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The Best Century

The Fiqh of Islam, Vol 6

Ramadan Series 2013

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

15 July 2013 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Fajr Suhbah

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem.

Nawaytu 'l-arba`een, nawaytu 'l-`itikaaf, nawaytu 'l-khalwah, nawaytu 'l-`uzlah,

nawaytu 'r-riyaadah, nawaytu 's-sulook, lillahi ta`alaa fee haadha 'l-masjid.

أَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي الأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ

Atee`oollaha wa atee`oo 'r-Rasoola wa ooli 'l-amri minkum.

Obey Allah, obey the Prophet, and obey those in authority among you. (Surat an-Nisa, 4:59)

Alhamdulillah alladhee ja`alanaa min ummat an-Nabi al-Mustafa (s). Alhamdulillah that He made us from the Nation of Muhammad (s) and He showed us that the Prophet (s) is the role model, and we explained that in the previous session where Allah (swt) said:

لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَة ٌ لِمَنْ كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرا

Laqad kaana lakum fee rasoolullahi uswatun hasanatun liman kaana yarjoo’Llaaha wa 'l-yawma 'l-aakhira wa dhakara’Llaaha katheera.

Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have an excellent example for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and (who) remembers Allah often. (Surat al-Ahzaab, 33:21)

“You have in the Prophet (s) a perfect role model,” and the Sahaabah (r) were following that according to the ayah that we mentioned before, Surat Aali-'Imraan:

قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Qul in kuntum tuhibboona 'Llaaha fattabi`oonee yuhbibkumullaahu wa yaghfir lakum dhunoobakum w 'Allaahu Ghafooru 'r-Raheem.

Say (O Muhammad), "If you (really) love Allah, then follow me! Allah will love you and forgive your sins, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:31)

“If you love Allah follow me, Allah will love you,” and so they were following Sayyidina Muhammad (s) in every footstep; every step he used to do or did they were following the same way according to their imaan. Also, here “al-imaan” plays a big role in the personality of people. That is what we can see when Prophet (s) asked the Sahaabah (r) to donate for charity purposes for their needs at that time. Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (r) brought a lot of his wealth and so did Sayyidina `Umar (r), Sayyidina `Uthman (r) and Sayyidina `Ali (r). Prophet (s) asked Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (r), “What did you leave for your family?” He said, “I left Allah and His Prophet, I brought everything for you.” So (that was the evidence that) his imaan was at a very high level and very strong; his belief in the Prophet (s) was so strong and that is why he was called “as-Siddiq,” because anything the Prophet (s) asked or said, he was the first one to comply, to accept immediately without question or doubts. Then the Prophet (s) asked Sayyidina `Umar (r) what he left for his family, and he said, “I brought half and left half.” The Prophet (s) said, “Yaa `Umar! Your imaan is half that of Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (r).”

So this is showing that they have levels, even though the Prophet (s) said, “If there will be a prophet after me, `Umar (r) will be a prophet.” Similarly, Sayyidina `Uthman (r), Sayyidina `Ali (r) and other Sahaabah (r) have levels according to their personality and because they had strong faith in Prophet (s) and following him, Allah gave them wisdom that led them to purify themselves, because wisdom leads to akhlaaq, to the best of characters, and the best of characters leads to wisdom. So you cannot have akhlaaq without wisdom and you cannot have wisdom without akhlaaq, and both of them lead to a strong belief in the `aqeedah of Islam that Allah is One, He is the Creator and Sayyidina Muhammad (s) is His Messenger. In Islam there are three different levels, not like what everyone not paying attention to the highest level, they are only paying attention to the first level, the Five Pillars of Islam, which is good, but then we have the Six Pillars of Imaan, which is a different level, and then we have the one Pillar of Ihsaan, the Level of Moral Excellence, which is the highest level.

That is why the Sahaabah (r) were raised ‘in the lap’ of the Prophet (s); he raised them by talking to them, where they spent every day in suhbah, association with him. Every day Prophet (s) was counselling them, teaching them, prohibiting them from entering into bad characters, to backbite and spread rumors, and he used to tell them:

الفتنه نائمه لعن الله من ايقضها

Al-fitnatu naa'imatan la`anallaha man ayqadahaa.

Fitna is dormant and Allah cursed the one who awoke it.

So he took them all the way to prepare them for the next stage, the stage after Prophet (s), and always the Prophet (s) was present in their hearts and minds: when they walked to work, when they sat in the masjid, when they sat with their families, when they ate. They always they had a presence with the Prophet (s), not like us today where people come to the masjid to listen and they sleep, their eyes are closed, sleeping. The Sahaabah (r) never closed their eyes, their eyes were always open. Even though they did not sleep for 24 hours, especially in Ramadan where people don’t sleep, they never closed their eyes. And Allah said:

وإعلموا أن فيكم رسول الله

W`alamoo anna feekum rasoolullaah.

And know Allah's Messenger is in you. (Surat al-Hujuraat, 49:7)

Allah is saying that He is favoring them and promoting them and praising them, that, “You must know, O Sahaabah (r) of Prophet, that the presence of the Prophet (s) is in you, is with you, is in you!” That is why the Prophet, allahumma salli `alaa Sayyidina Muhammad (s) said:

خير الناس قرني

Khayru ‘n-naasi qarnee.

The best of Mankind are my generation (or my century). (Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi)

Khayru ‘n-naasi qarnee, “The best of people are those who were in my time, that century that is around me, coming from my birth to my leaving dunya.” And the Sahaabah (r) continued, “The first century was the best century.”

And Allah (swt) said in Holy Qur’an:

كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ

Kuntum khayra ummatin ukhrijat li’n-naas taamuroona bi’l-ma`roofi wa tanhawna `ani’l-munkari wa tu’minoona billaah.

You are the best of nations evolved for Mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong and believing in Allah. (Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:110)

“You were the best ummah that Allah has sent,” and the best of the best as the Prophet (s) said, “The best of them are those in my century or my time, khayru ‘n-naasi qarnee, because you learned from the Prophet (s) and Allah put the love of the Prophet (s) in your heart and you followed him, taamuroona bi’l-ma`roofi, you learned from him and wa tanhawna `ani’l-munkari, you call for good and prohibit what is bad.” Calling for good is not easy; you might face a lot of difficulties because people have no understanding or knowledge about Islam, especially today, for what Islam is standing for. Islam is standing,

O Muslims, viewers, wherever you are! Islam is calling for ma`roof, taamuroona bi’l-ma`roof, call people to what is good! So if Allah is saying that we were the best of ummah that has been sent to humanity, calling for good, and calling for good is always faced by struggle. What happened when the Prophet (s) was calling for good? The Quraysh, Abu Lahab and Abu Jahl were opposing and abusing the Prophet (s) everyday, and abusing those who believed in him, torturing them, beating them, killing them and still they never changed, standing forth like pine trees, green in summer, green in winter, standing firm; their beliefs never changed. We are from them, we are from their wombs, min aslaabi, aslaabi rijaal... As Prophet (s) said:

إن في أصلاب أصلاب أصلاب رجال من أصحابي رجالا ونساء من أمتي يدخلون الجنة بغير حساب

Inna fee aslaabi aslaabi aslaabi rijaalan min ashaabee rijaalan wa nisaa’un min ummatee yadkhuloona al-jannata bi ghayri hisaab.

Verily in the loins of the loins of the loins of men from my Companions are men and women of my Nation who will enter Paradise with no account. (at-Tabarani)

“There will be from the womb of the womb of the womb of people who are the best, and they will enter Paradise with no account.” And many of them are descended from the Sahaabah (r) who traveled all around the world and entered new countries and had children.

عن عبد الله رضي الله عنه أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال خير الناس قرني ثم الذين يلونهم ثم الذين يلونهم

Khayru ‘n-naasi qarnee, thumma ’Lladheena yaloonahum thumma ’Lladheena yaloonahum.

The best of people are my century, then the one after them then the one after them. Bukhari

In another narration khayru ‘l-ummata qarnee, the best of my Nation is my century.

How did Ibn Mas`ood (r) describe the Sahaabah (r)? He was describing them:

كما قال ابن مسعود رضي الله عنه: "أولئك أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كانوا أبر الناس قلوباً، وأعمقهم علماً، وأقلهم تكلفاً"

Oolaaika ashaabi rasoolillahi sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallama kaanoo abarru ‘n-naasi qulooban wa `amaqahum `ilman wa Aqallahum takallufan.

Those were the Companions of the Prophet of Allah (s), they were the most pious and sincere people among humanity, in their hearts; they were the deepest in Islamic knowledge (they used to memorize too much and to understand exceptionally well. If the Prophet (s) mentioned a hadith one time they memorized it, and now we have to repeat and repeat in order to memorize a hadith) and they were the most simple in their needs.”

The Sahaabah (r) are only looking for their needs to the minimum level of life, of needs, not like today everyone is living a very high standard of life in technology, in cars, in everything. They were happy even if they only had dates in their home. Today are we happy with dates only? We are asking food and sweets and cakes and meat and all kinds of vegetables when they were not able to see vegetables always and not able to see meat always.

أحدثك كأنك تنظر إليهم : فرسان بالنهار ، رهبان بالليل ، ما يأكلون في ذمتهم إلا بثمن ، ولا يدخلون إلا بسلام ، يقفون عَلَى من حاربهم حتى يأتوا عليهم

Ahadithuka ka-annaka tanzhur ilayhim: fursaanu bi’n-nahaar wa rahbaanu bi’l-layl Laa yaakuloona fee dhimmatihim illaa fee thaman, wa laa yadkhuloona illaa bi salaam, “I shall describe them to you as if you are actually looking at them. They are valiant horsemen by day, monks by night and they never take anything from their non-Muslim subjects without paying its full price. They never see anyone without first greeting with Salaam and they remain glued to anyone they meet in combat until the matter is settled.” (Tareekh Dimashq of ibn `Asakir)

It was mentioned by non-Muslims...they were describing the Sahaba as soldiers in daytime and monks in the night, where “ruhbaan” means dedicated worshippers at night. They don’t eat if they don’t make money to eat; they don’t eat except in their sweat. They were sweating in order eat, not to get it free., “They don’t enter except by saying, ‘Salaamu `alaykum;’ they don’t enter without bringing peace with them, they come with peace.” Are we like that today? No. In another riwaayah:

أَنَّهُمْ يَقُومُونَ اللَّيْلَ ، وَيَصُومُونَ النَّهَارَ

Innahum yaqoomoona ‘l-layla wa yasoomoon an-nahaar,

They were standing in prayer all night and fasting the days. (ad-Daynooree)

Now we wait for Ramadan to finish quickly in order to eat.

So they filled history, big history, their time is a history for everyone to learn from what they were doing. That is why the Prophet (s) asked the Sahaabah (r) in a hadith:

أي الناس أعجب إيمانا؟ قالوا : الملائكة. قال: وكيف لا تؤمن الملائكة والأمر فوقهم يرونه؟ قالوا :الأنبياء. قال: وكيف لا يؤمن الأنبياء والأمر ينزل عليهم غدوة وعشية؟ قالوا: فنحن .قال: وكيف لا تؤمنون وأنتم ترون من رسول الله ما ترون؟ ثم قال: قال رسول الله :" أعجب الناس إيمانا قوم يأتون من بعدي يؤمنون بي ولم يروني . أولئك إخواني حقا ".

Ayyu’n-naasi a`ajabu imaanan, qaaloo al-malaa’ikah. Qaala: Wa kayfa la tu’min al-malaa’ikata wa ’l-amru fawqahum yarawnahu. Qaaloo: al-anbiyaa. Qaala wa kayfa laa yu’min al-anbiyaa wa ’l-amr yanzil `alayhim ghadwatan wa `ashiyya? Qaaloo: fa-nahnu? Qaala: wa kayfa laa tu’minoona wa antum tarawna maa tarawna min rasoolillah maa tarawn? Thumma qaala: Qaala Rasoolullahi: a`ajaba ’n-naasi imaanan qawmun yaatoona min ba`dee yuminoon bee wa lam yarawnee. Oolaa’ika ikhwaanee haqqan.

“Who has the strongest faith in their heart?” They answered, “The Prophets!” Prophet (s) said, “How will they not have strong faith when revelation comes to them?” They said, “Then it is the angels!” Prophet (s) said, “How will they not have strong faith when they are in the Divine Presence?” They answered, “Us, your Sahaabah!” Prophet (s) said, “How will they not have strong faith when you also see me?” He (s) said, “The best of people will come at the End of Time, and they will not see me but they still believe in me. They are my brothers, truly.” (Sahih Bukhari)

“Who is the most astonishing, those who have strong imaan in Allah (swt)?” And the Sahaabah (r) were thinking, though they have deep knowledge, but they did not get that. Man ashaddu ‘n-naasi imaanan, man `ajab al-khalqu imaanan, “Who is the strongest and most astonishing people to have imaan?” They said, “Yaa Rasoolullah! The angels.” The Prophet (s) said, “How can the angels not have strong imaan when they are seeing what they are seeing in Paradise? That is not astonishing or amazing.” Then they said, “Yaa Rasoolullah! The prophets.” And Sayyidina Muhammad (s) said, “How can prophets not have strong imaan when they receive the Message and they are messengers and they see Jibreel (a) coming to them?” Then they said, “There is no one left except us, your Companions, yaa Rasoolullah.” The Prophet (s) said, “How are my Companions not going to have amazing, strong imaan when they are seeing me among them?” Then they said, “Yaa Rasoolullah, we don’t know.” He said, “Allah (swt) is creating, coming after me people whom they never saw me and believed in me without seeing me. They have the strongest imaan, they are the astonishing ones, because they are not seeing. You are seeing and you have imaan, but they have strongest imaan as they are not seeing.”

Only from century to century, imaams were bringing and explaining, and they accepted everything, that is how they got strong imaan. So with the presence of the Prophet (s) among the Sahaabah (r), he planted in them the seed of Islam, the seed of ihsaan and the seed of imaan, and that seed flourished. The Prophet (s) spent with them teaching them all kinds of knowledge, but what happened is that the Prophet (s) left dunya and there was no more wahiyy, no more revelation, it stopped. Until today there is no more revelation and until the Day of Judgment there will be no more revelation, but there is knowledge that the Prophet (s) left behind in the hearts of his Sahaabah (r): how he was in his time, how he used to act, how he used to solve problems with the Sahaabah (r), how he dealt with them and how they dealt with their families, how to do mu`amalaat and dealings with each other in trade.

Prophet (s) never left one single issue except he explained it, and because of that, thumma bad’a `ilmu ‘l-hadeethi yaqtasir `alaa `ilmi ‘l-ahkaam, `alaa marri ’z-zamaan wa bi ta`seeri` ‘l-awaami li ‘t-tabi`iyya ijtima`iyya wa ’t-tashri`yya, the knowledge of hadith became the source of all tashri`, the constitution of Muslims came from Holy Qur'an and from Holy Hadith. Every issue that happened in society and needed explanation came from what the Prophet (s) said in his ahadeeth that Sahaabah had collected and kept in their hearts and wrote them. From that verdicts came, different fatwas came, different explanation of fiqh came, and that is how the fiqh of the hadith of the Prophet (s) began to appear. From that we begin to see the time slowly, slowly coming to different schools of thought.

So that knowledge of hadith became the important source of everything they needed in their life and you began to see all these knowledgeable people, scholars, sincere and pious people were busy writing it, explaining it and putting it in order for people to understand what they need from it and apply it in their lives. So they were shifting more towards these kind of Islamic fiqh and paying it more attention than to al-Maqaam al-Ihsaan, the Moral Excellence. In any case, Moral Excellence is in the life and in the heart of every Muslim and it will be polished when you polish your knowledge of fiqh! This is how it happened that we began to look for ahadeeth of the Prophet (s), as the Prophet (s) is not there, but he is present in his ahadeeth, and as Allah (swt) said:

وإعلموا أن فيكم رسول الله

W`alamoo anna feekum rasoolullaah.

And know Allah's Messenger is in you. (Surat al-Hujuraat, 49:7)

“You must know that the Prophet (s) is with you, among you, between you, in you!”

What did Sayyidina `Umar Ibn `Abdul-`Aziz (r) used to say? Look at their knowledge, which we don’t have today.

كان آخر خطبة خطبها عمر بن عبد العزيز أن حمد الله وأثنى عليه ثم قال: أما بعد أيها الناس إنكم لم تخلقوا عبثا ولن تتركوا سدى وإن لكم معادا ينزل الله فيه للحكم بينكم والفصل بينكم فخاب وخسر وشقي عبد أخرجه الله من رحمته وحرم جنة عرضها السماوات والأرض ألم تعلموا أنه لا يأمن عذاب الله غدا إلا من حذر هذا اليوم وخافه وباع نافدا بباق وقليلا بكثير وخوفا بأمان ألا ترون أنكم من أصلاب الهالكين وسيكون من بعدكم الباقين حتى تردون إلى خير الوارثين ثم إنكم في كل يوم تشيعون غاديا ورائحا إلى الله عز وجل قد قضى نحبه وانقضى أجله حتى تغيبوه في صدع من الأرض في بطن صدع غير ممهد ولا موسد قد فرق الأحباب وباشر التراب وواجه الحساب مرتهن بعمله غني عما ترك فقير إلى ما قدم فاتقوا الله قبل انقضاء مواثيقه ونزول الموت بكم ثم جعل طرف ردائه على وجهه فبكى وأبكى من حوله

Ayyuha ‘n-naas, innakum lam tukhlaqoo `abathaa, wa lam tutrakoo sudaa, wa inna lakum ma`adan yanzil ’Llaahu feehi li ’l-hukum baynakum, wa ’l-fadla baynakum fakhaaba wa khassir wa shaqiya `abdun akhrajahu ’Llaahu min rahmatihi wa harama jannatan `ardahaa ’s-samawaati wa ‘l-ard, alam ta`lamoo annahu laa yaaman `adhaabillahi ghadan illa man hadhar haadha ’l-yawm wa khaafahu wa baa` naafidan bi-baaqin wa qaleelan bi-katheer wa khawfan bi-amaan alaa tarawn annakum min aslaabi ’l-haalikeen wa sayakoonu min b`adikum al-baaqeen hattaa turadoon ilaa khayr al-waaritheen thumma innakum fee kulli yawm tashi`aoona ghaadiyan wa raa’ihan ilaa-Allahi `azza wa jall qad qadaa nahbahu w’anqadaa ajaluhu hattaa taghayyiboohu fee sada`a min al-ard fee batan sada` ghayri mumahidan wa laa moosid qad farraq al-ahbaab wa baashar ar-turaab wa waajihi ’l-hisaab `alaa wajhihi fa-bakaa wa abkaa min hawlihi.

Sayyidina `Umar ibn `Abdul-`Azeez in his final sermon said: “O Mankind! You were not created for nothing; Allah created you for something important. He (swt) didn’t leave you free, He sent down to you a principle, a constitution. You are going to have an Appointment, a Day that Allah (swt) will bring you all together and judge you.”

Allah didn’t create you and leave you wild, and free in the wilderness. Today can you be free? They say, “Freedom of speech, freedom of speech....” You can be free to speak, free to say what you want, but if you don’t accept the constitution you will be put in prison, so where is that ‘freedom?’ There is no freedom in reality, because we are wild; if they let us free we would be so wild and violent and extreme, just as we are seeing today.

“And Allah (swt) will bring you together on a Day and judge you of what you have done, because He has put for you a constitution for you to see what you have to follow.”

Follow the Holy Qur’an and the ahadeeth of Prophet [s]. And the Prophet (s) is the role model, so you have to follow what he came with:

تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ

Taamuroona bi ’l-ma`roofi wa tanhawna `ani ’l-munkari wa tu’minoona billaah.

Enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong and believing in Allah.

(Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:110)

You have a duty to call for good and to leave bad! He is going to judge you, and those who did good in their life will go to Paradise and those who did not do good in their life, Allah will judge them and whatever Allah gives them of judgment Allah knows better.

“A disaster will come up on the servant of Allah who does not follow what the Prophet (s) said, he will be judged and he will be out of Allah’s Mercy. (May Allah protect us!) And that person will be out of everything, naked from all his `amal, and he will be out of Allah’s Paradise that is bigger than Heavens and Earth (which means bigger than this universe) but safety tomorrow is for those who fear Allah (swt).” (Those who fear Allah (swt) will have safety, because when you fear Allah (swt) you stop doing what is bad.) They sold for something that is worth nothing they get something big. (That means, he sold his dunya for his Akhirah,) And gave up something that is going to be annihilated for something that will be eternal. (meaning: he left dunya for Akhirah.) And he carried difficulties in dunya in order to get ease and relaxation in Akhirah. Don’t you see yourself among those people who are going to lose if you don’t listen to what the Prophet (s) said?”

Finally, he ends saying, “One day you are going to be taken away from dunya, naked, nothing on you, and you are going to be put in a hole, and you are going to have a bad smell coming from you and they will put you deep in the Earth without a pillow, without a mattress, and everything is taken from you, and you are going to leave the beloved one, and you are going to face the Judgment of Allah (swt).”

We will continue tomorrow inshaa-Allah, with what Imam Ahmad (r) said in his Musnad and what is in the Sahih of Tirmidhi about this issue.

Wa min Allahi 't-tawfeeq, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.

When you want to sleep, go home or the level of the suhbat will go down. Go over there and sleep. I want to see you near me and focused. When you are together, Allah's Hand is with the group, then Shaytan cannot affect you. I have to address someone when I am speaking, (otherwise) I cannot speak. If that happens next time, I will stop. Come sit close, not far away! Better to go stay with chickens, they are outside! If you are not interested in suhbat, okay, we will stop suhbat and just pray Fajr and Tahajjud.



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