intentions

Sincere Faith

It is reported that Abū Hurayrah – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

Three things are from Imān: when a man has nocturnal emission during a cold night, so he gets up – only Allāh sees him – and he has a full wash (ghusl); when a person fasts on a hot day; and when a man prays in a barren land, where none but Allāh sees him.

Al-Bayhaqī, Shu’ab Al-Īmān article 51

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. Ḥayyān – 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. Ḥayyān 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-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.