More than Recitation

It is reported that ʿUmar b. Al-Khattāb – Allah be pleased with him – said:

Do not be fooled by one who recites the Qurān. His recitation is but speech – but look to those who act according to it.

Al-Khatīb, Iqtidā` Al-‘Ilm Al-‘Amal no. 109

It is reported from Ayyūb Al-Sakhtiyānī [d130H] that he said:

There is no filth filthier than the sinful (fājir) reciter of the Qurān.

Al-Khatīb, Iqtidā` Al-‘Ilm Al-‘Amal no. 114

It is reported from Al-Fudayl (b. ʿAyyāḍ) that he said:

The Qurān was sent down to be acted upon but people have taken just reciting it as enough of a deed. He was asked, “How is it acted upon?” He replied, “They should treat as halāl what it makes halāl and treat as harām what it makes harām, they should take on its commandments and stay away from what it forbids, and they should stop to ponder its amazing knowledge and wisdom.”

Al-Khatīb, Iqtidā` Al-‘Ilm Al-‘Amal no. 116

Four People we shouldn’t take knowledge from

Imām Mālik – Allah have mercy on him – said:

Knowledge is not to be taken from four types of people: a foolish person who openly acts foolish, even if he reports the most narrations; an adherent of bid’ah who calls to his desires; a person who lies, even if I don’t accuse him of lying in ḥadīth; and a righteous pious worshipper who does not accurately retain what he narrates.

Al-Dhahabī , Siyar A’lām Al-Nubalā` in his biography of Imām Mālik.

Where did we get our Glory?

Ibn Shihāb reports:

ʿUmar went out to Shām (Greater Syria) and Abū ‘Ubaydah b. Al-Jarrāḥ was with us. They came to a ford while ʿUmar was on his camel. He dismounted his camel, took off his leather socks, placed them on his shoulder and took the reins of his camel and began to go down the ford. Abū ‘Ubaydah said, “O Leader of the Believers! You are doing this?! You take off your leather socks, put them on your shoulder, take your camel’s reins and go down the ford?! I wouldn’t want the people of this land to see you in such a state!” ʿUmar said, “If only someone else had said this o Abū ‘Ubaydah. You have made a lesson for the Ummah of Muḥammad – Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him! We were the lowliest of people but Allah gave us might and glory through Islam. If we seek glory through other than what Allah gave us glory through, He will abase us (again).”

In another version Abū ‘Ubaydah said:

O Leader of the Believers, should the armed forces and elite of Shām meet you in this condition? ʿUmar replied, “We are a people whom Allah gave might and glory to through Islam, so we will never seek glory through anything else.”

Reported by Al-Ḥākim, Al-Mustadrak Vol.1 pp61, 62. He declared it to be ṣaḥīḥ according to the criteria of Al-Bukhaārī and Muslim. Al-Dhahabī and Al-Albānī concur. See Al-Albānī, Al-Ṣaḥīḥah Vol.1 p50.

Sunnah, Bid’ah and Arabic

ʿAbdullah b. Zayd Al-Numayrī reports that Al-Ḥasan Al-Baṣrī said:

They (the heretics) were destroyed by their inability in Arabic (al-‘ujmah).

Al-Bukhārī, Al-Tārīkh Al-Kabīr Vol.5 p99.

And Imām Al-Shāfi’ī said:

People didn’t become ignorant and didn’t differ amongst themselves except because they left Arabic and leaned towards the language of Aristotle.

Quoted by Al-Suyūṭī in Ṣawn Al-Manṭiq p15. He said on p22:

I have found Salaf before Al- Shāfi’ī indicate what he did: that the cause of heresy (al-ibtidā’) is ignorance of Arabic language.

Sincere and Correct

Al-Fudayl b. ʿAyyāḍ [187H] – Allah have mercy on him – said:

“Allah ‘azza wa jalla accepts only those deeds which are both correct and sincere (pure). If the deed is done correctly but not sincerely, it will not be accepted. And if it is sincere but not correct, it will not be accepted.” He was asked, “Abū ‘Alī! What is the sincere and correct deed?” He replied, “The sincere deed is one that is done only for Allah ‘azza wa jall. And the correct deed is one done according to the Sunnah.”

Abū Nu’aym, Hilyah Al-Awliyā` Vol.8 p95.