Forty Hadith of Nawawi Fall 2009

Selections from the Forty Hadith of al-Nawawi

Sheikh Jamaal Zarabozo

September 27, 2009

Recommended Textbooks:

Jamaal Zarabozo. Commentary on the 40 Hadith of al-Nawawi


      Final Exam  100% or 90% (One final, November 22, one week before last week of class)

      Pop Quiz  10% at the discretion of the instructor 

Basic Outline of the Class





On the authority of Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him), the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak good things or keep silent. Whoever beleives in Allah and the Last Day should be courteous and generous to his neighbor. Whoever believes in Allah and Last Day should be courteous and generous to his [traveling] visitor." Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

It is a very comprehensive hadith, how one who believes in Allah and the last day should behave.

What is the meaning of "whoever believes"? Does it imply that whoever does not fulfill this quality (keep silent, courtesy to neighbors, etc) then he does not believe in Allah?

Within Muslim ummah there is different forms of extremism. They take this hadith at their face value and rule somebody to be outside the fold of Islam if they do not meet these qualities.

Make sure you are fulfilling these qualities if you want to succeed.

What if somebody rejects this hadith completely. If you reject it and oppose it then it is a kufr that might take you completely out of your deen.

When describing the believes, why did prophet mention the last day?  Why not mention all of the articles of belief? Why is prophet emphasizing the last day?

On the day of judgement, all of the actions that you perform will be presented or be held accountable.

So what are the qualities that are being mentioned in this hadeeth?

-speak good or keep silent. 

*try when you leave from class today, to think about what you will say before you say it, and observe how your speech may change. 

the one who has strong belief, he knows his words are a part of his deeds. Most of us do not think about what we say as a part of our actions.

One who considers his speech, is much more careful. Angels are recording everything that comes out of our mouths. Not a word does he occur and there is a record. 

Many times we say things and we do not consider the weight of the words that we utter. Either in positive or negative sense. Allah swt raises him in degrees because of the words he speaks. On the other hand, an individual may say a word that angers allah swt and he does not even consider what he says and he is cast in hell due to it.

Prophet is giving us two options - speech is good or you remain silent. Say something that is good or remain silent. Idle talk is not good. Speech that does not have any benefit.

If you ask somebody how are you you with sincerety is considered to be good speech.  If you say something that makes somebody happy but is attacking somebody else or to that nature then it is not good speech.

Showing some concern to others is good.

What if you dont know whether it is good or bad, then you should remain silent.

How about situations where you should speak but don't speak. For example there is some munkar happening and you have the ability to stop it, then should you remain silent? It might become an obligation or mustahab upon you to speak.

It takes some training to think or weigh your words before you speak. Most of us when we were brought up as kids, we were allowed to speak our minds. Parents are not training their kids to think before they speak. Then when you grow up, it becomes difficult to change the behavior.

What are some of the good things that one can say in our speech?

Enjoining good, naseeha, sharing knowledge,

Is speech restricted to verbal? 

Sidebar on internet and blogs. It is very common nowadays to attack or libel others on blogs. This is not good speech.

What kind of speech are not permitted?

Backbiting (gibah), spreading tales, lying, 

Saying something behind your brother's back that he would dislike. He would not like you to tell it to others. If you say something false behind your brother's back it is worse - slander, libel

Believer does not lie. One of the signs of hypocrisy is that he lies.

Lying is permissible in some circumstances. Between husband and wife, during war, bringing two people together. The lies are presenting things in the best way. Lying is forbidden. It is a great sin. Unfortunately in performing dawah some people use marketing techniques or lies to spread the deen. This is wrong. We should speak the truth when performing dawah.

October 4, 2009

Last week's notes

On the authority of Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him), the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak good things or keep silent. Whoever beleives in Allah and the Last Day should be courteous and generous to his neighbor. Whoever believes in Allah and Last Day should be courteous and generous to his [traveling] visitor." Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Importance of speech, speech is part of action, and what is good speech?

Today we will continue about what we say.

It is relatively easier to control own's limb then their tongues. Many times people do not give proper weight or even consider or protect themselves from the sins of heart (jealousy, hatred) and tongue (backbitting, lies)

We need to evaluate whether we fall into this category of sins. This hadith focuses on the tongue.

Allah swt reminds that every word that we occur but there is someone watching ready and prepared to record it. 

Hadith: The deed that leads most to hellfire is the mouth and the private parts.

Hadith: Is there anything that topples mankind other than tongue

Either speak something that is good or remain silent

Even speech that we consider neutral we have to be careful about.

Reflect upon what the prophet is reminding us about.

Negative aspects of speech, last time we considered good speech.

Backbiting and Spreading falsehoods are two examples of bad speech.

Allah swt says And do not backbite one another, would one of you like to eat the flesh of your brother... 

It should be reprehensible as eating the flesh of your brother. 

What happens when people backbite in the community and to the individual.

We are supposed to love another, defend one another, not harm one another, feeling of trust and confidence in one another. Feeling of true brotherhood. They should not bring harm on you either emotionally or financially.

If people in a community are spreading falsehoods, lies or even simply backbiting. By saying such things against your back they are violating the brotherhood.

If falsehoods are spread then it will generate bad feelings and bad treatment towards the person at whom the falsehoods are directed.

If person finds out that falsehood are being spread in the community. Who is spreading the falsehoods, who knows about the stories, who believes in the stories. And this will impact that person's attitude towards the community. 

It will be very hard to bring love or affection in the community. Since it hard to know whether the stories are stopped. There is no way to verify that the falsehoods and rumors are stopped. Nowadays with mass communication can be spread all over the world.

On individual level it is going to break down trust and it will be very difficult to rebuild the trust. And if it is directed towards the leaders of the community, then it can break down the whole edefice of the community. It will be very difficult for leaders to do good deeds for the community.

Prophet warns us about the words that we speak and disease of backbiting is not something to be taken lightly. Better think about it before we utter the words. All of our words will be recorded and we will be held accountable. It is better to avoid it and not wait to ask for forgiveness from the individual before we meet Allah swt.

Personal experience of being careful of your words.

Number of years ago certain speakers were attacked (including the sheikh) on a regular basis by certain people.  Most of it blew over.  Many people realized the wrong that they had done. Sometimes on Sheikh's trips, they would come and admit to him that they took part in spreading the falsehoods. And they literally cried and begging for forgiveness. As a human being you have to only beg to Allah swt. But their tongues had put them in such a condition that they have to beg for forgiveness. 

Most of the people who participate in it, do not originate the falsehoods and are merely relaying it because they trust the  person who relayed the falsehood to them

Tongue and private parts are the main things that lead people to hellfire.

There are some times to say negative about a person. For example if somebody asks you opinion about a future son-in-law but do it in a nice manner as possible.

Critiquing what a person does versus attacking a person. We cannot judge intentions. Because you cannot really fathom somebody else's intention.

Debate the issue without mentioning a speaker. It is different than speaking about an individual.

How can you prove a person is deviant or trying to mislead some people.

People like to discuss hot topics and most recent news. Unfortunately speaking about people is hot topic. When you put down others, it leads to elevating your id.

One of things about Islam it declares something and then gives practical advice. For example Muslims are a brotherhood and then it gives us advice and atttude towards one another to build a brotherhood.

Sisters have to be more concerned about it. Studies in West have found women speak more words than men. If individual either man or woman speak more, then they have to be more careful and think more about it. 

Also cultural aspect of Muslim women. Women tend to have fewer topics to talk about as compared to men (sports, work, politics) versus certain muslim women in certain cultures are limited to simply talking about their interaction with their relatives or their acquaintences.

Learn to control your emotions to behave properly and avoid extremism. If something is a clear bida, then you should not be happy about it. In cases like these your taqwa is important.

How to handle situations where a relative is going to attend a lecture held by a speaker that you have concerns about.

Attend the speech along with your relative and then discuss the lecture in a nice way and  then if you find some issues or items that are not correct, then explain to your relative in the most pleasant manner without backbitting the speaker or judging their intention.


October 11, 2009

Last week's notes

Continue with hadith #15, we are still discussing the first part of the hadith.

On the authority of Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him), the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak good things or keep silent. Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should be courteous and generous to his neighbor. Whoever believes in Allah and Last Day should be courteous and generous to his [traveling] visitor." Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Tongue is very difficult for many people to control. It is easy to commit great sins that have harmful ramnifications for the community and the individual.

Speaking about Allah swt without knowledge.

THere is a verse in the Quran, the mufaseerin highlight this verse, Allah swt is discussing a matter that progresses from a less serious matter to the most serious and gravest of matters.

Surah Araf Verse 33

قُلْ إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ رَبِّيَ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَالْإِثْمَ وَالْبَغْيَ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَأَن تُشْرِكُوا بِاللَّهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ سُلْطَانًا وَأَن تَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

Muhsin Khan: Say (O Muhammad SAW): "(But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are Al-Fawahish (great evil sins, every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly, sins (of all kinds), unrighteous oppression, joining partners (in worship) with Allah for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge."

Sahih International: Say, "My Lord has only forbidden immoralities - what is apparent of them and what is concealed - and sin, and oppression without right, and that you associate with Allah that for which He has not sent down authority, and that you say about Allah that which you do not know."

Progression of sins from less serious to most serious. When we think about there is no sin greater than shirk.  However after mentioning shirk, Allah swt mentions the most graveous sin, saying things about Allah which you have no knowledge.

The whole concept of shirk goes against the reality of the worship of the true creator - Allah. False speech lies at all forms of shirk.

Someone at some time claimed something that truly belongs to Allah swt that is the worship of him alone.

All forms of shirk and bida are all founded in some belief that is false that is not grounded in knowledge, that is rooted in some false statement about Allah swt.

Root of shirk is going to be more graver than the act of shirk.

If no one said anything false about Allah swt then there would be no shirk.

Obviously this kind of behaviour would be very pleasing to shaitan. When people start speaking of Allah swt without knowledge, then in reality they are simply following the command of shaitan.

This is not a matter of ijtihaad, but they are the statement of Allah swt.

An individual can make ijtihaad and can make mistake. But if his ijtihaad is based on knowledge and not some hawaa and then he makes mistakes then Allah swt might forgive him. However if he makes ijtihaad without knowledge and speaks about Allah swt then he is comitting a sin???

Shaitan is encouraging you to say things about Allah swt that you have no knowledge of.

Surah Bakarah verse 169

إِنَّمَا يَأْمُرُكُم بِالسُّوءِ وَالْفَحْشَاءِ وَأَن تَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

Muhsin Khan: [Shaitan (Satan)] commands you only what is evil and Fahsha (sinful), and that you should say against Allah what you know not.

Sahih International: He only orders you to evil and immorality and to say about Allah what you do not know.

Unless you are fairly certain about the deen of Allah swt, if you have some doubt about your knowledge or your sources, then it is better to be quite.

Speaking about Allah swt without knowledge can cause harm among muslims. Here the context was the example of Christians who speak about Allah swt without knowledge.

The basic teachings of the Quran are clear to every one, it does not require mujtaheed. It can be explained by anybody. If someone such a normal sane person who violates the basic teachings, they cannot be forgiven. This was in response to a question about progressive Islam who are propogating falsehoods.

Compound ignorance: A person does not know about the grave sin he is committing by saying falsehoods about Allah swt. For example an illiterate person. Allah swt is going to judge everyone.

Every individual should know their limitations specially about the deen of Allah swt. Amazingly as more and more you learn about the deen, the more you recognize your limitations. Saying of Imam Shafi.

Straying yourself from the straight path and misleading others.

Hadith: Allah swt does not take knowledge from the hearts of the people. But he allows the people with knowledge to die. And when people of knowledge do not exist then people take as their leaders ignorant people. Then leaders go astray and they lead others astray.

If you see many forms of extremism, you will find people who studied islam without guidance of ulema, and then took text of quran at face value without knowledge and understanding and then mislead people.

This unfortunately leads people to doubt all shayukh and ulema.

Another aspect of speaking which is from the categories that you should avoid is lying. Many muslims do not think it is a major sin or kabeer sin. 

Muslim is all about haq, to worship Allah only. We are supposed to take this message and spread it. 

Believe in truth and attaching yourself to it.

Lying is antithesis of what a muslims should be.

Hadith: Prophet said you must adhere to honesty. ... You must remain away from lying, Verily  lying leads you to wickedness. ..

Signs of a hypocrite. When he speaks, he lies.

Muslim umma as a whole is that muslims lie, in particular in business. 

Business schools nowadays teach via marketing or otherwise how to lie. They do it because their goal is not to please Allah swt but to make money. Say something about a product to make a sale.

Prophet has warned us about making claims of products that are not true. 

Hadith: Prophet said, there are 3 categories of people, of whom Allah swt will not speak to or even look at. One category is a businessman who lies about his products ...

Business transactions have to be done honestly. If we dont do them honestly then we should not expect Allah swt to give baraka.

If you are honest in your business transaction then Allah swt will bless them.

Lying on resume or an interview may have ramnifications... You could make millions of dollars but still feel like a poor person.

If you are honest then Allah swt will bless you. Then this is more important than the amount you are making. Your wealth will last longer and give you more satisfaction.

If you conceal something or lie, then Allah swt wipes away the blessing of the transaction.

Most precious things we can give is dawah. Unfortunately the marketing things are starting to creep into the field of dawah. Then we should not surprised that we are not successful in making dawah.

Do not try to justify your lies as the practices of the society. By avoiding that practice for the sake of Allah swt, you will be blessed by Allah swt.

October 18, 2009

Last week's notes

Discuss practical aspects from the hadeeth

Discuss As-samt(        لِيَصْمُتْ           )as a concept

 - It is considered one of the stages of purification of soul

Is anyone familiar of Ibn Abi Duni??

Lived in late 3 Hijri to 4 Hijir

He has written about tawaqall allah, rida, fanaa (being satisfied with what Allah has given you). He is a collector of facts. He has covered a lot of topics. He has one book called as-samtلِيَصْمُتْ.

Topic of discussion: Taking a vow of silence as worship of Allah swt, or remaining silent as part of spiritual purification.

There are many religious groups such as Buddhist, Jains, Christian monks, it is very common. Some take an eternal vow of silence. Is this a valid form of worship of Allah swt? 

Example: Mariam is told by ...  "I have vowed to remain silent and refrain from conversing ..." 

There are special circumstances. Isa is supposed to speak on her behalf when she returns to the community with newborn baby Isa.

Can you use the example of Mariam as justification for as-samt?

Usool-al-fiqh question. Some say yes, others say no. However both of them agree on the condition. The condition that must be met.

The prophet's seclusion in cave Hira. The Prophet (SAW) after the revelation started never went back to the cave neither did encourage his Companions to do so. Any acts performed by prophet before he recieved revelations are not considered part of the shariah.

Shariah definition of as-samt: Staying silent from things that are harmful.  One should not remain silent when there is a need to speak. 

However it does not mean you cannot speak at all, you have to speak to greet and meet your family, society to bring people closer to one another. If you remain silent in the name of religion but if you harm others or benefit only yourself is not considered part of our deen.

Characteristic of Ahl-Sunnah:

If your sheikh makes mistake, then you don't follow him in that mistake. You still respect him. There is no blind following of a sheikh. 

Prophet said: "Man samata naja" Whoever avoid speech that he should not make, then he will be succesful. Here the prophet used the shariah definition of as-samt.

Refraining from saying things that you should not say.

If i am speaking to you and if I refrain from saying harmful things, then I am performing as-samt even though I am speaking.

So the shariah ruling on As-samt is : mustahab or wajib? So, in this hadith the Prophet (SAW) is saying about Eemaan it is wajib. 

If some is in agathering where the speech is nagative what should they do, speak up or keep silent?  If there is a munkar one should speak. However, if you don't have ability to speak than the minimum if that they should keep in heart. 

One's speech is part of your deeds. Many people don't know this and sins the one's commits from the tongue. As the Prophet (SAW) said great many people are in Hellfire because of their tongue. 

After speech, the prophet described another category. Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should be courteous and generous to his neighbor. 

It is not sufficient to stay away from negative actions with respect to the neighbor. A person who has true belief, is not only one who does not harm his neighbor but brings benefit to his neighbor.

In Islam being a good neighbor does not just mean we don't harm our neighbor, it goes well beyond, you bring benefit and assistance to your neighbor.

Allah swt says in the quran describing general characteristics of a muslim in Surat Nisa verse 36

وَاعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَلَا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا ۖ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَبِذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْجَارِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ وَالصَّاحِبِ بِالْجَنبِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ مَن كَانَ مُخْتَالًا فَخُورًا

Worship Allâh and join none with Him in  worship, and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans,Al-Masâkin  (the poor), the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbour who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess. Verily, Allâh does not like such as are proud and boastful; [Nisa 36]

What is a neighbor? Shariah definition of neighbor.

Scholars differ since there is no authentic hadeeth. The reason why we have to define neighbor from shariah perspective, since they have specific rights. 

Forty houses in each direction is considered a neighbor. Or in case of apartments above or below.

Another opinion - adjoining houses

Another opinion - All of the people who pray in the local mosque are considered your neighbor.

People who live in a particular district.

Is there a contemporary definition? The above opinions have no authentic hadith. 

The shariah has no definite answer to this question about what are neighbors. There are opinions of scholars but there is no exact definition since it is left to custom of the people where they live. 

Another example is travelling. What we consider travelling is much different than earlier times. Similarly the defintion of neighbors is changed with respect to time and culture.

Everyone knows who their neighbors are and they have to fulfill their obligations towards them.

Neighbors who are closest to them have more rights than those who are further away.

There are different levels of rights.

The Prophet (SAW) said:"Jibril kept advising me concerning the neighbor to the point that I thought that he would inherit from his neighbor." {Al-Bukhari and Muslim}. 

"Whoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day should not harm his neighbor."{Al-Bukhari and Muslim}

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "By Allah, he is not a believer! By Allah, he is not a believer! By Allah, he is not a believer.'' It was asked, "Who is that, O Messenger of Allah?'' He said, "One whose neighbour does not feel safe from his evil". [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

We will continue our discussion with the rights of a neighbor in the next lecture.

October 25, 2009

Last week's notes

We will continue our discussion with the rights of a neighbor in this lecture.

وَمَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاَللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ فَلْيُكْرِمْ جَارَهُ

Hadith in which the woman who prayed a lot but harmed her neighbor, therefore, she will be in Hellfire. In another hadith a woman who didn't pray much voluntary nor gave charity but was never harmful to her neighbor she will be in Paradise. 

Hadith in which prophet describes three kinds of people whom Allah swt loves

Neighbor who has been harmed by his neighbor but he is still patient until he dies or they are no longer neighors. Greater the harm that somebody suffers, Allah swt will love that person. 

Behaving properly towards a neighbore. The exact limit of being a good neighbor has not been spelled out in Quran and Sunnah. It depends on Uurf, customs of people. It is important to live upto the standards of the society as long as they don't contradict Islam.

Most of the muslim immigrants who have moved to US have failed to live upto the expectations of their new society. With respect to children, noise, front yard, back yard, etc.

In some cultures, if your children are loud, very loud, or in apt complex running late in night then there is a good chance that you are harming your neigbor. Specially in apt complexes in the US, the noise travels from one apt to another.

Islam stresses that we are good neighbors. As part of dawah, we want people to look at us as good examples. 

Sheikh lived in one apt complex for 13 years and occasionally his neighbors would ask him to correct the mistakes of the muslims such as noise, toys, children etc. Most of the people who were harming the neighbors were not even aware that they there were harming others or even feign (or act) ignorance.

We need to know the ettiquettes of being a good neighbor on top of the minimum requirements. If we do not meet the min requirements, then the end result will be negative. It does not matter whether the neighbor is muslim or not.

Hadith: List of 11 qualities of a good neighbor. This is a very weak hadith and it is in  al-Baihaqi (the other weak hadith is in Tabranee which was not mentioned)

1. If he seeks your help, you help him

2. If he asks you for a loan, you give him a loan

3. If he becomes poor, you provide for him

4. If he falls sick, you visit him

5. If something good happens, you congratulate him

6. If something musibat falls on him, you condol him

7. If he dies, you follow his funeral

8. You do not restrict wind from him or make your structure taller than his, unless you ask for his permission

9. You do not harm with the smell of your pot. (Offer him some food)

10. If you buy fruits, share some with him

11. Do not allow your child to go out and anger his child

Neighbor who is a relative as well as a muslim, then he has three kinds of rights. Right of a relative, rights of a muslim, and rights of a neighbor.

Neighbor may not be related to you but he might be a muslim, then he has two classes of rights.

Neighbor who is not related to you and is not a muslim, he still has the rights of a neighbor. These are rights irrespective of their religion. 

Islaam doesn't just give us absract concepts, however, Allaah (SWT) in Qur'an and Sunnah gives you practical ways to apply these actions. The end result of these actions is to create a bond between the people. 

Where does Allah swt tell us that this will have an impact on the people? Surat Fusilat verse 34: repel an evil deed by good

Surat Fussilat verse 34: The good deed  and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which  is better (i.e. Allâh ordered the faithful believers to  be patient at the time of anger, and to excuse those who treat  them badly), then verily! he, between whom and you there was enmity,  (will become) as though he was a close friend. 

Hadith: The rights of a Muslim on another Muslim are five:

1- When you meet him you greet him and respond to a salaam

2- Visiting the one who is sick

3- Following the funeral procession 

4- If he invites you, you respond 

5- If he sneezes, you respond

Another hadith mentions a sixth right

6- If he seeks your advice, then you give him advice

Helping neighbors in small acts such as providing oil/salt or tools when asked for is considered a right of a neighbor.

Hadith: The person does not believe in me, if he spends the night with a full stomach and you are aware that your neighbor is hungry. 

Basicallly you know your neighbor is hungry and he ignores his hunger. This implies there is some kind of relationship with your neighbor. You need to know your neighbor and are active in keeping a good relationship with your neighbor.

Exchanging gifts with neighbors is considered proper behavior. It might not be a right.

Hadith: No muslim woman should belittle a neighbor, even if you give something small to your neighbor. Both parties should be appreciative, in the act of giving and receiving even something as giving a piece of meat that is not of significance or importance.

You should neither cause harm or reciprocate in causing harm.

If everyone took care of one who is right next to him and did not cause harm then it will have a positive impact on the society.

It is preferrable to give your zakat-ull-maal where your wealth is similarly zakat ul fitr should be dispensed where you live also. If you send the money overseas then who will take of the needy people where one lives?