The Good Things that Last

The Good Things that Last:
The Most Beloved Words to Allāh

The Good Things that Last

The Qur’ān says:

المَالُ وَالْبَنُونَ زِينَةُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَالْبَاقِيَاتُ الصَّالِحَاتُ خَيْرٌ عِندَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَابًا وَخَيْرٌ أَمَلًا 

Wealth and children are the embellishment of the worldly life, and the good things that last (al-bāqiyāt as-ṣāliḥāt) are greater with your Maker in reward and greater in expectation.Sūrat al-Kahf, 18:46

“The good things that last” are also mentioned in Sūrah Maryam, 19:76.

The material benefits of this world are short-lived and temporary. They don’t give us much and nor can we expect much from them. On the other hand, the “good things that last” will remain and endure forever. That is, their rewards will continue into the hereafter, and the hereafter is “far better and far more lasting” (Sūrat al-A‘lā, 87:17) than this life.

What are the “good things that last”? Continue Reading

A Sunnah of Immense Reward: 4 Rak‘āt after the Farḍ of ‘Ishā’

Imām al-Ṭabarānī (260 – 360 H) narrates in his al-Mu‘jam al-Awsaṭ:

حدثنا محمد بن الفضل السقطي، قال: نا مهدي بن حفص، قال: نا إسحاق الأزرق عن أبي حنيفة عن محارب بن دثار عن ابن عمر قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم

من صلى العشاء في جماعة، وصلى أربع ركعات قبل أن يخرج من المسجد كان كعدل ليلة القدر

Muḥammad ibn al-Faḍl al-Saqaṭī narrated to us: He said: Mahdī ibn Ḥafṣ narrated to us: He said: Isḥāq al-Azraq narrated to us from Abū Ḥanīfah from Muḥārib ibn Dithār from Ibn ‘Umar: He said: The Messenger of Allāh (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) said:

Whoever prays ‘Ishā’ in congregation, and prays four rak‘āt before leaving the masjid*, it will be equal to [praying them on] Laylat al-Qadr.” (al-Mu‘jam al-Awsaṭ, 5:254) Continue Reading

Are Grandnieces one’s Maḥrams?

Question:

Are the granddaughters (son’s daughter/daughter’s daughter) of a man’s brothers or sisters included amongst his maḥrams?

Answer:

Yes, they are his maḥrams. [1]

[1]

فتحرم بنات الإخوة والأخوات وبنات أولاد الإخوة والأخوات وإن نزلن (رد المحتار، دار عالم الكتب، ج٤ ص٩٩

وكذا الأخوات من أي جهة كن وبنات الأخوات وإن سفلن (فتاوى قاضيخان، دار الكتب العلمية، ج١ ص٣١٦

فأما النسب فهو الرحم المحرم وهم أربعة أصناف…والصنف الثالث: الإخوة والأخوات من أي وجه كانوا: لأب وأم أو لأب أو لأم وأولاد جميعهم وإن بعدوا (النتف فى الفتاوى، مؤسسة الرسالة، ج١ ص٢٥

Is it Necessary to Sell Items Above One’s Needs to Perform Ḥajj?

Question:

A person does not have enough money to perform Ḥajj, but possesses gold and silver jewellery which if sold will be enough to cover the expenses of Ḥajj. Is it necessary to sell the jewellery and perform Ḥajj?

Answer:

The preferred view in the Ḥanafī madhhab is that if a sane and able adult Muslim, male or female, who has not yet performed the obligatory Ḥajj, has the wealth and means to safely travel and carry out the rituals of Ḥajj at the time of year when the pilgrims of his or her town normally leave for Ḥajj, it is wājib for him or her to perform Ḥajj in that year and to not postpone it. [1] For a woman, there is the added condition of a husband or maḥram willing to travel with her. Delaying it in such a situation without a valid excuse is regarded as makrūh taḥrīmī, and would amount to a minor sin if done once. However, a delay over several years would amount to a major sin. [2]

If a person of the above description possesses money or items besides his or her basic necessities (like house, conveyance, clothes, furniture etc.), and Ḥajj can be performed with that money or by selling those items, it will be wājib to perform Ḥajj in that year. [3] Gold and silver jewellery do not fall under basic necessities. [4] Hence, if one possesses enough jewellery to perform Ḥajj, it will be necessary to sell it and perform Ḥajj.

[1]

على الفور في أول سنى الوجوب وهو أول سنى الإمكان على القول الأصح عندنا، وهو قول أبي يوسف وأصح الروايتين عن أبي حنيفة (غنية الناسك

الحج واجب على الأحرار البالغين العقلاء الأصحاء إذا قدروا على الزاد والراحلة فاضلا عن المسكن وما لا بد منه وعن نفقة عياله إلى حين عوده (القدوري

فيه إشارة إلى أنه على الفور، قال فى الهداية: هذا عند أبي يوسف وعن أبي حنيفة ما يدل عليه، وعند محمد على التراخي، ورجح دليل الفور، وقال القدوري: وكان مشايخنا يقولون: هو قولهم، واعتمده المحبوبي والنسفي (التصحيح والترجيح، ص٢٠٨

وروى الحسن بن زياد عن أبي حنيفة قال: يجب الحج على كل مسلم موسر من الرجال والنساء إذا كان له ما يحج به – سوى المسكن والخادم ومتاع البيت – دراهم أو دنانير أو عروض يساوي ما يحج به ذاهبا وجائيا راجبا (عيون المسائل، ص٤٣-٤

[2]

التأخير صغيرة لأنه مكروه تحريما، وبارتكاب الصغيرة مرة لا يصير فاسقا بل بالإصرار عليها بحر (غنية الناسك

[3]

 وإن كان له مسكن فاضل لا يسكنه أو عبد لا يستخدمه أو متاع لا يمتهنه أو كتب لا يحتاج إلى استعمالها وهي من العلوم الشرعية وما يتبعها من الآلات العربية أو ثياب لا يحتاج إلى لبسها أو أرض لا يحتاج إلى غلتها أو كرم زائد على قدر التفكه بها أو حوانيت أو نحو ذلك مما لا يحتاج إليها يجب بيعها إن كان به وفاء الحج (غنية الناسك

وكذا في مناسك القارئ، ص١١ والبحر العميق ص٣٨٤ والمحيط البرهاني ج٣ ص٣٩٣ عن القدوري في شرح المختصر الكرخي وفى الهندية ج١ ص٢٤٠ ناقلا عن قاضيخان

[4]

 الحلي مال فاضل عن الحاجة الأصلية إذ الإعداد للتجمل والتزين دليل الفضل عن الحاجة الأصلية (بدائع الصنائع

An Explanation of Tasawwuf and its Practices

The following article is a translation of a section from the Urdu work, Tasawwuf Kiyā He, by Mawlānā Manzūr Nu’mānī. It comprises of a group of essays written by the author on his observations on Tasawwuf and, in particular, the practices (ashghāl) prescribed by the Sūfī guides (mashāyikh). He offers a strong argument for the need for Tasawwuf and a rationale for the specific practices designed by the scholars of Tasawwuf for spiritual reform. Although the original work comprises of essays by other authors, only those by Mawlānā Manzūr Nu’mānī are presented in this translation. His discussion and analysis is concerned mostly with the practical dimensions of Tasawwuf as they have been observed throughout history amongst its orthodox champions and handed down to its true inheritors in the present time. The other essays (which are not included in this translation) deal with Tasawwuf from its historical and academic/philosophical dimensions also. Continue Reading

Imām al-Bayhaqī’s Letter to ‘Amīd al-Mulk on Imām Abu l-Hasan al-Ash‘arī

In his comprehensive hagio-biography of Imām Abu l-Hasan al-Ash‘arī (260 – 324 H) Tabyīn Kadhib al-Muftarī, Hāfiz Ibn ‘Asākir (499 – 571 H) quotes a lengthy letter written by Imām al-Bayhaqī (384 – 458 H) to the grand vizier of the Seljuk Empire, ‘Amīd al-Mulk (415 – 456 H), on his views about the personality and theology of Imām al-Ash‘arī. Tāj al-Dīn al-Subkī reproduces most of the letter in his Tabaqāt al-Shāfi‘iyyah al-Kubrā[1] with his chain via Ibn ‘Asākir.

Below we present a translation of the letter, which demonstrates Imām al-Bayhaqī’s great respect for Imām al-Ash‘arī and his appreciation of the efforts he made to defend the ‘aqīdah of Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah. Continue Reading

The Divine Attributes: Ahlus Sunnah vs. Mujassimah

The following introductory essay delineates the basic creedal differences between Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jamā’ah and the contemporary Salafiyyah on the subject of the divine attributes. It further seeks to support the position of Ahlus Sunnah from the Qur’ān and the statements of the pious Salaf from the first three generations of scholars, including Imāms Abū Hanīfah, Shu’bah, Sharīk, Abū ‘Awānah, Sufyān al-Thawrī, Mālik, Sufyān ibn ‘Uyaynah, Hammād ibn Salamah, Hammād ibn Zayd, Abū Yūsuf al-Qādī and Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybānī (may Allāh have mercy on them all).

Continue Reading

The Meaning of Iman

Muftī Rashīd Ahmad Ludhyānwī

Question:

In a public gathering, Gandhi stated these words while delivering a speech: “I do not understand why I should not recite the kalimah? Why should I not praise Allāh? Why should I not accept Muhammad as His messenger? I have faith in the saints and the prophets of all religions.” Can Gandhi be called a Muslim for saying the aforementioned words? Please attend to the reply quickly, because I have need for it for a religious publication. Explain with proof, may the Most Merciful reward you. Continue Reading

I’la’ al-Sunan: The Obligation of Attending Jama’ah in the Masjid

Is performing the Fard salahs in jama’ah an obligation for men? If so, is this obligation discharged by performing them in congregation at home, in the workplace or another musalla? Or is it a further obligation to perform the jama’ah in the masjid?

‘Allamah Zafar Ahmad al-’Uthmani discusses the answers to these questions in detail in the section from his I’la’ al-Sunan translated in the file linked below. He provides a thorough analysis of the hadiths on the topic and carefully determines the position of the Hanafi madhhab from the statements of its great early jurists, like al-Halwani, Qadi Khan and al-Kasani (may Allah have mercy on them).

The translation includes the chapter of I’la’ al-Sunan that immediately follows on the valid Shar’i excuses that frees one of blame if he were to not attend the masjid for jama’ah. Continue Reading

Imām al-Bayhaqī on Evidence for the Existence of the Creator

Below we present a translation from Imām al-Bayhaqī’s celebrated work on Sunnī ‘aqīdah, al-I‘tiqād wa l-Hidāyah ilā Sabīl al-Rashād. In this passage, al-Bayhaqī (may Allāh have mercy on him) discusses the evidential basis on which a Muslim premises his faith. He discusses two basic types of thought processes (nazar) that lead one to believe in Allāh:

  1. First, deliberating on the created order, the heavens, the earth and the wonders of one’s own creation, and deducing from that the presence of a Powerful, Intelligent, Conscious, Wise and All-Knowing Creator and Fashioner.
  2. And second, reasoning from the miracles produced at the hands of the prophets – peace be upon them – and deducing thereby their honesty and integrity in everything they relate about the unseen realm, including the existence of the Creator and His eternal attributes. Continue Reading