THE KEY TO SUCCESS english islamic book pdf download

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THE KEY TO SUCCESS
Chapter One
Starting Points of the Successful
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The (rewards of) deeds depend upon the original intentions, so intend good and aim
at benefiting others in every deed you do and restrain yourself from evil.
Do not feel discomforted when struck with afflictions, for they polish the hearts,
sharpen the minds, and whet the resolutions.
Hard work is the greatest way to attain good fortune. It is the balm for your
ailments, and the remedy for all your diseases. It is also your treasure.
A person’s value lies in that which they can do well. The idle person is valueless,
the unsuccessful person is hateful, and the ineffective person is of little
significance.
Focus your attention on a single endeavor to which you devote yourself
wholeheartedly, so that you can be creative.
Begin with the most important, then the less important, and avoid the dissipating
your energy on many jobs, for that leads to confusion and incompetence.
Order is the path to success, and putting everything in its place is the quest of the
successful, unlike chaos, which is blameworthy.
It is a characteristic of the successful to preserve their possessions, material and
belongings: they neither squander nor damage what they have.
Perfume does not exude its scent until it is crushed, and incense is not fragrant until
it is burnt; similarly, distress is a (source of) goodness and blessing for you.
The successful person is one who does not let their inclination overcome their
reason, or their failure overcome their patience, nor are they lured by temptations,
or preoccupied by trivial things.
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Beware of tedium and boredom, for tedium hinders you from fulfilling rights, and
an ever-bored person fails to observe sacred obligations. Instead, learn to be patient
and firm.
Whoever keeps firm grows with steadfastness. The one who works hard (in their
life) will find the fruit of their hard work; and the one who cultivates will inevitably
reap the harvest of their cultivation; and the one who perseveres will surely win;
and the one who has self-respect will excel.
The ant ascends a thousand times, the bee comes and goes time after time, and the
wolf abandons pleasure in pursuit of food.
The sword cuts off when it comes down; lightning shines when it sparks; the pearl
increases (in value) when it is found deeper down (at the bottom of the ocean or
sea), and water benefits the people when it flows.
The lazy person is disappointed; the wandering person is unconscious; the jobless
person is idle, and the one who is preoccupied with vain hopes is bankrupt (of
deeds).
Whoever uses up his power from the beginning would have no power in the end;
and whoever works hard in his youth would have the upper hand in his old age.
Remember that the Quran invites you to hasten (to good), race (towards favors),
strive (to do our utmost in the cause of Allah The Almighty), endure (with
patience), and remain steadfast (when facing your enemies); and the Sunnah
(Prophetic tradition) invites you to be concerned with what benefits you, and to
hasten to good deeds; and there are two blessings that are misused by many people:
health and spare time.
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Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, the second of two persons (in the cave
of Thawr), spent all his property (in the way of Allah The Almighty) and will be
called (on the Day of Judgment) to enter Paradise from all of its eight gates. He was
also the one who fought to suppress apostasy.
‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with him, was the one from whose
shadow Satan himself used to flee, and the Divine Revelation concurred with his
opinions more than once.
‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan, may Allah be pleased with him, equipped Jaysh Al-‘Usrah
(the army of adversity or distress) from his own wealth, made the well of Roomah
an endowment (for the advantage of all the Muslim inhabitants of Al-Madeenah),
and used to recite the entire Noble Quran from the beginning to the end in one
Rak‘ah (unit of prayer).
‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib, may Allah be pleased with him, engaged in duel in (the Battle
of) Badr, conquered the fort of Khaybar and killed Marhab (the Jew), and slew
‘Amr ibn Wudd on the day of (the Battle of) Al-Khandaq.
Khaalid ibn Al-Waleed, may Allah be pleased with him, took part in one hundred
battles, and on the day of (the Battle of) Al-Yarmook, nine swords were broken in
his hand.
Az-Zubayr ibn Al-‘Awwaam, may Allah be pleased with him, was wounded in
every part of his body, and he carried the sword in defense of the Messenger of
Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and he was duly proclaimed his (the
Prophet’s) disciple in Paradise.
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Talhah, may Allah be pleased with him, continued to receive strikes in his body
(while holding himself as a shield in defense of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa
sallam) until his arm was paralyzed. Hanthalah, may Allah be pleased with him,
was killed while he was in the state of Janaabah (ritual impurity), and his dead
body was washed by the angels; and the Throne of Allah shook for the death of
Sa‘d ibn Mu‘aath, may Allah be pleased with him.
‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr ibn Haraam, may Allah be pleased with him, the father of
Jaabir, may Allah be pleased with him, received more than eighty stabs (to death),
and Allah The Almighty spoke to him, without an interpreter.
Ubayy ibn Ka‘b, may Allah be pleased with him, memorized the whole Quran and
recited it perfectly according to the rules of recitation, therefore Allah The
Almighty mentioned him among the exalted assembly (of angels), and commanded
His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, to recite to him Soorat Al-Bayyinah.
‘Abdur-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf, may Allah be pleased with him, gave in charity a
caravan of one thousand camels with their load to the poor; and Abu Talhah, may
Allah be pleased with him, gave his garden in charity in the way of Allah The
Almighty.
Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, memorized (and preserved from
wasting away) the greater part of the Sunnah, and divided his night into three: one
third for prayer, another third for memorizing the Hadeeths (narrations), and the
remaining third for sleep.
Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allah have mercy upon him, covered thirty thousand
miles in quest for Hadeeth, and memorized one hundred thousand traditions, of
which he composed the Musnad, which includes about forty thousand Hadeeths.
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Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullaah, may Allah be pleased with him, set off on a month’s journey
to Egypt in quest of only one Hadeeth; and Ibn Al-Musayyib, may Allah have
mercy upon him, embarked on a three-day journey in search of the answer to only
one question.
Ibn Hibbaan, may Allah have mercy upon him, narrated Hadeeths from two
thousand Shaykhs, compiled his book of As-Saheeh which became phenomenally
acclaimed, and was encyclopedic in all branches of knowledge, making him the
brightest luminary of his time.
Al-Muzani, may Allah have mercy upon him, read Ash-Shaafi‘i’s Ar-Risaalah five
hundred times; and a scholar from Al Andalus (present-day Spain) read Saheeh AlBukhaari seven hundred times.
Abu Is-haaq Ash-Sheeraazi, may Allah have mercy upon him, repeated each of his
lessons one hundred times; and repeated each analogy one thousand times; and
authored one hundred volumes.
Ibn ‘Aqeel, may Allah have mercy upon him, authored eight hundred volumes in
different branches of knowledge, and preferred to eat dry – instead of well-baked –
bread, to save time (the mealtime) for reciting fifty Quranic verses.
Ibn Taymiyah, may Allah have mercy upon him, wrote, in one day, four
compilations, each of which needs one week to be copied. He used to write a
complete book in one session; and more than one thousand books were written
about him.
Ibn Jareer, may Allah have mercy upon him, wrote about one hundred thousand
pages, and Ibn Al-Jawzi, may Allah have mercy upon him, authored about one
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thousand compositions. Ibn Al-Anbaari, may Allah have mercy upon him,
memorized about four hundred Tafseers (interpretations of the Quran).
‘Ataa’ ibn Abi Rabaah, may Allah have mercy upon him, continued spending the
night in the mosque for thirty years in pursuit of knowledge; and for sixty years,
Al-A‘mash, may Allah have mercy upon him, never missed an opening Takbeer
(with the Imaam in congregational prayer).
According to An-Nawawi, may Allah have mercy upon him, Kurz ibn Wabarah,
may Allah have mercy upon him, used to recite the Quran from the beginning to
the end four times at night and four times during the day, and Ibn Idrees, may Allah
have mercy upon him, finished the recitation of the entire Quran in his house four
thousand times. Ash-Shaafi‘i, may Allah have mercy upon him, used to finish the
recitation of the Quran completely sixty times every Ramadhaan; and so did AlBukhaari, may Allah have mercy upon him, thirty times. Ahmad, may Allah have
mercy upon him, used to perform three hundred Rak‘ahs daily.
Abu Hurayrah, may Allah have mercy upon him, used to exalt (Allah) twelve
thousand times per day; and Khaalid ibn Marwaan, may Allah have mercy upon
him, used to exalt (Allah) one hundred thousand times per day.
We have heard of some people who used to recite Soorat Al-Ikhlaas one thousand
times per day; and others who used to finish the recitation of the Noble Quran in
full once per day; and those who used to exalt (Allah The Almighty) fifteen
thousand times per day.
Seebawayh, may Allah have mercy upon him, authored the greatest composition in
Arabic grammar when he was only thirty years old; and An-Nawawi, may Allah
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have mercy upon him, died when he was forty years old, leaving an enormous
legacy (of religious knowledge).
Tarafah ibn Al-‘Abd, one of the (seven or ten) poets of Mu‘allaqaat (long poems
written in gold water and hung inside the Ka‘bah during the pre-Islamic days) was
twenty-six years old when he was killed; and Muhammad ibn Al-Qaasim, may
Allah have mercy upon him, led the armies when he was only seventeen years old.
Al-Hasan (ibn ‘Ali), may Allah be pleased with him, narrated Hadeeth from his
grandfather, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, when he was still five
years old; and Mahmood ibn Ar-Rabee‘, may Allah be pleased with him, perceived
the fact that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, ejected a mouthful of water
on his face when he was still five years old.
Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with them, memorized Hadeeth when he was
eight years old; and Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy upon him, started to
give Fatwa (religious verdicts) when he was eighteen years old.
Ibn Hajar, may Allah have mercy upon him, authored his Fat-h Al-Baari along with
its introduction in thirty-two years; and Abu ‘Ubayd composed his Kitaab AlGhareeb in forty years; and Al-Asfahaani composed his Kitaab Al-Aghaani in fifty
years.
When Ja‘far Al-Barmaki, the booming, generous minister, was killed, he was
thirty-seven years old; and when ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd-Al-‘Azeez, may Allah have
mercy upon him, the fifth rightly-guided abstinent caliph, was killed (according to
some historians), he was forty years old; and when ‘Abdullaah ibn Al-Muqaffa‘
was killed, he was thirty-seven years old.
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When Masrooq, may Allah have mercy upon him, performed Hajj, he only slept in
the posture of prostration; and Al-Aswad ibn Yazeed, may Allah have mercy upon
him, continued observing fasts until his body turned pale; and Yazeed ibn Haaroon,
may Allah have mercy upon him, kept weeping (out of fear of Allah The Almighty)
until he lost his sight ; and Abu Moosa Al-Ash‘ari, may Allah be pleased with him,
walked (in the cause of Allah The Almighty) until his feet cracked.
Al-Bukhaari, may Allah have mercy upon him, said, “I have never told a lie since I
attained the age of puberty.” Ash-Shaafi’i, may Allah have mercy upon him, said,
“I have never sworn by Allah, whether I was truthful or lying.”
No thrifty person has ever become poor; and no striver has ever failed; and one
who comprehends knowledge during their youth will gain sovereignty (when they
grow old).
Your wealth is (as protective as) your paternal/maternal uncle; and your money is
(as advantageous as) your molar teeth; and your Dirhams are (as comforting to you
as) your ointment: so be neither a spendthrift nor a miser.
Indeed, stagnant water becomes rotten; the confined nightingale dies; and the tied
up lion yields.
The most delicious food is that which one has after hunger; the sweetest water is
that which one drinks after thirst; and the most comfortable sleep is that which one
takes after tiredness; and the greatest success is in that which one achieves after
sacrifice.
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It is true that books dictate wisdom, but in no way can they produce wise men.
Similarly, it is true that the sword kills, but only when in the hand of the brave.
Swimming cannot be learnt in books in so much as (through practice) in the water,
nor can sport be gained from the (television) screen in so much as through exercise
in the field.
The (benefits of this) world could be gained only by competing (with others); the
market of glory is an arena of competition (among the people); life is but a
struggle, and high aims are only achieved by people with strong determination.
The one who is unique among people is he who has an engaging endeavor, a hearty
spirit, lively activity and enduring patience. It was said to Abu Muslim AlKhuraasaani, “What is the matter with you that you never sleep?” He said, “This
goes back to my sweeping endeavor, incisive determination, and a soul that never
accepts oppression.”
The horse is fast, therefore, it is the vehicle of the kings; the donkey is slow,
therefore it is the vehicle of the servants; and the lion is predatory, therefore it is the
king of the forest.
The sword does not terrify until it is unsheathed, nor does thunder frighten until it
claps, nor does one flee from the torrent until it breaks out.
Edison, the scientist who discovered electricity, conducted about ten thousand
experiments on a battery, all of which failed. However, he continued until he
succeeded in the end. Einstein spent a lifetime in the development of his theory of
relativity.
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At his death, an amount of shavings were taken from the pen sharpener of Ibn AlJawzi, may Allah have mercy upon him, and it was enough to warm up the water
that was used to wash his dead body.
At his death, the dust (of war) was taken from the turbans of Salaah ud-Deen
(Saladin), may Allah have mercy upon him, and (it was so much that) it was used
to make a brick to put underneath his head in his grave.
‘Ali ibn Al-Husayn, may Allah have mercy upon him, kept carrying food for the
orphans in secret until it left marks and sores on his body.
Allah the Almighty Says (what means):
• {And that there is not for man except that [good] for which he strives and
that his effort is going to be seen – Then he will be recompensed for it with
the fullest recompense.} [Quran 53:39-41]
• {That is because they are not afflicted by thirst or fatigue or hunger in the
Cause of Allah, nor do they tread on any ground that enrages the
disbelievers, nor do they inflict upon an enemy any infliction but that it is
registered for them as a righteous deed.} [Quran 9:120]
The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “A wise man is the
one who calls himself to account (and refrains from doing evil deeds) and does
good deeds to benefit him after death; and the deficient person is the one who
subdues himself to his inclinations and desires and expects from Allah the
fulfillment of his vain desires.” [Ibn Maajah and At-Tirmithi]
The most becoming arms are those of the laborers; and the best heads are of those
who have their heads shaved; and the most comfortable slumber is that of men who
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regularly offer Tahajjud prayer (at night); and the purest blood is that of the
martyrs.
The one who overpowers himself is greater than the one who conquers a city; and
the one who resists his inclination is more glorious than the one who fights an army
alone.
Abu Talhah Al-Ansaari, may Allah have mercy upon him, continued to observe
fasting for forty years consecutively; and Sa‘eed ibn Al-Musayyib, may Allah have
mercy upon him, performed Hajj sixty times; and Imaam Ahmad, may Allah have
mercy upon him, gave Fatwa for sixty thousand questions with evidence.
Abu Shujaa’ served kings for sixty years, for which he made expiation by a sixtyyear service in the Mosque of the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa
sallam, in Al-Madeenah.
Ibn Battootah traveled around the world for about thirty years, during which he saw
many amazing things, and the outcome of this trip was his book in which he
collected wonders and peculiarities, that drew the attention of the people of his
time.
Ibn Khaldoon segregated himself in a castle and authored, edited and completed his
history, which became a proof for all questioners.
Al-Haafith Ibn ‘Asaakir wrote his Taareekh Dimashq (History of Damascus) in
sixty years, in which he left neither a scholar, nor a writer, nor a poet, nor anything
belonging to Damascus except that he recorded it.
It was the habit of Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy upon him, that whenever
he confronted a difficult question, he would pray for forgiveness one thousand
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times. On a journey, the disciples of Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdaadi, may Allah have
mercy upon him, asked him to relate tradition to them thereupon he said, “Let us
start with the Quran.” He finished reciting it entirely before he related to them.
It was said to Abi Taahir As-Silafi, may Allah have mercy upon him, “From where
have you attained this knowledge?” He said, “From staying in my house with
books for seventy years.”
You are advised to adhere to regular walks, sports and cleanliness, for the
successful are always strong and healthy.The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu
‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Allah has blessed for my Ummah (nation) the early hours
of the day.” So, if you intend to do a deed, do it early in the morning, for it is the
happiest time.
Do not stop (working), for the angels are writing, your lifetime is passing, and
death is inevitably approaching, and every breath that comes out will never return.
The fruits of procrastination are always (false) wishes and hopes; they taste of
regret and grief.
When you awake in the morning, do not wait for the evening; rather, hasten to seize
all passing opportunities, be cautious lest you should be overtaken (by death), and
beware of postponement and hesitation: {And when you have decided, then rely
upon Allah} [Quran 3:159]
Creativity is to be perfect in your specialty and to be competent in all that befits
your talents, {and every people knew its watering place.} [Quran 2:60] {For each
[religious following] is a direction toward which it faces.} [Quran 2:148]
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The speech of the unsuccessful never harms the successful in so much as it
contributes to their loftiness and elevation.
Unjust criticism is for the successful person but a (source of) strength, free
publicity, respectable advertising, and good mention of his superiority.
The successful person always produces projects beyond imagination, which
astonish great men, and their magnificence impresses the onlookers.
The successful person never lives on the margin of events, nor remains valueless,
nor becomes a mere redundancy in a margin.
Those whose aspirations lie in (the fulfillment of) their desires and the pursuit of
their pleasures, will find that their errors multiply, their deficiencies become
evident, and their shortcomings and defects become manifest.
They who devote themselves to the service of inkpots (i.e. use them in writing), are
served by pulpits (i.e. are sought for by people wanting to talk to them). They, who
persist in reading books, become respected among the dignitaries.
It is a characteristic of the successful to be optimistic, hopeful, and capable of
avoiding errors, emerging from crises, and turning losses into profits.
A river consists of single drops (gathered together), wealth of single Dirhams, a
book of single pages, and a lifetime of single hours.
Yesterday has passed away, and today is on the deathbed, and tomorrow has not
been born yet: so, avail yourself of your current moment, for it is booty that one
gains without a fight.
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The faithful believer always has a thinking mind, an expressive vision, a
remembering tongue, a thankful heart, and serious determination, all of which
make him patient on labor.
In a single minute, one could exalt (Allah The Almighty) one hundred times, or
read a page from the Mus-haf, or go through three pages of a book, or write a
message, or recite Soorat Al-Ikhlaas thrice.
An-Naysaaboori, may Allah have mercy upon him, read Saheeh Muslim one
hundred times; Ibn Seena (Avicenna) read Al-Faaraabi’s writings forty times; and
some people read Al-Mughni ten times.
All the books of Ibn Hazm, may Allah have mercy upon him, were burnt;
thereupon, he re-wrote them all from his memory. Qataadah, may Allah have
mercy upon him, memorized a camel load (of books). Ash-Sha‘bi, may Allah have
mercy upon him, said, “I have never written with ink anything on blank paper
except I memorized it.”
Sufyaan, may Allah have mercy upon him, kept standing in prayer for the whole
night until morning came upon him. Ibn Al-Mubaarak, may Allah have mercy upon
him, kept studying Hadeeth with another scholar while standing until dawn.
Muhammad Al-Ameen Ash-Shinqeeti, may Allah have mercy upon him, kept
verifying a single question for a whole day and night.
Yahya ibn Ma‘een, may Allah have mercy upon him, wrote “sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa
sallam” one thousand, thousand times; and he would write a Hadeeth fifty times.
Ash-Sha‘bi, may Allah have mercy upon him, said, “Poetry occupies the least
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share of my memory. But even, if you like, I could keep reciting poetry to you for as
long as a month (without repeating a single verse).”
The successful person gains the respect of even the children of his town; and the
unsuccessful person exposes himself to the ridicule of everyone, even if he
apologizes to them one thousand times.
Whoever pursues knowledge early in the morning as a crow does, with the patience
of a donkey, and the determination of a lion, availing himself of all opportunities
like a wolf, shall gain much (of that) knowledge.
The lazy person is deprived (of all good); the idle person is regretful; blessing lies
in activity; and whoever goes forward and travels here and there surpasses other
men (in experience).
It is a very difficult road, that on which Nooh (Noah), may Allah exalt his mention,
wailed (over his people), Yahya (John), may Allah exalt his mention, was slain,
‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, was killed, the blood of ‘Uthmaan, may
Allah be pleased with him, was shed, ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, was
assassinated, and many of the Imaams were lashed on their backs.
Ibn Durayd copied his book Kitaab Jamharat Ash‘aar Al-‘Arab four times (by way
of revision); Al-Bukhaari, may Allah have mercy upon him, kept revising his
Saheeh for sixteen years, during which he used to take a ritual bath and offer a twoRak‘ah prayer when recording every Hadeeth.
Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allah have mercy upon him, worked as a hired hand (to
earn that which would help him seek knowledge, while Abu Haneefah, may Allah
have mercy upon him, sold some leaf stalks of his house so he could spend on
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knowledge. Sufyaan, may Allah have mercy upon him, underwent starvation for
three days in pursuit of Hadeeth.
An-Nawawi, may Allah have mercy upon him, used to read, write, memorize, pray
and exalt (Allah The Almighty), and whenever he was overpowered by slumber, he
would take a little nap while sitting. Ash-Shawkaani, may Allah have mercy upon
him, had twelve lessons everyday; and Ibn Seena (Avicenna) used to write twentyfive pages per day.
Idrees, the Prophet, may Allah exalt his mention, was a tailor; Daawood (David),
may Allah exalt his mention, was a smith; Moosa (Moses), may Allah exalt his
mention, was a hired shepherd (of sheep). Ibn Al-Musayyib, may Allah have mercy
upon him, was an oil seller, and Abu Haneefah, may Allah have mercy upon him,
was a draper.
Hasten (to do good deeds) before one’s lifetime is over, and the traces are recorded!
There is no survival within the limits of night and day.
Seek refuge with Allah The Almighty from despicable ambitions, trivial
determination, unwise goals, a tough disposition, and an unfeeling soul.
‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, sought martyrdom in Badr, and (when he did
not get it) they said, “It may be that you will get it on Uhud.” He went to it but
(when he failed to get it) he said, “Perhaps I will get it in Al-Khandaq.” He sought
after it and (when he failed to get it) they said to him, “Then, seek it in Khaybar.”
When he went to it, they said, “The time (of martyrdom) has been delayed.” On
that he said, “How excellent it is to seek martyrdom in the mosque!”
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Knowledge is retianed by acting upon it, teaching it, and writing compositions on
it. Whoever memorizes, repeats, and studies it, will have it inculcated in his breast.
The successful person should be strongly observant, continuously attentive,
organizing time, meditating (on signs) and aspiring to achieve the most supreme of
goals.
According to Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with them, “I humiliated myself
when I was seeking knowledge, thereupon I became honorable when I came to be
sought for (by others).” According to ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him,
“Comprehend knowledge before you become sovereigns.” According to
Mujaahid, may Allah have mercy upon him, “No (too) bashful or (very) arrogant
person would seek knowledge.”
The discouragement of pursuing success lies in an inclination to be followed, a soul
that enjoins (evil), when the world is given preference (over the Hereafter), in deeprooted cold ambition, and sustenaining hope without working towards toward the
goal.
The successful person gives no importance to misfortunes, nor endures (others’)
reminders of generosity. He works during his time of rest, for his rest lies in his
work time.
Idleness brings about corruption; the permissible things occupy (i.e., keep one from
his Lord); most people are discouraging, and a child brings about cowardice, grief
and niggardliness.
Imaam Ahmad, may Allah have mercy upon him, spent seventy years earning
sustenance from the charge he received for renting a store; and Al-Khaleel ibn
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Ahmad, may Allah have mercy upon him, spent seventy years on bread and oil; and
Sufyaan Ath-Thawri, may Allah have mercy upon him, spent seventy years on
barley bread.
The successful person’s profits are earning the good pleasure of his or her Lord by
faith; of his or her family by being affable to them; of the people by having good
manners; and of the society by the benefit (it receives from him or her).
Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, was ruler for two years, during which
he established the caliphate and defeated the apostates. ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd-Al-‘Azeez,
may Allah have mercy upon him, was caliph for two years, during which he spread
justice, settled cases of injustice and revived the religion. Ibn Abi Al-Ja‘d, may
Allah have mercy upon him, learnt religious knowledge for two years, after which
he became the Mufti of Al-Madeenah.
As-Sarakhsi was put into prison and (during the period of imprisonment) he
authored Al-Mabsoot in thirty volumes. Ibn Al-Atheer was subject to house arrest,
during which he composed Jaami‘ Al-Usool and An-Nihaayah in thirty volumes.
Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy upon him, was put into prison, and (during
his period of imprisonment) he produced Al-Fataawa Al-Kubra in thirty volumes.
Ibn Al-Jawzi, may Allah have mercy upon him, used to write his passing thoughts
with the book of Al-Fat-h. Ibn Khaqaan kept a book in his pocket to be able to read
it at all times. Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdaadi, may Allah have mercy upon him, used to
read while walking.
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‘Umar ibn ‘Abd-Al-‘Azeez, may Allah have mercy upon him, said, “I had an
ambitious soul: it aspired to governorship thereupon I was given it. Then it aspired
to the caliphate, and I also was given it. Now, it aspires to Paradise.”
Abu Mansoor Ath-Tha‘aalibi used to sew fox leather, and his endeavor promoted
him until he became the litterateur of the world (at his time). Al-Farraa’ worked at
making fur before he became one of the greatest grammarians. Ibn Az-Zayyaat was
an oil seller before he was appointed minister.
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Chapter Two
Aim As High As the Stars
Allah The Almighty Says (what means):
• {To whoever wills among you to proceed or stay behind.} [Quran 74:37]
• {And strive for Allah with the striving due to Him.} [Quran 22:78]
• {And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden as wide as the
heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous.} [Quran 3:133]
• {And the forerunners, the forerunners.} [Quran 56:10]
• {So for this let the competitors compete.} [Quran 83:26]
The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said:
• “The strong believer is better and dearer to Allah The Almighty than the
weak believer, and there is good in both. Be concerned over what benefits
you, and seek the aid of Allah.”
• “A wise man is the one who calls himself to account (and refrains from
doing evil deeds) and does good deeds to benefit him after his death; and the
deficient person is the one who subdues himself to his inclinations and
desires and expects from Allah the fulfillment of his vain desires.” [Ibn
Maajah and At-Tirmithi]
• “Avail yourself of five (things where you could do deeds) before (you are
afflicted with) five (things where you could not do deeds): (avail yourself of)
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your youth before your old age, your health before your illness, your free
time before your occupation, your wealth before your poverty, and your life
before your death.”
He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said to one of his Companions: “Help me fulfill
your wish by offering more prostrations (in prayer).”
He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said to another: “Keep your tongue always
moistened by the remembrance of Allah.”
He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, used to say (by way of supplication): “O Allah!
I seek refuge with You from anxiety and grief; and I seek refuge with You from
powerlessness and laziness; and I seek refuge with You from cowardice and
niggardliness; and I seek refuge with You from being overpowered by debt and
oppressed by men.”
He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, used to spend the whole night standing (in
prayer) until his feet were cracked. He would sometimes tie a stone on his abdomen
because of the severe hunger pangs he suffered from. He spent the greater part of
the night in prayer. He endured harm, abuse, insult, dismissal from his homeland,
injuries in the battlefields, and starvation. He strove against the enemies of Allah
The Almighty, from among the polytheists, Jews, Christians and hypocrites. He
was, from among all the people, the greatest in striving, the best in manners, the
most glorious in faith, the wisest in opinion, the noblest in munificence, the most
generous, the most pleasant in companionship, the most courageous, the most
openhanded, the highest in endeavor and aim, the most incisive in determination,
and the most patient, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
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His Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, persevered with him,
sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and strove beside him with the best of strife, and did
(wonders) that make could cause heads to turn grey: they sacrificed their property
and souls, offered all their possessions in the cause of Allah The Almighty, and
confronted the most difficult situations to please Him. They were severely ill
treated by their enemies: some of them were killed, others injured, a few had their
body parts cut off. Some of them were forced to eat tree leaves out of starvation,
and others were dragged on the scorching sand of the desert, while others were put
into prison. Even then, they remained steadfast and unshakable. For the sake of
their religion, the punishment seemed pleasant to them, the difficulties easy, and
the bitter, sweet.
Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq, may Allah be pleased with him, spent all his property in the
cause of Allah The Almighty, and spent his entire lifetime in seeking the pleasure
of Allah. He used to pray, fast, give charity, engage in Jihaad (struggle), and was
hospitable, generous, righteous and truthful. He was the one who remembered
(Allah), was a worshipper (of Allah), devoutly obedient (of Allah), and he used to
turn (to Allah The Almighty in repentance again and again), so that he would be
called to enter Paradise from all its eight gates on the Day of Judgment, due to his
merits and many good deeds. He was the companion of the Messenger of Allah,
sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, in Hijrah (emigration), and his friend in the cave. He
never failed nor delayed to take part in a battle. He was the first who proceeded to
Islam, Hijrah, Jihaad, righteousness and piety. He would not have deserved the
title of As-Siddeeq (sincere affirmer of truth), nor the crown of acceptability, nor
the medal of righteousness except after great striving, upright conduct and
overwhelming virtue.
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Al-Faarooq ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with him, reached the
peak of asceticism and piety, along with his previous glorious ranks of faith, selfsacrifice, Hijrah, Jihaad, charitableness, fear of his Lord The Almighty and
consciousness of his Master. He also established justice among his subjects,
regulated the affairs of Muslims, perfected his job as a caliph, was truthful in secret
and public and fair in both states of pleasure and anger. Moreover, he had deep
religious comprehension, strove with reasoning to learn the Divine revelation, and
deduction of rulings from the text.
‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan, Thun-Noorayn, may Allah be pleased with him, hastened to
respond to Allah The Almighty and His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam,
embraced Islam from the early years, and stuck to the Messenger of Allah,
sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, during times of adversity and prosperity. He was
true to Allah The Almighty in his Hijrah, Jihaad and charitableness. He equipped
the army of Al-‘Usrah (difficulty) from his own wealth, and bought the well of
Roomah and made it an endowment for the use of Muslims. He was so competent
in the recitation and memorization of the Quran, that he offered Tahajjud prayer
reciting it most nights. Furthermore, he always felt bashful of Allah, and sought to
please Him. He was true in speech, generous, upright and conscientious.
‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib, the Commander of Believers, Abu Al-Hasan, may Allah be
pleased with him, was the bravest of the brave and the greatest of horsemen. He
attended all the battles, combated with his sword, and killed the strong (among the
disbelievers). He had a great share of merits, for he was blessed in conduct and
sincere in intention, not to mention his abundance of knowledge, his sharp
understanding, his bright eloquence, his unparalleled bravery, his great abstinence,
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his self-sacrifice, his strong endeavor, and his incisive determination. He
undoubtedly deserved his high rank, for he had earned it.
Ubayy ibn Ka‘b, the chief of the reciters (of the Quran), may Allah be pleased with
him, was a competent reciter and memorizer of the Quran. He perfectly learnt and
then acted upon his knowledge, and was true and sincere (to what he learnt), until
he became a great sign in that science, and a dependable reference in that regard.
Az-Zubayr ibn Al-‘Awwaam, may Allah be pleased with him, one of the ten (who
were given the glad tidings of Paradise), received injuries in all parts of his body in
the cause of Allah The Almighty, thereby he came to be the disciple and
companion of the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, in Paradise.
Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqaas, may Allah be pleased with him, one of the ten (who were
given the glad tidings of Paradise), and the maternal uncle of the Messenger of
Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was true to Allah The Almighty. Thereupon
his supplication was responded to (by Allah The Almighty), and constantly firm,
thereupon Allah The Almighty Helped him emerge victorious over the Persians,
and Raised at his hands the head of every Muslim, and Suppressed the enemies of
Allah. He indeed was as strong as a lion with its claws.
‘Abd-Ar-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf, may Allah be pleased with him, one of the ten who
were given the glad tidings of Paradise, was so charitable that he once gave an
entire caravan along with its camels and load in charity, thereby seeking the
pleasure of Allah The Almighty. He spent most of his wealth on good deeds that
were doubtless well directed and accepted by Allah The Almighty.
Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with them, the most knowledgeable scholar of
this Ummah and the interpreter of the Quran, whose knowledge about the
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Sharee‘ah was encyclopedic, was earnest in his pursuit of knowledge, and he was
extremely concerned over it. He indeed reached the summit of understanding
revelation and taught it to the people. He was such a marvelous wonder in his
memory, comprehension, eloquence, munificence and generosity, that he became
the leader of the people, due to his great patience, striving, teaching and learning.
Mu‘aath ibn Jabal, may Allah be pleased with him, the leading scholar, demanded
knowledge from the tutor of every goodness, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and
then acted upon all that he learnt. He became a hardworking, humble, abstinent
scholar. He invited to Allah The Almighty, and taught His servants, and strove in
His Way. He enjoined what is right and forbade what is evil. He was endowed with
deep comprehension of the religion, noble manners, lenience with the people, and
munificence.
Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, the master of memorizers,
preserved Hadeeth in his memory, and conveyed it to the Ummah in truth. He
indeed was the trustworthy memorizer. He divided his night between worship,
remembrance of Hadeeth and sleep. He engaged in teaching, giving Fatwa,
instructing and striving. That is because of his great spirit of striving, decisive
determination, and powerful spirit.
Khaalid ibn Al-Waleed, may Allah be pleased with him, Sayfullaah Al-Maslool
(the sword of Allah, unsheathed against His enemies), recorded his name in the
register of the immortal and immortalized his mention in the archive of conquerors
with letters of light. He supported Islam with his sword and fought great battles,
exposing himself to danger and offering his soul to death, while giving no
importance to difficulties. He became the epitome of self-sacrifice, high esteem,
glorious rank and great preeminence.
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Sa‘eed ibn Al-Musayyib, may Allah have mercy upon him, the chief of the Taabi‘is
(successors), never missed the opening Takbeer with the Imaam for sixty years. He
once spent three days on a journey in pursuit of a single Hadeeth. He spent most of
his time sitting in the mosque. He was the people’s reference of Fatwa and the
interpretation of dreams. He was in the habit of standing for the whole night in
prayer. He was strong for the sake of Allah The Almighty, zealous over
safeguarding the sacred ordinances of Allah, truthful, abstinent, oft-returning (to
Allah The Almighty in repentance), generous, reverent and well-established in
knowledge.
‘Ataa’ ibn Abi Rabaah, may Allah have mercy upon him, a black freed slave whom
Allah The Almighty elevated with knowledge, spent thirty years in the sacred
precincts of Makkah in search of knowledge, until he became the people’s Mufti
(one who issues religious verdicts). He was austere in his life, sincere, pious,
encyclopedic in knowledge and well-versed in narration; he deserved to be the
Imaam (leader) of the people.
Al-Hasan Al-Basri, may Allah have mercy upon him, a freed slave, strove in quest
of knowledge and acquaintance with the Sunnah, and patiently engaged in [learning
about] Prophetic tradition. He was endowed with eloquence, clarity of thought and
etiquettes, thereby his speech was medicine for hearts, and his instruction was life
for souls. At the same time, he was among the most abstinent, humble, oftreturning (to Allah The Almighty in repentance), fearful (of Allah The Almighty),
pious and upright. For this reason, Allah The Almighty elevated him to the supreme
standing, and enabled him to occupy the highest position.
Az-Zuhri Muhammad ibn Shihaab, may Allah have mercy upon him, the
maintainer of Sunnah, and the leader of people in Hadeeth, sought knowledge in
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spite of his destitution and poverty. However, he patiently persevered, endured, and
set out on journeys to meet scholars, and gave special care to Hadeeth. He became
the best memorizer (of tradition) among the people of his time. He was endowed
with religious comprehension, knowledge and generosity like the generosity of
Haatim (At-Taa’i, the most generous person during the pre-Islamic days), until his
fame for munificence became widespread. Thus, he deserves to have his name
respected in the compilations of Sunnah, and inscribed in the hearts.
‘Aamir Ash-Sha‘bi, may Allah have mercy upon him, the Imaam who
encompassed all branches of knowledge, was recognized for his serenity,
forbearance, and vast knowledge. He was conversant with Sunnah and preeminent
in literature. He was gifted with an excellent mind, good heart and sharp
understanding, so that he became the envoy of ‘Abd-Al-Malik (Ibn Marwaan) to
the Roman Emperor, due to his religious comprehension, knowledge, quick
wittedness, eloquence, nobility, and influential personality. It is he who said, “I
have never written anything in a blank paper, nor have I kept anything in my heart
(i.e. memorized it), and it betrayed me.” That is, he had never forgotten any piece
of knowledge. He also says, “Were I to keep reciting poetry to you for a month, I
would not repeat a single verse”, due to the vast amount of poetry he memorized.
Abu Haneefah, may Allah have mercy upon him, the great jurisprudent, strove in
pursuit of knowledge, and was endowed with good understanding and rich intellect
so that the people became dependent on him in jurisprudence. He dedicated himself
to deducing (rulings), abstained from the world and rejected rank and offices. He
shied away from being a judge, and instead satisfied himself with working in a
drapery. Furthermore, he was in the habit of constant worship, abstinence,
submissiveness and truthfulness, and was gifted with matchless intelligence.
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Maalik ibn Anas, may Allah have mercy upon him, the Imaam of the abode of
Hijrah, the author of Al-Muwatta’, excelled the people in intellect, and spent his
entire lifetime in quest of Hadeeth and gained the witness of seventy scholars for
his competence in giving Fatwa. People traveled to him from different directions.
He was endowed with majesty, reverence and a pleasant appearance, beautiful
outward and sincere inward.
Ash-Shaafi‘i, may Allah have mercy upon him, the Imaam of the people from
horizon to horizon, who established the rules and foundations (of jurisprudence),
utilized his body and time in the pursuit of knowledge. He undertook journeys (to
the different sources of knowledge), and travelled here and there, until his
knowledge was proverbial, and he became like the sun to the earth and like a
source of healing for afflicted bodies. Moreover, he was endowed with patience,
thankfulness, abstinence, politeness, eloquence, excellence, high spirit of striving,
clarity of thought and encyclopedic knowledge.
Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allah have mercy upon him, the Imaam of Sunnah,
suppresser of religious innovations, and hero of the affliction, went around
different regions, and trekked the wide desert in pursuit of Prophetic traditions,
enduring severe hunger, fatigue, extreme poverty and abstinence. With all of this,
Allah The Almighty tried him with the great affliction: he was put in prison and
was lashed, but he never submitted. Allah The Almighty then elevated him (to the
highest position) due to his great knowledge, patience and truthfulness, until his
mention was recorded among the immortals, and he became the Imaam of all the
people.
‘Umar ibn ‘Abd-Al-‘Azeez, may Allah have mercy upon him, the fifth rightlyguided abstinent, striving caliph, and the reviver (of religion) at the beginning of
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the first century, abstained from this world, and turned away from desires, and
instead devoted himself to knowledge, worship, abstinence and justice. Allah The
Almighty established, the Sunnah through him, suppressed religious innovations,
enlightened the way of reform and renewed the features of prosperity. He was an
Imaam of guidance, a scholar of religion, and a learned educator of the Ummah.
Sufyaan Ath-Thawri, may Allah have mercy upon him, the abstinent and learned
scholar of his time, abstained from the perishable (the transitory world) and
devoted himself to the enduring (Hereafter). He memorized Hadeeth and perfected
the provision (of piety), gave Fatwa, taught people, enjoined (what is right) and
forbade (what is evil), and instructed and advised (his people) with sincere
intention and incisive determination. He continued to save his breath (not to engage
in much useless talk) and instead educate those with him until death came to him.
‘Abdullaah ibn Al-Mubaarak, may Allah have mercy upon him, for whom Allah
The Almighty combined all good things, was truly a working, abstinent,
worshipping, striving scholar, a narrator of Hadeeth, a memorizer (of Sunnah), a
charitable rich person, an eloquent littérateur, had an impeccable reputation and
was held in high repute. He persisted in doing good, persevered on acquisition (of
knowledge), and continued doing every virtuous act, so that Allah The Almighty
endowed him with the favor of acceptance (among the people).
Imaam Al-Bukhaari, may Allah have mercy upon him, is the author of As-Saheeh,
for whom Allah The Almighty opened the path to knowledge: he engaged, day and
night, in the pursuit of the traditions, until he became the Imaam (of Hadeeth) in
the different regions, and his memory was proverbial. He was endowed with
perfect knowledge and precise understanding, along with noble moral conduct and
upright abstinence. He left a blessed heritage in knowledge, As-Saheeh (the book of
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the authentic Hadeeths), the most glorious book after the Noble Quran. May Allah
reward him, on behalf of the Ummah, with the best reward, and place him in the
highest Paradise.
The same is true of Imaam Muslim, may Allah have mercy upon him, the composer
of As-Saheeh, and also of all the composers of books of Saheeh, Sunan, Musnads
and dictionaries, from among the Imaams of Hadeeth, endowed with a spirit of
striving and noble ambitions.
Consider, for instance, Seebawayh, may Allah have mercy upon him, the leading
grammarian, who crossed vast deserts and directly transmitted from the various
scholars, and then authored his book Al-Kitaab which turned out to be the greatest
book in Arabic grammar, and all who came later were dependent on it, thereby he
deserved appreciation and thanks. He had a high position in the sight of the
Muslims due to his sharp intelligence and excellence. There are also hundreds of
grammarians who authored books and enriched gatherings. Had it not been for fear
of being lengthy, I would have mentioned each of them. However, I must be
content with the elite and those of distinguished mention, and unique abilities.
Muhammad ibn Jareer At-Tabari, may Allah have mercy upon him, the author of
Tafseer, encompassed the branches of knowledge, and made various compositions,
and had precedence in explaining the Book of Allah The Almighty, until he became
the master of scholars of Tafseer, and his book was the greatest in this field. It was
well-received by kings, and widely-accepted by the different regions, and from its
flood of knowledge, all the coming generations quenched their thirst. It is the
reference for every scholar of Tafseer, and the support on which everyone who is
knowledgeable of the Book of Allah The Almighty depends.
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Consider also Ibn Hibbaan, may Allah have mercy upon him, the author of the
Saheeh, the marvelous genius and sharp-witted narrator of Hadeeth. He went
around the various regions and forsook his homeland (in quest for knowledge) until
he excelled others in this respect. He narrated Hadeeth from more than two
thousand Shaykhs. Take a look at his book, As-Saheeh, and the other books, which
confirm his indescribable encyclopedic knowledge, precision and excellence.
From among the great Imaams, a mention may be made of Abu Is-haaq AshSheeraazi, may Allah have mercy upon him, the Shaafi‘i scholar of Fiqh, and the
author of the well-known delightful and beneficial compositions. He used to repeat
each of his lessons about one hundred times, and his analogy about one thousand
times, until he became very thin, due to his great striving and strong determination.
From among the intelligent philosophers, logicians and physicians, a mention may
be made of Ibn Seena (Avicenna), the leader, who excelled in his specializations,
and persisted, day and night, in quest of his philosophical doctrine. He worked
hard, acquired (knowledge), persevered and continued working until his hard work
became proverbial. He wrote a notebook every day. He became the most marvelous
wonder in his area of specialization, and the one endued with the sharpest
intelligence in the world, regardless of the corruption of his philosophical doctrine.
A mention also may be made of Al-Faaraabi, the philosopher, the son of a soldier,
who dedicated himself to studying the books of the Greek philosophers until he
became well-versed in them and he perfected them all. He turned to be one of the
greatest philosophers, due to his patience, striving and hard work in his area of
specialty.
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A mention may be made also of Ar-Raazi Al-Fakhr, may Allah have mercy upon
him, who gathered and gained an understanding of knowledge, composed and
authored books, and engaged in instructing, teaching and delivering speeches. He
became the most distinguished scholar of his time. He was endowed with worldly
splendor, grandeur and great wealth, and with Allah The Almighty will be the
appointment.
From among the Lord-conscious scholars, a mention may be made of the grand
Imaam An-Nawawi, may Allah have mercy upon him, who died at the age of forty.
He left a vast amount of blessed, beneficial knowledge; and sufficient as a
representative of his work is Riyaadh As-Saaliheen. This grand Imaam worked day
and night, was steadfast in fasting, standing (at night in prayer), and became
famous and eminent in knowledge, forsook sleep and rest, and worked hard even at
night, and he abandoned marriage to devote himself to knowledge, in which he
produced marvelous wonders.
A mention may also be made of Shaykh Al-Islam, the privileged scholar, Ibn
Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy upon him, the chief of scholars and the master
of jurisprudents. He worked hard, and obtained a high rank. He engaged in
verification, scrutiny, documentation, teaching, and delivering speeches, until he
became the reviver and reformer of his time. He left many compositions, all
indescribable in excellence, goodness, authenticity and depth. He is the ideal of a
Lord-conscious scholar, who acted upon his knowledge, out of abstinence, fear of
Allah The Almighty, oft-returning (to Allah), striving, truthfulness, humbleness,
generosity, bravery and leadership. He attained that superiority, after the help of
Allah The Almighty, by virtue of his patience, hard work, sleeplessness, tiredness,
suffering and fatigue. That is because he endeavored too strongly to be satisfied
with weakness, and was too determined and decisive to be inferior. Thus, he
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excelled the scholars of his time, and became the great reference of Fatwa. He was
a great luminary and a matchless marvel.
A mention also may be made of his disciple Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy
upon him, the author of the blessed compositions that benefited everyone,
regardless of whether they agree or disagree with him. He was endowed with an
excellent turn of phrase and composition, strong argument and proof, deep rooted
knowledge and understanding. He was thankful and patient, and used to remember
(Allah The Almighty), fast, stand (at night in prayer) again and again, besides being
an abstinent worshipper.
Remember also Ibn Rajab, may Allah have mercy upon him, the diligent
memorizer whose compositions are the best witness to his knowledge,
understanding and encyclopedic comprehension. He made a blessed appreciated
effort in the explanation of Hadeeths, and extraction of the treasures of tradition. I
do not know any scholar as excellent as that great scholar in the explanation of
Hadeeth.
Remember also Al-Haafith Ibn Hajar , may Allah have mercy upon him, the
memorizer of his own time, and the author of Fat-h Al-Baari, in which he
explained Saheeh Al-Bukhaari. He completed it in twenty-five years, and wrote its
introduction in seven years, and the product was marvelous and amazing. In
addition to it, he composed tens of volumes on many topics. He was persistent in
the acquisition (of knowledge), writing and teaching, and he never wearied nor
became exhausted and he became the best of memorizers, the chief of
connoisseurs, and the master of Hadeeth scholars. Whoever wishes to know about
this man, let him glimpse through Al-Fat-h, and there is no Hijrah after Al-Fat-h.
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A mention also may be made of As-Suyooti, may Allah have mercy upon him, the
possessor of various branches of knowledge, who had precedence over others in
writing and composition. He retired when he was forty years old. He left an
enormous heritage of well-known beneficial writings.
Before them, we should remember, as well, Ibn Al-Jawzi, may Allah have mercy
upon him, the instructor of his own time, and the greatest of writers in terms of the
number of compositions, which were as many as about one thousand books and
epistles. He engaged his time in the pursuit of knowledge, memorization, religious
comprehension, teaching, composition and instructing, thereby he became the most
notable luminary and wonder of his time, in eloquence, clear-sightedness and
supremacy.
From among those of a strong spirit of striving and determination, a mention may
be made of Sultan Noor Ad-Deen Mahmood Zanji, may Allah have mercy upon
him, the just, submissive, abstinent, worshipping, striving ruler. He was in the habit
of fasting (by day) and standing (at night in prayer), remembering (Allah The
Almighty more often), and being thankful and patient. He was endowed with sound
opinion, and a rightly-directed methodology. He established justice among his
people, and ruled them with equality, abandoned the inferior world, and was
endowed by Allah The Almighty with martyrdom after a lifetime of many
righteous deeds.
A mention also may be made of Salaah Ad-Deen (Saladin) Al-Ayyoobi, may Allah
have mercy upon him, the conqueror of Jerusalem (Al-Quds), and the defeater of
the Crusaders, the supporter of religion and the establisher of justice. He was pious,
religious, Allah-fearing and trustworthy. Allah The Almighty elevated him due to
his sincerity, and supported him with truthfulness, and opened the way of Jihaad to
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him. He troubled his enemies, spread the tolerant religion (of Islam), and worked
hard in the pursuit of superior ambitions with a great deal of striving.
Similar to them were the leaders from among the conquerors, who were true to
their covenant with AllahThe Almighty, with their combination of great endeavor,
patience, true determination, strong will and high esteem.
From among those too, a mention may be made of the reviver of Islam in this age,
Imaam Muhammad Ibn ‘Abd-Al-Wahhaab, may Allah have mercy upon him, with
whom Allah The Almighty renewed His religion, supported His Sharee‘ah, and
made superior His Word. He called for monotheism, destroyed idols, removed
polytheistic practices, corrected the belief, and strove in the way of Allah The
Almighty in the requisite manner, with determination more incisive than the sword,
and endeavor stronger than time, as well as great patience, sincerity and sacrifice.
Allah The Almighty elevated his position and esteem and raised his mention, and
suppressed his enemies. He deserved appreciation, the rank of imamate and the
rank of a Lord-conscious scholar.
From among the contemporary scholars whom we sat with, saw and recognized, a
mention may be made of the grand Imam and scholar Shaykh ‘Abd-Al-‘Azeez ibn
Baaz, may Allah have mercy upon him, who possessed the three attributes of
knowledge, forbearance and generosity. He was an Imaam of the Sunnah, a
follower of the guidance of the righteous predecessors, a scholar of Hadeeth, a
jurisprudent, scholar and an educator. He was humble, patient and lenient with and
merciful towards people. The tasks he used to do were beyond the capacity of a
group of men. He taught, gave Fatwa, reviewed books, sent messages to different
regions, used his good offices (for others), added (more to the Arabic library), gave
advice, instructions and lectures, and attended conferences. He was abstinent, wellEnglish.islamweb.net/emainpage Page 36
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mannered, tolerant, and used to remember (Allah The Almighty), perform
Tahajjud, give in charity, make peace between the people, enjoin what is right and
forbid what is evil, be patient when harmed, compassionate for the needy, merciful
towards the poor, and have love for the students of knowledge.
We should not forget, in this respect, the learned, abstinent, jurisprudent Imaam
Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen, may Allah have mercy upon him. He was an
intelligent jurisprudent and learned scholar. He engaged in teaching and giving
Fatwa, with patience, wisdom and kindness. He perfected many Sharee‘ah-related
sciences, and continued to teach and give Fatwa until he was well-recognized in
the World. At the same time, he abstained from offices and ranks, and turned away
from this world. He left after him gifted students and advantageous books, which
are now a comfort to the eyes of scholars, in terms of possessing a sound creed,
strong evidence, and beautiful style.
Remember also the Muhaddith of this age, and the learned scholar of Sunnah in his
time, the Shaykh and Imaam Muhammad Naasir Ad-Deen Al-Albaani, the author
of famous compositions and beneficial treatises. He spent all his life, day and night,
in the service of the Sunnah, regarding correction, designation and exclusion of the
Dha‘eef (weak), and evaluation (of Hadeeth narrators). He followed the guidance
of the righteous predecessors, and was mindful of the affairs and issues of Muslims
in the East and West.
Remember also Muhammad Al-Ameen Ash-Shinqeeti, may Allah have mercy
upon him, the memorizer, fundamentalist Imaam, reflective scholar of Tafseer,
linguist, and keeper of his era. He used to improvise the lessons he delivered,
producing marvelous wonders, due to his superior intellect, pure mind, and strong
memory. He amazed scholars and had a legendary status among the intelligentsia.
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Chapter Three
Know Yourself
This is to recognize the talents Allah The Almighty has endowed you with, and to
use them in their fitting areas, whether they are scientific, practical or professional.
Each person has his or her way and disposition: {growing] several from a root or
otherwise, watered with one water} [Quran 13:4] {and every people knew its
watering place.} [Quran 2:60] {For each [religious following] is a direction
toward which it faces.} [Quran 2:148] People are not similar, so, it is due on the
rational to be competent in what he is able to do well, and each is made to find it
easy to do that for which he has been created. Whoever observes the lives of the
Companions of the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, will find
that each was competent in his area of specialty.
Although Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, for instance, had a share in
almost all things, he was prominent in the office of caliphate and leadership, where
he established justice, and adhered to abstinence, sincerity and truthfulness.
‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, was strict in all that related to the
ordinances of Allah The Almighty, hard on His enemies, and just in his ruling.
‘Uthmaan, may Allah be pleased with him, was merciful, compassionate, in the
habit of performing Tahajjud, giving in charity, righteousness, bashfulness and
kindness.
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‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, was courageous, incisive, an eloquent speaker
and a sharp-witted jurisprudent. Ubayy, may Allah be pleased with him, was the
chief of reciters (of the Quran). Mu‘aath, may Allah be pleased with him, was the
Imaam of scholars. Khaalid ibn Al-Waleed, may Allah be pleased with him, is a
symbol of heroism. Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with them, was the
interpreter of the Quran. Hassaan, may Allah be pleased with him, was the chief of
poets. Zayd ibn Thaabit, may Allah be pleased with him, was the leading scholar of
the obligatory shares (of inheritance). Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with
him, was the master of narrators (of Hadeeth), and so on.
So, acquire your experience by yourself, your skills, your experiments, your
practice of work and your lifestyle.
It is true that books impart wisdom, but in no way can they produce wise men.
Those who excelled in different sciences and arts not only learnt at schools, but
also at the school of life, and the factory of experiments.
A book about swimming may give the essentials of that art. However, it cannot
prevent those who do not know how to swim from sinking. The best way for him is
to go down into the river to learn to swim from direct practice.
The same is true of an excellent speaker: he will not be competent and
distinguished in speaking only by reading dozens of volumes in the art of oratory.
Rather, he would excel because of ascending the pulpits and delivering speeches, in
which he may fluctuate between right and wrong, success and failure, and because
he continues to hone his experience and train himself, until he reaches the summit
of excellence in this skill. If you would like to be excellent in any field, science or
work, devote yourself to it wholeheartedly, taste its suffering, and burn with its
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love, and have longing for it until you adore it: and people, as you know, are
different in their ways of adoration.
Do not think that success will be presented to you as a gift on a golden plate: the
most despicable victory is that which is given as a gift.
The dearest success is that which is obtained as a result of effort, perspiration,
suffering, tears, blood, sleeplessness, tiredness, fatigue and sacrifice.
People never have mercy upon the unsuccessful, and the unsuccessful always
incurs upon himself the anger of others. It is said that the falling of the camel
causes more knives to share in slaying it, which they would not dare to do should
the camel remain standing. This is because people only respect the upstanding,
successful person, someone they can look up to, whether that person is a scholar, an
intellectual, a rich man, a dignitary, or a reformer, unlike the unsuccessful
dimwitted person, whom no eyes look at — for no one observes them.
Work hard and exert your greatest effort in order to get what you want: {And strive
for Allah with the striving due to Him.} [Quran 22:78] Beware of laziness,
postponement, procrastination and false hopes: all of which are the possessions of
the bankrupt who {were satisfied to be with those who stay behind.} [Quran 9:87]
Indeed, Allah The Almighty loves those who strive, and dislikes the helpless and
unsuccessful person. The most delicious meal is the one which a person gets from
the sweat of their brow, and the most comfortable sleep is that which one has after
trouble; the best satiety is the one a person gets after hunger. The rose does not
exude its scent until it is damp, nor does incense emit fragrance until it burns.
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To be sure, the game caught by an untrained hound is unlawful, unlike the game of
the trained hound, because it is caught after effort, exercise and learning.
Hasten (to do good deeds) before one’s lifetime is over, and the traces are recorded!
There is no survival within the limits of night and day (time).
Chapter Four
Attributes of the Successful Knowledge Seeker
To strive in an unrelenting manner, have persistent desire, a strong yearning for
knowledge, matchless enthusiasm and keenness on benefit.
To know the glorious fruit of knowledge, its praiseworthy consequences, and
important outcomes.
To acquire knowledge gradually, step by step, section by section, and category by
category.
To start with the most important, followed by the important, and give priority to
principles over branches.
To avail of the faculty of memory during childhood and the early years of youth.
To specialize (in a particular area of knowledge), and discover one’s preferred field
and focus on it, so that the talent would emerge.
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To vary the methods of acquisition (of knowledge), between receiving at the hands
of the masters, reading books, listening to lessons, meditation and study.
To repeat the items of study, evaluating the piece of information, verifying the
question, and thus, becoming well-established in knowledge.
To give due care to creativity and invention, and discard emulation and imitation.
To be conversant with other fields of knowledge, and update oneself with the
newest inventions.
To take care of presentation in one’s specialty, teaching and reviewing at all times.
To act upon the advantageous Sharee‘ah knowledge, since that is the crux of the
matter, and the principal asset.
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Chapter Five
Signs of the Excellent Scholar
To act upon what he learns, have the blessing of knowledge appear on him, and be
sincere to his Lord in secret and public.
To benefit the people, have a good influence on those around him, spread, and not
conceal his knowledge.
To endure harm, tolerate the harshness of people, and behave humbly towards
them.
To abstain from this world, and to seek instead that which is with Allah The
Almighty, and to turn away from the perishable for the sake of the enduring.
To have good moral conduct and noble traits, and to free one’s disposition from all
that is shameful.
To strive hard in educating and reforming the new generation.
To discard (blind) imitation and rely on proof from the Book of Allah and the
Sunnah.
To be well-established in knowledge, by delving into facts, knowing the goals and
perceiving the mysteries of Sharee‘ah.
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To strive one’s utmost in the pursuit of truth, and do one’s best to know what is
right.
To avoid strange opinions, odd statements, fabricated Hadeeths, and false
narrations.
To be well-acquainted with one’s own reality and time, and what takes place in his
environment.
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Chapter Six
The Daa‘iyah (Caller) to Allah, and His beautiful Attributes
To have clarity of thought, immersed in knowledge and outstanding in his piety.
This is because the weak-minded are foolish, the ignorant are blind, and the
impious are disappointed.
To be a persistent seeker of knowledge, keen on benefit, safeguarding his time and
interested in higher matters.
To enjoin good upon people and abide by it, and forbid evil and urge people to
desist from it, as he should be the first to do what he says. In other words, the effect
of his statement is clearly reflected on his deeds, and both his outward and inward
states are righteous.
To be lenient with people, make things easy and not difficult, give glad tidings, and
not cause others to have aversion (for the religion), and be acceptable rather than
be unacceptable to the people with his good manners.
To be wise in his words and deeds, to seek what is more correct, and to do what is
more fitting, and guide, by the permission of Allah The Almighty, to what is more
upright.
To adopt a gradual manner in his Da‘wah and reform, give knowledge question by
question, and tackle problems issue by issue.
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To be abstinent and desirous for what is with Allah The Almighty, to disdain
thanks and dislike praise, and to flee from exaltation on earth, and to seek for
nothing other than the pleasure of Allah The Almighty.
To hold fast to the Book and the Sunnah, be far from religious innovations, have a
clean heart, lenient manners, a cheerful face and much bashfulness.
Not to depreciate, scoff at or ridicule people. Instead, he should be chaste in
speech, pure-hearted and clean-handed.
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Chapter Seven
Attributes and Etiquette of a Glorious Mufti
To verify what he says, seek (the truth) in his answer, be pious in his Fatwa, and
fear his Lord.
His main concern should be to rescue himself before rescuing people, and in his
Fatwa, he should be true in intention, sincere to Allah The Almighty, and truthful
in his public and private talk.
To adhere to evidence, hold fast to proof, depend on (valid) argument and avoid
(blind) imitation. One should stay away from the pursuing peculiar questions and
odd statements.
To know about the people’s states, conditions and lives, so as to give judgments in
accordance with their circumstances, and Fatwas in accordance with their reality.
Not to put the questioner to difficulty by many (unnecessary) statements, but rather
to give him the correct answer as easily as possible.
To be certain of the question, well-established in one’s answer, and whenever one
does not know something, one should be humble enough to admit it. This, in itself,
constitutes half of knowledge.
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To be well-acquainted with the statements of different scholars each with his
evidence, and distinguish the strong from the weak among them, and the
preponderant from the outweighed (opinion).
To pay careful attention to the science of traditions and narration, in terms of
differentiation between the Saheeh (authentic) and the Dha‘eef (weak), and to
persist in research, study and benefit.
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Chapter Eight
The Successful Tutor and His Good Qualities
To set a good example to be followed by his students and a role model to his
pupils, loveable and dear to them.
To prepare his course material well, and be eager to benefit and promote his
students in their ascent towards knowledge.
To be free from harshness, intractability, severity and rudeness, and to be affable
with his students, so that they reciprocate the same with him.
To be devoted to his area of specialization, distinguished in his faculty, and wellacquainted with his subject.
To be well-read, possess encyclopedic knowledge, and to learn about contemporary
culture and the issues of his Ummah.
To have fervor for what he says, motivate his students, have enthusiasm for his
statements and arguments, and be far from dryness and coldness.
To maintain his work hours permanently, be punctual in his appointments and
regular in his job.
To rise above suspicions, forsake all vicious characteristics and be characterized by
good manners.
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Not to be involved in mockery, falsehood, frivolous and obscene speech, but
instead to be lenient, sweet and pure in his speech and words .
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Chapter Nine
The Distinguished Administrator and Signs of Creativity
To be accurate in his affairs, have control over his administration, and be wellacquainted with the affairs of his employees.
To be systematic, i.e. to place everything properly, and let his actions speak louder
than his words.
To finish the day’s work on the same day, without procrastination or being
troubled.
To distribute tasks according to a person’s specialty, talents and potential.
To be good in his follow-up, decisive in his resolution, seek advice and
contemplate.
To be good company, tolerant, strong whenever strength is necessary, and rigid but
without violence.
To be active, intuitive, continuously observant, attentive, and appreciative of
perfection and quality.
To obtain benefit from the experiences of others, by reading and sitting with them;
and finding rest during his work hours, and work during his leisure time.
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To like new initiatives and love creativity, find his comfort in uniqueness, and seek
to achieve excellence.
To avoid repeating error, benefit from failure, beware of decline, and be optimistic,
not pessimistic or desperate.
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Chapter Ten
Major Characteristics of an Influential Preacher
To be sincere, unprejudiced, and beware of showing off, conceit and arrogance.
To rectify one’s speech with Arabic, and to be well-trained in delivering speeches
and sermons.
To memorize many traditions which help to preach from the Quran, the Sunnah,
literature, stories and proverbs.
To avoid boring tautology in order to attract the people.
To adopt the middle path between hope and fear, so that people would neither feel
safe from the plan of Allah The Almighty, nor despair of relief from Him.
To avoid clichéd or strange statements that are unacceptable to the thinking person.
To observe the different conditions and mental states of people, and to seek the
appropriate way and time to give them instruction, lest they get bored.
Not to criticize the addressees, nor to make indirect insinuations against them, nor
to be harsh on them.
To be lenient with the people and kind to them while addressing them, and not to
make matters hard for them.
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To pay attention to the art of making speeches, good performance, sound
pronunciation, a clever beginning, good references, and a beautiful conclusion.
Not to praise or dispraise oneself, and to relate the biographies of the righteous,
with the observation of their agreement with the Sunnah.
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Chapter Eleven
Pre-Requisites of the Outstanding Author
Not to write before he is well-established in his art, and delves into its details and
fathoms its mysteries. The goal of authorship is to gather the dispersed, abridge the
prolonged, rearrange what has branched out, explain the ambiguous, and explicate
the abstruse.
To be in the middle between brevity which is not defective, and wordiness that is
not boring.
To adhere to good phraseology and easy wording, avoid declamation and
strangeness, and forsake obscene and slang words.
To review what is written, and present it to the more knowledgeable people, seek
the advice of others, and review it repeatedly.
To choose issues that have not been addressed, for which there is a dire need.
To write only on his own specialty, and not to deal with issues over which he has
no mastery, as it is blameworthy to do so.
To rid his writing of falsehood, peculiarity, strangeness, abuse, offense or
condemnation; not to be conceited or proud of what he writes as this is a source of
temptation.
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To attribute statements to their sources, and beware of theft, plagiarism,
misappropriation, or distortion of other compositions: {And whoever betrays,
[taking unlawfully], will come with what he took on the Day of Resurrection.}
[Quran 3:161]
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Chapter Twelve
The Ideal Father and His Attributes
To turn to Allah The Almighty at all times seeking righteousness for his offspring
and himself, and supplicating to his Lord.
To be a good role model for his children in word and deed, i.e. to have his deeds
always conform to his words.
To play with and discipline the young; be pleasant with the elders and keep them
good company.
To care (for his children) by honoring the rights of Allah The Almighty, observing
sanctities and maintaining the limits of Allah The Almighty within themselves.
To beware of leaving his house and being unduly absent for long intervals with no
dire necessity, but rather to look after his family by sitting with them, talking to
them, teaching and instructing them.
To guard his family from all means of Fitnah (trial) and instruments of perdition
and falsehood, and to purify his house from all that is shameful.
To be a watcher over their beliefs, conduct and behavior in the house, at school and
with the people.
To choose their companions, and follow them up well.
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To observe their age while directing them, by simplifying to them the instructions
and stories, and setting forth examples.
To beware of a luxurious life, as it leads to corruption and extravagance, and then
to Fitnah, and to beware of heedlessness as it leads to destruction.
To make them memorize the Book of Allah during their childhood, and prevent
them from imitating the disbelievers and the dissolute and from behaving in an
effeminate manner.
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