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Nothing kills Knowledge but Stories

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عَنْ أَبِي قِلَابَةَ، قَالَ: «مَا أَمَاتَ الْعِلْمَ إِلَّا الْقُصَّاصُ يُجَالِسُ الرَّجُلُ الرَّجُلَ الْقَاصَّ سَنَةً فَلَا يَتَعَلَّقُ مِنْهُ بِشَيْءٍ، وَيَجْلِسُ إِلَى الْعَالِمِ فَلَا يَقُومُ حَتَّى يَتَعَلَّقَ مِنْهُ بِشَيْءٍ»

“حلية الأولياء” ( 2 / 287 )

It was narrated that Abu Qilaabah ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Zayd said: Nothing kills knowledge but stories. A man may sit with a storyteller for a year without really learning anything that will last, whereas a man who sits with a scholar for an hour learns what will last and benefit him before he even gets up.

Source: Hilyat al-Awliya’ (2/287).

The salaf of this ummah issued a stern warning against these storytellers, because of the bad effects that their stories have on the common folk and because they contain things that go against the laws of Allaah.

In a hadeeth that was classed as hasan by Shaykh al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (1681) it was narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

إِنَّ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ لمَّا هَلَكُوا قَصُّوا

“When the Children of Israel were doomed they started to tell stories.”

Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

It says in al-Nihaayah: “when they were doomed they started to tell stories” which means they relied on words and forsook deeds, and that was the reason for their doom, or vice versa: when they were doomed it was because they stopped doing good deeds and turned to stories.

Al-Albaani said, commenting on this:

ومن الممكن أن يقال : إن سبب هلاكهم اهتمام وعاظهم بالقصص والحكايات دون الفقه والعلم النافع الذي يعرف الناس بدينهم ، فيحملهم ذلك على العمل الصالح ؛ لما فعلوا ذلك هلكوا .

“السلسلة الصحيحة” ( 4 / 246 )

“It may be said that the reason they were doomed was that they paid too much attention to stories at the expense of fiqh and beneficial knowledge which teach the people about their religion, and motivate them to do righteous deeds. Because they did that, they were doomed.”

Source: Al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (4/246).

This is the case with the storytellers; they pay too much attention to stories and myths, which they narrate to the common folk, without any understanding or knowledge, and the common man hears a lot but does not understand any ruling or gain any knowledge.

Ibn al-Jawzi said in Talbees Iblees (p. 150):

والقصاص لا يُذمون من حيث هذا الاسم لأن الله عز وجل قال : ( نَحْنُ نَقصُّ عَلَيْكَ أَحْسَنَ القَصَص ) وقال : ( فَاقْصُص القَصَص ) .

The storytellers are not condemned just for being storytellers, because Allaah says :

“We relate unto you (Muhammad) the best of stories” [Yoosuf 12:3] and His saying: “So relate the stories” [al-A’raaf 7:176]

وإنما ذُمَّ القصاص لأن الغالب منهم الاتساع بذكر القصص دون ذكر العلم المفيد ، ثم غالبهم يخلط فيما يورد وربما اعتمد على ما أكثره محال .

“تلبيس إبليس” ( ص 150 ) 

Rather the storytellers are condemned because they tell many stories without mentioning any beneficial knowledge, and usually they mix sound and unsound material in what they narrate and rely on things that are mostly impossible.

Source: Talbees Iblees (p. 150).

How often do these storytellers narrate from bad reports to the masses, and tell them these fables, which reach such a status among the masses that they believe everything that they hear and even give them precedence over the scholars and seekers of knowledge.

We ask Allaah to set straight the affairs of those on the path of acquiring knowledge, and to guide them to that which is best for them and others.

Written by islamictreasure

05/07/2012 at 12:27 PM

Posted in Advice, Knowledge

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Knowledge is to comprehend something as it actually is

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Shaykh Saalih ibn al-Fawzaan al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) comments in his explanation of al-Usool ith-Thalaathah:

والعلم : هو إدراك الشيء على ما هو عليه في الواقع أو تصور الشيء على طبق الواقع

“And al-‘ilm (knowledge) is to comprehend something as it actually is or to perceive something in accordance with how it actually is.

و إدراك الشيء على خلاف ما هو عليه في الواقع أو تصور الشيء على خلاف الواقع فهو الجهل وهو ضد العلم

And to comprehend something in a manner contrary to how it actually is in reality or to perceive something contrary to reality of it – this is al-jahl (ignorance) and it is the opposite of al-‘ilm (knowledge).”

Source: Shaykh Saalih ibn al-Fawzaan al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah), in his Sharh al-Usool ith-Thalaathah, while explaining the statement “اعْلَمْ رَحِمَكَ اللهُ” (Know, may Allaah have mercy upon you).

Written by islamictreasure

18/06/2012 at 11:37 AM

Difficult to follow the Truth

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Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Abdul-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) had a good understanding of why it is difficult for many people, especially those looked upon as people of authority and knowledge, to follow the truth while they have been straying in the past.

Thus he understood why it is that even while presenting the clear truth from the Quran and Sunnah, people will still not listen and will continue to adhere to the way of life that they have been living. He gave four reasons for this behavior:

(1) They do not recognize the truth even though some of them claim to be scholars;

(2) the truth goes against what they grew up with and what they are accustomed to, and it is very difficult to go against one’s customs;

(3) the truth is contrary to the “knowledge” that they have and that they have grown to love, much like the Tribe of Israel grew to love the golden calf; and

(4) this religion attempts to get between them and the forbidden, evil wealth that they are acquiring.

Source: Abdul-Mushin ibn Baaz in Rasaail al-Imaam Muhammad ibn Abdil-Wahhaab al-Shakhsiyyah: Diraasah Daawiyyah, vol. 1, p. 464, quoted from ibn Ghannaam, vol. 1, p.185.

Written by islamictreasure

24/05/2012 at 12:00 PM

Time is like a sword – Either you strike it, or it will strike you!

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Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah) said on the night of  the 27th of Rabee’ul-Awwal 1417 H (Sunday) – which corresponds to the 10th of August 1996 CE:

I advise you all to safeguard your time and to occupy yourselves in that which is beneficial. You should know that time is more precious than wealth, as Allaah – the Most Blessed, the Most High – said:

“Until when death comes to him, he says: O my Lord! Give me respite so that I may then do righteous actions.” [Soorah al-Baqarah 2:333].

Time is such that when it departs it does not return, whereas wealth, when it departs, then it is possible to replace it. So time is of the utmost importance. This is why I advise you to safeguard your time, and to occupy yourselves in that which benefits. Keep away from qeela wa qaal (gossiping) – that so and so said such and such about this and that person – because the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said in an authentic narration: Indeed Allaah hates qeela wa qaal (gossip mongering), asking too many questions, and wasting one’s wealth.[Muslim (no.1715)]

Unfortunately, many of the youths – after returning to the correct path, and uniting their hearts and unifying their word – have become disunited and fragmented into many factions, and this is due to the whisperings of Shaytaan amongst them and the disuniting of their word.

So I advise the brothers to utilise your time in beneficial matters, and to keep away from qeela wa qaal. Indeed, time is like a sword; either you strike it, or it will strike you!

Source: Al-Istiqaamah Magazine, Issue No. 5Ramadaan 1417 H

Written by islamictreasure

21/05/2012 at 11:51 AM

Striving and exerting oneself in seeking knowledge

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From amongst the most important of the ways and means by which beneficial knowledge  is obtained, is:

Striving and exerting oneself in seeking knowledge, having keen interest for it, having a true desire in which the Pleasure of Allaah, the Most High, is sought and adopting all of the ways and means in seeking knowledge of the Book and the Sunnah. [1]

A man came to Abu Hurairah (radhiAllaahu ‘anhu) and said, “I desire to learn the knowledge but I fear that I may waste it.” So Abu Hurairah replied to him, “Your abandonment of learning it is sufficient in wasting it.” [Refer to Tafseer as-Sa’dee (5/194)].

For this reason one of the wise people, upon being asked, “What is the way by which knowledge is obtained?” answered, “With eagerness is it followed, with love is it listened to, with sole concern is it gathered, teach your knowledge to the one who is ignorant, and learn  from the one who teaches, for if you do that, you will come to know that of which you were ignorant and you will memorise that which you (yourself) have learnt.” [Jaami Bayaanul-Ilm wa Fadlihi of Ibn Abdul-Barr (1/102,103)].

For this reason, Imaam ash Shaafi’ee (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

“My brother! You will not acquire knowledge

except by six matters,

I will inform you of their detail with an explanation:

Intelligence, zeal, striving, competence/proficiency

The companionship of a teacher …

and a long time!”


Footnotes:

[1] Such as buying books and cassettes, connecting with the people of knowledge from Ahlus-Sunnah, not Ahlul-Bid’ah, attending their gatherings, talks and conferences, travelling for the sake of knowledge and other such efforts.

Written by islamictreasure

17/05/2012 at 4:47 PM

Posted in Knowledge

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The Satanic ‘Intellect’

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This was a piece of advice from Hamad bin ‘Atiq an-Najdi to Muslims in general, written around two hundred years ago. It finds itself very relevant today.

“…And it should be known that intellect (‘aql) is of three types:

  • Natural intellect
  • Faith-based intellect obtained from the Prophetic light
  • Satanic, hypocritical  ‘intellect’

And the possessors of this last type think they are something special, and this type of intellect is found among many people – most of them, in fact. It is the essence of ruin and the fruit of hypocrisy, as its possessors think that intellect is to please everyone and to not go against their interests and desires, as well as to gain their friendship (at the expense of speaking the truth). They say that the best thing for you is to just be part of the people and don’t cause them to hate you.

This is the corruption and ruin of the soul, and this is due to four things:

The first is that the one who does this has gained the pleasure of people by angering Allah, and the people are more important in his eyes than Allah. Whoever gains the pleasure of people by angering Allah will end up with the anger of both the people and Allah. It was narrated that Allah Said: “When I am angered, My Curse reaches the seventh generation of descendants.”

So, if the one who is able to enjoin the good and prevent the bad abandons doing so, he will bring about Allah’s Curse that will reach the seventh generation of his progeny, and this is proven by the verse: {“The disbelievers from the Children of Isra’il were cursed by the tongue of Dawud and ‘Isa bin Maryam. This is because they were rebellious and would transgress…”} [al-Ma’idah; 78]

So, it is clear that this compromising person has ruined himself through what he thought would help him.

Second, it is inevitable that Allah will open a door of humiliation and disgrace for the one who compromises from where he sought honor. And some of the Salaf said: “Whoever leaves off enjoining good and preventing evil out of his fear of people, the respect and obedience people had for him will be removed.” So, if he orders his son or servant to do something for him, they will belittle his status. Just like he belittled the rights of Allah, Allah will belittle and humiliate him: {“…they forgot Allah. So, He forgot them…”} [at-Tawbah; 67]

Third, if some sort of punishment is sent down, the one who compromises will be one of its targets, as in the verse: {“And beware of a trial that won’t only afflict the wrongdoers among you…”} [al-Anfal; 25]

…And Ibn Abi ad-Dunya reported from Wahb bin Munabbih that he said: “When Dawud made a mistake, he said: “My Lord, Forgive me!” So, Allah Said: “I have Forgiven you and placed your sin on the Children of Isra’il.” Dawud asked: “Why, O Lord? How can this be when You are the Just who oppresses nobody? I fall into error and You place the sin on others?” He Said: “When you did this error, they didn’t criticize you for it.”

And Ibn Abi ad-Dunya reported that Allah revealed to Yusha’ bin Nun (Joshua): “I will destroy 40,000 of the best of your people and 60,000 of their worst.” He asked: “My Lord, I can understand the worst of them being destroyed. Why destroy the best of them?” He Said: “They didn’t become angry for My Anger, and they would give the worst ones food and drink.”

Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr and others reported that Allah commanded one of the Angels to destroy a town. So, he asked: “My Lord, it has such and such a person who is a zahid who worships You constantly!” Allah Said:“Begin with him, and let me hear his voice. His face never once became red for My sake.”

So, the only way out when punishments descend is to be from those who enjoin the good and prevent the wrong, as Allah Said: {“So, when they forgot what they were reminded of, We saved those who would forbid what was bad…”} [al-A’raf; 165]

Fourth, this compromising person who seeks the pleasure of people is worse than the adulterer, the thief, and the consumer of alcohol. Ibn al-Qayyim said:

“The Religion is not just leaving off outer prohibitions. Rather, it is to fulfill what Allah Loves along with this. Most religious people today don’t do this except when it comes to things that the majority of people accept and agree with them in. As for Jihad, enjoining good and preventing evil, giving advice for the sake of Allah and His Messenger to His worshipers, giving aid and victory to Allah and His Messenger and Book and Religion – these obligations don’t even occur to them, let alone evoke a desire on their part to carry them out, let alone be carried them out by them!

The lowest of people in the Religion and the worst of them with Allah are those who abandon these obligations, even if he practices the most zuhd from everything in this world. It is rare to find from them one whose face becomes red for the sake of Allah, and who becomes angry due to His limits being violated, and who gives all he has to help his religion. Those who fall into major sins are better with Allah than these people.”

So, imagine that someone fasts all day, prays all night, abstains from all worldly pleasures, and despite this never becomes angry or has his face reddened for Allah’s sake and doesn’t enjoin good and prevent evil – such a man is the most hated of people to Allah and the least of them in religiousness, and those who fall into major sins are better with Allah than such a person.

And a trustworthy person told me that Shaykh al-Islam, the leader of the da’wah in Najd (Muhammad bin ‘Abd al-Wahhab), once said: “I saw some people sitting in the mosque with their Qur’ans, reciting and weeping. However, they didn’t enjoin the good if they saw it and they didn’t prevent evil if they saw it. I saw people sitting near them saying: “These are the source of benefit,” and I said: “These are the source of disgrace.” Someone heard me and said: “I can’t say they are a source of disgrace!” So, I replied to him: “They are blind and mute.””

And this is supported by what some of the Salaf said: “The one who is silent about the truth is a silent devil, while the one who speaks falsehood is a speaking devil.”

So, if the one who compromises by remaining silent comes to know that he is from the most hated of people to Allah even if he thinks he is good, he would speak openly. And if the one who seeks the approval and pleasure of people came to know that by not speaking out against their evil that those who fall into major sins are better with Allah than him – even if he assumes himself to be religious – he would repent from his compromise and would retreat from it. And if the one who is stingy with his tongue from openly proclaiming the command of Allah came to know that he is a silent devil even if he fasts, prays, and is azahid, he would do all that he could to avoid being similar to Satan.

O Allah, I seek refuge with You from every action that angers the Merciful, and from every trait that makes us resemble Satan or compromise on our religion with the people of doubts, hypocrisy, andkufr.

And may peace and blessings be on Muhammad, his Household, and Companions.”

[‘ad-Durar as-Saniyyah’; 8/75-79]

Written by islamictreasure

10/05/2012 at 12:54 PM

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Hold fast to the traditions of the Salaf

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The Shaykh of Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said:

“It is known to those who reflect upon the Qur’an, the Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet), and points where Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah (adherents to the Sunnah and the Muslim mainstream) agreed that the best generation of this nation in terms of deeds, sayings, beliefs, and all virtues is the first generation, i.e. the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet), then the one after, then the one after them.

This was reported in a number of authentic Hadiths from the Prophet (peace be upon him) in this regard.

The Sahabah are better than later generations in every aspect; knowledge, actions, faith, character, deeds, and worship. Thus, they are most worthy of explaining every detailed point of religion. None may argue this evident fundamental except those who deny the well-established and known Islamic facts; and Allah, knowing that they know the truth, left them astray.”

‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

Anyone who wishes to adopt a certain example should follow those who have passed away, for the living are not safe from Fitnah (temptation). They are the Sahabah of Muhammad who have the purest hearts, the best knowledgeable, and are the least pretentious of all Muslims. They are the people that Allah chose to accompany his Prophet (peace be upon him) and to establish Islam. So affirm their status and hold firmly to their guidance, for indeed they were on the right path.

[Narrated from `Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, by Ibn `Abdul-Bar, Jami` Bayan Al-`Ilm wa Fadlihi, Chapter on undesirable debate, dispute, and argument, vol. 2, p. 947, no. 1810, (verified by Al-Zuhayry); and Abu Isma`il Al-Harawy, Dham Al-Kalam wa Ahlihi, vol. 4, p. 38, no. 758, verified by `Abdullah Al-Ansary. Related by Abu Nu`aym in Al-Hilyah’ from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, vol. 1, pp. 305- 306]

Someone once said: “Hold fast to the traditions of the Salaf, for they brought forth what is sufficient and curative and no good ever arose after them which they were not knowledgeable of.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:  “No time will come but the following time is worse than it, until you meet your Lord.

[Ahmad, vol. 3, pp. 117, 132, 177, 179, and 261; Al-Bukhari, vol. 8, p. 90; Al-Tirmidhy, vol. 4, p. 492, nos. 4036-4037; Abu Ya`la, vol. 7, pp. 96-97, nos. 4036-4037; Ibn Hibban, vol. 13, p. 282, no. 5952; Al-Tabarany, Al-Saghir, vol. 1, p. 192]

How can there be a better time than theirs while they witnessed the revelation of the best knowledge, i.e. the Knowledge of Allah! This will never happen.

How precise are the words of Al-Shafi’ee (may Allah be merciful to him) who wrote in his book “Al-Risalah”:

They, i.e. the Sahabah, are superior to us in knowledge, reason, belief, virtue and every means through which knowledge or guidance is attained. Indeed, their opinion is more beneficial to us than ours to ourselves.” (Al-Fatawa; vol. 4, pp. 157-158)

Written by islamictreasure

08/05/2012 at 9:52 PM

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