worship

Woe to those who Study

It is reported from Al-Awzâ’î – Allâh have mercy on him – that he said:

I have been told that it used to be said, “Woe to those who study [their religion] for a purpose other than worship, and those who seek to permit what is forbidden through doubts and specious arguments.”

Al-Khattîb Al-Baghdâdî, Iqtdâ Al-‘Ilm Al-‘Amal, p77.

The Assassination of ʿUmar – Part 1

Note: the English version of this account is based on Dr. Muḥammad Muḥsin Khan’s translation of Ṣaḥīḥ Al-Bukhārī, with slight modifications. The notes have been compiled from classic ḥadīth commentaries including Fatḥ Al-Bārī of Ibn Ḥajr, as well as points from the lectures and classes of contemporary scholars.

Narrated ‘Amr b. Maimūn:

I saw ʿUmar b. Al-Khattāb a few days before he was stabbed in Al-Madīnah. He was standing with Ḥudhayfah b. Al-Yamān and ‘Uthmān b. Ḥunaif to whom he said, “What have you done? Do you think that you have imposed more taxation on the land (of As-Swad i.e. ‘Iraq) than it can bear?” They replied, “We have imposed on it what it can bear because of its great yield.” ‘Umar again said, “Check whether you have imposed on the land what it cannot bear.” They said, “No, (we haven’t).” ‘Umar added, “If Allāh should keep me alive I will let the widows of ‘Irāq need no men to support them after me.” But only four days had elapsed when he was stabbed. The day he was stabbed, I was standing and there was nobody between me and him except Abdullah b. ‘Abbas. Whenever Umar passed between rows, he would say, “Stand in straight lines.” When he saw no defect (in the rows), he would go forward and start the prayer with Takbīr. He would recite Sūrah Yusuf or An-Nahl or the like in the first rak’ah so that people would have time to join the prayer.

Background

The assassination of ʿUmar took place in 23H, following ʿUmar’s return from Ḥajj. He was assassinated by a Persian Majūsī (Fire Worshipper) called Abū Lu`-lu` Fayrauz, who was in the employment of Ḥudhayfah – Allāh be pleased with him. ʿUmar didn’t used to allow war captives to enter Al-Madīnah, but Ḥudhayfah wrote to him requesting him to allow this worker to be hired for his skills in carpentry and metalwork. Ḥudhayfah believed people in Al-Medīnah could benefit from his skills. Ḥudhayfah taxed this worker in the conventional manner, but he complained to ʿUmar about the amount. ʿUmar told him that he was not being taxed unfairly for what he was doing. This angered the Majūsī. One day, ʿUmar passed by the worker and enquired, “I have been told that you claim you can build a mill powered by wind (a windmill).” The Fire worshipper replied with a frown, “I will build you a mill that all the people will talk about.” ʿUmar turned to those who were with him and said, “The slave has given me an appointment [warning].”

Points to note

  • ʿUmar’s great concern for justice and fairness.
  • His concern that Muslim society should not be adversely influenced by unbelievers.
  • His concern and care for the wellbeing of the Muslims, especially the poor and the weak.
  • The attention given by him to the correct performance of al-ṣalāh (prayer), and his implementation of the Sunnah of the imām making sure the rows are straight and no gaps are left between the worshippers.
  • His assisting worshippers in getting the most out of their prayer.
  • His intelligence and insight, whereby he understood the disguised threat made to him.

Continued inshā Allāh

From the Benefits of Winter

It is reported from Abû Hurayrah – Allâh be pleased with him – that he said:

Shall I not point you to comfortable proceeds? People responded, “And what is that o Abû Hurayrah?” He replied, “Fasting in winter.”

The Arabs used to refer to matters which were relatively easy to gain as being cool. In this narration, the relative ease of fasting in winter and its consequent reward is likened to acquiring war proceeds without the heat of violence.

It is reported from ‘Umar – Allâh be pleased with him – that he said:

Winter is booty for the devout worshippers.

This is further explained in the following narration:

It is reported from ‘Ubayd b. ‘Umayr – Allâh have mercy on him – that he said:

It used to be said when winter came: O people of the Qur`ân, the night has become long so you can pray (more) and the day has become short for you to fast.

Abû Nu’aym, Hilyah Al-Awliyâ`.

As with other experiences in this world, the Salaf used to be reminded of the hereafter when experiencing cold weather:

It is reported from the famous worshipper Râbi’ah – Allâh have mercy on her – that she said:

I have never heard the adhân except that I remember the caller who will announce the Day of Resurrection, and I never see the falling snow except that I imagine the flying pages of the records of peoples deeds (on that day), and I never see swarms of locusts except that I think about the Great Gathering on the Last Day.

Ibn Al-Jawzî, Sifah Al-Safwah Vol. 2 p433.

The Takbīr for ‘Eid

Ibn Mas’ūd – Allāh be pleased with him – used to say the takbīr during the Days of Tashrīq thus:

eid-takbeer

Allāh is Greatest, Allāh is Greatest, none deserves worship but Allāh. Allāh is Greatest, Allāh is Greatest, and to Him is all praise.

Ibn Abī Shaybah, Al-Muṣannaf Vol.2 p74. Shaykh Al-Albānī said its chain of narration is Ṣaḥīḥ.

‘Alī – Allāh be pleased with him – used to say the takbīr following the Fajr prayer on the Day of ‘Arafah until the ‘Aṣr prayer of the last day of Tashrīq – he used to say it after ‘Aṣr prayer (then stop).

Ibn Abī Shaybah, Al-Muṣannaf Vol.2 p72. Shaykh Al-Albānī said its chain of narration is good.

See Irwā Al-Ghalīl Vol.3 p125.

Actions speak louder

Al-Qāsim b. Muhammad, the grandson of Abū Bakr – Allah have mercy on him – said:

In my time the people were not impressed by speech, they were impressed by actions. Anyone can say whatever he wants.

Abū Dāwūd, Kitāb Al-Zuhd p354.