Thursday, 24 February 2011

Mawlid and Our Reality

Assalaam alaykum,

Alhamdulillah, a new khutbah by Sheikh Ramadan Al-Bouti is now available from, entitled 'The relationship between the celebration of the anniversary of the birth of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, and the reality of the Ummah.' Please have a read.

For further details on the 'amaama being the crown of the Muslims, please have a look at this article, and with Allah alone is every success.

Assalaam alaykum,


UPDATE (Dec 10, 2016): Marifah have since removed this khutbah and all other material connected to Imam al-Bouti. The translation is now available here and here.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Purifying the Soul

[Translated and annotated with the assistance of Al-Hajj Abu Ja’far Al-Hanbali]

Question: Could you please give me a concise article about the phases of purifying the soul as well as the states and stations [maqāmāt] that someone who wants to purify their soul passes through according to the way [ṭarīqa] of the early generations?

Answer: [Sheikh Muḥammad Saʿīd Ramaḍān Al-Būṭī:]

In the Name of Allah, The All Merciful, The Most Merciful

To you, I praise Allah, besides Whom there is no other god, and I send prayers and peace upon His Messenger Muḥammad and his family and Companions.

To proceed, for indeed tazkiyyah [purification] is a Qurʾānic word, which means to strive in order to cleanse the soul of the blemishes that are rarely separated from it, and which, if they remain attached to the soul, will lead the person to destruction and turn his faith in Allah into an outward semblance that has no reality and no benefit for him. The most dangerous of these blemishes is arrogance, followed by self-amazement, hatred, and love of the world and its trappings, such as wealth, fame, leadership and so forth.
The path of purification can be summarised as tawḥīd overpowering the intellect with certainty and becoming firmly established therein, i.e. tawḥīd is transformed from the statement la ilaha illa Allah, repeated on the tongue, to firm, intellectual certainty that Allah is One in His Essence, His Attributes, and His Actions. No one shares with Him in any of this and He alone is The One in charge of the entire universe. Thus, He is The One Who brings everything into existence and takes everything out of existence, He is The Inflictor of Harm and the Bestower of Benefit, He is The Giver and The Withholder.

However, tawḥīd doesn’t change from a slogan on the tongue to firmly established certainty in the intellect, and then influence one’s emotional life, except by increasing one’s observance of Allah. This can’t be done except by increasing one’s remembrance [dhikr] of Him, i.e. to remember Him, and the tongue is nothing but a tool for this remembering. The best way for this remembrance and remembering is for the person to attach himself constantly to the blessings that The Bestower of Blessings has bestowed upon him. Whenever a blessing comes to him he remembers The Bestower of Blessings and he is certain that it came to him from Him, and it is known that Allah’s blessings are so many that they cannot be counted. This was indeed the ṭarīqa of our master, The Messenger of Allah, in remembering Allah, Mighty and Majestic.

If the slave continues with this treatment of remembrance and remembering, the creed of tawḥīd becomes firmly established in his intellect and the pseudo-effectiveness of changing circumstances disappears from his intellect and his thinking. Then this theological certainty is reflected in his heart in the form of love, awe and fear. When the intellect knows it and the heart feels it; that the only Benefactor in the universe is Allah, and The One Who does what He wants with the slaves and with created beings is Allah. Thus, in the blaze of these controlling feelings, these blemishes that were attached to the soul melt away.

Thus, one doesn’t see oneself as having any intrinsic value, such that one becomes arrogant, and one sees the entire world with all its notions and all it contains as nothing but soldiers in the Hand of Allah, Mighty and Majestic.

As for the states embodied therein that you are asking me about, including what is called al-fanāʾ and al-baqāʾ and other states, the latter-day students of Sufism [mutaṣawwifa] and those of their ilk in this age, in consideration of these states, have devoted themselves to stages along the path, and the traveller [sālik] must concentrate on attaining each one of them, and then he can move on to the next one.[1]

However, this idea, along with the travelling [sulūk[2]] that is its foundation, goes against what the Salaf as-Sāliḥ[3] were upon. Indeed, it goes against what the Imams of the travellers on this path were upon, and this includes those mentioned in Ar-Risālah Al-Qushayriyyah.

Indeed, what is required of the traveller is to strive with the means that I have mentioned towards being completely dyed in the reality of tawḥīd. The sole objective that should be at the forefront of his mind is to ascend to a state in which he deals with the means of the universe while looking at the Creator of those means, and Him alone. With this objective the traveller is dyed in the reality of slavehood to Allah, Mighty and Majestic, and this is the utmost that the Salaf as-Ṣāliḥ aspired to.

Along the path towards this objective some travellers suffer from what is called al-fanāʾ, which means that the individual forgets and withdraws from created beings in favour of the Creator, and thus he sees them as not having any existence. In this state he might articulate that which expresses these feelings of his, and therefore contradict reality and the Revealed Law.[4]

Thus, we should know that this is a state that happens incidentally. The traveller shouldn’t consider it a stage that he has to pass through or stop at. Rather, he must strive with his utmost effort to avoid it. If his affair is overwhelmed then he should know that he is weak and that he is being tested with it, whereas the Companions of Allah’s Messenger and those who travelled along their way from the Followers and the best of the Salaf As-Ṣāliḥ had nothing to do with it. Therefore, he should do whatever he can to get past this state and arrive at what is called al-baqāʾ, and this is the position in which he sees the means and deals with them according to the scales of the Revealed Law but he doesn’t see them as having any intrinsic effect or influence.

What I have said about the states is also said about what is called the stations, such as the station of patience (as-ṣabr), then gratitude (ash-shukr), then pleasure (ar-ridāʾ) and then certainty (al-yaqīn). Indeed it is a mistake for the traveller to focus on moving through these stations in order to finally arrive at the station of certainty. Rather, from the very beginning of his travelling he must exert his utmost effort towards arriving at the highest degrees of certainty. Thus, patience is not detached from certainty and pleasure should not be detached from patience. Rather, based on what has been established, he is required to struggle against his soul that commands to evil and at the same time focus on being adorned with patience, pleasure, gratitude, reliance (at-tawakkul) and certainty. The path for this is to increase in the remembrance of Allah, which doesn’t mean the clicking of the subḥa in one’s hand but rather, to put it briefly, the remembrance of The Creator whenever the creation is seen and remembrance of The Bestower of Blessings whenever blessings are seen.

Indeed, some travellers have regulated this travelling and put the stations into a certain sequence, but these were states that were forced upon these people. They are not an instructional method for the general traveller.
Then you should know, my brother, that that which you are asking me about, whatever its name may be, is a perceptivity [dhawq] or rather feelings and behaviour that are controlled by the system of the Revealed Law. It is not a science that is related or an art that is represented or a profession from which one makes a living or through which a rank amongst people is obtained!

One of the Masters and Leaders in the Revealed Law [rabbāniyūn] from the Salaf As-Ṣāliḥ said: ‘In the beginning of Islam, taṣawwuf was a reality without a name, and then, today, it has become a name without a reality.’

[Translated from Ma’a An-Nās: Mashūrāt wa Fatāwa by Sheikh Muḥammad Saʿīd Ramaḍān Al-Būṭī, v. 2, p.204-208, (Damascus: Dar Al-Fikr, 2003)]

Update: This fatwa is now available from the English version of

[1] Thus one will find students of these so-called shaykhs – who by the way are not scholars of the Revealed Law – eagerly running to their shaykh as murīds, ingratiating themselves and looking to check a set of boxes on an invisible list of attributes to become a “reputable Sufi.”

Once these prerequisites are realised, they are now realised and safe and those others who have not or are not pliant to the message are poor souls who really don’t understand Islam. Perhaps the most marked thing about these murīds is how poor their manners are and how shallow and skin deep their knowledge of Islam is in reality.

Students of taṣawwuf, once they have found “it”, don’t have to worry about manners and the transformed life. Often new believers to the faith, once ushered into a ṭarīqa, with regard to their faith, manners and worship usually take a marked nosedive and display almost Masonic attitudes toward the uninitiated.

[2] This is defined by Sheikh ul-Islam Abu Ismāʿīl al-Ansari, the great Afghani Ḥanbalī (d. 394 AH), who described it as, “The states and actions that the heart undertakes while one is worshipping Allah as if one sees Him.” Tabaqāt us-Sūfīyyah, pp. 1-6, interlinear Arabic/Persian 1379 edition, Kabul); it is also quoted verbatim from him by history’s most controversial Qādiri, Taqī ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728 AH) in Majmuʿa Fatāwa, vol.10, pp. 5-7, in which this and volume 11 (entitled the Book of Tasawwuf) deal with this and other topics

[3] When Orthodox scholars use this term they mean the first three generations of Islam. This is based on the hadith, narrated by Imams Al-Bukhārī and Muslim, in which the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, said: ‘The best generation is my generation, then those who come next, then those who come next.’

[4] Sheikh Muḥammad Saʾīd Ramadan al-Būtī is referring here to the false attribute of fanāʾ that exists today. His objection to this foolishness is valid indeed.

For the one who wants to know the proper definition, let him look at the words of Sheikh ʿAbdul Qādir al-Jilānī, may Allah be pleased with him, who said,

“As for the letter fāʾ, it stands for fanāʾ in Allah. When someone annihilates the attributes of humanity, he perpetuates the attributes of singularity. Allah is never annihilated and never disappears, so the fleeing servant survives forever with the Everlasting Lord and His Pleasure and the fleeting heart survives forever with the Everlasting Secret that has been imparted. Allah has said: “Everything will perish but His Countenance” [Sūrat ul-Qaṣaṣ 28:88].

Through His Pleasure, the servant may return to the righteous deeds after annihilation, the deeds which he was devoted to for the sake of His Face and His Pleasure, so the One who is Pleased with him will remain with the one that has pleased Him. The result of righteous work is life for the reality of the human being, who is called the child of inner meanings.” Kitāb Sirr il-Asrār, pp. 42-44.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

From the Dīwān of Imām Ash-Shāfiʿī, may Allah have mercy on him (2)

There's no veil between the asker and his Lord

A door will open if a door is closed
    Yes, and difficult matters will be made easy

One's state will be expanded
    After the vastness of the roads have become narrow

With concern there are two eases, so take it easy
    For concern has no benefit, neither does depression

How often does one become fed up with giving
    From that amount nothing is seen that can be feared

How many hailstones do you fear from the clouds
    Then you are restored to health, and the clouds move away from you

How much provision has come to you, without you coming to it
    Sleepless nights have no seekers

How many are far from their families; strangers
    After despair, they are given the opportunity to return

How many are saved from the sea after
    The foam of a mighty wave had overwhelmed them

If there is a barrier between the people and the one asking
    Indeed there is no barrier between the asker and his Lord

The one who pleads is recompensed with favour
    The one who pleads is always answered

Don't grieve today over what has passed
    From Him you have pleasure and reward

It must be from what is written
    In your book, either bringing joy or affliction

Who can prevent what is in your book,
    And who can bring about what is not in your book?

If you are not abandoning life’s adornments,
     When someone brings them he is held in suspicion,

You find yourself in situations in which
      Arrows are coming at you in succession

Understand your times and adopt a middle position
      For indeed this time of yours is a punishment

Reduce your blame of those who
      Are blamed when they deserve to be blamed

People have gone altogether, showing
     Nothing but their vices; dogs are exalted

The masses of humanity meet with you
     And greetings of peace from a slave from amongst them is a rebuke

So be good, as the free person does not approve,
     Protect them while staying away from them

For indeed Allah has no need of them, He is free
      And if not, then this is indeed the most astonishing test

If you are confused about two meanings,
      You don’t know right from wrong

So leave what is in your desires,
      For indeed desires drive souls towards that which is shameful.

[Translated from the Dīwān of Imām Ash-Shāfiʿī, p.29-30, Dār Al-Kutub Al-ʿIlmiyyah, Beirut, 1984]

Biography of Imām Ash-Shāfiʿī [d.204 AH/810 AD]:
D. 204 AH/819 AD. Known as the reviver and renewer of Islam in his era, Imām Ash-Shāfiʿī was the first of all the absolute mujtahids to write down a book explaining how to derive rulings in a systematic and cogent way. A direct descendant of the great-grandfather of the Prophet Muḥammad, may Allah's prayers and peace be upon him, and raised in the shadow of Masjid al-Aqṣā and the Sacred Masjid of Makkah, his knowledge of deriving furūʿ (branches) from Usūl (foundations) was second to none. It is for this reason that any faqīh after him owes a debt to him, for making fiqh an easier exercise to partake in for the scholar.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

American Genocide

Book Review: A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas, 1492 to the Present by Ward Churchill (City Lights Books, 1998)

Alhamdulilah, a review of A Little Matter of Genocide by Ward Churchill is now available from Jurjis's blog. It is books like this, along with (but not limited to) A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown, that believers should be reading in order to inform and educate themselves about the self-styled "greatest country on earth" and "the leader of the civilized world".

Is this really the country and civilization we should all be imitating?

And with Allah alone is every success.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Sheikh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani and the Etiquettes of Dhikr

Assalaam alaykum,

Please listen to this discussion about Sheikh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani and his Tareeqa, who his students were, what the principles of the Tareeqa are and what the Sheikh himself has said about the etiquettes of dhikr. 

The first video starts with the names of the four khulafa of the Tareeqa being mentioned, who are all Hanbalis and Sheikh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani's direct students. It should be noted that since his time the overwhelming majority of Hanbalis have been Qadiris.

In the second video there is a Q&A session about the topic.

I pray that you find the discussion beneficial, and with Allah alone is every success.

Assalaam alaykum,


Note: These videos are taken from the series 13 Centuries of Islamic History (Week 5, parts 8 and 9), courtesy of the Reasons for Faith Channel.

Related Links:
Peddling Purity

Monday, 7 February 2011

Fiqh of Minorities (Part 2)

In the Name of Allah, The All Merciful, The Most Merciful

Mawlid Khutbah[1]: Fiqh of Minorities is the most recent means of playing with Allah’s Dīn.

By Sheikh Muḥammad Saʿīd Ramaḍān Al-Būṭī

All praise is due to Allah, praise that complies with His blessings and compensates His abundance. Our Lord, for You is all praise as befits the majesty of Your countenance and the might of Your authority. O Allah, I cannot sufficiently enumerate praises upon You; You are as You have praised Your self. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone and He has no partner, and I bear witness that our Sayyid[2] Muḥammad is His slave and Messenger and His sincere and intimate friend, the best prophet that Allah sent to the entire world as a herald of glad tidings and admonition. O Allah, pray upon, give peace and give blessings upon our Sayyid Muḥammad and upon the family of our Sayyid Muḥammad, prayers and peace that last inseparably until the Day of Judgement. I advise you and my sinning self to have fearful awareness of Allah the Exalted.

To proceed, O slaves of Allah:

It has been authentically related from our Beloved Muṣṭafā, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, that he said: ‘None of you will truly have faith until Allah and His Messenger are more beloved to one than anything else.’ He also said: ‘None of you will truly have faith until I am more beloved to him than his wealth, his children and his own self that is between his two sides.’ It has been authentically related that one of the Companions asked the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, about the Hour, and Al-Muṣṭafā, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, said to him: ‘What have you prepared for it?’ He said: ‘By Allah, I have not prepared for it with many prayers or much fasting, but I have prepared for it with love for Allah and His Messenger’, so he said: ‘You will be with those whom you love.’

We, O brothers, are believers, and for Allah is all praise. This means that there must be from us some portion of love, even it is a little, for the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, and I hope that portion is not a little. I hope that it is as the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, said, that the love of Al-Muṣṭafā is greater than the love of wealth, children and one’s self. And if, in these days, the winds of remembering the birth of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, are blowing towards us, and the winds of feeling love for our Beloved Muṣṭafā, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, are circling our hearts, what will the effect be that these feelings will leave, which have soaked up and mixed with the winds of the remembrance?

O brothers, it is known that that which is called fiʿl [action] comes from the person by their volition, and that which is called infiʿāl [being acted upon] only comes from the person if it is forced upon him, and love is infiʿāl and not fiʿl and the results of love are also infiʿālāt that are forced and not actions that are voluntary.[3]

If we want to imagine the extent of infiʿāl that should be invoked in the heart of the believer that loves his Master[4] and loves His Messenger Al-Muṣṭafā, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, then let us look at this last ḥadīth that is narrated by Al-Bukhārī in his Ṣaḥīḥ: ‘The Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, was seen fasting one day and it was not Ramaḍān and it was not ʿĀshūrāʾor Tāsūʿāʾ[5], so one of the Companions asked him about that day and why he was fasting on it, and he said: ‘It is the day on which I was born.’ It was Monday that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, celebrated as the day of his birth. What does it mean that the Messenger of Allah celebrates the day of his birth, except that it is gratitude to his Lord and Master, Glorified and Exalted is He, that He honoured him with this mission, so which of us has more of a right to be celebrating? The Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, who Allah sent as a mercy to all of creation or us, whom Allah has honoured with the Dīn by way of him, because if it were not for Muḥammad we would not have known our Lord, and if it were not for him we would not have known our slavehood to Allah the Exalted, which of us has more right to celebrate the day the Messenger of Allah was born? As for the Messenger of Allah, he celebrated it and expressed his celebration by fasting that day out of gratitude to Allah for honouring him with prophethood, but we have more right, O brothers. Our gathering here right now in this masjid and standing in front of our Master and Creator, the only preference in that is that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, he is the one who spread the message, and he is the one who fulfilled his trust. That is why the affair of every Muslim, when he stands in front of the resting place of the Messenger of Allah may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, he sends peace upon him and says to him: ‘I bear witness that you, the Messenger of Allah, have fulfilled your trust and you have conveyed the message. May Allah reward you on behalf of your Ummah with that which is better than what any prophet has been rewarded on behalf of his people and Ummah.’[6] It is our priority that the feelings of remembering the birth of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, are invoked between our ribs, as I have said to you. If the winds of remembering the birth of Al-Muṣṭafā are kindled with feelings of love for Al-Muṣṭafā in our hearts then the affair becomes something that is affected by force, and cannot be stopped by actions of volition. The love is affected by force. You have heard it now from the speech of our Sayyid, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, and he has reiterated many times that the slave does not have complete faith unless he loves the Messenger of Allah more than his wealth, his children and his very soul between his two sides. This is what the Messenger of Allah said to Abu Bakr.

On this blessed and glorious day I call upon myself and all of you to look for a place in our hearts for loving the Messenger of Allah. I call upon myself and you to ask one another about the measure of faith, and the measure of faith is as you have heard. It is the love of the believer for the Messenger of Allah after his love for Allah, Glorified and Exalted is He. I fear, O brothers, that the love of this world is triumphant today. I fear that the love of wealth, family and children has mastery today. I fear that egotism, conceit, and narcissism are dominant today. If that is the case then I ask Allah to grant pardon and well-being to myself and you, for we would know that we are in a serious situation. We would know that our faith is only customary and not the faith that Allah, Exalted and Glorified is He, requires of us and which was implanted in the hearts of the pious predecessors.[7] That is the most sought-after objective.

O brothers: when I imagine the love of the Messenger of Allah for his Ummah and his longing for his brothers and I turn to the reality of our situation and I turn to where our hearts lie, I feel great shame, and I feel distress that torments me and pulls at my heart. Imam Mālik narrates in his Muwaṭṭaʾ, as do others, with an authentic chain of transmission that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's prayers and peace be upon him, once visited Al-Baqīʿ[8] with a group of his Companions and gave the greeting of peace to the people of Al-Baqīʿ. Then he said: ‘I wish that I could see our brothers.’ One of his Companions said to him: ‘Are we not your brothers, O Messenger of Allah?’ He said: ‘You are my Companions. My brothers are those who have not yet come, and I will be waiting for them at the Ḥawḍ.’[9] Someone asked: ‘And you will recognize them O Messenger of Allah? How will you recognize them when you won’t see them until you receive them at the Ḥawḍ?’ He said: ‘Do you not see how a man, if he has some brilliant white-faced and white-footed horses in the midst of some jet black horses that he would recognize them?’ Imagine if a man had a horse that had a white circle on its forehead and white bracelets on its legs and it was amongst some jet black horses, would he not recognize them? The man said: ‘Yes.’ He said: ‘And I will know them, because they will be white-faced and white-footed from the effects of wūḍū.ʾ’ When I stop at this speech and look at how the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's prayers and and peace be upon him, longed for us I have to ask: How is our longing for the Messenger of Allah? How is our yearning for the Messenger of Allah? Perhaps I’m just making a claim if I say that we yearn for him in the way that he yearns for us, but brother, this has nothing to do with claims.

Claims that are not backed by clear proofs are nothing more than claims for those who use them.

I must look for a proof that we long for the Messenger of Allah. What have I done to prove my longing for him? Have I revived a Sunnah that he left as a trust for us? Have I carried out the pieces of advice that he made us responsible for, that he made to be a trust in our hands generation after generation? Have we preserved the pure white path that he left for us, the outward of which is like the inward? Look at the conclusion of the hadith, after he says: ‘And I will know them, because they will be white-faced and white-footed from the effects of wūḍū.ʾ’ He says: ‘Men will be driven away from my Ḥawḍ the way a stray camel is driven away.’ Meaning, men will be forced away from my aw the way a lost camel that has mixed in with other camels is forced away, and I will say: ‘“Indeed, come forward! Come forward!” But it will be said that you don’t know what they changed after you, and I will say: “Away with them, away with them, away with them!”

I fear, O brothers, that we become of those who change things. I fear that we have obscured our conduct with claims that have no proof to back them up.

I repeat: Let us find a hiding place in our hearts for the love of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him. If it is true that we are still holding to the covenant and that our hearts are embracing the love of our Messenger Muḥammad, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him; let us find proof of that. Are we guarding the Sharīʿah and protecting it from being altered, so that it is not changed in the name of traditions, or circumstances or ‘fiqh of minorities’, or any other excuse?

Indeed, what I see is that we have changed many things and we have corrupted many things. Online fatwas that are being issued in the western world, in Europe and America, is something that frightens the minds of the believers, something that induces fear and can have serious consequences in this life and the next. I am not concerned with mentioning whoever is making the fatwas that change and corrupt things, but were the matter to continue in this way we will find ourselves, in a few years’ time, in front of a new Sharīʿah, in front of a new Sharīʿah that we will cloak in the excuses of time and place, environmental factors, the weather, welfare and whatever else there is.

Consider this point. If our hearts had been embracing the love of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, in the same way that he loves us, and if our hearts had embraced the yearning for the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, in the same way that he yearns for us, would we be engaged in changing and corrupting our Dīn? Would we turn away from the authentic aḥādīth of which there is no doubt and hide them from examination and consideration and say: Indeed we are facing a bewildering trend called ‘Fiqh of Minorities’?

I said recently: If this path that is being travelled upon today is safe – and we don’t know where it will end, but indeed, where will it stop? If this way is safe and accepted in the Dīn of Allah, then why was emigration from the lands of Kufr legislated[10] if the Muslim finds that wherever he is able he can acclimatize himself with the environment that he is in by means of fatwas that he subjugates to the environment that he’s in, instead of doing the exact opposite?[11] That’s why we have been kept in order by the words of Allah the Exalted: ‘When the angels seized the souls of those who were doing wrong to themselves, they asked them: “What was the matter with you?” They answered: “We were oppressed in the land.” The angels replied: “Was not Allah’s earth spacious for you to emigrate in it?” Hell is the abode of such people.’ [An-Nisāʾ 4:97]. There is no need for this speech,[12] there is no need for emigration because the Muslims, wherever they are, it suffices them to assimilate with the place that they are living in.[13]

What is of greater consequence is that only recently we were expecting that these western societies, with the presence of so many Muslims, would gradually change into Islamic lands. We were expecting the peaceful, wise and serious Islamic current to become prodigious without any excessiveness, without any immoderation, without any terrorism – as they say – by means of the essential preservation of the realities of Islam and by means of patience and being more patient than others with the rulings of Allah, Glorified and Exalted is He. We were expecting, if things continued in this fashion, that the sun of Islam would rise in these places completely, just as our pious predecessors did on the day ‘Abdur Raḥmān Ad-Dākhil travelled to northwest Africa and with him were a group of his companions, and after a few years Islamic governance was established. He did not draw a weapon, he did not adopt a position of hostility and he never did any of the actions that are nowadays called extremism or terrorism, in any of their forms. It all comes down to two things: implementing the Sharīʿah as Allah has commanded and guarding it, and to act according to Islam’s distinguished manners, which is to implement the advice of the Messenger of Allah in which he said: ‘You will not increase amongst the people with your wealth, but you will be increased from them by having a pleasant face and beautiful manners.’ The sun of Islam radiated in those places and then spread and increased its rays far and wide, and quickly, for as long as Islamic governance was established there.

We were expecting that here as well, but today we are shocked to find that we are being threatened with the opposite. Muslims today, because of what is being called ‘fiqh of minorities’, are the ones who are being dyed[14] in the habits of this society and its conventions, circumstances and forbidden aspects. It is nothing other than us dying these customs that exist here in the dye of Islam and cloaking them in the cloak of the Islamic Sharīʿah.[15]

O brothers: When I look at this bitter reality I remember the words of the Messenger of Allah: ‘Men will be driven away from my Ḥawḍ the way a stray camel is driven away and I will say: “Indeed, come forward! Come forward!” But it will be said that you don’t know what they changed after you.’ O brothers, beware of becoming from these people. Beware, and the Messenger of Allah has yearned for you, that you cut off the outstretched ropes of this longing between you and him by means of the knife of changing and corrupting. Beware O brothers! Indeed it is a tremendous treasure. I hope that Allah the Exalted will honour me and you with him the day he said: ‘I wish that I could see our brothers.’ I ask Allah, the Lord of the Tremendous Throne, to make us from his brothers, those whom he longs for, and I ask Him, Exalted is He, to give us success in exchanging his longing for our longing. I ask Him, Exalted is He, to enable us to translate our yearning for him by preserving what he has passed down to us, by guarding the legislation that he has placed as a trust in our hands, made us responsible for, and made as a debt that we owe.

O brothers: Be vigilant with everything that you possess so that you do not change or corrupt anything. If someone says to you: ‘But the Sharīʿah of Allah the Exalted has much ease in it, and there is the maxim: ‘Wherever benefit is found then there is Allah’s legislation.’ We say ‘Yes’, but how we measure benefit and harm is based on the practice and understanding of our pious predecessors.[16] Return to the treasures of the Islamic Sharīʿah, return to what the Four Imāms have said. You will find in their fiqh and their fatwas that which suffices, and if you find yourselves in front of a red line then you have to be patient.[17] Al-Muṣṭafā said likewise in another hadith: ‘Indeed you will find many different ways[18] after me, so be patient until you meet me at the Ḥawḍ.’ By Allah, this advice is almost as if the Messenger of Allah is looking down on us. You will see after me the egoism of conceit, the egoism of passions, the egoism of desires and lusts. What position should we take? Be patient … be patient until you meet me at the Ḥawḍ.

O Allah, enable us to be patient. Enable us to be steadfast. Allah, make us by Your grace, Your bounty and Your favour, from the brothers of Your Beloved Al-Muṣṭafā, those who he yearns for. Ennoble us, O Lord of all creation, to yearn for him the way he yearns for us.

This is what I have said, and I seek forgiveness from Allah, the Most High, the Tremendous.

[Second Khutbah]

All praise be to Allah, much praise as He has commanded, and I thank Him for all of His manifest and hidden blessings, those I know about and those I don’t know, and I send prayers and peace upon our Beloved, Al-Muṣṭafā, Muḥammad, the son of ʿAbdullah. O Allah, send prayers, peace and blessing upon and our Master Muḥammad, prayers that please You and him and make You pleased with us, O Lord of all creation.

Slaves of Allah! Fear Allah in what He has commanded you and desist from what He has forbidden and rebuked. Remove the love of this world from your hearts, for indeed when it becomes dominant it takes prisoners. Know that Allah has commanded you decisively with a command in which He began by mentioning Himself and then the angels who glorify Him, the Almighty, The Wise, when He said: {Indeed Allah and His Angels send prayers upon the Prophet. O you who believe! Send prayers and much peace upon him} [Al-Aḥzāb 33:56.] Increase in your prayers upon Muḥammad, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, on this glorious day, the day of Friday. He [may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him] said: ‘Increase in your prayers upon me on the radiant day and the radiant night.’ So on this day we increase in our prayers upon our Beloved Al-Muṣṭafā, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him. O Allah, send prayers upon our Master Muḥammad and upon the family of our Master Muḥammad as You sent prayers upon our Master Ibrāhīm and the family of our Master Ibrāhīm, and bless our Master Muḥammad and the family of our Master Muḥammad as You blessed the family of our Master Ibrāhīm and the family of our Master Ibrāhīm, in all of creation, indeed You are the Most Praiseworthy, the Glorious, and may Allah be pleased with the rightly-guided Khulafāʾ and those who follow them in excellence until the Day of Judgement.

O Allah, forgive the Muslim men and women and the believing men and women, the living from amongst them and the dead, and join their hearts together, O Lord of all creation.

O Allah, indeed we ask you for guidance, chastity and sufficiency. O Allah, indeed we ask that You don’t cut us off from You because of our sins, and because of the ugliness of our vices. O He who holds both difficulty and ease, we ask You O Allah, nothing is hidden from You. O Allah, purify our hearts from any quality that takes us far from Your witnessing[19] and Your love. Prolong for us Your Providence and veil our sins with Your beautiful veil. O Allah, convey from us the greetings of peace to the spirit of our Master Muḥammad, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him. O Allah, as we have believed in him without seeing him, please do not deprive us of seeing him in the Paradise, O Lord of all creation. O Allah, assist us in guarding your Dīn. O Allah, do not make us from those who change it and corrupt it. O Allah, enable us to be patient with the treasure of this Dīn that you have honoured us with, O Lord of all creation, O Lord of Majesty and Generosity. O Allah, indeed we ask you in the submissiveness of our slavehood to You and the severity of our destitution towards You, to give victory to Your believing slaves who are being oppressed, vanquished and persecuted in Palestine and in the eastern lands of the Earth and the western lands, wherever they are O Lord of all creation, O Lord of Majesty and Generosity. O Allah, Revealer of the Book, Mover of the clouds, Vanquisher of the confederates, vanquish the transgressors who enter the Muslim world with their pride and their arrogance, opposing You, and they have declared war on Your Islam and Your Qurʾān, O Lord of all creation. O Allah, no-one knows Your armies but You, inflict upon them an army from your armies that will make them a lesson for those who reflect from amongst Your believing slaves, O Lord of Majesty and Generosity. O Allah, indeed Your Prophet Nūḥ supplicated to You and You answered him, and indeed Your Prophet Yūnus bin Matā supplicated to You and called upon You from the depths of darkness and You answered him, and indeed Your Prophet Zakariyā called upon You in secret and You answered him. Indeed Your Prophet Ayyūb supplicated to You and You saved him from grief and answered him, and indeed Your Prophet Muḥammad, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, supplicated to You on the day of Badr and on the day of the Confederates and You answered him, and we are Your believing slaves, O Lord of all creation. Make us from amongst those selected people whom you honoured and answered their supplications, even though we have not reached their rank, O Lord of all creation, but You are the Generous, Generous, Pitying, the Answerer of prayers, make us from amongst them. Answer our supplication as well, O Lord of all creation. We have extended to You our hands in supplication, do not leave them disappointed. We have extended our hands in submissiveness to Your door, we are knocking on the door of Your Mercy, O He who does not close His door on anyone, do not leave us disappointed, O Lord of Majesty and Generosity, O Lord of Power and Favour, You said: {It is a duty upon Us to give victory to the believers} [Ar-Rūm 30:47]. We are believers in You, O Lord of all creation.

Fulfil the promise that Your Exalted Essence has imposed upon itself. O Lord, You said: {When you begged your Lord He answered you} [Al-Anfāl 8:9]. Here we are begging you as Your Prophet Muhammad and those with him begged you. We are wallowing in our sins and we are wallowing in the burdens of our responsibilities that You have placed upon us, O Lord of all creation. You are the Loving and Forgiving Lord. Pardon us with Your beautiful pardon. You said: {Say: Everyone does things their own way} [Al-Isrāʾ 17:84]. Your way is the way of mercy. Your way is the way of forgiveness. Your way is the way of repentance. Forgive us our sins, and rectify our states.

The rulers of the Muslims, O Lord, gather their speech upon that which pleases you. Bring them to Your straight path and direct their hearts to what pleases You, purify them from the love of others. O Lord of all creation, purify them from the veils that take them far from you, O Lord of Majesty and Generosity. Rectify the affairs of all the Muslims and unify their hearts and their ranks. May Allah send prayers and peace upon our Master Muhammad, the Unlettered Prophet, and upon his family and all of his Companions, Āmīn, Āmīn, Āmīn.

And all Praise is due to Allah, Lord of all creation.

[1] This Khutbah was given on May 16th, 2003
[2] This term means ‘master’ and only applies to human beings.
[3] Love is something that is forced upon the person and cannot be brought about by one’s own volition.
[4] Arabic: Mawlā, which can be used for both human beings and Allah.
[5] The ninth and tenth of Muḥarram.
[6] This duʿā can be found in the books of fiqh of all four madhhabs in the chapter on Hājj under the section on visiting the grave of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him.
[7] Arabic: As-Salaf As-Ṣāliḥ. When Orthodox scholars use this term they mean the first three generations of Islam. This is based on the hadith, narrated by Imams Al-Bukhārī and Muslim, in which the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, said: ‘The best generation is my generation, then those who come next, then those who come next.’
[8] A graveyard in Madīnah where many Prophetic Companions and saints are buried.
[9] The Ḥawḍ is one of the meeting places for the believers on the way to the Paradise and it is the source of the Kawthar’s sweet waters. It is sometimes translated as ‘pond’, ‘pool’ or ‘basin’, but none of these terms carry the necessary grandeur and majesty that is required.
[10] According to Imam ibn Mufliḥ al-Ḥanbalī in Al-Adāb ash-Sharʿīyyah [v.1 pp.191-92], Dār al-Kufr are the lands in which the laws of kufr are predominant, while Dār al-Islam are the lands in which the laws of Islam are predominant. It is worth mentioning that Sheikh Ramaḍān Al-Būṭī, may Allah preserve him, holds the position that it is impermissible to come to Dār al-Kufr unless it is for one of the following reasons: 1.Daʿwa (calling non-believers to faith, preaching the orthodox faith to cultists, and military expeditions sanctioned by a Muslim ruler). 2. Dire medical circumstances and 3. Acquiring knowledge to take back for the benefit of the Muslims.
[11] The point the Sheikh is making is that legal decisions are arrived at in a certain way, i.e. there is the reality, then the revelation, then the ruling. For example, a person may commit fornication, which would be the reality, and the revelation from the Sharīʿah is that such a person is lashed. However, if upon investigation of the case it is affirmed that the accused is not sane, and therefore not legally responsible, the ruling would be that they are pardoned. The opposite of this is for one to look at the reality and then formulate a ruling, and after that to attempt to find evidences to establish it in revelation. With regards to fiqh of minorities, it is one thing for Muslims to live in Dar Al-Kufr peaceably, and at times require a fatwa for certain eventualities, but it is an entirely different matter to go into Dar al-Kufr with a whole series of pre-planned fatwas that are subjugated to the environment. The environment must be subjugated to the Law, not the other way around. 
[12] i.e. the verse above.
[13] Sheikh Muḥammad ibn Ibrāhīm Al-Ḥanbalī (d.1389/1969), in his text Taḥkīm Al-Qawānīn (p.6), says the following: ‘The Judgement of Allah and His Messenger does not change in its essence according to changing times and conditions, or new occurrences. There is no ruling, be whatever it may, except that its judgement is in the Book of Allah, or the Sunnah of His Messenger, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, or it is given to us by a direct statement of the scholars, or a choice between two rulings, or it is derived from the text. Whoever knows this, knows it, and whoever is ignorant of it is ignorant. But what the scholars have mentioned regarding different rulings under changing conditions has nothing to do with what is thought by some with small minds or complete lack of knowledge of the legal rulings or their underlying principles. These small-minded people desire that the rulings should be according to their bestial desires and their worldly pursuits and their sinful bodies, and because of this you will find them stalking about making the texts follow their desires and when possible they will distort words from their original context and use them for their own whims, whereas the understanding of a fatwa changing according to changing circumstances and times, the scholars say: “This is to do with what the Revealer of the Law has stated, the worthy goals He has mentioned, and the overall outcome, which is for the sake of Allah and His Messenger, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, no matter what.” It is well-known that the law-lords who fabricate laws are far from what we have just mentioned. They only speak of what tickles their fancy, be whatever it may, and reality is the most truthful witness.”’
[14] The Arabic word is the same word that is used for baptism.
[15] Sheikh Muḥammad ibn Ibrāhīm Al-Ḥanbalī, in his text Taḥkīm Al-Qawānīn (p.7), mentions five types of people who are disbelievers because they are judging by other than what Allah sent down, and the most severe is the fifth type of who he stated: ‘Of all the types of kufr, this is the most immense, universal, and manifest form which is stubbornly resistant to the Sharīʿah. It is arrogant towards the Sharīʿah’s rulings and is in opposition to Allah and His Messenger. They completely oppose the courts of the Sharīʿah. They have laid down their own courts and laws, prepared them, root and branch, dictated them, judged by them and made it compulsory to follow. They have authorities that they return to and sources of guidance. Just as the courts of the Sharīʿah all return to the authority of the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, these false courts and laws return to fabricated sources and numerous canons of law, such as French law, American law, British law, and other law codes. Some of these codes take as authority innovators that attribute themselves to the Sharīʿah and other things besides. These courts are in many of the urban centres of the Muslims, open for business with their doors flung open, people rushing to them in throngs. Their leaders judge amongst them by what contradicts the Book and the Sunnah within their law codes. The leaders make them judge by it and command them and encourage them to practice it. So, what kufr is above this kufr, and what greater opposition could there be to the testimony that Muḥammad r is the Messenger of Allah, after all of this has been said?’ We quote this because of the rise of “American” and “British” Islam, and the rise of “American” and “British” Islam will ultimately lead to, if we follow it to its logical conclusion, new canons of law as Sheikh Muhammad ibn Ibrahim mentioned above.
[16] See note 8.
[17] If we go back to notes 14 and 16, this is what Sheikh Muhammad ibn Ibrahim is also referring to. Fiqh of Minorities will inevitably lead to new ijtihād and new madhhabs while the people doing it will not be qualified mujtahids, absolute or otherwise.
[18] This refers to all the various religions, ideologies, cults and other false notions.
[19] This is a reference to the Jibrīl Ḥadīth in which the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, explained the true meaning of Iḥsān. Witnessing [mushāhada] means to worship Allah as if you are seeing Him. This ḥadīth is the first ḥadīth in Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim and the second in the Arbaʿīn An-Nawawiyyah.

Related Posts:
Fiqh of Minorities (Part 1)
The Abodes of the Earth

Friday, 4 February 2011

A Guide to the Book of Allah

 In the Name of Allah, The All Merciful, The Most Merciful

The following verses are provided to help you approach the Qur’an and try to grasp some of its meaning. Allah willing, it will be very beneficial for you.

‘Know that there is no god but Allah, and seek forgiveness for your sins.’ [Muhammad 47:19]

‘Say: ‘He is Allah, One. Allah is Eternal. He does not give birth, nor was He born. And there is nothing like Him.’ [al-Ikhlas 112: 1-4]

‘There is nothing like him whatsoever, and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.’ [as-Shura 42:11]

‘Allah, there is no god but He, the Living, the Self-Sustaining. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. All that is in the heavens and the earth belongs to Him. Who is there that can intercede with Him except by His leave? He knows what is before them and what is behind them, but they do not comprehend any of His knowledge except what He wills. His Throne extends over the heavens and the earth; it does not weary Him to preserve them both. He is the Most High, the Tremendous.’ [al-Baqarah 2:255]

‘Their messengers said: “Is there doubt in Allah, the Originator of the heavens and the earth? He calls you to Him in order to forgive you your sins and He gives you respite until an appointed time.’ [Ibrahim 14:10]

‘And if My slaves ask you about Me, indeed I am near. I respond to those who call Me, so let them respond to me, and believe in Me, so that they may be guided.’ [al-Baqarah 2:186]

Muhammad, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him

And we have not sent you [Muhammad] except as a mercy to all of creation.’ [al-Anbiya’ 21:107]

Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have the best example.’ [al-Ahzab 33:21]

‘ Indeed Allah did a great favour for the believers when He sent a Messenger to them from amongst them who recites His verses before them and purifies them and teaches them the Book and the Wisdom.’ [Aal-Imran 3:164]
‘Indeed a light has come to you from your Lord and a Clear Book.’ [al-Ma’ida 5:15]

‘ Jesus, Son of Mary, said, “Children of Israel, I am sent to you by God, confirming the Torah that came before me and bringing good news of a Messenger to follow me whose name will be Ahmad [Muhammad].” [as-Saf 61:6]

‘God will bring to nothing the deeds of those who disbelieve and bar others from the way of God, but He will overlook the bad deeds of those who have faith, do good deeds, and believe in what has been sent down to Muhammad – the truth from their Lord – and He will put them into a good state.’ [Muhammad 47:1-3]


‘Indeed, the True Religion with Allah is Islam.’ [Aal-Imran 3:19]

‘If anyone seeks a religion other than Islam it will not be accepted from him, and he will be one of the losers in the Hereafter.’ [Aal-Imran 3:85]

‘Today I have perfected your religion for you, completed my blessing upon you, and chosen Islam as your religion.’ [al-Ma’ida 5:3]

‘Whoever Allah wants to guide, He opens his heart to Islam.’ [al-An’aam 6:125}

‘What about the one who Allah has opened his heart to Islam, so that he is on a light from his Lord?’  [az-Zumar 39:22]

The Qur’an

‘This is the Book in which there is no doubt, containing guidance for those who are mindful of God, who believe in the unseen, keep up the prayer, and give out of What we have provided for them; those who believe in the revelation sent down to you [Muhammad], and in what was sent before you, and they have firm faith in the Hereafter.’ [al-Baqarah 2:2-4]

‘If you are in doubt about what we have revealed to our slave [Muhammad] then bring one chapter that can compare to it, and call on your helpers from other than Allah if indeed you are truthful. And if you cannot, and you never will, then fear the Fire, fuelled by men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers.’ [al-Baqarah 2:23}

‘Do they not contemplate the Qur’an? Do they have locks on their hearts?’ [Muhammad 47:24]

‘Indeed We have sent down an Arabic Qur’an so that you might use your intellect.’ [Yusuf 12:2]

‘Indeed we have sent down the Reminder [Qur’an] and We will surely protect it.’ [al-Hijr 15:9]

Jesus, peace be upon him

‘She want back to her people carrying the child, and they said, “Mary! You have done something terrible! Sister of Aaron! Your father was not an evil man; your mother was not unchaste!” She pointed at him. They said, “How can we speak with an infant in a cradle?” He [Jesus] said: “ I am a servant of God. He has granted me the Scripture; made me a prophet; made me blessed wherever I may be. He commanded me to pray, to give alms as long as I live, to cherish my mother. He did not make me domineering or graceless. Peace was on me the day I was born, and will be on me the day I die and the day I am raised to life again. Such was Jesus, son of Mary.’ [Maryam 19: 27-34]

‘He will send him as a Messenger to the Children of Israel: “I have come to you with a sign from your Lord: I will make the shape of a bird for you out of clay, then breathe into it and, with God’s permission, it will become a real bird; I will heal the blind and the leper, and bring the dead to life with God’s permission; I will tell you what you may eat and what you may store up in your houses. There truly is a sign for you in this, if you are believers. I have come to confirm the truth of the Torah which preceded me, and to make some things lawful to you which used to be forbidden. I have come to you with a sign from your Lord. Be mindful of Allah, obey me: Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship him – that is the straight path.’ [Aal-Imran 3:49-51]

‘[They said], “We have killed the Messiah, Jesus, Son of Mary, the Messenger of God.” They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, though it was made to appear like that to them; those that disagreed about him are full of doubt, with no knowledge to follow, only supposition: they certainly did not kill him – God raised him up to Himself. God is Almighty and Wise’ [an-Nisa’ 4:157-8]

‘People of the Book, do not go to excess in your religion, and do not say anything about God except the truth: the Messiah, Jesus, Son of Mary, was nothing more than a Messenger of God, His word, directed to Mary, a spirit from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers and do not speak of a ‘Trinity’ – stop this, that is better for you – God is only one God, He is far above having a son, everything in the heavens and the earth belongs to Him and He is the best one to trust. The Messiah would never disdain to be a servant of God, nor would the angels who are close to him.’ [an-Nisa’ 4:171-2]

‘Those who say, “God is the Messiah, son of Mary,” have disbelieved. The Messiah himself said, “Children of Israel, worship God, my Lord and your Lord.” If anyone associates others with God, God will forbid him from Paradise, and Hell will be his home. No one will help such evildoers.’ [al-Ma’ida 5:72]

‘Those who say that God is the third of three have disbelieved: there is only one God. If they persist in what they are saying, a painful punishment will afflict those of them who persist. Why do they not turn to God and ask His forgiveness, when God is most forgiving, most merciful? The Messiah, Son of Mary, was only a Messenger, other Messengers had come and gone before him; his mother was a virtuous woman; both ate food [like other mortals]. See how clear we make these signs for them; see how deluded they are.’ [al-Ma’ida 5:73]

‘When God says, “Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to people, ‘Take me and my mother as two gods alongside God’?” he will say, “May you be Exalted! I would never say what I had no right to say – if I had said such a thing You would have known it: You know all that is within me, though I do not know what is within You, You alone have full knowledge of things unseen – I told them only what You commanded me to: ‘Worship God, my Lord and your Lord.’”  [al-Ma’ida 5:116-7]

‘ Indeed [Jesus] is a sign of the Hour, so don’t have any doubt about it. Follow Me. This is indeed the straight path.’ [az-Zukhruf 43:61]

Previous Revelations

‘ So woe to those who write something down with their own hands and then claim, “This is from God,” in order to make some small gain. Woe to them for what their hands have written! Woe to them for all that they have earned!’ [al-Baqarah 2:79]

‘ We revealed the Torah with guidance and light, and the prophets, who had submitted to God, judged according to it for the Jews. So did the rabbis and scholars in accordance with that part of God’s Scripture which they were entrusted to preserve, and to which they were witnesses. So do not fear people, fear Me; do not barter away My Messages for a small price; those who do not judge according to what God has sent down do not believe in it.’ [al-Ma’ida 5:44]

‘There is no compulsion in religion: guidance has been clearly distinguished from error, so whoever rejects false gods and believes in Allah has grasped the firmest handhold, one that will never break.’ [al-Baqarah 2:256]


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