Purification of the Soul

The Path of the Believers

Imam ibn Abi Jamrah said:

"Indeed the scholars have said regarding the statement of Allah:

' … And follows other than the Path of the Believers, We will turn him to what he has turned to … ' [Al-Qur'an 3:115]

that what is meant by it is the Companions, and the first generation, because they themselves were the first ones to encounter opposition to the sunnah. So they cured it by the best of questions about what took place in their souls due to some ambiguity. So he (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) answered them with the best of answers, and explained to them with the most complete of explanations. So they listened, and they understood, and they acted, and they perfected, and they memorized, and they mastered, and they believed. So they have a tremendous virtue over us. It is through them that we can connect our rope to the rope of our leader, Muhammad (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam), and to the Rope of our Protector." {qluetip title=[1]}Bahjatun-Nufus (1/4).{/qluetip}

From the Fruits of Iman

Imam as-Sa'di said:

"So from them is that complete faith (iman) negates dwelling in the Fire. Faith - even if it is little - prohibits one from dwelling it.

So if one has faith - and he offers the obligatory duties, and abandons the prohibitions - then he will not enter the Fire, as has been frequently reported in authentic ahadith from the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) regarding this principle. Likewise, it has been frequently reported from him that the one who has something of faith in his heart, will not dwell in the Fire, even if it is little." {qluetip title=[2]}At-Tawdih wal-Bayan li Shajaratil-Iman (p. 55-56). This statement is derived from the hadith of Abu Dharr mentioned in Bukhari (7/149), and in Muslim (1/66), and in Tirmidhi (10/133), and in al-Mishkat al-Masabih (1/5), and in the ahadith of Jabir, and Ibn Mas'ud mentioned in Sahih Muslim (1/65-66).{/qluetip}

Good Manners

From Abu Hurayrah (radiallahu 'anhu) that the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said:

"The most complete of the believers in faith (iman), is the best of them in manners." {qluetip title=[3]}Related by Ahmad (2/250), Tirmidhi (no. 2612), Abu Dawud (no. 4683), al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak (1/53), Ibn Hibban (2/227). Shaykh Muhammad Nasir ud-Din al-Albani declared it good (hasan): as-Sahihah (nos. 284, 751), Sahih ul-Jami' (no. 1230), and Al-Iman of Ibn Abi Shaybah (no. 17-20).{/qluetip}

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Salih al-'Uthaymin said:

"This hadith should always be in front of the eyes of the believer. So the most complete of the believers in faith, is the best of them in manners with Allah, and with the servants of Allah." {qluetip title=[4]}Sharh al-'Aqidah al-Wasitiyyah (2/353).{/qluetip}

Learning and Implementing the Qur'an

'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud (radiallahu ta'ala 'anhuma) said:

"We used to learn ten ayat, not increasing upon them until we had implemented them." {qluetip title=[5]}Related by Ibn Jarir at-Tabari with an authentic chain of narrators. See Basa'ir Dhush-Sharaf (p. 138) of Shaykh Salim al-Hilali.{/qluetip}

Abu 'Abdur Rahman as-Sulami (rahimahullahu ta'ala 'anhu) said:

"Verily we took this Qur'an from a people about whom it was reported 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 after us to a people who will retain it in a way that water is retained. It will not pass beyond their collar bones, rather it will not pass beyond here," and he put his hand upon his throat. {qluetip title=[6]}Related by Ibn Sa'd in Tabaqat ul-Kubra (6/172).{/qluetip}

The Heart Knowing Allah

Imam al-Bukhari said:

"Chapter: the saying of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam): 'I have more knowledge of Allah than you all.' And that ma'rifah (knowledge/realization) 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]" {qluetip title=[7]}Related by al-Bukhari (1/88).{/qluetip}

Al-Hafidh ibn Rajab said:

"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 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." {qluetip title=[8]}Jami' al-'Ulum wal-Hikam (p. 120).{/qluetip}

The Guidance of the Scholars

Imam al-Ajurri said:

"Consider - may Allah have mercy upon you - a path thwarted with great dangers, yet people need to traverse it, even in the darkness of night. If there were no light upon this path, the people would be terrified. However, Allah gave them a guiding light by which they were able to traverse this path in peace and safety. Then came groups of people who also needed to traverse this path, so they traversed it. However, during this time the guiding light became extinguished and the people returned to a state of darkness. So what would your opinion be about their condition? This is the example of the scholars and the common people. Most people do not know how to fulfill their obligatory duties, nor how to avoid prohibited matters, nor how to worship Allah correctly - all of this they learn from the scholars. So with the death of the scholars, mankind returns to a state of anxiety and terror, the teaching of knowledge dies whilst ignorance prevails - what an enormous calamity this is for the Muslims. Indeed to Allah we belong and to Him we all return." {qluetip title=[9]}Akhlaq ul-'Ulama (p. 28){/qluetip}

The Gradual Decline of the Ummah

Shaykh Muhammad Nasir ud-Din al-Albani said:

"It must also be known that his (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) statement: 'A time will not come upon you, except that that which comes after it will be worse - until you meet your Lord.' {qluetip title=[10]}Related by al-Bukhari (no. 7068).{/qluetip} Then this hadith must be understood in light of the preceding ahadith as well as in the light of others - such as the ahadith about the Mahdi and also the descent of 'Isa ('alayhis salam) which show that this hadith is not be understood as having no exceptions, rather it is general and has exceptions. Thus, it is not permissible to cause the people to understand it as being unrestricted, such that they fall into despair - which no believer should have as an attribute.

'Indeed no one despairs of the Mercy of Allah except those who disbelieve.' [Al-Qur'an 12:87]" {qluetip title=[11]}Silsilatus-Sahihah (1/8).{/qluetip}

Signs of the People of Innovation and Desires

Imam Waki' Ibn al-Jarrah ar-Ra'usi said:

"The people of knowledge write what is in their favour and what is against them. However, the people of desires (ahwa) do not write anything except what is in their favour." {qluetip title=[12]}Related in the Sunan of ad-Daraqutni (1/26).{/qluetip}

Imam Abi Hatim ar-Razi said:

"A sign of the people of innovation is that they fight the people of narrations (ahlul-athar)." {qluetip title=[13]}Sharh Usul ul-I'itiqad (1/39) of Imam al-Lalika'i.{/qluetip}

The Islamic State

Shaykh Muhammad Nasir ud-Din al-Albani said:

"In conclusion I say, there is a statement by one of the du'at (callers to Allah) - I was given hope in its imperativeness and correctness from following it - it is 'Establish the Islamic State in your hearts, it will be established for you in you land.' So if the creed of the Muslim is correct - built upon the Book and the Sunnah - then there is no doubt that due to this, his worship will become corrected and his manners will become corrected and his dealings will become corrected.

However, this good statement - unfortunately - is not acted upon by these people. So they go astray with shouting demands for the establishment of the Islamic state, but to no avail. Indeed that poet - by Allah - spoke truthfully about them: 'You desire salvation, but you do not tread its path. Verily the boat does not sail upon dry land.' " {qluetip title=[14]}At-Tahdhir min Fitnat at-Takfir (p. 88-89). This is from the poetry of Imam ash-Shafi'i, see his Diwan (p. 86), with the checking of Muhammad 'Abdul Mun'am al-Khaffagi.{/qluetip}

Sins Deaden the Heart

Imam at-Tirmidhi said:

"From Abu Hurayrah (radiallahu 'anhu) that the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: 'When a servant commits a sin, a black spot appears upon his heart, so if he desists, seeks forgiveness and makes repentance; then his heart is cleansed. And if he returns (to the sin), it (the black spot) is increased until it takes over the heart. And it is the filth that Allah mentions:

'But no! It is the covering of sins which is upon their hearts because of what they used to do.' [Al-Qur'an 83:14]' " {qluetip title=[15]}Jami' at-Tirmdhi (1/123).{/qluetip}

Imam ibn Abil 'Izz al-Hanafi reported that Ibn al-Mubarak - may Allah have mercy upon him - said:

"I see that sins deaden the heart,

And doing so continuously produces despicableness.

Abandoning sins is the life of the heart,

And rebelling against them is better for your yourself.

And has anything destroyed the Religion,

Except kings and evil scholars and evil monks?" {qluetip title=[16]}Sharh al-'Aqidah at-Tahawiyyah (p. 208).{/qluetip}

Speaking Against the Scholars

Imam ibn 'Asakir said:

"Know - O my brother, may Allah bring us into conformity with what pleases Him, and make us from those who fear Him and are conscious of Him in a manner which He truly deserves - that the flesh of the scholars is poisonous, and the practice of Allah in disgracing those who belittle and revile them is well known. Rather slandering them - by that which they are free of - is a great matter, and to take away their honour by means of falsehood and lies is a hotbed of evil and vice. An offense against one whom Allah has chosen to revive knowledge by is a blameworthy characteristic. And to perpetrate a crime which the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) forbade is from the most significant slander.

'So let those who oppose his command beware that a trial befall them or that they be stricken by a painful punishment.' [Al-Qur'an 24:63]" {qluetip title=[17]}Tabyin Kadthib al-Muftari (p. 29-30).{/qluetip}

Knowing the Good and the Evil

'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud heard a man saying:

"Whoever does not command the good and prohibit the evil is ruined!"

So he replied to the man: "Whoever does not know the good and the evil in his heart is ruined." {qluetip title=[18]}Mu'jamul-Kabir (9/112) of Imam at-Tabarani{/qluetip}

Al-Hafidh ibn Rajab al-Hanbali said:

"Ibn Mas'ud indicates that knowledge of the good and the evil in the heart is an obligation from which no one is exempt. So whoever does not know it is ruined." {qluetip title=[19]}Jami' al-'Ulum (2/245).{/qluetip}

Be Mindful O Mankind!

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