Sunday, 18 February 2018

Reflecting on Death


Commentary on some lines of poetry by Abu al-Atahiyah, may Allah have mercy on him

Graveyard in Damascus
 
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
والصلاة والسلام على من لا نبي بعده:

وبعد: فهذا تحليل وشرح لبعض الأبيات للشاعر العباسي المشهور أبي العتاهية رحمه الله تعالى وهي كما يلي:

فكرتُ في الدنيا وجِدَّتها              فإذا جميع جديدها يبلى
وإذا جميع أمورها دُوَلٌ                بين البرية قلما تبقى
لقد مررتُ على القبور فما           ميَّزتُ بين العبد والمولى
ما زالت الدنيا منغِّصة               لم يَخلُ صاحبها من البلوى
دار الفجائع والهموم ودا             ر البؤس والأحزان والشكوى
بينا الفتى فيها بمنزلةٍ                  إذ صار تحت ترابها مُلقى  
تَقْفُو مساويها محاسنها               لا شيءَ بين النَّعى والبُشرى
ولَقَل يومٌ ذرَّ شارِقُه                  إلا سمعتُ بهالك يُنعَى
أتُراك تحْصي من رأيت من ال       أحياء ثم رأيتهم موتى

فكرتُ في الدنيا وجِدَّتها
أي: كنت أفكّر وأتدبر وأتأملُ في حال الدنيا وكيف يوجد فيها كثير من أشياء ومكوَّنات وُجدتْ من عهد قريب والمسكوت عنه في هذا البيت هو أنه لا يوجد كثير من أشياء ومكونات قديمة فأغلبيتها أو كلُّها تفنى وتعدم.

فإذا جميع جديدها يبلى
أي: لا يوجد شي جديد يبقى على حال جدته بل لا بدّ أن يتلف ويتدهور وفي استعمال كلمة "يبلى"  إشارة إلى معنيين: الأول هو البِلى كما ذكرنا والثاني هو البلاء والبَلِية وتوجد علاقة واضحة بين المعنيين ففي الابتلاء والمحنة والمصيبة تتغير الأحوال وتؤدي إلى البلى والهلاك في نهاية الأمر. وكما لا يوجد أي مفر من البلى لا يوجد أي مفر من البلاء فقد قال تعالى: "ولنبلونّكم بشيء من الخوف والجوع ونقص من الأموال والأنفس والثمرات وبشر الصابرين" (البقرة 2:155)

وإذا جميع أمورها دُوَلٌ
أي: كما ذكرنا آنفاً لا يبقي أمرٌ أو شيءٌ على حالة واحدة إلا إذا كانت تلك الحالةُ التقلُّبَ والانقلابَ

بين البرية قلما تبقى
أي: كل أمور الدنيا دُوَلٌ بين الخلائق فمن كان في الخير والعافية اليوم قد يكون في البلاء والشدة غدا والعكس كذلك وقلّما يكون أحدٌ في حالة خير أو شر لمدة غير قصيرة فلذلك ينبغي للإنسان ألا يسعى وراء السعادة الكاملة في هذه الحياة الدنيا بل هو من العبث فهو يبحث عن شيء لا يوجد وعليه أن يصبر ويسعى وراء الحياة الخالدة

قد مررتُ على القبور فما                   ميَّزتُ بين العبد والمولى
أي: كل نفس ذائقة الموت ولا مفر منه سواء كانتَ عبدا أو سيدا فالقبر هو مصير كل من الطبقة الراقية والفقراء وكل ما بينهما ونلاحظ أن الشاعر قد استعمل كلمة "مولى" بدلا من "سيد" ف"مولى" من الكلمات التي تفيد معنيين متعاكسين وهما "عبد" و"سيد" (أي الفاعل والمفعول) ولا نميّز بينهما إلا من خلال السياق والسياق هنا واضح ومبين.

ما زالت الدنيا منغِّصة              لم يَخلُ صاحبها من البلوى
أي: الحالة الطبيعية للدنيا هي الإزعاج فلا يجد صاحبها راحة ويسرا إلا في لحظات مبعثرة ثم يأتي العسر والشدة ينغّصانه . ونلاحظ أن الشاعر قد استعمل كلمة "بلوى" (يعنى البلاء والبلية) ويوجد تجانس لفظي بين هذا الكلمة وكلمة "يبلى" وقال ابن فارس في مقاييس اللغة: "الباءُ واللامُ والواوُ والياءُ أصلان: أحدهما إخلاق الشيء والثاني نوعٌ من الاختبار."

دار الفجائع والهموم ودا            ر البؤس والأحزان والشكوى
أي: الدنيا هي دار المصائب والكوارث وفوق ذلك هي دار الهموم والأحزان ففي دعاء رسول الله صلى الله عليه سلّم يقول:"اللهم إني أعوذ بك من الهم والحزن" فالفرق بين الهم والحزن كما يقول الإمام عبد الرحمن بن الجوزي في كتابه الطب الروحاني هو أن الهم للمستقبل والحزن للسالف فيحزن الإنسان على ما فاته من عمره فقد ارتكب ذنوبا وفرّط في حق ربه وفي هذا النوع من الحزن فائدة ونفع لصاحبه فقال مالك بن دينار "بقدر ما تحزن للدنيا كذلك يخرج هَم الآخرة." لكن يوجد الضرر في الفكر المُفْرط والمهدور فقال الإمام ابن الجوزي "أعلم أن الفكر يراد لاستدراك فارطٍ والنظر في مصلحة مستقبلة فإذا كان فيما لا يثمرهما كان ضررا وإذا كثر أنهك البدن." إذن نعوذ بالله من الهم والحزن من هذا النوع وكما قال الشاعر هما من طبيعة هذه الحياة الدنيا.
كذلك ذكر الشاعر البؤس يعني الفقر والشدة والمشقة وقد شرحنا هذا آنفا ثم ذكر الشكوى فالشكوى نتيجة عادية متوقعة لكل ما ذُكر في هذين البيتين: تدفعنا المشاكل والمشقة إلى أن نشكو وللأسف عددٌ كثيٌر منا يشكو إلى كل من قد يستمع إليه غير أن المطلوب منا ألا نشكو إلا إلى الله. قال تعالى على لسان نبيه يعقوب عليه السلام: "إنما أشكو بثي وحزني إلى الله" (يوسف 12:86) وقال رسول الله صلى لله عليه وسلم في دعاءه بعد إخراجه من الطائف: "اللهم إليك أشكو ضعف قوتي وقلة حيلتي"

بينا الفتى فيها بمنزلةٍ                 إذ صار تحت ترابها مُلقى
أي:قد يوجد شابٌ ذو منصب في هذه الدنيا أو ذو ثروة وما نحو ذلك ثم يُدْركه الموتُ من حيث لا نحتسب فهو مُلقى تحت التراب, وفي ديننا نصلي على أمواتنا وندفنهم فورا بدون أي تأخير أو انتظار فلذلك الوقت بين خروج الروح ووضع الجسد في الأرض قصير جدا يوم أو أقل من ذلك. وفي حين ذاته قد يشير الشاعر إلى قصر العمر فيصبح الشاب عجوزا و لا يستغرق الانتقال من الأول إلى الثاني وقتا طويلا وبعد ذلك يحضر الموت.

تَقْفُو مساويها محاسنها              لا شيءَ بين النَّعى والبُشرى
ب"مساويها" ويقصد الشاعر "مساوئها" (وتخفيف الهمزة هي لغة قريش) يعني عوائقها وهي عكس محاسنها وفوائدها فيتبع الشرُ الخيرَ وتتبع المشقةُ الراحةَ. ثم بعد ذلك يشير الشاعر مرة أخرى إلى قصر العمر فلا يمضي وقت جدير بالاعتبار بين البشرى بولادة فلان والإعلان بوفاته.

ولَقَل يومٌ ذرَّ شارِقُه                 إلا سمعتُ بهالك يُنعَى
معنى ذرّ شارقه هو تطلع الشمس أي قلّما تتطلع عليّ شمس يوم جديد إلا وأسمع نعية جديدة

أتُراك تحْصي من رأيت من ال      أحياء ثم رأيتهم موتى
أي: أنا أفكّر في حالتك: هل تتدبر أحوال الناس تراهم أحياء ثم تراهم موتى؟ في عبارة أخرى يجب على كل فرد أن يتأمل في عمره وأعماله وأن يستعد للذي لا مفر منه ألا وهو الموت. ليس للإنسان أن يركن على الدنيا فهي قصيرة ومملوءة بالمصائب والفجائع وقد تنتهي في أي لحظة والآخرة خير وأبقى.
وأخيرا فإننا نجد راحة في كلمات هذه الأبيات وهي بمثابة مخرج من الهم والغم والحزن. كيف ولماذا؟ لأن الاعتراف والإدراك بأن الحياة الدنيا بعيدة كل البعد عن الكمال أو المثالية يدفعك إلى الإسلام لقضاء الله وقدره فبدون هذا الإدراك تمضي أيام حياتك وأنت تطمح إلى المثالية أو ذلك الشيء الذي تظن أنه سيمنحك الكمال أو السعادة الخالدة وفي البحث عن شيء معدوم تفقد قدرا وافرا من الوقت والجهد والطاقة والنتيجة هي لا شيء إلا الألم الشديد في قلبك ونفسك. جزا الله هذا الشاعر خيرا فكلماته تطمئن صدورنا وشعورنا وتُرجِع نفوسنا إلى الحق.

والله الموفق وله الحمد كله.    

(Insha'Allah, I will do a podcast on this and translate it into English.)

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

The Rank of the Family in Islam and How Islam Protects It

By Imams Muṣṭafā al-Khin, Muṣṭafā al-Bughā and ʿAlī ash-Sharbajī


https://www.pinterest.com/pin/48484133461850843/

The Definition of Family:

The word usrah (i.e. family) linguistically means ‘a group of people’ (rahṭ), i.e. individuals – the people closest to you.

In Islamic terminology, usrah means that cell that includes fathers, mothers, grandfathers, grandmothers, daughters, sons and the sons of sons.

The Family is the Foundational Pillar of Society:

If the individual is the foundational brick in the building of society, the family is the living cell in its essence.

The individual is a part of the family and draws his primary characteristics from it. The Exalted One has said, “…descendants one of the other…” [Āl ʿImrān 3:34] He is imprinted with its imprint and influenced by its upbringing and nurturing.

The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, {There is no child except that it is born upon the natural disposition (al-fiṭrah). Its parents then make him a Jew, Christian or Magian, just as an animal produces an entire animal. Have you ever noticed one that is mutilated (jadʿāʾ)?} This has been related by Muslim (in the Book of Predestination in the chapter on the meaning of every child being born upon the natural disposition…, no.2658) on the authority of Abū Hurayrah.

The fiṭrah is the state that has been prepared for good, and it is the original human disposition. ‘…just as an animal produces an entire animal…’ means that it is just as an animal gives to birth to offspring that has all of its limbs and organs and nothing is missing.

Jadʿāʾ means that an ear has been cut off. In other words, mutilation and imperfection occur after birth, due to the influence of the environment that surrounds a person, as well as others. Man’s state is the same; his uprightness or deviation is subject to the environment that he grows up and develops in.

Based on the aforementioned, we say: The individual is a part of the family and the family is a part of the society, and a foundational pillar therein. If the family is sound, the individual is sound, and if the individual is sound, the family is sound, and the society is sound.

This is why Islam goes to great lengths to protect the family, why it devotes so much concern to it and why the family takes up a large share of the rulings found in the Qurʾān and in the Sunnah.

The Ways in which Islam Shows Concern for the Family:

The ways in which Islam shows concern for the family are manifest in the legislations and rulings that it has formulated in order to organise the family and regulate its affairs. These include, and are not limited to, to the following:

A. The command to marriage:

This is so that the pillars of the family can be established, because there is no family without marriage. Any sexual relationship between a man and a woman that is not based on the foundations of marriage is adultery and fornication.

Allah the Exalted says, “And do not go near fornication. It is an indecent act, an evil way.” [al-Isrāʾ 17:32]

He, Mighty and Majestic, also says, “…in marriage, not in fornication or taking them as lovers.” [al-Māʾidah 5:5]

B. The legislation of the rights and duties of both the husband and wife:

Islam has placed the following duties upon the husband towards the wife:

1. The bridal gift (mahr); the Exalted One has said, “And give them their mahr as an outright gift.” [an-Nisāʾ 4:4]

2. Maintenance (nafaqah); the Exalted One has said, “It is the duty of the fathers to feed and clothe them with correctness and courtesy.” [al-Baqarah 2:233]

The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, {And you have to feed and clothe them with correctness and courtesy.} This has been related by Muslim (in the Book of Ḥajj, the chapter on the Prophet’s pilgrimage, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, no. 1218) as part of a longer ḥadīth.

3. Living together correctly and courteously; Allah the Exalted has said, “Live together with them correctly and courteously.” [an-Nisāʾ 4:19]

Likewise, the wife is obligated to carry out the following with regards to the husband:

1. Obedience in that which is not disobedience to Allah. The Exalted One has said, “Men have charge (qawāmah) of women.” [an-Nisāʾ 4:34]

Qawāmah means leadership and the right to be obeyed.

2. That no one enters his house without his permission and consent; the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, {It is your right over them that no one whom you dislike enters your house.}

Imam an-Nawawī, may Allah the Exalted have mercy on him, said, ‘They cannot allow anyone you dislike to enter your houses and sit in your homes.’

3. That they preserve his dignity, maintain his honour and protect his wealth; the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, {Shall I tell you the best that a man gathers for himself? A righteous wife; when he looks at her, it pleases him, when he commands her, she obeys him, and when he is absent, she protects his honour and his wealth.} This has been related by Abū Dāwūd (in the Book of Zakāt in the chapter on the rights of wealth, no. 1664).

C. The legislation of the rights of children and parents:

Islam has placed the following obligations upon parents with regards to their children:

1. Maintenance; Allah the Exalted has said, “If they are suckling for you, give them their wages.” [at-Ṭalāq 66:6] Allah, Mighty and Majestic, has obligated a wage for the one suckling for the sake of the child’s maintenance.

2. Good upbringing and teaching them how to worship and have good character; the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, has said, {Teach your children to have three qualities: love for their Prophet, love for his household and the recitation of the Qurʾān.} This has been related by ad-Daylamī (See al-Jāmiʿ as-Saghīr by as-Suyūṭī).

And he, peace and blessings be upon him, said, {Each one of you is a shepherd and responsible for his flock. A ruler over his people is a shepherd and responsible for his flock. A man is a shepherd over the people of his household and he is responsible for them. A woman is a shepherdess over her husband’s house and his children and she is responsible for them. A slave is a shepherd over his master’s wealth and he is responsible for it. Each once of you is a shepherd and each one of you is responsible for his flock.}

(This has been narrated by al-Bukhāri in the Book of the Friday Prayer, in the chapter on the Friday Prayer in towns and cities, no.853, and by Muslim in the Book of Governance in the chapter on the virtue of a just ruler, no.1829, as well as others.)

Likewise, Islam has placed the following obligations upon children:

1. Obedience to parents in that which is not disobedience to Allah the Exalted, and to show them kindness:

Allah the Exalted has said, “Your Lord has decreed that you should worship none but Him, and that you should show kindness to your parents.” [al-Isrāʾ 17:23]

The Exalted one has also said, “Keep company with them correctly and courteously in this world.” [Luqmān 31:15]

2. Maintenance of the parents if they are poor and the child is wealthy; the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, {From the purest of that which a man eats is what comes from his own earnings, and his child is from his earnings.} He, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, also said, {You and your wealth belong to your father. Your children are from the purest of your earnings, so eat from the earnings of your children.} (Abū Dāwūd in the Book of Houses and Renting in the chapter on a man who eats from the wealth of his father, no.3528 and 3530, at-Tirmidhī in the Chapters of Rulings, in the chapter on what has reached us regarding a father eating from his son’s wealth, no.1358)

And there are many other rulings connected to the organisation of family life and the regulation of its affairs, and from these rulings and legislations the extent to which Islam is concerned with the family and protecting it is made clear.


[Translated from Al-Fiqh al-Manhajī ʿalā Madhhab al-Imam ash-Shāfiʿī, (Damascus: Dār Al-Qalam, 1433/2012) v.2, p.16-20]

Related Posts:
Birr Al-Wālidayn and the Rights of Children
Introducing Shāfiʿī Fiqh (part 1)
Introducing Shāfiʿī Fiqh (part 2)
 

Friday, 12 January 2018

Can a Muslim be a Communist?

By Imam ʿAbdul Ḥalīm Mamūd (born 1328AH/1910), may Allah have mercy on him, the Sheikh of al-Azhar from 1393AH/1973 until his death in 1397AH/1978.

Figure 1: Anglosphere Muslims marching with Socialists  Source: www.alamy.com


One day, Brother Muḥammad ʿAbdur Raḥmān came to see me, and he works in journalism. He started talking with me about a number of issues and I started answering him, and this is something we normally do from time to time.

Amongst these questions was a question about communism. The full text of the question and the answer to it is as follows:

Question: Is it possible for me to be a Muslim and a communist? Why?

Answer: A sincere Muslim’s Islam means that he doesn’t need any other doctrine. Allah, Glorified and Exalted is He, has made this unequivocally clear:

“Today I have perfected your religion for you and completed My blessing upon you and I am pleased with Islam as a religion for you.”[1]

Allah has completed and perfected the theology of this religion.

And it is known that communism wages war against religion. It wages war against it with every possible means. This has been declared by its most prominent leaders, and it is well-known what Karl Marx said.

At first, he said, ‘Religion must be removed from society.’ When it was said to him, ‘Man must have a belief. What alternative is there to the belief in God?’, he said, ‘Distract them with theatre, and have a lot of theatre. Whenever you have a lot of theatre, the people start talking about the play’s success or failure, about the success or failure of the actors and actresses in their roles, and they forget about religious beliefs.’

He is the one who said, ‘Religion is the opium of the masses.’

The other leaders of communism have made similar statements. Even if they are not word for word the meaning is the same. All of them agree on this and their actions absolutely corroborate it. The most atheistic and the most anti-religion of them is the one who advances through the party ranks and becomes a leader.

Their newspapers earnestly call for all the remnants of religion to be gotten rid of. A number of times we have read in our newspapers, quoting the Russian newspapers, that there are still remnants of religion and they must be gotten rid of. Officials are blamed for not being more active, so that the last residue can be done away with as soon as possible.

The masjids in communist Albania are closed. Whoever appears to be religiously inclined is severely punished. You could have bullets fired at you. If someone is religiously inclined, they cannot occupy a distinguished position in any communist country.

The communists have a specific way of attacking religion.

The first step in attacking religion is to make fun of its scholars, to mock them and criticize them, and they attack them with every means: caricatures, plays, films, jokes.

The initial plan is to weaken the scholars of religion with every means.

They inflate that which is small, they bring into existence that which doesn’t exist and they constantly spread rumours.

Carried away behind them are the naïve and simple-minded, the naïve and simple-minded of every people and nation.

When the men of religion have been weakened, they attack some of the branches of religion. This is the second step. When it has been completed, they attack religion directly.

They study these stages of theirs patiently. They have a set plan for each step, with written talking points and many things prepared in advance. This is as far as belief goes.

If Allah the Exalted has completed and perfected the religion in terms of theology and beliefs, He the Glorified has also completed it and perfected it in terms of economics.

Islam has legislated for the purposes of wealth. It has legislated for the purposes of trade, agricultural property, renting, buying and selling. It has made it abundantly clear how a debt is to be written and it has done the same with regards to inheritance, as well as zakāt and how it is to be distributed.

The actual foundation of Islam is the freedom of the individual in relation to wealth, within the framework of the general principles of Islam.

Something that should be seriously considered is the fact that ʿAbdur Raḥmān ibn ʿAwf, ʿUthmān, az-Zubayr and Ṭalḥah, may Allah be pleased with them, were millionaires[2] and despite that, they were amongst the ten promised direct entry into Paradise. Abū Dharr, Bilāl and Ṣuhayb were not amongst the ten promised direct entry into Paradise, and there is no doubt that they were at the forefront of righteousness and piety, and that Paradise, by Allah’s grace, is their destination. However, despite that, they are not amongst those promised direct entry into Paradise.

If the foundation in Islam is the freedom of the individual in relation to wealth within the framework of Islam’s general principles, then communism vehemently opposes it.

[Translated from Maqālāt fī al-Islam wa ash-Shuyūʿiyyah (i.e. ‘Essays on Islam and Communism’) by Imam ʿAbdul Ḥalīm Mamūd (Cairo, Dār al-Maʿārif, n.d.) p.5-7]


[1] (tn): Sūrat al-Māʾidah 5:3
[2] (tn): or even billionaires by today’s standards

Related Post:
Cultural Marxism 

Related Podcast:
Islam, Communism and Cultural Marxism (Postmodernism)