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Aqeedah and Fiqh

Lessons from Ignorance: Part 1

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Dilbert - Ignorance“So, what religion are you?”

“Ummm, I think I’m half-Muslim, half-Christian because my mom is Muslim, but my dad is Christian.”

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This is just a guess on my part, but after reading that, I bet your thoughts may have looked something like the following:

“Subhaan’Allah, this guy’s a moron.”

“Great, another ABCD – American Born Confused Dummy.”

::smack!:: (the sound of your palm smacking your forehead)

“Look at the state of our Ummah – this misguided person doesn’t know the difference between ethnicity and religion!”

For other interesting reactions, check out the post on the AlMaghrib forums:

Had I encountered someone who said something like that a few years ago, I’d probably have reacted the same way myself, except that the person who made those comments was none other than the author of this post at the age of 14.

That’s right – I was the one who, while 100% a believing Muslim, called himself half-Muslim, half-Christian. I remember the desi kids who asked me that were like, “How does that work? Do you believe Jesus is the Son, but then you don’t?”

As I think back on it even now, I can’t help but find it funny. How could I have been so dumb? But there it was – I was practicing Islam to the best of the little-to-no-knowledge that I had (and I certainly had not an iota of Christian belief or practice that I followed), but somehow I had mixed up my concepts of race and ethnicity.

I’ll bet if many of us were to take a moment now and reflect on some ideas or beliefs we held years ago, or some dumb statements that we made in the past, we’d find them pretty funny in retrospect.

There’s an interesting story about ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (ra) in which he was seen first laughing and then crying. When questioned about it, he said that he was remembering his life before Islam.

He recalled that at one time, he was in need a god to worship, but there were none available for him at that moment. So what did he do? He pulled out some dates from his pocket, formed them into a god, and then worshipped it.

So what’s so funny about that? Was he laughing about committing shirk? Actually, he was laughing because after he was done with his worship, he became hungry and proceeded to EAT the god made of dates. Can you imagine how funny that must have seemed post-shahadah?

Of course, it’s not always that we have happy memories of past mistakes – many times, there are moments of regret, of shame, of pain, of wanting to go back and undo mistakes that we had made. The same was true of ‘Umar in this story.

He continued, explaining that he was crying because his wife at that time had delivered a baby girl, and as was the practice before Islam, he buried his daughter alive. He remembered being able to hear her coughing as the sand was covering her face, and this was what brought him to tears.

Another version of the story mentions she was a bit older, and while ‘Umar was digging the hole to bury her, she would wipe the sand that would get in his beard, and this memory was what caused him to cry, wallaahu a’lam.

I have a few regrets myself from back in those high school years. During my junior year, I remember there were two Muslim sisters (both in Islam and family members) that stood out more so than all the other Muslim girls in our school because they did something unusual – they wore hijaab. By my senior year, another of their sisters had joined the school, and we had three sisters in our school, all hijaabis.

Can you imagine that? Three Muslim girls wearing hijaab in high school of all places? High school was the absolute worst place to look or dress differently than anyone else because of the social backlash that came with it, and come it did. I remember students would sometimes comment on them, wondering sarcastically if they were bald, or had bugs in their hair, or something else.

That wasn’t the worst part. The worst was what I thought about them. Here I was, their Muslim brother, so ignorant of Islam that I myself never stood up for them, and even looked down on them. I remember one time thinking, don’t you guys realize this isn’t medieval times? We’re in the 20th century now! May Allah subhaana wa ta’aala reward them for their strength and resolve in the face of so much criticism.

It’d be great to ride a DeLorean Marty McFly style and change the past for the better, but what’s happened has happened and what we can do is look back a bit and search for lessons to benefit ourselves for future use, insha’Allah.

One lesson I realized much later was that when I see people who are not practicing Islam properly (meaning, they have ideas about Islam that no scholar holds, or they are what we would call “nonpracticing”), it’s not correct to automatically assume that everyone is at the same level of knowledge and understanding, and therefore condemn them if they don’t know what is obvious to you (assuming you don’t know them, or anything about them).

I recall that later as I started to learn more of Islam in college, I would start looking at others thinking, why isn’t he doing this, or why isn’t she doing that? Astagfirillaah, how could someone say that?! That was the type of attitude I had towards other people’s personal flaws or mistakes in understanding, meanwhile I was (and still am) a work in progress.

After having this type of attitude for many years, eventually I realized, hey, what if someone looked at me the same way because of how I practiced or thought Islam was, back when I was ridiculously ignorant? That ignorance was really not my fault – I was not taught these issues growing up by my family, and maybe, just maybe, those other people I was looking down on now might be in the same situation I was in way back when. Shouldn’t I find out more about them first before inwardly condemning and feeling offended by them?

I recall Shaykh Muhammad Alshareef once use a metaphor for moving one’s life in the right direction. He said that if you’re trying to get to some destination, if you ask someone for directions, the first question they’ll ask you is, “Where are you right now?” Knowing where you are, you can get relevant directions to where you need to go.

Likewise when approaching people with the intent of helping them become better practicing Muslims – before we can tell them what they should do and why, we can’t assume they’re parked right next to us in terms of our own knowledge, practice, and understanding. We need to first figure out where they’re at, and then help provide a solution that’s appropriate for that them, not ourselves.

Many of us know the story of the bedouin who walked into the masjid, picked a corner, and proceeded relieve himself there. We also know the way that the Companions wanted to deal with him, and we know how the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallim treated him, seeing that he was a bedouin – he didn’t assume that the man knew that urinating in the masjid was not allowed, and so he explained to him in a kind and merciful manner that one didn’t do this kind of thing in the masjid.

Surprising as it may seem, smashing someone on the head with a hammer (as I once used to do) is often not the best way to help bring our brothers and sisters in Islam to proper knowledge and better practice. It’s been my experience over the years that mercy, kindness, and not being personally offended go a long way in helping people come closer to Allah subhaana wa ta’aala, and one of the best ways to achieve that mercy and kindness is to lay off on the assumptions and pre-judgements until one has a clear picture of who they’re really dealing with and trying to help, insha’Allah.

These are just small samplings of the mistakes in my understanding of Islam (among many) that I’ve had over the years – how about you? What mistakes in understanding and knowledge have you learned lessons from over the years?

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Siraaj is the Operations Director of MuslimMatters as well as its new lead web developer. He's spent nearly two decades working in dawah organizations, starting with his chapter MSA in Purdue University, and leading efforts with AlMaghrib Institute, MuslimMatters, and AlJumuah magazine. Somewhere in there, he finds time for his full-time profession as a software engineer in Silicon Valley. He holds a bachelor's in Computer Science from Purdue University and a Master's certificate from UC Berkeley. He's very married and has 5 wonderful children

34 Comments

34 Comments

  1. ibnabeeomar

    ibnabeeomar

    April 17, 2008 at 10:10 AM

    welcome to our new assoc. writer – siraaj :)

  2. Amad

    Amad

    April 17, 2008 at 10:23 AM

    Yes, welcome indeed… hopefully your Part 2 and Part 3 won’t take forever like some of ours’ ;)

  3. Avatar

    Siraaj Muhammad

    April 17, 2008 at 11:18 AM

    Haha, jazakallaah khayr for the welcome and the opportunity to write for MM.

    Siraaj

  4. Avatar

    Shawna

    April 17, 2008 at 11:49 AM

    I’ve been through this change as well. I wasn’t taught Islam though I was told I was Muslim. I had what I considered a Muslim dad and a half-Muslim mom. And things were told to me more in terms of culture than spriituality or practice. Now that I have accepted Islam, alhumdulillah, and am happy with my identity as Muslim, I find it much easier to be less judgmental of others who are maybe even making the same mistakes as I was (or that I still make).

    I remember one brother at the masjid stopped me after a prayer to let me know that I wasn’t covering properly for prayer. I was really offended by him, and held it against him for years. But subhan’Allah it couldn’t have been easy to approach me, and he was right. I hadn’t been praying long and didn’t know. I mistook the man’s genuine concern that my prayers might not be accepted for overbearing extremism. In the end, it turned out that I was simply oversensitive because I was so busy judging others I assumed he must be doing the same to me. May Allah reward him for his thoughtfulness and sincerity.

    You’re right. We’re not perfect. We are works in progress, no matter how firm we feel our faith is. I still find myself falling back into what I consider “backbiting” mode now and again. But it gets easier every day, and posts like this that demonstrate it’s an issue for others really helps to reinforce my resolve to change. Masha’Allah, nice post and I look forward to the others.

  5. Avatar

    Anisa

    April 17, 2008 at 11:49 AM

    Asalaamu Alaaikum

    Very good post. I’ve had very simliar experiences. Think of it this way, you (directed to everyone) were lost at one point in your life, and Allah SWT guided you. Now that He SWT has are you going to turn into this arrogant person? And look down on those now who were just like you then? No.

    Insha’Allah looking forward to next parts

    Wa’alaykum Asalaam

  6. Avatar

    BintAbdillah

    April 17, 2008 at 11:59 AM

    Great post!

    JazakAllahu Khair

  7. Avatar

    Ruth Nasrullah

    April 17, 2008 at 12:00 PM

    Asalaamu alaikum. Great post on an important topic.

    In addition to making sure we know what level of knowledge and understanding our fellow Muslims (especially new converts) are at, we need to use care in what knowledge we share. I know one convert sister who asked excellent questions as she became more willing to say the shahadah – for instance, she accepted tawheed fully but asked why the profession of faith also required acknowledging Muhammad (SAW), which seemed to her to put the Prophet on the same level as God. Great question – and she had it answered, and became Muslim. Unfortunately, when the sisters took her under their wing what she came away with was don’t wear high heels, don’t clip your nails after sunset, and get rid of your dogs.

  8. Avatar

    iMuslim

    April 17, 2008 at 1:09 PM

    Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah – Welcome bro Siraaj to MM :)

    I remember saying some reeeeally dumb things way back when, and thinking even worse things – and I probably still do! May Allah forgive me, and protect me from further instances of stupidity.

    Putting yourself in other people’s shoes does help a lot, especially if you remember that you were donning the same pair of loafers (or high heels), not so long ago. :)

    The story about Umar burying his daughter alive is very sad… you can only imagine how much it hurt him to think of that incident, with a heart as soft as his. I think we often get the image that Umar was some big, tough guy – and yes, he was certainly tough – but not in the way we imagine modern “macho men” to be. He was not emotionally detached; his immense fear of Allah kept his heart alive and in touch with the suffering of others. May Allah be pleased with him.

    I look forward to parts 2 & 3, insha’Allah.

  9. AnonyMouse

    AnonyMouse

    April 17, 2008 at 1:47 PM

    As-salaamu ‘alaikum, and jazakAllahu khair for a great post!

  10. Avatar

    Siraaj Muhammad

    April 17, 2008 at 2:53 PM

    Salaam alaykum all,

    Shawna and Anisa:
    Yeah, it’s really interesting how we sometimes project ourselves, our thoughts and intentions, on others. And yes, the works in progress realization with a very late breakthrough for me, and in the context of this article, just as I may be further along than others, others are also further along than me – what if they looked at me negatively the way I looked at others who I had “judged” to be behind me?

    Ruth:
    Masha’Allah, you beat me to the punch – insha’Allah the next article will touch on this very issue, so stay tuned =)

    iMuslim:
    Although putting myself in other’s high heels may be a bit difficult (my feet are big and I’m not very well coordinated), the ability to understand and listening empathetically are so so important – I recall first encountering this idea in Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and understanding in theory what that means and actually practicing it, it’s been a serious struggle for me, and I can see at times it is a struggle for many others as well.

    Siraaj

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    N. Ali

    April 17, 2008 at 3:39 PM

    Mashallah very enlightening article, looking forward to the other parts inshallah.

    Acknowledging aspects of my faith and learning to respect other people’s beliefs and thoughts about certain things is something I came to terms with in my late teenage years as well. I remember a specific incident a few years back where a Muslim sister and dear friend of mine persisted on changing my mind about something I believed in. Trying not to be rude, I listenened and showed understanding, but after a while my patience ran out unfortunately and I made a firm intention to counter her arguments. So we debated and debated and of course nothing came of it. The day after I realized that things of the nature we were debating (methodology etc) are not things to be debated or presuaded about, but should just be accepted and move on. I realized there’s so many other things we can learn about and spend our time wisely discussing.
    I think when reading this most people, if not everyone, can take a trip back through time and realize some things you mentioned which also relate to them. It takes experience and learning through mistakes to realize what one should/should do in terms of actions and beliefs. For me, this has played out in regards to helping a few close friends of mine who reverted to Islam find their way into the deen. There are a few things which I think I did wrong or could have done better, but alhamdulillah Allah gives us lesson through our mistakes, so I’m glad those few odd occurences happened, otherwise I wouldn’t know what I do today. It’s important like you say, to realize that not everyone is “parked right next to us” in terms of knowledge and practice. Assessing where a person is the first step to helping them. And if you don’t know where they are you can’t help them get to where they want to be. Thanks for addressing this.

  12. Avatar

    theManOfFewWords

    April 17, 2008 at 3:41 PM

    You know on the whole half Muslim half Christian thing, I think the sad truth is that for the most part in the US religion is more cultural than devotional. Muslims are Muslims because of the food they eat and Christian are Christians because they celebrate Christmas. For many people that’s as deep as it goes but it still represents their identity which is scary because then it becomes as dangerous as the ignorance of nationalism. Where it’s all about competing identities rather than devotion to ALLAH. What is supposed to be spiritual quest and struggle becomes a flag waving contest.

    This is best observed with the ever so popular ambiguous “facts” that begin “did you know that so and so famous historical figure was a Muslim?” But that, of course, is the one of the least harmful incarnations.

  13. Avatar

    Abu Abdul

    April 17, 2008 at 5:15 PM

    Jazaakallaahu khayran Bro. Siraaj. A very reflective post.

    I remember when I was in my final year in the college, a brother was recounting to me the experience they had while preaching to me when I was in my junior years and lack much of islamic understanding. He said, “do you remember what you said when we advised you against listening to music”. I said i could not remember. He then said, “you (i.e. myself) said, that you people should not even go there at all, if it is every other thing (like salah, etc), no problem, but as for music, No way! and its not possible”. Wow, that was a shock to me. Alhamdulillahi, it has really helped to shape my thought and interaction with people of lesser understanding. Although, I’ll say there is still a long way to go.

    May Allaah bless Bro. Siraaj for this loud reflection.

  14. Pingback: Quick Notes - City University Islamic Society

  15. Avatar

    Nahyan

    April 17, 2008 at 5:42 PM

    MashaAllah, great article Siraaj. Looking forward to the series.

    It’s like a mental transition most newly practicing Muslims have to go through; being mindful for other people’s backgrounds before passing a judgment.

  16. Avatar

    Peaches

    April 17, 2008 at 6:17 PM

    Before I got more involved in the Muslim faith, my mom would get somewhat frustrated( I don’t know but it seemed that way to me) by telling me That I shouldn’t claim the Christian faith if I’m going to the masjid. Initially, I just seen myself as just visiting, but I began to realize that I was visiting there more than church. . People can have an appreciation of one or more religions( which , if I had a family would like for them to do), but it may seem a little difficult to do both. Even in my former religion of Christianity, there was those being ” half-AME/Baptist”in my family, but at the end, I just went with the Baptist faith.Right now, I ‘m at neither as my classes has prevented me from going to masjid( though a couple of times, I was fortunate when my professor had conferences to attend), but my mind is focused totally on the Muslim faith.

  17. Avatar

    Ayesha

    April 17, 2008 at 7:19 PM

    As a teacher, on a daily basis, I have to deal with high schoolers going through a transition in their life. Sometimes it is almost painful to watch their behavior, hear about their priorities, and moral dillemas. I often just want to grab their shoulders and shake them! But, then I have to remind myself of my *own* behavior when I was their age, and everything is put back into prospective. So I have to ask myself, “What would I have needed at that time in my life? Someone to judge me or someone to gently give me some advice and guide me.” As it turns out, the second option usually works a lot better, alhumdu’lillah.

    Great article, well written. I’m looking forward to reading more from you, insha’Allah.

  18. Avatar

    inexplicabletimelessness

    April 17, 2008 at 8:07 PM

    Great advice and article, mashaAllah.

    Just an FYI, sister Peaches, why don’t you check out the Islamway sisters site: http://sisters.islamway.com/forum
    There are many sisters from all over the world with similar backgrounds to you even who go there and learn and I think you’d love it!

  19. Avatar

    browngurl

    April 17, 2008 at 9:01 PM

    When I first became Muslim, i didn’t know any Muslim sisters. When I did eventually meet some, they were perhaps not the best people to deal with a new Muslim. They were very rigid in their opinions and very enthusiastic about enforcing them on others. Needless to say, I never went back to that masjid. Those experiences have had a lasting effect when it comes to my ideas regarding community, sisterhood and dawah. Whenever I enter a masjid or meet sisters I just waiting for the other shoe to drop. If it’s not the you are going to hell for wearing pants speech it’s usually the you are abnormal if you are not married monologue (shakes head) sigh…

  20. Avatar

    zk

    April 18, 2008 at 12:14 AM

    browngurl (and to other new muslim sisters),
    don’t let muslim sisters scare you. sometimes mosque crowds can get intense and often reflect one perspective that may be the over arching attitude of the mosque, maybe you should try and interact with student groups instead? I’ve found MSAs to be a lot more inclusive than mosques because the communities they serve, ie the university, doesn’t necessarily serve different groups of muslims, but are actually more willing to overlook smaller differences, they’re just happy to have more muslims around!
    women who are in university also sometimes are less domestically inclined than those whose lives revolve around their husbands and kids (not that being domestic is a bad thing at all) but it would probably mean that you are less likely to receive the ‘you are abnormal if you are not married monologue.’.
    Some of the smartest, most open minded and non-judgemental muslims I have met are masha Allah, practicing muslim sisters in the US. I grew up in pakistan and then the middle east and often felt judged and stifled, but Alhamdulillah, here you have the opportunity to meet sisters who shed cultural baggage and adopt sincere religion for the sake of religion, not for keeping up appearances in society, and are strengthened and empowered by the battles they have to fight in keeping true to Islam in a non-islamic place. That being said, sometimes you will meet women who still have culture and religion confused, don’t let that taint ur impression, keep looking :)

  21. Avatar

    SaqibSaab

    April 18, 2008 at 1:06 AM

    Assalaamu alaykum and welcome Siraaj. Hopefully you’ll write here more often than on your blog. 8)

    One mistake a lot of us make is lack of communication; not taking/making the initiative to talk to people.

    Example: A newly practicing sister/brother gives up listening to music and is about to get married. Her/his family plays music at the wedding. The sister/brother asks for it to be turned off, the family members get offended, the sister/brother is labeled as a Wahhabi, and the wedding festivity begins to turn a bit sour.

    This could have been avoided with some simple communication. Sometimes all it takes is to talk to people before these kinds of things happen, especially if you’ve made a change in your life. Let friends and family know that things a different as of late, and exactly what you’re cool with and what you’re not; it can go a long way.

  22. Avatar

    Peaches

    April 18, 2008 at 7:39 AM

    Inexplicable,
    Thanks a bunch!

  23. ibnabeeomar

    ibnabeeomar

    April 18, 2008 at 9:19 AM

    some really important points have been made here. one scenario i have seen over and over again is guys who have “been around” in terms of going through different phases in their deen, when they see people start practicing or convert, they start to kind of police them telling what to listen to and not listen to, whose halaqahs to attend or not attend – obviously its done out of a zeal to keep them from being misled and to inshallah be on the straight path, however, its important to remember, the guidance of a person is not in our hands. if someone is sincere then Allah(swt) will guide them and give them tawfeeq, we have to always strive to learn and give dawah with hikmah.

  24. Avatar

    Siraaj

    April 18, 2008 at 12:03 PM

    N Ali
    Yes, and the interesting thing is, when you keep looking back and reflecting on your own life and mistakes, there are sooooo many excellent lessons that can taken out with the new knowledge and perspective you on life.

    theManOfFewWords
    Completely agree with you. In fact, the next post in this series will attempt to address this phenomenon of nationalistic vs spiritual Islam.

    Abu Abdul
    Ha, music was one of my achilles heel issues too back in college. Alhamdulillaah, one thing that accelerated my getting over it was not having any denial over its ruling. There’s like a repeated smack to your system when you do something you know is wrong, and it eventually gets to you (or you need to follow another opinion to stay sane ;) ).

    Nahyan
    Yeah, it’s like, when books of knowledge are written, or classes are taught, we need our teachers to put out an IMMEDIATE disclaimer – you just gained knowledge, so don’t look down on others, and don’t expect them to know what you yourself didn’t know like 10 minutes ago.

    Peaches
    That’s an interesting way at looking at it – no one would have called you half this and that, but at the same, you had an appreciation for islam which eventually caused you to accept it wholeheartedly which is really awesome, masha’Allah.

    Ayesha
    I had similar experiences when I briefly taught Sunday school. I found some degree of success in influencing them by not treating them as me authority, you kids, do what I say! I was more like an older brother (the kind that’ll tease a bit, but that you could have fun with).

    browngurl
    Y’know, i mention this phenomenon as well in the next article in this series. A lot of born and raised Muslims have a few issues that are so near and dear to their hearts that it almost becomes like an aqeedah issue if you’re not following it. They identify that issue as part of being Muslim.

    Try to be patient with them, and even if they seem overly zealous, try to separate their attitude from the content of what they say and evaluate it on its own merits. Sometimes, good advice is poorly conveyed, but it still might (or might not) be good advice, insha’Allah.

    SaqibSaab
    Hey, can you change my profile picture back to what it originally was? Metallic yellow is not my look ;) I had that exact experience with music at my waleema, but like you said, we made it clear it can’t happen in advance, and alhamdulillaah, when someone tried to play some, we were able to immediately shut it down with no muss, no fuss.

    ibnabeeomar
    So very true. It’s better to build up someone’s Islam rather than tear them and other people and organizations down if there is, generally speaking, there’s nothing too wild going on. And besides, it ain’t our job – there’s other people of knowledge to warn us if that if necessary ;)

  25. Avatar

    m_f

    April 18, 2008 at 12:31 PM

    Assalamualaikum!

    WOW…that must have been really difficult to have parents of two different faiths while growing up. I can’t even imagine myself like that, I probably would have been so confused. But Alhamdullilah I am glad Allah(SWT) has bought you into the light and may He(SWT) keep us all steadfast in this religion. You know sometimes even being born into an ALL muslim family we say things we are not suppose to. May Allah(SWT) forgive us all for those mistakes and guide us. Ameen.

    Your article was very beneficial brother. The lesson I learned was that if we ever come across someone in this situation we should guide them in an appropiate way. Kind of put yourself in their shoes and see how life is like and go on from there. And without knowing their background we cannot have preconceived notions about them. May Allah(SWT) give us all opportunities to guide people who are in need of a right direction. Ameen.

    JazakAllah! Very useful article. Hope to read Part 2 & 3 soon InshaAllah. Keep them coming!

  26. Avatar

    m_f

    April 18, 2008 at 12:37 PM

    One more important thing…Once we help them, we should always remember that it is Allah(SWT) who guides a person. So leave the rest on Allah.

  27. Avatar

    Abs

    April 18, 2008 at 2:53 PM

    I like to use the principle: Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

  28. Avatar

    AbuAbdAllah

    April 20, 2008 at 11:48 AM

    bismillah. mashaAllah, last sunday i ask for articles, and here comes a series of them. jazak Allah khayr siraaj. i look forward to reading the series.

  29. Avatar

    US

    April 20, 2008 at 1:18 PM

    Silence in da’wah (many times, saying less is more, it strikes curiosity), mercy in da’wah, patience in da’wah, and common sense
    in da’wah -all these things must be kept in mind when dealing with the acute sensibilities of human beings.

    These traits need to go untamed, wild!

    The best da’wah tips are remembering our own mistakes subhanAllah, and what made us learn from them.

    This article rocked.
    JazakAllaho khairun.

  30. Avatar

    Siraaj

    April 20, 2008 at 3:32 PM

    m_f
    As I became more practicing in my teenage years, there were some difficulties and tests from my father, but alhamdulillaah, Allah subhaana wa ta’aala strengthened my position with my mother’s help, may Allah subhaana wa ta’aala bless her.

    AbuAbdullaah
    I’m glad you’re looking forward to an article series, part 2 is complete, queued in line behind the other articles that were completed ahead of it, so look out for it in the weeks ahead, insha’Allah.

    US
    Completely agree with you. And when I think back to the times that I made changes in my own life, it was through people whom I had a degree of respect and trust and would respect their opinion in what they said, and those people tended not to be harsh or judgemental, alhamdulillaah.

    Siraaj

  31. Avatar

    Faiez

    April 21, 2008 at 1:18 AM

    People making fun of those sisters hijaab reminds me of people making fun of my beard in high school. Ofcourse, sometimes practicing brothers would make fun of it as well, which was more confusing than kuffar making fun of it….

    And now Siraaj has the longest beard in Chicago. :)

  32. Avatar

    Siraaj Muhammad

    April 21, 2008 at 12:36 PM

    And now Siraaj has the longest beard in Chicago.

    Ha, I was once accused of having someone’s laptop in my beard on the almaghrib forums, and the sisters came to my defense (no lying when joking!), may Allah subhaana wa ta’aala reward them.

    Siraaj

  33. Avatar

    SaqibSaab

    April 21, 2008 at 1:26 PM

    US
    Regarding “silent Dawah.” Can’t remember the exact concept or wording, but I believe Ibn Taymiyya stated that if correcting a mistake or forbidding an evil will cause more evil and harm to result, then it is better to not correct the mistake or forbid the evil.

    This is especially hard to do sometimes, and definitely goes beyond the scope of just simple knowledge of “do this” “don’t do that.” It’s straight up a wisdom based judgment call. Obviously it’s not a definite rule meaning you permanently don’t forbid it, or you don’t try to indirectly forbid it, but the wisdom of the principle is obvious and important for all of us.

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Ibn-ʿAllan’s Commentary Dalilul-Falihin: The Book of Fasting | Hadiths 9-12

 وعن عائشة رضي الله عنها قالت: “كان رسول الله ﷺ إذا دخل العشرُ أحيَى الليل، وأيقظ أهلهُ، وشدَّ المئزر” متفقٌ عليه().

 

ʿAʾishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported:

When the ten nights would begin, the Messenger of Allāh r would keep the night alive; he would also awaken his family and tighten his wrapper.

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Al-Bukhārī and Muslim.

“When the ten nights would begin”

What is meant is the last ten nights

“The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ would keep the night alive”

He would keep stay up at night and engage in various forms of worship such as ṣalāt, dhikr, and meditation/reflection. Or he kept himself alive by remaining awake, since sleep is death’s sibling. The metaphor refers to the night because when someone who is sleeping is woken-up and brought back to life, their night can be said to have been given life through them.

“He would also awaken his family”

He did so to draw their attention towards the time of goodness, so they may expose themselves to the gusts of goodness. A narration in Tirmidhī states, “When the last ten days of Ramaḍān would enter, the Messenger of Allāh r would not fail to wake up anyone who was capable of staying up in his household”. He would lead them towards the avenues of goodness, and help them attain it.

“And tighten his wrapper”

Al-Khaṭṭābī explains: “The meaning is likely to be earnestness in acts of worship. Just as one would say ‘I have tightened my wrapper for this matter’ i.e I have buckled down to it/rolled up my sleeves for it. It is also said that it may be a metaphor for buckling down and withdrawing from women. It is also said that it may have a literal meaning and a figurative meaning at the same time, i.e that he literally tighten his waist wrapper (izār) and also withdrew from women and buckled down for worship. However, the first explanation is more plausible because in another narration the following wording is found “He would tighten his wrapper and withdraw from women”. This leads us to conclude that the expression tightening his wrapper relates to earnestness in worship only.

– باب فضل السحور وتأخيره ما لم يخشَ طلوع الفجر

Chapter on the virtues of saḥūr, and of delaying it as long as one does fear the rising of dawn

 

 عن أنسٍ، رضي الله عنه، قال: قال رسول الله : “تسحروا؛ فإن في السحور بركةً” متفقٌ عليه .

Anas (May Allāh be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allāh said, “Eat suḥūr [or practice saḥūr] (predawn meal) because surely, there is baraka in suḥūr.”

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Saḥūr is the meal which is taken prior to the rise of dawn. Suḥūr on the other hand, is the act of partaking food at that time. This will have relevance in the ensuing commentary of the ḥadīth.

“The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said, ‘Eat suḥūr [or practice saḥūr] (predawn meal)’ ”

This is considered mandūb i.e praiseworthy. The Sunna itself is fulfilled by having a little food even if it is only a sip of water. It is mentioned in a ḥadīth of ʿAbdullāh bin-Surāqa, traced back to the Nabī r: ‘Practice suḥūr, even if only with a sip of water’. It is narrated by Ibn-ʿAsākir[2]. The Sunna is likewise fulfilled by having a considerable quantity of food.

“Because surely, there is baraka in suḥūr [or saḥūr].”

Al-Ḥāfiẓ Ibn-Ḥajar explains: ‘The use of both spellings is found in authentic narrations. If suḥūr is meant i.e the act of eating at that time, then by baraka is meant the reward and merit. If saḥūr is meant i.e the food which is eaten at that time, then by baraka is meant the fact that it strengthens one for fasting and makes one energetic for it. It also reduces the difficult involved in it’.

It is also said that the baraka lies in the fact of being awake at that time and engaging in duʿāʾ.
It is however more appropriate to say that the Baraka is attained through various avenues, namely: adherence to the Sunna, acting differently than the ahlul-kitāb (Christians and Jews), strengthening oneself for worship through it, its being a cause for one to engage in dhikr and duʿāʾ at a time when acceptance is highly likely, and it also allows for one who has forgotten to make the intention for fasting before sleeping to do so[3].

This ḥadīth was also narrated by Aḥmad, Al-Tirmidhī, Al-Nasāʾī, and Ibn-Māja all through Anas. Al-Nasāʾī has already narrated it through Abū-Hurayra and Ibn-Masʿūd. Aḥmad has also narrated it through Ibn-Masʿūd. This has all been mentioned in Al-Jāmiʿul-Ṣaghīr.

 وعن زيد بن ثابتٍ، رضي الله عنه، قال: تسحرنا مع رسول الله ثم قمنا إلى الصلاة. قيل: كم كان بينهما؟ قال: قدر خمسين آية. متفقٌ عليه

Zaid bin Thābit (May Allāh be pleased with him) reported:

We took suḥūr (predawn meal) with the Messenger of Allāh r and then we stood up for ṣalāt (prayer). It was asked: ‘How long was the gap between the two?’ He replied: ‘The time required for the recitation of fifty verses.’

[Al-Bukhārī and Muslim].

Zaid bin-Thābit was from the Anṣār of Madīna, and he was 11 years old when the Nabī r emigrated from Makka to Madīna. His father passed away when he was 6 years old, and the Nabī r considered him too young to participate in the battle of Badr (~13 years old). He however allowed him to participate in Uḥud. It is also said that he in fact did not participate in Uḥud but rather in Khandaq and the following expeditions with Rasūlullāh r. He used to write revelation for the Nabī r and he was one of the three people who compiled the Qurʾān by gathering its various verses and chapters and verifying their authenticity. The effort to compile the Qurʾān after the demise of the Nabī r was ordered by Abū-Bakr and ʿUmar.
ʿUmar and ʿUthmān would both designate him as imām in Madīna when they traveled for Ḥajj. Ibn Abī-Dāwūd explains: ‘Zaid bin-Thābit was the most knowledgeable of the rules of inheritance among the Ṣaḥābah, and he was among those firmly grounded in knowledge.
A total of 92 ḥadīth from Rasūlullāh r have been narrated by him, 10 of which are found in the collections of Bukhārī or Muslim. He passed away in Madīna in the year 54 A.H.

“We took suḥūr (predawn meal) with the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ”

One can notice a subtle indication of etiquette in the choice of words, rather than saying ‘Us and Rasūlullāh took suḥūr’ he used wording which emphasizes the fact that they followed his example r.

“And then we stood up for ṣalāt (prayer)”

The morning ṣalāt i.e ṣubḥ.

“It was asked: ‘How long was the gap between the two?’ He replied: ‘The time required for the recitation of fifty verses.’ ”

Anas is the one who asked the question. Imām Aḥmad also narrated a ḥadīth where Qatāda asks Anas the same question.
The verses referred to are of moderate length. They were neither long nor short, and were read neither fast nor slow. The ʿArab had the habit of estimating time through physical actions, such as saying ‘As long as it takes to milk a goat’. Zaid however chose to estimate the time through the action of reading the Qurʾān to indicate that it was a time fit for worship through recitation of the Qurʾān. Ibn Abī-Jamra explains: ‘The ḥadīth is an indication of the fact that the vast majority of their time was immersed in ʿibāda (worship)’.

The ḥadīth also indicates that suḥūr was done as late as possible, as it is more befitting for the intent behind it. Also because it was the Nabī r’s habit to look for that which was most gentle for his Umma and apply it. If he did not take suḥūr that would prove difficult for some of them, just as taking suḥūr in the middle of the night would be difficult for those overtaken by sleep. That could lead to leaving suḥūr altogether or in it being a tiresome process.

 وعن عمرو بن العاص رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله r قال: “فَصْلُ ما بين صيامنا وصيام أهل الكتاب أكلةُ السحر” رواه مسلم .

ʿAmr bin Al-ʿĀṣ (May Allāh be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said, ‘The difference between our observance of fasting and that of the people of the scriptures (ahlul-kitāb) is suḥūr (predawn meal)’

[Narrated by Muslim].

ʿAmr bin Al-ʿĀṣ accepted Islām in the year of Khaybar, i.e the beginning of the 7th year A.H. Him, Khālid Ibnul-Walīd and ʿUthmān bin-Ṭalḥa came to the Nabī and accepted Islām together. He was made the commander of the 17th expedition, called sariyatu dhātil-salāsil and which had 300 men. It was then reinforced through another regiment in which were Abū-Bakr and ʿUmar, and whose commander was Abū-ʿUbayda bin-Jarrāh. The Nabī r told the latter ‘Do not be at odds with eachother’. ʿAmr used to lead the ṣalāt of the combined regiments until they returned to Madīna (notwithstanding the illustrious personalities who joined them). He was designated as an ambassador to Omān where he remained until the death of the Nabī r. Abū-Bakr t then sent him as governor to Shām and he was present in the various conquests of its territory. He then governed Palestine for ʿUmar t for some time after which he was sent with a regiment to Egypt, which he conquered. He remained its governor until the death of ʿUmar. ʿUthmān left him in his position for another 4 years, and he then removed him. ʿAmr then settled away in Palestine from which he would occasionally visit Madīna. Muʿāwiya t eventually designated him governor of Egypt, where he remained as governor until his death and was buried there. He passed away on the eve of ʿIdul-Fiṭr the year 43 A.H at the age of 70 years. His son ʿAbdullāh led his funeral prayer. He was among the heroes and intellectuals of the ʿArab, and was known to be a leader with a great vision.
When the time of his death dawned upon him he said: ‘O Allāh you have ordered me and I was not compliant, you prohibited me and I did not refrain, I am not strong so I seek assistance, neither am I free of blame so I apologize, and I am not arrogant but rather I am repentant; there is no deity except You’. He kept repeating these words until he passed away.

“The difference between our observance of fasting and that of the people of the scriptures (ahlul-kitāb)”

The ahlul-kitāb are the Jews and Christians. They were given revealed scriptures, hence the name ahlul-kitāb.

“Is suḥūr (predawn meal)”

This is an unequivocal statement to the fact that taking suḥūr is a special trait for us, and that Allāh has made it a favor and distinction for this Umma. This favor and distinction were not granted to the previous nations.

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Ibn-ʿAllan’s Commentary Dalilul-Falihin: The Book of Fasting. Hadiths 7-8

– وعنه، رضي الله عنه، أن رسول الله ﷺ، قال: “إذا جاء رمضانُ، فُتحتْ أبواب الجنة، وغُلقت أبواب النار، وصُفدت() الشياطين” متفقٌ عليه().

Abū-Hurayra (May Allāh be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allāh said, “When Ramaḍān begins, the gates of paradise are opened, the gates of the fire of hell are closed, and the devils are chained.”

Narrated by Al-Bukhārī and Muslim.

The Messenger of Allāh said, “When Ramaḍān begins, the gates of paradise are opened”

The most apparent meaning is that this is a literal opening of the doors of paradise for a person who passes away during Ramaḍān, or for a person who performs good actions which are accepted. It is also said that the meaning is figurative, meaning that performing good actions in Ramaḍān will lead to the gates of paradise being opened in the hereafter. Another figurative meaning may also be the abundance of mercy and forgiveness, as can be inferred by a narration of Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim “The doors of mercy are opened”.

“The gates of the fire of hell are closed”

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The same observation can be made about this statement as has just been said regarding the gates of paradise.

It is also said that this is a metaphor to express the fact that the egos of the fasting persons are pure from the impurities of shameful actions, and they are liberated from the things which lead to sinful acts by means of their tamed based desires.
Al-Ṭībī explains: ‘The benefit of this is two-fold: the angels are clearly made aware that the action of those fasting is highly revered in front of Allāh. The fact that the truthful Nabī is the one informing about this matter also serves to increase the eagerness of the Muslim individual’.

“And the devils are chained”

This statement can also be considered to be in a literal sense. It may also figuratively mean that they are prevented from causing excessive nuisance to the believers and from provoking them. That makes them seem as they are chained. It may also mean that the Muslims refrain from involving themselves in the acts of disobedience which the devils annoy them with.

– باب الجود وفعل المعروف والإكثار من الخير في شهر رمضان

والزيادة من ذلك في العشر الأواخر منه

Chapter on generosity, performing good actions, increasing in goodness during Ramaḍān and augmenting in that during its last 10 days

1/1222- وعن ابن عباس، رضي الله عنهما، قال: كان رسول الله ﷺ، أجود الناس، وكان أجود() ما يكونُ في رمضان حين يلقاهُ جبريلُ، وكان جبريلُ يلقاهُ في كل ليلةٍ من رمضان فيدارسهُ القرآن، فلرسولُ الله ﷺ، حين يلقاهُ جبريلُ أجودُ بالخير من الريح المرسلة” متفقٌ عليه().

Ibn ʿAbbās (May Allah be pleased with them) reported:

The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ was the most generous of men; and he would be the most generous during the month of Ramaḍān when Jibrīl visited him. Jibrīl would meet him every night of Ramaḍān and he would review the Qurʾān with him. As a result, at the time Jibrīl met him the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ was more generous with goodness than the free wind.

What is meant by good actions in the title are obligatory and recommended actions alike. Increasing such actions in Ramaḍān is mandūb (i.e commendable) as the reward will be multiplied on virtue of the distinction of this time. This particularity in Ramaḍān is because it is the best of the months, so it is commendable to keep it alive with such actions and see their reward multiplied as a result.

The last ten days start on the eve of the 21st day of fasting, and they end on the last day whether the month ends in 29 days or 30 days.

Al-Bukhārī and Muslim.

“The Messenger of Allāh (ﷺ) was the most generous of men”

He was the man endowed with the most generosity. Indeed it is a fact that that which has been narrated of his generosity has not been narrated regarding anyone else.

“And he would be the most generous during the month of Ramaḍān when Jibrīl visited him.”

His state of generosity in Ramaḍān was superior to that outside of Ramaḍān, but he was nevertheless the most generous man in an absolute sense.

“Jibrīl would meet him every night of Ramaḍān and he would review the Qurʾān with him”

It is said that the wisdom in reviewing the Qurʾān is that it renews the pledge of having a content ego. Contentment in turns breeds generosity. Ramaḍān is also the season of goodness because Allāh’s bounties on his servants are increased therein. It was the habit of Nabī to give preference to follow the example of the sunna of Allāh (i.e his customary practice) in dealing with His servants. The combination of what has been mentioned i.e the time, the one who came down (Jibrīl), what he descended with (the Qurʾān) and the learning were all obtained through the hand of generosity. And Allāh knows best.

“As a result, at the time Jibrīl met him the Messenger of Allāh (ﷺ) was more generous with goodness than the free wind”

He was, in the speed of his generosity faster than the wind. The free wind indicates the wind which continuously blows with mercy. His generosity was all-encompassing in its benefit just as the free wind fully encompasses anything it blows on.

A narration of Imām-Aḥmad includes the following wording at the end of this ḥadīth: “He was never asked anything except that he gave it”[1].

Imām Al-Nawawī explains:

“This ḥadīth contains many fine lessons: encouragement towards generosity at all times, and increasing it during Ramaḍān as well as when meeting righteous people (analogy with the meeting of Jibrīl). It also indicates the virtue of visiting the pious and noble folk, and to do so repeatedly as long as the person being visited does not mind. It also points to the laudable nature of abundantly reading Qurʾān during Ramaḍān and the fact that it is superior to all forms of remembrance of Allāh [dhikr/adhkār]. Indeed, if dhikr was superior or equivalent to it then they would have done it (the Nabī and Jibrīl). Some commentators have said that these were tajwīd sessions. This is however objectionable as memorization of the Nabī was a given, and anything beyond memorization could be achieved through a few sessions. It is therefore clear that the intent in Jibrīl’s coming was an increase in the amount of recitation.

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Ibn-ʿAllan’s Commentary Dalilul-Falihin: The Book of Fasting | Hadiths 3-6

– وعنه أن رسول الله ﷺ قال: “من أنفق زوجين في سبيل الله نُودي من أبواب الجنة: يا عبدالله هذا خيرٌ، فمن كان من أهل الصلاة دُعيَ من باب الصلاة، ومن كان من أهل الجهاد دُعيَ من باب الجهاد، ومن كان من أهل الصيام دُعيَ من باب الريان، ومن كان من أهل الصدقة [480] دُعيَ من باب الصدقة” قال أبو بكر رضي الله عنه، بأبي أنت وأُمي يا رسول الله! ما على من دُعيَ من تلك الأبواب من ضرورةٍ، فهل يدعى أحدٌ من تلك الأبواب كلها؟ قال: “نعم وأرجو أن تكون منهم” متفقٌ عليه().

Abū-Hurayra (May Allāh be pleased with him) also reported:

The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said, “He who spends a pair in the way of Allāh will be called from the gates of paradise: ‘O slave of Allāh! This is goodness’ and one who is among the people of ṣalāt (prayer), will be called from the gate of ṣalāt; and whoever is eager in fighting in the cause of Allāh, will be called from the gate of jihād; and one who is regular in fasting will be called from the gate Ar-Rayyān. The one who is a charitable person will be called from the gate of charity.” Abū-Bakr (May Allāh be pleased with him) said: “O Messenger of Allāh ﷺ ! May my mother and father be sacrificed for you! Those who are called from these gates will stand in need of nothing. However, will anybody be called from all of those gates?” He replied, “Yes, and I hope that you will be one of them.” ”.

Narrated by Al-Bukhārī and Muslim.

“ The Messenger of Allāh said, “He who spends a pair in the way of Allāh will be called from the gates of paradise: ‘O slave of Allāh! This is goodness’ ”

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In some narrations of this ḥadīth it is added: “It was said: what is a pair? He ﷺ said: two horses, two cows, or two mules”.

It is possible that his ḥadīth applies to all virtuous actions, be it two ṣalāt, fasting two days, or two acts of charity. That is substantiated by the wording of the rest of the ḥadīth, which enumerates those different actions.

In the way of Allāh applies to all acts of goodness [i.e for Allāh’s sake]. It is also said that it is specific to jihād, but the first interpretation is more correct and apparent. That is Imām Al-Nawawī’s position.

Goodness here is said to mean reward and delight. It is also said that it means this is better i.e we think that this is better for you than the rest of the doors, due to the abundance of its reward and bounties. Come and enter through it.

Ḥāfiẓ Ibn-Ḥajar however contends in Fatḥul-Bārī: “The meaning of goodness is virtue, not superiority, although the wording may lead to think so. The intent of the statement is to provide additional encouragement to the individual for entering through that door”.

“And one who is among the people of ṣalāt (prayer), will be called from the gate of ṣalāt; and whoever is eager in fighting in the cause of Allāh, will be called from the gate of jihād; and one who is regular in fasting will be called from the gate Al-Rayyān.”

Al Qurṭubī explains: to be among the people of ṣalāt means that one performs abundant optional prayers to the point that it represents the most common of his optional actions. The obligatory ṣalāt is not meant, because all people are equal in that respect.

The same reasoning applies to fasting and ṣadaqa.

The door is called Al-Rayyān i.e the one who is satiated/quenched, as opposed to the one who is thirsty i.e the person fasting. This is to signify that he is rewarded for his thirst through a permanent satiation in paradise.

“The one who is a charitable person will be called from the gate of charity.”

After the mention of this door, four of the five pillars of Islām have been included, leaving the pillar of Ḥajj. There is no doubt that there is a door for [those who performed] Ḥajj [abundantly]. That leaves a remainder of three doors to complete the number of eight doors.

One of those doors is the door for ﴾ الْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ ﴿ “those who control their wrath and are forgiving toward mankind” (s. Āl-ʿImrān, v. 134). Imām Aḥmad bin-Ḥanbal narrates from Al-Ḥasan [in a ḥadīth mursal] “Certainly Allāh has a door in paradise which none except those who forgive injustice will enter through”.

Another one of those doors is “the door of the right side.” That is the door of the mutawakkilīn i.e those who used to put their entire trust in Allāh, through which will enter those who will not go through any reckoning nor will they be subject to any punishment.

As for the third door, it may be the door of the remembrance of Allāh, as a ḥadīth in Tirmidhī alludes to it. It is also possible that it is the door of knowledge.

Considering the fact that the types of virtuous actions number much more than eight in total, it is then possible that the doors through which people will be called are in fact internal doors which are located beyond the eight main doors of paradise.

Al-Suyūṭī explains in Al-Dībāj: “Al-Qāḍī ʿIyāḍ explains: the remaining doors are mentioned in other aḥādīth: the door of repentance, the door of “those who control their wrath and are forgiving toward mankind”, the door of those who are content, the door of the right side from which will enter those who will not undergo any reckoning”.

Al-Ḥāfiẓ Ibn-Ḥajar explains in Fatḥul-Bārī: for one to spend in the way of Allāh in ṣadaqa, jihād, knowledge and ḥajj is obvious. It is however not so obvious for other actions.
Spending in ṣalāt may refer to acquiring its tools such as the water to purify oneself, and one’s suitable garments or the like thereof.
As for spending while fasting it would be on those things which strengthen one to do such as suḥūr [pre-dawn meal] and fuṭūr [meal after sunset].
Spending to forgive others would mean that one forsakes those rights which he is entitled to from them.
Spending in tawakkul would be that which one spends during a sickness which prevents them for earning a living, while exerting patience in one’s affliction. It can also be that which one spends on someone else who is afflicted by the same, seeking thereby reward.
Spending for dhikr would be along the same lines.

It is also possible that what is meant by spending on ṣalāt and fasting is for one to exert their person in those acts. In the language of the ʿArab, exertion of one’s person is called expenditure [nafaqa]. They will for instance say, “I have expended my life on it” when referring to a trade which one has learnt. Exerting one’s body in fasting and ṣalāt would therefore be considered expenditure.

“Abū-Bakr  (May Allāh be pleased with him) said: “O Messenger of Allāh ﷺ ! May my mother and father be sacrificed for you! Those who are called from these gates will stand in need of nothing. However, will anybody be called from all of those gates?” ”

He means that one being called by anyone of these doors would certainly not suffer any diminution or loss. This statement brings alertness to the fact that very few people will be called from all those gates.

The one who has all those actions to his account is called from all the doors is an expression of merit, but entrance will nevertheless occur from only one door . That door is likely to be the one corresponding to the action which was most dominant for that person.

In this same context, one should not be confused by the ḥadīth of Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim which says “Whoever performs ablution and does so most adequately, and then says I bear witness that there is no deity but Allāh…” and then it mentions “then the eight doors of paradise will open and he may enter from whichever one he choses”. The takeaway from this ḥadīth is that the doors are opened in this instance as a sign of esteem. One will nonetheless only enter through the door corresponding to their most abundant action.

Al-Zarkashī explains: “It is possible that the paradise is a fortress with embedded walls, and each wall would have its own door. Some will be called from the first door only, while others will be made to skip to the first door and taken to the interior door. So on and so forth…”.

“He replied, “Yes, and I hope that you will be one of them.” ”

The ʿulamāʾ explain: “Hope from Allāh and His Nabī ﷺ unequivocally comes to realization”.

The author-Imām Nawawī-explains: among the things which are inferred from this ḥadīth is the virtue of Abū-Bakar , and the permissibility of praising a person in their presence as long as a tribulation is not feared for them such as them becoming fond of themselves.

 وعن سهل بن سعدٍ رضي الله عنه عن النبي ﷺ، قال: “إن في الجنة باباً يُقالُ له: الريانُ، يدخلُ منه الصائمون يوم القيامة، لا يدخلُ منه أحدٌ غيرهم، يقالُ: أين الصائمون؟ فيقومون لا يدخل منه أحدٌ غيرهم، فإذا دخلوا أُغلق فلم يدخل منه أحدٌ” متفقٌ عليه().

Sahl bin-Saʿd  (May Allāh be pleased with him) narrates:

The Prophet ﷺ said, “In paradise there is a gate which is called Al-Rayyān through which only those who observe fasting will enter on the Day of Resurrection. No one else will enter through it. It will be called out, “Where are those who observe fasting?” so they will stand up and no one else will enter through it. When the last of them will have entered, the gate will be closed and then no one will enter through that gate.”

Narrated by Bukhārī and Muslim.

“The Prophet ﷺ said, “In paradise there is a gate which is called Al-Rayyān”

The significance of the name Rayyān i.e the one who is satiated/quenched has been explained earlier. One may add here that being satiated has been used to also signify that one’s hunger is satisfied, because they clearly go hand-in-hand.

“Through which only those who observe fasting will enter on the Day of Resurrection”

The mention of the day of resurrection is because that is when this will occur. It can also be said that it’s to differentiate from the souls of the martyrs and those of the believers which enter paradise during the duration of this lowly world, without it being contingent upon the action of fasting.

“No one else will enter through it. It will be called out, “Where are those who observe fasting?” so they will stand up and no one else will enter through it. When they have entered, the gate will be closed and then no one will enter through that gate. ”

The narration of Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim mentions “when the last one of them will have entered”.

The repetition of the fact that no one else will enter through it is done for emphasis. The wording of Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim is also narrated by Ibn Abī-Shayba in his Musnad, Abū-Nuʿaym in his Mustakhraj, Ibn-Khuzayma, and Al-Nasāʾī. Al-Nasāʾī added: “Whoever enters will never ever experience thirst again”.

Both Bukhārī and Muslim narrated this ḥadīth in the chapter of fasting.

وعن أبي سعيد الخدري، رضي الله عنه، قال: قال رسول الله ﷺ: “ما من عبدٍ يصومُ يوماً في سبيل الله إلا باعد الله بذلك اليوم وجههُ عن النار سبعين خريفاً()” متفقٌ عليه().

Abu Saʿīd Al-Khudrī  (May Allāh be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said, “There is no slave of Allāh who observes fasting for one day in the way of Allāh, except that Allah will detach his face from hell-fire to the extent of a distance to be covered in seventy years. ”

Al-Bukhārī and Muslim.

“The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said, “There is no slave of Allāh”

Meaning no legally responsible individual, and what will be mentioned next is true for both men and women. This is substantiated by the fact that a narration of Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim does not specify a gender “Whoever fasts a day in the way of Allāh, He detaches their face from the hell-fire for a distance of seventy years”.

“Who observes fasting for one day in the way of Allāh”

Meaning in the obedience of Allāh.

“Except that Allāh will detach his face from hell-fire to the extent of a distance to be covered in seventy years.”

Meaning for the duration of a journey lasting seventy years.

وعن أبي هريرة، رضي الله عنه، عن النبي ﷺ، قال: “من صام رمضان إيماناً واحتساباً، غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه” متفقٌ عليه().

Abū-Hurayra (May Allāh be pleased with him) reported:

The Prophet ﷺ said, “He who observes the fast of the month of Ramaḍān with faith and reflecting upon its reward, will have his past sins forgiven.”

Narrated by Al-Bukhārī and Muslim.

“The Prophet ﷺ said, “He who observes the fast of the month of Ramaḍan with faith”

Meaning in a mental state where one affirms the truth of the reward related regarding it.

“And reflecting upon its reward”

Reflecting upon it and seeking thereby Allāh’s countenance [i.e His pleasure].

“Will have his past sins forgiven.”

Al-Nasāʾī and Aḥmad both add in a fine [ḥadīth ḥasan] narration, “and future sins”.
The sins which are forgiven on account of acts of obedience are those minor sins which relate to Allāh’s rights.

Ibn-ʿAllan’s Commentary Dalilul-Falihin: The Book of Fasting. Hadiths 1-2

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