The Advice of Ibn al-Qayyim

2 05 2011

Taken from: index2.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=599&pop=1&page=0&Itemid=367


He is controlling the affairs of all the kingdoms. He commands and prohibits, creates and gives provision, and gives death and gives life. He raises and lowers people’s status, alternates night and day, gives days (good and not so good) to men by turns, and causes nations to rise and fall, so that one nation vanishes and another emerges. His command and decree are carried out throughout the heavens and on earth, above it and below it, in the oceans and in the air. He has knowledge of all things and knows the number of all things. He hears all voices, and does not mistake one for another; He hears them all, in all the different languages and with all their varied requests and pleas. No voice distracts Him from hearing another, He does not confuse their requests, and He never tires of hearing the pleas of those in need. He sees all that is visible, even the walk of a black ant across a solid rock in the darkest night. The unseen is visible to Him, and secrets are known to Him…

Whosoever is in the heavens and on earth begs of Him [its needs from Him]. Every day He has a matter to bring forth” [Sooratur-Rahmaan 55:29].

He forgives sins, eases worries, relieves distress, helps the defeated person back on his feet, makes the poor rich, guides the one who is astray and confused, fulfils the needs of the desperate, feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, conceals faults, and calms fears. He raises the status of some and lowers the status of others… Even if all the inhabitants of heaven and earth, the first and the last of them, mankind and jinn alike, were to be as pious as the most pious among them, this would not increase His sovereignty in the slightest. If they all, the first and the last of them, mankind and jinn alike, were to be as rebellious as the most rebellious among them, this would not decrease His sovereignty in the slightest. If everything in heaven and on earth, the first and the last of them, mankind and jinn, living and dead, animate and inanimate, were to stand in one place and ask of Him, and He were to give them everything that they asked for, this would not decrease what He has by even an atom’s weight… He is the First, before Whom there is nothing, and the Last, after Whom there is nothing, may He be blessed and exalted. He is the Most deserving of being remembered, the Most deserving of being worshipped, the Most deserving of being thanked. He is the Most Compassionate of kings, the Most Generous of those who are asked… He is the King Who has no partner or associate, the One who has no rival, the Self-Sufficient Master, Who has no son, the Most High, and there is none like unto Him.

“Everything will perish save His face.” [Sooratul-Qasas 28:88]

” [Sooratul-Qasas 28:88]

And everything will vanish except His sovereignty… He will not be obeyed except by His permission, and He will not be disobeyed except with His knowledge. He is obeyed, so He shows His appreciation, and He is disobeyed, so he forgives. Every punishment on His part is justice, and every blessing from Him is a favour. He is the closest of witnesses and the nearest of protectors. He seizes people by their forelocks, records their deeds and decrees the appointed time for all things. Hearts conceal nothing from Him, for secrets are known to Him. His gift is a word and His punishment is a word,

Verily, His Command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, “Be!” – and it is.” [Soorah Yaaseen 36:82] [1]


Your life at the present moment is in between the past and the future. So what has preceded can be rectified by tawbah (repentance), nadam (regret) and istighfaar (seeking Allaah’s forgiveness). This is something that will neither tire you, nor cause you to toil as you would with strenuous labour. Rather it is an action of the heart.

As regards the future [then it can be corrected by] withholding yourself from sins. This abandonment is merely the leaving of something and to be at ease from it. This is also not an action of the limbs, which requires you to strive and toil. Rather this is a firm resolve and intention of the heart – which will give rest to your body, heart and thoughts.

So as for what has preceded, then you rectify it with repentance and as for the future – then you rectify it with firm resolve and intention. Neither of these involves any hardship or exertion of the limbs.

But then your attention must be directed to your life in the present – the time between the two times. If you waste it, then you have wasted the opportunity to be of the fortunate and saved ones. If you look after it, having rectified the two times – what is before and after it, as we have said – then you will be successful and achieve rest, delight and ever-lasting bliss. However, looking after it is harder than that which comes before and after it, since guarding it involves keeping to that which is most befitting and beneficial for your soul, and that which will bring it success and well-being. [2]


It is upon the one who speaks in this matter, or any other matter, that He should only do so based upon the knowledge and the truth: and that his objective should be sincerity to Allaah, to His Book, to His Messenger and the giving of sincere advice to his Muslim brothers. But if he makes the truth accord with his own whims and desires, then this will corrupt and ruin the hearts, the actions, and the state of affairs. Allaah, the Most High said,

“And if the truth were to be in accordance with their desires, then indeed the heavens and the earth – and all that is therein -would be corrupted and ruined.” [Al-Mu`minoon (23): 71]

The Prophet (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) said,

“None of you truly believe until he makes desires accord with what I have been sent with.” [3]

So `ilm (knowledge) and `adl (justice) are the roots of every good, whereas dhulm (oppression) and jahl (ignorance) are the roots of every evil. And Allaah, the Most High, sent His Messenger (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) with the Guidance and the Religion of Truth, and he commanded the doing of justice between people and that none of them should follow their whims and desires.

Allaah, the Most High said,

So call to Islaam and stand firm, and do not follow their whims and desires, but say: ‘I believe in whatever has been revealed by Allaah from the Book, and I have been commanded to do justice between you. Allaah is our Lord and your Lord, for us our deeds and for you your deeds. There is no dispute between you and us. Allaah will assemble us all, and to Him is the final return.’” [Ash-Shooraa (42): 15] [4]


…However before proceeding to discuss them it is necessary to explain the word ‘sharr’ (evil) – what is it and what is its reality?

We say: the word evil is applied to two things only: that which causes pain and that which leads to it. Therefore sins, disbelief, shirk, and all the various types of oppression and injustice are included amongst the evils even though the person committing them may feel a type of fulfillment and satisfaction. This is because they lead to the onset of pain and torment just as a persons ingesting poison leads to the onset of death as does being burnt in fire or being hung.

What we have said holds true provided that there is nothing preventing the cause from taking effect such as its opposite cause being stronger and more closely followed, for example the cause of performing sins being prevented by firm faith. This is true for all the causes that occur in opposites such as the causes leading to well-being and illness and the causes leading to strength and weakness [in that the stronger of the two takes effect].

The point is that these causes (that lead to pain) are evil even though they may contain some satisfaction and a fleeting sense of joy for those committing them. These can be compared to delicious and tempting food that is poisonous, when a person eats it he gains a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment but after a short time the poison takes effect. The exact same applies to sins and actions of disobedience to the point that had the Legislator not informed us of this then the state of affairs and experience would have physically demonstrated and proven this.

Indeed what has caused the blessings to be removed from anyone except the evil of sins? When Allaah favours His servant, He does not remove that favour until that person himself causes it to be removed. Allaah says,

“Indeed Allaah never changes the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. When Allaah Wills a people’s punishment then there can be no turning it back and neither will they find any to protect them besides Him.” [ar-Ra`d (13):11]

“That is because Allaah will never change the favour that He has bestowed on a people until they change what is in their own souls.” [al-Anfaal (8):53]

Whosoever considers the events of the past nations that Allaah has narrated to us in His Book from whom Allaah removed His favours will find that the reason behind this was their diobedience to Him and His Messengers. Similarly whosoever considers the events of the people of his time will find that whenever they have favours removed from them then this occurs as the evil consequences of sins. It is said,

If you are in a state of blessings then preserve it

For indeed sins remove blessings

The favours of Allaah cannot be preserved by anything as they are preserved by being obedient to Him. The favours of Allaah are not increased by anything as they are increased by showing gratitude to Him. The favours of Allaah are not removed by anything as they are removed by disobeying Him for indeed actions of disobience are like fire consuming the favours just as real fire consumes dry wood.

Therefore these causes are definitely evil. As for the end results of these causes being evil then this is because they cause spiritual and physical torment. The servant who has committed them feels both bodily and spiritual anguish through grief, anxiety, concern and a sense of loss. This truth is such that if an intelligent person understood it and gave it the attention it deserves then for sure he would be wary of it and expend effort in fleeing from it out of terror. However the veil of negligence has been placed upon his heart preventing him from arriving at this realisation and were he to truly wake up then he would sever his connection to the delights of this world by reason of his sorrow for the favours of Allaah that he has missed in this world and the Hereafter. The servant will only truly realise this truth when he departs from this world to come to the next. At this time he will say,

“Woe to me! Would that I had sent forth (good deeds) for this my (future) life.” [al-Fajr (89):24]

“Woe to me! I neglected (my duty) towards Allaah.” [az-Zumar (39): 56]

Now because evil refers to that which causes pain and those things that lead to it then all of the statements that were said by Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) with regards to seeking refuge revolved around these two principles – therefore either he sought refuge from that which causes pain or he sought refuge from that which leads to it.

At the end of his prayers he would seek refuge from four things and he commanded the servant to do this also. These matters are: the punishment of the grave, the punishment of the Fire, the trials of life and death and the trial of the Dajjaal. [5]

The first two are the greatest of pains that a person can be afflicted with and the last two are the causes that lead to these punishments for trials and tribulations are the causes of punishment. Two specific categories of trials have been mentioned because trials befall one either during his lifetime or after after his death. As for the trials of life then it is possible that the resultant punishment be alleviated for a time but as for the trials of death then the punishment that follows on from it is not alleviated.

Therefore his seeking refuge revolved around seeking refuge from pain, punishment and its causes.

This supplication has been strongly stressed to be said in the prayer to the extent that some of the Salaf and later scholars made it obligatory upon the one who did not say it in the last tashahhud to repeat his prayer. [6]

Ibn Hazm considered supplicating with it to be obligatory in every tashahhud such that the one who did not say it rendered his prayer invalid.

In a similar vein is his (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) supplication,

“O Allaah I take refuge with you from from worries and grief, from incapacity and laziness, from miserliness and cowardice, from being heavily in debt and being overpowered by other men.” [7]

So the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) took refuge from eight things, each pair being intricately linked. So worries and grief are things that cause pain and torment to the soul. The difference between the two is that worries are linked to those evils that may occur in the future while grief concerns the pain that one feels over experiencing something detestable or missing out on something desirable in the past.

Incapacity and laziness lead to the torment [of the soul] for they necessitate that one misses out on attaining something desired. So incapacity refers to the person being unable to attain the good and laziness refers to the person not caring to attain the good. Hence the soul is pained from both of these.

Miserliness and cowardice also lead to the torment [of the soul] for they necessitate the person not taking the benefit from his wealth and body. This is because through cowardice the person will miss out on a great number of desirable things that can only be attained through courage and resolve. Similarly miserliness prevents a person from attaining the desirable.

Being heavily in debt (dayn) and overpowered by others causes pain and torment to the soul. The first refers to being overcome by something that is rightfully due and the second refers to being overcome by something that is not rightfully due, [in fact his being unjustly overcome]. Furthermore being heavily in debt is something that in general arises by fault of the person himself whereas being overcome by others is something that occurs without his consent.

In a similar vein is his (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) taking refuge from all kinds of sin and from being in debt (al-maghram) for both of these lead to pain. [8]

In a similar vein is his (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) saying,

“I take refuge with Your Pleasure from Your Displeasure and with Your Forgiveness from Your Punishment.” [9]

The Displeasure of Allaah is the greatest cause which leads to pain and the Punishment of Allaah is the greatest pain of all. [10]


The Shaytaan has misled most people by beautifying for them the performance of certain voluntary acts of worship such as voluntary prayers and voluntary fasting while neglecting other obligatory acts of worship such as enjoining the good and eradicating the evil, to the extent that they do not even make the intention of performing them whenever they are able. Such people are considered by the scholars to be on the bottom of the scale of religion: for the essence of our religion is to perform what Allaah ordered us to do.

The one who does not perform the obligations is actually worse than the one who performs sins. Anyone having knowledge about the revelation of Allaah, the guidance of the Prophet (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) and the life of the Companions would conclude that those who are pointed at today as the most pious people are in fact the least pious. Indeed, what kind of piety is there in a person who witnesses Allaah’s sanctities being violated, His religion abandoned, the Sunnah of His Messenger shunned, and yet remains still with a cold heart and a shut mouth?

Such a person is like a dumb Shaytaan! In the same way the one who speaks falsehood is a speaking Shaytaan. Is not the misfortune of Islaam due only to those who whenever their life and food are secure, would not care about what happens to the religion? The best among them would offer a sorry face. But if they were challenged in one of the things their heart is attached to such as their money, they would spare no effort to get it back.

These people, besides deserving the Anger of Allaah, are afflicted with the greatest calamity without even knowing it: They have a dead heart. Indeed the more alive a person’s heart is, the stronger its anger for the sake of Allaah and the more complete its support to Islaam and the Muslims. [11]


Know that the word `Aadha and its derivatives carry the meaning of being careful and wary, guarding and fortifying, being rescued and victorious. Its essential meaning is to flee from that which you fear will harm you to that which will safeguard you from it. This is why the one you seek refuge with is called m`aadh and malja` (the source of refuge and recourse). In the hadeeth there occurs,

“When the daughter of al-Jawn entered upon the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) [after their marriage] he moved his hand (to touch her) and she said, ‘I take refuge with Allaah from you.’ He said, ‘indeed you have sought refuge with the Ma`aadh, return and rejoin your family.’” [12]

Therefore the meaning of a`oodhu is: I take refuge, guard myself and take precaution. There are two opinions concerning the basis of this verb. The first that it is derived from the meaning of as-satar (covering or protection) and the second that it is derived from the meaning of luzoom al-mujaawara (firmly adhering to that which adjoins it).

As for the first opinion then the Arabs used to say with regards to a house that is overshadowed by a tree – `uwwadha. Therefore when this house did `aadha with this tree by being built under its shade the Arabs called it `uwwadh. The same applies to the one who takes refuge for he seeks protection and cover from his enemy with the one he seeks refuge with.

As for the second opinion then the Arabs used to say regarding flesh that was stuck to a bone and could not be removed – `uwwadha – because of its refusing to be dislodged from the bone. The same applies to the one taking refuge for he sticks firmly to the one he is seeking refuge with and refuses to be distanced.

Both of these opinions are correct for seeking refuge includes both. The one taking refuge seeks protection with the one he is seeking refuge with and sticks firmly to him. His heart attaches itself to him and holds firm just as the child sticks close to its father when threatened by an enemy. The same applies to the one taking refuge for he flees from his enemy who desires his destruction to his Lord, throwing himself between His Hands, holding firmly to Him, sticking close to Him and resorting to Him.

Now, know that the reality of seeking refuge that is established in the heart of the believer surpasses and is beyond these descriptions, for these serve only as examples and representations. As for that which is established in the heart in its taking refuge, holding fast to and its throwing itself before its Lord, its need of Him and its submission and humility before Him then all of this is beyond description.

In a similar vein, love of Him and fear of Him can only be described in a deficient way for they cannot truly be understood except through experiencing them. This is similar to the case of one trying to describe the pleasure of sexual intercourse to one who is impotent and feels no sexual urges. No matter how much you describe it and how many examples you give never will he truly understand it. However if you were to describe it to one who does have these urges and has had intercourse then he will understand your descriptions completely.

If it is asked: When one is commanded to take refuge with Allaah why does the form of the command carry a seen and taa`? For example in His saying,

“Seek protection (fasta`idh) with Allaah from the Accursed Shaytaan.” [an-Nahl (16):98]

Yet one says, ‘I take refuge (a`oodhu)’ and ‘I took refuge (ta`awwadhtu)’ without including the seen and taa`?

The reply is: the seen and taa` are grammatically used to denote a persons seeking something. Therefore when one says, ‘asta`eedhu with Allaah’ he is saying, ‘I seek refuge with Him.’ When he says, ‘astaghfirullaah’ he is saying, ‘I seek the forgiveness of Allaah.’

Hence when the person says, ‘I take refuge (a`oodhu) with Allaah’ he is actually implementing and realising what he seeks because he sought refuge and protection with Allaah. There is a clear difference between actually taking refuge and seeking refuge. Therefore when the one who is seeking refuge is actually recoursing to Allaah and holding firmly to Him then he says the verb that denotes this rather than saying the verb that denotes that he only seeks this.

The opposite is true for the saying, ‘astaghfirullaah’ (I seek the forgiveness of Allaah) for in this case the person is asking Allaah to forgive him. Therefore when he says, ‘astaghfirullaah’ he is implementing what he desires because the meaning of this statement is, ‘I ask Allaah that He forgive me.’

This then is the best way of seeking refuge and it was for this reason that the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) used to say, “I take refuge with Allaah from the Accursed Shaytaan” and, “I take refuge with Allaah’s perfect words” and, “I take refuge with the Might and Power of Allaah” saying, ‘a`oodhu’ rather then ‘asta`eedhu.’

Indeed this is what Allaah taught him to say with His words,

Say: I take refuge with the Lord of Daybreak” [al-Falaq (113):1]

Say: I take refuge with the Lord of Mankind. [an-Naas (114):1]

Employing the word ‘a`oodhu’ rather than ‘ast`eedhu.’ [13]


[1] From al-Waabilus-Sayyib (p. 125).

[2] From al-Fawaa’id (p. 515-152)

[3] Da‘eef: Related by Ibn Abee ‘Aasim (no.15). It was declared weak by al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab in Jaami` al-Uloom wal Hikam (no.41).

[4] From Madaarijus-Saalikeen (5/532).

[5] Reported by al-Bukhaaree and an-Nasaa`ee from Abu Hurayrah (radiyAllaahu anhu) with the words, “O Allaah! I take refuge with you from the punishment of Hellfire, and the punishment of the grave, and from the trials of living and dying and from the evil of the False Christ.”

[6] Ibn Hajr mentions that from the Salaf who held this view was Taawoos, may Allaah have mercy upon him, as is reported by Abdur-Razzaaq with a saheeh isnaad. ‘Fath al-Baaree’ [2/408]


[7] Saheeh Bukhaaree [Eng. Trans. 8/249 no. 374]. Some of the Salaf used to say, “the worry of debt does not enter into the heart of a person except that some of his intelligence leaves him, never to return.” – ‘Fath al-Baaree’ [11/208]

Al-Kirmaanee said, “this supplication is from the succinct statements (bestowed to the Prophet (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam)). This is because the vices are of three types: spiritual, bodily and external. The first type, with respect to the strength of a person, further fall into three categories: those vices that arise from the intellect, ones anger and lustful desires. Hence worry and grief is linked to the intellect. Cowardice is linked to anger and miserliness is linked to lustful desires. Incapacity and laziness is connected to the bodily vices. The second is linked to the body being whole and healthy whereas the first is linked to parts of the body being amputated etc. Debt and being overpowered are connected to external matters – debt being linked to ones wealth and property and being overpowered being linked to ones social esteem. Hence this supplication comprises seeking refuge from all of this.” – ‘Ibid.’


[8] From Aa`ishah (radiyAllaahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) used to supplicate in the prayer saying, “O Allaah! I take refuge with you from all kinds of sins and from being in debt.” A person asked him, “O Messenger of Allaah why is it that you seek refuge from debt so often?” He replied, “if a person is in debt, he tells lies when he speaks and breaks his promises when he promises.” Saheeh Bukhaaree [Eng. Trans. 3/342 no. 582]

From Aa`ishah (radiyAllaahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) used to say, “O Allaah! I take refuge with You from laziness and geriatric old age; from all kinds of sins and being in debt; from the trial and punishment of the grave; from the trial and punishment of the Fire and from the evil trial of affluence. I take refuge with You from the trial of poverty and I take refuge with You from the trial of the False Christ.” Saheeh al-Bukhaaree [Eng. Trans. 8/252 no. 379]

The meaning of debt (al-maghram) is all that is necessary for a person to repay and includes monetary debt. ‘Fath al-Baaree’ [11/211] The meaning of debt (dayn) in the previous hadeeth refers specifically to monetary debt.



[10] From Badaa’iul-Fawaa’id (1/444-447).

[11] From I‘laamul-Muwaqi‘een (2/176).

[12] Saheeh Bukhaaree [Eng. Trans. 7/181 no. 181, 182].

[13] From Badaa’iul-Fawaa’id (1/439-440).

Khushoo` and Beautification of the Prayer-Ibn al-Qayyim

2 05 2011

Taken from:

Abu Hurairah (radiallaahu anhu) said: I have heard the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) say: “Allaah (the Mighty and Sublime) has said: I have divided prayer between Myself and My servant into two halves, and My servant shall have what he has asked for. When the servant says:

All praise belongs to Allaah the Rabb of all the Worlds.

Allaah (mighty and sublime be He) says: My servant has praised Me. And when he says:

The Most Gracious the Most Merciful

Allaah (mighty and sublime be He) says: My servant has extolled Me, and when he says:

Master of the Day of Judgement

Allaah (mighty and sublime be He) says: My servant has glorified Me -and on one occasion He said: My servant has submitted to My power. And when he says:

You alone do we worship and from You alone do we seek help

He says: This is between Me and My servant, and My servant shall have what he has asked for. And when he says:

Guide us to the Straight Path, the Path of those whom you have favoured, not of those upon whom is Your anger, nor of those who are astray

He says: This is for My servant, and My servant shall have what he has asked for.” [Reported by Muslim, Maalik, at-Tirmidhee, Abu Daawood, an-Nasaaee and Ibn Maajah]

Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said:

And when he says: All praise is due to Allaah the Rabb of all the Worlds, he pauses for a short while waiting for the response of his Lord: “My servant has praised Me.” Then when he says: The Most Gracious the Most Merciful, he waits for the response: “My servant has extolled Me” and when he says: Master of the Day of Judgement, he waits for the response: “My servant has glorified Me.”

It is the delight of his heart, the pleasure of his eye and the joy of his soul that his Lord says about him: “My servant” three times. By Allaah! If the fumes of desire and the darknesses of the soul were not upon the hearts, they would have flown out of happiness and joy that their Lord, Maker and Diety says: “My servant has praised Me, My servant has extolled Me and My servant has glorified Me.”

Then there would have been space in his heart to witness (the reality) of the three names which are the basis of all the Beautiful Names and these are: Allaah, ar-Rabb and ar-Rahmaan…

…When he says: Master of the Day of Judgement, he witnesses the glory which befits none but the the King, the Truth, the Manifest. So he witnesses a very powerful and compelling King, to Whom the whole creation has yielded, to Whom the faces are humbled, to Whom the the creation humbles itself, and to Whom every possessor of power and honour submits. He witnesses with his heart a King (Who is) upon the Throne of the Heaven…

…And then he says: You alone do we worship and from You alone do we seek help, in which lies the secret of the creation and the affair, of the world and the hereafter, and which contains the loftiest of goals and the most excellent of means (of approach to Allaah). The loftiest of goals is enslavement to Allaah and the most excellent of means is His help and assistance. There is no diety deserving of worship in truth except He and there is no helper in His worship besides Him. Therefore, His worship is the greatest of goals and His aid is the loftiest of means…

…And these words contain the two types of Tawheed and they are Tawheed ur-Ruboobiyyah and Tawheed ul-Uloohiyyah. Devotion to Allaah is comprised in His names ar-Rabb and Allaah, so he is worshipped on account of His Uloohiyyah, help is sought from Him on account of His Ruboobiyyah and He guides to the Straight Path on account of His Mercy. The first part of the surah therefore, mentions His names Allaah, ar-Rabb and ar-Rahmaan for the purpose of the one who seeks His worship, help and guidance. He is alone in being able to bestow all of that. There is no one who can aid others in Allaah’s worship besides Allaah and none can guide (to the Straight Path) except Him.

Then the caller realises with the speech of Allaah: Guide us to the Straight Path, his extreme need for this (guidance). He is never in need of any other thing as much as he is for this guidance. He is need of it in every moment and at every glance of the eye…

…Then Allaah makes it clear that the people of this Guidance are those who have been specified with His favour, not those upon whom is His anger, and they are the ones who know the Truth but do not follow it and not of those who are astray, and they are those who worship Allaah without knowledge. Both of these groups share with each other in speaking about His creation, His command and His Names and Attributes without knowledge. The path of those upon whom is His favour and blessing is different from that of the people of falsehood with respect to knowledge and action.

When he finishes from this praise, supplication and tawheed he has been ordered to end it with aameen which is a seal to (to his supplication) and with which the aameen of the angels in the sky coincides. This aameen is from the beautification of the prayer, just like the raising of the hands is a beautification of the prayer, a following of the sunnah, veneration of the command of Allaah, worship by the hands and a sign of the transition from one pillar (of the prayer) to another.

The State of Repentance by Ibn Qayyim

3 04 2011

Wow, what an Article.  Every single sentence makes a lot of sense.

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The State of Repentance

Imam Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah

Madaarij as-Saalikeen
AlJumuah Magazine

The state of repentance, tawbah, is at the beginning, the middle and the end of all states of submission to the will of Allah. The servant who seeks the pleasure of Allah never abandons tawbah. He remains in the state of tawbah until his death. Whatever his state of belief, the servant makes tawbah his constant companion. Thus, tawbah is at the beginning and at the end of his servitude to his Creator. His need for tawbah at the end, just as at the beginning, overrides, and supersedes all other needs. Allah says: “And turn to Allah altogether (make tawbah), O you who believe so that you may succeed,” (24:31)

The verse above is contained within a Madinan Surah (revealed after the migration to Madinah), in which Allah addresses the people of emaan, who are the best of His creation. He calls upon them to make tawbah “turn in repentance” to Him after they had already believed, gone through hardships, trials of faith, executed patience, migrated and performed jihad. Allah then made success conditional on perfecting such tawbah, as the effect is often conditional on the cause. No one can hope for success, except: those who make tawbah. Allah says: “And those who do not make tawbah are indeed the dhaalimoon (wrongdoers).” (49:11)

Allah divides His servants into two categories only: the repentant and the wrongdoers. There is no third category. Allah calls those who do not make tawbah, “dhaalimoon” (wrongdoers and transgressors) and no one is more of a wrongdoer and a transgressor than a person who does not repent for his evil actions. This state is a result of a person’s ignorance of his Lord and the rights due to Him, as well as, his own defects and the evil of his deeds. The Prophet, sallallahu alayeh wa sallam, is reported to have said: “O people, make tawbah to Allah. By Allah, I make tawbah to Him more than seventy times each day.” (Bukhari)

His companions used to count for him in each congregation his saying one hundred times: “My Lord, forgive me and accept my repentance, for You are At-Tawwab (the One who accept repentance), Al-Ghafoor (The Oft Forgiving).” The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, is also reported to have said: “No one will be rescued (on the Day of Judgment) by his deeds. They (his companions) asked even you Messenger of Allah? He said, even me, unless Allah would grant me His mercy and Grace.”

May Allah’s blessings and peace be upon His Messenger, the most knowledgeable among His creation of Him, His Rights, His Greatness and what servitude He deserves. He is the most knowledgeable of servitude and its requirements and the most committed in servitude to Allah.

The Starter (Fatihah) of Tawbah

Tawbah is the return of the servant to Allah. It is also his turning away from the path of those with whom Allah is angry and those who are astray. This returning cannot be done except by Allah’s guidance to the Straight Path. The servant will not attain guidance except through Allah’s help and the servant’s submission through tawheed. Suratul-Fatihah explains this concept in the most complete and eloquent manner.

Whoever appreciates Surat-ul-Fatihah and gives it is right estimate, through knowledge, contemplation upon its facts and by living its directives, will realise that one cannot recite it, with the true recitation of a servant, unless one makes sincere tawbah. The perfect guidance to the Straight Path cannot be attained with the indifference to sins or the persistence on sins. Indifference to sins negates the knowledge of guidance. Persistent sinning negates the intention and the will of the servant. Thus, tawbah will not be valid except after one recognises the sins, admits to them and seeks to rid oneself of their evil consequences.

Seeking Refuge from Sin

The first aspect of tawbah, then, is to see how one was taken away from seeking the pleasure of Allah, by committing sins. Next, one has to recognize that Allah didn’t safeguard him from sin. One should also ponder how happy one was while sinning and being persistent on the sin, while knowing with surety that Allah ever watches over whatever is done in the heavens or on the earth. If the servant had sought refuge in Allah, he would not have gone away from the guidance of obedience, “And whoever holds firmly to Allah, then he is indeed guided to a Right Path.” (3:101)

If one’s holding onto Allah is firm, one would never be forsaken by Allah, “And hold firmly to Allah, He is your Mawlaa (Protector) and what an excellent Mawlaa and what an excellent Naseer (Helper).” (22:78)

In other words, whenever we hold firm to Him, He will become our Protector and He will support us against our nafs (inclinations) and the Shaytan. These two enemies, the nafs and Satan, are the ones that do not leave the servant for even a moment. Their enmity is more harmful to the servant than the enemies from without. Attaining victory over such enemies is more difficult, and the servant’s need for such a victory is far more important. The degree of help rendered to defeat these enemies is dependent upon the degree of our dependence and holding onto Allah. If we do not hold firmly to Allah, we will go away from Allah’s protection. This is indeed the true loss. Allah could have aided us in staying away from sins, however, because we deserted Him, we were allowed to listen to any obey our nafs. If He wished to protect us, the sin would not have found a way to get to us.

When the servant becomes heedless of the consequences of sin, he finds pleasure when he satisfies unlawful desires. This pleasure in disobedience is evidence of his ignorance of the Greatness of the One of disobeys, and his ignorance of the evil consequences of sins and evil actions. His pleasure with sin has concealed all of this from his sight. In fact, his pleasure with sin is more harmful to him than perpetrating the sin itself. The believer can never have any pleasure from sin. He cannot have complete satisfaction with it. On the contrary, he would not even pursue it, except with grief in his heart. But the intoxication of the desires obscures one from feeling this remorse. When the heart becomes empty from such grief and one is happy with sin, then one should question his faith and weep for the death of his heart. If one were alive, he would be sad for the perpetration of any sin, big or small. The evil effects of sin, more times than not, go unnoticed in us and in our brothers and sisters in Islam. Diligences in constant self-evaluation is necessary in leading us away from sin and its destructive ends. One can do this by focusing on the following.

1. The fear of dying before making tawbah.

2. Remorse about the good that was missed because of the disobedience of Allah.

3. Working seriously on regaining what has been missed.

If one becomes completely heedless then one becomes persistent, which means constant disobedience with the intention to perform the sin again and again. This by itself is another sin that could be far greater than the first. Part of the punishment for sin is that it leads to a greater sin, then another, and so on until it completely and certainly destroys the person if he does not repent.

Persistence on sin is another sin. Not attempting to rectify the sin means persistence on it and satisfaction with it. This is the sign of ruin. Worse than all of that, is the commission of sin in public when we are sure that Allah watches and sees everything from above His Throne. If we believe that Allah watches us, yet we proceed to commit sins publicly, this is a great contradiction. But if we don’t believe that He watches us, then we are completely out of the realm of Islam.

There are two considerations for a sinner: lack of embarrassment from Allah knowing that Allah’s sight watches over all, and lack of fear to go out of the deen. Therefore, one of the conditions of the acceptance of tawbah is that a person should firmly believe that Allah was watching and that He will always watch over him. He sees everything during the perpetration of sins.

The reality of tawbah is to return to Allah is not sound or complete without the knowledge of the Lord’s names and attributes and their manifestations within Himself and in the world. The repenting servant should know that he was running away from his Lord, captured in the grip of his enemy. He didn’t fall into the claws of his enemy except as a result of his ignorance of his Lord and his daring to go against Him. He should know how and when he became ignorant, and how and when he was captured. He should believe that tawbah requires great determination and complete awareness to rescue himself from the enemy and be able to return and run back, to his Lord Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim. He should realise that returning to his Lord is actually turning away from the road of destruction, where his enemy had taken him. He should know the number of steps taken away from his Lord and the efforts and obstacles that he must strongly work on to get back to the Straight Path.

Al-Fattāh – Allah is the Opener of the Way (

5 03 2011

Nice article by Sheikh Salman al-Oadah


Al-Fattāh – Allah is the Opener of the Way | IslamToday – English.