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[ 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, or those holding tight to their guidance, or those who display the effects of prayer, or those who are keen in doing good deeds.

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:

“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.” [1]

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] 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).

Source: Bakkah.net

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Narrated ‘Umar radiallahu ‘anhu said:

“Whenever Allah’s Messenger – sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam – raised his hands in supplication, he did not lower them till he wiped his face with them.”

[At-Tirmidhi reported it]. It has Shawahid (supporting narrations) such as the hadith of Ibn ‘Abbas radiallahu ‘anhu reported by Abu Da’ud and others. These narrations – considered as a group – warrant it being considered a Hasan (good) hadith.

(Bulugh al-Maram, Hadeeth No. 1345, P. 488-489).

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In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful…

Let us be reminded that while light-hearted, honest joking from time to time is permissible, there are indeed dangers in joking that many of us may not think about and therefore fall into, so let us be warned about them:

1) JOKES INVOLVING LIES

Indeed the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) warned us severely against using lies in our joking, with his statement:

ويل للذي يحدث بالحديث ليضحك به القوم فيكذب، ويل له، ويل له
“Woe to the one who lies to make people laugh, WOE TO HIM, WOE TO HIM!”

This is an authenitc hadeeth found in Sunan Abee Daawood (#4990), At-Tirmithee (#2315), and others.  At-Tirmithee called the hadeeth hasan, and Al-Albaanee agreed.

Someone may say, “Well, its obvious this joke is full of lies, but I’m not the one who made it up, I’m just passing it on.”

The reply: The hadeeth of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) that Imaam Muslim brings in the introduction to his Saheeh could apply here:

كفى بالمرء كذبًا أن يحدث بكل ما سمع
“It is sufficient for a man to be considered a liar when he relays everything he hears.”

Lies in general are impermissible, in joking or outside of joking.  There are three exceptions to the general prohibition of lying in Islaam:

  • Between spouses
  • To correct a broken relationship
  • In established military operations (jihad) under a Muslim government

Even in these three cases it must only be used to bring about a benefit.

The point is that none of the scholars exempted joking as a permissible form of lying.

2) EXCESSIVE JOKING

The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) said:

لا تكثروا الضحك، فإن كثرة الضحك تميت القلب
“Don’t laugh too much! For verily, excessive laughter kills the heart!” (more…)

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For an explanation of the poem and classes on it, please visit: http://troid.ca/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1036&Itemid=314

Also, an explanation by text and the explanation of Al Haa’iyaah of Ibn Abi Dawood by the noble of Br. Abdur Rahman el Omaysaan (Hafidaullaah). Translation by the noble br Abu Ibraheem Ismaeel el Gazalee.

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QUESTION : What is your advice to someone who has stopped praying the Sunnah prayers in the daytime and does not pray anything at night?

ANSWER by Shaykh Muhammad ‘Umar Baazmool, instructor at Umm Al-Quraa University in Makkah.

There is nothing more outstanding as advice than the hadeeth of the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam), when he said:

“The very first thing a servant will be asked about on the Day of Judgement is the prayer. If it is found to be deficient, then it will be said, ‘Doesn’t he have any optional prayers?’ If it is found that he has optional prayers, then they will fill the void, and thus his prayers will be accepted, and the rest of his deeds will also be accepted.” [1]

And the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) was asked about a dream that Ibn Umar had, so he (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) said:

“What a good man ‘Abdullaah ibn Umar is, so long as he prays at night.” [2]

So then consistently praying the optional prayers, the most important of them being the Witr prayer and the (12) Sunnahs throughout the day and night, is from the most important of all affairs to the Muslim. This is because you, O Muslim, by way of them, compensate for the lapses found in your obligatory prayers.

And the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) clarified in a hadeeth that a man may pray but he may only be credited with half of it, another may pray but only be credited with one third of it, and another may pray but only be credited with one fourth of it… [3]

The meaning is that it often occurs that the people have shortcomings in their prayers, while it is obligatory to offer them, completing them perfectly. So have you actually offered all of your prayers completely and perfectly according to the Sharee’ah?

So then you must take care to consistently offer optional prayers, you must take care to consistently offer the Witr prayer, you must take care to offer the other optional prayers consistently. It has been related that Imaam Ahmad said about the one who does not consistently pray the Witr prayer, “He is an evil man, his witness is not to be accepted.”

So how could a Muslim who has no work keeping him from his worship become lazy and then abandon these (optional) prayers. No doubt, he has caused himself to lose a great amount of good, and to miss an opportunity to obtain tremendous virtues, while being free to do them and try to keep consistency in offering them.

I ask Allaah to excuse us and him, and to be gracious.

There is a hadeeth of the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam):

“May Allaah have Mercy on the one who offers four (rak’ahs) before ‘Asr prayer.” [4]

When you do not pray this prayer, four rak’ahs before the ‘Asr prayer, you have prevented your own self from being included in those whom the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) supplicated for, those who pray this prayer.

The Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) said:

“Whoever consistanly prays twelve rak’ahs throughout the day and night, a palace will be built for him in Paradise.” [5]

When you abandon the rawaatib prayers, and you do not pray these twelve rak’ahs, you have deprived your own self from this virtue.

Most of the optional prayers have great virtues attached to them, described by the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam). So then, O Muslim, how can you lose out, how can you not be concerned about it?

And Allaah knows best.

FOOTNOTES

[1] Collected by At-Tirmithee, Aboo Daawood, An-Nasaa’ee, and others, see Saheeh Al-Jaami’is-Sagheer wa Ziyaadah #2020.

[2] Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree #1122 (3/10 of Fat-hul-Baaree)

[3] see Saheeh Sunan Abee Daawood #796

[4] Saheeh Sunan Abee Daawood #1270

[5] Saheeh Sunan Abee Daawood #1250

SOURCE :

This was translated exclusively for http://www.bakkah.net from a cassette recording with the knowledge and permission of the shaykh, file no. AAMB015, dated 1423/6/25.

http://www.salafitalk.net/st/viewmessages.cfm?Forum=11&Topic=310

Moosa Richardson

Taken from: http://abdurrahmanorg.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/advice-to-those-who-are-not-praying-any-nawaafil-prayers/

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An important clarification on abbreviating  the salaah and the salaams upon the beloved Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the impermissibility of it.  A compilation of statements from the scholars of the past and present on this erroneous action.

“The author, Shaykh Zakariyyaa Al-Ansaaree, then mentioned that Imaam An-Nawawee related that there is consensus among those who are relied upon that it is legislated to send salaah upon the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) in speech as well as writing. So therefore, it not from the Sunnah to use symbols or abbreviations in place of it. “

In the Name of Allaah, may the Salaah and Salaam of Allaah be upon His Final Messenger, to proceed:

Muslims are obliged to send Allaah’s Salaah [1] and Salaam [2] upon Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) when his name is mentioned. Allaah has commanded us [3]:

(إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ ۚ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا ﴿٥٦

“Verily Allaah and His Angels send salaah on the Prophet. O you who believe! Invoke salaah upon him, as well as a complete salaam!” (33:56)

And the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) said:

“For each time someone invokes salaah upon me, Allaah writes for him ten good rewards because of it.” [4]

And the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) had described the one who does not send salaah upon him when he is mentioned as “the stingiest of people.” [5] And he exclaimed “Aameen!” to Jibreel’s supplication, “May Allaah repel the one who hears mention of you and does not invoke any salaah upon you!” [6]

So here is the issue that needs to be clarified: Many people use the abbreviation “SAW” or “PBUH” to fulfill this obligation in their writing. Is this something that fulfills the obligation of sending the salaah and salaam on the Messenger? Let us look now to some of the statements of the scholars regarding this practice.

Bakr Aboo Zayd said, “The safe practice, the way of true love, (seeking) reward (from Allaah), respect and honor for the Prophet of this nation is to send the salaah and salaam upon him when he is mentioned (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam), carrying out the order of Allaah and the guidance of his Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam). For this reason, written abbreviations or symbols used to represent salaah and salaam upon the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) are prohibited. Some examples of these are: SAAD (ص), SAAD-‘AYN-MEEM (صعم), SAAD-LAAM-‘AYN-MEEM (صلعم), SAAD-LAAM-MEEM (صلم), SAAD-LAAM-YAA’-WAAW (صليو), and SAAD-LAAM-‘AYN.” [7]

These example are all used in some ‘Arabic books. The English equivalents of these abbreviations would be: SAAWS, SAW, PBUH, and the likes.

‘Abdul-Qaadir Al-Maghribee said, “As for SAAD-LAAM-‘AYN-MEEM (صلعم), it seems as if it was invented in the 9th century after Hijrah. In the explanation of the Alfiyyah of Al-‘Iraaqee, a book about the sciences of Hadeeth, the author says, “Abbreviations must be avoided, as well as neglecting it.” This means that one should stay away from symbols and not abbreviate it by removing some of its letters, rather he should employ it (“sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam”) fully in his speech and writing.

The author, Shaykh Zakariyyaa Al-Ansaaree, then mentioned that Imaam An-Nawawee related that there is consensus among those who are relied upon that it is legislated to send salaah upon the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) in speech as well as writing. So therefore, it not from the Sunnah to use symbols or abbreviations in place of it.

Then Shaykh Al-Ansaaree mentioned that the first one to use a symbol for it, his hand had been cut off, and Allaah’s Refuge is sought…” [8]

Ibn Hajr Al-Haythamee said, “The word “SAAD-LAAM-‘AYN-MEEM”  (صلعم) is not permissible. Rather, it is binding on us to send the salaah and the salaam.” [9]

Al-Fayrooza-abaadee said, “It is not appropriate to use symbols or abbreviations to refer to salaah and salaam, as some of the lazy ones do, as well as some ignorant people and even some students of knowledge – they write ‘SAAD-LAAM-‘AYN-MEEM’ instead of writing ‘sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam.'” [10]

Ahmad Shaakir said, may Allaah have mercy on him, “It is the absurd tradition of some of the later generations that they abbreviate the writing of ‘sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam.'” [11]

Wasee Allaah ‘Abbaas, may Allaah preserve him, said: “It is not permissible to abbreviate the salaams in general in one’s writing, just as it is not permissible to abbreviate the salaah and salaam on the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam).  It is also not permissible to abbreviate either of these in one’s speech.” [12]

Some of the ignorant nussaakh who were just paid to copy books (by writing) used to abbreviate the salaah and salaam on the messenger with “SAAD-LAAM-‘AYN-MEEM” (صلعم) in a connected way so that it looked like a word in ‘arabic: SAL’AMA (صلعم).  So then some of them began to guess at its meaning, thinking it was a 4-lettered verb (rubaa’ee), ie. “kaan An-Nabiyyu sal’ama fee baytihi…” guessing at the meaning: “it must be a word for sitting with a certain posture” etc. wallaahul-musta’aan.

And Allaah knows best. May the most perfect and complete salaah and salaam be upon our beloved Messenger, and upon his noble family and companions.

Footnotes:

[1] Sending salaah on the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) means that one invokes Allaah to praise him and mention his high status to the angels. See Jalaal Al-Afhaam (p.253) of Ibn Al-Qayyim, Fat-hul-Baaree (11/179-197) of Ibn Hajr, or Ibn Katheer’s tafseer to verse 33:56.

[2] salaam: security

[3] the meaning of Soorah Al-Ahzaab (33):56

[4] an authentic hadeeth collected by Ibn Hibbaan in his Saheeh (#906, 3/187) on the authority of Aboo Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him). Al-Albaanee declared it to be saheeh in Silsilatul-Ahaadeeth As-Saheehah (#3359, 7/1080).

[5] from a hasan hadeeth collected by Ibn Abee Ad-Dunyaa in As-Salaah ‘Alan-Nabee (p.30-31) on the authority of Aboo Tharr (may Allaah be pleased with him). Hamdee As-Salafee called it hasan in his checking of the book.

[6] from an authentic hadeeth collected by At-Tabaraanee in Al-Mu’jam Al-Kabeer on the authority of Jaabir ibn Samurah (may Allaah be pleased with him). Al-Albaanee authenticated it in his checking of Al-Munthiree’s At-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb (#1677,2/298).

[7] Mu’jam Al-Manaahee Al-Laf-thiyyah (p.188)

[8] Mu’jam Al-Manaahee Al-Laf-thiyyah (p.188-189)

[9] Al-Fataawaa Al-Hadeethiyyah (p.168)

[10] from his book As-Salaatu wal-Bushr, as quoted in Mu’jam Al-Manaahee Al-Laf-thiyyah (p.351)

[11] the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad (#5088, 9/105)

[12] from a handwritten answer given to me by the shaykh (I have it on file #AAWA004 dated 1423/6/24)

[13] Original Source: http://www.salafitalk.net/st/viewmessages.cfm?Forum=6&Topic=138

Compiled and translated by Moosaa ibn John Richardson

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