Ibn Rajab d. He was a man, Ibn Rajab notes, given to outstanding devotions and night vigils, exceptionally long prayers, deep and constant remembrance, repentance, humility and complete surrender before God, the likes of which I have not seen; nor have I seen any greater in knowledge, in the knowledge of the meanings of the Quran and the Sunnah, and the realities of faith. He was not infallible, of course, but I have not seen the likes of him in this respect. He faced and firmly withstood persecution several times. During their imprisonment, they were separated from each other, and Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah was released from captivity only after the death of the Shaykh [Ibn Taymiyyah]. While in prison, Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah occupied himself with the recitation of and reflection on the Quran, which provided him with tremendous spiritual insights and discoveries.
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You are on page 1of 23 Search inside document Imam Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah Madaarij as-Saalikeen AlJumuah Magazine The state of repentance, tawbah, is at the beginning, the middle and the end of all states of submission to the will of Allah. The servant who seeks the pleasure of Allah never abandons tawbah. He remains in the state of tawbah until his death.
Whatever his state of belief, the servant makes tawbah his constant companion. Thus, tawbah is at the beginning and at the end of his servitude to his Creator. His need for tawbah at the end, just as at the beginning, overrides, and supersedes all other needs. Allah says: "And turn to Allah altogether make tawbah , O you who believe so that you may succeed," The verse above is contained within a Madinan Surah revealed after the migration to Madinah , in which Allah addresses the people of emaan, who are the best of His creation.
He calls upon them to make tawbah "turn in repentance" to Him after they had already believed, gone through hardships, trials of faith, executed patience, migrated and performed jihad. Allah then made success conditional on perfecting such tawbah, as the effect is often conditional on the cause. No one can hope for success, except: those who make tawbah. Allah says: "And those who do not make tawbah are indeed the dhaalimoon wrongdoers.
There is no third category. Allah calls those who do not make tawbah, "dhaalimoon" wrongdoers and transgressors and no one is more of a wrongdoer and a transgressor than a person who does not repent for his evil actions. The Prophet, sallallahu alayeh wa sallam, is reported to have said: "O people, make tawbah to Allah. By Allah, I make tawbah to Him more than seventy times each day. They his companions asked even you Messenger of Allah?
He said, even me, unless Allah would grant me His mercy and Grace. He is the most knowledgeable of servitude and its requirements and the most committed in servitude to Allah.
It is also his turning away from the path of those with whom Allah is angry and those who are astray. Suratul-Fatihah explains this concept in the most complete and eloquent manner. Whoever appreciates Surat-ul-Fatihah and gives it is right estimate, through knowledge, contemplation upon its facts and by living its directives, will realise that one cannot recite it, with the true recitation of a servant, unless one makes sincere tawbah. The perfect guidance to the Straight Path cannot be attained with the indifference to sins or the persistence on sins.
Indifference to sins negates the knowledge of guidance. Persistent sinning negates the intention and the will of the servant. Thus, tawbah will not be valid except after one recognises the sins, admits to them and seeks to rid oneself of their evil consequences. Seeking Refuge from Sin The first aspect of tawbah, then, is to see how one was taken away from seeking the pleasure of Allah, by committing sins. One should also ponder how happy one was while sinning and being persistent on the sin, while knowing with surety that Allah ever watches over whatever is done in the heavens or on the earth.
If the servant had sought refuge in Allah, he would not have gone away from the guidance of obedience, "And whoever holds firmly to Allah, then he is indeed guided to a Right Path. These two enemies, the nafs and Satan, are the ones that do not leave the servant for even a moment. Their enmity is more harmful to the servant than the enemies from without.
The degree of help rendered to defeat these enemies is dependent upon the degree of our dependence and holding onto Allah. This is indeed the true loss. Allah could have aided us in staying away from sins, however, because we deserted Him, we were allowed to listen to any obey our nafs. If He wished to protect us, the sin would not have found a way to get to us. When the servant becomes heedless of the consequences of sin, he finds pleasure when he satisfies unlawful desires.
This pleasure in disobedience is evidence of his ignorance of the Greatness of the One of disobeys, and his ignorance of the evil consequences of sins and evil actions. His pleasure with sin has concealed all of this from his sight. In fact, his pleasure with sin is more harmful to him than perpetrating the sin itself.
The believer can never have any pleasure from sin. He cannot have complete satisfaction with it. On the contrary, he would not even pursue it, except with grief in his heart. But the intoxication of the desires obscures one from feeling this remorse. When the heart becomes empty from such grief and one is happy with sin, then one should question his faith and weep for the death of his heart. If one were alive, he would be sad for the perpetration of any sin, big or small.
The evil effects of sin, more times than not, go unnoticed in us and in our brothers and sisters in Islam. Diligences in constant self- evaluation is necessary in leading us away from sin and its destructive ends. One can do this by focusing on the following. The fear of dying before making tawbah.
Remorse about the good that was missed because of the disobedience of Allah. Working seriously on regaining what has been missed. If one becomes completely heedless then one becomes persistent, which means constant disobedience with the intention to perform the sin again and again.
This by itself is another sin that could be far greater than the first. Part of the punishment for sin is that it leads to a greater sin, then another, and so on until it completely and certainly destroys the person if he does not repent. Persistence on sin is another sin. Not attempting to rectify the sin means persistence on it and satisfaction with it. This is the sign of ruin. Worse than all of that, is the commission of sin in public when we are sure that Allah watches and sees everything from above His Throne.
If we believe that Allah watches us, yet we proceed to commit sins publicly, this is a great contradiction. Therefore, one of the conditions of the acceptance of tawbah is that a person should firmly believe that Allah was watching and that He will always watch over him.
He sees everything during the perpetration of sins. The repenting servant should know that he was running away from his Lord, captured in the grip of his enemy. He should know how and when he became ignorant, and how and when he was captured. He should believe that tawbah requires great determination and complete awareness to rescue himself from the enemy and be able to return and run back, to his Lord Ar-Rahman Ar- Rahim.
He should realise that returning to his Lord is actually turning away from the road of destruction, where his enemy had taken him. He should know the number of steps taken away from his Lord and the efforts and obstacles that he must strongly work on to get back to the Straight Path.
Fear is one of the most important stations on the path and most beneficial for the heart. Fear is an obligation upon everyone, Allah said, "So fear them not, and fear Me alone, if you are believers. Allah has praised those who possess the attribute of fear saying, "And such are the believers who are humbled by the fear of their Lord The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, "No, O daughter of as-Siddiq, but it refers to one who fasts, perform salah and gives charity, and fears that it may not be accepted from him.
A believer combines righteousness with fear in his heart, while a hypocrite combines evil with impunity. Abul-Qasim al-Junayd said, "Al- khawf is the anticipation of punishment. For example, someone who sees a fierce enemy or a flood or something like that has two states: first, movement in order to flee from it, and this is the state of khawf.
Second, his stillness in a place safe from the danger-and this is khashya. Ar-Rahba means the urge to run away from the danger-which is the opposite of ar- Raghba, which means the urge of the heart to journey towards that which it likes. Al-Wajal is the trembling of the heart upon the cognition or remembrance of someone whose power or punishment one fears.
Al-Khawf, then, is for the common believers, while al-kbashya is for the scholars with profound knowledge, while at-haybah is for those nearest to Allah. As the Prophet, sallallahu alaybe wa sallam, said, "I am the most knowledgeable of Allah among you, and most intense in His khashya. The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, also said, "if you knew what I know, you would laugh little and weep much, and would not enjoy intimacy with women, and would go out wandering in the wildernesses and praying to Allah.
For example, when a lay person is faced with an illness, he seeks to protect himself and seeks someone who could help while a skilled physician turns to investigating the illness and the cure. Abu Suleiman said, "Whenever fear of Allah departs a heart, it is ruined. As Allah says to the people of Paradise: "there is no fear upon them, nor do they grieve. Hence, the place of love is higher and nobler than the place of fear. The true and praiseworthy fear is that which stops a person from the prohibitions of Allah.
But when fear exceeds this boundary, it may bring hopelessness and despair. Abu Uthman said, "Sincerity of fear is vigilance from sins, open and secret. Two more things are related to fear: the thing or occurrence that is feared, and the way that leads one to it.
Lack of knowledge of either of these leads to a concomitant lack of fear. If one does not know that a certain act leads to a feared outcome or he knows so but does not know the value or might of that which he claims to fear, one does not really have true fear. Similarly, an active awareness of the punishment or loss that one fears, not just a passive and abstract knowledge of it, is an indication of the sincerity of fear and sound faith.
When the head and the two wings are sound and healthy the flight of the bird is good, but when the head is cut off, it immediately dies, and when either or both wings are deficient, the bird cannot properly fly and may become victim of any hunter or snare. The righteous predecessors preferred to strengthen the wing of fear during good times when heedlessness is feared, and to strengthen the wing of hope at times of calamity and when near death.
Some have said that it is better to strengthen fear more than hope because when vain hopes overcome a person he is ruined. Others say that the best of situations is a complete balance of hope and fear with overwhelming love, for love is composite,while hope is a sharpener and fear a driver.
Allah says, "Surely! In this are the signs for the mutawassimeen. Ibn Abbas said that it means "those who watch closely". Qatadah said that it means "those who learn the lessons". And Muqatel said that it means "those who reflect".
There is no contradiction or apparent incompatibility amongst these interpretations.
Ibnul Qayyim - Madarijus Salikin
You are on page 1of 23 Search inside document Imam Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah Madaarij as-Saalikeen AlJumuah Magazine The state of repentance, tawbah, is at the beginning, the middle and the end of all states of submission to the will of Allah. The servant who seeks the pleasure of Allah never abandons tawbah. He remains in the state of tawbah until his death. Whatever his state of belief, the servant makes tawbah his constant companion. Thus, tawbah is at the beginning and at the end of his servitude to his Creator.