Migration to Allaah
Imaam ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah rahimahullaah
Migration of the Heart
The caravan departs, and the traveller enters into
a foreign land. He becomes separated from the habits and customs associated with his homeland. This allows him to ponder carefully
over his situation. He seeks the most important thing that helps in his journey to Allah, and that deserves his life's pursuance.
The One in whose Hand is the guidance guides him
to this most important thing that he seeks: "Migration to Allah and His Messenger". This migration is a fard (mandatory
Islamic duty) on everyone at all times - it is the thing that Allah ta'ala requires from His 'ibaad (slaves).
Migration is of two types:
The first is the migration of the body from one
land to another. The legislation regarding this type of migration is well known, and it is not our intention to discuss them
The second type is the migration of the heart to
Allah ta'ala and His Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam. This is the only true hijrah; it must precede the bodily hijrah,
which is its natural outcome.
Fleeing unto Allah
This hijrah requires an origin and a goal. A person
migrates with his heart:
· From loving other than Allah > loving Him;
· From fearing and hoping and relying on other than
Him > fearing and hoping and relying on Him;
· From calling upon, asking, surrendering to, and
humbling oneself before other than Him > calling upon, asking, surrendering to, and humbling oneself before Him.
This is precisely the meaning of "fleeing unto Allah",
as He ta'ala says:
"...Flee unto Allah..." [Surah Ath-Thaariyaat 51:50]
And indeed, the tawhid 1 required from
a person is to flee from Allah unto Him! Under this heading of "from" and "to" falls a great reality of tawhid.
Fleeing unto Allah ta'ala includes turning to Him
only for asking or worship or anything which proceeds from that. Thus, it includes the tawhid of Ilahiyyah which was the common
point in the messages of all the messengers, may Allah bestows His praise and peace upon all of them.
On the other hand, fleeing from Allah (unto Him)
includes the tawh id of Rububiyyah and the belief in the Qadar (Allah's Divine Measure & Decree). It is the belief that
whatever one hates or fears or flees from in the universe takes place by the Will of Allah alone. What He ta'ala wills will
surely happen, and what He does not will never be and is impossible to happen.
Thus when a person flees unto Allah, he would be
fleeing unto him from a thing that occurred by His Will. In other words, he would be fleeing from Him unto Him!
One who understands this well can then understand
the meaning of the Messenger's sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam words:
"...I seek refuge from You in You..."
"...There is no shelter or escape from
You except in You..." 3
There is nothing in the universe that one would
flee or seek protection from but is created and originated by Allah ta'ala. Hence, one would flee from that which emanates
from Allah's decree, will, and creation, to that which emanates from His mercy, goodness, kindness, and bounty. One is, therefore,
fleeing from Allah unto Him, and seeking refuge in Him from Him!
Understanding these two matters causes one's heart
to stop being attached to other than Allah in fear, hope or love. He would then know that all that he flees from exists by
the Allah's will, power and creation. This would not leave in his heart any fear of other than his Creator and Maker. This
in turn causes him to turn to Allah alone in fear, love and hope.
Had it been that what one flees from were not under
Allah's Will and Power, one would then be excused to fear that thing instead of Allah. This would be like running away from
a creature to a more powerful one, without being totally confident that the second creature is powerful enough to protect
him from the first one.
This is quite different from the case of a person
who knows that the One to whom he is running is the same as the One who decreed, willed, and created that from which he is
fleeing. In the latter case, no interest in seeking other protectors should remain in the heart.
So, understand well this important meaning in the
Prophet's sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam words above. People have explained them in many different ways, yet very few have
realized this meaning which is their core and moral. This facilitation [in understanding] is indeed from Allah.
Thus the whole matter resolves to fleeing from Allah
unto Him. This is the meaning of the hijrah to Allah ta'ala. This further explains why the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa
"A true migrator is one who abandons what
Allah has prohibited." 4
This is also why Allah ta'ala mentions Imaan and
hijrah together in several places [eg. al-Anfal 8:72,74,75 & at-Tauba 9:20] - the two being closely linked, and each of
them requiring the other.
The Importance of Migrating to Allah
In conclusion, the hijrah to Allah includes abandoning
what He hates and doing what He loves and accepts. The hijrah originates from feelings of love and hatred. The migrator from
one place to another must have more love for the place to which he migrated than that from which he migrated, and these feelings
are what led him to prefer one of the two places.
One's nafs (self, soul), his whims and his devil
keep calling him to that which is against what he loves and is satisfied with. One continues to be tested by these three things,
calling him to avenues that displease his Lord.
At the same time, the call of Imaan will continue
to direct him to what pleases his Lord. Thus one should keep migrating to Allah at all times, and should not abandon this
hijrah until death.
This hijrah becomes strong or weak [in the heart]
depending on the state of the Imaan. The stronger and more complete that the Imaan is, the more perfect the hijrah. And if
the Imaan weakens, the hijrah weakens too, until one becomes unable to detect its presence or have the readiness to be moved
What is surprising is that you might find
a man talking at great length and going into very fine details regarding the [physical] hijrah from the land of disbelief
(Dar-ul-Kufr) to the land of Islam (Dar-ul-Islam), and regarding the hijrah which ended with conquering Makkah, even though
this type of hijrah is incidental, and he may never have to do a thing with it in his whole life.5
But as for the hijrah of the heart, which continues
to be required from him as long as he breathes, you find that he does not seek any knowledge regarding it, nor does he develop
any intention to undertake it! Thus he turns away from that for which he has been created, and which - alone - can save him,
and involves himself in that which, of itself, cannot save him. This is the situation of those whose vision has been blinded,
and whose knowledge is weak regarding the priorities of knowledge and action.
Indeed, Allah is the One from Whom we seek help,
and He alone does facilitate our matters. There is no god except Him and no Lord other than Him.
Description of a Migrator to the Messenger
Migration to the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa
sallam is a knowledge that has been [mostly] lost [from among people]; only its name continues to exist. It is a practice
that has been abandoned; only its outline remains. It is a road whose milestones have been obliterated by wild animals, and
whose water sources have been dried up by the enemies.
Thus the person who takes this road is a stranger
among people, unique in his surroundings, distant [from others] despite his physical closeness, lonely despite numerous neighbours.
He is unhappy with what pleases [the common] people, and [often] satisfied with what depresses them. He resides when they
travel, and travels when they reside. He is alone in the Way that he chose for seeking his goal, feeling no satisfaction until
he achieves it. He is with the people in his body, but away from them by virtue of his goal. Their eyes sleep indifferently,
neglecting to seek the Guidance; but he spends his nights awake. They are too lazy for migration to the Prophet sallallaahu
'alayhi wa sallam, while he is totally engrossed in its pursuit. They scorn his indifference to their ideas; and they blame
him for criticizing their ignorance and inconsistencies. They cast their doubts on him, and they keep close watch over him.
They wait hopefully for death to rid them of him.
He responds to them with what Allah says:
"Say [Muhammad]: "Do you await for us anything except
one of the two best things (martyrdom or victory), while we await for you that Allah will afflict you with a punishment from
Himself or at our hands. So wait, we too are waiting with you." [at-Tawba 9:52]
"He (Muhammad) said: "My Lord! Judge You in truth!
Our Lord is ar-Rahman (the Most Merciful), whose help is to be sought against that which you attribute unto Him [of falsehoods]."
He further reminds them [with what an Arab poet
"Both we and you will die, And the true loser at
the time of reckoning is he who will then feel sorry."
Definition of Migration to the Messenger
Migration to the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa
sallam is a most important matter. It is a long and difficult way for those who are not prepared for it, as a poet once said:
"It is far for him who is lazy or who tires easily,
But as for the one who has the longing, it is smooth and easy for him."
By Allah's Life, this migration is but a shining
light to illuminate your darkness. It is a full moon lighting the earth from east to west and capable of lighting your gloom.
It is a clear sweet stream of water capable of washing away the stains of your heart. It is the beginning of a great bounty
of which you could be unaware.
Listen now to the importance of this migration and
to the evidence pointing to it. Be a judge of yourself before Allah: Are you among those who run away from it or among those
who run toward it?
The definition of this migration is: the soul's
journey, in all matters of belief, in all desires of the heart, and in all legislative matters, to the origin of Guidance
and the source of Light. This Guidance and Light came from the mouth of the truthful and trustworthy, Muhammad sallallaahu
'alayhi wa sallam, whom Allah ta'ala describes as:
"Your companion (Muhammad) is neither astray nor
being misled. Nor does he speak of (his own) desire. It is only the Revelation with which he is inspired." [an-Najm 53:2-4]
A matter is acceptable only if the light of his
Message shone over it; otherwise, it deserves to be thrown into the seas of darkness. A witness is acceptable only if he is
recommended by this praised one sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam; otherwise, you can consider him among the doubtful and accused.
How then could a man who is enslaved by his base
instincts and worldly habits undertake this migration? A man who does not want to part with the place where he was born and
raised? A man who says: "We only follow our fathers' ways, hold to their traditions, and trace their footsteps." How could
he undertake it when his ancestors were incapable of doing so, and yet he relies totally on them to determine his way for
success and salvation, claiming that their opinions should be better and sounder than his?
If you investigate the reason for saying this you
find it a combination of laziness and indifference.
The Obligation of Migrating to the Messenger
This migration [to the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi
wa sallam] is required from every Muslim. It follows directly from the [second part of the] Shahaadah (the testimony proclaimed
by every Muslim):
"Muhammad sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam is Allah's
just as the first type of migration [to Allah] follows
from the [first part of the same] Shahaadah, that:
"There is no true god except Allah."
Every human being will be asked about these
two manners of migration, both in the barzakh 8 and on the Day of Resurrection. Qataadah [one of the
Taabi'in 9] said:
"The earlier and the later people will be
asked two questions [on the Day of Judgement]: What did you worship, and what was your response to the messengers." 10
These two matters are the content of the two parts
of the Shahadah.
A Great Oath
Allah ta'ala said:
"But no, by your Lord, they can have no Imaanuntil
they set you (Muhammad) judge in any disputes that arise among them, and then find in their souls no resistance against your
decisions but accept them with the fullest submission." [an-Nisaa' 4:65]
Here Allah the Exalted makes the greatest oath -
by His own Self, Glory be to Him, that the Imaan is not confirmed for a person, and he is not one of its People, until he
accepts the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam as the judge in all matters of dispute and in all aspects of the Deen.
Using the term "any disputes" in this aayah absolutely
negates the presence of Imaan unless the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam is made the judge in ail disputes. In addition,
Allah ta'ala has required satisfaction of the heart with the Messenger's judgment so that one would find no resistance in
his soul. One should accept his judgment with satisfaction and submission. Taking the judgment with dissatisfaction, or following
it in spite of oneself is contrary to the meaning of Imaan. So, the Messenger's judgment should be accepted with satisfaction
and pleasure of the heart.
Once a person knows this, he should always examine
himself and look into his heart [to see how true is his submission to the Messenger's judgements]. He should do this whenever
a judgment comes from the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, in a major or a minor matter, conflicting with his desire
or differing from the way of his ancestors. Allah ta'ala says:
"Nay, man will be evidence against himself, even
though he were to put up excuses." [al-Qiyaamah 75:14-15]
Glory be to Allah! In how many instances have people
hated quotations [from the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam] and wished that they were never said! What hatred in their
hearts and what dryness in their throats did some of the texts leave! Their secret thoughts will be revealed to them, causing
them pain and humiliation on that Day:
"The Day when all the secrets [of hearts and intentions]
will be uncovered and tested." [at-Taariq 86:9]
Furthermore, Allah ta'ala concludes the above ayah
by requiring the fullest submission to [the judgements and commands of] the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam.
Loving the Messenger and Submitting to Him
This submission is not that of a defeated fighter
who is forced to surrender to his enemy.
Rather, it is the submission of an obedient subordinate
to his master who is dearer to him than any other creature, when he realizes that only through this submission will he achieve
happiness and success.
It is the submission of one who realizes that, compared
to his own self, this master has more concern and compassion for him, and is a better counsellor who is more knowledgeable
about what benefits him, and therefore more capable of saving him.
When a person realizes these meanings
11 with respect to the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, he will surely submit himself to him sallallaahu
'alayhi wa sallam, and surrender every desire in his heart in obedience to him. He will then comprehend that he cannot attain
happiness except through this submission and obedience.
This matter is not easy to express in words. The
heart needs to open up for it to allow it to sink down to its depths. It cannot be attained by mere claims or wishes. A poet
"Everyone claims to be the lover of Layla, But Layla
does not commit to any of them."
There is a great difference between knowing the
meaning of love and being truly in love. People frequently confuse between knowledge and experience.
Similar to this is the example of a sick man who
is under the influence of a disease; he knows the meaning of health and well-being; however, his knowledge does not make him
experience what a healthy man enjoys of good health, even if the latter cannot describe his healthy status in an expressive
Another example is that of two persons, one of them
knowing the meaning of fear, and the- other is subjected to it and is really experiencing it.
Methods of Emphasis in This Ayah
In the above ayah (an-Nisaa' 65), notice how Allah
ta'ala emphasizes the obligation of obeying the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam in several ways:
1. STARTING WITH A NEGATION
First, He precedes the oath with the negation, "But
no, by your Lord.."
This style of starting a sentence with a negation
when making an oath concerning a negated matter (in this case, their Imaan is what is being negated) common in the language
of the Arabs. For instance as-Siddiq [Abu Bakr (R)] said:
"No, by Allah! He shall not turn around to
one of Allah's lions, who fought for Allah and His Messenger, and give you his booty." 12
Examples of this style are very numerous in the
Arabic poetry as in the following two example:
"No, by your father 13,
O daughter of the one from the tribe of 'Amir, People cannot claim that I ever run away (in the battlefield)."
"No, by Allah! One cannot find for what ails me,
Or what ails them - ever- a cure."
If you examine the sentences in the Qur'an which
include oaths, and which start with negation articles, you will find in most of them that the thing about which the oath is
made is itself negated as well. This general rule is not revoked by Allah's saying:
"But no! I swear by the setting of the stars - and
verily, that is indeed a great oath, if you but know - that this is indeed a most honourable Qur'an, in a Book well guarded
(with Allah)." [al-Waaqi'ah: 57 75-78]
The intention in these ayaat is to first negate
the fallacies of the disbelievers regarding the Qur'an: that it is poetry, magic, or fables of the past. Then they confirm
the opposite. Thus they tell them, "But no! It is not what you claim, but is rather an honourable Qur'an". In other places,
Allah ta'ala explicitly mentions both the negation (underlined) and the affirmation (italics). For example, He ta'ala says:
"But no! I swear by the planets that disappear
during the day, running in their courses in secret, and the night as it departs, and the dawn as it brightens. Verily this
(the Qur'an) the words (brought) by a honourable messenger (Jibreel), endowed with power and with rank before the Lord of
the Throne (Allah), obeyed (by the Angels), trustworthy therein (in the heavens). People! Your companion (Muhammad) is not
a madman; indeed he saw him (Jibreel) in the clear horizon; and he does not withhold (from you) a knowledge of the ghayb
16 and it (the Qur'an) is not the word of an outcast devil." [at-Takweer 81:15-25]
"But no! I do swear by the Day of Resurrection,
and I swear by the self-reproaching soul (of a believer). Does the human being think that We shall not assemble his bones?
Yes, We are Able to put together in perfect order the tips of his fingers." [al-Qiyaamah 75:1-4]
Therefore, opening the oath with articles of negation
emphasizes the matter being discussed, and confirms the absence of false claims or erroneous beliefs regarding it.
2. USING AN OATH
The second method of emphasis is that Allah ta'ala
used an oath [to negate Imaan from those who do not fulfill the conditions of submitting to the Prophet's judgment as set
forth in the rest of the ayah]
3. SWEARING BY HIMSELF
The third method is that Allah ta'ala chose
to swear by Himself and not by any of His creatures, which He does on some occasions. 17
4. REQUIRING THE ABSENCE OF ANY RESISTANCE
The fourth method of emphasis is that Allah ta'ala
requires submission to the Messenger's judgment, such that no resistance to it remains in the souls.
5. COMPLETE SUBMISSION
And the fifth method of emphasis is in repeating
the verb "submit" in the abstract form. Literally, this would be stated as: "... And submit a submission." In Arabic, this
reflects the meaning: "... And submit completely or fully".
The Prophet's Claim on the Believers
The eloquent methods of emphasis applied here, and
the great care taken to confirm this in the souls of the worshipers, are because of the great need of this important matter.
Allah ta'ala said:
"The Prophet has a higher claim 18
on the believers than [they have on] their own selves." [al-Ahzaab 33:6]
Some people think that the Messenger sallallaahu
'alayhi wa sallam cannot have more claim on them than their own selves. This ayah indicates that anyone who thinks like this
is not one of the believers.
This Prophet's claim on the believers involves the
following two important matters:
1. DEARER THAN ONE'S SELF
The Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam should
be more beloved than one's own self. This is so because the Prophet's claim on a believer is based on love; and a person usually
loves himself more than others; yet the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam should have more claim on him, and be dearer
to him than himself. A person who fulfils this acquires the quality of Imaan.
Once a person submits to the Prophet's claim on
him and loves him more than any other creature, then there follows full compliance, obedience, and all the other consequences
of love, such as satisfaction with his judgment, submission to his orders, and favouring him over anyone else.
2. THE RULER OVER ONE'S SELF
A person should not have an independent rule over
himself; this authority is the right of the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam. His rule is superior to a master's rule
over his slave or a father's over his son. Thus, a person has no right of disposal over himself except in accordance with
what the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam disposes, for he sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam has more claim on him than
Deviation from true love
How then could such a closeness (to the Messenger)
ever be attained by a person who isolates the Messenger's message from the position of authority [over himself and his life],
who is more satisfied and pleased with someone else's judgment, who claims that the guidance is not acquired from him sallallaahu
'alayhi wa sallam but from the dictates of the minds, and who claims that the Messenger's message does not offer full certainty?
These and other similar views reflect a deviation from him sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam and from his Message, and that indeed
is the worst misguidance.
There is no way to establish the closeness to the
Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam except by isolating oneself from all but him sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, following
him in everything, and checking what anyone else says against that with which he sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam came. So, if
the Messenger's testimony supports it, it is accepted, and if it invalidates it, it is rejected; and if it were unclear whether
his testimony is for or against it then it is treated as the talk of the People of the Scripture, and no decision is made
concerning it until he is sure which of the two judgments is closer to it.
The one who follows this method will have his journey
of hijrah straightforward, his knowledge and deeds will be upright, and the people will aspire to him from every direction.
One of the greatest forms of mutual help in righteousness
and piety is to help one another in the journey of migration to Allah and His Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam. This
help should be done by hands, tongues and hearts - through teaching, advising, educating, guiding, and caring.
If a person has this attitude toward Allah's creatures,
prosperity will rush to him from all directions, Allah will move His creatures' hearts toward him, will open the gates of
knowledge for his heart, and will facilitate the path of bliss for him.
Conversely, one with an opposite attitude will receive
One might then ask, "You have described a very great
journey and a very important matter; but what provisions should be taken along? Which way to follow? And what are the means
to use for transportation?" The answer to this is provided in the following sections.
The Trip's Provisions
The provisions for this journey are the knowledge
inherited from the Seal of Prophets sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam - there are no other provisions.
Let anyone not prepared with these provisions stay
in his home and sit with those who lag behind. He would then find multitudes of other laggers to accompany. Let him follow
their example; but let him know that this company will not avail him anything on the Day of Distress. Allah ta'ala said:
"On that Day, it will avail you nothing that, since
you have done wrong [together], you shall be partners in punishment [as well]" [az-Zukhruf 43:39]
Thus Allah ta'ala assures that the wrongdoers' association
in punishment will not profit them. In this life, people find comfort in sharing disasters, as Al-Khansa (an Arab poetess)
"If it were not for the abundance of people wailing
around me, Because of the loss of their brethren, I would have killed myself. And even though none of them wails the like
of my brother, yet, I comfort myself in that we all share similar disasters."
However, this kind of consolation will not exist
among those sharing the punishment on the Day of Resurrection.
The way to accomplish this journey is through exerting
at full capacity and striving to the extreme. It can neither be accomplished by wishes, nor attained through loitering. It
is only as a poet once said:
"Dive into the darkness of death, and rise to eminence,
Thus will you earn a distinguished and lasting honour. No good is in a soul that fears death, Nor in a willpower that worries
about the reproachers' criticism."
It is not possible for a person to take this way
unless one satisfies two matters:
First, as long as one is following the right way,
one should never be concerned about the reproaches of those who like to find faults. Some types of reproach can hit even a
strong knight so hard as to cause him to drop from his horse to the ground dead.
Second, one's soul should be so worthless to him,
for Allah's sake, that he would rush forward, fearless of any perils. The moment the soul becomes frightened, it retreats
and turns away from facing dangers, preferring the lowliness of the earth.
These two matters cannot be further fulfilled without
patience. One who exercises patience for just a short while will find dangers turn into a smooth breeze which can carry him
where he wishes. Thus the danger that he feared suddenly changes to become his best helper and assistant. This is a matter
that cannot be comprehended well except by those who have tried it.
The Means of Transportation
The means of transportation in this journey [of
migration] is to take refuge in Allah ta'ala, and to turn to Him with one's whole being. It is to exhibit, by all means, full
reliance on Him and true confidence in Him. It is to lie down before Him like a subdued and defeated person who possesses
nothing - a person who looks up to his Master for dignity and security and for attaining some of His bounty, hoping that He
would shelter him.
Such is the one whom, it is hoped, Allah will guide
and show what has been concealed from others concerning the way of this hijrah and its ranks.
Contemplating Allah's Ayaat
The pinnacle of the whole affair [of performing
a successful journey] and its central pillar is the continued contemplation on Allah's ayaat - to such an extent that these
ayaat would overpower the person's thoughts and fascinate his heart.
Once the meanings of the Qur'an replace the passing
thoughts of the heart - once the Qur'an masters the person and controls his heart until he becomes its sole obeyed leader,
then his journey goes smooth, and his course becomes manifest; and even when it appears to people that he is standing still,
he would, in fact, be moving ahead so fast as to race with wind. [As Allah ta'ala said:]
"You see the mountains and think them firmly fixed.
But they pass away as the clouds pass away. [Such is] the mastery of Allah who disposes of all things in perfect order. Indeed,
He is well acquainted with all that you do" [an-Naml 27:88]
One might ask, "You have pointed to a great aspiration.
Would you disclose the door which opens into it; and would you raise the curtain that conceals it? Would you reveal how to
understand thoroughly the meanings of the Qura'n, and how to reflect upon its extraordinary delights and treasures? We have
in our hands the books of tafsir 19 of various Imams; are there any additional interpretations to be offered
beyond what they have already done?"
I shall then present (in the next chapter) some
examples that may be followed and taken as guide in this endeavour.
It is surprising to find someone claiming closeness
to the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam and complete love for him while he strives to follow and establish someone
else's opinions. He bases his anger, love, and satisfaction on such opinions; he referees them; and he compares the Messenger's
statements to them - if they agree with those opinions then he accepts them, otherwise he applies all sorts of tricks and
takes all measures to reject them and to turn away from them.
Allah ta'ala said:
"Believers! Stand out firmly for fair dealings,
as witnesses to Allah, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin; be he rich or poor, Allah can best
protect both. So follow not the lusts [of your hearts] lest you may avoid justice. If you distort your testimony or refuse
to provide it, verily, Allah is ever Well-Acquainted with what you do" [an-Nisaa' 4:135]
This ayah carries great meanings that should
be emphasized because of people's dire need for them.
Allah ta'ala commands the believers to establish
equity and justice. It should be rendered toward everyone, whether enemy or friend.
It is even more important to establish justice in
matters of ideas, opinions, and beliefs, because they relate to Allah's commands and teachings. Allowing whims and disobedience
to influence one's opinions and beliefs conflicts with Allah's commands and with His Messenger's Message.
Establishing justice in ideas, opinions and beliefs
is the mission of the successors to the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam in his Ummah (nation) - those
who are worthy of carrying the trust among his followers. No one deserves such description of honesty except those who establish
absolute justice in this, as an advice for Allah, His Book, His Messenger, and His worshipers. These are indeed the true inheritors
[of the glorious Message].
Thus a person is not worthy of this description
if he takes his company, ways, and opinions as measures and indicators of the truth - loathing or befriending people because
How far is such a person from establishing the justice
that Allah mandated on everyone, especially in these matters of belief where the obligation is higher!
The above ayah has,"... as witnesses to Allah
...". A witness is a reporter. If he reports truthfully then he is acceptable and just; if he reports falsehoods then he is
a false witness.
In addition to establishing justice, Allah requires
one to be a witness for Him alone. Thus the testimony should be: with justice and for Allah alone. In another ayah Allah
"Believers! Stand out firmly for Allih as witnesses
to fair dealing" [al-Maaidah 5:8]
Together, these two ayaat require four things: establishing
justice, doing it for Allah, maintaining truthful testimonies, and doing this for Allah as well.
The ayah in surah an-Nisaa' emphasizes
fairness and maintaining the testimonies for Allah, while that of surah al-Maaidah emphasizes standing out firmly for
Allah and maintaining fair testimonies. This difference (between the two ayaat) has an important reason that cannot be dealt
THE TEST OF FAIRNESS
The above ayah (an-Nisaa' 135) then
says, "...even if it be against your own selves, your parents or your kin...".
Allah ta'ala commands to establish justice and to
maintain fair testimony against everyone, including the most beloved ones. One is required to be fair against himself, his
parents who are his roots, and his relatives who are usually closer and better supporters for him than other people.
A person's love for himself, his parents, and his
kin, tends to prevent him from establishing the right and justice against them, especially when the right is for someone whom
he hates and loathes. Thus, it is obvious that no one will establish this justice except he to whom Allah ta'ala and His Messenger
sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam are more beloved than anything else.
One can use this to test the strength of Imaan
in his heart, and his status of Imaan.
On the other end, one should be just toward
his enemies and those whom he dislikes. His hatred should not cause him to be unjust to them, just as his love for himself
and his kin should not prevent him from establishing justice against them. This hatred should not make him do wrong, just
as that love should not stop him from doing right. One of the salaf 20 said:
"A just person is one whose anger does not cause
him to do wrong, and whose pleasure does not prevent him from doing right."
Thus these two ayaat (of an-Nisaa' and
al-Maaidah) together require two things: establishing justice, and maintaining fair testimony with friends and enemies.
The above aayah (an-Nisaa' 135) then says,
"... be he rich or poor, Allah is closer to both of them ...".
[The meaning of this is that,] "Allah is
the Lord and Master of both the rich and the poor; they are His 'abid (subjects), just as you are his 'abd. So, do not be
prejudiced toward a rich man because of his wealth, nor toward a poor man because of his poverty; Allah ta'ala is closer than
you to both of them."
A possibly better interpretation of this is
the following: "People may be reluctant to establish justice and to testify against the rich or the poor; as for the rich,
they fear to cause him a loss in wealth; and as for the poor, they tend to take the matter lightly with him because of his
poverty and that he possesses nothing. So they are told, 'Allah is closer than you to both the rich and the poor; He is more
knowledgeable of, and more merciful toward both; thus do not stop establishing truthful testimony against either of them.'"
Two Motivations for Hiding the Truth
The next portion of the above ayah (an-Nisa'
135) says, "...So do not follow the lusts, lest you may be reluctant to establish justice..."
Another possible (but not as strong) interpretation
of this ayah says, "...lest you may be unjust..."
This ayah (an-Nisa' 135) continues, "...if
you distort your testimony, or refuse to provide it, verily, Allah is ever Well-Acquainted with what you do."
Allah ta'ala mentions here the two incentives for
hiding the truth, warning against committing either of them. These are: distorting the testimony and refusing to provide it.
When the truth becomes clear and evident, a person
who likes to hide it does so in one of two ways: he either turns away from it and abstains from mentioning it, acting by this
as a mute devil, or he changes and distorts it.
The distortion of truth is either in words
or in meaning. Distorting the words is done by adding, dropping, or replacing them with other words. It can also be done by
uttering other words in such a way as to make the listener think that he heard something different from what was actually
meant. This is similar to what the Jews did in greeting the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam or on some other occasions
Distorting the meaning is done by interpreting the
words differently from what the speaker intended, introducing that which he did not mean, dropping some of what he meant,
and so on.
Thus Allah ta'ala warns against all kinds of distortion
in the testimony. A witness is required to provide a precise testimony, without hiding or distorting it.
Just contemplate then on the great amount
of wisdom and knowledge contained in this ayah.
In summary, Imaan is not complete, or not
even present in a person, unless he submits the Texts [of the Qur'an and Sunnah] with acceptance and pleasure,
proclaims them, and invites people to them. He should never respond to them with rejection or distortion.
Decisions of Allaah and His Messenger
Allah ta'ala said:
"It is not befitting for a believing man or woman,
when a matter has been decided by Allaah and His Messenger, to have any option about their decision." [al-Ahzaab 33:36]
This ayah indicates that when it is
confirmed that Allah ta'ala or His Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam have made a decision or have informed about a particular
matter, then no believer, male or female, may choose differently. Any opposing choice would contradict Iman.
Ash-Shafi'ee (r) reported a consensus among the
scholars of the Sahaabah, the Tabi'een, and their followers, that:
"If a sunnah of Allah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi
wa sallam becomes manifest to a person, he does not have any choice but to follow it, regardless of what other people say."
No Muslim scholar disputes or doubts the
truth of this statement. The only evidence that people are required to follow [besides Allah's Book] is the words of the Infallible
(Muhammad sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) "who does not say anything out of (his own) desire" [an-Najm 53:3)]
Other people's talks could, at best, be acceptable
to follow. But in no way may they oppose or outweigh the Texts (of the Quraan and Sunnah). We ask Allah ta'ala
to protect us from the failure [incurred on those who do not abide by this].
The Guidance Is in Obeying the Messenger
Also, Allah ta'ala said:
"Say: Obey Allah and obey the Messenger: but if
you turn away then he (the Messenger) is only responsible for the duty placed on him, and you for that placed on you. If you
obey him, you shall be on right guidance. The Messenger's duty is only clear deliverance [of the Message]" [an-Nur 24:54]
Note that repeating the verb "obey" here has an
important significance that will be discussed below.
Here Allah ta'ala makes obeying the Messenger sallallaahu
'alayhi wa sallam a condition for guidance; guidance cannot be acquired without this obedience. The duty of the Messenger
sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam is to deliver the Message; and people's duty is to follow, obey, and submit to him. Al-Bukhari
(r) reported that Az-Zuhri 22 said:
"From Allah [comes] the knowledge; from the Messenger
sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam [comes] the deliverance [of the knowledge]; and from us [comes] the submission [to the Message]."
Thus if people neglect their duty of belief and
obedience, they would harm themselves not him; his responsibility is not to make them believe, but only to deliver the Message
to them; it is not required from him that people be guided and successful.
Addressing the Believers
And Allah ta'ala said:
"Believers! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger and
those charged with authority among you; if you differ in anything, refer it to Allaah and the Messenger (for judgment) if
you (truly) believe in Allaah and the Last Day: that is best, and most suitable for final determination" [an-Nisa' 4:59]
Allah ta'ala is requiring obedience to Him and to
His Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam. He starts the ayah with an address to the "believers", hinting that what
is required thereafter is a consequence of that name with which they are addressed.
This is similar to saying, "You whom Allah has favoured
and enriched with His bounties, be good to others as Allah has been good to you." And like, "Learned man, teach people what
would benefit them." And, "Ruler, rule with justice." And so on.
For this reason, legislative matters in the Qur'an
are frequently addressed to the believers, starting the address with "Believers". For example Allah says:
"Believers, fasting is prescribed for you..." [al-Baqarah
And He says:
"Believer, when the call is proclaimed for prayer
on Friday, hasten earnestly to the remembrance of Allaah..." [al-Jumu'ah 62:9]
And He says:
"Believers, fulfill the contracts..." [al-Ma'idah
Addressing the believers like this carries
the implication that: "If you are true believers, you should perform the following action, because it is a requirement for
the integrity and sincerity of Iman."
To Obey the Messenger Is to Obey Allaah
In the above ayah (an-Nisaa' 59), Allah demands
obedience to Him, the Messenger, and those of authority. The verb "obey" is applied only once in regard to the Messenger and
those of authority. One might expect the opposite - [that it would be applied only once in regard to both Allah and the Messenger]
"He who obeys the Messenger obeys Allaah indeed"
However, this usage here has a subtle meaning.
It implies that the Messenger must be obeyed in all that he commands, even if it were not something specifically required
Let one then not imagine that the Messenger sallallaahu
'alayhi wa sallam should only be obeyed when his commands confirm the Qur'an, otherwise he need not be obeyed. [In
refutation of such fallacy, al-Miqdam bin Ma'di Yakrib (R) narrated that] he sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said :
"There will be a man with full stomach,
reclining on his pillow, who will hear a command from me and say, "Let the judge between us (in this matter) be Allah's Book:
we obey whatever we find in it." [Know that] indeed, I have been given the Book and, with it, that which is similar to it
(the Sunnah)." 23
However, obeying the people of authority is not
required independently, but as part of obeying the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam. This fact is confirmed by the
hadith (narrated by Ibn 'Umar (R)):
"One should listen and obey (those charged
with authority) whether it were something he liked or hated, as long as he is not commanded to disobey Allaah ta'ala. If he
is commanded to disobey Allaah, he should neither listen nor obey." 24
Toward the end of this ayah (an-Nisa' 59), Allah
emphasizes obeying the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam by saying (what means), "... refer it to Allaah and the
Messenger ...." rather than saying, "... and to the Messenger ...". Referring matters to the Qur'an is equivalent
to referring them to Allah and the Messenger. Also, Allah's judgement is the same as His Messenger's; and the Messenger's
judgment is the same as Allah's.
Thus if you refer your disputes to Allah, i.e. to
His Book, then you refer to His Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam as well. And if you refer to His Messenger sallallaahu
'alayhi wa sallam, then you refer to Allah as well. This is one of the subtleties of the Qur'an.
The People of Authority
Two views have been expressed by the Sahaabah
and the 'ulama (scholars) as to who are the ones "charged with authority". The first is that they are the 'ulama
and the other is that they are the rulers.
In reality, it applies to both groups, because both
the 'ulama and the rulers are in charge of the affairs concerning which Allah has sent His Messenger.
As for the 'ulama, they are charged with
protecting the Deen, explaining it, teaching it, and refuting those who deviate from it or try to alter it. Allah ta'ala
gave them this charge, as He said:
"These [prophets] were the men to whom We granted
the Book and Judgement and Prophethood; if these people [of the Scripture] reject them, behold! We shall entrust their charge
to a new people who do not reject them..." [al-An'aam 6:89]
This is indeed a great assignment to the 'ulama
that requires from people to obey and follow them.
And as for the rulers, they are charged with establishing
the Deen, safeguarding it, compelling people to adhere to it, and punishing those who deviate from it.
Thus these two groups are in charge of the affairs
of people, and other people are their followers and subjects.
Matters of Dispute
Furthermore, there is in the above ayah (an-Nisa'
59) a clear evidence that all matters of disagreement, in all aspects of the Deen, should be referred to Allah and
His Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam - and to no one else.
Anyone referring disputes to other than Allah
and His Messenger opposes this command by Allah. And anyone who calls to other than Allah's and His Messenger's judgment to
resolve disagreements, calls indeed with the call of Jahiliyyah 25.
One does not truly enter the realm of Iman until
he refers all differences arising among people to Allah and His Messenger. For this reason, this ayah continues as,
"... if you believe in Allah and the Last Day..."
Thus if this condition (of referring disputes to
Allah and His Messenger) is not satisfied by a person, this implies the absence of Iman in him.
This ayah should be a sufficient clarification
and guidance in this matter (of obeying the Messenger). It constitutes a protection and a support for those who abide by it;
and it is a powerful refutation and attack against those who deny it, as Allah ta'ala said:
"... That he who would perish might perish in clear
evidence [of the truth], and that he who would remain alive might live in clear evidence [of the truth]. And verily Allaah
is All-Hearing, All Knowing..." [al-Anfaal 8:42]
The earlier and later Muslims agreed that
referring matters to Allah means referring them to His Book, and referring matters to the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa
sallam means referring them to him personally during his life, and to his Sunnah after his death.
The Excellence of Obeying the Messenger
The above ayah (an-Nisa' 59) ends with,
"... that is best, and most suitable for final determination..." This means, "That with which I commanded you (to obey
Me and obey My Messenger and the people of authority, and to refer disputes to Me and My Messenger) is better for you in this
life and in the Hereafter; it leads to your happiness in both lives. Therefore, it is best and most rewarding for you."
This indicates that obeying Allah ta'ala and His
Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and taking them as the referees, is the means to immediate and continued happiness.
Anyone who examines closely the evils of the world
will find that each of them is caused by disobeying the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam. Similarly, every good in
the world results from obeying him. Furthermore, all the evils and pains in the Hereafter result from disobeying him sallallaahu
'alayhi wa sallam.
Thus, all the evils in both lives are caused by
disobeying the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam and by its consequences. If people obeyed him sallallaahu 'alayhi wa
sallam properly, there would be no evil on earth. This applies equally to the general natural catastrophes and calamities,
and to the personal evils, pains, and sorrow that occur to people.
In obeying him sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam is
a refuge and a protection for those who want to prosper and be happy. And this prosperity and happiness cannot be achieved
until one strives first to learn what the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam taught, and then confirm it with true actions.
The Human Excellence
There are two additional actions which complete
the happiness arising from truly obeying the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam. The first is to invite people to obey
him sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and the second is to have patience and perseverance in fulfilling this mission.
Thus the human excellence is confined to four matters:
First, knowing the Message of Messenger sallallaahu
'alayhi wa sallam.
Second, acting in accordance with this knowledge.
Third, spreading this knowledge among people and
inviting them to it.
Fourth, persevering and striving in accomplishing
One who seeks to learn how the Sahaabah (R)
lived and who want to follow them should know that this was indeed their way [so let him follow it). A poet once said:
"If you want to reach those folk, follow their
way: It is quite manifest for those who aspire to it."
Deviating from the Messenger
Allah ta'ala said addressing His Messenger sallallaahu
'alayhi wa sallam:
"Say, 'Were I to go astray, I would only stray to
the hurt of myself; but if I am guided, it is because of what my Lord reveals unto me; He is indeed All-Hearing, Ever-Near.'"
This carries a clear evidence that the Messenger's
guidance occurs only through the wahy 26 How surprising it is then to find men with confused
minds and conflicting opinions claim to be guided! How does this guidance reach them? Indeed, "He whom Allah guides is rightly
guided; but as for him whom He leaves to stray, you will find no protector to lead him." [Al-Kahf 18:17]
What misguidance is worse than that of one who claims
that guidance does not occur through the wahy! He would rather refer matters to the opinions of this and that person!
Great indeed is Allah's bounty toward one whom He guarded from such a serious deviation and a great disaster. All praise is
due to Allah, Lord of the peoples.
Also, Allah ta'ala said:
"A Book has been revealed unto you, so let there
be no tightness in your chest about it - that you might warn [people] with it, and remind the Believers. Follow [people] what
has been sent down to you from your Lord, and do not follow other than Him - as allies or protectors. How seldom do you remember
[the admonition]." [Al-A'raaf 7:2-3]
Here, Allah ta'ala commands people to follow what
He revealed to His Messenger, and He forbids following others. One can either follow the Revelation or follow others - as
allies; Allah does not give other than these two alternatives. Thus, anyone not following the wahy is indeed following
falsehoods and other allies instead of Allah. By Allah's Grace, this should be clear and obvious.
And Allah ta'ala said:
"On the Day when the wrong-doer will bite his hands
[in despair], saying, 'Oh! Would that I had followed the path shown to me by the Messenger! Ah! Woe is me! Would that I had
never taken so- and-so for a confidant! Indeed, he lead me astray from the Message (of Allah) after it had come to me! Ah!
Satan is ever a betrayer of man.'" [Al-Furqan 25:27-29]
Anyone who follows a person other than the Messenger
sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, abandoning his guidance for the sake of that person's words or opinions, will surely say these
same words. This is why Allah refers here to the confidant as 'so-and-so', which is a generic term that could apply to any
person taken as a confidant instead of Allah.
This applies then to confidants whose friendship
is based on anything other than obeying the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam: their friendship will eventually turn
to enmity and accusations, as Allah ta'ala said:
"The confidants on that Day will be foes unto one
another - except the pious." [Az-Zukhruf 43:67]
THE FOLLOWERS AND THE FOLLOWED
Allah ta'ala describes the plight of the followers
and of those whom they followed in several places of His Book; He says for instance:
"On the Day when their faces will be tossed about
in the Fire, they will say, 'Woe to us! Would that we had obeyed Allah and obeyed the Messenger!' And they will say, 'Our
Lord! We obeyed our chiefs and our great men, and they lead us astray from the right path. Our Lord! Give them double suffering,
and banish them utterly from Your Grace!'" [Al-Ahzab 33:66-68]
Those people will wish that they had obeyed Allah
ta'ala and His Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam. But they will do it at a time when wishes avail them nothing. They
will confess that they had obeyed their chiefs and leaders and disobeyed the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, acknowledging
that they had no excuse for doing so. This realization will lead them to request doubling the punishment and curses for those
This carries an important lesson and a useful admonition
for a man of reason, Indeed, assistance [in seeing the truth] is from Allah ta'ala only.
Partners In Deviation
Allah ta'ala said,
"Who could be more unjust than one who devises lies
against Allah or rejects His messages? For such, their appointed portion must reach them from the Book [of Decrees] until,
when Our messengers [of death] arrive to take their souls, they say, 'Where are the things that you used to invoke besides
Allah?' They will reply, 'They have forsaken us!' And thus they will testify against themselves that they had been denying
the truth (kaafirs).
He (Allah) will say, 'Join those peoples who
have preceded you, of men and jinn 27, in the Fire.' Every time a new people enters, it curses
its sister people [that went before].
Once they have all joined each other in it, the
last of them will say about the first, 'Our Lord! It is these who have misled us, so give them a double suffering in the Fire.'
He will reply, 'Every one of you will have a double suffering, but this you do not understand.'
Then the first of them will say to the last, "See
then! You have no advantage over us, so taste of the suffering for all that you did!'" [Al-A'raaf 7:37-39]
A sensible person should reflect on these ayat,
and on the lessons they carry. The first aayah (al-A' raaf 37) mentions the two classes of evildoers:
Those who start fallacies, establish injustice,
and call people to it. Thus they distort the truth and initiate falsehood.
Those who reject or deny the truth.
Every evildoer belongs to one of these two classes.
If, in addition, he invites people to his evil and drives them away from the truth, then he deserves a double penalty because
of his disbelief and evil. For this reason Allah ta'ala says:
"Those who disbelieve and hinder people from the
Path of Allah, for them will We add penalty to penalty because of the mischief that they used to spread." [An-Nahl 16:88]
They deserve a double punishment because of their
double evil. But as for those who commit kufr (disbelief) without coaxing others toward it, Allah ta'ala does not threaten
them with a doubled suffering:
"For those who disbelieve, there is a grievous punishment..."
In the above ayat (7:37-39), Allah ta'ala
informs that what had been decreed for the evildoers in their first life reaches them, such as their life span, sustenance,
Then, when death comes to them, they part with their
old claims, acknowledge their falsehood, and become witnesses against themselves.
Allah ta'ala commands them to enter into the Fire
where many previous peoples have preceded them. Every time a new people enters, its members curse their ancestors who preceded
them into the Fire. When they are all in it, the later nations request doubled penalties for the previous ones because they
led them astray and drove them away from obeying Allah's messengers.
Allah ta'ala replies that the punishment will be
doubled for both the "followers" and the "followed", in accordance with their deviation and disbelief, and that a generation
does not know what doubled suffering other generations deserve.
The former generation then tells the later,
"You do not possess any advantage over us. You had your own messengers who showed you the truth, warned you against our
deviation, and forbade you from following or imitating us. Yet you rejected them and insisted on following and imitating us,
and on forsaking the guidance of the messengers. Thus what advantage do you have over us, when you strayed just as we did,
and when you gave up the truth just like us? You strayed because of us, just as we strayed because of other people. You can
claim no advantage over us, and thus you should taste the suffering because of what you earned yourselves."
By Allah, this is indeed a strong admonition and
an eloquent advice for any living heart! These, and similar ayat would awaken the hearts of those who migrate to Allah
ta'ala. But as for the lazy people, they have no effect on them.
The above discussion deals with the followers who
share in the deviation with those whom they follow.
Another case is that of the followers who turn away
from whom they claim to follow, taking a different course than theirs, while maintaining false claims of true compliance with
them. Allah ta'ala mentions such people in the following:
"Then would those who had been followed disown their
followers; they (the followers) would see the suffering [awaiting them], and all relations between them would be cut off.
And then those followers would say: 'If we can only have one more chance: we would disown them as they have disowned us.'
Thus will Allah show them the fruits of their deeds as nothing but bitter regrets. Nor will there be a way for them out of
the Fire." [Al-Baqarah 2:166-167]
The followed ones are truly guided. Their "followers"
claim to adhere to them when, in reality, they follow a different way and guidance. They claim to love them, presuming that
this love would benefit them despite their deviation. But they will discover on the Day of Judgement that they will be disowned
by them. They take them as allies instead of Allah, imagining this to benefit them!
Great indeed is the deviation of a person who takes
other than Allah ta'ala and His Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam for allies and confidants, making peace or hostility
for their sake, and getting satisfied or infuriated for their cause. Regardless of how numerous his deeds are, or how much
effort and toil he puts into them, they will be futile on the Day of Judgement, and will only add to his misery and regret.
His allegiance and enmity, love and hatred, satisfaction
and anger, and so on, are not sincerely maintained for Allah and His Messenger; because of this, Allah will shatter his deeds
and sever his connections.
The Only Un-severed Tie
Thus, on the Day of Resurrection, all connections
and allegiances that had not been for Allah will be severed, leaving only one tie: that which connects a 'abd to his
This tie is maintained by:
Continued migration to Allah and to His Messenger
sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam.
Continuously purifying one's acts of worship to
Allah ta'ala. This includes love, hatred, giving, preventing, taking as allies or enemies, and the like.
Continuously purifying one's adherence to the Messenger
sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam. This includes abandoning others' opinions for what he says, discarding anything that disagrees
with his guidance, and associating none with him in this adherence.
This is the only tie that will not be severed. It
is the true relationship between a 'abd and his Lord: the relationship of pure 'uboodiyyah. It is the only thing
that he continues to long for, no matter how far he departs from it. It is as a poet once said:
Let your heart wander in love affairs as you wish:
love will only be for the first lover.
How many houses does a man habituate!
But he will always long for his first home.
This relationship [with Allah] is the only one that
profits man. Nothing else will profit him in any of his three lives: the first, the intermediate (barzakh), and the
final eternal life. He cannot endure or live or be happy and successful without this relationship. A poet once said:
When ties (of communion) will be severed (between
The bond of the true lovers [of Allah] will not be possible to sever,
And when their unity shatters,
unity of the true lovers [of Allah] will be impossible to splinter.
In conclusion, on the Day of Judgement Allah will
sever all connections and ties that are among people in this life, sparing only the ties between them and Him - the ties that
reflect pure 'uboodiyyah (servitude),which can only be accomplished through true adherence to the messengers
sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam. Allah ta'ala said:
"And We shall turn to whatever deeds they did (in
the first life), and We shall make such deeds as floating dust scattered about" [Al-Furqan 26:23]
So all the deeds of the first life conflicting with
the way and guidance of Allah's messengers, and with which was sought anything other than Allah's Countenance, will be turned
by Allah (on the Day of Judgement) into scattered dust, availing their owners nothing.
This is indeed one of the greatest miseries on the
Day of Judgement: for one to find all he did completely lost and worthless, at a time when one will be in the greatest need
for every good deed.
1. Tawhid: Accepting and believing in the oneness.
In reference to Allah ta'ala, it means to believe in:
(a) His existence and ownership of the creation,
which is sometimes referred to as the Tawhid of Rububiyyah (state of being the only True Lord or Rabb).
(b) His possession of the highest attributes and
most excellent names, which is sometimes referred to as the Tawhid of Names and Attributes.
(c) Him as being solely worthy of worship and full
obedience, which is sometimes referred to as the Tawhid of Ubudiyydh or lbadah (worship), or of Ilahiyydh or Uluhiyyah (state
of being the only True God or Ilaah).
In reference to the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi
wa sallam, it is to believe in the uniqueness of his Message and in the obligation to follow him exclusively. This is sometimes
referred to as the Tawhid of Ittiba' (adherence).
This is a part from a hadeeth recorded by Muslim
and narrated by 'A'ishah (R) who said, "I missed Allah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam one night. Then [after some
search] my hand hit the soles of his feet in the Masjid. He had them erected [in sujud (prostration)] and was saying:
<<O Allah! I seek refuge from Your wrath in
Your acceptance, from Your punishment in Your pardon, and from You In You!>>"
This is a part of a hadeeth recorded by al-Bukhari
and Muslim and narrated by al-Bara' bin 'Azib who said that the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam instructed a man to
say when he goes to bed:
<<O Allah! I submit myself to You, and turn
my face unto You, and support my back unto You, and rely in my affairs on You, hoping in You and fearing You; there is no
shelter or escape from You except In You! I believe in the Book that You have revealed and in the Messenger that You have
Then he sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "Whoever
says this and dies, he would die according to the Fitrah (pure nature)"
This is a part of a hadeeth recorded by al-Bukhari
and narrated by 'Abdullah bin Amr (R) that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said:
<<A Muslim is one whom other Muslims are safe
of his tongue and hand; and a migrator is one who deserts what Allah has prohibited.>>
This applies mostly to a person who is already in
a land of Islaam, and who does not need to undertake this kind of physical hijrah.
Barzakh: The period of death between the first life
and the Resurrection.
Tabi'un or tabi'in: Plural of tabi' or tabi'iyy
(follower), which normally refers to a disciple of the Sah abah (Companions of the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam).
Ibn ul-Qayyim also attributed these words to Qatadah
in Ighaathat ul-Lahfaan. But he attributed them in Madarij us-Salikeen to Abul 'Aliyah. lbn Jarir at -Tabari also attributed
them to Abul 'Aliyah, as is mentioned by lbn Kathir in his Tafsir. This derives from what Allah ta'ala said in His Book (review
When applied to the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi
wa sallam, these meanings must be understood within the boundaries of Islam. They should not be influenced by extreme tendencies
like the sufees' who glorify him beyond his honourable human status, bestowing on him some divine attributes, and believing
that he can answer the supplications and help and protect people while he is in his grave.
Thus he sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam should be
(next to Allah) dearer to a person than his own self; to submit to him means to submit to his Sunnah; his mercy and compassion
and ability to counsel and save the people are by virtue of what Allah ta'ala has taught him, and, after his death, this takes
place through his Sunnah and teachings.
The occasion for saying this is the following: Qatadah
(R) narrated that he was with Allah's Messenger in the battle of Hunayn. When the Muslims approached victory, he saw a man
of the disbelievers about to kill a Muslim. He ran to him from behind and hit him with the sword between the shoulders. The
disbeliever turned around to Qataadah, held him, and squeezed him so hard that he felt he was about to die. But then, death
came to him (because of Qatadah's hit), and he let go of him.
After the battle was over, the Prophet sallallaahu
'alayhi wa sallam said three times, <<Whoever kills an enemy and has a proof of it then he has the right to his
booty>> Qatadah asked if anyone would testify before the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam that he killed that man.
A man then stood up and said, "He is saying the truth, O Messenger of Allah; and I have taken his booty; so give him something
to satisfy him instead." Then Abu Bakr (R) said, "No, by Allah! He shall not turn around to one of Allah's lions, who fought
for Allah and His Messenger, and give you his booty." The Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam responded by saying, <<He
is right! So give him [his booty]>> And he gave it to him. [Recorded by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
As explained in a footnote below, swearing by the
fathers is prohibited in Islaam.
Ghayb: Domains beyond the human senses. This is
commonly and erroneously translated as "the Unseen". It is used in the Qur'an to denote all those sectors or phrases of reality
which lie beyond the range of human perception: as, for instance, Allah's existence, His attributes, the Hereafter, the angels,
and unrecorded events of the remote past or future.
People, however, may only swear by Allah ta'ala,
His Names, or His Attributes. The Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam instructed that anyone who wants to make an oath,
should either make it by Allah ta'ala or remain silent. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
The Arabic word used here is Awlaa which means that
he sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam has more right and claim on a person. It also caries the meaning of closeness, ie. that he
sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam must be closer to a person that his own self. Some translations use this latter meaning and
we use it sometimes in this text.
Tafsir: Explanation or interpretation. It frequently
refers to volumes which include explanations and commentary of the Qur'an.
Salaf: The early pious Muslims of
the Sahabah (companions) and their true followers.
When greeting the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi
wa sallam, some Jews used to fake "As-Salaamu 'Alaykum" (Peace be on you) by saying "As-Saammu Alaykum" (Death
be to you) instead [Al Bukhari and Muslim]. Also, review al-Mujaadalah 58:8.
One of the Tabi'een. He is a famous scholar
of Hadith and one of the important teachers of al-Bukhari.
Recorded by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and others; judged
authentic by al-Albani (Sahih ul-Jaami no. 2640).
Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
Jaahiliyyah: The state of ignorance
and disbelief which prevailed in the Arab Peninsula before Islam.
Wahy: The revelation.
Jinn: An invisible creation that Allah
ta'ala made from fire and smoke. Like human beings, the jinns have a choice of action, and are accountable for
their deeds. Satan is one of the jinns.