The Completion Of Faith, Its Increase and Decrease

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It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said:

“The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘Faith has sixty-some or seventy parts, the least of which is to remove a harmful thing from the road and the greatest of which is to say La ilaha illalah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah). And modesty is a branch of faith.'” Another chain from Abu Hurairah, from the Prophet (ﷺ) with similar wording. Graded Sahih by Al-Albani (Sunan Ibn Majah Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadith 57)

Narrated Abu Hurairah:

that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Faith has seventy-some odd doors, the lowest of which is removing something harmful from the road, and its highest is the statement ‘La Ilaha Illallah.'” Graded Sahih by Al-Albani. (Jami’ at-Tirmidhi Vol. 5, Book 38, Hadith 2614)

Greater reward awaits those who memorize the Quran and act upon it

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At-Tirmidhi (2914) and Abu Dawood (1464) narrated that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “It will be said to the companion of the Qur’an: ‘Read, and ascend, and recite as you used to recite in the [previous] world, for your status will be according to the last verse that you recite.’”

Shaykh Muhammad Shams al-Haqq al-‘Azeemabaadi (may Allah have mercy on him) said [1]:

“It will be said”: i.e., when people are admitted to Paradise

“to the companion of the Qur’an” i.e., the one who consistently recites it and acts upon it, not the one who reads it and does not act upon it.

“Read and ascend” i.e., to the higher levels of Paradise or of closeness to Allah.””and recite” i.e., do not be hasty in your recitation in Paradise

“as you used to recite” that is, in your reading

“in the [previous] world”.

From this hadith, it may be understood that this greater reward will not be attained except by one who memorized the Qur’an and learned how to recite it properly and in a precise manner, as it should be done.

[1] ‘Awn al-Ma‘bood fi Sharh Sunan Abi Dawood (4/237).

There is a Difference between a Believer and a Muslim

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Allah chastises the bedouins who, when they embraced Islam, claimed for themselves the grade of faithful believers. However, Faith had not yet firmly entered their hearts,

قَالَتِ الْأَعْرَابُ آمَنَّا ۖ قُل لَّمْ تُؤْمِنُوا وَلَٰكِن قُولُوا أَسْلَمْنَا وَلَمَّا يَدْخُلِ الْإِيمَانُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ

The bedouins say: “We believe.” Say: “You do not believe, but say, ‘We have submitted,’ for Faith has not yet entered your hearts…”

This honorable Ayah provides proof that Faith is a higher grade than Islam, according to the scholars of the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah. This is also demonstrated in the Hadith of Jibril, peace be upon him, when he questioned the Prophet about Islam, then Iman then Ihsan. Thus moving the general matter to one more specific, then even more specific. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Amir bin Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas said, “The Messenger of Allah gave (something to) some men and did not give one of them. Sa`d said, `O Allah’s Messenger, you gave to so-and-so and so-and-so. However, you gave nothing to so-and-so, even though he is a believer.’ The Prophet said,

Imam Ahmad recorded that `Amir bin Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas said, “The Messenger of Allah gave (something to) some men and did not give one of them. Sa`d said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger, you gave to so-and-so and so-and-so. However, you gave nothing to so-and-so, even though he is a believer.’ The Prophet said, ‘Or say, a Muslim.’ Sa`d repeated his statement thrice each time the Prophet answered, ‘Or say, a Muslim.’ The Prophet then said, ‘I might give some men and give nothing to others, even though the latter are dearer to me than the former. I do not give them things for fear that they might be thrown on their faces in the Fire.'” This Hadith is recorded in the Two Sahihs.

Therefore, the Prophet made a distinction between the grade of a believer and the grade of a Muslim, indicating that Iman is a more exclusive grade than Islam.

So this proves that the bedouins whom the Ayah mentioned were not hypocrites, rather they were Muslims in whose hearts Faith was not yet firmly established. They claimed a higher grade for themselves than the grade that they earned, and they were taught a lesson as a consequence. This meaning agrees with the meaning given by Ibn `Abbas, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Qatadah and that preferred by Ibn Jarir. These bedouins were taught a lesson:

قُل لَّمْ تُؤْمِنُوا وَلَٰكِن قُولُوا أَسْلَمْنَا وَلَمَّا يَدْخُلِ الْإِيمَانُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ

Say: “You do not believe, but say ‘We are Muslims,’ for Faith has not yet entered your hearts…”

This means, ‘you have not yet achieved the reality of Faith.’

Allah the Exalted said,

وَإِن تُطِيعُواْ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ لاَ يَلِتْكُمْ مِّنْ أَعْمَـلِكُمْ شَيْئاً

But if you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not decrease anything in reward for your deeds…

This means, ‘He will not decrease any of your rewards,’ as Allah said; “We shall not decrease the reward of their deeds in anything.” (52:21)

Allah said:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

…for those who repent and return to Him.

Allah’s statement,

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَرْتَابُوا وَجَاهَدُوا بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الصَّادِقُونَ

The believers are only the ones who have believed in Allah and His Messenger and then doubt not but strive with their properties and their lives in the cause of Allah . It is those who are the truthful.

The believers did not have doubts and their Faith was not shaken. Rather, their Faith remained on conviction. They gladly gave away their life and the most precious of their wealth in obedience to Allah as a means of seeking His pleasure.

EVIL is the name of wickedness after having faith

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Allah the Exalted forbids scoffing at people, which implies humiliating and belittling them. In the Sahih, it is recorded that the Messenger of Allah said, “Arrogance is refusing the truth and belittling people.” And in another version, “And despising people.”

It is forbidden to scoff at and belittle people, for the injured party could be more honored and dearer to Allah the Exalted than those who ridicule and belittle them. This is why Allah the Exalted said,

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا يَسْخَرْ قَوْمٌ مِّن قَوْمٍ عَسَىٰ أَن يَكُونُوا خَيْرًا مِّنْهُمْ وَلَا نِسَاءٌ مِّن نِّسَاءٍ عَسَىٰ أَن يَكُنَّ خَيْرًا مِّنْهُنَّ

O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at (i.e. ridicule) another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former. Nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former.

The above statements from the verse states the prohibition for men and then women.

The statement of Allah the Exalted,

ۖ وَلَا تَلْمِزُوا أَنفُسَكُمْ

Nor defame yourselves

This statement of Allah forbids defaming each other. He among men who is a slanderer, and a backbiter, is cursed and condemned as Allah states: { Woe to every Humazah, Lumazah } (104:1)

Hamz is defamation by action, while Lamz is [defamation] by words.

Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said, { Hammaz (defaming), going about with slander. } (68:11) meaning, he belittles and defames people, transgressing and spreading slander among them, which is the Lamz that uses words as its tool.

Allah’s statement here, { Nor defame yourselves, } just as He said in another Ayah, { Nor kill yourselves } (4:29), meaning, nor kill one another.

`Abdullah bin `Abbas, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Qatadah and Muqatil bin Hayyan said that the Ayah, { Nor defame yourselves, } means, none of you should defame each other, while,

وَلَا تَنَابَزُوا بِالْأَلْقَابِ

Nor insult one another by nicknames

means, ‘you should not address people by nicknames that people dislike.’

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Jabirah bin Ad-Dahhak said, “This Ayah was revealed about us, Banu Salamah; When the Messenger of Allah migrated to Al-Madinah, every man among us had two or three nicknames. When the Prophet called a man by one of these nicknames, people would say, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! He hates that nickname.’ Then this Ayah, { nor insult one another by nicknames. } was revealed.” Abu Dawud also collected this Hadith.

The statement of Allah the Exalted and Most Honored,

بِئْسَ الِاسْمُ الْفُسُوقُ بَعْدَ الْإِيمَانِ

  Evil is the name of wickedness after faith

This means the names and descriptions of wickedness are evil; meaning, ‘to use the nicknames that were used by the people of Jahiliyyah, after you embraced Islam and understood it.’

وَمَن لَّمْ يَتُبْ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ

And whosoever does not repent (from this sin), then such are indeed wrongdoers.

Reference: Tafsir ibn Kathir: Surah Al-Hujurat 49:11

 

Between a man and polytheism and disbelief is the abandonment of salah

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It is narrated on the authority of Jabir that he heard the Apostle (may peace and blessings be upon him) saying: “Verily between man and between polytheism and unbelief is the negligence of prayer.” (Muslim)

He (peace be upon him) also says:

“The covenant between us and them (i.e. the disbelievers) is prayer, so whoever neglects it has become an unbeliever.” (Ahmad, Tirmidhee, Nasaa’ee])

In addition, Allah the Exalted says:

“[And asking them], ‘What put you into saqar (one of the names of Hell (Jahannam) as mentioned in the Quran)?’ They will say, ‘We were not of those who prayed…'” (Quran: Al-Muddaththir: 42-43).

 

 

The more aware a Muslim is of Allah’s Magnificence, the greater shall be the terror in his heart for his punishment and hope of His Mercy

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Abu Dharr (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “I see what you do not see and I hear what you do not hear; heaven has squeaked, and it has right to do so. By Him, in Whose Hand my soul is, there is not a space of four fingers in which there is not an angel who is prostrating his forehead before Allah, the Exalted. By Allah, if you knew what I know, you would laugh little, weep much, and you would not enjoy women in beds, but would go out to the open space beseeching Allah.”
[At-Tirmidhi].

Commentary:
1. This Hadith also highlights the importance of fear of Allah because the more awareness a Muslim has of the Majesty and Magnificence of Allah, the greater shall be the terror in his heart for His punishment and hope of His Mercy. With this state of mind, he will perform greater acts of obedience and abstain more rigidly from sins.

2. The Hadith also mentions the heaven teeming with angels who are all the time prostrating before Allah in worship. When this is the condition of the angels, who do not slack for a moment in the obedience of Allah, how important it is for man to worship Him because he is all the time violating commands of Allah. It is, therefore, incumbent on man to obey Allah and always seek His Help and Refuge.

[Riyad as-Saliheen, Book of Miscellany, Chapter 50, Hadith 406]

Allah describes the Qur’an

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{ Allah has sent down the Best Statement, a Book, its parts resembling each other, (and) oft-repeated. The skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it. Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allah. That is the guidance of Allah. He guides therewith whom He wills; and whomever Allah sends astray, for him there is no guide. }  Surat Az-Zumar 39:23

Here Allah praises His Book, the Noble Qur’an, which was revealed to His noble Messenger.

Allah says, { Allah has sent down the Best Statement, a Book, its parts resembling each other (and) oft-repeated. }

Mujahid said, “This means that the entire Quran’s parts resemble each other and are oft-repeated.”

Qatadah said, “One Ayah resembles another and one letter resembles another.”

Ad-Dahhak said, “It is oft-repeated so that people will understand what their Lord tells them.”

`Ikrimah and Al-Hasan said, “There may be an Ayah in one Surah, and another Ayah in another Surah that resembles it.”

Sa`id bin Jubayr narrated from Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him: “Oft-repeated means that parts of the Qur’an resemble one another and repeat one another.” Some of the scholars said that it was narrated from Sufyan bin `Uyaynah that

{ its parts resembling each other (and) oft-repeated. } means that some passages of the Qur’an may sometimes refer to one thing, so they resemble one another, and sometimes they mention a thing and its opposite. Such as when the believers then the disbelievers are mentioned, or when Paradise then Hell are described, and so on, and this is the meaning of oft-repeated.

Examples include the Ayat:

{ Verily, the most righteous will be in delight; and verily, the most wicked will be in the blazing Fire (Hell). } Al-Infitaar 82:13-14

{ Nay! Truly, the Record of the most wicked is (preserved) in Sijjin } until { Nay! Verily, the Record of the most righteous is (preserved) in `Illiyyin}  Al-Mutaffifin 83: 7-18

{ This is a Reminder. And verily, for those who have Taqwa is a good final return (Paradise) } until { This is so! And for those who transgress, there will be an evil final return (Fire). }  Saad 38:49-55.

And there are other similar passages. All of this has to do with it being oft-repeated, i.e., when two meanings are referred to. But when a passage is about one thing, with some parts of it resembling others, this is “its parts resembling each other.” This is not the same as the Mutashabihat* mentioned in the Ayah 3:7 that refers to something else altogether:

{ In it are Ayat that are entirely clear, they are the foundations of the Book; others not entirely clear }  Al-Imran 3:7

*Mutashabih verses are allegorical verses in the Qur’an, consistent in themselves and although obscure in meaning, cannot be questioned and their true meanings cannot be pursued. The true meaning is known only to Allah.

{ The skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it. Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allah. } means, this is the description of the righteous, when they hear the Words of the Compeller, the Protector, the Almighty, the Oft-Forgiving because they understand the promises and warnings contained therein. The frightening words and threats make their skin shiver from fear.

{ Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allah. } because of their hope for His mercy and kindness. They are unlike others, the wicked, immoral sinners, in a number of ways: First, They listen to the recitation of the Ayat of the Qur’an, while those (sinners) listen to poetic verse recited by female singers. Second, When the Ayat of Ar-Rahman are recited to them, they fall down in prostration weeping, with the proper attitude of fear, hope, love, understanding and knowledge, as Allah says:

{ The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Ayat are recited unto them, they increase their faith; and they put their trust in their Lord; Who perform the Salah and spend out of that We have provided them. It is they who are the believers in it. For them are grades of dignity with their Lord, and forgiveness and a generous provision (i.e., Paradise). }   At-Tawbah 8:2-4

{ And those who, when they are reminded of the Ayat of their Lord, fall not on them (as if they were) deaf and blind }  Al-Furqan 25:73.

When they hear the Ayat of Allah, they are not too busy to pay attention to them; they listen to them and understand their meanings. So they act upon them and prostrate when they hear them, out of understanding, not out of ignorance and blind following of others. Third, They adhere to the correct etiquette when they listen to them. As the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, used to do when they listened to the words of Allah recited by the Messenger of Allah . Their skin Would shiver, and their hearts would soften to the remembrance of Allah. They did not shout or do other actions that are not natural; on the contrary, they would sit quietly with the proper attitude of fear, in an unparalleled fashion. they attained the victory of praise from their Lord in this world and the Hereafter.

`Abdur-Razzaq said, “Ma`mar told us that Qatadah, may Allah have mercy on him, recited, { The skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it. Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allah. } and said, ‘This is the characteristic of the friends of Allah; Allah has described them in this manner, saying that their skin shivers, their eyes weep and their hearts find rest to the remembrance of Allah. He did not say that they lose their minds and swoon; that is the characteristic of the followers of innovation, and that comes from the Shaytan.'”

Allah’s saying, { That is the guidance of Allah. He guides therewith whom He wills; }, means, this is the characteristic of those whom Allah has guided, and anyone who does anything different is one of those whom Allah has sent astray.

{ and whomever Allah sends astray, for him there is no guide. }

[Tafsir ibn Kathir, Surat Az-Zumar 39:23]

When dealing with the Jews and Christians, do not argue with them unless it is in the politest manner, except for those of them who do wrong

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{  And argue not with the People of the Scripture, except with that which is better—except with such of them as do wrong; and say (to them): “We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you; our God and your God is One, and to Him we have submitted.  }   Surat Al-Ankabut 29:46

What is meant here is that anyone who wants to find out about religion from them should argue with them in a manner that is better, as this will be more effective.

Allah says: { Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching… } (An-Nahl 16:125)

And Allah said to Musa and Harun when he sent them to Fir’awn (Pharaoh): { And speak to him mildly, perhaps he may accept admonition or fear. } (Ta-Ha 20:44)

Allah says here, { except with such of them as do wrong; } meaning, those who turn away from the truth, turning a blind eye to clear evidence, being stubborn and arrogant. In this case, you should progress from debate to combat, fighting them in such a way as to deter them from committing aggression against you. Allah says:

Allah says, { Indeed We have sent Our Messengers with clear proofs, and revealed with them the Scripture and the Balance that mankind may keep up justice. And We brought forth iron wherein is mighty power } until { Verily, Allah is All-Strong, All-Mighty } (Al-Hadid 57:25). Jabir said: “We were commanded to strike with the sword whoever opposes the Book of Allah.”

And His saying: { and say (to them): “We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you; } means, ‘if they tell you something which you do not know to be true or false, say to them: We do not hasten to say it is a lie, because it may be true, and we do not hasten to say it is true because it may be false. We believe in it in general, under the condition that it has been revealed and has not been altered or deliberately misinterpreted.’

Imam Al-Bukhari, may Allah have mercy on him, recorded that Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The People of the Book used to read the Tawrah (Torah) in Hebrew and explain it in Arabic to the Muslims. The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Do not believe the People of the Book and do not deny them. Say: “We believe in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to you. Our God and your God is One, and to Him we have submitted.‘”

This Hadith was narrated only by Al-Bukhari. Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Abbas said: “How can you ask the People of the Book about anything, when your Book that was revealed to the Messenger of Allah is more recent, you read it pure and uncontaminated, it tells you that the People of the Book altered and changed the Book, that they write the Book with their own hands and then say, ‘This is from Allah,’ to purchase with it a small price. Should not the knowledge that you have, prevent you from asking them. No, by Allah, we have never seen any of them asking you about what was sent down to you.”

Al-Bukhari recorded that Humayd bin `Abdur-Rahman heard Mu`awiyah talking to a group of Quraysh in Al-Madinah. He mentioned Ka`b Al-Ahbar, and said: “He was one of the most truthful of those who narrated from the People of the Book, even though we found that some of what he said might be lies.” I say, this means that some of what he said could be classified linguistically as lies, but he did not intend to lie, because he was narrating from manuscripts which he thought were good, but they contained fabricated material, because they did not have people who were so conscientious in memorizing the Scriptures by heart as the people of this great Ummah.

[Tafsir ibn Kathir, Surat Al-Ankabut 29:46]