Purification of the Soul

With the Name of Allah, and in Him we seek assistance, and the praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. The praise is due to Allah, the One who compels the hearts that are despondent for His sake, and the One who forgives the sins of the sinners by His Virtue. I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship besides Allah alone, without any associate, and there is nothing comparable to Him. And I testify that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger. He sent him sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam with the guidance and the True Religion, so as to make it apparent over all other religions. And He gave him the choice of being either a Prophet-King, or a Slave-Messenger, so he chose the station of servitude ('ubudiyyah), along with the Messengership.{qluetip title=[1]}In Al-Misriyyah: 'His Messenger.'{/qluetip}

And he sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam used to say, "O Allah, make me live in poverty, and make me die in poverty, and raise me up along with the poor." {qluetip title=[1]}An authentic hadith related through many paths. It was related by At-Tirmidhi (2/56), and Al-Bayhaqi (7/12), from Anas; and its isnad (chain of narrators) is weak (da'if). In it is Al-Harith Ibn an-Nu'man. It is also related from the hadith of Abi Sa'id in Ibn Majah (no. 4126), and Al-Khatib in his Tarikh (4/111), and in it is Abu'l-Mubarak and he is unknown, and Yazid ibn Sinan and there is weakness in him. Indeed Ibn al-Jawzi ruled it to be weak in Al-Mawdu'at (3/141), and Shaykh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah doubted its authenticity in Majmu' ul-Fatawa (18/326), and he ruled it to be weak in Ahadith al-Qisas (p. 101). And our Shaykh, Al-Albani has authenticated it in Silsilat al-Ahadith as-Sahihah (no. 308) after mentioning it with the narration of 'Abd ibn Humayd in Al-Muntajib min al-Musnad (2/110) from Abu Sa'id. Its isnad is hasan due to itself, this has remained hidden from many of the scholars of hadith of the past. So there is no doubt that the hadith is sahih (authentic) due to other than itself. I say, the poverty mentioned in the hadith is humility and submissiveness, as Ibn al-Athir says in An-Nihayah (2/380).{/qluetip} Thus, he sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam alluded to the nobility of this station and its virtue. And may the most complete peace be upon his Family, and his Companions, and all those who hold onto his rope. To proceed:

So verily, the Glorified and Exalted praises in His Book, those who laud Him, and those who are humiliated towards His Magnificence, those who are subservient (al-khadi'in) and the humble (al-khashi'in) to Him. Allah the Exalted says:

"Verily they used to hasten towards good deeds, and they used to supplicate to Us in hope and fear. And they were humble (khashi'in) towards Us." [Al-Qur'an 33:35]

And He described with khushu' (humility) the Believers who have the noblest worship, which they preserve, so He said:

"Indeed the Believers are successful, those who are humble in their Prayer." [Al-Qur'an 23:1-2]

And He described with humility, those who have been given knowledge, where His Words are authoritative, so He said:

"Verily those who were given knowledge before it (the Qur'an), when it is recited to them, they fall upon their faces in prostration, and they say, 'Glorified is our Lord! Indeed the Promise of our Lord has been fulfilled.' And they fall upon their faces weeping, and it (the Qur'an) increases them in humility." [Al-Qur'an 17:107-109]

And the basis of humility (khushu') is softness, gentleness, tranquility, subservience, subjugation, and burning of the heart. So when the heart is humble, all of the limbs and body parts follow it in humility. Because they are followers of it; as he sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "Verily there is a small morsel of the body, if it is rectified, the whole body is rectified; and if it is corrupt, the whole body is corrupt. Indeed it is the heart." {qluetip title=[3]}This is part of a long hadith related by Al-Bukhari (1/117), Muslim (no. 1599), Ibn Majah (no. 3984), Ad-Darimi (2/245), and Ahmad (4/269); from Nu'man ibn Bashir radhiallahu 'anhu.{/qluetip}

So if the heart is submissive, the eyes, ears, head, face, and the rest of the limbs are submissive; the same goes for whatever emanates from them, to the extent that it reaches the speech. Due to this, the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam used to say in the ruku' (bowing) of his Prayer, "My sight, hearing, mind, and bone are subservient to You." And he said in another narration, "And whatever is carried upon my feet." {qluetip title=[4]}The first narration is related by Muslim (no. 771), At-Tirmidhi (no. 3417), Abu Dawud (no. 760), An-Nisa'i (2/130), Abu Ya'la (no. 284, 574), and Ahmad (1/94); from 'Ali radhiallahu 'anhu. And the second narration is related by Ahmad in Al-Musnad (1/119), also from 'Ali radhiallahu 'anhu.{/qluetip}

And someone from the Salaf saw a man fiddling with his hand during the Prayer, so he said, "If his heart was submissive, his limbs would have become subservient." {qluetip title=[5]}Shaykh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah attributed it to 'Umar ibn al-Khattab radhiallahu 'anhu in Majmu' al-Fatawa (18/273).{/qluetip} And this has been reported from Hudhayfah radhiallahu 'anhu and Sa'id ibn al-Musayyib{qluetip title=[6]}It has been reported from Sa'id by Ibn al-Mubarak in Az-Zuhd (no. 1188), and there is anonymity in it.{/qluetip}, and it has been reported in marfu'{qluetip title=[7]}Translator's Note: Shaykh 'Abdul-Muhsin al-'Abbad says, "The marfu' (raised) narration is anything that can be attached to the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam from statements, tacit approvals, or a ruling; and it is of six types, and they are:1) Al-Qawli Sarihan (clear statement): The example of this is when a Companion says, 'I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) say such and such', or he says it himself, or other than him, that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said such and such. 2) Al-Fi'li Sarihan (clear action): The example of this is when a Companions says, 'I saw the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) do such and such', or he does it himself, or other than him, that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam did such and such. 3) At-Taqriri Sarihan (clear approval): The example of this is when the Companion says, 'I did such and such in the presence of the Messenger of Allah', or he says it himself, or other than him, that a person did such and such in the presence of the Prophet, and he did not disapprove of it. 4) Al-Qawli Hukman (decisive statement): The example of this is when a Companion - not known to take from the People of the Book - makes a statement which could not possibly be his own opinion or reasoning (ijtihad), and it is not built around something obscure, nor does it have a problematic explanation; like the reports about matters that have preceded, such as the beginning of creation, or reports about matters to come, such as the fitan (trials/tribulations), and the descriptions of the Day of Judgement. And likewise are the reports about action by which one attains a specific reward, or a specific punishment. 5) Al-Fi'li Hukman (decisive action): The example of this is when a Companion performs an action that could not possibly come from his own opinion, such as 'Ali ibn Abi Talib radhiallahu 'anhu performing more than two bowings in every rak'ah of Salat al-Kusuf (the Prayer for an Eclipse). 6) At-Taqriri Hukman (tacit approval): The example of this is when a Companion informs that they used to do something in the time of the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and he did not prohibit them from this. and from the versions of reports that require rafa' (making marfu') are the statements of the Companions, 'Such and such is from the Sunnah', and 'We were commanded with such and such', or 'We were prohibited from such and such' or it is when the Companion judges an action from the actions to be obedience to Allah, or to His Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam; such as the statement of 'Ammar ibn Yasir radhiallahu 'anhu: "Whosoever fasts upon the day of doubt, then indeed he has disobeyed Abu'l-Qasim sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam." It was related by Al-Bukhari (4/119), and by the People of the Sunan. [Refer to Min Atib al-Manah fi 'Ilm al-Mustalah (p. 46-47) of Al-'Allamah 'Abdul-Muhsin al-'Abbad]{/qluetip} form, however, its chain of narrators is not authentic.{qluetip title=[8]}It is mentioned by As-Suyuti in Al-Jami' as-Saghir (no. 4284), and he attributed it to Al-Hakim at-Tirmidhi, from Abu Hurayrah, and he did likewise in Ad-Durr al-Manthur (5/3). And he pointed out its weakness, and more than one person from amongst the scholars have weakened it, and what is correct is that it is fabricated (mawdu'), since in its chain of narration is Sulayman ibn 'Amr. Ibn 'Adi says in Al-Kamal (3/1100), "There is consensus upon him that he fabricated hadith."{/qluetip}

Al-Mas'udi said: From Abu Sinan: from the one who informed him: from 'Ali ibn Abi Talib radhiallahu 'anhu, who said concerning the statement of Allah, "Those who are humble in their Prayer." [Al-Qur'an 23:2]: "It is the humility in the heart, and it is that you soften your side towards the Muslim, and that you do not look around during your Prayer."{qluetip title=[9]}It is related by Ibn al-Mubarak in Az-Zuhd (no. 1148), and by At-Tabari in his Tafsir (18/2), and by Al-Hakim (2/393). And it is mentioned by As-Suyuti in Ad-Durr al-Manthur (5/3), and he additionally attributed to 'Abdur-Razzaq, Al-Firyabi, 'Abd ibn Humayd, Ibn al-Mundhir, Ibn Abi Hatim, and Al-Bayhaqi. And his statement, "your side" means, "your shoulders."{/qluetip}

And 'Ata' ibn as-Sa'ib said: From a man: From 'Ali radhiallahu 'anhu who said, "Humility (khushu') is the humility of the heart, and that you do not look around to the right, nor the left."

And 'Ali ibn Abi Talhah said: From Ibn 'Abbas radhiallahu 'anhu who said concerning the statement of Allah the Exalted, "Those who are humble in their Prayer": "They are fearful and tranquil."

And Ibn{qluetip title=[10]}In the published version, it says 'Abu'. And the correct position is what we have affirmed, and his biography can be found in Tahdhib at-Tahdhib (5/255).{/qluetip} Shawdhab said: From Al-Hasan rahimahullahu ta'ala who said, "They used to have khushu' in their hearts, so due to that, they lowered their gaze in the Prayer."

And Ibn Abi Najih said: From Mujahid rahimahullahu ta'ala who said concerning the statement of Allah the Exalted: "And they were humble towards Us." [Al-Qur'an 21:90]: "Those who have humility (mutawadi'in)."{qluetip title=[11]}It is found in his Tafsir (1/415).{/qluetip} And indeed Allah the Exalted described the earth with khushu' in His Book, so He said:

"And from His Signs is that you see the earth stilled (khashi'ah). So when We send water down upon it, it trembles and grows." [Al-Qur'an 41:39]

So this trembling and growth raises it removing its khushu', so this shows that the khushu' which it was upon was its tranquility and ease. Likewise therefore, is the heart; so it soothes its inclinations and base desires - which emanate from following passions - and it becomes subjugated and subservient to Allah. So due to that, whatever it has inside from arrogance, haughtiness and pride is removed, and when that tranquility takes place in the heart, all the body parts, limbs and movements become humble, to the extent that the humility reaches the voice. And indeed Allah the Exalted has described the voices with khushu' in His statement:

"And the voices will be humbled for Ar-Rahman (the Most Merciful)." [Al-Qur'an 20:108]

So the humility of the voices is their tranquility and ease after being raised.

And likewise, the faces and eyes of the disbelievers on the Day of Judgement have been described with khushu', so that proves the entering of khushu' (humility) into all of the limbs. And when man is forced to present humility in his limbs and body-parts, with a heart that is void of humility and detached from it; that is the hypocritical humility. And this is something the Salaf used to seek refuge from, as one of them said, "Seek refuge from the hypocritical humility (khushu' an-nifaq)." They said, "And what is hypocritical humility?" He said, "When you see the body humbled, but the heart is not humbled."{qluetip title=[12]}It is mentioned by As-Suyuti in Ad-Durr al-Manthur (5/3), and he attributed it to Ibn al-Mubarak, and Ahmad reported it in Az-Zuhd, and Ibn Abi Shaybah reported it from Abu ad-Darda'.{/qluetip}

And 'Umar radhiallahu 'anhu looked at a youth who was lowering his head, so he said to him, "What is this! Raise your head, since the outward humility does not increase what is in the heart."

So whoever manifests humility other than that which is in his heart, then it is only hypocrisy upon hypocrisy.

And the basis of humility is what occurs in the heart, it is only attained through recognition (ma'rifah) of Allah, and the recognition (ma'rifah) of His Magnificence, and the recognition of His Sublimity, and His Perfection; so the more one recognizes Allah, the more humble he becomes.{qluetip title=[13]}Translator's Note: This aspect of ma'rifatullah (the recognition of Allah) was stated by Imam Al-Bukhari (d. 256H) - rahimahullah - when he said, "Chapter: the saying of the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam: 'I have more knowledge of Allah than you all.' And that ma'rifah (recognition) is an action of the heart about which Allah the Exalted says: 'But He will call you to account for what your hearts have earned' [Al-Qur'an 2:225]" Refer to his Sahih (1/88). And Al-Hafidh Ibn Rajab himself commented, "So hearts will not be corrected until the ma'rifah of Allah - being in awe of Him, loving Him, fearing Him, relying and trusting in Him, hoping in Him - is not firmly implanted in them. This is the reality of Tawhid and the meaning of the statement La ilaha illallah (none has the right to be worshipped except Allah). So the hearts cannot be corrected until Allah is made the ilah (deity) to be known, loved, feared and hoped for; and that He becomes the only deity (ilah) worthy of this - without associating any partners with Him in this. So know that the world - whatever is above and whatever is below in the waters - will not be corrected, except when the actions of its people are all for Allah's sake. Since the actions of the body follow from the actions and intentions of the heart, then when the heart's actions and intentions are only to Allah alone, then it is corrected, and all the actions of the body will likewise be corrected. However, if the actions and intentions of the heart are directed to other than Allah, then it is corrupted, and likewise, all the actions of the body will be corrupted in proportion to how much the heart has been corrupted." [Refer to Jami' al-'Ulum wa'l-Hikam (p. 120) of Ibn Rajab]{/qluetip}

And the humility (khushu') of the hearts varies in accordance with the different levels of recognition (ma'rifah) for the person being humble, and it also differs with the heart's varying levels of observance of the attributes necessary for humility. So whoever is intensely humble, his meditation upon the closeness of Allah to His servant - which is in secrecy and in his innermost conscience - necessitates him developing shame in front of Allah the Exalted, and contemplating over Him in his actions and moments of ease. And whoever humbly meditates upon His Perfection and Beauty, it will necessitate his being immersed in love for Him, and ardently desiring to meet Him and see Him. And whoever humbly meditates upon the severity of His Power, and His Revenge, and His Punishment; it necessitates that he become fearful of Him, and He is free of all imperfections, the Exalted, Compellor of the hearts which become enslaved for His sake. And He is the one free of all imperfections, the Exalted, and the one who places his face upon the dust in prostration draws nearer to Him as a result, just as His servants draw nearer to Him, those who supplicate to Him, and ask Him, and those who seek forgiveness for their sins at daybreak; and He answers their supplications, and He gives them what they ask for, and the servant does not have any greater compellor of enslavement than the Nearness and Answering (of Allah).

Imam Ahmad (d. 241H) - rahimahullahu ta'ala - relates in his book, Az-Zuhd{qluetip title=[14]}Refer to (p. 61-69) from it, and it is not authentic.{/qluetip} with his chain of narrators coming from 'Imran ibn Qasir who said, "Musa ('alayhis-salam) said, 'My Lord, where can I attain Your Pleasure?' He said, '(My servants) when their hearts are enslaved for My sake. Verily I draw nearer to them by a hand-span everyday, so if that did not happen, they would be destroyed.' "

And Ibrahim ibn al-Junayd rahimahullahu ta'ala relates in the book Al-Muhabbah: From Ja'far ibn Sulayman who said: I heard Malik ibn Dinar saying, "Musa ('alayhis-salam) said, 'O Musa, (My servants) seek My Pleasure when their hearts are enslaved for My sake, so verily I draw nearer to them by a handspan everyday, and if that did not happen, they would have been destroyed.' " Ja'far said: So I said to Malik ibn Dinar, "How are their hearts enslaved?" He said, "I asked the one who read the book to me, so he said: I asked the one who asked 'Abdullah ibn Salam about the enslavement of their hearts, how are they enslaved? He said: They are enslaved by the love of Allah the Mighty and Majestic."

And indeed their occurs in the authentic Sunnah, that which testifies to the closeness of Allah to the heart that is enslaved during His affliction, patient with the Decree of Allah and pleased with it. It is reported in Sahih Muslim: From Abu Hurayrah radhiallahu 'anhu, from the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam that he said, "Allah the Mighty and Majestic will say upon the Day of Judgement, 'O son of Adam, I fell ill and you did not visit Me.' He will say, 'Lord, how could I visit You, and You are the Lord of the Worlds?' He will say, 'Did you not know that My servant so and so was ill, and yet you did to visit him? Did you not know that had you visited him, you would have found Me with him?' " {qluetip title=[15]}It is related by Muslim (no. 2569).{/qluetip}

And Abu Nu'aym relates by way of Hamzah ibn Shawdhab who said, "Allah revealed to Musa ('alayhis-salam), 'Do you know for which reason I chose you over the rest of the people to carry My Message and My Speech?' He said, 'No, O Lord!' He said, 'No one has shown more humility towards Me than your humility (tawadu').' " And this humility of his was khushu', and it was beneficial knowledge, and was the first thing from knowledge to be raised up. So An-Nisa'i{qluetip title=[16]}It is in Al-Kubra (3/42), as is found in Tuhfat al-Ashraf (8/211). And it is related by Al-Bazzar (no. 232), Ahmad (6/26), and by At-Tabarani in Al-Kabir (18/43), and in his Musnad ash-Shamiyyin (no. 6867).{/qluetip} relates a hadith from Jubayr ibn Nufayr radhiallahu 'anhu: From 'Awf ibn Malik radhiallahu 'anhu that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam looked towards the sky one day and said, "This is a time when the knowledge will be raised up." So a man from the Ansar (the helpers) said that Zayd ibn Labid said to him, "O Messenger of Allah, will the knowledge be raised up whilst the hearts are still firmly established and heedful?" The Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said to him, "Verily I thought that you were from the most knowledgeable people of Al-Madinah," and he mentioned that the Jews and the Christians were misguided, even though the Book of Allah the Mighty and Majestic was in front of them. So he said, "'Awf ibn Malik has spoken truthfully, should I not inform you what will be the first thing to be raised up?" I said, "Yes." He said, "It is humility, until you will not even see one humble person."

And At-Tirmidhi{qluetip title=[17]}It is related in his Jami' (no. 2655).{/qluetip} relates a hadith from Jubayr ibn Nufayr from Abu ad-Darda', and he informed him of what he said, so he said, "Abu ad-Darda' has spoken truthfully. If you wish, I will inform you of the first knowledge to be raised up: the khushu'; to the extent that if you enter a congregational mosque, then you will not see a single humble man in it." And indeed it was said that the hadith of An-Nisa'i was more authentic.

And Sa'id ibn Bashir related from Al-Hasan (rahimahullahu ta'ala): From Shaddad ibn Aws, from the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam who said, "The first thing that will be raised up from the people will be khushu'," so he mentioned the rest of it.{qluetip title=[18]}It is related by Ahmad (6/26-27), and by At-Tabarani in Al-Kabir (no. 7183). And it was authenticated by our Shaykh in Sahih al-Jami' (no. 2573), and refer to Majma' az-Zawa'id (2/136).{/qluetip}

And it was related by Abu Bakr ibn Abi Maryam from Hamzah ibn Habib in mursal{qluetip title=[19]}Translator's Note: Shaykh 'Abdul-Muhsin al-'Abbad - hafidhahullah - says: "The mursal is that which a tabi'i raises to the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, as if he is saying, 'The Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said or did such and such.' It is derived from the statement, 'A she-camel is sent (rasala)', that is to say, it is faster. So it is as if the mursal is a faster path to the hadith, since some of the isnad is omitted. The mursal is included with the rejected types of hadith, since we mention it with ignorance of the omitted narrator. He could be a Companion, a tabi'i, or trustworthy (thiqah), or other than trustworthy." Refer to Min Atib al-Manah (p. 27).{/qluetip} form. And the like of it has been reported from Hudhayfah, from his statement.

So the beneficial knowledge is that which brings glad tidings to the heart, so it obligates tranquility, fear, subjugation towards Allah, humility, and humiliation. If the knowledge does not bring glad tidings to the heart, and it is something that exists only upon the tongue, then it is the proof of Allah upon the son of Adam, established upon its possessor, or other than him. Since Ibn Mas'ud radhiallahu 'anhu said, that there would come a time when there would be a people reciting the Qur'an, but it would not pass beyond their collarbones.{qluetip title=[20]}Translator's Note: 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud (radhiallahu 'anhuma) said, "We used to learn ten ayat, not increasing upon them until we had implemented them." It is related by Ibn Jarir at-Tabari with a sahih chain of narrators. Refer to Basa'ir Dhu'sh-Sharaf (p. 138) of Salim al-Hilali. Abu 'Abdur-Rahman as-Sulami (rahimahullah) said, "Verily we took this Qur'an from a people about whom it was related to us, that if they learned ten ayat, they would not move onto another ten until they had learned what was in them. So we used to learn the Qur'an and implement it. Verily the Qur'an will be inherited by a people after us who will retain it in a way that water is retained. It will not pass beyond their collarbones, rather it will not pass beyond here," - and he put his hand upon his throat. Refer to At-Tabaqat al-Kubra (6/172) of Ibn Sa'ad.{/qluetip} However, if it exists in the heart and becomes firmly rooted in it, it benefits its possessor. And Al-Hasan said, "Knowledge is of two types, the knowledge of the tongue, and the knowledge of the heart. So the knowledge of the heart is the beneficial knowledge, and the knowledge of the tongue is the proof of Allah upon the son of Adam."{qluetip title=[21]}It is related by Ad-Darimi (1/102) who made a judgement upon it, and its chain of narrators is authentic.{/qluetip}

And it has been related in mursal form from Al-Hasan rahimahullahu ta'ala from the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam.{qluetip title=[22]}It is related by Ibn 'Abdul-Barr in his Jami' (1/190), and by As-Suyuti mentions it in Al-Jami' as-Saghir (no. 3882), and he additionally attributed it to Ibn Abi Shaybah, and Al-Hakim.{/qluetip} And he also reported it from Jabir radhiallahu 'anhu in marfu' form{qluetip title=[23]}It is related by Al-Khatib in his Tarikh (4/346), and in it is weakness and anonymity (jihalah).{/qluetip} and it has also been reported by him from Anas radhiallahu 'anhu in marfu' form,{qluetip title=[24]}It is related by Abu Nu'aym and Ad-Daylami, as is found in Fayd al-Qadir (4/391).{/qluetip} and its chain of narrators is not authentic.

So the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam informed that the knowledge was with the people of the two books before us, and they were not benefited by anything from it, since they failed to realize its objective. And if it had reached their hearts, they would have found the sweetness of iman (faith) by it, and it would have benefited them by connecting them to fear and turning their hearts around. And if it is only upon their tongues, it will establish the proof of Allah upon them.

And due to this meaning, Allah the Glorified described the scholars with fear (khashyah) in His Book, as Allah the Exalted says:

"Verily the most fearful of Allah from His servants are the scholars." [Al-Qur'an 35:28]

And He also says:

"Is one who is devoutly obedient during periods of the night, prostrating and standing, fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord (like one who does not)? Say, are those who know equal to those who do not know? Only the people of understanding will remember." [Al-Qur'an 39:9]

And the scholars from the people of the Book before us have been described with humility, as Allah the Exalted says:

"Say, believe in it, or do not believe. Verily those who were given knowledge before it (the Qur'an), when it is recited to them, they fall upon their faces in prostration. And they say, 'Glorified is our Lord! Verily the Promise of our Lord has been fulfilled.' And they fall upon their faces weeping, and it (the Qur'an) increases them in humility." [Al-Qur'an 17:107-109]

And in the statement of Allah the Exalted - in describing those who have been given knowledge - is praise for the one who develops khushu' in his heart upon listening to the Book of Allah, and Allah the Exalted says:

"So woe to those whose hearts have been hardened against the remembrance of Allah, those are clearly misguided. Allah has sent down the best statement, a consistent Book wherein is reiteration. The skins shiver therefrom of those who fear their Lord, then there skins and their hearts become soft at the remembrance of Allah." [Al-Qur'an 39:22-23]

And the softness of the heart is when its harshness ceases to occur, and it develops humility and mildness.

And indeed Allah despises those who develop humility in their hearts upon hearing the Book of Allah, and those who do not reflect upon it, Allah the Exalted says:

"Has the time not come for those who have believed, that their hearts should become humble at the remembrance of Allah, and at what He has revealed of the truth?" [Al-Qur'an 57:16]

Ibn Mas'ud radhiallahu 'anhu said, "We have not been rebuked by this ayah, except after having accepted Islam four years ago." It was related by Muslim{qluetip title=[25]}Related by Muslim (no. 3027){/qluetip}, and An-Nisa'i{qluetip title=[26]}It is found in the tafsir of his Al-Kubra, as can be seen in Tuhfat al-Ashraf (7/70).{/qluetip}, and he added to it, "So the Believers placed blame upon each other."

And Ibn Majah related a hadith from Az-Zubayr radhiallahu 'anhu who said, "We have not been rebuked after embracing Islam, until the revelation of this ayah which occurred four years later."{qluetip title=[27]}It is related by Ibn Majah (no. 4192){/qluetip}

And indeed many from amongst the righteous heard this ayah being recited, so they were affected by it in different ways, so from these effects was for one to die from it due to the aching of his heart from it, and from them was that one would repent and leave off what the ayah spoke of.{qluetip title=[28]}This is found in the hadith of Fudayl ibn 'Iyad, and refer to Ar-Risalat al-Qushayriyyah (no. 11), and Tabaqat al-Awliya (no. 267) of Ibn Muflih.{/qluetip} And indeed we have mentioned their reports in the book Al-Istighna' bil-Qur'an.{qluetip title=[29]}It is mentioned by Al-Baghdadi in Hadyat al-'Arifin, as is mentioned by Dr. Hammam Sa'id in Al-'Ilal fil-Hadith (p. 255). And I did not expect to find it there, and he also mentioned that it is missing.{/qluetip} And Allah the Exalted said:

"And if We had sent this Qur'an down upon a mountain, you would have seen it humbled and broken apart from fear of Allah." [Al-Qur'an 59:21]

Abu 'Imran al-Jawni said, "By Allah, indeed our Lord has directed our attention to this ayah of the Qur'an, which if He had sent down upon the mountain, it would have been obliterated and flattened out by it."

And Malik ibn Dinar rahimahullah read this ayah, then he said, "I swear to you, no servant believes in this Qur'an, except that his heart is left aching." And it is related from Al-Hasan rahimahullahu ta'ala that he said, "O son of Adam, if Shaytan whispers to you with a sin, or if you yourself are inclined towards it, then remember along with that what Allah bestowed upon you from His Book; that which if it was bestowed upon an unshakable mountain, it would have been humbled and broken apart. Have you not heard Him saying:

If We had sent down this Qur'an upon a mountain, you would have seen it humbled and broken apart from fear of Allah. [Al-Qur'an 59:21]"

So these parables are only presented to you so that you may reflect upon them, and so that you may receive admonishment with them from disobedience to Allah the Mighty and Majestic. And you - O son of Adam - are most deserving of becoming humbled by the remembrance of Allah, and by whatever you carry from His Book, and by whatever you have been given from His Wisdom; because you will be judged, and for you is either Paradise or the Fire.

Indeed the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam used to seek refuge in Allah from the heart that is not humble, as is found in Sahih Muslim: From Zayd ibn Arqam, that the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam used to say, "O Allah, verily I seek refuge in You from knowledge that does not benefit, and from the heart that is not humble, and from the soul that is not content, and from the supplication that is not answered." {qluetip title=[30]}It is related by Muslim (no. 2722), Ahmad (4/371), and An-Nisa'i (8/260).{/qluetip}

And the likes of this has been reported from the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam through many paths.{qluetip title=[31]}The author (rahimahullah) mentions this hadith and some of its narrated meanings in his treatise Fadl 'Ilm as-Salaf 'alal-Khalaf (p. 23) with my checking, so refer to its verification there.{/qluetip}

And it is related from Ka'b al-Ahbar that he said, it written in the Bible, "O 'Isa, he whose heart is not fearful, his knowledge will not benefit him, and his voice will not be heard, and his supplication will not be raised up."

And Asad ibn Musa said in the book Al-Wara': Mubarak ibn Fudalah informed us that Al-Hasan rahimahullahu ta'ala used to say, "When this Call from Allah came to the Believers, they testified to its truth, and their firm belief expanded in their hearts; and their hearts, bodies and eyes became humbled before Allah. By Allah, when I see them, it is as if I am looking at a people with my own two eyes. So by Allah, they are not from the people of argumentation and falsehood, and they are not content, except with the Book of Allah; and they do not manifest that which is not in their hearts. Rather, when a Command from Allah comes to them, the testify to its truth; so Allah the Exalted has favoured them in the Qur'an with the best description. So He says:

And the worshippers of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth gently, and when the ignorant address them, they say (words of) peace. [Al-Qur'an 25:63]"

He said, "They are the gentle ones, they do not act ignorantly; and if others treat them ignorantly, they are mild. They are accompanied by the servants of Allah during their day by what they listen to, then they are engaged in remembrance during their nights, in the best part of the night. So He said:

And those who spend the night prostrating and standing for their Lord. [Al-Qur'an 25:54]

Their tears run down their cheeks in fear of their Lord."

And Al-Hasan rahimahullahu ta'ala said, "They remain sleepless at night due to a matter, and they remain humble during the day due to a certain matter. He said:

And those who say: Our Lord, save us from the punishment of Hell, verily its punishment is ever adhering. [Al-Qur'an 25:65]"

He said, "And everything that afflicts the son of adam and then leaves him, then it is not a loss. The loss only remains as long as the skies and the earth remain." He said, "How truthful is the position of those people - and by Allah besides Whom there is no true Deity - so do good works, and you have been given a trust, so take care of this trust. May Allah have mercy upon you, since Allah does not give a servant a better trust than His; whether it is in this world, or in the Hereafter." And he used to say, "O what an admonishment, if only the hearts that are alive would take heed."

(t) Checking of ahadith by Shaykh 'Ali al-Hasan al-Halabi


Be Mindful O Mankind!

Whoever loves to be mentioned, will not be mentioned; and whoever dislikes to be mentioned, then he will be mentioned.
- Al-Fudayl ibn Iyyad (d. 187H), may Allah have mercy upon him