Saturday, July 28, 2007

Oh Nafs!

In yesterdays lesson, Shaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq didn’t comment on any further hadeeth but elaborated on the important lesson that we can learn from Hadeeth 636 about Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه), for which I posted notes last week. We learn from the hadeeth that we cannot determine our own salvation or anyone else’s salvation. Unfortunately, today people actually believe that their teacher/leader/mentor is guaranteed salvation and therefore will intercede for them and lead them to salvation too. If anyone was guaranteed salvation, then surely someone of the calibre of Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) would have been one of those. We learn categorically from the hadeeth that Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) told the sister of Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) from amongst the Ansaar that she cannot say that ‘Allah has honoured him’ despite his great calibre.

The Shaykh also commented on how traditionally a Shaykh was one who had a perfect balance of internal and external knowledge. Today, we have two extremes – any person who knows a few verses of the Quran is referred to as a Shaykh, and on the other hand there are people who lack external knowledge and practice but are also referred to as a Shaykh. The famous sufi and saint, Imam Junaid al Baghdadi (رحمة الله عليه) would say this tariqah of ours is bound by the Book of Allah and by the Sunnah. On the other hand, the Shaykh mentioned that those that deny tasawuff should note that ibn Taimiyah (رحمة الله عليه), whom those that deny internal knowledge often like to quote, said that ‘the miracles of the awliya of the ummah of Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) are true’. Thus, there is a need for a balanced approach – we cannot accept every person to be a wali and also if a tariqah doesn’t restrict itself to the shariah we cannot accept it.

Speaking further about tasawuff, Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq mentioned a Shaykh who once wrote addressing his own nafs. He said ‘Oh Nafs! Tell me, if you imagine yourself to have died and your body was brought before Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم), how would he treat you?’. SubhanAllah. This is truly something to reflect over and this is related both to Hadeeth 636 about Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) and also to another incident which is recorded in the ahadeeth. On the one hand, we have the example of the body of Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) in front of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) – the details of which were mentioned in the previous lesson i.e. Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) wept profusely and stated how Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) left the dunya in such a state that he did not touch the dunya nor did the dunya touch him. On the other hand, when this Shaykh is addressing his nafs he is referring to the incident where a body was brought before Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) but Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) refused to pray the Jinazah salah for that individual. Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said ‘You pray janazah over your companion’.

This is truly something for us to think about and reflect upon.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه)

Lesson 163 - 20th July 2007

كتابُ الجَنائز

The Book of Funerals

باب: الدّخُولُ عَلَى المَيّتِ بَعدَ المَوْتِ إذَا أُدرِجَ في أَكْفَانِه

CHAPTER 3. Visiting the deceased person after he has been put in his shroud.

636. عَنْ أُمّ الْعَلاَءِ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهَا امْرَأَة مِنَ الأَنْصَارِ بَايَعَتِ النّبِيّ صلى الله عليه وسلم : أَنّهُ اقْتُسِمَ المُهَاجِرُونَ قُرْعَةً, فَطَارَ لَنَا عُثْمانُ بْنُ مَظْعُونٍ, فَأَنْزَلْنَاهُ في أَبْيَاتِنَا, فَوَجِعَ وَجَعَهُ الّذِي تُوُفّيَ فِيهِ, فَلَمّا تُوُفّيَ وَغُسّلَ وَكُفّنَ في أَثْوَابِهِ, دَخَلَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم, فَقُلْتُ: رَحْمَةُ اللهِ عَلَيْكَ أَبَا السّائِبِ, فَشَهَادَتِي عَلَيْكَ: لَقَدْ أَكْرَمَكَ اللهُ. فَقَالَ النّبِيّ صلى الله عليه وسلم: (وَما يُدْرِيكِ أَنّ اللهَ أَكْرَمَهُ). فَقُلْتُ: بِأَبِي أَنْتَ يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ, فَمَنْ يُكْرِمُهُ اللهُ فَقَالَ: (أَمّا هُوَ فَقَدْ جَاءَهُ الْيَقِينُ, وَاللهِ إِنّي لأَرْجُو لَهُ الخَيْرَ, وَاللهِ ما أَدْرِي, وَأَنَا رَسُولُ اللهِ, ما يُفْعَلُ بِي). قَالَتْ: فَوَاللهِ لاَ أُزَكّي أَحَدًا بَعْدَهُ أَبَدًا. رواه البخاري: 1243

636. (Narrated Khârija bin Zaid bin Thabit): Umm Al'Ala' رضى الله عنها an AnsârI woman who gave the (Bai'a) pledge to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said to me, The emigrants were distributed amongst us by drawing lots and we got in our share 'Uthmân bin Maz'un. We made him stay with us in our house. Then he suffered from a disease which proved fatal. When he died and was given a bath and was shrouded in his clothes, Allâh's Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم came and I said, 'May Allâh be Merciful to you, O Abu AsSâ'ib! My testimony is that Allâh has honoured you'. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, 'How do you know that Allâh has honoured him?' I replied. 'O Allâh's Messenger! Let my father be sacrificed for you! On whom else shall Allâh bestow His Honour?' The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, 'No doubt, death came to him. By Allâh, I too wish him good, but by Allâh, I do not know what Allâh will do with me though I am Allâh's Messenger.' She said, By Allâh, I will never attest the piety of anyone after that.' (2:336O.B.)

Chapter 3 – Chapter of entering upon the deceased after death when he is being wrapped in his shroud i.e. this chapter is of the permissibility of visiting the room where the deceased is being kept after being prepared for burial.

Death is a frightening experience. The deceased person undergoes a transformation and enters a different realm. Rigor mortis sets in and the colour etc of the dead person fades etc. All these changes happen suddenly. Thus, with all this happening the question is what is the religious ruling of seeing the body.

Imam Ibrahim al-Nakha'i (رحمة الله عليه) was of the opinion that only close family members and those involved in preparing the body should see the mayat. However, the other ulema all agree that it is permissible to see the mayat and Imam Bukhari (رحمة الله عليه) establishes this very point.

This hadeeth mentions Um Al-Ala (رضى الله عنها) who was one of the companions of Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم). She gave baiah in the early days and refers to the time when the muhajiroon companions arrived from Makkah. They arrived in Madinah poor and destitute – in the modern sense they can be considered almost like refugees. So at the behest of Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم), the Ansaar opened up their homes and shared their wealth. Individual companions were designated and paired as brothers e.g. a brother with the muhajroon with a brother from the ansaar etc. This wasn’t the general brotherhood of the ummah but something beyond that.

Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) was hosted and taken care of by the family of Umm Al-ala. The housed him and looked after him. He became ill towards the end of the second year of Hijrah/beginning of the third year. This sickness led to his death.

To understand this hadeeth, it is important to consider the background of Uthman bin Maz’un. He was from amongst the Quraish, and was the cousin of one of the chieftains of Quraish - Umayya bin Khalaf. His sister Zainab (رضى الله عنها) was married to Umar ibn Khattab (رضى الله عنه). Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) was the 14th person to embrace Islam. He took part in the first emigration from Makkah to Abyssinia. According to some reports, he was the Amir of that group. He returned to Makkah after hearing a false rumour that the Makkans had embraced Islam. Hence, he was in a precarious position. Waleed bin Mughera offered him protection as he was in a very vulnerable position in Makkah as an openly believing Muslim. For the Quraish, to fulfil such a protection was a case of honour – it was a very tribal society. One day Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) thought to himself that he is living in a state of security whilst his fellow Muslims are living in a state of fear. He felt this was injustice. So, he went to Waleed and asked that his protection be ceased. Following this, he heard a Quraishi recite the couplets ‘Know that everything besides Allah is false, and all blessings will come to an end’. Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) heard this and added ‘except Jannah’. Due to this he got embroiled in an argument with the Quraishi who gave Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) a black eye. Waleed bin Mughera said to him that I told you if you had my protection you would never have had to suffer, and your eye would be ok. Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) replied that know that this other eye which is fine is poor in comparison to the other.

It is important to remember that he was of such piety that even in the days of jahiliyah, he made alcohol haraam upon himself. He loved Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) loved him. Despite being considered the richest man in Madinah, Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) had detached himself from the dunya.

Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) did Hijrah to Madinah and also took part in the battle of Badr. He fell ill after the battle of Badr and died. Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) removed his shroud to see his face and kissed his forehead. He then started to weep, and the others in the room also began to weep. Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) kissed his forehead again and then wept. He did this for the third time too. Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said ‘Mercy of Allah be upon you for you left the dunya in such a state that you did not touch the dunya and the dunya did not touch you’.

It was then that Um Al-Ala (رضى الله عنها) was heard by Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) saying ‘Allah has honoured you’. Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said to her that how do you know that Allah has honoured him. She enlisted his qualities and said he is your fighter and your cavalry, and if Allah hasn’t honoured him then who will Allah honour?’ Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) told her that death has come upon him but despite Um Al-Ala (رضى الله عنها) seeing his good deeds, you cannot speak with conviction about his state. He further said that he has hope about his state. Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said that ‘I am Allah’s messenger and I do not know what Allah will do to me’. In general Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) knew what would happen to him but not the specifics hence he was hesitant.

Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) was the first person to be buried in Jannat al-Bakhi.

Friday, July 06, 2007