Beliefs & Methodology
Typography

Based on Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi's "Lam'at ul-I'tiqad"

Presented by Ali Al-Timimi

Course Lecture Notes 1

The following are a series of lecture notes, prepared by Ali Al-Timimi, for a three-day weekend seminar he gave at Al-Muntada al-Islami in London, back in April 1999.

To start the series, a biography of the aforementioned scholar of Islam.

Shayukh of Islam: Ibn Qudamah

Al-Imam Ibn Qudamah: He is Shaykhul-Islam Muwaffaq ad-Din Abu Muhammad 'Abdullah ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Qudamah ibn Miqdam ibn Nasr al-Maqdisi al-Jama'ili.

He was born in Nablis - Palestine in Sha'ban 541H.

He memorised the Qur'an at an early age, studied its sciences and was known to have a nice hand-writing.

He left with his cousin, Al-Hafidh 'Abdul-Gani, for Baghdad in 561H and cought up with Shaykh 'Abdul-Qadir in his final days (i.e. before he passed away). They stayed at his school, learning from him as well as from other scholars and student of knowledge of that time such as Ibn al-Jawzi, Hibatullah ibn al-Hasan ad-Daqaq, Abu'l-Fath ibn al-Batti, Abi Zur'ah ibn Tahir, Yahya ibn Thabit, Khadijah an-Nahrawaniyyah and others.

He also studied with the following scholars of his time:

  • Damascus / Syria - Abi al-Makarim ibn Hilal
  • Mowsil / Iraq - Abi al-Fadl at-Tusi
  • Makkah al-Mukarramah - Al-Mubarak ibn at-Tabbakh

Some of the Scholars that relayed his 'Ilm (knowledge) to us are:

  • Al-Baha'
  • 'Abdur-Rahman
  • Al-Jamal Abu Musa ibn al-Hafidh
  • Ibn Khalil
  • Ibn an-Najjar
  • Ash-Shams ibn Kamal
  • Zaynab bint al-Wasiti and many others

He was known for his vast knowledge, wisdom and wit and renown as the Scholar of the people of Ash-Sham of his time. Ibn An-Najjar describes him as:

"The Imam of Al-Hanabilah in Damascus Mosque, he was a trust worthy, noble figure, extremely generous, of a clean character, a cautious worshipper, follower of the Salaf methodology, emitting light (of knowledge and piety) and repectful. One may benefit from his sighting before even hearing his speech!"

Some of his books:

  • Al-Mughni - 10 volumes
  • Al-Kafi - 4 volumes
  • Ar-Rawdah - 1 volume
  • Ar-Riqqah - 1 volume
  • At-Tawwabin - 1 volume
  • Al-I'tiqad - 1 volume
  • Al-Mutahabbin - 1 volume

...and many others.

He died on Saturday, the Day of 'Eid al-Fitr in 620H. May Allah, subhanahu wa ta'ala, accepts him in His vast mercy, benefit us from his knowledge and gather us with his likes on the Day of Judgement, amin.

The above was extracted from Siyar A'lam an-Nubala.

Course Lecture Notes 2

Ibn Qudama - may Allah be merciful with him - has said:

  1. All praise belongs to Allah who is the object of praise in every tongue and the object of worship during every time. He whom no place is vacant from His knowledge nor does one affair occupy Him from another. He is sublime from having any resemblance or rival and He is far-removed from having a wife or children. His ruling is enforced among all His slaves. Minds cannot liken Him by reflection nor can hearts fancy Him by imagination. "Like Him there is naught. And He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing." [Al-Qur'an 42:11] Unto Him belong the most beautiful names and most exalted attributes. "The All-Merciful mounted upon the Throne; to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, and all that is underneath the soil. Be thou loud in thy speech, yet He knows the secret and that yet more hidden." [Al-Qur'an 20:5-7] He has encompassed everything [by His] knowledge; He has subdued everything with [His] might and judgment; and He has spread over everything [with His] mercy and knowledge. "He knows what is before them and behind them, and they comprehend Him not in knowledge." [Al-Qur'an 20:110]

Allah's Attributes

  1. He is to be described by what He has described Himself by in His Great Scripture and upon the tongue of His Noble Prophet.
  2. All what is mentioned in the Qur'an or is authentically reported upon "the Chosen One" (Al-Mustafa) - 'alayhis-salam - from among the attributes of Ar-Rahman, it is incumbent [upon us]: (i) to believe in [that report], (ii) to receive it with submission and acceptance and (iii) to forsake resisting it by (a) rejection, (b) allegorically interpretation (at-ta'wil, or by resembling (at-tashbih) or likening (at-tamthil) [the attribute to that of His creation].
  3. Whatever of [these reports that we find] difficult [to comprehend] it is required to affirm its wording and to forsake delving into its meaning. We [rather] entrust knowledge of its reality to He who has spoken it and we place the responsibility [of our faith in it] upon he who transmitted it. Thereby following the way of those firmly grounded in knowledge whom Allah has praised in His Clear Scripture by His statement - subhanahu wa ta'ala, "An those firmly rooted in knowledge say, 'We believe in it; all is from our Lord.' " [Al-Qur'an 3:7] While He has said in condemnation of those who seek the interpretation (at-ta'wil) of the ambiguous (mutashabih) of His revelation: "As for those in whose hearts is swerving, they follow the ambiguous part, desiring dissension, and desiring its interpretation; and none knows its interpretation, save only Allah." So He made seeking its interpretation an indication of perversity [of the heart] and He linked it in its condemnation with seeking dissension (fitna). He then veiled them from that which they sought and He cut off their hope [of ever reaching that] by His statement - subhanahu, "And none knows its interpretation, save only Allah."
  4. Imam Abu 'Abdullah Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Hanbal - may Allah be pleased with him - has said regarding the Prophet's statements - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - that Allah descends to the lowest heaven, that Allah will be seen on the day of Resurrection, and what resembles such statements. "We have faith and believe in them without [saying] how [is their modality] or [interpreting their] meaning. We do not reject any of [these reports]. We know that what the Messenger came with is the truth. We do not reject what the Messenger of Allah - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - has brought. Nor do we describe Allah with more than what He has described Himself without [ascribing to Him] a limit or an end. 'Like Him there is naught. And He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.' [Al-Qur'an 42:11] We say as He has said and we describe Him as He has described Himself. We do not transgress that. The descriptions of men do not reach Him. We believe in the whole of the Qur'an - its definitive (mukham) and its equivocal (mutashabih). We do not separate from Him any of His attributes due to the protests of anyone. We do not transgress the Qur'an and the hadith. Nor do we know the reality of [these attributes] except by believing the Messenger - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - and affirming the Qur'an."
  5. Imam Abu 'Abdullah Muhammad ibn Idris ash-Shafi'i - may Allah be pleased with him - has said, "I believe in Allah and what has been brought from Allah as Allah intended. And I believe in Allah's messenger and what has been brought by Allah's messenger as the Allah's messenger."
  6. Upon these [principles] the Salaf and the scholars among the Khalaf - may Allah be pleased with them - have proceeded. For they are all in agreement that we must acknowledge, pass over, and affirm what had been reported in Allah's Scripture and His Messenger's Sunnah concerning the [Divine Attributes] without attempting to allegorically interpret it.
  7. We have been commanded to follow their footsteps and to be guided by their beacons. We have been forewarned from all innovations. We have been informed that (every innovation] is among the deviations. For the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - has said "You must therefore follow my Sunnah and that of [my] rightly-guided successors. Hold to it and stick fast to it. Avoid novelties, for every novelty is an innovation, and every innovation is error." [Ahmad, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, Ad-Darimi]
  8. 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud - may Allah be pleased with him - has said, "Follow and do not innovate. For you have been given what is sufficient."
  9. While 'Umar ibn 'Abdul-'Aziz - may Allah be pleased with him - has said words to the effect: "Stop where the people [before you] stopped. For they have stopped upon knowledge. And they have out of sure sightedness restrained themselves [from going less or further]. Had there been something more to reveal they would have been more able. And had there been some merit they would have been more deserving. If you were to say, 'It was introduced after them.' No one introduced anything but he who opposed their guidance and sought other than their Sunnah. They described of it what brings cure and spoke regarding it what suffices. He who does more than them is an extremist and he who does less is negligent. A group of people have done less then them so they are negligent and another group exceeded them and so they are extremists. They are between that upon a straight guidance."
  10. Imam Abu 'Amr al-Awza'i - may Allah be pleased with him - has said, "It is for you to follow the footsteps of those who have gone before even if the people reject you. And beware of the opinions of men even if it is beautified before you by speech."
  11. And Muhammad ibn 'Abdur-Rahman al-Adrami said to a man who spoke an innovation and called others to it, "Did Allah's messenger - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - know it? Did Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman, or 'Ali? Or is it that they did not know about such things?" The man replied, "They did not know about such things." Al-Adrami replied, "Something which they knew not, you know?" The man replied, "I now say, 'They knew of these things.' " Al-Adrami replied, "Did it not suffice them not to speak about these things or call people to it?" The man replied, "Yes. It would have sufficed them." Al-Adrami replied, "Something which sufficed Allah's Messenger and his successors does not suffice you?" The man did not know what to say. The Caliph, who was present, then said, "May Allah not suffice he who is not sufficed by what suffices them."
  12. In such manner, he who is not sufficed with what sufficed Allah's Messenger - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - his companions, their followers in good, the scholars after them, and those firmly rooted in knowledge - namely, reciting the ayat and reading the reports that mention [Allah's attributes] and then passing them as they came - then may Allah not suffice him.

Examples of Allah's Attributes

  1. Among the ayat that mention Allah's attributes is Allah's statement - 'azza wa jalla - " ... yet still abides the Face of thy Lord, majestic, splendid." [Al-Qur'an 55:27]
  2. And His Statement - subhanahu wa ta'ala - "Nay, but His hands are outspread." [Al-Qur'an 5:64]
  3. And His Statement - ta'ala - informing us that Jesus - 'alayhi wa sallam - said, " ... knowing what is within myself, and I know not what is within Thy self." [Al-Qur'an 5:116]
  4. And His Statement - subhanahu - " ... and thy Lord comes, ... " [Al-Qur'an 89:22]
  5. And His Statement - ta'ala - "What do they look for, but that Allah shall come to them ... " [Al-Qur'an 2:210]
  6. And His Statement - ta'ala - "Allah being well-pleased with them and they well-pleased with Him." [Al-Qur'an 5:119]
  7. And His Statement - ta'ala - " ... a people He loves, and who love Him, ... " [Al-Qur'an 5:54]
  8. And His Statement - ta'ala - regarding the infidels "Allah is wroth with them, ..." [Al-Qur'an 48:6]
  9. And His Statement - ta'ala - " ... but Allah was averse that they should be aroused, ... " [Al-Qur'an 9:46]
  10. From the sunnah the Prophet's statement - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - "Our Lord - tabaraka wa ta'ala - descends every night to the heaven above the earth ... "
  11. And his statement, "Your Lord is amazed at a youth that does not possess any desires."
  12. And his statement, "Allah will laugh at two men one killed the other, yet both of them will enter Paradise ... "
  13. So these reports and what resembles it from those reports in which its chain of narration (sanad) is sound and its narrators have been graded trustworthy, we believe in these reports and do not reject or deny them. Nor do we explain them in a manner that differs with its apparent meaning (dhahir). Nor do we resemble them with the attributes or qualities of the creatures. We know that Allah - subhanahu wa ta'ala - has no resemblance nor pear. "Like Him there is naught. And He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing." [Al-Qur'an 42:11] So everything that is imagined in one's mind or passes upon one's heart; verily Allah - ta'ala - is different than that.

Course Notes - Lecture 3

Ibn Qudama - may Allah be merciful with him - has said:

Allah's Transcendence

  1. Among [the ayat that mention Allah's attributes] is Allah's statement - ta'ala, "The All-Merciful mounted upon the Throne." [Al-Qur'an 20:5] And His Statement - ta'ala, "Do you feel secure that He who is in the heaven ... ?" [Al-Qur'an 67:16]
  2. And [among the hadith that mention Allah's attributes] is the Prophet's statement - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, "Our Lord Allah! Who is in Heaven. Hallowed be Thy name (ism)." And he said to the slave-girl, "Where is Allah?" She replied, "In heaven." He [then] said, "Set her free for she is a believer." This is reported by Malik ibn Anas, Muslim, and others among the scholars. And the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - said to Husayn, "How many [gods] do you worship?" He replied, "Six on earth and one in heaven." The Prophet then said, "Whom do you worship for your needs and when you are in fear?" He replied, "The one in heaven." The Prophet then said, "Leave the six [on earth] and worship [only] the one in heaven and I will teach you two prayers." He became a Muslim. And the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - taught him [to pray], "O Allah inspire me with my guidance and preserve me from the evils of my soul."
  3. And among that which has been reported in the previous scriptures regarding the signs of the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - and his companions is that prostrate on the earth and claim that their God is in heaven above.
  4. While Abu Dawud reports in his Sunan that the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - said that "between each heaven is a distance of such and such." Abu Dawud related the narration until the Prophet's statement, "And above that is the Throne and Allah - subhanahu - is above that." This [hadith] and its likes is among that which the Salaf agreed to transmit and accept. They did not turn to these reports that they may reject, [allegorically] interpret, resemble or liken.
  5. Imam Malik ibn Anas - may Allah be merciful with him - was asked, "O Abu 'Abdullah! 'The All-Merciful mounted upon the Throne.' [Al-Qur'an 20:5] How did He mount the Throne?" [Malik] replied, "Mounting is not unknown [in meaning], how is incomprehensible, to believe [that Allah mounted the Throne] is required, to ask about it is a heresy." He then ordered that the man be expelled [from the Prophet's mosque].

Allah's Speech

  1. Among Allah's attributes - ta'ala - is that He is a speaker with an eternal speech (kalam qadim). His speech is heard from Him by whom He pleases of His creation. Moses - 'alayhis-salam - heard His Speech directly from Him without any intermediary, as did Gabriel - 'alayhis-salam - and [likewise] whomever else He permits among His angels and His messengers.
  2. [And among Allah's attributes is that] He - subhanahu - will directly speak to the believers in the Hereafter and they will speak to Him. He will also permit them [to visit Him] and they will visit Him.
  3. Allah - ta'ala - has said, "And unto Moses Allah spoke directly." [Al-Qur'an 4:164] And He - subhanahu - has said, "Moses I have chosen thee above all men for My messages and My utterance." [Al-Qur'an 7:144] And He - subhanahu - has said "And those Messengers, some We have preferred above others." [Al-Qur'an 2:253] And He - subhanahu - has said, "It belongs not to any mortal that Allah should speak to him, except by revelation, or fiom behind a veil." [Al-Qur'an 42:51] And He - subhanahu - has said, "When he came to it, a voice cried, 'Moses, I am thy Lord.' " [Al-Qur'an 20:12-13] And He - subhanahu - has said, "Verily I am Allah; there is no god but I; therefore worship Me." [Al-Qur'an 20:14] It is impermissible for anyone but Allah to say such.
  4. 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud - may Allah be pleased with him - has said: "When Allah speaks the inspiration the inhabitants of heaven hear His voice." This having been narrated upon the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam.
  5. While 'Abdullah ibn Anas reported that the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - said: "Allah will gather the creation on the Day of Resurrection barefooted, uncircumcised, naked and free from all bodily defects. He will call them out with a voice that will be heard from afar as it will be heard from near, saying, 'I am the King, I am the Judge.' " The scholars have reported this and Al-Bukhari cited this as evidence.
  6. It is mentioned in some [Israelite] reports that on the night Moses - 'alayhis-salam - saw the fire it frightened him. So His Lord called out, "O Moses." Comforted by the voice, [Moses] quickly responded, "I am in your presence, I am in your presence. I hear your voice but do not see your place. Where are You?" The voice said, "I am above you, in front of you, on your right and on your left." Moses realized that such a description does not befit anyone except Allah - ta'ala. Moses then said, "Like such you are my God. Am I hearing your own words or that of your messenger?" Allah said, "Rather it is my own words Moses!"

The Qur'an is Allah's Literal Words

  1. Of Allah's Speech is the Great Qur'an. It is Allah's clear scripture, unbreakable cable, and straight path. [It is] the sending down of the Lord of all beings. It was sent down with the "Trustworthy Spirit" upon the heart of the Master of the Messengers in a clear Arabic tongue. [It was] sent down and it is uncreated. From Him it began and unto Him it will return.
  2. It [consists of] unequivocal suwar, clear ayat, letters and words. Whoever reads it and expresses it clearly, he will receive for each letter ten blessings. It has a beginning and an end, parts (ajza') and sections (ab'ad). lt is recited by the tongues [of men], memorized in [their] breasts, heard by [their] ears, and written in the scriptures. Within it is definitive (muhkim) and equivocal (mutashabih) and abrogated (nasikh) and abrogating (mansukh), exclusive (khass) and general ('am), commands and prohibitions. "Falsehood comes not to it from before it nor from behind it; a sending down from One All-wise, All-Laudable." [Al-Qur'an 41:42] And His Statement - ta'ala, "Say: 'If men and jinn banded together to produce the like of this Qur'an, they would never produce its like, not though they backed one another.'" [Al-Qur'an 17:88]
  3. And this [Qur'an] is the Arabic scripture regarding which the infidels remarked, "We will not believe in this Qur'an." [Al-Qur'an 34:41] While others said, "This is nothing but mortal speech." [Al-Qur'an 74:25] So Allah - subhanahu - responded, "I shall surely roast him in Sagar." [Al-Qur'an 74:26] While still others claimed that [the Qur'an] was [only] poetry, so Allah said: "We have not taught him poetry; it is not seemly for him. It is only a Remembrance and a Clear Qur'an." [Al-Qur'an 36:69] When Allah negated that it was poetry, confirming that it is a reading, there was not an argument left for the intelligent regarding the Qur'an that it is this Arabic Book, which consists of words, letters, and ayat. For what is not [composed] in such a manner none would call poetry.
  4. And [Allah]- 'azza wa jalla - said, "And if you are in doubt concerning that We have sent down on our servant, then bring a surah like it, and call your witnesses, apart from Allah, ... " [Al-Qur'an 2:23] It is impermissible that [Allah] would challenge them to bring forth a like to which that they did not know or is comprehend what it is.
  5. And [Allah] - ta'ala - said, "And when Our signs are recited to them, clear signs, those who look not to encounter Us say, 'Bring a Qur'an other than this, or alter it.' Say: 'It is not for me to alter it of my own accord.'" [Al-Qur'an 10:15] He confirmed that the Qur'an is those very ayat that are recited upon them.
  6. And [Allah] - ta'ala - said, "Nay; rather it is signs, clear signs in the breasts of those who have been given knowledge." [Al-Qur'an 29:49] And He - ta'ala - said after He swore upon it, "It is surely a noble Qur'an in a hidden book none but the purified shall touch." [Al-Qur'an 57:77-79]
  7. And [Allah] - ta'ala - said, "Kaf. Ha'. Ya'. Ain. Sad." [Al-Qur'an 19:1] "Ha'. Mim. 'Ayn. Sad Qaf." [Al-Qur'an 42:1] He has opened nineteen suwar with these detached letters. While the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - has said, "Whoever recites the Qur'an and expresses it clearly, he has with every letter [recited] from it ten good deeds; and whoever recites it and misprounces it he has with each letter [recited] a good deed." And he - 'alayhis-salatu was-salam - has said, "Recite the Qur'an before a people appear who will prop up its letters like an arrow, it will not pass their throats. They will hasten in seeking its reward [in this world] and not defer that [for the next life]." Abu Bakr and 'Umar - may Allah be pleased with them both - have both said, "To express the Qur'an clearly is more beloved to us than to memorize some of its letters." While 'Ali has said, "Whoever disbelieves in a single letter of the Qur'an has disbelieved in its entirety." The Muslims have agreed to the number of the suwar in the Qur'an, ayat, words, and letters. Nor is there any difference between the Muslims that whoever denies any surah, ayat, word or letter of the Qur'an agreed upon is an infidel (kafir). In this there lies an unequivocal proof that the Qur'an consists of letters.

Course Notes - Lecture 4

Ibn Qudama - may Allah be merciful with him - has said:

The Believers will see their Lord in the Hereafter

  1. In the Hereafter, the believers will see their Lord by their eyes. They will visit Him. He will speak to them and they will speak to Him.
  2. Allah - ta'ala - has said, "Upon that day faces shall be radiant, gazing upon their Lord." [Al-Qur'an 75:22-23] And He - ta'ala - has said, "No indeed; but upon that day they shall be veiled from their Lord ... " [Al-Qur'an 83:15] Since Allah veiled those [who are] in the state of His displeasure from seeing Him, it indicated that the Faithful [who are] in the state of [His] Pleasure shall see Him. Otherwise there would have be no difference between them.
  3. The Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - has said, "Indeed you shall see your Lord, as you see this moon. You will not have to crowd together to see Him." This is an authentic narration, agreed upon by [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] The comparison here is in the [act of] seeing and not the [object] seen. For indeed Allah - ta'ala - has no resemblance nor similar.

Course Notes - Lecture 5

Ibn Qudama - may Allah be merciful with him - has said:

Allah's Devine Decree and Foremeasurement

  1. Among the Attributes of Allah - ta'ala - is that He is the "Performer of what He desires." Nothing comes into existence but by His desire, nor does anything escape from His will. There is nothing in the world [that] escapes from His measuring, nor Imanates but under His direction. Nor is there an escape [for anything] from what has been fore measured, nor go beyond what has been penned in the Written Tablet.
  2. He willed what the world did. Had He shielded them [from sin], they would not have opposed Him; and had He willed that they all obey Him, they would have obeyed Him.
  3. [6] He created the creation and their deeds and fore measured their sustenance and life-spans.
  4. [7] He guides whomever He wills by His. Allah - ta'ala - has said, "He shall not be questioned as to what He does, but they shall be questioned." [Al-Qur'an 21:23] He - ta'ala - has said, "Surely We have created everything in measure." [Al-Qur'an 54:49] Allah - ta'ala - has said, "And He created every thing, then I he ordained it very exactly." [Al-Qur'an 25:2] And He - ta'ala - has said, "No affliction befalls in the earth or in yourselves, but it is in a Book, before we create it ... " [Al-Qur'an 57:22] And He - ta'ala - has said, "Whomsoever Allah desires to guide, He expands his breast to Islam; whomsoever He desires to lead astray, He makes His breast narrow, tight ... " [Al-Qur'an 6:125]
  5. [8] While Ibn 'Umar reports that Gabriel - 'alayhis-salam - asked the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - "What is faith (al-iman)?" The Prophet replied, "To believe in Allah, His angels, His scriptures, His messengers, the Last Day and in [Allah's] decree (qadr), the good and evil [consequences] thereof." Gabriel replied, "You have spoken truthfully." This has been reported by Muslim. And the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - has said, "I believe in [Allah's] decree (qadr), the good and evil [consequences] thereof and the sweet and bitter [beginnings] thereof." And among the prayers of the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - that he taught Al-Hasan ibn 'Ali to pray with during the qunut of the witr prayer, "And protect me from the evil [consequences] of what You have decreed."
  6. We do not claim Allah's decree and foremeasurement as an argument for us in forsaking His commands and committing His prohibitions. Rather it is required that we believe and know that Allah has an evidence against us by sending down the Scriptures and sending the Messengers. Allah - ta'ala - has said, " ... so that mankind might have no argument against Allah, after the Messengers." [Al-Qur'an 4:165]
  7. We know that Allah - subhanahu wa ta'ala - did not command or prohibit except one capable of doing and forsaking. And we know that He did not compel anyone upon an act of disobedience or forced Him to leave an act of obedience. Allah - ta'ala - has said, "Allah charges no soul save to its capacity ... " [Al-Qur'an 2:286] And Allah - ta'ala - has said, "So fear Allah as far as your are able ... " [Al-Qur'an 64:16] And Allah - ta'ala - has said, "Today each soul shall be recompensed for that it has earned; no wrong today." [Al-Qur'an 40:17]
  8. [These ayat] indicate that the slave possesses both deed and acquisition [of such by his choice] and that he will be recompensed by reward for that which is good of that and by punishment for that which is evil of that. And this occurs by Allah's decree and foremeasurement.

Course Notes - Lecture 6

Ibn Qudama - may Allah be merciful with him - has said:

Faith Consists of Both Word and Deed

  1. Faith (iman) is words [uttered] by the tongue, deeds [performed] by the limbs, and beliefs [held] by the heart. It increases with acts of obedience and decreases with acts of disobedience.
  2. Allah - ta'ala - has said: "They were commanded only to worship Allah, making their religion His sincerely, men of pure faith, and to perform the prayer and pay the alms - and that is the religion of the True." [Al-Qur'an 98:5] Hence worship of Allah - ta'ala, purity of the heart, the establishment of prayer, and the giving of the charity were all rendered from the religion (ad-din).
  3. The Messenger of Allah - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - has said: "Faith (al-iman) [consists of] seventy-odd branches. The highest is the testimony that there is no god but Allah and the lowest is the removal of a harmful object from the road." Hence both word and deed has been made part of faith.
  4. Allah - ta'ala - has said: " ... them it has increased in belief ... " [Al-Qur'an 9:124] And He has said: "That they may add faith to their faith ... " [Al-Qur'an 48:4]
  5. While the Messenger of Allah - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - has said: "Whoever said, 'There is no god but Allah' and has in his heart [faith] the weight of a wheat grain, or a mustard seed, or a small ant, he will [eventually] come out of the [Hell] Fire." Therefore he made [faith] degrees of superiority.

Course Notes - Lecture 7

Ibn Qudama - may Allah be merciful with him - has said:

Faith in all What the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - has informed

  1. It is required to have faith in all what the Messenger has informed about, and has been authentically transmitted upon him; concerning that which we have witnessed or is hidden from us. We know that all what he has informed us of is real and true, whether we comprehend or ignorant of and we have not been exposed to its real meaning like the hadith on the isra' and mi'raj. This incident occurred while he was awake and was not dream, for the Quraysh rejected [its occurrence] and found that to be farfetched. They, however, would not reject dreams.
  2. Another example is that of the Angel of Death, when he came to Moses to seize his soul, Moses plucked out his eye. The Angel of Death returned to his Lord, Who returned his eye to him.
  3. Other examples are the signs [heralding the approach] of the Hour [of Judgment], like the appearance of the Anti-Christ (ad Dajjal), the descent of Jesus the son of Mary - 'alayhis-salam - who will slay the Anti-Christ, the appearance of Gog and Magog, the appearance of the Beast, the rising of the sun from the West, and similar narrations that have been confirmed upon [the Prophet].

The Last Day

  1. The torment and pleasure occurring [to the deceased] in the grave is true. The Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - sought refuge [with Allah] from that [punishment] and commanded each of us [to seek refuge from that] in every prayer. The trial of the grave is true, and the questioning of Munkar and Nakir is true.
  2. The resurrection after death is true. It will occur after Israfil - 'alayhis-salam - blows into the Trumpet, " ... then behold, they are from their tombs unto their Lord sliding down." [Al-Qur'an 36:51]
  3. Humanity will be gathered on the Day of Resurrection barefoot, naked, uncircumcised, and without bodily defect. They will remain standing in the stand of the Resurrection until their Prophet - Muhammad - intercedes for them [with Allah]. Allah - tabaraka wa ta'ala - will then reckon them. The balances will be erected. The records spread. The pages of deeds will fly to [people's] right and left hands. "Then as for him who is given his book in his right hand, he shall surely receive an easy reckoning and he will return to his family joyfully. But as for him who is given his book behind his back, he shall call for destruction and he shall roast at a Blaze." [Al-Qur'an 84:7-12]
  4. The balance has two pans and a tongue in which deeds will be weighed. "Then he whose scales are heavy-they are the prosperers, and he whose scales are light-they have lost their souls in Hell dwelling forever." [Al-Qur'an 23:102-103]
  5. Belonging to our Prophet on [the plains of] the Resurrection - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - is a basin. Its waters are whiter than milk and sweeter than honey. Its jugs are equal to the number of stars in the heavens. Whoever drinks from it once will never thirst after that forever.
  6. The bridge [lying over Hell] is true. The righteous will cross over it, while the immoral will slip [and fall off into Hell].
  7. Our Prophet will intercede on behalf of those from his community (ummah) who enter Hell from those who have committed major sins. They will leave Hell by his intercession after they have been burned therein and have become blackened coal. They will enter Paradise by his intercession. Belonging to the other prophets, as well as, the believers and the angels are intercessions. [However] Allah - ta'ala - has said, " ... and they intercede not save for him whom He is well-pleased, and they tremble in awe of Him." The infidel will not be availed by the intercession of any who intercede.
  8. Paradise and Hell are two creations never ceasing [to exit]. Paradise is the abode of those near to Him (awliya'), while Hell is a punishment for His enemies. The inhabitants of Paradise will be therein forever. "But the evildoers dwell forever in the chastisement of Hell that is not abated for them and therein they are sore confounded." [Al-Qur'an 43:75] Death will [then] be brought in the form of a beautiful ram and will be slaughtered between Paradise and Hell. It will then be said, "O inhabitants of paradise! Eternity and no death. O inhabitants of hell! Eternity and no death."

Course Notes - Lecture 8

Ibn Qudama - may Allah be merciful with him - has said:

Muhummad is the Seal of the Prophets

  1. Muhammad - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - is Allah's messenger, the seal of the prophets, and the master of the messengers.
  2. The faith of a slave is invalid until he has faith in his Message and testifies to his Prophethood.
  3. Humanity will not be judged on the Day of Judgment except after his intercession. Nor will any religious community (ummah) enter Paradise except after his community (ummah). He is the Possessor of the banner of praise; the praised station; and the visited pond. He is the leader (imam) of the Prophets, their Preacher, and the Possessor of their Intercession. His community (ummah) is the best of communities and his companions are the best of the companions of any prophet.

The Prophet's Companions and Family

  1. The best of this community (ummah) is Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, then 'Umar al-Faruq, then 'Uthman Dhun-Nurayn, then 'Ali al-Murtada - may Allah be pleased with them all. As evidenced by what is narrated upon 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar - may Allah be pleased with them both - who said, "We would say - while the Prophet was alive - [the best of this community is] Abu Bakr, then 'Umar, then 'Uthman, then 'Ali. This would then reach the Prophet and he would not reject that." It has been authentically narrated upon 'Ali that he said: "The best of the community (ummah) after its Prophet is Abu Bakr and then 'Umar. And if you wish I will name the third." Abu Darda' relates upon that the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - has said, "The sun has not risen nor set upon anyone - apart from the prophets or the messengers-better than Abu Bakr."
  2. 76. Abu Bakr is the most deserving of Allah's creation for the successorship (khilafah) due to his merit and proceeding others [to Islam]; and due to the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - putting forward Abu Bakr to lead the companions in prayer. This is also evidenced by the consensus of the companions in giving the oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr [after the Prophet's death]. Allah would not gather them upon a deviation.
  3. After Abu Bakr, 'Umar - may Allah be pleased with him - is then the [next] most deserving to leadership of the community. This is due to his merit [over all the rest of the Companion] and Abu Bakr choosing him [as his successor].
  4. 'Umar is then followed by 'Uthman who was selected by the members of the council [for leadership after 'Umar].
  5. 'Uthman is then followed by 'Ali due to his merit [over all the rest of the Companions] and the consensus of the latter's contemporaries [in choosing him for leadership].
  6. These four men are [his] rightly-guided in belief and conduct successors, concerning whom the Prophet - 'alayhis-salam - has said, "It is incumbent upon you to adhere to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of [my] rightly-guided in belief and conduct successors after me. Hold fast to this with all your might." The Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - also said: "Successorship [upon the model of prophethood] will last after me for only thirty years." The last of [the thirty years] was [during the caliphate of] 'Ali - may Allah be pleased with him.
  7. We testifty to "the ten" being in Paradise, as the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - testified that for them, saying: "Abu Bakr is in Paradise; 'Umar is in Paradise; 'Uthman is in Paradise; 'Ali is in Paradise; Talhah is in Paradise; Az-Zubayr is in Paradise; Sa'ad is in Paradise; Sa'id is in Paradise; 'Abdur-Rahman ibn 'Awf is in Paradise; and Abu 'Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah is in Paradise." All to whom the Prophet has testified for them being in Paradise, we testify such for him. Like the Prophet's statement, "Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn are the two masters of the youth of Paradise." Likewise the Prophet's statement to Thabit ibn Qays ibn Shammas that he was among the inhabitants of Paradise.
  8. We do not judge anyone of the Ahlul-Qiblah to be in Paradise or in Hell except for those whom the Messenger - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam judged such for. However, we hope for the doers of good and we fear for those who have done evil.
  9. We do not impute unbelief to anyone of the Ahlul-Qiblah due to a sin and we do not expel him from [the fold of] Islam due to an act.
  10. We do hold that the hajj and jihad remain with obedience to every imam, righteous or wicked. To pray jumu'ah behind them is permissible. Anas has said, the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - has said, "Three matters pertain to the root of faith (al-iman): (1) To withhold from shedding the blood of whomever say 'there is no god but Allah (la ilaha illaIlah).' We neither declare him an infidel because of a sin, nor excommunicate him from Islam because of an action. (2) Jihad continues from the time Allah sent me till the last of this community (ummah) fights the Anti-Christ (ad-Dajjal). It is not nullified by the tyranny of the tyrant or the justice of the just ruler. (3) And faith in [Allah's] decrees (al-qadr)." Reported by Abu Dawud.
  11. From the Sunnah: (i) to support and love the companions of the Messenger of Allah - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, (ii) to mention their fine qualities, (iii) to seek [Allah's] mercy for them, (iv) to seek forgiveness for them, (v) to withhold from mentioning their faults and what befall them from dispute, and (vi) to believe in their merit and to recognize their precedence [over all this community].
  12. Allah - ta'ala - has said: "And those who came after them, they say, 'Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers, who preceded us in belief. And put Thou not into our hearts any rancour towards those who believe." [Al-Qur'an 59:11] And Allah - ta'ala - has said: "Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are hard against the unbelievers. Merciful one to another." [Al-Qur'an 48:29] And the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - has said, "Do not revile my companions, for if one of you contributed as much gold as Uhud it would not amount to as much as the mudd of one of them, or half of it."
  13. From the Sunnah is to pray to Allah that He be pleased with the pure, unsullied wives of the Messenger of Allah - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam. The best of them is Khadijah bint al-Khuwaylid and 'A'ishah as-Siddiqah bint as-Siddiq whom Allah cleared in His scripture. She is the Prophet's wife - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - in this world and in the hereafter. Whoever accuses her of what Allah has cleared her, he has disbelieved in Allah, the Great.
  14. And Mu'awiyah is the maternal uncle (khal) of the believers. He was a scribe of the revelation and is one of the leaders (khulafa') of the Muslims.

Course Notes - Lecture 9

Ibn Qudama - may Allah be merciful with him - has said:

The Muslim Ruler

  1. From the Sunnah is to hear and obey the leaders of the Muslims and the commanders of the faithful, the righteous and the immoral among them, so long as they do not command in the disobedience of Allah. For there is no obedience to anyone in the disobedience of Allah.
  2. Whoever assumes the Caliphate and the people gather around him and are pleased with him, or [takes control] by the sword, until he becomes the Caliph and is called the "Commander of the Faithful", obedience to him is obligatory, disobedience to him is forbidden, as is to revolt against him and to split the ranks of the Muslims.

The Heretics

  1. From the Sunnah is to migrate and separate one's self from the heretics and to leave all debate and argument in religion, and to abandon investigating the books of heresy, and listening to their words.
  2. Every innovation in the religion is a heresy (bid'ah).
  3. All those branded with other than Islam and the Sunnah are heretics, like the Rafidah, the Qadriyyah, the Murji'ah, the Mu'tazilah, the Karramiyyah, the Kullabiyyah, and their likes. These are sects of deviation [from the truth] and groups of heresies. We seek refuge with Allah from them.

The Four Imams

  1. As for adherence to a religious scholar (imam) in the secondary matters of the religion, like "the four groups," such is not blameworthy. For their differences in these secondary matters [of the religion] is a mercy from Allah. They are praised in their differences, rewarded for their opinions. The differences [between them] being a wide mercy, while their agreement an unequivocal proof.

Conclusion

We ask Allah - by His Mercy and Merit - to protect us from [all] heresies and trials, to give us life upon Islam and the Sunnah, and to make us among those who follow the Messenger of Allah in life and to be gathered in his troop after death. Amen.

This is the conclusion of the creed. And all praise belongs to Allah and may He extol our Master, Muhammad, his family, and his companions; and may He greet them with an exceeding salutation.

(s) Based on Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi's "Lam'at-ul I'tiqad", presented in a series of lectures by Ali Al-Timimi

Based on Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi's "Lam'at ul-I'tiqad"

Presented by Ali Al-Timimi

Course Lecture Notes 1

The following are a series of lecture notes, prepared by Ali Al-Timimi, for a three-day weekend seminar he gave at Al-Muntada al-Islami in London, back in April 1999.

To start the series, a biography of the aforementioned scholar of Islam.

Shayukh of Islam: Ibn Qudamah

Al-Imam Ibn Qudamah: He is Shaykhul-Islam Muwaffaq ad-Din Abu Muhammad 'Abdullah ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Qudamah ibn Miqdam ibn Nasr al-Maqdisi al-Jama'ili.

He was born in Nablis - Palestine in Sha'ban 541H.

He memorised the Qur'an at an early age, studied its sciences and was known to have a nice hand-writing.

He left with his cousin, Al-Hafidh 'Abdul-Gani, for Baghdad in 561H and cought up with Shaykh 'Abdul-Qadir in his final days (i.e. before he passed away). They stayed at his school, learning from him as well as from other scholars and student of knowledge of that time such as Ibn al-Jawzi, Hibatullah ibn al-Hasan ad-Daqaq, Abu'l-Fath ibn al-Batti, Abi Zur'ah ibn Tahir, Yahya ibn Thabit, Khadijah an-Nahrawaniyyah and others.

He also studied with the following scholars of his time:

  • Damascus / Syria - Abi al-Makarim ibn Hilal
  • Mowsil / Iraq - Abi al-Fadl at-Tusi
  • Makkah al-Mukarramah - Al-Mubarak ibn at-Tabbakh

Some of the Scholars that relayed his 'Ilm (knowledge) to us are:

  • Al-Baha'
  • 'Abdur-Rahman
  • Al-Jamal Abu Musa ibn al-Hafidh
  • Ibn Khalil
  • Ibn an-Najjar
  • Ash-Shams ibn Kamal
  • Zaynab bint al-Wasiti and many others

He was known for his vast knowledge, wisdom and wit and renown as the Scholar of the people of Ash-Sham of his time. Ibn An-Najjar describes him as:

"The Imam of Al-Hanabilah in Damascus Mosque, he was a trust worthy, noble figure, extremely generous, of a clean character, a cautious worshipper, follower of the Salaf methodology, emitting light (of knowledge and piety) and repectful. One may benefit from his sighting before even hearing his speech!"

Some of his books:

  • Al-Mughni - 10 volumes
  • Al-Kafi - 4 volumes
  • Ar-Rawdah - 1 volume
  • Ar-Riqqah - 1 volume
  • At-Tawwabin - 1 volume
  • Al-I'tiqad - 1 volume
  • Al-Mutahabbin - 1 volume

...and many others.

He died on Saturday, the Day of 'Eid al-Fitr in 620H. May Allah, subhanahu wa ta'ala, accepts him in His vast mercy, benefit us from his knowledge and gather us with his likes on the Day of Judgement, amin.

The above was extracted from Siyar A'lam an-Nubala.

Course Lecture Notes 2

Ibn Qudama - may Allah be merciful with him - has said:

  1. All praise belongs to Allah who is the object of praise in every tongue and the object of worship during every time. He whom no place is vacant from His knowledge nor does one affair occupy Him from another. He is sublime from having any resemblance or rival and He is far-removed from having a wife or children. His ruling is enforced among all His slaves. Minds cannot liken Him by reflection nor can hearts fancy Him by imagination. "Like Him there is naught. And He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing." [Al-Qur'an 42:11] Unto Him belong the most beautiful names and most exalted attributes. "The All-Merciful mounted upon the Throne; to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, and all that is underneath the soil. Be thou loud in thy speech, yet He knows the secret and that yet more hidden." [Al-Qur'an 20:5-7] He has encompassed everything [by His] knowledge; He has subdued everything with [His] might and judgment; and He has spread over everything [with His] mercy and knowledge. "He knows what is before them and behind them, and they comprehend Him not in knowledge." [Al-Qur'an 20:110]

Allah's Attributes

  1. He is to be described by what He has described Himself by in His Great Scripture and upon the tongue of His Noble Prophet.
  2. All what is mentioned in the Qur'an or is authentically reported upon "the Chosen One" (Al-Mustafa) - 'alayhis-salam - from among the attributes of Ar-Rahman, it is incumbent [upon us]: (i) to believe in [that report], (ii) to receive it with submission and acceptance and (iii) to forsake resisting it by (a) rejection, (b) allegorically interpretation (at-ta'wil, or by resembling (at-tashbih) or likening (at-tamthil) [the attribute to that of His creation].
  3. Whatever of [these reports that we find] difficult [to comprehend] it is required to affirm its wording and to forsake delving into its meaning. We [rather] entrust knowledge of its reality to He who has spoken it and we place the responsibility [of our faith in it] upon he who transmitted it. Thereby following the way of those firmly grounded in knowledge whom Allah has praised in His Clear Scripture by His statement - subhanahu wa ta'ala, "An those firmly rooted in knowledge say, 'We believe in it; all is from our Lord.' " [Al-Qur'an 3:7] While He has said in condemnation of those who seek the interpretation (at-ta'wil) of the ambiguous (mutashabih) of His revelation: "As for those in whose hearts is swerving, they follow the ambiguous part, desiring dissension, and desiring its interpretation; and none knows its interpretation, save only Allah." So He made seeking its interpretation an indication of perversity [of the heart] and He linked it in its condemnation with seeking dissension (fitna). He then veiled them from that which they sought and He cut off their hope [of ever reaching that] by His statement - subhanahu, "And none knows its interpretation, save only Allah."
  4. Imam Abu 'Abdullah Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Hanbal - may Allah be pleased with him - has said regarding the Prophet's statements - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - that Allah descends to the lowest heaven, that Allah will be seen on the day of Resurrection, and what resembles such statements. "We have faith and believe in them without [saying] how [is their modality] or [interpreting their] meaning. We do not reject any of [these reports]. We know that what the Messenger came with is the truth. We do not reject what the Messenger of Allah - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - has brought. Nor do we describe Allah with more than what He has described Himself without [ascribing to Him] a limit or an end. 'Like Him there is naught. And He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.' [Al-Qur'an 42:11] We say as He has said and we describe Him as He has described Himself. We do not transgress that. The descriptions of men do not reach Him. We believe in the whole of the Qur'an - its definitive (mukham) and its equivocal (mutashabih). We do not separate from Him any of His attributes due to the protests of anyone. We do not transgress the Qur'an and the hadith. Nor do we know the reality of [these attributes] except by believing the Messenger - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - and affirming the Qur'an."
  5. Imam Abu 'Abdullah Muhammad ibn Idris ash-Shafi'i - may Allah be pleased with him - has said, "I believe in Allah and what has been brought from Allah as Allah intended. And I believe in Allah's messenger and what has been brought by Allah's messenger as the Allah's messenger."
  6. Upon these [principles] the Salaf and the scholars among the Khalaf - may Allah be pleased with them - have proceeded. For they are all in agreement that we must acknowledge, pass over, and affirm what had been reported in Allah's Scripture and His Messenger's Sunnah concerning the [Divine Attributes] without attempting to allegorically interpret it.
  7. We have been commanded to follow their footsteps and to be guided by their beacons. We have been forewarned from all innovations. We have been informed that (every innovation] is among the deviations. For the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - has said "You must therefore follow my Sunnah and that of [my] rightly-guided successors. Hold to it and stick fast to it. Avoid novelties, for every novelty is an innovation, and every innovation is error." [Ahmad, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, Ad-Darimi]
  8. 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud - may Allah be pleased with him - has said, "Follow and do not innovate. For you have been given what is sufficient."
  9. While 'Umar ibn 'Abdul-'Aziz - may Allah be pleased with him - has said words to the effect: "Stop where the people [before you] stopped. For they have stopped upon knowledge. And they have out of sure sightedness restrained themselves [from going less or further]. Had there been something more to reveal they would have been more able. And had there been some merit they would have been more deserving. If you were to say, 'It was introduced after them.' No one introduced anything but he who opposed their guidance and sought other than their Sunnah. They described of it what brings cure and spoke regarding it what suffices. He who does more than them is an extremist and he who does less is negligent. A group of people have done less then them so they are negligent and another group exceeded them and so they are extremists. They are between that upon a straight guidance."
  10. Imam Abu 'Amr al-Awza'i - may Allah be pleased with him - has said, "It is for you to follow the footsteps of those who have gone before even if the people reject you. And beware of the opinions of men even if it is beautified before you by speech."
  11. And Muhammad ibn 'Abdur-Rahman al-Adrami said to a man who spoke an innovation and called others to it, "Did Allah's messenger - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - know it? Did Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman, or 'Ali? Or is it that they did not know about such things?" The man replied, "They did not know about such things." Al-Adrami replied, "Something which they knew not, you know?" The man replied, "I now say, 'They knew of these things.' " Al-Adrami replied, "Did it not suffice them not to speak about these things or call people to it?" The man replied, "Yes. It would have sufficed them." Al-Adrami replied, "Something which sufficed Allah's Messenger and his successors does not suffice you?" The man did not know what to say. The Caliph, who was present, then said, "May Allah not suffice he who is not sufficed by what suffices them."
  12. In such manner, he who is not sufficed with what sufficed Allah's Messenger - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - his companions, their followers in good, the scholars after them, and those firmly rooted in knowledge - namely, reciting the ayat and reading the reports that mention [Allah's attributes] and then passing them as they came - then may Allah not suffice him.

Examples of Allah's Attributes

  1. Among the ayat that mention Allah's attributes is Allah's statement - 'azza wa jalla - " ... yet still abides the Face of thy Lord, majestic, splendid." [Al-Qur'an 55:27]
  2. And His Statement - subhanahu wa ta'ala - "Nay, but His hands are outspread." [Al-Qur'an 5:64]
  3. And His Statement - ta'ala - informing us that Jesus - 'alayhi wa sallam - said, " ... knowing what is within myself, and I know not what is within Thy self." [Al-Qur'an 5:116]
  4. And His Statement - subhanahu - " ... and thy Lord comes, ... " [Al-Qur'an 89:22]
  5. And His Statement - ta'ala - "What do they look for, but that Allah shall come to them ... " [Al-Qur'an 2:210]
  6. And His Statement - ta'ala - "Allah being well-pleased with them and they well-pleased with Him." [Al-Qur'an 5:119]
  7. And His Statement - ta'ala - " ... a people He loves, and who love Him, ... " [Al-Qur'an 5:54]
  8. And His Statement - ta'ala - regarding the infidels "Allah is wroth with them, ..." [Al-Qur'an 48:6]
  9. And His Statement - ta'ala - " ... but Allah was averse that they should be aroused, ... " [Al-Qur'an 9:46]
  10. From the sunnah the Prophet's statement - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - "Our Lord - tabaraka wa ta'ala - descends every night to the heaven above the earth ... "
  11. And his statement, "Your Lord is amazed at a youth that does not possess any desires."
  12. And his statement, "Allah will laugh at two men one killed the other, yet both of them will enter Paradise ... "
  13. So these reports and what resembles it from those reports in which its chain of narration (sanad) is sound and its narrators have been graded trustworthy, we believe in these reports and do not reject or deny them. Nor do we explain them in a manner that differs with its apparent meaning (dhahir). Nor do we resemble them with the attributes or qualities of the creatures. We know that Allah - subhanahu wa ta'ala - has no resemblance nor pear. "Like Him there is naught. And He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing." [Al-Qur'an 42:11] So everything that is imagined in one's mind or passes upon one's heart; verily Allah - ta'ala - is different than that.

Course Notes - Lecture 3

Ibn Qudama - may Allah be merciful with him - has said:

Allah's Transcendence

  1. Among [the ayat that mention Allah's attributes] is Allah's statement - ta'ala, "The All-Merciful mounted upon the Throne." [Al-Qur'an 20:5] And His Statement - ta'ala, "Do you feel secure that He who is in the heaven ... ?" [Al-Qur'an 67:16]
  2. And [among the hadith that mention Allah's attributes] is the Prophet's statement - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, "Our Lord Allah! Who is in Heaven. Hallowed be Thy name (ism)." And he said to the slave-girl, "Where is Allah?" She replied, "In heaven." He [then] said, "Set her free for she is a believer." This is reported by Malik ibn Anas, Muslim, and others among the scholars. And the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - said to Husayn, "How many [gods] do you worship?" He replied, "Six on earth and one in heaven." The Prophet then said, "Whom do you worship for your needs and when you are in fear?" He replied, "The one in heaven." The Prophet then said, "Leave the six [on earth] and worship [only] the one in heaven and I will teach you two prayers." He became a Muslim. And the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - taught him [to pray], "O Allah inspire me with my guidance and preserve me from the evils of my soul."
  3. And among that which has been reported in the previous scriptures regarding the signs of the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - and his companions is that prostrate on the earth and claim that their God is in heaven above.
  4. While Abu Dawud reports in his Sunan that the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - said that "between each heaven is a distance of such and such." Abu Dawud related the narration until the Prophet's statement, "And above that is the Throne and Allah - subhanahu - is above that." This [hadith] and its likes is among that which the Salaf agreed to transmit and accept. They did not turn to these reports that they may reject, [allegorically] interpret, resemble or liken.
  5. Imam Malik ibn Anas - may Allah be merciful with him - was asked, "O Abu 'Abdullah! 'The All-Merciful mounted upon the Throne.' [Al-Qur'an 20:5] How did He mount the Throne?" [Malik] replied, "Mounting is not unknown [in meaning], how is incomprehensible, to believe [that Allah mounted the Throne] is required, to ask about it is a heresy." He then ordered that the man be expelled [from the Prophet's mosque].

Allah's Speech

  1. Among Allah's attributes - ta'ala - is that He is a speaker with an eternal speech (kalam qadim). His speech is heard from Him by whom He pleases of His creation. Moses - 'alayhis-salam - heard His Speech directly from Him without any intermediary, as did Gabriel - 'alayhis-salam - and [likewise] whomever else He permits among His angels and His messengers.
  2. [And among Allah's attributes is that] He - subhanahu - will directly speak to the believers in the Hereafter and they will speak to Him. He will also permit them [to visit Him] and they will visit Him.
  3. Allah - ta'ala - has said, "And unto Moses Allah spoke directly." [Al-Qur'an 4:164] And He - subhanahu - has said, "Moses I have chosen thee above all men for My messages and My utterance." [Al-Qur'an 7:144] And He - subhanahu - has said "And those Messengers, some We have preferred above others." [Al-Qur'an 2:253] And He - subhanahu - has said, "It belongs not to any mortal that Allah should speak to him, except by revelation, or fiom behind a veil." [Al-Qur'an 42:51] And He - subhanahu - has said, "When he came to it, a voice cried, 'Moses, I am thy Lord.' " [Al-Qur'an 20:12-13] And He - subhanahu - has said, "Verily I am Allah; there is no god but I; therefore worship Me." [Al-Qur'an 20:14] It is impermissible for anyone but Allah to say such.
  4. 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud - may Allah be pleased with him - has said: "When Allah speaks the inspiration the inhabitants of heaven hear His voice." This having been narrated upon the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam.
  5. While 'Abdullah ibn Anas reported that the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - said: "Allah will gather the creation on the Day of Resurrection barefooted, uncircumcised, naked and free from all bodily defects. He will call them out with a voice that will be heard from afar as it will be heard from near, saying, 'I am the King, I am the Judge.' " The scholars have reported this and Al-Bukhari cited this as evidence.
  6. It is mentioned in some [Israelite] reports that on the night Moses - 'alayhis-salam - saw the fire it frightened him. So His Lord called out, "O Moses." Comforted by the voice, [Moses] quickly responded, "I am in your presence, I am in your presence. I hear your voice but do not see your place. Where are You?" The voice said, "I am above you, in front of you, on your right and on your left." Moses realized that such a description does not befit anyone except Allah - ta'ala. Moses then said, "Like such you are my God. Am I hearing your own words or that of your messenger?" Allah said, "Rather it is my own words Moses!"

The Qur'an is Allah's Literal Words

  1. Of Allah's Speech is the Great Qur'an. It is Allah's clear scripture, unbreakable cable, and straight path. [It is] the sending down of the Lord of all beings. It was sent down with the "Trustworthy Spirit" upon the heart of the Master of the Messengers in a clear Arabic tongue. [It was] sent down and it is uncreated. From Him it began and unto Him it will return.
  2. It [consists of] unequivocal suwar, clear ayat, letters and words. Whoever reads it and expresses it clearly, he will receive for each letter ten blessings. It has a beginning and an end, parts (ajza') and sections (ab'ad). lt is recited by the tongues [of men], memorized in [their] breasts, heard by [their] ears, and written in the scriptures. Within it is definitive (muhkim) and equivocal (mutashabih) and abrogated (nasikh) and abrogating (mansukh), exclusive (khass) and general ('am), commands and prohibitions. "Falsehood comes not to it from before it nor from behind it; a sending down from One All-wise, All-Laudable." [Al-Qur'an 41:42] And His Statement - ta'ala, "Say: 'If men and jinn banded together to produce the like of this Qur'an, they would never produce its like, not though they backed one another.'" [Al-Qur'an 17:88]
  3. And this [Qur'an] is the Arabic scripture regarding which the infidels remarked, "We will not believe in this Qur'an." [Al-Qur'an 34:41] While others said, "This is nothing but mortal speech." [Al-Qur'an 74:25] So Allah - subhanahu - responded, "I shall surely roast him in Sagar." [Al-Qur'an 74:26] While still others claimed that [the Qur'an] was [only] poetry, so Allah said: "We have not taught him poetry; it is not seemly for him. It is only a Remembrance and a Clear Qur'an." [Al-Qur'an 36:69] When Allah negated that it was poetry, confirming that it is a reading, there was not an argument left for the intelligent regarding the Qur'an that it is this Arabic Book, which consists of words, letters, and ayat. For what is not [composed] in such a manner none would call poetry.
  4. And [Allah]- 'azza wa jalla - said, "And if you are in doubt concerning that We have sent down on our servant, then bring a surah like it, and call your witnesses, apart from Allah, ... " [Al-Qur'an 2:23] It is impermissible that [Allah] would challenge them to bring forth a like to which that they did not know or is comprehend what it is.
  5. And [Allah] - ta'ala - said, "And when Our signs are recited to them, clear signs, those who look not to encounter Us say, 'Bring a Qur'an other than this, or alter it.' Say: 'It is not for me to alter it of my own accord.'" [Al-Qur'an 10:15] He confirmed that the Qur'an is those very ayat that are recited upon them.
  6. And [Allah] - ta'ala - said, "Nay; rather it is signs, clear signs in the breasts of those who have been given knowledge." [Al-Qur'an 29:49] And He - ta'ala - said after He swore upon it, "It is surely a noble Qur'an in a hidden book none but the purified shall touch." [Al-Qur'an 57:77-79]
  7. And [Allah] - ta'ala - said, "Kaf. Ha'. Ya'. Ain. Sad." [Al-Qur'an 19:1] "Ha'. Mim. 'Ayn. Sad Qaf." [Al-Qur'an 42:1] He has opened nineteen suwar with these detached letters. While the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - has said, "Whoever recites the Qur'an and expresses it clearly, he has with every letter [recited] from it ten good deeds; and whoever recites it and misprounces it he has with each letter [recited] a good deed." And he - 'alayhis-salatu was-salam - has said, "Recite the Qur'an before a people appear who will prop up its letters like an arrow, it will not pass their throats. They will hasten in seeking its reward [in this world] and not defer that [for the next life]." Abu Bakr and 'Umar - may Allah be pleased with them both - have both said, "To express the Qur'an clearly is more beloved to us than to memorize some of its letters." While 'Ali has said, "Whoever disbelieves in a single letter of the Qur'an has disbelieved in its entirety." The Muslims have agreed to the number of the suwar in the Qur'an, ayat, words, and letters. Nor is there any difference between the Muslims that whoever denies any surah, ayat, word or letter of the Qur'an agreed upon is an infidel (kafir). In this there lies an unequivocal proof that the Qur'an consists of letters.

Course Notes - Lecture 4

Ibn Qudama - may Allah be merciful with him - has said:

The Believers will see their Lord in the Hereafter

  1. In the Hereafter, the believers will see their Lord by their eyes. They will visit Him. He will speak to them and they will speak to Him.
  2. Allah - ta'ala - has said, "Upon that day faces shall be radiant, gazing upon their Lord." [Al-Qur'an 75:22-23] And He - ta'ala - has said, "No indeed; but upon that day they shall be veiled from their Lord ... " [Al-Qur'an 83:15] Since Allah veiled those [who are] in the state of His displeasure from seeing Him, it indicated that the Faithful [who are] in the state of [His] Pleasure shall see Him. Otherwise there would have be no difference between them.
  3. The Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - has said, "Indeed you shall see your Lord, as you see this moon. You will not have to crowd together to see Him." This is an authentic narration, agreed upon by [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] The comparison here is in the [act of] seeing and not the [object] seen. For indeed Allah - ta'ala - has no resemblance nor similar.

Course Notes - Lecture 5

Ibn Qudama - may Allah be merciful with him - has said:

Allah's Devine Decree and Foremeasurement

  1. Among the Attributes of Allah - ta'ala - is that He is the "Performer of what He desires." Nothing comes into existence but by His desire, nor does anything escape from His will. There is nothing in the world [that] escapes from His measuring, nor Imanates but under His direction. Nor is there an escape [for anything] from what has been fore measured, nor go beyond what has been penned in the Written Tablet.
  2. He willed what the world did. Had He shielded them [from sin], they would not have opposed Him; and had He willed that they all obey Him, they would have obeyed Him.
  3. [6] He created the creation and their deeds and fore measured their sustenance and life-spans.
  4. [7] He guides whomever He wills by His. Allah - ta'ala - has said, "He shall not be questioned as to what He does, but they shall be questioned." [Al-Qur'an 21:23] He - ta'ala - has said, "Surely We have created everything in measure." [Al-Qur'an 54:49] Allah - ta'ala - has said, "And He created every thing, then I he ordained it very exactly." [Al-Qur'an 25:2] And He - ta'ala - has said, "No affliction befalls in the earth or in yourselves, but it is in a Book, before we create it ... " [Al-Qur'an 57:22] And He - ta'ala - has said, "Whomsoever Allah desires to guide, He expands his breast to Islam; whomsoever He desires to lead astray, He makes His breast narrow, tight ... " [Al-Qur'an 6:125]
  5. [8] While Ibn 'Umar reports that Gabriel - 'alayhis-salam - asked the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - "What is faith (al-iman)?" The Prophet replied, "To believe in Allah, His angels, His scriptures, His messengers, the Last Day and in [Allah's] decree (qadr), the good and evil [consequences] thereof." Gabriel replied, "You have spoken truthfully." This has been reported by Muslim. And the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - has said, "I believe in [Allah's] decree (qadr), the good and evil [consequences] thereof and the sweet and bitter [beginnings] thereof." And among the prayers of the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - that he taught Al-Hasan ibn 'Ali to pray with during the qunut of the witr prayer, "And protect me from the evil [consequences] of what You have decreed."
  6. We do not claim Allah's decree and foremeasurement as an argument for us in forsaking His commands and committing His prohibitions. Rather it is required that we believe and know that Allah has an evidence against us by sending down the Scriptures and sending the Messengers. Allah - ta'ala - has said, " ... so that mankind might have no argument against Allah, after the Messengers." [Al-Qur'an 4:165]
  7. We know that Allah - subhanahu wa ta'ala - did not command or prohibit except one capable of doing and forsaking. And we know that He did not compel anyone upon an act of disobedience or forced Him to leave an act of obedience. Allah - ta'ala - has said, "Allah charges no soul save to its capacity ... " [Al-Qur'an 2:286] And Allah - ta'ala - has said, "So fear Allah as far as your are able ... " [Al-Qur'an 64:16] And Allah - ta'ala - has said, "Today each soul shall be recompensed for that it has earned; no wrong today." [Al-Qur'an 40:17]
  8. [These ayat] indicate that the slave possesses both deed and acquisition [of such by his choice] and that he will be recompensed by reward for that which is good of that and by punishment for that which is evil of that. And this occurs by Allah's decree and foremeasurement.

Course Notes - Lecture 6

Ibn Qudama - may Allah be merciful with him - has said:

Faith Consists of Both Word and Deed

  1. Faith (iman) is words [uttered] by the tongue, deeds [performed] by the limbs, and beliefs [held] by the heart. It increases with acts of obedience and decreases with acts of disobedience.
  2. Allah - ta'ala - has said: "They were commanded only to worship Allah, making their religion His sincerely, men of pure faith, and to perform the prayer and pay the alms - and that is the religion of the True." [Al-Qur'an 98:5] Hence worship of Allah - ta'ala, purity of the heart, the establishment of prayer, and the giving of the charity were all rendered from the religion (ad-din).
  3. The Messenger of Allah - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - has said: "Faith (al-iman) [consists of] seventy-odd branches. The highest is the testimony that there is no god but Allah and the lowest is the removal of a harmful object from the road." Hence both word and deed has been made part of faith.
  4. Allah - ta'ala - has said: " ... them it has increased in belief ... " [Al-Qur'an 9:124] And He has said: "That they may add faith to their faith ... " [Al-Qur'an 48:4]
  5. While the Messenger of Allah - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - has said: "Whoever said, 'There is no god but Allah' and has in his heart [faith] the weight of a wheat grain, or a mustard seed, or a small ant, he will [eventually] come out of the [Hell] Fire." Therefore he made [faith] degrees of superiority.

Course Notes - Lecture 7

Ibn Qudama - may Allah be merciful with him - has said:

Faith in all What the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - has informed

  1. It is required to have faith in all what the Messenger has informed about, and has been authentically transmitted upon him; concerning that which we have witnessed or is hidden from us. We know that all what he has informed us of is real and true, whether we comprehend or ignorant of and we have not been exposed to its real meaning like the hadith on the isra' and mi'raj. This incident occurred while he was awake and was not dream, for the Quraysh rejected [its occurrence] and found that to be farfetched. They, however, would not reject dreams.
  2. Another example is that of the Angel of Death, when he came to Moses to seize his soul, Moses plucked out his eye. The Angel of Death returned to his Lord, Who returned his eye to him.
  3. Other examples are the signs [heralding the approach] of the Hour [of Judgment], like the appearance of the Anti-Christ (ad Dajjal), the descent of Jesus the son of Mary - 'alayhis-salam - who will slay the Anti-Christ, the appearance of Gog and Magog, the appearance of the Beast, the rising of the sun from the West, and similar narrations that have been confirmed upon [the Prophet].

The Last Day

  1. The torment and pleasure occurring [to the deceased] in the grave is true. The Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - sought refuge [with Allah] from that [punishment] and commanded each of us [to seek refuge from that] in every prayer. The trial of the grave is true, and the questioning of Munkar and Nakir is true.
  2. The resurrection after death is true. It will occur after Israfil - 'alayhis-salam - blows into the Trumpet, " ... then behold, they are from their tombs unto their Lord sliding down." [Al-Qur'an 36:51]
  3. Humanity will be gathered on the Day of Resurrection barefoot, naked, uncircumcised, and without bodily defect. They will remain standing in the stand of the Resurrection until their Prophet - Muhammad - intercedes for them [with Allah]. Allah - tabaraka wa ta'ala - will then reckon them. The balances will be erected. The records spread. The pages of deeds will fly to [people's] right and left hands. "Then as for him who is given his book in his right hand, he shall surely receive an easy reckoning and he will return to his family joyfully. But as for him who is given his book behind his back, he shall call for destruction and he shall roast at a Blaze." [Al-Qur'an 84:7-12]
  4. The balance has two pans and a tongue in which deeds will be weighed. "Then he whose scales are heavy-they are the prosperers, and he whose scales are light-they have lost their souls in Hell dwelling forever." [Al-Qur'an 23:102-103]
  5. Belonging to our Prophet on [the plains of] the Resurrection - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - is a basin. Its waters are whiter than milk and sweeter than honey. Its jugs are equal to the number of stars in the heavens. Whoever drinks from it once will never thirst after that forever.
  6. The bridge [lying over Hell] is true. The righteous will cross over it, while the immoral will slip [and fall off into Hell].
  7. Our Prophet will intercede on behalf of those from his community (ummah) who enter Hell from those who have committed major sins. They will leave Hell by his intercession after they have been burned therein and have become blackened coal. They will enter Paradise by his intercession. Belonging to the other prophets, as well as, the believers and the angels are intercessions. [However] Allah - ta'ala - has said, " ... and they intercede not save for him whom He is well-pleased, and they tremble in awe of Him." The infidel will not be availed by the intercession of any who intercede.
  8. Paradise and Hell are two creations never ceasing [to exit]. Paradise is the abode of those near to Him (awliya'), while Hell is a punishment for His enemies. The inhabitants of Paradise will be therein forever. "But the evildoers dwell forever in the chastisement of Hell that is not abated for them and therein they are sore confounded." [Al-Qur'an 43:75] Death will [then] be brought in the form of a beautiful ram and will be slaughtered between Paradise and Hell. It will then be said, "O inhabitants of paradise! Eternity and no death. O inhabitants of hell! Eternity and no death."

Course Notes - Lecture 8

Ibn Qudama - may Allah be merciful with him - has said:

Muhummad is the Seal of the Prophets

  1. Muhammad - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - is Allah's messenger, the seal of the prophets, and the master of the messengers.
  2. The faith of a slave is invalid until he has faith in his Message and testifies to his Prophethood.
  3. Humanity will not be judged on the Day of Judgment except after his intercession. Nor will any religious community (ummah) enter Paradise except after his community (ummah). He is the Possessor of the banner of praise; the praised station; and the visited pond. He is the leader (imam) of the Prophets, their Preacher, and the Possessor of their Intercession. His community (ummah) is the best of communities and his companions are the best of the companions of any prophet.

The Prophet's Companions and Family

  1. The best of this community (ummah) is Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, then 'Umar al-Faruq, then 'Uthman Dhun-Nurayn, then 'Ali al-Murtada - may Allah be pleased with them all. As evidenced by what is narrated upon 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar - may Allah be pleased with them both - who said, "We would say - while the Prophet was alive - [the best of this community is] Abu Bakr, then 'Umar, then 'Uthman, then 'Ali. This would then reach the Prophet and he would not reject that." It has been authentically narrated upon 'Ali that he said: "The best of the community (ummah) after its Prophet is Abu Bakr and then 'Umar. And if you wish I will name the third." Abu Darda' relates upon that the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - has said, "The sun has not risen nor set upon anyone - apart from the prophets or the messengers-better than Abu Bakr."
  2. 76. Abu Bakr is the most deserving of Allah's creation for the successorship (khilafah) due to his merit and proceeding others [to Islam]; and due to the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - putting forward Abu Bakr to lead the companions in prayer. This is also evidenced by the consensus of the companions in giving the oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr [after the Prophet's death]. Allah would not gather them upon a deviation.
  3. After Abu Bakr, 'Umar - may Allah be pleased with him - is then the [next] most deserving to leadership of the community. This is due to his merit [over all the rest of the Companion] and Abu Bakr choosing him [as his successor].
  4. 'Umar is then followed by 'Uthman who was selected by the members of the council [for leadership after 'Umar].
  5. 'Uthman is then followed by 'Ali due to his merit [over all the rest of the Companions] and the consensus of the latter's contemporaries [in choosing him for leadership].
  6. These four men are [his] rightly-guided in belief and conduct successors, concerning whom the Prophet - 'alayhis-salam - has said, "It is incumbent upon you to adhere to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of [my] rightly-guided in belief and conduct successors after me. Hold fast to this with all your might." The Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - also said: "Successorship [upon the model of prophethood] will last after me for only thirty years." The last of [the thirty years] was [during the caliphate of] 'Ali - may Allah be pleased with him.
  7. We testifty to "the ten" being in Paradise, as the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - testified that for them, saying: "Abu Bakr is in Paradise; 'Umar is in Paradise; 'Uthman is in Paradise; 'Ali is in Paradise; Talhah is in Paradise; Az-Zubayr is in Paradise; Sa'ad is in Paradise; Sa'id is in Paradise; 'Abdur-Rahman ibn 'Awf is in Paradise; and Abu 'Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah is in Paradise." All to whom the Prophet has testified for them being in Paradise, we testify such for him. Like the Prophet's statement, "Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn are the two masters of the youth of Paradise." Likewise the Prophet's statement to Thabit ibn Qays ibn Shammas that he was among the inhabitants of Paradise.
  8. We do not judge anyone of the Ahlul-Qiblah to be in Paradise or in Hell except for those whom the Messenger - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam judged such for. However, we hope for the doers of good and we fear for those who have done evil.
  9. We do not impute unbelief to anyone of the Ahlul-Qiblah due to a sin and we do not expel him from [the fold of] Islam due to an act.
  10. We do hold that the hajj and jihad remain with obedience to every imam, righteous or wicked. To pray jumu'ah behind them is permissible. Anas has said, the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - has said, "Three matters pertain to the root of faith (al-iman): (1) To withhold from shedding the blood of whomever say 'there is no god but Allah (la ilaha illaIlah).' We neither declare him an infidel because of a sin, nor excommunicate him from Islam because of an action. (2) Jihad continues from the time Allah sent me till the last of this community (ummah) fights the Anti-Christ (ad-Dajjal). It is not nullified by the tyranny of the tyrant or the justice of the just ruler. (3) And faith in [Allah's] decrees (al-qadr)." Reported by Abu Dawud.
  11. From the Sunnah: (i) to support and love the companions of the Messenger of Allah - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, (ii) to mention their fine qualities, (iii) to seek [Allah's] mercy for them, (iv) to seek forgiveness for them, (v) to withhold from mentioning their faults and what befall them from dispute, and (vi) to believe in their merit and to recognize their precedence [over all this community].
  12. Allah - ta'ala - has said: "And those who came after them, they say, 'Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers, who preceded us in belief. And put Thou not into our hearts any rancour towards those who believe." [Al-Qur'an 59:11] And Allah - ta'ala - has said: "Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are hard against the unbelievers. Merciful one to another." [Al-Qur'an 48:29] And the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - has said, "Do not revile my companions, for if one of you contributed as much gold as Uhud it would not amount to as much as the mudd of one of them, or half of it."
  13. From the Sunnah is to pray to Allah that He be pleased with the pure, unsullied wives of the Messenger of Allah - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam. The best of them is Khadijah bint al-Khuwaylid and 'A'ishah as-Siddiqah bint as-Siddiq whom Allah cleared in His scripture. She is the Prophet's wife - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - in this world and in the hereafter. Whoever accuses her of what Allah has cleared her, he has disbelieved in Allah, the Great.
  14. And Mu'awiyah is the maternal uncle (khal) of the believers. He was a scribe of the revelation and is one of the leaders (khulafa') of the Muslims.

Course Notes - Lecture 9

Ibn Qudama - may Allah be merciful with him - has said:

The Muslim Ruler

  1. From the Sunnah is to hear and obey the leaders of the Muslims and the commanders of the faithful, the righteous and the immoral among them, so long as they do not command in the disobedience of Allah. For there is no obedience to anyone in the disobedience of Allah.
  2. Whoever assumes the Caliphate and the people gather around him and are pleased with him, or [takes control] by the sword, until he becomes the Caliph and is called the "Commander of the Faithful", obedience to him is obligatory, disobedience to him is forbidden, as is to revolt against him and to split the ranks of the Muslims.

The Heretics

  1. From the Sunnah is to migrate and separate one's self from the heretics and to leave all debate and argument in religion, and to abandon investigating the books of heresy, and listening to their words.
  2. Every innovation in the religion is a heresy (bid'ah).
  3. All those branded with other than Islam and the Sunnah are heretics, like the Rafidah, the Qadriyyah, the Murji'ah, the Mu'tazilah, the Karramiyyah, the Kullabiyyah, and their likes. These are sects of deviation [from the truth] and groups of heresies. We seek refuge with Allah from them.

The Four Imams

  1. As for adherence to a religious scholar (imam) in the secondary matters of the religion, like "the four groups," such is not blameworthy. For their differences in these secondary matters [of the religion] is a mercy from Allah. They are praised in their differences, rewarded for their opinions. The differences [between them] being a wide mercy, while their agreement an unequivocal proof.

Conclusion

We ask Allah - by His Mercy and Merit - to protect us from [all] heresies and trials, to give us life upon Islam and the Sunnah, and to make us among those who follow the Messenger of Allah in life and to be gathered in his troop after death. Amen.

This is the conclusion of the creed. And all praise belongs to Allah and may He extol our Master, Muhammad, his family, and his companions; and may He greet them with an exceeding salutation.

(s) Based on Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi's "Lam'at-ul I'tiqad", presented in a series of lectures by Ali Al-Timimi

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Absorption in worldly affairs breeds darkness in the heart, and absorption in the affairs of the next world enkindles light in the heart.
'Uthman ibn Affan (d. 35H), may Allah be pleased with him