Contemplation for all Souls-[Residents and Outsiders]- that Desire Recognition In The West
In The Name of Allah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Imam Fudayl Ibn Iyaadh [may Allah 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 Allah [The Mighty and Majestic]?” (1)
Imaam Ibraaheem An-Nakha’ee [may Allah 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 Allah have mercy upon him] said, “We tried very hard to get Ibraaheem An-Nakha’ee [may Allah have mercy upon him] to sit at a place where people can listen to him and we wanted him to 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 speak to anyone. I used to see him after the morning wrapped in a black cloak. (4)
Ibraaheem An-Nakha’ee [may Allah 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)
Imam Al-Marwazi [may Allah have mercy upon him] said, “When Imam Ahmad [may Allah have mercy upon him] sat to give Fatwa after Asr, he would not speak until he was asked”. (6)
Al-Allaamah Rabee Bin Haadi Al-Mad’khali [may Allah preserve him] said, “By Allah, one must strive (to attain) sincerity. Being overtaken by one’s soul, which results in a lack of sincerity to Allah, was the hardest thing that many scholars used to describe with grief. Your soul can overcome and divert you because you desire some fame and praise. One should exert himself, strive, and bear hardship to direct this soul to the truth- towards sincerity to Allah. “Verily, deeds are based on intention and every person will have what he intended.” So, whoever desires worldly gain through his knowledge or acts of worship, just as the one who migrated (from a land of kufr to a land of Islam) only to marry a woman and desires wealth, then he obtains nothing from his migration, except for that which he migrated. The thing desired is known to you, so you miss Allah’s reward”. (7)
Allah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allah be upon him] said, “Allah loves a slave who is pious, self-sufficient, and unnoticed.” [Saheeh Muslim 2965]
Taqiy- Pious: Fears Allah [The Mighty and Majestic], so he fulfills Allah’s commands and keeps away from what Allah has prohibited. Fulfils Allah’s commands, such as performing the prayer and performs it in congregation in the Masjid, paying the zakat and giving it to the one entitled to it, fasting during the month of Ramadhaan, treating orphans with kindness, and other types of acts of piety, righteousness and means to do 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 and 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 Allah 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, 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; but if it is the case that he must make himself apparent, then he has to make himself apparent. This is beloved to Allah [The Mighty and Majestic]. (8)
Imaam Ibn Qudaamah [may Allah have mercy upon him] said:
Envy usually occurs between contemporaries, peers, brothers, and cousins due to everyone’s competing aspirations, which causes strife and animosity. As a result, you will find that a scholar would envy another scholar but not a worshipper, a worshipper would envy another worshipper but not a scholar, a trader would envy another trader and a cobbler would envy another cobbler. The love of material things, which are limited for those who compete for them, is the root cause of this affair.
As for the afterlife, there are no restrictions because the one who loves knowledge and awareness of Allah, knowledge, and awareness of Allah’s angels, Allah’s Prophets, and Allah’s Mighty Dominion over the heavens and the earth, will not envy others after becoming acquainted with these affairs because they are not restricted by one another; rather, one particular individual (upright) scholar is known by thousands of (upright) scholars, and they rejoice because of the understanding he possesses. This is why there is no envy among (upright) scholars since their goal is to gain knowledge and awareness of Allah [Glorified be He and free from all imperfections], which is a vast affair. Their goal is to attain a high status in the Sight of Allah, and that which Allah has kept in the afterlife is unlimited because Allah’s loftiest blessing is the pleasure of meeting Him, which cannot be prevented or restricted, nor can some competitors in the affair make it restricted for others; instead harmony is enhanced as the competitors increase; but if wealth and status become the scholars’ goal, they will envy one another.
The difference between knowledge and wealth is that wealth does not remain in the hands of a single person, whereas knowledge settles in the heart of a scholar and the heart of the one taught by the scholar while remaining in the heart of the scholar. As a result, whoever contemplates the Greatness of Allah and His Mighty Dominion [i.e. pondering upon what Allah has created and upon the divine revelation], it will become the greatest delight for him than any other blessing, because he cannot be prevented or restricted from doing so. He will not be envious of anyone because even if others were aware of what he is aware of, it would not diminish his pleasure in the affair. You do not find people overcrowded to view the beauty of the sky because it is vast and unrestricted.
Therefore, if you are merciful to yourself, then it is obligated that you seek the bliss in which there is no hindrance and pleasure that never ceases. And the only way to find this in the life of this world is to become familiar with knowledge and awareness of Allah and the magnificent essence of His Dominion (over everything). However, if your desire is weak and you do not yearn to acquaint yourself with the knowledge and awareness of Allah, you will not find or experience its pleasure. As a result, you’re not man enough because this is a man’s affair, and yearning for something occurs after experiencing it. The one who has not tasted will not know, the one who does not know will not yearn, the one who does not yearn will not seek, the one who does not seek will not find (anything), and the one who does not find (anything) will be among the deprived. (9)
(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 (The year 2001)]
(II) Lowering Oneself: Imam Ibn Hibbaan [may Allah 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 when one abandons insolence and mockery. Blameworthy humility is when a person humbles himself in the presence of one who possesses the things of the worldly life and desires 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]
[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: Siyar 11/218]
[Ref 7: Marhaban Yaa Taalibal Ilm’ page 122. abridged & slightly paraphrased
[Ref 8: Explanation of Riyaadus Saaliheen. Chapter 69. Vol 3. Page 509. Publisher: Al-Maktabah Al-Arabiyyah As-Su’oodiyyah Edition 1425AH. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 9: An Excerpt from ‘Mukhtasar Minhaajil Qaasideen’ page: 199-201. slightly paraphrased]
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