BISMILLAAHIRRAHMAANIRRAHEEM CLASS #48 March, 2012 Verily, all Praise is due to Allaah alone. We praise Him. We seek His assistance. We seek His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Him alone from the evils of our ownselves and from the consequences of our bad deeds. Whoever Allaah guides, no one can lead him astray. Whoever Allaah allows to stray no one can guide him. I openly testify that there is none worthy of worship other Allaah alone without any partners. I further testify that Muhammad was His servant and final Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam). As for our lecture this evening, then it is from the great book Kitaab at-Tawheed - the book of Tawheed, the Oneness of Allaah, in His right to be worshipped alone. By the great author and Scholar of Islaam, Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Abdul-Wahhaab at-Timimi (rahimahullaah). In this chapter we find another chapter where without practicing it properly, and without understanding it and being able to implement it, we will have a deficiency in our Tawheed. That is as it relates to being thankful to Allaah ta’alaa. Being thankful to Allaah ta’alaa is from the obligations of our worship of Him; and our recognising Him as our Creator; and our singling Him out as the object of our worship; we are required as well to thank Him for the blessings and to not be ungrateful to all of the blessings that reach us from Him. CHAPTER 48 The author says, THE CHAPTER REGARDING THE STATEMENT OF ALLAAH, THE MOST HIGH: WHEN ALLAAH LETS MANKIND TASTE SOME MERCY FROM HIMSELF, AFTER HARDSHIPS HAD AFFECTED MANKIND, THEY WOULD SAY, ‘THIS IS MINE.’ And truly, if We give him a taste of mercy from Us, after some adversity (severe poverty or disease) has touched him, he is sure to say: “This is due to my (merit); I think not that the Hour will be established. But if I am brought back to my lord, surely there will be for me the best (wealth) with Him.” Then, We verily will show to the disbelievers what they have done, and We shall make them taste a severe torment.
[Soorah Fussilat(41):50] Commenting on this verse, Mujaahid says, “Man says, ‘This mercy is the outcome of my capabilities and I deserve it.’ “ Ibn Abbaas explains, “Man claims that this mercy is due to his imaginative and inventive faculties.” [Taken from, ‘Concise Commentary of the Book of Tawheed,’ by Dr. Saalih Al-Fawzaan (page #365).] He said: “This has been given to me only because of the knowledge I possess.” Did he not know that Allaah had destroyed before him generations, men who were stronger than him in might and greater in amount (of riches) they had collected? But the Mujrimun (criminals, disbelievers, polytheists, sinners) will not be questioned of their sins (because Allaah knows them well, so they will be punished without being called to account). [Soorah Al-Qasas(28:78]
Commenting on this verse, Qataadah states, “Man claimed that he was given mercy because of his knowledge about the ways of getting benefits.” Other exegetes comment of this verse saying, “Man says, ‘I was given it because Allaah knows that I deserve it.’ “ This bears the same meaning as Mujaahid’s commentary that reads, “Man says, ‘I was given this mercy because of my honour.’ “ [Taken from, ‘Concise Commentary of the Book of Tawheed,’ by Dr. Saalih Al-Fawzaan (page #366).]
And if we let them taste some Mercy from Us after hardships affecting them, they would say: This is mine!
[Soorah Fussilat, 41:50]
Meaning, ‘This is ours, this is mine by right.’ Meaning, that I deserved this. We’ll see how the author explains this using the statements firstly of Mujaahid, the great tabi’ee. Mujaahid said the meaning of this verse is, this is because of my work and I deserve it. Meaning when Allaah ta’alaa puts His blessing on someone after hardships, instead of attributing the blessing to Allaah and thanking Allaah; they attribute the blessings to themselves and their own actions. That is a kind of ingratitude to Allaah ta’alaa. Ibn Abbaas, the Companion, the great mufussir of the Qur’aan - the great Scholar of tafseer, he said: meaning, they’ll say that this is something that is a result of what I have done, this is from my ownself. This is something that reached me as a product of what I have done.
That verse and its tafseer is regarding the ingratitude of mankind in general, specifically and foremostly those who do not worship Allaah ta’alaa alone. Secondly, on a lesser level those who worship Allaah ta’alaa alone, yet they fall short in thanking Him for the blessings that they receive. Look at the context of the verse. The Soorah is in Soorah Fussilat, the 41st chapter of the Qur’aan, in the tur’teeb - in the order of the mushaf; the 50th verse. Look at the 49th verse of the same Soorah: Man (the disbeliever) does not get tired of asking good (things from Allaah); but if an evil touches him, then he gives up all hope and is lost in despair. [Soorah Fussilat(41):49]
Mankind doesn’t give up making du’aa for khayr. Here khayr - the good here is referring to dunyah. Mankind never ceases to ask for an increase in dunyah things. And when some evil thing touches him, you find that he is frantically lost and he gives up hope, he is someone in despair. He is in despair, he speaks with despair, someone who has given up. Then the opposite, in verse 50. Allaah ta’alaa is the One that grants blessings and He is the One who deprives people of blessings as well. Also when We give them mercy from us after the hardships, they say that this is what I deserve. This is the ingratitude of mankind.
The author goes onto say, and the statement of Allaah. The one who is being quoted is Qaaroon, from the time of Moosa (alaihi wasalaatul salaam). Qaaroon, the rich man whose treasures were vast. He said, I’ve only been given all of this, all of the treasures of the dunyah because of knowledge that I have. Due to some knowledge that I have. Soorah al-Qasas, verse number 78.
He said: I’ve only been given it due to the knowledge that I have! [Soorah al-Qasas, 28:78]
Qataadah said in explanation of this verse, because of knowledge I have about the different ways to earn, the different ways to make money. Others have said, the knowledge that is being referred to here, is the knowledge of Allaah, that He deserves it. Based on knowledge that Allaah has, that I deserved this fortune. In another narration Mujaahid said, I’ve been given this as an honour. Meaning, Allaah knew that I deserved it and He gave it to me as an honour for me specifically.
Here we see the statement of the arrogant people, the extravagantly rich and extravagant people, and how they speak about the blessings of Allaah ta’alaa. We have to ascribe the blessings that we receive to Allaah. Even if it is the pay cheque that is based on the hours and minutes that we worked. It directly says, you have received this much money because of this exact number of hours of your work. What do we say? Alhamdulilaah, who gave me the ability to work for that many hours. Who gave me success in keeping a job, to give me that hourly rate for that many hours in this week. Whose the One who made that easy? Whose the One who gave me the facilities that I use; my eyes and my ears, the physical strength that I have to perform those duties? Who is the One who is the source of all of the abilities that I have to do that job? It is Allaah ta’alaa alone. So that pay cheque, it’s from Allaah ta’alaa. He is the source of that blessing, and it is not you and your work. You and your work are merely an ‘asbaab’ - they are merely things that took place in this world that Allaah ta’alaa allowed to happen. They were dependent on so many different blessings from Allaah ta’alaa.
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) says, what can be gained of benefit from this verse:
FIRSTLY - the obligation of being thankful regarding the blessings of Allaah and acknowledging that they are from Him alone. SECONDLY - the prohibition of being amazed and infatuated with your own abilities and strengths. Meaning those abilities and strengths that Allaah ta’alaa provided you with. There is no other source for them other than Allaah ta’alaa, that is why there is this ‘kanz‘ related to this chapter. What is the dhikr that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) described as, ‘The treasure from the many treasures of Paradise’ it is La huwla wala quwataa illaabillaahi - there is no ‘hawl’. What is a ‘hawl’ - the ability to come between two things, basically it means ability. ‘wa la quwa’ - to have strength, there is no ability and no strength. ‘Illaabillaahi’ - except through and from Allaah ta’alaa alone. THIRDLY - the obligation of believing in the establishment of the Last Hour, meaning Yawn al-Qiyyaamah - the coming of the Last Day. Where is that from exactly, it’s not clear unless we complete the reading of the verse, verse number 50 from Soorah Fussilat, which was the first of the two verses in this chapter. If we complete it: they will say surely this is from something that I deserve, this is mine. I don’t think that we are going to be resurrected, I don’t think there is going to be a Hereafter. And if I were to brought back to my Lord, meaning if I were to be resurrected and brought back to my Lord, then I would have goodness, all kinds of goodness with Him. So We are going to verily, surely inform those who disbelieved about what they have done. And We are surely, absolutely going to make them taste something of a severe punishment. That is the completion of the verse. There we find the third point: the obligation to believe in the establishment of the Last Day.
And truly, if We give him a taste of mercy from Us, after some adversity (severe poverty or disease) has touched him, he is sure to say: “This is due to my (merit); I think not that the Hour will be established. But if I am brought back to my lord, surely there will be for me the best (wealth) with Him.” Then, We verily will show to the disbelievers what they have done, and We shall make them taste a severe torment.
FOURTHLY - the obligation of being fearful regarding the punishment in the Hereafter. That as well is from the second part of the verse. FIFTHLY - the threat of punishment that is in the Qur’aan for those who reject or behave with ingratitude regarding the blessings of Allaah ta’alaa.
We are going to look today at a very beautiful story, it is one that is told often, there are numerous benefits in this story. We hope that Allaah ta’alaa will allow us to finish this long story in our class today, and allow us to gain a benefit from this story. Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) narrated that he heard the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) saying: “Allaah willed to test three from among the Children of Israel (Israelites) who were a leper, a blind man and a bald-headed man. So, He sent them an angel who came to the leper and said, ‘What thing do you like most?’ He replied, ‘Good colour and good skin, for the people feel repulsion for me.’ The angel touched him and he was cured, and he was given a good colour and beautiful skin. The angel asked him, ‘What kind of property do you like best?’ He replied, ‘Camels (or cows).’ (Ishaaq, one of the transmitters of this hadeeth, is in doubt whether the leper wished to be given camels or cows.) So he (i.e. the leper) was given a pregnant she-camel, and the angel said (to him), ‘May Allaah bless you in it.’
The angel then went to the bald-headed man and said, ‘What thing do you like most?’ He replied, ‘I like good hair and wish to be cured of this disease, for the people feel repulsion for me.’ The angel touched him and he was cured, and he was given good hair. The angel asked (him), ‘What kind of property do you like best?’ He replied, ‘Cows.’ So the angel gave him a pregnant cow and said, ‘May Allaah bless you in it.’
Then the angel went to the blind man and asked, ‘What thing do you like most?’ He said, ‘(I like) that Allaah may restore my eyesight so that I may see the people.’ The angel touched his eyes and Allaah gave back his eyesight. The angel asked him, ‘What kind of property do you like best?‘ He replied, ‘Sheep.‘ The angel gave him a pregnant sheep.
Afterwards, all the three pregnant animals gave birth to young ones, and multiplied and brought forth so much that one of the (three) men had a herd of camels filling a valley, and one had a herd of cows filling a valley, and one had a flock of sheep filling a valley.
Then the angel, disguised in the shape and appearance of a leper, went to the leper and said, ‘I am a poor man, who has lost all means of livelihood while on a journey. So, none will satisfy my need except Allaah and then you. In the Name of Him Who has given you such nice colour and beautiful skin, and so much property, I ask you to give me a camel so that I may reach my destination.‘ The man replied, ‘I have many obligations (so I cannot give you).‘ The angel said, ‘I think I know you; were you not a leper for whom the people used to feel repulsion? Were you not a poor man, and then Allaah gave you (all this property)?‘ He replied, ‘(This is all wrong), I got this property through inheritance from my forefathers.‘ The angel said, ‘If you are telling a lie, then let Allaah make you as you were before.‘
Then the angel, disguised in the shape and appearance of a bald man, went to the bald man and said to him the same as he told the first one, and he too answered the same as the first one did. The angel said to him, ‘If you are telling a lie, then let Allaah make you as you were before.‘
Then, the angel disguised in the shape of a blind man, went to the blind man and said, ‘I am a poor man and a traveler, whose means of livelihood have been exhausted while on a journey. I have nobody to help me except Allaah, and after Him, you yourself. I ask you in the Name of Him Who has given back your eyesight to give me a sheep, so that with its help, I may complete my journey.‘ The man said, ‘No doubt, I was blind and Allaah gave me back my eyesight; I was poor and Allaah made me rich; so take anything you wish from my property. By Allaah, I will not stop you for taking anything (you need) of my property which you may take for Allaah’s sake.‘
The angel replied, ‘Keep your property with you. You (i.e., the three man) have been tested and Allaah is pleased with you and is angry with your two companions.” [Taken from, ‘Concise Commentary of the Book of Tawheed,’ by Dr. Saalih Al-Fawzaan (page #368). Related by Al-Bukhaaree (3464) and Muslim (2964).]
This hadeeth was narrated by Aboo Hurayrah (radiaAllaahu anhu). It was collected by the two Imaams of hadeeth. If we say the two Imaams of hadeeth, we mean? Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim, in their two authentic collections of hadeeth. It is narrated that Aboo Hurayrah has heard the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) - may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace, saying the following: There were three people from the tribes of Isreal; a leper, a bald-man with no hair and a blind man. So Allaah ta’alaa wanted to test them, put them to trial. As is the nature of our existence, for us to be tried and tested by Allaah ta’alaa. So He sent to them an angel. He said to the leper, Which thing is most beloved to you, which possession do you like most?’ ‘A good colour, meaning a good skin tone. A good skin (a leper has very bad skin). That is what the people detest about me, or think of me as a filthy person because of it, that that would go away.‘ The angel wiped over him and the filthy state of his skin was removed. He was given beautiful skin tone and a nice skin. ‘Which kind of wealth, which kind of worldly possession is most beloved to you?’ What is correct regarding the first part of the story is camels -u’tiyya.
So he was given a camel that was pregnant. Which had reached the eighth month of it’s pregnancy, meaning well developed and fully pregnant. May Allaah ta’alaa bless you with regards to this camel. This was a test. Notice that the trial from Allaah ta’alaa is in many times, being given something. We are always saying we are tried and we’re being tested, when we are in a state of loss, or when we are faced with difficulties. Yet, we have to remember that the whole life that we live is a trial. As many people are destroyed when they go through trials of loss and difficulty; possibly more people are destroyed when they go through the trial of having things and receiving bounties from Allaah, as it takes them away from the remembrance of Allaah and the worship of Allaah many times. So do not believe that a test from Allaah is only the removal of a blessing. Rather the blessing itself from the beginning was a test from Allaah and continues to be a test from Allaah ta’alaa.
So then the angel went to the bald man, ‘What thing is most beloved to you?’ ‘I wish I could have good hair and what the people detest about me, or think of me being filthy because of it, would go away.’ So the angel wiped over him. So the bad qualities left him and he was given beautiful hair. ‘Which possession is most beloved to you?’ He said,‘Bakr - cows.’ So he was given a pregnant cow. He said to him, ‘May Allaah bless you with that cow.’ So then the angel went to the blind man. The angel said, ‘What is most beloved to you? What do you want most?’ ‘That Allaah would return my sight to me and that I would see the people with that sight.’ Notice that the blind man from the start recognised that Allaah ta’alaa had total control. He didn’t say, I want the skin or I want the eyesight. He said, I want Allaah to return my eyesight to me and that I could view the people. So the angel wiped over the blind man and Allaah returned to him his sight. ‘Then which of the possessions are most beloved to you?’ He said, ‘Ghunam - sheep.’ He was given one sheep that was pregnant. So the camel, cow and sheep kept having babies. So the first man had a whole valley of camels. The other one had a whole valley of cows. The blind-man had a whole valley of sheep. So a whole valley here is a reference to an extremely large amount of animals, in this case it would represent a large amount of wealth, so they became wealthy.
After some time he went back to the leper. ‘Thumma’ here means - after some time. This is part of Allaah’s test for this leper. He went back in the shape, as he was before, obviously not an angel, pretending here to be a poor man. He said, ‘I have lost all ways to continue in my journey. So there is no way for me to continue on my journey today, except through Allaah and then after that through you.’ Meaning, your generosity, by giving me something. This ‘illaah billaahi thumma bika,’ refer this back to a few lessons ago, when we said, ‘Marsha’Allaahu thumma shet.’ It is permissible to say, ‘It is as Allaah willed and after that as you have planned.’ Not, ‘Marsha’Allaahu wa shet.’ - not, ‘As Allaah and you wanted.’ So he said, ‘I ask you by the One who gave you this good skin tone and this beautiful skin, and all the money and all the wealth that you have. I ask you for one camel that I can use to get to where I am going on my journey.’ He said, ‘So many people have so many rights.’ Basically, ‘I can’t do nothing for you.’ The angel in the form of a man said, ‘Maybe I know you, it is as if I know you.’ ‘Didn’t you used to be a leper? And the people were sick of you, they were disgusted by you, and you were poor. And Allaah, Glorified and Exalted, gave this your wealth.’ ‘I only inherited this wealth that I have from my ancestors.’ So the man said, ‘If you are lying (the angel knew he was lying) may Allaah make you the way you used to be.’
The story goes on in the last part here: He came to the formerly bald man, in his original state, as a human being. He asked similarly what he asked of the other men. He answered him with a similar answer. Meaning, I am not able to give you any. He said, ‘If you are lying, then may Allaah make you the way you used to be.’ He came to the blind man. The way he looked (was) a poor man, cut off in his journey, ‘I’ve lost my way, no way to continue on my journey, I have no way to continue on in my trip today except through Allaah and then after that through you and your generosity. I ask you, in the Name of the One who gave you your sight back, give me a sheep that I could use to go on my way. I could use along my journey.’ ‘Verily, I was a blind man, and Allaah gave me my sight back. Take whatever you like and leave whatever you like, because I swear by Allaah, that I will not have a problem with whatever you take for the sake of Allaah.’ So the angel in the form of a man said, ‘Keep your wealth, you’ve been tested.’ Meaning by Allaah. ‘And Allaah ta’alaa is pleased with you.’ ‘Allaah has become angry with your two companions.’ Meaning with the leper and the bald man. Here we have a beautiful story showing how we are to be thankful. We can see clearly from this story the guidance for us is to be thankful for the blessings from Allaah. We should be like the blind man in this case: First of all recognising the blessing. Secondly, attributing the blessing to the One who gave it to us - Allaahta’alaa alone with Tawheed.
Thirdly, speaking about the blessing on your tongue. As for the blessings of Allaah, then speak about them. So speaking about the blessing on your tongue, and then actions in accordance with that. Meaning spending the wealth, if the wealth is the blessing. Using the eyesight for the obedience of Allaah, if it is the eyesight that you are thanking Allaah for. Using the faculties that you have for the obedience of Allaah. Using your limbs to worship Allaah. Using your legs to walk in Hajj and acts of obedience for Allaah. That is all part of thanking Allaah for those body parts. Being generous, and giving people the rights that they have on you or over you.
Our Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan mentions five great points of benefit from this great story that we read: FIRSTLY - the obligation of thanking Allaah for His blessings regarding wealth and to take care of the duties we have regarding them. Meaning, to pay the zakaat, and to help the people who need help at the time of their need; as is clear from the hadeeth here. Two angels, as is reported in the Saheeh. The Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) informed us that two angels come out every day, and one of them says, ‘O Allaah, give someone who spends, give the people who spend their money, give them a replacement for what they spend.’ Meaning the one who gives in charity, the one who pays his zakaat, the one who helps the needy - give him a replacement. Your wealth is not decreased by charity. Meaning there will be blessing in the remaining wealth, Allaah ta’alaa will replace it for you, you won’t lose anything by being generous and spending. The other angel said, ‘O Allaah, give the one who withholds destruction, loss, ruined. So angels come out every single day, making du’aa against the people who withhold the financial rights of other people. In general, oppression is darkness, oppression is something that allows the du’aa of the oppressed to be answered. When you oppress people financially, it is a very serious level of oppression. Not only could that oppressed person make du’aa against you and have an answered, but the angels come out each and every day that you go on allowing that oppression to continue; angels, whose du’aa would be answered by Allaah. They say, ‘O Allaah, destroy the wealth of someone who withholds financial rights from their rightful recipients.’ Meaning the one who withholds zakaat money and doesn’t give. And he withholds a debt after being able to pay it back, and the deadline has passed for that debt, yet he oppressively withholds the debt. Our Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said, the delay of payment of someone who is able to pay back the debt (meaning after it is due) is thulm - is oppression. You see how much oppression it is here, that Allaah ta’alaa sends out two angels everyday to make du’aa in favour of the people who give the rights to their money to people who deserve it; and making du’aa against those who withhold the rights. As an admonishment, if there are debts to be paid and you are able to pay them, then pay your debts. If you have zakaat that you have not paid then get that zakaat to the needy recipients, and do not withhold it, as you do not want these angels who only say this du’aa as an act of obedience to Allaah ta’alaa and from His command. You do not want their du’aa against you. That shows you how oppression with financial issues will take away the barakah of the money. What kind of barakah will be in your wealth if you withhold, when the angels are coming out everyday to make du’aa against your wealth, that it be destroyed.
SECONDLY - the prohibition of being ungrateful regarding blessings, and the prohibition of denying the right of Allaah when it comes to money. Meaning, the zakaat that it is due to its rightful recipients. THIRDLY - the permissibility of mentioning the situations of those who have proceeded us, the previous nations, so that we can take an admonishment. All the people who hear that story can take an admonishment from it. FOURTHLY - Allaah ta’alaa tries and tests His servants through blessings that He gives them. FIFTHLY - the legislated nature of saying, ‘By Allaah, and then after that through you.’ In the situation like in the passage we discussed, with that actual point being discussed already. So using ‘thum’ and then after that, ‘Due to Allaah and you.’ That is an impermissible phrase. As we have learnt previously.
ADDITIONAL BENEFIT: Muslims never tire from saying, ‘Sallallaahu alaihi wasalam.’ We have no need to abbreviate that in our speech by saying ‘Salama’ or ‘sasalam’ as some people say. We say,‘Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam,’ as an act of worship. It is not permissible to abbreviate the tasleha and the tasleem - which is the salaat and the salaam, because our Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) told us: Shall I not inform you of the stingiest of all people is? He said, that I have been mentioned around him, and he does not send salaat upon me. So we say, ‘Alayhi wasaalaatu wasalaam’ or ‘sallallaahu alaihi wasallam’ or ‘Allaahuma sallialaihi wasallam’ or any phrase in Arabic that is asking Allaah ta’alaa for His salaat and salaam on the Messenger of Allaah, which means roughly in English: may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace. More so we do not abbreviate the salaat and salaam in our writing, which is much more common. As we see in articles on the internet quite commonly. From the basic manners of those who write and convey from the teaching of the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) is that they write out - sallallaahu alaihi wasallam - completly. We do not write - ‘saw’, ‘pbuh’, ‘SAWS’, or any other abbreviation for sallallaahu alaihi wasallam, because dhikr is a form of eebaadah. This has been ordered in the Book of Allaah:
O you who believe send salaat on him and a complete tasleem. Send salaat and salaam on the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam).
Allaah knows best. Sending salat and salaam on the Messenger and upon his family members, and Companions, and followers until the Last Day.