Random Thoughts and Notes No. 451-475

451.    See how the early Muslims trusted Allah with every single material issue of theirs. But today we have much more money, yet (for example) many look for answers regarding the permissibly of putting their money in (explicitly) usury-bearing accounts. Ok, we know there is the legal aspect, but we should inquire, how come this became a question to begin with? Well, because many might not trust that Allah will provide for then, and have attached themselves so much to the world that they sincerely think they should turn to the doubtful or forbidden matters in order to merely survive.

This is a spiritual problem on another level, it is not merely an evil intention, but a way of fooling one’s self into believing material calamities are about to engulf one, and that ONLY the forbidden and doubtful can be used to avert such “disasters”.

452.    Often it is the case that those endowed with little knowledge criticize those with different opinions. Yes, the criticism might be proper at times, but more often than not, it only shows the ignorance of the objector in not acknowledging the vastness and possibilities inherent within normative Islam itself. One example we see is, differences which were acknowledged as academic for centuries have now come to be taken as very serious bones of contention, to the point that the character and accuracy of senior Companions (RAA) is being called into question; this, even though the normative Sunni position has always been to refrain from bad-mouthing the Sahaabah (RAA) – yet some people’s “research” has led them to these sorts of statements, all the while claiming adherence to the Ahl us-Sunnah.

453.    Many people think of the Muhadetheen as supreme, however the Faqeeh is superior, and the Muhadetheen serve to support the Fuqahah.

454.    Regarding strategy when discussing with Christians or Jews: In my opinion, and Allah knows best, it is proper to engage in purely logical or Usooli based issues, then if the need arises we can look into their texts, to compare and contrast their texts with our beliefs. I do not agree to start off the discussion by quoting the Bible to prove our points, since no prior table-setting has taken place.

455.    A lot of the Hajj consists in being patient and waiting until one goes to the next place – and this is a great lesson, especially for us ‘instant gratification, instant information’ types of people.

456.    Something to consider: One may have the wealth and health to perform the Hajj, but there may be no desire: This is why the maxim is to perform the Hajj as soon as possible, so that the desire does not leave one without having performed this most obligatory of actions. [Besides, we see how we ourselves have gone through our lives with disparate desires from one year to the next, – this is because the heart skips from interest to interest, but with regards to Hajj we MUST be very careful, and not let the desire burn out until we meet death without having performed the Hajj].

457.    (Relating the following as heard, while acknowledging there may be more to say on this, which I have not heard)

The Hadeeth of Jibril (Alayhi as-Salaam) shows the prerogative of the Sahabah (RAA) to bring the Shariah to its final manifestation- as we see in issues like Taraaweeh, Muallafati Quluubuhum, Hijri calendar, or the compilation of the Mushaf. It is not a matter of abrogating the religion or bringing something new to the religion from the part of the Sahabah (RAA), but that the truth of Jibreel (Alayhi as-Salaam) being their teacher, and of course the Prophet (ﷺ) [as their teacher] gave them the authority to bring Shariah to this final manifestation.

458.    The blessing of the Prophet (ﷺ) was visible in places such as Madeenah. Before, it was called Yathrib, which as a name had bad connotations associated with a despised place where people became ill, in addition to the many wars between the tribes in Yathrib. But he (ﷺ) changed the name of the city to Taybah (the good, nice place) and asked for double the blessing for Madeenah as compared to what had been bestowed upon Makkah.

459.    The general rule is that even though the Faadhil (preferred) is overall better than the Mafdhuul (preferred over), yet in some things the Mafdhuul may have superiority, such as Khidr (Alayhi as-Salaam) having some knowledge which was not made known to Musa (Alayhi as-Salaam). But, with regards to Muhammad (ﷺ), he had the best of all possible things and qualities available to humans which would draw him closest to Allah the Exalted.

460.    There is perfection in the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) being an Ummi’. The reason is that he (ﷺ) was taught only by Allah and only in the purest form. However for us, our minds make artificial associations based on the first impression of what we learn from human teachers. The example of this is ‘water’, if we first see it in a bottle, then we will not have learned ‘water’ as a pure substance, but rather ‘bottle of water’ as the material image pointing towards ‘water’. So we should understand the significance of the Prophet (ﷺ) being an unlettered or Ummi’ Prophet.

461.    Among the special qualities of the Prophet (ﷺ) was that his touch on the chest of certain people was enough to make the disbeliever, hypocrite, or the person with doubts earn full conviction in his heart concerning the truth of Islam. That is, if the disbeliever, hypocrite, etc.,  had at least a modicum of interest in becoming a true Muslim and approached the Prophet (ﷺ), then this was one of his special miraculous ways of impacting such a person.

462.    We hear many times that quality should be emphasized over quantity. This is true in its own realm, but there are other times in Islam when it is very much advisable to do efforts in great numbers, an example of this our reading of the Qur’an during the month of Ramadhan. Thus, quantity does have an effect, since trying to do something many times requires its own type of effort which definitely does bring the person qualitatively closer to the ultimate goal.

463.    We have the Hadith talking about taking the Quran and the Sunnah after the Prophet (ﷺ) (putting the authenticity question aside, since it is definitely a message deduced from the Qur’an). This is a general admonition the Prophet (ﷺ) gave to the Muslims. But when we come down to the technicalities of how to derive the Fiqh and ‘Aqidah tenets we must know what rules we are using, including what is the connection between the Ahadith books and the Sunnah on the one hand, and the Hujjiyah of the Sunnah in connection with the Qur’an. This is why the Usooliyun and the Mujtahid Fuqahaa have such an important role in Islam, even beyond that of the Muhadithin.

464.    Those who complain that they do not pray (perform Salaat) because they do not feel close to Allah, and would rather do something else, like Dua’ or philosophizing, etc. – a main problem of theirs is that they do not know Allah, or do not care for His Orders. If they knew Allah properly and cared for His Orders, their first priority would be to do what He obligates, to stand before Him in prayer, and by performing all other obligatory acts required of them.

465.    Maqaasid ash-Shariah [Goals of the Shariah] are like the Usool of Shariah [Fundamentals of the Shariah]. After that comes the Usool al-Fiqh (and part of it are the Qawaaid al-Fiqhiyya (Jurisprudential Bases)), and then the Ahkaam of Fiqh (Rules of Fiqh) itself.

The Maqaasid ash-Shariah are: Protection of the Deen, of life (Nafs), of dignity (al-‘Ird), of intellect (al-‘Aql), and of property (al-Mal). Some discussion exists as to whether an-Nasl (lineage) is an added group or under life and dignity – also, certain scholars added al-‘Adl (Justice) as a Maqsad, since they considered that this concept was becoming eroded within their lifetimes.

466.    Islam changed in a revolutionary way the whole concept of what it meant to be an Arab [to be an Arab by ethnicity versus being an Arab due to speaking the Arabic language].

467.    If one does not contemplate his own inner state, this is a sign that he is arrogant – the process of introspection is always tied to humility.

468.    People sometimes say things about certain books of Islamic Aqeedah talking about how the material muscles or factors are given power by Allah to act- but it is obvious that this can only be a power given at the time of action itself, otherwise then the muscles or whichever associated organs would have to give rise to or create the effect by themselves after they have received this power from Allah, which is against the very concept of Allah in Islam.

469.    It is asked many times, how one can reconcile between fear and love. In fact, the best fear comes out of love for the Beloved, not to disappoint the Beloved. In the case of the slave and Allah the Exalted, it is the fear, not of being punished by Allah, but of losing the obedience to Allah. In here, the primary and in fact the only thing is obeying Allah regardless of punishment or reward, and the fear is of the heart becoming lax in worshiping Allah and in loving Allah with obedience. So we should keep note of this distinction, since it is quite different from the ‘fear of punishment’ we often hear about.

470.    Many Muslims today wish to engage in activism – but, without taking care of the outer obligations and inner dimensions, this activism will only lead to personal disaster and also to minimal fruits (Islamically speaking). This is why we see nowadays many Muslims taking on explicitly anti-Islamic secular ideologies through activism.

Why? Because the ideologies of those whom the Muslims mixed with were those of liberal secularism, and Muslims absorbed it since they were naïve to begin with. So now many of these activists espouse unhindered freedom of expression, of action, of sexuality, and on and on, since the activism was in fact always tied to the mainstream liberal political agenda anyway (as was what they were protesting against, though in a different guise).

471.    In the hearts of some, there is a hidden message in the (demeaning) charge that one is following Imam Abu Haneefah (RAA) or Imam Shafii (RAA), and rather he should follow the Qur’an and Sunnah. The implication is that these Imams did not follow the Quran and Sunnah and it is in fact a hidden type of Takfeer (implicit, yes, but it is there). This is in addition to the obvious second charge that the person making this statement does indeed have complete encyclopedic knowledge of Islam.

Truth is, the scholars of Islam always used sources such as Ijma’, Qiyaas, Maslahah Mursalah, Istihsan, etc. – saying only the Quran and Sunnah (for some of these people) means that the scholars, even the great Sahaabah like Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, Ibn Mas’ud (RAA) did not know what they were doing, that they did not know what Islam was. Undoubtedly, this opens up the gates to many deviations and heresies.

472.    The Qiyas when carried out is not something the Faqeeh does based on whims but is rather something the situation and particularly the ‘Illah (reason) connected with one Hukm and how its close proximity with another situation forces itself upon the Faqeeh to give the ruling.

473.    Qawaaid al-Fiqhiyyah are those rules related to the derivation of Fiqhi rulings, yet they do not talk about protection of the intellect and so forth (i.e. they do not delve into the Maqaasid ash-Shariah).

The Qawaaid al-Fiqhiyya are those maxims that the Faqeeh ‘directly uses’ when looking into the Usool of Fiqh (the Qur’an, Sunnah, etc.) in his quest to derive Fiqhi rulings.

Among the benefits of knowing the Qawaaid al-Fiqhiyya are: One, we can remember what the Ahkaam of Fiqh are, and understand these Ahkaam (for example, to push the evil away is above trying to bring benefit, and from here we get certain rulings about Wudhu, Hajj, Sawm, related to whenever one might see a danger in performing these actions normally). Two, they improve the skill in deriving the rulings of Fiqh and the methodology followed in this regard. Three, we can understand the wisdom behind the Maqaasid ash-Shariah. Four, they will help us see the connection between the different (apparently disparate) rulings of Fiqh.

The Qawaaid al-Fiqhiyya are present so that Fiqh will not be pronounced based on emotions, whether this pronouncement is improperly biased either towards leniency or severity.

474.    The Prophet (ﷺ) only 2 or 3 days before his passing, addressed the people and asked them to get pay back for anything of physical hurt he may have inflicted on them, or to get back from him any money he owed them. No one in the world today would do such a thing no matter how good and kind they are, especially in the condition of a great direct king-like power over people, like the Prophet (ﷺ) had over the Muslims in that instance.

475.    With regards to the Love of Allah being ‘tied’ with the love and the following of the Prophet (ﷺ), there is an ‘ontological challenge’ by those who claim that our own paths can lead us to salvation. Unfortunately, they are claiming to choose for Allah what He can and cannot do, whom He can prescribe to be followed or not to be followed (or no one in particular as the claim goes in this case). This is exactly what these sorts of statements boil down to.