The Four Sacred Months – Tafseer Ibn Kathir

The Four Sacred Months – Tafseer Ibn Kathir

by AbdurRahman.org

(36. Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so was it ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein, and fight against the Mushrikin idolaters collectively as they fight against you collectively. But know that Allah is with those who have Taqwa.)

Soorat at-Tawbah 9:36

The Year consists of Twelve Months

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Bakrah said that the Prophet said in a speech during his Hajj, (The division of time has turned to its original form which was current when Allah created the heavens and the earth. The year is of twelve months, out of which four months are sacred: Three are in succession Dhul-Qa`dah, Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram, and (the fourth is) Rajab of (the tribe of) Mudar which comes between Jumada (Ath-Thaniyah) and Sha`ban.”

The Prophet then asked, (What is the day today’) We said, “Allah and His Messenger know better. He kept quiet until we thought that he might give that day another name. He said (Isn’t it the day of Nahr) We replied, “Yes.” He further asked, (Which month is this) We again said, “Allah and His Messenger know better,” and he kept quiet and made us think that he might give it another name. Then he said,(Isn’t it the month of Dhul-Hijjah) We replied, “Yes.” He asked, (What town is this) We said, “Allah and His Messenger know better,” and he kept quiet until we thought that he might change its name. He asked, (Isn’t this the (Sacred) Town) We said, “Yes.” He said,

(Verily! Your blood, property and honor are sacred to one another like the sanctity of this day of yours, in this month of yours and in this city of yours. Verily, you will meet your Lord and He will question you about your actions. Behold! Do not revert to misguidance after me by striking the necks of one another. Have I conveyed It is incumbent upon those who are present to inform those who are absent, because those who are absent might comprehend (what I have said) better than some who are present.) Al-Bukhari and Muslim collected this Hadith.

In a small book collected by Shaykh `Alam ad-Din As-Sakhawi, entitled, Al-Mashhur fi Asma’ Al-Ayam wash-Shuhur, he mentioned that Muharram is so named because it is a sacred month. To me, it was so named to emphasize its sacredness. This is because the Arabs would switch it around. One year they would say it was a sacred month, the following year they would say that it was not. The author said, “…and Safar is so named because they used to leave their homes during that month for fighting and traveling. When saying `Safir’ a place, it means to leave it… Rabi` Al-Awwal is called that because they used to do Irtiba` in it, that is to maintain one’s property… and Rabi` Al-Akhir, was so named for the same reasons. Jumada is called that because the water would dry up (Jamud) then….They say Jumada Al-Uwla and Al-Awwal, or Jumada Al-Akhar or Al-Akhirah. Rajab comes from Tarjib, meaning to honor. Sha`ban because the tribes would separate and return to their homes. Ramadan was so named because of the severity of the Ramda’ – that is – the heat, and they say that the branch Ramadat when it is thirsty…And the saying that it is a Name of Allah is a mistake, for there is no proof or support for that…”

The Sacred Months

Allah said,

(of them four are sacred). The Arabs used to consider these months sacred during the time of Jahiliyyah, except for a group of them called Al-Basl, who held eight months of the year to be sacred as way of exaggeration in religion. The Prophet said,

(Three are in succession; Dhul-Qa`dah, Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram, and (the fourth is) Rajab of (the tribe of) Mudar which comes between Jumada (Ath-Thani) and Sha`ban).

The Prophet said “Rajab of Mudar” to attest to the custom of Mudar, in saying that Rajab is the month that is between Jumada and Sha`ban, not as the tribe of Rabi`ah thought, that it is between Sha`ban and Shawwal, which is Ramadan in the present calendar. The four Sacred Months were made four, three in succession and one alone, so that the Hajj and `Umrah are performed with ease. Dhul-Qa`dah, the month before the Hajj month, was made sacred because they refrained from fighting during that month. Dhul-Hijjah, the next month, was made sacred because it is the month of Hajj, during which they performed Hajj rituals. Muharram, which comes next, was made sacred so that they are able to go back to their areas in safety after performing Hajj. Rajab, in the middle of the lunar year, was made sacred so that those coming from the farthest areas of Arabia are able to perform `Umrah and visit the House and then go back to their areas safely. Allah said next,

(That is the right religion), that is the Straight Law, requiring implementing Allah’s order concerning the months that He made sacred and their true count as it was originally written by Allah. Allah said,

(so wrong not yourselves therein) during these Sacred Months, for sin in them is worse than sin in other months. Likewise, sins in the Sacred City are written multiplied,

(…and whoever inclines to evil actions therein (in Makkah) or to do wrong, him We shall cause to taste from a painful torment) 22:25. Similarly, sin in general is worse during the Sacred Months

`Ali bin Abi Talhah narrated that Ibn `Abbas said, Allah’s statement,

(Verily, the number of months with Allah…), is connected to

(so wrong not yourselves therein), “In all (twelve) months. Allah then chose four out of these months and made them sacred, emphasizing their sanctity, making sinning in them greater, in addition to, multiplying rewards of righteous deeds during them.” Qatadah said about Allah’s statement,

(so wrong not yourselves therein), “Injustice during the Sacred Months is worse and graver than injustice in other months. Verily, injustice is always wrong, but Allah makes things graver than others as He will.” He also said,

“Allah has chosen some of His creation above others. He chose Messengers from angels and from men. He also chose His Speech above all speech, the Masajid above other areas of the earth, Ramadan and the Sacred Months above all months, Friday above the other days and Laylatul-Qadr (The Night of Decree) above all nights. Therefore, sanctify what Allah has sanctified, for doing so is the practice of people of understanding and comprehension.”

Fighting in the Sacred Months

Allah said,

(and fight against the idolators collectively), all of you,

(as they fight against you collectively.), all of them,

(But know that Allah is with those who have Taqwa), and know that initiating battle during the Sacred Months is forbidden. Allah said in other Ayat,

(O you who believe! Violate not the sanctity of the symbols of Allah, nor of the sacred month.) 5:2,

(The Sacred Month is for the Sacred Month, and for the prohibited things, there is the law of equality (Qisas). Then whoever transgresses the prohibition against you, you transgress likewise against him) 2:194, and,

(Then when the Sacred Months have passed, kill the idolators…) 9:5. As for Allah’s statement,

(And fight against the idolators collectively as they fight against you collectively), it includes permission for the believers to fight the idolators in the Sacred Month, if the idolators initiate hostilities therein. Allah said in other Ayat,

(The Sacred Month is for the Sacred Month, and for the prohibited things, there is the law of equality (Qisas)) 2:194, and,

(And fight not with them at Al-Masjid Al-Haram, unless they (first) fight you there. But if they attack you, then kill them.) 2:191.

As for the Messenger of Allah laying siege to At-Ta’if until the Sacred Month started, it was a continuation of the battle against Hawazin and their allies from Thaqif. They started the fighting and gathered their men for the purpose of conducting war. The Messenger of Allah marched to meet them and when they took refuge in At-Ta’if, the Prophet laid siege to them so that they descend from their forts, but they inflicted casualties on Muslims. The siege continued for about forty days, during which a Sacred Month began, and the siege continued for several days in that month. The Messenger broke the siege and went back (to Makkah). So fighting that carries over into it the Sacred Month is not the same as initiating warfare during it, Allah knows best.

Source: Tafseer Ibn Kathir, Soorat at-Tawbah 9:36, Dar-us-salam english Publications

Exposing Someone’s Evil and Propagating it under the Pretense of Advising – Imam Ibn Rajab

Exposing Someone’s Evil and Propagating it under the Pretense of Advising – Imam Ibn Rajab

by AbdurRahman.org

From the apparent signs of condemning is: Exposing someone’s evil and propagating it under the pretense of advising, while claiming that it is only these defects that are making him do it, general or specific. Meanwhile, on the inside, his aim is only to condemn and cause harm.[33]

So he is from the brothers of the hypocrites, those whom Allaah has disparaged in His Book in many places, for indeed Allaah disparages those who outwardly display a good action or saying, while intending inwardly to accomplish a mischievous and evil goal. And He has counted that as one of the aspects of hypocrisy, as is stated in Surah Baraa,[34] in which He humiliates the hypocrites and exposes their despicable attributes:

“And as for those who set up a masjid in order to cause harm, (spread) disbelief, disunite the believers and to make it as an outpost for those who made war against Allaah and His Messenger since aforetime, they will indeed swear that their intention is nothing but good. But Allaah bears witness that they are certainly liars.” [Surah At-Tawbah: 107]

And Allaah says:

“Think not that those who rejoice in what they have done, and love to be praised for what they have not done – do not think that they are rescued from the torment. And for them is a painful punishment!” [Surah Aali ‘Imraan: 188]

This ayah was sent down concerning the Jews, when the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم asked them about something and they concealed knowledge of it informing him instead of something else. Yet they showed to him that they had indeed informed him about what he had asked them. And they sought praise from him صلى الله عليه وسلم because of it and became joyous at what they gained by concealing it and because he صلى الله عليه وسلم asked them. This is what Ibn ‘Abbaas (radhi Allaahu anhu) stated and his hadeeth concerning that is transmitted in the two Saheeh collections. [35]

Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudree (radhi Allaahu anhu) said:

“There was a group of men among the hypocrites who when the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم would go out to fight in the (military) expeditions, would refrain from going with him. And they would be happy with opposing the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم with their sitting (instead of fighting). So when Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم would arrive, they would make excuses for themselves and swear to him. And they loved to be praised for that which they did not do. So this ayah was revealed.” [36]

Therefore, these characteristics are the characteristics of the Jews and the hypocrites. And it is that someone outwardly displays a saying or an action, while presenting an image in which he appears to be upon good. Yet his intention in doing that is to accomplish an evil goal. So he is praised for what good he has made manifest outwardly, while accomplishing by it, the evil goal he has kept hidden inwardly. And he basks in the praise he receives for that which he has outwardly portrayed as being good, which is in fact evil on the inside, and he is happy that his evil hidden objective has been achieved. So his benefit is perfected for him and his scheme is carried out effectively by this deception!!

Anyone with this characteristic definitely falls under the (threat) of this ayah – thus he is threatened with a painful torment. An example of this is:

When someone desires to defame a man, belittle him and expose his faults so that people turn away from him. This is done either because he loves to cause harm to him, because of his enmity towards him, or because he fears him due to a rivalry that exists between them with regard to wealth, leadership, or other blameworthy causes. So he does not find a way towards accomplishing his goal, except by publicly degrading him due to some religious reason.

For example, someone (i.e. a scholar) has refuted a weak opinion from the many opinions of a well-known and famous scholar. So this (evil) individual spreads that amongst those who respect that scholar, saying: “This person (that did the refutation) hates this scholar, and is only defaming and criticizing him.” So by doing this, he (the evil person) deceives all those people that hold that scholar in esteem, making them believe that such a refutation was done out of hatred and with insult on the part of the one refuting, and that his deed was full of audacity and arrogance. So he (the evil person) is (outwardly) defending this scholar and uplifting the abuse from him – and that is an act pleasing to Allaah and in obedience to Him. So he combines this outer facade of advising with two disgusting and forbidden things: [37]

First: The insinuation that this scholar’s refutation of the other opinion was done out of hatred, seeking to belittle (the other scholar), and as a result of following his desires. But (in reality) he only desires by it to advise the believers and to make known some aspect of knowledge that is unlawful to keep concealed.

Second: He (the evildoer) manifests and magnifies the (scholar’s) criticism (for the other scholar), so that he can fulfill his desire and achieve his evil goal under the pretense of advising and defending the scholars of the Religion.

This type of evil plotting is similar to the injustice and oppression displayed by the tribe of Marwaan and their followers, who won the people’s affection and at the same time, turned these people’s hearts away from ‘Alee bin Abee Taalib, Al-Hasan, Al-Husayn and their offspring, may Allaah be pleased with all of them.

When ‘Uthmaan (radhi Allaahu anhu) was killed, the Muslim nation did not see anyone possessing more right to succeed him other than ‘Alee (radhi Allaahu anhu), so they pledged allegiance to him. So those who sought to turn the people away from him set about their goal by manifesting the outrageous and scandalous murder of ‘Uthmaan. And it was just as they said it was.

But then they added to it that the one who conspired his murder and carried it out was none other than ‘Alee (radhi Allaahu anhu). And this was a lie and a slander against him! And ‘Alee (radhi Allaahu anhu) would swear and reaffirm his oaths in denying this accusation – and he was truthful and innocent in his oath, may Allaah be pleased with him. But they began to fight against him, claiming that their struggle was for the sake of the Religion and that it was pleasing to Allaah, and then they began to fight with his children. These individuals strove hard in publicizing this (lie), propagating it on the mimbars on the days of Jumu’ah, as well as on other occasions in which there were large gatherings. This continued until it settled into the hearts of their followers that the matter was as these individuals said it was, and that the tribe of Marwaan had more right (to the Khilaafah) than ‘Alee and his children due to their closeness to ‘Uthmaan, and that they had more right to avenge his (‘Uthmaan radhi Allaahu anhu) death. So in doing this, they were able to unite the hearts of the people against ‘Alee and his sons and to turn the people to fight against him and his children after him. This asserted the kingship for them and their rule became established as a result of that.

While in privacy, one of them would say to those he confided in, something with the meaning: “No one amongst the Companions was more restrained from (causing harm to) ‘Uthmaan than ‘Alee.” So it would be said to him: “Then why did the people revile him?” So he would respond: “The kingship (i.e. end of the Khilaafah) would not be established if it weren’t for that.”

The meaning of this is that if they did not turn the people’s hearts away from ‘Alee (radhi Allaahu anhu) and his children, and if they didn’t attribute the injustice done to ‘Uthmaan to them, the hearts of the people would not feel sympathy for them (later), due to what they knew of their beautiful attributes and honorable qualities, for they used to rush to follow them and pledge allegiance to them (in the past). And because of this, the Umayyah dynasty came to an end and the people ceased obeying them. [38]

Footnotes:

[33] This is from the actions of the heart which no one has knowledge of except Allaah, the Most Perfect.

[34] [Translator’s Note: He means Surah At-Tawbah]

[35]Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (9/301), Muslim (17/123), Ahmad (1/298) and Ibn Jareer (4/207).

[36] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (8/233), Muslim (17/123) and Ibn Jareer (4/205). It must be noted here that Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr mentioned in Al-Fath (9/301) that it is possible to combine these two causes for the ayah’s revelation found in the two hadeeths by saying that it was revealed with regard to both of these groups (Jews and hypocrites). Shaikh Muqbil bin Haadee Al-Waadi’ee said in his As-Saheeh-ulMusnad (pg. 35): “If the hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed is more established then that takes more precedence because the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas is from that which the two Shaikhs have been criticized by, as has been stated in Muqaddimat-ul-Fath (20/132) and as is stated in Fath-ul-Baaree (9/302). And there is no point in restricting it to only the People of the Book…”

[37][Translator’s Note: We ask the noble readers to consider these precious words stated by the author and compare them with the likes of the situations we find today. No doubt the scholars of the Sunnah in these days are accused in such a manner. Such an example can be found in Imaam Muhammad Naasirud-Deen Al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah) and the lies and attacks that were launched against him by Hasan Saqqaf, Kabbani and their likes, who make themselves appear as though they’re advising the Muslim ummah. But yet in reality they are doing no more than discrediting, defaming and belittling a scholar. And the claims that come from them are well known in that these scholars, such as Al-Albaanee, who warn against “blind-following” are labeled as deviants who hate the four Imaams and who want to do away with their teachings! May Allaah give us the ability to see through the false accusations of the ignorant and the unjust.]

[38] See Al-‘Awaasim min-al-Qawaasim of the Qaadee Ibn Al-‘Arabee al-Maalikee (rahimahullaah) for in there is what is sufficient for one who seeks the truth about this subject, Allaah willing.

Source: From the al-ibaanah eBook: The Difference between Advising and Condemning – Imaam Ibn Rajab

“Had We sent down this Qur’an upon a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbling itself” – Explained by Shaykh Uthaymeen

“Had We sent down this Qur’an upon a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbling itself” – Explained by Shaykh Uthaymeen
by AbdurRahman.org

The Second Ayah: His statement:

“Had We sent down this Qur’an upon a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbling itself and rending asunder by the fear of Allah” (Al-Hashr 59:21)

A mountain is among the hardest of what there is, the rocks by which the mountain becomes firm are exemplary in hardness. Allah, Exalted is He, says:

“When, after that, your hearts were hardened and became as stones or even worse in hardness” (Al- Baqara 2:74)

If this Qur’an were to be sent down upon the mountain, you would surely see this mountain humbling itself and cleaving out of the fear of Allah.

“Humbling” – that is, submissively.

And from its severe fright of of Allah, “Rending asunder” it cleaves and tears apart.

And this is sent down upon our hearts, and our hearts – except as Allah wills – contract and become hard, neither opening nor accepting.

As for those who believe, when the Ayat (of the Qur’an) are sent down to them, it increases their faith; but as for those who have a disease in their hearts; it adds filth to their filth; and it is Allah whose refuge is sought!

The meaning of that is that their hearts become more inflexible and hardened and it adds filth to their filth. We seek refuge in Allah from that

If this Qur’an were to be sent down to the mountain, it would cleave and humble itself due to the greatness of Allah’s Words sent down upon it

In this, there is evidence that the mountains have senses, because it humbles itself and cleaves. The matter is like that. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said concerning Uhud: “This is Uhud, a mountain that loves us, and which we love.” [1]

With this Hadith, we also recognize the refutation against those who affirm that there are metaphors in the Qur’an. Those who always raise their flag, using this Ayah as proof:

“Then they found therein a wall wanting to collapse” (Al-Kalif 18:77)
Saying: “How can the wall want?” We say: Subhan Allah! The Knowing, and The Aware says : “Wanting to collapse” and you are saying that it does not want! Is this sensible?

It is not your right, after this, that you sav: “How could it want?”

This makes us ask ourselves: Are we given the knowledge of everything?

The answer is that we are not given knowledge, except a little.

It is not possible for us to object to the statement of the One Who knows the hidden and the witnessed: “Wanting to collapse” by saying: “The wall does not have an Iradah (a want)! And It does not want to collapse!”

This is one of the evils of metaphors, because it implies a negation of what the Qur’an affirms.

Is it not Allah, Exalted is He, Who says:

“The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him and there is not a thing but glorifies His Praise. But you understand not their glorification” {Al-Israa’ 17: 44)

Do they glorify Him, without wanting to?

He says: “Tusabbih Lahu (they glorify Him)”: the Lam is to specify. Thus, it means sincerely. Is it imaginable to have sincerity without an Iradah (volition, objective, will)? Therefore, they will, and everything wills, for Allah says: “And there is not a thing hut glorifies His Praise.” I think it is clear to all of us that this is one of the ways of expressing generality, because In (here) means Ma (not), which negates. Also, “A thing” is an indefinite pronoun used in the context of negation. “But glorifies His Praise” by that, it includes everything.

O my Muslim brother, if you see that your heart is not moved by the Qur’an, accuse yourself, because Allah has informed that if this Qur’an were to be sent down upon a mountain, it would cleave, and the Qur’an is recited to your heart, yet and it is not moved. We ask Allah to aid us, and you.

[1] Reported by Al-Bukhari (4422) and Muslim (1392) from Abu Humaid As-Sa’idi, may Allah be pleased with him.

Transcribed from: Al-‘Aqidah Al-Wasitiyyah – Shaykh Muhammad bin Salih Al-‘Uthaimin, Dar-us-Salam Publications, Vol-1 pg. 589-592.

Humble Yourselves Before Allaah And Call Him With Hope And Fear – Dr Saleh As Saleh

Humble Yourselves Before Allaah And Call Him With Hope And Fear – Dr Saleh As Saleh [Audio Clip]
by AbdurRahman.org
Be in a state of humbleness/Calmness in Hope & fear While making Du’a

“Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they used to call on Us with hope and fear, and used to humble themselves before Us”

[Aurah Al-Anbiyah 21:90, Muhsin Khan Translation]

Below is taken from Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Dar-us-salam Publication

﴿وَيَدْعُونَنَا رَغَباً وَرَهَباً﴾

(and they used to call on Us with hope and fear,) Ath-Thawri said, “Hoping for that (reward) which is with Us and fearing that (punishment) which is with Us.”

﴿وَكَانُواْ لَنَا خـشِعِينَ﴾

(and they were Khashi`in before Us.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas that this means, sincerely believing in that which was revealed by Allah. Mujahid said: “Truly believing.” Abu Al-`Aliyah said: “Fearing.” Abu Sinan said: “Khushu` means the fear which should never leave our hearts.” It was also reported from Mujahid that the Khashi`in are those who are humble.” Al-Hasan, Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak said, “The Khashi`in are those who humble themselves before Allah.” All of these suggestions are close in meaning.

Clip Extracted from : Manners of Making Duaa – Dr. Saleh as Saleh (rahimahullaah)