All the praises are to Allaah, we praise Him, seek His Aid and ask His Forgiveness. May the peace and blessings and salawaat be upon His slave and Messenger Muhammad – Sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, his house of kin and companions and all who follow them exactly until the Day of Judgement.
Al-Imaamu `Abdur-Rahmaan Ibnu `Alee Ibnu Muhammad Ibnu Jawzi rahimahullaahu Ta`Aalaa said:
An idea crossed my mind about what the world goes through of the plenty trials and great calamities which reach the hardest in limits. Subhaanallaah! Allaah is the Most Generous of the generous, and generosity causes forgiving So what is the justification of this punishment? So I thought, then I saw that many people in their existence are as their inexistence.
Meaning whether they exist or don’t it is the same.
They don’t read the signs of Oneness (of Tawheed), neither do they look into Allaah’s Commands and forbiddings, rather they live on their habits like animals. Then, if their religion goes along with their desires, they follow or else they go according to their goals. And after they get the buck (the money, loot), they care not it is from the lawful or the unlawful.
It doesn’t matter how they get the money just as long as they get the money – whether it is by the lawful means or unlawful means.
And when the prayer is easy on them, they do it. And if it’s not, they leave it. And of them are people who challenge with their great sins with a kind of knowing of the Forbidder (who is Allaah).
He means some of them have a bit of knowledge about his Lord but challenges his Lord with great sins (that means falls into great sins).
And it may be that some of them is of a strong knowledge of His Lord and his sins are piled up.
Meaning at the same time, he has a lot of sins
So I knew that the punishments even though great, but they are not any greater than their crimes. Then if a punishment fell to expiate a sin,
He means if a punishment would overcome one of them.
the one calling out for help cries out – “For what sin is this?!” And he forgets what the earth would shake from some of it.
He means the sin is so great that the earth would shake from just some of his sin.
And the elderly might be insulted in his age until the hearts pity him and he isn’t aware that it is because he has neglected Allaah’s Rights (His obedience) in his youth. So whenever you see someone punished know it is because of his sins.
This is a chapter that ibnu Jawzi talked about in his book صيد الخاطر (Saydul’ Khaatir). He did not title his chapters but this is the first chapter of that book.
And I considered carefully the state of the sufis and ascetics (the people who denounced the pleasures of this dunyaa) and found most of it a deviation from religion; from an ignorance in religion to an innovation in opinion.
He means their deviation in religion varies from an ignorance in religion to an innovation in opinion.
They use as evidence, verses which they understand not and with hadeeth with reasons and most of it isn’t authentic. And of it (their ignorance misinterpretation, and misunderstanding of the deen) is that they have heard in the Noble Qur’aan where Allaah says in 3/185 (which means): … The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception (a deceiving thing). And as He said in 57/20 (which means): Know that the life of this world is only play and amusement,… Then they heard the hadeeth: The life of this world is worth less to Allaah then a dead sheep with its people… Muslim 2272 Then they exagerrated (according to their understanding of these verses and ahaadeeth he means) in abondoned it (the dunyaa) without knowing its reality. And the one who doesn’t know something (meaning the reality of something) it is not permissible for him to praise it or dispraise it.
He means that whoever doesn’t know something – he cannot give a judgement except after he knows it.
You can’t say something is good and you don’t know the full reality of it and you can’t say something is bad until you do so.
A principle in Sharee`ah says: Judging something is based on picturing it (meaning having a clear picture of it).
How do you have a clear picture of something in your mind? By knowing its definition. (experience is not enough). For example, alot of people don’t know the reality of the Arabic sciences and that is why you find alot of them passing that judgement that it is not necessary to learn Arabic to understand the Qur’aan and the Sunnah because they were ignorant of it…Ibn Jawzi will explain that a good number of the deviants do this unitnetionally becuase he is ignorant of the Sharee`ah. That is why it is very important for us not to pass a judgement on anything unless after we know its defintion and have a clear picture of it.
Ibnu Jawzi continued…
So if we look at the life of this world we see this flattened earth made as a resting place for the creation. From it their food comes and in it their dead are buried. And something like this isn’t dispraised because of the advantage in it. Then we saw what is on the earth of the water crops and plants – all for the humans advantages and it has a preserving of the reason to his survival And we saw that the survival of the human being is a means to knowing his Lord and obeying Him and serving Him. And whatever is to be a means for the survival of the knowing (i.e. knowledgeable) worshipper is praised and not dispraised.
If there was no human on the face of this earth there would be no one to worship Allaah!
This food that He has created for us (As in 2/29 which means: He it is Who created for you all that is on earth.) – it is for a survival because in our survival is the setting up of Allaah’s obedience and worship on this earth.
Then it was clear to us that the dispraise falls only on the acts of the ignorant or the sinner in this wordly life.
This point is important to understand- that the dunyaa is praised from one aspect and dispraised from another aspect. Dispraising the dunyaa is from the aspect of using the dunyaa for other than what Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta’Aala has ordained. It is important to understand that dunyaa is not dispraised from every angle.
Then he clarified further:
So if he earned the lawful money and paid his obligatory charity he isn’t to be blamed.
`Alee radhiyallaahu `anhu spenditure reached to 40,000 and Ibn Mas`uud left behind 90,000.
Forty thousand in those days was a very,very big number because they used to deal with silver or gold (dinaar wa dirham).
He mentioned more stories that are mentioned in Adh-Dhahabis books and books that contain within them the biographies of the Companions and the rightly-guided Salaf in general.
Then he continued:
And if he married alot, he was praised not dispraised for the Prophet had wives and slaves (women slaves) And most of the Companions were upon that. (polygeny – having more than one wife). `Alee had 4 wives and 17 women slaves. For seeking marriage for the offspring is of the utmost worship.
- Why? Because the Prophet – sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, has urged to do so – to increase the number of his Ummah.
And if he wanted pleasure it was permissible and gathers unlimited acts of worship such as protecting both himself and the women from adultery and illegal sexual acts.
And as for the food, the point of it is stregthening the body for the serving of the Lord. And it is a right upon the camel keeper that he feeds it so it can carry him. And the Prophet – sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam used to eat what he found available. If it was meat, that is what he ate and it is authenticated that he ate chicken as in the Bukhaaree. And it was also in the Bukhaaree that the best oof food to him was sweets and honey.
Then came people who showed the denouncing of the pleasures of this world and innovated a way which the desire beautified to them. Then they searched for the evidence to support it. And it is only that the human should follow the evidence and not follow a way then build the evidence upon it!
This last point is a very important principle that Ibn Jawzi has mentioned. By it he means you have to follow the evidence and whatever is understood from the evidence – that you follow and not the other way around! Don’t follow your desires and opinions then search for the evidence to support it. The thing which rules is the evidence. Whatever it supports you follow. Opinions should be under the evidence control and not vice versa.
Then they (the Sufis) parted into parts. One of them pretends outwardly (pretends to be someone who denounces the worldly pleasures – a zaahid), and inwardly he is a lion and he feeds on in his privacy and sleeps on the pleasures. He shows the people that he is a sufi ascetic and it wasn’t except in his clothing, for if he was followed and observed you would find in him the arragonce of Fir`awn.
And of them are ones who are of a pure inside however he is ignorant of the religion.
And of them is one who has exposed himself and wrote books so the ignorant followed him on this way and were as blinded people led by a blind one. And if they only pondered on what the Prophet – sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, was upon and his companions – may Allaah be pleased with them, they wouldn’t have slipped.
And a group of scholars weren’t giving any attention to someone who was glorified if he had strayed away from the path, rather they gave him the blame. For it was narrated that it was said to Ahmed by al-Imaam Al-Marwazi (one of Imaam Ahmed’s students):“What do you say in marriage?” So Ahmed said: “It is the Sunnah of the Prophet – sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam.” So it was said to him: “Ibraaheem said so and so!” (what is meant by Ibraaheem is Ibraaheem ibn Adham who died in year 162 AH and didn’t marry.) So Imaam Ahmed shouted at me and said: “You have come to us with the misleading roots!”
Bunayaatut-tareeq are the branching out roots that cause you to lose your main path – they cause you to deviate/stray away from the main road.
And it was said to Imaam Ahmed that Sari As-Saqati ( His name is Abu-l-Hasan Sari bin al-Mughallis died in the year 253 AH) said: “When Allaah Ta’Aalaa created the letters the alif stood up and the baa prostrated.” So Imaam Ahmed said: “Make the people flee away from him!”
And know that the upright scholar is not entertained with the name of a glorified person as it was said to `Alee ibn Abi Taalib, radhiyallaahu `anhu: “Do you think that Talha and az-Zubayr were on error?”
It seems that there was a matter of dispute and Talhah and Az-Zubayr chose something and `Alee chose something. So it was said to him, “How can we say that Talhah and Az-Zubayr where on error?” So `Alee said: “The truth is not known by men but know the truth and you will know its people.”
And it reached to a point that the glorifying of people rested in some of them to the extent that if something was to be narrated from them and the ignorant was to hear it, he would have accepted it as it was narrated that Abi Yazeed (his name is Tayfur Ibn `Eesaa d 261 AH [he had some issues]) He (Abu Yazeed) said: “Myself sought that which Allaah is not pleased with, then I swore not to drink water for a year.” Ibn Jawzi said commenting on this saying: If it was proven that he had said such a thing it would be an ugly mistake and a wretched error. Because the water passes the food into the body and nothing is equivelent to it for if he would not drink he would have been a cause to harm himself. Do you see that this here is the doing of he who knows that his self is not of his possession and that it is not permissible to use it in a way that Allaah Subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa did not give oermission to? And also it was narrated from some of the sufis that he said: “I went to Makkah (walking) out of tawakkul barefooted so the thorn used to get into my foot and I used to just rub my foot on the floor and not lift it to take the thorn out. And I was wearing the thick clothing, then if my eye hurt I would wipe my eye with that clothing until one of my eyes went off (got blinded). And the likes of these stories are plenty. And it may be that some told those stories thinking that those are a karamah.
A karamah is not a miracle (معجزة). There is a difference between them. Both the karamah and the miracle are considered abnormal acts – meaning normally the human cannot do it. But the difference is that the mu`jizah is intentional and the karamah is unintentional. The miracle is given to the Prophets by Allaah either the prohpet asked Allaah Ta’Aalaa for a miracle and He ta’Aalaa gives it to him or Allaah commanded the prophet to do a miracle and he does it by the will of Allaah. The karamah is done unintentionally – Allaah Ta`Aalaa might make some of his obedient slaves to do some great acts to show how honorable that man is. They are proven and it is part of the `Aqeedah of Ahlus Sunnah wal-Jamm`ah. The miracles are only by the prophets but the karamaat are by other than the prophets. The karamah is in a way a miracle, but the karamah is done unintentionally. For example it was narrated that `Umar ibn Al Khataab spoke out about a group of people who were coming to fight and they were behind the mountain, (he said – “O Saariya! The mountain!) So A meseenger was sent and he saw that a group of soldiers were coming to fight them from the other side just as `Umar had said. Teacher gave further explanation of karamah – students can refer to the recording.
And they glorified these stories and made it of a big issue to the laymen. Then they see that the one who does so is probably of a higher rank than Ash-Shafi`ee and Imaam Ahmed!
And certainly this is of the greatest sins and the wretched faults because Allaah said (4/29 which means): Do not kill yourselves. And the Prophet – sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, said: “To your Nafs there is a right upon you.”
* Walaahu `alam. These notes may need corrections and will be updated accordingly.