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Kindness Towards Animals: Sheikh Zayd Al Madkhali

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Abu Huraira narrated the statement of Allah’s Messenger -sallahu alayhi wa sallam-, “While a man was walking on a road he was stricken with severe thirst. He stumbled upon a well and descended therein, consequently drinking (until his thirst was quenched) and then exited it. Meanwhile he saw a dog panting and licking mud due to thirst. As a result the man said, ‘Thirst has affected this dog like that which affected me.’ So he descended into the well and filled his footwear with water, grasping it by his mouth, then he gave it water to drink. Consequently Allah thanked and forgave him.” They (those present) said, “O Messenger of Allah! Is there reward for us as a result of animals? He -sallahu alayhi wa sallam- said, “In every sentient being/creature there is a reward.” Collected by Al Bukhari and Muslim.

Sheikh Zayd Al Madkhali said, “This narration is a proof for the obligation of mercy towards animals and occasionally it is highly recommended. As the story in which a man saw a dog, and the dog is the least of animals in value, being that it was panting out of thirst he climbed down into a well in order to give it water. Consequently this became a means for receiving Allah’s mercy and thanks and He forgave him for his sins. In another chain of transmission there is a woman prostitute in which the same thing transpired with her, thus she was forgiven as well.

Therefore the narration therein is a clarification with regards to livestock owned by man, that he is responsible for them and they are from his herd (that which is placed under his care or custody). Thus it is mandatory to establish what is binding for them from food and drink, and having the concern that is befitting in that regard. If he does that for him is reward, but if he neglects that upon him is sin. In fact, when the Prophet -sallahu alayhi wa sallam- was asked about giving food or drink to animals he responded by saying, ‘In every sentient being/creature there is a reward.’ Along with the differing in species of created beings, everything man feeds or waters is included and there is for him a reward despite the different species. Whether it is livestock/cattle or animals that pass by your homes like cats and dogs, in all of them is reward.

So a man intends and expects that whatever is consumed from his money or substances of his drunken therein is reward.”

Translated by Najeeb Al Anjelesi

Source: عون الأحد الصمد شرح الأدب المفرد 

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Consumption Of Intoxicants During The Nights Of Ramadan: Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Saalih Al Uthaymin

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Q: Indeed some people have been tested with some wicked things such as drinking liquor or abusing narcotics, as a result when they break their fast during sunset they routinely indulge in these things til midnight, then they go to sleep in order to partake in the predawn meal during the last portion of the night and continue their fast (that following day), thus what is the ruling as it relates to their fast? And what is your advice in order that Allah may guide them?

A: As for the ruling concerning their fast, it is valid. However we are very saddened by them falling into this issue and they are Muslims. Likewise they know that intoxicants is the mother of all wickedness and a key to every evil as it undoubtedly is prohibited by the Book, the Sunnah and consensus of the Muslims. Therefore my advice to them is to have taqwa of Allah, to fear His punishment, and to abandon this forbidden matter. Whoever repents to Allah, Allah will accept his repentance, as the doors to repentance are open and Ramadan is a blessed opportunity to forego this prohibited action and to seek repentance from it. And Allah is the grantor of success. 

Translated by Najeeb ibn Yusuf Al Anjelesi

Source: فتاوى في أحكام الصيام

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Embryonic Development: Sheikh Abdul Muhsin Al Abbad

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Al Bukhari and Muslim collected a narration upon the authority of Abdullah ibn Masud wherin the Prophet-sallahu alayhi wa salaam- said:

“Surely the creation of each one of you is gathered in the wombs of his mother for forty days as a drop (of fluids). Subsequent to that he becomes a clot of blood for the same duration, and subsequent to that he becomes a chewed like bite sized morsel of flesh. Afterwards Allah sends an angel in order to breath the soul into it (the morsel of flesh) and commanded him with four matters, that being to write the (embryos) provisions, lifespan, actions, and (if it is to be) wretched or prosperous. I swear by Allah to whom which there is no deity in truth besides Him, indeed one of you may perform the actions of the people of paradise until there is nothing but an arms length between him and it, then that which is written overtakes him til he performs the actions of the people of the fire and as a result enters it. Likewise one of you may perform the actions of the people of the fire until there is nothing but an arms length between him and it, then that which is written overtakes him til he performs the actions of the people of paradise and as a result he enters it.”

Sheikh Abdul Muhsin Al Abbad elucidates the first part of the narration pertaining to embryonic development, he states:

Mentioned in this narration are the varying phases of man. The first is sperm which is a small amount of fluids. The second is a clot which is thick coagulated blood. The third is an embryo and it is a small amount of flesh the size of that which a diner chews (of food; meaning its bite sized). Allah mentions these three (phases) in His statement:

يأيُّها الناس إنْ كنْتم في ريبٍ من البعث فإنّا خلقناكم من ترابٍ ثمَّ من نطفةٍ ثمَّ من علقةٍ ثمَّ من مضغةٍ مخلقةٍ و غيرِ مخلَّقةٍ

“O’ Mankind! If you are in doubt about the resurrection, then certainly We created you from dust (Adam), then (in stages while in the womb) from fluids (sexual discharge), then from coagulated blood, then from a morsel of flesh shaped and unshaped…” [Al Hajj: 5]

The meaning of -shaped and unshaped- formed and unformed. In surah al muminoon verses 12-14 there’s a further (and much more replete) clarification with regards to the phases of man’s creation. Allah says: 

و لقد خلقْنا الإنسانَ من سلالةٍ من طين ٠ ثمَّ جعلْناه نطفةً في قرارٍ مكين ٠ ثمَّ خلقْنا النطفة علقةً فخلقنا العلقة مضغةً فخلقنا المضغة عظامًا فكسونا العظام لحمًا ثمّ أنشأناه خلقًا ءَاخر فتبارك الله أحسن الخالقين

“Indeed We created man from a (certain) strain of clay * Thereafter We made him a fluid (of sexual discharge, then placed) in a strong receptacle * Then We made the fluids into a clot, then We made the clot into a morsel of flesh, then We made the flesh out of the flesh bones, and then clothed the bones with flesh, and then We produce another (from it) another creation, so blessed is Allah the best of creators.”  

Also in the narration is what is subsequent to the three phases, which in total is 120 days, it being the breathing of the soul into the flesh, at this point he is alive and before that he was dead (inanimate). It is mentioned in the noble Quran that man has two lives and two deaths. Allah says:

قالوا ربنا أمتّنا اثنتين و أحيتنا اثنتين

“They will say; “Our Lord! You have caused us to die twice and have given us life twice…” [Al-Ghafir: 11]

The first death is before the blowing of the soul (the first 120 days in the womb), and the first life is from the blowing of the soul til the end of his lifespan (on earth). The second death is after his death til he is resurrected. This does not negate life in Al Barzakh (life in the grave that is a partition between the worldly life and resurrection) that which is firmly proven in the book and the sunnah. The second life is after resurrection and it is the eternal life without end. These varying conditions of man’s life are explained by Allah were He says:

و هو الذي أحياكم ثمّ يميتكم ثمّ يُحيكم إنَّ الإنسان لكَفورٌ

“He has given you life, then will cause you to die, and again will give you life. Indeed man is ungrateful.” [Al Hajj: 66] 

كيف تكفرون بالله و كنتم أمواتًا فأحياكم ثمَّ يميتكم ثمَّ يُحْييكم ثمَّ إليه ترجعون

“How can you disbelieve in Allah when you were dead and He gave you life, then you will die (again), and (again) He will grant you life and then to Him you will return.” [Al-Baqara: 28]

Consequently if he is born after the blowing of the soul (into the embryo) and then dies the legislative rulings concerning childbirth are applied. That being the washing of the child and praying over it, the conclusion of iddah, the woman being deemed mother of a child, and the mother being (in a state of) post natal (rulings pertaining to this state being applicable). But if there is a miscarriage before this then these rulings are not applicable (a miscarriage before 120 days is not viewed the same way as one after 120 days thus the rulings differ).

Translated by Najeeb Al Anjelesi

Source:  فتح القوي المتين في شرح الأربعين و تتمة الخمسين


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Being Excused Due To Ignorance: Sheikh Rabee Ibn Hadi

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Q: What is the (Islamic) precept pertaining to being excused due to ignorance?

A: The ignorant is he to whom which the proofs have not reached. He is either new to Islam and abandons an action from Islam’s pillars due to not learning Islam. For instance if a person accepts Islam and does not believe in the obligation of zaykat, hajj, etc due to neither the textual evidence reaching him nor any Muslim teaching him, this individual is excused due to ignorance.

Similarly a person in a country that is distant from knowledge, Islam, worship, tawheed, etc. He lives deep in the jungles like the jungles in the middle of Africa, or in countries passed India, countries of ignorance and misguidance. This person is also excused due to ignorance in certain affairs that have not reached him, so if he falls short therein we do not pass the judgement of disbelief, on the contrary we teach and make matters clear to him. We say to him, how come you don’t pay zaykah? Why don’t you perform the pilgrimage? If he says it’s not binding upon me to do, we then say, on the contrary, it is binding upon you to do and the proof is this. This (being his condition) before the proofs reached him, he came ignorant and is excused as a result of it.

As for he who lives in an Islamic country amidst the people of knowledge, religion, and good he is not excused. That is because in most cases he shuns learning and does not actually want the truth. The people of  the interval (of time between prophets), the mentally challenged, the young, and those who the proofs have not reached are all excused and will be tested on the day of resurrection. We do not consider them to be disbelievers and Allah will not enter them into the Fire without (first) sending a messenger to them in order to test them. He will say to them, “enter the Fire!” So whomsoever is prepared to enter it will be safe and secure, but whoever refuses and rejects will enter it.

The people of the interval will come and say , no herald came to us. The insane person will come and say I was tossed on the streets and the children would shove me while in (varying) pathways and I didn’t comprehend. I did not have intellect. Our Lord will not burden this type. The child is without sound intellect as well and has not reached the age of puberty. These individuals will be tested on the day of resurrection. Whoever dies before maturity will be tested. If he is prepared to enter the Fire being obedient to (the command) of this messenger (sent by Allah), he will be safe and secure. However he who refuses to enter the Fire this is disbelief and denial (on that day), consequently he will enter the Fire.

The textual evidence for this is what is reported by imam Ahmad from the chain of Qatadah, from Ahnaf ibn Qais upon the authority of Al-Aswad ibn Saree where the Prophet -sallahu alayhi wa salaam- said, “Four will be excused on the day of resurrection. The deaf man who doesn’t hear anything, the insane man, the elderly (senile) man, and the man who died during the interval (between Esa and Muhammad -sallahu alayhi wa salaam-). As for the deaf man he will say, my Lord indeed Islam came but I didn’t hear a thing. As for the insane he will say, my Lord Islam came yet the children would fling filth at me. The elderly man will say, my Lord Islam came but I didn’t comprehend anything. Lastly the man who died during the interval, he will say, my Lord no messenger of yours came to me. Thus a covenant will be made (in which they will agree) to obey Allah and (as a result) He will send a messenger to them who will tell them to enter the Fire. I swear by Him in whose hands is the soul of Muhammad, if they enter the Fire it will be for them cool and tranquil.   

Ahmad also reports (another chain from Muadh ibn Hisham that leads back to) Abu Huraira narrating similar, except that the ending differs. “So whoever enters it, it will be for them cool and tranquil, and whoever does not enter it will be dragged therein.

The conclusion drawn is that the more probable interpretation with Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa’ah is that the ignoramus is excused until the proof is presented to him. So the people of the interval are excused and will not enter the Fire unless the proof is established (against them) in the next life. To reiterate; the soundest with Ahlus Sunnah is that anyone that commits an action deemed to be disbelief is not considered a disbeliever until the proof is presented to him, as some companions fell into the consumption of intoxicants, they drunk it and considered it to be lawful and this is disbelief. As a result the companions like Umar, Ali, Uthman and others assembled. They called for the summoning of them and said (after establishing the proofs concerning the consumption of intoxicants) if they acknowledge the prohibition of intoxicants then upon them is the Islamic legal punishment (for the infraction), but if they declare it lawful then the capital punishment for apostasy is applied. So they repented and the legal punishment was implemented.

Translated by Najeeb Ibn Yusuf Al Anjelesi

Source: فتاوى فضيلة الشيخ العلامة ربيع بن هادي عمير المدخلي   

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When Committing Major Polytheism Is Excused: Sheikh Rabee Ibn Hadi

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Q: Are people, living in some Muslim countries, who commit major polytheism excused due to ignorance? Or is it that the proofs have been established against them due to the circulation of Islamic knowledge based books, tapes, and educational gatherings that are broadcast (on TV, radio, satellite, etc) wherein tawheed is clearly explained to them?

A: Whomever you know that comprehends and the proofs have been presented to him then (if he still persists upon polytheism while claiming Islam) you consider him to be out the fold of Islam, however many people do not understand. Many have not even heard (the proofs) specifically foreigners (non Arabs). In this time a multitude of Arabs are on the same level as the foreigner as they read the Quran and hear the narrations yet they do not comprehend them.

So patience is necessary alongside the lack of being hasty with passing judgement against the people. Indeed I’ve already answered this question before you asked it. I also cited the verses that indicate the necessity of the misguided person having comprehension in that he understands the proofs that are with you. Surely there may be with him disbelief and misguidance, however do not be hasty in passing the judgement of him being outside the fold of Islam until you present the evidence. We previously mentioned the position of Ibn Taymiyyah in this regard and the evidence (supporting this position).

Translated by Najeeb Ibn Yusuf Al Anjelesi

Source: فتاوى فضيلة الشيخ العلامة ربيع بن هادي عمير المدخلي


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Existing Physical Traces Of The Prophet -sallahu alayhi wa salaam-: Shaykh Rabee Ibn Hadee

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Q: Because you mentioned the perspiration of the Prophet -sallahu alayhi wa salaam- I wanted to know if there remains any of his physical traces like his hair, and if so how do we seek blessings from such?

A: Today there is nothing from his physical traces, and whoever claims such is a fraudulent liar!

We went to India and found a group of people claiming that they had a strand of the Prophet’s -sallahu alayhi wa salaam- hair, they are liars and the only thing with them is deceit. We also saw in I believe Pakistan or Bangladesh a masjid wherein it is claimed that his -sallahu alayhi salaam- footprint is therein. Also in Delhi there is a masjid its imam is (named) Bukhari and he has a good reputation (there), Europeans both men and women resembling the destitute travel there to that place in the masjid. They claim there is therein  a physical trace of the Prophet -sallahu alayhi wa salaam- in which a structure similar to a dome is built over. As a result you will see the women acting dishonorably and the men spectating, looking at the claimed footprint of the Prophet -sallahu alayhi wa salaam.

I saw this evil and went to the imam in order to advise him, so i said to him, you all claim that the Prophet -sallahu alayhi wa salaam- came to this place and this is his footprint? He replied, the people claim such. I said, O my brother, I have read (and studied) history and we know that the Messenger -sallahu alayhi wa salaam- was raised to the heavens, he went from Mecca to Medina, and he mobilized war expeditions to well known places like Tabuk, however we did not find anywhere in history where the Messenger -sallahu alayhi wa salaam- came to Delhi and stood at this place. He was not able to respond with anything convincing. Afterwards I talked to his father when he came and there was a salafi translator with me, who said, these claims (of the people) are atrocious.

Subsequent to that he informed me about when King Saud visited India and went to Varanasi which is a stronghold of idolatry, it is to them like Mecca, therein are an abundance of idols. So when they were informed of his visit they covered some of the idols, and how is this? Indeed it’s (from) the awe (or dignity) of monotheism. Then he came to the masjid and prayed therein, so the people said to him, here is the footprint of the Prophet -sallahu alayhi wa salaam- he immediately recognized it as a lie so he walked on and did not go near that area.

The implementer of tawheed has insight and comprehension, whereas the people of innovation have with them stupidity, ignorance, and wickedness. Thus the claims are many. In Turkey they claim to have a strand of his -sallahu alayhi wa salaam- hair, some claim they have the quranic manuscript of Ali in which he wrote with his own hand. These are lies. Allah’s set way with regards to these affairs is that they are no more (they’ve elapsed and are nonexistent today) as He has ordained such.

Translated by Najeeb Al Anjelesi 

Source: فتاوى فضيلة الشيخ العلامة ربيع ن هادي عمير المدخلي

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Abu Hanifah And Al-Irjaa: Shaykh Rabee Ibn Hadee

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Q: Is it correct that which is attributed to Abu Hanifah that he was Murji’ee?

A: This is correct and no one denies this. Abu Hanifah fell into irjaa and no one denies it, neither Hanifi nor Sunni, no one denies this. Ahlus Sunnah sternly censured him due to this and for other reasons. Therefore it is not allowed for a Hanifi or anyone else to follow the mistakes any individual no matter who it may be. Not Abu Hanifah, not Malik, and not Shaafi’ee, however I do not know of errors in creed with theses individuals except Abu Hanifah, as he fell into saying the statement, “the Quran is created” but eventually repented from that as is firmly established (and or affirmed) by the scholars. However his (mistake with regards to) irjaa, him repenting from such was never affirmed, nor has anyone claimed such. No one from the Hanifis or other than them to the best of my knowledge.

Translated by Najeeb Al Anjelesi

Source: فتاوى فضيلة الشيخ ربيع بن هادي المدخلي

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Statements Of Imams From The First 3 Virtuous Generations of Muslims: Shaykh Rabee Ibn Hadee

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Q: Are the statements of imams and scholars of the salaf from the first three generations of Muslims a proof (legislative evidence) to be relied upon?

A: Their statements are a (relied upon) proof, if they are from the perspective of consensus. So whatever they had collective consensus upon as it relates to creed, worship, business transactions, etc is a proof, since the fundamental sources (of legislative) with Ahlus Sunnah are the Book, the Sunnah, and consensus.

However if the subject is not that which there is consensus, on the contrary there is differing pertaining to it, in such case what is binding upon the people of knowledge is the referencing of Allah’s Book and His Messenger’s Sunnah, and whatsoever is derived from these two textual sources as a proof to substantiate or disqualify this or that statement. Just as the Exalted says:

فإنْ تنازعتم في شيءٍ فردُّوه إلى الله و الرسول إنْ كنتم تؤمنون باللهِ و اليوم الأخر ذلك خيرٌ و أحسن تأويلاً

“…and if you all differ in anything, refer it back to Allah and the Messenger, if you believe in Allah and the last day that is best and more suitable for final determination.” [An-Nisaa: 59]

And He says:

و ما اختلفتم فيه من شيءٍ فحكمه إلى الله

” And in whatsoever you all differ, the decision (regarding it) is with Allah…” [Ash-Shura: 10]

This is our position as it relates to the statements of the imams of the salaf from the three virtuous generations.

Translated by Najeeb Al Anjelesi

Source:  فتاوى فضيلة الشيخ ربيع بن هادي المدخلي

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Opposing The Consensus Of The Companions: Shaykh Rabee Ibn Hadee

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Q: If the companions have consensus in a matter (whatever it may be), is it permissible for someone who comes after them to introduce a new statement (and or position in the matter)?

A: That would cause him to be susceptible to severe threat and extreme peril.

و من يشاقق الرسول من بعد ما تبيَّن له الهدى و يتَّبع غيرَ سبيل المؤمنين نولِّهِ ما تولَّى و نُصله جهنم و سائت مصيرًا

“And whoever opposes the Messenger after the guidance has been made clear to him, and follows other than the path of the believers, we will leave him upon what he has chose and will burn him in Hell what an evil destination.” [An-Nisaa: 115] 

If it is established that the companions had consensus in an affair, the coming with another view is not permissible. This is exceeding their consensus, conflicting with the Book and the Sunnah, and opposing Allah, the Messenger, and the believers. In reality it is following other than their path and this is not permissible.

Translated by Najeeb Al Anjelesi

Source:   فتاوى فضيلة الشيخ ربيع بن هادي المدخلي

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Beneficial Knowledge And Righteous Actions: Shaykh Salih Al Fawzan

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

This principle (1) alludes to the fact that the correctness and success of the Islamic nation is adjoined to two necessary affairs. If one of the two is absent then there can neither be correcting of the Islamic nation nor success. These two things are as follows:

The First: Beneficial Knowledge

The Second: Righteous Actions

These two things are that in which Allah sent with our Prophet Muhammad -sallahu alayhi wa salaam. The Exalted says:

هو الذِّي أرسل رسوله بالهدى و دينِ الحقِّ ليُظهره على الدين كلِّه

“It is He Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth in order to make it uppermost over all others ways…” [As-Saff: 9]

Guidance is beneficial knowledge and the religion of truth is righteous actions. These two things are coupled to the point were knowledge is of no benefit without action and action does not benefit without (being preceded by) knowledge. As a result knowledge without action did not benefit the Jews. They had with them the Torah and they knew what was contained therein, so they carried it but did not enact it. Thus Allah likened them to donkeys that carry books on their backs but literally do not benefit from that which they carry. The Exalted says:

مثل الذين حمِّلوا التوراة ثمَّ لمْ يحملوها كمثل الحمار يحمل أسفار بئس مثل القوم الذين كذَّبوا بآيات الله والله لا يهدي القوم الظالمين

“The example of those who were entrusted with (the obligations of) the Torah yet failed in its fulfillment is like the example of a donkey that carries books (but does not benefit from them because it does not understand them). How bad is the example of people who deny the verses of Allah, and Allah does not guide an oppressive people.” [Al-Jumu’ah: 5] 

Furthermore Allah referred to them as those who incurred His anger due to their disobedience to Him upon firm knowledge. Consequently Allah was angered by them because they received (the blessing) of knowledge yet they did not enact it. Therefore whomsoever is described with this characteristic becomes worthy of this threat and is one who has earned Allah’s anger. To reiterate, every single person who knows but does not enact his knowledge then, without doubt, Allah is angry with him, regardless if he is a Jew or from this nation. Similarly actions without knowledge,or actions preceded by desires, blind following, and by customary traditions does not benefit even if it fatigues its doer. Indeed actions without knowledge is misguidance and Allah referred to it as such. He also referred to those who act without knowledge as being astray and this is present in the last portion of Al-Fatiha.

اهْدنا الصراط المستقيم – صراط الذين أنعمْتَ عليهم غير المغضوب عليهم و لا الضّالين

“Guide us to the straight path. The path of those to whom you have bestowed blessings, and not (the path) of those who earned your anger, nor of those who went astray.” [Al-Fatiha: 7]

Allah mentions three groups.

The First Group: Those to whom which Allah has bestowed His blessings.

They are those upon the straight path who couple beneficial knowledge with righteous actions and they are who Allah referred to in His statement:

و من يطع الله و الرسول فأولآئك مع الذين أنعم الله عليهم من النبيِّين و الصدِّيقين و الشهداءِ و الصالحين و حسُن أُولآئك رفيقاً

“And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger, then he will be in the company of those to whom Allah has bestowed blessings, from the prophets, the truthful, the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!”  [An-Nisaa: 69]

The Second Group: Those who incurred Allah’s anger.

They are those who acquired knowledge (alone) and abandoned action. They have earned Allah’s anger due to the possessors of knowledge not being equated with those who do not. Whoever disobeys Allah while knowing this fact is worse than those who do so ignorantly.

The Third Group: The Astray.

They are those who put forth actions but abandon knowledge (first). They act and are diligent in that regard yet their actions are not based on knowledge. They do not acquire evidence from the book and the sunnah, nonetheless it is binding for actions to be built on evidence. As a result every action that has no evidence is an innovation. The Messenger -sallahu alayhi wa salaam- said,“Whoever does an action that is not in accordance with our command is rejected.” Likewise he said, “I caution you from newly invented matters (in the religion), surely every novelty is an innovation and every innovation is misguidance.”

Thus these individuals tire themselves with actions while in reality they are misguided. As a result their actions are worthless because they did not build it on a (proper) foundation, they did not build it on the Book and the Sunnah. So none of them find salvation except the first group, those who couple beneficial knowledge with righteous actions. They are those whose path we ask Allah, in every unit of the prayer, to guide us towards. Moreover we ask to be distant from the other two contradictory paths.

Also pertinent to this subject is that without doubt from the third category of those that worship Allah without knowledge are the Sufis. The Sufis are diligent with respect to Allah’s remembrance, worship, asceticism, and being overstrict (in religious affairs), however it is all done upon other than knowledge, in fact they abstain from knowledge and encourage (others) with this. They make fun of those who have a concern for acquiring knowledge. Hence they say that these individuals busy themselves with a means (to accomplish a goal) and abandon the objective. The objective with them is action and the means (in which to accomplish it) is knowledge.

This is correct the objective with them are actions and knowledge is the aid to accomplishing them. However the objective can not be reached without the means to get there. So if the means are lost the objective will never be reached. In light of this, we do not say to the people busy yourselves with with seeking knowledge and abandon actions, on the contrary we (only) say couple the two. Unite knowledge with actions. So the Sufis have not ceased being upon their path of busying themselves with worship, remembrance, isolation for worship at specified times, and technical terms which they or the elders of their paths invent. Due to this, they pledge their allegiance to them which is misguidance upon misguidance because it is built upon other than knowledge. Their followers don’t want knowledge, on the contrary they are the most reluctant of people concerning knowledge, and this is the Shaitan’s deception. Therefore it is obligatory to couple knowledge with action.

Continuing, the Prophet -sallahu alayhi wa salaam- divided the people into three categories as it relates to that in which he was sent from beneficial knowledge and righteous actions. (2)

The First Category: Those who connect knowledge of the narration with its text by way of memorization, precision, and they stay far away from foreign words and or expressions, along with comprehension thereof. They adjoin the memorization of it, comprehending and explaining it, clarifying it and whatever else is included from that. This category is the best of all the categories and they are the specialist concerning the chains of transmission and the meaning of the text. They are the people of comprehension among the hadith scholars, those like Imam Ahmad, Imam Al Bukhari, Imam Ash-Shaafi’ee, and the remainder of the people of comprehension from the scholars of hadith. This is the highest level and we ask Allah the Generous to bestow upon us this virtue.

The Second Category: They are below the first, however with them is good and virtue. They have concern for the narration and its chain of transmission by studying the chains and declaring the authentic from other than it. They memorize the manuscripts with precision but they do not busy themselves with comprehending its meaning, on the contrary they simply memorize. This type holds water but does not cause any crops to grow. As for the first type it is like good soil of the earth that not only sustains water but also causes vegetation to grow. Hence the people benefit from it. They benefit from the water and the vegetation.

The second category only holds the water, thus the Islamic nation benefits in that it (is able) to embark on preservation of the book and the sunnah reliably (due to this groups efforts). These are the scholars who are only busied with the chains of transmission. This category has an abundance of good and virtue despite the fact that they are below the category mentioned before them. Nonetheless they benefit the people tremendously by memorizing the text, being precise in that, and being distant from forgery and foreign expressions placed therein.

The Third Category: There is no good in them. They are like barren land that grows nothing nor holds water. This group has no knowledge, they are ignorant people who have no concern for knowledge. Neither do they busy themselves with acquiring it ever, nor are they known to possess it. There is no good nor benefit with them.

These are the levels of people with regards to that in which the Prophet -sallahu alayhi wa salaam- was sent. The last category neither lifts their heads nor show concern with regards to that which the Prophet -sallahu alayhi wa salaam- was sent, they don’t memorize chains nor understand the meanings of the text so they lose in both matters. Consequently there is no good with them. By way of his statement the Prophet -sallahu alayhi wa salaam- intended the encouraging of people to seek knowledge and comprehension of Allah’s religion. He also warned from ignoring it. Thus as long as the first two categories remain then the people will be upon good. With them is the very source of good. Thus if these two categories cease til there remains no one except the third group, then the Islamic nation’s circumstance will be bad and this most certainly will occur during the last days, when knowledge will be removed by way of the deaths of scholars and none among them remains in order to be returned to except the third level of people.

So where will the people go? Who will they depend upon for acquisition of knowledge and practical application? Who will they ask if the scholars are lost and knowledge is removed? This is a sign of evil for this nation. The Islamic nation can not thrive unless there exist knowledge and its people, (meaning) knowledge and action. If they cease the Islamic nation will plunge into darkness and will take from the heads of those who are ignorant. They will be asked and will issue verdicts without knowledge. They are astray and they lead others astray.

In conclusion knowledge is not acquired spontaneously, on the contrary it’s acquired by seeking it. There is nothing man hopes to achieve that comes easy. Knowledge has foundations and paths just as the Messenger -sallahu alayhi wa salaam- said, “Whoever traverses a path in order to obtain knowledge, Allah will make easy for him the path to paradise.” Hence it is necessary to proceed upon a path of learning and acquiring knowledge from the scholars as long as they are present, as knowledge is not sought from books, the ignorant, nor the self taught individual attempting to resemble the scholars because that is not knowledge. These types of people are referred to as bookworms and at the end of time they will be abundant and the (authentic) scholars will be few in number. The abundance of bookworms (those who seek knowledge exclusively by readings books)  will not benefit (anyone) in the least and if there are no scholars then these individuals will harm the people more than benefiting them, or they will not benefit them at all. Therefore it is required to obtain knowledge from the scholars, (studying) its fundamentals, manuscripts, and rudimentary guidelines.

Translated by Najeeb Al Anjelesi

Source:   الإصباح في بيان منهج السلف في التربية و الإصلاح


1: The shaykh is referring to the principle, “The Muslims’ victory and the correcting of their condition is linked to two affairs: 1. Beneficial knowledge 2. Righteous actions.

2: The shaykh is referring to an authentic narration upon the authority of Abu Musa Al Ashari where the Prophet -sallahu alayhi wa salaam- said: “The example of guidance and knowledge with which Allah has sent me is like abundant rain falling on the earth, some of which was fertile soil that absorbed rain water and brought forth vegetation and grass in abundance. (And) another portion of it was hard and held the rain water and Allah benefited the people with it and they utilized it for drinking, making their animals drink from it and for irrigation of the land for cultivation. (And) a portion of it was barren which could neither hold the water nor bring forth vegetation (then that land gave no benefits). This is the example of the person who comprehends Allah’s religion and gets benefit (from the knowledge) which Allah has revealed through me. Thus he learns and then teaches others. The last example is that of a person who does not care for it and does not accept Allah’s guidance revealed through me (He is like that barren land.) Collected by both Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

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