Zinaid Abu Naser

ISLAMIC RULINGS, COMPERATIVE FIQH, COMPERATIVE RELIGION

WISE SAYINGS OF THE SALAF – ON FITNAH – CALAMITIES & TRIBULATIONS – RIGHTEOUS PREDECESSOR SPEECH

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

WISE SAYINGS OF THE SALAF – OUR RIGHTEOUS PREDECESSORS

This is part two of many parts that I plan to put together comprised with the sayings of the best of the salaf on various purtinent topics. In this second part we will be covering the very important topic of  “Fitnah – Trials -Tribulations”. In sha Allah the reader will be able to grasp and remember some of these sayings. I have included references for each saying. Unfortunately I am not able to write down every single saying as there are hundreds of thousands of them, so I have picked ones that deal with a broad spectrum of every topic it relates to. Some of the sayings are by some of your favourite thinkers and ulama from the first 3 generations of Islam.

SAYINGS ON FITNAH/TRIBULATIONS/CALAMITIES AND TRIALS 

HOW TO AVOID THEM AND WHAT BRINGS THEM ON

 

Why Won’t You Fight?

It is reported that it was said to Saʿd b. Abī Waqqāṣ – Allāh be pleased with him – during the time of fitnah:

Will you not fight? For you are one of the people of shūrā (to be consulted in these affairs), and you are more deserving of this matter (leadership) than others? So he replied: I will not fight until you bring me a sword with two eyes and lips that recognizes the believer from the unbeliever, for I have done jihād and I know jihād.

Abū Nuʿaym, Ḥilyatu Al-Awliyāʾ 1:94

 

Two Calamities for Fitnah

It is reported that Al-Shaʿbī – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

Stay away from the sinful amongst the scholars and the ignorant amongst the worshippers, for these two are the calamity of everyone who would fall into fitnah.

Al-Bayhaqī, Shuʿab Al-Īmān ḥadīth 1753.

Blessing of not Being from The Khawarij

It is reported that Abu Al-ʿĀlyah – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

There are two blessings I have been blessed with, I know not which of them is greatest: that Allāh guided me to Islām, and that he did not make me a Ḥarūrī (from the Khawārij extremists).

ʿAbd Al-Razzāq Al-Ṣanʿānī, Al-Muṣannaf ḥadīth 18667.

Qualities of Those Who Fuel Fitnah

ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

Do not be from those who are hasty, who broadcast (what should not be broadcast), who plant trouble by divulging what should be secret, for you will face severe, prolonged and heavy tribulations.

Al-Bukhārī, Al-Adab Al-Mufrad no. 327. Its chain of transmission was graded ṣaḥīḥ by Al-Albānī in Ṣaḥīḥ Al-Adab Al-Mufrad no.250.

Changing Colours

It is reported that Ḥudhayfah b. Al-Yamān – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

True misguidance is that you approve now what you used to repudiate before (because it was wrong) and repudiate now what you used to approve before; and be aware of changing colours in the religion, for the religion of Allāh is one.

Ibn Baṭṭah, Al-Ibānatu Al-Kubrā ḥadīth 25, and others.

It is reported that ʿAdī b. Ḥātim – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

You will remain upon good as long as you do not start approving of what you used to repudiate and as long as you do not repudiate what you used to know (to be right), and as long as your scholar can speak amongst you without fear.

Op. cit. ḥadīth 26.

Sinning in the Time of Calamities

It is reported that Al-Nuʿmān b. Bashīr – Allāh be pleased with him – said during a sermon he was delivering in Homs:

Total destruction lies in doing bad deeds during a time of calamity and tribulation.

Ibn Abī Al-Dunyā, Al-ʿUqūbāt article 327.

Four Corruptions

It is reported that Muʿādh b. Jabal – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

“O people, there are four characteristics to come, whoever can avoid reaching them should do so.” [People] asked, “And what are they?” He replied, “There will come a time in which falsehood will rise, and a time will come in which a man will say, ‘By Allāh, I do not know what I am’, he will neither live nor die upon insight (knowledge of what he should be). And a time will come in which a man will start his day on one religion and end it on another. And a time will come when a man will be given wealth from the wealth Allāh provides, in return for saying what is wrong and false and for which Allāh will be angry with him.”

Ibn ʿAsākir, Tārīkh Dimishq 58:442

The Argumentative Loser

It is reported that Bilāl b. Saʿd – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

If you see a man being obstinate, argumentative and impressed with his own opinion, then his loss is complete.

Abū Nuʿaym, ʿHilyatu Al-Awliyāʾ 5:228

Hidden Safety

It is reported that Sufyān Al-Thawrī – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

Safety lies in not wanting to be known.

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar Aʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 7:258.

Four Things the Wise do Not Trust

It is reported that ʿAbdullāh b. Al-Mubārak – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

The insightful and wise do not trust that they are safe from four things: a past sin about which it is not known what the Lord Almighty will do, the remaining lifespan wherein it is not known what destruction lies, some (apparent) advantage a person is given but which could be a lure (from Allāh) in recompense for his wrongdoing, a misguidance that has been beautified – so that he thinks it is guidance – and a momentary deviation of the heart, for a person can be stripped of his religion without realizing it.

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar Aʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 8:406.

Evils of Those who Love Authority

It is reported that Al-Fuḍayl b. ʿAyyād – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

There is no one who loves authority (leadership) except that he envies, transgresses, chases the faults of others and dislikes anyone being mentioned in a good light.

Ibn ʿAbd Al-Barr, Jāmiʿ Bayān Al-ʿIlm article. 971.

Danger of Beautifying Mosques and Copies of the Quran

It is reported that Abū Al-Dardāʾ – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

When you adorn your copies of the Qurān and embellish your mosques, destruction will be upon you.

Ibn Al-Mubārak, Al-Zuhd wa Al-Raqāʾiq, article 746. Shaykh Al-Albānī stated that the chain of transmission of this narration consists of reliable reporters, except he did not know if the reporter Bakr b. Suwādah had heard directly from Abū Al-Dardāʾ. The narration corroborates a similar ḥadīth reported from the Prophet ﷺ himself. See Al-Ṣaḥīḥah ḥadīth 1351.

Sinful and the Rabble Take Knowledge

ʿAbdullāh b. Masʿūd – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

The people will not cease to be well as long as they take knowledge from their seniors. When they take it from their juniors and their bad people, they will be destroyed.

Ibn ʿAbd Al-Barr, Jāmiʿ Bayān Al-ʿIlm article 1057.

Al-Firyābī reports:

When Sufyān [Al-Thawrī] would see these rabble writing knowledge his face would change (in anger). So I asked him, ‘O Abū ʿAbdillāh, we notice that when you see these people writing knowledge, it is hard upon you.’ He replied, ‘Knowledge used to be with the Arabs and with the leaders of the people, but when it left them and went to these types – meaning the rabble of society – the religion was changed.’

Op. cit. article 1072.

Strangeness of Iman

It is reported that ʿAbdullāh b. Al-ʿAmr b. Al-ʿĀṣ – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

Nifāq (hypocrisy) used to be something unusual amongst all the Īmān. Soon, Īmān will be something strange amongst all the nifāq.

Ibn Baṭṭah, Al-Ibānah 1:173 article 6.

Even if You Have a Response

It is reported that Al-Ḥasan Al-Baṣrī – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

Do not sit with the people of desires (Bidʿah, heresy), even if you think you have a response [to what they say].

Al-Harawī, Dhamm Al-Kalām article 765.

Worst Fitnah

It is reported that Ḥudhayfah – Allāh be pleased with him – was asked:

“What is the worst fitnah?” He replied, “That good and evil is presented to you and you do not know which of them to follow.”

Ibn Abī Shaybah, Al-Muṣannaf, Kitāb Al-Fitan, article 38565.

Wolves in Sheeps’ Clothing

It is reported that Abūl-ʿĀliyah said:

There will come upon the people a time when their hearts will be derelict of the Qurān; they will find neither sweetness nor pleasure by it. If they fall short of doing what they have been commanded to do, they will say: Allāh is most forgiving, merciful (He will forgive us), and if they do what they have been forbidden from doing, they will say: we will be forgiven, we haven’t committed any shirk with Allāh. Their affairs will all be based on [false] hope, having no truth and sincerity with it. They will wear the skins of lambs over hearts of wolves. The best of them in his religion will be someone who compromises.

Imām Aḥmad, Al-Zuhd article 1741.

Who Can Feel Secure From Trial?

It is reported that Jubayr b. Nufayr said:

I entered upon Abū Al-Dardāʾ – Allāh be pleased with him – at his home in Ḥims and found him standing in prayer at his place of prayer. When he sat for tashahhud he started to seek protection with Allāh from al-nifāq (hypocrisy). So when he had finished praying, I said “May Allāh forgive you o Abū Al-Dardāʾ, what have you got to do with nifāq?” He said, “O Allāh forgive!”, three times, and replied, “Who can feel secure from trial, who can feel secure from trial? By Allāh, a man can be tested with fitnah in a single hour and turn away from his religion.”

Al-Bayhaqī, Shuʿab Al-Īmān 1:857.

Will You Not Fight? [Fitnah]

It is reported that it was said to Saʿd b. Abī Waqqāṣ – Allāh be pleased with him – during the time of fitnah:

Will you not fight? For you are one of the people of shūrā (to be consulted in these affairs), and you are more deserving of this matter (leadership) than others? So he replied: I will not fight until you bring me a sword with two eyes and lips that recognizes the believer from the unbeliever, for I have done jihād and I know jihād.

Abū Nuʿaym, Ḥilyatu Al-Awliyāʾ 1:94

Selling the Religion

It is reported that Ḥudhayfah – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

How will you be (in the end times) when you open up your religion like the woman who opens her legs to expose her qubul not stopping anyone from coming to her?

Abū ʿAmr Al-Dānī, Al-Sunan Al-Wāridah fī Al-Fitan #241

Falsehood (I’ll take what’s good)

It is reported that Ibrāhīm b. Ad-ham – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

Delving into falsehood removes the ability to recognize the truth from the heart.

Abu Nu’aym, Hilyatu Al-Awliyā` 8:22.

Preserved State of Knowledge

It is reported that ʿAdī b. Ḥātim – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

You will remain upon good as long as you do not start approving of what you used to repudiate and as long as you do not repudiate what you used to know (to be right), and as long as your scholar (the knowledgeable) can speak amongst you without fear.

Ibn Baṭṭah, Al-Ibānah Al-Kubrā ḥadīth 26.

Hypocrisy Today

Ḥudhayfah b. Al-Yamān – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

The munāfiqūn (hypocrites) amongst you today are worse than those in the time of Allāh’s Messenger – Allāh’s praise and peace be upon him.

He was asked, “How is that o Abū ʿAbdillāh”?
He replied: “Because those [in the time of the Prophet] used to hide their nifāq (hypocrisy), whereas the hypocrites of today commit [hypocrisy] openly.”

Al-Bukhārī, Al-Ṣaḥīḥ hadith 7113.

Per­fume for Your Hus­band

It is reported that ‘Umar b. Al-Khattāb came out one Eid. Passing by a group of women, he could smell the scent of perfume from one of them. He asked, “Who is the one wearing this scent? By Allāh, if I knew who she was, I would do such-and-such (punish her). A woman is only to wear perfume for her husband, and if she goes out, she wears her older (scruffier) clothes or the older clothes of her servant.” And so it was rumoured amongst the women that the woman [who was wearing perfume in public] got up from that gathering having soiled herself (out of fear).

Ibn Abī Shaybah, Al-Muṣannaf article 6387.

Ignorance and the Sword

It is reported that Al-Ḥasan Al-Baṣrī – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

One who acts without knowledge is like one who travels off the path; and the one who acts without knowledge corrupts more than he rectifies. So seek knowledge in a way that does not harm your worship, and seek to worship [Allāh] in a way that does not harm [your seeking of] knowledge. For verily, there were people (the Khawārij extremists) who sought to worship [Allāh] but abandoned knowledge until they attacked the Ummah of Muḥammad – Allāh’s praise and peace be upon him – with their swords. But if they had sought knowledge, it would not have directed them to do what they did.

Quoted by Ibn ‘Abd Al-Barr, Jāmi’ Bayān Al-‘Ilm wa Faḍlihi article 905.

Imam Ahmad on Rebelling against Rulers

Abul-Ḥārith Aḥmad b. Muḥammad Al-Ṣā`igh, the close and respected friend of Imām Aḥmad, reports:

I asked Abū ‘Abdillāh (Imām Aḥmad) about something that had occurred in Baghdād, and [because of which] some people were considering revolting [against the ruler]. I said, “O Abū ‘Abdillāh, what do you say about taking part in the revolt with these people?” He decried it and started saying, “Subḥānallāh! The blood [of the people], the blood [of the people]! I do not believe in this and I do not tell others to do it. For us to suffer our situation in patience is better than the fitnah (tribulation) in which blood is spilt, property is taken, and the prohibited are violated (e.g. the honor of women). Do you not know what happened to the people (in the days of the previous fitnah)?” I said, “And the people today, Abū ‘Abdillāh, are they not in fitnah [because of the ruler]?” He replied, “If so, it is a limited fitnah, but if the sword is raised, the fitnah will engulf everything and there will be no way to escape. To suffer patiently this [current difficulty], where Allāh keeps your religion safe for you is better for you.” I saw him decry revolting against the leaders, and say, “[Do not spill the people’s] blood. I do not believe in this and I do not command it.”

Abū Bakr Al-Khallāl, Al-Sunnah article 89.

The best thing after Iman and the worst thing after Kufr [women]

It is reported that ‘Umar b. Al-Khattāb – Allāh be pleased with him – once addressed the people and said:

No man can have anything better after faith (īmān) than a woman of righteous character, loving and child-bearing. And no man can have anything worse after unbelief (kufr) than a sharp-tongued woman of bad character.

Al-Ḥāfidh Abul-Qāsim Al-Aṣbahānī, Al-Targhīb wa Al-Tarhīb article 1528. Also recorded in other sources with a slight variation in wording.

I had 10 days to live

It is reported that ‘Abdullāh b. Masʿūd – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

If I had ten days left to live, and I knew I would die by the end of them, and I had enough time to get married, I would get married for fear of temptation (fitnah).

Sa’īd b. Mansūr, Al-Sunan article 493.

The worst time, the worst people

It is reported that Abū Ḥāzim Al-Ashja’ī – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

If you find yourself in a time when speech is accepted as knowledge and knowledge is accepted as deeds [instead of putting it into practice], then you are in the worst time and with the worst people.

Abū Bakr Al-Daynūrī, Al-Mujālasah wa Jawāhir Al-‘Ilm` 4:338.

Abū Ḥāzim Salmān Al-Ashja’ī (died circa 100H) was one of the eminent Tābi’īn. He was a fully reliable transmitter of ḥadīth and a companion of Abū Hurayrah – Allāh be pleased with him.

Supplication or the Sword? [oppressive rulers]

It is reported that Al-Ḥasan Al-Baṣrī – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

If people called on Allāh when put to trial because of their rulers, Allāh would relieve their suffering; but instead they resorted to the sword, so they were left to it. And not one day of good did they bring.

Then he recited (Quran 7: 137):
“And the good word of your Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel, for the patience and perseverance they had, and We destroyed the works of Pharaoh and his people and what they had erected.”

Ibn Abī Ḥātim, Al-Tafsīr no. 8897.

Isn’t this that time?

It is reported that Al-Fuḍayl b. ‘Ayyād – Allāh have mercy on him – said:
How will you be if you reach a time when you will see people who do not distinguish truth from falsehood, believer from unbeliever, trustworthy from treacherous, nor ignorant from knowledgeable, and neither recognize what is right nor censure what is wrong?

Ibn Battah, Al-Ibānah Al-Kubrā 1:188.

After reporting this narration, Imām Ibn Battah (d. 387H) said:

To Allāh we belong and to Him we will return! We have reached that time, we have heard this and have come to know most of it and witnessed it. If a man to whom Allāh has bestowed sound reasoning looks and thinks carefully and ponders the matter of Islām and its people and treads the rightly guided path as regards to them, it will become clear to him that most people have turned back on their heals, deviated from the correct path, and turned away from  correct proof. Many people have started to like what they used to hate, allow what they used to forbid and recognize what they used to reject. And for sure – Allāh have mercy on you – this is not the [right] character of the Muslims, nor the behaviour of those who have insight into this religion, and neither of those who believe in it and are certain about it.

If you care for your religion

It is reported that Ibn Mas’ūd – Allāh be pleased with him – said, “Whoever wants to honor his religion and do good to it should avoid mixing with the ruler or sitting with the followers of desires (heretics, people of bid’ah), for sitting with them is more contagious than scabies.”

Ibn Waddāḥ, Al-Bida’ p136.

Women are ‘Awrah – Explained

ʿAbdullāh b. Mas’ūd – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

Women are but an ‘awrah (something private to be covered). A woman might leave her house without there being any problem with her, but the Shaytān seeks her out and says [to her], “You will not pass by anyone except that you will impress/please him.” A woman puts on her clothes and is asked where she is going, to which she replies, “To visit a sick person,” or “to attend a funeral”, or “to pray in the masjid”; but a woman never worships Allāh in the way she does when she worships Him in her house.

Al-Tabarānī. Graded sahīh by Shaykh Al-Albānī in Sahīh Al-Targhībi wa Al-Tarhīb Vol. 1 p84.

Moderates who become Extremists

O People of Scripture! Do not be extreme in your religion! [Al-Mâ`idah (5): 77]

It is reported from Qatâdah – Allâh have mercy on him – that he said, commenting on this verse, “Meaning: do not innovate in religion and do not sit with a religious innovator (mubtadi’).”

Ibn Battah, Al-Ibânah Al-Kubrâ Vol.1 p394.

Mixing with the Wrong Crowd

It is reported from Abû Qilâbah – Allâh have mercy on him – that he said:

Do not sit with the People of Desires (Bid’ah), for I fear that they will immerse you in their misguidance or mix up and confuse what you already know.

Ibn Battah, Al-Ibânah Al-Kubrâ Vol.1 p377.

Why People Invent Bid’ah

Muʿādh b. Jabal – Allāh be pleased with him – used to say:

Ahead of you are times of trials (fitan) in which there will be much wealth and in which the Qurān will be opened and taken (read) by believers and hypocrites, men and women, young and old and freemen and slaves. At that time it is likely that there will be people who will say, “Why aren’t the people following me when I have read the Qurān? They will not follow me until I invent something else.” So, beware of everything that is innovated (in religion), for those things that are innovated are misguidance.

Ibn Waḍḍāḥ, Al-Bidaʿ p62, Al-Lālakāʾī, Sharḥ Uṣūl Iʿtiqād Ahl Al-Sunnah wa Al-Jamāʿah 1:125, and others.

And Allah is the source of All strength and success, I will be adding on to this list as I come across more of the sayings of the salaf. in Sha Allah.

We ask Allah for guidance, knowledge and understanding, we ask Him Ta’ala for blessing in the dunya and the akhira.

والله تعالى أعلم

وصلى اللهم وسلم وبارك على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه والتابعين

أخوك أبو ناصر

 

 

 


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