intentions

Five Essential Qualities of a Mufti

Ibn Battah records that Imām Ahmad – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

No man should appoint himself to issue verdicts (fatwa) until and unless he fulfills five characteristics:

  • First, he should have a [firm and good] intention; for if he does not, he will have no light upon him, and nor will his words.
  • Second, he should be forbearing, tranquil and serene.
  • Third, he should be strong upon what he is involved in, strong in its knowledge.
  • Fourth, he should have sufficient means (wealth), otherwise the people will chew him up.
  • Fifth, he should know people and their ways.

Ibn Battah, Ibtāl Al-Hiyal p24.

After quoting this statement, and before his commentary on it, Ibn Al-Qayyim states:

This is one of the proofs of the eminence of Imām Ahmad and his lofty status in knowledge and insight; for these five are the pillars of fatwā, and to the extent that there is deficiency in any of them, to that extent faults will appear in the mufti.

I’lām Al-Muwaqi’īn, 6:106

Love for the Sincere

It is reported that Harim b. Hayyān – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

Never does the servant turn wholeheartedly to Allāh except that Allāh turns the hearts of the believers to him, providing him their love.

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar A’lām Al-Nubalā` 4:49.

Harim b. Hayyān was one of the Successors, deputized by ‘Umar, and known for his devoutness.

The Sweetest Words [Ikhlas]

It is reported that the son of Al-Fudayl b. ‘Ayyâd – Allâh have mercy on him – said to his father:

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

Al-Bayhaqî, Shu’ab Al-îmân 2:299

Umar’s Instructions on the First Night of Ramadan

It is reported that on the first night of Ramadân, ‘Umar – Allâh 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 Allâh 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 Allâh. 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 Allâh (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-Razzâq Al-San’ânî, Al-Musannaf article 7748.

Who to Love and Trust, Hate and Suspect [signs of sincerity]

It is reported that ‘Umar b. Al-Khattâb – Allâh be pleased with him – said:

We were once in a time when we did not think anyone learned the Quran seeking anything  but Allâh the Exalted, but now I fear there are men who learn it and intend the people and what they can get from them. So seek Allâh with your recitation and deeds. For verily, we used to know you when Allâh’s Messenger – Allâh’s peace and blessings be upon him – was amongst us, when revelation would descend and Allâh would tell us about you. As for today, Allâh’s Messenger – peace and blessings be upon him – has passed on, and the revelation has stopped; and I only know you as I say: whoever shows what is good, we love him for it and think good of him, and whoever shows what is evil, we hate him for it and suspect him. Your secret and private matters are between you and your Lord the Mighty and Majestic.

Al-Âjurrî, Akhlâq Hamalat Al-Qur`ân article 26.