Disbelief! Or is it…?

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaah

Following on from this previous post, below is some interesting research I’ve managed to dig up.

Before delving into this topic however, it’s important we understand that in the Islamic sciences, whether it be ‘Aqeedah, Fiqh, Tafseer etc, words and their meanings are always taken from two perspectives. They are either looked at linguistically (لُغَةً) or legalistically (شَرْعاً) – majority of the time, both are used to explain concepts. An example is the term ‘Mandoob’ (مندوب). Linguistically, it comes from the word ‘nadb’ which means a call towards an important matter’. In Sharee’ah, however this term is given to the recommended acts after the faraa’idh (obligatory acts).

This post will be going into all the different linguistical meanings of the word kaafir (كَافِر), however only one meaning is covered in the Islamic sciences, and that is the legalistic term – kaafir as in ‘a disbeliever’ etc.
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The verb kafara كَفرَ literally means to cover up/conceal something (التغطِيَة). This is the asl (original meaning).

As mentioned previously, kaafir is also an ingrate who is ungrateful to the favours and good given to him by someone. It is said كُفْرُ النعمة (to ‘disbelieve’ in the favour/blessing).

The disbeliever who chooses to disbelieve in his Lord can have both meanings applied to him as Ibn as-Sakeet mentions: “The disbeliever is called ‘kaafir’ because he has covered up the blessings of Allaah.” Al-Azhari said, “And the blessings of Allaah are His verses which all point to His Oneness (Tawheed).”

The plurals of the word ‘kaafir’ (when used in above meanings) are: Kuffaar (كُفَّار), Kafara (كَفَرَة), and Kifaar (كِفارٌ)
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The farmer is also called ‘kaafir’ because he covers up the seed after planting it. Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) uses this meaning in various verses,

كمَثَلِ غَيْثٍ أَعْجَبَ الكفارَ نباتُه
“as the likeness of vegetation after rain, thereof the growth is pleasing to the tiller (kuffaar)…” [al-Hadeed: 20]

It is even said that the term used in this verse (kuffaar) points to the disbelievers who disbelieve in Allaah (as opposed to ‘farmers’) because they are the most pleased with the beauty and glamour of this world compared to the believers.
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The night is also called ‘kaafir’ because according to the Sihaah, it covers up everything with its darkness. It is said, “The night covered up (كَفَرَ) the footsteps of its companion”, just like it’s said, “Ignorance has covered up (كَفَرَ) the knowledge of so-and-so”
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The sea is also termed ‘kaafir’ due to the fact that it hides and covers up what is beneath it. The plural of kaafir here would be ‘kifaar’

Al-Lihyaani said in a piece of poetry,

وغُرِّقَتِ الفراعِنَةُ الكِفَارُ
“And the Pharoahs were drowned by the kifaar (seas)”

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Wide valleys and rivers are also called ‘kaafir’ and in fact there is a river somewhere in the peninsula called ‘kaafir!’
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The rain hasn’t escaped all the name-calling either! Yes, مَطَر (rain) is also termed kaafir. Ibn Bari in his explanation of ‘Asaa said, “الكافرُ المطرُ, – the rain is (called) kaafir.” And he recited the lines of poetry,

وحَدَّثَها الرُّوَّادُ أَنْ ليس بينهما
وبين قُرَى نَجْرانَ والشامِ، كافِرُ

“And the visitors said to her that there was not between them and the villages of Najran and Shaam, a kaafir (rain)”

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Dark clouds are also referred to as ‘kaafir’. Darkness in general is called kaafir and kafr because again, it covers what is under it. Dust and sand are also called kafr due to the same reason.
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Amazingly, the tar that is used to paint ships is also a kaafir! This is due to its extremely dark colour and the fact that it covers and conceals everything its painted with.
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And finally, as mentioned by Ibn as-Sakeet, the person who wears his armour and weapons and then conceals it with his normal clothes is termed as ‘kaafir’ because he is concealing all his weaponry.

A very interesting piece from al-Layth and al-Azhari:

Al-Layth: “It is said that the Kaafir (disbeliever) is called such because disbelief has covered up his heart.”
Al-Azhari said: “This statement of al-Layth requires some clarification, that in language ‘Kufr’ means ‘to cover up’ and ‘wrap.’ Hence the kaafir possesses disbelief i.e. a covering over his heart due to his disbelief. This is just like the one covered up in weapons (silaah) is called ‘kaafir’ (linguistically).”

“And there is a better explanation than he alluded to and that is: When Allaah called the disbeliever to His Oneness (Tawheed), He has indeed called him to His blessings and liked for him to answer (that call). So when he (the disbeliever) refused what Allah had called him to, then he is a kaafir (ingrate) to the blessing of Allaah, i.e. covered up and concealed the blessing by his refusal.

And in the hadeeth of the Messenger (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam), when he said in his farewell pilgrimage: “Do not become disbelievers (kaafireen) after me by striking the necks of one another.”

Abu Mansoor said, “In his saying there are 2 meanings (for this):

Firstly - ‘kaafireen’ i.e. wearing armour, weaponry and artillery (1 of the meanings above taken), preparing militarily to fight (against one’s brother)…”
Secondly - ‘kaafireen’ i.e. like what the khawaarij did, in considering the people to be disbelievers and pronouncing takfeer upon them and this is like his (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam)’s saying, “Whoever says to his brother ‘O kaafir’ then one of them is surely that”…

Isn’t this just incredible?! Mashaa’Allaah, there was so much information and they were all amazingly linked into one another, but I’ve had to cut it short as post was getting too long.

I highly recommend everyone (including myself) to study arabic before embarking on the Islamic sciences because the depth it’ll brings to your studies is breath-taking.

Waffaqakumullaahu jamee’an
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[Information taken from Lisaan al-Arab]

H3 – It’s a reality of your heart

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaah

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Memorisation of the Qur’aan guides you to the Straight Path

We know for sure that if a youth keeps himself busy in the memorisation of the Qur’aan from a young age, then that will keep him busy from falling into sin and disobedience. From there, he will be going from memorisation to revision and from studying the tafseer (interpretation) of those verses to striving upon learning the Asbaab an-Nuzool (causes for revelation). Like that he’ll find himself moving from knowledge to knowledge until at the end of the matter, he becomes a scholar from the righteous scholars of this Ummah

Memorising Qur’aan means taking advantage of the moments of life

Indeed, the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) ordered us to advantage of every moment of our lives and use it in the obedience of Allaah. He (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) said,

“Take benefit of five before five:
your youth before your old age,
your health before your sickness,
your wealth before your poverty,
your free-time before your preoccupation,
and your life before your death.” [1]

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In a time when the people of this world are busy with their Dunya and its vanities, and they make their gatherings one of amusement, heedlessness and slander – the people of Qur’aan are taking advantage of every moment and living by the Qur’aan, in heart and soul, reciting it, memorising it, pondering over it and acting upon it.

Beloved brothers and sisters, indeed the nafs (soul) commands evil and if you do not busy it in obedience, it will busy you in disobedience. Time is like a sword, if you do not cut it, it will cut you – so take advantage of life… memorise the Book of Allaah and act upon it.

The Qur’aan is a cure for the hardening of the heart

Many people complain about the hardness of their hearts and they ask for the cure to it, so we say to them: Indeed, the greatest way to cure the hardness of the heart is to draw closer to the Book of Allaah ‘azza wa jall.


“Allah has sent down the best statement, a Book, its parts resembling each other in goodness and truth, oft-repeated.
The skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it.
Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allah.
That is the guidance of Allah.
He Guides therewith whom He pleases and whomever Allah sends astray, for him there is no guide.” [Az-Zumar: 23]

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The Qur’aan increases your Imaan

Whoever wishes for an increase in Imaan day after day, then upon him is (recourse) to the Book of Allaah, for He (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) has said,

“The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses are recited unto them, they increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone)” [Al-Anfaal: 2]

He also said,

“And whenever there comes down a Surah (chapter from the Quran), some of them (hypocrites) say: “Which of you has had his Faith increased by it?” As for those who believe, it has increased their Faith, and they rejoice.” [At-Tawbah: 124]

For whenever you read in the Qur’aan how Allaah gave victory to His slaves, the Prophets and Messengers (`alayhumusalaam) and brought defeat to the disbelievers, you’ll increase in Imaan. When you read about the Promise of Allaah to His believing servants, the promise of Paradise and pleasure… and His stern warnings of anger and hellfire to the disbelievers, you’ll increase in Imaan.

Narrated from Jundub (radhi’Allaahu `anhu) that he said, “We were young youth with the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam), so we learnt Imaan before we learnt Qur’aan, then we learnt Qur’aan and it increased our Imaan.” [2]

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Indeed in the Messenger of Allaah you have a great example

Allaah Ta’aala said,

“Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad SAW) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.” [Al-Ahzaab: 21]

The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) used to memorise the Qur’aan and he used to be continuous in its recitation. Jibreel (`alayhisalaam) used to review it with him once every year and in the year that he (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) was taken (i.e. passed away), he came to him twice. So whoever memorised the Qur’aan, then he has indeed taken the beloved as an example.

Memorisation of Qur’aan is from the special characteristics of this Ummah

Hifdh al-Qur’aan is from the special characteristics of the Ummah of Muhammad (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam). Ibn al-Jazari (rahimahullaah) said: “The transmission of Qur’aan by reliance upon memorisation (of by heart) and not upon script in the mus-haf and in books – this is from the most noble of characteristics given to this Ummah by Allaah Ta’aala.” He also said, “Allaah ta’aala has informed us that the Qur’aan does not need to be confined – in preserving it – to a page that can be washed with water. Instead it is read in all states as has been narrated in the description of this Ummah “Their scriptures are in their hearts” – and this is different to the people of the Book who do not memorise it except in (referring to) the Books, they do not read it except by looking at it and it is never off by heart.

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[1] al-Haakim and al-Bayhaqi – saheeh al-Jaami’ (1077)
[2] Nuzhat al-Fudhalaa (383/1)

All is not what it seems!

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaah

Words are not always what they seem to be.

Here, 3 poems are presented – in most of the cases, the same word is used (sometimes a derivative of it) and in each case it means something different!

رَأيْتُ فِي كَافرٍ كافرَ بنَ كافرٍ يَكْفُرُ في كافرٍ عند كافرٍ

“I saw in the field (kaafir), a farmer son of a farmer (Kaafir ibn kaafirin), digging ( yakfuru) in the field (kaafir) near a wide valley (kaafir)”

The verb ‘كَفَرَ‘ literally means to cover up/hide, it also means to be ungrateful. The farmer will dig, bury and cover up a seed, ready to grow it, whilst a disbeliever in his Lord is an ingrate to the favours of his Lord and he indeed covers up the Truth when it comes to him…

Seas and wide lakes are also sometimes called ‘Kaafir’ because according to Lisaan al-Arab, they cover what is beneath them.

And you thought kaafir just meant someone who disbelieved!

The next post will inshaa’Allaah be going through this topic in more details… watch this space.

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Consider this… what does it mean to you?

الخِيَارُ خِيَارُ الخِيَارِ

Khiyaar is the khiyaar of the khiyaar :-D

It means:

“Cucumber is the choice of the Elite”

The term خيار here means 3 different things each time! [Cucumber/choice/the elite]

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بِجَدِّي لا بجِدِّي كلُ مجدٍ *** فهل جدٌّ بلا جِدٍّ بمُجْدِي؟

The poet says,

Every glory is by exertion and not by luck

Is luck without any exertion of any glory?

جدّ (with fat-ha and kasra) also has an extensive range of meanings from seriousness, effort/exertion to luck and also grandfather!

*Jazaakillaahu khayran to my study partner who mentioned these poems to me during our fiqh sessions :-)

H2 – People of Qiraa’a and Qur’aan

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaah

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Indeed, reciting the Qur’aan and memorising it has benefits that cannot be counted so let us look around at these points of benefit so they can lead us and our children onto Hifdh al-Qur’aan (memorisation of Qur’aan).

People of Qur’aan are a people of Exalted Rank

The Noble Qur’aan is the Word of Allaah which is not approached by falsehood neither from before it nor from behind it, and whoever is blessed by Allaah to recite it all or memorise it all, then that is the highest objective, the lofty rank that necks stretch forth to attain.

Allaah lightens up the heart of the recitor with the noor (light) of Imaan and He protects him from the darkness of the Day of Judgement. He distances him away from unbearable difficulties, guides him to the straight path, expands his chest with it and He makes the angels supplicate for the bearer of Qur’aan with mercy and forgiveness. It is by the Qur’aan that hearts and homes are built, and they are sustained and enveloped by goodness and blessings. The shayaateen leave it and stay away from it, and Allaah elevates the capabilities of the Qaari’ (recitor/memoriser of Qur’aan) in this world and in the Hereafter.

The People of Qur’aan hope for a trade that will never perish

The people of Qur’aan who live with it by their hearts and souls, without desiring to attain by it the vanities of this temporary life – they hope for a trade and a gain that that will never perish. Rather Allaah has bore witness to their righteousness. He (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) has said,

“Verily, those who recite the Book of Allah (this Quran), and perform As-Salat, and spend (in charity) out of what We have provided for them, secretly and openly, hope for a (sure) trade-gain that will never perish. That He may pay them their wages in full, and increase them, out of His Grace. Verily! He is OftForgiving, Most Ready to appreciate.”

[al-Faatir: 29-30]

Qataadah (radhi’Allaahu ‘anhu) used to say whenever he read this verse: “This is the verse of the Qurraa’ (recitors).” [1] – and that is because of what it confirms for them from great reward and multiplied thawaab, and they do not take pleasure in just abundant reward, but rather Allaah increases them in honour and virtue. Al-Qurtubi said: “This increase is intercession in the Hereafter.” [2]

We cannot do without the Book of Allaah ‘azza wa jall

Ibn ‘Abdil-Barr said, “The Qur’aan is the foundation of knowledge, so whoever memorised it before his coming of age (i.e. puberty), then he went along to study whatever would aid his understanding of it from language, then that would be a great help for him in attaining his objective from it (i.e. knowledge).” [3]

Indeed no muslim can do without the Book of Allaah – ever. For the faqeeh (scholar) uses its verses to derive evidences, the one who teaches people ‘Aqeedah (creed) requires every verse in the Book and the one who teaches them the Sunnan of Allaah in past nations also has a need towards the Book of Allaah.

So in a nutshell, the Qur’aan is the course and path for a complete life and no Muslim can ever without it, regardless of his condition or state.
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[1] Tafseer Ibn Kathir (3/562)
[2] Tafseer al-Qurtubi (14/345)
[3] Saheeh Jaami bayaan al-’ilm wa fadhlihi (454)

H1 – Introduction & Revival of the Ummah

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaah

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Introduction

Innal hamdalillaah wa-salaatu wa-salaamu ‘alaa Rasoolillaah

Indeed, the Noble Qur’aan is the Book of Allaah which is the Seal of all the Scriptures… it is the course for a complete life that ensures prosperity and happiness for the servant in this life and in the Hereafter. It is the inimitable Word of Allaah that is not approached by falsehood neither from before it nor from behind it.

Before the advent of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam), Mankind was in the darkness of shirk and kufraan (disbelief) until the Messenger (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) came with the Book of Allaah ‘azza wa jall, to take this entire universe out from this darkness into the lights of Tawheed and Imaan – and for this reason, Allaah subhaanahu wa ta’aala has said about this great Book,

“…(This is) a Book which We have revealed unto you in order that you might lead mankind out of darkness into light by their Lord’s Leave to the Path of the All-Mighty, the Owner of all Praise.” [Ibraaheem: 1]

So this Ummah turned around with this Book and turned away from shirk and jaahiliyyah (ignorance) towards guidance and tawheed, away from the worship of creation to the worship of the Lord of creation and went from being an Ummah that lived along the margins of life to one that took leadership over Mankind and steered it towards the success of both worlds.

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The Noble Qur’aan came to train up an Ummah, to produce a society and to build a well-functioning system… and this training requires a portion of time and it needs to have an effect. It needs to act upon a Word and it needs to have a movement that expresses these actions and effects into a visible reality for the people.

Contemplate over the saying of ‘Aisha (radi’Allaahu ‘anhaa) when she was asked about the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam), she said – as is narrated in Sahih Muslim – “His character was the Qur’aan.”

So whoever wishes to take on the character of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam), then he needs to take hold of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah of the leader of Mankind (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam).

Indeed the Companions of the Prophet knew with certainty that victory does not come except when the Ummah holds firmly to the Book of its Lord and the Sunnah of its Prophet. Here we have the example of Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqaas (radi’Allaahu ‘anhu) who would walk past the tents of the Mujaahideen in the battle of Qaadisiyyah. If he heard Qur’aan being recited from that tent, he would say ‘From here does victory come’ and if he found the people of the tent heedless from the recitation of Qur’aan, he would say ‘From here comes defeat.’

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There is no honour for this Ummah except in holding firmly to the Book of its Lord ‘azza wa jall, and the day that it goes beyond the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah, trying to seek honour in other than them – then will Allaah disgrace it and lower it to the lowest of nations, and this humiliation we see today is only due to what our hands have earned… and indeed Allaah pardons much.

O Youth of the Sahwah (Awakening), go towards to the pure spring… to the Book of Allaah `azza wa jall and embark upon its memorisation, its studies and act upon it – so that Allaah may raise your rank in this Dunya and in the Aakhira, so that He may lift the hardships from this Ummah and so that His victory may descend upon his servants, al-Muwahhideen (who uphold the Tawheed of Allaah).