Travelers on the Path of Knowledge

Knowledge is an ocean and a few drops just aren’t enough. -Unknown

Islam is timeless. March 1, 2010

Filed under: Hadith,Islam,Qur'an,Reflections,Sh. Hamza Yusuf — Lena @ 6:04 pm

Bismillah wAlhamdulillah wa salaatu wa salaam ‘ala Rasulillah

InshaAllah you are reading this in the best of states–physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Volume 9, Book 92, Number 415:
Narrated Humaid:
I heard Muawiya bin Abi Sufyan delivering a sermon. He said, “I heard the Prophet saying, “If Allah wants to do a favor to somebody, He bestows on him, the gift of understanding the Quran and Sunna. I am but a distributor, and Allah is the Giver. The state of this nation will remain good till the Hour is established, or till Allah’s Order comes.”

A couple of weeks ago, I was listening to Sh. Hamza Yusuf’s lecture series called “Reflection on Al Hujurat”–another great lecture series mashaAllah that I, of course, recommend. In the second ayah of the surah, Allah ta’ala says:

“O you who believe! do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet, and do not speak loud to him as you speak loud to one another, lest your deeds became null while you do not perceive.”

SubhanAllah. I’ll relay a couple of points on this ayah.

First: O you who believe! (yaa ayuha-ladhina aamanu)–this is to us; when we read/hear these words in the Qur’an, our ears should perk up. Allah ta’ala is speaking to us. If we claim to believe in Allah ta’ala and His Messenger, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, then listen up and know that what is to come is for you to take and put to use.

Then Allah ta’ala continues to tell us to not speak above the voice of the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam–to not treat him as we would treat any other individual, but rather he deserves far more respect. At the time when this verse was revealed and news of it passed between the Sahaba, several of them were immediately effected by it. They took this verse as speaking to them directly, and one individual in particular was certain it was revealed due to his dealing with the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam–he would speak loudly due to a hearing impairment. After hearing this verse, he left the people and isolated himself–crying and weeping and making tawba for his actions. SubhanAllah. How many of us are like this sahabah (may Allah ta’ala be pleased with him)? The Sahaba would take the revealed verses and apply them to themselves, while today, so often, when we hear a verse or any piece of knowledge and advice we are so eager to say to ourselves “Oh, so-and-so should hear this” or “This certainly must be referring to so-and-so.” Meanwhile, we neglect the one that should be of our greatest concern: our own selves. We should take verses, ahadith, advice, any knowledge we hear and automatically apply it to ourselves. As another shaykh said, when we read of Firawn, we should see the Firawn in ourselves–we should see how, while not to the same level of arrogance as Firawn, we harbor arrogance within our hearts. (May Allah ta’ala rid of us arrogance and all detestable traits and replace them with praiseworthy characteristics. Ameen.)

We should realize we are riddled with faults. It is said that we often view the world according to our state–if all we see is faults and bad in others, then we are only filled with faults. The faults we see in others should only be a means for us to realize our own faults. It is said that there were a group of people who had no faults but busied themselves with the faults of others, so Allah ta’ala gave them faults; and there was a group of people who had faults but busied themselves with becoming better and Allah ta’ala removed their faults. Surat al Hujurat continues on to mention not looking at the faults of others and to not mock.

Continuing with this ayah, Sh. Hamza mentioned a point which I recall hearing a few years ago from Mufti AbdurRahman ibn Yusuf regarding this verse. One may wonder how to apply the verse in our modern times since we do not have the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam physically with us.  The mufasiroon (those who interpret the verses) stated that this means that in our modern times we should give great respect to the ahadith.  And if a hadith is being read or shared, then we should give it our full attention and not speak over it.  Subhanallah.  Amazing.  It was shared how Imam Malik, in particular, would give great reverence to the words of the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and give the words the best of attention. We are blessed subhanAllah to have a tradition that has preserved the words of the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, in such a beautiful and authentic manner.

I shared this tafsir of the verse with someone and was saddened by the response–in that they said something to the effect of it being a bit of a stretch. But subhanAllah, it is not at all. That is the beauty of this deen–it is timeless, every ayah has application in our lives–it is our fault if we fail to see it or understand that meaning. It is said that those of higher states receive openings from Allah ta’ala to different meanings within the Qur’an. “If Allah wants to do a favor to somebody, He bestows on him, the gift of understanding the Quran and Sunna.” SubhanAllah. There are so many gems within the Qur’an and Sunnah waiting to be found–we just have to give it our attention.

wAllahu ta’ala ‘alam (and Allah, the Most High, alone knows best)

May Allah ta’ala forgive me for anything incorrect I have written; anything good is only from Allah ta’ala and may He allow me to benefit and those who read. May Allah ta’ala envelop us in His Mercy and grant us the good of this world and the next. Allahumma Ameen.

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