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Chapter 31. The Need For Certainty Of Belief

It is not possible for one to have patience if he has nothing from which to derive inner peace, something from which he attains joy and which gives him sustenance: certainty of faith. The Prophet said in hadith:


"Ask Allah for forgiveness and good health for, verily, after certainty of faith, no one has been given anything better than good health."


In the same way, when he orders others to do good, or loves their agreement with what is correct, or forbids others the doing of evil, he needs to be very good towards those others with which he wishes to work in this way with a graciousness which brings about the success of his intention: the removal of that which he dislikes, and the attainment of that which he likes. Human souls cannot tolerate something bitter unless it is mixed with something sweet. Nothing else is possible. For this reason, Allah ordained the institution of the binding of hearts (ta'leef ul-quluub), even assigning to those whose hearts are to be drawn in a portion of the Zakat. Allah said to His Prophet:


[Choose forbearance, and enjoin all that is right, and turn away from the foolish ones.} Quran 7/199


And, Allah said in another ayah: [And, advise one another to have patience, and urge one another to acts of compassion.] Quran 90/17


It is necessary for the enjoiner and forbidder to be patient and to be compassionate, and that is true courage and true generosity.


For this reason, Allah mentions prayer and zakat together many times in the Quran, and zakat is graciousness towards Allah's creation, and mentions prayer and patience together on other occasions. All three are essential: prayer, zakat, and patience. The affairs of the believer will not go straight except with these three in relation to his reforming of himself, and in the reforming of others, especially when trials and strife are rampant, then the need for these qualities becomes more severe.


The need for forbearance and patience is common to the entire human race; their affairs will never be straightened out except with these qualities. For this reason, all societies and cultures praise courage and generosity to the extent that most of the poems which have been composed to praise someone dwell on these two qualities. In the same vein, all societies and cultures hold as blameworthy the opposing qualities of miserliness and cowardice.


Any issue about which the thinkers of the entire human race agree cannot be anything but the truth, such as their agreement on the praiseworthiness of truthfulness and justice, and the blameworthiness of lying and oppression. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) was once asked questions by some bedouins until they forced him over near a tree on which his cloak became caught. He turned to them and said:


"By the one in whose hand is my soul, if I possessed camels equal to the number of these thorns, I would divide them all between you, and you would not find me to be miserly, nor cowardly, nor untruthful."


This value judgement, however, takes various forms according to specific cases and details and, verily, works are judged by intentions, and to every person is that which he intended.

Criticism Of Miserliness And Cowardice


For this reason, miserliness and cowardice are frequently criticized in the Quran and the Sunnah, and courage and forbearance in the path of Allah are praised - in the path of Allah specifically as opposed to that which is not in the path of Allah. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:


"The most evil things which can be found in a person are greedy desire which influences all of his actions, and cowardice which makes him flee."


And, he said:


"Who is your head man O, children of Salamah?" They said: "Al-Jadd ibn Qais, even though we criticize in him miserliness." The Prophet said: "And what defect is more serious than miserliness!?"


In another version of the above hadith, the Prophet is reported to have said:


"Verily, no head man can be miserly, rather your head man is Al-Abyadh Al- Ja'ad Al-Baraa ibn Marur."


Similarly, in the sahih the statement of Jabir ibn Abdullah to Abu Bakr As-Siddique radhiallahu anhu):


"You can either give me, or you can be miserly (tabkhalu 'anniy.)" Abu Bakr said: "Do you say you can either give me, or you can be miserly?! And which defect is more serious than miserliness?!"


Abu Bakr, like the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) considered miserliness to be one of the most serious diseases or defects. In Sahih Muslim, on the authority of Sulaiman ibn Rabi'ah:


Umar said: "The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) carried out a division of property, and I said: 'By Allah, others are more deserving than these (who have been given).' The Prophet said: 'They gave me the choice, either they would ask me in an improper and outrageous manner, or they would call me miserly, and I am not a miser.'"


The prophet here is saying: They have asked me in a way which is not proper, so that if I give them, that is fine, but if I do not, they will say "He is miserly." Thus, they gave me the choice between two evils, and left me no other choice: improper asking, or being called miserly. Being called a miser is more serious of an evil, so I repel the greater evil by giving them.


Types Of Miserliness


Miserliness is a general category within which are various types - some are major sins, and some are not major sins.


Allah said:


[Let not those who were miserly with what Allah gave them of His bounty imagine that it is good for them, rather it is very bad for them. They will be emburdened with all that they were miserly with on the day of Qiyama.] Quran 3/180


[Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and be gracious towards your two parents ... Verily Allah loves not every proud and arrogant one, those who are miserly, and enjoin miserliness on others.] Quran 4/36-37


[And nothing prevented their (i.e. the hypocrites) expenditures from being accepted except for the fact that they have rejected faith in Allah and in His Prophet. They attend the prayer only with laziness, and they spend of their wealth only reluctantly and with dislike.] Quran 9/54


[And, when He gave them of His bounty, they were miserly with it. They turned away, rejecting. And so, Allah decreed for them after that hypocrisy in their hearts until the day when they will meet Him.] Quran 9/76-77


[Whoever is miserly, denies only himself] Quran 47/38


[And so woe unto those who pray * But are unmindful of their prayers * Those who only strive (in their prayers) to be seen by people, and who withhold even minor acts of generosity.] Quran 107


[As for those who build up wealth of gold and silver, and do not spend of it in the path of Allah, warn them of a painful punishment. On the day when it (i.e. the gold and silver) will be heated up on the fires of hell, and it will be used to brand their foreheads and their sides and their backs, (it will be said to them:) This is what you hoarded away for your selves, so taste that which you used to hoard.] Quran 9/34-35


There are very many verses in the Quran which enjoin giving and spending and generosity, and criticize whoever neglects them, and all of that is a criticism of miserliness.


Criticism Of Cowardice


In the Quran, Allah's criticism of cowardice is also found in very many verses, such as in the following:


[And anyone who gives them (i.e. the enemy in war) his back on that day (of battle) except as a stratagem of warfare, or to regroup with other fighters, has come back with a great anger from Allah, and his dwelling place is hell, and what an evil place to end up.] Quran 8/16


[And they (i.e. the hypocrites) swear by Allah that they are of you, while they are not of you, rather they are a people afraid (to oppose the believers openly) * If they were to find any place of refuge or some caves, or even any uncomfortable place in which to conceal themselves, they would turn to it in great haste (because of the intensity of their concealed hatred for Islam and the Muslims).] Quran 9/56-57


[When a clear chapter is sent down and fighting is mentioned therein, you can see those in whose hearts is disease looking at you as one in the throes of death.] Quran 47/20


[Did you not see those to whom it was said: "Be non-violent, establish the prayer, and give the Zakat?" And then, when fighting was made obligatory upon them, lo, some of them fear people as the fear of Allah or an even stronger fear. They say: "Our Lord, why have you made fighting obligatory upon us? If only you were to give us respite for a short time!" Say: "The provision of this lower life is but little, and the hereafter is better for those who have piety, and you will not be mistreated or dealt with unjustly in the least.] Quran 4/77


Every verse in the Quran in which Allah urges the believers to jihad, and explains its desirability, and harshly criticizes those who turn away from it and neglect it all of that constitutes a condemnation of cowardice.


Chapter 1

Enjoining Right: Our Prophet And Those Before Him

Chapter 2

This Nation Is The Best Nation For The People

Chapter 3

What Is Maruf (right) And Munkar (wrong)?

Chapter 3

Let Your Enjoining Of Good Be Itself Good

Chapter 4

Benefits Must Outweigh Negative Consequences

Chapter 5

Methodology Of Enjoining Right And Forbidding Wrong

Chapter 6

Pitfalls Of Enjoining Right And Forbidding Wrong

Chapter 7

Rebellion Against The Imam Of The Muslims

Chapter 8

The General Principle Of Enjoining And Forbidding

Chapter 9

It Is Obligatory To Measure All Things By The Criterion Of The Shariah

Chapter 10

The Love Of Good Should Be In Harmony With What Allah Loves

Chapter 11

The Love And Hate Of The Heart

Chapter 12

What Exactly Is Hawaa

Chapter 13

The Following Of Hawaa In The Previous Religions

Chapter 14

What A Person Loves And Hates Must Be In Accordance With The Order Of Allah And His Prophet

Chapter 15

What Are "good Works"?

Chapter 16

Action Is Not Possible Except With Knowledge And Understanding

Chapter 17

Compassion, Patience & Forbearance Are Required In Enjoining Right

Chapter 18

The Difficulty Of These Requirements

Chapter 19

Disobedience To Allah Causes Difficulty, Obedience Causes Ease

Chapter 20

Allah's Punishment Of The Previous Nations For Their Disobedience

Chapter 21

Punishment Of The Evil-doers In This World And The Next

Chapter 22

Promises And Threats Of Punishment Were The First Part Of Revelation

Chapter 23

Differences About Enjoining & Forbidding Are The Cause Of Division

Chapter 24

Sins Are Desired By Human Nature

Chapter 25

Greed Is The Cause Of Slipping Into Deviation

Chapter 26

Types Of Sins

Chapter 27

Success In Worldly Affairs Is By Justice

Chapter 28

Human Nature: Tyranny, Envy & Oppression

Chapter 29

Good Must Support Good As Bad Supports Bad

Chapter 30

The Severity Of The Test Causes Elevation Of Rank

Chapter 31

The Need For Certainty Of Belief

Chapter 32

Human Affairs Will Not Go Straight Except With Courage And Generosity

Chapter 33

A Return To Patience And Its Types

Chapter 34

The Forbiddance Of Transgressing The Bounds

Chapter 35

Fervour And Courage Which Is Praiseworthy

Chapter 36

Fear Of Falling Into Temptation As An Excuse For Neglecting Enjoining Right

Chapter 37

The Sons Of Adam Do Not Live Except In Societies

Chapter 38

Pure Intention To Please Allah Is Required In All Righteous Deeds

Chapter 39

The Meanings Of Islam

Chapter 40

The Meaning Of Submitting One's Face To Allah

Chapter 41

Definition Of Righteous Action

Chapter 42

The Meaning Of The "sunnah" In The Discourses Of The Salaf