Archive | December 2008

What should we say when the muezzin says al-salaatu khayrun min al-nawm (prayer is better than sleep)?

Q) How should the muezzin be answered when he says al-salaatu khayrun min al-nawm (prayer is better than sleep)?

 

A) Praise be to Allaah.

 

He should be answered with something like what he says. So one should say “al-salaatu khayrun min al-nawm”, because when the muezzin says “Allaahu akbar (Allaah is most great)”, one should say “Allaahu akbar”, and when he says “Ashhadu an laa ilaaha ill-Allaah (I bear witness that there is no god but Allaah)”, one should say “Ashhadu an laa ilaaha ill-Allaah”. And when he says “Ashhadu anna Muhammadan rasool Allaah (I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah),” one should say, “Ashhadu anna Muhammadan rasool Allaah.” Then after saying the Shahaadatayn, one should say: “Radaytu Billaahi rabban wa bi’l-Islaami deenan wa bi Muhammad Rasoolan (I am content with Allaah as my Lord, and with Islam as my religion, and with Muhammad as my Prophet).” When he says “Hayya ‘ala al-salaah (come to prayer), one should say “Laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa Billaah (There is no power and no strength except with Allaah),” and the same when he says “Hayya ‘ala al-falaah (come to prosperity).” When he says “Allaahu akbar”, one should say “Allaahu akbar,” and when he says “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah” one should say “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah.” And when he says “Al-salaatu khayrun min al-nawm”, one should say “al-salaatu khayrun min al-nawm.” 

 

It was said that he should say “Sadaqta wa barirta (You have spoken the truth); and it was said that he should say “Laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa Billaah.” But the correct view is the first one. The evidence for that is the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): ‘When you hear the muezzin, say what the muezzin says.” There is no exception to this in the Sunnah except in the case of the words “Hayya ‘ala al-salaah, hayya ‘ala al-falaah,” when it should be said, “Laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa Billaah.” The general meaning of the hadeeth remains applicable to everything except these two phrases. 

 

If someone were to ask: Isn’t saying “prayer is better than sleep” true? The answer is, yes indeed, and saying Allaah akbar is true, and saying Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah is true, so when he says Allaah akbar, should you say Sadaqta wa barirta? You should not say that, so when he says “al-salaatu khayrun min al-nawm,” say what he says. This is the general meaning of the command of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). End quote. 

 

 

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (12/195).

It is not a condition of divorce that the wife should know or that she should be divorced face-to-face

Q)  I have been divorced for three years now. the proceedings were done through a solicitor. my ex husband did not contest therefore it was done through agreement between us. what i would like to know he has never verbally said ‘talaq’ to me. i have asked a few people, they tell me that under the islamic law i am divorced, and some people tell me that he has to say it verbally. please clarify this for me, as it is affecting me. i initiated the divorce on grounds of violent behaviour.

 

A) Praise be to Allaah.  

 

It is not a condition of divorce that the husband should speak the word in front of his wife or that she should know of it. When the man speaks the words of divorce, or writes them down, this is regarded as a valid divorce that takes effect, even if the wife does not know of it. 

 

If your husband has completed divorce proceedings with a lawyer then this divorce is valid and effective. Please see questions 9593 and 20660

 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: 

 

A man has been away from his wife for a long time, and he had divorced her to himself, even though he did not inform her of that. Has divorce taken place? 

 

He replied: 

 

The divorce has taken place, even if he did not convey that to his wife. If a man utters the words of divorce and says, “I divorce my wife”, the wife is divorced whether she knows it or not. Hence if we assume that the wife does not come to know of this divorce until after she has had three menstrual cycles, then her ‘iddah is complete even if she did not know. Similarly if a man dies and his wife does not come to know of his death until after the end of the ‘iddah period, then she does not have to observe ‘iddah because in this case it is already over. 

 

Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 2/804.

 

 

Islam Q&A

The difference between their saying “a saheeh hadeeth” and their saying “its isnaad is saheeh”

Q) What is the difference between a saheeh hadeeth and a hadeeth whose isnaad is saheeh?

 

A)  Praise be to Allaah.

 

Firstly: 

 

The muhaddithoon state that the saheeh hadeeth which is most likely attributable to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is the hadeeth which fulfils all of the five following conditions: 

 

1.     Each of its narrators is of good character

 

2.     Each of its narrators has a precise memory

 

3.     The isnaad is uninterrupted from beginning to end

 

4.     The hadeeth is sound and free of any shudhoodh (irregularity) in its isnaad or matn (text)

 

5.     The hadeeth is sound and free of any ‘illah (fault) in its isnaad or text. 

 

This has been discussed in the answer to question no. 79163

 

Secondly: 

 

The fourth and fifth conditions are among the most precise of conditions and the most difficult for the critic, because proving them required intense research and precision, bringing together all the isnaads and narrations of the hadeeth, as well as extensive experience in the sciences of hadeeth and specialization in criticism. Hence many of the later muhadditheen chose to err on the side of caution in their verdicts, and they limited their studies to checking the outward appearance of the isnaad to check whether it met the first three conditions, so if a specific isnaad met these three conditions they would say “a saheeh isnaad”, so as to alert the reader to the fact that they were only verifying that it met the first three conditions, and not the fourth and fifth, so that the reader would be aware of what this muhaddith meant. 

 

Al-Haafiz ibn al-Salaah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

 

When they say “This hadeeth has a saheeh isnaad or a hasan isnaad” instead of “this is a saheeh hadeeth or a hasan hadeeth”, that is because it may be said that this hadeeth has a saheeh isnaad but it is not saheeh per se because it is shaadhdh (odd) or mu’allal (faulty). End quote. 

 

Muqaddimah fi ‘Uloom al-Hadeeth (p. 23)                  

 

Ibn Katheer says: 

 

The fact that the isnaad is deemed to be saheeh or hasan does not necessarily mean that the same applies to the text, because it may be shaadhdh (odd) or mu’allal (faulty). end quote. 

 

Ikhtisaar ‘Uloom al-Hadeeth (p. 43). 

 

Al-‘Iraaqi said in his Alfiyyah: 

 

The ruling that the isnaad is saheeh or hasan does not necessarily apply to the text. End quote. 

 

Al-Tabsirah wa’l-Tadhkirah (1/107). 

 

Thirdly: 

 

Nevertheless, there may be an exception to this differentiation if it is known that a particular imam does not make this distinction between the two terms “a saheeh isnaad” and “a saheeh hadeeth” in his terminology. An imam – especially if he is one of the earlier scholars – may say “a saheeh isnaad” when he means that the hadeeth itself is saheeh, and that it meets all five conditions. 

 

Al-Haafiz Ibn al-Salaah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:  

 

But a reliable scholar may say in his book “it has a saheeh isnaad” and not mention any ‘illah (fault), or criticize it, so it may be understood that he deems it to be saheeh in and of itself, because the absence of any ‘illah (fault) or qaadih (flaw) is the basic principle. And Allaah knows best. End quote. 

 

Muqaddimah fi ‘Uloom al-Hadeeth (p. 23). 

 

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

 

It seems to me that the correct view is that a distinction should be made between the one who differentiates when describing hadeeth as saheeh, stating it in either specific or general terms, and the one who does not do so. 

 

The one who is known from studying his books to make this distinction should be viewed accordingly, so when he speaks in general terms it should be understood as referring to both the isnaad and the matn, and when he speaks in specific terms it should be understood as referring to the isnaad only. 

 

And it maybe said concerning the one who is known to describe hadeeth only in specific terms all the time what we quoted above. End quote. 

 

Al-Nukat ‘ala Ibn al-Salaah (1/474). 

 

And Allaah knows best.

 

 

Islam Q&A

What should one say when slaughtering the udhiyah?

Q)  Is there a specific du’aa’ that I can recite when slaughtering the udhiyah?

 

A)  Praise be to Allaah.  

 

The Sunnah for one who wants to slaughter the udhiyah is to say when slaughtering it: 

 

Bismillaah, wa Allaahu akbar, Allaahumma haadha minka wa laka, haadha ‘anni (or if it is being offered on behalf of someone else, haadha ‘an [fulaan]), Allaahumma taqabbal min [fulaan] wa aali [fulaan]. 

 

(In the name of Allaah, Allaah is most great. O Allaah, this is from You and to You. This is on my behalf (or if it is being offered on behalf of someone else, This is on behalf of [So and so]). O Allaah, accept (this sacrifice) from [So and so] and the family of [So and so]) – here he should mention his name instead of [fulaan] or [So and so]. 

 

What is obligatory here is to say Bismillaah; the rest is mustahabb but is not obligatory. 

 

Al-Bukhaari (5565) and Muslim (1966) narrated that Anas said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sacrificed two horned rams that were white speckled with black. He slaughtered them with his own hand, said Bismillaah and Allaahu akbar, and put his foot on their necks. 

 

Muslim (1967) narrated from ‘Aa’ishah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ordered that a horned ram be brought to him so that he could sacrifice it. He said, “O ‘Aa’ishah, give me the knife.” Then he said, “Sharpen it on a stone.” So she did that, then he took it and took the ram, and he lay it down and prepared to slaughter it. He said, “In the name of Allaah, O Allaah accept (this sacrifice) from Muhammad and the family of Muhammad and the ummah of Muhammad,” then he sacrificed it. 

 

Al-Tirmidhi (1521) narrated that Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah said: I was present with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) on the day of al-Adha at the prayer place. When he had finished his khutbah he came down from his minbar and a ram was brought which the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) slaughtered with his own hand. He said, “In the name of Allaah, Allaah is Most Great. This is on behalf of myself and on behalf of those of my ummah who have not offered a sacrifice.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.

 

In some reports the words “O Allaah, this is from You and to You” are added. See Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 1138, 1152.

 

Allaahumma minka (O Allaah, from You) means this sacrifice is a gift and provision that has reached me from You. Laka (to You) means, it is sincerely for You alone.

 

 See al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 7/492.

Islam Q&A

 

There is no call or adhaan etc for the Eid prayer

Q) Is it Sunnah to give a call for the Eid prayer by saying “al-salaatu jaami’ah (prayer is about to begin)”, as in the case of the eclipse prayer (salaat al-kusoof)?

 

A)    Praise be to Allaah.  

 

Muslim (885) narrated that Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah said: I attended the prayer on the day of Eid with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). He started with the prayer before the khutbah, with no adhaan or iqaamah. 

 

Al-Bukhaari (960) and Muslim (886) narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas and Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah al-Ansaari said: No adhaan was given on the day of al-Fitr or the day of al-Adha (i.e., for the Eid prayer). Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah al-Ansaari said: There is no adhaan for the prayer on the day of al-Fitr when the imam comes out, or after he comes out; no iqaamah, no call, nothing. There is no call on that day and no iqaamah. 

 

This hadeeth indicates that there is no adhaan or iqaamah for the Eid prayer and that no call is given for it. 

 

Some of the scholars are of the view that a call should be given for it by saying “al-salaatu jaami’ah (prayer is about to begin)” by analogy with the eclipse prayer. 

 

This is an analogy which contradicts the hadeeth of Jaabir quoted above, so no attention should be paid to it. 

 

Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

 

Some of our companions said that a call should be given for it, i.e., “al-salaatu jaami’ah (prayer is about to begin)”. This is the view of al-Shaafa’i. But the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is more deserving of being followed. 

 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: 

 

There is no call for the Eid prayer or prayers for rain (al-istisqa’). This is the view of a number of our companions. This was quoted from him in al-Insaaf, 1/428. 

 

Ibn al-Qayyim said in Zaad al-Ma’aad: 

 

When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) reached the prayer-place he would commence the prayer – i.e., the Eid prayer – with no adhaan or iqaamah, and he did not say “al-salaatu jaami’ah (prayer is about to begin)”. The Sunnah is not to do any of those things. 

 

Al-San’aani said in Subul al-Salaam, concerning the view that it is nustahabb to call people to the Eid prayer by saying “al-salaatu jaami’ah (prayer is about to begin)”: 

 

This view is not correct, because there is no evidence that it is mustahabb. If it were mustahabb the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would not have failed to do it, and neither would the Rightly-Guided Caliphs who came after him. That is proven with regard to the eclipse prayer, not for any other, and it is not correct to draw an analogy between them, because if there was a reason for doing something during his lifetime but he did not do it, doing it after he is gone is a bid’ah (innovation), so it cannot be proven by analogy or otherwise. 

 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen was asked: Is there any adhaan or iqaamah for the Eid prayer? 

 

He replied: 

 

There is no adhaan or iqaamah for the Eid prayer, as was proven in the Sunnah, but some scholars (may Allaah have mercy on them) said that a call may be given for it by saying “al-salaatu jaami’ah (prayer is about to begin)”. But there is no evidence for this view, so it is weak (da’eef). It is not correct to draw an analogy with the eclipse prayer, because an eclipse may come without people realizing it, unlike the Eid prayer. So the Sunnah is not to give any adhaan or iqaamah to call people by saying “al-salaatu jaami’ah (prayer is about to begin)”. Rather the people should come out, and when the imam arrives they should pray without any adhaan or iqaamah, then after that comes the khutbah. 

 

Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 16/237.

 

 

Islam Q&A

The reason for coming back via a different route from the Eid prayer

Q)  I read that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to go to the Eid prayer via one route and come back via a different route. What is the reason for that?

 

A)  Praise be to Allaah.  

 

Al-Bukhaari (986) narrated that Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: On the day of Eid, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would vary his route, i.e., he would go via one route and come back via a different route. 

 

The believer is required to follow the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) even if he does not know the reason why the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did something. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

 

“Indeed in the Messenger of Allaah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the Meeting with) Allaah and the Last Day, and remembers Allaah much”

 

[al-Ahzaab 33:21] 

 

Ibn Katheer said (3/756): This verse points to an important principle, namely following the example of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in word and deed. 

 

The scholars differed greatly as to the reason for this (i.e., returning via a different route).  

 

Al-Haafiz said: 

 

The scholars differed greatly as to the reason for this. I have collected more than twenty different opinions, which I have summed up and highlighted those that are weak. Al-Qaadi ‘Abd al-Wahhaab al-Maaliki said: Several opinions have been mentioned concerning that, some of which are likely to be correct but most of which are far-fetched. 

 

For example: 

 

1-     He did that so that the two routes would bear witness for him, or it was said: so that their inhabitants, jinns and humans, would bear witness for him

 

2-     It was said that it was so as to make them equal because they are blessed by his passing through.

 

3-     It was said that his route to the prayer-place was to his right, and if he came back the same way he would be coming to the left, so he went back by a different route. This requires evidence.

 

4-     It was said that it was to make manifest the symbols of Islam on both routes, or to make manifest the remembrance of Allaah.

 

5-     It was said that it was to annoy the hypocrites or the Jews, or to alarm them by showing the large number of those who were with him. Ibn Battaal thought this was most likely to be correct.

 

6-     It was said that it was a precaution against the plots of the two groups, or one of them. This needs verification.

 

7-     It was said that he did that in order to make more people happy or bring blessing to them by his passing through or by their seeing him, and so that he might attend to their needs, answer their questions, teach them, give them charity, greet them with salaam, etc

 

8-     It was said that it was in order to visit his relatives and uphold the ties of kinship.

 

9-     It was said that it was in order to have a change of scene.

 

10- It was said that that when he went he gave charity and when he came back he had nothing left, so he came back via a different route so that he would not have to refuse anyone who asked of him. This is a very weak view as well as one that requires proof.

 

11- It was said that that route by which he went was longer than the route by which he came back, and he wanted to increase his reward by taking more steps to get there, but on the way back he was hastening to go home. This is the view favoured by al-Raafi’i, but he stated that it requires evidence and that the reward for taking steps also applies to the way back, as was proven in the hadeeth of Ubayy ibn Ka’b which was narrated by al-Tirmidhi and others.

 

12-It was said that the angels stand on the roads and he wanted two groups of angels to bear witness for him. 

 

Ibn al-Qayyim mentioned some of these reasons in Zaad al-Ma’aad (1/449), then he said: 

 

The most correct view is that he did this for these and other reasons.  

 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said: If it is said, what is the reason for coming back by a different route? 

 

The answer is: to follow the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). 

 

“It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allaah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed into a plain error”

 

[al-Ahzaab 33:36 – interpretation of the meaning] 

 

This is the reason… Then he mentioned some of the reasons quoted above from al-Haafiz. 

 

Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 16/222.

 

 

Islam Q&A

 

Commentary on the hadeeth “No one overburdens himself in his religion but he will be unable to continue in that way”

Q)  What is the meaning of the hadeeth of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “No one overburdens himself in his religion but he will be unable to continue in that way”?

 

A) Praise be to Allaah.

 

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: 

 

“Religion is easy, and no one overburdens himself in his religion but he will be unable to continue in that way. So do not be extremists, but try to be near perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded. Gain strength by worshipping in the mornings and afternoons and during the last hours of the night.”

 

Narrated by al-Bukhaari (39) and Muslim (2816). 

 

Al-Haafiz Ibn Rajab (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

 

The meaning of this hadeeth is that it is not allowed to go to extremes in religion, by overburdening oneself with acts of worship that one cannot do except with extreme hardship. This is what is meant by the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “No one overburdens himself in his religion but he will be unable to continue in that way”, i.e., religion is not to be approached in an extreme manner, and whoever does that will be defeated. 

 

In Musnad al-Imam Ahmad (5/32), in a report which was classed as hasan by the commentators on the Musnad, it is narrated that Mihjan ibn al-Adra’ said: I came with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and when we were at the door of the mosque, we saw a man who was praying. He said: “Do you think he is sincere?” I said: “O Prophet of Allaah, this is So and so, he is one of the best of the people of Madeenah, or one of those who pray the most of the people of Madeenah.” He said: “Do let hm hear you lest you be doomed” – two or three times – “you are an ummah for whom I want ease.” 

 

According to another report: “The best of your religion is that which is easiest, the best of your religion is that which is easiest.” Musnad Ahmad (3/479). It was classed as hasan by the commentators. 

 

According to a marfoo’ report narrated by ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas:

 

“This religion is very profound so approach it in a gentle manner and do not make yourself hate the worship of Allaah because the traveller who does not let his mount rest will not reach his destination and his mount will not be able to keep going.”

 

al-Sunan al-Kubra by al-Bayhaqi (3/19); classed as da’eef by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Da’eefah (1/64). 

 

The one who does not let his mount rest will not reach his destination and he will become like one who is cut off, because his mount is no longer able to continue, so he is close to doom. Had he been kind to his mount and taken it easy during his journey, his mount would have been able to travel the distance with him and get him to his destination. End quote. Fath al-Baari by Ibn Rajab (1/136-139). 

 

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

 

What is meant is that no one goes to extremes in religious deeds and forsakes the easy approach but he will become incapable and will be unable to continue in that way. 

 

Ibn al-Muneer said: This hadeeth is one of the signs of Prophethood. We have seen and the people before us saw that everyone who goes to extremes in religious matters will be cut off and doomed. 

 

It does not mean that we should not seek to be more perfect in worship, for that is something praiseworthy. Rather what is forbidden is the kind of extremism that leads to getting bored with it, or going to such extremes in doing voluntary acts that one ends up forsaking that which is better, or it leads to delaying the obligatory act until the time for it is past, like one who stays up and prays all night, until sleep overcomes him at the end of the night and he sleeps and misses offering Fajr prayer in congregation, or until the preferred time for it is over, or until the sun rises and the time for the obligatory prayer ends. End quote. 

 

Fath al-Baari by Ibn Hajar (1/94). 

 

Al-‘Allaamah ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Sa’di (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

 

How great this hadeeth is and how concise and good is its beneficial advice and comprehensive principles. At the beginning of it the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) established this important principle, and said: “Religion is easy” i.e., it is easy and simple in its beliefs, morals and deeds, in its actions and abstentions.  

 

The beliefs that have to do with belief in Allaah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, the last Day, the divine decree both good and bad – these are sound beliefs in which hearts find rest and which will bring the one who believes in them to the best end.  

 

Its morals and deeds are the most perfect of morals and the most righteous of deeds, in which are the best interests of religion, this world and the Hereafter. By missing out on them, nothing good can be achieved. They are all easy and simple; everyone who is accountable sees himself as able to do them and does not find any hardship or difficulty in doing so.  

 

Its beliefs are sound and simple, acceptable to the sound mind and sound human nature. 

 

Its obligations are the easiest thing. 

 

The five prayers are repeated five times every day and night, at the appropriate times. The All-Knowing, All-Aware has made them more easy making it obligatory to offer them in congregation and gathering to offer them, because gathering to perform acts of worship makes them easier, and decreed that there should be a great deal of goodness in religious commitment and soundness of faith, and that there should be both immediate and deferred rewards, which makes the believer find comfort in doing them  and praise Allaah for enjoining them on His slaves, for they cannot do without them. 

 

Zakaah is not required of any poor person who does not have wealth that reaches the nisaab or minimum threshold at which zakaah becomes due. Rather it is required of the rich so as to complete their religion and their Islam, to purify their wealth and their hearts, to ward off calamities from them and their wealth, to cleanse them of their sins, to offer comfort to the needy and to bring about harmony in society. But despite that it is a very small amount when compared with what Allaah has given them of wealth and provision. 

 

As for fasting, it is obligatory for one month of the year, in which all the Muslims come together and forsake their basic desires – for food, drink and physical relations – during the day, and Allaah compensates them for that by His grace and kindness, completing their religious commitment and faith and increasing their perfection, with His great reward, and many other good things that come as the consequence of fasting. It is also a means of attaining piety (taqwa) which is the basis of doing all kinds of good deeds and avoiding evil things. 

 

With regard to Hajj, Allaah has only enjoined it on the one who is able to do it, and only once in a lifetime. There are many religious and worldly benefits in it, more than can be counted. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “That they may witness things that are of benefit to them” [al-Hajj 22:28], i.e., in both religious and worldly terms.  

 

Then after that there are all the rituals of Islam which are very easy and have to do with the rights of Allaah and the rights of His slaves. They are easy in and of themselves. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Allaah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you” [al-Baqarah 2:185]. Nevertheless, if something prevents a person from doing things, such as sickness, travel and the like, Allaah has granted some concessions, and waived some duties, or allowed doing them in a different way, as is well known. 

 

Moreover, if a person looks at the various things that people do day and night, both obligatory and naafil, prayer, fasting, charity and so on, and wants to follow the example of the most perfect of mankind and their leader, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), in doing them, he will find that it is not too difficult for him, and it will not keep him from attending to his worldly interests, rather by doing that he will be able to do all his duties, his duties towards Allaah, his duty towards himself, his duty towards his family and friends, and his duty towards everyone who has a right over him, quite easily. 

 

But the one who overburdens himself and is not content with that with which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was content or that which he taught to his ummah, rather he goes to extremes and overburdens himself with acts of worship, will be overwhelmed and in the end he will be unable to continue and will stop doing it. Hence he said: “and no one overburdens himself in his religion but he will be unable to continue in that way.” 

 

So the one who overburdens himself with regard to religious matters and is not moderate will be overwhelmed by it and will lose steam and will find himself going backwards. 

 

Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined and encouraged moderation, and said: “I urge you to be moderate and you will reach your goal.”  

 

Then he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined avoiding extremism and trying to be near perfection, and encouraged people to be hopeful and not to yield to despair.                        

 

Avoiding extremism means saying and doing the right thing, and following a wise path; it means saying and doing the right thing in all senses. If he cannot do that in every situation, then let him fear Allaah as much as he can, and draw near to the goal, because if a person cannot manage to get things completely right, let him come close, and if he cannot do all that then let him do as much as he can. 

 

From this may be taken a useful principle which is also indicated in the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

 

“So keep your duty to Allaah and fear Him as much as you can”

 

[al-Taghaabun 64:16] 

 

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When I tell you to do something, do as much of it as you can.” The issues that are based on this principle are innumerable. 

 

In another hadeeth it says: “Make things easy (for people) and do not make things difficult, give glad tidings and do not put people off.” 

 

Then the hadeeth ends with advice that is easy for people, but is extremely beneficial, which is: “Gain strength by worshipping in the mornings and afternoons and during the last hours of the night.” 

 

These three times are times when, if the traveller travels at these times, he will be able to reach his destination, whether it is far or near, and he and his mount will both still be in good shape. Also these three times could help a person to reach his destination in the Hereafter and travel the straight path and reach Allaah in an easy manner. So if a person occupy himself with good and righteous deeds that are suited to the time – at the beginning and end of the day and part of the night, especially at the end of the night, that will bring him a greater share of good and he will attain happiness, victory and prosperity, and he will be successful in finding ease and rest, as well as attaining his worldly and psychological goals. 

 

This is one of the greatest signs of Allaah’s mercy towards His slaves in this religion which is the means of eternal happiness, as Allaah sent it as guidance to His slaves and explained it on the lips of His Messengers, and has made it easy, and helped with it in all ways, and show kindness to those who strive hard and protected them from obstacles and impediments. 

 

Thus it is known that a number of principles may be derived from this great hadeeth: 

 

1.     Islam is easy in general

 

2.     Hardship opens the door to relief

 

3.     If I tell you to do something, do as much of it as you can.

 

4.     It encourages those who strive hard and gives them glad tidings of goodness and reward that stem from their actions.

 

5.     Comprehensive advice on how to reach Allaah, advice which may be sufficient on its own and no other advice could take its place.  

 

May the blessings and peace of Allaah be upon the one who was given the power and benefit of concise speech. End quote. 

 

Bahjat Quloob al-Abraar wa Qurrat ‘Ayn al-Akhyaar fi Sharh Jawaami’ al-Akhbaar (p. 77-80). 

 

And Allaah knows best.

 

 

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