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Showing posts from November, 2016

Ajarridi Kharijiyyah & the Conundrum of Free Will

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The problem as to whether human beings were free to determine their own destiny or whether their being was determined by the Creator was also one of the central disputes in a rift within the Khwarij movement.For the first time, the Ajarridi Kharijiyyah split into two sub-groups, the Maymuniyyah and the Shu’aybiyyah.The reason for this division originated in an argument between Maymun and Shu’ayb, the leaders of the groups.Shu’ayb had some money belonging to Maymun, and when Maymun demanded repayment, Shu’ayb said to him, “I shall give it to you, if Allah Wills.”
Maymun replied, “Allah has Willed that you should give it to me now.”
And Shu’ayb said, “If Allah has Willed it, I could not have done otherwise than give it to you.”
Maymun continued by saying, “Verily, Allah has Willed what He Commanded; what He did not Command, He did not Will; and what He did not Will, He did not Command.”
They wrote about their dispute to their leader ‘Abd al-Karim ibn Aja…

Advice on Low Thoughts

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller said, “If a low thought enters one’s mind, send swalawat on the Prophet (s.a.w.) to banish it.”

The Irreplaceable & the Priceless

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Shaykh Taj ad-Din Abu al-Fadhl Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Atha’illah as-Sakandari (q.s.) said, “The part of your life that has gone by is irreplaceable, but that which has arrived is priceless.”

The Hopes of a Thousand Years

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Khwaja Shams ad-Din Muhammad Hafizh ash-Shirazi (q.s.) said, “If your patience is like that of Noah in the sadness of the storm, affliction will leave you and the hopes of a thousand years will be fulfilled.”

We are Responsible for Our Pain

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
All that we do has consequence.When we consider, we realise that we are the architects of our pain and our suffering, whether individually or collectively.Just as each individual drop does not consider itself responsible for the flood, each individual act contributes to it.

Augustine of Hippo's Concept of Free Will

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The problem of free will was discussed by Augustine of Hippo in “The City of God” before the rise of Islam, and it is possible that the ideas of this Christian thinker later influenced Islamic theology, particularly groups such as the Mu’tazilah.Augustine’s idea was developed in response to Cicero, who rejected God’s Foreknowledge of the future, meaning there would be no prediction of events, and human actions would be free.Cicero’s argument is quite simple to understand, as it asserts that if predestination prevails, then there can be no free will.
Against Cicero, Augustine argued that God, as the Creator of all beings, has Bestowed power in them to will, but that all wills, including wicked wills, are human products because wickedness cannot be ascribed to God; that it is not then the case that since God Foreknows what will happen to an individual there is therefore nothing in the power of our wills; and that: “Prayers, also, are of avail to procu…

The Vastness of Our Scholarship

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Imam Malik ibn Anas (r.a.) said, in Bahr al-Muhith, “The limits and vastness of the Earth are many and plentiful, and it is not possible for anyone to gather all of the sayings of the scholars, and one who even tries to claim this; then his lie is not hidden to anybody.”

The Brothers of the Prophet (s.a.w.)

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Imam Ahmad ibn Muhammad Hanbal (r.a.) recorded, in his Musnad, “Anas ibn Malik (r.a.) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said, ‘I wish that I could meet my brothers.’
The companions 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.’”

The Value of Human Blood

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Habib ‘Ali Zayn al-‘Abidin al-Jifri said, “To deem the value of human blood insignificant is worse than shedding it.”

Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) on Honouring the Prophet (s..a.w.)

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) wrote, in his Majma’ Fatawi ibn Taymiyyah, “To celebrate and to honour the birth of the Prophet (s.a.w.) and to take it as an honoured season, as some of the people are doing, is good and in it, there is a Great Reward, because of their good intentions in honouring the Prophet (s.a.w.).”

al-‘Abbas (r.a.) Praising the Prophet (s.a.w.)

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
al-‘Abbas (r.a.) wrote, of the Prophet (s.a.w.):
“When you were born, the earth was shining, And the firmament barely contained your light, And we can pierce through, Thanks to that radiance and light and path of guidance.”


Tafsir Originated in the Era of the Prophet (s.a.w.)

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Tafsir originated in the era of the Prophet (s.a.w.).When the companions were puzzled by a certain verse, they would ask the Prophet (s.a.w.), and he would clarify to them anything that they did not understand or anything that was obscure.Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (r.a.) said, “When the verse:
سُوۡرَةُ الاٴنعَام ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَلَمۡ يَلۡبِسُوٓاْ إِيمَـٰنَهُم بِظُلۡمٍ ... (٨٢)
“It is those who believe and mix not their beliefs with wrong ...” (Surah al-An’am:82)
was Revealed, the companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.) were distressed by it and said, ‘Who of us does not wrong himself!’
So, the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, ‘It is not what you think, but it is only as Luqman said to his son:
سُوۡرَةُ لقمَان ... يَـٰبُنَىَّ لَا تُشۡرِكۡ بِٱللَّهِ‌ۖ إِنَّ ٱلشِّرۡكَ لَظُلۡمٌ عَظِيمٌ۬ (١٣)
… “O my son! Join not in worship (others) with Allah: for false worship is indeed the highest wrong-doing.” (Surah Luqman:13)”
The companions were keen on learning the Qur’an f…

The Ocean of the Qur’an

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Imam Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali (r.a.) said, “The Qur’an is an ocean, and that it is from the Qur’an that the sciences of the ancients and the contemporaries branch off, just as rivers and brooks branch off from the shores of an ocean.”

Some Noted Mu’tazilah Thinkers on the Issue of Free Will

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The theological issues discussed by the Mu’tazilah, such as free will and predestination, the relationship between the Divine Attributes and the Essence of Allah (s.w.t.), were also debated by some Muslim thinkers during the Umayyad period prior to the rise of the Mu’tazilah.These thinkers can be divided into two groups.The first group included al-Ja’ad ibn Dirham, al-Mughirah ibn Sa’id al-‘Ajali, and Jahan ibn Swafwan, who rejected the Reality and Eternity of the Divine Attributes and also believed in the createdness of the Qur’an.al-Ja’ad ibn Dirham was from Damascus.He was arrested and sent to Iraq by Hisham ibn ‘Abd al-Malik, the Umayyad caliph.He was beheaded by the Iraqi ruler, Khalid ibn ‘Abdullah al-Kisri, who was the uncle of Hisham, in 742 CE.al-Mughirah ibn Sa’id al-‘Ajali was killed by the ruler of Iraq, Khalid ibn ‘Abdullah al-Kisri, in 737 CE.Jahan ibn Swafwan was killed in 745 CE.
The second group included ‘Umar al-Maqsus, who was acc…

Recogising the Bestower of the Gifts

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Shaykh Muhyi ad-Din Abu Muhammad ibn Abu Swalih ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.) said, “Do not become subservient to the gifts in such a manner that you forget the Bestower of the gifts.”

Gnostics with Wings

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Mawlana Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi (q.s.) said, “The difference between birds with wings and gnostics with the wings of passionate love, is that birds with their wings fly in a certain direction, which is always changing, and gnostics with wings of love long only to fly away from all directions.”

Making Us Witnesses

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Shaykh Taj ad-Din Abu al-Fadhl Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Atha’illah as-Sakandari (q.s.) said, “When He Gives, He Makes you witness His Benevolence and when He Denies you, He Makes you witness His Supremacy.And in both situations, He is Making Himself Discernible to you and Approaching you with His Gentleness.”

Being Strangers in the World

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Imam ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Alawi al-Haddad (q.s.) said, “Be in the world as though a stranger or a wayfarer, and consider yourself one of the inhabitants of the graves.”

Religion is Not to Follow Blindly

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
When our practices and our beliefs are no longer based knowledge and understanding, but on custom and blind taqlid, Islam has ceased to be a religion and is reverted to mere superstition.It is not enough to merely follow and to believe; we have to know why.It is this mere following without understanding that has constrained something very vast.

The Beginning of the Mu'tazilah

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The Mu’tazilah school emerged as the result of the ethical and political turmoil of its own time, and then ventured into the realm of speculative theology.After the assassination of Sayyidina ‘Utsman ibn ’Affan (r.a.) in 656 CE, Muslims divided into various political groups which mutually fought each other.This political division continued during the period of the Umayyads and the Abbasids.
Muslims debated whether it was Allah’s (s.w.t.) Will, or human beings responsible for this bloodshed.If people were responsible for such corruption, what would their punishment be - as Muslims or apostates?The traditionalist relied on the literal interpretation of the Qur’an, the Khwarij maintained that the committer of a grave sin was not a believer, and another group, the Murjiyyah, claimed that the case should be left to Allah (s.w.t.) to Decide.
It is reported that one day, in the second century of Hijrah, in the city of Basra, a person came to the mosque of S…

How Nouman Ali Khan Really Deals with New Converts

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
A sister I know, just before her conversion, did not exactly have it easy trying to find out about Islam.She said, “It was just after I left ‘Turn to Islam’ forum, which was a Wahhabi forum, where I was accused me of being paid by the Zionists for simply asking questions about things I did not understand.I joined the chat forum run by Yusuf Estes.They would have weekly question and answer video chats with various ‘scholars’.Great, I thought.I would be able to learn from the boys in the know.
At the time, I did not feel comfortable referring to myself as a Muslim.I just felt that I did not want to take on a moniker that I might be able to live up to.It felt like cultural appropriation to me, a big no-no in the native world.”She is Native American.
“Anyways, Nouman Ali Khan was the featured speaker and to ask questions, you sent an email to the site.I addressed him appropriately, notified him that I had been studying for over a year and I was supportiv…

The Shuyukh are Heirs to the Prophets

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The religious scholars are the heirs of the prophets, so the quest for nearness to them is absolutely essential, since they have said, “If someone is affected with a condition that he cannot cure, they will coax him out of it.”
Imam Abu al-Qasim ‘Abd al-Karim ibn Huzan al-Qushayri (r.a.) wrote, in his ar-Risalah al-Qushayriyyah, “It is necessary for the seeker to be educated by a shaykh, for if he has no teacher, he will never succeed.”
Shaykh Bayazid Tayfur ibn ‘Isa al-Bistami (q.s.) said, “If someone does not have a teacher, his teacher is Satan.”
According to Sidi Mukhtar ibn Ahmad al-Kunti (r.a.), “As for the reality of the litanies, they are contracts and covenants, which Allah has Imposed upon His servants by means of the shuyukh.If someone reveres the shuyukh, complies with the contracts and fulfills the covenants, he will, therefore, be entitled to the benefit of the two abodes,” meaning this world and the Hereafter.He continued, “On the other…

Doubting the Swahabah

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Imam Ahmad ibn Muhammad Hanbal (r.a.) said, “If you see anyone speaking ill of the companions of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.), doubt his Islam.”This means that we stay away from people who curse or denigrate them.However, we must also understand that not every person who met the Prophet (s.a.w.) and took Islam at his hand is universally considered a companion.There are those who turned against his family, and the ummah after his passing, and it is perfectly reasonable to doubt their Islam.Imam ibn Hanbal (r.a.) himself recounted the conduct of Marwan ibn al-Hakam, and his murder of the swahabah and other foul deeds.

Silsilah of the Tahlil

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Shaykh Yusuf al-Kuzani al-‘Ajami (q.s.) reported, in his Risalah, that Sayyidina ‘Ali ibn Abi Thalib (k.w.) once implored the Prophet (s.a.w.), saying, “O Messenger of Allah, guide me to the nearest of the paths toward Allah (s.w.t.), the easiest of them for His servants, and the best of them in the sight of Allah (s.w.t.).”
The Prophet (s.a.w.) replied, “O ‘Ali, you must make a constant practice of remembering Allah (s.w.t.) in the places of private retreat.”
Sayyidina ‘Ali (k.w.) then asked, “Does this excellent merit of the remembrance depend on its being practiced by all people?”
The Prophet (s.a.w.) replied, “O ‘Ali, the Final Hour will not arrive, so long as someone on the face of the earth is saying, ‘Laa ilaha illa Allah.’”
Sayyidina ‘Ali (k.w.) then asked, “So, how should I perform the remembrance, O Messenger of Allah?”
To this, he replied, “You must close your eyes and hear it from me three times, then you must say it three times, while I lis…

Love & Hate for Allah (s.w.t.)

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Shaykh Fudhayl ibn ‘Iyadh (q.s.) said, “Indeed, I love those whom Allah Loves.They are those from whom the companions of Muhammad (s.a.w.) are safe.I hate those whom Allah Hates.They are the people of the deviant sects and innovation.”

Congregational Dzikr is a Sunnah

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Regarding the source of the method of teaching the remembrances, adzkar, and the litanies, awrad; it has been reported by Imam Ahmad ibn Muhammad Hanbal (r.a.) in his Musnad, with an excellent chain of transmission, and by ImamAbu al-Qasim Sulayman ibn Ayyub ath-Thabarani (r.a.) and others, that Hadhrat Ya’la ibn Shaddad (r.a.) said, “My father, Shaddad ibn Aws told me, in the presence of ‘Ubadah ibn asw-Swamit, who said he was telling the truth, ‘We were together with the Prophet (s.a.w.), and he asked, ‘Is there a stranger amongst you?’ meaning one of the People of the Scripture.
We said, ‘No, O Messenger of Allah,’ so he ordered the door to be locked.
Then he said, ‘Raise your hands and say, ‘There is no god but Allah!’So, we held our hands up for a while, then he said, ‘Praise be to Allah!O Allah, You have Sent me with this declaration.You have Entrusted me with it, and You have Promised me the Garden of Paradise on account of it, and You will no…

Abu Darda’ (r.a.) on the Anticipation of Fasting

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Abu Darda’ (r.a.) said, “Fast the hot days in anticipation of the Day of Resurrection, and pray in the dark night in anticipation of the dark grave.”

Yazid ibn Mu'awiyah's Rule

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
A group of scholars in Baghdad asked Imam Abu al-Faraj‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Jawzy (r.a.) about Yazid ibn Mu’awiyah.He responded, “What do you say about a man who ruled for three years; in the first he murdered al-Husayn, in the second he sacked Madina for three days, and in the third he assaulted the Ka’bah with catapults until it was destroyed?”
They said, “Verily, we curse him!”
Imam Abu al-Faraj ibn al-Jawzy (r.a.) said, “So curse him!”

Proof of Yazid ibn Mu'awiyah’s Kufr

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Proof for Yazid’s hatred and vile behaviour can be seen in his summoning ‘Ubaydullah ibn Ziyad to Damascus after Karbala and bestowing upon him illustrious gifts and large sums of money, elevating his status, granting him access to his women and making him his intimate boon-companion.One night, after becoming drunk, Yazid ordered his slave-girl to sing but before she began, he recited the verses:
“Pour me a drink that will satisfy my innermost soul! And fill a large cup like it for ibn Ziyad. Verily, he is my most intimate companion and I trust him absolutely! For he realised my deepest goal and struggle! He killed the Kharijite, the treacherous rebel al-Husayn, And terrified my enemies and those who envy!”
ImamAbu al-Wafa’ ‘Ali ibn ‘Aqil (r.a.) said, “Among the many things that reinforce the fact that he was a disbeliever and an apostate, and not merely someone who should be condemned and cursed, are his poetic verses in which he makes his irreligion qui…