Explanation of the Book of Sunnah, Sunan Ibn Mājah
Chapter 1: ‘Following the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam).’ Based on the explanation of the noble Scholar, the Sheikh, ʿAbdul Muhsin al-ʿAbbād (may Allah preserve him) with additional notes.
Hadeeth Number 4
The author, Muhammad Ibn Yazeed Ibn Mājah Al-Qazweeni (d. 273 AH, rahimahullāh) said:
Muhammad bin ‘Abdillah bin Numayr narrated to us, saying that Zakariyyah bin ‘Adi narrated to us, from ibn ul-Mubārak, from Muhammad bin Sooqah, from Abu Ja’far who said:
كان ابن عمر إذا سمع من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم حديثا لم يعده ولم يقصره دونه
“Whenever Ibn ‘Umar heard a narration of Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) he would do no more than it and no less than it.”
(Saheeh: Also reported by Al-Humaydi in al-Musnad, Ad-Dārimi in as-Sunan, Ibn Hibbān in al-Mustadrak, and declared saheeh by Al-Albāni)
As for the statement, ‘he would not do more than it’ this means that he would not go beyond it, by adding to it anything that was not from the Messenger of Allah (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam). His saying, ‘and he would not do any less than it,’ means that he would not abandon it or leave off acting upon it, and he would not come with a command that he (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) did not command with. So, there was not with Ibn ‘Umar (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā) any excess, nor any falling short, nor any extremism nor any neglect, rather he was just, balanced and took the middle way.
This is the balanced way of Religion: that a person is steadfast on the Straight Path (Sirāt al-Mustaqeem), without exaggeration, without negligence, without adding to it and without diminishing anything from it. So, a person merely follows the Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) in that which he came with without going beyond its limits and without falling short. Upon each person is that he does whatever he has been commanded with, with perfection and completion.
The two paths that Shaytān enters to deviate the people.
There are two paths with which Shaytān enters in order to deviate the people:
- At-Tajāwuz: going beyond the limits of what he has been commanded with.
- At-Taqseer: falling short by not fulfilling the commands.
So, if Shaytān sees that a person is welcoming and open to worship, then he will come to him inciting him to do more, and to add to his worship with innovated practices—affairs that Allah has not given any authority for. However, if he sees that a person turns away from following the Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) and turns away from Allah’s worship, then he will encourage him to do even less, to be more negligent and to follow his desires, such that he causes him to abandon the obligations or to be deficient in acting upon them.
So Shaytān desires that a person leaves off following the Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam), either by increasing upon that which he came with, by way of bid’ah, or by way of falling short—because Iblees does not care which way the person leaves the obedience of Allah, whether it is by exceeding the limits or by falling short.
There is a beautiful statement from Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) in his book Ighāthat al-Luhfān min Masā’id ash-Shaytān (vol. 1): From the most amazing scheming and plotting of Shaytān is that he watches the person and watches his soul until he comes to know which of the two overpowers the other: his courage to perform acts of ‘ibādah, or by his laziness and weakness [in righteous actions]. If he sees that the person is lazy and weak, then he takes him in his weakness and weak resolve and he turns him away from doing what he is commanded with, and he makes obedience burdensome upon him. He makes it easy for him to abandon obedience to Allah, until he abandons it altogether or until he makes him deficient and lax in obeying Allah. If, however, Shaytān sees that a person is strong in resolve, then he causes him to belittle what he is doing and consider it to be insignificant and insufficient. He will make the person think that he needs to do more. So, in the first instance, he makes the person fall short, and in the second, he makes him exceed the limits. It was stated by one of the Salaf, ‘There is not a command that Allah has ordered except that the Shaytān urges a person in one of two directions regarding that command: either towards neglect of it or towards going beyond the limits and exaggeration. Shaytān does not care which of the two is dominant.’ End.
Sheikh al-Fawzān commented that when Shaytān comes to the one who he wishes to be negligent in obedience to Allah, he brings the bid’ah of the Murji’ah, because the Murji’ah claim that actions are not from Eemān, and that Eemān is fixed and does not change and whether you act or not, your Eemān is still at one level. On the other hand, he beautifies exaggeration for the one who is ardent in worship, and this is from the direction of the Khawārij who exaggerate in worship. (End)
Most of the people, except a very few, are seized and entrenched into one of these two valleys: the valley of neglect and deficiency, or the valley of excess and going beyond bounds. Only a few of the people are firmly grounded upon the path of Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) and his companions.
So, there are people who Shaytān causes to fall short in the obligations of purification whereas others he will cause to go beyond the limits, such as washing each limb more than three times due to the whisperings of Shaytān. He will cause some to be negligent in paying the zakah, whereas others he will cause to go overboard such that they give away all that they possess and then they have to rely on others for their needs. He causes some (like the Sufis) to neglect taking what they need of food, drink and clothing to the extent that they harm their bodies and their hearts, yet others he causes to take more than they need thus, likewise causing harm to their hearts and bodies.
There are also those people who he causes to fall short with respect to the rights of the Prophets and their inheritors (i.e., the scholars) resulting in killing them, whilst another group he causes to exaggerate with the Prophets and their inheritors leading them to worship them as the Christians did with ‘Isā Ibn Maryam (‘alaihimas-salām)—and as the extreme Sufi grave-worshippers do when they call for aid and assistance from Messenger of Allah (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) and others amongst the inhabitants of the graves.
Ibn al-Qayyum (rahimahullah) gives many such examples of the scheming and plotting of Shaytān and ends by saying, ‘This is a vast chapter, and were we to follow it up with more examples, then a large volume would be filled, but we have only mentioned a small insight into them.’
For this reason, the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) mentioned the Hadeeth that has preceded: “Jannah is surrounded by those things that are disliked, and the hellfire is surrounded by desires and lusts.” Therefore, the path to Jannah involves hardships and difficulties, and the path to hellfire is through desires.
There is a longer version of this hadeeth reported by at-Tirmidhi and others: Abu Hurairah (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) said that the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said:
“When Allah created Paradise and Hell, He (the Most Perfect) sent Jibreel first to Paradise and said to him, ‘Look at it and what I have prepared for its inhabitants.’ So, Jibreel looked at it and what Allah had prepared in it, so he returned to Allah and said, ‘Indeed by Your might, no one shall hear of it except that he will enter into it.’
Then Allah ordered that Paradise be surrounded with hardships and then told Jibreel to return to it and look at it. Jibreel went again and saw that it was surrounded with hardships so he returned to Allah and said, ‘By Your Might, I fear that none shall enter it now!’
Then Allah said to Jibreel, ‘Now go to the Hellfire and look at it and what I have prepared for its inhabitants.’ So, Jibreel went and saw that one part of it was consuming the other due to its ferocity. He returned and said, ‘By Your Might, none shall hear of it, and then enter it.’
Then Allah ordered that it be surrounded with desires, and He told Jibreel to return to it. When he saw it he returned to Allah and said, ‘By Your Might, I now fear that none shall be saved from it, rather they will enter it.’”
So, there is hardship and difficulty in the path to Jannah and it requires patience, whereas the path to the hellfire is littered with whims and desires, so whoever is patient with the hardships, such as the hardships that are found in the commands, then his end will be a good end. Whoever is not patient with the prohibitions, then he will fall into them.
The Three Categories of Patience
For this reason, patience is divided into three categories:
- Patience upon the obedience of Allah.
- Patience with staying away from disobedience to Allah.
- Patience upon the pre-decree of Allah.
Sheikh al-’Uthaymeen (rahimahullah) wrote in his explanation of Riyadh us-Sāliheen:
“Sabr, in the language, means to hold back and restrain oneself. As for its intent in the Sharee’ah, it is to restrain the soul with respect to 3 matters:
- Upon obedience to Allah.
- Upon the prohibitions of Allah.
- Upon the unpleasant and agonising decrees of Allah.
These are the 3 types of sabr that the people of knowledge have mentioned:
The first type is that a person is patient upon the obedience of Allah, because obedience is heavy upon the soul and some aspects of it are difficult upon a person, and it can be difficult upon the body such that a person experiences inability and fatigue. A person may even experience financial difficulty such as when paying Zakah or making Hajj, and all of these hardships necessitate patience, just As Allah the Most High says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اصْبِرُوا وَصَابِرُوا وَرَابِطُوا وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
“O you who believe, endure patiently, and be more patient (than your enemy) and guard your territory, and fear Allah so that you may be successful.” (Surah Aali ‘Imrān 3:200).
The second type is to be patient with regard to staying away from the prohibitions, and that is because the soul incites a person towards evil so he must show patience against his soul by restraining himself from lying, cheating, consuming the wealth of others, dealing with interest, fornication, drinking wine, theft and other prohibited acts. So, a person must restrain himself so that he does not commit these sins—and this also requires patience and perseverance.
The third type is being patient upon the painful decree (Qadar) of Allah. The decree of Allah is of two types:
- Agreeable and pleasing. 2. Painful and unpleasant.
That which is pleasing requires being thankful to Allah by obeying Him. That which is unpleasant and painful may be that a person is put to trial in his body, or that he loses his wealth, or has family problems—the types of calamities are numerous and all of them require patience and perseverance, and a person is patient by restraining himself from expressing his displeasure on his tongue or heart or limbs. This is because when a person is afflicted with a calamity, he is in one of four states:
The Four States that People Fall Into When Afflicted with Calamity
- A person is angry and resentful—this is sinful.
- He is patient.
- He is pleased.
- He is thankful—this is the highest level.
As for the first state (being angry and resentful), the person shows his displeasure either in his heart, or upon his tongue or upon his limbs. As for his displeasure in the heart, then it is that he shows his displeasure and even resentfulness to his Lord, or he feels that Allah has given him a loss, as if Allah had no right to take away what the servant had—and we seek refuge in Allah from this. He may even feel that Allah has oppressed him through this calamity.
Showing displeasure on the tongue is that he calls out by saying ‘Woe to me! Ruin to me!’ and the likes. Or that he curses time, or he utters other forbidden statements, such as, ‘Why did this happen to me!’ We cannot question Allah in these matters (as if you are questioning His judgement).
Displeasure with the limbs involves slapping the cheeks, tearing the clothes, striking the head, etc., thus resulting in them being afflicted with two calamities: a calamity in their religion due to their discontentment and displeasure, and a calamity in their worldly life due to the original calamity that afflicted them.
The second state is the state of being patient such that the person restrains and controls his soul—he dislikes the calamity, but he is patient and does not say anything on his tongue to displease Allah—and he does not do anything with his limbs that would earn the anger of Allah and he does not think badly of Allah at all in his heart. He does not have any bad suspicions towards Allah. So, he is patient though he dislikes the unpleasantness of that which was decreed for him.
The third state is that of having pleasure with the calamity such that his chest is expanded and opened due to the calamity. He is in complete satisfaction—he is pleased with it with a pleasure that is complete, almost, if not as if he was not afflicted in the first place.
The fourth and highest state is that of being thankful such that the afflicted person thanks Allah for the calamity. When the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) used to see something that caused him displeasure, he would say الحمد لله على كل حال – ‘All praise is for Allah in every condition’.
Such a person is thankful to Allah because he knows that Allah will reward him as a result of that calamity. It is mentioned from one of the pious female worshippers that she was afflicted with something in her finger, so she praised Allah for allowing that affliction to occur. So, she was asked, ‘How are you praising Allah whilst you are being afflicted?’ She replied, ‘Indeed the sweetness of its reward gives me comfort from its agony, so I am patient with it.’
The first of the above four states (that of being angry and resentful) is harām.
So, we must have patience in obedience to Allah, even if it involves hardship upon the souls, because the end result of that is praiseworthy. And we must have patience from disobeying Allah, even if the souls incline towards it, because the end result of falling into sin is harmful.
The Men in the Chain of Narration
Muhammad bin ‘Abdillah bin Numayr: He is thiqah (trustworthy and reliable), and all of the 6 books narrate from him.
Zakariyyah bin ‘Adiyy: He is thiqah (trustworthy and reliable); all the 6 books narrate from him except Abu Dāwud, but he does report from him in his ‘al-Marāseel.’
Ibn al-Mubārak: He is ‘Abdullah Ibn al-Mubārak al-Marwazi, he is thiqah (trustworthy and reliable) and all the 6 books narrate from him.
Muhammad Ibn Sooqah: He is thiqah (trustworthy and reliable), and all the 6 books narrate from him.
Abu Ja’far: He is Muhammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Hussein well known as ‘al-Bāqir,’ he is thiqah (trustworthy and reliable) and all the 6 books narrate from him.
Ibn ‘Umar: He is ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattāb (radiyallahu ‘anhumā), a noble companion who is from the four ‘Abādillah (the four ‘Abdullahs) from amongst the Sahābah, and one of the seven most prolific narrators of the Ahādeeth of Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam).
The four ‘Abādilah are:
- ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā)
- ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbās (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā)
- ‘Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā)
- ‘Abdullah ibn al-’Amr ibn al-’Aas (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā)
Ibn Salāh said that the number of ‘Abdullahs amongst the Sahābah is over 220, whereas some of the scholars have mentioned up to 300, but those who are given the specific title of ‘Abādillah are the above four. Imām as-Suyooti (rahimahullah) said: From the Sahābah, there are those who are known as the ‘Abādilah, and when they are mentioned, there are four that come to mind, and they are Ibn ‘Umar, Ibn ‘Abbās, Ibn az-Zubayr and Ibn ‘Amr ibn al-’Aas, but not ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood as Imām Ahmad said. Imām al-Bayhaqi mentioned that ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood was not included amongst them because he died early, well before them, whereas the rest of them lived on until their knowledge became such that it was relied upon as proof. If these four agreed on a matter, it would be said, ‘This is the saying of the ‘Abādilah.’ Ibn Mas’ood was not amongst them (despite his virtue and great knowledge) because he died in 32H whereas the other four died a lot later: Ibn ‘Umar in 73H, Ibn ‘Abbās in 68H, Ibn az-Zubayr in 73H and Ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas in 65H.
The seven most prolific narrators of Hadeeth (in order) are:
- Abu Hurairah, ‘Abdur Rahmān bin Sakhr ad-Dawsi (radiyallāhu ‘anhu), (d.59H), narrated 5347 ahadeeth.
- ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā), (d.73H), narrated 2630 ahadeeth.
- Anas bin Mālik (radiyallāhu ‘anhu), (d.93H), narrated 2286 ahadeeth
- ‘A’ishah bint Abi Bakr, Umm ul-Mu’mineen (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā), (d.58H), narrated 2210 ahadeeth.
- ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbās (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā), (d.68H), narrated 1660 ahadeeth.
- Jābir bin ‘Abdillah al-Ansāri (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā), (d.78H), narrated 1540 ahadeeth.
- Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri, Sa’d bin Mālik bin Sinān (radiyallāhu ‘anhu), (d.74H), narrated 1170 ahadeeth.
Their number is restricted to 7 because these are the only 7 who narrated more than 1000 ahadeeth each.
More information regarding Abu Ja’far al-Bāqir
He is the father of Ja’far as-Sādiq, and his father was Zain al-‘Ābideen ‘Ali bin al-Hussein—one of the nobles and chiefs of the household of the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam), for Aal al-Bayt—he is from their virtuous ones. He was born in 56H and died in 114H and was an scholar, a leader and an elder who gathered between knowledge and action upon it, dignity, honour, trustworthiness and composure. He was called ‘al-Bāqir’ because he was vast and expansive in knowledge (tabaqqara). He was acquainted with the foundations and subtleties of knowledge and was an Imām and a Mujtahid, well versed in the Book of Allah, high in rank, and the huffādh (the great scholars of hadeeth) have agreed that his narrations are used as a proof. He is an Imām of Ahlus-Sunnah from Ahlul-Bayt (family of the Prophet) through the lineage of Fātimah (radiyallāhu ‘anhā).
He is the third of the twelve Imāms of those who call themselves ‘The Twelvers’ from amongst the Rāfidah who claim infallibility for all twelve of their Imāms.
The ‘aqeedah of Abu Ja’far al-Bāqir was sound and correct, he had fine speech concerning Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā), and this is in opposition to what the Rāfidah ascribe to him and to his son Ja’far as-Sādiq—they lie upon them saying that they used to revile the two sheikhs Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā).
Ibn ‘Asākir (rahimahullāh) speaks at length and mentions many narrations from Abu Ja’far al-Bāqir and his son, Ja’far as-Sādiq, where they both praised Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā) and showed allegiance to them, and they would free themselves from those who reviled them.
Imām adh-Dhahabi (rahimahullah) stated in his book as-Seer ‘A’lām an-Nubalā (vol. 4 pp. 402-403): Ibn Fudayl from Sālim bin Abee Hafsah that he said, ‘I asked Abu Ja’far (al-Bāqir) and his son Ja’far as-Sādiq concerning Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā) and both of them said to me: ‘O Sālim, hold allegiance to them and free yourself from those who are their enemies, for indeed the two of them were Imāms of guidance.’
This Sālim (who narrated the above) had with him something of tashayyu’ (the ideas of the Shee’ah) but he still spread this truthful speech and he recognised the excellence for the people of excellence by the people of excellence!
Likewise, it was narrated from Ibn Fudhail who was a Shi’ee, though he was trustworthy in his narrations because his level of tashayyu’ was not extreme.
Imām adh-Dhahabi continued, saying, ‘So, Allah caused the Shee’ah to stumble and trip in our times, and how He has drowned them in their ignorance and their lies, such that they revile the two sheikhs and the two ministers of al-Mustafa, Muhammad (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam), yet they narrate this truthful saying from al-Bāqir and as-Sādiq, and this is from their deception.’
Sheikh al-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) stated in Minhāj as-Sunnah (vol. 2, pp. 368-369):
“The Imāmiyyah (referring to the Rāfidah) oppose Ahlul-Bayt in practically all of their Usool (the fundamentals of the religion) for there was not from the Imāms of Ahlul-Bayt anyone, whether it be ‘Ali, Hussein or Abu Ja’far al-Bāqir or his son as-Sādiq, who denied the Ru’yah (seeing of Allah by the believers on the Day of Resurrection), nor did anyone of them say that the Qur’ān was created, nor did anyone of them deny the pre-decree or anyone who claimed revelation for ‘Ali (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) and nor did anyone of them claim infallibility for the Twelve Imāms. None of them ever reviled Abu Bakr or ‘Umar (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā)—rather what is narrated and established by mutawātir reports (with many chains of narration) from them is that which is known and present—and that is what Ahlus-Sunnah rely upon.
The sheikhs of the Rāfidah themselves affirm and acknowledge that their beliefs in the subject of Tawheed and the Attributes of Allah and the pre-decree is not taken from the Book of Allah, nor from the Sunnah and nor from the Imāms of Ahlul-Bayt, rather they claim that it is the intellect (‘aql) that guides them to their beliefs. This is what the Mu’tazilah also say and, in reality, the Rāfidah take their beliefs from the Mu’tazilah, and they (the Mu’tazilah) are their sheikhs in the affair of Tawheed and justice (i.e., regarding pre-decree).”
This narration is the first of the Zawā’id of ibn Mājah, i.e., it is additional to what is reported in the other five books of Hadeeth: Bukhāri, Muslim, Abu Dawood, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasā’ee.
والحمد لله رب العالمين وصلى الله على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين
سبحانك اللهم وبحمدك أشهد أن لا إله إلا أنت، أستغفرك وأتوب إليك
Abu Khadeejah Abdul-Wāhid.
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