Forgiveness, The Mark of a Muslim

[Majmoo’ Fataawaa (28/50-57) slightly abridged, al-Istiqaamah]

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy.

Indeed Allaah – to whom belongs all praise – has bestowed upon me immense grace, great favours and generous blessings which necessitates immense gratitude, being firm upon obedience to Him, and becoming accustomed to having beautiful patience in that which He ordered. Indeed, a servant is ordered to have sabr (patience) in times of ease more so than in times of hardship. Allaah – the Most High – said:

“But if we let man taste the good favours after poverty and harm has touched him, he is sure to boastfully say: Harm has departed from me. Indeed he is exultant, boastful and ungrateful to Allaah, Except those who show patience and do deeds of righteousness and obedience to Allaah, for them will be forgiveness and a great reward.” [Soorah Hood 11:10-11].

And you all know that Allaah – the Most Perfect – has blessed this affair [1] with such blessings which contain the means to aid His Religion, raise high His Word, aid His Army, and grant honour to His Awliyaa (pious and righteous servants). It is also the cause for strengthening Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah and causing humiliation to the people of innovations and sectarianism. Likewise, it is also the cause for affirming that which has been affirmed by yourselves from the Sunnah (regarding the truth of this matter), and a cause for increasing this by opening up the avenues of guidance, victory and proofs: such that the truth becomes known to the people, who none but Allaah can enumerate. It is also a cause for the masses to begin to accept the way of the Sunnah and the Jamaa’ah; as well as countless other favours. All of this must therefore be accompanied by immense gratitude to Allaah, as well as having patience – even ii this patience is in times of ease.

And you all know that from the great principles which sum up the Religion is: Uniting the hearts, unifying the word, and reconcilination between each other, as Allaah – the Most High – said:

“So fear and obey Allaah, and reconcile the matters of differences between yourselves.” [Soorah al-Anfaal 8:10].

“And hold fast altogether to the rope of Allaah and do not split-up.” [Soorah Aal-‘lmraan 3:103].

“And do not be like those who split-up and differed after the clear proofs came to them. For those there will be a severe punishment.” [Soorah Aal-‘lmraan 3:105].

And other examples like this from the texts (of Revelation), which order us with the Jamaa’ah (unity upon the way of the Companions) and coming together, and prohibit splitting and differing. And the people who most exemplify this principle are Ahlul-Jamaa’ah (the people of the Jamaa’ah); just as the people who most exemplify leaving it are the people of sectarianism.

And that which sums up the Sunnah is: Obedience to the Messenger. This is why the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Indeed Allaah is pleased with three things: That you worship Allaah alone without associating any partner along with Him; that you holdfast all together to the Rope of Allaah and not to become split-up; and that you give sincere advice to whomsoever Allaah put in charge of your affairs.”[2]

And in the Sunan collections from the hadeeth of Zayd ibn Thaabit and Ibn Mas’ood – who were both great fuqahaa (Scholars of deep understanding) – who relate that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “May Allaah enliven whosoever hears my words, memorises them and then conveys them to others. Many a carrier of knowledge does not understand it, and many a carrier of knowledge conveys it to one who has better understanding. There are three things which the heart of a Believer has no malice about: Sincerity for Allaah in one’s action; sincere advice to those in authority and clinging to the Jamaa’ah.” [3]

And his saying: “has no malice” means not having any contempt for them. So the heart of a Muslim does not hate these characteristics. On the contrary, it loves them and is pleased with them.

So the first thing which I shall begin with regarding this principle is what is connected to myself. So you all know – may Allaah be pleased with you all – that I do not desire any harm at all – inwardly or outwardly – for anyone from the general masses of the Muslims, let alone our colleagues and companions. Nor do I harbour any ill-feeling towards anyone of them, nor do I blame them for anything at all. Rather, to me they are deserving of nobility, love, honour and respect, over and over – each in accordance with their level. And a person cannot be except (one of three types): Someone who sincerely strives to ascertain the truth; and is correct, or one who sincerely strives to ascertain the truth; but errs, or a sinful person. As for the first, then he is rewarded and thanked. The second is rewarded for his ijtihaad (striving to ascertain the truth), and is forgiven and excused for his error. As for the third, then may Allaah forgive us, and him, and all the Believers.

So we should not try to dwell upon the words of those who opposed this fundamental; by saying that so and so is deficient, or so and so did not act, or so and so was the cause of harm to the Shaykh, or was the reason why all this occurred, or so and so used to speak about the plots of so and so; and other such similar statements which contain criticism of some of our colleagues and brothers. For indeed do not allow them to harm the brothers and colleagues in this manner, and there is no might, nor any power except with Allaah[4]
Rather, the likes of this criticism actually returns to the one who said it in the first place, unless he has good deeds by which Allaah will forgive him – if He wills – and indeed Allaah does forgive that which has preceded. And you also all know about the harsh treatment that was given to some of the brothers in Damascus, and that which occurs even now in Egypt. This – in reality – is not due to a deficiency or shortcoming in the brothers, nor has it occurred because we have changed our views and hate them. Rather, such people, after receiving such harsh treatment increase in the status, love and respect that we have for them. For indeed the likes of these trials are beneficial to the Believers, because Allaah corrects and improves them due to it. Since the Believer to another Believer is like each of a pair of hands, each washes the other. However, it sometimes happens that dirt cannot be removed except with a certain amount of roughness, but that brings about cleanliness and softness, for which that roughness is praised …

You (also) all know that much of what has occurred in this matter were lies, false accusations, false suspicions, and the following of false desires, the likes of which cannot be described. So all those lies and false accusations that were directed against me, are actually a source of goodness and blessing for me. Allaah – the Most High – said:

“Indeed those who brought forward the lie are a small group amongst you. However, do not think that it is an evil for you. rather, it is good for you. And every person amongst them will be paid the sin of what they earned. And as for the one who took on the leading role in this, his will be a severe punishment.” [Soorah an-Noor 24:11].

So through such trials, Allaah manifests the light of truth and its clear proofs, which repel the falsehood and lies. So I do not desire to take revenge upon any of those who lied against me, or oppressed me, or showed enmity and hatred towards me. For indeed I forgive every Muslim, and I love only the good for them, and I desire for every Muslim the good that I desire for myself As for those who lied and did wrong, then I have excused and forgiven them. However, whatever is connected to violating the Rights of Allaah in this affair, then they should seek tawbah (repentance). So if they turn to Allaah in repentance, then Allaah will turn to them in forgiveness, otherwise the Judgement of Allaah will apply to them. So if a person were to be thanked for his evil actions, then I thank all those who were the cause for this (trial) to happen to me – for it entails all the good of this world and the Hereafter. However, Allaah is thanked for His good blessings and favours by which no affair happens to a Believer, except that there is good for him in it. And the people of good intentions are thanked for their intentions, and the people of good actions are thanked for their actions. And as for those who did evil – then we ask Allaah that He turns to them in forgiveness. And you all know that this is from my nature and character.

Likewise, you all know that Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq radiallaahu ‘anhu, concerning the matter of al-lfq (the Lie against ‘Aaishah, his daughter, and wife of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم), about which Allaah revealed some Verses of the Qur’aan, so he swore that he would not give any more charity to Mistaah ibn Athaathah; because Mistaah was one of those who participated in the Lie. So Allaah revealed:

“And let not those amongst you who have been blessed with grace and wealth swear not to give any help or support to their relatives, or to the poor and needy, or to those who migrated in the path of Allaah. Rather, let them pardon and be forgiving. Do you not love that Allaah should forgive you? And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Soorah an-Noor 24:22].

So when this Verse was revealed, Abu Bakr radiallaahu ‘anhu said: “Rather, by Allaah! I love that Allaah should forgive me.” So he continued to give to Mistaah the aid and charity that he used to give before. [5] So with forgiveness and kind treatment towards one another, and doing Jihaad (fighting and striving) in Allaah’s Path, then it is a must that:

“Allaah will bring a people whom He will love, and they will love Him; soft, humble and gentle with the Believers, stern towards the unbelievers, fighting in the path of Allaah, and never afraid of the blame of the blamers. That is the Grace of Allaah which He bestows upon whosoever He Wills. And Allaah suffices for the needs of His creation, the All-Knower. Indeed your Walee (protector and guardian) is Allaah, His Messenger, and the Believers; those who offer the Prayer correctly, and give Zakaah, and who bow down in obedience to Allaah. And whosoever takes Allaah, and His Messenger, and the Believers as protectors and guardians, then it is the party of Allaah who will be victorious.” [Soorah al-Maa’idah 5:53-55].

Was-salaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu.

—————————————————————————-

1. The affair being referred to is the first of Ibn Taymiyyah’s unjust imprisonment – a period of one and a half years, in the year 705H – which occurred due to some lies and false accusations against him.
2. Related by Muslim (3/1340) and Ahmad (2/367).
3. Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (4/80) and Ibn Maajah (no.230). It was authenticated by al-Albaanee in as-Saheehah (no.404).
4. This is in reference to some of their colleagues and brothers in Damascus, who weakened during this ordeal, and did not remain firm upon the correct methodology. So Ibn Taymiyyah is prohibiting any of his students and collegues from harming them in any way, and makes an excuse for them, and explains that he bears no ill-feeling or hatred in his heart towards any of them. Rather, he makes it clear that he has respect for them, and loves them for the sake of Allaah.
5. Related by al-Bukhaaree (no.4757)

Love

Love is a psychological sickness, and if it grows strong it affects the body, and becomes a physical sickness, either as diseases of the brain, which are said to be diseases caused by waswaas, or diseases of the body such as weakness, emaciation and so on. [Majmoo’ al-Fataawa 10/129]

Loving a non-mahram woman leads to many negative consequences, the full extent of which is known only to the Lord of people. It is a sickness that affects the religious commitment of the sufferer, then it may also affect his mind and body. [Majmoo’ al-Fataawa 10/132]

If the heart loves Allaah alone and is sincerely devoted to Him, it will not even think of loving anyone else in the first place, let alone falling in love. When a heart falls in love, that is due to the lack of love for Allaah alone. Hence because Yoosuf loved Allaah and was sincerely devoted to Him, he did not fall into the trap of love, rather Allaah says

“Thus it was, that We might turn away from him evil and illegal sexual intercourse. Surely, he was one of Our chosen, (guided) slaves”
[Yoosuf 12:24]

As for the wife of al-‘Azeez, she was a mushrik as were her people, hence she fell into this trap. Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (10/135)

If a man is in love with a woman, even if she is permissible for him, his heart remains enslaved to her, and she can control him as she wishes, even though outwardly he appears to be her master, because he is her husband; but in fact he is her prisoner and slave, especially if she is aware of his need and love for her. In that case, she will control him like a harsh and oppressive master controls his abject slave who cannot free himself from him. Rather he is worse off than that, because enslavement of the heart is worse than enslavement of the body. [Majmoo’ al-Fataawa 10/185]

If he is tested with love but he remains chaste and is patient, then he will be rewarded for fearing Allaah. It is known from shar’i evidence that if a person remains chaste and avoids haraam things in looking, word and deeds, and he keeps quiet about it and does not speak of it, so that there will be haraam talk about that, whether by complaining to another person or committing evil openly, or pursuing the beloved one in any way, and he is patient in obeying Allaah and avoiding sin, despite the pain of love that he feels in his heart, just as one who is afflicted with a calamity bears the pain of it with patience, then he will be one of those who fear Allaah and are patient,

“Verily, he who fears Allaah with obedience to Him (by abstaining from sins and evil deeds, and by performing righteous good deeds), and is patient, then surely, Allaah makes not the reward of the Muhsinoon (good‑doers) to be lost” [Yoosuf 12:90].  [Majmoo’ al-Fataawa 10/133]

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The Reason Al-‘Aqidah Al-Wasitiyah Was Written

Ibn Taimiyah said:

“A Shafi’ite judge from Wasit (in Iraq) whose name is Radiy ad-Din al-Wasiti, visited me on his way to Hajj (pilgrimage). This Sheikh was a man of goodness and faith. He complained to me of the people’s situation in that country (i.e., Iraq ) under the Tatars (Mongols) rule of ignorance, injustice, and loss of faith and knowledge.

He asked me to write him an ‘Aqeedah (creed) as a reference to him and his family. But I declined saying: Many creeds have been written. Refer to the scholars of the Sunnah. However, he persisted in his request, saying: I do not want any creed but one you write. So I wrote this one for him while I was sitting one afternoon.

(Majmu’ Fatawa Ibn Taimiyah, VIII, p.164)

The Varying Forms of Wrongful Backbiting

Source: Majmoo’ al-fataawaa Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah vol 28 pages 236-238

There are found amongst the people those that will backbite in accordance to his gathering and his companions and his associates. Whilst his knowing that the one being backbitten is free of what it is they say – or of some of what they say. However; he sees that if he were to forbid them then the sitting will cease and the people of the sitting would become sullen with him just as they would become estranged from him. So he sees compliance with them through good social relations as well as good companionship; so when they become angered then he likewise becomes angry due to their being angered – so he takes it up with them.

Then there are those that take backbiting out into many forms. So at times it would be in the form of Religion and rectification, so he will say: ‘I am not in the habit of mentioning anyone except in good; and I neither like backbiting nor lies. However I shall inform you of his affairs.’ So He will say: ‘By Allaah – he is Miskeen (weak/pitied) – or he is a good man; however he has in him such and such.’ Or he may say: ‘let us leave off him; may Allaah forgive him and us.’ Whilst his intent is to belittle him as well as causing a wrong to his flank. Thus taking the backbiting out from the form of rectification and Religion. They seek to deceive Allaah with that just as they deceive the creation. For we have seen this and its like from them in many varying colours.

Then there are those that will elevate other than himself out of showing off – and then raise himself. So he will say: ‘If I had supplicated for so and so last night in my prayer; then there would have reached me from him such and such.’ So as to raise himself whilst putting him down with the one that may have faith in him. Or he may say: ‘so and so is dull in intelligence and has little understanding.’ So his intent is the praise of himself and establishing his awareness of him – and that he is better than him.

Likewise from them are those that are carried by envy upon backbiting; and so will gather between two ugly affairs: backbiting as well as envy. So when an individual is praised, then he will try to remove that from him through showing his deficiencies in the form of Religion and rectification – or in the form of envy and immorality and dispraise – in order to remove that from him.

Then there are those that take backbiting out into the form of mockery and play; in order to bring laughter to other than himself through his joking and his mimicry and his belittling of the one he is joking about.

Then there are those that take backbiting out into the form of amazement; so he will say: ‘I am amazed at so and so at how he does not do such and such?! And from so and so as to how he fell into such and such; and how he did such and such.’ Thus pronouncing his name during the course of his amazement.

There are those from them that show sorrow; so he will say: ‘so and so is weak/pitied, it has caused me sorrow for what has happened to him and what the outcome was for him.’ So he who hears him thinks that he has sorrow for him and that he is regretful and that his heart is covered in the attainment of recovery for him; and if it were possible then he would add to that which was with him. He may also mention him in front of his enemies so that they may profit from it. So this; and other than it is from amongst the greatest of the sicknesses of the heart as well as deceitfulness to Allaah and His creation.

From them are those that make apparent backbiting through the form of anger and disapproving something abominable. So there becomes manifest in this aspect certain things from the adornment of speech which contains fallacies. Whilst his intent was other than what he made apparent. And Allaah’s aid is sought.

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10 Causes That Remove Punishment For A Sin

Shaykh ul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy on him, said:

The punishment for a sin committed by a believer is removed in ten ways:

1. He repents to Allah (taubah), so Allah accepts his repentance, for the one who repents from sin is like the one who has no sin.

2. He seeks forgiveness from Allah (istighfar), so Allah forgives him.

3. He does good deeds that erase his sin for good deeds erase bad ones.

4. His believing brethren pray for him or seek forgiveness for his sins during his life or death.

5. Or they [ask Allah] to bestow on him as gift from the reward for their deeds, with which Allah benefits him.

6. His Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, intercedes for him.

7. Allah tests him with trials in this world which expiate his sin.

8. Allah tests him in al-Barzakh (the intermediate life in the grave, between the death and the Day of Judgment) which expiates his sin.

9. Allah tests him in the various stages of the Day of Judgment which expiates his sins.

10. Or the Most Merciful of those who have mercy has mercy on him.

Whoever, then, is missed by these ten cannot blame anyone but himself.

Majmoo` al-Fatawa 1:45, 7:487
Translated by Islaam.com

Al-Istighfaar (Asking Forgiveness)

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH THE MOST GRACIOUS AND THE MOST MERCIFUL

Sheikh-ul-Islam ibn Taymiyyah rahimahullaah

Majmoo al-Fataawaa 10/88-90

The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, said:

{{The master of invocations for forgiveness is that the servant says:

O’ my ‘ilâh You are my Lord, there is no ‘ilâh but You. You created me, and I am your bondservant, and I will stick to my covenant and promise [of faith and sincere obedience] to You, as to my ability. I seek refuge in You from the evil of what I have done, I acknowledge, to You, your bounties upon me, and I acknowledge, to You, my sin. Thus forgive me, for none forgives sins except You.

Whoever says this as he enters upon evening, then, dies that night, he would enter Paradise; and if one says this as he enters upon morning, then, dies that day, he would enter Paradise.}} (Al-Bukhari)

The servant is always in the blessings of Allah, which necessitate thankfulness, and in sinfulness, which requires seeking forgiveness. Both of these matters are required and essential for the servant at all times, as the servant does not cease to alternate between Allah’s (various) favours and blessings, and does not cease to be in need of repentance and seeking forgiveness.

This is why the Master of the Children of Adam, and the Leader of the Pious, Muhammad, (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) sought forgiveness in all circumstances. He said in an authentic Hadith reported by al-Bukhari:

{{O people repent to your Lord, for verily I seek forgiveness from Allah and repent to him more than seventy times in a day.}} (Bukhari)

It is reported in Saheeh Muslim that he said: {{I seek forgiveness one hundred times in a day.}} (Muslim)

`Abdullah ibn `Umar said: We counted in a single sitting the Messenger of Allah, (sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam), saying one hundred times:

{{My Lord, forgive me and accept my repentance, verily you are Acceptor of Repentance, Oft-Forgiving.}} (Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Ibn Maajah)

This is why seeking forgiveness was legislated at the end of actions. Allah the Exalted said:

{{Those who seek forgiveness before dawn (at late night).}} (Quran, 3:17)

Some of them said: “Give life to your nights by performing Prayer, and when the time of late night comes, concern yourself with seeking forgiveness.”

It is related in the Saheeh that the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam), when he finished his Prayer, he would seek forgiveness three times and say:

{{O’ my ‘ilãh You are ‘As-Salãm [One free from flaws], and from You comes Salãm [peace, or safety], blessed are Thee O’ haver of glory and kindness.}} (Muslim)

Allah says:

{{And seek forgiveness of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.}} (Quran, 73:20)

(Even) After the Prophet conveyed the Message, fought in the path of Allah with true jihad, and performed what Allah ordered more than anyone else, Allah commanded his Prophet (to perform Istighfaar), as He the Exalted said:

{{When the victory of Allah has come and the conquest, and you see the people entering into the religion of Allah in multitudes, then exalt [Him] with praise of your Lord and ask forgiveness of Him. Indeed, He is ever Accepting of repentance.}} (Quran, 110:1-3)

This is why the religion (Deen) is established with Tawheed and Istighfaar, as Allah the Exalted said:

{{Alif Lam Ra. [This is] a Book whose verses are perfected and then presented in detail from [one who is] Wise and Acquainted. [Through a messenger, saying], “Do not worship except Allah. Indeed, I am to you from Him a warner and a bringer of good tidings,” and [saying], “Seek forgiveness of your Lord and repent to Him, [and] He will let you enjoy a good provision.}} (Quran, 11:1-3)

And Allah says:

{{So take a straight course to Him and seek His forgiveness.}} (Quran, 41:6)

And He says:

{{So know [O Muhammad], that there is no deity except Allah and ask forgiveness for your sin and for the believing men and believing women.}} (Quran, 47:19)

This is why it was it came in a narration: {{The Shaytan said: People are destroyed with sins, and they destroy me with ‘Laa ilaha ill Allah’ and seeking forgiveness.}} (Reported by Ibn Abi Asim and Abu Ya`la, but its chain is a fabrication).

Yonus, `alayhis salam, said:

{{There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.}} (Quran, 21:87)

The Prophet (sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam), when he would ride his mount, he would praise Allah, then say Allahu Akbar three times, then say:

{{I testify that there is no ‘ilah except You, Glorified are You, I have transgressed upon myself, so forgive me}} (Abu Dawood and at-Tirmidhi, who said it is Hasan Sahih)

Expiation of a gathering with which the gathering is completed is (the supplication):

{{Glorified are You O’ my ‘ilãh and I am in Your praise, I testify that there is no ‘ilah except You, I ask Your forgiveness and repent unto You.}} (Abu Dawood and At-Tirmidhi, who said it is Hasan Sahih)

Allah knows best, and may His blessings and peace be upon [the Prophet] Muhammad.

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