Category Archives: The ‘Ulama

A visit to Shaykh Hasan Abdul-Wahhaab Marzouq Al-Bannaa (May Allah preserve him and his family upon good).

As Salaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuh.  May Allah have mercy upon me, you and all of the Muslims.  Ameen.

(This happened some years back but I decided to share it). 

 

I hope and pray that all is well with each and everyone of you.  A some time ago I had the opportunity to have lunch with our father, our Shaykh, Hasan Abdul-Wahhaab Marzouq Al-Bannaa, may Allah preserve him.  His wife invited my wife and myself to eat with them and their family at their home.  Maa Shaa Allah.  When we arrived at the the home of the Shaykh (actually its his son’s home, but the Shaykh and his wife stay there, its easier for them), which is on the 5th floor, I thought about how he gets up and down these stairs.  Mind you the Shaykh is 85 (88 now) years young, may Allah preserve him.

 

When we finally made it up the stairs and knocked on the door, the Shaykh opened the door and greeted us with a smile and kind welcoming words, the Shaykh hugged me and I kissed his forehead.  My wife went to an area where his wife and daughter in-law were waiting for her.  I went into another room with the Shaykh, who already had 2 visitors.  Mind you that this was after Salaatul-Jumu’ah.  I greeted the visitors and they returned their greetings. I sat on the side of the Shaykh and I never took my eyes off of him.  I watched how he listened attentively to his guests and how he wouldnt interrupt them while they were speaking.  He would quietly sit and wait until they were finished, before he would speak.  I asked him some questions about becoming a man in Islaam and being a better husband to my wife.  He encouraged me to read the Qur’aan and to read about the life of the Messenger, may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him.  He told me to read Saheehul-Bukhaaree, often. 

 

When it was time to eat.  I watched this 85 (88 now) year old “inheritor of the Prophet(s)”, serve his guests with the vigor and energy of a young man.  I watched him bring in trays of food from his wife and refuse anyones help.  All the while his lips never stopped praising Allah.  I noticed that whenever the Shaykh was silent in speech, his lips would be moving in the remembrance of Allah.  Glorifying Him, Praising Him, Extolling Him, Honoring Him.  He was always reminding himself of his Lord.  I watched all of this.

 

I watched how he didnt touch his food until after we began to eat.  I watched as he would feed his two small grand-daughters, with his hands. He would always remember to put food in their mouths when he would feed himself.  I watched how he would pick up any morsel of food which fell to the floor and eat it.  When the guest finished eating, I was still working.  So the Shaykh took the food and put it in-front of me and told me to eat.  I didnt disappoint him (how could I, he’s a Shaykh.  I gotta listen).  When I finally finished, he took my plates and ate whatever was left within them.  I watched him cleaning the plates with his fingers and licking his fingers after that (I thought of a brother named

Abdur-Rahmaan Yoosuf after seeing this, knowing that I learned of this sunnah from him during one Ramadhaan night back in Kentucky, in the basement of the 4th. Street Masjid.  May Allah reward him with good and greet him).  I watched him not leave any food for the shaytawn.  I watched him wipe his grand-daughters hands with the peel/skin of an orange.  He told me that the acid in the skin would kill germs on their hands, Allah knows best.  He said you can do this if no water is present.  Just a little tip.  Maa Shaa Allah.

 

When the call of prayer was heard, I watched how the Shaykh prepared himself to go to the masjid.  He didnt sit around like we do, and continue to talk or waste time.  He made it clear that we are leaving now, and are heading for masjid.  The Mother of the Believers, Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her said, “when the Messenger heard the Adhaan, he leave from whatever he was doing with us, as if he didnt know us and prepare himself to go to the masjid for prayer”.  We Gloryfied Allah as we made our way down the five flights of stairs.  I held the Shaykh’s hand going to the masjid, as well as when we returned.  Upon returning, I was taught a lesson in patience.  Now as I told you the Shaykh is 85 (88 now) years young and he lives on the 5th floor.  We all walked behind the Shaykh as we walked up each stair, one at a time.  Al-Hamdulillah.  The Shaykh told me that he has had this apartment for at least 60 years.  He said, when he was a young man, he would run up the stairs, after saying that we both laughed.

 

Back in the house, I watched the Shaykh continue to be in the service of his family.  Never complaining like we do.  When the guests had left.  I felt like the Shaykh was tired and I told him that my wife and I were leaving.  The Shaykh’s wife wanted us to stay longer.  But he looked like he needed rest and I didnt want to oppress him (plus I want to return).  The Shaykh said, may Allah bless me for this.  Ameen.  Upon leaving I gave the Shaykh a gift we had purchased for him, my wife presented his wife with a gift as well.  The Shaykh once again hugged me and I kissed his forehead again.

 

Then the Shaykh reminded me of somethig I had told him, over 3 1/2 (almost 8 years now) years ago.  I told him that I had a dream that I visited a shaykh in his home and I ate with him.  I didnt know who he was, but I knew that he was a shaykh, Allah knows best.  The Shaykh reminded me that I told him this over 3 1/2 (almost 8 years now) years ago.  Then he tells me, see Abdur-Raqeeb, dreams do come true.  Dont disbelieve in dreams.  That was the end of my visit.  I called the Shaykh a few days ago, and he was sick with a minor, small cold.  So make du’aa that Allah cures him and returns him to a better condition.  May Allah preserve him and greet him and us all.  Ameen.

 

Aboo Abdur-Rahmaan Abdur-Raqeeb

I love each and eveyone of you in the path of Allah.

 

Ramadhaan Advice from Shaykh Hasan Abdul-Wahhaab Al-Bannaa

Ramadhaan Advice from Shaykh  Hasan Abdul-Wahhaab Al-Bannaa (May Allah preserve him and his family upon good).

Question:  What advice do you have for our fasting brothers in America?  Advice in regards to the drawing closer to Allah during this blessed month.

Answer:  This is  Shahrul-Qur’aan (the month of Al-Qur’aan).  This is Shahrul-Qur’aan.  Read Al-Qur’aan in abundance.  Indulge in reading Al-Qur’aan.  This is Shahrul-Ibaadah (the month of worship) and Shahrul-Qiyaamah (the month of standing in prayer).  Increase in worship; in obedience to Allah.  Increase in standing in prayer.  Increase in prayer.  Pray the night prayer with the jamaa’ah if you are able to, or pray in your homes and it is not a problem if you hold the Mushaf (copy of Al-Quraan) in your hands while you pray.

Read  Al-Qur’aan with understanding and reflection.  But if one cannot understand it, still read it.  Increase during this month in reading Al-Qur’aan.  Shahul-Qur’aan.

Translated by:  Aboo Abdir-Rahmaan Abdur-Raqeeb

 

 

Don’t Spit In Front Of You During Prayer

The Prophet (peace be upon him) says, “When any one of you prays, he must not spit in front of him, for Allah is in front of him when he is engaged in prayer. But he should do so on his left or down his feet.”  [agreed upon]

Sheikh Ibn Uthaymeen comments, ” This hadith has decisive proof that Allah is in the front of the person who prays. As for spitting to one’s right side,  it’s not preferable because an angel is reported to be on one’s right side; this leaves out the left side or under the feet.

We can extract from this hadith that Allah is in front of the person who prays; however, we must know that Who said so is the same One who declared Himself to be in the heavens. There is no contradiction as we can reconcile between these two texts from three aspects:

1- The Islamic law contains both reports and it’s impossible for it to contain any contradictions.

2- Logically, a thing could be up in the sky while being right in front of you simultaneously; consider the sun which lies in front of you but higher than you. Therefore, since such fact is applicable for created objects, it’s obviously and undoubtedly applicable for the Creator Himself.

3- Even if we suppose this is not applicable for created objects, it wouldn’t be the same case for Allah; who there is nothing similar or comparable to Him.”

Source: http://www.ibnothaimeen.com/all/books/article_17955.shtml.

Translated by: Abdullah Ibrahim Omran al-Misri.

DON’T LET YOUR EMOTIONS OVERRIDE YOUR MORAL VALUES.

Umar may Allah be pleased with him was once told by a man “I want to divorce my wife.” Umar asked the man why. He replied, ‘Because I no longer love her.’ ’Umar said to him, ’Are family ties built only on love? If houses and families were to be broken on the grounds of so-called lost love, how about care and kindness.”

Shiekh Raslan commented, “There should never be a preference to one’s deeply influential emotions over human values regardless how powerful and imposing those emotions are. One’s emotions must stop at its normal limits and never cross them. The man in this report expresses a fact that he can no longer keep to himself; he simply doesn’t love her anymore.” Shiekh Raslan continued, “Notice the balance in Umar’s response; care and kindness versus a lost love. Allah has favored him with marrying her, so he is obliged to provide her with kindness, care, and protection. This stands against his overwhelming desire that he no longer loves her and his heart is searching for love he cannot find.”

Note: Umar’s advice teaches us: despite our overwhelming emotions that sometimes manipulate our decision process and other times cloud our judgment, we should never allow them to override any human value we have; in this case, the man should stay with his wife although he doesn’t love her otherwise anybody who no longer loves his wife and vice-verse will be driven to ask for divorce; and therefore, most of the families will be disunited and destroyed and ultimately the society will be weak and nonresistant to the challenges of present day life.

Translation and additional notes by: Abdullah Ibrahim Omran al-Misri.

ASPECTS OF THE QURANIC I’JAZ (INIMITABILITY)

There are four aspects that wrap up the inimitability of the Qur’an:

1- The perfection of its authorship and the cohesion of its structure along with its ultimate eloquence and conciseness.

2- The elegance of its style; it is composed of a significantly different style than that of the leaders of eloquence among Arabs in both poetry and prose. Its style has blown up the minds of those leaders who couldn’t bring forth anything similar to it despite the well-conditioned circumstances to do so.

3- The rich reports it has about the previous nations and their respective legislations whose knowledge was only known by a very few people among the people of the Book.

4- Its rich content that foretells future events; some of them occurred during the Prophetic period and others after it.

Source: Fath al-Bary fee sharh Sahih al-Bukhari: (8/623)

Translated by: Abdullah Ibrahim Omran al-Misri.

HOW TO SERVE YOUR OWN SOUL ON A SILVER PLATE?

The sacrifice of one’s life and wealth is the most superior expression of submission to Allah; nothing beyond such sacrifice. However, volunteer offering of one’s life and wealth requires an utter submission to Allah. One can acquire such submission through letting Islam regulate one’s life in all of its affairs. Shiekh Muhammad Sa’eed Raslan, a Salafi Egyptian scholar, reiterates a statement in many of his speeches which maintains, “One should hand over his life’s reins to the Islamic religion in order for it to have a complete control over one’s life; it directs one’s life wherever it heads in any direction.” By observing this, the sacrifice of one’s life and wealth will be a very easy and smooth task, or more properly, a beloved pleasure that one presents with a loving heart.

Abdullah Ibrahim Omran al-Misri.

HIGHLIGHT KEYWORDS ON THE TOP OF THEM NOT UNDER THEM.

Imam al-Albani noted a very subtle point we mostly don’t pay attention to. Many of us highlight, when studying, the key word that we find significant. We manage to put a line under it. Imam al-Albani draws our attention that this habit is derived from the disbelieving Europeans or Westerners in general.

He said, “To highlight a keyword on the top of the word is the custom of our scholars following the method of Hadith scholars; whereas highlighting a keyword under it is the habit of the disbelieving Europeans and we are commanded to contradict them.”

Source: The life of al-Albani and his heritage: (2/465).

Translation and additional notes by: Abdullah Ibrahim Omran al-Misri.

WORSHIP AND KNOWLEDGE

Allah says, “So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.”  [Al-Kahf:110]

Ibn al-Qayyim commented, “The righteous deed is the only one that receives acceptance from Allah. That deed must fulfill two conditions:

1- It must be consistent with the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

2- It must be devoted to Allah solely.

A person must have knowledge in order for him to perform such deed with its integral conditions. The intention solely is insufficient if it lacks knowledge of the Sunnah of the Prophet [peace be upon him] as well as determination solely is insufficient if it lacks knowledge of Allah . Therefore, an action devoid of knowledge is invalid; knowledge is the authentic token for sincerity and consistency with the Sunnah.”

Source: Muftah dar al-Sa’adah: 88-89.

Translated by:  Abdullah Ibrahim Omran al-Misri.

WHAT IS THE ESSENCE OF GRATITUDE TO ALLAH AND HOW TO DISPLAY IT?

Imam ibn al-Qayyim explains the meaning of gratitude to Allah and how to display it:

Definitions of gratitude to Allah:

1-      To admit Allah’s bounties upon you out of submission.

2-      To praise Allah by pointing out His bounties.

3-      Devotion of the heart to loving Allah, devotion of the body to worship him, remembering and praising Him with tongue.

4-      A nice definition is given by Hamdoon al-Qassar: showing gratitude to Allah is achieved by believing that the person doesn’t deserve these bounties.

5-      Showing gratitude is to admit your inability of showing gratitude.

How to display your gratitude to Allah:

1-      To submit to Allah.

2-      To love Allah.

3-      To admit His bounties.

4-      To praise Him with these bounties.

5-      To function these bounties in what pleases Allah not in what displeases Him.

If any of these pillars were to be neglected, gratitude would be breached.”

Source: Madrij as-Salikeen: (2/6-7)

Translated by: Abdullah Ibrahim Omran al-Misri.

DO YOU WANT TO BE LIKE THE COMPANIONS? LEARN RABIC LANGUAGE

Questions like: How does language subconsciously impact our lives? How does language identify us? Why should we strive to forever pursue learning Arabic language? What is the outcome of learning it?

All of these questions are answered by sheikh al-Islam ibn Taymiyyah. Consider the following quote and you’ll discover that language shapes one’s life, the way one communicates, thinks, and reacts.

Shiekh al-Islam ibn Taymiyyah said, “Know that constant exposure to the Arabic language provides a great and noticeable influence over one’s intellectual ability, religion, and character. It also establishes a connection between the individual and the early generations from companions and their successors. This connection amplifies one’s intellectual ability, religion and character.”

Source: Iqtidaa as-Sirat al-Mustaqeem (1/496

 

Translated by: Abdullah Ibrahim Omran al-Misri.