A Return to Excellence

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Indeed all praise is for Allâh. We praise Him, seek His help and we seek His forgiveness and we seek refuge in Allâh from the evils of our souls and our evil actions. Whosoever Allâh guides then none can misguide and whosoever Allâh misguides then none can guide aright. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allâh alone, having no partners and I bear witness that Muhammad sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam is His servant and Messenger. To proceed:

(NOTE: If you want to build a strong and powerful relationship with Allah, check out Islamia TV, where you can watch Islamic speakers from across the globe deliver inspiring and motivational courses. Learn more at www.islamia.tv.)

Knowing the Path

’Abdullâh ibn Mas’ûd radiallâhu ’anhu said:

 “ The Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam drew a line for us and said: “This is Allâh’s Straight Path.” Then he drew lines to its right and left and then said: “These are other paths. Upon every one of them there is a devil calling towards it.” Then he recited: [1]“Indeed this is My Straight Path, so follow it. And do not follow other paths, they will separate you from His Path.”[2]” [3]

Therefore, that which is necessary for the Muslims – both individuals and groups – in order to prepare for the mighty task and to achieve the lofty goal, is to truly know the straight path, it’s people, their ’aqîdah (belief) and their manhaj (methodology), knowing also the innovations and evils which cause one to separate from this way.

The wisdom in learning about the evil is taken from the hadîth of Hudhayfah ibn al-Yamân radiallâhu ’anhu where he said:

 “ “The people used to ask the Messenger of Allâh sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam about the good, but I used to ask him about the evil for fear that it would overtake me…” [4]

And may Allâh have mercy upon the one who said in poetic wisdom:

  I learnt what was evil, not for itself, but to avoid it.
He who does not know evil from good, falls into it.

Abul-’Âliyah (d.90H) – rahimahullâh – said:

  “Learn Islâm. Then when you have learnt Islâm, do not turn away from it to the right nor the left. But be upon the Straight Path and upon the Sunnah of your Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam and that which his companions are upon … and beware of these innovations because they cause enmity and hatred amongst you. But stick to the original state of affairs which was there before they divided.” So ’Âsim said: I related this to al-Hasan al-Basrî so he said: “He has given you sincere advice and has told you the truth.” [5]

About the Magazine

It is hoped that this bi-monthly magazine – which is in the hands of the honourable reader – will convey this original state of affairs, which has as its pure and sweet spring, the Qur’ân and the

Sunnah, built upon the understanding of the Salafus-Sâlih – the pious predecessors of this Ummah – the first three generations of Muslims whose excellence has been testified to by the Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam in his saying:

 “ “The most excellent of mankind is my generation, then those who follow them, then those who follow them.” [6]

This principle – the obligation of adhering to the Qur’ân and the Sunnah upon the understanding of the Salafus-Sâlih – being the cornerstone principle of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamâ’ah, as Abu Hanîfah (d.150H) – rahimahullâh – said:

  “Stick to the narrations and the way of the Salaf and beware of newly invented matters, for all of it is innovation.” [7]

Also Imâm al-Awzâ’î (d.157H) – rahimahullâh – said:

  “Patiently restrict yourself to the Sunnah and pause where the people paused, say what they said and avoid what they avoided. Take to the path of your Salafus-Sâlih, for indeed, what was sufficient for them, is sufficient for you.” [8]

So this magazine is intended to be – if Allâh wills – a vehicle to convey the path taken by our Salafus-Sâlih, differentiating between their way and the way of those who opposed them with whims, desires, and innovated principles, who seek to sever the people’s connection with the Salaf of this Ummah and its scholars – those whose understanding has been praised and whose path it has been made obligatory to follow.

Softening the Hearts

As well as including essential articles expounding the correct Islâmic ’aqîdah and manhaj, and articles pertaining to fiqh, tafsîr, hadîth, sîrah and siyâsatush-shar’iyyah (concern for the affairs of this Ummah); the magazine will also include, if Allâh wills, matters pertaining to âdâb and akhlâq (manners and etiquettes), tazkiyah (purification of the soul) and the study of the lives of the Salafus-Sâlihîn. This, by Allâh’s permission, will further enable the hearts to cultivate submissiveness and humility in the worship and obedience to Allâh – the Most High.

Ibn al-Jawzî (d.597H) – rahimahullâh – said:

  “I feel that occupying oneself with jurisprudence and acquiring the narrations is hardly enough to correct the heart, unless he adds to that the study of raqâ’iq (heart-melting narrations) and the study of the lives of the Salafus-Sâlihîn. Since they attained what is desirous from the narrations and took from the outer actions that which is ordered and required. And I do not inform you of this except after personal trial and experience. Since I have found that the majority of the narrators and the students of Hadîth are concerned chiefly with obtaining the briefest isnâd (chain of narration) and increase in the number of narrations. And the majority of the jurisprudents are concerned with dialects and how to win arguments. So how can the hearts be softened with these things? Previously a group of the Salaf would visit a pious servant to see his conduct and manners, not to take from his knowledge. This was because the fruits of his knowledge were his manners and conduct, so understand this. Thus, along with the study of fiqh and Hadeeth, study the lives of the Salaf and those who abstained with regards to the world, so that this may be a cause of softness in your hearts.” [9]

The Means and the Goal

Yûnus ibn ’Ubayd (d.139H) – rahimahullâh – said:

  “With good manners you understand the knowledge. With the knowledge your actions are corrected. With actions wisdom is obtained. With wisdom you understand zuhd (abstinence) and are granted its benefits. With zuhd comes abandoning the world. With abandoning the world comes desire for the hereafter. With desire for the hereafter the pleasure of Allâh – the Mighty and Majestic – is obtained.”

Abû Qilâbah (d.104H) – rahimahullâh – said:

  “If Allâh gives you knowledge, then give Him worship; and do not let your desire be just to narrate it to the people.” [10]

Abû ’Abdullâh ar-Rûdhabârî said:

  “He who goes out for knowledge, desiring knowledge, it does not benefit him. He who goes out for knowledge seeking the action by the knowledge, even little knowledge benefits him.” [11]

Mâlik ibn Dînâr – rahimahullâh – said:

  “When a servant seeks the knowledge for practice, his knowledge humbles him. When he seeks it for other than that, it increases him in immorality and pride by it.” [12]

Al-Hâfidh Ibn Rajab (d.795H) – rahimahullâh – said:

  “So the beneficial knowledge from amongst all the types of knowledge is to take possession of the texts of the Book and the Sunnah and to understand their meanings, and to limit oneself to that which is reported from the Companions, the Tâbi’în and their Successors – with regards to the meaning of the Qur’ân and Hadîth, and what is reported from them as regard to the halâl (lawful) and harâm (prohibited), and zuhd, raqâ’iq, the accounts (of previous nations and Prophets), and other than that. Striving firstly, to distinguish what is authentic and what is weak; and then secondly, striving to understand and comprehend it. And there is enough in that for the intelligent one, and enough to occupy one who busies himself with beneficial knowledge. And he who stops at that and makes his intention purely for the Face of Allâh and seeks His help – then Allâh will help him, guide him and grant him success, satisfaction, understanding and inspiration. Then he will take the benefits of this knowledge – which are found through it alone – and that is fear of Allâh, as Allâh – the Exalted and Majestic – says: “Indeed, it is only those who have knowledge, amongst His slaves, that fear Allâh.” [13]” [14]

The Reminder

Thus – O noble reader – if this brief introduction is something already familiar to you, then we hope that it will serve as a
reminder for you – if Allâh wills – since it will not be hidden from any Muslim, whatever level of knowledge they are at, that reminding of the truth has a very lofty station in our great and tolerant religion, as Allâh – the most High – says:

  “So remind! For indeed reminding benefits the Believers.” [15]

From this reminding comes this magazine – which we present to our Muslim brothers and sisters – praying that together we may adorn ourselves with the correct knowledge bequeathed to us by or Salafus-Sâlih, learning their ’aqîdah, so that hearts may embrace it; learning their manhaj, so that people may follow it and learning also their manners and behaviour, so that souls may be cultivated upon it, seeking to convey this to others with the wisdom, patience and forbearance that this pure and sublime message demands. So herein lies the excellence of the one who reaches it.

Al-Hasan al-Basrî (d.110H) – rahimahullâh – said:

  “If there was a man who reached the first Salaf, then he (this man) was up today, he would not recognise anything of Islâm.” The narrator said: And al-Hasan put his hand on his cheek and said: “Except for this prayer.” Then he said: “Then how is it – by Allâh – for one who lives in this bad time, not having reached the Salafus-Sâlih. So he sees an innovator calling to his innovation, and a worldly person calling to the world. But Allâh protects him from that and makes his heart lean towards those Salfus-Sâlih. Asking about their way, seeking their narrations and following their path. Allâh will recompense him with a great reward. So be like that if Allâh wills.” [16]

Finally, we ask Allâh to make this magazine of benefit to the noble reader and to the one who seeks it. Indeed Allâh is the One who hears and He is the One who responds.


Footnotes

1. All Qur’ânic quotations are translations of the meaning of the Qur’ân.

2. Sûratul-An’âm 6:153.

3. Hasan: Related by Ahmad (1/435) and an-Nasâ’î (7/49). It was authenticated by Shaykh al-Albânî in his checking to Kitâb us-Sunnah (no.16) of Ibn Abî ’Âsim.

4. Related by al-Bukhârî (6/615) and Muslim (12/235).

5. Related by Ibn Battah in al-Ibânah (no.136).

6. Related by al-Bukhârî (no.2652) and Muslim (no.2533), from Ibn Mas’ûd radiallâhu ’anhu.

7. Related by as-Suyûtî in Sawnul-Mantaq wal-Kalâm (p.32).

8. Related by Imâm al-Âjurrî in ash-Sharî’ah (p.58) and also al-Bayhaqî in Madhkal ilas-Sunan (no.233).

9. Sayid ul-Khâtir (p.216).

10. Related by al-Khattîb in Iqtidâ’ul-’Ilmil-’Aml (no.37).

11. Iqtidâ’ul-’Ilmil-’Aml (no.29).

12. Iqtidâ’ul-’Ilmil-’Aml (no.31).

13. Sûrah Fâtir 35:28.

14. Fadlu ’Ilmus-Salaf ’alal-Khalaf (p.48) of al-Hâfidh Ibn Rajab.

15. Sûrah adh-Dhâriyât 51:55.

16. Related by Ibn Waddâh in Al-Bida’ wan-Nahî ’Anhâ (p.74).

(NOTE: If you want to build a strong and powerful relationship with Allah, check out Islamia TV, where you can watch Islamic speakers from across the globe deliver inspiring and motivational courses. Learn more at www.islamia.tv.)



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