Bismillahir rahman ir raheem
June 24, 2009
Jibreel Asks, and the Prophet Replies
The Adab of Naseeha—Sh. Muhammad Hassan
Asalamu alaikum wrt wb,
All praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, All praise be to the One Who did not take a child, and has no partner in dominion, the One Who has no helper, Whom there is no god except He, the Creator of all things, and there is no creator other than Him. Allah deserves all forms of worship, and for this reason, He declared that we worship none other than Him, that is because Allah is the Truth, and what they call on other than Him is falsehood, and Allah is the Highest, the Greatest.
I bear witness that there is no god other than Allah, unique in His Actions, Names, and Attributes; He has no equal, no partner, no opposite, no wife, no parents, nor children, unique in His Self, attributes, and actions. “Say: Allah is One, the Lord and Sustainer of the Universe, He has no children, no parents, and there is nothing like Him.”
And I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, the Leader of those who declare God’s Oneness, and His close Friend. He fulfilled the trust placed on him. He is the most knowledgeable of people from amongst Allah’s creation, and Prophet of the highest station and rank, who said about Allah: Indeed Allah does not sleep, and it is not befitting of Him to sleep. His veil is Light, if it were lifted, the vision of the onlooker would be set ablaze.
May Allah send peace and blessings on Prophet Muhammad, the Shining Sun, and Allah opened through him blind eyes, and deaf ears, and sealed hearts, and left us on a clear manifest guidance, its night like its day, and none deviates from it except is in loss. He is the caller to the best of actions and speech and character, and may peace be on his companions, family, and all those who follow his guidance and Sunnah, and take from the fruits of his teachings until the Day of Judgment.
Welcome dear noble brothers and honorable sisters, fathers and mothers, and may Allah reward you for your efforts. You have done well, and earned a place for yourselves in Jannah. I ask Allah the Loving and Generous, who joined us during this blessed hour in His obedience, to join us in the Afterlife with the Best of Callers, and Imam of the Prophets in the Gardens of Paradise, for He is capable of that.
My beloved: Jibreel asks and the Prophet, peace be upon them both, answers. Lessons in Aqeedah and Imaan, and Tawheed, based on the Hadith of Jibreel, I present it to the beloved Ummah in a new unique means of presentation, the unique questions and concise guided answers that take place between the Prophet peace be upon him and Jibreel. And why not, when the questioner is the Trustworthy one of the heavens, Jibreel, and the teacher is the Trustworthy one of the earth, our noble Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
And that is through a beautiful conversation, questions and answers, in this beautiful hadith narrated by Bukhari in its abridged form, and Ahmed, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, Ibn Hibban, Ibn Khuzaima, and many others, including Imam Muslim, and it is the version I chose for us, for its length, beauty, and clarity: Yahya bin Amr said: The first one who spoke of denying Qadr in Basra was Ma’bad al Juhani. So we, I and Abdurahman al-Himrawi left for Hajj or Umrah, and we said, if only we find someone from the companions of the Prophet, peace be upon him, so that we may ask him about Destiny. We were blessed to found Ibn Umar in a Masjid, and we gathered around him, some of us on his left, and others on his right, and I said: Oh Abu Abdurahman, some people have begun to read the Quran seeking out its minute details, believing that there is no Qadr, and that all events happen spontaneously, and that Allah doesn’t know about them until they happen. Ibn Umar said: “If you meet them, tell them that I am free from them and they are free from me. By Allah, if they gave a mountain of gold in charity it would not be accepted by Allah from them until they believe in Destiny.”
Ibn Umar then said, ‘Hadathani Abi’ i.e. my father (Umar bin al-Khattab) taught me: “While we were sitting with the Prophet, peace be upon him, one day, a man suddenly came upon us, his clothes were extremely white, and his hair extremely black, and he had no signs of travel upon him, and none of us knew him. He sat next to the Prophet, placing his knees towards his knees, and placing his hands on his thighs and said, ‘Oh Muhammad, Teach me about Islam…’
The Prophet peace be upon him said, ‘Islam is to bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His messenger, establish prayer, pay Zakat, fast Ramadan, and perform Hajj if you are able.’ The man said, ‘You have spoken the truth.’ We were amazed that he asked him a question, and then told him he was correct! He then said ‘Teach me about Iman.’
The Prophet replied, “To believe in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Day of Judgment, and to believe in Destiny, its good and evil.” He said, ‘You have spoken the truth.’ He then said…’Teach me about Ihsaan…’ The Prophet said, “To worship Allah as if you see him, and if you aren’t able to see him, then He indeed Sees you.” He said, ‘Teach me about the Hour…’
The Prophet peace be upon him replied, “The one being asked does not know more than one questioning.” The man said, ‘Then tell me about its signs.’ The Prophet said, ‘A slave-woman will give birth to her master, and you will see barefoot, naked, herdsmen competing in constructing tall buildings.”
Then the questioner left. We sat for a while, and then the Prophet peace be upon him said: ‘Do you know who the questioner was oh Umar?’ I said, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He replied, ‘He is Gabriel (Jibreel), he came to teach you your religion.’ ”
My honored friends, after this introduction, which I deliberately repeat for its blessings, we are meeting for the 31st time, and we continue with this beautiful means of teaching, Hadathani Abi, or my father taught me, with the help of Allah, that every family in our Ummah is so desperately. Each of us is need of this minhaj, each at his own level. I have explained the need of the Ummah for this methodology, and it is not for the young or children alone, no, it is for the whole Ummah.
We spoke last time during this critical series, about Tarbiyya by example, Tarbiyyah by love, Tarbiyya by Aqeedah, and Tarbiyya by Ibaadah, and Tarbiyya by Akhlaq, and we continue speaking, by Allah’s help, about Tarbiyya by Akhlaq, and the first foundation of Akhlaq is by Adab.
And we spoke about Adab with Allah Most High, and with the Prophet of Allah peace be upon him, with the Rulers and Scholars, and Adab with parents. And we continue to speak, by Allah’s help and guidance, in general about Adab of Muslims with their brothers and sisters.
And I spoke about this all encompassing hadith narrated by Bukhari and Muslim:
The Prophet said, “The Right of a Muslim on a Muslim are five:
1.) Returning Salaam and greetings.
2.) Visiting the sick, and we spoke about this last time.
3.) Following the funeral procession.
4.) Answering the invitation
5.) And praying for mercy to for the sneezer
And in Bukhari’s narration, the Prophet added a sixth right:
6.) And if he seeks your advice, then give him your advice.”
If he seeks your advice, then be sincere to him, and I will explain this tonight, if time allows. I mentioned last time about Adab of following the funeral.
Tonight we’ll speak about answering the invitation, and praying for the sneezer.
Perhaps most Muslims don’t know much about these two Adaab, answering the invitation and praying for the sneezer.
If your brother invites you for dinner, then you should answer and go. It is from Adab, but let me explain, we must understand the Fiqh of this topic. If it is not understood, it may lead to hatred and discord, and not love.
For example, someone might invite someone for a meal, and he excuses himself for a legitimate Shariah reason, like he is extremely pressed for time, or busy, yet the inviter might become upset.
This might lead to spreading ill speech, and hatred, and they might say something bad about the person who doesn’t attend.
Here is what the scholars say:
The Hanafi, Maliki, and Hanbali, madhabs, as well as the majority of the Shafii’ school, say that to answer the inviter is Mustahabb, or mandoob (praiseworthy), but not Fard (required). It is not Wajib.
I ask Allah to join me with all the beloved brothers in the shade of Allah on the Day of Judgment. Many people extend a personal invitation to me, but I cannot answer them, and it is an honor for me, but I cannot attend because of time, whether it is an Aqeeqah, or a Waleemah, or these other events. I ask Allah to bless them.
I ask these brothers, if I must seek to be excused, I hope this is not a reason for hatred, or blame, and this is not from Islam, and not from the Sunnah. So I want to make it clear that the Hanafi, majority of the Shafii, Hanbali, and Maliki schools of law state that it is praiseworthy, but not an absolute requirement.
Imam Shafii makes a difference between the Waleemah (wedding banquet), which he considers obligatory to attend, and other invitations. The invitation for food is for love, and brotherhood, and it shouldn’t change into a means of ill feeling.
In the Saheehain, the Prophet said, “Answer the invitation if you are invited.”
And in Muslim, the Prophet, pbuh, says: “If one is invited for food, then he should answer it, and if he wants, he can eat, and if he wants, he can leave the food.”
And he said, “If one of you are invited to food, and he is fasting, he should say, “I am fasting.”
Someone might invite you, and say, “tafadul”, no thank you, and he insists, and you say, ‘thank you, I’m fine.” And you are afraid to show off by saying, I am fasting, but if he keeps arguing with you about it for too long, that itself might turn into showing off!
So don’t feel embarrassed to say, “I am fasting.”
This is a permission, to help you keep your fasting.
If you are invited to food, and you are fasting, should you break your fast?
The one who is fasting an optional fast is the authority over himself. He can break it, or keep it, and this topic is well known amongst the Ulema and students of knowledge.
If the food took time to prepare, and your brother will be filled with happiness if you eat, and it is still earlier in the day, then go ahead and eat. And if you want to make up the day later, as some scholars said, then that is good.
Imam Muslim narrates that the Prophet pbuh said, “If one of you are invited, then answer, and if he is fasting, he should pray, and if he is not, then he should eat.” We must have Adab with the person, and not hurt his feelings.
If he is fasting, he should pray. What does this mean?
Some scholars took it literally, they said, he should pray, immediately, even if it is a forbidden time, since the prayer is one of specific purpose, and it is permissible to make a prayer if it has a specific purpose at any time.
Others said no, it is not literally a Salat, in which you ask Allah to have mercy for the people of the house, it is dua for the people of the house. To make dua for them.
You can say, “Oh Allah, have mercy on the family of So and so.”
This is Adab.
And another Adab is to not invite the rich only and exclude the poor. Many do not know this, and they might spend a large amount of money for a wedding Waleemah, but they don’t invite the poor.
Yet there those whom Allah has blessed with wealth and he invites scholars and provides food, and he might spend the whole time feeding each and every guest, by his whole hands, and he cannot sit down, and he insists and placing food for his guests in their mouths, and Allah will fill his heart with joy, such that no poet can capture the joy of that moment, and the one who tastes is not like the one who hears.
The Prophet said, “The worst of the food, is food of the Waleemah.”
What a minute Shaikh, didn’t you just said it is a blessing for those who feed their guests?
Well, there is a condition with the words of the Prophet, “the poor are not invited, and they want to come, and the rich are invited, and they don’t come.”
And in the Saheehain, the Prophet pbuh said, “The rich are invited, and the poor are left behind.”
Here is another Adab:
The Prophet pbuh said, “And praying for mercy for the sneezer.” And I know there are many who make a mistake fulfilling this right, and the might be surprised that Prophet taught us exact Adab even in such mundane matters, even how to use the bathroom.
Sneezing is from Allah, and yawning is from the Devil. Allah loves sneezing, and Allah hates yawning.
In Islam there is even Adab for sneezing, and yawning?
The beloved Prophet said, as narrated in the Saheehain (Bukhari and Muslim), “Indeed Allah loves sneezing, and hates yawning. If one of you sneezes, and praises Allah, it his right that each Muslim who hears him say, “May Allah have mercy on you.” And the yawn is from the Shaitan, so if you feel like yawning, then repress it as much as you can. For if one of you yawns, the devil laughs.”
These is the words of the True Prophet who does not speak from his whims. Look at this wisdom: The one yawning is sleepy and lazy, and he may not remember his prayer and Dhikr of Allah, and oversleep for his Fajr prayer, or perhaps he stayed up all night until a few moments before Fajr, then went to sleep. Or he wakes up for Fajr, then yawns, and says, I’ll sleep until the time of Iqamah, but then misses the prayer. On the other hand, the sneezer is aware and active, and fighting illness.
In Bukhari and Muslim, the Prophet pbuh said, “If one of you sneezes, then say Alhamdulillah. And any Muslim who hears you should say, “May Allah have mercy on you.”
Ok, the sneezer says, Alhamdulillah, and the listener says, “Yarhamukallahu, may Allah have mercy on you”. Then what should the sneezer say?
Now you must say, “Yahdikumallah wa yuslihu baalakum.” May Allah guide you and rectify your affairs.
Some say, “May Allah have mercy on me and you.” No, this is not the Sunnah. All good is in following the previous generations, and all evil is in the innovations of the later people.
The Prophet pbuh repeated this hadith three times to his companions, and this was his way of teaching.
Now, if someone sneezes in a gathering, and he didn’t say Alhamdulillah, should you say, “May Allah have mercy on you,”? No, you shouldn’t say Yarhamukullah, and this is not harshness, for the Prophet said,
“If one of you sneezes and praises Allah, then pray for mercy for him, and if he doesn’t praise Allah, then don’t pray for mercy for him.”
This is a mercy. The Prophet knows what is best for us. We don’t know the blessings of Allah, we don’t know the value of air, until our breath passages are closed, and we wished we could access air.
You must always be grateful for breathing, even in your sleep; you breath every moment of your life, this blessing is always with us, and we don’t know its value until we are ill, and our noses and air passageways are closed.
“If you were to count Allah’s blessings, you will not be able to enumerate them.”
There is another narration in the Saheehain, “Two people sneezed in the presence of the Prophet pbuh. The Prophet prayed for one, and didn’t pray for the other. The second person became upset. The man said, “I sneezed, and you didn’t pray for me, and the other man sneezed, and you prayed for him.” The Prophet said, “Because he praised Allah, and you didn’t say, Praise be to Allah.”
This is an Adab that many Muslims may not know. I ask Allah to bless our means of spreading knowledge through technologies such as satellite and internet, that have allowed knowledge to reach those who for many generations have not known their deen. I know that these durus are reaching people who have not known these aspects of religion for many years and generations.
Now, the right of sincerity in giving advice.
The Prophet said, in Bukhari, “If your brother seeks your Naseeha (advice), give him your sincere Naseeha (advice).”
What is Naseeha? Let me giving you its delicate and beautiful linguistic meaning that perhaps you never knew.
Naseeha means, linguistically, to patch your clothes or your robe, or pants, or shirt. If there is rip, and you sew it, it is called, Naseeha. Nassahah fulan thawbah. That is, he sewed it, and fixed it.
From this, Naseeha, means that the one giving advice, he patches the hole, he covers the deficiency, and fixes it, he doesn’t expose it. The advisor covers the defect in his friend, and repairs it.
He doesn’t mention a person by name, and then give him advice in front of others. The Prophet pbuh used to come on the minbar, and say, “What is the problem certain people who…” He didn’t mention them by name, he didn’t expose them.
The advisor patches the deficiency, and explains the truth with humbleness.
Naseeha also means to purify honey. These words are honey. Likewise, an advisor, he gives advice without arrogance, or anger, or showing off, no he purifies his intention.
Perhaps someone sees a defect in one of these durus, and no one is perfect, only the Prophet was given protection from sin, so any scholar, yes he will be make mistakes, without a doubt.
If someone makes a mistake, you speak to him, and give him advice. But with Adab. Not with arrogance, or exposing his shortcomings. With humbleness, not with arrogance.
Someone might destroy all the actions of a scholar, or teacher, because he made a single mistake in a lesson.
No, Naseeha is not accepted, unless it is with Adab. Otherwise the person will reject the advice.
Thus we must learn the Adab of Naseeha. That is to purify honey, from its impurities or bad smell.
Likewise, we must remove worldly desires when we give advice, and remove seeking greatness and arrogance.
We don’t look at the ocean of good in a person, rather we see a small mistake, and we make it huge. It is enough goodness that you can count a person’s mistakes.
The worst person is the one who attributes mistakes to a righteous person. This is not from religion, and it is not from the deen, for Imam Ahmed narrated, that the Prophet said, “The best of people are those whom if you see them you remember Allah, and the worst are those who divide between beloved friends, and attribute deficiencies to a righteous person.”
Know that giving Naseeha is from the character of the Prophets, Allah says, describing Prophet Nuh, “I deliver to you the messages of my Lord, and I am a trustworthy advisor to you.”
Imagine that our Prophet, pbuh, in a eloquent hadith, like all of his speech is, this hadith is narrated by Muslim, the Prophet summarized the religion in one word, he says, “The Deen is Naseeha.”
The deen is Naseeha, these words that are concise, but contain foundations and rules, that if we apply them as an Ummah, we will be successful.
The Sahabah asked, “Naseeha to whom? The Prophet said, “To Allah, to the Book of Allah, the Rasul, to the leaders of the Muslims, and to the whole Ummah.”
Naseeha to Allah, is to be sincere in your worship of Allah. It is to stay away from haram, and obey Him in sincerity, and to not seek anything by your actions except the pleasure of Allah.
What is Naseeha to the Quran? To read it with reflection, to follow what it commands, to believe in it, and stay away from what if forbids, to act by its unambiguous verses, and to have faith in its ambiguous verses, and stop at its limits.
What is Naseeha to the Messenger of Allah? To believe in him, to follow him, to stay away from what he forbade, to give Dawah to his religion.
What about Naseeha to the leaders of the Muslims? It is to obey them, in what is good. To give them advice with kind words, and respect their position. My advice to the president shouldn’t be like my advice to my child. We treat people according to their position. This is not hypocrisy, or flattery. No the Prophet said, in Bukhari and Muslim, “Place each person in his rightful place, and treat him according to his status.”
When we give advice to the rulers, we shouldn’t show arrogance, we must be humble, and make dua for them, like Imam Ahmed, who said, “If I had a dua that would be answered, I would make dua for the ruler, for if he is rightly guided, the whole Ummah would be guided.”
The ruler will be happy in this world and the next world if he imposes the Laws of Allah on himself, and on those over whom he rules.
I ask Allah to guide the rulers of the Muslims to fulfill the rights of this Trust, and have good advisors.
The righteous ruler chooses righteous advisors.
And as for Naseeha to the Muslims, is to remind them and advise them with mercy, and wisdom, and humbleness, otherwise it will never be accepted. We must use Adab, and if I advise you or you advise me, and it goes beyond the limits of Adab it will never be accepted.
I’ll tell you something that I saw with my own eyes, and I was making wudu for Salat al Asr, and a brother was next to me, I didn’t know him, and another person came in, and they greeted each other, and asked about each other’s kids, and talked for a long time. The one who came in didn’t make wudu, and the Iqamah for prayer was called. Then a third person came, and told the two, “Will you donkeys pray or what?”
What kind of advice is that? This person had a beard and appeared religious …is this the way to give advice? Donkeys are not required to pray. I am knowledgeable, and you are ignorant. I am pious, and you are not. No, this is not the way.
We don’t use the language of arrogance. The one giving advice thinks he is on the clear truth. No, you may be on falsehood. You might think you alone are right, and yet the one whom you give advice is a scholar and more knowledgeable than you.
We must not be arrogant, not even with evil-doers, or the sinful, we shouldn’t be arrogant.
He who has even a grain of arrogance in his heart will not enter Paradise, as the Prophet said. He looks down at people from an Ivory Tower. No, he might think he knows, but he is mistaken.
A student of knowledge might come along, and he is only 25 years old, and he wants to give advice to a scholar who has given Dawah for 35 years. It is ok to give advice, yes, but with Adab.
Many claim the scholars are committing major sins, but I give advice to the youth:
Don’t be hasty to give rulings.
The daleel isn’t the end of knowledge. There is understanding of the daleel, its juristic cause (illa).
My beloved, these are some of the beautiful adaab from the topic of Tarbiyya by Akhlaq.
It is the Adab that a Muslim should have with his fellow Muslims in everything and everywhere he goes.
The summary is that: None of you believes, unless he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.
I will suffice with this, and inshallah we will continue on this topic next time.
Asalamu alaikum wrt wb.