Forty Hadith Winter 2010

Selections from the Forty Hadith of al-Nawawi / Winter 2010

Sheikh Jamaal Zarabozo 

January 10, 2010 Class Notes

Hadith #18

"Fear Allah wherever you are. And follow up a bad deed with a good deed and it will wipe it out. And behave towards the people with a good behavior."

Important concepts


How to wipe out bad deeds - relationship to Allah

Relations with other people

Prophet is given the gift of very comprehensive speech, a lot of wisdom in a very few words

Goal of this class: comprehensive hadiths of Nawawi to derive understanding.

Important concept about the science of hadith - using supporting evidence and takhreej. 

Prophet gave this advice to Muadh when he was about to depart for Yemen as a governer and also a kadhi. Muadh was in early 20s and another example of one of the young sahabas. Majority of the sahaba in Makkah who stood up to the torture and persecution were the youth. The youth are an important component of a community.

Much of the knowledge that has been passed down is via the youth.

Muadh is one of the most knowledgeable in the topic of what is halal and haraam. Muadh died in the year 17 Hijra and he was only 34

Dhahabi, Albaani and both the Arnaouts grade this as hassan al ghayri

Because of Muadh's narration, this hadith is considered hasan.

According to Mustadrak by Al-Haakim - sahih according to Bukhari & Muslims' standard. It is not uncommon for Al-Haakim to make such a statement but he may be wrong.

Abu Dharr was on of the earliest converts to Islam, he might have been the fifth. He died in 32 Hijri in the state of exile. He could have been the 1st socialist. His view of wealth and what a Muslim is allowed to have in terms of superfluous wealth was in opposition to the other sahaba. He was unhappy about the wealth of Muawiyyah and other sahabas. This was a self-imposed exile.

ibn Umar, who was strict on following the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had a different opinion.

Abu Dharr did not take part in Al-Badr. It was not obligatory upon muslims. Prophet called for volunteers. A great reward was promised for those who took part.

Arabic book which is index of all of the root words of the Quran. Al Mu'jam al mufahris li al fat al Quran

Exact same book in English called A Concordance of the Quran by Hanna Kassis

Defintion of taqwa

Roof ot taqwa is W Q Y  waqaayaa (It means protection).

The word means that people have no protection against Allah's wrath.

Taqwa => Guarded exceedingly  or extraordinarily

An intense form of protection and guarding

Taqwa is mentioned after a law is proscribed in the Quran.

Allah swt describes the reward of a muttaqeen

Allah swt asks us to have taqwa to other human beings

Fear Allah under any circumstance

Must have taqwa whether you are with others on you are alone in private - this fact was emphasized by scholars.

Look at how you behave when alone and when you're with others. If the behavior is close, there is good iman and taqwa - Abu Bakr ibn al-arabi in his commentary to Sunan al-Tirmidhi.

Prophet used to make dua: I ask you to give me fear of you in private as well as in public

Fear Allah wherever you and whenever you are. No matter what state you are in, you must have taqwa

One of the key mistakes, young people plan to make tawba when they are older. However if you dont have taqwa, then you are heart becomes immune to the sins and a black mark is placed on it. Your heart becomes insensitive to the sins, then it will be difficult for you to leave the sin.

Some of the commentators also emphasize that you should have taqwa when you are in hardship or in ease.

You cannot use your circumstances as an excuse for not having taqwa.  For example if you are surrounded by impious people, this is not an excuse.

Taqwa is a foundation of the religion.

Allah swt gave this ... taqwa to all of the previous prophets

Islamic definition

Avoid something even though it is not a clear sign. Even if it might be close to haraam.

However having too much doubt of something that is Halaal is not good either. Even doubt has to have foundation. However financial transactions which are doubtful should be avoided. ie there has to be some basis for the doubt.

Hadith of ibn Majah: Individual will not reach the state of muttaqeen until he leaves something out of fear it might contain some harm.

Next time how to develop qualities of a muttaqeen and who are the true muttaqeen

2010-01-17 Class Notes

Taqwa is mentioned 258 times in the Quran. We have to obey Allah swt and stay away from things that are prohibited. Narated from the story of Umar and Ubay ibn Kabb. Ubay explains taqwa as if you're walking through a thorny place, pulling up your garment to avoid the thorns. Don't even get close. Don't even appproach them.

The difference between Iman and Taqwa: Taqwa is a characteristic that a believer should possess. Taqwa is one of the key characteristic that person who has iman should possess.

The most honorable among you, is the one who has the most taqwa. Most honorable are the believers, and among those who have taqwa have the best qualities of iman.

Taqwa is one of the key driving forces behind all other characteristics. It is a foundational characteristic. Taqwa is a component of iman and it can be a driving force behind other.

Mubarakpuri: Taqwa is the foundation of the deen.

No one can say iman is taqwa. Iman should lead to having taqwa. People who rescued at the last minute from hellfire are those who had iman but did no good deeds. Iman is so weak that they did not have taqwa, theoretically speaking.

Important aspect is to understand that taqwa is a foundation of your deen. Guarding protecting preserving very carefully. The fitra or real nature of human being is that he is a servant of Allah swt. He has to protect that fitra. Submitting only to Allah swt. He has to protect that fitra. This is the concept of taqwa.

Allah swt has advised all people that they should have taqwa of Allah swt. 

Al Ghazali: It is Allah swt who knows what is the best for human beings, and Allah swt is the most merciful..... Allah swt has advised people to have taqwa. It is becoming of his wisdom and mercy.

Allah swt has told all of the nations to have taqwa because of its importance. 

Quran gives us many of the qualities of the people of taqwa. It is good for all muslims to be aware of the qualities and do some introspection to find out how much taqwa they have.

Just as iman, taqwa increases and decreases. Things of the heart (Qalb) are volatile. Qalb means to turn one way or the other. Actions of the heart are volatile. When one feels the closeness to Allah swt and the desire to worship Allah swt, when this feeling becomes greater, it is increasing. Other things or worldly things distract us. It is natural.  

Even the sahaba, Abu Bakr said that he has committed nifaaq. When did he say this? When they came to the realization that when they are with the prophet their iman is very strong and when they go back to their families or households, this feeling diminished. The prophet explained that it is natural. We have to recognize the volatility of the actions of the heart.

Basic level of taqwa is to avoid shirk. This is the bare minimum. Then to do obligatory things and to stay away from what is forbidden. Then to do recommended things and to avoid what is disliked. Even further level of taqwa is to avoid what can lead to the forbidden acts.

You want to put some distance between you and any act that is forbidden by Allah swt. And the difference between this and ihsaan is that in ihsaan you are seeking the best. One who is muhsin is of course a muttaqeen.

Qualities of the muttaqeen

(The above three are from Ali Imran 3:134)

Can somebody be a muttaqee and commit minor sins? Yes. Based on what evidence?

When individual possesses these qualities, then a whole list of bounties from Allah are given. One author mentioned (Hayat at Taqwa ...) 46 benefits of having taqwa. 

Al Baqarah - it is a guidance for muttaqeen...

كِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ

Muhsin Khan: This is the Book (the Quran), whereof there is no doubt, a guidance to those who are Al-Muttaqun [the pious and righteous persons who fear Allah much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden) and love Allah much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)].

Quran is guidance for all of mankind, what does huddan lil muttaqeen mean? The person who is going to benefit is the muttaqeen. You can put the book in front of non-muslim or even a muslim who does not taqwa will not gain the benefits. This is a barrier. You need to have taqwa.

Benefits of taqwa

Allah swt guides those who have taqwa. Allah is with those people who have taqwa. Allah pledges his support to the muttaqee. Allah declares his love for the muttaqee. Special blessings - he bestows upon them a furqan (ability to differentiate or judge between right and wrong). Allah promises them resuce or a way out from difficult circumstances. Whoever has taqwa will make a way out from hardships. Allah promises them avenues which they did not even imagine. 

Why is Surah At Talaq has such emphasis on taqwa?

Speculative analysis: Experience of people going through divorce loose all sense of piety even if they were muttaqeen. Specially for men. One person who was pious and facing difficulties and was facing talaq. They approached him and asked him to accept the advice of the best ulema. He said he will only follow if the advice is pleasing to him. 

Surah Maida verse 27: Allah swt only accepts deeds from the muttaqeen.

Story of the two sons of Adam. Allah swt only accepted the offerings of one and not the other. 

Verily for the muttaqeen are the gardens of delight with their lord.

Allah swt says that those people who have taqwa and if they are touched by shaitaan, they invoke Allah swt and are protected from the shayateen. - Araf verse 201

Blessings from heaven and earth - Araf verse 96

Taqwa is a key to forgiveness of Allah swt

Surah Al Ahzaab  - repeated on Jumuah khutbah - Have taqwa and he will forgive your sins.

What about knowledge? Is taqwa one of the keys to knowledge? If yes why, if no why?

Baqarah verse 182 ???? Does not look like the correct verse???

Read the tafseer of this verse.

There is no evidence for causal relationship between knowledge and taqwa

2010-01-24 Class Notes

Reminder we are studying the hadith #18 from the forty hadith of Imam Nawawi.

Concept of Taqwa 

What is taqwa and difference between taqwa and other concepts.

Taqwa is actual process or action of guarding yourself. The best way to protect is to distance yourself from it. 

What is the motivation for guarding yourself? Because you may fear something. If you fear something like the hell-fire, which may drive you to protect yourself from it.

The fear maybe a motivating factor but it is not taqwa. Fear may not be the only motivating factor. Love may be a motivating factor. So if you know you spouse dislikes garlic breath, then you will refrain from using it.

If you know some acts are displeasing to Allah swt, then you will refrain from it because of the love.

Also feeling of hope. Hoping for Allah's rewards, forgiveness. The best way to have hope, is by performing actions that will lead to forgiveness or rewards from Allah swt.

Similarly someone has awe or respect for someone else. Then when you are in that person's presence, you will walk on your tip toes. You become very careful and avoid doing anything that is remotely harmful out of respect or awe for that individual. Similarly when someone knows the attributes of Allah swt, that should develop awe in the heart. And you will try to avoid anything that is displeaseful to Allah swt

Fear, love, hope, awe, respect - all of these feelings of the heart will lead to carefulness in the person's actions. He will not only do actions that are displeaseful but even getting any where close to that act. This is taqwa.

Taqwa is translated as fear allah, it does not capture all of the feelings or motivating factors. Taqwa is difficult to translate.

Another translation of taqwa is god consciousness. When individual is reminded of Allah swt, he is supposed to generate certain feelings in the heart. Even this translation is weak, since it does not describe the behaviour that the individual should possess. 

Guard yourself might be a better translation but it is still very weak. 

Wara is very close, remaining away from something that is doubtful. It is one aspect of taqwa. 

Actions can be negative or defensive, and then there are positive actions which are beloved to Allah swt. Taqwa encompases both.

Taqwa is the actual act of guarding yourself, exceedingly guarding yourself.

Keys to increasing taqwa:

1. Relationship between knowledge and taqwa

Surah Baqarah verse 182

فَمَنْ خَافَ مِن مُّوصٍ جَنَفًا أَوْ إِثْمًا فَأَصْلَحَ بَيْنَهُمْ فَلَا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Muhsin Khan: But he who fears from a testator some unjust act or wrong-doing, and thereupon he makes peace between the parties concerned, there shall be no sin on him. Certainly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

2. Knowledge of the names and attributes of Allah swt. 

What do they imply and what do they mean?

It should be one of our sources of ubudiyah. Study the names and attributes of Allah swt.

In tafseer classes, we sometimes spend hours understanding the ayat but when it comes to the end of the ayat where the names of Allah swt are mentioned, we just skip it and move on to the next ayat. We should ponder what is the meaning of these attributes and why did Allah swt use those attributes in the ayat, what is the relationship between the ayat and the attributes quoted in the ayat.

Homework last week was to read the tafseer of Baqarah verse 182.

In Arabic - Hamudi has a four volume set on the names of Allah swt. There are some books in english, he would not recommend them or even encourage you to read it because there are some dubious things such as read this name 100 times to ward off something.

3. Remembrance of Allah: closely related to taqwa.

Having taqwa does not mean that you are not ever going to commit sin. But if you do commit sin, what would you do to counteract the sin.

4. Look at the circumstances of those who do not have taqwa and you will increase in it inshaAllah.

5. Reminders of death are another feeling for generating taqwa.

6. Pondering about the bounties of Allah swt should lead the individual to be thankful and greatful to Allah swt. This should lead you to avoid doing things that are disliked by Allah swt

Could a non-muslim have taqwa?

A secularist could guard himself exceedingly well against swine flu. But we are talking about taq-ullah. So no a non-muslim cannot be a muttaqeen.

Ali-Imran verse 102

Have taqwa of allah swt, as is his right and die not except as muslims. Allah swt is deserving of taqwa.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ

Muhsin Khan: O you who believe! Fear Allah (by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared. [Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always], and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allah.

Hadith narrated by Abdullah ibn Masud:

Some scholars say this verse is abrogated by another verse (Taghabun) in the Quran, to have taqwa to the best of our ability. Ibn Abbas says it is not abrogated.

We have too many weaknesses and shortcomings to fulfill the right of Allah swt.

As a grace of Allah swt, he has given us a way out, by ordering us to have taqwa to the best of our ability.

Surah At-Taghabun verse 16

فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ وَاسْمَعُوا وَأَطِيعُوا وَأَنفِقُوا خَيْرًا لِّأَنفُسِكُمْ ۗ وَمَن يُوقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

Muhsin Khan: So keep your duty to Allah and fear Him as much as you can; listen and obey; and spend in charity, that is better for yourselves. And whosoever is saved from his own covetousness, then they are the successful ones.

Tafsir al-Jalalayn: So fear God as far as you can — this abrogates His saying: Fear God as He should be feared [Q. 3:102] — and listen, to what you have been enjoined to, listening disposed to accept, and obey and expend, in obedience [to Him]; that is better for your souls (khayran li-anfusikum is the predicate of an implied yakun, ‘[that] is’, and the response to the imperative). And whoever is shielded from the avarice of his own soul, such are the successful, the winners.

This verse does not release us from striving and working as hard to have as much taqwa as we can have. It is not an excuse whatsoever.  اسْتَطَعْتُمْ means the best of our ability. If you are not striving then you do not have taqwa.

Taqwa is going to cover your relationship with Allah swt and your nafs and other human beings. In the hadith #18, prophet is emphasizing one relationship, namely with Allah swt. It is one key to your success. It covers all three keys or three relationships. Follow up good deeds is to take care of your nafs and finally how to behave with others.

Discussion about repeatedly chanting names of Allah swt.

Sheikh said that repeating something without understanding it or thinking about its meaning is pointless. Thte dzikr of the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) are complete sentences e.g. Alhamdulillah. Complete statements from the Quran, you can ponder about them. But just repeating Rahman over and over again is not the same.

2010-01-31 Class Notes

Sheikh recommends the following book in Arabic to understand the names of Allah swt. It is in four volumes. النهج الأسنى فى شرح أسماء الله الحسنى  al-nahj al-asma fi sharh asma Allah al-husni by Muhammad Al-Hamood al-Najdi


In the first part of the hadith, prophet is giving us advice to have taqwa. In the second part of the hadith, he says "follow up a bad deed with a good deed and it will wipe it out".

It implies that a person who has taqwa may commit sins. And a person who has taqwa will follow up bad deed with good deed

Ali Imran 134-135

الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ فِي السَّرَّاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

Muhsin Khan: Those who spend [in Allah's Cause - deeds of charity, alms, etc.] in prosperity and in adversity, who repress anger, and who pardon men; verily, Allah loves Al-Muhsinun (the good-doers).

Here Allah swt describes a muttaqee

وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُوا فَاحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ ذَكَرُوا اللَّهَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا لِذُنُوبِهِمْ وَمَن يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَلَمْ يُصِرُّوا عَلَىٰ مَا فَعَلُوا وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ

Muhsin Khan: And those who, when they have committed Fahishah (illegal sexual intercourse etc.) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins; - and none can forgive sins but Allah - And do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know.

Some scholars says that bad deeds in the hadith refer to small sins and not grave sins. You cannot wipe away a major sin just by following it with a good deed, you have to seek repentance forgiveness from Allah swt.

Some other scholars says that good deed mentioned in hadith is specific good deed and it is refering to repentance. So follow up a bad deed with repentance. If you truly repent from it, then it will wipe out your sin. 

Hadeeth is more general and not specific according to the Sheikh.

Wipe away sin - Sin has evil effects. We not only want sin to be wiped away but negative repercussions of the sin.

Is the sin wiped away from your book of deeds? Will the record be wiped away when you meet Allah swt from your book of deeds?

Some scholars say that effects of the sin will be wiped away, but it will still remain recorded in the book of deeds. They quote the ayat, that whoever does good equal to the weight of an atom shall see it. And whoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom shall see it. (Al Zalzalah verse 7-8)

Regardless of whether the deed is recorded or not, you must follow up a bad deed by a good deed.

Can bad deeds also wipe away good deeds?

Obviously shirk will wipe away any good deeds that you might have done. There is some evidence, Aisha reported that dealing with riba erases the reward of participating in jihad. As further evidence, Allah swt says in  Surah Al Hujurat verse 2

 يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَرْفَعُوا أَصْوَاتَكُمْ فَوْقَ صَوْتِ النَّبِيِّ وَلَا تَجْهَرُوا لَهُ بِالْقَوْلِ كَجَهْرِ بَعْضِكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ أَن تَحْبَطَ أَعْمَالُكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَشْعُرُونَ

Muhsin Khan: O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet (SAW), nor speak aloud to him in talk as you speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds may be rendered fruitless while you perceive not.

Ibn Taymiyah wrote a book about this. The worst punishment you will face will be in the hereafter. If there is any way if we can remove the possibility of punishment in the hereafter.

Targheeb is to encourage and give incentive. Tarheeb is to remind people of the punishment, pointing out the wrong. These concepts must be kept in mind when giving khutbahs. There has to be some balance, there must be encouragement that will make them appreciate Allah swt and make them want to worship and please Allah swt.

Christian belief: Every sin you commit is mortal. It means you deserve death for any sin you commit. It also implies eternal punishment. And they also believe that you are born with sin. So the only way to seek refuge is for God to sacrifice his only son. In Islam, the door to having the sin removed is always open.

Allah swt rahmah is above is his justice. You will get whatever you earn. Allah swt will give you credit for anything that comes to your aid, such as niyat. But you will receive punishment for only the evil deeds that you have committed. Ibn Taymiyyah mentions that actions that other people did with the intention that you the deceased get the reward for it.

Is there some evidence that you can do actions for the deceased?

Classroom discussion: Hadith of woman asking to perform hajj on behalf of her deceased parents. There is a tradition of reading Quran on behalf of the deceased. Is this allowed? The manner in which they do it is not sunnah. It is bida. Prophet did not pray Janazah prayers until the deceaseds debts were paid off.

On this point the scholars differ because there is some evidence for some deeds but you cannot generalize it for almost any deed or for all deeds.

Is there any contradiction between the concept of doing deeds on behalf of others and the Quran.

For example, the Quran says, you will only be recompensed for the deeds you commited. 

Surah Yasin verse 54

فَالْيَوْمَ لَا تُظْلَمُ نَفْسٌ شَيْئًا وَلَا تُجْزَوْنَ إِلَّا مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

Muhsin Khan: This Day (Day of Resurrection), none will be wronged in anything, nor will you be requited anything except that which you used to do.

How can we reconcile these two concepts, or do we need to reconcile them?

Among the scholars they differ on what can be given on the behalf of the deceased. Benefits of sadaqah, hajj, reading quran will benefit the deceased according to Imam Abu Hanifa. Imam Shafiee and Malik are more conservative.

Why would somebody do good deeds on behalf of others?

In general they will do deeds on your behalf, only if they found some good in you or your deeds. So your good actions will cause somebody to perform good deeds for you after you die.

Would you benefit by your actions which you are performing on behalf of somebody else?

If an act is not sincerely for benefit of somebody else then it will not be rewarded. There is no clear evidence to answer this question. Because if your act is self-less then you are not doing it for your own benefit.

2010-02-07 Class Notes

ibn Taymiyyah has written an essay about 10 ways in which sins can be removed. We also discussed that others can do good deeds for us and we presented some evidence. 

Some of the scholars think that hasana means taubah or repentance in the hadith. Their argument is that major sins cannot be wipped by just doing good deeds, you have to seek repentance. ibn Taymiyyah begins with taubah as his #1 action that can expiate sins.


Allah swt says there is no reason for any believer to despair from the mercy of Allah swt no matter what kind of sins they have performed, this applies even for non-believers. Surah Buruj, Allah swt is recounting the story of the believers who were put in the pit of fire simply because of their belief, and Allah swt says that those who did this act of burning the believers will be punished only if they do not repent. So even for them the door of repentance is open. All of us slip some time and Allah swt leaves the door of taubah open for us.

Allah swt, Oh my slaves who have wronged themselves, do not despair, ....

Define Taubah

Taubah means to return. So when one repents, he returns from his sins.

Taubah is also used wrt Allah swt. Allah swt says in Surah Taubah - Then Allah swt returned (verb Ta aab) to them. It means he offers them forgiveness.

What exactly is Taubah?

Scholars state conditions of taubah. There is also a hadith of prophet, brings essence of taubah to one concept, nadm or remorse is taubah. Remorse is the main component of taubah. If one does not feel remorse for the action, even if he stops doing the action, but if he does not feel remorse, then it is not taubah. Suppose somebody leaves sin for personal reasons is also not taubah. For example to stop drinking because of the harm caused by drinking or due to financial hardships is not taubah. Remorse should be due to harm caused by displeasing Allah swt. So remorse has due to what you have done due to disobeying Allah swt.

Another condition is that you have to stop the sinful act. Another condition is that he has intention to not do it again in the future. Fourth condition is that the sin is harmful to other human beings then he has to make reprimands, so if he has stolen so

Components of Taubah

1 Remorse for the sinful act due to disobidience to Allah swt

2 Stop sinful act

3 Intention to not commit the sinful act

4 Reprimands to human beings if the sinful act is committed against them

If you repent and then you come back to sin, then you have to perform taubah again. Here we are assuming the taubah was sincere

Some scholars say that the first taubah would be wiped out, based on some evidence, Hadith from Sahih Bukhari - Those people who accept Islam, their previous sins were forgiven, however if after accepting Islam, and they go back to performing the sinful act that they were forgiven, then he will be held responsible for both act performed as a Muslim and before accepting Islam.

Rights of human beings

You have to undo the harm committed by your sins. If you have no means to undo the harm, then if you have the right intention then it might be sufficient, some scholars say that you should make dua for them or pay saqdaqah on their behalf. The best thing is for you to seek their forgiveness, and if you fear that it may cause more harm, then you can repent without going to that individual

Rights of Allah swt

Drinking khamr (alcohol) is considered violating one of the rights of Allah swt. If the sin has some punishment, then you have to subject yourself to that punishment. If Allah swt has kept that sin secret, then as part of taubah, is it acceptable to seek the punishment. We have examples from the time of the prophet, where people who committed zinna went and asked for punishment. Punishment is part of taubah. However if Allah swt has kept your sin secret, then you can make the taubah between you and Allah swt, as long as the sin does not involve harm to human beings. However if you want to make sure that your taubah is sincere, then you can seek punishment for your sin

Is it possible to taubah for just some of your sins? Selective taubah

A person is stealing, drinking alcohol, and consuming riba. Now he feels remorse for alcohol, can he seek taubah for just one of his sins? Can he prioritize his sins? It is not necessary to make taubah from all your sins. ibn Taymiyyah says that if the sins are of the same nature, if there is no relationship between the sins, then you can seek taubah for one of your sins. However if they are related then you cannot seek taubah for just one sin.

Allah swt orders us in the Qur'an to make taubah nassuh: Seek sincere repentance. What is meant by taubah nassuh? What does nassuh mean? Same root as nasiha. It has to be real sincere. Some of the sahaba who commented on this surah, there is no returning to sin after performing taubah. 

Jahal  بِجَهَالَةٍ  - Is forgeting Allah swt - Stupidity or ignorance while committing the sins

Surah Nisa verse 17

إِنَّمَا التَّوْبَةُ عَلَى اللَّهِ لِلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السُّوءَ بِجَهَالَةٍ ثُمَّ يَتُوبُونَ مِن قَرِيبٍ فَأُولَٰئِكَ يَتُوبُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا

Muhsin Khan: Allah accepts only the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and foolishness and repent soon afterwards; it is they to whom Allah will forgive and Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.

Repent before death

How sincere is the taubah when one is informed that he is given few days to live by his doctors?

We cannot say anything about a person's sincerety.

By performing taubah, you should have increased your iman. What should occur when you have performed taubah and are not struck with some fitnah? This fitnah should insha-allah become an opportunity for you to come closer to Allah swt.

Ill effects of the sin should also be removed in this life and the hereafter, after he performs taubah. Hadith says that one who performs taubah, it is as if he did not commit the sin.

... I took a break for Maghrib ....

What is the difference between isteegfar and taubah?

What is the root meaning of isteegfar? It means to cover

Taubah means to return, lexically speaking.

Isteegfar is seeking your sins to be covered.

Isteegfar is seeking of forgiveness from Allah swt can be independently done from taubah. Taubah is remorse, avoiding acts, intention to not commit the sin. 

When would somebody perform isteegfar and not perform taubah?

When you recognize the sin and you are weak to remove yourself from the sin, is all hope lost, can you ask Allah swt to forgive you for the sin. This is isteegfar. He is still hoping for forgiveness from Allah swt, he has not yet performed taubah. Such a person may forgive him or may punish him.

2010-02-14 Class Notes

Discuss mercy of Allah swt and how Allah swt removes sins from us by various means. If someone dies in the state of Imaan, in the hereafter two things might happen: Individual enters directly into Jannah or there might be some punishment for his actions. Some muslims will be sent to hellfire until they are purified of their sins and they will be rescued from the hellfire. Allah swt has given us many opportunities to remove sins from us, such that we will not have to face this punishment in the hereafter. The punishment in the hereafter is more grievous than anything they face in this life or in the grave.

We know Allah swt is Rahman and Rahim. He has provided many means by which we will escape our punishment. The Muslims who will be punished will be truly deserving it even after all the opportunities.

Taubah is repentance. If someone meets the condition of taubah, then he has the promise of Allah swt that the sin that you committed will be removed. Not everyone is able to meet the condition of taubah. In particular the condition of removing yourself from sin and resolving not to commit the sin again is very difficult for him. 

Taubah Kadhibeen - Taubah of the liars - One who does not have the resolve to not commit sin, in your heart you are already planning when to commit the sin again. However not everything is lost for the individual who continues to commit these sins. This leads to Istigfaar.

When Isteegfar is separated from taubah is seeking for Allah's forgviness without all of the conditions of Taubah. Recognizing that you have done is wrong is significant. Doing something sinful and not caring about whether it is halaal or haraam is significant. You recognize that you need Allah's forgiveness is a significant act. Even though you may have not developed the resolve to not commit the sin, your turning to Allah swt and seeking his forgiveness is significant. Allah swt may forgive you or he may not forgive you. Allah swt may forgive you the sins without taubah.

Hadith: An individual committed sin and said, Oh Allah I have commited a sin so forgive me. Allah swt said, My slave knows that he has a lord who forgives sins. And then Allah swt says that I have forgiven him. Then the prophet described after some period of time and commits a sin. And then the person repeats and Allah swt forgives him. This happens third time and then Allah swt says I have forgiven him and he may do as he pleases.

Never having despair. Only disbelievers ever despair from Allah swt. Asking Allah swt to forgive you, even though you maybe committing the sin or not have the resolve to not commit the sin again. If someone is of the nature that he commits sin and seeks forgiveness, then no matter what he does, this individual will be forgiven, as long as he seeks forgiveness. Isteegfar is something in the heart that seeks forgiveness, it is not something that is just on the tongue.

Is Isteegfar obligatory? Why?

Scholars agree that isteegfar is obligatory on the prophet. Surah An Nasr. Seek forgiveness from Allah swt. What about us in general? 

Isteegfar is not just related to sins. After performing the salaat we say isteegfar three times. Why? We ask Allah swt not just to cover our sins but also to overlook our shortcomings. So we says Isteegfar after committing a good deed. To overlook our shortcomings. In that sense, isteegfar is a much wider concept than taubah.

The best way to seek forgiveness from Allah swt (sayyidd al isteegfar)

Hadith of the prophet that describes the dua to seek forgiveness from Allah swt

Bukhari. Vol 8. Book 80. The Book of Invocations. Hadith # 6306.

1. Reaffirming your relationship with Allah

2. You state that you have created me and I am your servant, and I am following you to the best of my abilities

3. I seek refuge in you from the evil that I have done

4. I recognize the bounties that you have bestowed upon me and I confess to the sin I have committed

5. So forgive me, for no one forgives sin except you

Tauheed of recognizing the truth of Allah swt and tauheed of your ibadat.

Even if you havent had the strength to stop committing the sin, insha-allah it will have an impact on your heart. Shaitan will say to you  why are you seeking forgiveness from Allah swt when you are committing this sin over and over again and there is no way Allah swt is going to forgive you.

Hadith: A man came to the prophet and asked for expiation of his sin. Salat will wipe away your evil deeds. It is noted that during this occasion the verse was revealed that good deeds will wipe away evil deeds.

Hadith of the prophet: Five daily prayers, friday prayers, ramadhan will act as expiation for evil deeds as long as you do not commit major sins (al-kabaeer).

A person's attitude towards minor sins might make a minor sin a major sin. In reality it is a minor sin but his action or his attitude is an indicator.

There are some scholars who do not distinguish between minor and major sins. They say all sins are the same. These scholars are going against the hadith of the prophet wherein he distinguishes between minor and major sins.

There are 70 major sins according to some scholars - Kabaeer by Al Dhahabi. Be careful about this book, since there are many additions to the book that are not by Dhahabi. 

Prophet did describe 7 major destructive sins:

1. Shirk

2. Riba

3. Fleeing from the battlefield

4. Zina

5. Falsely accusing chaste women



Other ways to expiate sins:


Through supplication for other muslims. Some scholars say that the individual did participate in that deed. Because the individual did something that led others to perform good deeds on your behalf.

Intercession of individuals on your behalf

Hadith: No one dies and then has a group of muslim reaches 100 that prays for him, then there will be intercession for him.

Intercession of the prophet.

" intercession is for the people who commit the grave sins from my ummah."

Any hardships or inconvienences that we face in this world. Even a prick of a thorn, and Allah swt raises your degree and removes sin from you. And if you remain patient when you face hardships, then these hardships or difficulties can become greatest source of reward. This should distinguish a believer from a disbeliever. Whatever happens to him can be a source of good. All of it can be a source of good. Not everyone thinks of this fact or are conscious about this world. We succumb to our weaknesses.

Ulema also mention hardship of the grave which will expiate some of our sins.

the hardships that we face in this world and the punishment in the grave are beyond our control. Allah uses them to remove sins.

Hardship on the day of judgement. Events of the day of judgement will be difficult and trying for an individual. Imagine facing your final judgement in front of Allah swt.

General mercy and forgiveness of Allah swt. Even after all opportunities to expiate our sins, we can still rely on the mercy and forgiveness of Allah swt. It gives us great hope. One of the key aspects to uboodiyah is to really understand the names and attributes of Allah swt. Somebody who truly knows and understands Allah swt. Key to our life is how we behave towards Allah swt, are we trying to serve and respect Allah swt. Are we trying to please Allah swt?

One of the greatest realities is the mercy of Allah swt. We are reminded when we say bismillah-ir-rahman-ir-rahim and when we recite surah al fatiha.

2010-02-21 Class Notes

Link to the Great Sins booklet distributed by Sheikh Jamaal

Today we will talk about the last portion of the hadith. Behave toward people with good behavior. The word used in Arabic for behaviour and overall manners of people is khuluq. It comes from the same root as khalq - person's being or person's creation. It is referred to as a second nature of a person. Something that directly flows from the person. That's what he  is. This does not mean that it is something fixed and that he cannot change his or her khuluq.

Lots of muslim scholars wrote about khuluq. They were influenced by other ideologies. And they were of the opinion that it is something fixed. This understanding is not of Islam.

The command from prophet in the above hadith implies that you can control your khuluq. If you work on changing yourself.

ibn Razm on his commentary on 40 hadith - Khuluq is part of taqwa. He says taqwa cannot be complete without it. Prophet mentioned it specifically to emphasize it. 

Many people think of taqwa as fulfilling rights of Allah swt which in their opinion is praying and fasting but not their relationships with others. We have seen people who are religious but do not deal with people in a good manner.

Mohamed Qutub, contemporary author, one of his points, shahadah - there is khuluq of la-ila-ha-illalah - khuluq of the shahadah. He relates the story of a student who has discussing his thesis which was relationship between akhlaq and manner. One of the committee members asked him what is the relationship between akhlaq and aqeedah. Mohamed Qutub said that somebody who is a professor of aqeedah does not realize the relationship then it is no surprise that a majority of the people are lacking in it too.

Quran: I have not create man and jinn except to worship me.

We have to have khuluq that is representative of lailahaillah. The prophet has emphasized the fact that akhlaq behavior is one of the main concerns of islam. 

Hadith: Inna ma ... completing the good morals and character

Hadith: He is the guarantoor of a house in the highest part of jannah to one who makes his behaviour good

Hadith: Righteousness or piety, the essence of it is to have good character. Al Birr ul husnul khuluq.

Hadith: The believer with the most complete Iman is the one with the best behaviour

Hadith: There is nothing heavier in the scale than good character

Hadith: A believer reaches due to his good character the position of one who fasts and performs night prayers.

Allah swt describes muminun by their behaviour. On the other hand, he describes munafeequn by their behaviour - they lie, they break their promises etc

Where do we got our khuluq from? What we consider proper or improper? Where do we get it from?

It should be based on Quran and Sunnah. In particular from the prophet.

Aisha: His (the prophet) behaviour is the Quran 

The foundation of our character should be the Quran. Many times we get our behaviour from our parents, our society. There are some actions that are accepted or demanded behaviour but sometimes these actions are not approved by the Quran.

Many times we have a distorted understanding of good behaviour, good manners, good conduct. Sometimes we find a person who smiles and says good words and we say that he has good behaviour but we do not consider the attributes that are required by the Quran and Sunnah.

Khuluq comprises of the following:

Behaviour with respect to Creator

Behaviour with respect to other human beings

Behaviour with respect to his own nafs

Behaviour with respect to all other living creatures (animals)

Behaviour with respect to all of Allah swt creations such as resources,

Individual has good khuluq wrt to everybody else but is very poor wrt his parents. What would you say about his khuluq?

Disrespectful in public and private to his parents. Can we say this person has good khuluq. Since he is disrespectful to the people who is deserving the most respect from him.

A person has nice characteristics and traits but is disrespectful of his rights towards his creator. It is worse than the above example.

Khuluq towards Allah swt

1. Believe sincerely in whatever Allah swt has revealed without any doubt or wavering. Do not iqnore the words of Allah swt

2. The intention to fulfill the commands of Allah swt

3. Have patience with whatever Allah swt has decreed for us. There will be trials and difficulties. As part of our proper behaviour that we take these more difficult times in the right way, bear them patiently.

Khuluq wrt other human beings

Positive: Honesty, integrity, kindness, forgiveness, generosity

Negative: Lying, cheating, 

You can have influence on other human beings because of your good character. And then have a positive influence on them.

Quran Fussilat verse 34: 

وَلَا تَسْتَوِي الْحَسَنَةُ وَلَا السَّيِّئَةُ ۚ ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ فَإِذَا الَّذِي بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُ وَلِيٌّ حَمِيمٌ

Muhsin Khan: The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better (i.e. Allah 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.

Sheikh mentioned the power of the Arabic language in the above ayat.


Khuluq towards one's own soul (nafs)

Your nafs has some rights upon you.  In the same way as you treat others, your soul is also deserving of it.

Khuluq towards other living creatures

Good behaviour towards animals. 

Prophet has commanded us from wasting wealth.

Prophet has shown how he interacted with Mt Uhud

The mimbar wept when the prophet was not preaching from it

Khuluq is simply not just being nice, but is much more comprehensive and it starts with rights of Allah swt. Rights of Allah swt takes precedence over others. Good khuluq is not that you sit and remain silent when others people do something wrong. Good khuluq is not remaining silent when it requires you to be active or even angry. You could see the displeasure on the face of the prophet when something wrong was occuring in front of him.

If somebody is making a joke about Allah swt, you do not remain silent.

A parent knows exactly what the sheikh is talking about. When we find that our children are experimenting with drugs and parents who stay silent. It makes no sense to remain silent when your children are going on the wrong path.

Applying hikmah is one of the characteristics of good khuluq. Those who are short sighted about what comprises khuluq are missing something valuable about the meaning of khuluq.

Short temper is one of the bad characteristics - there must be some way to change and replace it with patience and other good characteristics.

Next time we will talk about how to attain good character.

2010-02-28 Class Notes

Changing your behaviour

It is possible to change your behaviour. This hadith is shareeah proof that it is possible to change yourself. It is an obligation to try to change their behaviour and not to excuse themselves.

If someone has good characteristics then he should be thankful to Allah swt. He has the obligation to nurture that blessing in a good manner. Even good qualities have to be exhibited within the limits of Shareeah. Driving force has to be good intentions.

Bad characteristics: Short temper, miserly, stingy. Our ulema (ibn Uthaymiyyah) have discussed some of the ways to change these characteristics by effort, practice and constant reminder. The real driving force that should drive a person's khuluq is his imaan. Imaan puts everything into proper perspective. Then your behaviour changes.

People who converted to Islam and what kind of effect it had on this person's behaviour.  An example of a person who was short tempered or very competitive when watching or participating in a game or sports. People get upset quickly when they are playing sports. Once you realize how unimportant these things are in the greater scheme of things. If you win or loose a game will it affect your relationship with Allah swt. It changes how you see things because you have some higher priorities and you will not be affected by some insignificant things. 

When somebody knows their nyamah is from Allah swt then he will not be upset by spending or even loosing some wealth since he is now aware that the nyamah is from Allah swt.

Ibn Uthaymiyyah has mentioned some practical steps to change our behaviour.

1. Awareness: Muslims give salat their top priority but fail to give khuluq its place of importance. Many muslims are not aware of it. So make yourselves aware of khuluq is very important starting point and it will lead your to change your behaviour.

2. Be in company of people who have good behaviour or khuluq. Good behaviour rubs off one another. You look like a fool, if you are the only one who is short tempered when you are around people who are not short tempered. Prophet has mentioned in a very well known hadith about the importance of close friends. 

3. Think about negative results of bad character in this life and the hereafter. It is related to awareness but it is focused on consequences of bad behaviour. 

4. Follow the example of the Prohet. His was the example of khuluq. He was an example of the moral teachings of the Quran. This is overlooked even by people who talk about following the sunnah. Some follow the sunnah wrt ibadaat or the way they dress but fail to follow the khuluq. Sometimes even who claim to follow the sunnah show that they lack of proper khuluq such as having patience, overlooking people's faults, being kind. Our khuluq should be based on Quran and we should take the prophet as our example and see how he behaved in various situations and learn from it.

5. Forcing oneself or training oneself in the acts of good character. Take for example miserliness, the person who is a miser, thinks he is going to loose something when he is forced to give away something small. When he forces himself to give away something small and realizes that his world has not fallen part and then gradually increases his habit of giving more. Good khuluq also requires smiling and giving salaam. It doesn't take much to force yourself to smile more often and to greet others. It reinforces your khuluq, it begins to build upon itself. But you have to force yourself to start. You have to take an initiative. You start small and build up and before you know it, it becomes second nature and you will start to miss the good characteristics. 

6. Turning to Allah swt and asking Allah swt to make our khuluq good. In one dua recorded by Imam Ahmad, Prophet said: "Oh Allah you have made by physical presence good, so make my khuluq good." In another dua, the prophet is reminding us, "Guide me to the best manner as nobody else can turn me except you...."

Tirmidhi's grading of hadeeth

Some discussion about which I was not able to capture.

Submitting to haq or truth

Fiqh al Akhlaq

Hadith #27

The beginning part of this hadith is related to the hadith which we just concluded. Hadith #27 is a combination of two hadith. 

Righteousness is good character .... Al Birr Husnun Khuluq Recorded by Muslim

And the second hadith recorded from musnad of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal. This second hadith is guidance about good character. It is hasan.

Nawasa ibn Samaan and the other sahaba are not well known sahaba. They are not from Medina. Nawasa did not emigrate to Madinah and explained why he did not emigrate. 

Muslims in Medina in general were not allowed to ask too many questions because they were close to the prophet and then the prophet is forced to answer the question and further restrict the shareeah.

The reason Nawas did not migrate because since he was not from Medinah and when he visited, he was allowed to ask questions.

The second sahaba came to ask the question about birr and righteousness. And even before he asked his question, the prophet said you have come to ask me about birr. The prophet mentioned it before he came to visit. This knowledge is from Allah swt. Al Birr husnun Khuluq. 

Al Birr husnun khuluq - the most essential property of birr or piety is khuluq. 

Next week we will have an exam. Be prepared for exam.