Islamic Fiqh- Miscellaneous topics- Lesson (14)- The Good Conducts and the Noble Characteristics of the Islamic Knowledge Seeker


The manners of the Islamic knowledge seeker:

1- Purifying the heart:

 Today's lesson is about showcasing and explaining parts of Ihya' Uloomud Deen (Authored by Ash-Shaikh Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali). We will quote from the section of Knowledge. We talked previously in the past three lectures about the virtue of seeking knowledge, teaching and learning. In the last lecture we talked about the manners that should be acquired by students and the foremost of which is to purify the heart.

 Before we move to the second manner of the Islamic knowledge seeker, Al-Ghazali said, "I see that some amongst the scholars, who mastered major and minor religious topics and who were considered the cream of crop in their knowledge, have bad traits from which they did not purify their souls. It is said, 'If you know the ranks of knowledge, and if you know the knowledge of the Hereafter, it will be clear to you that what they learnt counts only when it is devoted entirely for the sake of Allah, and if it is your means to draw close to Him. I have previously mentioned that, and shall explain and elaborate more if Allah wills." This is absolutely true, for if man has gone deep in the major and minor issues and mastered them and learned their minute details, he will be considered by people a knowledgeable man, but if this man does not relinquish the bad manners such as envy, self-conceit, arrogance, haughtiness and ego, and if he does not purify his heart, nothing of his knowledge will do him any good in the Hereafter. It is like the specialist in medicine, laws or literature who got the hang of his specialty and mastered it, and he became famous, but he did not purify his heart and did not get acquainted with his Lord, so all of his knowledge will be useless. Therefore, the exalted knowledge entails purifying the heart.

2- Reducing the concerns about the worldly matters:

 The second manner as Al-Ghazali mentioned, "The student should decrease his concerns about the worldly life." People of Allah repeated the following slogan "Things man admires hold him back." This means when man is busy all the time, because he is working on 50 projects, he owns 6 companies and he is busy from dawn to dusk, he will not find time to seek Islamic knowledge even if this man is good and goodness is expected from him, and he has the will to offer good deeds.

 If someone wants to study at the Faculty of Medicine he cannot work during the academic year, because most jobs require working from 8:00 AM till 2:30 PM in the afternoon, and so when he gets home at 3:30 PM, he will be worn out. Let alone, he needs to get some rest (for two hours, for example) after he finishes having his lunch (let us say he has it 4:30), and so his day is over. Accordingly, even if he has the craving desire to become a doctor, he does not have enough time because becoming a doctor needs devotion, time and high education. Therefore, unless one has the time to seek knowledge, it is impossible to do so.

 When man dedicates part of his time to get to know Allah the Almighty, he will not miss anything in the worldly life and therein lies one's success. This is the difference between the believer and any other person, for the latter will not dedicate any time to seek (religious) knowledge or to spend even two hours in that quest. On the contrary, he cares more about his business claiming that it takes one hour to go to the Masjid, one hour to attend the lecture and one hour to go back work, and by doing so he will lose money because he will not sell anything during that time, whereas the former (i.e. the true believer) will dedicate his time to seek Islamic knowledge, because he believes beyond doubt that the time he spends in getting to know Allah will be recompensed Divinely in the worldly life before the Hereafter.

((Narrated 'Atiyyah: from Abu Sa'eed, that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: "The Lord, Blessed and Most High is He, has said, 'Whoever is too busy with the Qur'an for remembering Me and asking Me, then I shall give him more than what I give to those who ask.'))

[At-Tirmizi by Abi Sa'eed]

 A man used to own a store in a very good place where there are lots of customers, so one of his friends once wondered, "Why do you not perform Hajj?" The man answered, "O, man I cannot offer Hajj, for if I do, all my customers will leave me after closing my store for 40 days." I was told later that this man was afflicted with a disease which made him bedridden for 4 months because of that pretext he used.

 The disease was a Divine wake up call to this man so that he might pay heed. In fact, what man longs for might be the very thing that holds him back from reaching Allah. Therefore, man needs to dedicate his time (to Islamic knowledge) and to purify his soul, so that he can perceive the truth. If man takes risks in his business, and he puts himself under pressure and stress, this ongoing concern, fear and risk will not let him perceive the religious knowledge, apply it or dive deeply in it.

Dedicating some time to know Allah to deserve Allah's Prosperity and Protection:

 Imam Abu Hanifah, may Allah be pleased with him said, "If I had been asked to buy even one onion, I would not have found the time for seeking knowledge." When you believe beyond doubt that Allah is Ar-Razzaq (The Sustainer), and that you will devote yourself to know Him in order to survive the torment on the Day of Resurrection and to dwell in a Paradise that is as wide as the heavens and the earth, Allah will bestow you with livelihood manifolds more than He provides the one who is devoted to the worldly life. This success is only tasted by the believer. Keep the following fact in mind:

((Whoever is too busy with the Qur'an for remembering Me and asking Me, then I shall give him more than what I give to those who ask.))

[At-Tirmizi by Abi Sa'eed]

 This means if you spend one hour to get to know Allah, Allah will provide you with livelihood that you might gain in 10 hours of work. On the other hand, if you do not, Allah is able to break down any device at your work which might cost you 80 hours of working, in addition to the expenses of getting a new spare part, for it that might only be found in other countries, and thus your time, efforts and money will be wasted. Therefore, one would better spend part of his time to get to know Allah, given he will miss nothing of his livelihood.

 Some scholars said, "Attending religious sessions is like paying Zakat for one's time." If someone's son takes a medication that should be taken only by adults, he has to take him to the hospital to do stomach pumping and most likely it will take him 5 or 6 hours. Thus, Allah is always capable of wasting 100 hours of your time; let alone, the pain, the unrest, the expenses, begging and resorting to this or that person. Hence, when man dedicates part of his precious time to get to know Allah, Allah will grant him prosperity:

﴾ for verily, you are under Our Eyes﴿

[At-Tur, 48]

 You are under Our (i.e. Allah) Eyes, Protection and Prosperity.

﴾ And my guidance cannot come except from Allah﴿

[Hud, 88]

 The stories about that are countless. I repeat again, what man longs for might be the very thing that holds him back from reaching Allah.

﴾ And my guidance cannot come except from Allah﴿

[Hud, 88]

 Getting to know Allah needs time dedication, soul purification and cutting down on expenses (for dedicating one's time to that exalted reason is better than some trading). Trading is furnished with concerns, fear and risks, so if the one who uses that line of work to make a living reduces his spending, he will not need taking any risks in his trading, and only then, he will have this soul purification. Therefore, if you reauthor the Quran in the morning and comprehend Allah's Ayat because of the pure soul you have, this would be priceless.

((Mutarrif reported on the authority of his father: I came to Allah's Apostle (PBUH) as he was reciting: "Abundance diverts you" (cii. 1). He said: The son of Adam claims: My wealth, my wealth. And he (the Holy Prophet PBUH) said: O son of Adam. is there anything as your belonging except that which you consumed, which you utilised, or which you wore and then it was worn out or you gave as charity and sent it forward?))

[Muslim by Muslim bin Hajjaj]

 What you consume is the thing you take, but as for the rest of your possessions, which you own but do not use, you will be asked how earned them and how you spent them. Hence, only what you consume is actually yours. Pay attention to this very crucial Hadith:

((O son of Adam, is there anything as your belonging except that which you consumed, which you utilised, or which you wore and then it was worn out or you gave as charity and sent it forward?))

[Muslim by Muslim bin Hajjaj]

3- The learner should be humble towards his teacher and should never boss him:

 The third manner to be acquired by the Islamic knowledge seeker is to avoid getting haughty while he is learning and to refrain from looking down on his teacher, but he should give in to him entirely and down to small details. In some cases, someone asks a scholar about something and the scholar gives him the religious opinion about it, but this person says, "They said different opinion." I advise you to put your trust in one scholar and take what he tells you, or else do not ask him in the first place. This is better than asking him then correcting him, for this reflects impoliteness. You should ask and listen to his opinion, so if you are convinced, you apply it, but if you are not, then it is up to you to apply it or not, because the scholar will not follow up on you to see if you apply it or not, and he will not say to you, "What did you do with what I said to you?"

 It is impolite to say to the scholar, "who told you that this is Haram, for sh3er say the otherwise." If sh3er say so then go ahead and apply what they said since you trust them more than you trust the scholars. Someone said to me once that there is a Fatwa which allows making money from usury if the percentage is 5%, so I said to him, "Regardless of what they said, I have given you my opinion." He replied, "But they said so, and it is a Fatwa" to which I said, "Go ahead then and apply it if they said so, but I hope that on the Day of Judgment they will answer on your behalf. Most likely this person who gave you that Fatwa will not be able to answer on your behalf on the Day of Judgment, although you believed him and you earned that money. You are the one who will be brought to account, and if you say to Allah, "he told me so", you will not find him. Allah will say to you "I d not allow usury if it is 5%, but rather I forbid it totally". If you say there is such and such person who told me that something is Halal, while it is not, what will you do when you are called to account and you want him to answer on your behalf? The Prophet PBUH said:

((Consult your heart … even though people have repeatedly given their legal opinion.))

[Ahmad by Ayoob bin Abdullah]

 Actually, Allah has installed in every one of us a private scholar to tell him the right and the wrong things, and that scholar is your conscience. Be sure that your conscience will not be clear if you do something wrong, but it will be clear upon doing the right thing. Mere asking about something reflects your doubts that what you are doing is not right, because simply no one asks anyone if drinking a glass of water is Halal or Haram, right? Is it possible that one might say to you it is Haram? No, it is not. Is it possible that one might say to you that marriage, buying a house, buying mattresses or other basic stuff is Haram? No, it is not!

4- The learner should yield to the advice of his teacher:

 There are doubts inside the person, like the doubts that watching pornography movies is Haram, and about which some might say to you, "This is Halal because what you see is a reflection not real people and what you hear is an echo not a sound" given it is Haram to watch these movies and to listen to them. Watching pornography inauthors lusts, and it erupts the mundane desires. Not to mention, they affects marriage negatively and makes children know things (they should not know) at an early age, so they will be corrupted and deviated. All this happens, because someone says to you, "such movies are mere reflection and these sounds are echo, not real voices."

((Consult your heart … even though people have repeatedly given their legal opinion))

[Ahmad by Ayoob bin Abdullah]

 The problem lies in the man who is asking for Fatwa; he may insist on a certain answer (which goes along with what he desires). This man should not ask any scholar for the religious opinion, because if the Fatwa he gets goes along with what he desires he will welcome it, but if it does not, he will reject it and accuse the scholar who gives it to him of being ignorant. A man like that who insists on fulfilling a certain desire, and needs someone to approve it, should not ask any scholar. If you want really to know if something is Halal or Haram, you should prepare yourself to accept the religious standing even if it is against what you desire. Al-Ghazali said, "The student should not get haughty towards knowledge and should not command his teacher, but rather he should give in to him in all details and should surrender to him the same way the patient surrenders to the brilliant tender doctor."
  The highly educated patient does not give in to his doctor, he gives him troubles instead, for if the doctor prescribes something, this patient will ask, "What did you prescribe to me", and when the doctor says, "a sedative", the patient will ask again, "Are there any side effects of this medication?" The doctor might say, "No, there are not", but the patient will reply, "But I have read the otherwise", and if the doctor say, "All right then forget about it", again the patient will say, "Well, I cannot, because I have a bad headache", then the doctor will say, "What should I do? I prescribed this medication for your pain, but you said it has side effects, and when I say to you, do not take it you complain about your headache!" Such a patient who thinks that he knows better than the doctor just because he reads an article here or there gives troubles to the doctor he is dealing with. The patient who is totally ignorant of medications will given in and take whatever the doctor prescribes to him, because he prescribes it after he studied medicine, after he had the needed expertise and wisdom, and in such cases the medication will work and the patient will be healed.

 Once, when Zayd Ibn Harithah mounted his horse, 'Abdullah Ibn Abbas began to lead it by its halter. Zayd said, "Do not do that, O son of the Prophet's uncle!" Ibn 'Abbas replied, "This is how we have been taught to respect our scholars." Zayd said, "Stretch your hand." When he did, he kissed it, and said, "This is how we have been taught to respect Ahl Bayt anl-Nabiyy."

The teacher and the doctor will not offer advice
Unless they are honored

Excessive admiration is fine in seeking knowledge:

 The Prophet PBUH said:

((A believer does not resort to jealousy or flattery, save in seeking knowledge.))

[Al-Jame' As-Sagheer by Mu'adh]

 The excessive admiration is not a manner of the believer. However, it is recommended in seeking knowledge in the sense that the student should be humble towards his teacher (or scholar). Some people are rude in their behavior, salutation and the way they look at the teacher. These traits do not befit a knowledge seeker.

((A believer does not resort to jealousy or flattery, save in seeking knowledge.))

[Al-Jame' As-Sagheer by Mu'adh]

5- The learner should never look down upon his teacher:

 There is another point that every student should keep in mind, "The student should not act arrogantly with his teacher, given abstaining from getting the knowledge but from the famous scholars is an act of haughtiness." This means that unless the scholar is very famous and people come to him from far and wide this student will not attend his session. Such a person usually refers to an infamous scholar by saying, "Who is he? When did he become a scholar? When did he get his knowledge? Who taught him Islamic knowledge?"

 Imam Al-Ghazali said, "The student who refuses to acquire religious knowledge but from well-known scholars is like the one who upon facing a scary lion in the woods insists on finding a famous man to save him from this lion." Remember that in such a situation, fame does not count, for all you need is a savior from this lion. Hellfire is like this lion. Therefore, whoever is able to save you from its torment, you should look at him with respect whether his is famous or not. Wisdom is the believer's pursuit, wherever he finds it, he takes it and he owes the one who gives it to him regardless of his fame.

Knowledge is far from the arrogant person
Like the flood which is far from the high land

6- Listening attentively is essential for the learner:

 Allah the Almighty says:

﴾Verily, therein is indeed a reminder for him who has a heart or gives ear while he is heedful.﴿

[Qaf, 37]

 Lending your ear is an exalted manner in religious sessions. The Prophet PBUH is our example to follow in this respect, and the companions used to be all ears when they sat in his assembly out of reverence and tranquility. The Prophet PBUH said:

((Acquire knowledge and teach people. Learn along with it dignity and tranquility and humility for those who teach you and humility for those whom you teach.))

[Al-Jame' As-Sagheer by Mu'adh]

 Listening carefully is essential for you as a religious knowledge seeker. Also, a brother should listen to his fellow brother attentively while he is discussing something with him:

He listens to someone's conversation
lending him his ear and his heart,
though he already knows it

 A student may interrupt the scholar and complete an Ayah or a Hadith he starts reciting. Well, it is normal to know the Ayah, but if one student completes an Ayah and another one completes a Hadith, the lecturer will be distracted and confused.

((Abu Hurairah narrated: "Allah's Messenger turned (after praying) from a Salat in which he reauthord aloud and said: 'Has any one of you reauthor along with me just now?' A man said, 'Yes, O Messenger of Allah.' He said, 'Indeed I said to myself: Why was I being contended with for the Quran?'" He (Az-Zuhri one of the narrators) said, "So when they heard that from Allah's Messenger, the people stopped reciting with Allah's Messenger in the prayers that Allah's Messenger reauthord aloud."))

[At-Tirmizi by Abi Hurairah]

 Completing an Ayah or a Hadith the teacher is reciting means that the student is showing off and saying, "look at me, I know this Ayah." This manner causes confusion and the exalted manner entails listening only…

﴾Verily, therein is indeed a reminder for him who has a heart or gives ear while he is heedful.﴿

[Qaf, 37]

"Heedful" here means that the person is prepared to listen carefully to what is said to him:

﴾ or gives ear while he is heedful.﴿

[Qaf, 37]

7- The learner should never give up and should abide by what he learns:

 I would like to pay your attention to something before I mention a manner the Islamic knowledge seeker should have. When Allah tells us the story of Al-Khadir with Musa (Moses) PBUH in the following Ayah, He meant to teach us not to oppose the one who knows more than us:

﴾He (Khidr) said: "Verily! You will not be able to have patience with me!* "And how can you have patience about a thing which you know not?"﴿

[Al-Kahf, 67-68]

((Abu Sa'eed said: "A man came to the Prophet (S.A.W) and said, 'My brother is suffering from loose bowels.' He said, 'Let him drink Honey.' So he drank it. Then he came and said: O Messenger of Allah (S.A.W)! He has drunk honey, but it has only made him more worse.' So the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W) said, 'Let him drink honey.'" He said: "So he drank it. Then he came and said: 'O Messenger of Allah (S.A.W)! I gave him some more to drink, but it has only made him more worse.'" He said: "The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W) said, 'Allah has told the truth,and your brother's stomach has lied. Give him honey to drink'. So he gave him some more honey to drink and he was cured.'"))

[Al-Bukhari by Abu Sa'eed]

 Recently, the scientists confirmed the fact that infections in the intestine, which cause diarrhea, need sweet drinks to stop it. Actually, the man was cured later on. Therefore, man should not argue (without knowledge) when he does not like the advice, for it is coming from an expert. It is like when parts of your car engine are newly lathed and reassembled, and the mechanic says to you, "This car needs run-in for at least 2000 kilometers"; if you go against his opinion and do the opposite and then the engine breaks down after one or two months, this will be your fault not his, simply because you are not convinced enough of his opinion to apply his instructions, given he is an expert. Therefore, when you give in to the expert, you should follow his instructions though you may not like, accept or buy them.

 If someone intends to learn typewriting, he might want to learn on his own and try to find letters by himself, but he might spend five years using this method, and still he might need an hour and a half to type one page. On the other hand, if he goes to an expert typewriter to teach him, it will take time, but after a while he will be able to use his ten fingers and to typewrite blindfolded. Also, one page will take him only 15 minutes to type. There is an educational principle that says, "The methods of learning you resist are the most beneficial ones."

 One might read a book while he is lying on a comfortable couch or laying down on the grass in the park, and he will say, "I have finished reading 70 pages today." This sort of reading is worthless, and most likely he will forget 33% of what he read after seven days only, and after another weak, all he can remember is the title of the book and the impression that it was bad or good. However, if this man sits down on a desk, opens a notebook and summarizes the paragraph on the side of the page, underlines some sentences, writes down a question here, or an answer there or argues with the thought, he might finish only two pages, but this will be unforgettable kind of reading. The more efforts you put while reading and learning, the firmer the information will become.

 Man might not like the advice given to him by his mentor. Go back to the example of the man who is learning typewriting; he might feel bored and stressed upon learning it, but he insists on challenging himself so that he can type using his ten fingers, whereas those who refuse to learn typewriting and keep looking for the letters, ten years might pass while they still spend one hour and a half to type one page only. The paths of success are always countered by the self, whereas paths of failure are closer to it because man tends to to relax. Accordingly, the one who reads without summarizing what he is reading, without arguing and without stopping to understand complicated points, these wide leaps he takes will not make the difficult points easy, and so the book will become a series of complexes that are not dealt with by the reader. Could this man learn anything from the book? Hence, when man does not like the way (of his teacher), he should give in to him and apply what he says, and this will help him acquire knowledge:

﴾He (Khidr) said: "Verily! You will not be able to have patience with me!* "And how can you have patience about a thing which you know not?"﴿

[Al-Kahf, 67-68]

8- The learner should not ask so many questions at the wrong time:

 Allah the Almighty says:

﴾He (Khidr) said: "Then, if you follow me, ask me not about anything till I myself mention it to you."﴿

[Al-Kahf, 70]

 Even when someone is mastering a craft, he should not oppose his mentor because every move and step has a purpose in that craft, so in order to learn this craft he must do what he is told by his mentor.

 An Anecdote goes as follows: A man went to the slave market to buy a slave, and he found a very cheap one although he looked too clever, so he wondered, "How come this slave is clever but cheap?" The owner said, "Well this is his price." The man thought that it would be a good bargain to buy him, so he did and he brought him home. He said to that slave, "Get me a glass of water", but the slave looked at him and said, "Do you expect me to stand up, go to the kitchen, bring you a glass of water then go back to my seat? Why do you not bring it yourself?" This is why he was cheap.

﴾"And how can you have patience about a thing which you know not?"﴿

[Al-Kahf, 68]

﴾He (Khidr) said: "Then, if you follow me, ask me not about anything till I myself mention it to you."﴿

[Al-Kahf, 70]

Allah says:

﴾So ask of those who know the Scripture [learned men of the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)], if you know not.﴿

[An-Nahl, 43]

 Our master Ali, may Allah be pleased with him said, "The rights of a scholar include that you should not ask him too many questions." When the lecturer finishes his lecture, he is worn out because of the tremendous effort he puts in the lecture, while it is easy for the listener to sit down and listen to him. The lecturer needs to focus on one topic, and he pays all the efforts to tackle it in details, to bring evidences, to explain, to elaborate, to move from one idea to another, to make sure that the language is right and to convey this topic to the listeners perfectly. Thus, upon finishing his lecture he will become like a squeezed lemon that has no juice left. Asking this lecturer any delicate question like asking about the issue of Irda'a (breastfeeding) or Mawareeth (Islamic Inheritance Law) requires clear mind and energy, which he loses at the end of the lecture, so it is recommended to postpone these kinds of topics to another time to be tackled in details.

 Also, when the Imam is shaking hands and greeting the people who prayed with him, it is not the suitable time for any question especially the questions which need a long time to answer, and so it is not proper to leave all those people and answer that man while they are waiting for the Imam to finish out of politeness and affection. This is a time for greetings not lectures, so the Imam will not even be able to give any attention to any question, because he is greeting people, who show affection and respect which should be met with the same sentiments by him.

9- The learner should regard his teacher with respect and be polite with him:

 Our master Ali said, "You should not ask him too many questions." Of course, you should not do that in the wrong time. "You should not rush to answer questions before he does" If you do not like the answer, you should not say to him, "this is not true", "someone else said the otherwise", "Do not exaggerate", "You scholars leave people in confusion because of your different answers" or other sayings like that. "You should not rush to answer questions before he does. You should not insist on receiving an answer when he does not want to respond. You should not be pushy with him (pull on his clothes) when he gets tired. You should not divulge his secrets. You should not gossip about anyone in front of him. You should not seek his faults."

 There is always a possibility of error, isn't that true? Only Allah the Most Sublime Who does not err, but as for us, we are human beings and we forget sometimes. The Khateeb might keep a Du'a (supplication) by heart and always repeat it, but suddenly he forgets it, and this shows how weak man is. It is recommended to say this Du'a before starting with anything, "O Allah, I have renounced my capacity and power, and take refuge in Your Capacity and Power, O You owner of power, the Most Strong." Man is weak, so who says that I do not err? We err but the believer repents and he does not err on purpose. There are two kinds of errors; one is a moral error and the other one is a scientific one. As for the first one, it is to know the truth and incline from it, and this error is a grave one, and it is done only by Fasiq (someone who violates Shari'ah rulings), but the believer might err and this is manifested in the Hadith where the Prophet PBUH said:

(('Abdullah (b. Mas'ud) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) led us five (rak'ahs in prayer). We said: Messenger of Allah, has the prayer been extended? He said: What is the matter? They said: You have said five (rak'ahs). He (the Holy Prophet PBUH) said: Verily I am a human being like you. I remember as you remember and I forget just as you forget. He then performed two prostrations as (compensation of) forgetfulness.))

[Mentioned in the relic]

 Man might forget (this is the scientific error), like forgetting an idea, a chat or the rest of a story, "You should not be pushy with him (pull on his clothes) when he gets tired. You should not divulge his secrets. You should not gossip about anyone in front of him. You should not seek his faults." It is said, "Any horse may stumble, any sage may err and any sword may fail its holder", and it is also said, "Having countable flaws is enough for man to be noble."

 When the first lieutenant of a delicate major and who masters a foreign language (maybe he is mines expert), has a meeting with the officers of his unit in order to receive instructions from him, they will stand up for him out of respect though they might be generals or major generals. Are their ranks lower than his? No, they are not, but this respect is for his major and information. Bear in mind that respect is not offered to the person himself per say but to the position Allah has chosen for him. "You should sit in front of him. You should rush to supersede sh3er in fulfilling his needs whenever he needs something." This is the third manner for the learner. The first manner is to purify the heart, the second one is to let go all concerns lest they hold one back and the third one is to avoid being haughty towards the one we are learning from.

The Islamic knowledge seeker should use the pure sources of knowledge:

 Let me mention some As7adeth in this regard:

((Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: The Prophet (PBUH) said: "You hear (from me), and sh3er will hear from you; and people will hear from them who heard from you."))

[Abu Dawod by Ibn Abbas]

 The Hadith ends.

((You hear (from me), and sh3er will hear from you; and people will hear from them who heard from you.))

[Abu Dawod by Ibn Abbas]

 According to some interpretations of this Hadith, the absolute truth to whom falsehood cannot come before or behind, were conveyed by the first three generations that are mentioned in the Hadith. The first generation is the companions of the Prophet PBUH, then the generation of Tabi'een (their followers) and then the followers of the followers. After these three generations, people started to bring to Islam things that do not belong to it, extreme points of views were adopted, untrue interpretations were given and escapades showed according to which some Ayat were interpreted wrongly or some As7adeth were taken out of their context and their meanings were far from what the Prophet PBUH meant.

 Islam during these three generations was like the clear spring of water which is drinkable from its source, but it is muddy in other far parts of the river. Hence, the only solution for us, as Muslims, is to go back to the pure and clear resources, which are the Quran and Sunnah. The Prophet PBUH told us in the following Hadit:

((You hear (from me), and sh3er will hear from you; and people will hear from them who heard from you.))

[Abu Dawod by Ibn Abbas]

 One of the notable scholars said, "What is authenticated and proved to be said by the one who is buried under this green dome (i.e. the Prophet PBUH) should be applied, and what the companions said should also be applied, but whatever is said by other people, should be verified and checked since they are men of knowledge and we are men of knowledge, so we accept whatever corresponds to the Quran and Sunnah, and we reject whatever is against the Quran and Sunnah."

 Referring to a thought that one might read in an old book, but it goes against the Quran is not an evidence, for falsehood was published in books throughout history. One of these incidents is that Imam Ash-Sha'rani read once the book entitled, Al-Futuhaat Al-Makiyah authored by the scholar Mohyee Ad-Adeen Ibn Arabi who is a very notable scholar, Arif Bi Allah (Know Allah) and the Sultan of Arifeen, but did Mohyee Ad-Deen wrote everything that is mentioned in his book?

 The Imam had his doubts about a quote in the book till he met one of the scholars of Makkah and told him his concern, Imam Ash-Sha'rani said, "This scholar went into his room and brought a copy of this book (i.e. Al-Futuhaat) that was written by the handwriting of Mohyee Ad-Deen himself in Qoniya in Turkey, then we compared this copy with the copy I have, and this quote was not in the original copy, so I knew that it was a lie that was inserted in his book by deviated people." There are also so many deviated and forged doctrinal principles that were put under the pillow of Ahmad bin Hanbal before he died. Furthermore, many fabricated lies were ascribed to other famous scholars, such like Imam Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali and Imam Al-Fairozabadi (author of Al-Qamoos) who wrote, "They fabricated lies and put them in my book while I am still alive only I did not write them. In these false quotes they accused Imam Abu Hanifah of Kufr, and Allah is my witness that I did not write that. When I was blamed for writing such a thing by someone (he then mentioned this man's name) I said to him, "I never wrote this, and if you come across that copy of my book, burn it."

 These quotes are priceless, for when you read something that is against the Perfection of Allah the Almighty or the Perfection of Prophets, peace be upon them, in an old yellow book, do not even mind what you read, because lies were fabricated against lots of notable scholars and were ascribed to be said by them. Giving your ear and heart to what you read and then accuse this or that scholar of Kufr reflect a non-scientific stance, and doing so is not allowed in Islam. The prefect stance upon reading false information is to reject what you read, and not to accuse the scholar of Kufr, simply because the one who accustomed to speak out the truth would never pass falsehood to sh3er, and it is impossible for him to do so. Will you accept that a mathematician who has a doctorate degree says to you that one plus one equals three? It is rather impossible for him to say so, and if you read that in his book, you should be sure that it is a fabricated lie.

 Refusing the lies that are ascribed to notable scholars is a very exalted manner. Hence, we do not say that Mohyee Ad-Deen is Kafer (like some people who said so), and at the same time we do not take blindly what is mentioned in this book AlFutuhaat, particularly the information which opposes the Quran and Sunnah. For example, it is ascribed to him that he said, "We have crossed an ocean on the shore of which the Prophets, peace be upon them, stood befuddled." Is it rational that a scholar (Wali) is better than the Prophets, peace be upon them? Absolutely, it is not. Allah puts people in ranks and the Prophets, peace be upon them, are on the highest one, then comes the rank of Awliya'. Thus, it is unacceptable that a Wali would cross an ocean (the sea of knowledge) on the shore of which the Prophets stood befuddled. This cannot be said by him (i.e. Mohyee Ad-Deen), may Allah be pleased with him.

((You hear (from me), and sh3er will hear from you; and people will hear from them who heard from you.))

[Abu Dawod by Ibn Abbas]

 These three generations kept Islam pure, but after them people started to bring to Islam things that do not belong to it.

Islamic penalties:

((It was narrated form 'Amr bin Shu'ainb, from his father, from his grandfather, that the Prophet said, "Pardon matters that may deserve a Hadd punishment before you bring it to my attention, for whatever is brought to my attention, the Hadd punishment becomes binding."))

[An-Nisa'i by Amr bin Shu'aib]

 If you choose to cover someone's sin, it is fine, but if you tell the judge about his sin, and the judge forgives him and does not apply the Islamic penalty to him then this is included in the Hadith. The Judge must apply the punishment if he knows about any violation. Nevertheless, you, as an ordinary Muslim, are at liberty to cover someone's sin and never tell the judge about it if you think that this man regrets his sin, for there might be goodness in your choice. Someone was busted stealing when Umar Ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, was the Leader of Believers, so the man said, "By Allah Prince of believers, this is the first I steal", to which Umar said, "You are a liar, for Allah will never expose someone while erring for the first time." Umar knew that Allah treats His servants with Divine Forbearance since one of His Beautiful Names is, As-Sitteer (The Coverer), and thus He will not expose someone when he makes a mistake for the first time.

 A man was busted by his partners taking 265 Liras after selling something without writing it down but instead he put the money in his pocket, and upon being busted he said, "This is the first time I do that", but he was a liar, because Allah is very Generous with His servants to such an extent that He gives a second chance so that his servant might repent, but insisting on the sin (and in this case insisting on stealing) for three times made that man exposed and busted. As for the man in the time of Umar, it was his eighth time, and he would not have been caught red-handed had it been his first time, because one of the Names of Allah is As-Sitteer (The Coverer). Hence, if someone errs, and you cover his sin, it is fine, but if his violation reaches the judge, the latter should apply the punishment, lest he will not be forgiven by Allah, because he is ordered to enforce the truth and to spread justice.

It is out of Sunnah to clean one's shoes before entering the Masjid:

 We move to the last Hadith. The Prophet PBUH said:

((Remove dirts from your shoes at the doors of Masjids.))

[Al-Jame' As-Sagheer]

 This means that one's shoes might be full of mud, so he must remove this mud before entering the Masjid, and if he enters the Masjid he should hold his shoes properly by putting the bottoms of the pair of shoes facing one another after holding them with the left hand, because doing so is one of the instructions mentioned in the Sunnah.

((Remove dirts from your shoes at the doors of Masjids.))

[Al-Jame' As-Sagheer]

 Talhah bin Ubaidullah At–Taimi's conversion to Islam:

 Let us now move to the story of one of the notable companions, may Allah be pleased with them all, and he is Talha bin Ubaidullah At-Taimi.

 (Talha bin Ubaidullah accompanied a trading caravan that belonged to Quraish towards Bilad Ash-Sham (The Levant) and upon reaching Busra, the senior rich merchants headed to its markets to sell and buy, and though Talha was a juvenile at the time…)

 By the way, it has been said that the knowledgeable person is a scholar even though he might be a juvenile, and the ignorant is a juvenile even though he might be an old man.

 ( … and he had not had the needed experience in trading yet, he was smart and astute, and that was enough for him to be a strong competitor who was able to get good bargains. While Talha was wandering back and forth in the market which was over-crowded with people from far and wide, something happened to him and it was the reason behind the paradigm shift in his life, and it was even behind the drastic turn in the events of history…))

 Let us leave all the talking to Talha:

 (While I was in the market-place of Busra, I encountered an ascetic who was saying loudly to people, "O Merchants, is there any man from Makkah among you?" I was close to him so I said, "I am from Makkah" then he said to me, "The time had come when a man named "Ahmad" would appear as a Prophet in Makkah. This would be the last Prophet for humankind. Additionally, he would emigrate from Makkah and settle in the land of black soil, palm trees and water." Returning to Makkah in haste after a trading trip to Syria, Talhah asked his family, "Did anything happen in Makkah since we left?" "Yes," they replied. "Muhammad ibn Abdullah emerged alleging that he is a Prophet and Abu Quhafah (Abu Bakr) has followed him." "I used to know Abu Bakr," said Talhah. "He is an easy-going, amiable, gentle man. He was an honest and upright trader. We were quite fond of him and loved sitting in his company because of his knowledge of Quraysh history and genealogy." Later, Talhah went to Abu Bakr and asked, "Is it true what they say, that Muhammad Ibn Abdullah has appeared as a Prophet and that you follow him." "Yes," replied Abu Bakr and went on to tell Talhah about Muhammad and what a good thing it would be if he too followed him. Talhah in turn told Abu Bakr the story of his strange recent encounter with an ascetic in the market-place of Busra in Syria. The ascetic is said to have told Talhah that someone called "Ahmad" would appear in Makkah about that time and that he would be the last of the Prophets, peace be upon them. He also told Talhah, so the story goes, that the Prophet would leave the sacred precincts of Makkah and migrate to a land of black soil, water and palm trees... Abu Bakr was astonished by the story and took Talhah to Muhammad. The Prophet, peace be upon him, explained Islam to Talhah and reauthord some portions of the Quran to him…)

 I would like to comment on this paragraph, if someone invites his friend to attend a religious session with him, this is but goodness driven to that friend by Allah, so he should not decline because this invitation is not actually from this person, but rather it is from Allah the Almighty. Attending a religious session might be the reason behind attaining happiness in the worldly life and in the Hereafter and accepting this invitation might be a significant turn in your life which takes you from misery to felicity, from heedlessness to guidance and from melancholy to happiness…

 (Talhah was enthusiastic. He related to the Prophet PBUH his conversation with the ascetic of Busra. There and then, Talhah pronounced the Shahadah - that there is no Deity worthy of worship but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. He was the fourth person who had been introduced to Islam by Abi Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him.)

Talha's steadfastness on Islam:

 (The Quraysh were astounded by the young Talhah's acceptance of Islam. The one who was most dismayed and unhappy was his mother. She had hoped that he would one day be a leader in his community because of his noble character and his outstanding virtues. Some of the Quraysh, anxious and worried, went to Talhah as soon as they could to wean him away from his new religion but found him firm and unshakable as a rock.)

 Success lies in taking the right firm stance with regard to your destiny. This reminds us of the story of Sa'd when his mother said to him, "Give up Islam, or I will go on hunger strike until I die" Sa'd said to her calmly, "You should know that, by Allah, even if you had a hundred souls, and they left your body one by one, I would never give up Islam, so it is up to you whether to eat or not." She relinquished her strike and she ate. When she was sure that he will never change his mind, she gave up, but had she felt weakness in his words, things would have been different. As for Talha's people, when they failed in convincing him to abandon the new religion, they resorted to torturing him…

 (The following story is related by Masud ibn Kharash, "While I was making sa'i between as-Safa and al-Marwa, there appeared a crowd of people pushing a young man whose hands were tied behind his back. As they rushed behind him, they rained down blows on his head. In the crowd was an old woman who lashed him repeatedly and shouted abuses at him. I asked, 'What's the matter with this young man?' 'This is Talhah ibn Ubaydullah. He gave up his religion and now follows the Banu Hashim man.' 'And who is the woman behind him?' I asked. 'She is as-Sabah bint al-Hadrami, the young man's mother,' they said.)

 Whosoever is guided to Allah and is opposed by his own family, should not listen to them, lest he gets trapped in an eternal misery. Success lies in being steadfast and in taking the hand of those who oppose you to Allah and His Messenger PBUH, because when they sense that you are steadfast and when they see that you are changed to the better and that you attained noble traits, they will love you and follow you to the path of guidance.

 (Years passed and events of great significance took place. Talhah grew in stature as he bore the pain and suffering of being tested in the path of Allah and His Prophet PBUH. His goodness to Islam and Muslims showed clearly.)

The titles given to Talha and the stories behind every one of them:

 Muslims called him the living martyr, whereas the Prophet PBUH called him Talha Al-Khair (goodness), Talha Al-Jude (generosity) and Talha Al-Faiyad (abundant) and each one of those titles has a magnificent story.

 (The name of the "living martyr" was earned during the Battle of Uhud. At the Battle of Uhud, when the Muslims fell into disarray at the beginning of hostilities, the Prophet, peace be upon him, became dangerously exposed. There were about eleven men of the Ansar at his side and one Muhajir - Talhah ibn Ubaydullah. The Prophet clambered up the mountain hotly pursued by some mushrikin. The Prophet, peace be on him, shouted:"The one who repulses these people from us will be my companion in Paradise." "I, O Messenger of Allah," shouted Talhah. "No, stick to your position," replied the Prophet. A man from the Ansar volunteered and the Prophet agreed. He fought until he was killed. The Prophet went further up the mountain with the mushrikin still in close pursuit. "Is there not someone to combat these?" Talhah again volunteered but the Prophet ordered him to maintain his position. Another person immediately came forward, fought and was killed. This happened until all who stood by the Prophet were martyred except Talhah. "Now, yes," signaled the Prophet and Talhah went into battle.)
[Muslim by Anas bin Malik]

 It seemed that the Prophet PBUH noticed that Talha was the bravest among them so he kept him to the last and to the fiercest attack…

 (By this time, the Prophet's teeth had been broken, his forehead had been slashed, his lips had been wounded and blood was streaming down his face. He was drained of energy. Talhah plunged into the enemy and pushed them away from the Prophet. He turned back to the Prophet and helped him a little further up the mountain and put him to lie on the ground. He then renewed his attack and successfully repulsed the enemy. About this occasion Abu Bakr said, "At that moment, Abu Ubayd ibn al-Jarrah and I were far from the Prophet PBUH. When we came close to him to render assistance to him, the Prophet said, 'Leave me and go to your companion (meaning Talhah)." There was Talhah, bleeding profusely. He had numerous wounds, from sword, spear and arrow. His foot had been cut and he had fallen into a hollow where he lay unconscious. Thereafter, the Prophet, peace be on him, said, "Whoever is pleased to see a man still walking on earth who had completed his p (of life), let him look at Talhah Ibn Ubaydallah." And, whenever Uhud was recalled, As-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him, would say, "That day, that entire day, belonged to Talhah.")

 As for calling him Talha Al-Khair and Talha AlJude, there are hundreds of stories behind these titles. Among which is the following:

(Talhah was an astute and successful merchant who travelled widely to the north and south of the Arabian Peninsula. It is said that after one of his trips to Hadramawt, he had profits amounting to some seven hundred thousand dirhams. His nights would be anxious and worried on account of this vast wealth. On one such night, his wife, Umm Kulthum the daughter of Abu Bakr, said to him, "What's wrong with you, O father of Muhammad? Perhaps I have done something to hurt you.'?" "No" replied Talhah. "You are a wonderful wife for a Muslim man. But I have been thinking since last night: How can a man think of his Lord and Sustainer when he goes to sleep with this wealth in his house?" "Why should it bother you so much," remarked Umm Kulthum. "What about all the needy ones in your community and all your friends? When you get up in the morning, share it out among them." "Allah bless you. You are really marvellous, the daughter of a marvellous man," said Talhah to his wife.)

 Wives of our era might raise Hell if the husband intends to pay Sadaqah and the wife would say to her husband, "We are more entitled to that money than the poor people, and Allah will look after the poor….

 (In the morning, Talhah gathered up the money in bags and distributed it among the poor Muhajirin and Ansar. It is related that a man came up to Talhah requesting help and also mentioning some common family connection between them. "This family connection someone has mentioned to me before," said Talhah who was in fact known for his generosity to all members of his clan. Talhah told the man that he had just sold a piece of land to Uthman ibn Allan for several thousand dirhams. The man could have the money or the land which could be re-purchased from Uthman. The man opted for the money and Talhah gave it all to him.)

 Congratulation to Talha for having this title (Talha Al-Khair and Talha Al-Jude) which is given to him by the Prophet PBUH himself!

 The Prophet PBUH is our example in generosity; in his lifetime he was the most generous among people. He once gave a man a valley full of sheep. The man returned to his people saying, "Accept Islam, for Muhammad PBUH gives like someone who does not fear poverty!"

((Abu Kabshah Al-Anmari narrated that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said, "There are three things for which I swear and narrate to you about, so remember it." He said, "The wealth of a slave (of Allah) shall not be decreased by charity, no slave (of Allah) suffers injustice and is patient with it except that Allah adds to his honor; no slave (of Allah) opens up a door to begging except that Allah opens a door for him to poverty"))

[At-Tirmizi by Abu Kabshah Al-Anmari]

 Allah is Al-Ghani (The Ever-Affluent) and Al-Karim (The Generous). Those who conqured the world acquired those exalted conducts, bravery, generousity, uprightness and love towards their Prophet PBUH.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of