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The blessed Companion, Abdullah Ibn Umar reports that the Holy Prophet (SAW) once gave a sermon in which he said:

O Emigrants, I seek refuge of Allah Almighty against five traits of character lest they should grow into you: firstly, against immodesty, for when immodesty prevails in a people they are hit by plagues, epidemics and ever-new diseases not even heard of by their elders; and secondly, against cheating in weights and measure, for when this disease grips a people, they are hit by famine, price-hikes, rigorous labour and over-work and oppressive rulers; and thirdly, against non-payment of Zakah, for when people do not pay Zakah, rains are stopped; and fourthly, against the religious apathy of people, for when a community breaks its covenant with Allah and His Messenger, then Allah Almighty makes alien enemies sit over them who snatch away what belongs to them without any justification; and fifthly, against the apathy of ruling authority, for when the rulers of a people fail to decide matters in accordance with the Book of Allah because the injunctions revealed by Allah Almighty do not suit their fancies, then Allah Almighty causes mutual hatred and disputation to descend upon them.

(Ibn Majah, al-Bayhaqi and others and al-Hakim has called it ‘sahih’ according to the standard set by Muslim)


There once lived a pious man who was enslaved to a wicked master. The righteous slave wanted to teach his master a lesson that he would not forget, a lesson that would make him change his ways.

The Master told him one day to plant wheat. The slave took the opportunity. He went and collected seeds of barley and planted them. As the season drew near, the master was enraged to see that after all this work and time the slave had planted the wrong seed. In his thrashing rage, he scolded the slave saying, “Why did you do this?”

The righteous slave said, “I had hope that the barley seeds would come out as wheat.”

The Master said, “How can you plant barley seeds and expect it to come out as wheat?”

The slave stopped and said quietly, “How can you disobey Allah and expect for His bounteous mercy? How can you openly challenge his Deen and hope for Jannah.”

The Master was stunned and silent. He understood. “You have taught me something today that I had never realized. You are free for the sake of Allah.”                                                         

A man came to Ibrahim ibn Adham (RA) and said, “Abu Ishaq, I am unable to control my lower self. Please give me something to help me with it.”
“If you accept five conditions,” said Ibrahim, “and are able to put them into practice, your disobedience will not cause you any problem.”
“Just tell me what they are, Abu Ishaq!” the man said.

“The first is that when you want to disobey Allah you do not eat anything He provides.”
“Then how will I get anything to eat? Everything on the earth is from Him!”
“So is it right to eat His provision and disobey Him at the same time?” replied Ibrahim.
“No, it is not. What is the second condition?”

“When you want to disobey him, move off His land.”
“That is even more difficult! Exclaimed the man. “In that case where will I live?”
“Is it right to eat his provision and live on His land and then to disobey Him?” asked Ibrahim.
“No, it is not. What is the third condition?”

“When you want to disobey Him in spite of eating His provision and living on His land, find a place where He will not see you and disobey Him there.”
“What do you mean, Ibrahim? He knows everything that happens even in the most hidden places!”
“So is it right to disobey Him when you eat His provision and live on His land and when you know that He can see everything you do?”
“It certainly is not!” the man replied. “Tell me the fourth condition.”

“That when the Angel of Death arrives to take your soul, you say to him, ‘Give me a reprieve so that I can repent and act righteously for Allah.'”
“But he won’t listen to me!”
“Then if you cannot ward off death long enough to give yourself time to repent, and you know that when it comes there will be no reprieve, how can you hope to be saved?”
“What is the fifth?”

“That when the angels of the Fire come to you to take you to the Fire, you do not go with them.”
“They will take me whether I like it or not!” exclaimed the man.
“So how can you hope to be saved?”
“Enough, enough, Ibrahim! I ask Allah’s forgiveness and I turn to Him!”

The man’s repentance was sincere and from that time on he was assiduous in his worship and avoided acts of disobedience until the day he died.                                                         

The severity of its heat, and their variation in it: An-Nu`man ibn Bashir (RA) narrated that he heard the Prophet(SAW) say:

“The least torture in the Hell on the Day of Judgment is that of a man whose foot sole is laid on a live coal which causes his brain to boil just like a boiler.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Muslim narrated in his Sahih:

“He does not think that any other person is tortured more severely than him although he is in the least torture.” [Muslim]

Abu Huraira (RA) narrated:

This fire of yours which burns the son of Adam (in this world) is the seventieth part of the heat of the Hell. They say: ‘We swear by Allah, our fire is quite enough.’ The Prophet said: ‘It is sixty nine times more and each part of it is like the heat of your fire.’” [Muslim]

Abu Huraira said that the Prophet (SAW) said:

“The Hell complained to her Rabb: O my Rabb! I am eating myself. He allowed her two breaths: One in winter and the other one in summer, and that is why you feel the heat in Summer and the cold in Winter.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Samura narrated that he heard the Prophet, (SAW), said:

Fire holds some to their ankle bones, some to their knees, some to their waists, and some up to their collarbones.” [Muslim]

This Hadith is a statement for the variation in degrees in the punishment of those in the Hell. We seek protection of Allah from it and from anything that leads to it whether word or deed.                                

Yahya related to me from Malik that Ziyad ibn Abi Ziyad said that Abu’d-Darda had said, “Shall I not tell you the best of your deeds, and those that give you the highest rank, and those that are the purest with your King, and are better for you than giving gold and silver, and better for you than meeting your enemy and striking their necks?” They said, “Of course.” He said, “Remembrance (dhikr) of Allah ta ala.” (Imam Malik: Muwatta Book 15 No 15.7.24)

Malik related to me from Nuaym ibn Abdullah ibn al-Mujmir from AIi ibn Yahya az-Zuraqi from his father that Rifaa ibn Rafi said, “One day we were praying behind the Messenger of Allah, (SAW), when the Messenger of Allah, (SAW), raised his head from ruku and said, ‘Allah hears the one who praises Him’ (Sami Allahu liman hamidah). A man behind him said, ‘Our Lord, praise belongs to you – blessed, pure and abundant praise’ (Rabbana wa laka’l hamd kathiran tayiban mubarakan fihi). When the Messenger of Allah, (SAW), had finished, he said, ‘Who was it who spoke just now?’ The man said, ‘I did, Messenger of Allah,’ and the Messenger of Allah, (SAW), said, ‘I saw more than thirty angels rushing to it to see which one of them would record it first.’ ”

(Imam Malik: Muwatta Book 15 No 15.7.25) 

“All humans are dead except those who have knowledge … And all those who have knowledge are asleep, except those who do good deeds … And those who do good are deceived, except those who are sincere … And those who are sincere are always in a state of worry” (Imam Shafi’)

‘Knowledge will surrender nothing to a man, unless man surrenders his all to it.’

Ibn al-Mubarak said: I have seen wrong actions killing hearts, and their degradation may lead to their becoming addicted to them.

Turning away from wrong actions gives life to the hearts, and opposing your self is best for it.

Acquire knowledge because doing so is good. Seeking it is worship. Reviewing it is glorifying Allah. Researching it is jihad. Teaching it to the ignorant is charity. Serving the scholars is a way of drawing near to Allah because knowledge is the path of ascension to the stations of Paradise. It is a companion in isolation and a comrade in distant lands. It speaks to you in solitude. It is a guide to prosperity and a shield against adversity. It beautifies one among friends and is a weapon against enemies.

With it Allah elevates people and makes them guides and bellwethers of good. The scholars are people whose words are sought and whose actions are imitated. The angels long for the scholar’s company and comfort them with their wings.

Everything, the fish of the sea, the beasts of the earth, the predators of the land and sea, and the cattle pray that blessings come upon him.

This is because knowledge enlivens the heart against ignorance, illuminates the eyes against darkness, and strengthens the body. It transports the servants to the mansions of the select and the righteous and to the highest ranks in the world and in the Hereafter. Contemplating it is equivalent to fasting, and reviewing it is equivalent to the Night Prayer vigil. With it, kinship is united and the lawful is distinguished from the unlawful. Knowledge is an imam which leads to righteous actions. It is craved by the people destined for Paradise and shunned by people destined for Hell. [Warathatu’l-Anbiya’, Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali] 

A man came to Iyas Ibn Mu’awiyah, a Muslim judge famous for his wisdom, and the following conversation took place between them:

Man: What is the Islamic ruling regarding wine?
Judge: It is Haram (Forbidden).

Man: How about water?
Judge: It is Halal (Permissible).

Man: How about dates and grapes?
Judge: They are Halal.

Man: Why is it that all these ingredients are Halal, and yet when you combine them, they become Haram?
The Judge looked at the man and said: If I hit you with this handful of dirt, do you think it would hurt you?

Man: It would not.
Judge: How about if I hit you with this handful of straw?

Man: It would not hurt me.
Judge: How about a handful of water?

Man: It surely would not hurt me.
Judge: How about if I mix them, and let them dry to become a brick, and then hit you with it, would it hurt you?

Man: It would hurt me and might even kill me!
Judge: The same reasoning applies to what you asked me!!                  

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