Chapter 37: “It is from Shirk for a person to intend by his deeds, worldly gain.” Kitāb at-Tawhid of Imām Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhāb.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy.

Shaikhul-Islam Muhammad Ibn Abdul-Wahhāb said:

Chapter: “It is from Shirk for a person to intend by his deeds, worldly gain.”

The Text:

Allah the Most High says:

مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا وَزِينَتَهَا نُوَفِّ إِلَيْهِمْ أَعْمَالَهُمْ فِيهَا

 “Whosoever desires the life of the world and its glitter, to them We shall pay in full (the wages of) their deeds therein,” (Two ayahs from Surah Hood 11:15).

It is reported in the Saheeh from Abu Hurairah (radiyallāhu ʿanhu) that the Prophet (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) said:

 تَعِسَ عَبْدُ الدِّينَارِ وَعَبْدُ الدِّرْهَمِ وَعَبْدُ الْخَمِيصَةِ، إِنْ أُعْطِيَ رَضِيَ، وَإِنْ لَمْ يُعْطَ سَخِطَ، تَعِسَ وَانْتَكَسَ، وَإِذَا شِيكَ فَلاَ انْتَقَشَ، طُوبَى لِعَبْدٍ آخِذٍ بِعِنَانِ فَرَسِهِ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ، أَشْعَثَ رَأْسُهُ مُغْبَرَّةٍ قَدَمَاهُ، إِنْ كَانَ فِي الْحِرَاسَةِ كَانَ فِي الْحِرَاسَةِ، وَإِنْ كَانَ فِي السَّاقَةِ كَانَ فِي السَّاقَةِ، إِنِ اسْتَأْذَنَ لَمْ يُؤْذَنْ لَهُ، وَإِنْ شَفَعَ لَمْ يُشَفَّعْ ‏

“Wretched is the slave of the dinār, and wretched is the slave of the dirham, wretched is the slave of fine clothes and luxurious cloth. Such a person is pleased when he is given something and he becomes angry when he is not given, so let him be wretched and let him decline and suffer. If he is pierced with a thorn, let it not be removed.

And fortunate is the one who holds the reins of his horse in the cause of Allah, and his hair is unkempt (due to that) and his feet are covered with dust. If he is a guard, he is satisfied with guarding, and if he is in the rear guard, he accepts that with satisfaction. If he asks for permission, he is not given permission, and if he intercedes (in this world) his intercession is not accepted.” (Al-Bukhāri, no. 2887)

Explanation:

Imām Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul Wahhāb stated: ‘It is from Shirk for a person to intend by his deeds, worldly gain.’ So, his is a category from the categories of shirk, i.e. that a person desires by his actions only world gain. The Imām brings the proof for this from the statement of Allah in Surah Hood:

 مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا وَزِينَتَهَا نُوَفِّ إِلَيْهِمْ أَعْمَالَهُمْ فِيهَا وَهُمْ فِيهَا لَا يُبْخَسُونَ

 “Whosoever desires the life of the world and its glitter, to them We shall pay in full (the wages of) their deeds therein, and they will not receive any reduction in payment in it (in this world).” (Surah Hood 11:15).

This Ayah proves that whoever desires by way of his actions, only this world, then that is apostasy (riddah), we ask Allah for well-being, protection and safety from that. This act of only seeking the dunya from one’s actions is considered as major Shirk that exits a person from the fold of Islām. The proof is the statement of Allah (the Most High) in the following Ayah:

أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ لَيْسَ لَهُمْ فِي الْآخِرَةِ إِلَّا النَّارُ ۖ وَحَبِطَ مَا صَنَعُوا فِيهَا وَبَاطِلٌ مَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

“They are those for whom there is nothing in the Hereafter but fire, and vain are the deeds they did therein. And of no effect is that which they used to do.” (Surah Hood 11:16).

This severe threat is not for anyone except the one who commits Shirk al-Akbar (major polytheism) – and built upon that is that Allah will nullify their deeds and will enter them into hellfire to remain there forever.

As for the one who intended the world (dunyā) to seek assistance from it, and he believes in the hereafter, and he knows that the life of the hereafter is the remainder of his existence – then from what is apparent, such a person is not exposed to this threat, insha’Allah. This is whilst he is eager for the Religion, such as the one who studies the Shariʿah knowledge and its sciences in order to know and understand them – and then to act upon them. Then he gains, by way of that, a certificate which he uses to aid him in getting a job. His good righteous works then gain him entry into Jannah, inshā’-Allāh.

As for intending only the world and its glitter, then this is blameworthy for the one who does not have concern for the religion. If he was prevented from the worldly gains unless if he was to leave the deen, then such a person would do so, and this is the one who is threatened.

Allah the Most High has informed us regarding these people in Surah al-Ahzāb where He described the munāfiqeen:

وَلَوْ دُخِلَتْ عَلَيْهِم مِّنْ أَقْطَارِهَا ثُمَّ سُئِلُوا الْفِتْنَةَ لَآتَوْهَا وَمَا تَلَبَّثُوا بِهَا إِلَّا يَسِيرًا

وَلَقَدْ كَانُوا عَاهَدُوا اللَّهَ مِن قَبْلُ لَا يُوَلُّونَ الْأَدْبَارَ ۚ وَكَانَ عَهْدُ اللَّهِ مَسْئُولً

“And if the enemy had entered from all sides (of the city) and the people had been exhorted to al-Fitnah (to renegade from Islām to polytheism), they would surely have committed it and would have hesitated thereupon but little. And indeed, they had already made a covenant with Allah not to turn their backs, and a covenant with Allah must be answered for.” (Surah al-Ahzāb 33: 14 -15).

So, Allah informed us regarding the munāfiqeen in these two verses that if the enemy came upon them from every side of the city, and called upon them to return to shirk, then they would surely do so. So, whoever was in this state, it is apparent that they are the ones intended by the rebuke in the above verses.

Ibn Katheer (rahimahullah) said regarding the two ayāt in Surah Hood (11: 15-16): ‘Al-ʿAwfi said from ʿAbdullah ibn ʿAbbās (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā) that, ‘The people of Riyā will be paid for their good deeds in this world, and that is because they will not be wronged, even according to the amount of a speck on a date seed. Whoever does a righteous deed desiring the world, whether it be praying, fasting, praying the night prayer, not doing so except for the dunya, then Allah said, ‘I will pay him in full, the one who desired the dunya, and his [righteous] deeds will be nullified, the ones he did desiring the dunya, and he will be from the losers in the Hereafter.’ Likewise, similar narrations have been reported from Mujāhid, ad-Dahhāk and others.

Anas bin Mālik and Hasan al-Basri said that this ayah was revealed concerning the Jews and the Christians, and in another narration that it was concerning the people of Riyā (those who do righteous deeds to show off).

Qatādah said that whoever makes his sole concern, intention and desire to seek the dunya, then Allah recompenses him in full for his good deeds in this world. Then he is brought forth in the hereafter and he will have no good deeds for which he will be recompensed. As for the believer, he is recompensed in the world due to his good deeds and he is paid for them in full in the hereafter – this is from the immense bounty and mercy of Allah, the Most High.

There is a Hadeeth that encompasses this meaning: Zaid bin Thabit (radiyallāhu ʿanhu) said that he heard the Prophet (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) say:

مَنْ كَانَتِ الدُّنْيَا هَمَّهُ فَرَّقَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ أَمْرَهُ وَجَعَلَ فَقْرَهُ بَيْنَ عَيْنَيْهِ وَلَمْ يَأْتِهِ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا إِلاَّ مَا كُتِبَ لَهُ وَمَنْ كَانَتِ الآخِرَةُ نِيَّتَهُ جَمَعَ اللَّهُ لَهُ أَمْرَهُ وَجَعَلَ غِنَاهُ فِي قَلْبِهِ وَأَتَتْهُ الدُّنْيَا وَهِيَ رَاغِمَةٌ

“Whoever’s concern is the dunya, then Allah will confound his affairs and place poverty before his eyes, making him fear it constantly. He will not receive anything of this world except that which has been decreed for him. Whoever’s concern is the Hereafter and that is his intention, then Allah will gather together his affairs for him, and Allah, the Most High, will place richness in his heart, and the worldly gains will come to him regardless.” (Ibn Mājah, no. 4105, and authenticated by Shaikh al-Albāni)

Allah (the Most High) said:

مَّن كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْعَاجِلَةَ عَجَّلْنَا لَهُ فِيهَا مَا نَشَاءُ لِمَن نُّرِيدُ ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَا لَهُ جَهَنَّمَ يَصْلَاهَا مَذْمُومًا مَّدْحُورًا

وَمَنْ أَرَادَ الْآخِرَةَ وَسَعَىٰ لَهَا سَعْيَهَا وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَأُولَٰئِكَ كَانَ سَعْيُهُم مَّشْكُورًا

كُلًّا نُّمِدُّ هَٰؤُلَاءِ وَهَٰؤُلَاءِ مِنْ عَطَاءِ رَبِّكَ ۚ وَمَا كَانَ عَطَاءُ رَبِّكَ مَحْظُورًا

انظُرْ كَيْفَ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ ۚ وَلَلْآخِرَةُ أَكْبَرُ دَرَجَاتٍ وَأَكْبَرُ تَفْضِيلًا

“Whoever desires the quick-passing and transitory enjoyment of this world, We readily grant him what We will for whom We want. Then afterwards, We have appointed for him Hell – he will burn therein disgraced and rejected.

And whoever desires the Hereafter and strives for it, with the necessary effort due for it while he is a believer, then such are the ones whose striving shall be appreciated (thanked and rewarded by Allah).

On each, these as well as those, We bestow from the bounties of your Lord. And the bounties of your Lord can never be forbidden. See how We prefer one above another (in this world) and verily, the Hereafter will be greater in degrees and greater in preference.” (Surah al-Isrā 17: 18-21).

So, the ones who seek the Hereafter by their deeds are the successful ones.

Allah (the Most High) also said:

مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ حَرْثَ الْآخِرَةِ نَزِدْ لَهُ فِي حَرْثِهِ ۖ وَمَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ حَرْثَ الدُّنْيَا نُؤْتِهِ مِنْهَا وَمَا لَهُ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِن نَّصِيبٍ

“Whoever desires (by his deeds) the reward of the Hereafter, We give him increase in his reward, and whoever desires the reward of this world (by his deeds), We give him thereof (what is decreed for him), and he has no portion in the Hereafter.” (Surah ash-Shoorā 42:20).

Explanation of the Hadeeth of the Chapter

 It is reported in the Saheeh from Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu ‘anhu) that the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said:

 تَعِسَ عَبْدُ الدِّينَارِ وَعَبْدُ الدِّرْهَمِ وَعَبْدُ الْخَمِيصَةِ، إِنْ أُعْطِيَ رَضِيَ، وَإِنْ لَمْ يُعْطَ سَخِطَ، تَعِسَ وَانْتَكَسَ، وَإِذَا شِيكَ فَلاَ انْتَقَشَ، طُوبَى لِعَبْدٍ آخِذٍ بِعِنَانِ فَرَسِهِ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ، أَشْعَثَ رَأْسُهُ مُغْبَرَّةٍ قَدَمَاهُ، إِنْ كَانَ فِي الْحِرَاسَةِ كَانَ فِي الْحِرَاسَةِ، وَإِنْ كَانَ فِي السَّاقَةِ كَانَ فِي السَّاقَةِ، إِنِ اسْتَأْذَنَ لَمْ يُؤْذَنْ لَهُ، وَإِنْ شَفَعَ لَمْ يُشَفَّعْ ‏

“Wretched is the slave of the dinār, and wretched is the slave of the dirham, wretched is the slave of fine clothes and luxurious cloth. Such a person is pleased when he is given something and he becomes angry when he is not given, so let him be wretched and let him decline and suffer. If he is pierced with a thorn, let it not be removed.

And fortunate is the one who holds the reins of his horse in the cause of Allah, and his hair is unkempt (due to that) and his feet are covered with dust. If he is a guard, he is satisfied with guarding, and if he is in the rear guard, he accepts that with satisfaction. If he asks for permission, he is not given permission, and if he intercedes (in this world) his intercession is not accepted.” (Al-Bukhari, 2887)

As for the Prophet’s (salallāhu alaihi wasallam) saying ‘wretched is the slave of the dinar,’ then this is a duā against him. The saying ‘the slave of the dinar,’ then the dinar is a currency of gold, and the dirham is a currency of silver. The slave of these is the one whose happiness stops at what he is given of the dinar and the dirham, and he becomes angry when he does not get it.

These weaknesses prove that this dunya is but a corridor and not a place of permanent residence – it is a means and not a goal. However, the one whose heart is filled with Imān is otherwise – he belittles and disregards the dunya and abstains from it if its gains are not achieved in a permissible way – and (in reality) he has no concern for the dinar and the dirham, i.e., for money. The slave of the fine clothes (khameesah) and luxurious cloth (khameelah) has the same ruling as the slave of the dinar and dirham – the wretched person is (only) pleased when he has them and he is angry and displeased when he does not have them. So, the khameesah and khameelah are two types of garments and cloth.

The Messenger of Allah (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) emphasized this description further when he said, ‘If he is given, he is happy and if he is not given, he gets angry,’ and he increased his duʿā against such a person because of his enslavement to the dunya by saying, ‘Let him be wretched and let him decline and suffer, and if he is pierced with a thorn, let him not be able to remove it.’ This is a duʿā of the Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) against such a person that if he were to fall into a predicament or a critical situation, may he not be able to get out of it, due to this heavy supplication!

Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) then legislated concerning the second type of person (i.e., the righteous one) – the one whose concern is to fulfil the obligations even if he is struck by misfortune, and he (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) said that for him is ‘Toobah’ (glad tidings of Paradise or a tree in Paradise whose trunk is made of gold). This is for the one who holds the reins of his horse in the path of Allah, his hair is disheveled, his feet are dusty because of his desire to fulfil the obligations: he does not have time to even oil or comb his hair, he is unknown and undistinguished amongst the people. He seeks the pleasure of Allah, and he looks forward to the bounties of Allah. The world debases, degrades and humiliates him, and it is for this reason that the Prophet (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) said that his hair is disheveled, and his feet are dusty.

The intent behind the phrase ‘If he is a guard he is satisfied with guarding’ is the guards of the fighters in battle. They guard the mujahideen when they disembark from their horses and when they are asleep, they stand guard over them.

If he is put at the back of the army, he is satisfied with that: following those who are incapacitated, and helping the sick and injured. He does not seek permission often, and if he does seek it, it is not often granted to him – if he intercedes for someone in this world, his intercession is not accepted. If he is present, his view is not accepted, and his council is not sought. This is the state of the people of obedience, those in pursuit of the reward of the hereafter as opposed to the previously mentioned ones who are in pursuit of the dunya (the worldly positions and treasures).

End

سبحانك اللهم وبحمدك أشهد أن لا إله إلا أنت، أستغفرك وأتوب إليك

From Al-ʿAllāmah Shaikh Ahmad Ibn Yahyā An-Najmi’s (rahimahullāh) explanation with added notes from Abu Khadeejah.

الحمد لله رب العالمين وصلى الله على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم

This article was transcribed by Umm Maryam (may Allah reward her) from the classes of Abu Khadeejah (SalafiSounds.com). Please share it with others.


Discover more from Abu Khadeejah : أبو خديجة

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.