THE GOODLY WORD

BY SHAYKH AL·ISLAM IBN TAYMIYYAH

Abridged & Translated By:

EZZEDDIN IBRAHIM

DENYS JOHNSON-DAVIES

1

• ••

DAR EL SHOROUK

Contents

Page

Preface by Dr. Sheikh Yusuf al Qaradawi

in Arabic with English Translation........................... a-r

Introduction in English.. 6

Introduction in Arabic..... 34

Shaykh ai-Islam Ibn Tayrniyyah's Introduction in Arabic with English Translation.......................................... 66 The Arabic Text of al-Kalim at- Tayyib with English

. .

translation facing.................................. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72

Index 344

Preface

By Dr. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qara~awi,

Head of the Centre for the illustrious Sunnah and the Sirah of the Prophet at the University of Qatar and a member of Fiqh academies in the Islamic world and

Europe

Praise be to God and peace be upon His Chosen Messenger and his family and Companions, the Leaders of Guidance.

To continue. It was more than half a century ago that I first came to know my dear friend Dr. Ezzeddin Ibrahim: through various Islamic activities and seminars and meetings for research on topics of Islamic thought, also through being colleagues in teaching and administrative educational work. I was always struck by his affable nature, orderly mind and wide range of culture; also his ability to work constructively in initiating various cultural projects in an unassuming manner. It is just such qualities as have fitted him for so many positions of distinction and the accomplishment of such work as the setting up of programmes of study and the compiling of text books for the Ministry of Education in Qatar, the establishment of the Cultural Foundation in Abu Dhabi; holding the post of Professor of Arabic Literature at Riyadh University, being for some years the Rector of the University of the United Arab Emirates, organising and administering the Islamic Solidarity Fund at the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, and participating in organising and running the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Organisation for Humanitarian and Charitable Works, and

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his assistance to African Americans in their religious activities and for his lectures in Arabic and English in various venues and innumerable other activities. I knew Ezzeddin first of all and through him made the acquaintance of Abdul Wadoud Denys Johnson Davies.

Abdul Wadoud Denys Johnson-Davies was well known as a man of letters, especially in the fields of translation and literary criticism. He had lectured on English literature and Arabic translation at Cairo University and later became the pioneer translator of modern Arabic literature, providing translations of books by such figures as Tewfik al-Hakim, Naguib Mahfouz and Tayeb Salih; he has also translated religious works by such writers as al-Imam al-Ghazali.

When Ezzeddin Ibrahim and Denys Johnson-Davies met they agreed to work closely together on making accurate and acceptable translations into English of various religious texts. It is recognised that Islam's message is a universal one, as is expressed in the words of the Almighty: "We have not sent you, (0 Muhammad), except as a mercy to the worlds". (The Prophets: 1 07)~ also, "Say: 0 people, I am the Messenger of God to you all." (The Heights: 157)

And if Islam is universal and the Book of Islam and the words of its Prophet are in the Arabic tongue, how in such circumstances can universality be achieved?

The answer quite simply is that it must be done through translation. However, not any translation will do, for only too many renderings of the Holy Qur' an have distorted its meanings and marred its beauty. In some cases this has been done deliberately, while in others it has been due to the fact that those undertaking such translations lacked the b

necessary linguistic skills for a proper understanding of the holy Book.

Thus Ezzeddin and his colleague were determined that the translations they had in mind should combine two essential qualities: accuracy on the one hand and an elegantly readable rendering that would come as close as possible to the original. They felt that by cooperating together this could be achieved. Alongside Ezzeddin, whose native language is Arabic and who has a mastery of English, there would be an Englishman whose native tongue was English and who at the same time had a mastery of Arabic. Thus each translator would complement the other and the end result would be arrived at through discussion and consultation.

The two of them decided that initially their efforts should be directed towards making translations into English - the most universal of languages and the one known to the majority of Muslims -of some of the Prophetic Hadith, Hadith having attracted less attention from translators than the Holy Qur' an, of which translations did exist in forms which were at least acceptable.

But the sunnah is a veritable ocean. Where should they start?

Of old it was said that making a choice was part of a man's intelligence. Thus, while praising Abu Tammam for his outstanding poetry, critics have also praised him for his choice of the poetry contained in his well-known anthology

c

entitled al-Hamasah .

They thus chose for their first book the famous short anthology of al-Irnam al-Nawawi entitled' al-Nawawi's Forty Hadith', it being a collection that has been universally accepted throughout the Islamic world. When the translation was completed, the book was made available to the public and was immediately well received and has since been reprinted more than twenty times .. The publication of al-Nawawi's Forty Hadith in an English translation encouraged others to pursue the same method of translation and to produce renderings of the work in more than ten languages.

F or their second book they made a short anthology of that particular type of Hadith known as 'Qudsi'. Hadith Qudsi are known for their special spiritual quality and are words of the Almighty though spoken by His Prophet (may the blessings and peace of God be upon him). They have the characteristics of Prophetic Hadith rather than those of the Holy Qur' an and contain concepts of divine significance, leading man to a love of God and His glorification, and to an expectation of His mercy and a fear of His torment, thus prompting him to do good and to avoid evil; seldom do such Hadith comprise directly practical rules. This book, entitled 'Forty Hadith Qudsi', was also well received and is often reprinted.

These two books have been followed by a third volume to which it is my pleasure to write this preface. The present volume is a condensed form of the famous 'The Goodly Word', a collection of Hadith made by the renowned scholar and jurist Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, to which a

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brief commentary has been added.

This book has been chosen because of the obvious need for a book of prayers and supplications which the ordinary Muslim who depends on English would require for the demands of his daily comings and goings, for those various situations in which a man finds himself: a gust of wind, sudden rainfall, facing up to illness, and the advent of death, all of which are occasions where a man is in need of particular supplications to the Almighty, for supplications are the very core of worship; in fact they are worship itself as the Messenger of God (may the blessings and peace of God be upon him)has taught us.

Many are the volumes, both long and condensed, that contain such prayers and supplications, some of which have explanations and commentaries that extend to no less than seven volumes, as for instance Ibn 'Allan's commentary on al-Nawawi's book ' al-Adhkar'. The choice of Ibn Taymiyyah's 'The Goodly Word' was made because of its reasonable length and the compiler's discerning choice of material, also because Sheikh aI-Alban! had already traced the sources of the Hadith quoted in it, specifying those that were either 'authentic' or 'good' - which were the majority - and those that were 'weak'.

However, only those Hadith that were 'authentic' or 'good' were chosen for the present compilation and all others were deleted. The book has been provided with explanations to those words and phrases in the Arabic text that require them. The tracing of the Hadith to their sources was

e

omitted from the first edition but I understand that it has been retained in the second - which I am glad about.

Additionally, the book contains an introduction outlining the importance of prayers and supplications, mentioning what has been written on this subject in all manner of books, also explaining why 'The Goodly Word' was chosen and what work has been done on it. The introduction also demonstrates that prayers need not necessarily be limited to ma'thur material i.e. those recognised supplications that have been handed down. The justification for such a practice has been derived from the teachings of Hadith itself and is supported by the rulings of renowned scholars in the field of fiqh. Furthermore, the introduction confirmed the need for producing translations of prayers and supplications so that people might worship in their own languages.

It is further pointed out in the conclusion to the introduction that the important thing is for worship to be by prayer and supplication, with an understanding of the meaning, and with the participation of the heart in due humility, and that God Almighty should be turned to with urgent solicitation and with confidence about his good response, while care should be exercised not to articulate unacceptable expressions that may contain - without the person knowing - words that are incompatible with the glorification of God Almighty.

The Muslim should strive to make an effort to maintain such conditions in his prayers and supplications and should have recourse as far as possible to the Arabic tongue. On the other hand, he who is unable to acquire a knowledge of Arabic, should know for certain, when talking to the f

Almighty in whatsoever language, that he is addressing a God who is all-Hearing and all-Knowing. The Almighty has said: "And if My servants have asked you about Me, verily I am close by and hear the prayer of him who prays when he prays, so let them pay attention to Me and let them believe in Me so that they may be rightly guided." (The Cow:286)

The two scholars have other projects in mind that aim to provide an understanding of Prophetic Hadith to readers who do not know Arabic or whose knowledge of the language is insufficient for understanding such texts. The most important of these are the following two books:

l.)That most well-known work by al-Nawawi entitled 'Riyag al-Salihln'. It is a long book and they have already started work on it.

2,) A new abridgement of Shu'ab al-Iman along the lines of al-Qazwini's abridgement of the large book <. al-Jami' liShu' ab al-Iman by al-Hafiz al-Bayhaql which deals with the authentic Hadith: "Faith is some sixty or seventy branches, the highest of which is 'There is no god but God' and the lowest of which is 'The removal of something harmful from the road' - and bashfulness is a branch of faith. '

The substance of this is that faith is given expression not only in doctrine, nor yet only in worship, but comprises doctrine and behaviour, also worship and conduct, be it one's conduct towards God, towards oneself and one's family, towards society, the Ummah, or the whole of mankind, or towards the whole of the universe around one.

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However the most important work on which they are presently engaged, and which they would hope to finish, is a book they have entitled 'Readings from the Holy Qur'an' classified according to subject matter. They have so named it because they felt it would not be appropriate to call it 'Selections from the Holy Quran'. The term 'selections' gives the impression that what has not been chosen is in some way inadequate, whereas the Holy Qur' an is wholly beautiful, complete and sublime.

In conclusion, nothing remains for me to say other than to thank the two scholars for the work they are doing for the benefit of their fellow Muslims and to ask God to guide them in their good work. Praise be to God, first and last, and may the blessings of God be upon His Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions .

He who prays for God's forgiveness.

Yusuf al-Qaradawi

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In the Name of Allah

the Merciful the Compassionate

INTRODUCTION

Praise be to Allah and blessings and peace on our master the Messenger of Allah and on his family and Companions and on those who summon people to his message.

We have found that the Islamic library is still in need of a book combining a number of duc§' and dhikr that are ms'thiir (authentically transmitted), together with the translation of their meanings into English. Such duCa' and dhikr, being given in the original Arabic form, will be comprehensible to readers of Arabic, both Arabs and others, and are provided with the necessary explanatory aids; at the same time they will in translation be easily understood by readers of English.

For this purpose our choice has faJIen on the book The Goodly Word by Sheikh al-Islarn Taql ad-Din Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah, who died in A.H. 728, because of its concise nature and because it is confined to those of the Goodly Word that are rna 'tbiir, and owing to its general acceptance among people. This book has been well received and given due attention by scholars in the past. We have nevertheless shortened it slightly in order to make it suitable for publication together with its translation, as explained hereinafter.

6

We thought it would be useful to provide the book with a short introduction making clear the significance of duca' and dhikr and their place among Islamic religious observances; enumerating the authorised sources for duCa' and dhikr that are ms'tbiu; mentioning the most wellknown books composed on this subject; explaining our contribution to the compilation of this book, a shortened version of The GoodJy Word; and dealing with the wellfounded attitude that ducji' and dhikr should be restricted to those that are ma 'thiir, while giving the ruling on using ducji' and dhikr that are not ma 'tbiir, and the legal reservations in employing translations of their meanings into other languages.

The status of du ci' and dhikr in Islamic religious observances

A duca' is a calling upon Allah the Almighty in seeking His help. His benevolence, and His mercy in all affairs of religion and daily life. The Prophet (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) has described it by saying "Du'ii' is worship,"! meaning that it is its essence and innennost core. It is the response to Allah the Almighty's words in the Holy Quran, "And your Lord hath said:

Pray unto Me and I will hear your prayer,"? and His saying, "And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me," 3 being an affmnation of the belief in the Oneness of Allah and of sincere

1. It was related by at- Tirmidhi, who said that it was a good and sound Hadith, also by Abu Dawiid and Ibn Majah,

2. Qur'an 40.60.

3. Qur'an 2.186.

7

devotion to Him (may He be praised) by describing Him as being He to whom alone prayer is directed, as in the words of the Almighty, "Allah, the eternally besought of all"l and in His words, HAll unto whom ye cry (for succour) fail save Him alone.'?

Dhikr is that a man is with his Lord with his mind, thoughts, and feelings, and that he mentions Him constantly with his tongue, repeating the appropriate words of devotion for glorifying Him and exalting Him, praising Him, confirming His Oneness and Uniqueness. and asking His forgiveness, also exalting His sublimeness and His Most Beautiful Names, in pursuance of His words (may He be exalted), "0 ye who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance. And glorify Him early and late,"? and His words in describing those who believe, "And men who remember Allah much and women who remember-Allah hath prepared for them forgiveness and a vast reward.":' And Allah the Almighty has stressed the value of dhikr and has made it of more importance than anything else by His words, "And verily the dhikr of Allah is greatest."> The Messenger of Allah (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) made dhikr an indication of the heart being alive, as referred to in his Hadith, "The likeness of him who makes dhikr to his Lord to him who does not do so is as the likeness of

1. Qur' an 112.2.

2. Quran 17.67.

3. Quran 33.41-42.

4. Quran 33.35.

5. Qur 'an 29.45.

8

the living to the dead."!

Duca' and Dhikr are largely interlocked and closely associated, so that the phraseology of each of them is complementary to the other, or follows it in the context, as in the words of the Almighty, "Such as remember Allah, standing, sitting, and reclining, and consider the creation of the heavens and the earth, (and say): Our Lord! Thou createst not this in vain. Glory be to Thee! Preserve us from the doom of Fire." 2 They are both to be found throughout the totality of Islamic religious observances such as prayer, fasting, and the Pilgrimage, all of which are so replete with duca' and dhikr that such observances cannot be complete without them. It is the same in respect of other religious practices such as night-prayer, jctikiif, that is, withdrawing to a mosque for a certain time for purposes of worship and meditation, paying zekiit. and so on. In fact, the Muslim in his ordinary life should mention Allah in all his circumstances and should call upon Him when he gets up in the morning and enters upon the evening, and on all occasions he faces. Thus books of duca' and dhikr are arranged in accordance with the daily routines: waking up and going to sleep; proceeding to one's work; meeting with people and participating in their social gatherings and their food and drink; undertaking journeys; visiting the sick; changes of weather; encountering the enemy; becoming ill; being struck by misfortune; attaining success; realising happiness in marriage or the birth of offspring; or being favoured with some plentiful boon, and like matters that are part of daily

1. It was related by al-Bukhari.

2. Quran 3.191. Thus "Glory be to Thee" is dhikr while "Preserve us from the doom of Fire" is duc§'.

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life. It is for this reason that some books of duca' and dhikr are called • Devotions for Day and Night,' thus referring to the ducij' and dhikr that are on a Muslim's lips during his day and night and which bring him close to his Lord, supplicating Him and asking for His assistance in all circumstances.

One of the benefits of uttering duca' and dhikr in all the circumstances of the day and night is that customary habits are turned into religious observances, for every ordinary act performed by a Muslim which is accompanied by duca' and dhikr becomes an act of devotion through the intention of him who practises it, and by the attitude in which it is made, in such a way that it is changed into an act of worship by which the favour of Allah is gained. For instance, travelling is a normal practice which, if begun by someone who recites the duca', HO Allah, we ask You in this journey of ours righteousness and piety and such deeds as You would approve of ... ,"1 becomes charged with a collection of refinements and religious and ethical values which will make of it a beneficent journey in which the traveller can be confident of overcoming its hardships, at the same time remembering the family and children he has left behind him, and he can look forward to his return safe and sound and of giving thanks to Allah for the happy outcome. It is in this way that the practice becomes an act of worship.

Sources of du ca' and dhikr

The first source for duCa' and dhikr that are rna 'thiir is the Holy Quran. It possesses a copious number of them,

1. Hadith no. 132 in this book.

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which are to be found in four forms.

The first form consists of verses of duca' and dhikr that commence with the imperative "Say," as in the two chapters that pronounce incantations, "Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of the Daybreak from the evil of that which He

created " I and "Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of

mankind "2 and in His words "And say: My Lord!

Increase me in knowledge,"] and His words "And say: 'My Lord! Forgive and have mercy, for Thou art the Best of all who show mercy, "'4 and the like.

The second form consists of verses that are related on the tongues of angels or prophets. Among those told by angels is "Our Lord! Thou comprehendest all things in mercy and knowledge, therefore forgive those who repent and follow Thy way. Ward off from them the punishment of hell." 5 Among those told by prophets is Dhii 'n-Nun' s dhikr, "But he cried out in the darkness, saying: There is no God save Thee. Be Thou Glorified! Lo! I have been a wrong-doer," 6 and the prayer of Job when seeking restoration of health, "And Job, when he cried unto his Lord, (saying): Lo! Adversity afflicteth me, and Thou art Most Merciful of all who show mercy."?

I. Qur'an 113.

2. Quran 114.

3. Qur'3.J1 20.114.

4. Qur'an 23.118.

5. Qur'jin 40.7.

6. Qur 'an 21.87.

7. Qur'an 21.83. And see the supplication of Zakariyya (on whom be peace) in the same chapter (21. 89), when he asks that he may be given offspring; in other chapters that could be quoted there are du"ij' by other prophets.

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The third form consists of duca' and dhikr that are related on the tongue of the Prophet Muhammad (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and tbe believers who were with him, as in the closing words of the Chapter of al-Baqarah (The Cow), "And they say: We hear, and we obey. (Grant us) Thy forgiveness, our Lord. Unto Thee is the journeying ... Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget, or miss the mark!" I

The fourth form consists of duca' and dhikr that do not fall into any of the previous categories but are recognised by their content. All of Siirat al-Fatihah (The Opening Chapter) is of this category, its first half being dhikr of praise, glorification. and exaltation of Allah. while the second half is a duca' for guidance.?

The duca' and dhikr in the Holy Quran are distinguished by their being from the Preserved Book, which knows no falsehood of any kind and the recitation of which brings two rewards, the reward of reciting the Holy Qur'an and the reward of the dhikr and duca'.3

The second source for extracting transmitted texts of duCa' and d.hikr are the books of Prophetic Hadith, for they all contain portions allocated to them, in addition to

1. Qur' an 2.286.

2. In the explanation of this Chapter is the Hadith Qudsi (Sacred Hadith) which was given by al-Bukhari: "Allah the Almighty says 'I have divided prayer between Myself and My servant into two halves. and half of it is for Me [because it is dhikr and glorification} and half of it is for My servant [because it is ducal and My servant shall have what he has asked for ... ·

3. Refer to Dr. cAbd al-Halim Mahmud, Fadhkuriini adhkurkum (So mention Me and I shall remember you), Dar al-Ma'arif, Cairo 1981, pp.67-97.

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givmg other Hadith that are ms'tbiir distributed under various chapters in accordance with their subject matter. Thus in the Sebil) of el-Bukbiiri is a book of duca' and dhikr under the title The Book of Prayers. But it also contains duca' and dhikr in the chapter on Prayer and others in the chapter on Fasting, the chapter on the Pilgrimage, and so on. The Book of Prayers (Kitiib addacawat)1 consists of sixty-nine chapters and comprises 106 Hadith. In the Sabib of Muslim we find a book under the title The Book of Du'ii' and Dhikr, Repentance and Asking for Forgiveness ,2 which consists of twenty-seven chapters and includes 101 Hadith, apart from the miscellaneous items in the rest of the books. In the Sunan of at-Tirrnidhi there is The Book of Preyets.' which comprises 132 chapters and includes 234 Hadith. In the Sunan of Ibn Majah there is the Book of Duca' ,4 which comprises twenty-two chapters and includes sixty-five Hadith. The duca' and dhikr in the Sunan of Abu Dawiid are to be found in The Book of Good Manners,5 which comprises twelve chapters containing sixty-seven Hadith. In the Musnad of Imam Ahmad, duca' and dhikr are scattered throughout the musnads in accordance with the

I. The SaJ:UQ of sl-Bukhiiri, Istanbul edition of 1992. offset from the edition of Cairo, volume 7. pp. 145-169.

2. The SalJiQ of Muslim. the edition of Muhammad Fu'ad cAbd al- 8aqi. Cairo 1956. volume 3, pp. 2061-2101.

3. Sunan st-Tirmidhi, the edition of Ibrahim -Atwa cAwac;l, Cairo 1965. volume 5, pp. 455-582,

4. Sunan Ibn Majah, the edition of Muhammad Fuad cAbd al-Baqi, Cairo 1954, volume 2, pp. 1258-1281.

5. Sunan Abii D§wiid. the edition of -Izza: <Ubayd ad-Da-as, Horns.

Syria. 1969. volume 5, pp. 298-337.

13

particular classification of that book. However, in the edition of the late Sheikh Ahmad C Abd ar-Rahman alBanna, which was entitled aJ-Fatl) er-rebbiini, tertib musnad aJ-Imiim AJ;unad ibn Hsnbsl ash-Shaybam, I the book Du'ii' and Dhikr is devoted to them; it comprises forty-two chapters and contains 295 Hadith.

The third source for duca' and dhikr are those books solely devoted to this subject and whose compilers have a direct chain of authorities to the Messenger of Allah (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and which are thus one and the same as books of Hadith in that they are regarded as sources for original Hadith on this particular topic. There is a limited number of such books and only two books have come down to us in printed form. These are Devotions for Day and Night by Imam Ahmad ibn Shu-ayb an-Nasa'i who died in A.H. 303 and who is also the author of the Sunan en-Nesii'i, and Devotions for Day and Night by Abu Bakr ibn as-Sunni, who died in A.H. 364 and who is the reciter of the Sunan of an-Nasa'i,

As for the book of an-Nasa'i, its author either composed it in order to include it in his large work, the Sunan en-Nesii'i, and did not do so, which explains why his Sunan are alone among the six authorised books of Hadith in being devoid of a section given exclusively to duca' and dhikr, or the author intentionally made of it a separate and distinct book. It comprises 1121 Hadith, counting the repetitions and variant readings. Thus anNasa'. gathered together more Hadith of duCa' and dhikr

l. Al-Fsti: ar-rabbiini, tsrtib musnad sl-lmiim Abmad, third edition, Jeddah A.H. 1404, volume 14, pp. 196-312. In this edition the contents have been rearranged according to subject matter.

14

than any of the other five compilers of collections of Hadith.

As for the book of Ibn as-Sunni, it is similar to that of an-Nasa'i: while containing material from an-Nasa'], it also provides other material. Additionally, the book includes chapters which are not to be found in an-Nasa']. The number of Hadith in Ibn as-Sunni is 770.

Other books of this sort that are regarded as sources have been compiled; some of these exist in manuscript form, either in their entirety or partly only, whereas in yet other cases only extracts have survived and are to be found in existing publications. 1

The major books of du ci' and dhikr

Owing to the fact that the sources of those duCa' and dhikr that are tns'thiir are known and authenticated, and the places therein devoted to duca' and dhikr clearly defined, a number of books have been compiled that strive to make the subject more accessible to readers through bringing them together, rearranging them into chapters, making selections, and giving commentaries, and by abridging them and adding to them such studies about du'ii' and dhikr and their meanings and the manner in which they should be read, and so forth, as the compilers felt would be useful. The door for such books remains open, and we do not think that it will be closed, owing to the eager

1. Ahmad ibn Shu-ayb an-Nasa'I, Devotions for Day and Night. edited by Dr. Faruq Harnmadah, second edition, Beirut 1985. See the study of Dr. Hamrnadah on source books of duca' and dhikr in his book, pp. 103-111. And see Muhammad ibn cAllan as-Siddiqi, ai·Putfil)at ar-rabbaniyyah (.ala 'J-adhkfir an-nawawiyyah, Dar Ihya' at- Turath al-? Arabi, Beirut, volume I. p. 18.

15

desire of Muslims to be informed about their religious devotions. We shall thus refer only to the most important of such books. both old and new, indicating the posi;i.». enjoyed by the book The Goodly ~Vord, which we prescn: here.

1. The oldest books of this kind that must be mentioned are the two books of Imam an-Nasai and Ibn as-Sunni, which have been previously referred to. Although they ;,;·t~ listed among the sources we have enumerated, the fact that they were compiled as separate works and that they are in print has placed them among those books that are readily available to the reader. An-Nasa'I's book has been edited and twice published, the first edition being that of Dr. Fariiq Hammadah in Beirut in A.H. 1405/1985, while the second was also published in Beirut in A.H. 1408/1988.1 The compiler's aim was to include in his book duCfi' and dhikr of daily life, and he thus gave his book a title which expresses this intention. He begins it with the chapter "Mentioning that which the Prophet used to say when he came into the morning," then he follows it with man's circumstances during his day until what he says during the evening and before going to sleep, and so on. Also in the book is a mention of du Cjj , and dhikr relating to certain Islamic religious devotions such as prayer and fasting.

As for the book of Ibn as-Sunni, it has been published in India and Egypt, after which there appeared an edition edited by cAbd al-Qadir Ahmad Taha in Cairo in A.H. 1389/ 1969.2 In its method and contents the book

1. Ahmad ibn Shu-ayb an-Nasa']: "Amal al-yewm wa 'l-lsylsh, edited by Dar al-Kutub al-vllrniyyah. Beirut, A.H. 1408/1988.

2. Abu Bakr ibn as-Sunni, CArnal aJ-yawm wa 'J-layJah. the conduct of the Prophet (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)

16

resembles an-Nasa'I's, though retaining certain of its own characteristics. Scholars are divided as to which of the two h!y;ks j s to be preferred.

2 An-Nawawi's book aJ-Adhkiir: The author is Imam \iluby'; 'd-Din Yahya ibn Sharaf an-Nawawi ad-Dirnishqi, who died in A.H. 676. This work is considered to be midway between the source books predominantly employed by specialists and those used by the general reader for the purposes of practical application in his devotions. We therefore find it has received particular attention from scholars, who lavish praise on it and who have composed commentaries on it, also abridgements, -, ...... hile at the same time gaining widespread acceptance among people generally, to such an extent that there was a saying, "Sell your house and buy aJ-Adhkiir," suggesting that having the book was more worthwhile than owning real estate. I

The compiler begins by seeking to shorten his book by deleting the chain of authorities of the Hadith and contenting himself with indicating their sources and showing their degrees of authenticity. However, he soon expands it by including a copious number of Hadith in every category. He likewise includes, as he mentions, "Extracts from the gems of the science of Hadith, the niceties of jurisprudence, the most important fundamental religious rules, spiritual exercises, and good manners, whose knowledge is imperative for those who are

with his Lord. edited by -Abd al-Qadir Ahmad Taha. Cairo A.H. 138911969.

J. Muhammad 'Ali ibn C Allan as-Siddiqi, el-Futiihii: sr-rebbiiniyyeh <ala ·J.·adhklir an-nawawiyyah. Beirut edition, volume I, pp. 1-4.

17

following the spiritual path"; I this, though, he does in simple language. The compiler (may Allah have mercy upon him) has thus succeeded in making his book a recognised source which no researcher or scholar of the subject can be without. There was no compiler in this discipline who came after him who did not refer to him.

3. AI-KaJim et-teyyib? by Sheikh al-Islarn Taqi ad-Din Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah, who was born at Harran in A.H. 661 and died in Damascus in A.H. 728. He was well known for his attitude towards the doctrine of the Oneness of Allah, and his writings clarify this doctrine; he was also famed for combatting unacceptable innovations. He took this beautiful and incomparable title for his book from the words of the Almighty, "Unto Him goodly words ascend, and the pious deeds doth He exalt."? The book was printed several times in Cairo by the Muniriyyah Press, after which a scholarly edition appeared in A.H. 1385, the work of Sheikh Muhammad Nasir ad-Din al-Albani, presently of Damascus, and of Sheikh Zuhayr ash-Shawish alMaydani ad-Dimishqi, This edition contains a full verification of the Hadith so that their degrees of authenticity are determined.

The book contains sixty-one chapters and 253 Hadith.

It is clear that the compiler (may Allah have mercy on him) had as an aim that his book should be an easy reference to ducij' and dhikr for devotional worship on appropriate

1. Muhyi 'd-Din Yahya ibn Sharaf an-Nawawi, al-Adhkiir slmuntakhaba min sayyid al-abriir, 14th edition, Beirut 1984, pp. 4-5.

2. Taqi ad-Din Ahmad ibn Tayrniyyah, el-Kslim et-tsyyib, edited by Sheikh Muhammad Nasir ad-Din al-Albani, 2nd edition, al-Maktab al-Is larni, Beirut A.H. 1392. See the editor's introduction, p. 13.

3. Quran 35.10.

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occasions, without digressing to other related studies. He thus concentrated on simply providing it with a good classification and giving the texts without unnecessary comments, which might otherwise have taken the book outside its intended scope. Because of this, aJ-Kalim atteyyib is regarded as one of the best medium-sized mediaeval books for providing direct access to ducii' and dhikr that are ms'thiit for the purpose of devotional worship. Most of the books which appeared after that followed his example, and in particular contemporary collections.

4. aJ-Wiibij as-seyyib' min aJ-kaJim et-teyvib by alHafiz Abu C Abdullah Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, known as Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, who was born in A.H. 691 and died at Damascus in A.H. 752. He followed his master Ibn Taymiyyah in the naming of his book and in being brief when quoting Hadith of duca' and dhikr by giving the source alone without mentioning the chain of authorities. The book includes seventy-five chapters, beginning with dhikr of morning and evening and comprising duca' for occasions to be found in daily life, likewise dhikr and duca' for most devotional practices. He provided the book with a long introduction of the same size as the book itself, in which he deals with matters relating to spiritual and behavioural practices and those relating to people practising dhikr and their gatherings, also about the etiquette of dhikr. The book exists in printed form. 2

1. The words mean 'abundant rain,' i.e., that which is of great benefit.

2. Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, aJ- wabil ss$ayyib min sl-kslim et-teyyib, edited by Sheikh Ibrahim al-CAjliz. Dar al-Kutub al-vllmiyyah, Beirut.

19

5. 'Uddet sl-bisn sl-hesin min ksliim sayyid sl-mursslin by Ibn al-Jazari, This book comes at the end of the list of ancient and mediaeval books. The author is the leading Quran reciter Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn al-Jazari, who died in A.H. 833. The book incorporates 626 Hadith, while being brief in the manner in which they are presented, merely indicating the method whereby the sources are given. It has numerous commentaries, most of which are in print and generally available. 1

6. Nuzul el-ubtiir bi 'l-iiltn el-ms 'tbiir min al-adCiyyah wa 'l-edhkiir. This is a recent work by the Indian scholar as-Sayyid Muhammad Siddiq Hasan Khan, who died in A.H. 1307. The author was well informed about the books in this field-and in particular ai-Adhkar by Imam anNawawi=-so that his book became a comprehensive work on dhikr and duCa' and included the devotions for day and night and for different occasions in daily life, also dhikr for religious observances. The work is in print. 2

Our work in abbreviating al-Kalim at-tayyib and translating its meanings

It is evident from the above that the book al-Kalim atteyyib by Ibn Taymiyyah is the most suitable to our purpose, which is to present a book of reliable authorship and content which is confined to texts of duc§' and dhikr

1. "Uddst aJ-J:U~n al-1)~in min kalaDl sayyid el-murselin, with commentary by Sheikh Hasanayn Muhammad Makhliif, first edition, Cairo A.H. l38111961. Muhammad cAli ash-Shawkani, Tubttu adh-dhiikirin bi "uddsr sl-hisn el-hesin, first edition. Dar alQalam, Beirut 1984.

2. As-Sayyid Muhammad Siddiq Hasan Khan, Nuzul aJ-abrar bi '1- "ilm al-ma 'thiu' min aJ~adCiyya wa 'J~adhkiir. Dar al-Ma-rita, Beirut.

20

that are ms'thiir and which is characterised by its brevity. All these distinguishing features make of it a convenient manual for a practising Muslim; one in which he can have confidence, which will be easy for him to understand, and which will stimulate him to commit it to heart for the purpose of reciting from it. Additionally-and for the same reasons-it is suitable for having its meanings translated into other languages.

In order to realise this twin purpose-of being accessible to readers of Arabic and being within easy reach of readers of English-we have followed a wellestablished practice in making a shortened version of the original book compiled by Sheikh al-Islarn ibn Taymiyyah, which we have called The Goodly Word: A Concise Version, observing in our shortening of it the following considerations:

1. Restricting ourselves to authentic Hadith, of which there is a rich choice, in preference to Hadith of a lower category. Having confined ourselves solely to ms'thiir Hadith, it is natural for us to choose those that are most reliable. We found our task of verifying the Hadith made smooth by the fact that this had already been dealt with in masterly fashion by our venerable traditionist Sheikh Muhammad Nasir ad-Din al-Albani with surpassing expertise in that he had already edited the book, giving the sources of the Hadith and distinguishing those that were authentic from those that were not, with clarity and thoroughness, in his edition of The Goodly Word in A.H. 1385 and in compiling his book S alJii) el-kelim ut-teyyib. which appeared in A.H. 1390. We have therefore followed what Sheikh al-Albani has undertaken. To him and to the publisher of the two books, our respected friend and

21

scholar Sheikh Muhammad Zuhayr ash-Shawish, we extend our heartfel t gratitude.

2. For the sake of brevity we have avoided such repetitions as may be found and have omitted Hadith with long preludes if suitable alternatives are to hand. the object being to achieve texts of duca' and dhikr in abbreviated form, 1 likewise omitting those Hadith for an understanding of which lengthy background information would be required.

Even with such abridgement. the book still remains of a fair size. in that the Hadith included in this shortened version number 180-which is nevertheless a sufficient number for those whom Allah has rightly guided. We have provided in the margin shortened explanations that are not to be found in the original book and have also vocalised Arabic words where necessary.

As for the translation of the meanings into English, we have observed the same considerations as in our translation of the two books An-Nawawi's Forty Hadith and Forty Hadith Qudsi, these being:

1. That two persons-one of whom is an Arab and the other an English Muslim-should collaborate in the translation, thus ensuring an accurate understanding of the Arabic text and its religious background, together with a readable and accurate rendering in English.

2. That we should exercise extreme care in conveying the meanings and yet should adhere as far as possible to the structure of the original Arabic. If we have been obliged to add a word in order to make clear the meaning,

1. This has been done by Imam al-Jazari in CUddat aJ~J:U$n sl-bssin. In doing so he merely supplied the c:Jifa' and dhikrthemselves without giving any chains of authorities.

22

we ha ve placed it between square brackets and have shown in a marginal note why this was necessary.

3. We have retained the Lord's name in its Arabic fonn without translating it, also such technical terms as zskii; Hadith, du'ii', and dhikr (all of which we have treated as collective nouns), and have kept the principal phrases of invocation such as sl-hemd. dhikr, tssbih, and tshlil in Arabic, though in transliteration for ease of reading and so as to make it possible for the non-Arab to read and pronounce them.

4. For translations of the meanings of the Holy Quran we have used The Meaning of the Glorious Koran by the English Muslim Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall.

5. That the printing of the translation should be placed opposite the Arabic text for ease of reference.

Du Ci' and Dhikr that are not ma 'th fir

Our examination of books of duca' and dhikr, old, mediaeval, and contemporary, reveals that the trend of reliable scholars in authentication is unanimously towards the ms'thiir, for the rna 'th iir as we have previously mentioned begins with what is mentioned in the Holy Qur'an, which is the word of the Almighty, "Who is more true in statement than Allah?" I "And who can be more truthful than Allah in utterance?'? or with the Hadith of the Messenger of Allah (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), for Allah the Almighty says, "And whatsoever the Messenger giveth you, take it. And

1. Qur' an 4.87.

2. Qur'an 4.122.

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whatsoever he forbiddeth, abstain (from it)." i And he (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said "If I have ordered you about something in your religion, then act upon it.'?

The Messenger of Allah (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was endowed with the gift of words so that his duca' and dhikr, in addition to being things that Allah had taught him, are distinguished by comprehensiveness, eloquence, and succintness. Thus to employ some duca' or dhikr that is tne'thiu' is to implement the guidance of the Almighty and that of the Noble Messenger by being obedient to both Allah and His Messenger, and by employing the best known duca' and dhikr that are available.

There are none the less things that agitate man's heart and occupy his mind-matters of the soul, of religion, and of the world-that his tongue expresses in words that may or may not be rna' th fir. It is also possible that he is surrounded by a group of people who may repeat what he says if they find themselves in similar circumstances. Are such words, if not ms'thiir, allowable?

Scholars have provided answers to this, in particular when commenting on two authentic Prophetic Hadith concerning the duCjj' to be used after uttering the tashahhucP in one's prayers. One of them is the Hadith to be found in both al-Bukhari and Muslim and which is on the authority of C Abdullah ibn Mas-tid (may Allah be pleased with him) and contains the wording of the

I. Quran 59.7.

2. It was related by Muslim.

3. The final part of the set prayer.

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tashahhud. At the end of it the Prophet (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) says, "Then let him choose from the duca' that which appeals to him most." Imam an-Nawawi says in the explanation of this Hadith, "He may use such duca' as he pleases from the matters of the afterlife and of the world so long as it is not wrongful, and this is our doctrine and and that of the majority of scholars." However, Abu Hanifah (may Allah have mercy on him) said, "Only those supplications are allowed that appear in the Qur'an and the sunnah."'

The second Hadith, which was given by Abu Dawiid on the authority of Mu-adh (may Allah be pleased with him), is that the Prophet (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said to a man, "What do you say in your prayers?" He said, "I say the tashahhud and I say '0 Allah, I ask You for Paradise and I seek protection of You from Hell-fire.' This is because I do not have the ability or knowledge to murmur the duca' as you and Mu-adh do." The Prophet (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said, "We murmur about them."? As-San-ani said in commenting on the Hadith, "From this it is inferred that one is permitted to utter any wording one wishes, either ms'thiir or otherwise."?

If this is permissible in the prayer itself, then it is even more permissible outside it. Such permissibility, however,

1. The Sehit; of Muslim with the commentary of an-Nawawi, ashSha-b edition, Cairo, volume 2, p. 41. An-Nawawis school of jurisprudence is that of ash-Shafi"i.

2. I.e., about Paradise and Hell-fire.

3. Muhammad ibn Isma-il al-Kahlani as-San-ani, SubuJ ss-seliim sharI) buliigb sl-merim min adillat aJ-a/:lkiim, Dar Ihyfi' at- Turath al'Arabi. fourth edition, A.H. 137911960, volume 1, pp. 191-195.

25

must be accorded its due weight and one should not extend it in practice by deviating from the ms'thiir to that which is not rna 'thiir, which, though permissible, is not preferred. Also, if the door is left wide open, commonplace talk could infiltrate into religious observances and become part of such observances, competing with what has been imparted by the Almighty and His Prophet. Sheikh at-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah has drawn attention to this when he says, HAnd what is legitimate for one is to employ that which is ms'thiir in his ducij'. Since duca' is among the best of devotional practices one should employ in it what has been ordained by the Almighty. just as this is incumbent upon one in other devotional practices. For him who deviates from the ducij' that is ordained to some other, it is best for him that he should not let the most complete and worthiest pass him by, these being the Prophetic ducij', for it is they that are the most perfect by common consent of Muslims."!

Duel' and dhikr in Arabic aod in other languages Inasmuch as the majority of Imams and scholars accord preference to duca' and dhikr that are rna 'thiir over others, though allowing those that are not ms'thiir to be used in certain parts of the prayer, and likewise outside it, with the reservations that have been instanced, it follows that preference be given to the Arabic wording of duCij' and dhikr over translations of their meanings into languages other than Arabic, for the ma'thiir have been taken from the Holy Qur'an and the Noble Hadith, both of which are in a clear Arabic tongue.

I. MajmiiC fatiiwa Sheikh el-lsliim Ibn Taymiyyah, first edition, Riyadh A.H. 1382, volume 22. p. 525.

26

However, this inevitably raises an obvious problem owing to the fact that Islam is a religion directed at the whole of mankind, there being no difference between Arab and non-Arab. The Almighty has said, HAnd We have not sent thee (0 Muhammad) save as a bringer of good tidings and a warner unto all mankind." I The multiplicity of tongues among the peoples of the world are among Allah's signs that do not change. The Almighty has said, "And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colours.'? Whatever the effort made by non-Arabs to learn Arabic when it is not their native tongue, there will always remain multitudes of Muslims who have not been able to learn the language to a standard which enables them to deal with Arabic religious texts with adequate ease and understanding.

Imams and scholars have since the dawn of Islam given this problem particular attention and have made copious studies that are available in the books of all schools of jurisprudence so that whoever so wishes can clarify these questions in detail by referring to them in those places in the books of jurisprudence where they are treated. Owing to the abbreviated form of this book we have regarded it as sufficient to allude to only three matters arising out of these studies in jurisprudence, matters upon which there is unanimity of opinion or which the majority of scholars agree upon.

The first matter is that, in performing one's prayers. the opening tskbir and successive tskbirs, the reading of the

1, Qur' an 34.28 2. Quran 30.22.

27

Fatihah and such Qur' anic verses as are recited, the tssbit) (sublJan Allah i.e., how remote is Allah from every imperfection), the reciting of the tashahhud, also the tsslim with which the prayer is terminated, all these must be wholly in Arabic-and all Muslims must make every possible effort to learn them. The question has throughout Islam's history been made easy in Islamic countries with such languages as Farsi, Turkish, Urdu, Swahili, Malay, and the like. In fact, words from these basic texts have entered the dictionaries of these languages and become part of them. Even in the case of other languages, it is apparent from the observations of teachers of Islam that those who speak these languages do not find it impossible or unusually difficult to learn this limited number of phrases.

For those unable to learn this amount, a legitimate shortened version has been laid down, which is to say: subhiin Allah, el-hemdu IjlJiih, Iii iliiha ilJii Allah, Alliihu akbar, and Iii hewl« wa Iii quwwata iJJii billiih;l or to recite the still more shortened version which is: sl-hemdu lilliih. Alliihu skber, and Iii ilaha ilJii Alliih; until such time as he succeeds in learning the longer phrases in their totality. 2

It is not permissible in one's prayers to substitute any of these phrases with the translations made of their meanings, and history records no individual or group of Muslims who have performed their prayers with nonArabic recitations. In the course of fourteen centuries, Muslims throughout the world, despite the multiplicity of

1. The Sunan of Abu Diiwiid, volume 5, pp. 75-76 (the chapter on what is permissible for the illiterate or non-Arab person to recite).

2 Jamie et- Tirmidbi, volume l, p. 186 (the chapter on what has been recorded in the description of prayer).

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languages and the disparity in opportunities for education, have prayed and are praying with Arabic recitations, and they have striven and are striving to teach them and to make clear their meanings to their fellow Muslims.' This is a clear indication of the spiritual unity of the Islamic world as manifested in the same movements, recitations, and language employed in prayers.

The second matter is that. outside prayers, the Muslim should strive to recite the duca' and dhikr, both rna'thiir and others, in their Arabic wording, in particular those which are from the Qur'an or Prophetic Hadith. If unable to do so, he should at least endeavour to pronounce subliin Allah, sl-bemdu IiJJah, u iIaha illa Allah, AlJihu ekber, and la bswl« wa fa quwwata illa billih in their Arabic wording for the great blessing that this brings. If, though, he wishes to call upon his Lord with more than that and he has recourse to translations of meanings into the nati ve language he knows and in which he is able to express himself well, then this comes under the totality of the Almighty's words "Allah tasketh not a soul beyond its scope.'?

The Muslim who is obliged to do this should nevertheless remember that the reciting of translations is commensurate to reciting commentaries, it being no more than an attempt to arrive at the transmitted meaning though in an idiom that was not transmitted. He must also remember that the translation of the meanings of the Holy

1. Professor' Abd al-Latif at- Tlbawi, "Ahkarn tarjarnat al-Qur' an alkarim wa tarikhuha," MajalJat mejme: al-Jughat aJ-carabiyyah (Damascus), Dar al-Fikr Press A.H. 1399/1979, volume 54, part 3. p.4.

2. Quran 2.285.

29

Qur'an is not the Qur'iin itself, and that the translation of the meanings of the Noble Hadith is not Hadith. But the great majority of scholars have allowed the translation of the meanings of the Holy Qur'an so as to make it possible for the person without a knowledge of Arabic to experience divine guidance, and that which is permissible with respect to the Holy Qur'an is of necessity allowable in respect of Noble Hadith, traditions, and lesser recitations. I

The consolation for the person who is incapable of supplicating Allah and invoking Him, worshipping him and calling upon him in a good fashion in the Arabic tongue is that Allah the Almighty is All-hearing of that with which He is called upon and All-knowing of what stirs in men's hearts. The Almighty has said, "And Allah is Hearer, Knower.'? He is in fact All-hearing and Allknowing even of that which we human beings do not comprehend-the glorification of Him by all His creation. The Almighty has said, 'The seven heavens and the earth

1. Permitting the translation of the meanings of the Holy Quran has existed from of old. especially in mediaeval writings, such as those of Sheikh al-Islarn Ibn Taymiyyah in the seventh century A.H. in Dar' tanaqw;i el-ssq! wa 'n-naql, to be found in Fatawa Ibn Taymiyyah, first edition, A.H. 1381, volume 3, p. 306, also volume 4, pp. 116-117; and Imam ash-Shat ibi in the eighth century A.H. in his book al-Muwafaqat, edited by Muhammad Muhyi ' d-Din C Abd al-Hamid, volume 2, p. 48. And likewise in contemporary writings by the grand sheikhs of al-Azhar University, Muhammad al-Khidr Husayn, Mahrnud Shaltiit, and Muhammad Mustafa al-Maraghi, and by Sheikh Muhammad Rashid Rida. Refer to Professor C Abd al-Latif at- Tibawi' s treatise "Ahkarn tarjamat aJQuran al-karim wa tarikhuha" previously mentioned.

2. Quran 2.256 and 3.34.

30

and all that is therein praise Him, and there is not a thing but hymneth His praise; but ye understand not their praise." 1 And He said, "Hast though not seen that Allah, He it is Whom all who are in the heavens and the earth praise, and the birds in their flight? Of each He knoweth verily the worship and the praise; and Allah is Aware of what they do.'?

There is, in all Islamic countries. a superabundance of duca' and dhikr to be used outside prayers in the form of translations of the meanings of duca' both ms'thiu' and non-Ina'thiir for those who have been unable to learn Arabic to assist them in their devotions and meditations, and we have not heard of anyone objecting tc this. It is commendable that ulema in these countries begin by giving the duCa' in Arabic in confirmation of the importance of their being in that language and ir order that this will assist in fixing some of them in people" s minds, then follow up with translations of the meanings.

The third matter is: be the duCa' or dhikrrecited in the Arabic wording or in the translation of its mearing, what is important is to utter duca' and dhikr in a truly ievotional manner: with an understanding of the mear ing, with presence of heart, and with complete submissiveness in applying oneself to Allah the Almighty an~ ardently requesting something of Him and being sue of His favourable answer.

What is demanded of the Muslim is to leware of uttering non-Arabic ambiguous phrases that are incompatible with the glorification of the Lord vi thout his

1. Qur'an 17.44.

2. Qur'an 24.41.

31

realising it and without it being possible for someone else who does not possess a knowledge of the language to correct him. For this reason such phrases were regarded as unacceptable. Al-Bayhaqi has related that cUmar ibn alKhattab (may Allah be pleased with him) heard a man talking Farsi while circumambulating the Ka-bah and he took him by the shoulders and said, "Strive to find a way of learning Arabic." 1 The same thing can be said about uttering duCa' and d.hikr in the Arabic language without a proper understanding of their meaning; also, a person should not utter them when he is not fully conscious of their significance owing to the fact that he is, for example, overcome by sleepiness. 2

The significance of all this is. that, when uttering duCii' and dbikr, one should be in possession of the correct meaning. the correct expression, and the correct understanding of what one is saying. Thus the Muslim should make an effort to fulfil these conditions in his duca' and dbikr, and to acquire as good an acquaintance as possible with the Arabic tongue, and let him who is incapable of doing so and who calls upon his Lord as best he can in any language or tongue, correctly and with understanding, be sure that he is calling upon a Lord who is All-hearing and All-knowing.

In conclusion, we pray to Allah that this book may be a help in making duca' and dhikr more accessible to Muslims who wish to refer to them. We hope that he who

1. Ahmad ibn Idris al-Qarafi: el-Furiiq, volume 4. p. 291.

2. This is recorded in a Hadith to be found in both al-Bukhari and Muslim: "If one of you when praying is sleepy. he does not know that he is perhaps seeking to ask forgiveness yet is actually cursing himself "

32

knows Arabic, as also he who is striving to learn it, may find in it an easy manual for choosing such duca' and dhikr as are suitable for the devotions of the day and night. and for the situations and religious observances that he encounters, in a clear Arabic tongue, duly edited and explained; likewise that the reader of English will be able to use it as a simplified aide to the meanings of such ducji' and dhikr in a diction with which he is familiar.

Praise be to Allah through Whom good deeds are accomplished.

Ezzeddin Ibrahim Mustafa

Denys Johnson-Davies (Abdul Wadoud)

Abu Dhabi on 15 Jumada al-Akhirah A.H. 1419 6 October 1998

33

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Shaykh aI-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah's Introduction

o Allah, bless the most noble of Your creation, Muhammad, and to Allah be praise, and that is all that need be said, and peace be upon His servants whom He has chosen. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone, He having no associate, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His messenger.

Allah Almighty said: "0 you who believe, guard your duty to Allah, and speak words truthful and He will put to rights your works for you and will forgive you your sins."!

And the Almighty said: "Unto Him goodly words ascend, and the pious deed does He exalt.'? And the Almighty said: "Therefore remember Me, and I shall remember you, and give thanks to Me."3 And the Almighty said: "Remember Allah with much

1. The Chapter of the Clans 33:70-71.

2. The Chapter of the Creator 35:10.

3. The Chapter of the Cow 2:152.

66

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remembrance."! And the Almighty said: "And men and women who remember Allah much."2

And the Almighty said: "Those who remember Allah, standing, sitting, and reclining.Y' And the Almighty said: "When you come up against a group (of fighting men), hold firm and remember Allah much."4

And the Almighty said: "And when you have completed your devotions, then remember Allah as you remember your fathers or with a more intense remembrance."> And the Almighty said: "Let not your wealth nor your children distract you from remembrance of Allah.:" And the Almighty said:

"Men whom neither commerce nor sale beguiles

1. The Chapter of the Clans 33 :41.

2. The Chapter of the Clans 33:35.

3. The Chapter of the Family of'<Imran 3:190.

4. The Chapter of the Spoils of War 8:45.

5. The Chapter of the Cow 2:200.

6. The Chapter of the Hypocrites 63:9.

68

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from remembrance of Allah and the performance of prayer and paying zakat! to the poor."2

And the Almighty said: "Remember your Lord within yourself humbly and with awe, without raising your voice, at morn and evening. And be not you of the neglectful."3

***

1. Often rendered as 'alms tax' or 'poor due,' it is a tax levied on a man's wealth and distributed among the poor.

2. The Chapter of the Light 24:37.

3. The Chapter of the Heights 7:205.

70

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•••

71

1. The Merit of Remembrance

1) The Messenger of Allah (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said:

"Shall I not inform you of the best of your deeds, and the most pure in the eyes of your King, and the loftiest of them in your grades (of merit), (deeds) that are better for you than the spending of gold and sil ver, and better for you than meeting your enemy and striking their necks and they striking your necks?" They said: Yes indeed, 0 Messenger of Allah. He said: "The remembrance of Allah."

(Related by at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah)

2) The Prophet (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said:

"The mufarridiin I (devotees) have surpassed (others)." They said: And who are the mufarridiin, 0 Messenger of Allah? He said: "The men and women who remember Allah much."

(Related by Muslim)

1. Those who isolate themselves and devote themselves to the praise of Allah

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3) C Abdullah ibn Busr mentioned that a man said: 0 Messenger of Allah, the revealed laws of faith have become too many for me, so tell me of one thing to hold fast to. He said: "Let your tongue continue to be moist with the remembrance of Allah the Almighty."

(Related by at- Tirmidhi)

4) On the authority of the Prophet (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) who said:

"The likeness of him who remembers his Lord to him who does not remember his Lord is as the likeness of the living to the dead."

(Related by al-Bukhari)

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5) From the Messenger of Allah (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), who said:

"He who sits down without remembering Allah the Almighty has committed an omission which Allah the Almighty will hold against him, and he who lies down without remembering Allah the Almighty has committed an omission which Allah the Almighty will hold against him,"

(Related by Abu Dawud)

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2. The merit of tahmid,i tahlil.i and tasbih'

6) The Messenger of Allah (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said:

"He who says: There is no god but Allah alone, He having no associate, He has dominion, and thanks are due to Him and He is able to do all things-a hundred times a day-will have the reward equivalent to manumitting ten slaves. He will have written for him a hundred good deeds and will have erased for him a hundred bad deeds. He will have sanctuary from the devil for that day of his until he enters upon the evening, and no one will have brought anything better than he has, except for a man who has done more than he."

(Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim)

1. To say "al-hamdu lillah."

2. To say "Ia ilaha illa 'Bah."

3. To say "subhana 'lliih."

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7) And he said: "Whoever has said subhana 'Ilah wa bi-harndih (How far is Allah from every imperfection !-and praise is due to Him) a hundred times in a day, his sins will be taken from him even if they are as the foam of the sea,"

(Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim)

8) The Messenger of Allah (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said:

"(There are) two phrases that are light upon the tongue, heavy in the Scales, beloved of the Merciful: subhana 'Bah wa bi-hamdih (How far is Allah from every imperfection!-and praise is due to Him) and subhana 'Ilah al-" Azim (How far is Allah the Great from every imperfectionl)."

(Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim)

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