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Forty Hadith of Nawawi

Forty Hadith of al-Nawawi

2013 Winter Session (January 15 to March 19 2013)

Class taught by Shaikh Jamaal Zarabozo

Course Outline:

Discussion of Hadith #23, “Purification is half of the faith…,” starting with, “Al-Hamdulillah fills the scale…”  

Recommended Textbook:

Commentary on the 40 Hadith of al Nawawi by Jamaal Zarabozo

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. ‘Al-hamdu lillah’ fills the scales, and ‘subhan-Allah and ‘Al-hamdulillah’ together fill or individually 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].

2013-01-15 Class Notes

In general everybody has a primary language by which they understand and filter everything they hear. The concepts that you use and understand is primarily English. The second generation Muslims think in English even if their parents speak Arabic or some other language.

Some languages are related to each other, they are closely related. But in some other languages there is no commonality. If you translate from a Semitic language like Arabic and translate it into English, there is no commonality among those languages.

The text of Quran and Sunnah are in Arabic and there are some concepts in Arabic that are difficult to translate. Last quarter we spent an entire lecture understanding the Arabic/Islamic concept of Hamd. This is one of the most important concept in Islam that we have to learn.

We should not just map Arabic terms into English, we have to strive and understand what those key concepts mean, these concepts are rooted in the Arabic language. We have to understand the concept as well as the word.

When you hear the word Hamd, you should not jump to praise, you have to get to a point when you hear Hamd, then the meaning that is in your mind is that of the entire concept of Hamd. This should be true for many of the key concepts, such as uboodiyah, taqwa, ilah, etc.

When you think Hamd, it is a feeling of praise, admiration, gratitude, praise, feeling of thanking the object of praise, feeling of lowering yourself to the one to whom we give Hamd, ....

The word praise does not capture all of the feelings that we have discussed and described. Praise in secular speech does not come anywhere near what Hamd means.

We also discussed similar terms in Arabic language to Hamd which are shukr, madh, thana and majd.

The Islamic concept of Hamd, you give praise for the attributes that the object of praise has, but also for the actions for the object of praise has done, you also give thanks for actions that are done to you and to others with whom you might not have direct relationship, you give thanks for the action performed out of their will and are not forced by others.

You perform Hamd by your tongue and your heart and also by your actions. Hamd encompasses shukr but not vice versa. One of the aspects of true shukr is to .... which is also part of Hamd.

Hamd must include love for the one who are performing Hamd for.

When you make hamd, you are trying to express Allah’s greatness and affection, you realize that you cannot truly express it, but you can try.

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ إِذَا رَأَى مَا يُحِبُّ قَالَ ‏"‏ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي بِنِعْمَتِهِ تَتِمُّ الصَّالِحَاتُ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ وَإِذَا رَأَى مَا يَكْرَهُ قَالَ ‏"‏ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ عَلَى كُلِّ حَالٍ ‏"‏

Even in times of difficulty, you should perform Hamd. Under all circumstances you should perform Hamd. When things look difficult for you, even those things you should perform Hamd to Allah. This is difficult for atheists and others to comprehend, when catastrophes and calamities that fall upon them. Even though you cannot see the wisdom or benefit behind it, you realize that even in those circumstances, Allah swt is deserving of Hamd.

The word praise in English, if you are familiar with some writings by Hardy, you can see this influence. However the encyclopedia does not go into these details. There is no question that there is a difference between praise and Hamd.

We should begin to understand Hamd as Hamd.

Another example is the word Rahman, it does not map just to the word beneficent.

We are discussing the phrase “Al Hamdulillah”.  الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ  The prefix “Al” before Al Hamd makes the word general.

Quran: To Allah belongs all of the Hamd.

When we are saying الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ we are not saying “praise be to Allah”. The Arabic says “all praise belongs to Allah”. Allah swt is the only one who is deserving of complete praise due to his attributes and actions.

Even when human beings are praised or their actions being praised, is this also a praise of Allah swt? So if an atheist is praising some human being for their actions is he still indirectly even though he might not know that he is praising Allah swt?

Mawdudi in his commentary says, all praise be to God alone, wherever there be beauty and ... it does not exist without Allah, they do not exist due to their innate nature, but it is due to the creator of excellence.....

Ar Razi points out that in general when human beings perform some excellent actions with the exception of one type of action, there is going to be a deficiency that is not deserving of praise.

The only one who does not need recognition for the actions is Allah swt, everything else when they perform actions there is some reason or need behind it.

Quran: To him belongs the praise, the first and the last.

Allah swt emphasizes certain type of phrase, to him belongs praise in this world....  He is not deserving of the praise just now, but for all time and for all ..... it is the most general type of deserving of praise.

Different types of Laam

1. Laam of exclusiveness and

2. Laam of ownership and

3. Laam of having a right or deservingness

Al Hamdulillah is a complete sentence, it is an equational sentence, jumlaatul ismiyah (الجملة الاسمية)

In Arabic language you have sentences that have verbs and sentences that do not have verbs. In this sentence, there is no verb.

A verb is related to time. Whereas an equational statement implies permanence, it is true at all times, it is an axiom of fact. Simply by usage of time, you are implying a duration of time, but when you use equational statements, you imply continuity and permanence.

The equational sentence is also a statement of fact. All praise belongs to Allah swt alone. It is a statement of fact, but it still requires a result from our part. It is khabar but its meaning is insha. When you recognize the fact, then it should mean something and it should have some ramifications on you, the first thing you should do is praise Allah swt. Your heart should be filled with hamd of Allah swt.

Hadith: The most virtuous dua is al hamdulillah.

جَابِرَ بْنَ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، يَقُولُ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ يَقُولُ ‏ "‏ أَفْضَلُ الذِّكْرِ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَأَفْضَلُ الدُّعَاءِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ ‏"‏

All forms of dhikr are dua according to .....

How is Alhamdulillah a dua?

You can state shahadah as a statement of fact, or as a statement of what you intend to live by which is a statement of volition or insha. Can you state the shahadah as a dua? Yes, You are hoping that Allah swt would help you fulfill the shahadah.

One of the interpretations of Suyuti is that it is dua because of remembrance of Allah swt and it is seeking one’s needs. You are praising Allah for the bounties that he has given you and you show gratitude to him ..

Sahih International Surat Ibrahim 14:7

And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, 'If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.' "

Ibn Taymiyyah has a slightly different interpretations of the above hadith that it is dua. Prophet has called it a dua, but is a pure statement of faith. However hamd must be inclusive of love and faith. Having love towards the person you are making dua, it is the highest form of seeking, you are seeking Allah swt’s love for you. When you say alhamdulillah, your desire is to get closer to Allah swt and you are seeking his love.  As such you are most deserving of calling it a dua....

When you say alhamdulillah, you are acknowledging his right to be worshipped, you are acknowledging all his qualities and attributes and all his bounties and seeking his protection all of these are seeking of his help.

Quran: Surah Kahf verse 46

Quran: Surah Maryam verse ...

What is the meaning of baqihatu saliha?  

This is another term that you have to understand in depth and not just map it to a simple English word. Tafseer ibn Katheer has so many reports about baqihatu saliha...  

Hadith: Subhanalllah alhamdullilah la ilaha illah, allahu akbar, these are baqihatu saliha.

These statements if they guide your life, then they will guide you everywhere in this life and the hereafter.

ibn Dujay wrote that if you understand the universal nature of alhamdulillah, ....

Scholars say alhamdullilah encompasses la ilaha illallah. When you say alhamd you can only understand it by understanding lailaha.

Qurtubi says that alhamdulilah is more virtuous than lailaha since it encompasses tawheed with the concept of hamd.

Being guided by Allah to give hamd is a better blessing that you may have received to say alhamdulilah.

Hadith: Allah swt does not bless any servant with bounty except for the bounty of making him say alhamdulilah.

Two christian writers who wrote about Hamd have captured it, when you give hamd for Allah swt, this feeling of hamd is a new experience that adds to that feeling and it makes you realize that the feeling of saying alhamdulilah is going to give you greater joy than anything that Allah swt can give you in this life.

This true feeling of alhamdulilah will give you a true feeling of uboodiyah. And when he sees this creation, he is striving to say hamd and get even closer to Allah swt.

Alhamdulilah is a very important Islamic concept and you should not rely on some lesser english meaning that arise in your heart when you say it.

Next we discussed how some of the translations of Quran handle alhamdulilah. We saw that they were many different variations, so the best approach is to truly understand the concept of alhamdulilah as we have done today and have that in our heart when we say alhamdulilah.

2013-01-22 Class Notes

We are discussing the phrase “Alhamdulillah fills the scale”. Last time we discussed the concept of Hamd and the ramifications of “al” in front of Hamd and the fact that this is equational (noun) sentence.

La + Allah when you combine them in Arabic, you drop the Aliph and then you are faced with three Laams, so for brevity your drop one more Laam and you end up with Allah at the end of the phrase Alhamdulillah.

Discussion of the names of Allah

Allah is the proper name for the creator and sustainer. The word Allah does not have a plural. The word ilah which means deity can have plural. The word Allah does not have a feminine equivalent either. This name is worthy of the supreme being.

Most scholars believe that belief in a supreme being is something that is fitri. Almost every people you encounter on the Earth, almost all of them have some believe in some supreme being above humanity. And that this supreme being is very close to our belief in Allah (SWT) -- e.g. among the Zulus, Ahmad Deedat said that when he talked to them they said his name, meant that this being is a pure and holy spirit and he does not beget nor is he begotten and there is nothing like him.

What distinguishes the word Allah from his other names is that the name Allah encompasses all the other names, but referring to specific names only indirectly refers to Allah.

Quran: Wa lillahi usma al husna

Allah swt has beautiful names so invoke him by the names (

ولله الأسماء الحسنى فادعوه بها وذروا الذين يلحدون في أسمائه سيجزون ما كانوا يعملون

Sahih International

And to Allah belong the best names, so invoke Him by them. And leave [the company of] those who practice deviation concerning His names. They will be recompensed for what they have been doing.

The name Allah is unique in many senses, it encompasses all of the other attributes, so when you say this name, you refer to all of the attributes.

Hadith: Allah has 99 names, 100 minus 1.

He used the word lillah and did not use any other name

Surah Hashar

هو الله الذي لا إله إلا هو عالم الغيب والشهادة هو الرحمن الرحيم

Sahih International

He is Allah , other than whom there is no deity, Knower of the unseen and the witnessed. He is the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.

He begins the verses by the name Allah and then he mentions all of the other names.

If you say a dua and say Rahman, you are only indirectly referring to the other names and attributes, but when you say Allah or Allah Humma (which is a form in Arabic that is familiar to Ya Allah), you refer to all other names.

Scholars say that this name is only used for Allah SWT. The arabs had many idols that they used to worship, but they used the name Allah only for the creator, which was above the partners they were associating with.

The message that the Prophet came with was not just belief in Allah, but we will not submit to anyone else other than Allah. This was the reason why the idolaters had difficulty with tauheed, they knew Allah but had difficulty letting go of worship of their idols.

Quran: If you were to ask them who created the heavens and earth, they say Allah. Say alhamdullilah, but unfortunately most of them do not understand.

Is the name Allah derived name or not derived from any other name?

In Arabic language, there are words that are derived from other words. For example, the word Rahman is from the fact that Allah swt is most merciful. Scholars debate whether Allah comes from any root word or is it unique by itself and has no connection with any other root word, ismun jamiah.

If we say Allah is the proper name of Allah, then we could argue that this was his proper name even before the Arabic language came into being. So they question that how this name came to exist if it is a derived name. That is not what they mean, and this is not what the scholars are talking about.

Ibn Qayim says that when we say that the name is derived, we mean that there is a relationship between the word and the name. They do not debate about the chicken and egg problem with the name Allah and the language.

There are two main opinions about this issue. The main opinion is that the name is not a derived name and it does not have any relationship with any other word of the Arabic language.

Some say the word Allah is derived from Al Ilah. The word Ilah means god. Al Ilah means “the god”. And they say that over time, the Arabic language drops a letter to make it easy to say. For example the word “Khair”, it means better than. It does not look like Afdhal or Akbar. But it is Akhiyar and over time it was dropped and it became Khair.

But this theory has a problem, since the word Al Ilah does exist in the Arabic language. There are some people who are named Abdul-Ilah.

Also if it was the definite Al then it would have been dropped for example you say Yaa Ustaad and not Yaa Al Ustaad. But we never drop Al when we say Yaa Allah.

The name Allah is a proper name and it does not have any relationship with any other word. This is the opinion of sibawayh and many other scholars.

Many scholars of hadith say that it is derived, which means it is related to some other words. They differ on what it is related to. We will discuss some examples of which words is Allah related to.

There is an Arabic word -- alaha -- أله -- or aliha -- means to serve or to worship. So the word ilaah derives from this. So Allah is the one who is worshipped: المألوه.

Another word is aliha -- which means he was or became confounded or perplexed and was unable to see the correct course. Why would a scholar say the word Allah is related to aliha? These are the opinions of well known scholars.

What is the relationship between being bewildered and Allah swt?

If you try to ponder over Allah’s greatness, his knowledge, his ability, and try to figure out how it could be, we cannot fathom his majesty. Eventually his majesty and greatness, we will be in a state of bewilderment with respect to Allah swt. And you come to the conclusion that there is nothing like him. And we realize that we have to worship Allah swt. And nobody else is deserving of our worship. And this is the reasoning used by the scholar to go from the word Allah to aliha. Edit: Sh is not convinced by this reasoning either.

Alaha Hu الهه or Aleha ilaihi is another example of related word. He because of fright of fear sought protection with him. Aleha is the being that preserves and protects.

Conclusion: Allah is the name of Allah. It either is distinct without any relationship to other words, or some say it is related to another word and the word that they agree on most related is Al Ilah.

How to translate or define the word Allah?

When some people translate the Quran, specially the most recent ones, they translate Allah as God. What do you think about it?

Should the word Allah be left as is and not be translated?

When you are making dawah, they might think of the word Allah as some foreign entity and not the one who sent Isa or Musa. But let’s say we get beyond dawah. If you were to give the definition of the word Allah, how would you define it?

Supreme being is the typical definition given nowadays. Some of the definitions of Allah they use the following: God, Supreme Being, Ultimate Reality, Ruler and Creator of the Universe,

When you are making dawah, would it be better for you to use a word that would identify with the god of the bible?

If you go to the Old Testament, you see that god wrestles with Yakub and loses to him, in another verse there is a reference to a drunk god, or a god who is repentant about creating human being.

So when you talk to somebody who is Jewish or Christian, they have this problematic understanding of God. There is also the confusion about the Trinity.

So wouldn’t it be better if you use the word Allah when giving dawah and tell them that Allah is the one who brought Dawood and Isa and Musa.

This is a difficult aspect related to dawah and translations, since the concepts are already in the mind. How do you make sure they understand the correct concept, and we will come back to this topic later.

We know that Allah has the greatest name, is Allah the greatest name of Allah?

It is referred to in a number of hadith. In a hadith, prophet said, the greatest name of Allah is found in these verses. The greatest name of Allah is also referred in another Hadith. So the concept of a greatest name of Allah is okay.

Hadith or Quran: If you ask him by this name, he will respond, he will give what you want and respond.

If the greatest name is not Allah, then what is it?

The word Rahmah and Allah have one thing in common, both of them cannot be used to refer to anybody other than Allah, they both have qualities of uniqueness.

Hadith: One time the Prophet heard an individual say, Oh Allah, I am asking you, by bearing witness that you are ahad, samad and there is nobody similar to you, then the Prophet said, you have made the dua by Allah’s greatest names and if you ask him by that name, he will respond to them...

Similarly in another hadith there is a reference to a dua said by somebody and on hearing it, the Prophet said the same as in the above hadith.

The problem is that in all of these hadith, the word used for Allah is Allah and some other names.

But the greatest evidence is that the name Allah is the greatest name of Allah, since the name Allah is there in all of these hadith.

Some scholars say that the greatest name of Allah is hidden, just like Laylatul Qadr. So Allah swt has not given us explicitly, so we turn to all of these names, and hope that all of them are the greatest names of Allah.

There is no evidence that Allah swt has given the knowledge of his greatest name to some of his creatures. Some people believe that this knowledge is given to some awliyah. There is no such evidence, even though some might claim that.

We have discussed the meaning of Hamd and the construction of Alhamdulillah, and the word Allah.

When you look at Pickthall, who translates it as praise be to Allah, so does Yusuf Ali. Couple others translate it as praise belongs to Allah or all praise is due to Allah. Muhsin Khan Hilali says All Praise belongs to Allah.

How much of the phrase Alhamdulillah is captured by these translations?

Quote from Rashad Khalil: Anyone who does not know Arabic, does not know Islam. Some say that you do not need to know Arabic to know the Quran, this is false. You cannot know the Quran if you do not know Arabic.

We will discuss this quote next time.

Footnote: These are fighting words or strong words. When some Arabs hear fighting words they say “May Allah guide you.” When we ask in English we start with the third person. In Arabic we start with the first person and then ask for the third person. One of Sh Jamaal’s friend would say “Oh Allah guide me and guide him.”

2013-01-29 Class Notes

We are discussing the phrase Alhamdulillah fills the scale. Alhamdulillah is a very powerful expression since Arabic language is heavily root related, and we can derive many in depth meanings of phrases because of this characteristic of the Arabic language.

An english translation captures less than 10% of the original meaning of the Arabic text. One of the problem in English is that the phrase, praise be to god, does not capture the meaning, but you can go ahead and explain it in depth by relying on commentary and footnotes.

The King Fahd Complex in Madinah contacted Shaikh to produce another translation of the Qur’an and he advised them that we need a translation with commentary, but they did not like the idea at all.

Sheikh proposed three levels of translation: a one volume work, a Maududi sized work, and a Razi sized work.

The problem is that the person thinks he knows what the verse means, but he’s actually missing a lot.

Classroom discussion of the Rashad Khalil quote

Rashad Khalil says that “Anyone who does not know Arabic, does not know Islam, and I say that frankly, .... whoever does not know Arabic does not know the Qur’an.”

The quality of the works in English is much more improved compare to the time when Rashad Khalil made this quote, he used to live in the US and was familiar with the works available in English.

There is significant material available in different languages.

You are missing a whole lot by not knowing Arabic.

The statement is a bit harsh.

To be a student of Islam, you have to be a student of the Arabic language, it is a requirement to be fluent in Arabic in order to be a true student of Islam.

You won’t appreciate the miraculous nature of the Quran.

Discussion of Rashad Khalil Quote

Ibn Taymiyyah said that Arabic Quran is from the religion and it is an obligation, since understanding the Qur’an and Sunnah is an obligation, and understanding Arabic is necessary for understanding the Qur’an and Sunnah, then it too becomes obligatory.

There is a level of understanding of Islam that you can get without understanding Arabic language, as compared to the time of Ibn Taymiyyah.

Even those people who know both English and Arabic, and it is Shaikh’s experience that those people who know both, when they read Islam in English, they dont get the same feeling at all. When you see words in Arabic, only one meaning comes to your mind. Shaikh wrote Allah in Arabic and English, and say that the Arabic text puts them in a context of mind that is different than in English.

Shaikh also wrote Shariah in Arabic and in the manner that Arabic is written nowadays using 3 and other letters, such as Shari3h.

Even the translated passage of Ibn Taymiyyah, Shaikh had trouble reading it in English. The word Deen when read in the translation as religion does not invoke the same feeling as in Arabic. Religion is very much secularized and it does not have the same effect.

Some words in English might have a positive connotation due to societal influences and other reasons, but in the seerah it might not have the same connotation at all. Does Jew and yahood in Arabic give the same connotation?

Ben Gurion University did a study on bilinguals, when they think in different language, their thinking changes. Arabic Hebrew bilingual has more positive attitude towards Jews when tested in Hebrew when they were asked the same question in the Arabic language. This shows language can have an effect on how you see things. A famous Italian movie maker said the a different language is a different vision of life.

Linguistic Relativity [Sapir Whorf Hypothesis or The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis]

The principle of linguistic relativity holds that the structure of a language affects the ways in which its speakers conceptualize their world, i.e. their world view, or otherwise influences their cognitive processes. Popularly known as the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis, or Whorfianism, the principle is often defined as having two versions: (i) the strong version that language determines thought and that linguistic categories limit and determine cognitive categories and (ii) the weak version that linguistic categories and usage influence thought and certain kinds of non-linguistic behaviour.

The Sapir-Whorf theory, named after the American linguists Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf, is a mould theory of language. Writing in 1929, Sapir argued in a classic passage that:

Human beings do not live in the objective world alone, nor alone in the world of social activity as ordinarily understood, but are very much at the mercy of the particular language which has become the medium of expression for their society. It is quite an illusion to imagine that one adjusts to reality essentially without the use of language and that language is merely an incidental means of solving specific problems of communication or reflection. The fact of the matter is that the 'real world' is to a large extent unconsciously built upon the language habits of the group. No two languages are ever sufficiently similar to be considered as representing the same social reality. The worlds in which different societies live are distinct worlds, not merely the same world with different labels attached... We see and hear and otherwise experience very largely as we do because the language habits of our community predispose certain choices of interpretation. (Sapir 1958 [1929], p. 69)

This position was extended in the 1930s by his student Whorf, who, in another widely cited passage, declared that:

We dissect nature along lines laid down by our native languages. The categories and types that we isolate from the world of phenomena we do not find there because they stare every observer in the face; on the contrary, the world is presented in a kaleidoscopic flux of impressions which has to be organized by our minds - and this means largely by the linguistic systems in our minds. We cut nature up, organize it into concepts, and ascribe significances as we do, largely because we are parties to an agreement to organize it in this way - an agreement that holds throughout our speech community and is codified in the patterns of our language. The agreement is, of course, an implicit and unstated one, but its terms are absolutely obligatory; we cannot talk at all except by subscribing to the organization and classification of data which the agreement decrees. (Whorf 1940, pp. 213-14; his emphasis)

The Sapir Whorf Hypothesis later developed into a theory called linguistic relativity. It was critiqued by many scholars. Noam Chomsky and Steven Pinker attacked this theory and it lost popularity in 1980s. After the lean years, they found a lot of hypothesis that supported this theory.

Sexist language - People will go out of the way to refer to people in the third person plural. In the past it was third person masculine and it is known as sexist language. So some people go out of their way to use she instead of he. This is because language affects thought. Cognitive Psychologists have done a lot of empirical research to back up this theory.

There was a study at the University of Michigan between Hebrew, English and Finish. There is no gender marking in Finnish. Children who spoke Hebrew identified their gender much earlier than those who spoke English and Finnish, since Hebrew has much more support for gender marking in speech.

Ibn Taymiyyah says using language has a profound effect on one’s thinking, reasoning and commitment ..... If you are going to speak Arabic, you are setting an approach.

Imam Shafie wrote Risalah, it is one of the first book on Usool al Fiqh, and much of it is dedicated to the Arabic language. Part of his goal, which was 200 years after the Prophet, the Arabic language was being corrupted and the way it was used by the Sahabah, and his goal was to try and correct the way Arabic language was being used.

.... lived 150 years after the Prophet and he spoke with a famous Mutazillih named Amar who was a non Arab but spoke Arabic. ... said to Amar that you are an ajami (foreigner) not in your language but in your thinking.

The first time innovation started to creep into Islam specially related to Aqeedah, when people who were not Arabs embraced Islam, because some of their thinking ....

Arabic language is much close to the fitra of the human being, there is a stress on the meaning of words and characters of things.

One of the characteristics of the Arabic language is on the meaning of words and characters of things. There was a time when Daar Al Hikham was established in Baghdad. The purpose was to translate all the Greek works into Arabic. This had a dramatic effects in the number of Bid’a.

Advent of Greek Philosophy

For example, later Islamic scholars talk about الذات or الماهية. Dhaat means the essence of something, maahiah means the nature of something. But you never see these words in the Qur’an. In the time of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) dhaat existed, but meant something else. But if you read books on the Aqeedah after foreign influence, you see this way of thinking entering into Islam.

The Qur’an tells us all about the attributes of Allah, but not about His essence. When the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was asked about the Ruh, he said it is from the command of your lord. So this way of thinking about the essence of Allah, this was the influence of foreign thought on Islam. And it even brought new words into Arabic.

In matters of Dunya, this is OK, but in matters of Aqeedah, this is very unfortunate. If certain words were required to describe Aqeedah, then Allah (SWT) would have used them.

Language is one of the most important tools.

What is needed in English is more tafseer and not more translations of the Qur’an. We have now over 9 prominent translations, with a small introduction but hardly any commentary.

Language contributes to the way of thinking and the concepts and it might not be compatible with the terms as they should be understood from the Shariah perspective. This is very difficult. Most converts in the US, think they are changing from one religion to another, and the idea that you are going to apply what the Qur’an says is very difficult for them to comprehend. They think they are just changing their beliefs but not their actions or concepts. The concept of God and Tawheed is very different than what you think and what the shariah demands.

There were a number of non Arabs such as Salman Al Farsi, Bilal and others, some of them might have been in the Arabian peninsula, so they were accepting of the Arabic culture, so there was nothing specific that was mentioned to them when they accepted Islam that we know of.

Next time we will discuss how these foreign thinking led some of them to reject that actions would not be judged on the day of judgement??????

Email sent by Sh Jamaal Zarabozo on February 1 2013 to discuss hadith related to the word “dhaat” or essence

I pray that you are all doing well. In class the other day a sister asked about the hadith, “Do not ponder over Allah but ponder over the creation of Allah” and whether it contains the expression, “dhaat Allah” (Allah’s essence). Her question got me to thinking about a narration from ibn Abbaas in which he is narrated to have said, “Do not ponder over Allah’s essence (dhaat Allah) but ponder over His Signs.”

I have been able to find this narration from ibn Abbaas with this wording in a number of books, including al-Udhmah by Abu Al-Shaikh al-Asbahaani and al-Asmaa wa al-Sifaat by al-Baihaqi. However, exactly the same narration with the wording, “Do not ponder over Allah,” instead of “Over Allah’s essence” can be found in the same al-Udhmah by al-Asbahaani and in al-Arsh by al-Dhahabi. All of these reports go through Ataa who had become senile and all of the narrators who narrated this from him narrated from him after his senility began. After that, it goes through Aasim ibn Ali from his father, and both of these narrators are weak. Hence, this particular chain is definitely weak. As such, it cannot be proven the early existence of the term “Allah’s essence.”

I also feel compelled to speak about the hadith, “Do not ponder over Allah but ponder over the creation of Allah.” Personally I believe it is a weak hadith—and all scholars point out the weakness of its chains. However, al-Albaani has graded this report hasan in Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth al-Saheehah(#1788). He does not discuss it at too much length but here is the “essence” of what he wrote: The hadith is recorded by al-Tabaraani in al-Ausat, al-Lalaakaaee and al-Baihaqi in al-Shaab. He goes on to say that its chain is very weak. One of its narrators is matrook (rejected) and known for relating fabricated hadith. He then says that it has supporting evidence in a narration from Abu Hurairah recorded by ibn Asaakir. (It should be noted that a hadith as weak as the first can neither be used as supporting evidence or have supporting evidence used to support it!) He notes that chain is weak as well. He then quotes another chain from Abu Hurairah which he describes as very weak, including a narrator who has been accused of fabricating hadith. He then presents another narration from Abdullah ibn Salaam and recorded by Abu Nuaim. He says that this chain is good for supporting evidence as it contains two narrators who are sadooq only due to their weak memories (meaning their narrations will not be accepted unless there is supporting evidence for it). Al-Albaani then says that there is supporting evidence for this hadith in the statement of ibn Abbaas, that we referred to earlier. At the end, he says that based on all of these chains the hadith is hasan in his view. As I said toward the beginning of this paragraph, I am not convinced by what he presented.

There are other scholars who say that this hadith is weak but its meaning is sound, and hence they quote it as a hadith or a statement of ibn Abbaas. I am not even sure how much this view is acceptable. If “pondering over Allah” would include thinking about His names and attributes and trying to understand what they mean, what we have to believe in with respect to them, what should be their ramifications in our lives and so on, I do not think that any scholar would say that we should not do this. But if one accepts this as a hadith or as a statement of ibn Abbaas, one could definitely argue that such pondering is not permissible as these are part of Allah’s being and not part of His creation. And Allah alone knows best.

Finally, there is a use of the expression dhaatullaah that everyone would accept and which you can find in some hadith. In this case, it is preceded by the word fi,  fi dhaatilaah, and its meaning is, “for the sake of Allah.” However, that clearly has no relationship to what we were discussing in class.

Baarakallaahu feekum wa assalaam alaikum wa rahmatullah,

Br. Jamaal

2013-02-05 Class Notes

Importance of Language

Quran and Sunnah are in the Arabic language and your depth of understanding Quran and Sunnah are related to your understanding of the Arabic language. The language that you think in and speak in, can affect your thought process in non-trivial ways, they way you formulate thoughts, even if you are bilingual, the language that you are thinking at the moment can affect your thought process.

Culture also affects the thought process. The phenomenon of globalization is affecting all of us today. When we talk about globalization, the dominant thought process is the secular and materialistic point of view. All of these have an effect on your belief.

You can argue that it impacts aspect of aqeedah. One of the main reasons for the Quran and Sunnah are to teach us aqeedah, this is the reason why the Prophet was sent to us. If Allah swt does not give us this guidance, we will be left with guess work and we will not be certain about the reality of Allah swt and our meeting him on the day of judgement.

So there is definite an Arabic/Qur’anic way of understanding Aqeedah issues. And if we want to make sure we don’t lose this understanding, we can make sure that our aqeedah is pure. But life is not static. When the early Muslim community began to spread, many who became Muslims brought in their own ideas and in some cases active efforts (e.g. Bait Al Hikmah).

Greek Philosophy enters the Muslim discussion

At the time, all knowledge was mixed in to philosophy. So science, maths, physics, medicine etc were all mixed in with philosophy. When early Muslim scholars started translating the Greek philosophy into Arabic, many foreign ideas started to enter into the Muslim discussion.

Arabic language is close to the nature of humankind or fitra. There is an emphasis on meanings of word and things, and stress on the characteristics of things. But they did not try to discuss the essence of a thing. They had 16 different names for the stages of a camel, they could identify differences between the characteristics at various stages. They were very good in identifying it. But they never tried to define or ask what is a camel or what is the essence of camel. Greek philosophy tries to emphasize what is an essence of a thing.

When you are speaking about Allah swt or the angels or the day of judgement, what kind of problems would you have with this greek philosophical approach?  Since we have not seen it, you cannot describe its essence. So when this thinking entered the realm of Muslim scholarship, they introduced new terms such as jism الجسم -- corporal being, for example.

Ibn Taymiyyah corrected how these terms should be applied properly in Islamic perspective

Introducing these new terms will not impact aqeedah. Part of the genius of Ibn Taymiyyah, he took the terms people were using and then showed how they could be applied properly in an Islamic perspective.

That’s the difficulty; not everyone is a genius like Ibn Taymiyyah. So amongst the salaf: if you introduce new terms to understand the aqeedah, this was not necessarily objectionable. But the problem is that most schools of aqeedah built their understanding on the terms that had nothing to do with what the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) taught. So you are now losing the aqeedah, and the result of your interpretation may be correct/incorrect.

It led many people astray, or led them to a discussion that had no benefit in it. If it was important to our understanding then the Prophet (SAWS) would have explained it. It’s one thing to use it for da’wah when discussing with non/new Muslims; but it’s totally different to base one’s own aqeedah.

Example of influence of Greek philosophy: المركب -- compounded thing

Is Allah a compound being?

Ibn Taymiyyah says there are three different ways to understand this term al Marakab. And when you bring this foreign concept, why do we need to explain it in the first place. If you are debating or explaining deen to somebody who is introduced to it, then you can explain it. But these concepts have now been introduced into our Aqeedah books. They will explain Al Arad -- الارد, Al Jism الجسم , Al Marakab المركب, these are not in our books of Quran and Sunnah, yet they have entered our scholarly work on Aqeedah. There is a book, that sheikh remembers that discussed these things without even talking about Qur’an and Sunnah.  

This shows you that you are thinking about aqeedah in way that are not explained in the Quran and Sunnah.

This question of being compound thing, is one of the reason’s why some people explain that Allah swt has some specific sifaat or attributes and then deny all other attributes.  According to these school of thinking, if you say that Allah swt laughed or frowned, then you say that Allah is a compound and therefore can’t be divine.  then you deny all of these things (attributes of Allah swt). There are the jahmis and the extreme of these are the Asharis.

They shifted their understanding from the way it is explained by Quran and Sunnah and were impacted by the foreign concepts. Referring back to the quote that “you are ajami”, the famous Mutazillah who brought in many of those foreign concepts and that is the reason why he was called ajami even though he was an Arab.

Can you weigh the phrase Alhamdulillah?

Discussion of the Arabic word Al Arad

We have to go back to the word عرض.

Al Arad is something that is perishable, the goods of these dunya are not lasting forever, they are perishable

يا أيها الذين آمنوا إذا ضربتم في سبيل الله فتبينوا ولا تقولوا لمن ألقى إليكم السلام لست مؤمنا تبتغون عرض الحياة الدنيا فعند الله مغانم كثيرة كذلك كنتم من قبل فمن الله عليكم فتبينوا إن الله كان بما تعملون خبيرا

Sahih International

O you who have believed, when you go forth [to fight] in the cause of Allah , investigate; and do not say to one who gives you [a greeting of] peace "You are not a believer," aspiring for the goods of worldly life; for with Allah are many acquisitions. You [yourselves] were like that before; then Allah conferred His favor upon you, so investigate. Indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.

Hadith: Real richness is not in the material things but in the heart.  It uses the word Arad in this hadith

Arad is nowadays is translated as an accident; in the sense that it is something fleeting, or not necessarily permanent.

Nowadays most of the books of aqeedah have to discuss this term, they were forced to.

Accident means an attribute that may or may not belong to a subject. It is a non essential quality. One example is that of the word bachelor. A male who is not married. The color of his hair is irrelevant. These other qualities are called Arad or accident. It does not mean that these are accidents or happened by accidents, it means that these qualities are not essential and hence treated as accidents.

Discussion of are actions permanent

Do actions leave a permanent signature? Majority of Muslim scholars would say no. Actions are temporary. And they apply this philosophy to Allah swt as well. They say that actions of Allah are therefore accidents and therefore Allah can not act.

These types of thinking lead to wrong conclusions.

They say that there is no such thing as weighing on the last Day of Judgement and when they came across these type of hadith which says Alhamdullilah fills the scale, they try to explain it using alternatives. They typicaly use weighing to mean justice. But they cannot explain it using justice.

But how can it “fill” the scale? So they can’t accept that al hamdulillah is being weighed. Example: the Jahmiyyah completely reject the concept of mizan. The mu’tazilah also reject and they say a’raad can not be weighed because they are not independent by themselves.

This idea is also attributable to Mujahid, one of the famous students of Ibn Abbas. He was a Tabi’i and he says that the metaphorical understanding of scale is justice in this hadith. So now how do you answer that it’s understanding is justice and not just of the Jahmiyyahs.

You need to (a) check the report is authentic (which this one appears to be) and (b) that the context is correct.

There’s a book called Tafseer Mujahid (which probably was written much after). When he said mizan refers to adl, he was referring to the verses in ِSurah ArRahman. In all of these cases it could mean justice. So for example, they don’t have this quote wrt to this hadith.

Here it is clearly understood that he is not talking about this hadith when he says scale can mean justice, he was not denying that there will be weighing of deeds on the day of Judgement as is done by some of Jahmiyyahs.

It is true that Mujahid had some views that were different than the other Tabieen. We say that we respect them and they are human beings and can make mistake, and if their opinion differs than the rest of the Tabieen we identify it.

All of the scholars from the Ahl al Sunnah except the Mutazillah and Asharis, they say that actions of human beings will fill the scales. These scholars understood that Alhamdulillah can be weighed.

If you think of weighing something, you think about measuring it. When we talk about measuring brain waves, what are we referring to? They are capturing something. If we were to ask Mutazillah about measuring brain waves, they would say that it Araad.

We can measure the brain waves or activity of a living being, even those in the coma or a vegetative state, they do not express themselves or respond to stimuli. They asked a person in coma to visualize playing a tennis game and they were able to measure his brain activity.

Brain activity or waves can be measured. If we could do that, can’t we comprehend that Allah swt can weigh Alhamdulillah on the day of judgment? Some people claim that Allah swt cannot weigh it at all. The type of scale or measuring device is not what we think of a weigh scale. If you say Alhamdulillah with pure sincerity has more weight than somebody who says it perfunctorily.


The Jahmiyyahs and the Mutazillah negate all of the attributes of Allah swt. Nobody claims nowadays to be Jahmiyyah. There are some people who claim to be Mutazillah, but only one of their attributes. There are five aspects of their beliefs, but the only one they still cling to is that Aql supersedes ...  

A well-known professor at UCLA claims to be Mutazillah somewhere in his writings. He is supporter of human rights. One of the five aspects of the Mutazillah belief are “Ordering good and eradicating evil”, which means we have to revolt against a ruler if he is unjust, this is never discussed by them, so is the aspect of denying the attributes of Allah swt.

Asharis do exist. They will not reject hadith, but they will present an alternatively explanation of the hadith. Mathuridis have the same approach as Asharis, they write mostly in Urdu, so Sh Jamaal does not have any experience with them.

Steps leading up to deeds being weighed

According to Ahl al Sunnah wa jammah, there will be a number of steps that human beings will go through after resurrection leading up to the weighing of their deeds.

2013-02-12 Class Notes

We will discuss what the hadith is referring to when it mentions al mizan, when will al mizan take place, how will it take place.

We discussed last week that there is no need for us to get a symbolic or metaphoric understanding for al mizan. And as a general principle of tafseer, we should not have to resort to a metaphoric understanding unless there is some conclusive evidence for such a metaphorical approach.

Al Mizan

Al Mizan is the scale. The belief of Ahl us-sunnah wa jamaah, that this scale is a reality and all of your actions matter. You have to consider all of your actions. We really don’t know how much an act weighs, it depends upon your ikhlaas or how much you didn’t care about its ramifications.

There is a hadith that says that you might say a word that is insignificant and it is extremely pleasing to Allah swt, and similarly you might say a word that is insignificant and it is extremely displeasing to Allah swt. So you have to be careful of all of your actions.

We have hadith about the day of Judgment. Among the events that will take place on that day is the balancing of your deeds. There are a number of events that will take place on that day. Is there any authentic hadith that describes the main events that will occur on the day of judgement?

Classroom response to the major events of the day of judgement: Horn being blown, the bridge over the fire, judging of the souls, etc

Is there a hadith that describes the order of events on the day of Judgment? Definitely there are multiple hadith that describe various events, but is there a hadith that describes the order of the events?

There is no authentic hadith of the order of the events on the day of judgement, and if this information was important for us to know, then we would have received a hadith describing the order of the events.

We will discuss the events that would lead up to the mizan. For example the cistern (al Haud) of the Prophet, when does that occur?

Qurtubi said that al Haud will be one of the first events to happen on the day of Judgment. There is difference of opinion among scholars about which when will occur first, either al Haud or Mizan.

Ghazali said that al Haud will be after the siraat he says baad al Salaf. What does baad al Salaf mean? Salaf means that one who preceded it.  Ghazali is quoting Abu Taalib Makki, he is his source and he says baad al Salaf referring to him. However Abu Taalib al Makki lived in the 5th century and he lived before him and hence he calls him salaf.

Qurtubi says the order of events would be rising from the graves, then al Haud, then al Mizan, and then al Siraat.

His reasoning is that people will rise from the graves and will be thirsty. This is complete ijtihaad or personal reasoning, however it is for something that we have no experience with, and Sh reminds us again that we have to be careful about using ijtihaad for matters of the unknown or the day of judgement, it has to be based on evidence from the Prophet

Qadi Iyyad and Suyuti say al Haud is after Siraat. Majority of scholars say that al Haud is before Siraat. Ibn Qayyim says it would be both before the Siraat and after the Siraat. Siraat is very large and al Haud will be present before and after Siraat. Here again, ibn Qayyim is making ijtihaad. We have to be aware that even scholars make ijtihaad, and compare it with what is presented in the hadith.

We have to be prepare for the permanent abode, this is the important point, such that we have clear understanding of the events that will occur and be prepared for it.

Timeline of the Day of Judgment with some differences of opinions

#1 The beginning would be the first blast of the trumpet.

This would be the time when the worst of the human beings will be still living in the world. They will be in the middle of their lives before they will be destroyed by the blast.

Quran: And the trumpet will be blown and all will be destroyed, except whom Allah wills.

And the Horn will be blown, and whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth will fall dead except whom Allah wills. Then it will be blown again, and at once they will be standing, looking on.

The scholars discuss the exception a lot, but there is no doubt that all human beings and animals will be destroyed.

Hadith: The angel Israefil will blow the trumpet. And prophet described that he is waiting and ready to blow the trumpet, he is waiting for the command from Allah swt.

We should be aware that this could happen anytime, just like our death could come to us at anytime.

#2 The second blowing of the trumpet

Ghazali talks a lot about the time between the two blowing of the trumpets. He says that Allah swt is leaving all human beings to be dead.

Quran: Whosoever is on this earth will be perished, save his face.

Allah swt will ask about the rulers who ruled the earth, where are they. This period of time is 40, but we don't know the units of measurement for the number 40. The prophet was asked 40 what, and he did not answer.

The second blowing of the trumpet is described in Quran 39:68

Quran: All will be swoon away and they will ....

The first blowing is called Al Raajifa and the second blowing is called al Raadhifa

#3 Then the people will be brought together

When humans being brought together and the new earth is being created, how does that occur is not very clear. Scholars have described in different ways.

After the human beings are brought back, they will wait for the day of Judgement. We will all know that judgement is coming any time, but they will be made to wait, and they will get so desperate for the judgement to come.

#4 People who believe in the various prophets will go to them and ask for their intercession.

All of the other prophets will refuse to intercede, since it will be left to the Prophet Muhammad. And then he will intercede for all human beings to start the intercession

#5 The great intercession by the Prophet to start the reckoning

Prophet will beseech Allah swt to begin the reckoning. Does this reckoning include al Mizan? What is the purpose of Al Mizan?

When people will receive their books and their deeds will be reckoned, when will this occur? Would this be the al Mizan?

The point of al Mizan according to all scholars is that it will occur after the reckoning. Qurtubi says that after the reckoning occurs, then the weighing will occur, in order to reward or punish for their deeds.

#6 The reckoning

During the reckoning, people will receive their books either in the right hand or behind their backs in the left hand. Those who receive the books in their right hand would be joyous. While those who receive it in their left hand, will wish their whole existence would come to an end, since they know what is in store for them.

During this time, there will be perfect justice. No one will be responsible for any one else’s deeds, their deeds will be made clear. Even the individuals body parts will be witnesses against them. All of the wrongs that occurred will be settled. Since there is no money, the settlement will be based on the deeds.

#7 Al Mizaan - The weighing of the deeds

Now after all of the reckoning is done and settled, he will be left with his deeds and now we come to Al Mizan, in order to evaluate the deeds. Al Mizaan is mentioned many times in the Quran.

Surah Al Qariyah 101:6 - 9

One whose scale is heavy will be happy

Surah Al Araf 7:8

And the weighing [of deeds] that Day will be the truth. So those whose scales are heavy - it is they who will be the successful.

All of Ahl us-Sunnah believe in the weighing of the deeds.

Hadith: Balance will be set on the day of judgement and even heaven and hell can be set in it. They will ask who will be weighed in this, Allah swt whoever I wish among my creation ...

Some people among the ummah will escape this weighing. May Allah swt make us among those who will escape this weighing.

This weighing on the day of judgement will be of justice and nobody will be wronged.

Quran: Allah swt says that we will setup balances on the day of judgement... and not even mustard seed will escape ...

And We place the scales of justice for the Day of Resurrection, so no soul will be treated unjustly at all. And if there is [even] the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it forth. And sufficient are We as accountant.

Scales of this world are either tuned for weighing heavy objects or very light objects but not both. However the scale of Al Mizaan will balance both.

Is there one balance Al Mizaan or many balances Al Mawaazin?

One of the views recorded by Hasan al Basri is that each individual will have their own scale. Others say different types of things will have their own scales. The strongest and the majority opinion is that there is one scale. The plural is used to honor the greatness and the majesty of the scale.

The one whose scale is heavy might indicate each individual’s scale, but the majority opinion is that there is only one scale. And stylistic Arabic is not unusual to use plural to praise the majesty of the scale.

What would be weighed on the scale?

There are three opinions among the scholars about what would be weighed on the scale. The majority opinion is that the actions will be weighed.

Hadith: There are two statements that are beloved to Al Rahman, light on the tongue and heavy on the balance, Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah...

كَلِمَتَانِ خَفِيفَتَانِ عَلَى اللِّسَانِ ثَقِيلَتَانِ فِي الْمِيزَانِ حَبِيبَتَانِ إِلَى الرَّحْمَنِ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ الْعَظِيمِ

So we understand from this hadith is that our actions will be weighed.

The second opinion is that the individual himself, the doer of the action will be weighed. They will be heavy or light according to the weight of their deeds.

Hadith: A huge fat man will be brought forth and he will not more than a mosquito. And then a slim thin man with cap will be brought and he will weigh as much as the mountain.

Hadith: ibn Masood had thin legs and when wind blew his garment and people saw his thin calves, they laughed. When prophet heard this, he said that he will weigh as much as Mount Uhood.

Third opinion is that what will be weighed is the record of the deeds.

Hadith: Allah will select a man from my ummah on the day of reckoning. He will spread his 99 sheets.

The person will agree that these are his actions. And Allah swt will ask him do you have any excuse or do you have some good deeds? And the person will be confounded and he will say, no I dont have any.

And then Allah swt will respond, that in reality you will have one good deed with us and you will not be wronged... And one sheet will be brought forward on which is written the shahadah. And then this sheet will be weighed.

And the person will say, what will this one card do against all of the scrolls.

Allah swt will say that you will not be wronged. The 99 sheets will be placed in one pan, and one sheet in the other pan, and it will make all of the other sheets fly away.

Hadith from Musnad Ahmad. It is Saheeh.

Qurtubi says that the books of deeds will be weighed, based on a narration from .... This is also the opinion of .....

A recent scholar Hafidh al Hatimi says that doer of the deeds, the deeds and the records, all will be weighed. Since there is no contradiction among the various evidences.

Al Hakimi will be placed in one pan and all of his deeds will be placed in the other pan, his deeds will be heavy and he will be about to place in fire and a voice will come....  However this hadith is not saheeh.

Conclusion: Either our deeds, or the doer of the deeds, or the records or all of them will be weighed. We have this hadith that we are studying is that Alhamdulillah fills the mizaan. We will briefly discuss the path up to siraat, next time.

2013-02-19 Class Notes

There is no doubt that the events of the day of judgement are harsh.

The Prophet was asked by Ayesha would you remember your family during the day of Judgement, he replied at three occasions he would not, he said .. mizan, and siraat. This is a weak hadith.

The reason why they are going to be in this situation is because of their disobedience to Allah swt. They would have already been recompensed for

Allah swt said if someone desires this worldly life, we will provide for them in this life, and they will have no provision in the here after

Some of the punishment for the non-Muslims may be lighter e.g. Abu Talib.

Second category is people who have little good but much evil. These are the Muslims who will be punished.

Third category, is the people with much good but little (possibly no) evil deeds. This is those who may not even have any punishment.

Another category of people is the one who have much good but also much evil. And maybe many Muslims of today are in this category, because there are too many temptations and evil that surround us. Even those who are religious, may fall into this category because the society around them has too many sins. Maybe now because of the media, for instance, you may be dragged in to many things that you would never have known of before.

The last category is those who have little good but little evil as well.

There will be people who will be in a mid-point, their evil and good deeds will be balanced, and their judgement will be suspended as described in Surah al Araf. This group of people are known as Ashaab Al-A’raaf.

Those who will not be judged on the day of Judgement

There are those people who will not face any judgement at all. In the hadith that describes the major intercession of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم).

Hadith describing the request by the people for intercession, they will go to other prophets and all of them will refuse. Then they will approach the Prophet and request him to intercede during the waiting period, because of the harshness of the waiting period. This is before the judgement even begins. Then the Prophet described how he will go and pray in manner that has not been taught anyone else. And then he will say “Ummati Ummati”, My Nation My Nation. And then Allah swt will respond to the Prophet’s prayers. ... At that time Allah swt will give permission a number of people of this ummah to enter jannah without any reckoning. (Edit: This was a long hadith and we need to refer to the actual text of it somewhere else, since I am sure I have made mistakes taking notes.)

Bukhari reports from Sahl b Sa’d said that 70,000 or 700,000 of my ummah will enter Paradise -- they will all enter at the same time, without being called to account. I asked Allah for more and he said 70,000 more (i.e. a total of 70,000 x 70,000).

In many of the narrations, our Prophet described those who will be granted this intercession. He said that they are those who do not practice rukiya, do not see evil omen things, and they put their trust in Allah.

حَدَّثَنِي زُهَيْرُ بْنُ حَرْبٍ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الصَّمَدِ بْنُ عَبْدِ الْوَارِثِ، حَدَّثَنَا حَاجِبُ بْنُ عُمَرَ أَبُو خُشَيْنَةَ الثَّقَفِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا الْحَكَمُ بْنُ الأَعْرَجِ، عَنْ عِمْرَانَ بْنِ حُصَيْنٍ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏"‏ يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ مِنْ أُمَّتِي سَبْعُونَ أَلْفًا بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالُوا مَنْ هُمْ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ ‏"‏ هُمُ الَّذِينَ لاَ يَسْتَرْقُونَ وَلاَ يَتَطَيَّرُونَ وَلاَ يَكْتَوُونَ وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ ‏"‏ ‏.‏

Verily the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Seventy thousand men of my Ummah would enter Paradise without rendering account. They (the companions of the Holy Prophet) said: Who would be those, Messenger of Allah? He (the Holy Prophet) said: They would be those who neither practise charm, not take omens, nor do they cauterise, but they repose their trust in their Lord.

In another narration mentions in addition to the above three, another quality is also mentioned. And since this narration also mentions 70,000; scholars say that these will be the ones who will be interceded.

Qualities of the people who will be granted intercession

Our goal is to be among them, Insha-allah. Here are the four qualities of the people who will be granted intercession.

#1: They do not practice rukiyah

#2: They do not practice cauterization (what does this mean re laser radiation?)  (Edit: cauterization [kô′tərīzā′shən] Etymology: Gk, kauterion, branding iron, the process of burning a part of the body by cautery.)

#3: They do not take evil omens

#4: They put their trust in Allah swt

Really the last one is the summary -- it is the one that captures what is represented by the first three.

Ruqyah: the practice of reading the Qur’an on someone. Can one do ruqyah with things other than the Qur’an? Answer: No -- though this is a common practice.

Some people also believe in numerology and they keep it as amulets on their body, assigning some value to the numbers etc.

If there is any speech that is incomprehensible, then there is no doubt that it is Shirk. Is this being described in the hadith? No.

There are acceptable and unacceptable types of rukiyah, and this hadith is referring to the acceptable form of rukiyah. Why does this hadith praise the people who do not practice rukiyah? There are three views on this topic.

Cauterization is the process of burning a part of the body, is laser technology the same as burning or cauterization?

Some scholars say cauterization is a disliked medical process since it leads to loosing trust in Allah swt.

If you take pills to cure your ailments, and if it does cure you, we accept this worldly cause and effect. However when we start attributing the true source of cure and attributing it to the pills, we have to remember that Allah swt is the source of all cure, and if he wills that you will be cured, then the pills become a mechanism by which you will be cured.

Similarly the recitation of  Surah Fatihah is only because of Allah swt and if he wills it you will be cured. You have to have complete tawakkal. But if you have rukiya done, then this trust in Allah swt might get weakened.

Some scholars say that it does not contradict tawakkal, nor is it any shortcoming of your tawakkal, they say as long as rukiya meets the proper conditions, there is no harm in doing rukiya at all.

So these group of scholars have a different understanding of the hadith. They say that if you turn to rukiya and believe that only rukiya is going to help you and not Allah swt. While the earlier group of scholars say that anytime you turn to rukiya your tawakkal is being weakened.

Ibn Taymiyyah has another opinion and it is related to the 10th form of the verb. One of the understandings of yastarkun is that you go to somebody else in order to perform rukiya. And you can see that this might be dangerous than just making rukiya yourself.

If you go to someone else, it might be because you think there is something special about that person. It might be some Pir sahib. Are you putting your trust in that individual and blurring your identification of your cure?

Ibn Taymiyyah says that there is nothing wrong in doing rukiya for somebody else, because if you can help a brother, you should do so. But the issue is for the person making the request of rukiya.

This is a unique view and he was the first one to interpret this hadith in this way. As a consequence, many people have responded to Ibn Taymiyyah.

Ibn Taymiyyah uses the narration from Sahih Al Bukhari and Muslim. They say that there is another narration in Sahih Muslim, which is put after the first narration, since he considered the first narration to be stronger. This another narration is from Mansur and it uses two different words yastarkun or yarkun. The critics of ibn Taymiyyah use this as their evidence against his view. However the stronger narration is that it is yastarkun and it bolsters his view. However the 10th form of the verb does not always mean “to seek”.

During the time of the Prophet, he took bayyah (pledge) from a select group of sahabah not to ask anyone for assistance, to such an extreme that if they were riding on a camel and dropped their whip, they would not ask for assistance from somebody to pick it up and give it to them. This was considered the highest form of tauheed and hence the Prophet did not ask it from all of the sahabah.

So we are not saying permissible rukiyah is haraam or asking somebody to perform rukiyah is haraam. So for those who are at the highest level of Iman, avoiding it may be better. If you avoid it, then you are fortifying your tauheed. And the result is that Allah swt will clear the way for you on the day of judgement.

Cauterization is also disliked, since you tend to use it as a last resort.

Hadith: If there is anything beneficial in your medicine, it is cupping. The second beneficial medicine is drinking honey. And then Prophet said that I do not like cauterization.

There are other hadith that show that it is permissible. But it is only as a last resort.

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو نُعَيْمٍ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ الْغَسِيلِ، عَنْ عَاصِمِ بْنِ عُمَرَ بْنِ قَتَادَةَ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ جَابِرَ بْنَ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ "‏ إِنْ كَانَ فِي شَىْءٍ مِنْ أَدْوِيَتِكُمْ ـ أَوْ يَكُونُ فِي شَىْءٍ مِنْ أَدْوِيَتِكُمْ ـ خَيْرٌ فَفِي شَرْطَةِ مِحْجَمٍ، أَوْ شَرْبَةِ عَسَلٍ، أَوْ لَذْعَةٍ بِنَارٍ تُوَافِقُ الدَّاءَ، وَمَا أُحِبُّ أَنْ أَكْتَوِيَ ‏"‏‏.

I heard the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) saying, "If there is any healing in your medicines, then it is in cupping, a gulp of honey or branding with fire (cauterization) that suits the ailment, but I don't like to be (cauterized) branded with fire."

Tatayyur or Omens

For example, if they saw birds flying in one direction, they would consider it to be bad, while if they flew in another direction, they said it was good for them. These are omens. In general it is considered a form of shirk. It is different from tafa’al and tashaa’um.

Example: Something happens (like black cat) -- these are completely forbidden in the Shari’ah. There is even a kaffarah for someone who follows such signs. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was asked what is the Kaffarah: you are supposed to say there is no goodness except for your goodness, and no signs except yours, and the no one worthy of worship except you.

اللهم لا طير إلا طيرك ، ولا خير إلا خيرك


{ من ردته الطيرة من حاجته فقد أشرك قالوا : يا رسول الله وما كفارة ذلك ؟ قال : أن يقول : اللهم لا طير إلا طيرك ، ولا خير إلا خيرك } ذكره أحمد .

Br Walid is the third part of the dua missing in this narration?

Sometimes individual are affected by the jahiliyyah of their society and they might fall into it unknowingly. So you have to overcome it and put your trust in Allah swt, by making this dua and try to overcome whatever miniscule feeling towards the omen still exist in your heart. And because of the reason that you strived to get rid of the feeling, then Allah swt will reward you.

If you truly put trust in Allah swt and if you do it properly, act upon it on a high level, and live your life in manner that excels in the feeling of tawakkal of Allah. Then Allah swt will be pleased with you and you will Insha-Allah be able to escape the mizan.

2013-02-26 Class Notes

Ashabul Araf

Allah swt describes the people whose evil deeds and good deeds will be balanced in Surah Araf verse 46 and 47

وبينهما حجاب وعلى الأعراف رجال يعرفون كلّا بسيماهم ونادوا أصحاب الجنة أن سلام عليكم لم يدخلوها وهم يطمعون

Sahih International

And between them will be a partition, and on [its] elevations are men who recognize all by their mark. And they call out to the companions of Paradise, "Peace be upon you." They have not [yet] entered it, but they long intensely.

وإذا صرفت أبصارهم تلقاء أصحاب النار قالوا ربنا لا تجعلنا مع القوم الظالمين

Sahih International

And when their eyes are turned toward the companions of the Fire, they say, "Our Lord, do not place us with the wrongdoing people."

ونادى أصحاب الأعراف رجالا يعرفونهم بسيماهم قالوا ما أغنى عنكم جمعكم وما كنتم تستكبرون

Sahih International

And the companions of the Elevations will call to men [within Hell] whom they recognize by their mark, saying, "Of no avail to you was your gathering and [the fact] that you were arrogant."

أهؤلاء الذين أقسمتم لا ينالهم الله برحمة ادخلوا الجنة لا خوف عليكم ولا أنتم تحزنون

Sahih International

[ Allah will say], "Are these the ones whom you [inhabitants of Hell] swore that Allah would never offer them mercy? Enter Paradise, [O People of the Elevations]. No fear will there be concerning you, nor will you grieve."

There is a barrier put between them and the Jannah. They long for Jannah. And when they see the people of hell fire, they say don’t put us between them.

We can see that Allah swt is giving these people a choice between heaven and hell. Allah swt gives them an opportunity to see the two groups of people and also be able to speak to them.

And then Allah swt will say, are these the ones who swore that Allah swt will not offer them mercy. And then Allah swt will forgive them.

The surah Araf is named for these people. Araf is from the same root as Urf. In Arabic, everything that is raised is known as Araf. According to ibn Abbas, these people will be kept on something that is raised. Araf means the heights, it is a barrier between jannah and naar. They will be kept there.

There are couple of hadith about these people. The Prophet was asked about these people.

In one hadith, there was a group of people who were killed in the way of Allah without their parent’s permission. Their entry to Jannah was blocked because of their disobedience to their parents. And their path to hell was blocked due to their sacrifice. Ibn Abbas said that this is a weak narration????  It is definitely a weak narration from the Prophet.

There is another narration from Hudayfah discussing the seerat. People will see believers going over the bridge. When the munafiqoon try to cross the bridge, their light will be take away from them, they will not be able to see. And when the believers cross the bridge they make a dua. The people of Araf will see this, and they will realize that their light is still there. This has also been narrated by ....

There is also a unique narration and one of them is a fabrication. This hadith describes the people of Araf in their own Jannah.

Mujahid says that people of Araf are pious and knowledgeable scholars. Many people say that this is a strange statement. Many scholars say that people of Araf are those whose good deeds are not enough. But they will be saved from entering hell fire.

There is a narration that they will enter river of Haya and they will be given whatever they ask. It shows the mercy of Allah swt.

The Haud of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم

According to ibn Katheer there are 30 narrations about the haud (cistern) of the Prophet. There is no question about it. But we do not know for certain exactly when the people will be able to get the blessings of the Haud. Does it occur as soon as you are raised, or does it occur before the mizan or before the siraat?

Ibn Hajr says that it will be after the siraat. Ibn Qayyim says that it will be before and after the siraat.

In one of the hadith, Prophet said, that my haud is as big as one month’s journey, its whiteness is greater than milk, its fragrance is greater than musk, .... and whoever drinks from it will never get thirsty.

In another narration it is compared to snow and honey. And Prophet says that he will prevent others from entering it, since it will be only for his ummah. He was asked how will you recognize the ummah. Prophet said that we will have a unique sign from the wudu that we perform.

Abuse of the hadith of Haud denigrating the Sahabah

It is amazing how this haud is abused by some. In one hadith ...

In another narration, Prophet said that doomed is the one who ..

In Bukhari, Prophet said that a group from my ummah will come to me and they will be pushed away from the haud. You have no idea what happened after you died.

In another narration, .... a man will come between me and the haud. .... another group will come and I will recognize them.... they will become apostate....

Prophet said that a group of you will be prevented from coming to me....  Angels will say that you do not know what they had done after you were gone.

These narrations are very important. Obviously we dont want to be from the people who will be turned away from the haud. Some of them will be from his ummah and they will have the signs of wudu. These are some very strong hadith.

The gravest aspect of the hadith is that it is a reference to the sahabah. The companions of the Prophet is very important in the religion of Islam. We have the hadith and Quran from the sahabah. So if you can attack the sahabah, such as the various heretic groups and also some sunni groups have done.

When you read books of Aqeedah, it is clear what should be our stance towards the Sahabah.

Imam Tahawi who wrote Shahar al ..., when writing about the Haud, he gave the principles of belief we are supposed to have. In this creed we say “we love the companions of the messenger, but we do not exaggerate their status.” Love for them is belief, and virtue, while hatred for them is hypocrisy and transgression.

Proper attitude towards the Sahabah

We understand the Sahabah are human beings, so we don’t exaggerate, nor do we disassociate from them. We also believe in the adaalah (truthfulness, righteousness) of the Sahabah. We trust them when it came to passing on the deen. The position of Ahlul Sunnah Wa Jamah has to be based on evidence -- not just because we like them.

Many verses and ahadith about this subject of the rank of the Sahabah. Allah (SWT) says:

والسابقون الأولون من المهاجرين والأنصار والذين اتبعوهم بإحسان رضي الله عنهم ورضوا عنه وأعد لهم جنات تجري تحتها الأنهار خالدين فيها أبدا ذلك الفوز العظيم

Sahih International

And the first forerunners [in the faith] among the Muhajireen and the Ansar and those who followed them with good conduct - Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him, and He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever. That is the great attainment.

Allah is pleased not just with them but also those who follow them. Allah is pleased with them. If we say that these are the people who are going to distort the Quran, then they will be not the people who will be praised by Allah swt.

In another verse, Allah swt says

وكذلك جعلناكم أمة وسطا لتكونوا شهداء على الناس ويكون الرسول عليكم شهيدا وما جعلنا القبلة التي كنت عليها إلا لنعلم من يتبع الرسول ممن ينقلب على عقبيه وإن كانت لكبيرة إلا على الذين هدى الله وما كان الله ليضيع إيمانكم إن الله بالناس لرءوف رحيم

Sahih International

And thus we have made you a just community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you. And We did not make the qiblah which you used to face except that We might make evident who would follow the Messenger from who would turn back on his heels. And indeed, it is difficult except for those whom Allah has guided. And never would Allah have caused you to lose your faith. Indeed Allah is, to the people, Kind and Merciful.

We have appointed for you ummatuh wassatah, which means the choice and the best people. So that they may be witnesses against the mankind.

Hadith: Prophet said that our ummah will divide into 73 groups, all of them will be in hellfire except one. He was asked which one will be saved, the Prophet replied those who are on what I taught and those who came after me.

Surah Hadd verse 81

Surah Baqarah

Many verses that point to the status of the sahabah. Prophet described them as my generation.

So how do we reconcile the earlier hadith of the haud that described the people who will be turned away from the Haud and the fact that is mentioned in it.

In many of the narrations, it mentions a small group of my companions will be turned away. This has been narrated by many of the sahabah.

Ya rabb minni ummati - In another narration which describes haud and the people who will be turned away.

We have clear passages in the Quran and Hadith about the rank of the sahabah, and then we have these hadith that describe the people who will be turned away at the haud.

One of the narrations is that it will be a small group of people who committed ridda or apostasy after the time of the Prophet. After the death of the Prophet, there was apostasy from more than one fronts.

There was apostasy among a group of bedouin, they had some sincerity when they accepted Islam. But after the Prophet died, they thought they had freedom to rebel and not accept the rule of the Sahabah. And the Prophet did see some of the leaders of the bedouin before he died.

There were also some others who had seen the Prophet before he died. They had submitted to the Prophet and then after his death, they submitted to the false Prophet which arose after his death. Musaylamah was the false prophet.

Most of the hadith were passed down by a group of sahabah were from those who dedicated their lives to Hadith. We know their character and their behaviour, it is well established. They did not change after the time of the Prophet.

So these hadith of the Haud describes the people who changed after the time of the Prophet. These group will have the signs of wudu from the time before they apostated.

Another explanation of the hadith of those who are turned away from the Haud is that they are munafiqeen. This is a difficult position to explain. Some say that the Munafiqoon prayed and did wudu, but the Prophet had knowledge about these group of people.

Another explanation is the ahlal biddah, the heretics. This explanation fits ummati, but they still have the signs of being Muslim -- as above, they had the markings etc.  Maybe in these other narrations, the Prophet is describing the groups of people who will be kept away from the haud.

Another explanation is that the people who will be kept away from haud are those who committed grave sins, Ahlal Kabair.

In Musnad Ahmad, you will will have rulers over you who will order you to do what they do not do, and whoever believes their lies and helps them in their dhulm. ... Prophet describes that they are not from me and they will not be able to come close to the Haud.

Prophet used the word ashabi even for the munafiqeen. When Tahawi was talking about the Sahabah, he was talking about the companions who died as Muslims and not those who committed ridda.

Prophet uses the term ashabi in a more general linguistic meaning and does not mean the honored position that is described in other verses of the Quran and Sunnah.

Conclusion about those who were turned away at the Haud

The conclusion of the scholars say that the hadith of haud is not referring to the companions, because we have other evidence that shows it cannot be them. It is most likely that it is people from the time of the Prophet who committed ridda after his death. And the number was very small. And for him to use a diminutive term also makes sense.

For us, we have to realize that we will not be able to approach or drink from the haud unless we keep away from apostasy riddah and the grave sins.

The event that happens after Haud is siraat. We will not be discussing it, however we should go ahead and read about the narrations of Siraat.

Footnote: There was a lot of discussion about the Shia attacks on Abu Bakr, Uthman and Umar based on the false narrations of hadith of the haud. Eventually we discussed that these false narrations are from a known liar. However shia scholars say that Jaffer who said the narrator was a liar was committing tuqiyah, a practice of lying in order to protect ...   Finally we discussed the core issue of infallibility of the Shia Imam, that they are masoom and are innocent of any mistakes or errors. If this is such an important component of their deen, then it must be rooted in some evidence based on Quran and Sunnah. However they are unable to present any evidence for it.

2013-03-05 Class Notes

We were speaking about the mizaan and the belief in mizaan (the scales). Sh wants us to remind us of the significance of the events of the day of reckoning.

It is a great blessing that Allah swt has given us this information about what is going to happen to us on the day of judgement and it should have an effect on us.

Since we are going to receive a book with all of our actions, then we should think and consider before we perform any action, since it will be made visible to all on the day of judgement.

When Abu Bakr Siddiq was close to dying, he called Umar ibn al Khattab in order to place him as his successor. He said, I am going to give you words of advice, if you listen to them, you will benefit.

This conversation has been recorded in a number of books.

The first thing he reminded that he has made obligations upon us on the night time that he does not accept during the day, and vice versa. And Allah swt does not accept voluntary deeds until obligatory deeds are completed, and then he spoke about the mizaan, and the person whose scale will be heavy based upon his deeds... and nothing will be heavy on the scale except the truth. And the person whose scale will be light because of the falsehood that he followed....

If you recall these words of advice .... then there will be nothing more beloved to you than death and if you do not heed my advice then ....

Hudayfah said that truth is heavy, however even with its heaviness it is something pretty????? And falsehood is light and it is ugly????

Statement by Ali whose isnaad cannot be traced, truth is heavy in this world as it will be heavy in the scales on the day of judgement, baatil is light .....

If you reflect upon the deeds, you have to do your best to make sure that they are among your good deeds. There are some deeds that are more important than others. We find ourselves doing many deeds that might not have any weight associated with them. We should try to do deeds that are heavy. We should think about the deeds that we are performing and its affect on the scale, and insha-allah are heavy on the scale.

If we find doing deeds that are of not much weight or benefit, we can expect that these would not be benefit for us on the day of judgement. So these aqeedah concepts are not supposed to be abstract concepts. The real term for these concepts is not aqeedah but imaan. And Imaan by definition is simply not affirming the truth, but to implement the ramifications of the truth.

The key to the health of our iman is the belief in these unseen such as the mizaan. This is the first verse of the Quran, Surah Baqarah verse 1, it says that the believers believe in the unseen. If it is truly in your heart and mind, it will be the driving force for the rest of your deen.

Our beliefs should have the proper impact upon us.

Footnote: The media presents our beliefs negatively and we have to make sure that we are not affected by those negative views. They fail to mention other sects who have similar views. The Israeli settlers have a belief that if they die at the hand of Arabs they will be in heaven and they will give glad tidings to the other settlers.  Even Christianity has a history of martyrdom, earlier christians gave up their lives for their religion.

Other beliefs about life after death

Every person experiences death, so every culture will have an idea of what happens after death. Even anthropologists have the belief that neanderthals believe in an afterlife.

In a poll done in the US, more people believe in the afterlife than in God. They think there must be something. We also have many so called near death experiences in the media, which is a growing phenomenon.

The near death experiences report seeing light, tunnels, relatives etc. And these occur when the person is being resuscitated and it puzzles the doctors since their brains are not functioning. So what is occurring when people have near death experiences?

Transhumanism and the singularity, they claim that humans will become obsolete when machines will build machines that are better than what we are or have built so far, they claim this is the singularity. This would be a good topic to discuss in the Aqeedah class.

Judaism and Christianity have beliefs that are closer to Islam. A poll was done to see who believes in afterlife, in the period of 1900 to 1970s and then from 1970 to 1990.

In 1900, 67% of people believed in the hereafter. By the 1990’s the numbers had climbed to 90%. One theory is that the older you get, the more likely to believe that there is an afterlife.

Among the Jews, 1900 -- 17% believed in an afterlife. By 1970 -- 74% believed in an afterlife. How do you explain the jump in the belief of the afterlife amongst the Jews. Over time the neighborhoods became more diverse whereas the earlier neighborhoods were more homogenous towards one community. Sh is explaining that they started believing it after they interacted with the Christians.

Even among the Christians and Jews you can see a wide range of beliefs, some do not believe in the devil??????

The belief in the afterlife and heaven and earth, were all of the previous nations sent with the same message? The question is why can’t you find the mention of the hereafter in the New Testament, how can you answer their question.

According to our beliefs and from the Quran and Sunnah that all of the previous prophets and messengers brought this message to their people and conveyed it to them. This is our core belief.

Beliefs in Judaism about the Hereafter

Whenever you discuss judaism you have to discuss the various groups, we will focus mostly on Orthodox and Rabbinical Jewish beliefs and not the others.

Jews have a number of books, the Old Testament which is the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud and the Midrash. If you look at the earliest teachings, the ideas of death and afterlife, it only becomes solidified approx 200 years after the death of Prophet Isa.

.... most of the scholars agree that there is no concept of immortality. .... at death the person becomes dust..... they descend to Shoal where they are dead.

A contemporary Rabbi explains why there is no discussion of afterlife and death in the Old Testament. According to him, Israelites were in Egypt and Musa was able to take them to Palestine. The Old Testament, the first five books are from Musa, it is the Torah. Prophet Musa received the Torah after their journey from Egypt. The Rabbi says that they were obsessed with death and the holiest book was the book of the death. And he says that Torah does not discuss death in order to distinguish itself from the Egyptian beliefs about death. And the Torah focuses on enjoying this life.

There are other beliefs also such as the Samiri edition of the Bible. If you read the old testament you will find it. And now this explain why only 17% of the Jews believed in the afterlife. But later on, it became standard practice amongst the Jews to believe in the afterlife.

All of their beliefs about the end of the days, it is revolved around the Jewish nation and the Jewish people.

God will return the Jewish people to the land of Israel and restore the leadership to the house of David (Daoud). The messiah will be from the descendants of David which puts christians in difficulty, since Isa is not from the lineage of David.

Christians say that the Jews will believe in Jesus. And then the dead will be resurrected...... And then those who have done wrong will go to jahan?????? They don’t have much descriptions like we do about the day of judgement.

The rabbinical literature has some description of the garden of Eden and the feasts and it will be so big that you will not be able to spread out your elbows.

The punishment ....

They say that the gentile will be sent to Gehanna or hell fire. Any jew who believes in .... five books of ..... will be ....

Jews say that the longest time a Jew will spend in the hellfire is twelve months and no more.

Allah swt says: They say that hellfire will touch us for only a limited number of days. Have you taken a pact from Allah that he will do this, and Allah will not break his pact or are you saying something that you have no knowledge about?????

In the Talmud, there is a description of person in hellfire with boiling excrement. This is from the person who has written by .... who wrote a history of Judaism.  He says that Isa was crucified by the rabbis for idolatory and that he will be punished in the hellfire with boiling excrement. But they dont want anyone to focus on this.

Tracy Rich says that Judaism does not focus on getting into heaven but to live in this life.

If you do not believe in the hereafter then all of your focus will be on this life.

Allah swt says that they will be greedy to hang on to this life.

If they don’t really believe in the hereafter, then this is their life. Their claim is that religion has come to live this life. They don’t have controlling morality on how to live this life, since they dont believe in any punishment in the afterlife.

Many contemporary Jewish authors are proud of the fact that the hereafter is not a core part of their belief.

Combined with the fact that you are God’s chosen people also makes you then not really fear punishment. In fact, amongst some of the forms of Jewish mysticism is in reincarnation. The strange thing about their reincarnation is that it has little to do with what you do.

Fathi Al-Zogby. Ta-athur Al-Yahoodiyyah bil al-awthaan -- an excellent book on the topic of how Jewish belief strayed from monotheism.

2013-03-12 Class Notes

There was a mistake made while discussing the seven laws of Noah. They were supposedly six laws of Adam and one given to Noah. And shaikh made a mistake while enumerating them. And the examples that were mentioned last time were incorrect.

Christian belief about life after death

Christianity is unique in the sense that the confusion about it go to its beginnings. A lot of the issues go back to its roots. Prophet Isa did not live for a long time and from a worldly sense, he was not a political leader, his followers were considered to be Jewish heretics. The Jewish rabbis were as much behind the attempts to crucify Prophet Isa as were others. Also there was no attempt to preserve and spread the teachings of Prophet Isa.

From the beginning there are questions about resurrection and what will happen to the people after resurrection.

There were questions about immortality of the soul during the time of Prophet Isa. Whereas in Islam we believe that after we die, the souls enter into a state of barzaq and then it is resurrected, so there is no question about immortality of the soul.

The authors of the four gospels were Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The last author is the one who introduced the notion of son of god. These are not like hadith, but rather they are books of seerah (biography).

Paul was a Jew who was persecuting the Christians, this heretic Jewish sect. Then he had a vision of Jesus and then he converted and became a leader of the Christian religion. He was a convert who suddenly knew a lot about the christian faith.

According to the New Testament, James is the brother of Jesus and he differs with Paul about the teachings of the Christianity. Paul had his teachings based on the vision and based on this inspiration he goes against James.

Paul’s ijtihaad is covered in the books of the bible which come after the four gospels. The last book of revelation comes at the end. So Paul’s writing is sandwiched between the four gospels and the last book of revelation.

The four gospels were compiled after Paul, they were not actually written by the followers of Isa, they are reporting that they are written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, but not so in reality.

According to Christian belief, Isa was crucified and he was physically resurrected. But according to Paul, since he has seen him in spiritual essence, he believes the resurrection is spiritual and not physical. He believes that all of the christian believers will be all resurrected and will become one in the body that was the resurrection of Isa. So you will be united with the body of Isa.

The other gospels have a completely different view about resurrection. They say that there will be a real resurrection. They saw a physical body being resurrected after the crucification. They say that only way to attain .... is to be resurrected without any sin. According to them, the spiritual body of Jesus, is the church.

Christians have a ritual of communion which involves wafer and wine. Be careful about this ritual if you ever visit a church. The communion is based on the story of Jesus sharing a goblet of wine and bread with his disciples.

According to John:, the communion ( is only possible if you eat flesh and blood of christ and this is the key to eternal life. Catholics and Protestants broke up during the time of Martin Luther.  

One of the key discussions/differences when you take that wafer/wine, does it physically/literally become the blood and body of Jesus within you? Catholics: yes. Protestants: no.

Much of the belief of the hereafter deals with the kingdom of God. Jesus spoke a lot about the kingdom of God. So what is this kingdom of God and when does it come about? This is problematic for the Christian church.

Later Christians who studied this topic they say that there are three different possibilities, it is the now and it is spiritual, it is the future, or it is both the present and the future. Based upon your understanding of the kingdom of God, it will have an impact on your belief.

Christian theologists agree that in the mind of Jesus that the kingdom of God will come within a generation. And this did not happen, as a consequence they talk about the dilemma of the mistaken Jesus. Their texts indicate that this kingdom would occur within a generation after Jesus. When it was obvious that it would not occur, so their idea of the hereafter had to change.

The four gospels were written after the writings of Paul, and you see this correction in belief reflected in the four gospels.

They resolve the dilemma of mistaken Jesus as follows:

#1 The followers of Jesus were mistaken and did not write his beliefs correctly, this creates another dilemma about what was preserved properly from the teachings of Jesus.

#2 They say that there is certainty about the end of times similar to the way Allah swt uses the perfect tense when describing the events of the day of judgement.

#3 They say that Prophets speak about the future and they shorten the time horizon. So they say it was just figurative speech and Jesus did not mean what he literally mentioned. This creates a new set of problems.

So they had to discuss the details of the resurrection in order to resolve all of these questions. They introduced the concepts of heaven and hell, sin, rapture, tribulations, the new Jerusalem, etc

In the Council of Nicea which occurred in the fourth century they introduced the Creed of Nicea.

Jesus will take his seat at the right hand side of God.... resurrection of the righteous will occur. They have a belief that there are two resurrections, one for the righteous and for the non-righteous.

The Rapture was something that original christians did not believe in, but it is very important for the evangelists. The christians will be swept up and meet Jesus in the sky. These are writing of Paul and not statements of Christ. Paul continues that they will continue and meet the Lord and be with the Lord forever.

Christ will reign for one millennia after his resurrection. This is not the final judgement. And then after 1000 years, everything in this world is handed over to Satan and his believers. They are talking about Gog and Magog. They say Gog is the person and Magog is the place. After their defeat, Satan will be imprisoned. The Antichrist will be there.

Before the resurrection of Christ, there will be tribulations for seven years which are hardships. There is confusion when the rapture and tribulations take place, some say before, same say after, some say during, etc.

Finally the resurrection of the dead will occur. Augustine who was one of the early Church fathers, they say that this dogma about the resurrection of the flesh which has been opposed by many???????

Early Christians don’t have much to say about the resurrection. In fact both the Christians and Jews were influenced by the Muslim teaching about the day of judgment, and not the other way around.

Eventually the idea of heaven begins to crystallize. And it slowly changes: Pope John Paul II says -- “The heaven or happiness in which we will find ourselves is neither an physical nor spiritual place, but it comes through living within the holy trinity.

The say that those Christians who are not purified will have to pass through purgatory before they will be united.

Pope Benedict XVI says about heaven or hell ......

In his recently released book Jesus of Nazareth, Benedict XVI denies that the Ascension of Our Lord raised Him into Heaven, where He is seated at the right hand of the Eternal Father, as we profess in the Creed. In his new version of the two dogmas - Ascension and the existence of Heaven as a place - Pope Ratzinger pretends that there was no actual place for Our Lord to go. What is said about the Ascension in the New Testament, according to him, would refer to a new form of the presence of Christ among men.

Christians attack Muslims because of our description of Jannah or Paradise. But if you look at one passage of the Bible, it says that we will be like angels. .... They say that there will be no women in paradise, only men. They say that one of the greatest joys will be watching the punishment of the damned. St Thomas Aquinas says that watching the punishment will make the saints very happy.

This is the only description of paradise that you find among the early Christian fathers.

Jews have a vision of paradise that has an Academy on High, which is very similar to the earthly academy, the scholars continue their studies and debate among them. When a scholar dies it is because they are summoned to settle disputes. They say God will also take part in the debates and his opinion will not be accepted. They say that some Rabbis will win the debate with God????? This is in the commentary of the Torah which is the Mishnah.

2013-03-19 Class Notes

There are some issues that Allah swt did not convey to us. But the differences of issues in Christianity go deeper and are essential to the understanding of the hereafter. Last time we discussed rapture and other events that are now downplayed by the official church. Later Christians then went ahead and revived them.

One of the scholars of Christianity discusses revolutionary events that will happen on the day of judgement, but in reality it is not revolutionary since it is from their texts.

Some of their texts are downplayed and ignored by the church. And when later movements try to revive them, they are questioned by the church.

Progressive Muslims come up with beliefs that are new to Islam. They are bringing in new beliefs are bringing them from outside of Islam or some disputed and far fetched understanding of the text. So there is no comparison with the progressive Muslims and the later movements of Christianity which are based on their own texts.

Almost everything in Christianity is disputed -- heaven and hell, etc.

Yes, there are differences between the Muslim organizations. The problem is that even within evangelicals they have some basis in the text -- but to believe in it, the Church will reject it. This is why you have the situation where there are frequently new movements within Christianity.

Christians debated resurrection and judgement. Resurrection eventually became the dominant belief. Jesus is going to come and he is going to judge, this is their belief. Passages in Paul say that he will come but not be a judge. They reconciled it by saying that he will sit in judgement for those who rejected him or those who did not have an opportunity to accept him. This implies that those who believe him will not be judged. However this brings up questions about salvation what is its criteria, how will people be judged or punished.

The Gospel of Luke has a story of Lazarus. He was a very poor man and he use to go to the gates of a very rich man, who was clothed very well and used to eat very well. Lazarus had sores on his body and he survived on the crumbs of the rich man, dogs used to come and lick his spores. After both of them died, Lazarus was raised to the womb??? of Abraham at the gates of Haydes. Lazarus asked Abraham for ..... Abraham reminded him of the rewards that he was given in the world.

19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

This text does not explain what the rich person did to increase the suffering of Lazarus. But he still was punished and Lazarus was rewarded. This text implies that if you are rich in this world you will be punished and if you are poor then you will be rewarded.

So this raises the question, can there be a pious rich person?

Karl Marx called religion the opiate of the poor people because of this teaching of Christianity saying that the poor people are being oppressed by the rich people because of the reward of the hereafter.

What is the role of the deeds in this world for Christians, specially for the Protestant sect?

This question is related to the idea of salvation. They say that the thing that saves human beings in the incarnation and the death of Jesus Christ, and that this was God’s plan for creation. They say that all human beings carry the original sin of Adam and Eve, when they disobeyed. And they can only be saved by the salvation of Jesus Christ.

So if we are saved by this belief, then what role do our deeds play?

The original sin has caused lot of harm to Christianity. They don’t believe the verse of the Quran that no soul shall pay the burden of another soul.

One of the most famous American theologians who died in 1758, Jonathan Edwards, who talks about righteous deeds. He says they are not a root to heaven. Those who are doing good deeds are being duped. He calls them poor deluded souls ......  and they are on the high road to hell. Jonathan Edwards was a protestant and they have the most extreme belief in salvation.

Moral transformation which was very popular in early christianity, still popular with Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Footnote: The keys of the door to the Holy Sepulchre in Bethlehem is still with the Muslims because of the mistrust between the two groups.

In order to reconcile how evil and sin, they have the following theories:

One theory is that once the powers of the evil have been defeated, then we don’t have to worry about evil anymore.

Another theory is that Satan has the power over souls in the hereafter and people had to ransom their souls from the Satan and the ransom was the sacrifice of God’s son etc, which is odd because it means that it is Satan who holds our ransom. This is known as the ransom theory of atonement.

Another variant of this is Penal Substitution.

Catholic Church says that fall from Heaven (of Adam and Eve) did not fatally wound the human beings. They say Jesus is the saviour but to receive this salvation, you had to be baptized. And if you do sin then you have to repent. They still believe in sins.

All of the key issues related to faith and judgement and what will happen when we meet Allah swt, there is a lot of confusion among various groups of Christianity. You would expect that these core beliefs would have been conveyed properly to the followers.

Example: Is there going to be a resurrection? Very different views. Is there going to be a judgement? Will it be a matter of faith? What kind of punishments and/or rewards? All of these questions -- Judaism and Christianity are very confused.

Book: Life after death - History of the religions of the West which is over 800 pages long.

The last 100 pages of the book discusses Islamic beliefs about life after death. He goes through various sects and their beliefs including the modern day terrorists etc.

From pages 120 to 600 are stories of Christian and Jews on how they try to reconcile or understand or perceive life after death.

The key difference is that we had very clear teaching early on in the history of Islam in the beginning and then after this was accepted then sometimes foreign ideas started to make inroads. But in Christianity and Judaism, there is very little detail. You know where you are going, you know what you need to do.

Sh is reiterating that our understanding of life after death were conveyed to us in the Quran and the Hadith of the Prophet. This information was given to us by Allah swt and we are not really appreciative of it. We are told if we have shortcomings, how we can overcome them.

Compare it to how these information about life after death arose in Judaism and Christianity. And how little is there in their texts about it.

It is easy to fall into various types of extremes. Jews concentrate all of their efforts for this world, they don’t have much concern for the hereafter or for God either. That is the reason why you find so many secular Jews. Even if they discuss the hereafter, it is not given much weight.

The early Christians had an extreme emphasis on the hereafter and they gave very little regard to this world. But then the later Christians moved away from it.

Prophet told us when discussing Surah Fatiha, the last verse is referring to the Jews and Christians. They turned away from truth, which is their essential characteristic.

After Paul the Christians were worshipping God but not based on revelations.

If you ask most Christians/Jews what happens in the Hereafter, most of them -- honestly -- will answer that they don’t know.