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


 

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]

The definition of sincerity— Sh. Salih al-Munajjid

February 13, 2016 1 comment

 

Linguistically: It is extracted from the verb (Akhlas) whose source is (Ikhlaas), which means to make pure and not mixed with anything else.

 

This is why Chapter Al-Ikhlaas was given this name, because it emphasizes the Oneness of Allah and that He should be worshipped alone. Ibn Al-Atheer (rahimahullah) said:

“It was given this name because the one who recites it purifies his monotheism to Allah.”

The word Ikhlaas is the word of Tawheed (monotheism).

 

Al-Fayrooz Abaadi (rahimahullah) said:

“Akhlasa means to give up Riyaa’ (showing off) [i.e. offer worship purely for Allah].”

Al-Qaamoos Al-Muheet (797).

 

Al-Jurjaani (rahimahullah) said:

“Ikhlaas is to give up Riyaa’ when offering acts of worship.”

At-Ta’reefaat (28).

 

Technically: In Islamic terminology, the scholars defined it in different ways, and the following are the most important of these definitions:

Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullah)  said:

“Ikhlaas is to purify one’s intention when worshiping Allah and devote the act purely for Him.”

Madaarij As-Saalikeen (91/2).

 

Al-Jurjaani (rahimahullah) said:

“Ikhlaas means to cleanse the heart from any defect or impurity that affects its purity.”

It was also said that Ikhlaas is to scrub away anything that affects its clarity.

At-Ta’reefaat (28).

 

Huthayfah Al-Mar’ashi (rahimahullah)  said:

“Ikhlaas is when the slave feels that performing a deed is the same for him whether he performs it in public or in seclusion.”

Al-Bayaan Fi Aadaab Hamalat Al-Qur’aan (13).

 

Others said:

“Ikhlaas is not to expect any reward from anyone for the deed you perform and to want anyone to see the deed except Allah.”

Madaarij As-Saalikeen (92/2).

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In addition to this, there are many other definitions, which were stated by the righteous Salaf, may Allah have mercy upon them, such as:

1. To perform the deed for Allah and not to join anyone with Him in the intention
2. To perform the deed without people noticing.

Madaarij As-Saalikeen (91-92/2).

 

A sincere person is the one who does not care if people stop caring or respecting him in return for reforming and purifying his heart and making it sound in the scale of Allah. Also, he does not like that people know about anything he does, even if it is as small and minor as the weight of an ant.
It is very common in Islamic texts to use the word intention instead of the word sincerity. For jurists, intention in principle means to differentiate between acts of worship and habits when performing a deed, and it is to differentiate between acts of worship amongst themselves.

Jaami’ Al-‘Uloom Wal-Hikam (11/1)

 

Differentiating between acts of worship and habits when performing a deed, is like differentiating between taking a bath to clean one’s body or as a ritual bath to cleanse himself from impurity due to sexual intercourse or a wet dream. Differentiating between acts of worship amongst themselves, is like differentiating between praying four Rak’ahs for Dhuhr from those for ‘Asr.

 

However, if the word intention is used as a means to find out who is meant by performing a deed: is it performed purely and sincerely for the sake of Allah or not, then in this case intention is included and part of the definition of sincerity.

Truthfulness and sincerity when performing an act of worship have close meanings, but the difference is that sincerity takes place after one starts performing the deed, while truthfulness is usually before the deed starts. Therefore, sincerity branches out of truthfulness.

At-Ta’reefaat (28).

 

[From the book: Sincerity, page 4-7, by Sh. Salih al-Munajjid]

 

 

The reality of Tawakkul (reliance)


 

The reality of Tawakkul is:

for the heart to rely on Allaah, along with taking the correct means, with complete certainty that Allaah the Exalted is the Provider, Creator, and the Giver and Taker of life. Also, that there is no deity worthy of worship besides Him the Exalted and no Lord except Him.

 

 

Tawakkul is broader than Isti`aanah (seeking help) because Isti`aanah is for a person to ask Allaah the Exalted for His Help in a particular matter; it is a branch of Tawakkul. One relies on Allaah the Exalted in seeking His Help in their affairs. Also, Tawakkul is broader in that it has to do with relying on Allaah the Exalted in bringing about beneficial things and driving harmful things away, as well as other issues.

 

Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have mercy on him, said:

“Tawakkul comprises of reliance on Allaah, in order for Him to help the person do what they are ordered to do, as well as reliance on Allaah in giving the person what they cannot achieve. Isti`aanah (seeking help) is in actions, and Tawakkul is broader than that. Tawakkul is also in bringing about good things and driving harmful things away, as Allaah the Exalted Says:

{If only they had been satisfied with what Allaah and His Messenger gave them and said: ‘Sufficient for us is Allaah; Allaah will give us of His bounty, and [so will] His Messenger; indeed, we are desirous toward Allaah,’ [it would have been better for them].} [Quran 9:59]”

Majmoo’ Al-Fataawa (8/177)

 

Therefore, Tawakkul occurs in obtaining beneficial things and pushing harmful things away, and Isti`aanah is only needed in worship. Therefore, Tawakkul is broader than Isti`aanah, and Allaah the Exalted has combined both principles when He Says (what means):

{It is You we worship and You we ask for help.} [Quran 1:5]

Therefore, worship is for Him, help is sought from Him, and reliance is on Him Alone, without any partners.

 

If things occur opposite to what you hope, then thank Allaah and do not fear anything. If you leave and submit your matters to Allaah, and constantly turn back to Allaah and rely on Him, then Allaah the Exalted will grant you victory and will help you.

 

[Reliance on Allah, by Shaikh Salih al-Munajjid, page 9-10]

 

Signs of sincerity – Shaikh Salih al-Munajjid


 

The scholars mentioned some signs, which reflect that the person has sincerity, such as:

 

Not longing to become known:

Ibraaheem ibn Al-Ad-ham, [may Allaah have mercy upon him], said:

A slave who seeks to become famous and known is not a sincere slave of Allaah.” 

[Hilyat Al-Awliyaa’ (31/2)]

 

 

Not longing to be praised:

Some scholars said:

“A scholar should address the people while having a sincere intention. As soon as he starts liking what he is saying, then he should stop and remain silent, and if being silent becomes appealing to him, then he should start to talk. He should never stop holding himself to account because people naturally like to be recognized and praised.”

 

 

In addition to the above point, the following are more signs reflecting sincerity:

 Being energetic in working for the sake of Islaam.
 Rushing to work for the sake of Islaam for the sake of Allaah and not only when there is an expected return.
 Persevering and not complaining.

 Being keen on hiding one’s deeds.

 Perfecting the work even if it is done in secret.

 Being keen on performing deeds in secret.

 Making the work done in secret more than that done in public.

 

These are signs reflecting sincerity on the part of the slave, but  one should be careful not to feel sincere, because the moment one starts to feel that he is sincere, then he needs to purify his intention as this feeling (of being sincere) reflects that he lost sincerity. We ask Allaah to make us among His sincere slaves and to purify our hearts and deeds from showing off and hypocrisy.

 

[Sincerity, pg. 50-51]

 

Related Links:

⇔  A Sermon by Abu Bakr As-Siddiq [RadiAllahu anhu] on Sincerity and drawing Lessons

⇔  From the chapter of ‘Sincerity’: Tanbih Al-Ghafileen

⇔  “Ad-Deen is sincerity” (الدِّينُ النَّصِيحَةُ)

⇔  Hiding deeds

⇔  Hiding ones tears

⇔  “And was this showing off, O Sufyan?”

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