Category Archives: Ibn Taymiyyar

The Many Guises of Backbiting

“There are those from the people that backbite or listen to backbiting, and they do so to please the company they keep, with the awareness that the victim is likely to be innocent of some of the things that are uttered about him. Often such offenders feel that if they were to attempt to end such conversation in a gathering, their presence might become unwelcome or burdensome.

There are many methods and guises that are employed when one mentions another in a negative way. Under the pretense of being informative, one could say that it is not one’s habit to mention others, except for the sake of relating another’s condition to someone. Or one could state that by Allah, indeed so-and-so is one to be pitied, thereby showing superiority over one who is to be rejected.

Another method might be to day that so-and-so is a good person; however, he has such and such qualities. Again, one is justified in revealing another’s faults. One could simply state that we should forgive so-and-so, and make supplication for their forgiveness as well as our own, intending only to belittle the one that was mentioned. In reality, all these tactics are designed to deceive Allah and to please the creation; and in reality, the many that follow these methods only serve to deceive themselves.

Then there are those that backbite to raise their own status. When they hear of someone’s error, they employ words like, “Had I prayed for so-and-so last night in  my prayer, the news of their sin would not have reached my ears.” Again, when a person states of another that he lacks understanding in a matter, the implication is personal superiority for the one that mentions the others shortcoming.

There are also those that couple jealousy with backbiting – the act of being critical or belittling to those that are praised in the company of others. Some people also backbite for the sake of humor, playfulness and lightheartedness. A person finds a certain amount of satisfaction from being appreciated for his story-telling abilities, speaking ill of someone in a humorous fashion adds flavour to a tale.

Others engage in backbiting by showing amazement at another’s actions: “How is it that someone could do such a thing?” Yet others mention people and their actions with the pretense of sympathy for their actions or misfortunes. In reality, the one who backbites actually finds contentment and satisfaction at the mention of others and their misdeeds. Another form of backbiting is relating someone’s misfortune to their enemies, so that they, too, may find pleasure in putting them down. From these examples, one can surmise that backbiting pertains to a disease of the heart…

May Allah save us from this most evil of actions and protect us from its temptations.”

– Ibn Taymiyya

source: Gems & Jewels; Wise Sayings, Interesting Events & Moral Lessons from Islamic History, Compiled by: Abdul-Malik Mujahid, page 54  – 55

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“Such are the people of the truth and they are Al Muttaqûn”

Sheikh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said:

“The believers are continually tested [by trials] to purify their imaan and to expiate their sins. This is because the believer performs his actions for the sake of Allah, so it is [incumbent] upon Allah to reward him for that harm which he endured.”

Majmoo’ il Fataawah Vol 18/291-305

لَّيۡسَ ٱلۡبِرَّ أَن تُوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمۡ قِبَلَ ٱلۡمَشۡرِقِ وَٱلۡمَغۡرِبِ وَلَـٰكِنَّ ٱلۡبِرَّ مَنۡ ءَامَنَ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلۡيَوۡمِ ٱلۡأَخِرِ وَٱلۡمَلَـٰٓٮِٕڪَةِ وَٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ وَٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ وَءَاتَى ٱلۡمَالَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِۦ ذَوِى ٱلۡقُرۡبَىٰ وَٱلۡيَتَـٰمَىٰ وَٱلۡمَسَـٰكِينَ وَٱبۡنَ ٱلسَّبِيلِ وَٱلسَّآٮِٕلِينَ وَفِى ٱلرِّقَابِ وَأَقَامَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَءَاتَى ٱلزَّڪَوٰةَ وَٱلۡمُوفُونَ بِعَهۡدِهِمۡ إِذَا عَـٰهَدُواْ‌ۖ وَٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ فِى ٱلۡبَأۡسَآءِ وَٱلضَّرَّآءِ وَحِينَ ٱلۡبَأۡسِ‌ۗ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ ٱلَّذِينَ صَدَقُواْ‌ۖ وَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلۡمُتَّقُونَ

It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, and each and every act of obedience to Allâh, etc.) that you turn your faces towards east and (or) west (in prayers); but Al-Birr is (the quality of) the one who believes in Allâh, the Last Day, the Angels, the Book, the Prophets and gives his wealth, in spite of love for it, to the kinsfolk, to the orphans, and to Al-Masâkin (the poor), and to the wayfarer, and to those who ask, and to set slaves free, performs As-Salât (the prayer), and gives the Zakât, and who fulfill their covenant when they make it, and who are patient in extreme poverty and ailment (disease) and at the time of fighting (during the battles). Such are the people of the truth and they are Al¬Muttaqûn


[Al Baqarah (2):177)]

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen  said:

Among the things we learn from this verse is that what is mentioned is true sincerity towards Allah and towards His creation, because Allah says: “Such are the people of the truth”; they are sincere towards Allah, as on the basis of these good beliefs they establish faith and belief in Allah, the Last Day, the Angels, the Book and the Prophets, and they establish prayer, pay zakaah, and give what is dear to them to the charitable causes mentioned. As for their sincerity towards Allah’s creation, that is included in the words of Allah: “who fulfil their covenant when they make it”, which is one of the signs of sincerity. Hence Allah says: “Such are the people of the truth”, as they are sincere in their beliefs, in their interactions with Allah and with other people.

Tafseer Soorat al-Baqarah, 2/293, 294

Ibn al-Qayyim  said:

If a person is sincere towards Allah in all his affairs, Allah will give him more than He gives to others, and this sincerity results from true love of Allah and true trust in Him. So the most sincere of people is the one who  loves Allah most and puts the most trust in Him.

Al-Fawaa’id, p 187

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Water to a Fish

Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) said:

“Remembrance is to the heart what water is to the fish.  And what is the state of a fish that leaves water?”

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (rahimahullah) said:

“Doubtless, a heart grows tarnished like brass or silver, and its polish is by remembrance, which may make it shine like a crystal mirror.  So when one neglects the remembrance it tarnishes, and when he returns it shines.  Since the heart is tarnished by two things- heedlessness and sin- it is polished by two things: remembrance and asking forgiveness.”

-Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, The Invocation of God.

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A good Muslim?

 “Verily, I constantly renew my Islam until this very day, as up to now, I do not consider myself to have ever been a good Muslim” Ibn Taymiyah

Narrated by Ibn al-Qayyim in ‘Madarij as-Salikin’; 1/218…

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Al-Uboodiyyah: Being a true Slave of Allaah

Shaykh al-Islaam Imam Taqi ad-Deen Ahmad Ibn Taymiyyah
Translated by Nasir ud-Deen al-Khattab

“The heart is inherently dependent on Allaah in two ways: from the point of view of worship, which is the ultimate goal, and from the point of view of seeking His help and relying upon Him, which are the means to that end.

The heart cannot be sound, or succeed, or find joy, or be happy, or feel pleasure, or be good, or be at peace, or find tranquility, except by worshipping its Lord, loving Him and returning to Him.

Even if it attains all that it can enjoy of created things, it will not feel at peace or find tranquility, because it has an inherent need for its Lord, for He is the focus of its worship, love and seeking, and this is the only way to attain joy, happiness, pleasure, peace and tranquility …

…For if a person is helped to attain what he loves, seeks, desires and wants, but he does not worship Allaah (سبحانه وتعالى), he will never achieve anything but sorrow, regret and suffering. He can never be free of the pain and hardship of this life except through loving Allaah sincerely, so that Allaah becomes his ultimate desire and he loves Him for what He is, and he loves anyone or anything else only for His sake, and he does not love anything for its own except Allaah (سبحانه وتعالى).

If he does not achieve this (level of love), he has not properly understood the true meaning of “La illaha ill Allaah” or of Tawheed or of Uboodiyyah or of loving Allaah. There is something lacking in his eemaan and Tawheed, and he will suffer pain, regret and anguish accordingly.”

The highest degree of love is Tatayyum (total enthrallment). The lowest degree is ‘alaqah (attachment), when the heart is attached to the beloved: then comes sabahah (infatuation), when the heart is poured out: then gharam (passion), when love never leaves the heart: then ashaq (ardent love), and finally tatayyum. When we say that a person is enthralled, as it were, by Allaah, it means that he worships Allaah (سبحانه وتعالى), because enthrallment is like enslavement to the beloved.

When a person submits to another even though he dislikes him, this is not worship or enslavement: when he loves someone but is not subservient to him, as a man might love his child, or friend, this is not worship or enslavement either. Either of them alone is not enough when it comes to worshipping Allaah. Allaah (سبحانه وتعالى) must be more important than all else. Nothing is deserving of complete love and submission except Allaah. Love for anything other then Allaah is corrupt love, and veneration of anything except Allaah is false veneration. Allaah says (سبحانه وتعالى):

Say: If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred: the wealth that you have gained: the commerce in which you fear decline: or the dwellings in which you delight- are dearer to you then Allaah, or his Messenger, or the striving in His cause- the wait until Allaah brings about His Decision … [Soorah Al Tawbah: Ayah 24]

Love, like obedience, should only be for Allaah and His Messenger, and for the sake of earning Allaah’s pleasure:

… But it is more fitting that they should please Allaah and His Messenger … [Soorah Al Tawbah: Ayah 62]

It is also for Allaah (سبحانه وتعالى) and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) to give;

If only they had been content with what Allaah and His Messenger gave them … [Soorah Al Tawbah: Ayah 59]

Worship (‘ibadah ) and the things that are connected to it, such as complete trust and fear, and so on, can only be for Allaah alone, as He says:

Say (O Muhammad): “O People of the Book (Jews and Christians): Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allaah, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allaah.” Then if they turn away, say: “Bear witness that we are Muslims.” [Soorah Al Imran: Ayah 64]

If only they had been content with what Allaah and His Messenger gave them, and had said: “sufficient unto us is Allaah! Allaah and His Messenger will soon give us of His bounty: to Allâh do we turn our hopes!” (That would have been the right course.) [Soorah Al Tawbah: Ayah 59]

So it is it is for Allaah and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) to give, as He (سبحانه وتعالى) said:

… So take what the Messenger assigns to you, and deny yourselves that which he withholds from you. [Soorah Al Hashr: Ayah 7]

It is only Allaah (سبحانه وتعالى) Who is sufficient for us, as He says:

Those (the believers) un to whom the people (the hypocrites) said: “Verily, the people (the pagans) have gathered against you (a great army), therefore fear them.” But it (only) increased them in Faith, and they said: Allaah (alone) is sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us). [Soorah Al Imran : Ayah 173]

O Prophet! Allaah is sufficient for you and for the believers who follow you. [Soorah Al Anfal: Ayah 64]

The last ayah means “Sufficient for you and those who follow you of the believers, is Allaah.” Anyone who thinks that it means “Allaah and the believers with Him are sufficient for you” is making a grave mistake. Allaah also says:

Is not Allaah Sufficient for His slave? … [Soorah Al Zumar: Ayah 36]

In conclusion, therefore, we may say that slave (‘abd) means the one who is enslaved by Allaah (سبحانه وتعالى)and who submits and humbles himself to Him.

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