Prayer in its correct time, being dutiful and kind to parents, and Jihād in the cause of Allāh: Explanation of Imām Al-Bukhāri’s Al-Adab Al-Mufrad (Prophetic Morals and Manners)

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

(Part 1)


Assalāmu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuhu,

I welcome all of you who are listening today, bārakallāhu fīkum, live from those places and those lands that you have tuned in from. Today, which is the 26th of Rajab, in the year 1441 after the Hijrah of the Messenger of Allāh (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) that coincides with the night before Saturday, the 20th of March of the year 2020 in the western calendar.

Whilst many of us are in our homes due to the crisis, that they have described as the Coronavirus, where many people are secluded in their homes with their families in many of the lands of the world today, wallāhul musta’ān. And we ask Allāh subhānahu wa ta’ālā to ease the affairs of the Muslims and to ease the affairs of the people and to guide them to the Book of Allāh, and to guide them to Tawhīd, and to guide them to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allāh (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam). 

And we ask Allāh (subhānahu wa ta’ālā) to guide the Muslims to the recognition that all of the affairs that are taking place now are trials, and tribulations, and tests from Allāh (subhānahu wa ta’ālā). 

And we ask Allāh (subhānahu wa ta’ālā) to guide the people to that which is best for them in this life and in the Hereafter. As the Messenger of Allāh (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said to a man who was suffering because of an illness. 

The man asked Allāh subhānahu wa ta’ālā to hasten his punishment in this world rather than the next world. So the Prophet of Allāh (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said to him: “Subhānallāh, you will not be able to bear that. Then why did you not say instead: Rabbanā ātinā fi d-dunyā hasanah, wa fil ākhirati hasanah, wa qinā ‘adhāba n-nār?” 

Meaning: why did you not ask instead: “Oh Allāh, give us that which is best in this world, and the best in the Hereafter, and save us from the punishment of the Fire”?

So we ask Allāh, subhānahu wa ta’ālā, to give us that which is best in this world, and the best in the Hereafter, and give us the best of both of these abodes and to save us from the torment of the Fire.

Though many of us are isolated in our homes and we remain in our homes as we have been advised to do, then it doesn’t mean that we can not benefit from the Dīn of Allāh, subhānahu wa ta’ālā: from this upright religion of truth and guidance, this Dīn of Tawhīd and of worshipping Allāh alone. There is no need for any of us to despair in these times, bārakallāhu fīkum. Rather, the Muslim is always optimistic and he gathers his family and his relatives and they take benefit in every opportunity that Allāh gives them. They call upon Allāh and they do not forget Him and they make dhikr of Allāh in every opportunity that Allāh (subhānahu wa ta’ālā) has given them. This is because they can not do without Allāh, not even for the blinking of an eye. So we benefit, bārakallāhu fīkum. We benefit each other, and our families, and ourselves. 

I have chosen to begin an explanation of a book that, to my knowledge, has not been explained before in the English language, and Allāh knows best. And especially with the explanation that I’m going to use which is the explanation of Fadhīlatush-Shaykh al-‘Allāmah Zayd bin Muhammad bin Hādī al-Madkhalī. He was from the great scholars of al-Islām who died several years ago, rahimahullāhu ta’ālā. I’m going to use his explanation of the work of Imām al-Bukhārī known as “al-Adab al-Mufrad”.

So his explanation is called “‘Awn al-Ahad as-Samad, Sharh al-Adab al-Mufrad”, which translates as: “The aid of the One, the Self-sufficient, whom all creatures are in need of: The explanation of al-Adab al-Mufrad”.

“Al-Adab al-Mufrad” is a book of hadīth that has 644 chapter headings and 1,322 ahādīth concerning the Prophetic morals, character, and conduct. And it is authored, in its origin, by al-Imām Abu ‘Abdillāh Muhammad bin Ismā’īl al-Bukhārī. He was the great Imām who was born in the year 194AH and he died in the year 256AH. 

He is of course more famously known as the compiler of  “Sahīh al-Bukhārī”, and this compilation is the most authentic book after the Book of Allāh. 

So “al-Adab al-Mufrad” is another one of his authorships, a tremendous work in reality and an amazing compilation of ahādīth concerning the Prophetic morals, and manners, and etiquettes, and conduct of Messenger of Allāh, sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Prayer, Parents and Jihād

This explanation by Shaykh Zayd al-Madkhalī (rahimahullāhu ta’ālā) is in three volumes. So I’m beginning at the first volume with the first hadīth that he brings and then explains. And that is the chapter concerning the saying of Allāh the Most High: “We have enjoined upon man to be kind to his parents”.

And as we go through the chapter headings you’ll see that he covers almost every aspect of a person’s life in terms of his behaviour, his conduct, his morals, his etiquettes, how he should behave, and so on.

And he brings, as Imām al-Bukhārī did continually in all of his works, the chain of narration. 

So what I’ll do is I’ll refer to the hadīth but I may not always bring the chain of narration. This is just to make each of these lectures that I give on a daily basis not too lengthy, inshā’ Allāh. 

So he mentions that Abu al-Walīd narrated to them and he said that Shu’bah narrated to us and he said that al-Walīd bin ‘Izār informed him and he said that he heard Abu ‘Umar ash-Shaybāni saying that the owner of that house said to him and he pointed towards the house of ‘Abdullāh bin Mas’ūd that ‘Abdullāh ibn Mas’ūd said: 

I asked the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam): “Which action is the most beloved to Allāh the Mighty and Majestic?” So the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) responded: “The prayer upon its correct time.”

He said: Then I asked him: “Then what after that?” So the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Then it is being dutiful and kind to the parents.” Then I asked: “Then what?” So the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) answered: “Then it is Jihād in the cause of Allāh.”

So then ‘Abdullāh bin Mas’ūd said: “The Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) narrated these things to me and if I’d asked him for more (questions), he would have given me more (answers).”

Shaykh Zayd al-Madkhalī (rahimahullāhu ta’ālā) commented (Abridged by Abu Khadeejah with additional comments):

And the intent by ‘Abdullāh here, is ‘Abdullāh bin Mas’ūd, radhiyallāhu ‘anhu, the companion of Allāh’s Messenger, sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam. And he narrated these three matters from the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), those which we have encompassed by this hadīth. And they are three affairs of piety and righteousness and whoever practices them while being from the people of Tawhīd and the people of correct ‘Aqīdah, then he has acquired and achieved a great amount of good, in its entirety

So here we have this hadīth that encompasses three tremendous affairs: prayer, kindness and dutifulness to parents, and Jihād in the path of Allāh.

As for the first affair, then it is to pray upon the proper time and there is no doubt that prayer at its correct time is the most virtuous of deeds. And the intent by prayer is the one who prayed it correctly: a prayer that fulfills the conditions of the prayer, and the pillars of the prayer, and the obligations of the prayer. All of these must be fulfilled. That a person, for example, does not pray except that he is in a state of wudhū’, he’s covering his ‘awrah, and that his body and his clothing are free from any traces of impurity, and that he’s facing the Qiblah, and that his intention for the prayer is only for Allāh, and that he intends the prayer that he’s going to pray (dhuhr, ‘asr, maghrib, ‘ishā’, tahajjud, witr), and so on. And likewise, the pillars and the obligations of the prayer which actually are actions within the prayer itself. And that it is prayed in the manner that the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) prayed it just as he said: “Pray just like you have seen me pray.”  It is not prayed in an innovated manner or that you blindly follow this one or that one without knowledge.

Rather, you learn how the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) prayed and you pray it with submissiveness and sincerity, and with the alertness of the heart to Allāh, subhānahu wa ta’ālā.

So this is the most excellent of deeds as it is stated here and as it is stated in another narration wherein the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said that the most beloved of all deeds to Allāh is to pray at the proper time. This includes all of the prayers my brothers and my sisters, bārakallāhu fīkum. Not just the prayers that you like praying, or the prayer when you come home, or the prayer when you’re asking Allāh because you desire something. These prayers include Fajr which is difficult in some countries. And these prayers include also the prayer of ‘Ishā’ which may be late in the summer in some of the countries of the world. So every prayer at its proper time; it is the most beloved of all of deeds to Allāh, subhānahu wa ta’ālā

And this is what the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said. And in a narration, he said that the most beloved of deeds to Allāh (subhānahu wa ta’ālā) is the prayer at its earliest time. Meaning: as soon as the prayer time begins that a person hastens to wudhū’, and he hastens to gather his family, and he hastens to get to the masjid. And he makes the sajdah because he finds it the coolness of his eyes as the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) found the prayer to be the coolness of his eyes. It brings tranquillity and serenity to one’s heart; it softens his heart to Allāh and it purifies him of his sins. It is something that will protect him and it is something that will rectify his affairs. The Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) stated that it will be the first deed that you will be asked about on the Day of Judgment. So why do you not pray, my brothers and sisters? Why do you not hasten to the prayer? Why do you not rush to pray? Why do you not rush to throw that quilt to your side and get up and face your Lord and thank Him for everything that He has done for you and for what He has given you of health and goodness?

When Mu’ādh ibn Jabal was sent to Yemen, he was commanded: That if they testify to the Oneness of Allāh, that He Alone is deserving to be worshipped, then inform them that Allāh has obligated upon them the five daily prayers. It was the second thing that was asked for. And throughout the Qur’ān you will find it: 

“…kill them, but if they repent and they establish the prayer and they pay the zakāh, then leave them to travel upon their way.” [Sūrat at-Tawbah: 5]

How many of us neglect the prayer because we are too busy working, too busy gathering the dunyā, too busy arguing, too busy preparing for marriage or work, too busy revising for our exams? And we put all of those things before the prayer. Allāhul musta’ān. Fear Allāh and fear Allāh with regards to your children. The prayer is not to be played with. And I could go on, bārakallāhu fīkum, for hours just upon the prayer.

The second affair that the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) mentioned is showing kindness and being dutiful to one’s parents. Showing duty and kindness to parents is an obligation upon the children, whether male or female, as much as they can within their capability. They do not do the minimum, as some people imagine: that I’ll do the minimum and I’ll get away with it. Rather, you do the most of what you can. This is what Shaykh Zayd (rahimahullāhu ta’ālā) said: You do the most that you can for your parents within your capability, and you don’t do the minimum within your capability. And this is achieved through being dutiful and obedient to them, being kind to them, being good to them, treating them well, keeping away from bad treatment towards them, and keeping away from being wicked towards them.

And this is what the Qur’ān enjoins upon us. Just as Allāh (subhānahu wa ta’ālā) has stated:

“And worship Allāh and do not associate partners with Him in worship and be good to your parents.” [Sūrat an-Nisā’: 36]

Here, Allāh (subhānahu wa ta’ālā) has mentioned the worship of Himself: He has commanded you to worship Him and to not worship idols, or graves, or the sun, or the moon, or the Messengers, or the angels, or anything besides Allāh and then the second command: Be good to your parents.

Allāh (subhānahu wa ta’ālā) has mentioned this in Sūrat an-Nisā’ and elsewhere in the Qur’ān. And Allāh subhānahu wa ta’ālā has stated:

“And we have enjoined upon man to be good to his parents and his mother carried him with hardship and weakness and she gave birth to him with difficulty and hardship.” [Sūrat al-Ahqāf: 15]

So this is what Allāh (subhānahu wa ta’ālā) has enjoined upon us in His Book. And likewise, Allāh (subhānahu wa ta’ālā) has said:

“And we have enjoined upon man to be dutiful and good to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship…” [Sūrat Luqmān: 14]

And this is, of course, referring to the pregnancy and the delivery of the child by the mother and then the weaning that lasts for two years. This is hardship upon hardship and devotion. And a person could not repay his mother, even if he wanted it. And we will cover something of this, inshā’ Allāh, in a future ahādīth.

And the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) enjoined upon the Ummah dutiful conduct with parents. And Allāh (subhānahu wa ta’ālā) made it a mighty affair. That’s why the dutifulness to parents is mentioned plentifully in the Qur’ān and in the ahādīth of the Messenger (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam). The Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) gave precedence to the rights of parents over other affairs, like Jihād upon the battlefield, as occurs in this particular hadīth and other ahādīth: A man approached the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and he said to him: “I want to fight alongside you, O Messenger of Allāh.” So the Messenger of Allāh (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said to him: “Are your parents still alive?” The man replied: “Yes.” So then the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “That’s where your striving should be, in serving them.”

This hadīth is reported by Imām al-Bukhārī and also Imām Muslim from the hadīth of ‘Abdullāh bin ‘Amr ibnul ‘Ās (radhiyallāhu ‘anhumā).

So he gave precedence to obedience of parents, being dutiful and kind to them and serving them, over Jihād in Allāh’s way due to the greatness of the rights of parents and the greatness of the obligation of serving them. You serve them in terms of your speech and your actions, seeking in that the pleasure of Allāh, the Great and the Most High.

So no doubt this is a tremendous affair, my brothers and my sisters, my nieces and my nephews, my sons and my daughters. A mighty affair, the affair of being dutiful to one’s parents, because a day will come and your parents will not be there. And this is the way of things: that the parents die before their children. And the way of things is also that many children, sons and daughters, regret not serving their parents and knowing that this is an affair they will be asked about on the Day of Judgment.

The third affair the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) mentioned is Jihād in Allāh’s cause. And Jihād begins with the Jihād of the nafs which is Jihād against one’s self. That a person strives against his nafs until a person takes control of his soul and his desires and he does that which Allāh has commanded him with. And he abandons that which Allāh has prohibited him from. And he strives to learn and to understand the Dīn and he acts upon what he knows and he calls his family to it, his neighbours, his relatives, his colleagues, his friends. He calls to that which he’s upon.

When he is upon that learning, and studying, and obedience to Allāh and after that he calls to that and he is patient upon that, then he can perform Jihād upon the battlefield by enrolling himself into a governmental Muslim army or navy or air force. Muslim governments have armies so he is recruited or he enrols himself into it. And when he is called to fight, he goes out under the banner of the Muslim leader. He does not fight like those terrorists, no ― that is not Jihād, that is corruption. Rather, he is recruited into an army or when the Muslim ruler calls him, he joins his army and he fights to make high the kalimah of “lā ilāha illa Allāh” and he fights to repel oppression and to repel transgression that is committed against the Muslims that are harmed, so he strives for the sake of Allāh. So upon that, we will finish today’s class.

Wa jazākum Allāhu khayr, wal hamdulillāhi Rabbil ‘ālamīn, wa sallallāhu ‘alā nabiyyinā Muhammad wa ‘alā ālihi wa sahbihi wa sallam.

(Transcribed by Umm Hidaayah, may Allah reward her)

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