Ibn Abbas radiyallaahu-anhu said: “there is no minor sins if you repeat them continuously, they become major.”
Ibn Abbas radiyallaahu-anhu said: “there is no minor sins if you repeat them continuously, they become major.”
In the name of Allah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy
All praise is due to Allah alone, and may peace and blessings be upon his Messenger, and his family and his companions.
Having read the post from Sunni Path, supporting the use of ta’weez, I think that there is a need for a clear and simple response to the issues raised.
Before delving into the points made in the article, I would like the reader to consider the following questions:
We regularly hear people defending ta’weez that contain the Qur’an and Allah’s names and attributes, but what do you think about the following:
These are the vast majority of the ta’weez that we open every single week, with most of them issued by imams, scholars, and so-called ‘pious people’. Now you have to make a choice between one of two things; either you defend these ta’weez, claiming that they are actually ‘Qur’an’ or that it is permissible to disgrace the words of Allah by scribbling them, or the reader has no choice but to admit that these ta’weez are by consensus of the scholars, haraam.
I estimate that I have opened somewhere between 500 and 1,000 ta’weez in my course of being a raaqi, and at the current count, less than ten of them contained clear Qur’an or the names of Allah, with nothing else written on them. In reality, this is just another example of the magicians hiding behind respectable scholars and their opinions.
We say to the people who make these so called ta’weez from the Qur’an: would you let the sick person simply print a page of the Qur’an and tie it around his or her neck? By Allah, you would not allow it. Instead, they have to use your ‘special’ writings, which they are not allowed to see or open, and often have to pay money for. If you really hold the opinion of ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas (may Allah be pleased with him), why don’t you allow the people to print a copy of aayat-ul-kursi from quran.com and tie it around their necks? It is the greatest aayah in the Qur’an, so why would it not protect them whilst your secret writings and scribbles can protect them? Has Allah given you something greater than aayat-ul-kursi, or is it that you seek help from the shaytaan? Where did you learn what those numbers and symbols mean? Why don’t you share your books with us that tell you how to ‘cure’ someone with pictures of the pyramids and the star of david?
My brothers and sisters, these people hide behind legitimate opinions, in order to confuse you and take you away from the path of Allah. Let me give you an example:
The Sunni Path post quotes those who allow ta’weez:
Sa’id ibn al-Musayyib, ‘Ata’, Mujahid, Abd Allah ibn ‘Amr, Ibn Sirin, ‘Ubayd Allah ibn Abd Allah ibn `Umar, and others (Allah be well pleased with them all). [Musannaf, 5.439]
How many of you looked at that list of people and believed them all to be from the companions? By Allah, there is only one companion mentioned in that whole list; all the rest are from the generations who came after them.
Furthermore, all of the narrations from that companion are weak. They contain Muhammad ibn Is-haaq, who is someone whose narration is not accepted unless he clearly states that he heard the hadith directly from his teacher (the Arabic term is: mudallis), which in this case he did not.
So, let me say explicitly that there is not one single companion from the companions of the Messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and may Allah be pleased with them) who allowed ta’weez of any kind, whether from the Qur’an or not!
Let us quote the author of the Musannaf in full:
“The Chapter of those who allowed the hanging of Ta’weez” “The permissibility of this was reported from Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib, ‘Ataa’, Mujaahid, Abu Ja’far al-Baaqir, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr, Muhammad ibn Seereen, ‘Ubaydullah ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, and ad-Dahhaak and IT IS NOT AUTHENTIC from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr, ad-Dahhaak, Mujaahid, and Ibn Seereen, and the rest are authentic.”
The author himself says that there is no companion who this is authentically reported from, and that half of the taabi’een mentioned are also not authentic. This is in the very same passage that the author of the post quoted – so why did he choose to stop just before the part where the author says that it isn’t authentic?
So out of that long list, we are left with ‘Ataa, Abu Ja’far, and ‘Ubaydullah – three people, none of whom were companions of the Messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and even their view says that the permissibility is limited to that which is from the Qur’aan alone!
On top of that, the very same book (al-Musannaf) mentions other narrations which state that all ta’weez are haraam, even if they come from the Qur’an (authentically narrated from the companions Ibn Mas’ud, Ibn ‘Abbas, Hudhayfah, ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir, and Ibn ‘Ukaym – may Allah be pleased with them all). Why didn’t the author include those narrations? Is it perhaps because he doesn’t want you to know?
Even if we accept some or all of the narrations from people who allowed ta’weez, these people are talking about writing a simple aayah of the Qur’an, or some of the names of Allah, clearly and in a way that can be understood by everyone who reads it.
Don’t be fooled by statements such as ‘the vast majority of the scholars’ and ‘it is mentioned in such-and-such a book’ – anyone can write words like these. Why don’t we talk about something quantifiable, and say ‘the vast majority of the companions, if not all of them, considered ta’weez to be haraam, in all of its forms’.
Finally, we say to the author of the Sunni Path post and his supporters: Do you know why some of the scholars allowed ta’weez from the Qur’an? Because it is the uncreated speech of Allah, and therefore cannot be considered shirk. Would you like to share with the brothers and sisters what you really believe about the Qur’an that we read, and that you claim to write on the ta’weez?
Allah knows best, and all praise is for Allah alone, and may peace and blessings be upon our messenger Muhammad, and his family and his companions.
Shaykh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allāh have mercy upon him, said:
“Whoever thinks that he can simply take from the Book (the Qur’ān) and the Sunnah without following the Sahābah (the companions of the Prophet ﷺ, may Allāh be pleased with them), and pursues a path other than theirs, is from the people of innovations.”
Source: Mukhtasar Al-Fatāwā Al-Misriyyah p556
The purpose of this article is not to offer any clear-cut instruction; rather, the aim is merely to provoke the reader into contemplating the various issues being discussed.
In the western world we often lament our lack of time. We often observe people who exist within our stratosphere that appear incredibly busy and we look at ourselves in self-depreciating disgust.
I have a few questions related to this image;
I will start by offering an example from my own experience of the corporate world. There are colleagues who will put me to shame in their work ethic. Some take on an incredible amount of responsibility and are thus pulled from every sector of the working environment to offer their insights and guidance. Others are limited, or limit themselves to a small working area that they invest a heavy amount of time in.
Often we gravitate towards the former. The celebrity employee – always included in every email message, always in demand to attend any significant meeting and affecting everything and nothing at the same time. The demands on this person’s time, from every angle, can very easily lead to someone who can influence many factions infinitesimally but generally will struggle to achieve anything of significance.
Compare this to the worker who mines a solid hole through a stack of projects. His influence is limited to that particular area but that person’s achievement has the potential to echo throughout the business. An argument can be made that the former is required to tie the work of the latter and this is true. But only one can exist without the other and it is not the celebrity.
Similarly I look towards those brothers and sisters who appear fantastically productive in Islamic activity. They involve themselves in anything that seems productive for their ākhira and sacrifice attaining any form of a professional life in so-called ‘secular sciences’. Dedicating themselves to acquiring knowledge and supporting the dawah. These pantheons of society are examples to the rest of us as we aim to emulate them. For me, when I interact with such a person I find myself hating my pathetic limitations and weak drive. I vaguely ponder over the circumstances that will lead me to be as active.
I am reminded in this scenario of the “Professional Muslim.” This is a person who has the opportunity to be employed in a role that is directly related to the Hereafter. Is it indeed better to work to worship? For example, the employment in an Islamic organisation and the consequent ability to worship Allāh through your work creates the “perfect” scenario. I can see that for those with a thought to their Hereafter, this presents a potentially ideal situation and for those in that situation they are potentially at an advantage.
But, before we lament our loss at the lack of job opportunities in the Islamic Sector (does this even exist?) perhaps we should take a moment to think about that first question again. Does effort and toil lead directly to productivity? Productivity, in this case, being results in the Hereafter. I invite you to think about whether our īmān is capable of maintaining the correct sincerity or Ikhlās balance that we need for such employment. Are you able to demand the comfort of that higher pay rise for example? This is not to say that Islamic organisations should not pay you enough but do you, for example, already earn enough? Are you now carrying out your work because it is your job or because you want to please Allāh? These and other similar complications are perhaps more straight-forward in a job that is not directly associated with an Islamic Organisation. When you volunteer your time it is maybe easier to resolve your sincerity within your own mind when financial compensation is not involved. This is not to say that one is easier than the other. Rather, different people will thrive or struggle in different situations.
This vague example that involves “maybes” and “potentials” directly links to our pursuit of the correct work, life and death balance. There have been many articles written warning readers to strike the correct existential balance where we do not put work above our personal life and unintentionally sacrifice both in pursuit of one. As Muslims we should perhaps temper these studies with our knowledge of what is required of us to hit our over-arching target in this life: the pleasure of Allāh in pursuit of admittance to Jannah.
Is effectiveness perhaps what we should strive for? By effectiveness, I refer to continuity as opposed to achievement. I give you the example of ʿAbdullāh b. ʿUmar (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu). It is reported that he spent 14 years memorising Sūrah al-Baqarah. With that in mind, and with our knowledge that the person to lead the Salah is the person who has the most knowledge of the Qur’ān, if we were to hypothetically exist during his memorisation period, would our ḥufāth of today be comfortable leading the Salah ahead of Ibn ʿUmar? I would hazard a guess that they would not. So, is it the appearance of achievement that is our aim? Or is it the continuity of pursuit that we aim for? Allāh will not judge us on results. If so, then we, as a Muslim Ummah, will perish miserably on the last day. Allāh is Al-Ḥakīm. Thus, we will be judged on our efforts and sincerity not on our achievements. Perhaps to judge ourselves, private continuity of effort is the most telling sign. How consistently do we pray those two prostrations of night prayer without a soul being aware? How do we set up our learning and knowledge-seeking processes so that they will continue well into the future.
I give you the example of the Muslim youth scene. We are blessed with a variety of options for the knowledge seeker in the UK. Structured weekend learning programmes are available every week, online courses are also widely available, many of which are free. Alḥamdulillāh many of our youth whole-heartedly engage in these activities. But, what happens when our youth grow older? Time constraints are an inevitable aspect of growing older and, as such, we find we suddenly cannot fulfil our desire to engage in these activities. No longer can we travel around the country; no longer can we perhaps neglect our university studies for a short period of time to commit to organising an event. What then? Do we simply reduce our activities to accommodate our increased time constraints? Some may say that this is where the benefits and fruits of working in the Islamic sector can be seen. But my counter-argument is that the Islamic sector is nit weak. Knowledge and access to knowledge is a thriving “industry,” and I mean industry in a pure form. There are now countless institutes for learning and countless aid organisations. Our Ummah is most definitely in its ascendency, albeit it seems slowly. However, can a successful Ummah be built upon a population of scholars? The Prophet’s (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) Saḥāba were nothing less than scholars and they were the most successful of nations. The Saḥāba are more than 100,000, the ones recorded are numbered at around 5000, of those we only have detailed life stories of a handful. Guess which ones we have detailed life stories of? The best ones: the scholars. No doubt that these are the catalysts. But also no doubt that Allāh facilitated that the likes of ʿAbdul Raḥmān b. Awf would donate 2000 awqiyah of gold towards the war effort in Tabūk. As such, we have catalysts and we have facilitators, each as important as the other and neither of them mutually exclusive.
What is wrong in being successful in your professional ‘secular’ field? What is wrong with being able to open doors and give advice to your Muslim brothers? How amazing it is, when you see someone of responsibility and power in the corporate world, someone who is in demand all over the industry and professionally impeccable, practicing his religion to the best of his ability. What doors can this person open for the Ummah? Is it not significant for someone to open a business that turns into a conglomerate that provides a livelihood for Muslim brothers and sisters and pays a multi-billion pound zakāh every year? Imagine the ramifications, politically and economically, if there were several of these conglomerates that we could be proud of as Muslims? Imagine the impact on Dawah when many industries are questioned about ethics but this company has employees who will refuse to work for the company if they are not ethically compliant? Imagine the reward for the owner of such a business to create prayer facilities for all his employees where Salāh becomes the means by which profitability is sought.
This article opens a discussion more than any conclusive argument but, as was mentioned at the beginning of this article, the aim is to provoke thought. Where we expend our efforts and how we seek our wealth are questions that we all ponder from time to time on an individual basis but, perhaps, we should adopt a society-focused mentality wherein we look for what the Ummah needs and try to match our skill-set within that.
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