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Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal By Various Authours (Islamicstudies.

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1. Ahmad Ibn Hanbal - Imam of Ahl As-Sunnah - By Ahmad knowledge would travel throughout the Muslim World where the
Tammam - Source eminent jurists and scholars of Hadith live to acquire knowledge.

2. Memoirs from the Life of Imâm Ahmad - By Muhammad al- Imam Ahmad commenced his blessed journey in the pursuit of
Sharîf - Source Hadith in AH 186 (802 CE) at the age of 22. He went to Basra,
Koufa, Ar-Riqqa, Yemen, and Al-Hijaz (i.e., Makkah and
3. From the life and works of Imaam Ahmad Bin Hanbal - By Madinah) where he met a number of prominent and great scholars
Shaikh Saalih bin AbdulAziz Ala Shaikh - Source and jurists of the Ummah, such as Yahya ibn Sa`id Al-Qattan, Abu
Dawud At-Tayalisi, Waki` ibn Al-Jarraah, Abu Mu`awiyah Ad-
Ahmad Ibn Hanbal Imam of Ahl As-Sunnah Darir, Sufyan ibn `Uyainah, and Ash-Shafe`i.

By Ahmad Tammam He dedicated himself to studying at the hands of Ash-Shafe`i for a


period of time, during which he learned fiqh (Islamic
Source jurisprudence) and its principles. He was such a devout seeker of
knowledge that Imam Ash-Shafe`i said about him that there was no
Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (164-241 AH) was one of those rightly one in Baghdad that was more knowledgeable in religion and
guided imams who lived in the earlier Hijri centuries. Those skillful in memorizing hadiths than Imam Ahmad.
imams were role models for people. They displayed piety, superior
moral values, and sincere adherence to the Sunnah of Prophet His great passion for seeking Hadith made him bear every
Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). Hence, people difficulty willingly. Despite his great knowledge and high status
developed confidence in those imams' sound approach and sincere among eminent scholars, he proceeded to seek knowledge from
application of religion. others. Though his sheikhs and colleagues attested to the ample
knowledge he possessed, he did not feel embarrassed at all to sit
Those rightly guided imams would give impressive courses of among students to receive knowledge from others.
lectures in the mosques where seekers of knowledge would attend
in great numbers to listen to an interpretation of some verse, ask Seeing Imam Ahmad holding the inkwell by means of which he
for explanation of a hadith, or seek a fatwa. People would hold would write what he learned, a contemporary of him commented,
those imams in the highest esteem and model themselves after their "O father of Abdullah, [You sit among students] despite the high
guidance so that they may be rescued in the Hereafter. level of knowledge you have reached. You are the imam of
Muslims [in knowledge]!" The reply of Imam Ahmad came thus:
Birth and Origin "With the inkwell [I stay] till I go to the grave."

Born in Rabi` Awwal AH 164 (November 780 CE), Imam Ahmad A Teacher
belongs a noble house of Bani Shayban in Baghdad. His father
passed away before his birth. His mother took care of him and It is worth noting that Imam Ahmad took the seat of teaching and
brought him up in the most proper manner. issuing fatwa in Baghdad in AH 204 (819 CE), which was the
same year Imam Ash-Shafe`i died. Imam Ahmad was thus a great
He was keen that he learns the different disciplines of knowledge successor to an eminent predecessor.
prevalent at that time. So, he memorized the Noble Qur'an and
applied himself enthusiastically to the knowledge of Hadith. He He used to have two knowledge-imparting circles: a special one at
would get up at dawn to be the first student to attend the his home for his keen students and a general one in the mosque
knowledge circle of his sheikh. following the `Asr Prayer for ordinary people and knowledge-
seekers in general.
During his teens, he joined the circle of Abu Yusuf, a disciple of
Imam Abu Hanifah and the first person to hold the post of Chief Imam Ahmad would deal heartily with his students and would
Judge. His circle was unspeakably splendid. It attracted seekers of describe their inkwells with which they recorded what he imparted
knowledge, scholars, as well as judges of different classes and to them of hadiths as the lambs of Islam. Furthermore, he was so
ranks. Imam Ahmad attended this circle for four years. He honest and meticulous in reporting hadiths that he never reported a
recorded in writing all what he learned there, which formed a great hadith unless it was from a written source, though he was highly
amount of papers. noted for his sharp memory.

He also used to attend the circle of Imam Hasheem ibn Basheer It is also worth mentioning that Imam Ahmad memorized about
As-Solamy, the grand scholar of Hadith in Baghdad. Moreover, million narrations from the Companions and Tab`in (first
whenever he heard that a knowledgeable scholar came to Baghdad, generation after Prophet Muhammad).
he would seek to acquire knowledge from him. In this regard, he
learned from the great scholars Na`eem ibn Hammad, Abdul- A number of keen students who studied at Imam Ahmad's circles
Rahman ibn Mahdi, and `Umayr ibn Abdullah ibn Khaled. for a good and long time spread his knowledge and jurisprudence
everywhere. Most eminent among them was Abu Bakr Al-Maruzy,
who was close to the imam and most liked by him on account of
his knowledge, superior morality, truthfulness, and integrity. Imam
A Knowledge-Seeker Ahmad said about him, "Whatever he [Al-Maruzy] reports me as
saying is truly said by me." Also, among the students of Imam
Seekers of knowledge at the time were known for their journeys in Ahmad were Abu Bakr Al-Athram, Ishaq ibn Mansur At-Tamimi,
the pursuit of religious knowledge, especially Hadith. Regardless Ibrahim ibn Ishaq Al-Harbi, Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, and
of the high cost and distance of this kind of journeys, seekers of Baqi ibn Makhlad.

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Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal By Various Authours (Islamicstudies.info)

His School of Thought single word from him in support of their allegation about the
Qur'an being a creature. They would ask him, "What do you say
Imam Ahmad did not record his juristic fatwas, nor did he compile about the Qur'an? Is it a creature?" And his only reply was "It is
a book on jurisprudence or assign such a job to any of his students. Allah's word."
He disliked that any of his fatwas be written. This remained the
case until Abu Bakr Al-Khallal, a student of Al-Maruzy undertook With the persistent attempts by the caliph to win him over, the
the responsibility of compiling the Hanbali fiqh. imam would get more determined. When despair seized them, they
hang him from the heels. They would whip him without the least
Al-Khallal traveled to various places in search of the juristic prick of conscience that they were whipping an innocent and
opinions and fatwas issued by Imam Ahmad. He gathered such a guiltless individual, let alone that he was a pious scholar whom
huge number of fatwas that he compiled a book of about 20 people take as a role model. They showed no mercy in lashing his
volumes entitled Al-Jami` Al-Kabir. infirm body with turns of their harsh whips. He fainted as a result
of the flogging and was released and returned home.
He later held a circle in Al-Mahdi mosque in Baghdad to teach this
book to his students. Out of this knowledge-imparting circle, the During the era of Caliph Al-Wathiq (AH 227–232 [841–847 CE]),
written jurisprudence of the Hanbali school of thought spread after Imam Ahmad was forbidden to address people in a gathering. He
it was no more than scattered narrations. was allowed to go out only for prayer.

Afterwards, Abu Al-Qasim Al-Khiraqi summarized the book Circumstances changed, however, when Al-Mutawakkil assumed
compiled by Al-Khallal in a book entitled Mukhtasar Al-Khiraqi the Caliphate. He banned the opinion saying that the Qur'an is a
(Al-Khiraqi's Compendium). This book found favor with people creature and restored to Imam Ahmad his esteem and status. Upon
and captured the attention of the Hanbali jurists, who wrote more that, Imam Ahmad resumed his teaching circles in the mosque.
than 300 books wherein explaining Al-Khiraqi's book and
commenting on it. The best and most well-known book among His Writings
those 300 was Al-Mughni written by Ibn Qudamah Al-Maqdesi.
Al-Musnad(The Authenticated) is the most prominent book among
Later, Imam Abdus-Salam ibn Abdullah, the grandfather of Imam his writings. It is the biggest record of the Prophet's Sunnah as it
Ibn Taymiyah, reviewed Imam Ahmad's fatwas and wrote a book includes about 40 thousand hadiths out of 750 thousand hadiths
entitled Al-Muharir (The Freer) on jurisprudence. After that, many that Imam Ahmad had knowledge about. Imam Ahmad began
other books were written on Imam Ahmad's fatwas, and these writing this book after the age of 36.
books circulated among people.
Az-Zuhd (Arabic for Asceticism) tackles the hadiths and narrations
It is worth noting that the Hanbali school was the most flexible on the subject of asceticism.
school of thought with regard to freedom of transaction and the
conditions thereby the contracting parties shall be required to As-Sunnah (Arabic for Sunnah) handles the hadiths on matters of
abide. Imam Ahmad held the opinion that the basic rule is that belief.
transactions among people are, in principle, permissible unless
proved otherwise by a legal proof. Al-Wara` wa Al-Iman (Arabic for Piety and Faith) focuses on the
hadiths and narrations tackling piety and awareness of Almighty
His Trial Allah.

Imam Ahmad faced a serious trial that he bore steadfastly. He


refused to make any concessions in the process.
Al-Masa'il(Arabic for Problems) is in fact a book compiled by
The trial began when Caliph Al-Ma'moun declared in AH 218 (833 some students of Imam Ahmad and two of his sons. It is in the
CE) his call to consider the Qur'an a creature like all creatures. form of questions and answers about juristic issues, matters of
Many jurists were forced under torture to agree. But Ahmad and belief, chains of narrators, and hadiths and their explanations.
Muhammad ibn Noah refused to succumb. As a consequence, they
were fettered and sent to Baghdad to stand before Caliph Al- Fada'il As-Sahabah (Arabic for Virtues of the Companions)
Ma'moun. While they were on their way to him, the caliph passed contains almost 2000 narrations about the virtues of the Prophet's
away, so they were returned to Baghdad fettered. Companions.

On the way back to Baghdad, Muhammad ibn Noah died. But All these books are published and widely read.
before his death, he advised his companion, Imam Ahmad, saying,
"You are a man that people take as a role model. They are now His Death
waiting to see how you will act [in this trial]. So, be mindful of
Almighty Allah and remain steadfast for His sake." After a life full of great achievements, Imam Ahmad passed away
in Rabi` Thani 12, AH 241 (August 30, 855 CE) at the age of 77.
Imam Ahmad acted upon his companion's advice and stood up for He was buried in Baghdad.
his beliefs. He was imprisoned for more than two years. Then he
was carried to Caliph Al-Mu`tasim, who followed in the footsteps
of his late brother, Al-Ma'moun.
2. Memoirs from the Life of Imâm Ahmad By Muhammad al-
The carrot-and-stick approach was used with Imam Ahmad in the Sharîf
presence of the caliph and his gathering in an attempt to gain a
Source

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Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal By Various Authours (Islamicstudies.info)

In an interesting book, Wadaa' ar-Rasul li 'Ummatihi, Shaykh al- tell the people to boycott Zayd ibn Khalaf?" Imam Ahmâd replied,
Qahtaani recalls the final words that Rasulallâh said on his "I received a letter from his people asking about his affair, so I
deathbed. replied explaining his Madhhab and what he has innovated (in the
Sunnah) and commanded that they not sit with him.." Al-Khuttalî
After living a life of Jihâd, Dâ'wah, and Ibâdah, Rasulallâh, exploded in Imâm Ahmad's face, red with anger, "I'm going to
sallallâhu 'alayhi wa sallam, gathered the people around him on his make sure you go back to prison. I'm going to have them crush
deathbed and said, "I have left two things that you shall not go your ribs." The vulgarity grew louder and louder. Imâm Ahmad
astray after them so long as you stick to them: the Book of Allâh turned to his son, "Don't reply to what he says and don't speak to
and My Sunnah." him."

After Rasulallâh, sallallâhu 'alayhi wa sallam, moved onto ar-Rafîq Imâm Ahmad took his sandals - al-Khuttalî swearing from behind
al-'Alâ, the Ummah was tested with humans that tried to corrupt, his back - and told his son, "Tell the neighbors to not speak to him
discredit, or amputate the Sunnah from Islâm. nor to reply him." Imâm Ahmad stepped away as Al-Khuttalî
continued in the backround cursing and shouting profanity.
And from the depths of the Ummah's men and women, Allâh ta'ala
- from His mercy to the Ummah of Muhammad - raised up When the Khalifah al-Mu'tasim heard that Imâm Ahmad had not
warriors that would stand in the face of the most vicious of the agreed with him and his court Muftîs on a specific issue, they
enemies of the Sunnah. brought him and questioned him in the courtyard of the Khalifah.
They would debate with him and like a gladiator with a spear he
From those people that Allâh ta'ala raised was a young boy named would hit back with bigger and stronger arguments. The Muftîs
Ahmad. Ahmad lived in Baghdad over a thousand years ago. On would shout, "O Khalifah, he has done Kufr!" Until the Al-
those cold wintery nights, his mother - the blessed Mu'minah that Mu'tasim was convinced and in came the executioners.
she was - would wake long before Fajr to warm the water for her
son. Then - again long before Fajr - she would wake him to make They stripped Imâm Ahmad and each of the strongest guards
Wudhû, then she would wrap him in shawls and off through the would take turns lashing Imâm Ahmad until he fell unconscious.
molten dark alleys of Baghdad they would carefully make their Regardless of his state, they continued the lashing. The sun went
way to the Masjid. down that day and Imâm Ahmad had not relented in his faith. That
day he became an icon for all followers of Sunnah.
There was no male to escort him (he was an orphan), so Ahmad's
mother would take him that early so that he could get a good seat Qutaybah said, "If you ever see someone that loves Imâm Ahmad,
in the hadîth halaqah after Fajr. Then she would wait for him long know that they are a follower of the Sunnah."
after the sun rose to safely escort him back home. Her son grew up
to be one of these warrior defenders of the Sunnah, one of the four Al-Hasan ibn Arafah narrated, "I visited Imâm Ahmad ibn Hanbal
Imâms of this Dîn, Imâm Ahmad ibn Hanbal. after he was whipped and tortured. I said to him, "O Abu Abdillâh,
you have reached the station of the Prophets!" He said, "Keep
quiet. Verily, I saw nothing more than people selling their Dîn.
And I saw scholars that were with me sell their Faith.
In his collection, al-Musnad alone, he narrated from over 280
teachers. So I said to myself, 'Who am I, what am I. What am I going to say
to Allâh tomorrow when I stand in front of Him and He asks me,
He grew up under the shade of the Sunnah and he lived the "Did you sell your Dîn like the others did?" So I looked at the whip
Sunnah. It was reported that he said, "I've never written a hadith and the sword and chose them.
that I did not try to implement."
And I said, "If I die I shall return to Allâh and say: 'I was told to
And he raised his children like this too. When you see other fathers say that one of Your Characteristics was something created but I
throwing a baseball with their young Muslims that Allâh entrusted did not.' After that, it will be up to Him - either to punish me or
them with, remember this example: forgive me."

Abdullâh, Imâm Ahmad's son, taught his students that when he Al-Hasan ibn Arafah then asked, "Did you feel pain when they
was young his father would play with him, "Take any chapter you whipped you?" He said "Yes, I felt the pain up to 20 lashes then I
wish from the Musannaf of Wakî'. Ask me any hadîth and I'll tell lost all feeling (They whipped him over eighty times). After it was
you the chain of narrators, or tell me any chain of narrators and I'll over I felt no pain and that day I prayed Dhuhr standing."
tell you the hadith!"
[In fact he prayed as the blood soiled his clothes.]
He was challenged in his Deen like few other humans have been
challenged. His name remains engraved in our admiration till today Al-Hasan ibn Arafah started weeping when he heard what had
- across hundreds of years, across thousands of miles, across happened. Imâm Ahmad questioned him, "Why are you crying? I
thousands of nations - because of his love for the Sunnah and his did not lose my Îman. After that why should I care if I lose my
stand against those that would seek to corrupt it. life."

Reading through his life, I came across an event that brought back Qul lan yuseebana illa maa kataballaahu lana, huwa Mowlaana, wa
sad memories. How do you feel when your father is swore at in ala Allâhi falyatawakkalil mutawakkilun.
public. Imâm Ahmad once prayed 'Asr and he sat with his son in
the Masjid alone with another man by the name of Muhammad ibn Before - when Imâm Ahmad was being led off to the Khalifah -
Sa'îd Al-Khuttalî. Al-Khuttalî then remarked, "Did you (O Ahmad) people had tried to dissuade him from a most certain execution.

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Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal By Various Authours (Islamicstudies.info)

His student: Al-Marrudhî had told him, "O teacher, Allâh says, Do the Ka'bah, and since he knew him, he went and greeted him.
not kill yourselves." Imâm Ahmad had replied, "O Marrudhî, go Yahyaa said to 'AbdurRazzaq, and they knew each other, "This is
outside and tell me what you see." Al-Marrudhî went to the wall of Ahmad bin Hanbal." So 'AbdurRazzaq became happy about this
the Khalifah's court and saw an ocean of students with their pens and said, "It has reached us that he is a person who has a lot of
and scrolls in their hands. goodness." When they prayed their two rak'ahs after making
tawwaaf, Yahyaa said to Imaam Ahmad, "Ahmad, our provisions
Al-Marrudhî asked some of them, "What are you waiting here for the journey to San'aa' have been used. And here is
for?" They said, "We are waiting to see what Ahmad will say and 'AbdurRazzaq, so let us stay with him so we can take some
then transcribe it." Al-Marrudhî went back to Imâm Ahmad and narrations from him." Imaam Ahmad said to Yahyaa bin Ma'een,
told him what he had seen. "My intention is still present, and I will not oppose it. So I will
continue on to San'aa'." This shows the effects of his commitment
"O Marrudhî," he said, "what shall I gain by misguiding all those to the hardships of seeking knowledge. A trip to San'aa' in that
people?" time was not made in cars or airplanes or the likes, rather it was
only made with great hardships, the realities of which can not be
Imâm Ahmad lived a life of poverty. When others eat lavishly described.
remember there were days - as 'Abdur-Razzaq recalls - that Imâm
Ahmad would make a mistake in Salâh. When 'Abdur-Razzaq Ma'roof said, "I saw Ahmad bin Hanbal when he was a young boy
inquired further he learnt that Imam Ahmad had not eaten for 3 and he had signs of nusuk on him." In reality, this is what we
days. should see in our children, that they work hard to correct
themselves in their youth, in their early years. Because at this age,
In this life of poverty, hardship and trials, Abdullâh asked his if they do not build upon this foundation with what is correct, with
father one day, "Abi when will we ever relax?" His father, one of acts of worship and obedience, then it will be very difficult after
the greatest revivers of the Sunnah, a role model for all Muslims, that, except for those whom Allah, the Mighty and Exalted,
looked him in the eye and said, "With the first step we take into excludes.
Jannah."
Whoever holds to His Religion in his youth, firmness will return to
him. Someone being devout or obedient is not just a claim or a
verbal ascription to something, nor is it something seen only from
Rahim Allâhu Al-Imam Ahmad. the outside. Rather devoutness in the Religion entails one taking on
serious rituals, he must worship, and he must be obedient.
3. From the life and works of Imaam Ahmad Bin Hanbal
This leads us to the story when Imaam Ahmad once hosted one of
By Shaikh Saalih bin AbdulAziz Ala Shaikh his students in Hadith, 'AbdusSamad bin Sulaymaan. When he was
hosting him in his house, and it came time to sleep, he brought him
Source [Abridged from other Source] some water to make wudhoo' from or for general use. Then he
went to sleep. When the morning came, Imaam Ahmad saw that all
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the All-Merciful, may
of the water was still there, so he asked about it. ''AbdusSamad
His Peace and Blessings be upon His Final Messenger, to proceed:
replied, "I did not use the water." Imaam Ahmad said, "A student
of the narrations who does not do anything at night?!"
Dedicating One's Youth to Worship
He meant, "All the way to the morning, you did not pray in the
Since his childhood, Imaam Ahmad (may Allah have Mercy on
night?! You did not worship!? You did not even pray two
him) could be seen with signs of nusuk on him. Ma'roof Al-
rak'ahs?!" 'AbdusSamad replied, "Verily I am a traveler." He said,
Karkhee (may Allah have Mercy on him) said, "I saw Ahmad bin
"Even as a traveler!" Meaning, "Where is the witr? Where is the
Hanbal when he was a young boy, and he had signs of nusuk on
prayer?"
him. I used to hear him making statements that were full of
benefit." This statement describes how he was upon guidance even
So without a doubt, if this was important in that day and time for
as a young boy. He used to be seen with signs of nusuk on him.
cultivating one's soul and getting set in the proper direction, then
What is meant by nusuk is worship and acts of obedience. The
we are in more need of it today. This is the case especially with the
effects of worship and obedience are not only physical ones seen in youth who seek knowledge, or those holding tight to their
the appearance and dress, but their effects are also found in one's
guidance, or those who display the effects of prayer, or those who
speech, manners, in the acts of worship and obedience themselves, are keen in doing good deeds.
and in one's preference for the Next Life over this one.
One must keep his soul tied to some acts of worship. No doubt,
Imaam Ahmad said about his own self, "I did not marry until after one must keep his soul tied to some acts of obedience. If you force
I reached 40 years of age." His companions said that this was
the soul to be obedient, it will become obedient. If you abandon it,
because he used to be busy traveling to seek knowledge before then it will be a soul that gravitates toward wrongdoing.
that. He went to Makkah, and from there to San'aa'. There is a
story about this trip: It has been related that the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam)
said, "Whoever shows enduring patience, Allah will make him
He set out with his companion, Yahyaa ibn Ma'een, for Hajj. He firm upon patience." [Sahih Al-Bukhari]
said to Yahyaa, "When I finish Hajj, verily I am going to Yemen to
meet the scholar of Yemen, the scholar of Hadith, 'AbdurRazzaq Therefore, this description of Imaam Ahmad proves that he had an
bin Hammaam As-San'ani." When they reached Makkah, they upbringing based on obedience to Allaah and acts of worship, so
found that 'AbdurRazzaq was making Hajj that year as well. So much so that he used to force his soul to shun many worldly things
Yahyaa knew who he was and met him. He saw him going around

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Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal By Various Authours (Islamicstudies.info)

and to take on great hardships. The result of this was that he One of Imaam Ahmad's students, 'Abd-us-Samad bin Sulaymaan,
established his soul firmly upon obedience to Allah, the Mighty said, "I stayed with Ahmad bin Hanbal. He left for me a container
and Exalted. of water. In the morning he found that I had not used it. He said, 'A
companion of the narrations, and he has no activity in the night?!' I
Humbling Oneself and Rejecting Popularity told him, 'I am a traveler.' He replied, 'Even as a traveler!'"

From the guidance that we will take from the fountains of Imaam This is an outstanding lesson from Imaam Ahmad! The student of
Ahmad that do not dry up, is the statement of Muhammad bin knowledge must keep himself upon some rites of worship, he must
Hasan bin Haaroon, "I saw that when Abu 'Abdullah walked the have an eagerness to get close to Allah, the Mighty and Majestic.
streets, he hated that someone would walk behind him." How will he memorize the Sunnah? How will he gain knowledge?
How will he learn? How will he gain understanding? How will he
Furthermore, 'Abdullah, the son of Imaam Ahmad, said, "When he comprehend the meanings of the Quran? How will he understand
went out to Juma'ah prayer, my father would not allow anyone to its explanation? How will he memorize the Quran when he does
follow behind him, and he used to stop until the people following not keep himself firm upon acts of worship and obedience?
him would pass him up."
He must dedicate himself specifically to praying at night, with
Why was that? Because this is a trial for the one being followed, whatever is easy for him. Allah says: "Stand the night except for a
and a form of humiliation to the follower. Imaam Ahmad knew little" [Quran Surah Al-Muzzammil #73 Verse #2] Then, Allah the
that if someone followed him, he would benefit, either from his Exalted says in the last part of the same chapter: "Then recite from
supplications, or perhaps he would ask a question, but, from his the Quran what is easy " [Quran Surah Al-Muzzammil #73 Verse
keenness to remedy his soul, he disliked to be tested by having a #20] This means that you stand for a time that is easy on you, even
group of people following behind him. if it is only three rak'ahs. Stand for whatever is easy for you. It can
not be that the norm for the student of knowledge is that he does
A simple affair from something everyone does - he would not be not pray tahajjud at night, that he does not dedicate himself to
pleased with anyone following him, rather he loved to walk by some worship. The righteous man, the one who seeks to correct
himself. He was so keen on keeping himself pure, by going out to himself, must have a special concern for this great act of worship,
the prayer and returning to his house alone. standing in the night.

These manners will help everyone who has been tested by Allah Praying at night is one thing. These days we need to talk about
with a following of people, whether the people look up to him something even more serious. We have to talk about offering the
because of knowledge, status, or even worldly things. He must Far prayer in congregation! If the people of the past were advised
humble himself and not assist the Shaytan in destroying his own to take care of their prayers at night, then where are we?! in these
self. times when many of the people who ascribe to righteousness can
He must shun all avenues leading to this. If he sees within himself not even master praying the Far prayer in congregation!
any amazement or pride with himself pride, or that he sees himself
as being great, then he must lower himself and be humble so that Then how will our affair be, and what should we be talking about?
he can set himself straight. This is because pride is a huge thing, No doubt the affair is not easy, so let every one of us inspect our
one of the major sins. own selves. Let us repent sincerely, without delay, from every sin.
If we have been negligent of our duties, then repentance is
The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) said, "The one who has obligatory. If we have been negligent of recommended things, then
even the smallest particle of pride in his heart will not enter a person renews his commitment to seek Allah's great Bounties.
Paradise." [Reported by Imaam Muslim in his Sahih #263]

This is what is binding on all those that the people follow, that they
know this is a test from Allah and they dedicate themselves to Allah the Exalted has described the people of taqwaa in Surah Ath-
lowering themselves and having humility. And those who follow Thaariyaat : " Verily the pious will be in gardens and springs,
them should be careful as well, they should not go against someone Receiving what Allah has given them, Verily they used to do good
trying to work by this advice. works before that, They used to sleep little at night, And they used
to seek forgiveness in the morning " [Quran Surah Ath-Thaariyaat
So if a person finds a scholar trying to be humble like this, then let #51 Verses #14-18]
him be easy on him. Let him benefit from him in any environment
he finds him in, at study circles, in classrooms, etc., however, he Al-Hasan Al-Basri (may Allah have Mercy on him) spoke about
must not follow him to every place as he may detest that. Every these two verses "They used to sleep little at night, And they used
sincere scholar dedicated to the education of the people hates to to seek forgiveness in the morning ", with some very remarkable
have the people follow him, and he hates that they say great things comments. He said, "They stood the night praying, and when the
about him, since praise is something that he fears will affect his early morning came they sought forgiveness, fearing that their
heart. prayers would not be accepted from them."

Ibn Masud (Radhiallahu Án) said, advising his students, These are the kinds of statements that come from those who have
prohibiting them from following him, "This is a belittlement of the live hearts. We may have no part in the affair except to convey the
followers and a trial for the one being followed." narration, as the ones who we narrate to may be more receptive
and understanding of them than the narrator.
Praying at Night

MIA Page 5 of 5 Sunday, November 28, 2010