A Biography of Shaykh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaamee

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful…

The great scholar, the imaam, Aboo Ahmad Muhammad Amaan ibn ‘Alee was originally from a village in Ethiopia called Taghaa Taab near or within the Harar region of Ethiopia, about 100 miles west of the Somali border. His family name, al-Jaamee, is an ascription to an Ethiopian village named Jaamaa.

He was born in the year 1349 amidst local political turmoil and tribal feuds. He began studying the Arabic Language from Shaykh Muhammad Ameen al-Hararee in Taghaa Taab. There he also completed memorizing the Quran and began studying the locally favored Shaafi’ee math-hab. He made his way to nearby villages to seek knowledge, and then nearby cities, into Somalia, and then across the Gulf of Aden into Yemen. He traveled impoverished, once spending his only amount of money on a single book. He eventually ventured north on foot, and offered the rites of Hajj in the year 1369.

After Hajj, he remained in Makkah, seeking knowledge at the study circles of the Sacred Haram Mosque at the Ka’bah. There, against the advice of some of his previous teachers, he reluctantly read the book, Al-Usool ath-Thalaathah of Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abdil-Wahhaab (may Allaah have Mercy on him), through which Allaah guided him to abandon the innovations of the Soofee-Ash’aree cults that influenced his earlier studies. He then enrolled in Daar al-Arqam in Makkah, along with the likes of another future scholar, Shaykh Yahyaa ibn ‘Uthmaan al-Mudarris. Daar al-Arqam later became known as Daar al-Hadeeth.

In Makkah, he studied under the great scholar, Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have Mercy on him), whom he accompanied back to Riyadh in the early 1370’s, to attend the new academic institute there, along with other future scholars, such as Continue reading

Ibn al-Qayyim Explains the Disbelief of Ibn Sina (Avicenna)

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful…

Since the publication of our article, The Reality of Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Famous Scientist and Philosopher, many people have been asking for more detailed proofs that Ibn Sina was not actually a Muslim, specifically from his own beliefs.

This article provides more detailed proof about his specific beliefs from the writings of one of the most amazing scholars in Islamic history, Ibn Qayyim al-Jowziyyah (d.751), may Allaah have Mercy on him.

After Ibn al-Qayyim mentioned that Aboo Nasr al-Faaraabee (or Al-Farabi), like Ibn Sina, was upon an extreme deviation of the concepts promoted by Aristotle, including disbelief in Allaah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Last Day, he went on to say:

Perhaps an ignorant person might say that we have dealt too harshly with them, ascribing them to disbelief in Allaah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. This is not far-fetched for someone who is ignorant of both their writings and the reality of true Islaamic teachings.

[Disbelief in Allaah]

You should know: According to the teachings of the best of the modern philosophers, their voice, and their role model whom they prefer over the Messengers themselves, Aboo ‘Alee Ibn Sina, Allaah – Glorified and Exonorated above their claims – is merely one who exists in a general way, without having a single attribute, nor any chosen actions at all. He does not know anything about the universe at all. He does not know how many planets there are, nor does he know anything of the unseen. He does not speak, nor does He have any attribute at all (in their beliefs).

It should be clearly known that this concept is (that Allaah is) just an imaginary idea in one’s mind, having no reality. Its most apparent manifestation of this is when a person thinks of it and defines it in his mind, as he would imagine other theoretical concepts. This is certainly not the Lord to whose Way the Messengers called, the One whom the previous nations knew of.

The real Lord of the universe, the God of the Messengers, is clearly not this “lord” whom the heretics call to, stripping him of any real presence and any attribute or action, claiming he is neither part of the universe, nor beyond it, nor having any connection at all to it, nor being seperate from it, nor being in front of it or above it, nor on the left or right, etc. The difference between the two is like the difference between existence and non-existence, like the difference between affirming something and negating it (i.e. complete opposites)!

In fact, anything that could possibly exist would be more complete than this “god” who the heretics call to, the one their intellects have carved, while real carved idols have a real existence and this “lord” does not. He can only exist within the imagination!

All of this is the case, while these heretics are more correct Continue reading

The Reality of Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Famous Scientist and Philosopher

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful…

The famous fifth-century medical expert and philosopher, Ibn Sina, known to the West as “Avicenna”, is often credited as being one of the greatest Muslim scientists in history. His name is a celebrated one in many Muslim circles, and even hospitals and institutions of learning are named after him out of respect and admiration for his achievements.

While many Muslim scientists throughout history truly did pioneer many important medical and scientific breakthroughs, Muslims need to step back and re-examine what they have been led to believe about Ibn Sina specifically – Is it factually correct? Was he even a Muslim?

Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah on Ibn Sina

Aboo ‘Alee Al-Husayn ibn ‘Abdillaah ibn al-Hasan ibn ‘Alee ibn Sina (d.428) was born to a severely deviant Ismaa’eelee (Shiite) family, known for their severe blasphemy and hypocrisy, as mentioned by Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah.[1] In fact, as Ibn Taymiyyah said:

وأحسن ما يُظهرون دين الرفض وهم في الباطن يُبطنون الكفر المحض

“The best thing they showed openly was ar-Rafdh (being Raafhidah Shiites), while they concealed pure, absolute disbelief inwardly.” [1]

Ibn Taymiyyah confirmed this by mentioning that Ibn Sina himself identified his own family, his father, and his brother to all be from this severely deviant group that was exposed and declared outside of Islam by many scholars.

Ibn Taymiyyah further detailed how Ibn Sina attempted to blend what he learned from the deviant claimants to Islam, the Mu’tazliah and Raafidhah, with the polytheistic philosophy of Aristotle, and when he did so he deviated even further, Continue reading

Regarding the Claimed Contradictions of Shaykh Rabee’ in Jarh and Ta’deel

In the Name of Allaah, the All Compassionate, the Ever Merciful…

[Read the complete PDF version of this article]

We’ve seen for years people criticizing the likes of Shaykh Rabee’ ibn Haadee al-Madkhalee (may Allaah preserve him), regarding the claim that he is not upon the way of the early critics of the Salaf – the likes of Imaams Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Yahyaa ibn Ma’een. And what they say: “His ‘foolishness’ of lavishly praising people and then abandoning them has excluded him from resembling the critics of old, and it shows that he is ‘unstable’ and his statements in criticism of people are ‘not reliable’.”

Let us begin with understanding something in this issue so that we don’t pass on and parrot things without understanding them.

True Academic Criticism in Islaam

In academic criticism in Islaam – as understood by the scholars of Jarh wa Ta’deel throughout history (النقد العلمي) [Academic criticism] – No one is beyond criticism, no one is immune from criticism, other than those who have gained immunity from Allah, i.e. they have been praised in the Qur’aan and they have been sanctified by the Book of Allah or by the revelation given to Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم), i.e. his Sunnah. Aside from that, the narrators, the teachers, the callers, the scholars themselves – all of them are subject to criticism. As one of the greatest of the scholars, al-Imaam Maalik, is so commonly quoted as saying:

مَا مِنَّا إِلاَّ رَادٌّ وَمَرْدُودٌ عَلَيْهِ

Meaning: Every single one of us (every scholar) is either criticizing / refuting, or being criticized / refuted.

That is the case of the scholars, and, of course, every writer and every caller is subject to criticism. The criticism of the scholars of Islaam is ongoing, it is mutajaddid [continuously updated], it is renewed, and it is revisited, at every possible occasion. No one from the critics of Islaam had ever Continue reading

Smiles of the Great Predecessors: The Upright Character of Ayyoob as-Sikhtiyaanee

In the Name of Allaah…

The great imam of the early Muslims, Aboo Bakr Ayyoob as-Sikhtiyaanee (d.131) – may Allaah have mercy on him – , was known for his great knowledge, personal piety, and outstanding manners.

One of his students and an imam in his own right, Hammaad ibn Zayd (d.179), said about him:

مَا رَأَيْتُ رَجُلاً قَطُّ أَشَدَّ تَبُسُّماً فِي وَجُوْهِ الرِّجَالِ مِنْ أَيُّوْبَ
I have not seen a man dedicated to smiling in the faces of the people more than Ayyoob!

From the completeness of a Muslim’s character is his pleasant attitude around the Muslims, his smile, positivity, and cheerfulness.  Ayyoob as-Sikhtiyaanee was exemplary in this.

Hammaad also said about him:

أَيُّوْبُ عِنْدِي أَفْضَلُ مَنْ جَالَستُهُ، وَأَشَدُّهم اتِّبَاعاً لِلسُّنَّةِ

To me, Ayyoob was the best person I ever sat with and the most devout of them in following the Sunnah!

From the Sunnah is balance, and Ayyoob was balanced.  This great imam would not waste his smile on the people of deviation.  The same jovial and pleasant attitude would turn to contempt and disdain at the mention of innovators.  One of them would try to open a discussion with him, saying, “O Abaa Bakr, let me ask you about just one word?”

He would say:

وَلاَ نِصْفِ كَلِمَةٍ وَلاَ نِصْفِ كَلِمَةٍ
Not even half a word, not even half a word!

All of the previous quotes can be found in his biography in the book, Siyar A’laam an-Nubalaa’ (6/15-23) of ath-Thahabee.

This is the balance of Islaam.  Muslims are not to smile in the faces of those who corrupt and polute the teachings of the Religion.  Islaam is to love and hate for the sake of Allaah. Just as open manifestations of love for Allaah’s sake, like smiling, kind words, and support are legislated for those who deserve it, so is hatred for Allaah’s sake, including showing outward signs of anger and displeasure and parting company, in the appropriate situations.

It is reported that Al-Fudhayl ibn ‘Iyaadh (d.187) said:

مَن تبسَّم في وجهِ مبتدعٍ فقد استخفَّ بما أَنزل الله عزَّ وجلَّ على محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم
Whoever smiles in the face of an innovator has made light of what Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, has sent down to Muhammad, may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace.

Source: Sharh as-Sunnah (p.128) of al-Barbahaaree

So a balanced Muslim smiles and shows outward signs of love and respect for those who deserve it, just as he frowns for Allaah’s sake, and shows outward signs of hatred and contempt for those who deserve it.

And Allaah knows best.

Writted by: Moosaa Richardson

Did Imam Al-Bukhari say “My Recitation of the Quran is Created”?

In the Name of Allaah, the All-Merciful, the Ever Merciful…

A phrase of disbelief and one of the slogans that identify the Laf-thiyyah Cult from the offshoots of the disbelieving Jahmiyyah Sect was attributed to the greatest scholar of Hadeeth in the history of Islaam, al-Imaam Muhammad ibn Ismaa’eel al-Bukhaaree (d.256), may Allaah have Mercy on him.  This short phrase was attributed to him:

لفظي بالقرآن مخلوق

“My recitation of the Quran is created.”

According to the scholars of Islam, anyone who held this belief was considered a disbeliever, speaking with one of the distinguishing traits of the Laf-thiyyah Cult, who were considered far more dangerous than the original Jahmiyyah disbelievers.

The great imaam, Abul-Qaasim al-Laalakaa’ee (d.418), listed the names of the scholars who were reported to have declared those who say “My recitation of the Quran is created” to be disbelievers. He listed over 50 scholars, including: Continue reading

Shaykh Al-Albaanee Lights a Soofee Magician on Fire – Really!

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Ever Merciful…

The great scholar, Shaykh Muhammad Naasir ad-Deen al-Albaanee (d.1420) – may Allaah have Mercy on him – tells an amazing story about his encounter with a soofee performing acts of illusionary magic.  This story comes after his detailed academic discussion of the narration of Jundub (may Allaah be pleased with him) and its chains of transmission.

To summarize the story: A governer in Iraq during the the Caliphate of ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan was being entertained by a magician Continue reading

Firmly Grounded Scholars that Muslims Should Return to in Affairs of Differing

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful…

At the conclusion of one of his lectures explaining the Foundations of Eemaan as part of the Imaam Daar al-Hijrah Islaamic Seminar at Masjid al-Qiblatayn in al-Madeenah in 1432 [1], Shaykh Saalih As-Suhaymee (may Allaah preserve him) advised the students with a number of excellent points of advice in light of issues of differing that tend to distract them and keep them from benefitting from their studies.

While this great advice has been translated into English, and given the title, “The Muslims are Tired,” perhaps the most important point in the lecture that Shaykh Saalih offered, after fearing Allaah and being sincere to Him alone, is the solution he guided the Muslims to – Returning to the senior scholars in affairs of differing. Continue reading

Humbling Oneself and Rejecting Popularity

[ The twelfth and final part of a series of inspiring articles from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad” (“Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad”) by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him) ]

Humbling Oneself and Rejecting Popularity

The last point of guidance that we will take from the fountains of Imam Ahmad that do not dry up, is the statement of Muhammad ibn Hasan ibn Haaroon, “I saw that when Aboo ‘Abdillaah walked the streets, he hated that someone would walk behind him.”

Furthermore, ‘Abdullaah, the son of Imam Ahmad, said, “When he went out to Jumu’ah Prayer, my father would not allow anyone to follow behind him, and he used to stop until the people following him would pass him up.” Continue reading

The Effect of Knowledge on One’s Writings

[ Part Eleven of a series of inspiring articles from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad” (“Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad”) by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him) ]

The Effect of Knowledge on One’s Writings

‘Abdullaah, the son of Imam Ahmad, said, “A baby was born to my father. ‘Abdul-A’laa gave me a letter of congratulations to give to my father.” ‘Abdul-A’laa was one of the scholars of hadeeth at that time. “He read it,” continued ‘Abdullaah, “And then tossed it aside.”

“This is not the writing of a scholar, nor a muhaddith (hadeeth narrator),” said Imam Ahmad, “This is the merely the writing of an average writer.”

Imam Ahmad was teaching his son a lesson, detesting what this scholar wrote, as no knowledge could be felt in his writing. Continue reading

Seeking Safety and Good Health When Supplicating

[ Part Ten of a series of inspiring articles from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad” (“Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad”) by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him) ]

Seeking Safety and Good Health When Supplicating

Al-Khallaal was a student of Imam Ahmad. I tried to bring a statement from each one of Imam Ahmad’s students who narrated something noteworthy, so if I did not fully accomplish this, then know that his history was rich, his sayings were many, and his school deserves that you study it and reflect over it. You will find that he was truly the imam of Ahlus-Sunnah in his speech and actions.

Al-Khallaal said, “I heard Ahmad ibn Hanbal saying, ‘I had memorized the Quran. Then when I began seeking the narrations, I became busy.'” When he began seeking and memorizing the narrations, he became too busy to keep track of the Quran, and forgot some of it due to his occupation with the narrations. Continue reading

Seeking Knowledge Until Death

[ Part Nine of a series of inspiring articles from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad” (“Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad”) by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him) ]

Seeking Knowledge Until Death

Imam Ahmad had two sons, ‘Abdullaah and Saalih. They were half-brothers, meaning that each of them had a different mother. Saalih, the son of Imam Ahmad, said, “A man saw my father carrying a mih-barah.” A mih-barah was a wooden inkwell that students used to carry along with their pens.

He said, “A man saw my father was carrying a mih-barah, and said, ‘O Abaa ‘Abdillaah!’ Look at how the all the people were fascinated by him, even the elders of the people! He said, “O Abaa ‘Abdillaah! You have reached this position, you are the imam of the Muslims!” He had a problem seeing Imam Ahmad carry his mih-barah as the young students would carry it, or that he would still read books or shoulder the same responsibilities that the youth did.

Imam Ahmad replied with a statement that nullified this man’s whole understanding. He said, “With the mih-barah all the way to the maq-barah (the graveyard).” What did he mean? Continue reading

Memorizing the Quran

[ Part Eight of a series of inspiring articles from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad” (“Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad”) by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him) ]

Memorizing the Quran

From the noteworthy sayings of Imam Ahmad (may Allaah have Mercy on him) is his statement, “‘Azeezun ‘alayya that the dunyaa melts the hearts of men whose chests comprehend the Quran!” He said (repeating), “It is hard for me to accept that the dunyaa could melt the hearts of men whose chests comprehend the Quran.”

If a man is able to carry (memorize) the Quran with him by heart, then verily Allaah has given him a great bounty indeed. On the Day of Judgment it will be said to the recitor of the Quran: “Read, ascend, and recite with rhythm as you used to recite rhythmically in the dunyaa! For verily your place will be determined by the last verse you recite.” [1] Continue reading

Praying at Night

[ Part Seven of a series of inspiring articles from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad” (“Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad”) by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him) ]

Praying at Night

One of Imaam Ahmad’s students, ‘Abdus-Samad ibn Sulaymaan, said something that I mentioned earlier in this lecture, “I stayed with Ahmad ibn Hambal. He left for me a container of water. In the morning he found that I had not used it. He said, ‘A companion of the narrations, and he has no activity in the night?!’ I told him, ‘I am a traveler.’ He replied, ‘Even as a traveler!'”

This is an outstanding lesson from Imaam Ahmad! The student of knowledge must keep himself upon some rites of worship, he must have an eagerness to get close to Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic. Continue reading

Identifying Religious Innovations and Staying Away From Them & the Importance of Hadeeth

[ Part Six of a series of inspiring articles from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad” (“Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad”) by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him) ]

Identifying Religious Innovations and Staying Away From Them & the Importance of Hadeeth

From Imaam Ahmad’s other noteworthy sayings, may Allaah have Mercy on him, is his statement, “I do not know any people more in need of learning hadeeth than the people in our time.”

They asked him, “And why is that?”

He replied, “Innovation has spread, so whoever does not have the Sunnah, or the narrations, then he will fall into innovation.” Continue reading

Loving and Hating for the Right Reasons

[ Part Five of a series of inspiring articles from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad” (“Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad”) by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him) ]

Loving and Hating for the Right Reasons

From the noteworthy sayings of Imaam Ahmad about the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah is his statement, “Love the people of the Sunnah according to the degree that they are upon the Sunnah.” This means that your love should be based on the Sunnah, that you do not love for petty reasons, nor for some worldly reasons. Real love is for those who are upon the Sunnah.

It could be that a person of the Sunnah, a person of the correct ‘aqeedah, does some evil things. However, due to his correct ‘aqeedah, his clarity, and his submission to Allaah’s Book and the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam), you find that he is a person whose heart is free of innovation and doubts. Continue reading

Biography: Shaykh Saalih ibn ‘Abdil-‘Azeez Aal ash-Shaykh

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful…

From a family of grounded knowledge, Shaykh Saalih ibn ‘Abdil-‘Azeez Aal ash-Shaykh is the grandson of the great scholar, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem Aal ash-Shaykh (d.1389).  Shaykh Muhammad was the grandson of Shaykh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Hasan (d.1285), the author of Fat-hul-Majeed, an outstanding explanation of Kitaab at-Towheed of his grandfather, Shaykh al-Islaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdil-Wahhaab (d.1206).  May Allaah have Mercy on all of them.

He was born and raised in Riyadh in 1378 (1958 on the Christian calendar).  He studied Quran Sciences at Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University, where his exceptional level of knowledge stood out, and thus he became a teacher there and taught for about 15 years. Continue reading

Recognizing the High Status of Islamic Scholars

[ Part Four of a series of inspiring articles from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad” (“Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad”) by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him) ]

Recognizing the High Status of the Scholars

From his other noteworthy sayings, may Allaah have Mercy on him, elevate his and our positions, and reward him with the best reward, the most plentiful and loftiest one, “Whatever the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah have detested, then it is evil.” He (Imam Ahmad) said (repeating), “Whatever the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah have detested, then it is evil.” He meant that the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah are to be referred to in affairs of what is to be considered evil and what is not.

So whatever the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah have detested in the issues of ‘aqeedah, then it is evil. Whatever the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah have detested with regards to manners, then it is evil. Whatever the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah have detested in affairs of ordering righteousness and forbidding evil, then it is evil. This means that a man must return to the scholars of the Sunnah if he wants to know about the affairs of the Sunnah, about the proper understanding of righteousness and evil. Continue reading

Living in Fear of Allaah

[ Part Three of a series of inspiring articles from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad” (“Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad”) by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him) ]

Living in Fear of Allaah

Al-Mar-roothee [1] was one of Imam Ahmad’s companions and students, and he relayed many issues from him. He said to Imam Ahmad, “O Abaa ‘Abdilllaah! There are so many people that call on you!”

He looked at him and said, “I fear this may be something that gradually leads me to something evil.” Continue reading

Speaking Only About Beneficial Matters

[ Part Two of a series of inspiring articles from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad” (“Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad”) by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him) ]

Speaking Only About Beneficial Matters

Aboo Daawood Sulaymaan ibn Ash’ath, the author of Sunan Abee Daawood, was a student of Imam Ahmad who related many issues from him, issues that are published today. He said, describing the Imam, “I have not seen anyone like Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal He never used to talk about the things that the people talk loosely about from the worldly affairs, but if some affair of knowledge was mentioned, he would talk.” Continue reading

Benefits From the Life and Works of Imaam Ahmad – Introduction to the Series

[ The introduction to a series of inspiring articles from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad” (“Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad”) by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him) ]

The praise is for Allaah, the One who keeps a group of scholars available during the times when there is no messenger, scholars who bring those who have strayed back to the Guidance, curing their blindness and bringing them back to life using Allaah’s Book. For how many have they brought back to life from those killed by Iblees? And how many strayed and then were guided by the scholars?

What great effects they have on the people! And how filthy are the effects of the people on them! They expel from the Religion of Allaah the perversions of the people of falsehood, the twisted explanations of the ignoramuses, and the plagiarism of those who have strayed, those who bear the flags of innovation and dispute over the Book of Allaah. Continue reading

Dedicating One’s Youth to Worship

[ Part One of a series of inspiring articles from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad” (“Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad”) by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him) ]

Dedicating One’s Youth to Worship

Since his childhood, Imam Ahmad (may Allaah have Mercy on him) could be seen with signs of nusuk on him. [The term nusuk will be explained shortly.]  Ma’roof Al-Karkhee (may Allaah have Mercy on him) said, “I saw Ahmad ibn Hanbal when he was a young boy, and he had signs of nusuk on him. I used to hear him making statements that were full of benefit.”

This statement describes how he was upon guidance even as a young boy. He used to be seen with signs of nusuk on him. What is meant by nusuk is worship and acts of obedience. The effects of worship and obedience are not only physical ones seen in the appearance and dress, but their effects are also found in one’s speech, manners, in the acts of worship and obedience themselves, and in one’s preference for the next life over this one.

Imam Ahmad said about his own self, “I did not marry until after I reached 40 years of age.” His companions said that this was because he used to be busy traveling to seek knowledge before that. He went to Makkah, and from there to San’aa’. There is a story about this trip:

He set out with his companion, Yahyaa ibn Ma’een, for Hajj. He said to Yahyaa, “When I finish Hajj, verily I am going to Yemen to meet the scholar of Yemen, the scholar of Hadeeth, ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ibn Hammaam As-San’aanee.” As-San’aanee died in the year 210 after Hijrah.

When they reached Makkah, they found that ‘Abdur-Razzaaq was making Hajj that year as well. So Yahyaa knew who he was and met him. He saw him going around the Ka’bah, and since he knew him, he went and greeted him. Yahyaa said to ‘Abdur-Razzaaq, and they knew each other, “This is Ahmad ibn Hanbal” So ‘Abdur-Razzaaq became happy about this and said, “It has reached us that he is a person who has a lot of goodness.”

When they prayed their two rak’ahs after making tawaaf, Yahyaa said to Imam Ahmad, “Ahmad, our provisions for the journey to San’aa’ have been used. And here is ‘Abdur-Razzaaq, so let us stay with him so we can take some narrations from him.”

Ahmad said to Yahyaa ibn Ma’een, “My intention is still present, and I will not oppose it. So I will continue on to San’aa’.” This shows the effects of his commitment to the hardships of seeking knowledge. A trip to San’aa’ in that time was not made in cars or airplanes or the likes, rather it was only made with great hardships, the realities of which can not be described.

Ma’roof said, “I saw Ahmad ibn Hanbal when he was a young boy and he had signs of nusuk on him.” In reality, this is what we should see in our children, that they work hard to correct themselves in their youth, in their early years. Because at this, if they do not build upon this foundation with what is correct, with acts of worship and obedience, then it will be very difficulty after that, except for those whom Allaah, the Mighty and Exalted, excludes.

Whoever holds to His Religion in his youth, firmness will return to him. Someone being devout or obedient is not just a claim or a verbal ascription to something, nor is it something seen only from the outside. Rather devoutness in the Religion entails one taking on serious rituals, he must worship, and he must be obedient.

This leads us to the story when Imam Ahmad once hosted one of his students in Hadeeth, ‘Abdus-Samad ibn Sulaymaan. When he was hosting him in his house, and it came time to sleep, he brought him some water to make wudhoo’ from or for general use. Then he went to sleep. When the morning came, Imam Ahmad saw that all of the water was still there, so he asked about it. ‘Abdus-Samad replied, “I did not use the water.” Imam Ahmad said, “A student of the narrations who does not do anything at night?!”

He meant, “All the way to the morning, you did not pray in the night?! You did not worship!? You did not even pray two rak’ahs?!” ‘Abdus-Samad replied, “Verily I am a traveler.” He said, “Even as a traveler!” Meaning, “Where is the witr? Where is the prayer?”

So without a doubt, if this was important in that day and time for cultivating one’s soul and getting set in the proper direction, then we are in more need of it today. This is the case especially with the youth who seek knowledge, those holding tight to their guidance, those who show outward signs of righteousness, and those who are keen in doing good deeds. [1]

One must keep his soul tied to some acts of worship. No doubt, one must keep his soul tied to some acts of obedience. If you force the soul to be obedient, it will become obedient. If you abandon it, then it will be a soul that gravitates toward wrongdoing.

It has been related that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) said (what means):

“Whoever shows enduring patience, Allaah will make him firm upon patience. Whoever seeks knowledge, Allaah will teach him. Whoever hunts for good, he will be given it. Whoever expects evil, he will be made to fall into it.” [2]

Therefore, this description of Imam Ahmad proves that he had an upbringing based on obedience to Allaah and acts of worship, so much so that he used to force his soul to shun many worldly things and to take on great hardships. The result of this was that he established his soul firmly upon obedience to Allaah, the Mighty and Exalted.

FOOTNOTES

[1] This paragraph was updated to correct a mistake in the original translation. (1435-06-23)

[2] The first part of this hadeeth, “Whoever shows enduring patience, Allaah will make him firm upon patience,” it is found in Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree, on the authority of Aboo Sa’eed Al-Khudree (may Allaah be pleased with him).

Continue reading this series…
Part Two – Speaking Only About Beneficial Matters

Or go to the Index of articles in this inspiring series.

Translation, Titles, and Footnotes by: Moosaa Richardson

Originally published on Bakkah.net: 1423-05-16

Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad – Index of Articles

The following is an index of all articles in the inspiring series called “Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad” by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him), from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad”.

Introduction

Part One – Dedicating One’s Youth to Worship

Part Two – Speaking Only About Beneficial Matters

Part Three – Living in Fear of Allaah

Part Four – Recognizing the High Status of Islamic Scholars

Part Five – Loving and Hating for the Right Reasons

Part Six – Identifying Religious Innovations and Staying Away From Them & the Importance of Hadeeth

Part Seven – Praying at Night

Part Eight – Memorizing the Quran

Part Nine – Seeking Knowledge until Death

Part Ten – Seeking Safety and Good Health When Supplicating

Part Eleven – The Effect of Knowledge on One’s Writings

Part Twelve – Humbling Oneself and Rejecting Popularity

About the Author: Who is Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh?

Translation, Titles, and Footnotes by: Moosaa Richardson

Originally published on Bakkah.net: 1423-05-16

Kunyahs (Nicknames) for Men Based on Female Names

Is it against the Sunnah to have a kunyah (parental nickname) based on a female child’s name, like Aboo ‘Aa’ishah (the father of ‘Aa’ishah) or Umm ‘Aa’ishah (the mother of ‘Aa’ishah), because they are the parents of a girl named ‘Aa’ishah?  Someone told me that the Sunnah is to use male names only in kunyahs.

While male names were predominantly used in kunyahs, there is nothing against having a kunyah based on a female name, like Aboo ‘Aa’ishah.

A group of the Companions had kunyas like this, namely:

  • Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan (Aboo Laylaa)
  • Aboo Hurayrah
  • Aboo Umaamah
  • Aboo Ad-Dardaa’  Continue reading

Biography: Shaykh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Naasir as-Sa’dee

In the Name of Allaah…

He was the shaykh, Aboo ‘Abdillaah, ‘Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Naasir ibn ‘Abdillaah ibn Naasir as-Sa’dee, from the tribe of Tameem.

He was born in the city of ‘Unayzah, in Saudi Arabia, on the 12th of Muharram, 1307.  He memorized the Qur’aan and mastered its recitation before reaching the age of 11.  He then engaged himself in seeking knowledge, studying with the scholars of his city and those who visited it. Continue reading

Biography: Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Umar ibn Saalim Baazmool

His kunyah: Aboo Maalik, also called: Aboo Munthir (both are names of his sons – may Allaah bless them, their siblings, and their parents).

His lineage: al-Kindee, from a Yemeni tribe, Kindah, with a rich history.

His position in Umm al-Quraa University: Among the highest ranking and most respected professors in the university, he teaches in higher studies, oversees MA and PhD research, and takes part in their criticism and defense.

Some of his teachers: He had significant contact with Shaykh al-Albaanee (may Allaah have Mercy on him) by phone. Continue reading