Kennedy school of missions



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As for his being learned in the secrets of the heart and the science of the next abode, you know it from the maxims transmitted by tradition about him,

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It is related that he was asked about hypocrisy and he replied without premeditation, "Hypocrisy is a temptation (fitnah) which passion has tied in front of the eyes of the hearts of the learned which they looked at by evil choice of their souls, and their deeds camie to nought."
A1-Shafi'i said, "If you are afraid of being conceited about your deed, then remember the pleasure of the one you seek, ask what reward you desire, from what punishment you flee, what result is praiseworthy, and what troubles you re
member. Then, if you reflect on one of these five items,
your deed will diminish in your sight."
Then notice how he mentioned the essence of hypocrisy and the remedy for conceit, both of which make up some of the great evils of the heart.
AI--Shafi'l stated, "The knowledge of one who does not preserve his soul will not benefit him." And he said, "The heart of hearts of one who obeys Allah with his knowledge will benefit him."
He said, "There is nobody who does not have some one who loves him and some one who hates him. If that is the case, be included among those who obey Allah."

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It is related that 'Abd al-Qddir bin 'Abd al-'Aziz,

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# reading S1-,1Z udhkur instead of unzur

rf# reacing SMZ Nadir instead of Qafir

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a righteous and scrupulous man who was acceptable to alShafi'i on account of his piety, used to ask al-Shafi'l questions about piety. One day he said to Al-Shafi'l, "Which is



more excellent, patience, testing (al-mihnah), or achieve115

ment (al-tamkln)?"


Al-Shafi'i replied, "Achievement belongs to the grade
of the prophets, and there is achievement only after testing. When one is tested, he is patient; and when he is patient,
he achieves." Do you not see that Allah tested Abraham? Then
He made him attain. He tested Moses. Then He madehim attain. He tested Job; then he made him attain. He tested Solomon;
then he made him attain and gave him dominion. Achievement

is the most excellent of the ranks. Allah said, 'Thus we


firmly established Joseph in the land' (12:21; 56), and Job was firmly established after his great testing. Allah said again, 'And we gave him his people and their like with them' and so on (21:84).
These words from al-Shaf i'{I prove how deep he delved into the secrets of the Qur'an and hoWell he knew the stations (magamat) of the prophets and saints who were travelers to
Allah, all of which is part of the science of the next abode.
"When is a man learned?" al-Shafi'l was asked.

He replied, "When he knows a science for a certainty,

then he will know it; and he will address himself to the rest

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of the sciences and observe what passed him. Then he will
be learned."

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Somebody said to Galenus, "For one disease, you prescribe
many remedies gathered together."

He replied, "Their purpose is single (i.e. only one of them is intended for the cure); the other things are put

This and the examples which are innumerable prove the height of his rank in the knowledge of Allah and the science of the next abode. As for his desire to please Allah by his jurisprudence and his discussions, this is,proved by what it related that he said, "I desired that people would be benefitted by this knowledge and that none of it would be related to me(i.e. ascribed to me).

Then notice how he knew the evil of knowledge and seeking reputation by it and how his heart was free from paying regard to it solely by means of the purity of his intention in seeking it for the sake of Allah.

Al--Shafi'i said, "I never disputed with anyone, while wanting him to err."

He (also) said, "I never spoke to anyone whithout wishing him to prosper, to hit the mark, to be helped, and to have Allah's protecting care over him. Nor did I ever speak to anybody without caring that Allah would make the truth clear

- reading SMZ bihi instead of lahu

with it to lessen its power. For a

single one is fatal."

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on my tongue or on his."
He said, "I never mentioned the truth and the proof to anybody who accepted it from me without reverencing him and
believing his love, and no one opposed me in (accepting) the
truth and contended against the proof without falling in my estimation, and I left him."
These are the signs which prove his desire to please Allah by his jurisprudence and his debating. You see how, of these five qualities, the people followed him in one quality
only and then how they contradicted him in it also (by lack 117 of sincerity). Because of this Abu Thaur said, "deither I
nor anyone else has seen anyone like al-ShCLfi'i." And Ahmad bin Hanbal said, "For forty years I have not prayed without praying for al-Shafi'i."
Then notice the impartiality of the intercessor (ibn Hanbal) and the rank of the one prayed for. With this compare their peers and their likes (from among the learned) in these times as well as the amount of enmity and hatred that takes place among them. Then you will know their shortcomings is their assertion of imitating these (Imams).
On account of the great amount Ibn Hanbal's intercession for al-Shafi'i Ibn iianbal's son said, "What a man this a&-ShAfi'T must be for you to pray so much for him."

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# reading SMZ irAdatihi with Allah instead of iradati Allah

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r

Ahmad replied, "0, my son, al_Shafi'i is like the sun to the present world and like health to people. Notice and see if there is any substitute for these two."


Ahanad bin Hanbal used to say, "No one puts his hand to
an inkstand (i.e. no one begins to write) without being tremendously indebted to al-Shafi'i.'Y

"I have not performed a worship service for forty years", 118

said Yahya bin Sa'Td al-Qattan, 'without praying for al-Sha
fi'l on account of the knowledge which Allah revealed to him and in which He prospered him to reach his aim."
Then let us limit ourselves to mentioning this brief account of his conditions, for they are limitless. Most of
these virtues we have taken from a book which the Shaikh Naar 119

bin Ibrahim al-Magdasi composed of the virtues of al-ShAfi'i.


May Allah be pleased with him and with all Muslims.
As for the Imam Malik, who also was adorned with these five qualities, some one asie, d him, "What do you say, 0, Malik, about the search for knowledge?"
He said, "It is very good, but pay attention to that which is necessary for you from morning to evening. (of life). Then stick to it."
He went to such an extreme degree in venerating the science of religion that, when he wished to narrate (something) he performed a ceremonial washing, sat on his (rolled up)

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bed, combed his beard, employed perfume;. and sat firmly established out of respect and veneration (for his subject). Then he used to narrate (something).
On being asked about all this, he repl'_Led, "I like to venerate a tradition of the Messenger of Allah." Malik said, "Knowledge is a light which Allah places whereever He wills and which does not depend on the amount of relating." this respect and reverence of knowledge proves the strength of his recognition of the majesty of Allah.
As for his desire to please Allah by his xnowledge, that is proved by his saying, "Argument in religion is nothing." And what al-Shafi'i said proves it, "I was present at 4 lik's when he was consulted about forty-eight questions, to thirtytwo of which he replied,'I do not know'. Whoever does not desire to please Allah by his knowledge does not permit himself to admit that he does not know. For that reason al-Shai'i'i said, "When the learned are mentioned, MMalik is 'the brilliant star' (86:3), and no one has more favour with me
than MAlik."

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It is told that AbU Ja'far a1-Mansur prevented him from
relating the tradition about compulsory divorce. `then he secretly sent somebody to him who asked him, and in a group of
people he related, "There is no divorce for the one under com121

pulsion (al-mustakrah)." So he beat Malik with a whip, but

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he did not stop relating the tradition.


MAlik said, "There is no man who is truthful and who does not lie regarding tradition but is granted enjoyment of mind; in his old age neither disease nor weakness of mind comes upon him."
As for his asceticism in the present world, what it was 122

related that Mahdi, the Commander of the Faithful, asked him

proves that. He said, "Do you own a house?"
He replied, "No, but I shall rei&te (a tradition about 123

it). I heard Rabi'ah bin Abd al-Rahman say, 'A man's lineage


is his house."'

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(HarUn) al--Rashid (also) asked Malik, "Do you have a
house?"

He replied, "No."


So Harnn gave him three thousand dinars and said, "Buy a-house with them."
So he took them but did not spend them. Then, when .l125 Rashid wanted to go (from Hejaz..to 'Iraq), hesaid to Malik,
"You must go along with us, for I am resolved to induce the 126

people to do what is contained in the Muwatta', just as 'Uth


mAn induced them to follow the Qur'an."
Malik replied, "As for inducing people to follow the Muw~atyta', there is no way for it; for, after the Prophet's death, his Companions were scattered among various countries

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where they related stories; and the people of each country have knowledge (of traditions that is exclusive to them); and Muhammad has said, 'The disagreement of my people is a blessing.' And as for going along with you, there is no way for it. The Prophet of Allah has said, 'Al-Madinah is better for them, if only they knew it.' And he said, 'Al-Madinah removes their wickedness just as a blacksmith's bellows remove the dirt (rust or tatnish) from iron„' Here are your dinars just as they are. If you wish, take them; and if you wish, leave them. That is to say, that by this you are obliging me to leave al-Madinah for the favour you have done me, but I do not prefer the present world to the city of the Messenger of Allah."

Such was Malik'e asceticism regarding the present world. When great wealth was brought to him from the ends of the earth on account of the spread of his knowledge and disciples, he used to distribute it in a benevolent way. This generosity proves his asceticism and the meagerness of his love of the present world. Asceticism, (however) is not merely being deprived,' but asceticism means to empty the heart of it. So during his reign Solomon was certainly one of the ascetics.

1Malik's disregard of the present world is shown by what

al-ShAfi'I related, when he said, "At the door of alik's

ill

house I saw some horses and weapons: steeds from Khurasan and mules from Egypt, the equal of which I had not seen. So I said to MAlik, 'How beautiful! '



"He replied, 'This is a present from me to you, 0, Aba 'Abdullah.'

"So I said, 'Keep one of themfor yourself so you can ride.'

"He replied, 'Before Allah I am ashamed to have a hoof of my mount trample the ground in which the Prophet of Allah lies buried.'"

1herefore observe his generosity, when he donated all

that in one single swoop, and (also) his reverence of the soil of al--Madlnah. What is related about him proves his desire to please Allah by his knowledge and his disregard for the present world; for ne said, "I went to see Harun al-Rashid, and he said to me, '0, Aba 'Abdullah, you must come to us

often so that our sons may hear the Muwatta' from you."He continued, "I told him, 'Nay Allah exalt you, our Lord

the Prince. This knowledge has come from you (i.e. Bani Quraish). If you exalt it, then it is exalted; and, if you debase it, then it is debased. Knowledge is the thing come to; it does not come, (i.e. one must seek after knowledge; it does not seek anybody).' Then he said, 'You are right. Go a..ong to the mosque to listen with the people.'"

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As for Abu Hanifah, he also certainly was an ascetic
worshipper who knew Allah mystically and feared Him and de

sired to please Him by his knowledge.


As for his being a devotee, thatis known by what was
related by Ibn MubArak, who said, "Abu Hanifah was a man of 128

noble manliness and much prayer." 127

HammAd bin Abi Sulaiman related that he used to stay awake all night in devotion, and it was related that he used to spend half the night awake in devotion. Then one day as he was passing along the street a man pointed him out, while he was walking, and said to another, "He is the one who keeps vigil all the night." So after that he did not cease to keep vigil all the night, and he said, "I am ashamed before Allah to have men say I perform worship which actually I do not perform."
As for his asceticism, (the following) is related on 129 130

the authority of Rabi' bin 'Asim: "Yazid bin Hubairah sent


for me, and I brought Abi Hanifah along with me. He wanted him (Abu Hanifah) to be overseer of the treasury, (but) he declined. So he gave him twenty lashes. Then observe how
he fled from governing and endured his torture."

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Al-Hakam bin HishAm al-Thagafl said, "In Damascus I was
told a tradition about Abu Hanifah (to the purport) that he was one of the greatest of men as regards faithfulness. The

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sultan offered him the choice of taking charge of the keys ofthe treasury or have his back beaten, He chose their torture rather than the punishment of Allah."

It is related that Abu Hanlfah was mentioned in the presence of Ibn al-Mubarak who said, "Are you mentioning a man to whom the present world in its fullness was offered and


who fled from it?"

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It is related on the authority of Muhammad bin Shuj '

on the authority of some of his companions that somebody said to Abu Hanlfah, "The Commander of the Faithful, Abu Ja'far alMansUr, has commanded that you be given td-.n thousand dirhams."


He said, "And Abu Hanifah was not pleased. " (Then) he said, "When the day in which it was expected that the money would be brought, he performed the morning worship. Then he
covered himself with his clothes and did not speak. Then the 133 messenger, al-Hasan bin Qahtabah, brought the wealth and en
tered the place where he was. So some of them present said, 'He only speaks a word to us now and then.' That is, it is'his custom.
"Then he (i.e. the messenger) said, "Put the money inthis wallet',(and he left it) in a corner of the house. Then after that, Abu Hanlfah bequeathed the furniture ofhis house and said to his son, 'When I die and you have buried me, take this purse of money and carry it to al-Hasan bin Qahtabah and

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say to him, 'Take (back) your trust which you deposited with Abu Han1fah.'

"His son said, 'So I did that and al-Hasan said, 'The mercy of Allah be on your father. He certainly was strict in his religion'."

It was related that he was invited to become a judge and he said, "I am not good enough for that." They asked, "Why?"

He replied, "Were I honest, then I should not be good

enough for it; and if I were a liar, a liar is not good enough to give judgment."

As for his knowledge of the way to the next abode and the way to the affairs of religion and his mystical knowledge of Allah, the intensity of his fear of Allah and his asceticism in the present world prove this.

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Ibn Juraij said, "I have come to hear that your Kufi,



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al-Na'manbin Thabit, is very intense in his fear of Allah."

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Shank al-Nakh'i said, "Abu Hanlfah was very taciturn,



continually thinking, and seldom spoke to people", which is

one of the clearest signs of his mystieal;knciwledge and occupation in the important things in religion. One who has re

ceived silence and asceticism has been given all knowledge.

This, then, Is a short sketch of the characteristics of the three ImAns. As for the Imams Ahmad bin Hanbal and Sufyan

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al-Thauri, their followers are fewer than those of these (three), and Sufyan has less followers than Ahmad, but the fame of these two in scrupulousness and asceticism Is more obvious. This entire book is replete with tales of their deeds and sayings. So there is no need of going into detail now.


Therefore let us now observe the lives of these three ImMms and consider their characteristics and sayings and deeds in shunning the present world and in devotion to Allah. Are they simply the fruit of knowledge of the subordinate sciences of jurisprudence such as knowledge of commercial downpayments (salam), hiring a thing out (I~aVah), temporary

separation by the formula " i~", the oath not to cohabit 137

tiles'), and the form of accusation of adultery and the de
fense (li'An); or are they the fruit of a knowledge higher and nobler than they? Then observe those who pretend to follow them. Are they honest in their pretense or not?

PART THREE

Part three concerns what the masses consider to be praiseworthy sciences, though they are not. In it there is A) an exposition of the point of view from which certain sciences are sometimes blameworthy, B) an exposition of the interchanging of the names of the sciences such as "Jurisprudence" (filth), "knowledge" ('ilm), "the doctrine of Allah's unity" (tawhid), "reminding" (tadhkir), and"wisdom" (hikmah), and C) an exposition of the amount of legal sciences which is praiseworthy and the amount which is blameworthy in them.

A. An Exposition of the Cause of Blame in the Blameworthy Sciences

Suppose you should say, "Knowledge is cognition of a thing as it is, which is one of Allah's attributes. Then how can a thing be knowledge and, at the same time, blameworthy?" You should know that knowledge is not blamed in itself, but it is blamed with respect to creatures for one of three causes.

1) The first is if it leads either its possessor or somebody else into harm, just as the knowledge of magic and

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talismans is blamed. And this knowledge is real, for the

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Qur'An testified to it. It is a cause of separation between
married people. (Even) the Messenger of Allah was enchanted 138 and sickened by it until Jibrl informed him of it and re
moved the enchantment from under a stone at the bottom of a well.
It is a branch of knowledge which is derived from the special properties of substances and mathematical reckonings of the appearances of the stars. From these substances a shape in the image of the enchanted person is obtained, and one watches for a special time of the star's appearance at which time certain unlawful words of unbelief and wickedness are uttered. By means of them he succeeds in getting help from the Shaitans. From all this, strange conditions result in the enchanted person by the customary working out of Allah's decrees. Knowledge of these causes as knowledge per se is not blameworthy.
But it is only suitable for harming people, and whatever is a means to evil is evil. That is the reason for its being a blameworthy science. Nay more, in the case of a person who is following one of Allah's saints in order to kill him, while the saint is hidden in a well guarded place, should the wrong-doer inquire about his hiding place, one may not reveal it; but it is necessary to lie about it. To mention

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the place is to guide and to provide knowledge of a thing
as it is, but it is blameworthy, because it leads to harm.

2. The second is harmful to its possessor in the majority of cases, as in the science of astrology. This in itself is not blameworthy in its essence and is in two parts: a).the first part is concerned with calculation. The Qur'an has mentioned that the movement of the sun and moon is calculated, for Allah said, "The sun and the moon (run their courses) according to a (certain) reckoning; or through a


series of mansions (or constellations), the bounds of which 140 they do not transgress" (55:4)
He said, "And as for the moon, ire have decreed stations for it so that it returns (changes) like an old palm branch" (in resemblance to cresents ofthe old and new moons). (36:39)
b). The second part is the science of the decrees of 141

the stars (i.e. astrology) the sum and substance of which are


related to inference about phenomenal events by means of causes. This resembles the inferences as to what will happen to an invalid which a doctor makes after counting his pulse. This is a knowledge of the usual course of Allah's custom and practice in dealing with His people, but of which divine
law disapproves.

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MSuhammad said, "If decree (gadar) is mentioned, hold

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back; if the stars are mentioned, hold back; and if my companions are mentioned, hold back."

He said, "I fear for my people after me in three respects: (first) injustice of the Imams; (second) belief in stars; (third) disbelief in decree."

'Umar bin al-Khattab said, "From the stars learn that by which you can be guided on land and sea; then hold back."

Astrology is forbidden from three aspects:

(1). the first of which is that it is harmful to most people. For if they are told that these happenings occur after the course of the stars, they will get the impression that the stars are the things which cause the effect and that they are the gods who regulate (affairs) because they are noble heavenly substances. The impression in their hearts will become great and one's heart will continue to turn toward them and he will see the good and the evil forbidden or desired from that point of view, while the remembrance of Allah will be erased from his heart. As for one who is poorly grounded in faith his consideration will be limited to the media (al-wasa'it). And the well-grounded person is one who knows that the sun, moon, and stars are compelled to

work (musakhkharAt) by the command of Allah. (cf. 7:52; 16:12)

The poorly-grounded person's consideration of the coming of sunlight after the sun rises would be like that of

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an ant, had it been given a mind and were it on a sheet of paper. It would notice the black writing being made to appear, which It would think was the work of a pen. Its observation would not mount up to seeing the fingers, then from them to the hand, then from it to the will of the one who moves the hand, then from it to the writer who is capable and who wills, then from him to the Creator of the hand, the ability, and the will. Most of man's observation is limited to the subordinate causes (and is) cut off from looking up to the Causer of Causes. So this is one of the reasons for prohibiting the study of astrology.

(2). The second (of them) is that astrology is pure conjecture. In regard to particular individuals it does not attain to certainty nor to probability; deciding by it is deciding by ignorance. The disapproval of it lies in the fact that it is ignorance, not because it is a science. And it (i.e. astrology) was an evidentiary miracle given to Idrls according to what is told, and which knowledge was effaced, blotted out, and annihilated. That part of the astrologers' prognostications which actually happens is of rare occurrence. It is a coincidence, because he knows some of the causes; and the effect is only known after many conditions, to know the truth of which is not in the power of man. If it happens that Allah decrees the rest of the causes, the event occurs;

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and if He did not decree (them), he (the astrologer) fails.


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