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Authentic Adhkār from the Qur’an & Sunnah: Lesson 13

Sat 21 Apr 2018

✏️Lesson 13: The differences in the names of Allah, and what is the greatest name of Allah?

We have already covered that Allah’s names are more than 99 and that the one whomsoever learns and acts on them will enter Paradise

  • This indicates that the names of Allah have different levels
  • Shaikh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah says whoever says that the attributes of Allah do not have different levels, then there is no evidence behind their statement
  • Just as the names and attributes of Allah vary, then so do their virtues
  • The narratiiomn
    • This hadith proves that there are different levels
  • It was narrated that Anas bin Malik said: “The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) heardman say: ‘Allahumma! Inni as’aluka bi-anna lakal-hamd. La ilaha illa Anta, wahdaka la sharika laka. Al-Mannan. Badi’us-samawati wal-ard. Dhul-jalali wal-ikram (O AllahI ask You by virtue of the fact that all praise is due to You; none has the right to be worshiped but Youalone, and You have no partner or associate, the Bestower, the Originator of the heavens and the earth, the Possessor of majesty and honor.’ He (saas) said: ‘He has asked Allah by His Greatest Name which, if He is asked thereby He gives and if He is called upon thereby He answers.'” [Reported in the Musnad of Imam Ahmed and also found in the four books of the Sunnan]
    • Note: what is the order of the four sunnan in the order that their authors died? 1. Ibn Maajah (d.273 AH), Abu Dawud (d. 275 AH), Tirmidhi (d.279 AH), Nisaai (d.303 AH)
    • Note 2: Imam Ahmed died 241
    • What about the order of the Sunan in order of which book is best? Some scholars order them as follows, Abu dawud, NIsaii, Timridhi, Ibn Maajah
  • There are numerous narrations which mention the greatest name of Allah
    • It was narrated that Al-Qasim said: The Greatest Name of Allah, if He is called by which He will respond, is in three Surah: Al-Baqarah, Al ‘Imran and Ta-Ha. (Hasan) Another chain for something similar from Al-Qasim, from Abu Umamah, from the Prophet (saas) [Sunan Ibn Majah]
    • It was narrated from Asma’ bint Yazid that : The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “The Greatest Name of Allah is in these two Verses: And your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (God – Allah), La Ilaha Illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.’ And at the beginning of Surah Al ‘Imran.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
    • Narrated Buraydah ibn al-Hasib: The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) heard a man saying: O Allah, I ask Thee, I bear witness that there is no god but Thou, the One, He to Whom men repair, Who has not begotten, and has not been begotten, and to Whom no one is equal, and he said: You have supplicated Allah using His Greatest Name, when asked with this name He gives, and when supplicated by this name he answers. [Sunan Abi Dawud]
  • From these narrations we know that the one who calls upon Allah with his greatest name will have his/her supplications answers, the scholar have done a great amount of research into this topic
    • Imam Shawkaani (may Allah have mercy on him) said indeed the scholars have differed on what the greatest name of Allah is, in approximately 40 opinions, however many of them are weak.
    • Indeed the Sufia (sufis) have made a great deal of fabrications on this issue, including many made up stories. Every Muslim needs to be upon caution from falling into this deception. One should check the sources used carefully.
    • NOTE: Why are the sufia called sufia? One opinion is that “suuf” means wool linguistically, and so this is a reference to their zuhd (asceticism).
    • Imam Shawkaani says the most popular opinion and most well evidence and the most likely to be correct is in specifying what the greatest name of Allah is in terms of evidence, is his name, “Allah”.
    • One evidence for the above is when we ask “What is the greatest name of Allah”, we always refer to him by default as “Allah”, and we may for example say “Al-Rahmaan (The Most merciful) is one of the names of Allah”, i.e. the name “Allah” is central.
    • In the Book Kitaab At-Tawhid, the Shaikh , mentions that “Allah” is the greatest name of Allah and explains by stating that the name Allah explains the essence of Allah, and that:
      • it is the basis of Eemaan (as we say “Eemaan in Allah”)
      • it is the basis of Islam (as the first pillar, in the testimony we mention his name Allah), and
      • that with this name we start with his name “Allah” and that he is the greatest)
      • And that when we seek refuge we seek refuge with him using this name
      • Therefore this name “Allah” has specific virtues which the others do not have
    • And the verse “And to Allah belong the most beautiful names” shows that all the other names return back to this one and it encompasses them
    • Each of the other names clarify different aspects of why Allah should be singled out for worship, e.g. he is Al-Rahmaan (The Most Merciful) etc
  • Therefore the majority of the scholars state that the name “Allah” is the greatest name
  • Other scholars state that the greatest name is “Al-Hayyul Qayyuum” (The Ever Living, the one who sustains and protects all that exists)
    • Ibn qayyim says the attribute of life (Al-Hayy) is inclusive and comprises all of the attributes of perfection , and the second part (Al-Qayyuum) shows that Allah is completely self sufficient, needing none, yet at the same time he sustains and protects all that exists, and so everything needs him and he needs none.
    • The name “Al-Hayyul Qayyuum” is mentioned the most of the narrations which cover the greatest name of Allah
    • However “Allah” is mentioned in all of the hadith which mention the greatest name of Allah
  • The above two are the strongest two opinions
  • NOTE: However this is an issue of Ihtihaad as there is not any hadith which categorically state which name is greatest, and so this is an issue requiring analysis and research
  • In any case, if you were to repeat the dua which the man made in the first n
  • Q&A:
    • What is the meaning of the name Allah?
    • Is right to call Allah “God”? = No
    • Is it better to call Allah “The Lord” or “The Creator” when explaining to non Muslims? = Yes, this is because the names “Lord” or “Creator” have direct translations into Allah’s names whereas just saying “God” can mean different to different people
    • Question about praying witr and Tahajjud at night
    • Is it right for a man to hug his mother-in-law or sister in-law?

Next Lesson insha Allah:  Ramadhaan preparation lesson

 

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Remedying the Heavy and Tight Chest: Lesson 12

Sunday 29th Rajab 1439/15 April 2018

Lesson 12: The Kind and Generous vs. the Miserly

  • Recap of lesson 11
    • The Two types of love (beneficial and harmful)
    • When does loving something besides Allah or at the expense of his duty to Allah, become shirk?
    • Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami mentioned the harmful (sadness, loss of perfection etc) effects of loving something/someone besides Allah
    • NOTE: the above harmful love is when someone loves something/someone in a way only befitting to Allah, or with humility, or such that this causes deficiency in his duty to Allah. Natural, normal love towards one’s spouse or child or an inclination towards one’s wealth which does not decline his duty to Allah is not what is meant.
    • How are the above cured?
      • Remembrance of Allah
        • Qur’an
        • Adhkar such as from the Fortress of the Muslim
      • The importance of being kind, Ihsan
    • “Ihsan” literally means to perfect, in this context kindness and generosity is meant
    • The one who is stingy and tight fisted lives a sad and constricted life
    • Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “The example of a miserand an almsgiver is like the example of two persons wearing iron cloaks.” Allah’s Apostle also said, “The example of an almsgiver and a miser is like the example of two persons who have two iron cloaks on them from their breasts to their collar bones, and when the almsgiver wants to give in charity, the cloak becomes capacious till it covers his whole body to such an extent that it hides his fingertips and covers his footprints (obliterates his tracks). (1) And when the miser wants to spend, it (the iron cloak) sticks and every ring gets stuck to its place and he tries to widen it, but it did not become wide. [Sahih Al-Bukhari, also found in Sahih Muslim]
    • Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami says from the avenues of alleviating the chest is to be kind to creation and benefitting them with what one can.
      • Ihsan is of two types, literally means to “perfect” and so the first type is to have Ihsan in the worship of Allah, i.e. to perfect it. The second category is Ihsan towards creation, i.e. goodness and kindness towards creation.
    • Being kind and having mercy towards other people and creation is a form of showing thankfulness towards Allah as he is the one who blessed you in the first place and placed you in the position of being able to spend and help others. Therefore one who is in that position, then that act of spending is an act of gratitude towards Allah.
      • Helping others and showing mercy can be in many forms, you can help them physically with a task, you can help someone in need financially, you can put a good word in for someone who needs a reference if you are in a position to do so etc.
      • Therefore the generous is NOT just someone with money; kindness itself is a mercy to others. One can be generous with even just a smile.
      • Examples of such kind and happy people
    • Ibn Qayyim says as for the miser, in whom there is no ihsan, he is the one who has the heaviest chest and lives the most bitter life and possess the greatest amount of distress.
      • Why is this? He has gone against the word of Allah and gone against the fitra (Natural disposition of a human
      • This type of person is in a state of uneasiness, continuously trying to satisfy his greediness and niggardliness, whilst his heart reproaches him all the while, and for that reason he lives in a state of grief as he is unable to extend the hand of kindness to the other servants of Allah.
    • Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami says stinginess necessitates and is inseparable from cowardliness, just as generosity and kindness necessitates and is inseparable from courage. Therefore when you see a generous person, know that he is brave and courageous, and when you see a miser know that he is a coward.
    • Recap so far of causes of achieving relaxation of the chest:
      1. Tawhid (Islamic monotheism)
      2. Huda (guidance)
      3. Noor of eemaan (Light of Belief)
      4. Inaaba (turning towards Allah in repentance)
      5. Ilm (knowledge)
      6. Loving Allah
      7. Dhikr (remembrance) of Allah
      8. Ihsan, kindness and generosity
    • Next Part: Ibn Qayyim says from among the means of relieving the heavy and tight chest is bravery, because the brave one has an expanded chest and is someone who is easy going, has a big heart. As for the coward, he has the most heavy heart, no happiness or delight does he experience, he only experiences the pleasure which the animals derive, however he is denied from true happiness of the heart.
    • Principle: the state of your heart whilst in this life, that is how the state of your grave is going to be in the next life
      • Indeed the one who is kind and generous, the bliss which his soul experiences in his life transforms in his grave into a garden, and in a similar fashion the tightness experienced by a miser and coward converts into confinement and torture in the grave.

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Authentic Adhkār from the Qur’an & Sunnah Lesson 12

Sat 14 Apr 2018

✏️Lesson 12: Understanding the names of Allah correctly and acting on them, + are they limited to 99?

  • It is clear that the need for the servant to know his lord and creator is from the greatest of his needs
  • The servant therefore needs to carefully ponder over the names of Allah and focus on them one by one
  • The servant believes the perfection of Allah is infinite
  • The servant must make this issue (i.e understanding the names and attributes of Allah) from the most important of issues
  • Anas said: One of the Ansar used to lead the Ansar in Salat in the Quba’ mosque and it was his habit to reciteQul Huwal-lahu Ahad whenever he wanted to recite something in Salat. When he finished that Surah, he would reciteanother one with it. He followed the same procedure in each Rak’a. His companions discussed this with him and said, “You recite this Surah and do not consider it sufficient and then you recite So would you recite it alone or leave it and recite some other.” He said, “I will never leave it and if you want me to be your Imam on this condition then it is all right ; otherwise I will leave you.” They knew that he was the best amongst them and they did not like someone else to lead them in Salat. When the Prophet (saws) went to them as usual, they informed him about it. The Prophet (saws) addressed him and said, “O so-and-so, what forbids you from doing what your companions ask you to do ? Why do you read this Surah particularly in every Rak’a ?” He repiled, “I love this Surah.” The Prophet (saws) said, “Your love for this Surah will make you enter Paradise.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]
    • Recap of the Virtue of Suratul-Ikhlaas (Chapter Sincerity)
  • It is upon every Muslim to understand all of the names and attributes of Allah having acceptance, satisfaction and pleasure regarding them
  • Imam Zuhri said: From Allah is the revelation, upon the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is the duty of dissemination, and upon us is submission.
  • It is not permissible for a Muslim who has understood the rights of Allah and his status, to ever approach any of his names and attributes with rejection or dissatisfaction.
    • NOTE: The Qur’an has muhkamaat (clear) and mutashaabihaat (ambiguous) verse. The people of innovation claim that the names of Allah are all mutashaabihaat, however this is false, the names and attributes of Allah are clear, and those who may hold more than one meaning should be understood in the context of the muhkamaat, and thus they become clear. However they (the people of innovation) do not return to the muhkamaat, instead they apply their own mind and logic, thereby going further astray.
    • Note: common Muslims who have not learnt or studied, when they delve into the attributes of Allah
    • This is why when learning the religion, this should be done step by step
    • Saying: Whoever attempts to gain knowledge in one go, looses it all in one go (due to a lack of grounding)
    • It is an obligation that we submit and accept
    • A Muslims should be extremely careful from going into the error of the Mulhiduun (those who distort the names of Allah, see lesson 11)
    • The Methodology of Ahlu-Sunnah in this field is to affirm what Allah has affirmed for himself, and to affirm that which his Messenger Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) has affirmed for him, without any distortion, nor rejection nor giving descriptions of making resemblance. And at the same time to negate that which Allah has negated for hismnelf, and that which his messenger has negated for him. Ahlu-Sunnah do not go beyond the Qur’an and Sunnah.
    • In comparison, the people of innovation go beyond the qur’an and Sunnah, and instead try to use their logic to work out what to believe instead of following the texts
    • No doubt there are great affects upon a servant in terms of his righteousness , uprightness, and his fear of Allah (knowing he sees and hears him), the greater he becomes in his knowledge, then the greater he becomes in his fear of Allah, and the greater he becomes in his asking of Allah, and in his being closer to Allah.
    • As for the one who deviates from this methodology, and instead moves off this path and traverses upon the path of the people of deviation, then how far will he stray from understanding his lord and creator? Such a person will become the weakest in their understanding in his lord, and the least in fearing and having awe for his lord.
    • Ibn Qayyim mentioned that the people’s level differs in their understanding of Allah, and that this difference stems from their difference in their understanding of the texts. He said you will find the weakest of the people in insight are the people of philosophy, those who speak false in deviation in regards to the names of Allah, that which the Salaf criticised and disparaged them due to their lack of their understanding of the texts and because of their false doubts taking hold of their hearts. In fact, Ibn Qayyim says the commoners are in a better state in their understanding of the names and attributes of Allah, greater in their submission and belief than the people of philosophy.
  • NEXT CHAPTER: The number of names Allah has

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