Inspiration from Past & Present

April 19, 2010

On Zeal and Fervor and What Follows It

إِنَّ لِكُل عَمَلٍ شِرَّةً، وَلِكُل شِرَّةٍ فَتْرَةً ، فَمَنْ كَانَ فَتْرَتُهُ إِلَى سُنَّتِي فَقَدِ اهْتَدَىٰ، وَمَنْ كَانَتْ إِلَى غَيْرِ ذٰلِكَ فَقَدْ هَلَكَ

Every deed has its period of zeal and fervor, and every fervor has a period of cooling down. Whoevers’ cooling down period is on the sunnah, he is rightly guided, otherwise he is destroyed.

—The Prophet Muhammad (S)

[Hadith of Ibn Umar reported by Ibn Hibban and authenticated by al-Mundhiri, Ahmad Shakir, al-Albani and Shuaib al-Arnaut]

April 19, 2010

On Istiqamah

الإستقامة درجة بها كمال الأمور و تمامها وبوجودها حصول الخيرات و نظامها و من لم يكن مستقيما في حالته ضاع سعيهُ و خابَ جَهدهُ

The Islamic lesson of istiqamah is the way to perfect and complete every matter, and good results only come about through it, for whoever is not perseverant in his efforts, they shall surely be wasted.

—the Ḥanafī scholar Abu’l-Qāsim al-Qushayrī (d. 465H)

April 14, 2010

On Friendship with the Pious

لا تُصَاحِبْ إِلاَّ مُؤْمِناً وَلاَ يَأْكُلْ طَعَامَكَ إِلاَّ تَقِيٌ

You should not accompany but believers, and none save the pious should eat your food.

—The Prophet Muhammad (S)

[Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Sunan Abi Daud, authenticated by Ibn Hibban, al-Mundhiri and al-Albani]

April 10, 2010

The Superiority of Proper Understanding (Fiqh) over Texts

Once a scholar of ḥadīth visited the great Ḥanafī jurist Abū Yūsuf to exchange knowledge and benefit. On the first day, the muḥaddith relayed a number of ḥadīth. The next day, he approached Abū Yūsuf for a fiqh ruling on a contemporary issue, who promptly provided him with the ruling. When the muḥaddith asked Abū Yūsuf for his proof and what he based his ruling on, Abū Yūsuf replied, “From the ḥadīth you relayed to us yesterday,” and spelled out his proof derivations. The muḥaddith laughed and announced to all present:

يَا مَعشَرَى الفُقَهَاءُ  أَنتُمُ الأَطِبَّاءُ وَ نَحنُ الصَّـيَادِلَةُ

“O company of jurists, you indeed are the doctors while we are the pharmacists.”

— from Shaykh Waleed Idrees’s commentary on Bakr Abu Zayd’s Book on Knowledge, available on