28 MUHARRAM 1441: FINAL PASSAGES FROM IMAM IBN RAJAB AL-HANBALI ON THE MONTH OF AL-MUHARRAM

Imam Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali (d. 795 AH), may Allah be pleased with him, declared about the first month, Muharram in the final pages of the subject:

One of the pious people saw in his dream someone saying to him, “We have been commanded to prepare for the final completion of the building process of your house  and its name is Abode of Joy. So take glad tidings in this matter. We have been commanded to renovate it, beautify it and stop when we have reached seven days.” The man died after seven days.

He was seen in a dream by someone else and when asked, the pious man said, “I was given admittance into the Abode of Joy and do not ask me about what is in it. I have not seen the like of what the Most Generous has given the one that is obedient.”

One of them saw in a dream as if he had been given admittance into the Paradise and having its locations and things brought to him, his wives and the like. So when he wanted to leave from it, his wives clung to him. They said, “By Allah, the goodness of your deeds! Whenever you do a good deed, it increases us and we are the result of the good deed.”

Those who do good deeds today send forward the principal of their good deeds in which the souls delight in, what the eyes enjoy until the time of increase in the market of the Paradise. So when the time has come, the people enter the market of the Paradise and take from it what they will without any decrease of what they put forward before of the principal wealth.

This wealth that they are taking is without weight or measure. Whoever wants to send forward some good deeds for that time should hasten to take the principalof the wealth. If he delays in sending forth the good deeds then the transaction will be nullified.

That market which belongs to Allah is the promise of the time of increase and will be completed out of love. If you were from them whatever you could take that you willed you are allowed to take hold of without any decrease.

The merchants send forward their transactions and so this transaction still counts. There is also the hadith of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him,

“Indeed the Paradise shall say, ‘Lord, prepare my people and that which You have promised me. Many indeed are my silken linens, clothing, jewelry, silver, gold, drinking utensils, wine, honey and milk. Bring me my people and that which You promised me.’

There is another hadith in which the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Whoever asked Allah for the Paradise, then it shall intercede for him to its Lord by saying, ‘Allah, admit him to the Paradise.’ “

In addition to this, consider the hadith of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, “Indeed the Paradise is opened every morning and it is said, ‘Increase in wholesomeness and beauty for your people.’ So it increases in that and it is for this reason that the people find it cold in the early portion of the morning.”

The hearts of the Knowers of Allah sometimes take in the scent of the Paradise. Anas ibn An-Nadr said on the day of the Battle of Uhud, “Oh! The sent of the Paradise! By Allah! Indeed I find the scent of the Paradise ahead of Uhud.” He then marched forward and fought until he was killed.

Yes! Just look at the judgement and subtlety in Allah having sent Adam down to the Earth. Had it not been for his coming down here, then the combat of the warriors and the striving of the worshippers would not have happened.

If Adam had not come down here, there would have not been the ascension of the souls of the repentant ones. If Adam had not come down here, the large tears of the sinful ones would have never fallen.

Adam! If you had been taken down from the Paradise, then remember,

Indeed I am Near. I answer the supplication of the one who calls on Me.[1]

If you were expelled from the Paradise on that account, then it is better than their hearts never having been tested on account of Allah. The sinners that have to repent are more beloved to us than those who glorify Allah never being tested.

It may be that those who glorify Him would fall into arrogance while those who are sinful become broken and have to repent. And you have to understand the hadith of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him,

“If you did not sin, Allah would have taken you away and brought a people that would sin, then seek His Forgiveness so that He could forgive them.”

Glorified is He who when he shows goodness to His Slave in trials while turning him over to them. And when a slave is left in a lurch, no one can benefit him, no matter how hard he may strive and he cannot return to the truth until He allows it.

Adam was given the advice when the proof was established against him and He taught him words that would bring his repentance to acceptance:

So Adam was imparted words by his Lord in order to repent. So He turned to Adam and indeed He is the One who accepts repentance, the Compassionate. [2]

So Iblis rebelled after a long time of service to Him and by his deeds he became cursed and expelled:

You are expelled! Indeed you are outcast and you shall have the curse until the Day of Resurrection.[3]

So when He has placed His Judgement of Justice upon a slave, there remains no goodness for him. When He has spread His Favour upon a slave, there remains no sin that can separate him from his Lord.

He gives and hinders who he so wills just as He wills,

His Judgement is not delayed nor His Might and Will.

When the favour of Adam was manifested over the creations with knowledge and the knowledge was not completed without action according to  His Judgement. The Paradise is not an abode for action and striving.

This is only an abode of felicity and direct witnessing of Allah. It will be said to him, “Adam, go down to the place of combat and exercising patience against the armies of lower desires with serious intent and striving. Wipe the tears away as you shall never be sad again once you finish from there and return to felicity.”

Source: Lata’if ul-Ma`arif Fima Li-Mawasim il-`Ami Min Al-Waza’if, pp. 65-66

[1] Surat ul-Baqarah (2), ayah 186

[2] Surat ul-Baqarah (2), ayah 37

[3] Surah Sad (38), ayah 77

26 MUHARRAM 1441 AH: THE SECOND SITTING REGARDING THE DAY OF `ASHURA’

Imam Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali (d. 795 AH), may Allah be pleased with him, declared about the first month, Muharram:

This state of envy that Iblis was showing towards Adam remained until the means to expel him from the Paradise came. So this fool did not count on the fact that when Adam was expelled from the Paradise that his virtues were actually completed and then he shall return to the Paradise in an even more perfect state than the first time!

Indeed, the conceitedness of Iblis is what he destroyed himself with and it is due to that he said, “I am better than him!” The completion of the virtues of Adam was only done upon his admission of his slip.

Our Lord! We have oppressed ourselves and if You do not forgive us, have mercy upon us then we shall surely be lost. [1]

When Iblis had the fire of envy kindled towards Adam and he blew on it, the breeze from it in the end was just a good smelling scent to Adam while Iblis himself was the one who was singed!

When Allah so desired to spread the virtue and bounty of Adam,

It came through the means of the tongue of the envier in chief, Shaitan!

If the fire of envy had not been kindled by that wretched one towards his object of envy,

The beauty and elegance of the scent from the virtue of Adam could not have been seen!

One of the early generations said, “Adam was expelled from the Paradise on account of one slip. And you have several of these, you increase in them and at the same time you have the audacity to desire to enter Paradise!”

Sins reach other sins and yet you hope and have desire,

For the levels of Paradise, the success of the slave where you shall retire!

You forget that Allah expelled Adam and his wife from that very felicity,

To the earthly life on account of one slip that was done against his ability!

Beware of this enemy, Iblis! He is the enemy that caused the expulsion of your father from the Paradise. He strives studiously in preventing you from returning to the Paradise with every scheme and way. The enmity between all of you people and him is longstanding.

His expulsion from the Paradise and his falling from the divine service happened for no other reason but his arrogance against your father and refusing to prostrate to him as he was commanded to do.

He then became deceived and removed from the mercy and has lost hope of ever returning to the Paradise and has instead to look forward to his permanent home in the Fire. So based upon this he strives on taking with him to the Fire who he can from the Children of Adam by beautification of idolatry.

And if Iblis cannot entice the human being to do that, then he strives to bring the one from Adam into rebellious sin and disobedience. Your Lord has warned you about Iblis and He gave him an excuse and respite for some time. Take heed of him when you read:

Children of Adam! Do not let the Shaitan put you to trial just as he expelled your parents from the Paradise. [2]

It is astonishing that someone would know his Lord and then disobey him, know the Shaitan and then obey him.

So have you taken him and his progeny as protectors besides Me while they are to you a clear enemy. And a terrible tribulation awaits the oppressors.[3]

When Adam came down to Earth he was promised that he would return to the Paradise and so would anyone who believed from his progeny and followed the messengers.

Children of Adam! When there should come to you messengers to you narrating My Signs to you, whoever has piety and rectifies himself, then there is no fear upon them nor shall they grieve. [4]

So let the believers heed the good news of the Paradise as it is their end result. And the coming of that gathering day shall be with Jibril to Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him,

And give glad tidings to those who believe and do righteous deeds that they shall have gardens under which rivers flow. [5]

The penalty to come is only for the one who left from obedience. In terms of the one who repented and believed, then the end abode of punishment is not for him. The believers in the earthly life are on a journey of combat against themselves and lower desires.

So when the journey of combat finishes, they shall return to their original home which they were present in while in the very spine of Adam!

Allah has taken responsibility for the one making combat in His Cause in that He shall return such a warrior to his land in which he shall attain reward or war treasure.

There has come to you the great body of the Ummah from your father Ibrahim with your Prophet, namely Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “During the Night Journey, Ibrahim was shown to me. He said, ‘Muhammad, send my peace greeting to your Ummah and inform them that the Paradise has sweetness of water, pure and wholesome water and they are both of the finest creation. What makes this vegetation grow is Glory be to Allah! Praise be to Allah! There is no god but Allah! Allah is Great!’ “

An-Nasa’ii and At-Tirmidhi both narrate a hadith from Jabir, may Allah be pleased with him, who said that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Whoever said, ”Glory be to Allah the Most Grand with all His Praise’, a date palm grows in the Paradise for him.”

Ibn Majah has collected a hadith from the narration of Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, that is attributable in which the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Whoever said, ‘Glory to be Allah! Praise be to Allah! There is no god but Allah! Allah is the Greatest’, has a tree grow. And each time that it said a date palm tree grows in the Paradise.”

At-Tabarani collected a hadith from the narration of Ibn `Abbas that was attributable that was similar and there was another hadith collected by Ibn Abid-Dunya from the narration of Abu Hurairah that is attributable in which the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Whoever said, ‘Glory be to Allah the Most Grand,’ there is built for him a tower in the Paradise.” It has been said that this hadith is also suspended in form.

It has been narrated from Al-Hasan Al-Basri who said, “The angels act and work for the Children of Adam in the gardens of the Paradise germinating seeds and building. It may be that at one point they refrain and one says, ‘What made you stop?’ They say, ‘Our maintenance has not come.’ ”

Al-Hasan Al-Basri then said, “So there then comes to them what you know-by the ransom of my father and mother for all of your sake -for the deeds.”

One of the early generations said, “It has reached me that the abodes of the Paradise are built by way of Remembrance of Allah. So when the people cease from Remembrance they refrain from building. It is then said to them, ‘What made you stop?’

“They then say, ‘We are waiting until there comes to us the maintenance for the land of the Paradise today. And the righteous deeds are the means by which it is maintained, the castles built, the lands and gardens germinated. It is also how the growth is completed the buildings completed and resolved and changed from outward building sites to ready habitations.’ ”

Source: Lata’if ul-Ma`arif Fima Li-Mawasim il-`Ami Min Al-Waza’if, pp. 63-64

[1] Surat ul-A`raf (7), ayah 23

[2] Surat ul-A`raf (7), ayah 27

[3] Surat ul-Kahf (18), ayah 50

[4] Surat ul-A`raf (7), ayah 35

[5] Surat ul-Baqarah (2), ayah 25

25 MUHARRAM 1441 AH: THE SECOND SITTING REGARDING THE DAY OF `ASHURA’

Imam Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali (d. 795 AH), may Allah be pleased with him, declared about the first month, Muharram:

There is a chain of transmission narrated through Abu Musa Al-Madini who narrated from `Ali ibn Abi Talib who said, “The day of `Ashura’ is the day in which the people of Yunus were turned to when they made the repentance.”

There is another narration in which Ibn `Abbas said, “It is the day in which Adam was turned was to in repentance.”

There is a narration from Wahb ibn Munabbih who said, “Indeed Allah, Exalted be He, revealed to Musa, peace be upon him, the following: Command your people that they turn to Me in repentance in the first ten days of Al-Muharram. When the tenth day comes, let them come out to Me so that I might forgive them.

`Abdur-Razzaq As-Sana`ani narrated from Ibn Juraij from a man from `Ikrimah who said, “It is a day in which Allah turned to Adam on the day of `Ashura’.” `Abdul Wahhab Al-Khaffaf narrated from Sa`id from Qatadah who said, “We were speaking about the day in which Adam was turned to and it was `Ashura’, Adam came down to Earth on the same day.”

The statement of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is also there in the hadith of `Ali and it stated that He also turned to others in repentance at the time. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, enjoined the people to renew their sincere repentance on the day of `Ashura’, seek out acceptance of the repentance and that whoever should repent to Allah, Mighty and Majestic, of his sins, then indeed Allah will turn to him just as He turned to those before them when they repented.

Allah, Exalted be He, said of Adam,

So Adam was imparted words by his Lord in order to repent. So He turned to Adam and indeed He is the One who accepts repentance, the Compassionate. [1]

He also spoke of him and his wife that they both said,

Our Lord! We have oppressed ourselves and if You do not forgive us, have mercy upon us then we shall surely be lost.[2]

`Umar ibn `Abdul `Aziz sent a letter to the cities in which it was the following statement:

Say just as your father Adam, peace be upon him, said,

Our Lord! We have oppressed ourselves and if You do not forgive us, have mercy upon us then we shall surely be lost. [3]

And they should say just as Nuh said,

And if You do not forgive me, have mercy upon me then I will be lost.[4]

And You should say just as Musa said,

Lord, indeed I have oppressed myself. So forgive me for that.[5]

And you should say just as Dhun-Nun has said,

There is no god but You! Glory be to You, indeed I was one of the oppressors.[6]

So he admitted of the commission of his mistake with remorse for it and sincere and accepted repentance.

Allah, Mighty and Majestic, said,

Others admit their sins and they have mixed together a righteous deed with a sinful one. Indeed Allah will turn to them.[7]

The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Indeed the slave when he admits his sin, then repents, Allah surely turns to him.”

And in the supplication which the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, used to open his address to, he said,

Allah! You are my Lord! There is no god but You. I have oppressed myself. I admit my sin. So forgive me. Indeed no one forgives sins but You.

And there is the supplication which the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, taught to Abu Bakr As-Siddiq to say in his prayer,

Allah! Indeed I have oppressed myself exceedingly. And no one forgives sins but You, so forgive me with the forgiveness in Your Sight. Have mercy upon me, indeed you are the Forgiving, the Compassionate.

There is also the hadith of Shaddad ibn Aws from the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, who said,

The most masterful way of asking forgiveness is that the slave says: Allah! You are my Lord! There is no god but You. You created me and I am Your Slave and I am upon Your Covenant, Promise. I seek refuge in You from the evil of what I have done by the virtue of Your Favour upon me, the sin I have committed. So forgive me. Indeed no one forgives sins but You.

So acknowledgement wipes out the blemish just as has been said by the poet:

So the man admitting his sin wipes out the blemish in truth and reality,

Just as cold water used in wudu washes away the sins and traces of the one with sincerity.

When Adam came down from the Paradise, he wept for that time for a duration of some 300 years and the truth he had in doing that. He had previously in the Paradise been in an abode in which he felt no hunger, nakedness, thirst or morning cold.

This all changed when he came down to the Earth and he was stricken with all of these things. When he saw the Angel Jibril, peace be upon him, he remembered upon sight of him what had occurred and he cried even harder.

In fact, he cried so hard that the Angel Jibril, peace be upon him, cried on account of his crying. He said to him, “Adam, what is this weeping that you are doing?”

He said, “How would I not weep when I have been expelled from the abode of favour to the abode of hardship.” One of his sons said to Adam, “The people of Earth have already been put to test on account of your crying.”

Adam responded, “I only cry upon the hearing of the voices of the angels gathered around the Throne.” There is another narration in which he said, “I only weep for having been in the presence of my Lord in which the abode’s soil was so noble and wholesome. I would hear therein the voices of the angels.”

There is another narration in which he would say, “I cry for the abode in which if you saw it, you would have exhausted yourself in longing in order to reach it.” It is narrated that he said to his son, “We were a people from the sky. We were cried like they were created.

“Our sustenance was their sustenance and we had rest from our enemy Iblis. We shall now have neither true joy nor peace except that it has aspiration and hardship. This shall continue until we return to the abode which we were expelled from in the beginning of this matter.”

Thinking back to the gardens of the Eternal Paradise, yes it awaits,

In tents of joy, it was your first abode therein to dwell for all your days.

But we laid ourselves bare to our enemy so can you not truly see,

That we desire the return to our abodes and to be at rest and peace for eternity.

When Adam and Musa, peace be upon both of them, met and Musa found fault with Adam for his expelling himself and his progeny from the Paradise, Adam sought to deduce as evidence the ordainment that precedes all things.

The argument for what was preordained at trials is good just as the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “If something should befall you, then do not say, ‘If only I had done such and such this would not have happened!’ But you should say instead, ‘Allah has ordained what He so willed to do.’ “

By Allah! If not for the preordainment before there was time,

Your abode would not have let to me being taken far from my abode once upon a time!

This happened before all things had come to be,

Can anyone wipe out or wash away that which the Creator and Fashioner has ordered to be!

So the virtues of Adam, peace be upon him, over the creations by the angels prostrating to him, his learning the names of each and every thing, his informing the angles of them and their listening to him as the teacher listens to the student so that they would admit their inability to know it and they acknowledge his favour, his being given his abode in the Paradise with his wife, the appearance of envy from Iblis. Iblis sought to take away all these favours but they still remained.

Source: Lata’if ul-Ma`arif Fima Li-Mawasim il-`Ami Min Al-Waza’if, pp. 61-62

[1] Surat ul-Baqarah (2), ayah 37

[2] Surat ul-A`raf (7), ayah 23

[3] Surat ul-A`raf (7), ayah 23

[4] Surah Hud (11), ayah 47

[5] Surat ul-Qasas (28), ayah 16

[6] Surat ul-Anbiya’ (21), ayah 87

[7] Surat ut-Tawbah (9), ayah 102

24 MUHARRAM 1441 AH: THE SECOND SITTING REGARDING THE DAY OF `ASHURA’

Imam Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali (d. 795 AH), may Allah be pleased with him, declared about the first month, Muharram:

There is also a narration in which the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah b eupon him, said, “So fast `Ashura’ and a day before it and a day after.” `Abdul Wahhab Al-Khaffaf said in his book, Kitab us-Siyam, “Sa`id said that Qatadah mentioned that it was said that the fast of `Ashura’ is an expiation for the man leaving off or wasting the opportunity of zakah upon his wealth.” It has been narrated that the day of `Ashura’ is the day of beautification in which Musa visited the Pharaoh and this was an `eid for that people.

“It is narrated that Musa, peace be upon him, used to wear on that day and also put on kohl for remembrance of that day. The Jews of Al-Madinah and Khaibar in the time of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, used to take that day as an `eid. The people of the Age of Ignorance used to follow them in that regard and that was also the day on which the Ka`bah would be fitted with a new curtain.”

However we have the opposite of that which has been narrated in the two Sahih books from the transmission of Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari who said, “The day of `Ashura’ was one in which the Jews would venerate it and take it as an `eid. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, ‘You should fast that day.’

There is another narration solely in the collection of Imam Muslim in which it is said that the people of Khaibar used to fast the day of `Ashura’ and take it as an `eid for themselves. Their women would wear their finest jewellery and clothing. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “You should fast on that day.”

An-Nasa’ii and Ibn Hibban both collected a hadith in which the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Be different to them and instead fast on that day.” And this is evidence on the prohibition of taking someone else’s `eid as a day of celebration for oneself.

This is also evidence on the praiseworthy nature of the fasting the `eids of the idol worshippers. Indeed the fast negates taking that day as an `eid and putting this fast with a fast the day after it as was discussed.

We can also see in that hadith an opposition to them in how they fast and to be different and thus there does not remain any resemblance at all between the Muslims and unbelievers in that regard.

Similar to this is what can be taken from the Imam, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, An-Nasa’ii, Ibn Hibban in the hadith of Umm Salamah that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, used to fast on Saturday and Sunday more than he would fast two days together any other time.

This was done in order to leave resemblance to the Jews and Christians in that the former venerate Saturday in particular while for the former it is veneration of Sunday. So in this way fasting both of them is in opposition to them in taking it as an `eid. In looking at this issue, you can see that this perfectly reconciles between the hadith just cited and the hadith that prohibits fasting on Saturday.

All of what is narrated in the virtue of kohl on `Ashura’, henna, ghusl on that day are all fabricated without there being any authentic hadith on the topic. As far as giving sadaqah on that day, it was narrated from `Abdullah ibn `Amr ibn Al-`As who said, “Whoever fasted `Ashura’, it is like he fasted the eyear. Whoever gave sadaqah on that day is like he gave sadaqah for the entire year.” This was collected by Abu Musa Al-Madini.

In terms of showing humility towards dependants and the weak, Harb ibn Isma`il said, “I asked Ahmad ibn Hanbal about the hadith which runs, ‘Whoever spent on his family generously on the day of `Ashura’.’ He said that the hadith did not represent anything.”

Ibn Mansur said, “I said to Imam Ahmad, ‘Have you heard the hadith: Whoever spent on his family generously on the day of `Ashura’, Allah shall certainly generously spend on him the rest of the year.’ He said, ‘Yes.’ This was collected by Sufyan ibn `Uyainah from Ja`far Al-Ahmar from Ibrahim ibn Muhammad from Al-Muntashar – who was from the best of the people of his time – that it reached him that whoever spent on his family generously on the day of `Ashura’, Allah shall spend generously on him the rest of the year.”

Sufyan ibn `Uyainah said: We have been doing that fifty years or sixty years and we have not found anything in it but good. When Harb ibn Isma`il said that Ahmad ibn Hanbal did not see anything of that, he only intended by that the hadith which is narrated as attributable to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is not authentic in its chain of transmission.

Although it has been mentioned from many different chains of transmission, not one of them is authentic. Among those who mentioned this is Muhammad ibn `Abdullah ibn `Abdul Hakam who said, “Al-`Uyaili said, ‘This transmission and text is not preserved.’ ” This similar statement was also transmitted from `Umar in his words while in that transmission is an unknown transmission that is not known.

As for what the Rafidah[1] do, in respect of doing the “ma’tam” processions and mourning due to the killing of Al-Hussain ibn `Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, whoever should do this is one who has gone far astray from right guidance in the earthly life and it is this same individual that does this and thinks he is doing a good thing.

Neither Allah nor His Messenger commanded that the days of the tribulations of the prophets or their death be taken for a “ma’tam” mourning procession, so what about the case for doing this for someone less than them?

There are many virtues of `Ashura’. One of them is that it is a day in which Allah has mercy upon a people. The hadith of `Ali, which is collected by At-Tirmidhi, has the narration that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said to a man, “If you fast in any month after Ramadan, then let it be in Al-Muharram. Indeed it is a day in which Allah turns to and has mercy on a people and turns towards others.”

There is an authentic hadith from the hadith of Abu Ishaq from Al-Aswad ibn Yazid who said, “I asked `Ubaid ibn `Umair about the fast of the day of `Ashura’. He said, ‘Al-Muharram is the month of Allah. This is the day in which he turned to Adam in mercy. If you are able, do not pass this month by without fasting in it.’ ”

Likewise it was narrated from Shu`bah from Abu Ishaq, with Isra’il narrating it from Abu Ishaq and its wording is that he said, “Indeed a people sin, then they repent and in that time they are turned to by Allah who has mercy upon them.

If you are able to not pass this month except while fasting in it, then do so.” This was collected by Yunus from Abu Ishaq and its wording is also, “Indeed Al-Muharram is the month of Allah and it is at the very onset of the year and the books are written in that time, history starts, the parchments are rolled out and written upon and in this time a people repent to Allah. And Allah turns to them, so do not let this month pass you by without fasting it. ”

This is referring to the day of `Ashura’. Abu Musa Al-Madini collected a hadith from Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari that is attributable in which the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “This is a day in which Allah turns to a people that have made repentance. So make a prayer and also fast at that time.”

This is in reference to the day of `Ashura’ and Al-Madini said of this text, “It is authentic but a rare and singular transmission.” Whoever this is not as he said regarding the transmission.

Source: Lata’if ul-Ma`arif Fima Li-Mawasim il-`Ami Min Al-Waza’if, pp. 59-60

[1] trans. note: this is a all encompassing term for all Shi`ah. In this day and age, these mourning processions, dirges, bloodlettings and flegellations are done primarily by the 12er Shi`ah, also styled as the Ja`faris or Imamis.

23 MUHARRAM 1441 AH: THE SECOND SITTING REGARDING THE DAY OF `ASHURA’

Imam Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali (d. 795 AH), may Allah be pleased with him, declared about the first month, Muharram:

This was authentically narrated from Ibn `Abbas from his statement coming from the narration of Ibn Juraij, who said: It was narrated to us by `Ata’ that he heard Ibn `Abbas saying regarding the day of `Ashura’:

“Be different to the Jews. Fast the ninth and the tenth day.” The Imam, Ahmad ibn Hanbal said, “I uphold that position.” It was narrated from Ibn `Abbas on another occasion that he fasts the ninth and the tenth and this is connected to the fear of missing `Ashura’.

Ibn Abi Dhi’b narrated from Shu`bah, the freed slave of Ibn `Abbas from Ibn `Abbas that he would fast `Ashura’ even on the journey and the days would be consecutive out of fear of missing the day of `Ashura’.

It was also narrated from Abu Ishaq that he would fast the day of `Ashura’ and a day before or after and he said, “I only did that out of fear that I would miss the tenth.” It is also narrated from Muhammad ibn Sirin that he would fast three days when there was difference of opinion about the hilal bringing in the new month out of concern for missing a day.

It was narrated from Ibn `Abbas and Ad-Dahhak that the day of `Ashura’ is actually on the 9th day of Muharram. Muhammad ibn Sirin said of this, “They did not differ in that it was the 10th day of Muharram, the only exception being Ibn `Abbas. He said that it was the ninth.”

The Imam, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, through the narrative of Al-Maimuni, said, “I don’t whether the `Ashura’ is of the ninth or the tenth day but we fast both of them.” And if there would be some dispute about the hilal beginning the month, then he would fast three days to ensure that he had fasted the right day.

This was the position of Muhammad ibn Sirin along with those who also held it to be the ninth and tenth, that being Ash-Shafi`ii, may Allah be pleased with him, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Ishaq ibn Rahuwaih. The Imam, Abu Hanifah, disliked fasting the tenth alone without any day before or after.

Imam At-Tabarani collected a hadith from the narration of Ibn Abiz-Zinad from his father from Kharijah ibn Zaid from his father (Zaid ibn Thabit) who said, “The day of `Ashura’ is not the day in which the people say.

“It is a day in which the Ka`bah is shrouded and the Abyssinians would prepare the stitching in the time of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. This used to happen in the year and the people would come to a Jewish man and ask him. So when the Jewish man died, they came to Zaid ibn Thabit and asked him about it.”

Within this statement is an indication that `Ashura’ is not in the month of Al-Muharram but it is according to the measurement of the solar years like the People of the Book; but this is completely contrary to what the actions of the Muslims are upon, both ancient and today.

There is a collected report in the Sahih of Imam Muslim from the statement of Ibn `Abbas that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, used to count the days from the appearance of the hilal of Al-Muharram and he would start the ninth day fasting.

Ibn Abiz-Zinad is not to be depended upon regarding what he narrated by himself according to the report that preceded the one from Imam Muslim. In addition to that, he made the entire hadith to be from Zaid ibn Thabit and the last part of it cannot suitably be attributed to the statement of Zaid ibn Thabit. In that case, it may be from the statement of someone next to him or with him. And Allah knows best.

A group of the first three generations used to fast `Ashura’ while on travel, including such worthies as Ibn `Abbas, Abu Ishaq As-Sabi`ii, Ibn Shihab Az-Zuhri and he said, “Ramadan has a number of other days that can be delayed when the excuse arises while `Ashura’ not being fasted is a loss.”

Imam Ahmad explicitly stated that he would fast `Ashura’ even when he is on a journey. `Abdur-Razzaq narrated in his book from Isra’il from Sammak ibn Harb from Ma`bad Al-Qurshi who said, “The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was at Qadid when a man came to him.

“The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, ‘Did you feed someone for this day of `Ashura’ or eat anything yourself? The man said, ‘I had nothing but a swallow of water.’ The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, ‘So don’t eat anything else until the sun has set. And whoever is behind you, you should tell him that they should fast today.’

It may be that the command given was something for the people of Qadid. There was a narration with his transmission from Tawus that he would fast `Ashura’ while resident but not while on a journey.

One of the most astonishing things narrated about `Ashura’ is that it is a day that the wild animals and beasts of pray would fast. There is an attributable hadith narrated in which the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Indeed the impala is the first bird to fast `Ashura’.” Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi collected this hadith in his Tarikh with his transmission but the narration was solitary while this was also narrated from Abu Hurairah as well.

It was narrated from Fath ibn Shakhruf that he said, “I was dropping bread every day for ants. When the day of `Ashura’ came, they did not eat.” It was narrated from Al-Qadirbillah, the `Abbasid khalifah that he had a similar situation to this and he was surprised by this thing. So he went and asked Abul Hasan Al-Qazwini the Zahid about it and the response of the Zahid was that today is `Ashura’ and the ants are fasting.

Abu Musa Al-Madini narrated with his chain of transmission from Qais ibn `Ibad who said, “It has reached me news that the wild animals fast on `Ashura’.” There is also a chain of transmission from a man that came to the desert on `Ashura’ and he saw the people slaughtering their hunt.

He asked the people about this and they informed him that the wild animals were fasting. They said, “Come out with us and you will see.” So they took him out to the meadow and they stopped there.

He said, “When the time after `Asr came, the wild animals came from every side and surrounded the meadow with their heads raised to the sky. They did not eat anything from the trees or around until the sun had set. Once that happened, they hastened forward and ate.”

There is also another chain of transmission from `Abdullah ibn `Amr who said, “Between China and India is a land that has within it a duck fashioned from copper sat on copper pillars. When the day of `Ashura’ came it would spread its beak and open it and out would come water that would inundate the fields and farmland until the following year.”

One of the scholars from the early generations was seen in a dream. When they asked him about his state, he said, “He forgave me on account of the fast of `Ashura’ for sixty years.”

Source: Lata’if ul-Ma`arif Fima Li-Mawasim il-`Ami Min Al-Waza’if, pp. 57-58

22 MUHARRAM 1441 AH: THE SECOND SITTING REGARDING THE DAY OF `ASHURA’

Imam Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali (d. 795 AH), may Allah be pleased with him, declared about the first month, Muharram:

There is a hadith in the two Sahih collections narrated by Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with both of them that he was asked regarding the day of `Ashura’ and he said, “I did not see the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, fast a day in which he hastened to find its favour over the other days except this day” and he meant the day of `Ashura’ – “and this month” and he meant by that Ramadan.

The day of `Ashura’ has a grand virtue and an ancient holiness connected to it. Fasting it for its virtue is well known among the prophets, peace be upon them. The prophets Nuh and Musa, peace be upon both of them, fasted it as we shall be mentioning shortly, if Allah, Exalted be He, so wills.

Ibrahim Al-Hijri narrated from Abu `Iyad from Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, from the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, that he said, “The day of `Ashura’ was fasted by the prophets, so you should fast it as well.” This was collected by Baqi ibn Makhlid in his Musnad.

The People of the Book used to fast it and so did the Quraish in the Age of Ignorance. Dulham ibn Salih said, “I said to `Ikrimah one day, ‘What is it with the affair of `Ashura’ ‘ “? He answered, “The Quraish, when any of them committed a sin in the Age of Ignorance that was considered grave in their hearts, they would asked what the repentance would be for such an act. It was then said to them that they should fast on the day of `Ashura’, which is the 10th day of Al-Muharram.”

The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, used to have four conditions with regard to his fasting:

The First State: he used to fast in Makkah while he did not command the people to do so. There is a hadith in the two Sahih collections narrated by `A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, who said, “`Ashura’ used to be a day that the Quraish would fast in the Age of Ignorance and the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, would fast it.

“Then when he came to Al-Madinah, he fasted it and commanded that it be fasted. Then when the revelation came down on the compulsory nature of the fast of Ramadan thus making Ramadan the fast that he would commit to and he left fasting `Ashura’. Thus the one who so willed could fast it and the one who so willed could not fast it.”

There is another narration by Al-Bukhari in which the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Whoever so willed, let him fast. And whoever so willed, let him not fast.”

The Second State: The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, when he came to Al-Madinah and he saw the fasting being done by the People of the Book and their veneration of it and that he loved to agree with them in any fast that has been commanded.

So he commanded that it be fasted and stressed the affair and enjoined people to do so to the point that even young children would also do so. There is a hadith in the two Sahih collections as narrated by Ibn `Abbas who said, “When the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, came to Al-Madinah, he found that the Jews were fasting on the day of `Ashura’. So he said to them, ‘What is this day that you are fasting?’

“They said, ‘This is a venerated day indeed! It is the day that Allah saved Musa and his people and drowned the Pharaoh and his people. So Musa fasted it out of thanksgiving and then in turn we also do so.’

“The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, ‘We have more right to do so and we are closer to Musa than you.’ So the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, fasted and ordered the people to do so as well.”

There is another hadith in the Musnad of the Imam, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, as narrated from Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, in which he said, “The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, passed by a group of people form the Jews and they had fasted `Ashura’.

“He said to them, ‘What is this day that you are fasting?’ The people responded, ‘This is the day in which Allah, Mighty and Majestic, saved Musa, peace be upon him, and the Children of Israel from the drowning but he drowned the Pharaoh. This is the day in which the Ark settled upon the dry land. So Nuh and Musa, peace be upon them, both fasted the day out of thanksgiving to Allah, Mighty and Majestic.’

“The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, then said in turn, ‘I have more right to Musa and to fast this day.’ He then commanded his Companions to fast on this day.”

There is also another hadith in the two Sahih collections as narrated by Salamah ibn Al-Akwa`, may Allah be pleased with him, in which the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, ordered a man from Aslam that he make an announcement among the people that whoever ate, should then fast the rest  of the day and whoever did not eat should intent on fasting. This was commanded as that day was the day of `Ashura’.

In the same collections is another hadith narrated by Ar-Rabi` bint Mu`awwadh who said, “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, sent a message in the day time of `Ashura’ out to the villages of the Ansar around Al-Madinah in which it read: Whoever woke up fasting, then let him continue his fast. Whoever woke up having not started a fast, then let him complete the rest of the day as a fast.

“So after this point we used to fast and so did our small children. We would also go to the Masjid and make toys for them out of thick wool. So when any one of them cried for food, we would give him that so that he would think about that and not cry up until the time of Iftar.”

And there is another narration in which he said, “So when they would ask us for food, we would give them the toys and we would play with them to distract them until they had completed their fast.” Under this subject are numerous Ahadith  indeed.

Imam At-Tabarani collected a hadith with a chain of transmission that has some unknown narrators in it that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, used to make supplication on the day of `Ashura’ with his milk mother and the milk mother of his daughter Fatimah who at the time was a young girl. He would then put some of his salive in their mouths and say to their mothers, “Do not suckle them until the night comes.” His saliva would give them relief up until the nightfall.

The scholars, may Allah be pleased with them, differ as to whether this is in reference to the fast on the day of `Ashura’ before the fast of Ramadan was revealed or is this to do with the fact that `Ashura’ is an emphasised sunnah.

There are two well known rulings in this regard. The madhhab of Abu Hanifah is that it was compulsory at that time and this is also the main statement of the Imam Ahmad and Abu Bakr Al-Athram.

Imam Ash-Shafi`ii, may Allah have mercy upon him, said, “This is only in reference to the emphasised praiseworthiness of the fast alone.” This is also the statement of many of our companions and others besides.

The Third State: This refers to the point that when the fast of the month of Ramadan was revealed, the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, left commanding his Companions to fast `Ashura’ and its emphasis.

The hadith of `A’ishah was already mentioned on this point. There is also the hadith of the two Sahih collections as narrated by Ibn `Umar, may Allah be pleased with both of them, who said, “The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, fasted `Ashura’ and commanded the people to fast it.

“When the fast of Ramadan was sent down, he abandoned this.” `Abdullah ibn `Umar used to not fast it unless it agreed with a fast he was already doing.

There is another narration in the collection of Imam Muslim in which it was said, “The people of the Age of Ignorance used to fast the day of `Ashura’ and that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, used to fast it and the Muslims along with him before the revelation of Ramadan.

“When the revelation of Ramadan was given, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, ‘Indeed `Ashura’ is one of the days of Allah. So whoever should so will, let him fast it. And whoever so wills, let him not fast it.’

There is also another narrative in the same collection in which he said, “So whoever among you saw this fast as beloved to him, then let him fast the day. And whoever did not, then let him leave it.”

There is also a hadith in the two Sahih collections in which Mu`awiyah narrated, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, saying, ‘This is the day of `Ashura’ and he did nor ordain for you to fast it as compulsory. I am fasting it. So whoever so wills let him fast and whoever decides not to, then he will not fast.’ ” There is also the narration in Imam Muslim’s collection that explicitly mentioned it.

In the collection of An-Nasa’ii is narration that the last of it is mixed up from the statement of Mu`awiyah and it is said to not be attributable.

In the Sahih of Imam Muslim is the narration from Ibn Mas`ud that he said about the day of `Ashura’, “It is a day in which the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, used to fast it before Ramadan was sent down. Then when the month of Ramadan was sent down he left that fast.” There is another narration that states Ibn Mas`ud left it as well.

There is also another narration in the same collection from Jabir ibn Samurah in which he said, “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, used to command us to fast on the day of `Ashura’ and enjoin us to do so and remind us of it. When the month of Ramadan became compulsory, he neither commanded us nor forbade us from it and he did not enjoin it upon us.”

The Imam, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, An-Nasa’ii and Ibn Majah all collected a hadith narrated by Qais ibn Sa`d who said, “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, commanded us to fast the day of `Ashura’ before the revelation of the month of Ramadan. Once the month of Ramadan was revealed, then he neither commanded nor forbade us regarding the fast of `Ashura’.” There is another narration in the collection where Qais ibn Sa`d said, “We would do it.”

All of these Ahadith are evidence of that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, did not stress the importance of `Ashura’ upon the people to fast after the compulsory fast of Ramadan was revealed. Indeed he left them upon their practice before in which he did not forbid them from fasting it.

If then the command of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, to fast on the day of `Ashura’ before the compulsory fast of Ramadan meant that this one day fast was compulsory, then this is built upon the understanding that when the compulsory command has been abrogated is then lowered from that level. So in a case such as this, is the command now praiseworthy or not?

There is a well known difference of opinion among the scholars, may Allah be pleased with him. So if his command was for an emphasised praiseworthy matter, then when the abrogation came into effect, the command lost its emphasised aspect and the foundation of it being praiseworthy is left in place.

It is due to this point that Qais ibn Sa`d said, “We would do it.” A narration has also come from Ibn Mas`ud, Ibn `Umar, may Allah be pleased with them, statements that can be adduced as evidence that the principle of the fast of `Ashura’ being praiseworthy remains in effect.

Sa`id ibn Al-Musayyib said, “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, did not fast the day of `Ashura’.” It is also narrated from him from Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas the same thing but this is suspended but the other narrative is the most authentic as said by Imam Ad-Daraqutni.

Most of the scholars have the position that the fast of `Ashura’ remains praiseworthy while not emphasised. Those who narrated this understanding from the Companions include `Umar, `Ali, `Abdur-Rahman ibn `Awf, Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari, Qais ibn Sa`d, Ibn `Abbas and others.

The praiseworthy nature of the fast remaining in place is evidenced from the statement of Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with both of them, “I did not see the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, fast a day in which he hastened to find its favour over the other days except this day” and he meant the day of `Ashura’ – “and this month” and he meant by that Ramadan.

Ibn `Abbas kept the companionship of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, at the end of his life so this was his last action.

The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “So I reckon that Allah indeed shall expiate the year before of sins for the one that shall fast on this day.” He only asked him about the optional fasts as he was asking about the fast of the day of `Arafah, fasting of the year, fasting the day and not another day, fasting one day and not for two days.

The Imam, Ahmad ibn Hanbal and An-Nasa’ii collected a hadith from the narration of Hafsah bint `Umar, Mother of the Believers, may Allah be pleased with her, who said, “The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, did not leave fasting the day of `Ashura’, the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah and three days out of every month.”

This was also collected by Abu Dawud except that he had one of the other Wives of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, narrating this besides the one named.

The Fourth State: The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, had firm determination at the end  of this life on that he would not fast one day singled out but that he would take the other day in order to be different to the People of the Book in his fasting habits.

There is another narrative in the Sahih of Imam Muslim from Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with both of them, in which he said at the time of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, fasted `Ashura’ and commanded his Companions to do so.

They said, “Messenger of Allah, this is a day in which the Jews and Christians venerate it.” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “When the year comes back around to fast it, if Allah wills, we shall fast the ninth day before it.”

The following year came but the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, had died by the time it arrived.

There is also another narration from Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with both of them, in which he mentioned that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “If there should remain another year in which I am alive, I will indeed fast the ninth and tenth of Muharram.”

This is referring to `Ashura’. This was collected by At-Tabarani as well as with his wording, “If I should live to the following year, I will fast the ninth as I do not want to neglect the `Ashura’.”

There is the narrative in the Musnad of the Imam, Ahmad ibn Hanbal from the narrative of Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with both them, who mentioned that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Fast on the day of `Ashura’, be different to the Jews and fast the day before it and a day after.”

There is another narrative in which he said, “A day before or a day after.” Whether expression “and” or “or” is used is based upon a doubt raised by the narrator. The hadith mentioned above was mentioned with the latter phrase.

There is also another narrative in which the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “If I should live, I will order people to fast the day before and the day after”, meaning `Ashura’.

And there is still another narrative in which the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “If I should live until next year, I will fast the ninth and order people to fast the day before and the day after”, and he was referred to the `Ashura’. Both of these narratives were collected and given by the Hafiz. Abu Musa Al-Madini.

Source: Lata’if ul-Ma`arif Fima Li-Mawasim il-`Ami Min Al-Waza’if, pp. 53-56

 

21 MUHARRAM 1441 AH: SUBCHAPTER 2: THE VIRTUE OF QIYAM UL-LAIL

Imam Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali (d. 795 AH), may Allah be pleased with him, declared about the first month, Muharram:

It was said to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, “What are we to make of such and such who slept through the night until the morning.” The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Shaitan has indeed urinated in his ears.”

Sirri As-Saqati said, “I see so many benefits in praying in the deepness of the night. Who would pull away from the goodness that results in the night? It is only the people of heedlessness and sleepyheads that would neglect that time and for them is woe and balefulness.”

One of the first three generations stood in the night and then started sleeping through the night. He saw in his dream a man that said to him, “Get up in the night and pray!” The man went on to tell him, “You know that the keys to the Paradise are with the people who pray in the night. Such people are the treasurers! They are indeed the treasurers.”

The man woke up and then slept through the night and had another dream in which someone said, “What is wrong with you? You have fallen short since the last declaration I gave. You very well know that the one who makes tahajjud when he stands the angels say of him, ‘The one who stands in the prayer is the subject of the admonition.’ ”

One of the early generations saw a maiden of the Paradise in his sleep and he said to her, “Marry yourself to me so that we might be together forever!” She said, “Take me to my Lord and ask for my bridal gift if you are so diligent.” The man said, “What is your bridal gift?” She said, “A long tahajjud.”

Abu Sulaiman Al-Khattabi slept in the night one day and was woken up by one of the maidens of the Paradise. She said to him, “Abu Sulaiman, you sleep and I am here, having waited for you for the past 500 years.”

One of the early generations purchased from Allah, Exalted be He, a maidan from the Paradise for a bridal gift of 30 khatams in a dream, so he slept in the next night before his 30th khatam and he saw the maiden in a dream saying,

You propose to me yet you sleep when you are able?

The sleep that a true lover has from me is impermissible!

We have a high price and for every man it is prayer in abundance,

Abandoning eating and fasting so that one may be ready for glory in abundance!

The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, would knock on the door of Fatimah and `Ali and when they would answer he would say them, “Do you not both pray in the night?” He also said in a hadith, “When the man wakes up and wakes his family up to pray two rak`ah together, he is written down among those men and women who mention Allah frequently.”

The wife of Habib Al-`Ajami woke him up in the night and said, “The night has gone and between us is a long way and a little bit of time is left for us. The righteous and pious people are our for bearers and we are eager to be among them.”

Source: Lata’if ul-Ma`arif Fima Li-Mawasim il-`Ami Min Al-Waza’if, pp. 50-52

20 MUHARRAM 1441 AH: SUBCHAPTER 2: THE VIRTUE OF QIYAM UL-LAIL

Imam Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali (d. 795 AH), may Allah be pleased with him, declared about the first month, Muharram:

Some of the scholars would stand in the early morning and then sleep in the night without standing in prayer. One of them that night saw a dream in which two men came to him and one of them said to the other:

“This is from those who seek for forgiveness in the early morning and then left the light. Whoever has a heart, then let him use it! Whoever has time with Allah, let him use that time for standing in the night and then go forward and fast in the daytime. Let the fasting by a means of putting you back upon the night prayer that you left.”

You have left from the companionship in the night due to all and you’re with someone besides us,

Look at how you abandoned the night prayer which at one point was with us!

You swear that you will not change and allow yourselves to be tempted by desires,

You are going contrary to the original covenant by not doing what was done by those in the past!

It is in the nights we seek our sustenance and our love,

My heart is attached to those nights, attached to the beloved.

Source: Lata’if ul-Ma`arif Fima Li-Mawasim il-`Ami Min Al-Waza’if, pp. 50-52

19 MUHARRAM 1441 AH: SUBCHAPTER 2: THE VIRTUE OF QIYAM UL-LAIL

Imam Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali (d. 795 AH), may Allah be pleased with him, declared about the first month, Muharram:

The night is a time for the people who are looking for something in it. Some turn away in the night while some of them look for something. Each people know their rank and their place in the matter. The lover seeks out the private counsel of his beloved.

The one who is afraid has the chance to seek pardon and weep for his sins. The hopeful one has the chance to strive in his request for what he wants. The needy, heedless one may have Allah bless him for his violating his boundaries and falling short.

The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said to `Abdullah ibn `Amr, may Allah be pleased with both of them, “Do not be like such and such who used to make qiyam ul-lail and then left it afterward.”

Rabi`ah Al`Adawiyyah was once ill and so she prayed in the day time instead of the night and then she recovered. So when this happened, she did not pray the qiyam ul-lail. That night she had a dream that appeared as if she entered a huge green meadow and a door was opened to her which opened onto an abode.

A light then issued forward until it almost blinded her and so their came from there people with faces that looked like pearls and their hands were gleaming. There was a woman with Rabi`ah that said to them, “Where are you going?”

They said, “We are looking for the individual that was killed as a martyr at sea so that we might honour him.” She said further to them, “Will you not honour this woman that is with me?”

They looked at her and then said, “She has a portion of the honour that was due the martyr but then she left it.” That woman then turned to Rabi`ah Al-`Adawiyyah and recited the following poetry:

Your prayer is a light and the slaves are recipients of the light,

Your sleep is a stubborn enemy against the light when you sleep through the night!

Source: Lata’if ul-Ma`arif Fima Li-Mawasim il-`Ami Min Al-Waza’if, pp. 50-52

18 MUHARRAM 1441 AH: SUBCHAPTER 2: THE VIRTUE OF QIYAM UL-LAIL

Imam Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali (d. 795 AH), may Allah be pleased with him, declared about the first month, Muharram:

Those who are standing in the night! Make intercession for those that are sleeping while they slumber! Those whose hearts are awake in the night! Ask for mercy upon the deceased!

It was said to `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him, “Why aren’t we able to make qiyam ul-lail?” Ibn Mas`ud said in reply, “It is your sins that are weighing you down.”

It was said to Al-Hasan Al-Basri, “Why is it that we are not able to make qiyam ul-lail?” Al-Hasan Al-Basri replied, “Your sins have held you back.”

Al-Fudail ibn `Iyad said, “When you are not able to do qiyam ul-lail and fast in the day, then know that you are in a situation in which your sins are weighing you down.”

Al-Hasan Al-Basri once said, “The slave that commits sin consistently has his sins weigh him down and prevent him from qiyam ul-lail.”

One of the first three generations said, “When I committed a sin once, qiyam ul-lail was forbidden me for some six months.”

Only the kings are qualified for seclusion with their subjects and the most noble and pure hearted of them are humble in their love and transacting with one another.

As far as the one who is from the people of disputation, then they are not from those qualified for the qiyam ul-lail.

There is a narrative in which the Angel Jibril, peace be upon him, calls every night, “Will not such and such stand? Is it the case that such and such sleeps?”

One of the pious from the first three generations got up on a gold name and he was wearing thin and tattered clothing. When the cold kicked up and hit him, he wept and called out with a beseeching voice, “We have stood for you, slept for the people and they have wept for us.”

Source: Lata’if ul-Ma`arif Fima Li-Mawasim il-`Ami Min Al-Waza’if, pp. 48-50