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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Yahya An-Ninowi


(Jakallah khair Arshad for the notes)

The shaykh talks about the ayah of the Quran, “We have honoured the offspring of Adam”.

Allah Subhanu wa ta'ala distinguished Adam from the creation, honoured him and gave him prophecy, as well as ordering the Malaika (angels) to bow to him.

Adam [Upon him peace] is the father of all prophets in terms of genealogy, but Rasoolullah (sallalahu alaihi wa alihi wassalam), is the father of all the Prophets in terms of prophecy because of the hadith “I was a prophet when Adam was not created yet”.

Everything that is connected to the Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wa alihi wassalam) is honoured because of him.

He (sallalahu alaihi wa alihi wassalam) is the only one who has the ultimate Maqam of shifa’a (station of intercession). He is the shaf’ee (intercessor) of all the prophets and the creation and yet not in need of anyone’s shifa’a. (intercession)

You eat the dates because he (sallalahu alaihi wa alihi wassalam) ate them.

Medina became Munawarra (enlightened) due to his Nur (sallalahu alaihi wa alihi wassalam).

His book became the most honourable book, his Sunna became the most honourable, his Sahaba (Companions) [Radiallahu Anhum] became the most honourable people….

His family became the most honourable family, and his wives became the “mothers of the believers” and that is what we are here to talk about today.

They are amongst the most honourable women to ever put foot on earth.

Sayyida Amina

We do injustice to this noble woman because we do not learn enough about her and don’t talk much about her.

We are often shy to talk about her, because some strange people are eager to make her destiny hellfire.

Abdul Mutalib [Radiallahu anhu] use to have 10 sons and he use to walk with them, and it would appear as the sun and the planets around him.

Abdullah [Radiallahu anhu] went for trading with his father and got use to doing trading and earning for his family…

After Abdullah [Radiallahu anhu] was free from being sacrificed, he was with his father and a woman [Qutaila] approaches him and says that if you leave your father, and marry me, I will give you millions, due to his beauty.

He looks at her and says, “I can not disobey my father”.

Abdul Mutalib [Radiallahu anhu] goes to the Bani Zuhra tribe, very educated people and asked for Sayyida Amina [Radiallahu anha], and the marriage takes place immediately there.

That day, all the women of the city were crying, because they all wanted to marry him.

After 3 days his father informs him that he has to go to Shaam for trading, obeying his father and on the way he sees the same woman who offered him marriage and she ignores him, and he stops and says “How come you are not offering me marriage now and you were before?”.

She replied “Because the light that was between your face has now gone”.

While in Shaam, he dies, and Sayyida Amina [Radiallahu anha] was pregnant and carried that light, and had Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wa alihi wassalam).

Amina [Radiallahu anha] was a woman of high morals, well raised, well educated and very sensitive personality.

She hears of the death of her husband [while being 2 months pregnant] and says a few lines of poetry in his honour…

Days of sadness start for her until the beloved is born.

There are many narrations that mention that the angels use to be around her during her pregnancy.

The birth of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa alihi wassalam) comforts her.

She gave the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa alihi wassalam) for nursing in the desert, as the tradition of those days.

He (sallallahu alaihi wa alihi wassalam) had a great relationship with his mother, as you can see in the hadith.

Do you see the pattern, that the women in the family of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa alihi wassalam) did not live very long… as if Allah Subhanu wa’ ta’ala wants to take her to a better place…

We take many things from her personality, like Sabr (patience) after her husband died, and the difficulties she faced during bringing up the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa alihi wassalam).

She once went to Medina, before her death and took the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa alihi wassalam) with him and she started crying, and the women in Medina, cried with her too.

This family is to sustain lots of hardships and days of sadness, but the price they paid was worth it.

She taught our mothers and wives, so much patience and maturity - that is needed.

Sayyida Aisha

A different personality from the household of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa alihi wassalam).

She lived 66 years approximately, and she was a Faqiha (jurist) who taught many of the Sahaba [Radiallahu Anha], she was a Madrassah (school) herself.

She rejected the narration of various Sahaba [Radiallahu Anhum], indicating her vast knowledge.

She once came to the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa alihi wassalam) and said “ya Rasool-allah, all your wives have their nicknames, yet I don’t have one.
He tells her, “We will call you umm abdullah”.

She says, “I was thin with a light face, and I went with him and he said lets race and see who is going to go ahead, we raced and I went ahead of him and won him, and he smiled. Then few years later when I put weight on, we raced and he beat me and reminded me that this is the revenge for the last defeat”.

He (sallallahu alaihi wa alihi wassalam) would also take her for night walks many times, and he would teach her Quran and Tafseer etc…

She would ask lots of questions naturally and the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa alihi wassalam) said to her, I know when you are happy and when you are angry….

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa alihi wassalam) said, “This life has many things to offer, but the best thing life has to offer is the pious wife. The best of you are those who are best to their wives, and I am the best of you to my wives”.

When the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa alihi wassalam) was with Sayyida Aisha [Radiallahu Anha], Umm Salama sent a plate, and Aisha [Radiallahu Anha] got a little jealous and pushed the plate and it fell on the floor, but look at the akhlaq (character) of the beloved. He never shouted at her or said anything to her, but he smiles and picks the food and the plate himself, and calls the servant who came with the food, tells him to wait and says “your mother got jealous”. He tells Aisha [Radiallahu Anha] to cook food and gives a plate to the servant and says “tell Umm Salama that this is from Aisha [Radiallahu Anha]”.

A man once came to her and asked her a Mas’ala (issue) about wiping over the socks and she said, “Go to Ali [Radiallahu Anha], and ask him, as he has more knowledge than me”.

She use to cry so much that her veils use to become pitch wet, she was very spiritual…

The eye that pours and cries to Allah Subhanu wa’ta’ala is the eye that is forgiven.

On her death bed, Ibn Abbas [Radiallahu Anhu], asked to come and give her salams, but she says, “Tell him not to come, because he will say good things about me, and I wish I was forgotten”. But he goes in and says good things about her…

We learn that the wives role is not just to be in the kitchen, look at the roles of Aisha [Radiallahu Anha] as a wife, she was doing many other things, including taking place in battles, and serving the Mujahideen in the wars…

Sayyida Khadija

A very unique woman, who was very beloved to the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa alihi wassalam) and he said in a (authentic) sahih hadith “Allah gave me the love of Khadija”.

There is a difference between saying, “I love her” and “her love was given to me”.

The first Muslim/Muslima and one of the 4 perfect women, and they are “Asiya, Maryam, Khadija, Fatima”. So if you want to be a perfect woman, then they are your examples.

She is the supporter of Islam and Muslimeen, and many scholars say, if it was not for the money of Khadija [Radiallahu Anhu] and the Sword of Ali, Islam would not have spread.

She was a billionaire, owning thousands and thousands of camels, and after her marriage she put everything before Quraish, and said, “Be a witness that everything I own, is owned by Muhammad,” (sallallahu alaihi wa alihi wassalam).

A very mature and very balanced woman, with her sight on the future..

Look at the Imaan (faith) of Khadija that when the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa alihi wassalam) came back from Hira, she never asked him, “What were you doing alone in the cave etc” rather supported him and said “Allah will never abandon you”.

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa alihi wassalam) was sitting and Jibreel came to him and Khadija was walking with food in her hand. Jibreel said, “Ya Rasoolallah, tell Khadija that Allah sends her salam and also give her my salam too”.

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa alihi wassalam) tells her that Allah sends you his salam, and she smiles and says “Allah is salam” and Jibreel can take the salam from me. Jibreel then says “ Take the good news that there is a house waiting for you in Jannah where there is no noise and no trouble”.

She was also one of those who was put in jail for 3 years, and as a result of that , shortly after she died.

After her passing away, he would have food slaughtered and send it to her friends

Aisha [Radiallahu Anha] says that, “Why do you keep mentioning you her when you have someone better than her.” He replied, “No, she believed in me, when everyone abandoned me, she gave me, when people took from me, she protected me, when people wanted to kill me. And Allah gave me from her offspring and he didn’t give me children from any other woman.”

So Aisha [Radiallahu Anha] said, “I will never mention Khadija [Radiallahu Anha] in front of you again.”

Sayyida Fatima

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa alihi wassalam) said, “Fatima is a piece of me.”

Everybody is something else, except Fatima, she is a piece of me.

Opinion of Umar [Radiallahu Anhu] said, “Nobody is better than Fatima [Radiallahu Anha] because the Prophet (sallalalahu alaihi wa’alihi wassalam) said “Fatima is a piece of me.”

She was born on a Friday, another blessing of the day of Friday.

Fatima as a name comes from Fatama, which means “when you breast feed a baby for 2 years and then you stop feeding and prevent it from milk”. So Fatima is prevented but from what? She is protected from the hellfire.

Khadijas nick name was “Tahira”, but Fatimas nick names were “As-Siddiqa”, “Radia” , “Mardiya” , “Zakiya” also “ummu abeeha [the mother of her father]”.

Also she was called “Zahra”, and that comes from “glooming or shining”, so she is glooming and shining. Imam Baqer said, “When she stands for salah, her light shines from there to the heavens”.

The wife of Abu Talib [Radiallahu Anha] use to love the Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wassalam) more than her own kids, and he use to call her “Mother after my mother”. She was called Fatima Bint Assad, and when she died “The Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wassalam) went into her grave and lay there first, and then came out and said , now bury her”. Due to her name being Fatima, he also called his daughter Fatima.

After the death of Khadija [Radiallahu Anha] and all the close ones to the Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wassalam), Fatima was the one who use to take care of his needs, hence called “the mother of his father.” yet she was only 8 years old or so.

Umm Salama [Radiallahu Anha] says, “No person of the family resembled him (sallalahu alaihi wa alihi wassalam) more than Fatima, and when the Sahabiyyas (companions) wanted to see a glimpse of the Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wa alihi wassalam), they would just look at Fatima [Radiallahu Anha], because they saw him (sallalalahu alaihi wa alihi wassalam) in her.

Aisha [Radiallahu Anha] said, “Nobody is close to the Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wa’alihi wassalam) in talk, in speech and walk than Fatima [Radiallahu Anha].

Look as the way she raised her son Hassan [Radiallahu Anhu], and sees him making duas (supplication) and says “Did you make dua (supplication) for the neighbours too?”

She comes to the Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wa’alihi wassalam) once and her hands are not smooth due to the grinding of wheat etc…. and says, “Can you spare us a khadim (servant) who can help us?” The Prophet (sallalalahu alaihi wa alihi wssalam) says, “I will give you something that is better than a servant and tells her to recite Allah o akbar 34 times, Subhanllah 33 times, Alhamduillah 33 times, so that Allah will alleviate all her pains for her.

The Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wa’alihi wassalam) use to kiss her hands and forehead, and she would get up for him and seat him vice versa….

"I looked at all friends, and did not find a better friend than safeguarding the tongue. I thought about all dresses, but did not find a better dress than piety. I thought about all types of wealth, but did not find a better wealth than contentment in little. I thought of all types of good deeds, but did not find a better deed than offering good advice. I looked at all types of sustenance, but did not find a better sustenance than patience." Umar(May Allah be pleased with him)

Sheikh Hamza Yusuf

From protest to engagement
Part one

Part two

Part Three

Part four

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, Sidi Yahya Rhodus, Sheikh Ibrahim Osi Efa

The Creed of Imam Al-Tahawi – May 20, 2007 Birmingham
بسمِ الله

Shaykh Ibrahim
Referring to putting effort into seeking knowledge: ‘He who does not have a burning desire at the beginning will not be illuminated in the end.’

The emphasis on Sidi Yahya’s talk will be on practice and this is the most important thing to take out of the event: the need to act.

Sidi Yahya Rhodus


Allah’s Subhanu wa ta’ala promise of victory in the Qur’an is predicated by the Muslims not differing amongst themselves.

When making intention, it is best to make multiple intentions, and such was the importance placed on making intentions that students would be taught how to make the correct intentions for acts.

A easy and comprehensive intention is that which Imam Haddad (may Allah show him mercy) taught; I intend:
1. Learning and teaching
2. Receiving and giving admonition
3. Giving and receiving benefit and gain
4. Encouraging adherence to the Qur’an and the Sunnah
5. Calling to right guidance
6. And leading to goodness
7. [This is] out of a desire for Allah’s countenance, His pleasure, and nearness to Him and reward His reward.

Sidi Yahya added that other praiseworthy intentions can be simple, such as meeting your brothers and sisters in faith, visiting a masjid (with associated intentions), etc. Particularly commendable is the desire to bring life to Islam.

Indeed, one who dies seeking knowledge in order to bring life to Islam will have but one degree between them and the Prophets (upon them peace) on the last day.

When you come to someone’s house it is the hosts responsibility to take care of you, thus when you enter a house of Allah, you should know that your affairs will be seen to.

[From later: If you have a good opinion of your Lord, He will give you what you need; conversely, if you enter with pessimism Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala will confirm that: So have high hopes wherever you go!]

Introductory Remarks on Aqida

Offer some introductory remarks on the work being studied, and on the relationship between creed and certainty.

One of the great things of Islam is that it can be expressed in differing levels according to those involved in the discussion.

Any changes that will occur in the Ummah must centre on the three spheres of Iman, Islam, and Ihsan.

Aqida comes from the word ‘knot’, i.e. tying a knot around one’s belief to secure it.

Extremely important to remember that Aqida differs from belief as one can memorise books on Aqida and not believe anything in them.

Aqida is the first science a person must learn: one needs to know what they believe in.

Shaykh Nuh has written an article on Aqida, found here , in which he elucidates different aspects (or levels?) of Aqida: personal theology, discursive theology, and speculative theology.

The science of Aqida can be divided into three categories:
1. Ilahiyaat – that which relates to Allah
2. Nabuwaat – that which relates to the Messengers
3. Sami’aat – those things of which we have been informed (Regarding eschatology- the latter days)

Traditionally in certain areas of the Muslim world, such as Mauritania, the ulema tended not teach the more complex forms of theology. For example, a man came to Murabit al-Hajj (May Allah preserve him) and asked to be taught Aqida; the Shaykh delayed doing so, but the man persisted so the Shaykh taught him Surat al-Ikhlaas as it was all he really needed.

However, in the West now, it is perhaps more appropriate for some. Nevertheless, still potentially problematic avenue; hence, Imam Ghazali (may Allah show him mercy) related discursive theology to medicine: little if needed.

The necessity to develop higher forms of theological discourse is apparent in history as the later texts on Aqida went beyond the initial discussion of theology from the Companion as the needs of the Umma changed.

Important to remember that saying, ‘I don’t know’ is half of faith.
The Importance of Iman

Only through Iman can the world be cultivated in due measure, kufr leads to the destruction of the world.

Thus, we are not anti-modernists, but we have the understanding that all progress must be rooted in the idea that we are the vicegerents (deputies/servants) of Allah on Earth (which entails responsibility with our rights).

This vicegerency has three aspects:
1. Our relationship with our Lord, recognising that we are the means of implementation of the Divine will on Earth.
2. Our relationship with the rest of humanity.
3. Our relationship with the rest of Creation (which was created for our benefit).

The disastrous impact of acting without the responsibility found in this correct understanding of our place in the world is most apparent now, with the threat of Global warming, etc. (Sidi Yahya mentioned a number of facts from Al-Gore’s documentary, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’).

Thus, we must realise the fragility of our affair and a fundamental aspect of our vision to the world, as Muslims, must be how to address these critical issues as custodians of the Earth.

Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala promises that those who have taqwa (piety) will receive aid from where it is least expected/not expected, thus if we have taqwa, perhaps Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala will provide us a new form of renewable resource that can provide energy in place of fossil fuels, etc.

Kafir means ‘farmer’ as they are those ‘who cover’ the seed with soil; the human is therefore one who covers the Adamic potential/fitra.

The greatest proof of Allah’s Subhanu wa ta’ala existence is fitra.

Many people ask why there are so few believers, or why people refuse to believe: the refusal to submit or the fear to submit is a reason for so many people’s disbelief. So it is not necessarily a question of faith always; rather, arrogance, pride, and the unwillingness to submit.

In addition, people will not believe as Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala has stated in the Qur’an, that he has placed, ‘Yokes around their necks,’ and that a barrier has been placed, ‘before and behind them,’ so they won’t believe. Faith is a gift.

Thus, arguably the best faith is the faith of the elderly people: who simply submit and believe.

It is the Sunnah of Allah to place His gifts where they are least expected so it is important never to belittle anyone (even the simple person).

Action from faith is the very important as faith is like sugar in tea à must be stirred to be tasted.

The Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said that, ‘Believers are sweet and love sweet things’

Aqida, Iman, and Certainty (Yaqin)

Creed (Aqida) differs from belief (Iman), but there is a relationship between certainty and belief.

Thus, Iman can only be based on certainty, not on probability.

The Qur’an mentions those who are, ‘firmly planted in faith’ (rasik ul ‘ilm), and the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) explained that these people are not the ones who have know everything, rather:
1. They are always true to their word
2. Their tongues always speak the truth
3. Their hearts are in an upright state
4. They are temperate (balanced) in relationship to their stomach and private parts.

Thus, those planted in faith are not necessarily those who are the most learned, but the ones who acts on their knowledge.

In addition, their characteristics are:
1. Taqwa with Allah
2. Humble with people
3. Zuhd (Abstain) with dunya
4. Striving against his/her self

Regarding treating other people well, there is a Hadith which states that if you make space in your gatherings for other people (even if things are tight), Allah will make space for you.

Knowledge is both earned and given as a gift from Allah. The latter is greater.

Hadith: All of you will find easy that which you were created for. (Imam Suhaib: so everyone can contribute in their own way).

Coming back to the importance of action, there is a Hadith that when people are discussing the decree of Allah, refrain from doing so and instead act.

Hadith: When answering questions about who created Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala and His decree, say: “I believe in Allah and His Messenger (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).” Amantubillah warasul

So the crux of this science is the centrality of action/practice as it relates to theology.

The Introductory quote of Imam Ghazali (may Allah show him mercy)

The reasons Shaykh Hamza included this at the very beginning of the book (and the very beginning of the Zaytuna Curriculum Series), is that speculative theology cannot take you anywhere: practice is key and faith is Allah’s mercy.

Imam Haddad (may Allah show him mercy) mentioned three things to increase certainty:
1. Reflection on the Qur’an and the Hadith: not just flicking through, but true though, what is Allah telling me? Implementation should follow this reflection.

2. Reflection on the Signs of Allah: Allah mentions in the Qur’an that He will show His signs to man in the horizon and within until it is apparent that this is true. Science has contributed immensely to expanding our knowledge of both the external and the internal worlds. Also, it is important that just as we explore the earth for all its treasures, we need to explore our hearts as well (look within).

3. Acting upon one’s knowledge: This is how learning is actualised in a person’s life. Luqman the Wise said that, ‘None of you will act except based on his certainty’, this is a good test for everyone: death is certain, so how much are you preparing? Some people wouldn’t change a thing if they knew they were going to die in a few hours as they have filled their time with activity and devotion to Allah, for example, a Shaykh in Hadramawt was given a watch that he had to wind up every day for it to function. The person who gave him the watch later asked him if he was using it; the Shaykh replied that he couldn’t find time to wind it every day as he was so busy all the time. These aren’t fairytales; these are real people and real examples.

There are three levels of certainty:
1. ‘Ilm ul Yaqeen: Knowledge of something; ‘There’s going to be a talk in the masjid’

2. Ain ul Yaqeen: Eye of (Witnessing something; ‘I can hear the talk coming from the masjid’)

3. Haq ul Yaqeen: Truth of (Experiencing something; ‘I’m at the talk in the masjid’)

Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) said that, ‘Were the Veil lifted from me, I would not increase in certainty.’

So in the East, there has traditionally been less focus on discursive theology and more on personal theology (which is sufficient); this should lead to action, which in turn, will lead to true certainty.

Imam Ghazali (may Allah show him mercy) mentions in the quote that those who believe speculative theology will increase them in certainty are at fault, only action will lead to certainty. His entire life can be seen as proof of this, and his realisation of the importance of practice is the reason for the Ihya being written.

Imam Ghazali (may Allah show him mercy): If you find yourself hastening to action, you are seeking guidance; if you find yourself ignoring it, then you are focussed on dunya, and if you are procrastinating, you are in between the two. [Missed part of this]

There is a verse in the Qur’an in which Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala discusses the light given to a person, and how this light emanates form him and pervades those around him when he walks. Thus, it is important to ask for light in one’s life, as the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did in his famous du’a before fajr:
‘O Allah, place light in my heart, and on my tongue light, and in my ears light and in my sight light, and above me light, and below me light, and to my right light, and to my left light, and before me light and behind me light. Place in my soul light. Magnify for me light, and amplify for me light. Make for me light and make me a light. O Allah, grant me light, and place light in my nerves, and in my body light and in my blood light and in my hair light and in my skin light. O Allah, make for me a light in my grave... and a light in my bones.’

Light is amazing, Albert Einstein was reported to have said that he wished he could spend his whole life just reflecting on light.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Monday, May 14, 2007

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Sheikh Hamza Yusuf

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate, may Allah bless and grant peace to His beloved.

(Jakallah Khair Zakariya Goga, for the notes)

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, is described by one his greatest students, Sayyiduna 'Ali ibn Abi Taalib, may Allah be pleased with him, when his son Al-Husain ibn 'Ali Taalib may Allah be pleased with him, asked him, "What was the character of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, like when he sat with his companions?"

This is important because the distinction between the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and how he was with his companions and how he was with his enemies, because with his enemies he was absolutely fair but uncompromising.
With the companions, Sayyiduna 'Ali describes him as:
"He was always with bishr, he always smiled in the face of his companions. One of his names, according to Imam as-Suyuti, is ad-dhahaak - the one who constantly smiles, and his laugh was a smile. He was always smiling and he said that – “to meet your brother with a smile is sadaqa” and know that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, only did things for reward and for teaching. Everything he did he did it to please Allah Ta'ala and so smiling in the face of his companions was one of the ways he was pleasing Allah Ta'ala and one of the ways he was teaching this ummah; that to smile is sadaqa. Some of the salaf used to say to those who frowned a lot – “may Allah not make a lot of people like that”.
And then he ('Ali) said:
"He was gentle in his disposition", Khuluq is character, and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said as a dua' "Oh Allah just as you have beautified my outward appearance, make my character beautiful also". So his disposition was easy, and one of the things that the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace said was, "ahlan wa sahlan". Ahlan means you have found your family and sahlan means the easiest land to travel on. He was the best in disposition and so he was gentle by his character. May Allah bless him and grant him peace

And then he said:
"He was soft", and Allah witnesses to that in the Qur'an when he says, "It is by a Mercy from your Lord that you were made soft" that he was gentle with them and it is a Mercy from Allah because Allah sent him as a "Mercy to the worlds". And just as the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace has said, "I was sent with the tolerant hanafi way", he was the epitome and essence of tolerance and sweetness in his character. Sayyiduna 'Ali said, "The one who came to him suddenly was filled with awe and the one who came to know him fell in love" - Allah gave him a Hayba and people witnessed that when they saw him, they felt the awe, but he also had a sweetness that the people who spent time with him they had to fall in love with the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace. And Allah says, "Had you been harsh people would have dispersed from you"

Following that, this is what he says next:
"He was not harsh nor heavy nor the one who raises his voice" Allah Ta'ala says to show the disbelievers your shiddat and mercy to the believers. So he was not harsh with his companions.

In the taurat, and this is a sound riwayaat, one of the Jews of Yemen his father gave him part of the taurat and said, "Don't open this until you hear of a Prophet from Yathrib" when he heard a Prophet was in Yathrib he took out the taurat and he read the discription of the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace. So he then went to Medina and he met with the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace, he looked at the description and it was an exact description of the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace and in that description was that "He does not raise his voice in the market places", which is characteristic of market places, people raise their voices and the Jew told the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace that these are your descriptions in the taurat. The Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace then asked him after gathering his companions to relate to them what he had told him. He had explained what he said, and the Messenger of Allah may Allah bless him and grant him peace said, "I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah" because he believes, the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace is a believer and we should never forget that for Allah says this in the Qur'an. So when he heard that - Allah-hu-Akbar, he is in the taurat and here is a Jew whose father gave him a taurat and told him there is a Prophet coming in Medina and he bore witness.

He then said:
"He didnt say or do anything ugly", Ihsaan is to make beautiful Muhsin is somebody who makes this beautiful and the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace is the first of those the Muhsineen.

"He did not find fault in people or things". They say that never once did he find fault in food. If he liked it he ate and it and if he didnt he left it but he didn’t say anything bad about food because it is a blessing from Allah. What is interesting is a few brothers here who were in the Rihla studying and people were complaining about the food. Now, two men who recently returned from Mauritania where the food they eat in the middle of the Sahara desert a lot of dogs in this culture would not eat; and they were saying how incredible the food was!? See everything is relative, and what we must remember is that it is a blessing from Allah. It might not be what your accustomed to but it might be a lot better than what other people are accustomed too. In other words you might eat good food and then at another persons house you eat the food according to you is not that good - but - that food you don't find any good might be a Kings feast for another person on the planet.
So the point is to recognise the blessings of Allah.

ibn Abbas used to say never lose sight of the blessings of Allah because even those things that afflicts you know that it could have been worse than it is - and that is a blessing. In other words in the musibah there is a blessing in that it is not a bigger musibah than it is - so witness the blessings all the time.
With food, if it is not what you are accustomed too - it could be a lot worse, there are people that eat out of garbage cans!

He may Allah bless him and grant him peace also didn't find fault in people nor expose them, that is a very difficult thing to do because it is very easy to find fault in others. What is interesting is that the eye has a blind spot, we talked about this regarding perception, there is a blind spot in the eye - the attachment of the optic nerve, this is the point that the eye cannot see. People’s faults are there blind spot and this is why you keep company with people who show you your faults. The Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace said, "A believer is a mirror for a believer". You look in the mirror to see your faults; you look to see what is wrong not what is right, if you look to see what is right you don't need to.

A healthy person looks in the mirror to check himself and an egotist looks in the mirror to admire himself, but somebody who is healthy, they look in the mirror to rectify themselves. So the Mu'min is the mirror of another mu'min. Sidi Ahmad Zaruq siad “you should have a company of people that show you your wrong actions so that you can rectify them. “
He then said:
"........nor did he praise - Mad-dah" and Mad-dah is mubalagha in other words he may Allah bless him and grant him peace said things about people - ah-santa or ni'mal 'abd hatha, illa an-nahu la yaqul lil-layl - about ibn Umar he said that - "What an excellent person, except he doesn't get up at night", ibn Umar said after he heard that he never left Qiyamul Layl. So the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace praised him and at the same time he encouraged him to be better. So he wasn't Mad-dah, cause he could have just said "What an excellent person" and not said anything, but he wanted to not give him pride and just say "Oh what a perfect person", no for he said, ".......If only he woke at night" except he should do a little more. And ibn Umar took the maw'ida.

And then he said:
"He used to pretend not to notice things he didn't like" yataghafilu is to pretend not to notice and Sidi Ahmad Zaruq mentions in the qawa'id that there is a Hadith 2/3 of the believer is to really pretend not to be fully aware. The reason for that is, if someone says something bad to you, you ignore it and don’t take it and pretend you didn’t hear it. A lot of people, if you say something (hear something) and you don't react to it - Khalas, you just leave it. And that is what the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace did, if he heard something he didn't like he used to pretend he never heard it.

And then:
"He didn't let down anyone who had hopes in him" If somebody had a hope, if somebody came to him may Allah bless him and grant him peace with a rajaa' the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace never let him down - ever. In the Shamaa'il it is said, "He never said no to anyone". They said, The Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace was distributing and one of the Bedouin kept asking him and asking him and Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace gave him more and more until he gave him so much and he finally left and said go and catch up with this man Mohammad may Allah bless him and grant him peace because he gives like he has no fear of poverty.

He completely abandoned for himself three things:
Argumentation - the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace did not dispute. Ragib Lisbahani says argumentation is makrooh for ulema and for other than them it is impermissible. If you are Alim there is karaahiya in argumentation because of fear that you are doing it for yourself. Imam Shafi used to say that he never did once do munathara with another scholar except that he prayed to Allah to make the truth manifest on his opponents tongue, so that he could submit to it. In other words the nafs had no portion he only wanted the truth.

The Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace did not argue with people.
There was a famous munathara that took place in Egypt between two scholars and in the middle of it when it became disputation one of the scholars got up and left
Imam Maalik, in Medina, in the circle, if the people used to argue he used to get up and take his rida and shake it and say "you are a war!" and he would leave, he would just leave.

There is no benefit in argumentation. None what so ever, it is a disease of the heart and there are people who love to argue. And the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace said, "No people go astray after they were on guidance except it is replaced with argumentation" You see and this is our ummah today, everybody is arguing, nobody is listening to the other person. When the Qudama used to debate they listened to their opponents they listened to his hujajj and many times they would abandon their hujjaj because the position was stronger. But nor everybody - "Each group is happy with what they have" completely uninterested with what the other people have and just arguing points. It is a disease.
So he left argumentation and excessive speech.

They said, "He was the most silent of people but when he spoke he spoke the truth" and he may Allah bless him and grant him peace only spoke if he thought there was a reward from Allah init. And so he may Allah bless him and grant him peace left ikthar - and not just from speech but also dunya - "alhakumut takathuru" - people are entertained by buying with another in dunya, but the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace left it, he said, "Lacking, doing without is my profession" according to Sayyiduna 'Ali.

Sidi Ahmad Zaruq said, "Zuhud is absolute certainty about what Allah has and having no concern about what you own or posses" Zuhud doesn’t mean you have any dunya, it means you have no belief that your dunya enriches you. That is the difference. When I asked Sheikh Murabit-Haj about Zuhud and asked "does that mean we cant have dunya" and he replied, "Abdur Rahman ibn Awf was one the richest men and he was zaahid". So zuhud is not poverty, it is that you have no consideration for the dunya other than a wasila for aakhira and you don’t put your trust in it you put your trust in Allah.

And then said:
"He left what did not concern him" (subhanAllah)
So he may Allah bless him and grant him peace left three things for his nafs - Argumentation, speech and dunya and leaving what did not concern him.
And the gift of leaving what doesn’t concern you is barakah in time. If you look at people, they say "I don’t have any time" that is the biggest lie that every human being utters, We have nothing but time, your life is nothing but time and that is the one thing you DO have - time. And people who say that they are fooling themselves, it is a delusional state. You have no barakah in your time, that is the problem and that is because you are engaged in what doesn’t concern you.

The Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace said, "From the excellence Islam of a man is that he leaves what doesn’t concer him" - this is from the excellence Islam of a man.

Somebody asked Imam Sha'fi, "How old are you" and he said, "Does that concern you?" and the man said, "SubhanAllah, what did i say?" Imam Shafi said I asked my teacher, Malik, How old are you?" and he said "Why does that concern you?" He was teaching Imam Sha'fi - don’t ask of things that are of no concern to you, what importance is it if you know how old or how young i am? it doesn’t matter, ask things of importance and concern to you. This is part of learning how to benefit from time from speech.

Ask people what they do with their time, what do you do when your alone? How do you occupy your time. There are people who watch television - complete waste of time, People entertain themselves with music - complete waste of time. People entertain themselves with Qeela qalQaala when the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace was completely uninterested in Qeela wa Qaala - He said she said. He said, Your Lord detests for you al Qeel walQaal - he said she said, it was said, so and so said, did you hear about this or that.

And asking too many questions, ibn Abbas said what a great generation the sahaba were, they only asked 13 questions and they are all recorded in the Qur'an. The Sahabah used to love when the bedouin would come into town because they didn’t have any modesty and just asked questions. They would tell the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace in the Masjid and call him Ya Mohammad! and then Allah told them in the Qur'an not to address him like that, and so they would ask, "Tell us about so and so", the sahabah liked, they didn’t like the bad adab but they likes the question because they knew they would get more from the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace. But they (sahabah) didn’t ask questions.

So this is what he left for himself - those three things - argumentation, ikthaar and leaving what didn’t concern him.
"and he abandoned three things concerning people, he never censured anyone nor find fault in anyone................"
A man came to the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace and asked him a question, the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace replied and then the man said, "If Allah wishes and you wish O Messenger of Allah" The Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace said, "Don’t make equal with Allah, say if Allah wills thuma shi'ta ya Rasool Allah" See he didn’t say - Bid'iy, Mushrik, he taught him what the right thing was, that is all he did. He was teaching him, cause he was a teacher and he was concerned about his students.

Anas ibn Maalik said I served the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace 10 years he never once said to me if I did a thing that I shouldn’t have done "why did you do that?" or if I didn't do a thing that I should’ve done "Why didn’t you do that?" - Not once in 10 years. He came as a young boy and left a man filled with knowledge, he is one of our greatest scholars the last to die from the sahabah, taught so many hadith and taught generations of people. And he was the servent of the prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace and not once was he censured by the Prophet.

Anas also said, once the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace came and asked me to do such and such, I replied with NO. The Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace looked at me and smiled and walked out of the room. Now that is what modern psychologists call pattern interruption - you do something to completely offset somebody. He's expecting him to come down on him and he completely offset him - he smiled and walked out. A few minutes later he came back and asked, Anas did you do what I asked? Anas said, I am going right now. See Tarbiyyah Nabawiyyat - prophetic teaching.

He never once hit anybody, never raised his hand to a women, a servant or a child - its in the Hadith. Not once did he strike anyone. may Allah bless him and grant him peace

"Nor did he find fault in people". If he may Allah bless him and grant him peace wanted to say something about somebody he used to say, "What do people think of such and such" so he would always offset it and never expose the faults of anyone - never. And the man who in the Prayer replied to the one who sneezed with Yarhamukallah, the other sahabah looked over at him to say "What are you doing" so the man replied, "May your mothers weep over you, why are you looking at me like that" So they all started slapping their thighs, telling him to be quiet and so he realised that he should not have said anything. Then when they finished the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace called him and the man said, “He didn’t look at me in a mean way, he didn’t say anything mean, he didn’t strike me and he said he told me this is our pray a time of tasbeeh and hamd reminding ourselves of Allah and it doesn’t work with the speech of people.” The man said, “wAllah, I didnt see anyone before him or after him a finer teacher then the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace.”

"He never sought the nakedness of people" If somebody wanted to talk about another he used to say “Don’t tell me, i like to go out to my brothers with a free breast”. In other words nothing in my heart about them. He may Allah bless him and grant him peace didn’t like to hear bad things. Because there is something in psychology called inoculation, where somebody tells you something about somebody and it creates psychic antibodies about them, when somebody says "oh did you know so and so? he is this and that," then you see that person and that is what comes to your mind, it might not be true, it doesn’t allow you to judge for your self as it creates a type of prejudice already and the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace didn’t want that. He didn’t listen to that, and told them I don’t want to hear about it.
Abu Bakr, when the man was complaining about him, and finally when the man said something Abu Bakr started defending himself, the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace then got up and Abu Bakr later came to the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace and said, O Messenger of Allah, that man you know he was saying untruths about me when I didn’t say anything you sat and when I defended myself you got up. The Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace said, O Abu Bakr I heard the angels defending you as long as you were silent but the moment you began to defend yourself iblis came in and the Prophets don’t sit with iblis.

The other wisdom for not seeking the awraatun-naas or spying on them, is that if you expose the faults of people. Say for instance you know a Muslim and one day you see him doing something that he shouldn’t be, and then you go and tell others and this thing becomes know. Just say, you found him drinking or smoking and then he goes to the masjid and you start saying, "You that guy, we thought he’s a good muslim, no we were wrong he drinks" and then that gets around, what you do is like cutting off the door of tauba for that person. One of the impetuses for people is the social circumstance, in other words if everyone considers him a faasiq it is cutting him off. If he is hiding it, it is a sign of Iman, don’t forget that, it is not nifaaq, it is a sign of Iman. If he believes in Allah and he is doing something wrong and he is hiding it, that is a degree of Iman. Iman should be obedience to Allah but the nafs is weak, cells are weak, people are weak and they forget Allah, it is not that they want to do that, they could be shamed about it before Allah and they could make tauba, but the nufus are weak and sometimes we forget Allah, not all of us are present with Allah Ta'ala. When we are alone with our selves we don’t always remember Allah, we do things we shouldn’t do, it is only when people have the station of ihsaan that they don’t disobey Allah neither when they are present with people or alone because they are never alone and they know that. But others are weak and you should allow for human weaknesses.

When the man came to Abu Bakr and he told him he committed zina, Abu Bakr said did you tell anybody? and he said No, Abu Bakr then said, don’t tell anybody and make tauba to Allah. He then went to Umar, it was still bothering him, he went to the gentle one and then to the harsh one and told him, Umar said, Did you tell anyone? - See same school, they have the same teacher. The man replied Abu Bakr, Umar asked what did he say and the man said, "Not to tell anybody", Umar then said, "Why are you telling me, do what he said - make sitr and ask forgiveness from Allah". Finally he couldn’t take it anymore and he went to the Prophet, the Prophet didn’t want to hear it either but finally he had the Had

The point is, those were the closest to the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace and look at how they dealt with that, they didn’t publicly humiliate him, they didn’t say - you shaitan you zani, they said istitar, be veiled from Allah and ask for tauba to Allah. The Prophet said the worst people are the ones who do things in the night and then tell people about it in the day. They are the worst people, they have no shame. Haya from people is a level, there is something there, it is not nifaaq it is part of Iman for if you don’t have haya do whatever you want and so shame is to the people and shame is to Allah. The highest shame is to Allah and when you have shame with Allah your going to have shame with people, but if you only have shame with people that is still something there, the person is not completely corrupted, it is when they lose shame to the people there is complete corruption.

That is why Allah says, "you will remain good as long as you do not do major sins publicly" and now you can see it, we are doing kabaair openly in the ummah, drinking of alcohol, the haram transactions between man and women, all of things are happening now - kabaair. And the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace was asked by one of his wives, "Will we destroyed and there is righteous among us", he said, Yes, if foulness is prevalent among you. So yes, even the saliheen who are salihoon will be destroyed and then you will be raised according to you intentions.

And then he said
"He only spoke when he thought there was a reward in speaking" You know, I have told this story many times because it has had a great impact on me, but I saw a man in Mauritania in a hospital, this older man a saalih and when he spoke with me, I asked him something and he was like - Na'am...............wa ba'da thalika.......................arju..................antaqula....................Murabit-Haj........................kaifa................ and that is how he spoke and I thought that there was something wrong with him like he was slow or something and I asked a man is he ok, and he said, "SubhanAllah, this man is famous for Salaah, he has been talking like that for decades, because he takes every word he says and sees if he has a makhraj for it on yaumal Qiyamat" Every word he says, he thinks can I defend this on yaumal qiyamat. What takes us to the fire, there is a hadith, people go because of their tongues. The Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace said, one of you will say a word and gives no consideration to it and it takes him into the fire" - he says words and no consideration, there are people like that they say words, empty words about something and take no consideration for it.

So he may Allah bless him and grant him peace only spoke when he thought there was a reward init. And he spoke slowly, in fact one of the sahabah said to the tabi'een, "You speak very different from the way the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace used to speak, he used to speak slowly and with words which we could distinguish between them" which is.............I speak to fast, astaghfirullah

And then he said,
"When he spoke, the sahabah's head went down and it was as if birds were parched on their heads" They were in such utter stillness and contemplation about his words.
"And when he was silent they began to speak" In other words they felt comfortable to speak in his presence, he may Allah bless him and grant him peace let the speak, he was no tyrant, some are like tyrants and wont let others speak - no he let them speak in his company.

"They never argued in his presence" - They never used to cut off each other.
"and whoever spoke in his presence all of them listened to him until he was done speaking".

"He used to be patient with a strange person who had bad character" Some of the Bedouin, the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace said, whoever comes from the desert he becomes dry/harsh. The desert is a harsh environment, it is not their fault, the environment that produce them. Like there is Muslims that grow up in the ghettos and they become Muslim and they have some roughness around the edges you have to try to understand what their background is. They are good people but there are some rough edges. Like some of the sahabah, they had some rough edges because of the harsh environment and harshness necessitates harshness. If you are soft and marshmallow you will melt in the sun and wipe you out. So he was patient with their character if they spoke with it or in their mas'ala even then the sahabah were happy they were there because they wanted to hear the benefit of it.

"And if you see somebody who has a need, help him out with that need", said the Messenger of Allah may Allah bless him and grant him peace. He may Allah bless him and grant him peace used to help people, he would take them, even his guests he would walk out with them, in his majlis if someone got up to leave he used to go out and take him out with him, see - the height of adab - "I was only sent to perfect mans character"

Then he said:
"He never accepted any praise from somebody except he had done a good turn and that person praised him for that" - that is the only time, he may Allah bless him and grant him peace didn’t accept "What a great person" from people, only for something he had done for return

"He never used to break any body's speech" If someone spoke he may Allah bless him and grant him peace never interrupted them. In the Hadith, "Barakah remains among people so long as they don’t cut off each other in conversation" When they begin to cut each other off they cut off the barakah. And so he said, the only time he would cut speech is if the man transgressed, like the one who said "What ever you and Allah wish", he then corrected him, if someone said something incorrect he would correct him. And if it was something that didn’t need correcting from the deen he would either do it by prohibiting him from doing it if it was something related to deen and if it was something else he would get up and leave. Like when Abu Bakr began to defend himself and he got up and left, meaning he wasn’t pleased with it, he didn’t prohibit him he just got up and left.

And so this is the discription Sayyiduna ‘Ali gave to his son Hussain, and Imam al-Qaradri said a beautiful thing in his Furruq he said, "If there was no other miracle of the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace other than the Sahabah then it would be enough for his proof of Nubuwat", and the reason why they were like the way they were was because he was like the way he was. In other words, the question that Hussain put to ‘Ali is a very important Question - "How was he like with his companions" in other words he wanted to understand what was the character he displayed to produce the men he produced, and he wanted to know cause he was a little boy when he died. It is a beautiful question and Ali gave a beautiful answer.
JazakAllah khairun, inshaAllah and Allah inshaAllah make us people wAllahi that we try, we are all struggling with this, this is akhalaq and we're all struggling with this - "I was only been sent to perfect noble character" and the highest, noblest thing to do is worship Allah alone and be a Taqi, and then once your relationship with Allah is sound, then it is your relationship with others - and no-one has been given a greater tawfiq to perfect ones character is the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace and anyone who looks at his character with the eye of objectivity and justice has to come to that conclusion.

No other human has been perfect or noble in his character but the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace. We have to feel honoured, we are all in a pathetic condition and we don’t deserve the gift, but, many of the gifts we don’t deserve, but he gave it to us, we don’t deserve, we don’t deserve our messenger may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and as an ummah we're undeserving, the sahabah were deserving - but it is a gift from Allah, and so we should accept the gift with broadness of character and just thank Allah.

The thing that I counsel myself with is be like the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace, don’t find fault in others, we should thank Allah all the time, replace complaining for gratitude and just say Alhamdolillah wa shukrillah. Just as when someone asked about Mu'awiyyah he said, "my own faults have pre-occupied my mind". And those who rectify themselves others are rectified by their rectification.
Allah yubarik feekum.