Sunday, July 19, 2009

Four principles of worship By Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah

THE verse: “You alone do we worship.” (Qur’an, 1:5) is built on four principles:

1. Saying of the heart

It is i’tiqad (belief) in what Allah informed about His Self; concerning His Names, His Attributes, His Actions, His Angels, and all that He revealed upon His Messenger (peace be upon him).

2. Saying of the tongue

It is to inform and convey (what Allah has revealed), to call to it, defend it, to explain the false innovations which oppose it, to establish its remembrance and to convey what it orders.

3. Action of the heart

Love for (Allah), reliance upon Him, repenting to Him, having fear and hope in Him, making the religion purely and sincerely for Him, having patience in what He orders and prohibits, having patience with what He decrees and being pleased with it are some examples. These are connected with the action of limbs. In fact actions of limbs without the heart is of little benefit, if any benefit at all.

4. Action of the limbs

Such as salah and jihad, attending the jumuah (Friday prayers), aiding those who are (needy) and displaying kindness to the creation.

So Al-’Ubudiyyah (servitude to Allah) is a comprehensive term for all these four stages. The one who actualizes them has indeed actualized: “You alone do we worship.”

– Madarij-us-Salikin (1/100-101)

The man behind the armor: Salah-ad-Din Al-Ayyubi

HE defied the odds in an era of darkness. He set aside the criticism of those who called him crazy for wanting to do the seemingly impossible: uniting the Ummah, standing up to the Crusaders, and returning honor where it belonged. He was respected by both his friends and foes, and is perhaps one of the few men whose name evokes feelings of honor and pride in the minds of so many people in every era and place.

He had the Crusaders chasing their tails in the battles of Alexandria, Hittin, Acre, Tyre, Beirut, Nablus, Haifa, Tiberius, Gaza, ‘Asqalan, Jerusalem, and dozens of other cities and towns across Sham and North Africa. He is popularly known as Salah-ad-Din the warrior.

But, who was the man behind the armor? How was he as a person, and as a Muslim? What personality does it take to carry out such heroic feats and achieve such a status?

In Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah (13/5-6), Ibn Kathir said that at the time of his death, Salah-ad-Din hardly had any money in his possession, and this was because: “…of the immense amount of gifts and charity and kindness that he used to show the leaders and ministers under his command, and even to his enemies.

“He was very simple in his clothing, food, drink, and transportation. He would only wear cotton, linen, and wool. It is not known that he ever approached anything forbidden or discouraged, especially after Allah blessed him with his kingdom. Rather, his greatest concern and goal was to aid Islam.”

Ibn Kathir continued: “He was very strict in praying on time in the jama’ah (congregation). It is said that he never missed a single prayer in jama’ah for a great part of his life, even during the illness that killed him. The imam would enter and lead him in prayer, and he would struggle to get up and pray despite his weakness.”

“He loved to hear the recitation of the Qur’an and the reading of hadith and knowledge. He was constant and habitual in listening to ahadith being read to him, to the point that he would hear a section read to him while he was standing between the ranks of soldiers!”

For more read here.

A giant of our era: Memories with Sheikh Jibreen

I WAS really moved when I heard about the death of our beloved Sheikh, Dr. Abdullah Bin Jibreen on Monday. A brother from Jordan called me and informed me of the sad news while I was playing with the baby. I couldn’t help but put her down and contemplate on the great loss the Ummah had just faced.

I first met Sheikh Jibreen in 2003, when I took a week off from school to go and visit Riyadh. Little did I know that I would have the opportunity to meet one of the greatest scholars of our era. My first encounter was a rather funny one. We walked with the sheikh from his masjid to his house after Asr prayers. This was the first opportunity I had to actually get close to the sheikh and see him in person. It was customary for students to kiss their teachers on foreheads, so I thought this was expected of me. I never thought I would almost be thrown down to the floor for that! As I approached to kiss his forehead, the then 75-year-old man, no taller than 5’8”, pushed me and I went 10 feet away as if I were just a fly! The sheikh, as small as he was, was built like a tank, Masha Allah. I was later informed that due to his humility he disliked being treated as a ‘sheikh’. He considered himself only a student of knowledge, may Allah have mercy on him.

Another amazing incident during this visit was when we attended his Thursday morning class. After Fajr prayers till about 10 A.M., he would go through nearly 12 different books. The books I remember specifically going through with him at that time were: Tafsir Al-Tabari, Tafsir Shawkani, Kitab Al-Tawhid, Usool Al-Thalathah, Imam Nawawi’s 40 Hadith, Sharh Al-Sunnah of Al-Muzani, and the Mandhoomah of Al-Ajrumiyyah.

If you thought going through so many books was a great accomplishment, listen to this. When we reached Tafsir Al-Tabari, the sheikh started falling asleep (we could hear him snoring gently). At that point, may Allah forgive me, I thought to myself, “wow, some sheikh he is. He falls asleep on his students.” But as the brother continued reading the book out loud the sheikh was able to point out places where he didn’t pause, or places where there should be a comma and their wasn’t, and even the typographical errors in the book while his eyes were closed and his head leaned forward on his chest! That really was a site to be seen. A man so proficient and expert in what he taught that he could do it in his sleep! May Allah have mercy on him. For more read here.