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Ibn Hubayra, al-Hasan al-Basri and al-Sha’bi

February 6, 2018 Leave a comment

 

It is al-Hasan’s story when Ibn Hubayra sent for him and for al-Sha’bi, and he said to the former, “Abu Saeed (Hasan), what do you think we should do with letters that come to us from Yazid ibn Abd al-Malik, with their controversial contents? If I implement them, they incur the wrath of Allah; but if I do not implement them, I fear for my life.” “Here,” al-Hasan said to him, “you have with you al-Sha’bi, the jurist of al-Hijaz.” So he asked him. Al-Sha’bi made light of the matter.

“Implement as much as possible and make adjustments,” he replied. “You are only a servant who takes orders.”

 

Then Ibn Hubayra turned to al-Hasan and asked, “What do you think, Abu Saeed?” “O Ibn Hubayra,” he replied,

“fear Allah when obeying the commands of Yazid and do not fear Yazid when obeying the commands of Allah.

 

O Ibn Hubayra, Allah will protect you from Yazid, but Yazid cannot protect you from Allah.

 

O Ibn Hubayra, no creature should be obeyed who commands the disobedience of the Creator.

 

Look then at what Yazid wrote to you, and compare it with the Book of Allah, may He be exalted. What agrees with the Book of Allah, may He be exalted, you may implement; and what disagrees with the Book of Allah, you should not implement.

 

Allah should have for you a priority over Yazid, and the Book of Allah should have for you a priority over his letters.”

 

Ibn Hubayra patted al-Hasan on the shoulder. “This old man has told me the truth. By the Lord of al-Ka’ba,” he said.

 

He then ordered al-Hasan to be given four thousand [dirhams], and al-Sha’bi two thousand. Al-Sha’bi said, “We made light of the matter for him, now he has made light of the reward for us.”

 

Al-Hasan sent for the poor; when they came, he distributed the money to them. Al-Sha’bi accepted the money and gave thanks for it.

 

[Al-Iqd Al-Farid, vol. 1, page 68]

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Al-Hasan al-Basri’s letter to Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz describing the just ruler

January 24, 2018 3 comments

 

When Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz assumed the caliphate, he wrote to al-Hasan ibn Abi al-Hasan al-Basri asking him to write to him and describe the just ruler.

Al-Hasan (rahimahullah) wrote:

“Be it known to you, O Commander of the Faithful, that Allah instituted the just ruler to be the redress of every wrong-doer, the discipline of every unfair person, the correction of every corrupt man, the strength of every weak one, the justice of every wronged being, and the refuge of every frightened individual.

The just ruler, O Commander of the Faithful, is like a shepherd who is tender toward his camels and kind to them; he takes them to the best pastures, prevents them from going to dangerous places, defends them against wild beasts, and protects them from the harms of the heat and the cold.

 

The just ruler, O Commander of the Faithful, is like a father who feels compassion for his children, works hard for them when young and teaches them as they grow older, earns for them during his lifetime, and saves for them after his death.

 

The just ruler, O Commander of the Faithful, is like a tender mother who is dutiful and kind to her baby, who bears him and gives him birth unwillingly, who brings him up as a child, staying up at night when he does, and being quiet when he is at rest; she suckles him for a time and then weans him, she rejoices when he is healthy and is saddened when he is in pain.

 

The just ruler, O Commander of the Faithful, is the guardian of orphans and treasurer of the poor, educating the young among them and providing for the older ones.

 

The just ruler, O Commander of the Faithful, is like the heart among the other body organs: they are healthy if the heart is healthy, and sick when the heart is sick.

 

The just ruler, O Commander of the Faithful, is the one who stands between Allah and his servants; he listens to what Allah says and conveys it to them, he looks to Allah and makes them look too; he is led by Allah and he leads them. Therefore, O Commander of the Faithful, in relation to the realm given to you by Allah, may He be exalted and magnified, do not be like a servant whose master entrusted him with his wealth and dependents, but who wasted the wealth and drove away the dependents like tramps, thus impoverishing his master’s family and frittering away his wealth.

 

Be it known to you, O Commander of the Faithful, that Allah has prescribed punishments to act as deterrents to wicked deeds and vile acts. So if these deeds and acts are committed by those responsible for implementing the punishments, what will happen? Allah has prescribed punishment as a means to better living for His servants. So if the one who should be doing justice to them kills them, what will happen? And remember death and what follows it, O Commander of the Faithful, when you will have no adherents and no supporters to help you against it; so provide for it and for the great terror that follows it.

 

Be it known to you, O Commander of the Faithful, that you have a home other than the one you are in now. In it you will abide for a long time. Your loved ones will abandon you and leave you in it all alone. Provide for it that which will remain with you. “On the day when a man flees from his brother, and from his mother and his father, and from his wife and his sons.” [Quran. 80:34–36]

 

Remember, O Commander of the Faithful, “… when what is in the tombs is resurrected, and what is in the breasts is gathered” [Quran. 100:9–10], secrets will become manifest, and the Book “… leaves out nothing small or great but has recorded it” [Quran. 18:49].

 

Now, O Commander of the Faithful, while you still have time and before the arrival of the appointed hour of death and loss of hope: do not rule Allah’s servants as the ignorant do, and do not behave with them as oppressors do, the way the domineering arrogant ones conduct themselves with those they deem to be weak, for they observe no covenant or compact of protection. Otherwise, you will end up bearing your burdens and other burdens too, and you will carry your loads and other loads too. Do not be deceived by those who enjoy what causes you misery and those who eat good things in this world of theirs, for you will then lose your good things in the Hereafter. Do not look at your power today but look rather at your power tomorrow, when you are captive in the snares of death, standing before Allah, may He be exalted, and in the presence of the angels, the prophets, and the apostles, when “All faces shall be humbled before the Living, Self-Subsisting One” [Quran. 20:111].

 

O Commander of the Faithful, although I have not achieved in my sermon what earlier men of intellect have, I have not withheld advice and sympathy from you. Consider this letter of mine to you as would a healer who gives his beloved to drink bitter medicine because he hopes for the cure and good health it will bring about. Peace be upon you, O Commander of the Faithful, Allah’s mercy, and His blessings.

 

[Al-Iqd Al-Farid, vol. 1, page 49-51]

Al-Tabari as a teacher for a wazir’s son

August 11, 2017 Leave a comment

 

A friend of his knew that the wazir was looking for a tutor for his son, and the friend asked Tabari whether he was willing to accept the position if it was offered to him. Tabari agreed, no doubt eagerly. The friend was able to arrange matters. After first providing him with the proper clothes, he introduced him to the wazir. Ibn Khaaqan gained a good impression of him. He offered him the position and agreed to pay ten dinars per month.

 

In addition, he had a contract drawn up specifying the time Tabari was allowed to devote to study, prayer, eating, and resting, and even gave him upon his request a one-month advance. A well-equipped classroom (hujrat al-ta’dib) for the boy was assigned to Tabari. He instructed him in writing, and his pupil appears to have quickly learned how to write. The writing tablet that demonstrated the boy’s newly acquired skill was taken by servants to his mother and the other slave girls who had borne children to their master (ummahat al-walad) as proof of the good news.

 

The overjoyed ladies filled a tray with dirhams and dinars and sent it with the servants back to Tabari. He, however, refused to accept the money. He had, he said, a contract with the wazir to be paid a certain sum and was not entitled to any further compensation. The matter was submitted to the wazir who summoned him and told him that he was wrong to reject the well-meant gift of the women and had offended them by not accepting it. Tabari argued that the women were slaves and legally owned no property of their own. He obviously implied that it was really the wazir who was the source of the money and who therefore was paying more than had been agreed upon in the contract.

Tabari learned a lesson from this occurrence. Later on, when friends would bring him a gift of food, it was his established custom (sunnah) to accept it as being, in contrast to money, merely a token gift; but, prompted by his socially proper attitude (muruwwah), he would make an appropriate return gift. This taught his friends that it would be inadvisable to press gifts on him.

 

[Ibn ‘Asakir, LXXV; adh-Dhahabi, Nubala XIV, 271]

Different definitions of patience

July 13, 2016 Leave a comment

No matter how severe affliction or excessive joy a Muslim may get, he is supposed to be patient or grateful. But to be patient, we should know what patience means.

 

Ibn Qayyim says:

“Man, by nature, prefers prosperity but when he meets with affliction which is inevitable, patience is the best quality.”

Patience has very vast meaning and understood differently by different scholars. Mentioned below are few basic simple definition of patience.

 

Al-Junaid:

“Patience is to keep calmly content while facing affliction.”

 

Dhu-Nun:

“Patience is to restrain yourself from ill-conduct, remain quiet during affliction and without complaining.”

 

Abu Uthman:

“The one who has patience is the one who had trained himself to handle hardship.” 

 

Amr ibn Uthman al-Makki:

“Patience means to keep close to Allah & to accept calmly the trials He sends, without complaining or feeling sad.”

 

Ruwaim:

“Patience means to refrain from complaining.”

 

Abu Muhammed Al-Hariri:

“Patience means that there is no difference in behavior in times of prosperity & that of adversity & to be content at all times.”

 

Abu Ali Ad-Daqqaq:

“Patience means not to object to your fate.”

 

Al-Khawwas:

“Patience is to adhere to the injunctions of the Quran and Sunnah.”

 

Prophet Muhammed (ﷺ) said:

“No one had ever been given anything better than patience.”

[Bukhari and Muslim]

 

[Taken from “The way to patience and gratitude”, by Ibn Qayyim, pg. 14-16 ]

Imam Shaybani’s first encounter with Imam Malik [rahimahullah]

December 1, 2015 Leave a comment

When the young Iraqi jurist, Imam Shaybani [Muhammed Ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani], visited Madina for the first time, he went incognito to the circle of Imam Malik and inquired:

“What is your opinion about a person who is in need of major ablution (ghusl) and who comes to a mosque and finds that the water for ablution is available only in the mosque where a congregational prayer is already in progress?”

Imam Malik replied: “A person who is in need of major ablution cannot enter mosque.”

The young stranger repeated the question several times only to receive the same answer from Imam Malik. Noticing that the young man was not satisfied with the answer, the teacher asked: “What, then, is your opinion?”

“He should make tayammum, enter the mosque, obtain water and make ablution to join the prayer”, came the prompt answer.

Astonished with the clarity and presence of mind of the young visitor, Imam Malik asked: “Where are you from?” “From here,” (pointing to the earth) was the answer.

When he left the company, Imam Malik asked his colleagues as to who the visitor was. When he was told that he was a young disciple of Abu Hanifah from Iraq, he wondered: “But he told me he was from here!” When it was explained to him that while saying so he had pointed to the earth, Imam Malik observed that his second answer was even more astonishing and intelligent.

[Al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi, Tareekh Baghdad (Cairo, 1931), vol. II, pp. 174-175]

Benefits:

  • Everything is not known to anyone except to Allah: No matter how knowledgeable one is, it is always possible that he might not know what other knows even those with lesser knowledge.

 

  • Manners: Imam Malik did not show his anger to this stranger even though he repeated his question several times.

 

  • Respect: Imam Malik did not become angry on being told different answer to his by al-Shaybani. He did not say: “How dare he to ask me?” “Who is he to question my knowledge?” since I am the Imam of Madina etc. etc. Rather he respected his knowledge and admired it.

 

 

  • Travelling to learn knowledge: Scholars of past used to travel to different parts of world to gain knowledge. Even Musa [alaihi salam] travelled to meet Khidr to gain knowledge from him bestowed on him by Allah.

[Benefit notes by Admin]

Umar’s advice to his son from his deathbed

July 23, 2015 Leave a comment

Ibn Abi’-Dunya narrated that Yahya ibn Abi Rashid al-Basri said: Umar [radiAllahu anhu] said to his son,

Be economical with my shroud, for if there is good for me with Allah, He will exchange it for me for that which is better than it. If I have been otherwise, He will strip me and be very fast in stripping me.

Be economical in the grave you dig for me, for if there is good for me with Allah, He will expand it for me as far as my sight can reach. If I have been otherwise, He will tighten it upon me until my ribs interlace.

Let not a woman go out with me (to the grave), and do not attribute to me a purity that I do not have, for Allah has more knowledge of me.

When you go out (with me to the grave) then hasten your pace, for if there is good for me with Allah, you will send me on to what is better for me. If I am otherwise, you will throw an evil you have been carrying down from your necks.”

[al-Khulafa’ ar-Rashidun, page- 166]

Advises of the Prophet Muhammed [ﷺ]

June 10, 2015 Leave a comment

 

Abu Dharr (Radia-Allahu ‘anhu) said: “O Messenger of Allah (ﷺ)! Give me some advise! Give me some advise!”

He (ﷺ) said:

“I advise you to have Taqwa of Allaah (i.e. fear Allah), because it is the head of all matters.”

 

I said: “O Messenger of Allah! Give me some more advise.”
He (ﷺ) said:

“Recite the Qur’an and remember Allah; because it is a light for you in the earth and a treasure (store) for you in the heaven.”

 
I said: “O Messenger of Allah! Give me some more advise!”

He (ﷺ) said:

“Beware of laughing excessively; because it causes the death of the heart and it will take away the light from the face.”

Advise of Prophet Muhammed
I said: “O Messenger of Allaah! Give me some more advise!”

He (ﷺ) said:

Persevere upon Jihad; because it is monasticism of my nation.”

 
I said: “O Messenger of Allaah! Give me some more advise!”
He (ﷺ) said:

Love the poor people and sit with them.”

 

I said: “O Messenger of Allaah! Give me some more advise!”
He (ﷺ) said:

“Look at those who are below you and do not look at those who are above you, lest you contempt the blessings of Allaah that are bestowed upon you.”

 
I said: “O Messenger of Allaah! Give me some more advise!”
He (ﷺ) said:

“Say the truth even if it is bitter.”

 
[Reported by Ibn Hibban in his Saheeh and Al-Haakim. Al-Albaani graded it Saheeh Ligairihi, in Saheeh at-Targheeb wat Tarheeb # 2233]

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