- they cannot harm nor can they benefit;
- they cannot give nor can they keep back;
- they cannot give life nor can they give death;
- they cannot convey nor can they cut off;
- they cannot bring near nor can they take away;
- they cannot make happy nor can they make sad;
- they cannot bestow nor can they deprive;
- they possess for themselves neither benefit nor harm,
- nor death, nor life, nor resurrection.
“Make sure you end Sha’ban in the best of states, for Allah records the rewards that we will receive and the supererogatory actions that we will perform before Ramadan enters. He also records the bad deeds and the wretchedness of those that will be deprived the blessings of Ramadan. What will be your state on the last Friday of Sha’ban and the night before it? Attend the gatherings at the end of this month with a heart focused on the All-Merciful.
Prepare for the first night of Ramadan, for on this night Allah gazes at His creation, a special gaze which is unique to this Ummah. Allah will never punish the one upon whom He gazes. Look at how many gifts have been given to this Ummah – when Ramadan enters the gates of the Garden are opened and the gates of the Fire are closed.
If someone who is destined for the Fire dies during Ramadan he will see that the gates of the Fire are closed!
The odour that comes forth from the mouth of the fasting person is sweeter in the sight of Allah than the scent of musk!
Every night Allah decrees the safety of 600,000 people from the Fire (in some narrations one million). Then on the last night he decrees the safety of the same number of people that he decreed on every night of the month. He also decrees the safety of others during the day – particularly at sunrise and sunset.
This is not to mention what happens on Laylat al-Qadr! Allah make us amongst those who reach that night and attain all that it contains. Ask from Allah in the best of ways because Allah does not accept a du`a from a heart which is heedless. Likewise a du`a from a sound heart is more likely to be accepted than a du`a from a tongue which is fluent.
Al-Sayyida `A’isha (RadiAllahu Anha) asked the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) what she should ask for if she knew that it was Laylat al-Qadr.
He replied: “O Allah, truly You are all-Pardoning, You love to pardon so pardon us.”
He also said (Allah bless him and grant him peace): “Do four things in abundance: two things with which you please your Lord, and two things which you cannot do without. As for the two things with which you please your Lord: your testifying that there is nothing worthy of worship other than Allah and your seeking His forgiveness. As for the two things which you cannot do without: your asking Allah for Paradise and seeking refuge in Him from the Fire.”
So say these things in abundance, for they are the best things for which you can use your tongue. Say them in your homes, in the streets, in the mosques not just at Iftar or after Tarawih.
[On the basis of these two hadiths the scholars and people of Tarim repeat the following du`a throughout the month of Ramadan:
Ashadu alla ilaha illallah, nastaghfirullah, nas’aluk’l-jannata wa na`audhu bika min an-nar
“I testify that there is nothing worthy of worship other than Allah and we seek the forgiveness of Allah. We ask You for Paradise and take refuge in You from the Fire.” (3 times)
Allahumma innaka `afuwun tuhibbu-l’`afwa f`afwa `anna
“O Allah, truly You are all-Pardoning, You love to pardon so pardon us” (3 times). On the third time say “O Most Generous” (Ya Karim).]
Allah give us the biggest portion of all goodness. Make Ramadan a cause of rectification and the removal of tribulations.
 Jalsat al-Ithnayn, Dar al-Mustafa the night of 25th Sha`ban 1432/25th July 2011
 Narrated by al-Bayhaqi
 Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim
 Narrated by Ahmad, Ibn Majah and Tirmidhi with a sahih chain of transmission
 Narrated by Ibn Khuzayma
What a beautiful, simple formula to calculate our future with! We can match our life against the Qur’an and the Sunnah to know who we are, and to look at what we have set aside for Allah (Subhana wa Ta’ala), and to know what Allah the Almighty and Majestic has prepared for us.
It is imperative that we take our soul to account and treat its deficiencies. Hazrat Umar (radi Allahu anhu) said, “Take account of yourselves before you are taken to account, weigh your deeds before they are weighed.”
Hasan al Basri (rahimahu Allah) said “A believer will always be critical of himself in his food, his drink and his speech. A sinner will not criticize himself.” He also said “A believer is a guardian over himself: he takes account of himself for Allah. Those who take account of themselves in this world will be audited lightly in the Hereafter. Those who take this issue lightly will find their auditing very difficult.”
When a Muslim takes account of his actions, he is able to realize the right of Allah (Subhana wa Ta’ala) over him. Ibn al-Qayyim said, “A benefit of understanding Allah’s right over the servant is that it breeds condemnation of oneself and delivers one from showing off and vanity. It also opens the door of humbleness in front of Allah and closes the doors of conceit. It allows one to realize that salvation is only through Allah’s grace and mercy.”
It is Allah’s right that He should be obeyed and not disobeyed; that He should be remembered and not forgotten; and that He should be shown gratitude and not shown ingratitude. Whoever thinks over these things will know with certainty that he cannot fulfill these conditions and, thus, has to resort to Allah’s mercy. Such a person will be convinced that he cannot rely on his actions, lest he be destroyed.
We think about our rights over Allah and not about His rights over us. This is how we are detached from Allah and deprived of the desire to meet Him. This is the epitome of our ignorance of our Lord and of ourselves.
If we can make our Ramadan resolution this year to follow all the above mentioned advice — this will be the best possible Ramadan so far, inshaAllah.
Three things of life once gone never come back — time, words, and opportunity. Let us also make the resolution to not waste them.
With Allah’s help nothing is difficult, without His help nothing is easy!
According to what is indicated in various prophetic narratives (ahadith), the Mahdi (Allah bless him) will come before the Dajjal.
In the Sunan of Abu Dawud it is stated that Imam Mahdi (Allah bless him) will be given allegiance by the people between the Black Stone and the maqam of Ibrahim (Allah bless him and grant him peace). The Dajjal will then come out and would later be met by Imam Mahdi and his army (after some prior conquests) in battle, as understood from the narration of Muslim. Mulla `Ali al-Qari also states in his Mirqat,that the Dajjal will come out during the time of Imam Mahdi, indicating that the Mahdi will already be present at the time.
As for our liege-lord `Isa (Allah bless him and grant him peace), he will also descend after the appearance of Imam Mahdi (Allah bless him). Abu Hurayra (Allah be well pleased with him) states, “The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘How will you be when the son of Mary descends among you and your leader (imam) is from amongst yourselves.”
This narration demonstrates that at the time our liege-lord `Isa (Allah bless him) descends, the Muslims will already have a leader. Many of the hadith commentators stated that this leader (imam) would be none other than the Mahdi (Allah bless him). Our liege-lord `Isa (Allah bless him and grant him peace) will pray behind him, as is is mass-transmitted (tawatur) from the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace). [Ibn Hajar, Fath al Bari; Nawawi. Sharh Sahih Muslim; Kashmiri, Fayd al-Bari]
Sidi Salman Younas
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani
Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: According to Islam what is the purpose of a friend? How does one show gratitude to Allah for a friend?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
One’s friends should be people who are helping one draw closer to one’s Lord.
Imam Ghazali (rah) in his Beginning of Guidance (Bidayat al-Hidaya) lists a number of qualities to look for in a friend noting the words of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), “A person’s religious life is only as good as that of his friend, so let one of you consider well whom he befriends.” [Tirmidhi]
– As there is no good friendship with a foolish person;
– Specifically seek someone with practical intelligence who has the capacity to seek benefit, even if worldly;
 Good Character
– Ghazali states that someone of bad character is one who cannot restrain their [i] anger or [ii] desire;
– Somebody who truly cares for others. “The religion is sincere counsel.”
– “Do not obey someone whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance, who follows his inclinations, whose case has gone beyond all bounds.” [Qur’an, 18:28]
– As witnessing the transgression of a wrongdoer on a regular basis will remove from your heart all sense of the enormity of the crimes and make them seem insignificant.
 Lack of Greed
– Someone concerned with amassing “things” of this world
– Human nature is designed to imitate and follow (by example), so one person’s nature may take from another without even realizing it.
– As one will always face deception from the liar.
Imam Ghazali (rah) continues that after finding a decent friend, one should uphold, respect and fulfill the duties of being a friend.
Gratitude and Growing
Allah Most High says in the Qur’an, ‘If you are thankful, I will surely increase you’ [Qur’an, 14:7] The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘Whoever does not thank people has not thanked Allah’. [Tirmidhi]
Be grateful for them, appreciate them, and grow in love for one another — the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, narrating from His Lord, “My love is incumbent for those who love one another for my sake; those who sit with one another for My sake; those who visit each other for My sake; and those who spend on each other for My sake.” [Musnad Ahmad]
And Allah knows best.
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani
The hadith of intentions is not meant to be taken in a vacuum. Nothing in the Shari`a is in a vacuum. It needs to be taken together with all the other injunctions of Allah and His Prophet which includes five hundred commands and eight hundred prohibitions. Furthermore the hadith of intention is a warning to eliminate self-display and self-delusion because they cancel reward and have negative consequences. There are other applications as well. An important requirement is to tread the path of teachers and not to try and split hairs by philosophizing on our own.
Ibn Rajab’s Commentary on Imam Nawawi’s Forty Hadith
Translation and copyright: Mohammed Fadel
‘Umar b. al-Khattab RadhiAllahu‘anhu narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: Deeds are [a result] only of the intentions [of the actor], and an individual is [rewarded] only according to that which he intends. Therefore, whosoever has emigrated for the sake of Allah and His messenger, then his emigration was for Allah and His messenger. Whosoever emigrated for the sake of worldly gain, or a woman [whom he desires] to marry, then his emigration is for the sake of that which [moved him] to emigrate.” Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim.
This hadith has only one path to ‘Umar: Yahya b. Sa’id al-Ansari on the authority of Muhammad b. Ibrahim al-Taymi, on the authority of ‘Alqama b. Abi Waqqas al-Laythi, who narrated it from ‘Umar b. al-Khattab. Large numbers of people narrated this hadith on the authority of Yahya b. Sa’id, including Imam Malik, al-Thawri, al-Awza’i, Ibn al-Mubarak, al-Layth b. Sa’d, Hammad b. Zayd, Shu’ba, Ibn ‘Uyayna and others.
This was the first hadith Bukhari recorded in his book, where it serves the purpose of the introduction (khutba), pointing out that all deeds that are devoid of the proper intention are vain (batil). ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Mahdi is reported to have said that “Were I to compose a book comprised of various chapters, I would place the hadith of ‘Umar regarding deeds and intentions in each chapter.” This is one of the firm hadiths which serves as an axis of Islam. Al-Shafi’i said that it comprises a third of all religious knowledge. Ahmad b. Hanbal said that the principles axes of Islam, in terms of hadith, are three: the hadith of ‘Umar that “deeds are judged only by intention,” the hadith of ‘A`isha, “Whoever introduces into our affairs that which does not belong, it is rejected,” and the hadith of al-Nu’man b. Bashir, “The licit is clear and the illicit is clear.” Ishaq b. Rahawyahi also included this hadith as one of the axises of Islam. Abu Dawud, the collector of the Sunan, is reported to have said that of the 4,800 hadiths in his book, it is sufficient if a person knows four, the hadith of ‘Umar regarding intentions and deeds, the hadith “Part of person’s virtue in Islam is to ignore that which is of no concern to him,” the hadith “The believer is not a believer unless he desires for his brother what he desires for himself,” and the hadith “the licit is clear and the illicit is clear.”
The first question regarding this hadith is whether it refers to all actions, or only those actions whose validity requires an intention (niyya)? Thus, if it refers only to the former, it would not apply to the customary areas of human life, e.g., eating, drinking, clothes, etc., as well as transactional matters, e.g., fulfilling fiduciary duties and returning misappropriated properties. The other opinion is that the hadith refers to all actions. Ibn Rajab attributes the first position to the later scholars whereas the second position he attributes to earlier scholars.
The first sentence of the hadith, “innama al-a’mal bi-l-niyyat,” is a declaration that the voluntary actions of a person are a consequence only of that person’s purpose to perform the act or bring it into existence (“la taqa’ illa ‘an qasd min al-‘amil huwa sabab ‘amaliha wa wujudiha.“). The second sentence, “wa innama li-kulli imri` ma nawa,” is a declaration of religion’s judgment of the act in question (“ikbar ‘an al-hukm al-shar’i“).? Thus, if the intention motivating an act is good, then performance of the act is good and the person receives its reward.? As for the corrupt intention, the action it motivates is corrupt, and the person receives punishment therefor.? If the intention motivating the act is permissible, then the action is permissible, and the actor receives neither reward nor punishment. Therefore, acts in themselves, their goodness, foulness or neutrality, from the perspective of religion are judged according to the person’s intention that caused their existence.
Niyya is used in two senses by the scholars of Islam. The first is to distinguish some acts of worship from others, e.g., salat al-zuhr from salat al-‘asr or to distinguish acts of worship (‘ibadat) from mundane matters (‘adat). This is the primary usage of the term in the books of the fuqaha`. The second usage is to distinguish an action that is performed for the sake of Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, from an act done for the sake of Allah and others, or just for the sake of other than Allah. This second meaning is that which is intended by the gnostics (‘arifun) in their discussions of sincerity (ikhlas) and related matters. This is the same meaning that is intended by the Pious Ancestors (al-salaf al-salih) when they use the term niyya. Thus, in the Qur`an, the speech of the Prophet (S) and the speech of the Salaf, the term niyya is synonymous, or usually so, with the term desire (irada) and related terms, e.g., ibtigha`. The texts of the shar‘ testifying to this usage are too numerous to be cited in this posting, but include such verses as “Among you are those who desire (yurid) the profane world and among you are those who desire (yurid) the next,” and “You desire (turidun) the profit of the profane world but Allah desires [for you] the next,” and “Whosoever desires (yurid) the harvest of the profane world, etc.” and “Whosoever desires (yurid) the immediate [gratification of the profane world], we hasten it to him what We wish to whom We desire,” and “Do not expel those who call out to their Lord in the early morn and in the evening, who are seekers (yuridun) of His face and let not your eyes wander from them out of covetous desire (turid) of the frivolity of the profane world.”
Likewise, Imam Ahmad and al-Nasa`i report that the Prophet (ﷺ ) said that “Whosoever takes part in a military campaign in the cause of Allah, but sought only booty [thereby], shall gain [only] what he intended (nawa),” and on the authority of Imam Ahmad, “Most of the martyrs of my community shall die in their beds (ashab al-furush), and many a man killed in battle whose intention is known only to Allah,” and the hadith of Sa’d b. Abi Waqqas in Bukhari, where the Prophet (ﷺ ) says “Indeed, you shall never spend of your property an amount whereby you are desirous (tabtaghi) of pleasing Allah save that you shall be rewarded for it, even the morsel of food that you place in your wife’s mouth.”Similarly, it is reported that ‘Umar said “One who has no intention (niyya) has no [meritorious] deeds (“la ‘amala li-man la niyyata lahu”).
Despite the importance of having a good niyya, and its centrality to Islam, it is among the most difficult things to achieve. Thus, Sufyan al-Thawri is reported to have said, “Nothing is more difficult for me to treat than my intention (niyya) for indeed it turns on me!.”Yusuf b. Asbat said, “Purifying one’s intention from corruption is more difficult for persons than lengthy exertion (ijtihad).”?
An act that is not done sincerely for the sake of Allah may be divided into parts:
The first is that which is solely for display (riya`) such that its sole motivation is to be seen by others in order to achieve a goal in the profane world, as was the case of the Hypocrites in their performance of prayer, where Allah described them as “When they join prayer, they go lazily [with the purpose] of displaying [themselves] to the people.”
At other times, an action might be partially for the sake of Allah and partially to display one’s self in front of the people. If the desire to display one’s self arose at the origin of the action, then the action is vain. Imam Ahmad reports that the Prophet (ﷺ ) said, “When Allah gathers the first [of His creation] and the last [of His creation] for that Day for which there is no doubt, a crier will call out, ‘Whosoever associated with Me another in his actions let him seek his reward from other than Allah, for Allah is the most independent of any association (fa-inna allaha aghna al-sharaka` ‘an al-shirk).” Al-Nasa`i reported that a man asked the Prophet (ﷺ ), “What is your opinion of one who fights [in the way of Allah] seeking fame [in the profane world] and reward [from Allah]” The Prophet (ﷺ ) replied, “He receives nothing [by way of reward from Allah’.” The Prophet (ﷺ ) repeated this three times and then said, “Allah accepts no deeds other than those that are performed solely for His sake and by which His face is sought.” This opinion, namely, that if an act is corrupted by any desire to display one’s self (riya`) then that act is rejected, is attributed to many of the Salaf, including, ‘Ubada b. al-Samit, Abu al-Darda`, al-Hasan al-Basri, Sa’id b. al-Musayyib and others.
If one’s intention is corrupted with something other than the desire to display one’s self, e.g., to earn profit whilst on a jihad in the path of Allah, such an intention reduces one’s reward from jihad, but does not negate it entirely. Muslim reported in his Sahih that the Prophet (ﷺ ) said that “Soldiers in the path of Allah attain two-thirds of their reward immediately when they obtain booty [from the enemy], whereas they receive their reward in its entirety when they obtain nothing from the enemy.”
As for an action whose origin is for Allah, then it subsequently becomes corrupted by a desire to display one’s self, then the Salaf differed as to whether such an act is vain. Their differences on this matter have been reported by Ahmad and al-Tabari. Al-Hasan al-Basri is reported to have held that such a desire, in itself, does not invalidate the proper intention that was the origin of the act.
In conclusion, the saying of Sahl b. ‘Abd Allah is most beautiful in this regard: Nothing is more difficult on a person than sincerity because the person gains no share of that [act]. Ibn ‘Uyayna said that Mutarrif b. ‘Abdallah would repeat the following prayer, “O Allah! I seek Your forgiveness for that which I sought your repentance but to which I subsequently returned; I seek Your forgiveness from that which I rendered to You from my self, but then, I was not able to maintain faithfully; and, I seek Your forgiveness from that by which I claimed I desired your Face but my heart became corrupted with that which I did.”
Wa akhir da’wana an al-hamdu li-llahi rabbi al-‘alamin, wa-l-salat wa-l-salam ‘ala ashraf al-mursalin wa ‘ala alihi wa sahbihi wa azwajihi.
وَيَشْفِ صُدُورَ قَوْمٍ مُّؤْمِنِينَ
wa yashfi sudoora qawmin mumineena
And [God] shall heal the breast of the believers. (at-Tawba, 9:14)
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءتْكُم مَّوْعِظَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَشِفَاء لِّمَا فِي الصُّدُورِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
Yaa ayyuha an-naasu qad ja’atkum maw`izhatun min rabbikum wa shifaun limaa fee as-sudoori wa hudan wa rahmatun lil-mumineen
Mankind there has come to you a guidance from your Lord and a healing for (the diseases) in your hearts, and for those who believe a guidance and a mercy. (Yunus, 10:57)
َيخْرُجُ مِن بُطُونِهَا شَرَابٌ مُّخْتَلِفٌ أَلْوَانُهُ فِيهِ شِفَاء لِلنَّاسِ
yakhruju min butooniha sharaabun mukhtalifun alwaanuhu feehi shifaun lin-naas
There issues from within the bodies of the bee a drink of varying colors wherein is healing for mankind. (an-Nahl, 16:69)
وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ مَا هُوَ شِفَاء وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
Wa nunazzilu mina al-qurani ma huwa shifaun wa rahmatun lil-mumineen
And We sent down in the Quran such things that have healing and mercy for the believers (an-Najm, 17:82)
وَإِذَا مَرِضْتُ فَهُوَ يَشْفِينِ
Wa idha maridtu fahuwa yashfeeni
And when I am ill, it is [God] who cures me.” (ash-Shu`ara, 26:80) (A supplication of Prophet Abraham [as])
قُلْ هُوَ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا هُدًى وَشِفَاء
qul huwa lil-ladheena amanoo hudan wa shifaun
And declare (O Muhammad) that [the Quran] is a guidance and healing for the believers. (al-Fussilat, 41:44)