بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله رب العالمين وصلى الله وسلم وبارك على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين, أما بعد
~~~~~ Link to PDF notes
All the praise is to Allaah, we praise Him and seek His aid and ask His forgiveness. May the peace and blessings and exalted mention of Allaah be upon his slave and messenger Muhammad (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam), His house of kin, his companions and all those who follow him exactly until the Day of Judgement.
Today, inshaaAllaah we start with the book belonging to the son of the Imaam Abu Dawood. We had earlier mentioned in the classes on Tawheed, that part of belief in Allaah is based on three or four pillars:
- Belief in Allaah’s existence
- Belief in Allaah’s Lordship
- Belief in Allaah’s right to be worshipped
- Belief in Allaah’s Names and Attributes
These above make up the first pillar of the Pillars of Eemaan => Belief in Allaah subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa.
Creed or books of creed, discuss about the fundamental principles of Eemaan, especially those principles which were opposed and contradicted by the deviants. Deviants are those who go against what the Prophet (Sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and his companions were upon.
As mentioned in earlier classes, the sources of evidence are three:
- The Book of Allaah
- Sunnah of Prophet (Sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)
- Understanding of his companions Radhiyallaahu `anhum.
The book concerned here is a poem of 33 verses by ibn Abu Dawood. The author is Al-Imaam Aboo Bakr `Abdullaah ibnu Abee Dawood. Aboo Dawood is the famous Aboo Dawood of the Sunan, i.e; one of the major sources of the hadeeth of the Prophet (Sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) , after the ranks of the books of Imaam Bukhaariyy and Muslim.
The name of Aboo Dawood is Sulaiman Ibnu Al Ash’ath As’Sijistaaniyy. Sijistaaniyy is a reference to Sijistaan. His son (the author) was born in Sijistaan, in the year 230H ( H refers to Hijri / Islaamic Calendar; It began with the Hijra of Prophet [Sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam]).
His father used to take him with him on his journeys to seek knowledge of the hadeeth of Prophet (Sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam). The son accompanied his father to many different lands. Imaam ibn Abee Dawood, was of a strong zeal and determination to acquire knowledge where it may be. It’s narrated from him:
“Once I entered Al Kufah, and with me was one Dirham, with which I bought 30 hand-fulls of beans. I used to eat from it and take notes under Aboo Saeed Al Ashajj. So the beans were not finished until I had written from him, 30,000 hadeeth.”
He was very accurate in his narrations.
“I narrated from memory while in Asbahan, 36,000 hadeeth of which they claimed that I had mistaken in 7 of them. So I went off and found in my book 5 of the 7 just as I narrated to them.”
It was said of him: Ibnu Abee Dawood narrated to us for years, and never have I seen a book in his hand. He was only narrating from his memory. And he used to sit on the minbar, when he had aged, and a step under him would sit his son, Aboo Mu’ammar. When his son nearly starts to mention a hadeeth, his father would read it out from his memory.
Al-Khallal (A scholar and a student of Imaam Ahmed) said: “He was the Imaam of the people of Iraq. Even though there were scholars of a higher narration than his, they never reached a level he reached to in his accuracy. “
Imaam Adh’ Dhahabiyy said: “He was of the seas of knowledge, to the extent that some would prefer him over his father”. He also said “ …and the man was of the senior scholars of the Muslims.”
Ibn Abee Dawood died in the year 316.
The above is a brief biography of Imaam ibn Abee Dawood, his status among scholars and His knowledge.
Then Ustaad (hafidhahullah), mentioned that its necessary to know about the author to be comfortable to learn/read a book. Because, your trusting the knowledge in the book depends on the status of his knowledge, his rank with the scholars and his da’wah, in your mind. The Prophet (Sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said: “This knowledge is carried by the trustworthy of the successors.” The predecessors are the Prophet (Sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam), and his companions; as in the Qur’aan: (9: 100)
وَالسَّابِقُونَ الْأَوَّلُونَ مِنَ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَالْأَنصَارِ وَالَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُم بِإِحْسَانٍ رَّضِيَ اللَّـهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُوا عَنْهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي تَحْتَهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا ذَٰلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ
“And the first to embrace Islam of the Muhajirun (those who migrated from Makkah to Al-Madinah) and the Ansar (the citizens of Al-Madinah who helped and gave aid to the Muhajirun) and also those who followed them exactly (in Faith). Allaah is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him.” (9/100)
…implying Allaah will be Fully /Only pleased with those who follow the Prophet (Sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) exactly. So after the time of the Prophet (Sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and His companions there were people who opposed them and contradicted them. And the Prophet (Sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said:
“There remains to be a party of my Ummah (nation) upon the truth, those who let them down, harm them not, until the Order/ Command of Allaah comes while they are still upon it.” [Sahih (Darussalam) Arabic/English book reference : Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadeeth 6]
Implying… In every generation there will always be a group upon the truth/ upon the ancient classical correct way until the Day of Judgement, whether the deviants like it or not. There were messengers in every generation, taking people back to correct religion. Ibn Abbaas said: “After descending of Aadam , there stayed a 100 generations upon Correct way”.
One of the senior scholars, Ash Shaikh Saalih al Shaykh (Minister of Islaamic affairs , KSA) said: “This knowledge is taken through the passing of Days and nights.” Implying… Knowledge doesn’t come with one study. In time you will get the criterion between the truth and wrong. But if you leave the circles of knowledge, you will get astray by the sayings of people. Because Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa) commanded you to obey Him and He forbidded you from disobeying Hm. How will you actualize that obedience if you do not know what is obedience and what is disobedience? So you have to learn what is good and what is bad in the estimation of Allaah subhaanahu ta’alaa. And knowing what Allaah loves and does not love can only come through knowledge / learning. And people wont be able to agree upon matters if they approach it with their own views, because people differ.
Hence Allaah said about the Prophet (Sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) : (53:3-4)
مَا ضَلَّ صَاحِبُكُمْ وَمَا غَوَىٰ ﴿٢﴾ وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَىٰ الْعَظِيمُ
“Nor does he speak of (his own) desire. (3) It is only an Inspiration that is inspired. (53/3-4)
And the Prophet (Sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) used to be asked on certain matters and he would remain silent until revelation comes down and then he would clarify it for people. The Prophet (Sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) passes on this knowledge to those after him. Because the more close you are to the source of the spring, the water is purer. So when we want to clarify matters on truth, we go back to the source. Hence this knowledge was passed on generation after generation, there were people who held on to the pure religion and others who mixed the purity with junk. So we have to know what is the pure religion and that which was confused as the religion.
يَعْلَمُونَ ظَاهِرًا مِّنَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ عَنِ الْآخِرَةِ هُمْ غَافِلُونَ
“They know only the outside appearance of the life of the world (i.e. the matters of their livelihood, like irrigating or sowing or reaping, etc.), and they are heedless of the Hereafter.” (30/7)
It is hence only logical that the Prophet (Sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) who taught us even the manners of going to the toilet, that he teaches us the Principles of religion. Allaah will not let us go astray by not clarifying it for us through his Prophet (Sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam). Allaah guided us to the truth and commanded us to hold on to it. He also said that the truth is clear… mubeen. So we can only stay upon the clear way by sticking on to the circle/people of knowledge.
So, that is why ibn Abee Dawood started off his poetry by defining the sources of evidence. InshaAllaah, to be discussed in coming classes.
Why write it in poetry?
Because, our blessed scholar, in many various ways, simplified the religion for us. And one of the ways to do that is putting into poetry, so it could be exciting and easy to intake and to memorize. The rhymes of poetry makes it easy to memorize and difficult to forget than text.
Why was it needed to write in matters of Creed and true belief?
Because, the rise of the innovators and deviants after the first generation, necessitated that our scholars take a strong heed and firm step in clarifying the truth from falsehood.
Why didn’t they do that much in the early generations?
Because the minute an individual attempts to try to spread his deviated thoughts and views he would be dealt with immediately. For example the incident at time of Second Khalifa , `Umar ibn al-Khattaab – may Allaah be pleased with him. There was a man named Sabeegh ibn Isl, in the [caliphate] of `Umar. He was simply asking questions which caused doubts in the hearts of men…. questions only for the sake of meddling in the clear matters of religion. The matter was taken to `Umar ibn al-Khattaab.- the one whom Prophet (Sallallaahu`alayhi wasallam) described as: The gigantic closed strong gate in from of fitnah/ turbulence. And if Umar sought a way, Shaitan would seek another way. So, `Umar called for Sabeegh ibn Isl. Umar prepared for him the branches of palm tree, wrapped together. So when Sabeegh entered, `Umar asked him: Who are you? So he replied : I am the slave of Allaah, Sabeegh. So `Umar replied: I am the slave of Allaah, `Umar. Then `Umar said: You ask for an innovation? And he took up the braches and started beating Sabeegh up until he started bleeding. (and in some narrations, `Umar imprisoned him until he recovered and then repeated beating and continued doing so to Sabeegh ibn Isl, until he said : “Enough, Oh , Ameer al Mu’mineen , If you wish to kill me them kill me nicely, but what you wanted was to cure me (of my innovation), then by Allaah , I am cured.”.. i.e; he has repented. `Umar then expelled him to Iraq for a year, until they were sure of his tawbah. And even the people were commanded to refrain from speaking to him during this time.
May Allaah forgive our sins and accept from all of us. Aameen.
~ End of class ~
Notes transcribed by Umm Adnan