"O my soul, it is only a few days, bear them patiently.A lifetime seems long but a flitting reverie"

~Imam Shafi~
" “The heart will rest and feel relief if it is settled with Allah and it will worry and be anxious if it is settled with people.” – Ibn al-Qayyim"....Say : "This is my way; I invite unto Allah with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me with sure knowledge" (Qur'an - 12:108) "Say: we believe in God and in what has been revealed to us, and what was revealed to Abraham, Isma'il: Isaac, Jacob and The Tribes, and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus and the Prophets, from their Lord: We make no distinction between one and another, among them, and to God do we bow our will (in Islam)." (Qur'an, Al-Imran 3:84) . "And if he (Muhammad SAW) had forged a false saying concerning Us (Allah),We would have seized him by the right hand;And then certainly should have cut off his life artery (Aorta),And none of you could withhold Us from (punishing) him" (Qur'an,Al-Haqqah 69:44-47) "Do they not ponder the Quran! If it were revealed from a source other than Allah,certainly they would have found,many contradictions."[Holy Quran 4:82] " O man! Verily, you are returning towards your Lord with your deeds and actions (good or bad), a sure returning, and you will meet (i.e. the results of your deeds which you did)" [Holy Qur'an, 84:6] Say, "Is it other than Allah I should desire as a lord while He is the Lord of all things? And every soul earns not [blame] except against itself, and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return, and He will inform you concerning that over which you used to differ." ~Holy Quran 6:164 Imam Malik (rh): “Do not look to the sins of people as if you are Lords, but look to your own sins as if you are slaves. Have mercy on the people of affliction and praise Allah for your well-being, and never say, ‘This person is from the people of Hellfire, and this person is from the people of Paradise.’ Do not be arrogant over the sinners, but rather ask Allah to grant them hidayah and rashad (i.e. guidance).” Ibn Kathir (Ra) narrated: كان نقش خاتم عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه : كفى بالموت واعظاً ياعمر “The engraving on ‘Umar ibn al Khataab’s(Ra) ring was: “Sufficient is death as an admonisher O Umar”. ["Al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaaya]. "When you fear the creation, you run away from it, but when you fear the Creator, you feel close to Him,& run towards Him.".Ibn Qayyim . "Allahumma la‘aisha illa‘aish-al-Aakhirah": 'There is no life but the life of the next world' "And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (i.e. death)". (Quran 15:99) “And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways.And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.” [Quran: 29:69] "... And my success is not but through Allah . Upon him I have relied, and to Him I return." ~ Al Quran 11:88
"Nothing in this world is really useful to you unless it has some utility and value for the next world"-Imam Ali(R)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ibn al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyya

He is Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr, known as Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya, named after his father who was an attendant (Qayyim) at a local school named Al-Jawziyya. He was born in Damascus, Syria in 1292 C.E. (691 A.H.), and he studied under his father, the local attendant (Qayyim) of the al-Jawziyya school. Later on, he pursued his quest for knowledge at the hands of renowned masters and scholars of his epoch, as well as he studied the works and teachings of sufi masters known in his time. His schooling centered around Islamic jurisprudence, theology, and the science of prophetic traditions. He finally joined the study circle of Imam Ibn Taimiyyah (1262-1329 C.E.), who kept him in his company as his closest student and disciple, who later on became his successor.

Ibn al-Qayyim was fervent in his devotion to his teacher, and he was an excellent student and disciple of the great Muslim scholar Imam Taqiyyu-Deen Ahmad Ibn Taimiyyah. He defended his religious opinions and approaches, and he compiled and edited most of his works, and taught the same.

Because of their perception and opinions, both the teacher and the student were unjustly persecuted, tortured by unjust rulers at the time, and humiliated in public by the local authorities, and they were imprisoned in a single cell, while the other disciples were kept separate in the central prison of Damascus, still known to-date as al-Qal‘a. Among the imprisoned scholars, students of Ibn Qayyim, included a young man by the name of Ibn Kath
ïr (1302-1375 C.E.), who later on became a most renowned Muslim scholar and compiler of the most comprehensive Qur’anic commentaries ‘Tafsïr Ibn Kathïr.’

Upon the death of Imam Ibn Taimiyyah, the disciples were set free from prison, and Imam Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya furthered his studies, and held study circles and classes for his own students. Ibn Jawziyya taught Islamic Jurisprudence at al-Sadriyya school, in Damascus, before he held the position of the Imam of the Jawziyya school for a long period. Most of his writings were compilations, although he authored several books himself, and manuscripts with his own handwriting are preserved today in the central Library of Damascus.

In fact, it was considered an honour and a privilege to study in his circle. Among the renowned Muslim scholars who studied under him, we mention Ibn ‘Abd al-H
ãdï (1305-1345 C.E.), and Ibn Rajab (1337-1396 C.E.), and others who oft-frequented his circles, and sought his company, such as Imam Ibn Kathïr. Most scholars of the time have acknowledged the author’s excellence, and profound knowledge of Qur’anic interpretation, commentaries on the prophetic traditions, and theology. His extensive knowledge and understanding of Qur’anic commentaries surpassed even some renowned theologians in Islamic history.

Ibn Kath
ïr spoke of him in his book ‘Al-Bidãya wa-’Nihãya, saying: “He was most friendly and kindhearted, he never envied anyone, he never caused harm to anyone, he never bore prejudice against anyone, and I was the closest to his heart. Furthermore, I do not know anyone who is more devout in his worship than him in our time.” A similar opinion also was quoted by Ibn Hijr.

Ibn al-Qayyim catered to all the branches of Islamic science, and was particularly known and commended for his commentaries. Al-H
ãfiz Ibn Rajab spoke of his teacher, saying: “He was an accomplished scholar of Islamic science, and no one could rival him in his deep understanding of the Qur’an and prophetic saying, and his interpretations were unique in accuracy.”

Ibn Rajab narrated that his teacher Imam Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya learned the science of prophetic sayings (Had
ïth) from al-Shahãb al-Nãbulsi, Qãdhï Taqiyyu-Deen Sulaimãn, and Fãtima Bint Jawhar, among others. During his early student life, Imam Ibn al-Qayyim sought the company of most shaikhs of his period, and he was particularly proficient in interpreting the Hanbali Muslim school of thoughts.

His Spiritual Life
Imam Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya was an avid and a resolute worshipper. He devoted long hours to his supererogatory nightly prayers, he was in a constant state of remembrance (zikr), and he was known for his extended prostrations. One could see on his face the clear expressions of piety, and constant solicitation of God’s bounty and favors.

During Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya’s imprisonment in al-Qal‘a prison in Damascus, he was constantly reading the Qur’an, and studying its meanings. Ibn Rajab noted that during that period of seclusion, he gained extensive spiritual success, as well as he developed a great analytical wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of the prophetic traditions.

Upon his release, he performed the pilgrimage to Mecca several times, and sometimes he stayed in Mecca for a prolonged period of devotion and circumambulation of the holy Ka‘aba.

His Works
ãn al-Alüsï al-Baghdãdï once said: “His interpretations are unique in accuracy.” The renowned Muslim scholar at-Thahabi once said about him: “He gave great attention to details and references of the prophetic traditions.” Furthermore, Shaikh Burhãn al-Deen al-Zãri’ spoke of him saying: “No one is as cognizant as Ibn al-Qayyim was in his time.”

Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya’s contributions to the Islamic library are extensive, and they particularly deal with the Qur’anic commentaries, and understanding and analysis of the prophetic traditions (fiqh-u Sunnah).

He compiled a large number of studies besides his own books, including:
1- Tahth
ïb Sunan Abi Dãwoud (Emendation of Sunan Abu Dãwoud);
2- Al-Kal
ãm al-Tayyib wa-al-‘Amal al-Sãlih (The Essence of Good Words and Deeds);
3- Commentaries on the book of Shaikh ‘Abdull
ãh al-Ansãri: Manãzil-u Sã’ireen (Stations of the Seekers);
4- Z
ãd al-Ma‘ãd (Provisions of the Hereafter), from which the famous book Natural Healing with the Medicine of the Prophet is extracted.
5- Tafsir Mu'awwadhatain (Tafsir of Surah Falaq and Nas);
6- Fawaa'id;
7- Ad-Daa'i wa Dawaa' ;
8- Al-Rooh;
9- Al Waabil Sayyib minal kalim tayyib;
10- Haadi Arwah ila biladil Afrah;
11- Al Jawaabul kaafi liman sa'ala 'an Dawaa'i Shaafi;
12- Ighadatu lahfan fi masayid shaytan;

Many more gems of works well-preserved up to this day.
Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya died in the city of Damascus on Rajab 751 A.H.,1350 C.E., at the age of sixty-two, and was buried besides his father at al-Sagheer Cemetery there