Monthly Archives: July 2012

Al Adiyyat 100: 3-5

And scouring to the raid at dawn. (3) 

The word  فَٱلۡمُغِيرَٲتِ really means already hovering over the enemy and ready to pounce on the enemy. It is from the word أغار which means attack.

صُبۡحً۬ا – at dawn time.

______________

Ayah 4

فَأَثَرۡنَ بِهِۦ نَقۡعً۬ا

And raise the dust in clouds the while, (4)

Notice the letter nun at the end of the feel athar? This is nun niswah indicates that the doer is jama’ muanath.  This jama’ muanath referes to the horses or the mares which is the favourite horse in battle.

نَقۡعً۬ا – dust

There are other words for dust in Arabic – هباء غبار

But نقع actually means the trail dust that rises due to movement in high speed.

So continue to imagine as we go along the verses just like what the quraysh who are listening to these verses would have.

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Ayah 5

فَوَسَطۡنَ بِهِۦ جَمۡعًا

 Penetrating forthwith as one into the midst (of the foe); 

Again, notice the letter nun at the end of the wasat? Again this is nun niswah indicating jama’ muanath.

وسط – means middle.

جمعا – group

So you can imagine that the horses entered into the middle of the enemies they are attacking.

Retranslating into Arabic

دخلت الخيل في وسط العدو

By verse 5, the imagination has reaches to its peak of a battle scene, when the group of fearless attackers on their horses charging towards the enemy area with their loyal horses. In the midst of the darkness of dawn and in the cloud of dust, who is to know what awaits them at the end. Are the enemies ready for them? Will there be rows of spears awaiting them? What will happen in this battle?

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Al Adiyyat 100: 2 – Horsehoes

Then the soorah continues with asking the listener to imagine, by the sheer speed and strength of the horse, the hooves strike sparks of fire onto the ground. This is most likely caused by the horseshoe nailed onto the hooves.

Horseshoe

A horseshoe, normally made of metal, designed to protect a horse’s hoof from wear and tear. Shoes are attached on the palmar surface of the hooves, usually nailed through the insensitive hoof wall that is anatomically akin to the human toenail, though much larger and thicker. However, there are many cases where shoes are sometimes glued.

The fitting of horseshoes is a professional occupation, conducted by a farrier, who specializes in the preparation of feet, assessing potential lameness issues, and fitting appropriate shoes, including remedial features where required.

Horseshoes are available in a wide variety of materials and styles, developed for different types of horse and for the work they do. The most common materials are steel and aluminum, but specialized shoes may include use of rubber, plastic, magnesium, titanium, or copper.  Steel tends to be preferred in sports where a strong, long-wearing shoe is needed, such as polo, eventing, show jumping, and western riding events. Aluminum shoes are lighter, making them common in horse racing, where a lighter shoe is desired.

Since the early history of domestication of the horse, working animals were found to be exposed to many conditions that created breakage or excessive hoof wear. Ancient people recognized the need for the walls (and sometimes the sole) of domestic horses’ hooves to have additional protection over and above any natural hardness. An early form of hoof protection was seen in ancient Asia, where horses’ hooves were wrapped in rawhide, leather or other materials for both therapeutic purposes and protection from wear.

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Al Adiyat 100: 1

Imagine the scene of the horses running at full speed towards the enemy area. You can hear the panting of their breath when they run. But otherwise they are silent for these are Arabian Mares who work in stealth. They await the commands of their master and ready to charge into the unknown territory of the enemies. They run at full speed and strength that sparks flicker at the strike of their hooves. It is dawn, when there is little light and the world is still asleep. The air still moist due to the dew dampens the dust. The speed of the running raises the dust in cloud surrounding them for a while. Then without fear, they charged into the midst of foe.

The first five verses of al Adiyyat, demand the listener to imagine a battle scene. A scene that is most common to the Arab, the people who love their horses and understand battles. Surely they would be attracted to listen to the surah further.

وَٱلۡعَـٰدِيَـٰتِ ضَبۡحً۬ا

by the (steeds) that run, with panting (breath),

In the first ayah, Allah describes the horses of the battles as females. As we have learnt, the Arabs put high value on the mares (female horses) particularly so during their battle due to their ability to move in stealth, their speed and agility, their loyalty and courage.

The word Adiyyat itself does not mean horse rather it means either

  1. Moving at speed in animosity.
  2. Plural of enemy or opposition

The arabs have different words for horses such as

حصان          خيل          فرس

According to linguists, the word ضبحا is rarely used for horses, but rather it is usually used on wolves. So the image that one would draw is a pack of war styled horses ready to devour its enemy which they have the certainty that they will overpower them.

 

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Al Adiyat 100: 1 – Arabian Horses

Bismillahhi Rahmannir Rohim

  1. By the (steeds) that run, with panting. 
  2. Striking sparks of fire (by their hooves), 
  3. And scouring to the raid at dawn. 
  4. And raise the dust in clouds the while, 
  5. Penetrating forthwith as one into the midst (of the foe); 
  6. Verily, man (disbeliever) is ungrateful to his Lord; 
  7. And to that he bears witness (by his deeds); 
  8. And verily, he is violent in the love of wealth 
  9. Knows he not that when the contents of the graves are poured forth (all mankind is resurrected)? 
  10. And that which is in the breasts (of men) is made known? 
  11. Verily, that Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) their Lord will be Well-Acquainted with them (as to their deeds and will reward them for their deeds).
Let us take a look at the first five verses.
  1. By the (steeds) that run, with panting.
  2. Striking sparks of fire (by their hooves),
  3. And scouring to the raid at dawn.
  4. And raise the dust in clouds the while,
  5. Penetrating forthwith as one into the midst (of the foe);

Allah begins this surah with a qasm yaani Allah is taking an oath. And these five ayats are Allah’s oath.

Name other surahs that you know where Allah swears?

Allah makes an oath to get your attention because He is going to say something important. Thus Allah makes an oath on subjects that are important to the listener (at that time the pagan Quraysh).

Among the things that are important to the arabs are horses especially battle horses. And Allah presented this arrangement of ayat as a scene of battle which would call the attention of the pagans who like horses and who enjoys poetry and have high interest in battles.

This surah starts with describing battle horse and the scene of battle. You must run up your imagination high and brace yourself in these five first ayat. Indeed the Quran is eloquent. And Quran is send down not for entertainment but as a reminder to all.

Before we continue with the tafseer of the ayat, let us look into the matter of horses of the arabs particularly the Arabian horses. Perhaps it can shed us some understanding of the importance of them and Insya Allah a higher understanding of the verses.

 Arabian Horses

 Origin and Features

The Arabian or Arab horse (Arabic: الحصان العربي ‎) is a breed of horse that originated from the Arabian Peninsula. With a distinctive head shape and high tail carriage, the Arabian is one of the most easily recognizable horse breeds in the world. A bulging head also known as jibbah is to be sought for and considered as a blessing to the horse. The great arching neck with a high crest, the “Mitbah” was a sign of courage, while a gaily carried tail showed pride. These traits were held in high esteem and selectively bred for.

Other features are

–        Heads that have more distance from the eye to the top of the skull than from eye to eye across the face.

–        The top of the skull is in line with the eye and nostril, not bending backwards above the eyes.

–        The bones of the lower jaw taper from jawl to incisor.

–        Eyes that fill their sockets.

–        Unobstructed breathing represented by a well defined trachea/esophagus leading to widely spaced jowls.

–        A definite break in the outline between the neck and withers.

–        Withers slightly higher than croup.

–        Relatively short, strong backs.

–        The base of the dock of the tail is set from the point of the buttocks.

–        The deepest point of the body is between the forelegs.

–        A noticeable girth groove.

–        The ratio of trunk and foundation strength to height at the withers is a lower number in Desert Breds than in other Arabians.

–        Exceptionally well shaped hooves and sound legs.

–        Thin skin and a noticeable bloom to the coat.

–        An overall appearance of a finely tuned athlete.

It is one of the oldest breeds, with archaeological evidence of horses that resemble modern Arabians dating back 4,500 years. Throughout history, Arabian horses spread around the world by both war and trade, used to improve other breeds by adding speed, refinement, endurance, and strong bone. Today, Arabian bloodlines are found in almost every modern breed of riding horse.

Arabian Horses’ Qualities

For centuries, The Arabian developed in a desert climate and was prized by the nomadic Bedouin people. Only horses with a naturally good disposition were allowed to reproduce, with the result that Arabians today have a good temperament that, among other examples, makes them one of the few breeds where the United State Equestrian Federation rules allow children to exhibit stallions in nearly all show ring classes, including those limited to riders under 18.

This selective breeding for traits including an ability to form a cooperative relationship with humans created a horse breed that is good-natured, quick to learn, and willing to please. The Arabian also developed the high spirit and alertness needed in a horse used for raiding and war. This combination of willingness and sensitivity requires modern Arabian horse owners to handle their horses with competence and respect.

The desert environment required a domesticated horse to cooperate with humans to survive. Humans were the only providers of food and water in certain areas. Arabian horses needed far more water than camels in order to survive (most horses can only live about 72 hours without water). Where there was no pasture or water, the Bedouin fed their horses dates and camel’s milk. The desert horse needed the ability to thrive on very little food, and to have anatomical traits to compensate for life in a dry climate with wide temperature extremes from day to night. Weak individuals were weeded out of the breeding pool, and the animals that remained were also honed by centuries of human warfare.

Arabian Mares Superiority

The Bedouin way of life depended on camels and horses. The Arabian horse was primarily an instrument of war, as were horses in general in most societies of the time. They were bred to be war horses with speed, endurance, soundness, and intelligence. A well mounted Bedouin could attack an enemy tribe and capture their herds of sheep, camels and goats, adding to the wealth of their own tribe. Because many raids required stealth, mares were preferred over stallions as they were quieter, and therefore would not give away the position of the fighters. A good disposition was also critical. The best war mares exhibited great courage in battle, taking the charges and the spear thrusts without giving ground.

The highly prized war mares were often brought inside family tents to prevent theft and for protection from weather and predators. Thus they become close to the children and everyday family life.

Though appearance was not necessarily a survival factor, the Bedouin bred for refinement and beauty in their horses as well as for more practical features.

The value placed upon the mare led inevitably to the tracing of any family of the Arabian horse through her dame. The only requirement of the sire (male parent of a horse) was that he be “Asil”. Asil means pure blood and cross-breeding with a non-asil was strictly forbidden.  Mares were the most valued, both for riding and breeding, and pedigree families were traced through the female line. The Bedouin did not believe in gelding male horses, and considered stallions too intractable to be good war horses, thus they kept very few colts, selling most, and culling those of poor quality. If his dam (Female parent of a horse) was a “celebrated” mare of a great mare family, so much the better. For centuries, the Bedouin tracked the ancestry of each horse through an oral tradition. Mare families, or strains, were named, often according to the tribe or sheikh who bred them.

The Bedouins have generally been credited with the beginning of selective pure breeding of Arabian horses. These tribes, although their breeding records were kept by memory and passed down through the ages verbally, are also credited as the first to keep breeding records and maintaining the purity of the Arabian breed. To this date, many Arabian pedigrees can be traced to desert breeding meaning there is no written record but because of the importance of purity to the Bedouins, “desert bred” is accepted as an authentic verification of pure blood for those early imports.

Over time, the Bedouin developed several sub-types or strains of Arabian horse, each with unique characteristics, and traced through the maternal line only. According to the Arabian Horse Association, the five primary strains were known as the Keheilan, Seglawi, Abeyan, Hamdani and Hadban. Carl Raswan, a promoter and writer about Arabian horses from the middle of the 20th century, held the belief that there were only three strains, Kehilan, Seglawi and Muniqi. Raswan felt that these strains represented body “types” of the breed, with the Kehilan being “masculine”, the Seglawi being “feminine” and the Muniqi being “speedy”. There were also lesser strains, sub-strains, and regional variations in strain names. Therefore, many Arabian horses were not only Asil, of pure blood, but also bred to be pure in strain, with crossbreeding between strains discouraged, though not forbidden, by some tribes. Purity of bloodline was very important to the Bedouin, and they also believed in telegony, believing if a mare was ever bred to a stallion of “impure” blood, the mare herself and all future offspring would be “contaminated” by the stallion and hence no longer Asil. Any mixture of foreign blood from the mountains or the cities surrounding the desert was strictly forbidden. While other, desert type breeds developed in North Africa and the periphery of the Great Desert, they were definitely not of the same blood as Arabians and were disdained by the proud Bedouin.

A great story of courage, endurance, or speed always accompanied the recitation of the genealogy of the sub-strain, such as the great Kehilet al Krush, the Kehilet Jellabiyat and the Seglawi of Ibn Jedran. Each of these mares carried with them stories of great battles and intrigue. Their daughters were sought after by the most powerful Kings but often remained unattainable. Daughters and granddaughters of these fabled mares changed hands through theft, bribery and deceit. If any of their descendants were sold, the prices were legendary.

The horse of the desert had established himself as a necessity for survival of the Bedouin people. The head men of the tribes could relate the verbal histories of each family of horse in his tribe as well as he could each family of Bedouin.

Arabian Horses in the Modern Times

The Arabian is a versatile breed. Arabians dominate the discipline of endurance riding, and compete today in many other fields of equestrian activity. They are one of the top ten most popular horse breeds in the world. They are now found worldwide, including the United States and Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, continental Europe, South America (especially Brazil), and its land of origin, the Middle East.

Conclusion

1. Allah has created the Arabian horses with many distinctive features.

2. The distinctive features gives an overall beautiful physiques of the horse, but most importantly Allah has created it to have speed, endurance and athletic.

3. To top it Allah created the Arabian horses to be intelligent, quick in learning, very alert and good natured.

4. The nature of the desert made the horses very dependent on its master for food and water and also shelter. Thus when treated right, they are very trusting, loyal and obedient to its master.

5. It being good natured and mildness makes it a very suitable family horse especially among children.

6. It being created as intelligent, quick in learning and alertness and top with it speed and endurance made it the most suitable horse for war especially in the desert world.

7. The most prized Arabian horse is the Arabian mares.

8. The distinct feature of an Arabian mare is it is quieter compared to the stallion which is an advantage for the attacker to move in stealth when attacking an enemy.

9. The Arabian mares also exhibit great courage in battles.

10. The strain family line (genealogy) of an Arabian horse is identified through its maternal lines.

11. In the arab culture, crossbreeding an Arabian horse with another is strictly forbidden. Also forbidden is crossbreeding between strains.

12. Arabian horses are the most versatile breed. It now dominates the discipline of endurance riding and many equestrian activities.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabian_horse

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horses_in_warfare

http://www.arabianhorses.org/education/education_history_bedouin.asp

http://agarabianhorse.com/articles/73-arabian-horse-strains.html

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Imam an Nawawi

Imaam an-Nawawi

Jamaal ud-Deen Zarabozo

Taken from Commentary on the Forty Hadeeth of an-Nawawi


The Life of an-Nawawi

Before commenting on the Forty Hadeeth of an-Nawawi, it would be proper to introduce Imaam an-Nawawi to the reader. It is important for Muslims to take the time to learn about the lives of the pious predecessors. The great scholars and pious individuals of the past can be great examples for the living. Their behaviour and actions can have a great effect upon the hearts. Their examples demonstrate that in every age, there were pious Muslims who followed the way of the Prophet (SAAS) and his noble Companions, without compromise and without giving into the desires of this world. They demonstrate to the Muslims of today that the guidance of the Qur’aan and Hadeeth was sufficient for them to lead their lives in manners pleasing to Allah, although they did not sit with and learn directly from the Prophet (SAAS) or even his close companions.

Today, Muslims face many of the same problems, temptations and difficulties that these pious predecessors faced. The pious predecessors read and intensively studied the Qur’aan and Hadeeth to attain guidance for their lives. They applied the Qur’aan and Sunnah in their lives under various circumstances. What they derived from the Divine Guidance should be considered a light for all of those who come after them who face circumstances similar to theirs.

There are many aspects of an-Nawawi’s life, in particular, that may set an example for those living today. In his introduction to his Master’s Thesis on an-Nawawi, Ahmad al-Haddaad echoed these views when he stated,

The third reason [for writing about an-Nawawi] was to bring to the forefront the life of this extraordinary man who lived in a later time. It is hoped that this biography will bring to us and the coming generations great benefits with respect to seriousness and striving for knowledge, with respect to asceticism and fearing Allah, and with respect to the bravery in publicly speaking the truth. The lives of the pious have greatest effect on those who hear about them. Allah has certainly spoken the truth when He said, “And all that We relate to you (O Muhammad) of the news of the messenger [is] in order that We may make your heart strong and firm.” (Hood 120) [1]

The goal here is to be brief. Therefore, only certain aspects of his life will be highlighted. [2]

Background to an-Nawawi’s Life:

Islam in the Seventh Century of Hijrah

The Seventh Century of Islam was a very turbulent time, especially for the area of Sham (“Greater Syria”). It was during this Century that the Mongols invaded the East and the Crusaders controlled part of the Muslim lands from the West. In the year 656 AH, the Mongols invaded and conquered Baghdad, the capital of the Abbasids. In 658, however, under the reign of al-Mudhafar Qutuz ibn Abdullaah and military leadership of al-Dhaahir Baibars, the Muslims handed the Mongols a stunning defeat at Ain Jaloot. Also, in 679, when the Mongols again tried to conquer Aleppo, they were defeated. From that time onwards, Muslim forces continues to battle and make headway against the Mongols. Similarly, the Crusaders were defeated and removed from Sham in the year 691.

By the grace and mercy of Allah, these turbulent times did not mean the end of Islam studies for the inhabitants of that area. In fact, when Noor ad-Deen Zanki (d. 569) entered Sham he found that the light of learning had been extinguished. Therefore, he made a concerted effort to encourage the people of that area to renew their studies of Islam. In the process, he opened many schools for the study of Islam. In fact, he opened the first Dar al-Hadeeth in Damascus, Aleppo and elsewhere. This same spirit of spreading knowledge and establishing educational institutions was carried on by those who ruled after Noor ad-Deen Zanki, especially Saif ud-Deen Qalaawoon (d. 689). Therefore, one does not find a shortage of scholars and learning even during that turbulent century of Islamic history.

An-Nawawi’s Birth and Upbringing

Muhi ad-Deen [3] Abu Zakariya [4] Yahya ibn Sharaf al-Hizaami an-Nawawi was born in the 631 A.H. (1233 C.E.) in the village of Nawa, south of Damascus, Syria. Coming from Nawa, he is given the descriptive name of an-Nawawi, which is also sometime written an-Nawaawi.

An-Nawawi did not come from a well-known family. There is very little mention, if any, of his grandfather, father and other relatives. This implies that they were a modest family. They also were not known for producing great scholars. However, his father did have a reputation for being very pious and God-fearing. His father had a garden in which he would grow food for his family. He would avoid, and taught his family to avoid, eating anything which may be forbidden in any way whatsoever. This was a true application of the following Hadeeth from Sunan at-Tirmidhi:

“O People! Verily Allah is good and He does not accept but what is good. Allah has ordered the believers with the same command that He ordered the messengers. He said, ‘O Messengers, eat of the good and pure things and work righteous deeds. Verily, I am knowledgeable of what you do.’ And He said, ‘O believers! Eat of the good and wholesome things that We have provided for you.’ And he mentioned a man who was on a long journey, with disheveled hair and dust-ridden, stretching out his hands to the sky, saying, ‘O Lord, O Lord,’ while his food is of the forbidden and his provisions are of the forbidden. How is he going to responded to [by Allah]?”

From his youth, Yahya an-Nawawi was not attracted to sports or playing. Indeed, other children chided him for this. From an early age, he turned his attention to his studies. He hated any activity that would take him away from memorising the Qur’aan. On one occasion, the children forced him to play with them and he cried because of the time that he was wasting. [5] It is not surprising then that he memorised the Qur’aan at an early age.

At the age of eighteen, his father took him to Damascus to continue his studies. He excelled in the Shafi’ee school of fiqh, memorising some of its most important texts. He performed the pilgrimage to Makkah, visited Madinah and other locations but then returned to Damascus until prior to his death, when he returned to his hometown of Nawa.

An-Nawawi’s Personal Life:

His Pursuit of Knowledge

An-Nawawi first studies at the Saaramiya school in Damascus. This is where his father left him. He had no housing there whatsoever. After some time, he approached the Shaikh of the school to ask if he had any housing, as many of the schools house their students. They had no housing so the Shaikh suggested that he go to Rawaahiyah School. There he was given a very small room in which he lived for a number of years. In fact, he remained in that small room until he was named the head of the Ashrafiyah school, a number of years later. [6] It was stated that, when one visited him, the room was so small and the books were so many, that the only was one could sit down was to remove the books and pile them on top of each other to make some room to sit.

After Saaramiyah, he continued his studies at the Rawaahiya school in Damascus. At one point in time, he was attending twelve lectures a day on assorted topics, including Arabic language, hadith, fiqh and Islamic legal theory. Some of his well-known teachers [6] included Ishaaq ibn Ahmad al-Maghrabi al-Maqdisi (d. 650 A.H.), Abdur-Rahmaan al-Anbari (d. 661 A.H.) and Abdul-Azeez al-Ansaari (d. 662 A.H.). He studied Sahih Muslim from Abu Ishaaq Ibraaheem al-Waasiti. In 655 A.H., at the age of 24, he began teaching at the Ashrafiyah school. His reputation and excellence as a scholar began to be recognised by the scholars and inhabitants of Damascus.

His pursuit of knowledge dominated his entire life. He would put all of his time into studying, learning, and teaching. It is even stated that he would not sleep except when sleep would overtake him. He would rest on his book and sleep for a little, then he would act startled upon awakening and continues studying. He once said about himself, “I spent two years without lying on the ground [to sleep] on my side.” That is, he would always study and write until sleep overtook while in a sitting position. Al-Qutb al-Yauneeni said about him, “He would not waste any moment of the day or night but he would spend it busy with attaining knowledge. Even when he walking and in the streets he will be busy going over what he had remembered and reviewing his notes. He continued gaining knowledge in that way for a period of six years.” [6]

It seems – and only Allah knows the reality – that Allah truly blessed his time. Perhaps this was due to a sincere intention to please Allah. As mentioned above, he would attend up to twelve classes a day. Commenting on that fact, al-Diqr wrote,

He used to have twelve study sessions a day with his teachers. These included explanations, verifications, commentaries, explaining the different aspects and expressions as well as exacting the correct wordings. This would take, at a least approximation, twelve hours a day. Then he would need to review what he had learned and memorise what need to be memorised. The very least approximation is that this would also take twelve hours a day. This is twenty-four hours in a day! When would he sleep? When would he eat? When would he perform the acts of worship? When would he perform the voluntary late night prayers? It is well-known that he performed those types of acts of obedience and worship. When would all of that take place? He was in need of studying and reviewing for all the twenty fours in a day and nihgt. This shows how Allah blessed and graced this man. Allah blessed him in his time. He gave him the ability to complete in one day what it takes everyone else two years to accomplish. This is the only way we can explain this tremendous undertaking that made him one of the greatest scholars of his time in about ten years. In fact, it made him the leader (Imam) of his time. This is also the only way we can explain all of his wonderful, detailed and radiant writings in a span of time that lasted no more than fifteen years. He spent all of his lifetime and living hours in learning, teaching and writing. [7]

His Austerity

He led a very austere and simple life. Some narrations state that all the clothing he possessed was a turban and long gown. He did not desire any of the pleasures of this world. At one point in time, he would not eat anything except some cake and olives that his father would send him from time to time from Nawa. One of the reasons for this was that he was certain that such food came from permissible sources.

He would refuse even permissible things out of fear that they may lead him to doubtful matters. Indeed, he refused to eat any of the fruits of Damascus because he knew that orchards, many of which were endowments and for orphans and others, were not handled properly and he feared that the food he would be eating was not from a permissible source. Another reason he gave for not eating the fruit was that much of it was handled through sharecropping and there was a difference of opinion among the  scholars concerning the validity of sharecropping. In a footnote, al-Haddaad points out that, in reality, all of those matters boiled down to one thing: al-Nawawi was afraid to involve himself in any matter concerning which there was even the slightest doubt. [8]

An-Nawawi desired to live a simple and pure life, although it would have been possible for him to live otherwise, given his teaching position and influence. Cheif Justice Sulaimaan al-Zara’i narrated that he visited an-Nawawi on the day of Eid. An-Nawawi was eating some kind of broth with no meat. He asked Sulaimaan to eat with him and he said that is was not appealing to him. Sulaimaan’s brother went and bought some roasted meat and sweets. Sulaimaan told an-Nawawi to eat from it and he refused. Sulaimaan said to him, “O my brother, is this forbidden?” He said, “No, but it is the food of the tyrants [and extravagant].” In this matter, he was following the example of the Prophet (SAAS) who could have enjoyed many of the bounties of this world, but, instead, his household would go days without cooking any meat or having their full of bread for two days straight. [9] It seems that an-Nawawi did not consider such food as impermissible, in general, as obviously the Prophet (SAAS) ate such foods. However, it seems that he was never sure that there source was permissible, so he refused to eat such foods. [10]

He was also well-known for his modesty. Part of his modesty included never being served by any of his students. At the same time, he continued to serve his students even into his old age.

An-Nawawi would fast perpetually (every day except the days of Eid). [11] In general, he would only eat once a day, after the last obligatory prayer of the day; and he would only drink once a day, before dawn. When he drank, he would drink cold water out of fear that it may make him drowsy. Al-Haddaad argues that this was done by an-Nawawi so that he would dedicate all of his time to work and worship instead of the pleasures of this life. Al-Haddaad writes that it is said that knowledge is not attained by rest. In fact, he states, a person will not receive even part of knowledge unless he dedicates himself to it. If a person dedicates all of himself to knowledge, then he may achieve a portion of it. Al-Haddaad states that perhaps this was an-Nawawi’s perception of knowledge. He left his heart completely free and open to receive the blessed knowledge of the religion of Islam.[12]

He did not accept a stipend for his teaching. It seems that he may have accepted money for the first year or two. That money he did receive, he would spend on books that were left as endowments after him. However, after that time, he refused to accept any money whatsoever for his services. [13]

One material possession of this world that an-Nawawi did have was books. In general, a student is greatly in need of books. He is perhaps as much in need of books than he is of food and water, as al-Haddaad pointed out. As alluded to earlier, an-Nawawi’s small room was like a warehouse of books. Once of the testimonies as to how many books an-Nawawi had may be found in his introduction to at-Tahqeeq wherein he said, “I have with me, of the books of Shafi’ee fiqh, and all praises are due to Allah, about one hundred books, including well-known books, rare books and others.” [14] Al-Haddaad comments, “If that was the case with the number of books of fiqh, which were not as plentiful as they were in later eras, then what about the number of books of hadith he must have had, as there were many more books of hadith available at his time.” [15] Taaj ud-Deen as-Subki (683-756), who was a Chief Justice (Qaadi al-Qudha), was asked to complete one of an-Nawawi’s works, al-Majmoo. He tried to excuse himself by saying that he did not have the number of references available to him that an-Nawawi had.

It seems clear though, that an-Nawawi’s goal was not simply to possess a large library. His books were not for decoration or display. Instead he benefited greatly from these works and, from his lectures and writings, numerous people have benefited from them since then.

1. Taken from HERE.

A Short Biography of Imaam an-Nawawi

Imaam an-Nawawi (rahimahu Allaahu ta’aalaa – died 676 Hijree) was without doubt one of the greatest scholars this Ummah has been blessed with. His works have had a tremendous benefit and influence for the Muslims throughout history, and from amongst his works is his collection of 42 ahaadeeth of the Prophet sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam which together form a comprehensive explanation of this Great Deen of Islaam. This work is commonly referred to as “an-Nawawi’s Forty Hadeeth” and without doubt it contains immense benefit and guidance.The complete name of Imaam an-Nawawi is Abu Zakaria Mohiuddin Yahya, son of Sharaf An-Nawawi. Nawawi refers to Nawaa, a place near Damascus, in the suburb of the city of Howran. Imaam an-Nawawi was born at Nawa in the year 631 A.H.(about 1255 CE) His father, a virtuous and pious man, resolved to arrange for proper and befitting education as he had discovered the symptoms of heavenly intelligence and wisdom in his promising child at an early stage.

The Imaam’s Simplicity and Good Manners:

The learned persons, elite of the society and the public greatly respected the Imaam on account of his piety, learning and excellent character. He used simple dress and ate simple food. Devout scholars do not care about worldly chattels, they give preference to religious and academic pursuits, and the propagation of Faith. They experience more heavenly delight and joy in such activities than those who seek satisfaction in luxurious foods, precious clothes and other worldly things. Imaam an-Nawawi had a prominent place among the erudite notables of his age. He was a God-fearing person having illustrious and glorious aims regarding the propagation of Faith.The celebrated Shaykh Mohiuddin expresses his impression about Imaam an-Nawawi thus:

“Imaam an-Nawawi had three distinctive commendable qualities in his person. If anybody has only one out of these three, people turn to him in abundance for guidance. First, having knowledge and its dissemination. Second, to evade completely from the worldly inclinations, and the third, inviting to all that is good (Islam) enjoining Al-Ma’ruf [i.e., Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do] and forbidding Al-Munkar [polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden]. Imaam an-Nawawi had all three in him.”

His works and his death:

The learned Imaam had a very short life but even during this short period, he had written a large number of books on different subjects. Every work of the Imaam is a masterpiece and a treasure of knowledge. Hundreds and thousands of people benefit from these works.Some of his works :

  • Al-Minhaj fi Sharh Sahih Muslim – A Commentary on Sahih Muslim
  • al-Arba’een (ie The Forty Hadeeth)
  • Riyaad-us-Saliheen
  • Kitaab-ur-Raudah
  • Tahdheeb-ul-Asmaa was-Sifaat
  • Kitaab-ul-Adhkaar
  • At-Taqreeb fee Ilmil-Hadeeth wal-Irshad feehi
  • Sharh Sunan Abee Dawood (Incomplete)
  • Tabaqaat Ash-Shaafi’iyyah
  • Muhimmatul-Ahkaam
  • Bustaan-ul-‘Aarifeen
  • Al-Khulaasatu fil-Hadeeth

At about the age of 45, Imaam an-Nawawi returned to his hometown. Soon after his arrival at Nawaa, he fell ill and died. However, Imaam an-Nawawi is still living in the hearts of Muslims. His works are of everlasting value. May Allah have Mercy upon him.

 This one taken from HERE.

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Islam is Easy

From a few weeks ago, I was using this book to read up simple hadith to the littler ones. The book is published by Perniagaan jahabersa

We are on the second hadith

الدين يسر

The religion (Islam) is easy.

We looked at the arabic word

religion – الدين

easy -يسر

We highlighted the verses from surah Inshirah and surah lail

(مَعَ ٱلۡعُسۡرِ يُسۡرًا (٥) إِنَّ مَعَ ٱلۡعُسۡرِ يُسۡرً۬ا

 فَسَنُيَسِّرُهُ ۥ لِلۡيُسۡرَىٰ

There are the words يسر in it. Even though the spelling seems different (because of grammar rules). That is why it is best to learn the arabic words in the arabic letters itself.

Also take note of the name Yassir.

and the du’a that we know that Prophet Musa alaihi salam said when commanded to speak to Firawn in Surah Taha 20: 25-26

 رَبِّ ٱشۡرَحۡ لِى صَدۡرِى (٢٥) وَيَسِّرۡ لِىٓ أَمۡرِى

the opposite of يسر is عسر which means difficulty. And you can see both of these words in Surah al Inshirah and Surah al lail.

About the hadith

Islam is simple and easy to follow. It guides mankind to the correct way of life.

Truly if we learn to worship Allah the way that Allah wants and the way that prophet sallallahu alaihi salam teaches, we will find our heart more at peace and is actually more easy Insya Allah.

Other religion may view that Islam  is difficult because we have to pray five times a day, fast, go for pilgrimage, wear hijab, grow beard, but we say to them most of the time their religion seems “easy” is because they have left what their religion told them anyway. To start with they are not on the path that Allah wants, and whatever they are following are not as what is being taught.

Then we look at some difficult religious practices that forces hitting themselves and self inflict pain themselves either for expiation of sins or required by their religion to attain higher level. This is for sure is not easy. Alhamdulillah our religion do not make us get into dirty rivers or surrender our children for hard labour or to be worshipped.

The requirement of our religion is always promoting cleanliness such as wudhu’, ghusl. Tawbah as expiation of sins. pain that is not self inflicted will expiate our sins, Insya Allah.

May Allah make it easy for us to worship Him.

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Prophet Nuh Sent to His People

Allah sent Nuh alaihi salam when his people are deep in their worshipping idols and false gods, and was treading the path of darkness and ignorance. Thus Allah sent Propht Nuh alaihi salam as a mercy for His slaves.

Nuh alaihi salam was also the first messenger to be sent on earth. This can be proved in the hadith when the people of the day of judgment go to certain prophets to ask them to ask Allah to start the judgment day.

Narrated Anas:

The Prophet said, “The believers will be kept (waiting) on the Day of Resurrection so long that they will become worried and say, “Let us ask somebody to intercede far us with our Lord so that He may relieve us from our place.

Then they will go to Adam and say, ‘You are Adam, the father of the people. Allah created you with His Own Hand and made you reside in His Paradise and ordered His angels to prostrate before you, and taught you the names of all things will you intercede for us with your Lord so that He may relieve us from this place of ours? Adam will say, ‘I am not fit for this undertaking.’ He will mention his mistakes he had committed, i.e., his eating off the tree though he had been forbidden to do so. He will add, ‘Go to Noah, the first messenger sent by Allah to the people of the Earth.’ The people will go to Noah who will say, ‘I am not fit for this undertaking’ He will mention his mistake which he had done, i.e., his asking his Lord without knowledge.’ He will say (to them), ‘Go to Abraham, Khalil Ar-Rahman.’ They will go to Abraham who will say, ‘I am not fit for this undertaking. He would mention three words by which he told a lie, and say (to them). ‘Go to Moses, a slave whom Allah gave the Torah and spoke to, directly and brought near Him, for conversation.’

They will go to Moses who will say, ‘I am not fit for this undertaking. He will mention his mistake he made, i.e., killing a person, and will say (to them), ‘Go to Jesus, Allah’s slave and His Apostle, and a soul created by Him and His Word.’ (Be: And it was.) They will go to Jesus who will say, ‘I am not fit for this undertaking but you’d better go to Muhammad the slave whose past and future sins have been forgiven by Allah.’ So they will come to me, and I will ask my Lord’s permission to enter His House and then I will be permitted. When I see Him I will fall down in prostration before Him, and He will leave me (in prostration) as long as He will, and then He will say, ‘O Muhammad, lift up your head and speak, for you will be listened to, and intercede, for your intercession will be accepted, and ask (for anything) for it will be granted:’ Then I will raise my head and glorify my Lord with certain praises which He has taught me. Allah will put a limit for me (to intercede for a certain type of people) I will take them out and make them enter Paradise.”

(Qatada added: I heard Anas saying that) the Prophet said, ‘I will go out and take them out of Hell (Fire) and let them enter Paradise, and I will return for the third time and will ask my Lord for permission to enter His house, and I will be allowed to enter.

When I see Him, I will fall down in prostration before Him, and will remain in prostration as long as He will, and then He will say, ‘Raise your head, O Muhammad, and speak, for you will be listened to, and intercede, for your intercession will be accepted, and ask, for your request will be granted.’ So I will raise my head and praise Allah as He has taught me and then I will intercede and He will put a limit for me (to intercede for a certain type of people). I will take them out and let them enter Paradise.”

(Qatada said: I heard Anas saying that) the Prophet said, “So I will go out and take them out of Hell (Fire) and let them enter Paradise, till none will remain in the Fire except those whom Quran will imprison (i.e., those who are destined for eternal life in the fire).” The narrator then recited the Verse:– “It may be that your Lord will raise you to a Station of Praise and Glory.’ (17.79) The narrator added: This is the Station of Praise and Glory which Allah has promised to your Prophet. (Bukhari)

In this long hadith, we are concern at the moment, at the mentioned of prophet Nuh. It is said here, that he is the first messenger sent.

Ulul Azim

The highest status of the Messengers and Prophets are five

Muhammad sallalalhu alaihi wasalam

Nuh

Ibraheem

Moosa

Eesa

They are referred to as ULUL AZIM or the Messengers of strong will.

Al Ahqaf 46: 35

فَٱصۡبِرۡ كَمَا صَبَرَ أُوْلُواْ ٱلۡعَزۡمِ مِنَ ٱلرُّسُلِ

Therefore be patient (O Muhammad SAW) as did the Messengers of strong will..

_______________

Every Prophet after Prophet Nuh alaihi salam was from his descendent, and so is the case after Ibraheem alaihi salam.

Al Hadid 57: 26

And indeed, We sent Nûh (Noah) and Ibrahîm (Abraham), and placed in their offspring Prophethood and Scripture, And among them there are some who are guided, but many of them are Fâsiqûn (rebellious, disobedient to Allâh). (26)

——————————

The scholars differed regarding the age of Prophet Nuh alaihi salam when he was sent as a  Messenger. Some have said 50 or 350 and also 480. And he made daawah to his people for 950 years.

Subhanallah can you imagine that? 950 years?

——————————-

What did Prophet Nuh alaihi salam called his people to?

– to worship Allah without associating with any partners with Allah

– not to worship idols, statues and false gods

– believe and acknowledge the Oneness of Allah

And this is the message that is brought by all Messengers of Allah.

____________________

The story of Prophet Nuh alahi salam can be found a lot in the quran.

One of them is in Surah Nuh (concerning what he calls them to)

Surah Nuh 71: 1-4

Verily, We sent Nûh (Noah) to his people (Saying): “Warn your people before there comes to them a painful torment.” (1) 

He said: “O my people! Verily, I am a plain warner to you, (2) 

“That you should worship Allâh (Alone), be dutiful to Him, and obey me, (3) 

“He (Allâh) will forgive you of your sins and respite you to an appointed term. Verily, the term of Allâh when it comes, cannot be delayed, if you but knew.” (4)

In other soorah (of similar meaning)

Al Aaraf 7: 59

Al Mu’meenoon 23: 23

______________________

Prophet Nuh’s daawah

Allah mentioned in the quran That prophet Nuh alaihi salam made daawah in various ways. Listen to how Prophet nuh alaihi salam told Allah how much he tried to make daawah to his people. He mentioned, as Allah told us in Surah Nuh, all that he did in his daawah’s effort even though it is not fruitful. His people rejected him.

This is one way to make du’a, to mention to Allah how much we have done for his sake and to continue to beg for Allah’s help.

Surah Nuh 71: 5-19

He said: “O my Lord! Verily, I have called my people night and day (i.e. secretly and openly to accept the doctrine of Islâmic Monotheism) (5) 

“But all my calling added nothing but to (their) flight (from the truth) (6) 

“And verily, every time I called unto them that You might forgive them, they thrust their fingers into their ears, covered themselves up with their garments, and persisted (in their refusal), and magnified themselves in pride. (7) 

“Then verily, I called to them openly (aloud); (8) 

“Then verily, I proclaimed to them in public, and I have appealed to them in private, (9) 

“I said (to them): ‘Ask forgiveness from your Lord; Verily, He is Oft-Forgiving; (10) 

‘He will send rain to you in abundance; (11) 

‘And give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers.’ ” (12) 

What is the matter with you, that you fear not Allâh (His punishment), and you hope not for reward (from Allâh or you believe not in His Oneness). (13) 

While He has created you in (different) stages i.e. first Nutfah, then ‘Alaqah and then Mudghah, see (VV.23:13,14).(14)

See you not how Allâh has created the seven heavens one above another, (15) 

And has made the moon a light therein, and made the sun a lamp? (16) 

And Allâh has brought you forth from the (dust of) earth. (Tafsir At-Tabarî) (17) Afterwards He will return you into it (the earth), and bring you forth (again on the Day of Resurrection)? (18) 

And Allâh has made for you the earth a wide expanse. (19) 

Firstly, Prophet Nuh alaihi salam made daawah night and day, calling them to Islam.

Imagine us doing this. Even making comments on youtube for example. We may lose patience reading the non believers retort us back. Mock us. Mock Allah and his prophets. Mock islam. Or even when we try to advise our friends, we may be called a party pooper or other names and being told to stay silent and leave. We may even lose friends.

Prophet Nuh alaihi salam, made daawah day and night calling them to the truth. But what did the people do? They ran away! Or when he spoke, they put their fingers in their ears not wanting to listen. Can you imaine talking to people and they do that to you? Or  they cover themselves refusing to listen! And despite all these, they became more and more arrogant!

Imagine doing these for 950 years only to get rejection from them. Subhanallah! Indeed the prophets are the chosen people and we ask Allah that we will be placed among them in jannah.

Sometimes he talked in the open caling people in his campaign. Sometimes Prophet Nuh talked to them in private. He told them how Allah is most merciful and He will forgive everything.

Prophet Nuh alaihi salam continued by telling them what Allah has given them and that he is the one with power who can do all these.

Prophet Nuh told them to ask forgiveness from Allah and Allah will give them more of what they have because Allah is the One who gives all of these.

Give rain

Give them wealth and sons

Provide for them gardens

and make rivers

These are all resources that make their livelihood.

He also reminded who created them and that Allah made them in three different stages.

And that he made seven heavens, the moon that reflects the light and the sun like a lamp.

And that the earth for you wide so that you could cultivate, live in it and travel on it.

This is one way to make daawah to remind people to reflect on their surroundings. Nothing we see now happen by chance. It is created by the one who not only create but maintain it perfectly. Do you think rain and flowing rivers just happen on itsown. The vast land and the canopy of sky? Look around and reflect.

And all of this are easy for Allah. And He can destroy all of it and gather all of you back and make you alive again. He is able to do all things.

Prophet Nuh alaihi salam conveyed his message to his people and all he got are people who became even more arrogant, ignored him, cover themselves when he speak, put fingers in their ears. Imagine you are talking to someone and they mock you like this.

Prophet Nuh alaihi salam tried his very best and even more. He put so many means in his daawah but the means did not succeed. His people carried on in deviation, transgression and worshiping idols.

Lessons

1. Prophet Nuh alaihi salam is the first Messenger sent to people on earth.

2. All prophets are of his lineage

3. He is among the Ulul Azim among the prophets.

4. His calling for tawheed teaches us to have patience in daawah.

5. Among methods of daawah that we can learn

i. Develop skills

  • make use of the tools/ means that you have.
  • the current way is the media and the internet.
  • this require you to learn to write effectively
  • to acquire knowledge as much as you can from young.
  • ability to orate
  • have the best of akhlaq

ii.  Reflection

  • Ask people to make reflection of the surroundings
  • remind them who created all of this
  • remind who is the one who gives you everything

3. make istighfar

  • and Allah will forgive you
  • and he will give you more

4. Talk to Allah

  • Prophet Nuh Alaihi salam told Allah what he has done for his daawah
  • He complained to Allah about the people who refuse to listen to him
  • Remember Allah is As Samee’. He is the one who listens to everything.

 

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