to understand them in a fair manner due to a lack of information and contact. Most Muslims had never heard of Rohingya Muslims until recently and most still don’t know much about them. If we found out the Rohingya were not Sunni then would our sympathy for them change? 

Differences can keep away misguidance. For example, many modern Sunnis have found it fashionable to say music is halal, yet, we have Shia texts tell us it is clearly haram. So even if one group were to go completely off the rails on one issues, another group stands as an intellectual bulwark against them. 

Religious activity as Muslim minorities reduces sectarianism and increases cooperation. Nobody cares about sectarian differences when Muslims are few. And that is as it should be. Who cares about theological differences if you can’t pray jumuah or eat halal meat?  Sunnis and Shi’as in Canada, America and Britain need to work together to get halal meat slaughtered and to have Muslim cemeteries in the West. Regardless of how separate and apart they want to be – they have shared ongoing concerns as religious minorities. The non-Muslim community doesn’t care about the religious differences. In fact, most non-Muslims still confuse Muslims with Sikhs and Hindus.

The history of cooperation and shared history among Muslim sects and Muslims and non-Muslims is suppressed or hidden. Some campuses of the early Darul Uloom in India permitted diversity in teachings – where many different sects taught under the same roof – including Qadianis, Bohras and Shia – but later on the Darul Uloom’s changed to a Maturidi-Hanafi standard curriculum. Another example is tombs/mosques in the Holy Land shared by Muslim, Jews and Christians, sites like Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka shared with Hindus and Buddhists, Sufi tombs in Pakistan and India shared with Sikhs and Hindus. In some Indian towns, the Hindu temples will stop their prayer sounds when the adhaan plays. Alliances and shared spaces are practicalities that overlook theological differences so everybody benefits in the long-term. Their is a fraternity of belief in this age of materialism and godlessness common to all religious adherents. The number of adherents need to outnumber non-adherents for any one religion to thrive, let alone, survive. Nobody has the power to create a monopoly or displace other religions. Everybody has to share in order for any one community to get a blessing; either we are all blessed, or no one is. 

I feel these truths will show us what truly matters to us as Muslims and what doesn’t. How we can move forward as a community and not hold each other back? How can we claim guidance if we can’t even overcome our most base instincts and stupidity? I hope I have helped in that regard.

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.

Posted by: Dawud Israel | May 28, 2018

When the Qur’an is Lifted from Earth

When the Qur’an is Lifted from Earth

We Muslims have for the large part not honoured the Qur’an as much as we should. Many a times amongst even the most pious Muslims, the Qur’an is invoked as if a token or accessory to self-praise and riyya. Our child memorized the Qur’an or so and so recited this many khatm e Qur’an. We don’t truly indulge our hearts and souls into the Qur’an anymore in the West. Many a masjid are empty of people reading the Qur’an, but we see plenty of parents and adults forcing their kids to read the Qur’an. If they don’t see love of the Qur’an in their parents, how will they attach to the Qur’an?

In light of that, then what of when the Qur’an is lifted from this earth as it will before Yawmul Qiyama? One day, the Muslims will wake and go for Fajr and there will be no Qur’an in their chests. It sill vanish from our books and from the calligraphy in our masjids. The loss of that moment will be so unbearable. One can imagine some ashiqin going insane or becoming nearly suicidal. Something supernatural and essential to us which we have no power over and which we neglected will have disappeared. The tragedy of that moment will be like the death of Rasulullahﷺ. We have very few hadith descriptions of what will happen to the Muslims but one can only imagine.

For Muslims, all our religion is derived from the Qur’an. We cannot make salah, or know the rules for Zakat or Hajj and Ramadhan without the Qur’an. In a post-Qur’anic age, the only pillars of Islam that will remain will be the Shahadah. Our ibada without the Qur’an will be dhikr of the Shahadah and simple nafl ibada like tawaf and sadaqa and perhaps optional fasting. These will be like time capsules to a time of treasure troves of guidance. Ilm will become scarce; tafsir will vanish and much of hadith may as well too. The door to heaven will become like a small window. We will be like the hunafa, the pre-Islamic monotheists, scavenging for religious guidance in a desert of the dunya, like Waraqa bin Nawfal, awaiting Qiyama. We will be like Ahlul Kitab, guided but only in the past tense.

This should frighten us and make us run to the Rope of Allah – the Qur’an. We have little izzah without it. The Qur’an is our civilization and foundation of our being. We think we are in troubles now, with wars and post-colonialism, but imagine being deprived of the Qur’an? True oppression in Islam is being denied worship and access to the next world. Would we even really care about being modern and hi-tech if we had no Qur’an? Wealthy Muslims would wish they could ransom their millions and billions to get even a few ayat back from Heaven. We would realize how little of value this dunya is in comparison the next world. For the Qur’an was our qibla compass to Jannah, and without it, Jannah becomes as if Atlantis, a dream, and we Muslims, a people exiled without a land or hope of return.

This Qur’an is not like any other Scripture. Its marvels are numerous, its prose and prosody is unparalleled to any word, speech or sound. The least revelation of the Qur’an was 5 words and it is said to have almost broke the leg of a sahabi upon whom the blessed head of Rasulullah ﷺ was resting. There are words in the Qur’an that are not Arabic in origin. Their are spiritual cures, exercises and diagnoses of spiritual diseases in the Qur’an. The scientific miracles of the Qur’an are well-known but likely a drop in the ocean of miracles that we are yet to uncover. I have noted in the many salawat Muslims have composed, the most powerful ones incorporate language and meanings of verses of the Qur’an, for this is natural as the Qur’an is the maktubat (speech/diary) of Rasulullah ﷺ who was the walking Qur’an. It also makes sense what is said, that when Allah subhana wa ta’ala removes the Qur’an from the Earth, He also removes the true vision of Rasulullah ﷺ in a dream and the Hajr al-Aswad, for the true dream of him ﷺ, the walking Qur’an, is the spiritual access to Allah and the Hajr al-Aswad is the concrete physical access to Allah, ‘His Right Hand on Earth.’

There is little repose in the world except with the Qur’an. The peace and sakina that descends is like a vacation on the most beautiful tropical island. The carefree feeling I experience and thinking the thought, “there is absolutely nothing else in this world truly worth doing except reciting this Qur’an so don’t rush.” If you listen to an Islamic lecture they tell you to read Qur’an. It is said to be best form of remembrance and the best pleasure even in Jannah is its recital. The hadith “recite and ascend just as you recited in the world” is not limited to being hamalat al-Qur’an (memorizers or carriers of the Qur’an) but to actual recital of it. For recital and devotion to the Qur’an is from the essence of riyadat an nafs (struggle against the self). There is the self and its words, whisperings and incitements and then there is Allah and His words, whisperings and encouragements. For good thoughts from Allah come to us when we recite the Qur’an, guide our affairs and solve our problems. To be effaced in the Qur’an is as close to fana as we can understand. The awliya of Yemen have said about the Qur’an recitation:

Shaykh Umar al-Mihdar al-Alawi said, “When the righteous recite the Qur’an, they erase the letters and sounds. Then they stand by a sea and then that sea vanishes, so they remain suspended in mid-air in a state of awe and exultation. And we are amongst these ones.”

True Sufis are people of Qur’an, not people of rosary beads. Imam al-Ghazali says 1-2 khatm of Qur’an is needed each week for suluk (spiritual wayfaring). The great wali of Africa, Ahmadou Bamba, would be seen walking on water and he was known for his poetry on loving the Qur’an. Miracles and the Qur’an go hand in hand. Even today it can happen. I find it strange Muslims go looking for various duas as if magic spells and shortcuts to their worldly and spiritual goals, but all along the Qur’an is before them. The root of spiritual power in Islam is through the Qur’an. Magic pales in comparison to the Qur’an. Even if someone has done magic, the last two surahs of the Qur’an recited nonstop can destroy that magic. Battalions of huffaz would always succeed in battle by virtue of the Qur’an. Above all – the Qur’an is the meeting place of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) and His Rasul (salallahu alayhi wasalam) – an ever-continuing Isra & Miraj with its letters, diacretical marks, and sounds being the Lote Tree (Jujube tree some say) of the Furthest Limit.

There are some rare narrations from my notes on the virtue of the Qur’an I want to highlight.

Mawquf saying of Sayyidina Ali (ra): Recite Quran in salah 100 reward, outside of salat with wudhu 25 rewards, without wudhu 10 rewards

Ibn al-Sunni, Anas (ra): whoever recites in 24 hours: 50 verses is recorded as not amongst the ghafilin, 100 verses written as qanitin, 200 verses then considered acting in accordance with the Qur’an on Day of Judgement, 500 verses receive ‘qintar minal ajr’ (large amount of ajr – like mountain of Uhud). Hafiz Ibn Hajar: weak but other similar ones are rigorously authenticated chains.

Tamim ad-Dari (ra): Whoever recites 200 verses in 1 night then get reward as if stood up entire night to pray. (Ibn Hajr: hasan and sahih)

Ibn Abbas (ra)said regarding the ayah in 13:17 “He sends down water out of heaven, and the wadis flow each in its measure,” said that ‘Water, in this verse, means knowledge (‘ilm) while wadis (valleys) means the hearts (qulub).’

Abu Darda(ra) said, “A man does not fully understand until he sees numerous layers of meaning in the Qur’an.”

Ibn Mas’ud (ra) said, “There is no a single verse except that it has people who will know it (that is, its correct interpretation).”

Jafar as-Sadiq said, “God has manifested Himself to His servants in His Speech, but people see not.” Once he fainted while performing the prayer and said, “I kept repeating the verse until I heard it from the Speaker.”

Imam Malik said, “Nothing will rectify the last part of this Ummah except that which rectified its first part (i.e. the Book of Allah & the Sunnah).”

When we read Qur’an mercy descends on all of us. We benefit in ways we can barely imagine. Our masajid don’t do khatm gatherings of Qur’an regularly – only once in Ramadhan. We neglect the Qur’an but do Qira’at competitions and force our kids to read Qur’an as if the angels watching above will respect this odd mix of ghafla and guidance. Places in the world like Morocco are still surviving fitna because their masajid are committed to regularly reciting the Qur’an every week.

“And beware O my ally in God, if you have any doubt, that the Book of Allah is the most secure intercessor, the most trustworthy intercessor, the wealthiest of any wealth, a giver of gifts, virtuous in it’s giving. You do not ask for rain and the mercy of Allah ever more hopeful than with the Book of Allah, and if mercy descends, everybody gets the mercy.” – Qadi Maulay Ibn Arabi

We should schedule in our masajid regular khatm of Qur’an and all come together for the khatm dua. Lets say one masjid does khatm every 30 days, another masjid that does every 10 days, another masjid every 7 days. We can all attend those masjids on those days and get a share of that mercy. Allah’s mercy is endless and we can make it come down in ever increasing quantities with the Qur’an. But can we hope for mercy from Allah when we neglect the Qur’an?

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa Ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.

Posted by: Dawud Israel | March 4, 2018

Muslims in the Courtroom

Whether in America or Australia or the UK, Muslims have not gotten along with each other and often ended up in the court-room.

I heard on the radio today that when there are no substantive issues that a political party is working for, then it becomes a battle of egoes and personalities. That is much the same situation with masjid conflicts. There are very few people with grand visions for the Muslim community in the West. No one has ever articulated a hope or a dream for Muslims to strive towards. And yet, there is a river of money that keeps flowing into each masajid. Sooner or later, that river of money attracts scam artists and corrupt individuals until these corrupt individuals outnumber the righteous dedicated folks. And even these righteous people come to feel entitled to a masjid they have devoted decades to as if it is their backyard.

Civil courts generally do not get involved in masjid disputes or financial mismanagement. The way they see it is much like how corporations govern themselves, likewise, mosques often have corporate status and thus are responsible to fix their own problems. Arbitration and mediation from neutral third parties are the best solutions. Civil suits are useless since a secular judge is not in a position to interfere with a religious organization or charity. In any case, a Muslim suing a Muslim and airing our dirty laundry is seen by other Muslims as treason against Muslims. And yet, it is when non-Muslims get involved that Muslims feel ashamed and try to resolve to save face in the broader society.

We don’t have a response to these situations because we isolate ourselves away from mainstream society that we forget our sins are not isolated too; they are public. Likewise, our money cannot be isolated from the non-Muslim society around our mosques we treat as islands and fiefdoms. The government monitors whether our charity ends up in the hands of militants. Most Muslims don’t realize they have a legal right to see how Muslim charities spend their money. In America you can look up online the Form 990 of 501(c)(3) corporations and get an idea of where the money goes and how much scholars earn. Most Muslims may not also realize they have online access to all the legal cases of Muslims suing Muslims or Muslims at criminal trial. Google your country’s name and legal database and search for a Muslim charity or Muslim organization and see what you find.

The courts will get completely involved if there is any criminal activity especially if its sexual assault or fraud like Hajj scams or Islamic banking scams. And the courts are not neutral and unbiased when it comes to minorities. And they do not see care if the suspect is a Muslim scholar. What they are more likely to see is a vindication of the evil portrayal of Islam in the media. And there are hundreds of Muslim names in criminal cases in Western countries. The question should be why we Muslims do not talk about these issues. I recall only one masjid program on violence in the Somali community which is a problem in Canada. How many Youtube bayaans are there for UK Muslims to hear about grooming gangs? Very few, if any.

So when it came to the Nouman Ali Khan controversy we didn’t know how to handle it. Islam has a broad definition of zina and this does not align with sexual assault or rape. A glance can be zina or a woman with perfume could Islamically be considered zina…but for it to be sexual assault or sexual harassment legally in the West, it has to be more than that. The problem with the smear campaign of Nouman Ali Khan’s character is it was couched in language vague enough to suggest anything from a glance or a flirtation to  children out of wedlock. In other words, it was all insinuation and left to the dirty imagination of those who hear the allegations. That is the nature of ifk (slander). There was no way of knowing what the allegations were precisely. Now, if NAK manipulates people, that may be a sin but it is no crime, since that is common in many organizations and workplaces. Islamically, a pushy shaykh is not sinning. If we put a shaykh on a pedestal and then they fall from that, that’s not the shaykh’s fault – its ours. Islamically, many great righteous mashaykh were rough and harsh, because this was part of their tarbiya to their true students. I have heard more than one aalim say that people today are like children – sensitive and fragile – compared to the Muslims of the past. Legally, NAK can burn his organization and alienate his students all he wants. But its the Muslim community that suffers with distrust and alienation. Poison is spread through generations of Muslims and we may not recover. Our deen stays intact but our iman may be weakened, if it wasn’t strong enough to begin with.

That is the formula shaytan will utilize to shake Muslim communities up. And shaytan will likely push our leaders to fall into criminal actions. How we respond is the question.

Recently, I heard that a few of the khulafa of a very famous Naqshbandi shaykh have abandoned him. This disheartened me a great deal since the sufis are the great source of purification for our ummah. When I heard about that and when I hear about the increasing criticism of famous ulema in a time where the Internet hides nothing, I remember learning how Imam an-Nawawi would make sadaqa everyday on his way to his lessons and make dua, “O Allah, veil the faults of my teachers” so that he can benefit from them. And I remember the story of Shaykh ad-Dabbas, the teacher of Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani (rahimullah) would push him into a cold river as part of his tarbiya and how Shaykh Abdul-Qadir wouldn’t say anything. Or how Khidr’s actions were what we would consider criminal actions and Musa (alayhi salam) was justifiably outraged. All in all, there are limits to what our iman can take or what our understanding of deen can tolerate. We don’t know the haqiqa but operate based on our diminutive understanding of what we think the Shariah is supposed to be.

There are 3 questions I believe one should ask when it comes to any Muslim-on-Muslim conflict or criminal allegations/convictions:

  1. Would things have gone differently if the person(s) involved were fasting?
  2. Was istikhara utilized at any point?
  3. Was communal tawba or individual tawba ever done?

Chances are fasting, istikhara and tawba were never even considered. The followers of Musa would all repent together in times of crisis and this is something our righteous do with their congregations. Istikhara is how we navigate the forks in the roads and unchartered territories. And fasting is a shield for us from being pierced by sins and from the poison of our nafs. This are the cures our deen gives us to deal with conflict and avoiding crime.

For my part, I believe we need more Muslim lawyers. And they should be Muslim lawyers that are practicing Islam and studying tasawwuf. Tasawwuf is important because lawyers are prone to arrogance, greed and literalism. Conflict is tempered by reason and morality which are tools of tasawwuf teachings. Sins are surrounded by slippery slopes and human errors. Islamic law can be more merciful and hands-on than secular legal regimes which prefer a hands-off approach. That is because Allah is more encompassing than the state. A famous example of this is the story of Imam Abu Hanifa intervening and defending his alcoholic neighbour before the Sultan. So practicing Muslims are very likely to bring this mercy and healing to their practice of law. Practicing Muslims who understand halal and haram, fiqh, tazkiya/tasawwuf and the grey areas of life already have the cognitive machinery for law school. The courtroom is one place where Muslims need to get the confidence to enter. Courtrooms are places of adab and procedures and it is often adab that can make all the difference when it comes to how we deal with conflict. Our religion talks non-stop of the Day of Judgment when we are summoned to the Divine Courtroom. There is no law of evidence or legal standards on that day nor is there any elaborate legal argument. Only the factual argument of our life story and our heart can sway the Judge that Day. It is full 100% scrutiny and hisab of our entire life. Our lawyer on that day is Sayyidina Muhammad ﷺ. He is the only one licensed before Allah. And only the Qur’an, the Awliya and righteous deeds have intervenor status and can act as character witnesses for us before Allah. And so I say: if a practicing Muslim is conditioned for the Day of Judgment, then being a lawyer in a dunyawi courtroom shouldn’t be hard at all.

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.

See also:

Posted by: Dawud Israel | November 10, 2017

Journey of the Muslim: The Smart Guide to Jannah

I recall reading the book Lives of Man by Imam al-Haddad. What sets this book apart is it describes stage by stage what each person will go through from life to death to afterlife to eternity.

In tribute to this unique book, I wanted to create a more detailed, concise and above all practical guide to the Akhira from works that are similar to Lives of Man. Not every Muslim has time to read 800 pages on the akhira and pinpoint the scattered nuggets of guidance. So here I have pointed out each landmark and listed acts that can be done to save oneself from difficulties to be faced in the journey to the Afterlife, through the Afterlife and to reach the highest levels of Jannah. Basically, this is meant to be an action plan for planning your Afterlife. I intended this as an article, but I have printed it off for myself as my own guide.

I reverse what most traditional books do action -> result, I am showing result -> action for various needs we will have at various stages in our Akhira. Much of what I will write will come from writings of al-Ghazali’s Kitab Dhikr al-Mawt wa-ma ba’dahu (Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife) and his Durra al-Fakhira, Imam al-Haddad’s Lives of Man, Imam al-Qurtubi’s Tadhkhirah fi ahwal al-mawt wal akhira (Remembrance of Affairs of Death and Afterlife), Imam Sha’rani’s Lawahiq al-Anwar, Mufti Usmani’s Easy Good Deeds and other notes from various bayans. I will try and cite full ahadith, but many I refer to are well-known and easily found online.

Most of us are interested in the religion for worldly purposes. We want wazaif and duas to solve all our worldly problems, which we will not even recall a year from now. But our otherworldly problems become neglected. And furthermore, do we want Allah? Shaykh Samer al-Nass quoted Sari as-Saqati saying, “Mankind is 10,000 people all who say they love Allah. When the dunya was created 9,000 left Allah, then when Hell was created 900 of the remained 1,000 left Allah, then when Heaven was created 90 of the remaining 100 left Allah. Only 10 remain loving Allah.”

A Life of Tawfiq

When we are in our mother’s wombs, our mother’s spiritual state affects us. When we are raised it must be consuming halal, around Islamic books and masajid. When we are in our teens we sort out our iman and yaqin and begin to experience spiritual experiences. When we are in our old age, from 50 to 70 years old according to Ibn al-Jawzi, grey hairs show up and the hadith says, ‘for someone whose hair turns grey while a Muslim, it becomes light for him.’ (Lives of Man, p. 26)

There is a beautiful hadith Imam al-Haddad mentions in his book on life stages from Shaykh Ahmad ibn Ali ibn Abi’l Qasim al-Yamani’s 40 hadith on forgiveness of sins via Anas ibn Malik:

The Messenger of God ﷺ, said: ‘For a newborn child until he reaches the age of discretion, his good deeds are written to the credit of his parents, while his bad deeds are written neither against him nor against his parents. Once he reaches the age of discretion and the pen begins to write his acts, God the Exalted issues His command to the two angels who accompany him and guard and counsel him. When he reaches 40 years in Islam, God gives him security from three things: madness, leprosy, vitiligo. When he reaches 50, God makes the reckoning lighter. When he reaches 60, God grants him to revert to Him as pleases Him. When he reaches 70, the inhabitants of Heaven love him. When he reaches 80, God records his good acts and is lenient with his bad ones. When he reaches 90, God forgives him his bygone sins and those to come, allows him to intercede on behalf of the people of his family, and he becomes God’s prisoner on the earth. Then, should he be returned to the worst age, so that after having had knowledge he knows nothing, God continues to record as good acts for him those which he used to do when he was well, and if he commits an evil act it is not recorded. (Lives of Man, p. 39)

Achieving a Pious Death 

Remembering death is a major source of motivation. Imam al-Suddi commented on surah Mulk, v. 2 [He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed – and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving, “This means which of you recalls death most frequently, and treats it with the greatest fear and attention.”  (Kitab Dhikr al-Mawt). Muslims are adamant to worship on the 15th of Sha’ban despite the arguments against doing so because this is the night when the angel of death is informed of whom will die that year.
The Prophetﷺ said: ‘Watch for three signs in the dying man. If his forehead sweats, his eyes shed tears and his lips become dry, then the mercy of Allah has descended upon him. But if he should choke like a man being strangled, and if his colour should turn to red, and if he should foam at the mouth, then this is the punishment of Allah descending upon him.’  (Durra al-Fakhira, p. 25)

The pangs of death are very painful as the hadith in Kitab Dhikr al-Mawt say it is is ‘equal to three hundred blows with a sword’ and each individual artery will experience the pain of death. When the soul leaves the body, it is the size of a bee. (Durra al-Fakhira, p. 25)

Action: Pangs of death can be relieved by recitation of Surah al-Yasin for the dying person as reported in at-Tabarani. But we do not know if this will eliminate all the pain but it may ease the departure of the soul as Imam al-Haddad says. It is important to instruct the dying person to say La ilaha ilallah Muhammadur Rasulullah ﷺ continually at the verge of death.

The only other way to circumvent pangs of death is to achieve the death of the martyr (shaheed) who experiences death with the mere pain of a bee sting. We would love to die as shaheed but there is too much violence in our world today, such that the true mujahid is hard to differentiate from the khawarij. If you live as a minority then you are enjoined to live peacefully as the Muslim emigrants to Abyssinia did under a Christian king Najashi.

However there are other ways to get the rank of shaheed.

A’isha (radiallahu anha) said, “O Messenger of Allah! Shall anyone be resurrected with the martyrs?” The Prophet  said, “Yes. He who remembers death twenty times in the day and the night.” (Lives of Man, p. 31)

Imam al-Sha’rani in Lawahiq al-Anwar has listed many ways of having the death of a shaheed through exercising sabr. All are from the decree of Allah but I have underlined the items that are actions one can do:

  1. Death from plague
  2. Death from drowning
  3. Death from pneumonia
  4. Death from stomach illness
  5. Death from being burnt alive 
  6. Crushed underneath a wall (i.e like a airplane crash)
  7. Die giving birth or before marriage
  8. Death while traveling
  9. Death from suffering tuberculosis 
  10. Death from falling off a transport
  11. Death from epilepsy
  12. Death from fever which is the most beloved of all illnesses because affects the whole body and sabr in whole body.
  13. If killed protecting one’s wealth
  14. If killed protecting one’s self
  15. If killed from protecting one’s family
  16. If killed protecting other people
  17. Death from divine love
  18. Death from an animal of prey
  19. If die while being oppressed and imprisoned
  20. If beaten to death by oppressor
  21. Death from a vicious animal
  22. Death while in search of animal
  23. Live life as mu’addhin
  24. Live life of a trustworthy businessman meaning while operating a business one is amin sadiq – then one is resurrected amongst ambiya
  25. If death from nausea and vomiting on a ship
  26. If raise kids according to Islam and Sunnah and feed them only halal
  27. If make the dua for death 25x everyday Allahumma barik fil mawti wa fima ba’dal mawt – Oh Allah! Bless me at the time of my death and after my death
  28. If regularly Perform the chast / ishraq /duha salah, which is 20 minutes after sunrise. Imam Sha’rani says no evil jinn will come to that person. (the name of this prayer is debated )
  29. If one fast 3 days every month – like the moonlit nights known as ayam al-beed
  30. If one never misses witr while traveling or at home
  31. If revive or act on a Sunnah receive the reward of 100 martyr
  32. If one recites 40 times during an illness La illaha illah subhanaka inni kuntu minal dhalimin
  33. If someone is not a fighter but ties horses for a Muslim army on Muslim border/camps and die during an enemies attack
  34. If recite Surah al-Yasin every night
  35. If one dies in a state of wudhu
  36. If one recites salawat ala an-Nabi ﷺ, at least 100 time daily. One is likely to see Nabi ﷺ just before death and get talqin from Nabi ﷺ
  37. If one makes dua for death as a shaheed 
    1. A man who sincerely asks God for martyrdom shall be granted the status of a martyr even if he dies in his bed. (Muslim 1909, Tirmidhi 1653)
  38. If one dies on a Friday (i.e Thursday maghrib to Friday maghrib). This person is also protected from the punishment of the grave.
  39. If one regularly recites 3 times in the morning  the adkhar, Audhubillahi as-Samiyal Aleem min as-shaytanir rajeem + last 3 ayahs of surah al-Hashr and dies during the day. Also 70,000 angels make istighfar for the person who does this until the evening. 

Furthermore, Imam al-Haddad mentions a hadith, “Someone whose death coincides with the close of Ramadan enters the Garden, and someone whose death coincides with the close of Arafat enters the Garden, and someone whose death coincides with the close of his charity enters the Garden.” (Lives of Man, p. 40)

Internment into the Grave

A janaza is made for the forgiveness of the deceased (mayyit). It is said if 40 people gather for salah, then one of them is definitely a wali. And if the deceased (mayyit) is pious and those praying his janaza are not pious, then those praying for the deceased will be forgiven.

When we enter the grave we are given talqin, the answers to the questions Munkar and Nakir ask us. They will ask us about our Lord, our religion and about the man who was sent amongst us – namely the Prophet ﷺ. The common dhikr said every morning / evening: Raditu billahi rabba wa bil-Islama deen wa Muhammadan Nabiya ﷺ could be an easy response to this. To read more on talqin see here.

Action: Many ulema have said if we recite an abundance of salawat ala al-Nabi ﷺ then he  will come and assist us and give us the talqin himself ﷺ.

When someone dies we should say after Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’oon and the dua,  Allahumma j’al kitabahu fi illiyin, wa’ktubhu indaka min al-muhsinin, wa’akhlufhu fi ahlihi fil-ghabirin, waghfir lana wa-lahu ya rabb al-alamin – “O Allah! Places his records in Illiyin, record him as a man of excellence (muhsin), provide a successor for him in caring for his family in the dunya and forgive us and him, O Lord of the worlds.” (Lives of Man, p. 41)

Reciting Qur’an over graves and giving the reward to the dead is also encouraged. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal saw during a funeral a blind man who recited the Qur’an by a graveside. Imam Ahmad initially called it an innovation but then changed his mind after hearing of Ibn Umar requesting the same. There are two narrations in Kitab Dhikr al-Mawt of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal encouraging recitation of Surah al-Baqara and in the second narration of al-Fatiha, al-Falaq, an-Nas and al-Ikhlas, “Make the reward of all this over to the people of the cemetery for it will reach them.”  (Kitab Dhikr al-Mawt, p.117)  

Praying for the dead is a good act and it is amongst the wisdoms of why we Muslims are brothers and a community. If we each were to try and enter Jannah on our own merit without help from our Muslim brothers and sisters, we would all fail. But if we all work and assist each other, pray for each other and send each other rewards, then we will be able to succeed. A hadith encourages us to ‘insure’ each other by having a good opinion of each others, “You are God’s witnesses on earth, those whom you praise will be thus.” (Lives of Man, p. 41) A hadith states, ‘Were it not for the living the dead would have been destroyed,’ and ‘My Nation is a nation covered with mercy. Its members enter their graves with sins like unto the mountain, and leave their grave having been forgiven because the living have asked forgiveness for the dead.’ Amongst the most helpful of acts for the dead is reciting and donating 11 times Surah al-Ikhlas. (Lives of Man, p. 45-46).

According to Shaykh Samer al-Nass, the soul is taken very quickly to heaven or turned back from there to spend life in the grave next to its dead body. The life of the grave involves punishment, visitation by people, most slumber in their grave until resurrection, or the righteous who go up to Heaven on birds after 2-3 months or the spirits of the dead are given freedom to roam if they are awliya. Also in the grave one is given a preview of where they are destined to end up – either Heaven or Hell. Not as well known is the fact the dead are informed of the deeds of their living friends and family (Imam al-Ghazali has 3 narrations on this, Kitab Dhikr al-Mawt, p. 114-115) just as the Prophet ﷺ  is shown the deeds of the believers and prays for them. The reverse is also possible, the living can see the state of the dead in dreams. It is also encouraged to visit the dead on Fridays but very few Muslims ever practice this.

Hadith: Whosoever visits the grave of one or both of his parents every Friday shall be forgiven his sins, and shall be inscribed as having been faithful to them. (Kitab Dhikr al-Mawt)

Muhammad ibn Wasi’ was in the habit of visiting graves on Fridays. When asked why he did not postpone his visits until Monday he replied, “I have heard that the dead are aware of those that visit them on Friday, and on the preceding and succeeding days also.” This is because of the excellence of Friday. (Kitab Dhikr al-Mawt, p. 115)

Escaping the Punishment of grave

One’s deeds come back to them in the grave in various forms and they can see into Jannah or glimpse into Jahannam.

Said Ka’b [al-Ahbar], ‘When the righteous bondsman is laid in his tomb he is surrounded by his righteous acts, such as his prayer, his fasting, his pilgrimage, his engagement in the Holy War, and the charity he used to distribute. Then the Angels of Chastisement approach him from the direction of his feet, but are told by Prayer, “Get back from him, you have no authority over him, for upon those [feet] he stood in me at length for the sake of God.” Then they approach him from  the direction of his head, but Fasting says, “You have no authority over him, for in the world’s abode he thirsted at length for the sake of God.” Next they draw near to him from the direction of his trunk, but Pilgrimage and Holy War say, “Get back from him for he exhausted himself and wearied his body when he accomplished the Pilgrimage and the Holy War for the sake of God; no authority do you have over him.” Then they approach him from the direction of his hands, but Charity says, “Back! Retreat from my master, for how many an act of charity issued from those two hands to fall in to the hand of God (Exalted is He!), while he acted only for His sake; no authority, do you have over him.” Then he shall be told, “Rejoice! Good you have been in life and in death!” Next, the Angels of Mercy come, and spread a heavenly cloth and resting-place out for him, and his grave is widened around him for as far as the eye can see. A candle is brought from Heaven, and from it he has light until God resurrects him from his grave.’  (Kitab Dhikr al-Mawt, p. 134) 

Said Abu Hurayra, “When the deceased is set in his grave he is approached and surrounded by his righteous works. When they draw near him from the direction of his head his recitation of the Qur’an comes forward, and when they approach him from the direction of his feet there comes his standing (in night prayers). And when they approach him from the direction of his hands these speak out, saying, “By God! It was his custom to stretch us forth in charity and in supplication; no authority do you have over him.” When they come to him from the direction of his mouth, his commemoration of God and his fasting appear. Likewise, Prayer and Fortitude stand at one side, and each declares, “As for me, if I behold any shortcoming I will stand by him.” (Kitab Dhikr al-Mawt, p. 146) 

Action: One must also be careful of urine spilling onto their clothing and careful of slander. I recall Shaykh Abdur-Raheem Limbada saying some ulema who have kashf have reported mortgages are a major cause of punishment in the grave.

Action: Surah al-Mulk which is also called al-Mani’a (the saver) every night wards of the punishment of the grave.

Action: Reciting the ayah La ilaha ilallah al-Malik al-Haqq al-Mubeen 100 times a day also protects from punishment of the grave and provides rizq, according to a hadith in ad-Daylami mentioned by Imam al-Sha’rani.

Action: Imam Ibn al-Qayyim has said doing hisab (accounting all of one’s days’ actions) before sleeping and making tawba for one’s sins makes one more likely to die in a state of repentance.

ActionImam Sha’rani also mentions salah without wudhu and walking by an oppressed person (madhlum) and not helping them leads to punishment of the grave. 

Also as stated previously, the person who dies on Thursday night/Friday is also protected from the punishment of the grave in addition to being resurrected with the signs of a shaheed.


Imam al-Haddad says, resurrection will occur after 2 trumpet blasts from Israfil. The first resurrected is Rasulullah ﷺ, then those of Jannat al-Baqi are resurrected then those in Jannat al-Mu’ala then those between the Haramayn. We will be re-assembled from the coccyx bone. The tip of it is like a seed for the human being and humans will be recreated from it due to a divine rain called al-Hayawan (which I imagine is probably much like the fabled Elixir of Eternal youth, as we will live eternally henceforth, in bliss or in agony). Imam al-Haddad mentions people will come accompanied by or transmogrified by their sins, as blinded, as animals, chewing their tongues, or amputated. (Lives of Man, p. 57) Everybody will be resurrected naked but Imam Ghazali mentions some hadith that state, “Take great care in clothing your dead, for my community will be raised in their shrouds, while the rest of the nations are naked.” (Durra al-Fakhira, p. 76)

How to prepare for Yawm al-Qiyamah & Waiting on the Plains of Mahshar

Yawm al-Qiyama has upward of 80 names as listed by Imam al-Ghazali. The Earth will be transformed into a new land which Muslims call the Plains of Mahshar or the Concourse. The heavens, sun, moon, and star will vanish. The Plains of Mahshar is said to be in Syria and will be off-white colour like pure flour for 300 years to 50,000 years. Some say for the righteous it will be shortened to the length of time between between noon and afternoon salat, or time to pray the fardh salat (Musnad Ahmad III:75; Lives of Man, p. 61) but for the sinners it will be 50,000 years long. Some people will ride, some will walk and some will walk on their faces (which has different interpretations). (Kitab Dhikr al-Mawt, p.179) One hadith says believers will ride camels that represent their deeds, where 2 to 10 people will be on a camel sharing their ride due to a shortage of good deeds journeying to their judgment. The sun will be 1 mile from our head and we will sweat profusely, up to our ankles or legs or chest or head and seek shade.

Action: The hadith of those 7 individual who will be in the shade of Allah on Yawm al-Qiyama mentioned in al-Bukhari and al-Muslim:

  1. a just ruler;
  2. a youth who grew up in the worship of Allah;
    1. Ibn al-Jawzi says youth is from 15 to 35 years old so take heart if you are under 35.
  3. a man whose heart is attached to the mosques;
  4. two men who love each other for Allah’s sake, meeting for that and parting upon that;
  5. a man who is called by a woman of beauty and position [for illegal intercourse], but be says: ‘I fear Allah’;
  6. a man who gives in charity and hides it, such that his justify hand does not know what his right hand gives in charity;
  7. and a man who remembered Allah in private and so his eyes shed tears.

Action: “Those who attend the mosque at dark (i.e. Isha & Fajr) will find a shade on the Day of Judgment when no shade is to be found.” (Ibn Majah)

Action: “The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his charity.” (al-Tirmidhi)

Action: “If anyone would like Allah to save him from the hardships of the Day of Resurrection, he should give more time to his debtor who is short of money, or remit his debt altogether.” (Sahih al-Muslim)

Action:  “He who brings to life the nights of the two Eids and the night of mid-Sha’ban, his heart will not die on the day when hearts shall die.” (al-Mundhiri)

Action: Imam al-Ghazali says those known for repentance like Fudayl ibn Iyad will have light perspiration or sweat up to their ankles.  (Durra al-Fakhira, p. 88)

Action: Imam al-Ghazali says that any sweat not spent in some effort for God’s sake like the sweating in Hajj, fasting, tahajjud, fulfilling the needs of Muslims would make one perspire more and sweating from obedience will make this day easier. (Kitab Dhikr al-Mawt, p. 181) 

Hadith also mention children who died before puberty will give their Muslim parents water to drink during this heat.

Hisab (Accounting) by Allah Subhana wa ta’ala

Once the Judgment will begin, Allah will judge our life taking account our sins, good deeds and each of our blessings as mentioned in the tafsir of surah al-Takathur. This will not be easy. Some say it will happen very quickly in 24 hours. Imam al-Awza’i says we will see our whole life before us, which sounds much like a movie. Hasan al-Basri says our deeds will be hung around our necks. The Qur’an tell us our limbs will bear testimony to our actions. More narrations speak to Scales weighing deeds and Scrolls detailing one’s life and whether one receives the Scrolls in his right hand or left hand. Surah al-Inshiqaq v. 7-8 tells us those who are given their scrolls in their right hand are given an easy reckoning.

We will be asked particularly 4 questions relating to – 1) lifespan and how it was spent, 2) youth and how it was spent, 3) where we earned our money, how it was spent and 4) what we did with our religious knowledge. This is congruent to the hadith in Bukhari and Muslim of the womb where the angel writes 4 things, the child’s apportioned provision, his lifespan, his deed and whether he will end up as wretched or joyful.

And as they teach us at every masjid, our prayers (salah) will be the first deed we will be questioned about. Imam Sha’rani mentions expenditure on your family will be the first deed weighed on the Scales. The weighing will not be of solely quantity of deeds however. Imam al-Qurtubi mentions the words of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri who said, “Though some people will have come with deeds which are enormous as Mount Tihama, they will still be of no weight in the Balance.” (Tadhkhira, p. 108) Thus the utter importance of ikhlas. Besides ikhlas is a connection and closeness to Rasulullah ﷺ  because there is a saying that a single sajda of one sahabi is more weighty in the sight of Allah than the amal of the whole ummah for 950 years continuously.

Being called to account for all the blessings we enjoyed by the Omnipotent and All-Knowing poses a big problem, as even the Qur’an says, we cannot even enumerate the blessings of Allah. (Surah Nahl, v. 18)  How then will we enumerate and analyze and review our own selves in our blessings we experienced? The more blessings we experienced the more we will be called to account for them. This is why the poor are said to be more virtuous in the Next world because they have little to account for. Those with more deeds will find ease but those with equal good deeds and bad deeds will stand on A’raf between Jannah and Jahannam until Allah’s Mercy comes to them and they enter Jannah.

Here are some more ways to pass this stage.

Action: There is a hadith mentioned by Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa on the meaning of Yawm al-Din, “Do, and as you do, you will be treated,” which means if you do not take people to account, pointing out their good actions and bad actions, then Allah will, insha’Allah, not take you to account.

Action: The best dua to make for an easy hisab is the one narrated in al-Hakim Allahumma hasibni hisabun yasira and Imam Malik’s favorite dua Allahumma astar awrati wa man rawati so that Allah edits your book of deeds and covers your sins and does not expose them to everybody on the Day of Judgment.

Action: “Whosoever conceals the faults of a believer shall have his own faults concealed by God on the Day of Arising.” (Ibn Majah)

Action: The interceding surahs mentioned in the ahadith will be of great aid, namely surah as-Sajda, surah al-Mulk, surah al-Baqara and surah Ale-Imran. Likewise, reciting Qur’an at night and fasting can intercede. They will inshaAllah act as your lawyers and advocates in the Divine Court as their intercession is approved by Allah subhana wa ta’ala.

Action: Avoid positions of leadership because their accounting will take longer than if you had no leadership. Abdullah Ibn Umar saw his father Sayyidina Umar ibn al-Khattab in a dream 12 years after his death and he said, “My accounting has just finished now (i.e. after 12 years). If it weren’t for Allah’s Mercy the throne of Umar would have collapsed (i.e been dire).”

What to do for Hisab (Reckoning) by Muslims

At this stage or after passing the Sirat, we will also have to account for injustices we inflicted upon fellow believers.

Abu Sa’id al Khudri reported Allah’s Messenger as saying: “When the believers pass safely over (the bridge across) Hell, they will be stopped at a bridge between Hell and Paradise where they will retaliate against one another for the injustices done among them in the world, and when they are purified of all their sins, they will be admitted to Paradise. By Him in Whose hands the life of Muhammadﷺ is, everybody will recognize his dwelling in Paradise better than he recognizes his dwelling in this world.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Fath Al-Bari)

At this point, one’s good deeds will go to the one they wronged as compensation until one runs out of good deeds to offset. Once that happens then the person takes on the sins of the person they wronged as compensation until they are cast into Jahannam for expiation. How can one get around this scenario?

Action: Fasting is one of the ways to avoid this for Imam Sufyan ibn Uyaynah says commenting on the hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari, “Fasting is Mine and I will reward it,” and the hadith in Sahih al-Muslim “All the good deeds of the son of Adam are multiplied (10 times to 700 times), except for fasting,” that “On the Day of Resurrection, Allah the Almighty will take His slave to account and compensate for his wrongdoings from his deeds till nothing remains except fasting. Then, Allah will settle on the slave’s behalf the rest of his wrongdoings and admit the slave to Paradise because of fasting.” Habib Umar bin Hafiz explains that this means the if the fast was accepted by Allah, then He will place it in His protection such that even if on the Day of Judgment this person has due upon himself from others then Allah will tell them to take from his other good deeds but not from the accepted fast because “it is Mine.” Then Allah will assign a reward value to the fasting until it compensates the believers and enters them into Jannah.

Action: Another way Imam al-Ghazali mentions to get around this is to keep many good deeds secret so none will know of them on the Day of Judgment. In doing secret deeds, one may become beloved to Allah and the wrongs of others may be turned aside. (Kitab Dhikr al-Mawt, p. 203)

Action: If you find yourself destined to Jahannam, then remember the story of the man who on Yawm al-Qiyama will have equal good deeds and bad deeds and need only one good deed. A man will say to him, “I am going to Jahannam anyways, so take this good deed I have.” Because of that Allah will forgive them both and send them to Jannah. Another narration in al-Hakim mentions 2 believers, one whom will retaliate on another believer but no good deeds remain so he says let him take my burden (of sins). Allah ta’ala then shows him what Jannah looks like and says it belongs to the one who pays its price which is something this believer possesses. “Your forgiveness of your brother,” then they both enter Jannah and this made Rasulullahﷺ laugh and he recited surah 8, v.1. (Kitab Dhikr al-Mawt, p. 203) Likewise a similar narration is mentioned in Durra al-Fakhira regarding a son who said uff to his father and is destined to Hellfire, but his father is also destined to Hellfire so he asks Allah to take on his fathers sins and they are bought admitted to Jannah due to this Afterlife act of filial piety.

Achieving No Hisab (Reckoning) 

There are famous hadith of the 70,000 (or more) who will enter Jannah without reckoning (hisab) through the Right Hand Gate (al-Ayman). “… Allah Says to the Prophetﷺ, “O Muhammad! Let those of your followers who have no accounts, enter through the gate of al-Ayman, (a gate of the gates of Paradise that lies on the right); and they will share the other gates with the people.” (Kitab Dhikr al-Mawt, p. 214) These people are the only ones who will enter through this gate and they will enter Jannah first. They are described as not cauterising (Shah Waliullah says cauterising drives away angels), don’t use charms (ruqya), or take omens from birds (augury) and put their trust in Allah. Imam al-Haddad says these are the sabiqun. Ukasha ibn Mahsin was a Sahabi who was one of them because he asked Rasulullah ﷺ to make dua to be one of them. Ukasha was also known to have kissed the blessed Seal of the Prophet ﷺ and was given a stick that the Prophetﷺ transformed into a sword for battle. Another hadith mentions the 70,000 was multiplied so each one was given another 70,000 totalling in 4.9 billion who enter Jannah without reckoning, “O my Lord, and shall my nation reach such a multitude? and He (Allah subhana wa ta’ala) replied, “I shall make up the number for you with the nomads.” (Tabarani, Mujam al-Awsat; al-Hakim al-Tirmidhi 84; see Kitab Dhikr al-Mawt, p. 259)

Action: Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa mentions the Hamadun, those who praise Allah in every situation are from amongst these 70,000. I believe he may have taken this from Imam al-Ghazali who says, “Another party is composed of those with not a single transgression to their discredit. A voice calls out, saying, ‘Let those who did praise God abundantly in every state arise!’ and they stand up and hasten to Heaven. Then this is done with regard to the people who used to stand in the night vigil (tahajjud) and then with those whom no worldly commerce or sale distracted from the remembrance of God! A voice calls out to them saying, ‘Joy, never to be followed by any sorrow!'” The other groups Imam al-Ghazali then lists are those who had no good deeds at all and those with mixed good deeds and bad deeds. (Kitab Dhikr al-Mawt, p. 195) Imam al-Qurtubi also mentions something similar attributing it Ibn Abbas via Ibn al-Mubarak: the groups who advance to Paradise were those who praised Allah at all times, those who made tahajjud and spent charity, and those who were not distracted by trade and commerce from the dhikr of Allah and regular prayer and zakat. (Tadhkira, p.140-141)

Action: Another way of entering with reckoning Imam al-Ghazali mentions is to do hisab of one’s sins and righting wrongs done to others, “He should set their hearts at rest so that when he dies not a single injustice or obligation will remain to his discredit. Such a man will enter Heaven without reckoning.”

Action: There is another hadith in Tirmidhi that mentions the Prophet ﷺ will shake the door-rings of Heaven and enter with the poverty-stricken believers, which suggests the poor will be ahead of the rich in entering Jannah first (i.e without account). Another hadith mentions the first to reach the Hawd (the Pool) will be the ‘poor amongst the Muhajirun who will be wild-haired, dusty clothed and do not marry women of pleasure and no doors ever open for them.’ (Kitab Dhikr al-Mawt, p. 218)

Action: Abu Hurayra said the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Whoever meets the expense of a couple’s marriage from his own wealth for the sake of God shall be summoned from every gate of Heaven…” (Bukhari and Muslim, Zakat chapter; Kitab Dhikr al-Mawt, p. 235) And we can hope that Ayman is not excluded from this hadith.

Action: Jarir ibn Abdullah said, “The man whose good deeds outweigh his sins on the Day of Arising shall enter Heaven without reckoning. The man whose good deeds match his sins shall receive a lenient judgment, and shall then enter Heaven. The Intercession of Allah’s Apostle ﷺ is only for the man that ruined himself and burdened his back.” (Kitab Dhikr al-Mawt, p. 255)

How to Cross the Sirat

In order to enter Jannah one will need to cross the Sirat (bridge) over Jahannam. On this razor sharp bridge will be huge thorns that will trip one up and cut them until they plunge into Jahannam. The first to cross after the Prophet ﷺ will be the poor amongst the Muhajirun.


What the sa’adan thorns on the Sirat will look like according to the hadith


Some narrations suggest there being 2 Sirats – the other Sirat passed by each Nabi (from our Nabi ﷺ until Nuh) and their ummah, of which disbelievers of their ummahs will be made blind and plunge into Hellfire then the Prophets will go with their righteous with angels guiding them until they reach the Throne of Allah. Other narrations from Imam al-Qurtubi also mention al-Aqaba as a steep mountain between paradise and hell that will be crossed through good deeds as described in surah al-Balad.

Crossing the Sirat depends on everybody’s light (nur). A narration in al-Hakim says Allah will grant the believers a light in proportion to their works, some like a mountain, some like a date-palm, to the smallest which is light only his big toe, which goes out and come back to light. The light is used in the darkness to cross the Sirat and see the way forward. Some will cross the Sirat in the twinkling of an eye; some like lightning, a falling star, a running horse or walking. The one with the light in his big toe will go crawling on his face and hands and feet until he reaches the end of the Sirat and praises Allah. 

From the things I have heard ulema say that will help in crossing the Sirat are the following:

Action: Abundant salawat ala al-Nabi will help pass Sirat quickly and rescue those who slip as if a helping hand.

Action: Love of mosques will aid on passing the Sirat according to Imam al-Sha’rani.

Action: Imam al-Haddad mentions trustworthiness and kinship bond (silat ar-rahm) will stand by the Bridge. (Lives of Man, p. 63)

Action: The dua in surah at-Tahrim, v. 8 is what those who enter Jannah will recite, asking Allah for forgiveness and to perfect their light: Rabbana atmim lana nurana waghfirlana inaka ala kulli shayin qadir.

Action: A hadith in ad-Daylami reports you will not slip on the Sirat if you love Ahl al-Bayt. A similar report is mentioned by Qadi ‘Iyad: “Becoming acquainted with the family of Muhammad is (leading to) freedom from the Hellfire; loving the family of Muhammad is (leading to) the passing over the Sirat; and assuming guardianship for the family of Muhammad is safety from the torment (and punishment).” (Shifa, Qadi Iyad, Part II – The Prophet’s Right due on Mankind p. 486).”

Action: Help the oppressed: “Whoever walks with one who has been wronged until he establishes his rights, Allah will make his feet firm on the Sirat on the Day when feet slip.” (Ibn Abi Dunya)

Amal and Akhira

I used to find it confusing as to what specifically entails entry into Jannah and salvation from Jahannam. I found this saying in one of Mufti Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf’s talks and it all made sense:

“Being saved from Jahannam is from Allah’s forgiveness, entry into Jannah is from Allah’s Mercy, and your place and rank in Jannah is from your good deeds.” ~Sufyan at-Thawri

So you should think in this way

  • Allah’s Forgiveness (maghfira) = Freedom from Jahannam
  • Allah’s Mercy (rahma) = Entry into Jannah
  • Good deeds (amal) = Assigned rank in Jannah

So for example, hadith that being in the first row in salah or in eating suhur are rewarded with mercy, which is connected to entry to Jannah. Hadith about forgiven (minor) sins for reciting certain dua / adhkar entail with them hope of freedom from Jahannam.

“The people of heaven and the people of hell all do good things. The question is who avoids bad things.”
—Ibn al-Qayyim 

The most invaluable thing we can have before Allah is not our deeds, but our absence of sins. Imam al-Qurtubi says of the al-bulh, who will be the majority of people of Jannah, they are those who don’t know sin. In our age, we know many sins even if we don’t do them.

The hadith of kafarat darajat is also relevant here (see video below).

Action: Kafarat (expiation of sins): wudhu completed beyond the limit (cold night), walking to jama’at prayer and wait for one salah after another.

Action: Darajat (ascending ranks): feed people, spread salam and do tahajjud prayers.

This grows more complicated because Allah’s forgiveness manifests differently in what he does with our sins, even to the extent of replacing our sins with good deeds. The first 3 levels of forgiveness are forgiving sins but not forgetting them. Allah puts a veil between sins and Him: 1) al-Ghaffir = hide sins from humans in this world; 2) al-Ghaffur = hide sins from angels, forgive regardless of size, shield from consequences of sin, covers sins in Hereafter; 3) al-Ghaffar = continually forgiving over and over; 4) al-Afuww = forgive bad deeds, obliterates them and forget bad deeds (erases from memory); 5) al-Haleem = transform bad deeds into good deeds in the Hereafter.  (See this video)

Escaping Jahannam

According to Ibn Abbas, Jahannam will be created by oceans boiling until its converted to fire, then the sun and moon will be joined together and thrown into Hell which will become the greater Jahannam of Allah. (Tadhkira, p. 151). Jahannam will have a mountain called Yahmum (Black Smoke) which will be the only source shade in Jahannam. There will be a valley in Hell called Mawbiq or it will be a river of melting fire surrounded by snakes at its edges or a valley of pus and blood that will separate the people of disbelief and people of faith in Jahannam. Other valleys in Jahannam will be Wa’il where those who always start evil reside and Ghayya and Bols where the arrogant will drink the liquid discharge of the dwellers of Hell and al-Aqaba. (Tadhkira, p. 161-2) Some of the surprising people of Hellfire will be the ostentatious reciters of Qur’an, the martyrs who sought fame, a man who exhorted to good but never did the good deeds and exhorted to avoid sins but committed sins.

The hadith narrations and teaching grow more numerous when it comes to ways to be saved from Jahannam and ways to enter Jannah. All Muslims will be granted entry into Jannah wa la bada heen, even if after a while spent in Jahannam being purified of their sins. The Muslims that enter Jahannam experience the least punishment like the burning of coal on their feet or sandals of fire by which their brains will boil. Eventually, those who remembered Allah or feared Him even once will be rescued by the Intercession (shafa’a) of the Prophet ﷺ. Those believers with a dinar or a half-dinar or even an ant’s weight of good will be rescued. After angels, prophets and believers intercede, Allah Himself will intercede and will take up ‘a handful’ (and only Allah knows what a ‘handful’ with Him is) of those believers who never did one good deed and they are rescued brought back from being cinders to Heaven. This will happen because people of other faiths will take the place of the Muslims rescued from Hellfire.

However, the munafiqin, the Muslim who professed Islam but are not Muslim, are in the lowest parts of Jahannam (daark al-asfalin). It is important to note, Allah doesn’t punish in Jahannam, but the angels punish and this is from Allah’s Mercy. The ulema say if Allah were to punish the people of Jahannam then the punishment would be even worse and unrestricted. To understand the nature of Jahannam, ulema say the nafs is a branch of Jahannam, and like Jahannam, it is never satisfied and ultimately the blameworthy nafs returns to Jahannam. The only thing that satisfies Jahannam is the dhikr of Allah and likewise the only thing that satisfies the nafs is dhikr.

In Jahannam bodies will be enlarged to cause more painful punishment. Sins will become forms and punishments for the denizens of Hell. There will be a tree named Zaqqum which will provide torturous food to the denizens of Hell. Their are many sins mentioned in relation to Jahannam that are particularly damning for believers. Amongst the ones singled out in hadith are: pride, killing someone who Muslims have a treaty with, severing the bonds of kinship with ones relatives, and failing to pay zakat is mentioned as a particularly grievous punishment. It is related by Imam al-Zarqani that there will be individuals who memorized the Qur’an but will enter Hellfire. Before they enter it, Allah will remove any memory they had of Sayyidina Muhammad ﷺ. Then Jibril will come and remind them of his name, and when they invoke it the fire will cease to touch them.

Saving Actions:

  1. Ibn Abbas (ra) narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said: “(There are) two eyes that the Fire will never touch, the eye that wept from fear of Allah and the eye that stood guard in the night in Allah’s path.”
  2. Asking for protection from Jahannam 3 times Allahumma ajirni minan-nar and be granted Jannah Allahumma nasaluka al-Jannah then Jannah and Jahannam intercede and ask Allah for the same for you. (Tirmidhi, Tadhkira, p. 144).
  3. I’tikaaf creates 7 mountains and ditches between a person and Jahannam the distance of heaven and earth.
  4. Fast for one day for Allah’s sake is separated from Jahannam by a journey of 70 years. (Tirmidhi, Tadhkira, p. 146).
  5. If you reach 70 years of life as a Muslm with grey hairs then you are saved from Jahannam
  6. Ramadhan: Abu Saeed al-Khudree (ra) relates that Rasulullah ﷺ said: “During each day and night of Ramadhan, Allah sets free many people from Jahannam, and during each day and night, at least one dua for every Muslim is certainly accepted.” (al-Bazzar, Musnad Ahmad). Another hadith says there is no hour of Ramadhan, except Allah frees 6,000 people from hellfire (ie 24 hour). 
  7. The Amal of Hajj are associated with forgiveness, which is associated in turn with salvation from Hellfire.
  8. “He who prays in congregation from start to finish for forty days is given two titles of privilege. The first is salvation from hell. The second is distancing himself/herself from hypocrisy.” (Muslim, Tirmidhi)
  9. There is a hadith in al-Tirmidhi’s chapter on Jahannam, about two people who will be removed from Jahannam but then be ordered to return to Jahannam. One of them says to Allah, “I had feared the evil consequence of sin, and wished never again to expose myself to Your Displeasure.” The other says to Allah, “My good opinion of You convinced me that You would never send me back after having delivered me.” And then Allah orders them to be taken to Jannah.

Stories of those who were Saved

There are various reports in Imam al-Ghazali’s Kitab Dhikr al-Mawt (p.159-169) of the righteous who appear in dreams and inform of what deeds saved them. I want to list them:

  1. Yusuf ibn al-Husayn (disciple of Dhun-Nun al-Misri) was forgiven because he did not mingle seriousness with jest (this could be a vague description of the seriousness of his ibada).
  2. Abd Allah al-Zarrad (a early Baghdadi muhaddith) was forgiveness for every sin he confessed and sweated for the one sin he didn’t confess.
  3. Sufyan ibn Uyayna (the famous muhaddith) saw one of his brethren who said Allah forgave him for every sin for which he implored forgiveness but did not forgive those he did not ask forgiveness for.
  4. Zurara ibn Abi Awfa (qadhi and muhaddith of Basra who is said to have died leading salat out of fear from an ayah of Qur’an) said in a dream satisfaction (al-rid’a) and brief hopes proved best for his Afterlife.
  5. Zubayda (wife of Harun al-Rashid who built the road from Iraq to Mecca and Madina) was seen in a dream and was saved because of the reward only for the intention she had in building the road.
  6. Imam al-Junayd in a dream said, “Those allusions (isharat) have perished and htose expressions have passed away; I had obtained nothing but two rakas which it had been my custom to pray at night.” Its worth mentioning Imam al-Junayd would pray at least 150 nawafil rakat a day.
  7. Being grief-stricken is mentioned as being a sign of piety by Abu Bakr al-Kattani and the second highest ranks in Jannah by al-Awza’i in a dream.
  8. Sufyan al-Thawri (one of the 8 ascetics of the Tabi’in) was seen flying from tree to tree by Sufyan ibn Uyayna in a dream and advised him to reduce the number of dealings with people. In another dream he was seen reciting poetry on his tahajjud prayer and crying in the night as a cause of his high rank. Another narration says he attained his rank through scrupulousness and there were others like Ali ibn Asim (the muhaddith) who were even higher in rank than him, “He can scarcely be seen, save in the way one might see a traveling star.”
  9. Imam Malik was forgiven because of words Uthman ibn Affan would say when he saw a funeral, “Glory be to the Alive, Who perishes not!”
  10. Shibli (disciple of Imam Junayd) despaired after Allah disputed with him and then he encompassed him in His Mercy.
  11. Sahl al-Su’luki (Shafi’i jurist and teacher of al-Hakim) was seen in a dream and said his spiritual states did not save him, but he was forgiven because of his answering certain questions of the common Muslims.
  12. Waraqa ibn Bishr al-Hadrami was seen in a dream and said, “Weeping from the fear of God” was the most valuable action.
  13. Utba al-Ghulam (an ascetic and colleague of Hasan al-Basri) entered Heaven because of a prayer he wrote that was kept in the house of one of his companions.
  14. Yahya ibn Akhtham al-Qadi was seen in a dream and he said, I said to Allah, “My God and my Lord! Mu’ammar told me from al-Zuhri from Urwa from Aisha who was told it from the Prophet ﷺ from Jibril and from You, “I am reluctant to punish an old person who has matured in Islam.” Then Allah smiled and pardoned him.  (Durra al-Fakhira, p. 28)
  15. Ibn Nubata was also seen in a dream and he was eloquent. He praised Allah eloquently and was forgiven. (Durra al-Fakhira, p. 30)
  16. Mansur ibn Ammar was also seen in a dream. “What have you brought to Me O Mansur?” I replied, “360 pilgrimages.” Allah replied, “I do not accept any of them.” Likewise occurred with his 360 recitations of Qur’an and 60 years of fasting. “What have you brought to me, O Mansur?” I then replied, ‘I have brought to You Yourself!’ And He said to me, Glory be to Him, ‘Now you have come unto Me. Go, for I forgive you.'” (Durra al-Fakhira, p. 31)

It is worth pondering how such pious people struggled to be saved in the Akhira and how it was diverse unexpected and even minuscule acts of righteousness that saved them. It may also be these were the Muslims of the early times who were evaluated more harshly then the Muslims of latter times.

Entry into Jannah

In total, 30 sahabas were guaranteed Jannah by Rasulullah ﷺ. To understand Jannah in any way in this world is impossible. Shaykh Hamza Maqbul describes this world as static on a television screen and the next world will be like HD (Hi-Definition). The writer Hasan Le Gai Eaton says in this world we have 5 senses, but in the next world we may have 50 or 500 senses.

Most of the people of Jannah are described in the Qur’an as having Qalbun saleem which means sincere clean hearts, free of pride, jealousy and hatred. This is supported by hadith that describe people of Jannah as having hearts like those of birds (Sahih Muslim) which means their hearts are overwhelmed by fear of Allah. Other ahadith mention the majority of people of Jannah being al-bulh, which Imam al-Qurtubi interprets as simple people who always entertain good thoughts about others or who don’t know sin.

There are at least 40 actions by which one can enter Jannah and Shaykh al-Ghumari has explained them in his book Tamam al-Minnah bibayan al-Khisal al-Mujibah li al-Jannah (partial text translation). There was a SeekersHub course taught on these but it has since vanished. I did, however, manage to save a list of the chapters of this book / lesson plan as it is very useful. I will list them briefly. 

  1. The loaning of a doe for her milk
  2. Removing that which is harmful from the road
  3. Giving drink to an animal
  4. Visiting the ill
  5. Visiting a Muslim brother
  6. Commanding with right and forbidding from evil
  7. Advising the financially inapt (yaṣna‘ liakhraq)
  8. Assisting the oppressed
  9. Responding to a greeting
  10. Following a janazah
  11. Accepting an invitation
  12. Responding to one who sneezes
  13. Starting the greeting
  14. Giving advice
  15. Removing harm from the Masjid
  16. Smiling to the face of a Muslim
  17. Guiding one who is lost
  18. Guiding one with weak eyesight
  19. Prohibiting from wrong
  20. Sharing water
  21. Raising your voice so that one with a hearing deficiency may hear
  22. Guiding the blind
  23. Directing one in need towards his need
  24. Aiding the weak
  25. Assisting someone to mount his animal
  26. Reconciling between two people
  27. Beautiful speech
  28. Articulating the intention of the inarticulate
  29. Giving water to drink
  30. Providing additional cordage to one inadequately supplied
  31. Gifting someone a shoelace
  32. Comforting one experiencing grief
  33. Being easy in trade and judgment
  34. Granting respite to your debtor
  35. Overlooking minor shortages in payment
  36. Covering the faults of a believer
  37. Consoling a Muslim male or female
  38. The hadith of greeting, feeding, joining family ties & performing the tahajjud prayer
  39. The hadith of setting free a slave, lending of a doe for her milk, reconnecting severed family ties, feeding the needy, commanding with good and prohibiting from evil and controlling the tongue.
  40. The hadith of Abu Bakr who combined between fasting, feeding the poor, following a funeral and visiting the ill all in one day, or in another narration combining between visiting the ill, attending a funeral, fasting, attending the Friday congregation and setting free a slave in a day.
  41. Praying in a remote venue
  42. Eating halal, following a path of righteousness, refraining from harming anyone.
  43. The 5 pillars worshiping Allah, establishing prayer, paying zakah, fasting Ramadan and joining family ties.
  44. Praying the 5 obligatory prayers, fasting the month of Ramadan, paying zakah, abstaining from the seven major sins and in a narration 9 major sins.
  45. Preserving your prayer, zakah, trust, private parts, stomach and tongue.
  46. Building a masjid
  47. A just ruler, a soft-natured and compassionate individual towards all relatives and Muslims and a chaste individual that provides for his family.
  48. Voluntary calling the Adhan for 12 years
  49. Calling Adhan with conviction.
  50. Responding to the Adhan.
  51. The prayer after wudhu (salat al-wudhu)
  52. Attending prayer at the masjid in the early hours of morning and evening.
  53. Praying 12 raka’at of the rawatib (supererogatory prayers before and after the obligatory prayers)
  54. Praying Fajr and Asr (al-Bardan)
  55. Loving Surah al-Ikhlas
  56. Recitation of the master formula of seeking forgiveness (sayyid al-istighfar)
  57. Recitation of a specific prayers before sleeping and when waking up.

There are more and more ways to enter Jannah I have in my notes:

  1. Man kala la illaha illalah dakhala al-jannah – “Whoever says la illaha illalah will go to Jannah.” 
    1. Wahb bin Munabbih was once asked, “Is not La ilaha illa’llah the key to the Garden?” “Yes indeed,” he replied. “However, every key must have teeth to be able to open the door. Among these teeth are a tongue free of lying and backbiting; a humble heart free of envy, treachery, and forbidden and dubious things; and limbs engaged in service and pure from sins.”
    2. “Anyone who says La ilaha illa’llah with sincere single-heartedness shall enter the Garden.” He was asked, “O Messenger of God, what does sincere single-heartedness consist of?” And he answered, “It restrains him from the things which God has forbidden.”
  2. “The Garden is the obligatory reward of anyone at whose hands someone becomes a Muslim.” (Tabarani in Kabir (786); Awsat (3456); Saghir (439))
  3. A parent patiently bearing a child’s death
    1. “Whoever buries three children, Allah will forbid the (Hell) Fire for him.” (Sahih, Tabarani in Al-Kabeer)
    2. “There are no two Muslim parents whose three children die before reaching puberty except that Allah will enter them into Paradise due to His mercy to the children. It will be said to them, ‘Enter the Paradise,’ so they will say, ‘Not until our parents enter first.’ It will be said, ‘Enter the Paradise you and your parents.’ (Musnad Ahmad and An-Nasa’i)
    3. “Whoever remains content and patient after the death of three of his offspring will enter Jannah.” A woman said, “What about two?” The Prophet ﷺ said, “And two.” (Sahih, An-Nasa’i and Ibn Hibban)
    4. Another hadith mentions they will hold their parents garment and follow their parents until they enter Jannah (Sahih Muslim; Tadhkira, p. 231-2)
    5. “The woman who suffers from post-natal bleeding will have her child dragging her on the Day of Judgment to Paradise.” (Musnad Abu Dawud Tayalisi; Tadhkira, p.232)
    6. The Prophet ﷺ told a man from the Ansar about his son who had just died, “Won’t you be satisfied when you come to any of the gates of Paradise and find him there to open it for you?” His family asked: “To him alone or to all of us?” The Prophet ﷺ answered, “To all of you.” (Abu Dawud Tayalisi; Tadhkira, p.232)
  4. Whoever says: “I am pleased with Allah as my Rabb, and with Islam as my Deen, and with Muhammad ﷺ as my Prophet, Jannah would be mandatory for him. (Sunan Abu Dawud)
  5. “Whoever asks Allah for Jannah three times, Jannah will say: “O Allah, enter him into Jannah.”’ (Jami` at-Tirmidhi)
  6. “Allah has Ninety Nine Names, one hundred minus one, and whoever believes in their meanings and acts accordingly, will enter Jannah.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
  7. “Whoever takes a path in search of knowledge, Allah will make easy for him the path to Jannah.” (Jami` at-Tirmidhi)
  8. “Anyone whose soul leaves his body and he is free of three things, will enter Jannah: Arrogance, stealing from the spoils of war, and debt.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)
  9. “The performance of Umrah is an expiation for the sins committed between it and the previous Umrah; and the reward of Hajj Mabrur (i.e., one accepted) is nothing but Jannah.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
  10. “A body that has been nourished through the unlawful will not enter into Paradise” (Bayhaqi in his Shu’ab al-Iman).

Those who harm their neighbors will be barred from Jannah. Jannah is also said to be the reward for a father who loves the name Muhammad ﷺ and names his son Muhammad ﷺ. The son too will be in Jannah. Jannah is also said to be the reward of someone who does the ghusl for 7 Muslim corpses. Jannah is also said to be the reward for those who are immersed in the majalis of dhikr. Salat al-awwabin gives one a palace in Jannah, tasbihat for trees in Jannah and beginning something good to be given Tubba in Jannah.

The believers enter Jannah through separate Gates like different border points, like ports of entry, that will be very far apart. They will enter through that gate associated with the deed they practiced most upon. Imam Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani has said it may be that they enter through another set of Gates after entering through the main gate. 8 gates of Jannah are well-known and Imam al-Qurtubi mentions a hadith that says there could be as many as 16 gates (Tadhkira, p.195).

These are the gates I have come across:

  1. Bab as-salat (those who prayed much)
  2. Bab al-jihad (those who fought for sake of Allah)
  3. Bad al-sadaqa (charitable)
  4. Bab al-rayyan (those who fasted much)
  5. Bab al-hajj (those who did much hajj)
  6. Bab al-kadhimeenal ghayz wa’l afina-nas (for those who swallow their anger and pardoned people)
  7. Bab al-ayman (gate of the right-hand for those who enter Jannah without reckoning (hisab) and can enter through any gate)
  8. Bab al-dhikr (those who do excessive dhikr)
  9. Bab al-farrah (gate of happiness for those who make children happy that Habib al-Kazim mentioned)
  10. Bab al-infaaq (a gate Habib al-Kazim mentioned for charity)
  11. Bab as-surur (gate of joy, for guiding people and acts that brought Joy to Allah, Awliya and Nabi ﷺ that Habib al-Kazim mentioned)
  12. Bab ar-rayhan (another gate Habib al-Kazim mentioned, I believe, in connection to women)

I have seen online other names of Gates, namely Bab al-Ilm (the learned), Bab al-Razeen (satisfied persons), and Bab al-Tawba (repentant) but I don’t know the source of that information. Bab al-Tawba (repentance) however seems to be likely for those who have very little good deeds except for repentance. Another hadith says the ‘widest gate to presence of Allah is gate of good suspicion of Allah and narrowest of gate to presence of Allah is bad suspicion of Allah.’

Promoting your Position in Jannah

If we are blessed to enter Jannah (may Allah grant us all Jannah) we will have gone through the punishment of the grave for eons, the Resurrection, standing on the Mahshar for 50,000 years, the hisab by Allah and by the Muslims and passing the Sirat, perhaps even spending some purgatory time in Jahannam. At this point the believer will have had much of his good deeds depleted and may barely enter Jannah, so don’t underestimate how hard it can be to get into Jannah!

Their are at least 3 duas the believers will say when they enter Jannah mentioned in the Qur’an, namely those in surah 7:43, 35:34-35 and 39:74.

Imam Sha’rani says you enter Jannah in the order you came to salat al-Jumuah. And when you see Allah on Fridays in Jannah you will be closest to Him based on how early you came to Jumuah prayer. So you want to enter Jannah sooner rather than later. But most Friday prayers are early filled even up to 2 hours before the adhan.

Action: I suggest going to a small obscure masjid on jumuah with low attendance so you can be the first person in the first row.

Once a person enters Jannah the place where that believer will reside eternally will be based on their rank of good deeds, which likely may have diminished up to this point. It is said the ranks will be based on Qur’an ayat or the number of ayat namely 6,236 ranks. One scholar has said between each rank there are 100 subdivisions so there may be 623,600 ranks. Most people understand the hadith in Riyadhus-Saliheen, “Recite and ascend (in ranks) as you used to recite when you were in the world. Your rank will be at the last Ayah you recite,” to refer to only memorization of the Qur’an (huffaz or hamalat al-Qur’an) but Shaykh Haroon Hanif explained (in his Ramadhan talk this year) that it refers to ayahs recited in this world. And so he said, there will be people who did not memorize the Qur’an who will have a higher rank than those who memorized the Qur’an. The ayahs they recited will come to them on their own. The more popular view however is it refers only to the memorizers of Qur’an who acted according to the Qur’an.

People will not excrete or urinate but relieve themselves by sweating. There will be singing (sama) in Jannah, horses of ruby, couches that travel to and fro, clothing will come from fruits and tree, people who will be hairless and 33 years of age, children who will be born and raised in 1 hour if they wish and an expanse that will seem to never end. People who drank wine, wore silk or drank from vessels of gold and silver and never repented from doing such will be deprived of enjoying these pleasures in the Next Life. Habib al-Kazim said the Rivers of Jannah interchange from wine and honey like how the colors of a rainbow has multiple colors and the rivers are neither on the ground or in trenches. The narrations differ in description perhaps because after Jannah is created, it may continue to expand endlessly so no description is fully accurate. And in a hadith, it is said the pleasure of Allah and never being angry with the people of Paradise is greater than the pleasures of Jannah that satisfy its inhabitants, so may Allah grant us His Pleasure and save us from His Wrath. (Tadhkira, p. 224).

Some say the different names of parts of Paradise are not actual different names of those places, but just refer to the same Paradise. The highest positions of Jannah will be al-Firdaus al-A’la which is a mountain in Paradise from which the rivers flow (Tafsir al-Qurtubi) and above it is the Throne of Allah. It is said Firdaus is the middle part of Paradise. Other hadith (in al-Bukhari, Book of Tawhid) suggest the highest place will Jannat al-Adn (Garden of Eden) where ‘all that shall prevent them from viewing their Lord shall be His Cloak of Glory.’ Imam al-Qurtubi and Hakim al-Tirmidhi say the highest positions are also said to be those in Illiyun, the People of the Chambers (ghurafa) near the Throne of Allah. I recall hearing the ghurafa being explained in a khutbah like how we have well-polished waxed sports cars that shine in bright showrooms. People will see those in the ranks above them as how we see the distant stars. Another hadith explains darajat alulaa (Surah Taha, v.75) is described as being the place where Abu Bakr (ra) and Umar (ra) will reside or even higher and it is fair to say Abu Bakr and Umar will be near Rasulullah ﷺ. The Qur’anic categories of muqarrabun and sabiqun will be the closest to Allah, and yet others say the siddiqin then the shuhada who will roam under the Throne of Allah in green birds and perch in chandeliers. Shaykh Faraz Rabbani said the sabiqun are said to be those who were foremost in all their deeds, sincerity and consistency from the first 50 Muslims who believed at Dar al-Arqam or before the Fath of Mecca or the first generations of Muslims. The sabiqun are also explained as those whose say good, leave useless and idle speech, nor hear useless and idle speech and only hear good speech, and lastly, are at peace with Allah and Allah’s creation. Ibn Abbas and Abu Musa al-Ashari said, the nearest to Allah will be those described in surah ar-Rahman as But for he who has feared the position of his Lord are two gardens. The siddiqin are explained by Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa to be those who do every single good deed. Abdal Hakim Murad explains in his Commentary on the 11th Contentions, the siddiqin as those truthful ones who are content with the divine decree because verses 17:80 and 54:55 connect divine presence to sidq. He also says siddiqin are those who have victory in intentions and prayers.

It may be that the highest part will not be the best part of Paradise that is closest to Allah. If Firdaws is in the middle and that is where Rasulullah ﷺ is then that is the most virtuous. It is hard to understand the geology and physics of Jannah and as Ibn Abbas has said, ‘Nothing of this world is in the Next except the names.’

Suhba with the Nabi ﷺ

Nabi ﷺ will be in al-Firdaws al-A’la which is the centre of Paradise. All Muslims will be able to reach al-Firdaws. Habib al-Kazim says Nabi ﷺ and his family will be in al-Wasila which is the highest part of al-Firdaws.

Various Actions have been recommended that tell us how to achieve eternal companionship with Nabi ﷺ in the Next Life.

  1. “I and the one who sponsors an orphan will be in Paradise like these two,” and he gestured with his two fingers, meaning the forefinger and the middle finger.” (Tirmidhi)
  2. Ibn Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: “The people who will be nearest to me on the Day of Resurrection will be those who supplicate Allah more often for me.” (at-Tirmidhi)
  3. “Whoever raises two girls then I and he will enter Jannah like these two (Prophet indicated with his two fingers).” (Jami` at-Tirmidhi)
    1. Imam Ahmad relates from Abdullah ibn Abbas who reports that the Prophet ﷺ said, “The person from my ummah who loses two infants will enter straight into Paradise.” Aisha enquired, “What about the one who loses one child?” The Prophet ﷺ replied, “One who loses one child will also go straight into Paradise.” She further asked, “What of those who have not lost any children?” He replied: “I shall precede my ummah and make arrangements for them (in the Hereafter), as they have never been afflicted with a calamity greater than my death.” This hadith was mentioned by Shaykh Yusuf Motala in his book Manifestation Of Prophet’s Beauty.
  4. There is a hadith I heard in a talk, “You have a place with me as long as you don’t have a place with yourself.”
  5. Seeing in a dream state as there are 3 narrations on seeing Rasulullah ﷺ that suggest it as a preview of things to come:
    1. man ra-ani fil manam faqad ra-ani – “One who sees me in a dream he has surely seen me.”
    2. man ra-ani fil manam faqad ra-a alhaqq – “One who sees me in a dream has surely seen the truth.”
    3. man ra-ani fil manam faqad fasayarani – “One who sees me in a dream shall see me soon.”

Gaining the Beatific Vision of Allah (Ziyada of Allah subhana wa ta’ala)

Really all this journey is about is achieving the Beatific Vision, to see the Noble Wajh (Face) of Allah. All that has been previously mentioned is as if a checklist to reach this point because nothing will be comparable to it and nothing will be more beloved than this. The majority of the people of Jannah will see Allah every Friday, whereas the Elect in the highest ranks will see Allah twice a day.

Mujahid said, “The lowliest of Heaven’s people shall travel a thousand years in his kingdom, beholding its farthest parts just as he beholds its nearest, while the highest is him that shall gaze upon his Lord morning and night.” (Kitab Dhikr al-Mawt, p.249)

We have bishara (gladtidings) of 2 pious individuals who are in this lofty state. It is hard to come by this information, especially in English. Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak is amongst those who comes before Allah ta’ala twice every day. (Kitab Dhikr al-Mawt, p. 164) And it is worth reflecting and researching on the life of Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak who was the Nasih (advicer) of this ummah, muhaddith, one who alternated each year between defending the Muslim borders and performing Hajj, who made dua to live rich and die poor, and who enjoined people to not tell of his deeds until he died. Another individual who we have glad-tidings of is Ma’ruf al-Karkhi who stares at Allah without blinking until the Day of Resurrection because he worshiped Allah only out of desire for Allah, not out of desire for Jannah or fear of Jahannam. (Rasa’il al-Junayd)

Their is one hadith in Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi that mentions we will see Allah just as you behold this moon and then it says, ‘therefore if you are able to pray before the sun rises and before it sets, then do so.’ This hadith suggests a connection between Asr and Fajr, 2 prayers, to seeing Allah subhana wa ta’ala. Perhaps those in the highest ranks will see Allah at Fajr and Asr time daily. I try and feel as if I am seeing Allah in my salah at those times. Allahu alam.

Action: “Those who are pleased to meet God, God is pleased to meet them, and those who dislike to meet God, God dislikes to meet them.”

Shortcuts to Heaven 

So many Muslims do khayr and adkhar but what can you do to set yourself apart from all the Muslims and pious and righteous Muslims? I think of all the actions these are the most worthwhile for Muslims in the West:

  1. Tahajjud
  2. Fasting
  3. Spread hidaya and Islamic knowledge, which is the longest lasting form of sadaqa jariya
  4. Teach Qur’an as the Hadith says it is best
  5. Build a masajid for every prayer in it would be a sadaqa
  6. Akhlaaq and high moral character which will out weigh prayer and fasting
  7. Anything that calls or demands a selfless sacrifice of any kind as this is what all these deeds have in common

Lastly, Imam adh-Dhahabi says, we find in a hadith: “Whoever perseveres in the prescribed prayers, Allah Almighty will grant him five honours: 1. He will release him from straitened circumstances, 2. Protect him from the punishment of the grave, 3. give him his book (of deeds) in his right hand, 4. let him pass over the Sirat (The Bridge over hellfire) like lightning, 5. and admit him to Paradise without reckoning.”

One must wonder stage by stage, our deeds will appear in our grave, on the Scales, before our Lord, as compensation for our sins, help us across the Sirat and in ascending Jannah. Will they diminish throughout all this? Perhaps not, or perhaps if they do diminish, what remains of them will be like a soul or spirit of our deeds that will endure through the journey of the Akhira. I like to think this ruh of our amal is our niyyah (intentions), the stronger and purer our intentions, the further our deeds will carry us along from the grave to Jannah.

Salawat ala al-Nabi is a major shortcut as it appears at various points of the Akhira. A hadith Imam Sha’rani states, ‘whoever sends 100x salawat will be saved from nifaq, free from hellfire and resurrected from martyrs. Another hadith Imam Sha’rani states, whoever sends 1000x salawat daily he won’t die until he sees his maqam in Jannah. Imam Sha’rani also mentions ‘whoever says Allahumma salli ala sayyidina Muhammadan wa anzil hul maqadal muqaraba indaka yawmil qiyama it will be wajib for Rasulullah ﷺ to intercede for him.’  

Intercession and Intervening before the Divine

Before entering Jannah and after the Sirat or alternatively, before the weighing of deeds and crossing the Sirat will be the Hawd of Rasulullah ﷺ, for his words were, “And our meeting will be at the Hawd.” Imam al-Haddad says both are possible and it is hoped it is before the weighing of deeds so he ﷺ can intercede for us sooner rather than later and assist us.  A hadith states that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ would meet Anas at the Sirat and if not there, then at the Scales, then at the Hawd, “I shall be found nowhere but at these three places.” (Lives of Man, p. 65)

Qadi ‘Iyad mentioned in Ikmal al-mu’lim: The Prophet ﷺ shall have five forms of major intercession. The first form will be for granting the people respite from the agony of the lengthy standing on the Judgment Plains. The second form will deliver people to Paradise without reckoning. The third form will be reserved for those who deserve the Hellfire. The fourth form will be for those believers who are subjected to the divine threat (and he will take them out [of Hell]). And the fifth form will be for an increase in ranks in Paradise. Imam al-Ghazali says Adam will intercede for 110 million of his progeny so we can only imagine how much more our Prophetﷺ will intercede for!

Action: Abu Hurayra related the Messenger of God ﷺ related, he asked the Messenger of Allah ﷺ who would be the most blessed with his intercession on the Day of Rising, and he replied: ‘The people most blessed with my intercession shall be those who said la ilaha illallah, sincerely and without being prompted.’ (Lives of Man, p. 65)

Action: “Whosoever visits me in Medina seeking thereby a reward from God, for him shall I intercede and bear witness on the Day of Arising.” (Kitab Dhikr al-Mawt)

Action: Imam al-Ghazali says one can intercede for others if they never despise any human creature for any could be a saint and never underestimating a sin or never belittling any good deed. (Kitab Dhikr al-Mawt, p. 210)

Action: The previously stated hadith above mentions reaching 90 years in age as a Muslim allows one to intercede for others.

Action: Another famous hadith is those who memorized and recited the Qur’an and observed the limits of halal and haram will enter Jannah and intercede for 10 family members who were destined for Hellfire.

Action: A hadith in Musnad Abu Ya’la mentions the people in Heaven and Hell will look at one another and the one in Hell who gave the other water to drink will ask for intercession and Allah will grant that intercession and he will be removed from Hell. (Kitab Dhikr al-Mawt, p. 215)

Action: Doing good deeds in groups. The people of Heaven will intercede for those believers who deserve to enter Hell but who had done them favours in the world and had fasted, prayed and done Hajj with them. They will go into Jahannam and rescue those believers they recognize. (Tadhkira, p.119, p.123) It is also said in a hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari that Allah will admit into Jannah those whom are praised by 4 pious people or 3 or even 2, thus it is speak well of the deceased when they pass (Tadhkira, p.132).

Finally after everybody has interceded and no one is left, we find the hadith of the Handfuls where Allah Himself will intercede and take a handful of those who had never done any good and had been reduced to ashes in Jahannam. They will be reborn and grow like seeds in a river in Jannah until they enter Jannah. The people of Jannah will know these newcomers as al-jahannamiyin. (Tadhkira, p. 121-122) Other hadith in Tirmidhi and Ibn Maja mention there being 3 Handfuls and we can not fathom what a Handful is, whether it is Allah’s Hand (and we say this bila kayf – without howness) or if it means a Handful of Allah as we say the Camel of Allah or House of Allah, Allahu alam, but we do know that this will be immense!

Further reading:

Order of Events in the Afterlife

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa Ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.

Posted by: Dawud Israel | October 10, 2017

70 Sayings of Hasan al-Basri

Sayings of Hasan al-Basri

We ordinary Muslims and students of Islamic knowledge are a world apart from the Sahaba. But between the Sahaba and us were wise men like Hasan al-Basri, who had guidance for us in new and challenging situations.

Hasan al-Basri was a Tabi’i, grew up in the household of the Mother of the Believers, Umm Salama (ra), was given tahnik, dua and his name Hasan (‘beautiful’) by Umar (ra)  and was and one of the first true Sufis. He lived in a time of political turmoil, and was so intelligent the Mu’tazila (falsely) claim him as their founder. It is said his speech is closest to resembling that of the Prophetﷺ.

He is one of the biggest influences in my understanding of Islam and Muslims. His words guide and point me in the right direction when it comes to spirituality and politics amongst Muslims, two areas where their is much laxity and misunderstanding.

I have collected from my readings, from talks I’ve heard, and elsewhere on the internet Hasan al-Basri’s sayings. I am not concerned with citation, only attribution. I have memorized many of these sayings and one will find in them Hasan al-Basri’s signature wisdom.

    1. “Bury yourself and the desire to be known.”
    2. “Food was Adam’s trial and it is your trial until the Day of Qiyama.”
    3. Hasan al-Basri once said that if we were able to see the Muslims who fought at Badr, we would think that they were madmen because of their disregard of the world. “But if these Companions saw the best of you they would say, ‘These people have no character.’ And if they saw the worst of you, they would say, ‘These people do not believe in the Day of Judgment.’” (From Hamza Yusuf Purification of the Heart)
    4. “If a man swore by Allah that Hasan’s actions are not those of someone who believes in Day of Judgement, I would say, ‘sadaqta, do not expiate your oath because it is true.'”
    5. Hasan al-Basri is reported to have said: “Believe the scholars in all that they say except what they say about each other.” يروى عن الحسن البصري أنه قال: صدقوا العلماء في كل ما يقولون إلا فيما يقول بعضهم عن بعض
    6. A man asked Hasan al-Basri to whom he should marry his daughter to? Al-Hasan replied, “To someone who fears Allah. If he loves her, he will honour her. And if he detests her, he will not mistreat her.”
    7. “Do not be deceived by the hadith ‘A man is with whom he loves’ when [you suffer from] distraction, illusion and the desertion of good works, for the Ahlul Kitab love their Prophets but are of certainty not with them.”
    8. قال حسن البصري رضي الله تعالی عنه وددت لو کان لی مثل جبل احد ذھبا فانفقته علی قراءة مولد النبي صلی الله علیه وسلم  “I would like have gold equivalent to the Mountain of Uhud so that I should be able to spend it on the Mawlid Sharif of the Holy Prophetﷺ.” [An-Ne’mat al-Kubra, Page 6, Published Istanbul – Turkey]
    9. “O slaves of God! A piece of wood misses the Messenger of God! It is you who should do so.” (referring to the tree Rasulullahﷺ would preach near)
    10. law qanatil akhira khazaf yabka wa dunya dhahab yafna la kanal awla – “If the akhira was just pot that would last forever, and the dunya was gold that you’d have temporarily, you’d obviously choose that which would last forever. How then when the dunya is lesser than pot that will perish and akhira is like gold that will last forever!?” (From Yahya Rhodus class on Disciplining the Soul)
    11. Man naqala ilaika hadeethan fa’lam annahu yanqulu ilaa ghairika hadeethaka – “Whoever brings to you someone’s discourses, know that he also takes your discourses to others.”
    12. “He who remembers death (at least) 20 times a day is one of the Awliya (every night and day)”
    13. “Stay away from the busying aspects of life, and surely, life has abundant busying aspects. Every man who indulges in an aspect of life that fills his time, then the door he opened will open ten more doors of busying aspects for him.”
    14. “Better to be a musician than profit (monetarily) from Islam.” (from Shaykh Samer al-Nass)
    15. “The last bad trait that gets out of the hearts of the champions of truth is love for leadership/fame.”
    16. When Hasan al-Basri was asked the question concerning the wars between the noble Companions of the Prophetﷺ he replied, “Those were fights in which the Companions were present and we were not. They knew all the circumstances and we do not know them. The matter in which the Companions are unanimous, we follow; and the matter in which there is difference of opinion, we observe silence.”
    17. “The intelligent person’s tongue is behind his heart: when he wants to speak, he first thinks. If [his words] will be in his favor, he says them, and if they will be against him, he does not speak. And the ignorant person’s heart is behind his tongue: when he merely thinks of saying something, he says it, whether it is for or against him.”
    18. “Who says good but doesn’t do good will have his words compared to his deeds by Allah…”
    19. “The righteous salaf were as fearful of their good deeds being squandered, or not being accepted, as the present generation is certain that their neglect will be forgiven.”
    20. “If it were not for the munafiqoon (hypocrites), you would feel all alone in the streets (the streets would be empty).”
    21. “If there is music involved in a dinner invitation to a walima, then do not accept the invitation.”
    22. ya ibn Adam inama anta ayyam, dhahaba yaumun dhahaba ba’dhuka – “O son of Adam, you are nothing but a mere collection of days. Whenever a day passes by, a part of you passes away.”
    23. “Allah ordained that the ultimate resting place of believers will be paradise no less.” He reflected that, saying, “Death made life tasteless for the wise. Sadness in life regenerates many rewards.”
    24. utlub al-‘ilma wa zayyinoohu bil waqaari wa al-hilm – “Seek knowledge and beautify it with dignity and maturity.”
    25. Al-Hasan al-Basri said when he heard a group of people arguing: “These people have become bored with worship, and speech has become light upon (their tongue), and their piety has decreased and that is why they speak.” (Narrated by Ahmad in az-Zuhd and Abu Nu’aym in al-Hilyah)
    26. Hasan al-Basri: ‘The inmates of hell will be burnt seventy thousand times daily. Every time after having been burnt, their bodies would be restored. Thus this process will continue.” [Targhib]
    27. “One type of an innovator in this Deen, is a person of bad judgment who believes that Paradise is for those whose judgement is the same as their own.”
    28. “If the salt goes bad, then what hope is there to improve the food?” (From Youtube clip of Gibril Haddad)
    29. A man asked Ata’ about reciting the Qur’an on the funeral. He said: “We never learnt or heard that it is recited upon.” The man said: Al-Hasan says that we have to recite. Atta then said: “Follow this, because Al-Hasan is a great scholar.”
    30. Hasan al-Basri once said, “Seek sweetness in 3 things: Ritual prayer, Remembrance, and the recitation of the Quran. If you find it, then praised be God! But if you do not, then know that the door is closed.” (From Habib Ahmad Mashuur al-Haddad’s Keys to the Garden)
    31. Once Hasan described the effect of the Qur’an on the believer. He said: “Son of Adam! By God if you recite the Qur’an then believe in it then your sadness will be long in this life, so will be your fear and your weeping.” That is why one contemporary of Al-Hasan says: “I never saw anyone who had such a long time of sadness as Al-Hasan al-Basri. Everytime I met him I thought he had a new misfortune.”
    32. “That work that is free from wisdom becomes a burden. That silence that is free from wisdom is inattentiveness. That sight that is free from wisdom is disgraceful. The magnificence of knowledge is with tolerance and that of tolerance is with knowledge. The person who lives in the World safeguarding himself from the love of the World, has benefited himself and others. Sorrow gives the soul strength. The freedom of sight and tongue imprisons the soul. Whoever Allah subhana wa ta’ala wished to disgrace becomes engrossed in the search of wealth. Those people are truly afraid who are truly afraid of Allah subhana wa ta’ala. The punishment of this World is that your heart becomes dead. There is no greater or bigger animal that is more foul mouthed ruder and harsher than the Nafs.”
    33. From Kitab al-Yaqin of Ibn Abi Dunya Hasan al-Basri offers a list of the features that characterize a Muslim: “Among the signs for the Muslim are strength {quwwa) when professing religion (din), resolve (hazm) when circumstances are easy (layyin), faith {iman) when certain {yaqin), civility {hilm) when learned (‘ilm), quick-wittedness (kays) when circumstances are comfortable (rifq), giving (‘ita) when something is required (haqq), pursuit of the middle course (qasd) when wealthy (ghina), patience (tajammul) when poor (faqa) doing good (ihsan) when able (qudra), obedience (ta’a) when well-advised (nasiha), caution (tawarru’) when desirous (raghba), restraint (ta’affuf) when trying hard (jahd), and patience (sabr) in misfortune (shidda). His desirousness (raghba) does not destroy him; his tongue (lisan) does not speak before he does; his sight (basar) does not grasp before he does; his freedom from sorrow (faraj) does not overwhelm him; his passion (hawa) does not deviate; what is within him (batn) does not put him to shame; his anxiousness (hirs) does not see him belittled; and his right intention (niyya) does not fall short of what he required.”
    34. Hasan al-Basri once swore by God that he will be humiliated by God who honours money. That is why he said: “Two bad comrades are the dinar and the dirham. They are useful to you only when they leave you.”
    35. It is reported that Al-Hasan Al-Basrī – Allāh have mercy on him – said: “Verily, Allāh lets [a person] enjoy a blessing for as long as He wills. But when He is no longer thanked for it, He turns it into a punishment.” (Ibn Abī Al-Dunyā, Kitāb Al-Shukr article 17)
    36. It is reported that Al-Hasan Al-Basri – Allah have mercy on him – said: “If people called on Allah when put to trial because of their rulers, Allah would relieve their suffering; but instead they resorted to the sword, so they were left to it. And not one day of good did they bring. Then he recited (Quran 7: 137): And the good word of your Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel, for the patience and perseverance they had, and We destroyed the works of Pharaoh and his people and what they had erected. -[Ibn Abi Hatim, Al-Tafsir no. 8897]
    37. “Adorn hadith with yourself. Don’t adorn yourself with hadith”
    38. “Sulayman sacrificed his race horses since they distracted him from salah and was given better – control of the wind.”
    39. “Do not sit idle for death is seeking you.”
    40. Hasan al-Basri feared Allah so much he didn’t eat for 3 days
    41. “Silent dua / silent dhikr is 70 times more meritorious than when done aloud.”
    42. “Whoever truly knows his Lord loves Him and whoever truly knows the world does without it.”
    43. When people came to Hasan al-Basri, he said “Hajjaj might be a punishment against you so how can you fight against a punishment with your swords?” So he said don’t fight him.
    44. On the verse: Verily, Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties, for the price that theirs shall be Paradise. (Surah Tawbah 9:112) Hasan al-Basri said: “He creates you, and bought it back, for the prices of Jannah– look at that mercy!)”
    45. Hasan al-Basri said: adraktu aqwaman kana ahadahum asha-ha ala umrihi minhu ala dirhami –  “I sat in the company of the sahaba and I found them more possessive over their time than over their wealth.”
    46. Hasan al-Basri said to use Surah Qalam, v. 51-2 to cure the evil eye. A man was known to have strong evil eye, could kill camels with his glance and tried to use it to kill Prophet but failed.
    47. Difference of opinion on what is tahajjud in Surah Muzzamil, verse 6, nasih’at which means any prayer after Isha (Hasan al-Basri opinion), entire night (Ibn Abbas, Zubair) or later part of night (Ibn Kasian) so performing any prayer after isha fulfills this command though tahajjud meant waking in later part of night for prayer
    48. Explanation of Hasan al-Basri on qiraman qatibeen, “they’re records will be folded and placed around your neck (like a necklace) and will go with you to your grave. When you rise from your grave on the Day of Judgment Allah will say, (Bani Israel, v. 13,14): “And every human’s deeds We have tied up to his neck…Read your book. This day you yourself are enough to take your own account).” Hasan al-Basri then said: “The Supreme Being has done a great justice in that He has appointed you to take account of your own actions!” (Ibn Kathir)
    49. Habib Al-Abid reports: Once, when I arrived in Al-Basrah, I was surprised to see that the markets were closed, and the streets empty. I called out, “O people of Basrah, is this some kind of holiday of yours that I don’t know about.” Someone answered, “No, but Al-Hasan Al-Basri is in the main gathering place (of Basrah), giving a sermon to the people.” I hurried to his gathering, and when I arrived there, I saw him sitting down on some high ground. He was saying: “O people, prepare for departure, for very little time remains from this world. Prepare to move (to the Hereafter), for there is no way to stay here. Do you not know that you will soon be surrendered to the place of trial? Do you not know that each one of you will soon be alone with his deeds and that you will be presented (with your deeds) to Allah on the Day of Judgment? He ordered you to obey Him, bu you have not obeyed Him. He forbade you from sinning, but you have not desisted from perpetrating (sins). He has (threatened) you with the Hell-fire, but you are neither afraid not terrified of it. He has encouraged you to seek out Paradise, but you do not (seem to) desire it or long for it. Your white hairs are warning you of approaching death, so what are you waiting for? O white-haired one, you are able to perform good deeds, so what is your excuse. O one who obeys his mouth and his desires, who wastes his share of the hereafter by taking his entire share in this world, who persists in perpetrating sins and evil deeds – would that I knew: what will your excuse be when you stand before Him? What argument will you put forth when you go to Him? You are lost and misguided, so ask Allah, the All-Mighty, to forgive both me and you.”
    50. It is reported that ‘Umar bin ‘Abd Al- ‘Aziz once wrote to Hasan al Basri to get a brief exhortation from him, so Al-Hasan wrote back , “The dunya distracts and preoccupies the heart and body, but al-zuhd (asceticism, not giving importance to worldly things) gives rest to the heart and body. Verily, Allah will ask us about the halal things we enjoyed, so what about the haram!’ [Al-Bayhaqi, Al-Zuhd Al-Kabir, article 26]
    51. Hasan Basri advised some of his students admonishing them about avoiding the state of being proud. He said: “Do not deceive yourself into being too proud because you are in  a good or righteous environment, for there is no place that is better than Paradise, and our father, Adam (as), experienced there what is known to all. Do not become proud merely because you worship often, for consider what happened to Iblis (Satan) after he spent a great deal of time worshiping. Do not think yourself great because you have met with righteous people, for there is no man more righteous than the Prophetﷺ, yet the disbelievers and hypocrites did not benefit by simply knowing him.” [Taken from “Gems And Jewels”, P. 182]
    52. Yunus bin ‘Ubaid said: ‘I have not seen anyone with more feeling of sadness than Hasan, he used to say, ‘We laugh now and perhaps Allah has looked over our actions and said: I will not accept anything from you’.
    53. Hasan said: “The believer wakes up feeling sad and goes to sleep feeling sad as there is no room for him other than this since he is in between two (constant) fears: a mistake he has committed which he does not know what Allah will do with it, and the time left ahead not knowing what hardships he will face.”
    54. Hasan was scolded for his deep sadness and fear, so he replied: “What security do I have that perhaps Allah has seen what He dislikes of me and says, ‘Go, I will not forgive you. So I work for that which cannot be worked for’.” He was brought a mug of water to break his fast, so when it was brought nearer to him, he began to weep. He said, ‘I remembered the wish of the people of hell-fire and what they said: “Pour upon us some water or from whatever Allah has provided you.” and I remembered the reply: “Indeed, Allah has forbidden them both to the disbelievers”.
    55. A man asked Al-Hasan, ‘How have you woken up?’ He said, ‘Fine.’ The man said, ‘How are you?’ Al-Hasan smiled and said, ‘You ask me how I am?! What do you think of people who got aboard a ship until they reached the middle of the sea and the ship broke down, so each one was hanging on by a wood, what would be their state? My state is more severe than theirs.’ [Translated from Mahmood Al-Masri’s ‘Qisas Al-Tabi’een’, P. 258]
    56. Hasan al-Basri was reported to have said: “The best season to a believer is the winter, its nights are long for those who wish to pray, and its days are short for those who wish to fast” [Ibn Al-Jawzi, Sifah Al-Safwah Vol. 2/P. 433]
    57. “The reciters of the Qur’an are of three types: 1-Those who take it as merchandise with which they ply their trade. 2-Those who recite its words but fail to comply with its injunctions, they use it to lord over the people of their land and rely on it to ascend to positions of authority. There are many who fall into this category, may Allah make their number small! 3-Those who treat the Qur’an as a cure and apply it to heal the ailments of the hearts. They recite it in their places of devotion and attain tranquility, they weep in their hooded cloaks, and they are overcome with fear and somberness. It is for their sake that Allah sends down the rain and it is through them that Allah confers victory against the enemy. By Allah this category is rarer than red gold.” [Ibn Abi al-Dunya, al-Hamm wa’1-Huzn #152 / Bayhaqi, Shu’ab #2621]
    58. Hasan al Basri said: “By Allah! Hastening to the prayer is not accomplished by the feet. Indeed they were prohibited from coming to prayer without tranquility and dignity. Rather, it is about the hearts, the intention, and the submission.” [Tafseer Ibn Katheer – Surah al-Jumuah]
    59. Hasan al Basri said: “Everything has something staining it, and the stain of Scared Knowledge is covetousness (ie. wealth, fame).” (Read on pg 70, Ibn al-Jawzi, Sincere Counsel to the Students of Sacred Knowledge. Daar as-Sunnah Publishers. Birmingham: 2011.)
    60. Hasan al Basri said: “By He in Whose Hand is my life! I met people who were as disinterested in this life as they were in the sand they walked on.” (Read on pg 23, Abdul-Malik bin Muhammad ibn Abdul Rahman Al-Qasim, Life is a Fading Shadow. Darussalam Publishers. Riyadh: 1999.)
    61. A man said to Hasan al-Basri, “O Abu Sa’eed, I am complaining to you of the hardness of my heart.” He said, “Soften it with dhikr. The more forgetful the heart is, the harder it becomes, but if a person remembers Allah, that hardness softens as copper melts in the fire. Nothing can soften the hardness of the heart like the remembrance of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted. Dhikr is healing and medicine for the heart. Forgetfulness is a disease, the cure for which is remembrance of Allah.”
    62. Hasan al Basri said: “We used to be amongst a group of people (i.e., the Companions) who would never do any act in public if they could do so in private. And those Muslims would strive in making their du’a, and not a sound would be heard from them! For they used to whisper to their Lord.” [Report by at-Tabari in his Tafsir (5/514)]
    63.  “If you had the age of Nuh, the ownership of Suleiman, the faith of Ibrahim, and the wisdom of Luqman, then you would still have to face the agony of death. Behind death there are two abodes: if you miss one of them, you will end up in the second.”
    64. Hasan al-Basri said: “By Allah, the oath of allegiance to ‘Ali was like the oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with them).”
    65. “The foundations of evil are three and its subsidiary branches are six. The foundations are: Envy, covetousness and love of the worldly life. Its subsidiary branches are: Love of leadership, love of boasting, love of praise, love of filling oneself with food, love of sleep and love of relaxation.”
    66. Hasan al-Basri said: “Two thoughts roam over the soul, one from Allah one from the enemy. Allah shows mercy on a servant who settles at the thought that comes from Him. He embraces the thought that comes from Allah, while he fights against the one from his enemy. To illustrate the heart’s mutual attraction between the two powers the Prophet said: “The heart of a believer lies between two fingers of the Merciful”…. The fingers stand for upheaval and hesitation in the heart… If man follows the dictates of anger and appetite, the dominion of Satan appears in him through idle passions (hawa) and his heart becomes the nesting-place and container of shaytan, who feeds on hawa. If he does battle with his passions and does not let them dominate his ego (nafs), imitating in this the character of the angels, at that time his heart becomes the resting-place of angels and they alight upon it.” [Imam al-Ghazzali relates al-Hasan’s words on the personal struggle against one’s lusts (jihad al-nafs) in the section of his Ihya’ entitled Kitab Riyada al-Nafs wa Tahdhib al-Akhlaqwa Mu’alaja Amrad al-Qalb (“Book of the Training of the Ego, Disciplining of Manners, and Healing of the Heart’s Diseases”)
    67. “It was truly reported from al-Hasan that he heard a person ‘no-one may perform the [religious] duty of forbidding what is wrong except a person who does no wrong’. al-Hasan remarked: ‘Satan would like that to happen to us such that nobody would forbid the wrong nor command what is right.’ Abu Muhammad said: ‘al-Hasan spoke the truth and that is what we also mentioned before. May God grant us to be amongst those [He permits to] do good and to act upon it, and make us amongst those who can see the guidance, for no one is without faults. One who looks to his own weaknesses will forget those of others. May God permit us to die on the Sunna of Muhammad ﷺ. Amin, O Lord of the Worlds!” (Ibn Hazm, al-Akhlaq wa ‘l-Siyar, p. 157).
    68. Hasan al-Basri (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about the Companions fighting amongst themselves, and he said: “That was fighting in which the Companions of Muhammad ﷺ were present, and we were not; they knew, but we do not know. In the issues on which they agreed, we follow; on the issues on which they differed, we refrain from taking a stance.” [Book: Ali bin abi Taalib, vo2 1 by Dr Ali M Sallabi, page-229]
    69. Al Hasan al Basri said, “One day I was walking with a young pious man in the narrow streets of Basra and its markets until we reached a physician sitting on a chair and around him were many men, women, and children who had bottles of water in their hands. Each one of them was seeking a cure for his illness. The young man moved closer to the physician and asked him, ‘O physician! Do you have a medicine that cleans away sins and cures the [spiritual] diseases of the heart? He replied ‘Yes!’ The young man said, ‘Give it to me!” The physician said, “Take ten things from me – take the roots of the tree of poverty with the roots of the tree of humility, and pour in it the milk of repentance, then place it in the mortar of acceptance [of whatever is predestined for one], crush it with the pestle of contentment, then place it in the pot of piety, pour over it the water of shame, then boil it with the fire of love, then place it in the cup of gratitude and cool it down with the fan of hope, then drink it with the spoon of praise. If you do all of this then it will cure you of every illness and trial in this world and in the Hereafter.'” [Preparing For The Day Of Judgement By: Imaam Ibn Hajar AI’Asqalani, Translated By: S.M Hasan AlBanna, pg-42]
    70. It used to be said: ‘Whoever condemns his brother for a sin that he repented from, will not die until Allaah tests him with it (i.e. the same sin).'” [The Difference between Advising & Condemning by ibn Rajab al Hanbali, pg-23]
    71. A man could find no cure for his illness and asked Hasan al-Basri for advice. Hasan al-Basri advised him to give charity profusely. The man dug wells and was cured.
    72. Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak departed Marw and travelled all the way to the city of Rey (1000 km away) in order to hear and record the statement of Hasan al-Basri narrated by Harun ibn al-Mughirah, “Do not purchase the love of a thousand men with the anger of one man.”
    73. “If it reaches you that someone has [made] a mistake and it has not been proven with a judge then do not dishonour him by it, but rather, belie the one who publicises it, especially if he is among you. That is because the original state is to be free of any domain until genuine evidence is established with the judge. Thereafter, when it has been established with him, you should even then not dishonour him for it could be that Allah The Glorious might relieve him and put you to task”.
      [Imam Hasan al-Basri, quoted in “Etiquettes of Companionship” by Imam ash-Sha’rani]
    74. “Do not purchase the love of a thousand men with the anger of one man.” via Abdullah ibn Mubarak and Harun ibn al-Mughirah
    75. Hasan al-Basri who said: “Handpick brothers, friends and company. Love them moderately and hate them moderately. Truly, many nations loved others excessively and it destroyed them; many nations hated others excessively and that destroyed them. If you see a veil before your brother, do not remove it.” See Abu Nu’aym, Hilyat al-awliya, 5:154; ad-Daylami, Musnad al-Firdaws, 1:522 (1759) From Mulla Ali al-Qari’s Arbain p. 45
    76. Deep words from Al-Hassan al-Basri,
      من دعا لحاكم ظالم بطولة العمر فلقد أحب أن يعصى الله في أرضه.
      “Who prays for a dictator’s long life, then he, certainly, loves to see the disobedience of Allah on the earth.”
    77. More reading:
      Prayers of Forgiveness of Hasan al-Basri
    78. Muhmmad informed us; he said: Abu Muhammad Yahya b. Muhammad Ibn Sa’id narrated to us: al-Husayn b. al-Hasan al-Marwazi narrated to us: Ibn al-Mubarak informed us: Salim al-Makki informed us: from al-Hasan [al-Basri], who said, “Whoever wishes to know who he is, let him present himself to the Qur’an.” (The Character of the Bearers and People of the Qur’an, by Imam Abu Bakr Muhammad b. al-Husayn al-Ajurri, transl. Usama Hasan pg. 13).

I will update this list if I do find more sayings.

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la ilaha illa Ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.

Posted by: Dawud Israel | June 5, 2017

Laylat al-Qadr Protocol

The following is my protocol I implement in Ramadan in the last 10 days. It is good to have a protocol set up in advance so that you don’t waste time bumbling around reading or re-learning or re-planning and lose out on valuable time for ibada. This protocol assumes one is in itikaaf and has already brought all there food and wherewithal

Laylatul Qadr protocol from Maghrib Iftar to Fajr Suhur:

  • only 1 bottle water at iftar and odd number of dates, which is sunna and said to be a secret to finding the odd night of Laylatul Qadr
  • food should be salad and no oily foods (this is to prevent running to washroom and gas)
  • share food with people at iftar to get ajr
  • read Qur’an after food
  • go to washroom 30 minutes before isha and taraweeh starts
  • keep enough tissue in pocket for runny nose (air conditioning can do this)
  • do wudhu with sunnah method and miswak
  • fill up water bottle and keep by you
  • sit in first row
  • do dhikr of Lafs al-Jalala (“Allah“) silently all night especially in salah
  • no talking to anyone at all (people are tired, groggy and prone to pick a fight or waswasa)
  • smile at everyone because it is sadaqa
  • sip water halfway through taraweeh (if do early then may have to run to bathroom and lose your spot)
  • read the dua of istighfar Allahumma innaka `afuwwun tuhibbul afwa fafu-anni
  • make your personal duas in nafil salat sujud
  • utilize adkhar that are very heavy in reward, such as
    • Subhaanallaahi wa bihamdihi: ‘Adada khalqihi wa ridhaa nafsihi, wa zinata ‘arshihi wa midaada kalimaatihi. Link
    • jazAllahu ‘anna Sayyiduna Muhammadan sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallama ma huwa ahlu  Link (see #4)
  • complete your khatm Qur’an after taraweeh
  • eat suhur quickly & lots of water then only make dua in last half an hour

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk.

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