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Forty Hadith of Nawawi

Forty Hadith of al-Nawawi: Discussion of Hadith #23

2013 Summer Session (August 13 to October 15 2013)

Class taught by Shaikh Jamaal Zarabozo

Course Outline: Discussion of Hadith #23, “Purification is half of the faith…” starting with, “and Subhanallah and alhamdulillah fill that which is between heaven and earth”  

Recommended Textbook:

Commentary on the 40 Hadith of al Nawawi by Jamaal Zarabozo

Examples of tasbeeh from the Qur’an

Hadith #23 from the Forty Hadith of Nawawi:

On the authority of Abu Malik al-Harith bin Asim al-Asharee (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,

“Purification is half of faith. The phrase ‘Al-hamdu lillah’ fills the scales, and phrase ‘subhan-Allah and ‘Al-hamdulillah’ together fill or each fill that which is between heaven and earth. And the salah is a light, and charity is a proof, and patience is illumination, and the Qur’an is an argument either for you or against you. Every person starts his day as a vendor of his soul, either freeing it or causing its ruin.”  

It was related by Muslim.

عَنْ أَبِي مَالِكٍ الْحَارِثِ بْنِ عَاصِمٍ الْأَشْعَرِيِّ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ :

قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه و سلم

" الطَّهُورُ شَطْرُ الْإِيمَانِ،

وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ تَمْلَأُ الْمِيزَانَ،

وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ تَمْلَآنِ - أَوْ: تَمْلَأُ- مَا بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ،

وَالصَّلَاةُ نُورٌ،

وَالصَّدَقَةُ بُرْهَانٌ،

وَالصَّبْرُ ضِيَاءٌ،

وَالْقُرْآنُ حُجَّةٌ لَك أَوْ عَلَيْك،

كُلُّ النَّاسِ يَغْدُو، فَبَائِعٌ نَفْسَهُ فَمُعْتِقُهَا أَوْ مُوبِقُهَا ".

رَوَاهُ مُسْلِمٌ [رقم:223].

2013-08-13 Class Notes

Last quarter we started our discussion of the hadith with the portion that states, “the phrase subhanallah ...”. We spent the entire quarter understanding the concept of tasbeeh, if we understand it properly and live by it, then we will have true tauheed and live our life properly.

Tasbeeh is one of the most important form of dhikr which we repeat in each salah. Salah is a central component of our life, and the central component of the salah is the tasbeeh.

Prophet said, verily nothing is appropriate from the normal everyday speech in the salah, the only thing that is worthy is tasbeeh and .....

We have to know and understand this concept of tasbeeh, then it will affect our salah and also affect our life.

The tasbeeh has two foundational concepts, you deny that Allah swt has any kind of shortcoming or blemish (tanzeeh ....) and you deny that Allah swt has anyone similar or close to being similar to him in any way (tanzeeh ...).

Sufi Terminology of Maqam and Manzil

Sufis are known for their concepts of purification of the soul and some of the aspects related to tasbeeh. They use a couple of expressions that they use which we hear a lot. They use the word maqam, what does it mean? For example, they say that when fasting, it should take you to separate maqam.

They also use the terms al awwam (the masses), al khawas (special people), al khawas al khawas (the elite). By al awwam they mean that those who follow the prophet and we have to be careful about using these terms because they are derogatory towards those who follow the prophet.

Maqam is a state. The concept of maqam arose 250 years after the death of the Prophet. Sufis say that there are 10 or 20 states.

We have to be careful about the terminology of others, we have to know what they mean by their terminology. It is not recommended to use them, since it shows that you are accepting their basic premise of a maqam.

We have to know how they define maqam and where are you moving to (the manzil) as a result of the maqam.

Sufi scholar enumerates the various maqam as follows repentance, patience, hope, fear, cynicism, ... trust and containment, love. These are all good sounding qualities that every Muslim should possess. Is there any conflict among them?

These are not stages that you go through, you can possess them in your heart. They are not stages that you go from one to another.

Qash al Mahjub was written in Farsi, the author says about the maqama: Everyone should continue to possess these even if you have moved to a higher state. But it is not permissible to quit the station ..... you have to go through the lower stages before you proceed to another stage, each one is a pre-requisite to a later stage. Is this true?

They say that you cannot have tawakkul of Allah swt without repentance. The question is if I am repenting, then who am I putting the trust to until I go through these stages?

Do they define the stages in the same way that non-Sufis define them?

Example definition of taubah according to Sufi Scholars

A mainstream moderate Sufi scholar who wrote Qash al Mahjub says that taubah has three stages, taubah through divine punishment, .... inabah,  taubah through ... aybah. The first is the stage of the masses and you return from repentance to normalcy?????, the inabah is to return from repentance to love, aybah is to return from repentance to Allah swt. Inabah is of the awliya???? and aybah is the way of Prophets?????

.... and some more statements about Prophet Musa and his repentance and that he is in state of hamd and it is impossible for them to repent, since he has moved on from the stage of repentance ..... The repentance of fear is caused by god’s majesty, repentance of shame is caused by god’s ......

There are two schools in Sufi, one school believes in intoxication and the other school or tareeqah does not believe in it. The school that believes in intoxication say that when you reach this state, you make statements like, I am Allah since they are intoxicated. Some Sufis do not believe in this state and say that you have gone beyond the limits of the shariah.

This shows how different is their definition of taubah from the shariah definition of taubah.

Goals of their maqamat - What is their goal?

The goal of the maqamat is to reach unity with Allah, fana’, or to reach goal where you realize that everything is Allah.

Is this the goal of the al awwam? No it is not. Allah swt says that we did not create you to become one with us .....

Maqam of Love - Mahabbah

Al Hujairi is quoting abu Qasim al Qushairi who wrote Qushairi al Risalah.

What does love of Allah swt mean to you?

Obeying the commands of Allah swt, you can say that everybody knows what it is to love Allah swt but it is hard to define it.

Qushairi says love is the effacement ....

You lose all of your being and you are just recognizing and seeing the existence of Allah. The one that you love is Allah will exist and the lover (you) will be fana’ (annihilation). Then they make an analogy or tanzeeh of the attributes of Allah swt, love means there is jealousy. The say that Allah is jealous and the only way to negate the jealousy is to get rid of yourself???????? They say that you should have self hate.

Does this describe the Prophet and his love for the Prophet?

They say that until you hate yourself, you will not love Allah swt. The Prophet was khaleel of Allah swt, did he possess any of these annihilations of the self while he lived?  

They did not get these concepts from the Quran and Sunnah.

So beware of these terms, they have used words for the maqam that are good words, but the way that they define them is very dangerous.

Maqam of Tasbeeh

Let’s say that you wanted to talk about maqam of tasbeeh, here we are using the word maqam to show that we do not hate this word by itself.

There should be a feeling of emotion when you make tasbeeh. Tasbeeh has many ramifications. When you are in ruku and making tasbeeh maybe different than what you get from making tasbeeh during sujood. During sujood you are belittling or humbling yourself even more to Allah swt.

Maqam of Tanzeeh

The maqam of tanzeeh is the feeling that comes into your heart that Allah swt is free from any blemish. This is more in your mind when you are making tanzeeh. And these makam are not sequential or pre-requisites.

Maqam of statement of facts about Allah swt such la hawla wala quwoot ...

When we are making tasbeeh we realize that we are deficient and we need the help of Allah swt and we are turning to Allah swt.

Prophet said, the dua of my brother Jonah (Surah Al Anbiyya verse 89 when he is in the whale and he realizes his mistake) says ....  I am from the wrongdoers.

This is a statement of fact but it is a dua since it is a recognition that Allah swt has no deficiency and you are deficient.

Allah swt says about Jonah, if he was not among those who made tasbeeh (by his actions), then  he would have remained in the belly of the whale.

You are cognizant of the fact that you are in need of Allah swt

Maqam of Nafi

You are denying that there is anybody else worthy of worship other than Allah swt

Maqam of Ta’ajjub??? Amazement

When something is amazing, it is something different from what you are used to. When you think of Allah, it should fill your heart with amazement and love for Allah swt, the greatness of Allah swt, the wondefullness of Allah swt. Your desire to

These four maqam are the four spiritual components of the tasbeeh. A component of one of the four would be in your mind. At least one of these four emotions should be in your mind.

Discussion about how to improve the spiritual component of tasbeeh in your salah

You should have at least one of the four spiritual components in your mind during rukuh and sujud when you are saying the tasbeeh.

You should try to read different verses of the Quran in your salah, in order to not let you salah become a repetitive action of your tongue which you utter without thinking. By reading different verses of the Quran, you are forcing yourself to think about the words and pay more attention to them.

Sh Al Albaani’s book, The Prophet’s Prayer Described, is a good resource for you to improve the spiritual component of your prayers.

2013-08-19 Class Notes

Handout: Examples of tasbeeh from the Qur’an

Edit: The class admin was unable to broadcast the class on time. They were able to get the broadcast working at around midnight eastern time.


Ba is tasbeeh with hamd. This is consistent with the narration from Ayesha.

Ayesha said that he used to say .... bi hamdika .... and he would say it implementing the Quran.

According to Ayesha is that the way the Prophet understood it was that he said the tasbeeh and also the hamd.

As we said it earlier the both go together, tasbeeh is negation and hamd is the affirmation, they have different meanings but go hand in hand.

When we look at the Quran and how Allah swt uses the tasbeeh and the related words, we see that they are attributed to others. Sometimes it is Allah swt making tasbeeh to himself, sometimes it is the angels, sometimes it is the pious believers including the prophets and messenger including the Prophet, sometimes it is the believers, sometimes it is the entire creation and finally it is the inhabitants of jannah.

When Allah swt makes tasbeeh for himself, there will not be any form of tasbeeh greater than when he makes it for himself. In the handout there are 20 examples of this type of tasbeeh.

When Allah swt speaks about himself, it is in the third person.

The first example of this is from Surah Baqarah verse ....  they say that Allah swt has taken a son ......

Allah swt quoting what others say about him and then he says subhanallah.

The idea of ascribing a son to Allah swt, when you say tasbeeh you are saying that there is nothing comparable to him. When you ascribe a son to somebody, there would be something in common between the father and the son. And having a son could also imply some kind of need on behalf of the person taking a son. And that is the reason why Allah swt is making tasbeeh for himself.

You will not find the expression subhani in any of the verses where Allah swt is making tasbeeh for himself

You will find the expression subhani in hadeeth qudsi, Allah swt says .... he abuses me and he has no right to do so ..... and as for him abusing me it is his statement that I have ..... then the hadith says subhani exalted am I, I am far from taking a wife or a son

At the beginning of Surah al Isra, Allah swt makes tasbeeh to himself, where Allah swt is exalting himself in context of the night journey of the Prophet.  Why did Allah swt make tasbeeh and tanzeeh in this verse?

He is responding to the criticism of the mushrikeen that Allah swt could not do this act. The mushrikeen were denying the night journey and saying that it is not possible. This verse was revealed then and Allah swt is responding to them

Allah swt is deserving of praise, since he has all of the excellent qualities that are deserving of praise, we will never be able to express the praise in the right form, and that is the reason why Allah swt is showing us how to praise him

By Allah swt praising himself, he is showing us how to speak about himself and making himself known to us and reminding us that he is exalted above all else and make us come closer to him.

This is guidance for us.

When angels make tasbeeh, they are closest to him, they know Allah swt better than anybody else. And those who know Allah swt, they are constantly making tasbeeh to him. Physically they are a greater creation than us and their response is to make tasbeeh.

Angels begin their speech by making tasbeeh. And if angels are in that state of tasbeeh, then we should be like them and make tasbeeh.

Surah Rad verse ...

Rad is one of the names of angels and it could also mean thunder. In this verse, thunder and angels exalt Allah swt out of fear.

We should have a feeling of awe towards Allah swt, it should lead to a feeling of fear of Allah swt.

Tasbeeh cannot just be uttered by your tongue, it has to be accompanied by a feeling in your heart. And that is how angels make tasbeeh. We should ponder over that

Prophets making tasbeeh

The example that is closest to us is that of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS). Some of the verses of tasbeeh are in the first person and are directed towards the Prophet directly.

Surah Yusuf verse 108 has important significance about this point.

Here Allah swt is telling Prophet, I am .. I am ....   

What is the relationship between subhanallah and what comes before it, it is an adverbial phrase and it has to be related to what comes before it.

The part of my way is that I make tasbeeh to Allah swt or it could mean that I make dawah and I make tasbeeh to Allah swt.

Most translations say exalted is allah without tying it to the earlier phrase, the translation which is done in this way reads strange. Why in the middle of the verse are there phrases of exalting Allah swt, there has to be some relationship to it.

To Do List:

1. Copy the handout sent last time Examples of tasbeeh from the Qur’an

2. Create notes for the first 30 minutes of the class

2013-08-27 Class Notes

Handout: Examples of tasbeeh from the Qur’an

The handout describes the tasbeeh of Allah swt, the angels, the prophets etc.

Tasbeeh of all objects in the creation

There are at least 13 verses that at first glance gives the impression that everything in the heavens and earth makes tasbeeh of Allah swt, whether it is animate creatures or inanimate creatures or things that cannot speak, all make tasbeeh of Allah swt

Verses mentioning tasbeeh all that is in the heavens and the earth

Allah swt says whatever is in the heavens and earth make tasbeeh of Allah swt

In another verse, whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth

In Surah al Hashr after mentioning various names of the Allah swt the same verse is repeated. Also in Surah al Jumah.

There is a particle “lam” in front of the word Allah is for takhsees???? that the tasbeeh is only for Allah swt.

There is a “ma” which is a general term meaning whoever. Ma is usually is for inanimate objects and Man is for animate objects. But when you refer to both the groups, you determine which is the larger group or the group that dominates and then use it to refer to the two groups. Since there are many inanimate objects in the heavens and earth, both groups are referred to with Ma.

Allah swt usually ends these verses with the names and attributes of Allah swt. It points to the fact that Allah swt is deserving of this respect. Hakeem and .... means ....

In other verses, Allah swt speaks about specific parts of the creation and describes how they make tasbeeh. We know that Prophets Daud and Sulaiman had a special relationship with birds and animals that others did not have. ....

Surah Nur verse 41 describes both the specific and general mechanism of tasbeeh of the creatures.

In this verse, whoever is in the heavens and the earth, know their salah and know their tasbeeh. Allah swt is referring to the fact that the birds have salah and tasbeeh. .... In one tafseer somebody says salah means human being and tasbeeh means .... Sh said Allah knows best...

Surah Al Isra verse 44, the seven heavens and earth exalt him ....

تسبح له السماوات السبع والأرض ومن فيهن وإن من شيء إلا يسبح بحمده ولكن لا تفقهون تسبيحهم إنه كان حليما غفورا

Sahih International

The seven heavens and the earth and whatever is in them exalt Him. And there is not a thing except that it exalts [ Allah ] by His praise, but you do not understand their [way of] exalting. Indeed, He is ever Forbearing and Forgiving.

In this verse, Allah swt is using the strongest form of affirmation. There is nothing except that it makes  tasbeeh of Allah, and in this case the negation is the strongest form of affirmation.

Tafseer of these verses

There is some dispute in some books of tafseer about what is meant by tasbeeh in these verses. They discuss the generality of the tasbeeh and what is meant by tasbeeh itself. They start from this point and then the differences arise between the scholars. They discuss the differences between ma and man in these verses.

Allah swt refers to the creations and mentions that they behave almost similar to the humans. And then he reminds us that we do not understand their tasbeeh.

Scholarly Dispute: Is tasbeeh performed by all of the creation or just some subset of the creation?

When Allah swt is referring to a group of inanimate objects, you would use the singular feminine pronoun in other words in this case, it should be تسبيحها  to refer to the group. Instead he uses تسبيحهم -- which is the plural used for animate objects.  

And this according to some interpreters, they invoke the concept of general term implies a specific group, which is found and established in the Arabic language, and then make these three points:

1. Everything that has a ruh (soul) makes tasbeeh.

They say that anything that does not have a ruh does not make tasbeeh, for example, they say that mountains do not have ruh and hence do not make tasbeeh.

2. Everything that is living make tasbeeh (E.g. plants are living but don’t have rooh).

They say plants are living but they do not have ruh. So the category of living is bigger than the category of those who have ruh.

3. .... Sh skipped the third point ....

The problem for these views is that there is no evidence to support these positions, and in general, the general is the default. Example: Allah talks about the mountains making tasbeeh.

Sh says that there is no evidence to restrict the general term to a specific group, because in another verse Allah swt says that the mountains make tasbeeh.

Scholarly Dispute: Is tasbeeh understood in literal sense or figurative sense (lisaani or majaazi)?

The next question to ask, Is Allah swt referring to tasbeeh in literal sense or figurative sense.

Literal Sense: You say something like subhanallah. Does this verse mean that all of the creation is making a statement about Allah (SWT)? Allah tells us that we don’t understand their tasbeeh. Perhaps they are making tasbeeh in a literal sense, they are “saying” something but the way they speak and how they express it isn’t visible to us.

Figurative sense: The tasbeeh that these things are making is that these things are an indication to us that Allah (SWT) is deserving of tasbeeh and glory.

The scholars who argue for figurative sense are partially true. And regardless of the belief of the individual, the inanimate objects are pointing to the majesty and greatness of the Allah swt. How would you respond to this view?

Whenever you argue for the figurative meaning instead of literal meaning of the verse, you are going against the default understanding of the verse. You have to present evidence for your argument.

Sh mentioned that there are a lot of inanimate objects that know have the ability to speak such as smartphones. We understand that there is an abstract understanding of speech and it differs for each creation how they speak.

Allah swt says that ... But you do not understand their tasbeeh.  Why does Allah swt refer to this? Since it means that the mountains are indeed making literal tasbeeh and not just pointing to the majesty of Allah swt and indicating for us to make tasbeeh. Because Allah swt clearly says that we do not understand their tasbeeh.

Prophet heard the weeping of the palm tree.... and there are other examples of it from the seerah of the Prophet. The Prophet (SAWS) says that “even the ant makes dua for the teacher of good”

So there is something going on there that we don’t fully have an understanding of.

The fallacy of Rationalist philosophy

The ones who had this opinion that this tasbeeh is not literal include Ibn Hazm, Zamakhshari, Ar-Raazi. They have a different approach to aqeedah and note that they tend to be from the kalaami background (Rationalists).

Ironically they claim to be driven by a belief in the superiority of human reasoning. They claim that since we can not see the rocks making tasbeeh, that means that we have to reject. But just because we can’t test them while Allah makes it clear that it is not observable, this is not being rational. Part of being rational is limiting yourself to what your mind can comment on.

The rationalist make claims and judgements, they make taweel and reinterpret what Allah swt mentions in the Quran and indirectly reject what Allah swt mentions in the Quran about what happens in the grave, what happens in the hereafter.  They reject all of it or make taweel about it because they claim we do not know or see what happens in the grave or the hereafter.

Takhsees of the tasbeeh verses

If we are saying that the tasbeeh is literal what about non-Muslims? Another example is talking about sujood:

ألم تر أن الله يسجد له من في السماوات ومن في الأرض والشمس والقمر والنجوم والجبال والشجر والدواب وكثير من الناس وكثير حق عليه العذاب ومن يهن الله فما له من مكرم إن الله يفعل ما يشاء

Sahih International

Do you not see that to Allah prostrates whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth and the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the trees, the moving creatures and many of the people? But upon many the punishment has been justified. And he whom Allah humiliates - for him there is no bestower of honor. Indeed, Allah does what He wills.

So the only thing that seems to reject submitting is some human beings, implying they are exceptional.

يسبح لله ما في السماوات وما في الأرض له الملك وله الحمد وهو على كل شيء قدير - هو الذي خلقكم فمنكم كافر ومنكم مؤمن والله بما تعملون بصير

Whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth is exalting Allah . To Him belongs dominion, and to Him belongs [all] praise, and He is over all things competent.

It is He who created you, and among you is the disbeliever, and among you is the believer. And Allah , of what you do, is Seeing.

Hadith from the Prophet (SAWS) everything makes tasbeeh except for shaytaan and those who are the worst of humans.

Involuntarily even the kuffar are making tasbeeh to Allah swt since they cannot transgress the limits set by Allah swt, when it is their time to die, they cannot extend it. However we are talking about tasbeeh made by volition and not involuntary tasbeeh.

So the reality is that everything makes tasbeeh except for some humans who reject the tasbeeh of Allah swt.

2013-09-02 Class Notes

وَالصَّلَاةُ نُورٌ،

We are now moving to the next line or part of the hadith #23.

In the first part of the hadith when we describe tahura is half of the faith and doing the positive things is Insha-allah the other half of the faith. After stating tahura, Prophet started describing the positive things, and he first described subhanallah and alhamdullillah.

After describing the virtues of those two statements, the Prophet said that prayer is the light. In reality the Prophet has not gone far from what we was describing in the earlier statement, since subhanallah and alhamdullillah are important parts of the salah.

Allah swt told Adam, Worship me and establish the salah for my remembrance.

Prophet is describing the formalized form of dhikr, which is salah. One time Prophet was speaking about whether you can speak in the salah, he said it tasbeeh, ..., and reciting of the Quran. Edit: These are the only allowable speech in the salah.

Remember Allah swt often that you may prosper.

Remembrance of Allah swt is greater.

In one tafseer, the remembrance of Allah is greater than any other act of worship. Because if any other act of worship is devoid of remembrance of Allah, then that act will be meaningless. You need to have the proper intention to remember Allah swt in any act of worship.

Allah swt told us that those who prosper will be those who purify themselves and remember the names of Allah. There is faa in this verse, which means we are going from one to another.

What is Nur?

Prophet says that salah is nur which means light, sadaqah or charity is burhan. Is there any relationship between nur and burhan?

Burhan literally means the rays that come from the sun. The rays are a proof that without a doubt that there is sun. Burhan is also light.

Al Nur in the Arabic language has the root word noon waw and ra. One of the meanings is light and another meaning is lack of constancy, being shaky, not being stable.

The concept of Nur

It is the thing by which the reality of something else is made clear. From the physical light we can see the desk, the chair etc. If we take away 95% of the light can we make out the objects? How about if we take away 100%?

If you visit mines, they turn of all lights and even if you put your hands right in front of your face, you still cannot see it. We take light for granted. It gives us the ability to see the reality of things.

What is Diyaa?

There are different sources of light, for example patience is diyaa. Diyaa is stronger than Nur.

Allah swt who made the shams the diyaa and Qamr (moon) the light. The difference between the light from the sun and the moon is huge, one is the source of light and the other is just reflected light.

Diyaa has heat, it can burn you and harm you.

Prophet describes sabr as diyaa and salah as Nur. Not everybody can be patient, since it involves difficulties and hardships, the ultimate benefit of patience is very helpful.

Salah is the form of light or Nur which is very pleasing and nice light.

Sabr provides the same kind of benefit but the process is much more difficult and hence it is referred to as diyaa.

Allah swt describes the Quran, the Prophet and the guidance from the Quran as Nur, at no time does Allah swt refer to them as Diyaa. We require effort to gain the guidance from the Quran, however there is no hardship.

Allah swt says we gave Moses and Haroon we gave guidance and diyaa (not Nur). The message revealed to Moses was due to the behaviour of the Jews and it was a punishment for the their actions or deeds. It is a blessing from Allah swt that Quran is not referred to as diyaa.

Translation of verses related to light and diyaa

The verses where Nur is used it is translated as light. And the verse about criteria given to Moses and Haroon is also translated as light. Daryabadi makes a distinction in his translation.

Diyaa is strong, you would not call a small flashlight a diyaa, you would call it Nur. Diyaa also has the connotation of giving light to the others, such as the Nur of the moon.

Types of Nur

There is Nur of this dunya and the nur of the akhirah. There is the Nur of the senses which allows you to see something with your eyes. The Nur of thinking or thought. The word Nur is sometimes used for spiritual light, which allows you to see something clearly, clarity of vision, ability to see the truth. Edit: The light bulb that goes off on your head when you are thinking clearly.

Allah swt says, praise be to Allah who created heavens and earth, who created the darkness and the light (is this intellectual light)

Sh wants to avoid spiritual light since it has other connotations that he wants to avoid.

Contrast between Nur and Dhulamaat

Throughout the Quran, the word Nur is put in contrast with dhulamaat al Nur??????  What is the relationship between those words?

Dhulamaat is plural, Nur is always singular. The way of confusion are many, but the way of the Nur is singular.

So we can say that Allah swt is referring to the intellectual light.

Allah swt when referring to hypocrites, he took their light (Nur singular) and left them in dhulamaat (plural).

In Arabic it is clear the contrast between the singular and the plural in the verse. Abdul Majid Daryabadi translated it as “darknesses” to highlight the plural. We miss all of these nuances when we read the translations of the Quran. When you always rely on the English translation, you will never catch these points.

There are thirteen places where Allah swt is contrasting Dhulamaat with Nur.

Once you leave the truth, there are many ways of dhulamaat, all the way from trinity to atheism and all that lies in between.

Nur of the hereafter

In Surah al Hadid verse 12-14 Allah swt describes the Nur of the hereafter. These are very moving verses. Allah swt describes the hypocrites, this is how they are going to get what they are deserving of.

This Nur is special for the believers. On the right there are gardens ... wherein you will abide. The hypocrites will see them on that day and say to those who believe, wait for us so that we can acquire some of your light. The verse says that go back to get light. But they cannot go back to the dunya. There will be a wall will be placed - from outside it looks like mercy but they will get punishment. They will then plead to the believers weren’t we with you etc.

Surah al Tahrim also describes the Nur of the hereafter.

Edit: I miss you Br Waleed - nobody there to help me with the verses of the Quran :-(

Allah swt tells them to repent now. The light will be given to the believers and they will ask Allah swt to perfect it for them.

Surah .. verse 19, Allah swt is describing those who believe.... for them is their reward and their light....

In these passages, Allah swt is speaking of the light of the hereafter.

When we say, salah is Nur, maybe this is the Nur that is spoken about in this hadith. We will discuss this point when the time comes.

How to understand Nur?

When Allah swt says that salah is Nur, in order for us to appreciate what the Prophet says and give it all of the emphasis it deserves, we have to go to the Quran and see how Allah swt has used the word Nur.

Allah swt is using Nur when referring to many things, such as kitaab etc.

The first thing we notice is from Surah Nur. It is a beautiful surah but we do not have time to give it the attention it deserves otherwise we will never get to finish studying the hadith.

Allahu nur us samawati wa al ardh

The beginning of Surah Nur, Allah swt says that Allah is the light, what is meant by it? Is Al Nur one of the names of Allah swt?

Is Nur one of the names of Allah swt or is nur samawati wa al ardh one of the names of Allah or none of the above?

Many of the commentaries even those going back to ibn Abbas and others, they say that Allah is the hadi or guide for the heavens and the earth. It is by his guidance that people see the truth and are rescued from the misguidance.

Mujahhid says that Allah swt manages the affairs of the heavens and the earth.

Abu Darr asked the Prophet did you see your Lord (when he went to Israa ul Miraj), the Prophet replied how can I see him.... the light.

In another narration, Prophet said that he is light.

In another narration, Prophet said that his hijab (veil) is the light and ....

Prophet saw Nur which was the thing that was protecting him from seeing Allah swt. Because in the human form, Allah swt has not given us the ability to see Allah swt.

Ibn al Qayim is insistent in one of his book’s, he says Nur is one of the names of Allah swt, it is his siffat. He has a lengthy discussion about it.  But not everyone agrees with him, even ibn Taymiyyah who was inconclusive about whether Nur is one of the names of Allah swt.

All of the above three narrations about whether Allah swt is Nur are weak.

Among those scholars who wrote books and gathered the 99 names of Allah swt such Bayhani, Haq,  include Nur

Some others include Nur us samawati wal ardh

Ibn Hazm and ibn Uthaymeen did not include either of them in the names of Allah swt.

The name Nur or Nur us samawati wa ardh whether it is a confirmed name of Allah swt or not is not very important. We know that Allah swt is nur us samawati wa al ardh.

Allah swt is the guide for all of the creation of heavens and the earth.

The guidance to see and understand what is correct and recognize the truth from falsehood is from Allah swt.


Allah swt said, Oh prophet we have sent you as a witness.... someone who calls .... someone who is siraaj al munir. He is a lamp that is giving light. Because not all lamps are lit.

Prophet is the medium via which we have received the message and guidance from Allah swt and that is why he is described as Nur. In this sense you can describe the Prophet as Nur, because he has given us guidance to see the right from the wrong.

One of the first books given to the Sh when he became a Muslim was called, The Shadowless Prophet.

It is so common for the human beings to raise those whom you like and raise them to the pedestal, such as some shaikh that you like and take him as your only source of wisdom.

Some of the Sufis believed that the Prophet was light in essence that he is not a human being, he is just Nur and hence he is shadowless or does not cast the shadow. So this understanding is not correct.

Yes the Prophet is Nur, because he gave us guidance. When we make dua at the night to make us Light, it does not mean literally to make us a physical light.

Jabir asked the Prophet, what was the first thing that Allah swt ever created. Prophet replied that the first thing that was created was the light of your prophet, and from this light everything good was created.... arsh was created ... ... angels were created ... habb ...... Note: This is a well known fabricated hadith.

The Sufis use this fabricated hadith to make the claims about the awliyya. The say that the awliyya get their light from the Prophet.

In some of the books, the Sufis claim that is was narrated by Abdul Razzaq al .... one of his famous students was Mannan???????  Once somebody makes this claim then the fabricated hadith gets more circulation.

You won’t find this hadith in any of the collection of Abdul Razzaq.

Our goal for next class is to understand how salah is Nur, Insha-allah.

Classroom discussion about what was created first by Allah swt.

In response to the above question, Sh Jamaal sent the following email:

I pray that you are all doing well. You will recall that last night I could not quite remember the dispute over what was the first thing ever created. The following passage taken from Sharh al-Aqeedah al-Tahaawiyyah is the debate that I was referring to and hopefully clarifies the matter:

Scholars differ as to whether the Pen or the Throne was the first of the created things.

There are two opinions, as noted by al-Hafiz Abu al-’Ala al-Hamadhani.  The stronger opinion is that the Throne was created before the Pen based on what is confirmed in the Sahih from Abdullah ibn ‘Amr who narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Allah created the measures of all things fifty thousand years before the creation of the heavens and the earth while His Throne was on the waters.”  

This hadith shows that the measures were fixed after the creation of the Throne.

As for the hadith of ‘Ubadah, the statement, “The first thing Allah created was the pen...” is either one or two sentences.  If it is only one— which is the correct view— its meaning is, “When He first created the Pen, He said, ‘Write.’”  This is stated in one narration, “When Allah first created the Pen, He said, ‘Write.’" If it is two sentences, where both “First” and “the Pen” are in the nominal, then it must be understood to mean that it was the first thing created of this creation. In this case, the two hadith would be in agreement as the hadith of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr states clearly that the Throne preceded the measurements— an event that coincided with the creation of the Pen. In another version of the hadith, the words are, “When Allah created the Pen, He said to it, ‘Write.’”

2013-09-10 Class Notes

Prayer is a light

We went to the Quran to understand how the word Noor is used in the Quran in order to understand this part of the hadith. Allah swt refers to himself as Nur us samawati wa al ardh. Prophet is also referred to as Nur.

Quran verses in which Allah swt says that they try to extinguish the nur of Allah swt but Allah insists??? and it perseveres.

In this verse, the nur is a reference to the deen of Islam, the disbelievers try to fight it but they will fail.

Surah al Anam verse 22


Here Allah swt is referring to giving nur to someone who is dead, it means giving deen to the person by which he walks in the darkness.

Allah swt juxtaposes the light and darkness, always referring to Nur in the singular and the darkness in plural, since there are many ways to be mislead from the straight path.

Allah swt is the protector and guardian of those .... he takes them from darkness to light. This light is the light of Iman. This verse also refers to auliya who take their followers from nur to darkness. Allah swt explains to them this deen. The shayateen take the mankind from the fitra of ....

Allah swt also says, that the one whom he expands his heart to understand .... his heart is filled with light. And this light is Imaan according to the mufassereen.


The Quran itself which embodies the teaching of iman and deen is also referred to as Nur.

Allah swt says, so believe in Allah in his messenger and the light which we have revealed.

Allah swt also says, ... there comes to a clear proof to you ... and a clear light nur u mubeen.

Light gives you the ability to see, distinguish what is right and wrong. here it is emphasized and it is mubeen. And after you receive it, you have no excuse for somebody’s disbelief.

Allah swt referring to the Prophet says that we have revealed the ruh ....  this book is the true light. Before the message, Prophet did not know what is the deen ....

وكذلك أوحينا إليك روحا من أمرنا ما كنت تدري ما الكتاب ولا الإيمان ولكن جعلناه نورا نهدي به من نشاء من عبادنا وإنك لتهدي إلى صراط مستقيم

Sahih International

And thus We have revealed to you an inspiration of Our command. You did not know what is the Book or [what is] faith, but We have made it a light by which We guide whom We will of Our servants. And indeed, [O Muhammad], you guide to a straight path -

We are aware of the physical light, but the Quran refers to the spiritual light. Everyone should recognize to get this light from Allah swt is a blessing and a bounty to the believers.

Allah is the guardian and protector of those who believe ... he takes them from darkness to light.

Allah swt says if there is anyone for whom he has not made light, then he will not have light.

أو كظلمات في بحر لجيّ يغشاه موج من فوقه موج من فوقه سحاب ظلمات بعضها فوق بعض إذا أخرج يده لم يكد يراها ومن لم يجعل الله له نورا فما له من نور

Sahih International

Or [they are] like darknesses within an unfathomable sea which is covered by waves, upon which are waves, over which are clouds - darknesses, some of them upon others. When one puts out his hand [therein], he can hardly see it. And he to whom Allah has not granted light - for him there is no light.

This hadith describes the salat as nur. What is the meaning of nur in this part of the hadith?

Scholars have given different interpretations. One of the common interpretations is that salat is a physical light, this salat will be transformed to a light on the day of resurrection.

Hadith: On this day you will recognize the believing men and women with the light on the forehead.

On this day the only light that we will have will be from Allah swt. In this world, anyone can benefit from the light, believers as well as disbelievers, but in the hereafter it will only be the believers who will benefit from the light. And according to scholars the believers will have this light because of their prayers.

يوم ترى المؤمنين والمؤمنات يسعى نورهم بين أيديهم وبأيمانهم بشراكم اليوم جنات تجري من تحتها الأنهار خالدين فيها ذلك هو الفوز العظيم

Sahih International

On the Day you see the believing men and believing women, their light proceeding before them and on their right, [it will be said], "Your good tidings today are [of] gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein you will abide eternally." That is what is the great attainment.

Second interpretation is that it is still a physical light but in this world. Hadith: A mark on the forehead due to their prostration. And this the nur as they understand.

Another interpretation is much more consistent with the Quran is that Nur is a light that makes things clear to you. It gives you the ability to avoid things that are wrong and do things that are right. You need the guiding light in order to see.

محمد رسول الله والذين معه أشداء على الكفار رحماء بينهم تراهم ركعا سجدا يبتغون فضلا من الله ورضوانا سيماهم في وجوههم من أثر السجود ذلك مثلهم في التوراة ومثلهم في الإنجيل كزرع أخرج شطأه فآزره فاستغلظ فاستوى على سوقه يعجب الزراع ليغيظ بهم الكفار وعد الله الذين آمنوا وعملوا الصالحات منهم مغفرة وأجرا عظيما

Sahih International

Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah ; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and prostrating [in prayer], seeking bounty from Allah and [His] pleasure. Their mark is on their faces from the trace of prostration. That is their description in the Torah. And their description in the Gospel is as a plant which produces its offshoots and strengthens them so they grow firm and stand upon their stalks, delighting the sowers - so that Allah may enrage by them the disbelievers. Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds among them forgiveness and a great reward.

Allah swt gives the believers light in their hearts, he shows them the way.

Ibn Uthaymeen says that salat is the light in the heart. And he continues and says that it enlightens the face as well and also enlightens them on the day of judgement.

The word Nur is indefinite and it could refer to different meanings of the light.

Ibn Uthaymeen says that any prayer is a light, it is a light in the heart, in the face, in the grave and in the hereafter. Since nur is unconstrained it could refer to many things.

This approach is a good approach. We can understand that the Prophet is referring to all of these lights. And all of these lights are rooted in the salat. Without it you will not have light in the grave and the hereafter. If salat is the light of guidance then it would lead to all of these lights. And we can see that there is no inconsistency in all of the various interpretations.

This shows us the importance of salat.

We have the book and the example of the Prophet, we have our deen which are all sources of light and we should benefit from it.

If we say Quran is nur, since it shows you what is the path.

If you say Prophet is nur, since his example is showing us the way that pleases Allah swt.

How is salat a “Nur” in helping you see and guiding you along the path?

In the salat you are making dua to guide you to the right path. Prophet said in hadith qudsi, that Allah swt has divided salat in many parts and ... he gets what he asks ....

When you perform salat properly, it will have an affect upon you. It restrains you from sin and immorality. Salat is dhikr and dhikr in itself is an important tool.

Allah swt say in the Quran, truly man was created impatient, he is niggardly and  .... except those who are steadfast in prayer.

إن الإنسان خلق هلوعا

Indeed, mankind was created anxious:

إذا مسه الشر جزوعا

When evil touches him, impatient,

وإذا مسه الخير منوعا

And when good touches him, withholding [of it],

Except the observers of prayer -

The salat changes the character of an individual. This change guides him to the straight path and that is what we have been describing as one of the qualities of nur.

Salat is the pillar of the faith, it is central to the faith.  The one who does not have salat is missing one of the essential elements of his deen.

The one who purifies the soul is successful, he remembers and therefore he prays.

Surah Baqarah describes the characteristics of the believers, they establish salah and they are the one’s who are successful.

Surah Muminun, the believers are indeed successful and then describes the qualities of the believers, they have the khushu and humility in the salah. They guide their salah. Salah is mentioned twice in the verse.

Oh you who believe, bow and prostrate .... so that you may attain success.

Ibn Uthaymeen while commenting on this hadith says that this should encourage us to say lots of salah. However he feels that after observing many individuals who offer prayers, yet they don't have Nur.

In response to it, Ibn Uthaymeen says that the statement of the Prophet is true and there is no problem with it at all. If this statement is true and if your salah is not producing nur, the problem is not with the salah, but it is due to some shortcoming or some preventing matter. The individual is engaged in some matters that is preventing him from achieving this nur.

In another book of fiqh by Ibn Uthaymeen,  he talks about the tranquility of the prayer, the rest between various movements of the salah. He says that salah is a private conversation between the individual and his lord and if he does not rest between the movements, then it means that he is just in play. And if the person does not have tranquility then he is not going to benefit from the salah. If you do not find the Nur in your salah, then there is no doubt that there is some shortcoming in your salah.

ibn Uthaymeen quotes one of the salaf, who says if the salah does not keep you from fahsha and munqar then the only thing the salah does is to keep you distant from Allah swt.

Allah swt says, establish the salah, since it keeps you from fahsha and munqar. This verse uses the emphasis .....

If you pray just to fulfill the obligations, then the salah does not have any affect on the individual.

We have discussed in earlier classes about how to improve your salah.

The above statement by ibn Uthaymeen quoting the salaf is harsh. The salah should change and affect the individual, you should be able to taste the sweetness of Iman and you should try to remain in this state and you don't want to go back to the state that was distant from Allah swt.

If you pray properly five times a day, it should keep you away from sins.

There could be different levels of luminance of light, similarly with the Nur or physical light.

2013-09-17 Class Notes

The prayer is a light

We will take a detour and talk about salah. One of the things that our ulema have discussed in the past is that the salah is a cure itself.

Hadith: After Abu Hurayrah made Hajj, he sat down and the Prophet saw that he was not feeling well, the Prophet told him to stand and pray, for verily in the prayer is the healing.

The phrase used for healing is that it is in Farsi,  iskanu darr -- اشكنب.  What is interesting is that the Prophet spoke Farsi to the sahabah who is from Yemen. This hadith is recorded by ....  However there is no question that this hadith is weak. We have no record of the Prophet speaking in Farsi. We have record of the Prophet (SAWS) speaking Abyssinian to Bilal but no record of the Prophet speaking in Farsi. (Edit: The sahabah ... spoke Farsi.)

Salah has spiritual and physical benefits

Many scholars discuss the medicine of the Prophet (الطب النبوي). They say the Salaah has spiritual, psychological and physical benefits. When people are feeling ill and have a lot of pain and you realize that it can be a purification in this world, it helps with the illness. Al-Dhahabi goes in to the physical benefits, and it diverts the mind from pain and suppresses anxiety and anger.

Hadith: When you go and visit somebody who is sick, speak good words to them, it is not going to repel the sickness, but it will make them feel good.

Modern medicine is aware of the effect of good words on the health of an individual. ... studied the benefits of yoga and salah, and reported that the physical movements are beneficial to the individual, very similarly to the benefits of yoga.

Saleh Yucel did his Masters in Theology from University of Sydney, he did extensive survey of the effect of prayer on the ill, he found that the salah has a benefit for the ill.

Ad Dhahabi and Suyuti say that there are psychological benefits to the Salah.

Salah may have many benefits, these other benefits might be true, but we cannot make this conclusion from the sentence that Salah is Nur.

How about the following verses from the Quran, do they imply these other benefits of Salah?

Both from Surah Baqarah verses 43 and 145

يا أيها الذين آمنوا استعينوا بالصبر والصلاة إن الله مع الصابرين

Sahih International

O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.

In these two verses, Allah swt is telling us to seek help through patience and prayer. We know that sabr is mentioned in the hadith that we are studying.

These verses are in general and not just when you are ill, it applies to your day to day living and the difficulties that you face in general.

What are the ways in which you are going to get benefit or help from Salah?

It is very much related to Salah is Nur. When you are facing difficulties, you need to know what to do, what should be the path that you should follow, seeing the path is the aspect of salah is Nur. When things become clear, it becomes easy for you to follow.

By Nur and Diyaa, it becomes clear for you, what to follow.

Is the light from Salah a hujjah (an authority to make decisions)?

If salah is nur, doesn't that mean that by virtue of your salah, you can see, shouldn’t it apply to matters of ijtihad. So can a shaikh say that the matter is clear to him because of his salah, since he has been praying for 30 years and his salah is Nur which allows him to decide about the question put forth to him based on the Salah is Nur.

We will now discuss some controversial statements that are based on conclusion that salah is nur and diyaa. Edit: Sh purposely did not reveal who was making this statement until the end of the discussion.

First statement

Light is the heart of the individual by which the individual would truly know and understand the names and attributes of Allah swt.

This statement is from ibn Uthaymeen

Second statement

A person says that Nur in the person’s heart could be the deciding factor in a shariah opinion. This person says that if the person has salah and nur and diya, how can he not know the nuances of the speech of the Prophet. He implies that the person who has these three attributes, he would know the implications of the Prophet’s speech.

This person quoted the previous hadith we discussed about the awliya, the person would be able to see with my eyes, speak with .... Allah is his hearing and so forth.

He says that Allah swt has made human beings in this fitra, and then he would see the truth of those things. When we try to do sin, there will be an admonisher in their heart which will stop him from doing those sins.

Then he quotes the hadith of the Prophet which talks about the dajjal, written between his eyes is the word kaafir. Prophet continued that every believer would be able to read this word that the dajjal is kafir. He says that these things are made clear to the believer specially in time of fitnah. They will be able to see the lies spoken about Allah because of the virtue of Nur from the salah of the believer.

Ayat Nur from Surah Nur which says nur un ala nur. He says that it means the believer speaks the wisdom even though the believer had not heard the hadith, yet he will speak the wisdom and when he hears this hadith, he will say that is what is meant by nur un ala nur. This individual would be able to see whether somebody is faasiq or kaafir or alcoholic etc. He says that the person will meet somebody and be able to recognize immediately if he is good and will have a feeling for him in his heart within seconds of meeting him and similarly he will be able to recognize a bad person and have this feeling in his heart and later on will realize that indeed it is true.

The story of khidr and Musa is an example of this -- this is why khidr allowed Moses to accompany him.

So the conclusion from this is that Salah is noor and once it is in your heart you are going to be able to see and you are able to act upon this vision.

This lengthy statement is from ibn Taymiyyah. The part about Khidr, ibn Taymiyyah says that Khidr is not a prophet and it is a light that is given to him. Some other ulema say that Khidr was a Prophet.

How do you know what you are feeling in the heart is from Shaytan or from Allah?

We sometimes have feelings about individuals, and sometimes they turn out to be true, how do you know this?

Hadith: Be aware of the insight of the believer, for verily the insight is from the light of the salah?????

This hadith is not authentic.

The idea that Allah swt puts light into the heart of the believer, we cannot deny it. Allah swt guides people and shows them what is right and what is wrong. So this is not the issue. The issue is what kind of weight should be given to this insight or this unveiling.

When we see things with our heart, how much weight should we give to it.

Another statement from a scholar about the extreme points of views of the philosopher who refused to accept the literal statements and attributes of Allah swt. And he mentions the other extreme, they were extreme Hanbalis who believed in anthropomorphism.

After discussing these two extremes, he says the middle way of properly understanding the names and attributes of Allah swt is very difficult and you would not be able to find it, you will not find it just by reading the Quran and Sunnah, you will need the light. After the things have been made clear by light of Yaqeen, then he should go to the Quran and Sunnah, and whatever he understands properly from this light of Yaqeen, he should take it and those which he does not understand it, he should not take from it (that is what the person saying this says).

This statement puts the Nur above the text. How can he have Nur without going to the text?

Even if you feel that you have this Nur which is pointing you to something, it still has to agree with the text of the Quran and Sunnah.

If you have a fiqh issue and you are unable to determine which is the strongest opinion, and let’s say your heart is pointing to one opinion over the other. This happens a lot now a days to scholars, there are many different opinions and then when he has this feeling in the heart, then it is hujjah for him only.

So the scholars say that this is a hujjah -- he can not even convey it to others. But if he has this feeling and hisheart is taking him in one direction, then it is a binding only on him. What if someone asks him for advice? Then he should say “I am leaning to X, but I don’t have evidence.” And you can never know with complete certainty that it is not from Shaytaan.

In fiqh it is always about two questions: it could be the ruling that something is halal, but in particular circumstances the application of the ruling may be different. So especially in this case the person might be convinced of one thing and the person can follow that one thing and he can give it as advice to someone else, but it is never a hujjah.

2013-09-24 Class Notes

Last time we discussed the quote from ibn Uthaymeen in which he said that this statement of the Prophet is true and there is no doubt about it and if the person praying is not getting light from his salah, then there must be some shortcoming that is preventing the individual from receiving the light.

The light could be something dim or something very strong. When Prophet said Salat un Nur, it could be the case that the individual might get some light and some others might get a lot of light. If someone isnt getting this light from the Salah, then they have to look into what they themselves are putting into the salah. How are you dealing with this act? Are you putting in much effort into it?

Hadith: Prophet told us that there are five daily prayers that are made obligatory, whoever does them and prays them in time and makes their rukuh and the khushuh (the feeling towards Allah swt), then he will have a covenant with Allah swt and he will give it to them. And if somebody does not do the prayers then there is no covenant with Allah swt and Allah might forgive him or punish him.

According to the majority of the ulema there is no reason for delaying the salah, under whatever circumstances you are, even if do not have means to do it, they still have to perform their prayers.

If someone completes and fulfills all of the obligations of the salah then he has the covenant with Allah swt. If somebody fails to meet the obligations then Allah swt might forgive him or punish him.

Hadith: An individual might finish the salah and recorded for him is 1/10, 1/9 ..... 1/3, 1/2 of the salah.

The fiqh says that as long as you fulfill the requirements of the salah, then you do not have to repeat it. That is why even munafeeq (hypocrite) can meet the requirements of the salah but whether their prayer is accepted or not is not the concern of the fiqh.

Why are some getting just 1/10 th of their salah or 1/2 of the salah recorded?

We have to make sure that our salah is not just proper according to the fiqh, but we are fulfilling the outward and inward requirements of the salah. And then salah would be a great reward for us.

One of the litmus tests to think about our salah is to go back to the verse of the Quran.

Verily the prayer will refrain an individual from wrongdoing and immorality (fahisha and munkar).

We have to ask whether our salah is keeping us from wrongdoing and immorality. Proper salah will keep and individual from wrong doings.

Ibn Uthaymeen says if one’s salah does not keep you away from fahisha and munkar, then your salah is drawing you far away from Allah swt. This is a very strong statement by ibn Uthaymeen.

#1 True appreciation and greatness of salah - Ta’adim wa qadr us salah

In your heart what place does salah have and what place should it have. We can bring plenty of text from Quran and Sunnah. Beyond the shahadah, the salah is the most important act of a Muslim.

The more dear is something to you, the more attention you will give to it. You will look forward to it, you will prepare for it.

If something attains a high level in your heart, then you will ignore everything that is happening around you. How many times are you looking forward to your next salah after you finish the salah.

Where is Allah in your heart?

Salah is the time where you are in direct contact with Allah swt. If you are in interaction with Allah swt, then it should increase the importance of Allah swt.

Just before the Prophet died, he said, the prayer the prayer and be careful of what your right hand possesses.

Prophet said that the first matter that will be judged will be your prayer, if it is sound then the rest of the matters will be sound, if it is lacking then the rest of the matters will be lacking.

Prophet said that between individual and kufr is the salah.

The most important thing for a Muslim should be his imaan. People can take away all of your worldly possessions, they can punish you, but they cannot enter your heart and take away your deen. Salah is the key to protecting it and growing the imaan in your heart.

That is the reason why salah is the first obligation after taking shahadah. Salah is one of the most essential acts.

There are couple of books with the title ta’adim wa qadr us salah. The book by Ahmad Farid is 150 pages and there is another book in three volumes who died in 390 Hijri. Both books are in Arabic.

#2 Understanding of what we are saying in our salah

This has been emphasized by many scholars. Salah begins with takbeer, scholars have discussed the importance of beginning the salah with takbeer.

ibn al Qayim said, when you say Allahu akbar, when you say that Allah is greater than anything, what you are saying is that Allah is more important than anything else in your heart. And from that time, you mind and heart will be concentrated on Allah swt.

In your salah you are gently reminded of this thing as you proceed in your salah.

We spent a number of lectures on Alhamdullilah and we spent a number of lectures on Subhanallah. These are key words of dhikr. These are key aspects of the salah.

By studying them in detail, you would have this understanding in your heart when you say these words of dhikr.

This also applies to surah Fatiha and to other surahs from the Quran.

Tabari said that I am astonished that there are people who read the Quran without understanding what they read, how can they benefit from it.

When you are reading Surah Fatiha in the salah, what is going on?

In the salah, you are standing in front of Allah swt. You should stand with qaniteen (very respectful way). You have to understand that Allah swt is listening to you and responding to you. When make takbeer, Allah swt is listening to you and responding to you.

Surah Fatiha has also been described as salah in Hadith Qudsi.

Hadith Qudsi: Allah swt is telling us, I have divided salah into seven parts between me and my abd. For my servant, he will get what he wants. The prophet said, When the servant says Alhamdulillahi rabil alamin, Allah swt says my servant has praised me. When the abd says rahman ur rahim, my lord says that my abd has glorified me ..... my servant has magnified me ..... this is between me and my servant and for my servant is what he asks ... this is for my servant and for my servant is what he asks.

How do you feel when you talk with somebody, they are not listening to you and ignoring you. Obviously it is not a good thing. When we stand in front of Allah swt and engaged in conversation with Allah swt and not even thinking about Allah swt then do you think that Allah swt will engage you in conversation.

In the middle of the fatiha, we make a statement, it is a promise we are making. When you promise, you better realize that you are making a promise, your heart should be into it, and you should be aware of what you are doing.

If salah is bunch of words without any khushuh, then the salah will not have any meaning.

When you come to a verse in a reading in your salah, that requires you to think and reflect, then it is proper to repeat it in your salah, this is for nafilah prayers.

Prophet spent one night in salah, repeating one verse. This is the verse which says that if you punish them, then they are you slaves and if you .... Musnad Ahmad and also Sahih ... quzaymah????

Prophet kept on pondering over this verse and repeating it in the salah.

The prophet when he came to verse that mention tasbeeh, he would make tasbeeh.... if he came to a verse of mercy, he would ask for mercy ......   this is for his night prayers.

You have to stop and think about the verses that you read in your salah. When you come across verses of punishment, you should seek forgiveness, when it talks about ...

It is a requirement of the salah to speak the words of your salah, you yourself should be able to hear it in your head, without disturbing others. When you pronounce each letter, you should be able to hear it. Salah is not just thinking, it is actually stating the words. When you say the words, it guarantees that there is possibility of you thinking about it.

When you pray without moving your lips, you will go faster in the salah without thinking about it. When you state each word and move your lips, you slow down the salah.

Sh demonstrated how some people perform the prayers without stating the words. And he says that it does make a difference when you make an effort to voice the words. People around you should not be able to hear the voicing of the words, only you should be able to hear it.

#3 Variety in what you say in your salah

It is important to avoid monotony and avoid making it a routine. If something is automatic, then your mind is not thinking, we want our mind to be thinking and not be on autopilot.

We know from the example of the Prophet, he did not make salah exactly the same way and he did not teach it in the same exact way. Again it depends whether the prayer is farida or nafilah.

One of the advantages of the book, The Prophet’s prayer described, he brings all of the hadith that described the Prophet’s prayers.

It is important for us to capture this sunnah.

Even the tashahud, there is more than one way to make it. We have tashahud of ibn Abbas, Ayesha, and others. Shaikh mentioned six tashahuds.

2013-10-01 Class Notes

Is it permissible to say the dua in your own language in the salah?

The Hanbali madhab restricts the dua to what is known as dua al Mashoor. If you say the dua in you own tongue would that help you in understanding the salah and get closer to Allah swt in your dua? So is it permissible to say the dua that has come down from the Prophet in your own language other than the Arabic language in the obligatory dua?

Outside the salah there is no question you can make dua in your own language, we are talking about in the  salah, can you say the dua in your own language?

The translation might not capture the entire meaning, but it could be close to the meaning of the dua said by the Prophet?

If it is permissible then you would get closer to Allah swt in the salah, until you understand the words in Arabic and start understanding the Arabic language.

There is a fatwa from a group of scholars in Saudia Arabia, who were conservative scholars such as ....

They were asked whether an individual can make dua in his native language in the salah.

Their response is that the individual could make dua to his lord quietly, they cannot make dua for something that is haraam. You can make dua inside the salah and outside the salah in any language that is known to him, his salah is not made invalid. However he should do his best to narrate the dua made by the Prophet and give its proper due and its proper weight etc.

Their opinion is very clear.

It is surprising to the Shaikh that they did not even recommend or say that it is better to say it in Arabic. They said that you can say the dua in whatever language you wish.

The Shafi madhab says that the Quran should be said in Arabic because in any other language is not the Quran.

Abu Hanifa said that you can recite the Surah Fatiha in Farsi, but his students objected. And may be he changed his mind later on, this was for the recitation in the salah.

If somebody knows both English and Arabic, then he should say the dua including the tashahud and adhan in Arabic.

Some other Shafi scholars have a difference of opinion. They say that saying dua in language other than Arabic would invalidate your salah. This is one opinion of the Shafi. Other scholars in the Shafi madhab say that if somebody does not have the ability to say the dua in Arabic then they can do so in their language. However things that are obligatory in the salah such as salaam and tashahud must be said in Arabic, however the dua that are not obligatory they can say it in their own language.

The Hanafis say that to make dua in any language other than Arabic is makrooh. When Hanafis say makrooh al tahrim, it means close to haram in other madhabs.

There is no clear text that pushes the argument from one side to other side about saying dua in language other than Arabic.

To say the words in Arabic and to memorize them and learn them in Arabic, there are lots of benefits, because you will be certain of the words that are supposed to be said in the language, you will become closer to the Arabic language, the language impacts your thought process and your aqeedah, etc

It is best and preferred to say the dua in Arabic. However if someone does not have the ability to do so in Arabic then there is no clear evidence to show that they cannot make the dua in some other language than Arabic.

Sh Abdul Karim al Khudayr was asked by an individual that he cannot speak Arabic and can he make the dua in his language until he learns Arabic.

He said that it is permissible to make dua in other language if you do not know Arabic. However it is must for every Muslim to learn the dua in Arabic.

Even if Arabic is not your language, it is better if you understand the meaning of the words that you are speaking, so when you say it in Arabic, you become more familiar with the terms and language of the Quran. It is good to know Arabic.

However if you make dua without any understanding, there is no feeling whatsoever in your heart, then it is better to say the dua in your native language.

With regards to make dua on your in the salah, it is better if you leave it for the nafila salah, since this salah is more flexible. You don't want to put at risk your obligatory prayers.

For most people who embrace Islam, there is heavy emphasis for them to say everything in Arabic. They are told if they don’t know Surah Fatiha to say the tasbeeh.

The converts when they are forced to say the words without understanding, they might not get closer to Allah swt. They should try to grasp and understand the words of the dua.

The thoughts in your mind is not dua, Allah swt knows what is in your heart and mind. However you have to make an effort to make the dua. You have to say the words for the dua. You have to go through the effort of making dua and making salah.

You are closest to Allah swt during the sajdah and we will discuss the dua you can make during the sajdah.

Allah swt says that the abd does not get closer to him with anything other than the obligatory deeds, however after the obligatory deeds, the nafila deeds are also important.

How to handle the disruptions that come from the shaytan?

The shaytan is the greatest enemy of the mankind and if he can obstruct you from making salah, then it is victory for him.

Hadith: When the call for prayer is made, the shaytan flees and when the call is over, he comes to the individual to make the individual think about .... and he comes between the individual and his heart and he makes him remember this, remember that ...  

All of the things that he did not even remember before the salah. That is the reason why we seek refuge from the shaytan in Allah swt. When we read the Quran, he will come to us. When we say audubillashaytannirrjeem, we have to meant it. Should we say it before the first rakah or for each rakah.

Hadith: Someone came to the Prophet and asked about the shaytan confusing him in his salah. The Prophet said that is the devil that is known as ...khanzah?????, if you feel his presence, then seek refuge in Allah swt, the you turn your head to the left and make a dry spit. The sahabi said that I did that and the shaytan went away from me.

Whenever you feel that your concentration is waning because of the shaytan, you should seek refuge by saying the dua. This is the part of the salah and you can do this whether you are standing or sitting. However if you are in congregational prayer, one scholar said that if you are in the last row on the left then you can do the action of dry spit. Some say you can do it in your witra???? your dress???

When you feel that you are being bombarded in your thoughts during the salah, then seek refuge. You should be sincere and strong in your dua to seek refuge, that would be better. If you say it in the beginning of each rakah, it does not invalidate your salah.

Does losing your concentration during the salah, invalidate your salah? Should you repeat your prayers?

You have to be very careful. The shaytan can get you to feel that you are not fulfilling the act of prayer, he will come and say that you did not say Surah Fatiha properly. This is another trap of the shaytan.

When you are disturbed in your prayers it is known as waswasa. This also happens with wudu, the waswasa whether you did wudu or not.

Does waswasa invalidate your salah?

The waswasa does not invalidate the salah, it reduces the ajr of the salah. Sh Abdul Aziz bin Baaz said that the individual would get reward for only the part he was in concentrating in the salah. There is hadith of the reward that an individual would benefit from the salah.

Ibn Taymiyyah said the straying thoughts in your mind does not invalidate the salah if it is small amount, but it does reduce the ajr. He quoted ibn Abbas that you will not get reward for the portion that you were not concentrating.

Ibn Taymiyyah said that the nafila prayer were sanctioned for making up this shortcoming in your salah. The person would be accounted for his obligatory deeds on the day of the judgement. ....

ibn Taymiyyah says that the waswasa that dominates the salah, you have to repeat the salah since it is invalid. However ibn Taymiyyah is not leading towards this strong statement.

The Prophet said that if you too much waswasa you should make two more sajdah in your salah. Ibn Taymiyyah said that the Prophet did not distinguish between the small amount and large amount of waswasa.

Ibn Taymiyyah said the less amount of waswasa is better than large amount of waswasa. If a person makes wudu and thinks about Allah and the salah before making the salah.

He gives more advice about how to improve the salah.

The salah was made most beloved to the Prophet. The more you understand Allah and the more you know about Allah, then you will encounter this in the salah and it will improve your salah and keep you away from the waswasa.

He also gives some advice on the negatives to avoid which we will discuss next time, Insha-allah.

2013-10-08 Class Notes

How to improve the quality of our salah?

We should have an appreciation of what we say in our salah which would help us concentrate in our salah.

We should actually pronounce every word instead of just saying it in our mind. We will be more conscious of the words in our head.

Appreciation of the various movements of the salah

We should have some appreciation of the movements of the salah and what they signify and how beautiful they are. Ibn Qayyim published a book called “The sweetness of the salah” and he emphasized the significance of the various movements of the salah.

Even before we come to the prayer and allowed to participate in the action, we should fulfill some pre-requisite, which is the state of taharah. This signifies the importance of the action that we are going to perform and that we are fit in order to participate in the action, and that is to purify ourselves.

Quran: Allah swt loves those who repent and those who purify themselves.

The sunnah after you make wudu is that you make shahadah and make the dua, Oh Allah make me from those who repent and those who purify themselves.

The shahadah is purification from shirk. The taubah is purification from sin and the actual purification is the physical purification.

We are going to stand in front of Allah swt in essence.

Hadith: Prophet told us, when someone stands for the prayer, he is now entering into private conversation with his Lord. In another hadith, his Lord is between him and the Qiblah.

Making sure that we face the Qiblah, reminds us that our purpose and our direction is always one, no matter where we are and whatever be our circumstances. Our purpose and our goal is always same and doesn't change, our goal is to serve the Lord of this house, the Kaabah.

When you put one hand over the hand on the chest, we know this is the sunnah, however there is no hadith that tells us why we stand this way. Scholars say that this is a position of humility. When you stand in front of someone whom you respect, you will pay attention to how you appear in front of them. We should show complete humility and complete submission to Allah swt.

It is not from the sunnah of the salah to look around, since you will be distracted. Your gaze should be where you will make sajdah and when you sit, it should be where you make shahadah. When you look around, the shaytan will steal your attention. We have been given guidance about where we look in our salah.

Can we close our eyes in the salah? If we want to concentrate and maximize our attention in the salah, then should we close our eyes during the salah.

Most scholars say it is makrooh. Haram is rather strong, unless the person does it every time. Some people say it is the practice of the Jews. The sunnah is not to close your eyes. If you have to do that to catch your concentration during the salah, then it is okay to do so for a few moments but your eyes should be open.

There is a great deal of conjecture about the importance of keeping our eyes open during the salah and shaikh refuses to get into it.

When you bow, you are showing that you submit to Allah swt.

Even the finger in the tashahhud, to raise your finger and to hold it, regardless of whether your raise it, how long you raise it, etc, regardless of these differences, it shows us the importance of the shahadah.

Hadith: It represents la ilaha illallah.

Even those who feel that it is insignificant, in reality it is a strong indication against the shaytan.

The prostration is the greatest sign of showing humility and submissiveness to Allah swt. You are willing to put the most noble part of the human anatomy, the face, to the ground.

In many religions, the sajdah is lost. The idolaters do make sajdah to their idols.

The willingness to prostrate when Allah swt orders to prostrate, compare it to the command of Allah swt to Iblis to prostrate to Adam, he turned away and refused to obey the command from Allah swt and this is the main reason why he has been punished.

We will not be like those people who refuse to obey the command of prostration from Allah swt.

Quran: On the day of judgement, the day when the shin of Allah swt will be uncovered, the people who refused to prostrate when they were alive, they will be asked to prostrate but will not be able to do, because they refused to prostrate when they had the ability, for that reason, Allah swt will not give them the ability to do so.

اذكر { يوم يكشف عن ساق } هو عبارة عن شدة الأمر يوم القيامة للحساب والجزاء، يقال: كشفت الحرب عن ساق: إذا اشتد الأمر فيها { ويدعوْن إلى السجود } امتحاناً لإيمانهم { فلا يستطيعون } تصير ظهورهم طبقاً واحداً.

{ خاشعة } حال من ضمير يدعون، أي ذليلة { أبصارهم } لا يرفعونها { ترهقهم } تغشاهم { ذلة وقد كانوا يدعوْن } في الدنيا { إلى السجود وهم سالمون } فلا يأتون به بأن لا يصلوا.

68:42 Sahih International: The Day the shin will be uncovered and they are invited to prostration but the disbelievers will not be able,

68:43 Sahih International: Their eyes humbled, humiliation will cover them. And they used to be invited to prostration while they were sound.

Hadith: Prophet was asked, inform me of a deed that when I perform it I will enter jannah. The Prophet replied, if you want to know the deed that will allow you to enter jannah, then increase your prostrations to Allah swt.

Here prostrations means salah, however this movement of the salah has been highlighted in the hadith.

Hadith: Nobody makes sajdah and Allah swt raises the level of his deen????

.... said, we should have the sajdah of the heart. If you do physical sajdah and if your heart is not submitting and making sajdah then your sajdah is useless???

The sajdah of the heart should be always there, whether you are in the salah or outside the salah.

Toma’aninah of the salah. All your bones should be in tranquility after a movement. This tranquility should remind us ...

Hadith: When the man did not pray properly, the prophet told him to go back and pray again, this happened repeatedly, until the man asked the prophet to show him how to pray. Prophet told him to bow until your bones come to rest and similarly when you rise.....

The Hanafi madhab does not fulfill this quality in the salah. The situation has gone so bad, that it is a sign of how they pray. They do not fulfill this hadith because of they feel it is something extra in the salah.

... scholar of Hanafi madhab said that toma’ninah is one of the arkaans of the salah.

Most of the Arab Hanafis behind whom the Sh has prayed, he found that they practice toma’aninah in the salah. This hurrying between movements of the salah is found from countries east of Turkey.

Toma’aninah is wajib in the salah and not fard according to .....

Ibn Abeedin says that if someone does not toma’aninah in the salah then it is obligatory for him to make the extra sajdah in the salah.

We should have a good physical environment for the prayer.

Our environment affects us. When we prepare for an exam, we try to find a nice quiet place to study. We want to study without any distractions. If that is true for studies, don’t you think it is true for the salah.

When it comes to salah, we don't take the noises in the environment any consideration. We should be conscious of our environment

Surah Muzammil when the Prophet was ordered to pray during the night, half of it or less than that. Allah swt made the night prayers or tahajjud obligatory for the Prophet.

Allah swt said that this is a heavy burden for the Prophet. The hours of the night are made for contemplation and for getting closer to Allah swt ..... the day has many obligations ...

The prophet has given us many examples, which should make us think, Insha-allah.

Hadith: Ayesha had a thick curtain with some designs on it. The Prophet ordered her to remove them because their designs are distracting me while I pray. There is another similar hadith.

The place where you choose to pray, could have lot of things to distract you. If they catch your eye, they will distract you.

The masjid should be simple because of its purpose and its goal, so that we can have proper khushoo during the salah.

The Prophet gave a garment away that was distracting.

Compare that to what people wear to the masjids, T-shirts with printed slogans and designs. If your T-Shirt has a saying which is funny, it is natural that it will distract others who pray behind you.

Hadith: Praying behind people who are talking. Prophet told us, do not pray behind one who is sleeping or one who is talking.

Al Albaani says that it is hasan. Shaikh is not convinced that this hadith is hasan. Other scholars say it is weak. But the principle is clear.

Unfortunately we have accepted this as a norm, it does not even bother us that we are not able to attain this level of concentration during our salah. Shaikh enumerated all of the disturbances that exist in our masaajid during the salah.

And he stopped, as he was just about to discuss the practice of bringing very small children to the prayers.

There is no class next week due to Eid ul Adha. However the Shaikh will send a recorded lecture to end the quarter.

May Allah swt protect our Shaikh and grant him jannah. Amin.