Category Archives: Sifat as-Safwah

“Will You Keep a Secret?”

Quran-550x412  Abu az-Zahiriyyah narrated: “I went to Tarsus, so I entered upon Abu Mu’awiyah al-Aswad after he had become blind. In his house, I saw a Mushaf (copy of the Qur`an) hanging from the wall, so I said  to  him: “May Allah have Mercy upon you! A Mushaf while you cannot even see?”

 He replied: “My brother, will you keep a secret for me until the day I die?”

 I said: “Yes.” Then, he said to me: “Verily, when I want to read from the Qur’an, my eyesight comes back to me.”

 


 

  Abu Hamzah Nasir bin al-Faraj al-Aslami – and he was a servant of Abu Mu’awiyah al-Aswad – narrates something similar:  “Abu Mu’awiyah had lost his eyesight.

So, if he wished to read from the Qur’an, he would grab around the room for the Mushaf until he would find it.

As   soon as he would open it, Allah would return his eyesight to him. As soon as he closed it, his eyesight would leave him.”

[‘Sifat as-Safwah’; 2/413-414]

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Everything Except The Quran…

3293507480_be545090c9_m“When Ramadan entered, Sufyan Al-Thawri would leave all worship, and proceed to the recitation of the Qur’an.”[Al-Siyar]

Taken from many of the amazingly beneficial reminders posted by our brother:

http://www.facebook.com/livingundermercy.ofallah?fref=ts

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Those Whose Faults Should Not Be Mentioned

3200162449_f2ceddfedfIbn al-Musayyib:

“There is no honourable person, scholar or doer of good except that he has a shortcoming. However, there are some people to whom we should not mention their faults , that is, those whose good deeds exceed their faults.”

 
2/81 Sifat as-Safwah –
Ibn al-Jawzi (rahimahullah)

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Description of ‘Ali that Made Mu`awiyah* Weep.

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After Ali died , Mu`awiyah bin Abi Sufyan said to Dirar bin Damrah
“Describe ‘Ali to me.”
“Will you not excuse me from answering you,” said Dirar.

“No, describe him,” insisted Mu`awiyah.

“Please excuse me from doing so,” said Dirar.

“I will not,” said Mu`awiyah.

” I will do so, then” said Dirar with a sigh.

“By Allah, he was (far-sighted) and very strong. He spoke with a truthful finality, so that, through him , truth became distinguished from falsehood. He ruled justly, and knowledge gushed forth from him, as did wisdom. He felt an aversion to the world and its (pleasure). He was comfortable with the night and its darkness ( meaning he prayed a lot). By Allah he would cry profusely ( from fear of Allah); long durations would he spend in contemplation, during which time he would converse with his soul. He showed a liking to coarse garments and lower-quality food. By Allah, it was as if – in his humbleness- he was one of us: when we asked him a question, he would answer us; when we would go to him, he would initiate (the salam); and when we would invite him (to our homes), he would come to us . Yet, in spite of his closeness to us, we would not speak (freely) with him, because of the dignity and honor that he exuded if he smiled, he revealed the likes of straight and regular pearls(his teeth). He honored religious people and loved the poor. The strong person could not hope to gain favors from him through falsehood. And the weak person never lost hope of his justness. I swear, by Allah, that on certain occasions, I saw him in his place of prayer when the night was dark and few stars could be seen; he would be holding his beard and crying the way a very sad person cries; and I would hear him saying,

“O world, O world, are you offering yourself to me? Do you desire me? Never! Never! Deceive someone other than me, I have divorced you for the third time, so that you cannot return to me (metaphorically, of course; he is alluding to the fact that, in islam, the third divorce is final) your life is short, the existence you offer is base, and your danger is great. Alas for the scarcity of sustenance (good deeds), the great distance of the journey, and the loneliness of the road!”

Upon hearing this description, Mu`awiyah’s eyes swelled with tears, and not being able to hold them from gushing forth, he was forced to wipe them with his cuffs; and the same can be said for those who were present. Mu`awiyah then said, “May Allah have mercy on the father of Al-Hasan, for he was, by Allah, just as you described him to be. “

He then said, “O Dirar, describe your sadness at having lost him.”

“My sadness” began Dirar “is like the sadness of a woman who cannot control her tears or allay her grief after her child , while in her lap, has just been slaughtered.”

Dirar then stood up and left.

Sifatus-Safwah 1/66

* May Allah be pleased with them both.

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“What is it Between Me & Sa’id bin Jubair!”

When Sa’id bin Jubair (radiyaAllahu ‘anhu) entered into the court of the ruthless governor, Al-Hajjaj bin Yusuf Ath-Thaqafi, the latter asked the former, “What is your name?”

“Sa’id bin Jubair.”

“Rather, you are ‘the miserable one, son of the broken one,” said Al-Hajjaj, immediately showing hostility towards Sa’id. This was the way he treated all of his enemies – basically, anyone who criticized him was his enemy.

“Rather, my mother knows my name better than you do,” said Sa’id, with the calmness and composure that one should show when responding to an ignorant person.

“You are wretched, and so is your mother,” said Al-Hajjaj.

“As for the unseen world, One other than you knows it,” said Sa’id.

“I will cause you to change in this world with a blazing fire,” said Al-Hajjaj.

“Had I known that that was in your hands, I would have taken you as a god,” said Sa’id.

“And what do you say about Muhammad (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam)?” asked Al-Hajjaj.

“He is the Prophet of mercy, the Imam of guidance – may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – and the Messenger of the Lord of all that exists, sent to all of mankind with a good exhortation.”

“And what do you say about ‘Ali bin Abu-Talib ?” Al-Hajjaj asked. “Is he in Paradise or in the Hell-fire?”

“Had I entered it, I would have seen its dwellers,” said Sa’id.

“And what do you say about the Caliphs (Khalifahs)?”

“I am not a guarantor for them,” said Sa’id. “Each person is held ransom for only that which his own hands have reaped.”

“Should I curse them or praise them?” Al-Hajjaj asked.

“I will not say that which I do not know,” said Sa’id. “I am required to be accountable only for the affairs of my own soul.

“Who among them do you like best?” Al-Hajjaj asked.

“The one whom the Creater (Allah ‘azawajal) is most pleased with,” said Sa’id.

“And who among them is Allah most pleased with?” Al-Hajjaj asked.

“The knowledge thereof is with the One who knows their secrets and their private discources,” said Sa’id.

“And what kind of a man will I be on the Day of Resurrection?” Al-Hajjaj asked.

“I am too insignificant for Allah to reveal to me the unseen world,” said Sa’id.

“You refuse to be truthful with me,” said Al-Hajjaj.

“To the contrary, (I said what I said because) I did not want to lie to you,” said Sa’id.

“Forget about all of this,” Al-Hajjaj said. “Tell me why you never laugh.”

“I have never seen anything that should make me laugh,” said Sa’id. “And how can a created being laugh when he was created from clay, which is consumed by fire!”

“Then what is the matter with us that we laugh?” asked Al-Hajjaj.

“Hearts (of people) are not at the same level,” said Sa’id.

“Have you ever seen any form of entertainment (i.e., musical instruments)?”

“I do not know what you are referring to,” said Sa’id. Al-Hajjaj then asked one of his underlings to bring a lute (a stringed instrument) and a flute. When they were brought and someone began to play the lute and blow into the flute, Sa’id began to cry.

“What is making you cry?” Al-Hajjaj asked.

“O Hajjaj, you have reminded me of a tremendous matter,” said Sa’id. “By Allah, after what I have seen here, I will never eat to satiety, quench my thirst, or wear (nice) clothing, and I will continue to remain in a state of sadness.”

“Fine, but what is your view concerning this entertainment?” Al-Hajjaj asked.

“O Hajjaj, by Allah, that is the sadness (I am referring to). As for this blowing instrument, it reminded me of a tremendous Day, the Day on which the trumpet will be blown. As for the lute, a tree was wrongfully cut (for it to be made). And as for the strings, they are from the bowels of sheep (which were wrongfully slaughtered (since they weren’t slaughtered for food or any beneficial use, but rather for forbidden entertainment)). They will be resurrected with you on the Day of Resurrection.”

“I am more beloved to Allah than you are?” Al-Hajjaj asked.

“No one goes to his Lord until he knows how he ranks with Him,” said Sa’id. “And Allah knows best about the unseen.”

“And how is it possible that I will not go to my Lord as I am today (i.e., dignified – as he deemed himself to be)?” said Al-Hajjaj. “I am with the Imam of the Jama’ah (the main body of Muslims), while you are with the Imam of division and Al-Fitnah (trial or tribulation, the source of discord).”

“I am not outside of the Jama’ah,” said Sa’id. “Nor am I pleased with the trials or tribulations; but the decree of Allah (‘azawajal) is executed: nothing can prevent it (from being executed).”

“What do you think about that which we are gathering for the Leader of the Believers?” Al-Hajjaj asked.

“I have not seen (what it is that you are gathering for him),” said Sa’id. Al-Hajjaj ordered for gold, silver, pearls, and precious jewels to be brought to him; when they came, he put them between the hands of Sa’id ibn Jubair.

“This is good, if you fulfill its condition,” said Sa’id.

“And what is its condition?” Al-Hajjaj asked.

“If you use what you gathered to purchase safety from the Greater Terror on the Day of Resurrection, then that is fine. Otherwise”

…every nursing mother will forget her nursling, and every pregnant one will drop her load (22:2)

“Nothing that is gathered for the world is good other than that which is good and purified,”
continued Sa’id.

“Then you consider our action of gathering (this wealth) good and pure?” Al-Hajjaj asked.

“In your view, you have gathered it,”
said Sa’id. “And you know better whether it is good and pure (i.e., whether you have procured it through lawful means).”

“Would you like to have something from it (i.e., from this treasure)?” Al-Hajjaj asked.

“I do not love that which Allah does not love,” said Sa’id.

“Woe unto you!” exclaimed Al-Hajjaj.

“The destruction (that you have invoked upon me) is reserved for those who are sent away from Paradise and are made to enter the Hell-fire,”said Sa’id.

“Choose, O Sa’id, the method in which I will kill you,” said Al-Hajjaj.

“Choose for yourself, O Hajjaj,” said Sa’id. “For by Allah, whatever method you use to kill me, Allah will kill you in the same manner in the Hereafter.”

“Do you want me to forgive you?” Al-Hajjaj asked.

“If there is any forgiveness, then it is from Allah,” said Sa’id. “As for you, you have no exoneration and no excuse (for what you do).”

“Take him away and kill him,” said Al-Hajjaj to his guards. As Sa’id was being taken away, he laughed. When Al-Hajjaj was informed about his laughing (which was something novel for Sa’id), he ordered for him to be brought back to him. When Sa’id returned, Al-Hajjaj asked, “O Sa’id, what has made you laugh?”

“I became amazed at your temerity and brazenness in your dealings with Allah, which is contrasted by His forbearance and leniency towards you,” said Sa’id.

Al-Hajjaj then ordered for one of the guards to bring a Nat’a. A Nat’a was a special kind of carpet that was made of leather. It would be rolled out onto the ground on special occasions only – when someone was about to be killed or tortured. And its purpose was to prevent the blood of the person being tortured or executed from splattering all over the floor, especially if the floor was made of marble or expensive material, as was often the case in the castles of governors and leaders.When the Nat’a was laid out and Sa’id was moved onto it, Al-Hajja said to his guards, “Kill him.”

“First, let me perform two units of prayrer,” said Sa’id. Having faced the Qiblah and commenced his prayer, Sa’id recited this Verse:

Indeed, I have turned my face toward He who created the heavens and the earth, inclining toward truth, and I am not of those who associate others with Allah .” (6:79)

“Turn him so that he does not face the Qiblah,” said Al-Hajjaj. When the guards executed his instructions, Sa’id recited this verse:

…so wherever you turn yourselves or your faces there is the Face of Allah (2:115)

“Put his face onto the ground,” said Al-Hajjaj, more furious than he probably ever was before in his life. Referring to the ground and the earth, Sa’id then recited Allah’s saying:

From the earth We created you, and into it We will return you, and from it We will extract you another time. (20:55 )

“Slaughter him!” exclaimed Al-Hajjaj.

“I make you bear witness, O Hajjaj, that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah alone, and He has no partner, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger,” said Sa’id. “I keep these words with you in safekeeping, O Hajjaj, until you meet me on the Day of Resurrection.”

Sa’id then invoked Allah saying, “O Allah, do not give him the power to kill anyone after me.” They then killed him – may Allah have mercy on him.

After he was killed, Al-Hajjaj lived for only fifteen more days. In what remained of his days, he would constantly call out in pain, “What is it between me and Sa’id bin Jubair? Whenever I want to sleep, he takes me by the leg (to prevent me from sleeping).”

One narration indicates that he lived for forty days after he had killed Sa’id. It is mentioned in that narration that when he would sleep, he would see Sa’id in his dream. Sa’id would grab him by his garment and say, “O enemy of Allah! Why did you kill me?” While he was awake, Al-Hajjaj would ruefully say, “What is it between me and Sa’id bin Jubair, what is it between me and Sa’id bin Jubair?”

It is also reported that, during his last days, Al-Hajjaj became paralyzed, so that if he placed his hand on a burning stove, his skin would burn, yet he wouldn’t feel anything. Also, he became very ill; his illness was attributed to worms that entered into his body.

When Al-Hajjaj summoned for Al-Hasan Al-Basri to come to him, Al-Hasan simply said, “Did I not tell you: do not stand in the way of the scholars! You have killed Sa’id!”

“I didn’t call you here in order to ask you to supplicate for me (i.e., for my cure),” said Al-Hajjaj. “I only called you here so that Allah can grant me rest (i.e., death) from the condition that I am in.” Shortly thereafter, Al-Hajjaj died. And it would not be surprising if we were to learn that his last words were: “What is it between me and Sa’id bin Jubair!”

 

Hilyatul-Awliya’ 4/290-295,

Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah 9/107-108,

Sifatus-Safwah 2/51-54.

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O Evil Shaykh!

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Abu Bakr as-Saidalaani reported that he heard Salim bin Mansur bin ‘Ammar say,

“Upon seeing my father in a dream, I asked him, ‘What did your lord do with you?’

He answered : ‘Indeed, my lord drew me near and close and he said to me: ‘O evil shaykh (old man), do you know why I forgave you?’

I said: ‘No, O my lord.’

He said : ‘You sat before people in a gathering one day and you made them cry (for their sins, etc). Among them was one of my slaves who had never before cried from fear of me and so I forgave him and forgave everyone in the gathering for him; and you were among the ones I donated to him (i.e, among the ones that I forgave for him)’”

(Sifatus-Safwah 2/ 204)

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Adorn Yourselves for the Greater Display

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`Umar bin al-Khattab (radiAllahu `anhu) said,

 

“Take account of your own selves (i.e., of your deeds), before you will be taken to account (on the Day of Resurrection).

 

Weigh yourselves (i.e., your deeds) before you will be weighed (i.e., before your deeds will be put on the balances on the Day of Resurrection).

 

Verily, if you hold yourselves accountable today, the accountability tomorrow (i.e., the Day of Resurrection) will be easier upon you.

 

And adorn yourselves for the greater display (i.e., for when you will be brought to Judgment):

 
 

 

“That Day shall you be brought to Judgment,

not a secret of you will be hidden.” (Quran 69:18)

 
 
 

 

Sifatus-Safwah 1/149

 

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Winter – The Season of Benefit

It is reported from Abu Hurayrah – may Allah be pleased with him – that he said, “Shall I not point you to comfortable proceeds?” People responded, “And what is that O Abu Hurayrah?” He replied, “Fasting in winter.” The Arabs used to refer to matters which were relatively easy to gain as being cool. In this narration, the relative ease of fasting in winter and its consequent reward is likened to acquiring war proceeds without the heat of violence.It is reported from ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – that he said: “Winter is booty for the devout worshippers.”

This is further explained in the following narration:It is reported from ‘Ubayd b. ‘Umayr – may Allah have mercy on him – that he said: “It used to be said when winter came: O people of the Qur`an, the night has become long so you can pray (more) and the day has become short for you to fast.” – Abu Nu’aym, Hilyat al-Awliyaa`

As with other experiences in this world, the Salaf used to be reminded of the hereafter when experiencing cold weather:

It is reported from the famous worshipper Rabi`ah – Allah have mercy on her – that she said: “I have never heard the adhan except that I remember the caller who will announce the Day of Resurrection, and I never see the falling snow except that I imagine the flying pages of the records of peoples deeds (on that day), and I never see swarms of locusts except that I think about the Great Gathering on the Last Day.” Ibn al-Jawzi, Sifat as-Safwah 2/433.

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Salaf & Their Salah [2]

Bakr al Muzani said, “If you want your prayer to be of benefit to you, say to yourself, ‘I might not have a chance to perform another prayer.'” [Jami` al `Ulum wal Hikam, p 466.]

Shubrumah said, “We accompanied Karz al Harithi on a journey.  Whenever he wanted to set camp in an area, he used to scan it with his eyes and when he found a good piece of land that he liked, he would go to it and pray there until it was time to leave.”  [Sifat as Safwah 3/120]

Al Qasim bin Muhammad said, “Whenever I went out in the morning, I used to visit `Aishah radhiallahu `anha (his aunt and the wife of the Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) and greet her.  One day I found her performing Ad Duha prayer, reciting this Ayah repeatedly, crying and invoking Allah:  ‘So Allah has been gracious to us, and has saved us from the torment of the Fire.’ (52:27)  I stood there until I felt bored, so Ileft and went to the market to do something and said to myself that when I finish  what I have to do, I will go back (to `Aishah radhiallahu `anha).  When I finished and went back to her, I found her still standing in prayer, reciting the same Ayah, crying and invoking Allah.'” [Al Ihya 4/436]

Maymun bin Hayyan said, “I never saw Muslim bin Yasar turning his head while praying, whether the prayer was short or long.  Once, a part of the mosque came down and the noise caused fear to the people who were in the market, while he was in the mosque, did not fear nor even turn his head and kept praying.” [Az Zuhd by Imam Ahmad p 359]

“I accompanied `Ata bin Rabah for eighteen years.  When he became old and weak, he used to stand in prayer and read close to two hundred Ayat from Surat al Baqarah while standing in such firmness that no part of him would move.” [As Siyar 5/87, Sifat as Safwah 2/213]

Abu Bakr bin Aiyash said, “If you saw Habib bin Abu Thabit while in Sujud, you would think that he had died because of his long prostration.” [As Siyar 5/291]

Ali bin Al Fudayl said, “I saw ath-Thawri went into Sujud while praying, and I performed Tawaf around the House seven times before he raised his head from Sujud.” [As Siyar 7/277]

Uthman bin Abi Dahrash said, “I never performed a prayer without invoking Allah afterwards to forgive me for falling into shortcomings in the way I performed it. [Tarikhu Baghdad 13/207]

Mu`awiyah bin Murrah, “I lived during the time of seventy of the Companions of Muhammad, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, and had they lived among you today, they would not recognize any of your acts except the Adhan!” [Hilyat al Awliya 2/299]

When Hatim al Asamm was asked about his prayer, he said, “When it is near the time of prayer, I perform a perfect Wudu and go to where I am going to pray and sit down there until I become fully attentive to what I am about to do.  I then stand up and pray, imagining that the Ka`bah is in front of my eyes, Paradise to my right, Hellfire to my left and the Angel of Death behind me.  I imagine that it is the last prayer I am about to perform, stand up in hope (in Allah, His Paradise and rewards) and fear (from Allah’s torment in Hellfire) and recite the Takbir while having full attention.  I recite the Qur’an calmly, make Ruku` humbly, go into Sujud with Khushu1 and then sit on my left leg, with the left food laid on the floor and the right food raised up, all the while praying with sincerity.  Afterwards, I do not know (nor feel certain) if that prayer was accepted from me! [Al Ihya 1/179]

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Salaf & Their Salah [1]

For forty years, the Adhan was never called but Sa`id bin al-Musayyab radhiallahu `anhu was in the mosque before it was called. [Tabaqat al Hanabilah 1/141, Hilyat al Awliya 2/163, Sifat as Safwah 2/80]

After ar-Rabi` bin Khaytham became partially paralyzed, he used to go to the mosque helped  by two men.  He was told: “O AbuYazid!  You have been given permission to pray at home.”  He said, “You have said the truth, but I heard the caller hearld, ‘Hayya `ala al-Falah (Come to success)’, and I thought that whoever heras this call should answer it even by crawling.” [Hilyat al Awliya 2/113]

Adi bin Hatim, radhiallahu `anhu, said:  “Every time the prayer time falls, it falls while I am eager for it and ready to perform it (i.e. having wudu).” [Az Zuhd by Imam Ahmad, p. 249]

Abu Bakr bin Abdullah al Muzani said:  “Who is like you, O son of Adam?  Whenever you wish, you use water to make Ablution, go to the place fo worship and thus enter the presence of your Lord (i.e. start praying) without a translator or a barrier between you and Him!” [Al Bidayah wa an Nihayah 9/256]

Abu Rajaa  al `Ataridi, “Nothing that I leave behind grieves me, except that I used to bow down on my face five times a day before my Lord, the Exalted and Most Honored.” [Hilyat al Awliya 2/306]

Yazid bin Abdullah was asked, “Should we make a roof for our mosque?”  He said, “Purify your hearts and your mosque will be sufficient for you.” [Hilyat al Awliya 2/312]

Adi bin Hatim, radhiallahu `anhu said, “Ever since I became Muslim, I always made sure to have Wudu when the Adhan is called.” [As Siyar 3/160]

Ubayd bin Ja`far said, “I never saw my uncle Bishr bin Masnur miss the first takbir, and whenever any person stood up in our mosque to ask people for help, my uncle gave him something.” [Sifat as Safwah 3/376]

Ibn Sama`ah said, “For forty years, I only missed Takbir Tahrimah when my mother died.” [As Siyar 10/646]

“If you know of a man’s disinterest in Takbir Tahrimah, then wash your hands of him.” [As Siyar 5/65, Sifat as Safwah 3/88]

Sufyan bin `Uyaynah, “Honoring the prayer includes coming before the Iqamah is recited.” [Sifat as Safwah 2/235]

Maymun bin Mahran came to the mosque late and when he was told that the peple had already finished the prayer, he said, “We all belong to Allah and to Him shall be our return!  I prefer the congregational prayer to being the governor of Iraq.” [Mukashafat al Qulub p 364]

Yunus bin Abdullah said, “What is the matter with me?  When I lose a chicken I feel concerned, but when I miss the prayer in congregation, it does not grieve me.” [Hilyat al Awliya, 3/19]

Hammad bin Salamah said, “I have never stood up for prayer without imagining that Jahannam is before my eyes.” [Tadhkirat al Huffadh 1/219]

Mu`adh bin Jabal advised his son, “My son!  Pray the prayer of he who is just about to leave and imagine that you might not be able to pray ever again.  Know that the believer dies between two good deeds, one that he performed and one that he intended to perform later on.”  [Sifat as Safwah 1/496]

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