He Has Knowledge But Wants to Remain Unknown, Anonymous or Hidden!
In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Precise Distinction Between When It Is Necessary to Be Known or Unknown
Imaam Fudayl Ibn Iyaadh [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “If you are able not to be known, then do so. Is there anything against you if you are unknown? Is there anything against you if you are not praised? Is there anything against you if you are considered blameworthy in the sight of the people but praiseworthy in the sight of Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic]?” (1)
Imaam Ibraaheem An-Nakha’ee [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “It is enough a trial that a person is pointed out due to his religious or worldly affairs, except the one whom Allaah protects”. (2)
Al-A’mash [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “We tried very hard to get Ibraaheem An-Nakha’ee [may Allaah have mercy upon him] to sit at a place where people can listen to him and we wanted him do do so, but he refused”. (3)
Imaam Maalik [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “I used to come to Naafi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] the freed slave of Ibn Umar [may Allaah be pleased with him and his father], whilst I was a young boy, so he would come down and talk to me, and he would sit in the mosque after the morning prayer, hardly anyone would come to him. When the sun rose, he would go out, and he used to wear a cloak and not speaking to anyone. I used to see him after the morning wrapped in a black cloak. (4)
Ibraaheem An-Nakha’ee [may Allaah have mercy upon him] used to say, “I spoke in affairs of knowledge, and if I found someone else to do so, I would not speak”. (5)
Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “Allah loves a slave who is pious, self-sufficient and unnoticed.” [Saheeh Muslim 2965]
Taqiy- Pious: Fears Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic], so he fulfils Allaah’s commands and keeps away from what Allaah has prohibited. Fulfils Allaah’s commands, such as performance of the prayer and performs it in congregation in the Masjid, pays the zakaat and gives it to the one entitled to it, fasts the month of Ramadhaan, treats orphans with kindness and other types of acts of piety, righteousness and means to doing good.
Ghaniy- self-sufficient: Has no need of the people and suffices himself with Allaah. He does not ask the people anything (I) and does not lower himself to the people (i.e due to being in need of them) (II); rather he is not in need of the people. He knows himself, suffices himself with his Lord and does not pay attention to other than his Lord.
Khafiy- hidden or unnoticed: He does not make himself manifest and does not give importance to manifesting himself amongst the people, to be pointed out or for people to speak about him. You find him between his house and his (local) Masjid vice versa; from his house to his relatives and his brothers, whilst being unnoticed, and makes himself unnoticed. However, this does not mean that if Allaah grants a person knowledge, he confines himself in his house and does not teach the people. This is in opposition to piety (because) teaching the people is better for him than being confined in his house and does not benefit the people with his knowledge, (III) or he sits in his house and does not benefit the people with his wealth; rather if the affair is between being conspicuous- to manifest himself or make himself visible, and between hiding himself (i.e. without a need to make himself manifest), then he chooses to hide himself; but if it is the case that he must make himself apparent, then he has to make himself apparent. This is beloved to Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic]. (6)
The One Who Seeks to Claims What He Has Not Done
Allaah [The Exalted] said:
لَا تَحۡسَبَنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَفۡرَحُونَ بِمَآ أَتَواْ وَّيُحِبُّونَ أَن يُحۡمَدُواْ بِمَا لَمۡ يَفۡعَلُواْ فَلَا تَحۡسَبَنَّہُم بِمَفَازَةٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡعَذَابِۖ وَلَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ۬
Think not that those who rejoice in what they have done (or brought about), and love to be praised for what they have not done,- think not you that they are rescued from the torment, and for them is a painful torment. [Surah Aal Imran. Aayah 188]
[لَا تَحۡسَبَنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَفۡرَحُونَ بِمَآ أَتَواْ – Think not that those who rejoice in what they have done (or brought about)]- Meaning, the rejoicing (accompanied) with insolence and boasting, thinking that they have done a favour to Allaah and Allaah’s Messenger. [بِمَآ أَتَواْ – what they have done (or brought about)]- Meaning, the deeds by way of which they seek to get close to Allaah as they claim.
[وَّيُحِبُّونَ أَن يُحۡمَدُواْ بِمَا لَمۡ يَفۡعَلُواْ – and love to be praised for what they have not done]- Meaning, they want people to praise them for what they have done, such as feigning righteousness to the people in order to be praised, even if they have not performed an act of righteousness- similar to what the people of the Scripture did, (who) concealed the characteristics of the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] and did not make it known, and then said, “Now we have overcome Muhammad when we say that he is not the Mubash-shar bihee (the Messenger whom Prophet Eesaa mentioned as the good tidings).
This Aayah [Aayah 188 in Surah Aal Imraan] includes two types of people: The people of the Scripture who rejoiced in what they did by concealing the characteristics of the Prophet and not believing in him, and loved to be praised for what they have not done when they pretended to the people that if the Messenger – who is mentioned as good tidings (by Eesaa)- is sent, “We will believe in him”.
The second group are the hypocrites, because the hypocrites rejoice in what they do and say, “We have submitted in Islam” in the presence of Muhammad and his companions, whilst their affair is the opposite of that, and they loved to be praised for what they have not done with regards to sincerity, love for Allaah and His Messenger, and obedience to Allaah’s Messenger.
From the benefits of the Noble Aayah: (a) A warning against the rejoicing (that is accompanied with the feeling that one) is doing a favour to Allaah and His Messenger or the rejoicing (accompanied with) deception and betrayal such as (what the) hypocrites (do). (b) A warning to the person against loving to be praised for what one has not done. This happens a lot, sometimes a person clearly states that he has, whilst he is lying, and sometimes he pretends (or play with words) so the listener thinks that he is the doer, whilst he is not. (7)
(I) Asking the people: Al-Allaamah Rabee Bin Haadee [may Allaah preserve him] quoted Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [may Allaah have mercy upon him] who stated, “The initial affair with regards to asking the creation is that it is forbidden to do so, but it is permissible in when there is a necessity, but it is better to abandon doing so out of reliance on Allaah. [See Qaa’idah Jaleelah Fee at-tawassul Wal-Waseelah. page 7. Publisher Maktabah al-Furqan. 1st Edition 1422 (Year 2001)]
(II) Lowering Oneself: Imaam Ibn Hibbaan [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “It is obligated on a sensible person that he adheres to humility and avoids pride. Humility is of two types- the first one is praiseworthy and the other is blameworthy. Praiseworthy humility is that one abandons insolence and mockery. Blameworthy humility is that a person humbles himself in the presence of one who possesses the things of the worldly life and desiring what such a person possesses. Therefore, a sensible person maintains his abandonment of blameworthy humility in all circumstances and he does not depart from praiseworthy humility. [An Excerpt from Rawdatul Uqalaa page 58]
(III) The Scholars are three types: Shaikh Abdullah Al-Bukhaari [may Allaah preserve him] stated, Shaikh Abdullah Al-Bukhaaree [may Allaah preserve him] stated, “Ibn Abee Shaybah [may allaah have mercy upon him] reported in Al-Musannaf and Abu Nu-aym [may Allaah have mercy upon him] in Al-Hilya [5/12] with an authentic chain from Abu Muslim Al-Khawlaani [may Allaah have mercy upon him], who said, ‘The scholars are three types- a man who lives with his knowledge and the people live with it alongside him; a man who lives with his knowledge and none else lives with it alongside him, and as for the third man, the people live with his knowledge and it destroys him’. The intent behind this speech: Indeed the first (man) knows, acts and teaches. As for the second, he knows and acts, but does not teach. As for the third, he knows and teaches, but does not act! We ask Allaah for steadfastness and well-being”. [ المقالات الشرعية– pages: 23-24]
Therefore, be alert! If the elder teachers – in the UK – who are known for Salafiyyah were to make themselves obscure and unnoticed, the common people would have searched for the ignoramuses and false claimants to Salafiyyah. Likewise, whenever a person appears and seeks to claim that which he neither did nor witness in order to rewrite history and promote himself, then indeed it is incumbent upon us remind people of history. https://researchingsalafism.com/the-emergence-of-salafism-in-the-uk/
[Ref 1: Hilyatul Awliyaa 8/89]
[Ref 2: Taareekh Dimashq 18/33]
[Ref 3: Siyar 4/529]
[Ref 4: Siyar 5/98]
[Ref 5: Hilyatul Awliyaa 4/223]
[Ref 6: Explanation of Riyaadus Saaliheen. Chapter 69. Vol 3. Page 509. Publisher: Al-Maktabah Al-Arabiyyah As-Su’oodiyyah Edition 1425AH. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 7: Tafseer Surah Aal Imraan by Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen]
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