watch it — 2.5 mins
Second, getting closer to Allaah by performing voluntary deeds after completing obligatory deeds. This is as is stated in a Hadith Qudsi: “My slave continues getting closer to Me by performing voluntary deeds until I love him.”
Third, continual remembrance of Allaah under all circumstances, with one’s tongue, heart and actions. The extent of one’s love of Allaah is determined by this.
Fourth, giving precedence to what He loves over what you love when you are overtaken by your desires.
Fifth, the heart being avid of Allaah’s Names, and Attributes and the heart roaming in that garden of knowledge.
Sixth, observing Allaah’s kindness, goodness and bounties, both hidden and open.
Seventh, and this is the most wonderful, the heart being soft, subdued and meek before Allaah.
Eighth, being alone with Allaah during the time when the Lord descends during the last portion of the night while reading His Book and ending that by asking for forgiveness and repenting.
Ninth, sitting with the beloved and sincere, benefitting from the most fruitful of their speech. And not to speak unless speaking is more beneficial and you know that it will improve your state and be beneficial to others.
Tenth, remaining away from every cause that comes between the heart and Allaah.
I found myself standing before an audience numbering in the tens of thousands; maybe even hundreds of thousands. Mumbai in November is mildly humid with an acceptable temperature that allows you to perspire but not sweat. The sweat came from the lights, cameras and action.
Shaykh, Shaykh please look into the camera.
Shaykh can we ask you a question, you have so much knowledge?
One of the problems with internet scholarship, convention groupies and seminar murids is the negative effect they inflict upon the heart of the “Shaykh.” This is not my unique observation. Rather, it is from years of observing, discussing and questioning various lecturers, callers and organisers of Islamic educational conventions, seminars and classes.
People at times forget that the “Shaykh” is an individual who struggles each and every day of their life to worship Allah competently and in fulfillment of the Divine Grace of sacred knowledge that they have been afforded by Ar-Rahman.
Ibn al-Jawzi rahimahullah sat to teach and found more than 10,000 heads looking up at him. So he wept and supplicated to Allah:
“O Allah! If You punish me on the Day of Judgment for my sins, do not let these students of mine witness it. I pray this not to save face, but so that they do not say, ‘The One he called us to is the One who punishes him.”
While in Mumbai as a lecturer for Dr. Zakir Naik’s 2009 Peace Conference, I was blessed to meet Sh. Salah al-Budair, the Imam of the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah al-Munawarrah. The Shaykh, may Allah grant him protection and shelter him, would lead us in the fajr prayer at the hotel and then have breakfast with us. He was always joyful, humble, content with whatever was offered to him and a great listener with refined adaab. I have heard him speak before and listened to his awe-inspiring recitation of the Quran during Taraweeh and Qiyaam. He is known for his soft heart and ease of weeping.
I took council with other honoured lecturers about how to ask him a sensitive question that I feared may be misunderstood. Abu Ammaar (Yasir Qadhi) said, “Just ask.”
“Ya Shaykh, Allah has honoured you and has bestowed an enormous Grace upon you by granting you the duty and privilege of standing on the very Pulpit of the Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam), in his masjid, within sight of his home and burial site, sala Allahu alayhi wa salaam. You lead the prayers and advise others on his (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) behalf. Ya Shaykh, how do you prepare yourself for this? How do you prepare your Ikhlas to find the courage to stand where you stand and lead where you lead?”
I can’t fathom the pressure, critical self-assessment, and self-doubt and fear that must be experienced by the Shaykh.
I know from personal experience and through my interaction with numerous students of knowledge and scholars that:
Shaykhs need advice.
Shaykhs need help.
Shaykhs make mistakes.
So-called “Shaykhs” can also be rotten to the core.
Sacred Knowledge and following through with sincere action has always been an eternal, internal struggle of the learned.
Al-Ghazali, al-Ash‘ari, Ibn Taymiyyah…those before them and superior to them in knowledge and those after them have ALL commented on Ikhlas, self-reformation, muhaasabah and Taqwa. In fact the first chapter of any hadeeth manual will begin with the chapter of Ikhlas.
At times we forget the Ikhlas that Allah enjoins upon us and that was exemplified by our humble Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam).
Knowledge, its acquisition and dissemination was never the aim of the student or the instructor. ‘Amal – Sincere action, that was the objective.
Imam Muslim narrates that Abu Hurairah (radi Allahu anhu) reports that the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said,
“The first amongst mankind to be used as kindle for hell-fire will be an individual who studied [religious] knowledge and taught it and who used to recite (memorise) the Qur’an. He will be brought and Allah will make known to him His favours and he will recognize them. It will be said: ‘And what did you do about them?’ He will say: ‘I studied [religious] knowledge and I taught it and I recited the Qur’an for Your sake.’ It will be said, ‘You have lied – you did but study [religious] knowledge that it might be said [of you]: He is learned. And you recited the Qur’an that it might be said [of you]: He is a reciter. And so it was said. Then it will be ordered that he be dragged along on his face until he is cast into Hell-fire…”
Shaykh Salah smiled. Bowed his head down and politely said, “Every level has its Divine assistance. To abstain from that would be Riyaah (showing off).”
Allah provides the Ikhlas that we seek to attain and pray for. It is Allah who grants us success and only Allah who can turn us away from it.
True Ikhlas is actually intending success and seeking Allah in all that we do. True Ikhlas is a willingness to challenge ourselves and demonstrate conviction of faith to ourselves and others. True Ikhlas compels us to repent and rise up after our stumbling.
True Ikhlas is not a change in mood or a whimsical period of time. It is consistent, constant. It is a compass that when abandoned one cannot arrive to salvation.
Later in the day, Shaykh Salah pulled me to the side and said privately, “Every day I pray that Allah take my life rather than allow me to stand in the place of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) with an overwhelming hypocrisy in my heart. I pray every night that I not wake if I do not discharge the trust placed upon me.”
We both wept.
Awesome lecture by Kamal alMekki! 🙂
So i read about this loss here and there but subhanAllah the words they said the duaa’s i read, it just did not seem to be enough. This shaykh-Muhammed Sulayman alAshqar, means so much to me subhanAllah. :(. It scares me how fast and rapidly we are loosing our dear and few scholars. After they are gone, will WE the new generation be able to take care of their extremely massive shoes.. i don’t know how and who will fill them in.
Another great scholar has just pasted away, November 16, 2009 in Amman, Jordan. He was the author of “Zubdat at-Tafsir” ie. my favorite and only Quran (and DOP’s). SubhanAllah, i just LOVE his tafsir, its one of my favorite Quran’s in my house.
When i read that Dr. alAshqar had passed away, i was in total shock. SubhanAllah. The author of the best-est book to me — now dead. But what does this mean to us, to us who live our lives and ware them out. Day in night out, we are just subhanAllah WAY to caught up with this life, its seriously getting to me…
61. And if Allâh were to seize mankind for their wrong-doing, He would not leave on it (the earth) a single moving (living) creature, but He postpones them for an appointed term and when their term comes, neither can they delay nor can they advance it an hour (or a moment)
Don’t you feel like you are aching to leave this dunya, you do your best you want Jannah, you want to drink from alKawthar, you want to be in the company of the prophet and the companions. You wanna chill with Ayesha and Khadija, Asiya, Maryam. You want a mountain of ice cream ( 🙂 ) … and and subhanAllah it makes my heart hurt, the fact that we get so caught up in this pointless dunya.
SubhanAllah, for whoever is reading this, sisters or brothers, these rapid deaths happening aren’t coincidental. There is a message behind it, the akhira is surely near, lets make the best of our time bi ithnAllahi ta’ala.
This is a reminder for me foremost insha’Allah…
41. And as for those who emigrated for the Cause of Allâh, after suffering oppression, We will certainly give them goodly residence in this world, but indeed the reward of the Hereafter will be greater, if they but knew!
This is btw my favorite surah currently <3. Alhamdulilah.
What are your plans for the next 8 days of the most blessed days of the year? Do some good, fast, pray, duaa! For me, i totally take myself out of this world, i imagine the Akhira, and maaan thats all i want insha’Allah!!
So, there we go, we lost another dear and wise scholar, now what, do we just say ina illaah wa inaa ilayhi la raji’oon.. and stop. Nope, i refuse…we can’t stop there. First off, how sad is it that a small amount of people remember or know of this scholar, how come that when i googled it i had only one link– the muslim matters article. How come, when MJ died — more muslims were concerned.. what is wrong with this nation?
Inna lilah wa inaa ilayhi la ra’jioon…
Ya Rabb, have mercy on his soul, and allow us all to benefit from his findings and tafsirs, Ya Rabby, allow him to enter the highest levels of jannat al Firdous… Ya Allah.. forgive us all .. allow us to be of benefit to the world..May Allah revive the hearts that are slowly becoming sick ..
My passion is gradually increasing as you can see… seeing another scholar pass away it just makes me oh so more concerned.
Insha’Allah khair though 🙂
Back to my dhul hijjah hibernation!
And man aren’t we moslems so good at taking pictures of the Quran, i just wish we could implement what is inside..
PS. read about Shaykh alAshqar here
So my mom was going through tafsir surat al Kahf and she came across a specfic ayah that she just HAD to share with me 🙂 or actually a couple of ayahs
Surat alKahf subhanAllah, its like the perfect guide for ‘Eittiques of Seeking Knowledge’
So, prep ayahs that can be useful for us to learn adab al ilm before i go in depth
وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَى لِفَتَاهُ لَا أَبْرَحُ حَتَّى أَبْلُغَ مَجْمَعَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ أَوْ أَمْضِيَ حُقُبًا
60. And (remember) when Mûsa (Moses) said to his boy-servant: “I will not give up (travelling) until I reach the junction of the two seas or (until) I spend years and years in travelling.”
Adab one: (ayah 60) We learn here on how to be persistent –if you want to seek ilm you have to have the adab for ilm
Adab two: Sabr (ayah 62,63,64)– persistence leads to patience even if its not in your character you will do what you can if u have the urge for ilm
62. So when they had passed further on (beyond that fixed place), Mûsa (Moses) said to his boy-servant: “Bring us our morning meal; truly, we have suffered much fatigue in this, our journey.”
You need patience, because in the path of ilm you should expect to become tired and exhausted.
قَالَ أَرَأَيْتَ إِذْ أَوَيْنَا إِلَى الصَّخْرَةِ فَإِنِّي نَسِيتُ الْحُوتَ وَمَا أَنسَانِيهُ إِلَّا الشَّيْطَانُ أَنْ أَذْكُرَهُ وَاتَّخَذَ سَبِيلَهُ فِي الْبَحْرِ عَجَبًا
63. He said:”Do you remember when we betook ourselves to the rock? I indeed forgot the fish, none but Shaitân (Satan) made me forget to remember it. It took its course into the sea in a strange (way)!”
Patience in forgetting: Forgetfulness is a another problem that might occur while on the road to ilm, and man its very frustrating. (i personally hate forgetting stuff!)
64. [Mûsa (Moses)] said: “That is what we have been seeking.” So they went back retracing their footsteps.
Adab four: This other ayah gives us a clue of the mistakes preformed while seeking ilm; not getting results wanted.
What i really wanted to get to-So Ayah 66 surat al kahf.. here we go-bismillah:
66. Mûsa (Moses) said to him (Khidr) “May I follow you so that you teach me some of that knowledge (guidance and true path) which you have been taught (by Allâh) that something I might be rightly-guided?”
SubhanAllah out of this ayah, the ulmaa were able to extract 7 manners, but these are the ones I found!
1. The word هَلْ: Asking/taking permission: key word→ May I you can’t just expect to get the knowledge without asking. Also, I think most of us learnt from kindergarten you can only ask with may I cause if you ask ‘can i go to the bathroom?’ your teacher starts saying ‘well I don’t know, can you?’ 🙂
2. The word أَتَّبِعُكَ means to follow. We learn the true meaning of ‘shadowing’. To shadow, to literally be their shadow, thats how you want to learn. In Islamic history all the true ulamaa used to be the ones who used to sit hours and hours next to their teachers in the masjid, sadly interenet defeats the purpose. We can learn so much but how awesome would it be to actually be there right then and see how its done!
3. Humbleness: the clue in the ayah is when Musa (alayhi alsalam) said تُعَلِّمَنِ teach me. Admitting you are ignorant in that subject shows the teacher you are truly a seeker of ilm. We see here, even though Musa was a prophet, he admited in the fact he was less knowledgable in specific areas of ilm. Also, humbleness is shown through asking to follow.
4. The word عُلِّمْتَ what you have been taught- admitting the fact that all the knowledge is referred back to Allah swt and by the rules of islam you can’t hide any knowledge Allah subhanahu has given you. This manner is teaching the teacher more than the student. The same word teaches us another factor of humbleness because Musa knew his teacher had a lot of knowledge and he asked for some portion of it.
5. The word رُشْدًا (first of all to find the translation for this word is really hard but inshaAllah this does some just)-I might be rightly-guided: your goal in ilm is not show off, its seeking Allah’s pleasure, and to be guided further on the true path.
Now the following ayah 70
70. He (Khidr) said: “Then, if you follow me, ask me not about anything till I myself mention it to you.”
The sixth manner is shown here: as human beings we are created to question. We question anything and everything! In this ayah, Khidr told Musa alayhi alsalam before hand: dont ask me till i tell you! Sadly many of the students now keep asking, if they can only wait the teacher might say the answer if he can finish his teachings.
May Allah help us in attaining adab al Ilm 😀