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Four Requirements of Success
03/06/2005 11:25  

Speak that which is right (Al-Ahzab)

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا (70) يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَ& amp;#1603;ُمْ وَيَغْفِر& amp;#1618; لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُ& amp;#1605;ْ وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَ& amp;#1607;ُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا (71)


Bring your actions into accord with your words (كبر مقتا )

سَبَّحَ لِلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاو& amp;#1614;اتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيز& amp;#1615; الْحَكِيم& amp;#1615; (1) يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِمَ تَقُولُون& amp;#1614; مَا لَا تَفْعَلُو& amp;#1606;َ (2) كَبُرَ مَقْتًا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَنْ تَقُولُوا مَا لَا تَفْعَلُو& amp;#1606;َ (3) إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُ& amp;#1608;نَ فِي سَبِيلِهِ صَفًّا كَأَنَّهُ& amp;#1605;ْ بُنْيَانٌ مَرْصُوصٌ (4)


Ensure that your niya is sound, untainted and correct (ليطهركم , كان مخلصا ). This is the most dangerous and subtle. A person can fall into ghuroor by following all the externalities of Islam but neglecting the purity of their intentions.

لَنْ يَنَالَ اللَّهَ لُحُومُهَ& amp;#1575; وَلَا دِمَاؤُهَ& amp;#1575; وَلَكِنْ يَنَالُهُ التَّقْوَ& amp;#1609; مِنْكُمْ كَذَلِكَ سَخَّرَهَ& amp;#1575; لَكُمْ لِتُكَبِّ& amp;#1585;ُوا اللَّهَ عَلَى مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَبَشِّرِ الْمُحْسِ& amp;#1606;ِينَ (37) إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُدَافِعُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ خَوَّانٍ كَفُورٍ (38)


Learn and know that you are in accordance to the Shari'a (Qur'an and Sunnah) (حتى تكون هواه تبعا لما جئت به )

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُ& amp;#1608;ا الرَّسُول& amp;#1614; وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ فَإِنْ تَنَازَعْ& amp;#1578;ُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوه& amp;#1615; إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُ& amp;#1608;لِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُؤْمِنُو& amp;#1606;َ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْ& amp;#1605;ِ الْآخِرِ ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَن& amp;#1615; تَأْوِيلً& amp;#1575; (59)

The Prophet (sas) said:

"Khairu an-naasi qarniy thumma alladhina yaloonahum thumma alladhina yaloonahum thumma yajee'u aqwaamun tasbiqu shahaadatu ahadihim yameenahu wa yameenuhu shadaadatahu." Qaala Ibrahim: Wa kaanoo yadhriboonanaa 'alaa ash-shahaadati wa al-'ahdi.
"The best of all generations is my generation, then those who come after them and then those who come after those then peoples will come whose bearing witness precedes their oath or whose oath precedes their bearing witness." Ibrahim (the narrator) said: They used to beat us regarding bearing witness and promises. (i.e., when we were children - as found in another version of this hadith). Al-Bukhari

After Allah's final message to mankind in its two parts - the Qur'an and the authentic Sunnah, the best source of guidance for Muslims is the ways, understanding and beliefs of these generations praised by the Prophet (sas). Allah mentions that his final message has two parts several places in His Book. Allah said addressing the wives of the Prophet (sas), may Allah be pleased with them:

{Wa qarna fiy buyootikunna wa laa tabarrajna tabarruja al-jaahiliyyati al-oolaa wa aqimna as-salaata wa aateena az-zakaata wa ati'na Allaha wa rasoolahu innamaa yureedu Allahu li yudh-hiba 'ankum ar-rijsa ahla al-baiti wa yutahhirakum tatheeran. Wa udhkurna maa yutlaa tiy buyootikunna min aayaati Allahi wa al-hikmati inna Allaha kaana lateefan khabeeran.}
{And stay in your homes and do not ornament yourselves the ornamentation of the first foolishness and maintain the prayer, pay the zakat and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah only wants to remove all uncleanness from you the people of the household and to purify you a thorough purification. And remember all that was recited in your homes of Allah's signs and the wisdom. Surely Allah is the Subtle, Knowing.} Al-Ahzaab:33-34

True to Allah's command to them, the wives of the Prophet (sas) and especially Aisha (ra) were among the most important narrators of the Prophet's Sunnah.

So, the first three generations known as As-Sahaaba, At-Taabi'een and Atbaa' At-Taabi'een are the best generations this earth has ever and will ever know. The were the best in their understanding of Islam and in its practice. If and when all of them agreed on a particular issue, this is a binding source of Islamic Law and is known as ijmaa'.

Most of the innovations and heresies which have afflicted this Ummah came later after the death of these first three generations. Even though there was strife and even war during these generations, it was between parties who all believed they were obeying Allah and fighting for what was right. Although these early conflicts (fitan) appear unfortunate, Allah's wisdom in them is clear and they have left behind valuable and eternal lessons for Muslims of all times.

Even though they fought and spilled blood, you could not find Muslims in those generations committing open shirk by calling out to other than Allah for help or succour. You could not find them committing heinous innovations by commemorating times and places not sanctioned by Allah's Messenger. Allah informed us that the religion left by Muhammad (sas) is complete and perfect and not in need of any additions or "enhancements":

{...Al-yauma ya'isa alladhina kafaroo min deenikum fa laa takhshauhum wa ikhshauniy. Al-yauma akmaltu lakum deenakum wa atmamtu 'alaikum ni'matiy wa radheetu lakum al-islaama deenan...}
{...Today the disbelievers have given up all hope of [destroying or corrupting] your religion so do not fear them but rather fear me. Today I have completed for you your religion, perfected my favor upon you and accepted for you Islam as your religion...} Al-Ma'idah:3

There are only two places which are commemorated in Islam and to which it is permissible to make effort to go as places pleasing to Allah to go to: Makka and Al-Madinah. The Prophet (sas):

"Laa tushaddu ar-rihaalu illaa ilaa thalaathati masaajida al-masjid al-haraami, wa masjid ar-rasooli (sas) wa masjid al-aqsaa."
"Do not make effort to travel except to three mosques: the Haram (Makka), the Prophet's mosque (Al-Madinah) and the distant mosque (Jerusalem)." Al-Bukhari

And, there are only THREE days which may be commemorated by Muslims. It is not lawful to recognize or commemorate ANY other days for religious reasons. The Prophet (sas) said:

"Innamaa a'yaadunaa thalaathatun: 'eid al-adh-haa, 'eid al-fitri wa al-jumu'a"
"Our commemorated days are only three: Eid Al-Adh-haa, Eid Al-Fitr and Friday." (...or, as he said (sas))

Among the very earliest of the second generation (At-taabi'een) was Al-Hassan Al-Basry. A major waa'idh (preacher), he brought tears to every eye whenever he spoke in public, which he did frequently. Each night when he returned to his home, his own eyes filled with tears and he trembled in fear that his actions may not coincide with his words. Allah warns of this in the following:

{Yaa ayyuhaa alladhina aamanoo lima taquloona maa laa taf'aloon. Kabura maqtan 'inda Allah an taquloo maa laa taf'aloon.}
{O you who believe, why do you say that which you do not do? How detested it is to Allah that you should say that which you do not do.} As-Saff:2-3

Al-Hassan Al-Basriy warned us about four requirements for sucess in everything saying:

"Wa Allahi laa yuqbalu qaulun illa bi niyyatin. Wa laa yuqbalu qaulun wa niyyatin illa bi 'amalin. Wa laa yuqbalu qaulun wa niyyatun wa 'amalun illa bi muwaafaqati as-sunnah."
"By Allah, no statement is accepted except with intention. And no statement and intention is accepted except with action. And no statement, intention and action is accepted unless it is in accordance with the Sunnah."

For our actions to have any meaning, bear and fruit and to be acceptable to Allah we cannot just talk. That talk must be sincere and accompanied in the internal reality which cannot be seen by people by valid intentions. If we command others with what is good and forbid them innovation, deviation and sin but our inner reality is a desire to be "over" others and to put them "down" by our correcting of them, our action is invalid, unacceptable and generally will not bear fruit. No group or this nation as a whole can ever succeed until they look into their hearts and keep Shaitaan out of their intentions behind their statements and actions.

To speak with sincere intention is also not enough unless it is backed up by action. As we call others to Islam, we must focus on ourselves first of all and on our families and those nearest to us after that. That which we call to should have had reflections in our selves and in our lives and the lives of those around us.

Even if we do all of this: speak a word backed up by sincere intention from within and put action along with our words, it is still all meaningless, unnacceptable and fruitless without the last condition: it must be in accordance with the sunnah. No good ever came out of innovation or deviation. Sincerity is not enough for a Muslim. We are required to go back to the sources, to read, ponder and question so that whatever we say, intend and do is firmly grounded in the Qur'an and the Sunnah as understood and practiced by the best three generations.

Al-Fudhail ibn Iyaadh made a similar comment about Allah's statement:

{Alladhiy khalaqa al-mauta wa al-hayaata li yabluwakum ayyukum ahsanu 'amalan, wa huwa al-'azeezu al-ghafooru.}
{He who created death and life that He may test which of you is best in deeds, and He is the Mighty, the Forgiving.} Al-Mulk:2

He said about the phrase ("best in deeds"Winking smiley:

"Akhlasuhu wa aswabuhu. Inna al-'amala idhaa kaana khaalisan wa lam yakun sawaaban lam yuqbal. Wa idhaa kaana sawaaban wa lam yakun khaalisan lam yuqbal. Hattaa yakoona khaalisan wa sawaaban. Al-khaalisu idhaa kaana lillahi 'azza wa jalla wa as-sawaabu idhaa kaana 'alaa as-sunnah."
"The most sincere and the most correct. Any deed which is sincere but is not correct is not accepted. And if it is correct but not sincere it is likewise not accepted. Only if it is sincere AND correct. "Sincere" is when it is done solely for Allah Mighty and Great and "correct" is when it is in accordance with the Sunnah."