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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Remedying the Heavy and Tight Chest Lesson 11:

Saturday 22 Rajab 1439/8 April 2018

Remedying the Heavy and Tight Chest

Lesson 11: Curing the heart, the Effect of making Dhikr of Allah often and the Importance of being kind

  • Recap of Lesson 10
    • Ibn Qayyim says a person in whose heart the love of Allah has settled, then such a person’s chest becomes tight only when he sees the people who are idle, lazy and heedless in returning to Allah, those who do not relish in his Worship become an eye sore and mixing with them troubles him as though he has been struck by a fever.
    • Ibn Qayyim says from the greatest causes of suffocation of the chest is to turn away from Allah and the heart being attached to someone/something other than him, and being heedless of his remembrance
    • Permissible forms of love, e.g. loving one’s spouse, child or loving someone for the sake of Allah
    • However, it is possible that permissible love can go beyond bounds such that a person end’s up loving something/something more at the expense of loving Allah, then it becomes impermissible. E.g. someone loving his business or someone at the expense of his duty to Allah. This is impermissible but not shirk.
    • There is another degree of impermissible love where someone loves someone or something and shows lowliness/humility, then this becomes shirk (Associating partners with Allah).
  • Why is shirk the greatest of crimes?
    • Because Shirk decreases love of Allah, and love of Allah is the spirit of Eemaan (Belief) and without Eemaan the heart becomes dead
    • A person who commits shirk has shared the love that was only belonging to Allah, he has divided it amongst others
  • Ibn Qayyim says that love is of two types:
    • One form is the love that is paradise on earth, delight and nourishment of the heart, life and cure of the soul, indeed this is loving Allah with all of one’s heart
    • The second form is the torture of the soul, the sadness of the spirit, the imprisonment of the heart and the tightness of the chest. Indeed this is to love others besides Allah, with love that belongs only to him
  • Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami says that whoever has been given love for Allah with all his heart, then he is the one who is in a paradise in this world and will enter the Paradise of the Hereafter. Whoever dies upon that state then it is hoped that he is upon good.
  • When a person loves Allah with all his heart, then the creation becomes like inanimate objects since he/she realises nothing can harm or benefit him in and of themselves. He/she realises that the command is ONLY in the hand of Allah and turns ONLY to Allah for whatever need.
  • When a person loves someone/something other than Allah (in an impermissible way), then his heart becomes weary, bitter, and tight.
    • NOTE: This is referring to impermissible love, whether or not shirk is present, see above.
  • Ibn Qayyim says that Allah has created the sons of Adam and has given them a state of completion to each of their faculties and organs (e.g. the eye and sight), and that when such a part of him loses its completion, then the person feels uneasy about that. Ibn Qayyim says the king of all the organs is the heart and was created in order to recognise and remember its creator, to love and hate for its maker, and that when it loses its completion and perfection such a heart becomes agonised.
  • So how do we cure the heart?
    • Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami this is via the Prophetic medicine and that ordinary medical knowledge (anatomy, physiology etc) is not sufficient as medical doctors themselves are sometimes afflicted with diseases of the heart.
    • The cure is to become preoccupied in the remembrance of Allah
    • One can learn about and study his religion, the sayings and life of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), what dua to make when you eat food or go to the mosque etc.
    • Making dhikr (remembrance) often means you will not forget Allah
  • NEXT PART: From the means of bringing relaxation of the chest is making Dhikr (remembrance) of Allah in all situations. Likewise, being heedless is a potent means of tightening the chest
  • Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami says making dhikr of Allah is easy for those whom Allah makes it easy for
    • It is physically easy, yet only a few people do it
    • For example, there are specific adhkaar (remembrances) for different situations e.g. when waking up, going to bathroom, eating, wearing new clothes, going out of the house, going on a journey, going to the mosque etc
    • The book “Fortress of the Muslim” is a good book for dua and Dhikr.
  • What is the best way of making Dhikr?= Reciting the Quran
  • When a worldly issue makes you busy, you will not find any type of comfort or company except when you go back to remembering Allah. Being heedless of Allah
  • What are the causes of becoming absent-minded from remembering Allah?
    • being attached to money, wealth, etc
    • Turning away from Allah
  • Recap so far of causes of achieving relaxation of the chest:
    • Tawhid (Islamic monotheism)
    • Huda (guidance)
    • Noor of eemaan (Light of Belief)
    • Inaaba (turning towards Allah in repentance)
    • Ilm (knowledge)
    • Loving Allah
    • Dhikr (remembrance) of Allah
  • NEXT PART: From the means of bringing relaxation of the chest is being kind, generous and benevolent towards other humans as well as towards creation (e.g. animals)
    • Indeed the generous and kind person has the most relaxed form of chest and has the most pleasant spirit
    • Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “Wealth does not diminish by giving Sadaqah (charity). Allah augments the honour of one who forgives; and one who serves another seeking the pleasure of Allah, Allah will exalt him in ranks.” [Muslim, Riyad as-Salihin]
  • Next week insha Allah: What does Ibn Qayyim say about the generous person vs. the stingy person?

 

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Authentic Adhkar from the Qur’an and Sunnah: Lesson 11:

Saturday 31 Mar 2018

Lesson 11: The names of Allah are Husnaa (Pinnacle of perfection), and what are the 4 forms of Ilhad (Distortion)?

    • The names of Allah are described as “husnaa”, i.e. at the pinnacle of perfection
    • We have been commanded in the quran to make mention of his names and a severe weartning has been made aha-inst those who make Ilhaad (distortion, deviation, rejection) and that indeed Allah will hold them to account with a  severe reckoning
    • Allah says: “And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them, and leave the company of those who believe or deny (or utter impious speech against) His Names. They will be recompensed for what they used to do.” [Surah Al-Ar’raaf (The Heights) verse 180]
    • Therefore it is important for EVERY muslim to make time to study the beautiful names of Allah and that he/she understands these names and attributes correctly
    • Allah says: “Verily, those who turn away from Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc. by attacking, distorting and denying them), are not hidden from Us. Is he who is cast into the Fire better or he who comes secure on the Day of Resurrection? Do what you will. Verily! He is All-Seer of what you do (this is a severe threat to the disbelievers).” [Surah Fussilat (They are Explained in Detail) verse 40]
    • All of the names of Allah are husnaa, Allah due to his perfection, might, majesty and greatness is not names except with the most perfect and beautiful of names.
      • Likewise Allah does not have any attribute except that it is perfect
      • The praise of Allah is only made upon the most perfect and best of praise
    • Nothing can take the place or replace the names of Allah
  • Allah mentions his names as being husnaa in four places in the Qur’an
      • Al-A’raaf (The Heights) verse 180
      • Al-Israa (The Journey by Night) verse 110
      • Daa-Haa (Ta-Ha) verse  08
      • Al-Hashr (The Gathering) verse 24
    • Each of the names of Allah has an attribute of perfection associated with it
    • Each of the attributes of Allah has an attribute of perfection associated with it similarly
    • All of Allah’s names and attributes indicate absolute perfection, not a single one of them has any element of deficiency associated with it.
    • Every name of Allah carries a distinct attribute of perfection and meaning which is unique from all the others, no two names of his are the same.
      • What are some examples?
      • Therefore, when one looks at the names and attributes of Allah, they all indicate Allah
    • Ibn Qayyim said all the names of Allah are praise, had they been merely names with no meaning, then this would not have indicated any praise or perfection. Rather all the names carry attributes which are upon the pinnacle of perfection
    • When one considers all the above, it becomes clear that learning the names and attributes of Allah is something one MUST learn and put into practice. For example, when Allah says “And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them”, then this can only be actualised by understanding them in the first place so that one knows what he or she is saying when calling upon Allah with his names.
      • If one does not know the meanings of the names and attributes of Allah, then it may be that his/her dua becomes inappropriate, for example someone asking Allah for mercy, yet using his name that he is the most severe in punishment
    • If you were to look into the Qur’an you can find many places where the names of Allah are mentioned, e.g. at the end of a verse, and the names always correspond to the context of the verse.
      • What are some examples?
    • Ibn Qayyim says Allah loves that the creation be upon the
      • Allah is the All-Knowing, so he loves those of Knowledge
      • That he is the All Perfect and loves Perfection
      • He is the Oft-Forgiving, and loves those who forgive others
      • He is The Appreciative, so loves the thankful
      • Etc
    • Importance of leaving the ones who make Ilhad (distortions) in the names of Allah
      • Linguistically Ilhad means to  incline away or distort something
      • These people make distortions of the names of Allah away from their realities
      • Ilhad takes many forms from the people of innovation
      • Allah warned against this ilhad severely, therefore it is upon every muslim to learn about it so that you can stay away from it
      • There is a saying: Learn the evil not for the sake of the evil, but in order to safeguard yourself from it, for indeed the one who does not know the evil from the people will fall into ti
  • 4 Forms of Ilhad:
      • 1. To take the names of Allah give them to the Idols
        • For example, Al-laat, Uzza and Manaat were distortions of Allah’s names, the polytheists distorted the original names and gave these new names to their Idols
      • To name allah with a name which is not befitting of his might and majesty.
        • This will happen whenever one makes up or invents a name which is not from the Qur’an and Sunnah
        • For example the christians name Allah “The Father” and philosophers used to say call Allah some sort of “prime mover/force”. Some people of innovations used to call Allah the engineer of creation
      • To reject the names of Allah is ilhad
        • Many of the people of Innovation do this
      • To make comparison or resemblance between the names of Allah and his creation then this is ilhad.
        • Allah says in the Quran: “The Creator of the heavens and the earth. He has made for you mates from yourselves, and for the cattle (also) mates. By this means He creates you (in the wombs). There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” [Surah Ash-Shura (The Consultation) verse 11]
  • Q&A:
    • What about the name “As-Sattaar”?
    • What about people saying “Mother nature”?

Home work: memorise the 4 forms of Ilhad

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