ikhlās

The Sweetest Words [Ikhlas]

It is reported that the son of Al-Fuḍayl b. ‘Ayyāḍ – Allāh have mercy on him – said to his father:

Father! How sweet (beautiful) the speech of the Companions is! [Al-Fuḍayl] said, “Son, do you know why it was so sweet?” He replied, “No father, I do not.” He said, “Because they sought Allāh the Exalted when they spoke.”

Al-Bayhaqī, Shu’ab Al-īmān 2:299

Umar’s Instructions on the First Night of Ramadan

It is reported that on the first night of Ramaḍān, ‘Umar – Allāh be pleased with him – would pray Maghrib, then say (to the people):

Sit down. Then he would give a small address: Verily the fasting of this month has been made a duty upon you, and standing in night prayer has not been made a duty upon you, but those amongst you who can stand in prayer should do so, for it is from the extra good deeds about which Allāh told us: so whoever cannot stand in prayer, let him sleep on his bed.

And beware of saying: I will fast if so and so fasts and I will stand in night prayer if so and so stands in prayer. Whoever fasts or stands in night prayer, he must make this for Allāh. And you should know that you are in prayer as long as you are waiting for a prayer.

Minimize any vain or false speech in the houses of Allāh (mosques; he said this two or three times). Let none of you fast a few days before the month (in order to avoid missing the beginning of the month; he said this three times). And do not fast until you see [the crescent of the new month] unless it is overcast. If it is overcast, count [the previous month] as 30 days. Then do not break your fasts until you see the night upon the mountain (i.e. you are sure the sun has set).

‘Abd Al-Razzāq Al-Ṣan’ānī, Al-Muṣannaf article 7748.

Secret Devotion

It is reported that Shurayḥ the Judge used to have a house in which he would spend time alone on Fridays; no one knew what he did in it.

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar A’lām Al-Nubalā` Vol.4 p105.

It is reported that Abū Al-‘Āliyah said, “I learned writing and the Qur`ān without my family noticing, and not a drop of ink was ever seen on my garment.”

Abū Nu’aym, Ḥilyatu Al-Awliyā` Vol. 2 p217.

It is reported that when Ibn Abī Laylā prayed [at night], if someone entered [his house], he would lie down on his bed [as if he was sleeping].

Ibid. Vol. 4 p351.

It is reported that Ayyūb Al-Sakhtiyānī used to pray all night and hide it. In the morning, he would raise his voice as if he had just woken up.

Al-Dhahabī, op. cit. Vol. 6 p17.

It is reported that Dāwūd b. Abī Hind fasted for forty years without his family knowing, he would take his lunch out with him and donate it in the street.

Ibid. Vol. 6 p378.

Impressive

Imām Ibrāhīm Al-Nakha’ī said about the Salaf:

When in a gathering, they used to dislike a person showing the best of what he has.

Ibn Abī Al-Dunyā, Al-Ikhlās wa Al-Nīyah (Sincerity and Intentions) p50.

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.