Home > Ahmed Ibn Taymiyyah (Rahimahullah), Hadith Gems, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah(Rahimahullah), Nasiruddin Al-Albaanee (Rahimahullah) > Why testimony of faith occurs in singular form while others like seeking assistance, seeking refuge etc occurs in plural form in Khutbat ul Hajah?

Why testimony of faith occurs in singular form while others like seeking assistance, seeking refuge etc occurs in plural form in Khutbat ul Hajah?

 

Text from Khutbat ul Hajah (The sermon for Necessities):

[Verily, all praise is for Allah, we praise him and we seek his assistance and we ask for His forgiveness. And we seek refuge in Allah from the evils of ourselves and from the evils of our actions.

 

Whoever Allah guides, there is no one who can lead him astray, and whoever is lead astray, there is no guide for him. I bear witness that there is no deity that has the right to be  worshipped  except Allah – [al0ne with no partner] – and i bear witness that Muhammed is His slave and Messenger.]

End quote.

 

 

Beautiful explanation and point of wisdom from Shaykh ul Islam ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah)

 

It can be noted here that the verb occurs  in singular form (i.e testimony of faith)  contrary to the previous verbs (i.e we seek assistance, we seek refuge, we ask forgiveness ), which occurs in the plural form. Shaykh ul Islam ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) brought to light an intricate point of wisdom regarding this, which was relayed from him by his student Ibn al Qayyim in Tahdheeb us Sunan (3/54).

 

 

He (rahimahullah) said:

“All of the ahaadeeth are in agreement that the verbs ‘seeking assistance’, ‘asking for forgiveness’, and ‘seeking refuge in Allah’ occur in plural form whereas the testimony of faith occurs in singular form – i.e. ‘ I bear witness that there is no deity that has the right to be  worshipped  except Allah – [al0ne with no partner] – and i bear witness that Muhammed is His slave and Messenger.’

 

Shaykh ul Islam ibn Taymiyyah said:

‘Since no one can take on the testimony of faith on behalf of someone else, and since a proxy cannot be accepted for it under any condition, the declaration of the testimony of faith here occurs in singular form.

 

And because seeking assistance, seeking refuge and asking for forgiveness is accepted on behalf of others, since a man may ask Allah to forgive someone else and assist him and he may seek refuge in Allah from him, it occurs here in the plural form. This is why he (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) would say, ‘O Allah, assist us, grant us refuge and forgive us.’ He (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said this in the narration of Ibn Mas’ood (radiAllahu anhu). And there doesn’t occur in this hadeeth this wording: ‘we praise him.’

 

However, in the narration of Ibn Abbas (radiAllahu anhu), these words: ‘we praise him’ do occur in the plural form even though no one can take on the role of  praising (Allah) on behalf of someone else and even though its proxy is unacceptable….

 

 

There is another explanation for this, which is that the acts of seeking assistance, seeking refuge and asking for forgiveness are all requests and wishes. So it is recommended for the supplicant to ask for himself ans well as his believing brothers. and as for the Testimony of faith, then it is a notification in which one informs others that he testifies to the Allah’s oneness and to the Prophet’s messengership.

It is a notification that corresponds to the belief and affirmation of one’s heart. A person can only inform about this with respect to himself since he is aware of his own condition, contrary to him informing such on the behalf of others. So he may inform about someone else’s saying and statements but not what is found in the heart. And Allah knows best.”

 

[Taken from: Khutbat ul Hajah by Shaykh Muhammed Naasiruddin al Albaanee, pg-4, translated by Isma’eel Alarcon]

 

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