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Aqeedah and Fiqh

Line in the Sand | Introduction

Introduction | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

In this series of articles, Br. Yayha Whitmer and I will shed some light on the sad phenomenon of Muslims invoking other than Allah for their needs. Making du’aa to other than Allah is a matter that so clearly violates the message of the Quran, and even the testimony of faith, that its mere existence amongst those who subscribe to Islam, and its justification by people of knowledge, continues to boggle the minds of those Muslims who remain upon the fitrah. 

While many of the other theological innovations of non-Orthodox Islamic groups are truly not as relevant to our modern society, and can for the most part be ignored in public discourse, it is this ‘line in the sand’ that we strongly believe cannot be crossed.  Anyone who propagates the permissibility of making du’aa to other than Allah has violated the most basic message of Islam, and fallen into the essence of shirk that our Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) came to eradicate. It does not matter what pseudo-Islamic arguments, or perverted understandings of the Scriptures,  are employed in attempting to justify this travesty against Allah. The fact remains that turning to other than Allah with the goal of using these beings as intermediaries to get to Allah is the very religion of the pagan Jahili Quraysh that the Quran was revealed to eradicate.

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This article serves as the Introduction to a series of other articles. Most will be written by our dear brother, Ustadh Yahya Whitmer (who studied a few years with our teacher Sh. Muhammad b. Salih Ibn Uthaymin, and whom I befriended while studying with the Shaykh as well). A few will be written by myself. Ustadh Yahya has asked that I read over and comment on the series, and graciously insisted that I be listed as co-author, even though (unless otherwise noted) he is the primary author of these articles.

May Allah cause these series to have a positive effect on the Ummah!
–  Yasir Qadhi 

by Yahya Whitmer

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I­­­­ remember the moment very clearly. It occurred 15 years ago and though a whirlwind of events have happened in my life since then, the resonance of this memory has not faded. It was the first time that I felt the fear of God. Not the fear of an unidentified spiritual being, but a very defined and focused fear of my Creator, who existed above and beyond me. This was especially remarkable because at the time I was an avowed and belligerent atheist, who relished debate and criticizing various religions. I was 18. I had been born into a non-practicing Christian family and by the age of 16 I had become convinced that Christianity and all its variations were nothing more than a mix of plagiarized mythologies, oppressive social control, and perhaps a bit of historic truth involving a seemingly noble person. By extension and analogy, I assumed all other religions to be the same, Islam included. I attended an international school in my youth and many of its students were from the Middle East, so I had seen enough examples of Muslim debauchery and hypocrisy to know that they were no different from anyone else. So it was with great consternation, during my first year of college, that I received the news that a young man in my dorm had converted to Islam. I had thought that he was like me: worldly, liberal, educated, and rational (yes, at 18 I thought I was pretty hot stuff). He had come from an elite prep school, he was popular, charismatic. So, what the heck was he doing?! The notion that a person from such a background could readily, of his own free will, adopt such an odd and particularly oppressive religion (so I thought) truly bewildered me.

So it began: debate, questioning, and research. Islam, aside from a nod from Malcolm X, seemed to have little validity or modern resonance. But then this person gave me a copy of the Qur’an and upon reading it my world view began to tilt and pivot; my awareness went in directions I was completely unprepared for. I remember one particular session of reading the Qur’an; the verses had thundered at me, declaring that I must submit to the One True God. Over and over, the Qur’anic message challenged me, demanding that I think, that I search, that I recognize that there is a Creator who deserved my allegiance, that living my life without concern for His wishes was not only inherently wrong and ungrateful, but would result in severe consequences. Never had I heard a call so pure. Although the Qur’anic message was expressed in a variety of ways throughout its thousands of verses, the essence of its call was clear, even to my arrogant 18 year old mind: there was a Creator, whose influence and control permeated every nook and cranny of the world, and I was meant to know Him in a more intimate and direct manner than anything I had ever conceived: He knew my heart, He saw my actions, and no one and no thing stood between us. There was no place to hide. The only option was submission, change, saying that I was sorry, and working to better myself. This was the spiritual mandate, the personal covenant that I understood from the Qur’an, and it rocked my world.

Until Islam, the concepts of God that I had encountered were comical, pitiful, fractured. He had created Adam and Eve and then lost sight of them in Eden. He had been a partisan deity, almost like a servant to the people that believed in Him. Or He looked like a giant old man with a long beard. Or He was irrelevant and salvation lied in extinguishing and controlling the self. Or he was splintered into multiple incarnations, 3 or hundreds. Or my relationship with Him occurred through a multitude of human proxies. Or my salvation could be purchased through the church. Or someone else had taken responsibility for my sins. But the Islamic concept of God was different. The Qur’an informed me that God was absolute, undeniable, irresistible. Nothing happened except by His will. He was above and beyond and yet He was close and aware. Nothing was like Him, yet He was described in terms that I could comprehend. He was Merciful and Just and demanded that we live with each other in mercy and justice as well. And finally, this Ultimate Being wanted to deal with me personally. Through submission, recognition, reflection, and prayer I could be in His presence and required no intermediary. I was promised that through embracing this relationship I would know true peace, but it was still my responsibility and my choice to make.

Something long dead inside me stirred. Though I obstinately clung to my atheism, a cognitive awakening had occurred and a question began to creep its way up to the forefront of my consciousness. It was the most basic of questions, but it had been submerged in years of self-indulgence and petty distraction. Finally, one day, as I was heading back to my dormitory, I looked up into the sky and asked myself, sincerely and for the first time, “Was God really there?” And in that moment I knew fear. I knew fear because the simple answer was, “Of course.” My own soul had answered me, my fiṭrah, my innate human nature. The sublime beauty and unified order of the natural world had answered me. The absolute uniqueness and power of the Qur’anic verses had answered me. God was there. I had lived 18 years completely ignoring Him and had planned to live the rest of my life in a similar fashion, but that wouldn’t work anymore. This God, the God that the Qur’an described to me, could not be ignored. And He did not deserve to be either.

I became a Muslim approximately 6 months after that incident. There are many things about those sequences of events that I need to be thankful for, but my main purpose in narrating this story is to say that the essence of Islam has always been clear, pure, and simple: A one on one relationship with the Creator of the heavens and the earth. He alone will take us to account and it is our hearts and our deeds that He will judge and only His Mercy that will save us. It is to this message that my soul responded and continues to respond. My studies at an Islamic University in Saudi Arabia, my time spent with Shaykh Muhammad ibn Salih Al-Uthaymeen, my readings of the works and collected statements of the earliest and best generations of Islam, all testify, agree, support, and expound on this concept. This is Islam.

Until I learned that it wasn’t, at least for a significant segment of the Muslim community.

I generally do not bother myself with what other Muslims are supposedly doing wrong, unless it is directly affecting me and my family. My own flaws tend to cause me more problems than the mistakes of others. However, due to several recent personal events, I felt a responsibility to investigate a particular brand of Sufism … but let me be clear: I abhor blind sectarianism. It is a waste of time in the best of cases and an impediment towards embracing the truth in the worst of cases. But because people I knew and cared for seemed to be heavily influenced by this ideology I felt compelled to investigate it. On one of their primary websites I found what I feared to find: to call upon other than Allah was not a problem, the website said. It was not only your actions that drew you close to Allah, but people as well; through invoking them, you could gain favor with God and your prayers might be answered. It was not singularity (tawḥīd) of worship that Allah required from us, only singularity in recognizing Allah as the Creator.

I was unnerved. Did people really see Islam this way? Did they not realize that through these amendments, these exceptions, the purity of the relationship between Creator and creation was compromised? Is not duʿāʾ the essence of worship, as the Prophet taught us? Was worship not for Allah alone? Were my hopes, my prayers, my salvation subject to the influence of other than God? Then to how many beings may my heart be attached? To how many other beings may a Muslim’s heart turn to in times of need?!

As naïve as it may seem to some readers, discovering these fatāwa, reading their justifications, and considering the spiritual implications truly disturbed me. I was familiar that concepts such as these existed in some Sufi traditions, but here it was at my doorstep, affecting people I knew and in many ways admired. Yet the difference between day and night paled in comparison to how different our views of Islam were.

This discussion about the true spirit of Islam is not irrelevant or superficial. I truly understand that we have many pressing social issues that need to be addressed. Education, spousal relations, parenting, personal and community finances, all of these are immensely important. But this issue is one that defines Islam, it is at the heart of what it means to be a servant of God. This is what opens or closes the gates of Heaven and Hell. It is the first building block of a personal relationship with the Creator; the first step towards true love and loyalty, or the first step towards infidelity and ingratitude. Even at the community level, this is relevant because unity is only achieved through a common sense of purpose. The Muslim ummah is not different from other communities because of its Arab origins or its specific rituals. It is different and defined by the message, “Lā ilāha illa Allāh” and discussion about what that really means will never be inconsequential.

Unlike previous explorations of similar topics, I intend to not just discuss whose evidence is stronger and more convincing, but also the spiritual implications of the two opposing viewpoints. The decisions you make about how you interact with your Creator are not detached intellectual choices, rather they have a direct and immediate impact upon your soul. What happens to your personal sense of responsibility, your spiritual work ethic, if you believe in direct intercession? What does it mean to believe that your actions are your only means (waṣīlah) to God’s Mercy? Are the pious a model to be imitated or something else? What of praise, what of love and attachment? Questions like these define the servant’s path to his Creator.

My ultimate goal in writing this series is not condemnation, but dialogue. Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen had a very specific method for dealing with differences within the Islamic ummah. He insisted that only the opinion and its evidences be discussed without mentioning the name of the person whom he disagreed with. By doing this, he was able to maintain focus on analyzing the strength of each argument and minimize individual reasoning from being clouded due to personal attachments. Following in the footsteps of my mentor, I will only be discussing the opinions, through direct quotation and minimal paraphrasing, and I will not mention names. I will also not pass judgment, implied or otherwise, on any person, no matter how vehemently I disagree with them. As a student of knowledge, I am equipped to discuss concepts, but judging individuals and their creed is far beyond my capabilities or responsibility.

Compassion, wisdom, and patience were the hallmarks of the Prophet’s call and so should they be with us. The people of the Qiblah have done enough to deserve such courtesy. My only request of any person who reads this series and disagrees with me is that s/he make the arguments and implications of each opinion the primary criteria, not the people who hold the opinions. Allah sent us this Book, this Messenger, and this Message, in Truth and it is to the Truth that we are ultimately obligated.

In this series, Shaykh Yasir Qadhi and I will discuss 4 main domains, where the evidences, conclusions, and implications of the 2 opposing viewpoints will be contrasted:

1. The Jamāʿah. What is this “main body” of Muslims that the Prophet (peace be upon him) has instructed us to adhere to?

2. Tawaṣṣul and Waṣīlah. What are the “means of approach”, the ways in which we may seek closeness to our Creator?

3. Tawḥīd. What does this word really mean and which interpretation of it is represented by “Lā ilāha illa Allāh”?

4. What now? Equipped with the information presented, what should a Muslim do? What attitude should he/she take with people that disagree? What other insights are needed to keep this message relevant and compelling? And how should it affect his/her relationship with Allah?

My secondary goal is to inspire a deeper appreciation of the tenets of Islam that I believe in. There is an old Arabic saying, bi-ḍiddi yatabayyanu al-ashyāʾ (by opposites things become clear); in comparing the differing opinions, I have grown in gratitude and love for the concepts that provide the foundation for my faith; I have a greater realization of how deep their roots grow and of how firm they stand in the face of challenges and opposition… much like a blessed tree. I hope that the reader may find similar or greater inspiration.

I pray that Allah pours His Mercy upon all my teachers, both living and dead, and I pray that you find true benefit in what I have written. And Allah knows best.

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Sh. Dr. Yasir Qadhi is someone that believes that one's life should be judged by more than just academic degrees and scholastic accomplishments. Friends and foe alike acknowledge that one of his main weaknesses is ice-cream, which he seems to enjoy with a rather sinister passion. The highlight of his day is twirling his little girl (a.k.a. "my little princess") round and round in the air and watching her squeal with joy. A few tid-bits from his mundane life: Sh. Yasir has a Bachelors in Hadith and a Masters in Theology from Islamic University of Madinah, and a PhD in Islamic Studies from Yale University. He is an instructor and Dean of Academic Affairs at AlMaghrib, and the Resident Scholar of the Memphis Islamic Center.

45 Comments

45 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Javad Ayaz

    March 9, 2012 at 3:18 AM

    As a sufi….i will be watching this with interest :)

    • Avatar

      Yahya Whitmer

      March 9, 2012 at 9:26 AM

      Glad to have you in the discussion.

  2. Avatar

    Javad Ayaz

    March 9, 2012 at 3:32 AM

    Have you actually attended a gathering of sufis? It may change your perspective, although I do agree that some people may go over the top and commit shirk.

    Becoming a Sufi has changed my life. The Shaykh commands that you recite 150000 “La ila illala” a day as a bare minimum a day.  This along with the mandatory regular daily prayers.

    Indeed Islam for a substantial time during the time of the Prophet SAW was dhikr of the Almighty.

    • Avatar

      Yahya Whitmer

      March 9, 2012 at 9:33 AM

      Yes, I have attended Sufi gatherings and personally know some of the big names in the Western Sufi scene. As I mentioned in the article, there are many things that I respect and admire about these various brothers, but this particular issue is something that I cannot ignore. I never would have become a Muslim if not for the purity of worship to the Creator alone. A central theme in this series is to explore what “La Ilaha Ill Allah” really means. I’m sure you can appreciate that it is just as important for its meaning to be clear in the heart and then implemented through daily life, as it is to say the blessed Kalimah.

      • Avatar

        Javad Ayaz

        March 9, 2012 at 9:45 AM

        Indeed it is their lack of knowledge that leads people to such practices but I also believe Islam is as much spiritual as it is ritualistic. 
        La Ilaha Ill Allah and Huwa Hu ( He who is) are the essence of all life.

        I am familiar with both eastern and western Sufi gatherings and it is indeed us Easterners who kind of go overboard with this. In my experience, reverts are much more rational thinking when it comes to Sufi practices.

        Many Sufi’s ( African for example) incorporate the singing and dancing which is perhaps debateable.

        May I ask which of the Sufi’s gathering you attended?

        • Avatar

          Yahya Whitmer

          March 9, 2012 at 10:00 AM

          I think it’s best not to mention names or even the specific tareeqa. And to tell you the truth, the practices of the various gatherings is not even my concern at the moment, but rather whether or not they consider dua to anyone other than the Creator to be shirk.

          • Avatar

            Javad Ayaz

            March 9, 2012 at 10:06 AM

            I can only speak for my own tariqa and can confirm I have never heard of the instances you have mentioned…Alhamdullilah

          • Avatar

            Yahya Whitmer

            March 9, 2012 at 10:34 AM

            Alhamdulillah, yes thankfully many Sufis reject these types of practices.

    • Avatar

      Yahya Whitmer

      March 9, 2012 at 9:39 AM

      Yes I have been to Sufi gatherings and personally know some of the big names in the Western Sufi scene. As I mentioned, there are many things that I respect and admire about these brothers, but this issue is something that cannot be sidelined. I never would have become a Muslim were it not for the purity of worship to Allah alone. One of the main themes of this series is to explore what “La Ilaha Ill Allah” means. I’m sure you can appreciate that it is just as important to have the Kalimah’s meaning clear in the heart and implemented in everyday life, as it is to say it on a regular basis.

  3. Avatar

    siraaj

    March 9, 2012 at 4:07 AM

    Salaam alaykum Sh Yahya,

    Jzk for this introduction, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this series.  I personally cannot see the logic in calling out to other than Allah for help.  However, I do realize that humankind has a general problem of emotionally affiliating itself with groups, organizations, individuals, leaders, political parties, and so on in varying degrees and within the muslim religious community, it sometimes manifests itself in madhab followers in one madhab denouncing others (eg hanafis vs shafi’ees) or making up stories about the piety of the individual followed.

    on the more extreme side, I do see how this over-emotional attachment can morph from devoted student / follower to something beyond which is undesirable.  I think this characteristic is generally problematic among all muslim groups, especially when you have different groups with different paradigms in approaching a problem converse with one another (they dont really “converse”, they fight, and by they, I mean the followers, and to a certain extend, their leaders), and while it may be irritating, at least on a theological level it can be tolerated, but when it crosses into something similar to roman catholic sainthood, I believe we’ve now gone too far across the line.

    Siraaj

  4. Avatar

    Umm Zahrah

    March 9, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    alHamdulillah, I was so happy to see the start of this series, may Allah bless this effort.

    I remember attending a sisters’ social on dealing with depression and the one thing that kept going through my mind as I listened to the stories was that this is a problem with Iman.  And indeed, at the heart of so many social issues is this, this relationship with Allah which has suffered so much and it reverberates throughout every other aspect of our worldly life.  And I’m not just referring to repenting for our sins, but the whole concept of submitting one’s self to Allah completely and calling upon none other than Him.

    If this one, simple act was rectified, so many other problems would be easily solved. Every single time I get a question about or request for advice from sisters regarding any issue, I would turn back to calling upon Allah alone and Tawheed.  Immediately, it’s as if something inside these sisters clicks and they realize the true reality of their affairs and they no longer need advice.  They only need to remain firm on the straight path.

    May Allah bless this effort, and bring the much needed clarity our Ummah needs, Ameen!

    • Avatar

      Yahya Whitmer

      March 9, 2012 at 10:02 AM

      The barakah of a pure and personal relationship with Allah is truly limitless, thanks for commenting.

  5. Avatar

    Amal

    March 9, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    A much needed series
    Barak Allahu feekum

  6. Avatar

    Salman Muhammad

    March 10, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    I used to be fascinated with sufism long time ago but soon abandoned it after discovering that it had far too many Greek and Christian philosophical concepts which are foreign to what I understand about Islamic faith.  My original fascination was due to Al Ghazali books, first Ihya and then his memoir Munqih.  Alas, most sufi books that I read thereafter were different from Al Ghazali’s.

    Further, central to sufism of Al Ghazali is zuhud, but I soon to find out that most sufis I know lead the kinds of lives far from being zuhud.  Many, in fact, appear to live the opposite way.

    For the last few decades I have been more interested in seerah, history and fiqh, which appear to make more sense to me.

    You have made a nice introduction, a sort of a preamble to what you are going to say.  I shall be looking forward to next entries.

  7. Avatar

    Ssa227

    March 10, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    This looks like a very interesting series. I will also be following this closely. I have many friends who are staunchly Sufi and these are some of the thoughts I also have.

  8. Avatar

    abu Rumaysa

    March 10, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    as one who comes from a background of sufi tradition and one who entered into the fold of Islamic orthodoxy and had to deal with the subsequent confrontations with influential family members, I can directly relate to this article… i do recall that for most evidences provided, they would essentially have their own interpretations and I guess being a lone “baby” sheep, my words had little or no influence…

    now that I look back in hindsight, I recall that good character and patience  were primarily the keys in keeping those relationships healthy and provided fruition in the struggle for clarifying those issues…mind you this all took place over many years….

    I also think that due to the lack of due attention and due consideration of Allah’s attributes and Tawheed itself, many well known leaders sometimes cross lines (either explicitly or in-explicitly), may Allah ta`ala guide and forgive us and them..ameen..

    for instance if a well known leader in our times here in the west tries to justify the following statement made by a “saint”: 
    “If you ( O my followers/students, fall into a calamity, call unto me and I will come to your aid”)

    or 
    another well known leader tells his congregation about his own particular experiences of being in a life threatening situation and he called on to the jinn to help him…

  9. Avatar

    Gibran Mahmud

    March 11, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

    “non-Orthodox Islamic groups”Now you are becoming more like Orthodox Jews. This is a fulfilment of the Prophecy. We are literally following these men into the lizard hole.Don’t use the word “orthodox”. Just say “pseudo-Islamic groups”.

    We are called Muslims and our religion is Islam. We do not need to call ourselves Sunni-the Quran and Sunnah are what we hold onto to keep aright. The Shias are exactly that-sect of Ali RA(in their distorted version). Hadith rejectors are just that. Ahlul Bidah is just that.Lets let someone else follow them into the Lizard Hole. What do we have Surah Al Fatiha for? Samina wa ata’na. We hear and we obey.

  10. Avatar

    Hassan

    March 13, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    Assalam-o-Alaikum. I have a question to the respected shyookh about the naming “Orthodox Muslims”.

    Now from previous articles and discussion, it seems scholars of muslimmatters were trying to get away from labels. Is that my correct understanding? If they were indeed trying to get away from the labels (like salafis, wahabis, deobandis etc), then may I humbly ask if calling oneself Orthodox muslims would create a new label? Of course I do not know details of what/how they categorize orthodox muslims (like what sort of belief to be held etc), but it definitely seems that you are calling yourself a new name distinguished form names used in past.

    And if that was not the intention (trying to get away from labels), rather you felt that there is no proper name to classify the ideologies you hold, and hence you described yourself as orthodox muslim, may I ask the details of it. (from outside it seems somewhere between salafis and ikhwanis).

    I am sorry this question may have not be relevant directly to the topic, but I been thinking about it for a while, and there is always been debate here and there about calling oneself something other than muslim.

  11. Avatar

    Naimabrobert

    March 13, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    A compelling introduction, masha Allah. Will be following with interest…

  12. Avatar

    Mohammed

    March 13, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    asSalamu `alaykum

    Please have a listen to what the science of tasawwuf is truly about. They are a bit long but they are worth every second, alhamdulillah.

     http://www.sacredlearning.org/tasawwuf

    Also, you can a better understanding through this site insha’Allah:
    http://tasawwuf.org/

    • Avatar

      Omar

      June 19, 2012 at 12:58 PM

      Wa alaykum Assalam,

      I personally used to listen to the speaker on that website. His name is sh Hussein if I remember correct. One thing which didn’t sit well with me and eventually made me stop listening to his lectures completely was that far too often he would say “my sheikh said the prophet sws did..”. Maybe he has that much trust for his sheikh but for me personally, I would much rather have heard the reference for the Hadith as opposed to these vague references. After stopping listening to him I have learnt more and there are other mistakes in his methodology which I am able to identify, but due to my lack of knowledge I don’t trust myself to articulate clearly, so I’ll leave that to anyone else who may have also heard some of this speaker’s recordings.

  13. Avatar

    Dawud Israel

    March 14, 2012 at 4:47 AM

    EDIT THIS (in my last comment): The dua came from the means, so you invoke that means, that is the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasalam).

    TO READ AS THIS: The dua came and was taught by the means (the Prophet salallahu alayhi wasalam), so you invoke that means (the Prophet salallahu alayhi wasalam) in making dua to Allah. It is like the hadith: Abu Umamah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) made many supplications which we did not memorize. We said to him: “O Messenger of Allah! You have made many supplications of which we do not remember anything.” He said, “Shall I tell you a comprehensive prayer? Say: `Allahumma inni as’aluka min khairi ma sa’alaka minhu nabiyyuka Muhammadun sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam. Wa `a`udhu bika min sharri mas-ta`adha minhu nabiyyuka Muhammadun sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam. Wa Antal-Musta`anu, wa `alaikal-balaghu, wa la hawla wa la quwwata illa billah (O Allah, I beg to You the good which Your Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) begged of You; and I seek refuge in You from the evil where from Your Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) sought refuge. You are the One from Whom help is sought and Your is the responsibility to communicate (the truth). There is no power or strength except with Allah the Exalted, the Great.”'[At-Tirmidhi]

  14. Avatar

    Yahya Whitmer

    March 15, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    This not a point by point response to your comment, just an answer to some of your more salient points:1.In regards to your accusation of attempting to stir up controversy for the sake of publicity, I ask you to please not interpret people’s intentions. You can’t demand honesty and fair conduct when you undermine those very principles yourself. Take everything at face value and leave our intentions to God. And besides, to use the names of the Sufi scholars, label them and their followers with the most inflammatory titles possible, and engage in personal attacks and accusations would have been a better recipe for publicity.2.This debate is indeed old, going back to the time of Nuh (alayhis-salam). I believe that every generation of revelation concerns itself with this topic and I am attempting to follow in that path.3. The term “Tawassul” is ambiguous and has many different interpretations and implementations. There is only one interpretation that I am addressing in this article: supplications(du’a) directed to other than Allah. The tawassul via Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) was not of this type, as Abbas himself proceeded to make du’a to Allah.4. Your accusation of placing “my own understanding above that of Allah, His Rasul (salallahu alayhi wasalam) and his Companions” is extraordinarily presumptuous. You are again presuming to know my internal state. I kindly request that you adhere to the common etiquette of debate, as exemplified by the likes of Al-Shafi’i and Abu Haneefah.5. I am unfamiliar with the book that you have mentioned, but I am familiar with the general arguments and interpretations that you have presented to justify your position. They will be addressed soon in sha Allah.6. I am unfamiliar with the class you are referring to that was taught by Yasir Al Qadhi, but I do know Yasir to some degree and I believe that he addresses topics with an academic rigor and fairness that is rarely found in modern Islamic discourse.7. I strongly disagree that Judaism, Christianity represent Tawhid. Please continue to be a part of this discussion as we will address this topic in detail later. The Tawhid that the Messengers taught, singularity in worship, is only currently manifested in the world by true Islam. It is very interesting that you consider religions that permit the worship of created beings to represent Tawhid, but your belief is in accordance with what we understand about this brand of Sufi theology; it espouses that Tawhid only represents a recognition of singularity in Creation and Control. We contend that Tawhid also demands singularity of worship.8. I strongly disagree that da’wa fails when the focus is solely on Tawhid, but again, our interpretations of that word differ radically. My interpretation involves a strengthening of every aspect of the intimate and direct relationship with the Creator, both internally and externally. It involves knowing His names and attributes and recognizing and praising the manifestations of those attributes throughout the created world. It involves absolute trust in my unseen Lord, a trust possible only through faith and contemplation of his signs and verses. It involves admitting my deepest fears and darkest sins to the only being who has been with me through every moment of my life, and the only being in whose strength, mercy, and forgiveness I can truly rely. I am very sorry that you find this to be unfullfilling.Please realize that you have described Tawhid as being an inadequate platform upon which to base da’wah. Your opinion is in direct contradiction with the wisdom of the Creator Himself and every generation of messenger that He has sent, including our Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him). It is in direct contradiction with the path “of those whom You have favored” (as is referenced in Al Fatiha). I’m sorry friend, but it is hard for me to imagine a clearer indicator that there is something very wrong with your perception of fundamental principles of Islam. I hope that you take time to reflect upon this point. Surah Al A’raf is particularly relevant.

    • Avatar

      Yahya Whitmer

      March 15, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      ugh. I apologize for the poor formatting. I would delete and redo if I could.

  15. Avatar

    Yahya Whitmer

    March 15, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    This not a point by point response to your comment, just an answer to some of your more salient points:
    1.In regards to your accusation of attempting to stir up controversy for the sake of publicity, I ask you to please not interpret people’s intentions. You can’t demand honesty and fair conduct when you undermine those very principles yourself. Take everything at face value and leave our intentions to God. And besides, to use the names of the Sufi scholars, label them and their followers with the most inflammatory titles possible, and engage in personal attacks and accusations would have been a better recipe for publicity.

    2.This debate is indeed old, going back to the time of Nuh (alayhis-salam). I believe that every generation of revelation concerns itself with this topic and I am attempting to follow in that path.

    3. The term “Tawassul” is ambiguous and has many different interpretations and implementations. There is only one interpretation that I am addressing in this article: supplications(du’a) directed to other than Allah. The tawassul via Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) was not of this type, as Abbas himself proceeded to make du’a to Allah.

    4. Your accusation of placing “my own understanding above that of Allah, His Rasul (salallahu alayhi wasalam) and his Companions” is extraordinarily presumptuous. You are again presuming to know my internal state. And I’m not sure if you realize it, but you are accusing me of Kufr. I kindly request that you adhere to the common etiquette of debate, as exemplified by the likes of Al-Shafi’i and Abu Haneefah.

    5. I am unfamiliar with the book that you have mentioned, but I am familiar with the general arguments and interpretations that you have presented to justify your position. They will be addressed soon in sha Allah.

    6. I am unfamiliar with the class you are referring to that was taught by Yasir Al Qadhi, but I do know Yasir to some degree and I believe that he addresses topics with an academic rigor and fairness that is rarely found in modern Islamic discourse.

    7. I strongly disagree that Judaism, Christianity represent Tawhid. Please continue to be a part of this discussion as we will address this topic in detail later. The Tawhid that the Messengers taught, singularity in worship, is only currently manifested in the world by true Islam. It is very interesting that you consider religions that permit the worship of created beings to represent Tawhid, but your belief is in accordance with what we understand about this brand of Sufi theology; it espouses that Tawhid only represents a recognition of singularity in Creation and Control. We contend that Tawhid also demands singularity of worship.

    8. I strongly disagree that da’wa fails when the focus is solely on Tawhid, but again, our interpretations of that word differ radically. My interpretation involves a strengthening of every aspect of the intimate and direct relationship with the Creator, both internally and externally. It involves knowing His names and attributes and recognizing and praising the manifestations of those attributes throughout the created world. It involves absolute trust in my unseen Lord, a trust possible only through faith and contemplation of his signs and verses. It involves admitting my deepest fears and darkest sins to the only being who has been with me through every moment of my life, and the only being in whose strength, mercy, and forgiveness I can truly rely. I am very sorry that you find this to be unfullfilling.

    Please realize that you have described Tawhid as being an inadequate platform upon which to base da’wah. Your opinion is in direct contradiction with the wisdom of the Creator Himself and every generation of messenger that He has sent, including our Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him). It is in direct contradiction with the path “of those whom You have favored” (as is referenced in Al Fatiha). I’m sorry friend, but it is hard for me to imagine a clearer indicator that there is something very wrong with your perception of fundamental principles of Islam. I hope that you take time to reflect upon this point. Surah Al A’raf is particularly relevant.

    • Avatar

      Abu Musa

      March 16, 2012 at 1:15 AM

      MashAllah – I was looking forward to this piece before i read the Ustadh’s response to brother Dawud – NOW I AM REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO IT!
      Many sufi groups inherently claim adab, ikhlaas etc..but the manor in which the Ustadh responded to the presumptuous nature of the post is MashAllah a clear indication that no one can claim a mononpoly on those qualities.
      Well answered, balanced and void of emotional baggage – MashAllah.

      • Avatar

        BintKhalil

        March 16, 2012 at 3:22 AM

        Assalamu alaikum

        Indeed Dawud Israel’s comment shows just how needed this series is.

    • Avatar

      Sarmd

      March 18, 2012 at 2:58 AM

      Salam Br. Yahya,

      You wrote “he (Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen) was able to maintain focus on analyzing the strength of each argument and minimize individual reasoning from being clouded due to personal attachments.”

      This statement sound fine.  In fact, it easier said than done.  Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen’s (RA) ideas issued from a certain Islamic prespective. Like others he didn’t begin from a clean slate.  He was one of the leaders of the Wahabi/Salafi perspective.  I hasten to add that I am not using the word ‘Wahabi’ in a deragotary way.  I see it as one of the legitimate view points within Islam.  Just as the ‘Sufis’ for example, do not get mad when they are labelled ‘Sufis’, the Wahabis should not when they are labelled ‘Wahabis’.  The label doesn’t mean much, what matters are the contents.

      I understand that you studied in Saudi Arabia.  I did too. But my major was not in Islamic Studies but in Mathematics.  I obtained by BS from King Saud University. However, I attende many of the teaching majalis of the Shaykh.  I am sure we were not there at the same time because I left Riyadh in 1986.  I respected the Shaykh a lot and still do.  But I came to know later that the Shaykh’s belief regarding Tawasul was not only in the minority but is at odds with, even,  Imam Ahmad’s belief.

      It is not easy to brand muslims mushrikiin because they beleive in the efficacy of Tawasul, espicailly when the vast majority of the ulama accepted it. Of course, calling others mushrikin will not do them any harm, but will come to haunt the caller a Day when it is too late to rectify. Why would one put oneself in such a position?

      Wassalam

      • Avatar

        Yahya Whitmer

        March 18, 2012 at 11:21 AM

        Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah Br. Sarmd,

        I appreciate your comments and understand where you are coming from. Thank you for your genuine concern. Indeed labeling anyone a mushrik is an ENORMOUS issue, it’s truly hard to express just how serious it is. Thankfully the ability and responsibility to do that are not a part of my life. This article has not and will not (by the grace of God!) make a declaration of kufr/shirk on any person of the Qibla.

        Please bear in mind that there are many interpretations of the term tawassul, some of which are agreed upon by all generations of scholars, some of which there is legitimate difference and discussion, and some of which are an absolute aberration, only rearing its head in the late part of the third Hijri century, after the passing of the three blessed generations that the Prophet (alayhis-salam) had mentioned. This form of tawassul involved Direct Invocation of the “pious”. This is shirk,  a betrayal of the Creator’s divine right and that is why we are attempting, to the best of our ability, to address this issue. In our theology, where we believe that Allah alone has the right to be worshiped (and du’a is the essence of worship!) this is an issue that simply cannot be ignored for the sake of unity.

        Interestingly enough, I started my personal journey from several “dirty” slates. I was heavily prejudiced against Islam, but its light pushed through all that grime. After becoming a Muslim, I was heavily influenced by Sufi figures and in all fairness I can say that they had my emotional loyalty more than Salafism. It was a great struggle to overcome that emotional attachment and realize that the simple principles of following the sunnah/evidence and singularity of worship were the true spirit of Islam that deserved my dedication.

        To see that spirit for yourself, please reflect upon Islam’s darkest hour. After the passing of the beloved, a man who was loved in ways that the human heart could never feel towards any other person, in that moment where the greatest flame flickered and went out from the world, leaving it in darkness… how did the light return? What were the words that were said that rekindled the light of Islam and that did justice to the life, legacy, and mission of the Prophet? What did Islam’s first Caliph say? “Who ever used to worship Muhammad, let him know that Muhammad has died. And who ever worships Allah, let him know that Allah is the Ever Living!” We were not told to assuage our despair by making dua to or through the Prophet (alayhis-salam), but rather to re-devote ourselves to the direct and intimate relationship with our Ever Living Creator.

        Thanks for your time and concern.

    • Avatar

      Dawud Israel

      March 19, 2012 at 3:36 PM

      “Text without context is pretext.”

      Re-read my comment because it seems you are, again, cherry-picking or read quickly edited
      Addressing what you said…

      #4 is not what I was saying about your internal state, just the general thought process and mentalities that manifest in these discussions. I am calling that tendency out before it falls into that state. My point was about ISTIHSAN and arbitrary understanding as opposed to the understanding Qur’an/Sunna/Ijma makes clear.

      #5 As I said, my views are my views, they are NOT representative of the ideas in that book. I STRONGLY suggest you read that book. If you disagree, then mashallah, Allah wills it, and that is definitely your free choice, but at least understand the topic entirely before you talk about it like you are an expert. I mean, claiming objectivity and then proceeding with complete bias is shameless. Be just. Be honest. If you are scared of the idea that you might be wrong and won’t read the other viewpoint, then you aren’t loyal to ‘ilm, but you are loyal to your own ideas. Where is the sacrifice?

      If you have the courage and fairness to read the book, then do so, if not, then I know this conversation and discussion will not bear fruit and despite your hardest efforts, you will be frustrated. You have to be honest and actually understand what most Muslims think of when they say tawassul/istighata, not what you or a few new Muslims think of when tawassul/istighata are mentioned. Its one thing to be told, “someone told me the sufi people believe this…” and arguing against that, basically attacking a straw man and its another thing to go and learn. We have to verify our sources and that is also part of our deen with the isnad. Hearsay has no isnad and that is why it has no basis in our religion.

      #6 Make no mistake, I have a lot of respect for sh. Yasir Qadhi. I am just pointing out the deficiencies I’ve seen in approaching this topic in the past, namely cherry-picking quotations in the LUL course. I think he unknowingly did that so I am not casting aspersions, but it sets a precedent that if one side cherry picks (knowingly or unknowingly) then so does the other-side and it becomes a cherry-picking contest and truth is lost. Showing half the picture is not like showing the whole picture and so we have to strive to get the whole picture. And again, text without context, is pretext.

      The problem is when you don’t know that you don’t know. Meaning, its not like so-and-so is concealing something intentionally, but it is probably that they think they have a complete understanding but don’t know that they actually have an incomplete understanding due to their lacking exploration of Sunni Islam. That is why I suggested reading that book; if there is something you don’t know you don’t know, it will become clear. And Islam is a religion of clarification as the Quran is kitabil mubeen. #7/#8 Semantics. I am using the term tawhid broadly, to mean monotheism. Tawhid as per Islam is something else and that is what we both treasure and value. What makes this umma unique is sayyidina Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wasalam) and the Qur’an was given to him, not Moses. If Moses and Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wasalam) lived at the same time, Moses would have to follow Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wasalam). That needs to be underlined. Don’t cherry-pick my statements, because you expose your own competency.

      di.

      • Avatar

        Hassan

        March 19, 2012 at 5:28 PM

        Wow, you did not use to be arrogant and disrespectful before, what has happened to you?

        This article is just introduction to actual series of articles, I would suggest you point out opposing view on each point that you disagree, you are refuting things even before the articles are published.

  16. Avatar

    Regular Baba

    March 15, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    Salam Bro Dawud,

    One comment here about this statement:  “Tawhid and dawa fails when it focuses solely on tawhid”.  I’m sorry I don’t understand how you can make such a statement.  Allah SWT says in the Quran that the ONLY sin He does not forgive is shirk.  To me, that means that if a muslim neglects every single thing in his deen, but keeps his tawhid, then there is still a chance for him.  But if a muslim obeys Allah SWT in every single matter, but somehow falls into shirk, then there is absolutely no chance for him whatsoever.  The Quran was revealed by Allah SWT to be read and pondered upon not just by non muslims but by muslims.  Why does the topic of tawhid come again and again and again in the Quran?  To me, it’s clear why : because there are traps of shirk which muslims can fall into, and as a muslims we must take great care to watch out for those traps.  Honestly bro, your statement reminds me of what many Christians say, when they say that believing in Jesus is more important for them than tawhid.  Without 100% absolute, correct tawhid, there is NO ISLAM.

    One thing which I have never understood about those people who claim that you can call to others than Allah is that the Prophet(SAW) warned us to stay away from doubtful things.  Many such people take this to be stuff like the food of the people of the book (which is actually explicitly stated as being HALAL in the Quran), but somehow seem to allow doubtful things when it comes to tawhid.  At a very minimum, calling on someone other than Allah is surely a big question mark.  That being the case, why not regard it as being from the doubtful things and staying away from it?

    • Avatar

      Dawud Israel

      March 19, 2012 at 3:56 PM

      Wa aleikum salam wa rahmatullah,

      “One comment here about this statement:  “Tawhid and dawa fails when it focuses solely on tawhid”.  I’m sorry I don’t understand how you can make such a statement.  Allah SWT says in the Quran that the ONLY sin He does not forgive is shirk.  To me, that means that if a muslim neglects every single thing in his deen, but keeps his tawhid, then there is still a chance for him.  But if a muslim obeys Allah SWT in every single matter, but somehow falls into shirk, then there is absolutely no chance for him whatsoever.  The Quran was revealed by Allah SWT to be read and pondered upon not just by non muslims but by muslims.  Why does the topic of tawhid come again and again and again in the Quran?  To me, it’s clear why : because there are traps of shirk which muslims can fall into, and as a muslims we must take great care to watch out for those traps.  Honestly bro, your statement reminds me of what many Christians say, when they say that believing in Jesus is more important for them than tawhid. Without 100% absolute, correct tawhid, there is NO ISLAM.”

      So, where do you get “100% absolute, correct tawhid” from? Where did you get it from? Did you talk to Jibril? Did you find a ladder to the heavens and get it directly from Allah? You got it from Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wa alihi wasalam). Without Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wasalam) your Islam is nothing. In fact even your dua is nothing.

      This hadeeth was narrated by al-Tirmidhi (486) from ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: “Du’aa’ is suspended between heaven and earth and none of it is taken up until you send blessings upon your Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).” Ibn Katheer said: Its isnaad is jayyid. It was classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.

      • Avatar

        Regular Baba

        March 21, 2012 at 8:04 AM

        So, where do you get “100% absolute, correct tawhid” from?

        From the Quran and Sunnah.  And one thing that is crystal clear FROM THOSE SOURCES is what Brother Yahya is planning to address, that calling upon others than Allah is shirk, plain and simple.

      • Avatar

        Skillh

        April 2, 2012 at 10:07 PM

         Dear sheikh yasir qahdi and Yahya Whitmer can you please in the follow up articles go in depth in the defintion of Ilah?

        The Asharis/sufis have a problem with the Definition of Ilah as  being something worshipped…

        “The Ash`ari definition of ilah, which,Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, means ‘the
        one who can independently create’. Hence, if you don’t believe your dead
        Shaykh can create life or give you sustenance himself, but rather does
        so by a power given to him by Allah, this would not be shirk according
        to that definition.”

         He, i.e. Ibn Jareer Al-Tabari, then went on to
        say a couple of lines down;

         “If it is said; And what proves that uluhiyyah
        means worship and that an Ilah “إله” is one that is worshipped and that it has an
        originality in “Fa’al and yaf’al” “فعل, يفعل”(i.e. it being an Arabic verb)” .

        And then he went on to prove it with
        an Arabic poem said by Ru’bat Ibn Al ‘Ajaaj. And then he brought the
        interpretation of Ibn Abbas on the verse in Surah Al’Araf, verse 127 where
        Allah says, “And the chiefs of Pharaoh’s people said: Do you leave Musa and his
        people to make mischief in the land and to forsake you and your gods? He said:
        We will slay their sons and spare their women, and surely we are masters over
        them”, but Ibn Abbas used to read the verse differently by reading وإلاهتك instead of وآلهتك and he’d say upon
        interpreting the word وإلاهتك which is the way he’d read it, he’d say; “i.e.
        your worship”.

         So the verse will mean according to the
        interpretation of Ibn Abbas “And the chiefs
        of Pharaoh’s people said: Do you leave Musa and his people to make mischief in
        the land and to forsake you and your worship? He said: We will
        slay their sons and spare their women, and surely we are masters over them”.

         So this is a clear indication that the word
        Ilah means worship since Ibn Abbas interpreted وإلاهتك to mean “And your worship”, and
        he said (i.e. Ibn Abbas) in support to his interpretation by saying as Ibn
        Jareer Al-Tabari supplies in his tafseer;

         “Forsake you and your worship; Only Pharaoh was worshipped and he
        never worshipped. And that’s how Ibn Abbas and Mujahid used to read this verse.
        On the authority of Mujahid in the (interpretation of the verse), “Forsake you
        and your uluhiyyah” i.e. your worship”

        Ibn
        Jareer then says;

         “And there’s no doubt that Al-Ilahah “الإلاهة” – according to how Ibn Abbas and
        Mujahid interpreted it – is from the source of the saying of one; so and so has
        divined Allah a divinity. Like it is said so and so worshipped Allah a worship
        and he interpreted the dream an interpretation. It indeed became clear from the
        words of Ibn Abbas and Mujahid that “Aliha” “أله” means worshipped and
        that “الإلاهة” “Al-Ilaha” is its
        source”. [End quote].

         So you see here
        that a verse was interpreted with another verse and the saying of a companion
        was transmitted with the linguistic meaning of the word touched upon at great
        lengths. So the one who strips his eyes from blind-following and throwing
        unfound accusations towards the people of knowledge would submit to the
        interpretation of Ibn Abbas, Mujahid and Ibn Jareer Al-Tabari to the word
        “Ilah” and that it means one that is worshipped.

        • Avatar

          Yahya Whitmer

          April 3, 2012 at 11:08 AM

          Absolutely, that is one of the sub-topics that we will address. It’s awesome to see people showing such insight into the deep rooted nature of the problem. As you mentioned, certain theological schools define a “god” as a being capable of creation. All of this is a result of their interaction with Greek philosophy. The Arabic/Quranic definition of “god/ilah” is a being that is worshiped. The ramifications are just as you mentioned and this is not empty theory either. Yasir had a frank conversation with one of the greatest living classical Asharite scholars, who said that to call upon the Awliyaa was haram, but not Shirk. Subhan Allah wa la ilaha illa Huwa. Allah bless.

          • Avatar

            Skillh

            April 3, 2012 at 3:08 PM

             Jazakallah khair dear brother looking forward to it also It would be greatly appreciated that you talk about the issue of affirmation and negation regarding the shahada which is also linked to this topic.

            You stated brother
            “Tawḥīd. What does this word really mean and which interpretation of it is represented by “Lā ilāha illa Allāh”

            We know that in the Shahada we have to Negate and then Affirm but different sects have a different opinion specially ashari/sufis and shia

            The Hanbali/Salafi/Athari Negation is:

            “Kufr bi Taghoot”

            Then Hanbali/Salafi/Athari Affirmation is:

            “There is only one God worthy of worship”

            But Ashari/Sufi/ Shia see it different they say:

            The Negation is Hasr Meaning  the negation we are negating everything other then god”

            And they say the Affirmation is:

            “No God but Allah”

            So because of this Negation and Affirmation Difference they see no wrongs in the actions when they go to the graves and ask for intercession and to them it doesn’t violate the kalimah.

            This is the Root of Wasila/tawasuul etc as well as the issue of Ilah. I hope you and Sheikh Yasir Qahdi give insightful view on why many islamic sects follow the above?

  17. Avatar

    siraaj

    March 19, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    Dawud, I considered offering a response to your comments, but then someone went and wrote this article:

    http://muslimmatters.org/2012/03/19/a-muslims-guide-to-facebook-arguments-and-online-ridiculousness-in-general/

    and I laughed, remembering I didn’t want to return to these types of online “discussions” I left behind years ago :)

    You’ve written some pages-worth of critical material in this discussion without having read the body of Sh Yahya Whitmer’s work.  I would suggest / request that you extend him the courtesy that you requested for the book you asked him to read, that you read his articles in full, and then discuss your disagreements.

    You almost seem guilty of what you condemn.

    I’d also ask for a sampling of quotes out of context from LUL with (in your estimation) full context.  One or two of the more egregious misreadings should suffice.

    Siraaj

  18. Avatar

    none

    March 21, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    This series will not eradicate extreme sufism, shirk or grave worship or do justice to the call of Imam Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab (rahimullah), Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani (rahimullah). These factions are here to stay as long as Allah wills, as a means for the people of Tawheed to improve their ibadaah and their imaan and to worship Allah alone properly as commanded. However we all fall into traps and learning about it will inshaAllah have an impact on us. We need to better understand these concepts to protect ourselves, not necessarily to put down others, but to save ourselves from falling into the traps of Shaytan. May Allah bless the effort and allow us sinners to benefit from it and repent to Him.

  19. Avatar

    Fathin

    March 23, 2012 at 6:22 AM

    May Allah bless you. ALLAH IS GREATEST 8)

  20. Avatar

    Yahya Whitmer

    April 11, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    2nd part coming soon in sha Allah

  21. Avatar

    wir349

    May 16, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    Alhumdulilah, another Aqeedah article. What I like best about these articles is not only do we learn about Aqeedah but the discussion that follows has many lessons about how people think, how to give Da’wah, differing viewpoints  and lessons of Adaab. Really beneficial.

    • Avatar

      Yahya Whitmer

      May 17, 2012 at 2:12 PM

      Glad to have you aboard, the continuing conversation is a big part of what keep me interested as well. I have learned alot.

  22. Pingback: Line in the Sand | Part 1 - MuslimMatters.org

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#Islam

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.

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“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.

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– 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.

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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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