Hadith 24. Attributes of Allah COMPLETE

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On the authority of Abu Dharr Al-Ghifari, of the prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is that among the sayings he relates from his Lord is that He said:

“O My servants, I have forbidden oppression for Myself and have made it forbidden amongst you, so do not oppress one another. O My servants, all of you are astray except for those I have guided, so seek guidance of Me and I shall guide you. O My servants, all of you are hungry except for those I have fed, so seek food of Me and I shall feed you. O My servants, all of you are naked except for those I have clothed, so seek clothing of Me and I shall clothe you. O My servants, you sin by night and by day, and I forgive all sins, so seek forgiveness of Me and I shall forgive you. O My servants, you will not attain harming Me so as to harm Me, and you will not attain benefiting Me so as to benefit Me. O my servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to become as pious as the most pious heart of any one man of you, that would not increase My kingdom in anything. O My servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to be as wicked as the most wicked heart of any one man of you, that would not decrease My kingdom in anything. O My servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to rise up in one place and make a request of Me, and were I to give everyone what he requested, that would not decrease what I have, any more than a needle decreases the sea if put into it. O My servants, it is but your deeds that I reckon up for you and then recompense you for, so let him who finds good praise Allah, and let him who finds other than that blame no one but himself.”

Reported by Muslim

Brief Commentary:

  • Abu Idris Al-Khawlani who narrated this hadith from Abu Dharr Al-Ghifari used to drop to his knees out of veneration of Allah when narrating this hadith
  • This is a hadith qudsi so its meaning came from Allah, but the wording was that of the prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam)
  • The difference  between a hadith qudsi and the Qur’an is:
    • The Qur’an was sent down in wording and meaning ,but a hadith qudsi was sent down only in meaning
    • The Qur’an is a miracle whereas a hadith qudsi is not considered as one
    • The Qur’an is accurate in terms of its narration but a hadith qudsi is not necessarily that. It has different strengths as with all other ahadith; some are sahih, hasan, weak, etc. so it has not all been preserved
    • The Qur’an can be read in salah, but a hadith qudsi cannot
  • The Arabic language is a language of summarisation/simplification, as it aims to reduce the number of words used so you don’t necessarily hear something repeated again, but in this hadith, the phrase “O My servants” has been repeated many times
  • Benefits  of repeating “O My servants”:
    • It reminds the listener of his/her status. They are the slaves of Allah
    • It reminds them that they are lowly in front of Allah. “عبد” means something trodden upon
    • It reminds us of the nature of our relationship with Allah
    • It makes it stick to our minds and alerts us
    • We know that what will be said is very important and significant
  • There is no repetitive hadith like this in the 40 nawawi collection
  • Ibn Rajab said that oppression is to place things where they should not be placed, or to punish someone for the wrongdoings of others. From this we know that Allah is capable of oppression but He chooses not to do it out of His grace and mercy. We do not fall into the errors of misguided sects who say that Allah cannot commit oppression as by that we are saying that there is something which Allah cannot do and have degraded Allah’s abilities
  • Allah didn’t literally affirm His justice because the mere fact of negating  its opposite (oppression)is its affirmation
  • The messengers (alayhim assalam)were sent to establish justice and we are here to establish justice so it is from the major objectives of the shari’ah
  • When the Muslims went to Persia and were asked what brought them, they replied, “We have been sent to take the slaves from worshipping the slaves to worshipping the Lord of the slaves, and from the narrowness of the dunya to the wideness of the hereafter, and from the oppression of religions to the justice of Islam”
  • The Muslims had it clear in their minds what their objective is and what they must do, which is to establish justice
  • The greatest form of justice is tawheed (giving Allah His oneness) and the greatest form of oppression is shirk (associating partners with Allah)
  • Types of oppression:
    • Oppression to oneself: This is when you commit sins as you can not harm Allah so you are only harming yourself. No matter how good a person is, if they are a non-believer then they are indeed oppressors
    • Oppression to others: This is what the hadith is referring to, and it is to be unjust to others
    • Oppression to animals: The prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) cursed anyone who mutilates an animal
  • Oppression can be:
    • Not forgiven: e.g. shirk. Anyone who commits shirk will not be forgiven if he does not repent from it before he dies. If he repents before he dies then he will inshaAllah be forgiven
    • Forgiven only if you pay back: e.g. borrowing money and not paying it back on time. You can repent from this but you will only be forgiven if you pay it back
    • Forgiven: If you sin, Allah may forgive you
  • The phrases “all of you are astray except for those I have guided” and “all of you are hungry except for those I have fed” remind us of our need for Allah in this life and the next
  • They are linked to each other as one is speaking about spiritual nourishment and the other about physical nourishment. We need both nourishments (for our soul and body) to survive
  • This part of the hadith affirms that man cannot bring good to himself unless if Allah wills
  • When Allah speaks about guidance in the Qur’an, He stresses that it lies in His hands
  • The prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) was fearful for the Iman of the sahabah, so how fearful for our Iman should we be?
  • These phrases do not mean we must then sit down and do nothing and just say it is up to Allah to guide us and feed us. We must sincerely look for the truth.  The reason why someone is guided is because they are sincerely trying to find the truth
  • When searching for guidance, we must prevent ourselves from the things that act as a barrier, otherwise we are not really sincere in our search for the truth
  • When Salman Al-Farsi was searching for the truth. The first thing he did was abandon fire worshipping, then he left the evil country/place he was in. He was sincere and thus guided
  • Ibn Al-Qayyim said guidance is of four types
    • هداية عامة: Knowing what you need for this life e.g. fire burns, how to eat, etc. (Everyone has this guidance)
    • إرشاد: Showing people what is right from wrong (This guidance is merely being shown right from wrong, and does not necessarily mean the person has acted upon this guidance)
    • توفيق: Guidance placed in the heart of a person (This is solely from Allah)
    • هداية الآخرة: Knowing where your place is in Jannah, who your hoor al-‘ayn are (This is guidance given to the believers in the hereafter only)
  • By looking at the four types of guidance, we can see that this hadith is talking about the third type, which is the guidance placed by Allah in the heart of someone so that they know the truth and act upon it
  • Ibn Rajab said this guidance is of two types:
    • General: Being guided to Islam and Iman
    • Detailed: Being guided to having the knowledge of the detailed aspects of Islam, e.g. knowing true tawheed, knowing the fiqhi rulings, etc
  • Once we understand this, we know that we must always ask for guidance as we will never be able to have full guidance in knowing all the detailed aspects of the religion
  • By saying, “so seek guidance of me”, we know it is legislated for us to ask Allah for guidance
  • Although we may go out and buy food from our money, we must realise that it is Allah who provided us with this food. This is because it is Allah who provided the means for us to get the food, and He who decreed the amount of sustenance we get
  • Knowing this will make someone feel more dependent on Allah and increase his tawakkul on Him
  • We are the only species to require clothing. Although we are the most intelligent, we are the most dependent of the creation
  • With all the technological advancements, without clothing we will fall ill and die
  • An additional blessing from Allah is that we can wear clothing with a primary function of beautification
  • We should never wear لباس الشهرة (garments to show off) as this is something the prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) forbade us from doing
  • Being able to wear clothes and adornments is a sign of Allah’s blessings over us, and so we must not make this blessing into a punishment by  rejecting it or showing off with it as that is haram
  • There is no harm in wearing the best of clothing as you are actually showing Allah’s blessings over you, which is good, but the harm comes when they are worn for the purpose of standing out amongst the people and showing off as if you are better than them
  • When Allah spoke about His blessings over us in terms of providing us with clothing [Surah Al-A’raaf, 7:26], He finished by saying that the best adornment is the adornment of piety, i.e. the inward adornment, so we should be more concerned with our inward state over our outward state
  • We are all sinners so we must all seek forgiveness from Allah
  • استغفار (forgiveness) is derived from the word غفر which means to cover up/hide
  • When asking for forgiveness, we ask Allah to:
    • Conceal and cover up the sin in this life and the hereafter
    • Remove the effects of the sin
    • Protect us from the effects of the sin
  • The conditions of repentance are:
    • Regret
    • Stopping the sin
    • Intending to never do it again
  • The prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) used to seek forgiveness from Allah at least 70 times a day. He was sinless as his sins were forgiven but he did so to teach us how to seek forgiveness
  • We don’t just seek forgiveness for the sins we committed, but also for our shortcoming as we haven’t worshipped Allah as He deserves
  • It is the first thing we say after finishing salah as we had shortcomings in our salah
  • It is the first thing we say when leaving the toilet as we cannot thank Allah enough for the blessing of relieving ourselves so we seek His forgiveness for that shortcoming
  • To benefit someone, it implies that the benefitted is deficient, thus we cannot benefit Allah as He is الغني (The most rich)
  • When the prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) asked the sahaba about who is rich, they said he is the one who has money, so he said, “Richness does not lie in the abundance of worldly goods, but richness is the richness of the soul” (Reported in Muslim)
  • Richness means to not need anything. Wealthy people are always looking for money so cannot be rich, and Allah is the most rich as He is not in need of anything
  • A believer can be very poor in terms of wealth, but at the same time be very rich as he doesn’t feel that he needs anything. Junayd said, “If the kings knew what we had in our hearts, they would fight us for it”
  • Our good deeds and bad sins have no effect on Allah’s kingdom
  • A king who has a kingdom has many subjects in the kingdom who are dependent on him, and the king may feel  that these subjects are dependent on him and he is independent, but in reality, if all of these people leave the kingdom or refuse to obey the king then he will cease to have a kingdom and cease to be king, so he is in fact dependent on them
  • Allah is telling us that His kingdom is different to the kingdoms that we have in the dunya. We are all subjects in Allah’s kingdom but if we all stop worshipping Him, or  if we all become obedient, then His kingdom remains as it is as He is not dependent on us
  • If Allah gave each one of us their requests, then that does not decrease His kingdom because us and our requests are part of His kingdom so whatever He gives us will still ultimately belong to Him. Thus when Allah gives us what we ask for, He is merely moving His possessions around and not losing anything
  • We cannot possess anything in its absolute form because when we die, we cannot take it with us, and if Allah wanted to take it at any time, then He can
  • We should never be attached to anything in this dunya, because whatever we have here does not belong to us, so just like we should not get attached to things we borrow and know we have to give back, we should not be attached to things we can never absolutely possess
  • Having this feeling will give us comfort and not make us feel at loss when we lose something we desire because we know we were going to give it back sooner or later
  • If we put a needle in the sea and take it out, some water is still left on the needle, however, this does not mean that Allah’s kingdom has decreased, but because our minds are weak and can only imagine things that decrease, Allah used this example
  • The end of the hadith ties everything together in that if we are dependent on Allah, and He is the one who provides for us, then we will be held accountable for what we do
  • Recompensation is of two types:
    • Get rewards in the dunya and punishment in the hereafter (disbelievers)
    • Get rewards in the hereafter and punishment in the dunya (believers)
  • This doesn’t mean that the believers do not get rewards in this dunya, as Allah can give us blessings and make things easy for us in the dunya too
  • The ending establishes that anything good we get is from Allah, and anything bad is due to our own shortcomings
  • Many people blame their surroundings for what is happening to them, and always have someone to blame except themselves
  • We are rewarded for more than we deserve and punished for what we deserve
  • It is more stressed to say “SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam” after hearing the prophet’s name than say “Subhanahu wa ta’ala” after hearing Allah’s name because the prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is in need for this, whilst Allah isn’t

 

Benefits and Action points:

 

  • Avoid all forms of oppression, and deal with each one accordingly. If you sin, then repent. If you take someone’s right then you repent and give their right back, otherwise your repentance will not save you
  • Ensure you have not taken anyone’s rights in this dunya as the prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) spoke about what will happen on the day of judgement regarding oppression and said, “Whoever has oppressed his brother then he should seek forgiveness from him for there will be no dinar nor dirham that will be taken from him. It will be taken from his good deeds and given to his brother, and if he has no more good deeds, then it will be taken from his brother’s bad deeds and put on him” (Bukhari & Muslim)
  • The prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) also said that there is no veil between the du’aa of an oppressed person and Allah. So ensure there are no oppressed people that are oppressed by you as their du’aa will no doubt reach Allah
  • Do not have an attitude in which you take the rights of your brothers and say they are easy-going brothers who would not mind
  • Protect yourself from oppression by:
    • Humbleness. It is when you realise your weakness and need for Allah
    • Removing every and hatred
    • Contemplating on the consequences of oppression in the hereafter
  • Stay away from the prohibited matters so that you may be guided
  • Stay away from bad influences and bad surroundings so that you may be guided
  • Constantly ask Allah for guidance, even if it be for matters related to the dunya as He has knowledge of those matters too
  • Never feel that you have full guidance and remember that Allah makes us ask for guidance from Him in every rak’ah we pray when we read Surah Al-Fatiha so it is an important thing that we are always in need of
  • Constantly remember Allah’s blessings over you and realise that the spiritual and physical nourishment that you received came from Him so thank Him for it
  • Increase your tawakkul on Allah by contemplating on your need for him
  • Acknowledge Allah’s blessing over you by providing you with clothing and do not make it into a punishment by rejecting this blessing or wearing it in a haram manner e.g. imitating the kuffar, imitating the opposite gender, showing off, etc
  • Be more concerned with adorning your inward state
  • Acknowledge that you are a sinner so constantly seek forgiveness from Allah by saying استغفر الله  and keeping your tongue moist with these words
  • Have the reasons mentioned above in your mind when seeking forgiveness from Allah as that is more effective
  • Realise that whatever good or bad you do has no effect on Allah and will only affect yourself. Your constant worship will not benefit Him in the slightest so don’t feel you have done a favour for Him when doing a righteous deed
  • Contemplate on the Majesty of Allah and His kingdom
  • Internalise the fact that everything in this dunya, including the things in your possession are all owned by Allah so that when you lose any of it, you are not at sorrow because you know that the rightful owner of it has moved it to wherever He pleased
  • Detach yourself from everything in this dunya because none of it belongs to you and you wouldn’t consider yourself wise if you attached yourself to something you borrowed from a friend
  • Whenever you are in a difficult situation, blame yourself for it so that you can find ways of improving yourself further, and so that you free Allah from any blame. Never look to someone to blame but yourself
  • Praise Allah for He rewards you for more than you deserve and only punishes you for what you deserve, that is if He hasn’t forgiven you yet

4 Comments on “Hadith 24. Attributes of Allah COMPLETE”

  1. Raheel javed Says:

    السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
    ما شاء الله
    Very Nice article. Brother i wondered uf i can translate this commentry in Norwegian language? We have translated the hadith but could We translate the commentary? جزاك اللهُ خيراً

    • alnaasiree Says:

      وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته
      وإياكم
      You are more than welcome to translate this, though I am a mere nobody and it would be best to translate a reputable scholar’s work.

      • Raheel javed Says:

        Thank you Very much, may الله سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ ‎ bless you بارك الله فيك
        Only one thing i wondered to know is that if someone Ask me Of which scholar did this work, Who can i refer to?
        جزاك اللهُ خيراً

      • alnaasiree Says:

        This is based on a series of classes held by Ustadh Alomgir Ali which were based on numerous commentaries of the 40 nawawi ahadith, including جامع العلوم والحكم by ابن رجب الحنبلي


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