Imam Malik rah.

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Imam Malik bin Anas bin Malik bin Abi Aamir bin ‘Amr bin al-Harith bin Ainmaan (Uthmaan) bin Khuthail. (Al-Asbahee, a royal tribe branch of Himyar in Yemen) Imam Suyooti rah. says that Imam Malik’s lineage goes to Ya’rab bin Yashjab bin Qahtaan. Imam Malik mother name was ‘Aaliyah bint Shareek bin ‘Abdur Rahman al-Azdiyah.

According to Hafiz Zhahabi, Sam’aani ibn Farhoon, and others, Imam Malik was born in the year 93 A.H. due to the report of Yahya bin Bukair one of the elder students of the Imaam. Others have said he was born in 95 A.H. and Yaf’ee reports in Tabaqaatul-Fuqaha, 94 A.H. 

A great number of scholars and muhadditheen have spoken and referred to Imam Malik rah. great knowledge and literary works. Amongst his various literary compilations ‘ kitaabul Mu’atta’ is the most eminent. Imam Shafii rah. has stated regarding ‘Kitaabul Mu’atta’: "On the face of the earth there is no kitaab more authentic than Mu’atta."


Imam Malik
by Dr. G.F. Haddad

Malik ibn Anas ibn Malik ibn `Amr, al-Imam, Abu `Abd Allah al-Humyari al-Asbahi al-Madani (93-179), the Shaykh of Islam, Proof of the Community, Imam of the Abode of Emigration, and Knowledgeable Scholar of Madina predicted by the Prophet. The second of the four major mujtahid imams, whose school filled North Africa, al-Andalus, much of Egypt, and some of al-Sham, Yemen, Sudan, Iraq, and Khurasan. He is the author of al-Muwatta’ ("The Approved"), formed of the sound narrations of the Prophet from the people of the Hijaz together with the sayings of the Companions, the Followers, and those after them. It was hailed by al-Shafi`i as the soundest book on earth after the Qur’an, nearest book on earth to the Qur’an, most correct book on earth after the Qur’an, and most beneficial book on earth after the Qur’an according to four separate narrations. Malik said: "I showed my book to seventy jurists of Madina, and every single one of them approved me for it (kulluhum wâta’ani `alayh), so I named it ‘The Approved’." Imam al-Bukhari said that the soundest of all chains of transmission was "Malik, from Nafi`, from Ibn `Umar." The scholars of hadith call it the Golden Chain, and there are eighty narrations with this chain in the Muwatta’.

Among those Malik narrated from in the Muwatta’: Ayyub al-Sakhtyani, Ja`far ibn Muhammad (al-Sadiq), Zayd ibn Aslam, `Ata’ al-Khurasani, al-Zuhri, Ibn al-Munkadir, `Alqama, Nafi` the freedman of Ibn `Umar, and others. Among those who narrated from Malik: al-Zuhri, Ibn Jurayj, Abu Hanifa, al-Awza`i, Sufyan al-Thawri, Shu`ba, Ibn al-Mubarak, Muhammad ibn al-Hasan, `Abd al-Rahman ibn Mahdi, Waki`, Yahya al-Qattan, al-Shafi`i, Ibn Wahb, Abu Dawud al-Tayalisi, `Abd al-Razzaq, and many others.

The Prophet said: "Very soon will people beat the flanks of camels in search of knowledge, and they shall find no-one more knowledgeable than the knowledgeable scholar of Madina." Al-Tirmidhi, al-Qadi `Iyad, Dhahabi and others relate from Sufyan ibn `Uyayna, `Abd al-Razzaq, Ibn Mahdi, Ibn Ma`in, Dhu’ayb ibn `Imama, Ibn al-Madini, and others that they considered that scholar to be Malik ibn Anas. It is also related from Ibn `Uyayna that he later considered it to be `Abd Allah ibn `Abd al-`Aziz al-`Umari. Al-Dhahabi said of the latter: "He possessed knowledge and good fiqh, spoke the truth fearlessly, ordered good, and remained aloof from society. He used to press Malik in private to renounce the world and seclude himself."

Abu Mus`ab said: "Malik did not pray in congregation [in the Prophet’s mosque] for twenty-five years. He was asked: ‘What is preventing you?’ He said: ‘Lest I see something reprehensible and be obligated to change it.’" Another narration from Abu Mus`ab states: "After Malik left the [Prophet’s] mosque he used to pray in his house with a congregation that followed him, and he prayed the Jum`a prayer alone in his house." Ibn Sa`d narrates from Muhammad ibn `Umar: "Malik used to come to the Mosque and pray the prayers and the Jum`a, as well as the funeral prayers. He used to visit the sick and sit in the Mosque where his companions would came and saw him. Then he quit sitting there, instead he would pray and leave, and he quit attending the funeral prayers. Then he quit everything, neither attending the prayers nor the Jum`a in the mosque. Nor would he visit anyone who was sick or other than that. The people bore with it, for they were extremely fond of him and respected him too much. This lasted until he died. If asked about it, he said: ‘Not everyone can mention his excuse.’"

Ibn `Abd al-Barr said that Malik was the first who compiled a book formed exclusively of sound narrations. Abu Bakr ibn al-`Arabi said: "The Muwatta’ is the first foundation and the core, while al-Bukhari’s book is the second foundation in this respect. Upon these two all the rest have built, such as Muslim and al-Tirmidhi." Shah Wali Allah said something similar and added that it is the principal authority of all four Schools of Law, which stand in relation to it like the commentary stands in relation to the main text. Malik composed it in the course of forty years, having started with ten thousand narrations until he reduced them to their present number of under 2,000.

Al-Suyuti said: "There is no mursal narration in the Muwatta’ except it has one or several strengthening proofs (`âdid aw `awâdid)." Ibn `Abd al-Barr composed a book in which he listed all the narrations of the Muwatta’ that are either mursal, or munqati`, or mu`dal, and he provided complete sound chains for all of them except four: "In truth I do not forget, but I am made to forget so that I shall start a Sunna." This is the second hadith in the book of Sahw.

"The Prophet was shown the lifespans of people before his time, or whatever Allah willed of it, and seemed alarmed that the lifespans of his Community were too brief to reach the amount of deeds reached by previous communities who lived long. Whereupon Allah gave him the Most Precious Night (layla al-qadr), which is better than a thousand months." This is the fifteenth hadith in the book of I`tikaf.

Mu`adh ibn Jabal said: "The last instruction I received from Allah’s Messenger when I put my foot in the stirrup was: ‘Beautify your manners for the people, O Mu`adh ibn Jabal!’" This is the first hadith of the book of Husn al-Khuluq.

"If clouds appear towards the sea then go northwards, that is the mark of heavyish rain." This is the fifth hadith of the book of Istisqa’.

Among the hadith masters, al-`Iraqi and his student Ibn Hajar agreed with Ibn `Abd al-Barr that the above four hadiths have no chain, but others follow a different view: Shaykh Muhammad al-Shinqiti mentioned in his Dalil al-Salik ila Muwatta’ al-Imam Malik (p. 14) that Shaykh Salih al-Fulani al-`Umari al-Madani said: "Ibn al-Salah provided complete chains for the four hadiths in question in an independent epistle which I have in my possession, written in his own hand." Shaykh Ahmad Shakir said: "But al-Shinqiti did not mention what these chains were, and so the scholars cannot judge on the question."

Al-Zurqani counted as sixty-nine the number of those who narrated the Muwatta’ directly from Malik, geographically spread as follows:
- Seventeen in Madina, among them Abu Mus`ab Ahmad ibn Abi Bakr al-Zuhri, whose version has received a recent edition;
- Two in Mecca, among them al-Shafi`i;
- Ten in Egypt, among them `Abd Allah ibn Wahb, `Abd Allah ibn Yusuf al-Tinnisi al-Dimashqi, whose narration al-Bukhari chose, and Dhu al-Nun al-Misri;
- Twenty-seven in Iraq, among them `Abd al-Rahman ibn Mahdi, whose narration Ahmad ibn Hanbal chose, Yahya ibn Yahya al-Tamimi al-Hanzali al-Naysaburi, whose narration Muslim chose, and Abu Hanifa’s student Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani, whose version has been published but greatly differs from the others and also contains other than what is narrated from Malik, so that it became known as Muwatta’ Muhammad;
- Thirteen in al-Andalus, among them the jurist Yahya ibn Yahya al-Laythi "the Sage of al-Andalus" û thus nicknamed by Malik himself û whose version is the most commonly used today and is the version meant by the term "Malik’s Muwatta’." He is mainly responsible for the spread of the Maliki School in al-Andalus.
- Two from al-Qayrawan;
- Two from Tunis;
- Seven from al-Sham.
Imam Malik is the connection of the entire Islamic Community to the knowledge of the Sunna as it was preserved by the scholars of the Prophet’s city, al-Madina. This reference-point of his school of jurisprudence is observed time and again in the Muwatta’ with the phrase: "And this is what I have found (or seen) the people of knowledge practicing." He was keenly aware of his mission as both the transmitter and the elucidator of the Sunna. This is characteristic of his students’ praise of him, beginning with al-Shafi`i’s famous sayings: "No-one constitutes as great a favor to me in Allah’s Religion as Malik" and "When the scholars of knowledge are mentioned, Malik is the guiding star." `Abd Allah ibn Wahb said: "Every memorizer of hadith that does not have an Imam in fiqh is misguided (dâll), and if Allah had not rescued us with Malik and al-Layth (ibn Sa`d), I would have been misguided." Abu Mus`ab recounts the following story:

I went in to see Malik ibn Anas. He said to me: "Look under my place of prayer or prayer-mat and see what is there." I looked and found a certain writing. He said: "Read it." It contained the account of a dream which one of his brothers had seen and which concerned him. Malik recited it [from memory]: "I saw the Prophet in my sleep. He was in his mosque and the people were gathered around him, and he said: ‘I have hidden for you under my pulpit (minbar) something good – or: knowledge – and I have ordered Malik to distribute it to the people.’" Then Malik wept, so I got up and left him.

The caliph Abu Ja`far al-Mansur had forbidden Malik to narrate the hadith: "The divorce of the coerced does not take effect" (laysa `ala mustakrahin / li mukrahin talâq). Then a spy came to Malik and asked him about the issue, whereupon Malik narrated the hadith in front of everyone. He was seized and lashed until his shoulder was dislocated and he passed out. When he came to, he said: "He [al-Mansur] is absolved of my lashing." When asked why he had absolved him, Malik replied: "I feared to meet the Prophet after being the cause for the perdition of one of his relatives." Ibrahim ibn Hammad said he saw Malik being carried up and walking away, carrying one of his hands with the other. Then they shaved his face and he was mounted on a camel and paraded. He was ordered to deprecate himself aloud, whereupon he said: "Whoever knows me, knows me; whoever does not know me, my name is Malik ibn Anas, and I say: The divorce of the coerced is null and void!" When news of this reached Ja`far ibn Sulayman (d. 175) the governor of Madina and cousin of al-Mansur, he said: "Bring him down, let him go."

Imam Malik held the hadith of the Prophet in such reverence that he never narrated anything nor gave a fatwa unless in a state of ritual purity. Isma`il ibn Abi Uways said: "I asked my uncle û Malik û about something. He bade me sit, made ablution, sat on the couch, and said: la hawla wa la quwwata illa billah. He did not give a fatwa except he said it first." Al-Haytham said: "I heard Malik being asked forty eight questions, to thirty-two of which he replied: ‘I do not know.’" Abu Mus`ab reported that Malik said: "I did not give fatwas before seventy scholars first witnessed to my competence to do it."

Malik’s ethics, together with the states of awe and emotion which were observed on him by his entourage, were no doubt partly inherited from great shaykhs of his such as Ja`far al-Sadiq, Ibn Hurmuz, and Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri. He visited his shaykh Ibn Hurmuz (d. 148) every day from morning to night for a period of about eight years and recounts: "I would come to Ibn Hurmuz, whereupon he would order the servant to close the door and let down the curtain, then he would start speaking of the beginning of this Umma, and tears would stream down his beard." The Maliki shaykh Ibn Qunfudh al-Qusantini (d. 810) wrote:
It was the practice of the Pious Predecessors and the Imams of the past that whenever the Prophet was mentioned in their presence they were overwhelmed by reverence, humbleness, stillness, and dignity. Ja`far ibn Muhammad ibn `Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn `Ali ibn Abi Talib would turn pale whenever he heard the Prophet mentioned. Imam Malik would not mention a hadith except in a state of ritual purity. `Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr al-Siddiq would turn red and stammer whenever he heard the Prophet mentioned. As for `Amir ibn `Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr ibn al-`Awamm al-Asadi (one of the early Sufis), he would weep until his eyes had no tears left in them. When any hadiths were mentioned in their presence they would lower their voices. Malik said: "The Prophet’s sacredness (hurma) is in death is as his sacredness was in life."

Qutayba said: "When we went to see Malik, he would come out to us adorned, wearing kuhl on his eyes, perfumed, wearing his best clothes, sit at the head of the circle, call for palm-leaf fans, and give each one of us a fan." Muhammad ibn `Umar: "Malik’s circle was a circle of dignity and courtesy. He was a man of majestic countenance and noblity. There was no part for self-display, vain talk, or loud speech in his circle. His reader would read for all, and no-one looked into his own book, nor asked questions, out of awe before Malik and out of respect for him."

When the caliph al-Mahdi sent his sons Harun and Musa to learn from Malik, the latter would not read to them but told them: "The people of Madina read before the scholar just like children read to the teacher, and if they make a mistake, he corrects them." Similarly when Harun al-Rashid with his own two sons requested Malik to read for them, he replied: "I have stopped reading for anybody a long time ago." When Harun requested the people to leave so that he could read freely before Malik, the latter also refused and said: "If the common people are forbidden to attend because of the particulars, the latter will not profit." It is known that Malik’s way in the transmission of hadith, like Ibn al-Musayyib, `Urwa, al-Qasim, Salim, Nafi`, al-Zuhri, and others, was `ard ("reading by the student") and not samâ` ("audition from the shaykh"), although the student states by convention, in both cases: "So-and-so narrated to us."

The caliph Harun al-Rashid said to Malik after hearing his answers to certain questions he put to him: "You are, by Allah! the wisest of people and the most knowledgeable of people." Malik replied: "No, by Allah! O Leader of the Believers." He said: "Yes! But you keep it hidden. By Allah! If I live, I shall put your sayings in writing like the mushafs are put down in writing, and I shall disseminate them to the ends of the world." But Malik refused.

When one of the caliphs manifested his intention to replace the Prophet’s wooden pulpit with a pulpit of silver and jewels Malik said: "I do not consider good the hindrance of the people from access to the Prophet’s relics." (lâ ara an yuhrama al-nâsu athara rasulillah.)
Among Malik’s sayings:

From Ibn Wahb: "Knowledge Allah places wherever He wills. It does not consist in narrating a lot."

From Ibn Wahb: "The saying has reached methat none renounces the world and guards himself except he will speak wisdom."

From Ibn Wahb: "Knowledge diminishes and does not increase. Knowledge has diminished incessantly after the Prophets and the Books."

From `Abd Allah ibn `Abd al-Hakam: "The Companions differed in the Branches (al-furû`) and split into factions (tafarraqû), and each one of them was correct in himself."

From Ja`far ibn `Abd Allah: "We were with Malik when a man came and asked him: ‘O Abu `Abd Allah! "The Merciful is established over the Throne" (20:5): how is He established?’ Nothing affected Malik as much as that man’s question. He looked at the ground and started prodding it with a twig he held in his hand until he was completely soaked in sweat. Then he lifted his head and said: ‘The "how" of it is inconceivable; the "establishment" part of it is not unknown; belief in it is obligatory; asking about it is an innovation; and I believe that you are a man of innovation.’ Then he gave an order and the man was led out."

From Ibn Wahb: "We were with Malik when a man asked him: ‘O Abu `Abd Allah! "The Merciful is established over the Throne" (20:5): how is His establishment?’ Malik lowered his head and began to sweat profusely. Then he lifted up his head and said: ‘"The Merciful is established over the Throne" just as He described Himself. One cannot ask "how." "How" does not apply to Him. And you are an evil man, a man of innovation. Take him out!’ The man was led out."

From Yahya ibn Yahya al-Tamimi and Malik’s shaykh Rabi`a ibn Abi `Abd al-Rahman: "We were with Malik when a man came and asked him: ‘O Abu `Abd Allah! "The Merciful is established over the Throne" (20:5): how is He established?’ Malik lowered his head and remained thus until he was completely soaked in sweat. Then he said: ‘The establishment is not unknown; the "how" is inconceivable; belief in it is obligatory; asking about it is an innovation; and I do not think that you are anything but an innovator.’ Then he ordered that the man be led out."

From Ma`n: "Disputation (al-jidâl) in the Religion fosters self-display, does away with the light of the heart and hardens it, and bequeaths aimless wandering."

From Ma`n and others: "There are four types of narrators one does not take from: An outright scoffer, even if he is the greatest narrator; an innovator who invites people to his innovation; someone who lies about people, even if I do not charge him with mendacity in hadith; and a righteous, honorable worshipper if he does not memorize what he narrates." Malik’s last clause refers to the two conditions sine qua non of the trustworthy narrator, who must possess not only moral uprightness (`adâla) but also accuracy in transmission (dabt). The clause elucidates the paradox current among hadith scholars whereby "No-one lies more than the righteous." 

The reason for this is that the righteous do not doubt the Muslim’s attribution of a saying to his Prophet, and so they accept it without suspicion, whereas al-Shafi`i said: "If Malik had the slightest doubt about a hadith, he discarded the entire hadith." 

Dr. Nur al-Din `Itr said: "The manner of the righteous who narrate everything indiscriminately stems from purity of heart and good opinion, and the scholars have said about such narrators: ‘Lies run off their tongue without their intending it.’" There is a fundamental difference between the latter and those who deliberately forge lies or narrate forgeries passed for hadith, and who are condemned by the Prophet’s saying: "Whoever lies about me willfully, let him take now his seat in the Fire!"

From Ibn al-Qasim: "Malik used to say: ‘Belief increases.’ He would stop short of saying that it decreases."
From Ibn Abi al-Zubayr: "I saw `Ata’ ibn Abi Rabah enter the [Prophet’s] Mosque, then take hold of the pommel of the Pulpit, after which he faced the Qibla [to pray]."

In the Muwatta’: "Shaving the moustache is an innovation." It is elsewhere related that Malik himself was tall, heavyset, imposing of stature, very fair, with white hair and beard but bald, with a huge beard and blue eyes; he "detested and condemned" shaving of the moustache, and he always wore beautiful clothes, especially white.

Narrated by Ibn Abi Zayd: "The turban was worn from the beginning of Islam and it did not cease to be worn until our time. I did not see anyone among the People of Excellence except they wore the turban, such as Yahya ibn Sa`id, Rabi`a, and Ibn Hurmuz. I would see in Rabi`a’s circle more than thirty men wearing turbans and I was one of them; Rabi`a did not put it down until the Pleiades rose and he used to say: ‘I swear that I find it increases intelligence.’ Jibril was seen in the image of (the Companion) Dihya (ibn Khalifa) al-Kalbi wearing a turban with its extremity hanging between his shoulder-blades." Ashhab said: "When Malik wore the turban he passed it under his chin and let its extremity hang behind his back, and he wore musk and other scents."


Imam Ali Zainal Abidin rah.

Al Imam Assajjad Ali Zainal Abidin Ibn Husein Ibn Ali bin Abi Thalib radiyallahu anhum wa karamallahu wajhah. Ketika Al Imam Thawus datang keMasjidil Haram disepertiga malam terakhir, mahu sholat didekat Hijr Ismail, dilihat sudah ada orang sholat disitu. Siapa yang sholat tengah malam begini yang ruku, sujud, ruku, sujud tidak habis-habis?

Ternyata setelah diperhatikan, ia adalah Imam Ali Zainal Abidin Assajjad. Dikenal Assajjad kerana ia sujud setiap malamnya sebanyak 1000 kali sujud, terkenal dengan sholat malam sebanyak 500 rakaat. Oleh sebab itu dikenal dengan Assajjad (orang yang banyak bersujud). Imam Thawus lihat terus Imam Ali Zainal Abidin. Selesai dari sholat sunnah yang demikian dahsyat dan hebatnya, ia bermunajat. Imam Thawus mendengar munajat yang lirih dari doa Al Imam Ali Zainal Abidin, ia tajamkan pendengarannya. Apa sih yang diucapkan imam ini?

Imam Ali Zainal Abidin bermunajat "Abduka bi finaaik, miskiinuka bi finaaik, faqiiruka bi finaaik, saailuka bi finaaik, (hamba ini berada di hadapan Mu Wahai Allah, simiskin dihadapan Mu, sifakir berada dihadapan Mu, si pengemis berada dihadapan Mu)". Mengemis kepada Allah, miskin di hadapan Allah, Maha Membutuhkan Anugerah dari Allah.

Demikian indahnya doa Imam Ali Zainal Abidin Assajjad. Imam Thawus mendengar, ia terus mengulang-ulang doa itu. Terus diulang oleh Imam Ali Zainal Abidin. Imam Thawus berkata tidaklah aku setelah itu, mahu berdoa dengan doa apa saja kalau diawali dengan doa Imam Ali Zainal Abidin, pasti Allah kabulkan doaku. Demikian indahnya doa dari jiwa yang suci.

Putra beliau Al Imam Muhammad Al Baqir bin Ali Zainal Abidin Assajjad ketika putranya yaitu Sayyidina Imam Jafar AshShodiq semasa kecilnya mendengar ayahnya disepertiga malam terakhir melakukan sholat yang sedemikian panjang dan lama. Imam Muhammad Al Baqir berdiri bagaikan patung lamanya tidak bergerak di dalam sholatnya, terus didalam lantunan firman-firman Allah dan didalam tasbih, ruku dan sujud.

Sedemikian lamanya sampai seakan-akan patung kerana lamanya tidak bergerak dari panjangnya menikmati bacaan sholat malamnya. Selesai sholat ia pun berdoa dengan doa yang dihafal oleh anaknya ini: "Amartaniy falam atamir, wa nahaytaniy falam anzajir, haa ana abduka bayna yadayk, mudznibun mukhthiun, falaa atadzir". Alangkah indahnya doa ini. "Kau beri aku perintah wahai Allah tapi banyak yang tidak kulakukan". Siapa yang bicara? Imam Muhammad Al Baqir (putra Imam Ali Zainal Abidin, putra Sayyidina Husein, putra Sayyidatuna Fatimah Azzahra, cucunya Rasulullah Saw).

Disebut Al Baqir kerana ia orang yang sangat luas ilmunya. Imam Malik dan Imam Abu Hanifah mengambil sanad dari Imam Muhammad Al Baqir. Demikian hadirin hadirat, ia berkata; "Banyak perintah yang Kau berikan padaku wahai Allah dan aku tidak melakukannya dan aku tidak taat. Banyak hal yang sudah Kau larang tapi masih juga ada yang kulanggar larangan Mu, inilah aku sekarang di hadapan Mu Wahai Allah, banyak dosa, banyak salah, dan aku mengaku banyak dosa dosa dan aku tidak mengelak dari dosa dosaku. Memang aku seorang pendosa". Demikian hebatnya khusyu Al Imam Muhammad Al Baqir ibn Ali Zainal Abidin Ibn Husein radiyallahu anhum.

Putranya pun demikian Imam Jafar Ashshodiq alaiha rahmatullah, beliau itu kalau sudah berdoa tidak mahu putus dari munajatnya sampai nafasnya sendiri yang kehabisan nafas. Beliau pun juga memanggil "Ya Allah..Ya Allah..Ya Allah..", sampai habis nafasnya baru berhenti. Lalu diganti Nama Allah dengan yang lainnya "Ya Rahman..Ya Rahman..", demikian malam-malam mereka.

- Imam Ali Zainal Abidin lahir diMadinah pada tahun 38H/654M yang mana mengikut sebelah salsilah ayahnya adalah Ali bin Husain bin Ali bin Abi Thalib. Beliau merupakan cicit kepada Rasulullah s.a.w iaitu cucu kepada Syaidina Ali dan Fatima r.anha, manakala disebelah salsilah bondanya adalah berketurunan Maharaja Parsi iaitu bondanya bernama Syahrbanu, puteri kepada maharaja terakhir Sasaniyah Parsi bernama Yazdigirda. Semasa Parsi dikalahkan dan tawanan-tawanan termasuk puteri Maharaja Parsi dibawa keMadinah, Syaidina Umar r.a yang merupakan Khalifah diwaktu tersebut telah menikahkan puteri maharaja Parsi Syahrbanu yang memeluk Islam dengan Syaidina Hussein. Hasil dari pernikahan ini, maka lahirlah Ali Zainal Abidin dengan diberi juga nama julukan Ibn al-Khiyaratyn, anak dari dua terbaik iaitu diantara Quraish (Arab) dan Parsi (Ajam).
Pada tahun 61H/680M, Imam Ali Zainal Abidin telah kehilangan ayah serta abang-abangnya yang dibunuh secara kejam oleh penzalim Ibnu Zayid dan tenteranya dibawah perintah Yazid bin Muawiyah dalam peristiwa pembunuhan berdarah diKarbala.
Az Zuhri dan Ibnu Uyainah menyatakan: "Kami tidak mendapati di kalangan orang Quraisy yang lebih baik daripada Ali Zainal Abidin". Az Zuhri berkata lagi: "Aku tidak melihat seorang yang lebih faqih melainkan Sayyidina Ali Zainal Abidin". Ibnu Musayyib berkata: "Aku tidak pernah melihat seorang yang lebih wara' dari Sayyidina Ali Zainal Abidin". 
Pada tahun 713M, Imam Ali Zainal Abidin telah menghembuskan nafasnya dan dikebumikan di Baqi'. Kewafatan beliau dipercayai akibat diracun oleh Al Walid bin Abdul Malik. 
Semasa hayatnya, Imam Ali Zainal Abidin memikul bungkusan roti dibelakangnya pada waktu malam untuk disedekahkan kepada fakir miskin. Ketika memandikan jenazah beliau, mereka mendapati terdapat kesan hitam di belakangnya. Mereka bertanya: "Tanda apakah ini?" Sahabat-sahabatnya menyatakan: "Ini adalah kesan beliau memikul bungkusan gandum pada waktu malam dibelakangnya beliau untuk diagihkan kepada penduduk Madinah yang miskin." Setelah kewafatannya, didapati beliau telah menyedekahkan sebanyak 100 buah rumah.

Imam Abu Hanifa rah.

Better known as `Imam-e-`Adham' (The Greatest Imam), or by his kunyah `Abu Hanifah', Nu'man ibn Thabit was born in the city of Kufa (modern day Iraq) in the year 80 A.H (689 A.D). Born into a family of tradesmen, the Imam's family were of Persian origin as well as descending from the noble Prophet's (saw) companion Salman al-Farsi (ra). Imam Abu Hanifah's father, Thabit, had met in Kufa Imam `Ali Ibn Abi Talib (ra) who made dua for him and his progeny, and some say that Abu Hanifah was a result of this dua.

A hadith given by al-Bukhari and Muslim states that Abu Hurairah (ra) narrated Allah's Messenger (saw) as saying:"If the Religion were at the Pleiades, even then a person from Persia would have taken hold of it, or one amongst the Persian descent would surely have found it." Abu Hurairah (ra) also narrates:"We were sitting in the company of Allah's Apostle (saw) when Surat al-Jum`a was revealed to him and when he recited amongst them, (those who were sitting there) said `Allah's Messenger?' but Allah's Apostle (saw) made no reply, until he was questioned once, twice or thrice, and there was amongst us Salman the Persian. Allah's Apostle (saw) placed his hand on Salman and then said: "Even if faith were near the Pleiades, a man from amongst these would surely find it."

Imam as-Suyuti a Shafi'i alim (rh) remarked:"It has been communicated unanimously that this hadith refers to Imam Abu Hanifah."

Kufa at the time of the Imam's birth was a great center of knowledge and learning, with many of the noble Prophet's (saw) Companions (ra) having taken residence there. Due to the presence of these venerable people who had engendered so much interest in hadith and riwayat that practically every house in Kufa had become a center of these disciples and their disciplines.

At first, Imam Abu Hanifah was not a student of knowledge. However, by coincidence, while one day passing by the house of Sha'bi (an acclaimed "Great Scholar among the Successors (rh)"), Abu Hanifah was called in by the shaykh who mistook him for a student. "Where are you going young man?" asked Sha'bi. Abu Hanifah named the merchant he was going to see. "I meant to ask," asked Sha'bi, "Whose classes you attend?" "Nobody's," replied the Imam regretfully. "I see signs of intelligence in you," began Sha'bi,"you should sit in the company of learned men." 

It was after this encounter that the young Imam began his quest for knowledge. Imam Abu Hanifah acquired knowledge from over four thousand people. His teachers included many prestigious men of the time whose sanad went back to a number of Companions (ra). He himself was blessed with the meeting of the Companions: Anas ibn Malik, Abdullah ibn Afwa and Sahl ibn Sa'ad (ra), thus gaining him the rank of being a Tabi'i (Successor to the Companions).

Amongst Imam Abu Hanifah's shayukh was Hammad ibn Sulayman, he joined his circle at the age of 22, having already become a well-known debater and studied with this shaykh until the latter's death, whereupon he took over his majlis (circle) at the age of forty. Shu'ba, a leading muhaddith who knew-by-heart two thousand traditions was also a teacher of Imam Abu Hanifah. Shu'ba was greatly attached to Imam Abu Hanifah saying: "Just as I know that the sun is bright, I know that learning and Abu Hanifah are doubles of each other."

The Imam's quest for knowledge inevitably took him to the Holy Sanctuaries, at a time when Makkah was a busy center for learning. A number of acknowledged masters of hadith, who had had access to the Prophet's (saw) Companions (ra) had established their own schools there. Of these was `Ata bin Rabah's (rh) school. `Ata was a famous Tabi'i who had associated with most of the Companions (ra) and acquired from this association a status of authority. He himself claimed to have met two hundred men who had associated with the Noble Prophet (saw). The leading Companions (ra) all acknowledged his learning. Abdullah ibn `Umar (ra), son of the Caliph `Umar (ra) often used to say:"Why do people come to me when `Ata ibn Abi Rabah is there for them to go to?" Of the other Muhaddithin of Makkah whose classes the Imam attended was `Ikrimah. He was the slave and pupil of Abdullah ibn `Abbas, who educated him with great care and attention, making him so proficient that he, during his own lifetime gave Imam Abu Hanifah the authority to exercise personal judgement and rulings. "Imam Abu Hanifah was the first to analyze Islamic jurisprudence, divide it into subjects, distinguish its issues and determine the range and criteria for analytical reasoning (qiyas)."

Al-Hafiz al-Kabir Abu Bakr Ahmad al-Harizmi wrote in his book"Musnad": `Saif al-Aimma' reports that when Imam Abu Hanifah derived a matter from the Qur'an and Hadith, he would not give the answer to the inquirer unless all of them [his students] confirmed it. One thousand of Abu Hanifah's disciples attended all his classes when he taught in the Mosque of Kufa City. Forty of them were mujtahids. When he would find an answer for a matter, he would suggest to his students who would study it together, and when they reached an agreement of it being consistent with the Qur'an and Hadith, and with the words of the Sahabah (ra), he would be delighted and say, "Al-hamdu li'llah wallahu Akbar," and all those who were present would repeat his words. Then he would tell them to write it down.

Ibn `Abd al-Barr relates in"Al-Intiqa'": `Abd Allah ibn Ahmad al-Dawraqi said:"Ibn Ma'inn was asked about Abu Hanifah as I was listening, so he said"He is trustworthy (thiqatun), I never heard that anyone had weakened him." No less than Shu'ba wrote to him [for narrations], and ordered him to narrate hadith.' 
Ibn Hajar said in Kharija ibn al-Salt's notice in"Tahdhib al-Tahdhib": Ibn Abi Khaythama said:"If al-Shu'bi narrates from someone and names him, that man is trustworthy (thiqa) and his narration is used as proof (yuhtajju bi hadithihi)".

Many well-known shuyukh narrated from Imam Abu Hanifah, to name but a few: al-Thawri, ibn al-Mubarak, Hammad ibn Zayd and `Abd al-Razzaq (one of Imam al-Bukhari's shaykhs.) Al-Mizzi in"Tahdhib al-Kamal" names about one hundred names of those who narrated from Imam Abu Hanifah.

Imam as-Shafi'i (rh) is recorded to have stated:"All men of fiqh are Abu Hanifah's children" and"I would not have acquired anything of knowledge had it not been for my teacher. All men of knowledge are children of the ulema of Iraq, who were the disciples of the ulema of Kufa, and they were the disciples of Abu Hanifah."
The Hanafi madhhab, entitled after the Imam, spread far-and-wide during the time of the Ottoman Empire. Today, more than half of the Muslims on the earth perform their `ibabadah according to the Hanafi madhhab. The Hanafi school has decided court cases in the majority of Islamic lands for the greater part of Islamic history, including the `Abbasid and Ottoman periods.

Not only was Imam Abu Hanifah's extraordinary mind and knowledge something to be admired, but so too was his exemplary character and piety. Al-Dhahabi writes:"Accounts of his piety and devotion have reached a degree of tawatur (i.e., an unbroken chain of uncontradicted narrations)."

He was given the title of "The `Peg'" by some, for his continuous standing in prayer, often reciting the entire Qur'an in his nightly rakahs. He performed the Fajr prayer with the ablution made for the Isha prayers for forty years (due to him praying the whole night through). It is reported that he had recited the whole Qur'an seven thousand times in the place where he died. 

He earned his living through trade (sending goods to other places), and with the earnings he made, he met the needs of his students. He gave much to charity and every Friday he would distribute twenty gold coins to the poor for his parents' souls.

In the year 146 A.H, Abu Hanifah was sent to prison by Mansur, the leader at the time, after the Imam's refusal to state that Mansur was the rightful khalifa, as well as refusing the position of presidency of the Supreme Court in recompense. While in prison, Imam Abu Hanifah was thrashed with a stick. Mansur repented and sent the Imam money, only to be refused again. By now, Imam Abu Hanifah had become well-known and thousands flocked to meet and seek his opinion wherever he went. His imprisonment far from reduced his popularity, and Mansur realized that he would have to treat the Imam carefully, thus he allowed him to teach while still in prison. (Some report say) Mansur finally decided to do away with the great Imam and had him poisoned. Abu Hanifah, feeling the effects of the poison, bent down in prayer and died in the month of Rajab. News of the Imam's death reached far-and-wide, and thousands gathered at the prison. The city Qadi washed his body, and kept repeating:"By God, you were the greatest faqih and the most pious man of our time ..."

By the time the bathing was finished, so many people had assembled that the funeral prayer was performed attended by fifty thousand people. The Great Imam died in Baghdad in 150 A.H at the age of seventy. May Allah (swt) be pleased with him.


Malik ibn Dinar rah.

Malik ibn Dinar rah. adalah kalangan para Tabien dan salah seorang auliya yang dikenali, lahir diwaktu sahaba dimana beliau sempat bertemu dengan Anas ibn Malik r.a dan mengambil ilmu darinya. Malik ibn Dinar juga hidup hampir sezaman dengan Hasan al-Basri rah. dan pernah menjadi muridnya. Kehidupan Malik ibn Dinar yang pada permulaan jauh dari mengamalkan agama Islam, namun berubah menjadi seorang yang begitu taat dan malah meraih maqam yang tinggi dikalangan para auliya adalah contoh bagaimana Allah Taala sentiasa membuka peluang untuk hamba-hamba-Nya yang ikhlas serta kuat bermujahadah untuk mendamping-Nya.

Ibnu Al-Jauzi rah. meriwayatkan dalam Kitab At-Tawwabin (orang-orang yang bertaubat), daripada Malik ibn Dinar bahawa beliau ditanya mengenai sebab taubatnya, lalu beliau menjawab: “Dahulunya aku adalah seorang polis (dizamannya) dan aku pernah membeli seorang hamba wanita yang cantik. Dia amat sesuai bagiku. Lalu, dia melahirkan seorang anak untukku dan aku pun amat kasih padanya. Ketika mana dia mula berjalan, maka bertambahlah kasih sayangku buatnya dalam hatiku. Dia bermesra denganku dan aku pun bermesra dengannya. Setelah dia berumur 2 tahun, dia meninggal dunia dan kesedihannya itu pedih buatku.”

“Pada satu malam iaitu malam pertengahan bulan Syaaban, iaitu malam Jumaat. Aku melihat dalam mimpiku seolah-olah telah berlakunya hari kiamat. Sangkakala pun telah ditiup dan para penghuni kubur pun dibangkitkan. Lalu semua makhluk pun dihimpunkan dan aku juga bersama mereka. Maka aku pun terdengar satu pergerakan, aku memalingkan pandanganku. Tiba-tiba ianya adalah seekor ular besar berwarna hitam kebiruan. Ia telah pun membuka mulutnya dan mengejarku. Aku berlari-lari di hadapannya tergesa-gesa. Dalam perjalananku, aku berjumpa dengan seorang lelaki tua yang bersih pakaiannya serta berbau wangi. Maka aku pun memberi salam kepadanya. Dia menjawab salam kepadaku. Aku pun berkata: “Wahai lelaki tua, selamatkanlah aku dari ular ini dan semoga Allah menyelamatkanmu jua.” Lelaki itu pun menangis dan berkata: “Aku ini lemah dan ianya (ular) pula lebih kuat dariku. Berlarilah dengan segera. Semoga Allah merupakan buatmu sesuatu yang menyelamatkanmu darinya.” Lalu, aku pantas berlalu terus ke hadapan. Lalu aku pun naik ke atas satu anjung daripada anajung-anjung hari kiamat itu. Lalu aku pun melalui di tepi beberapa tingkatan api neraka dan aku hampir-hampir terjatuh ke dalamnya disebabkan pergelutanku itu. Maka satu suara menjerit: “Berundurlah kamu! Kamu bukan daripada ahlinya.” Lalu aku berasa senang dengan kata-katanya itu dan aku pun berundur. Ular itu juga kembali mengejarku. Maka aku pun kembali semula kepada orang tua itu dan aku berkata: “Wahai orang tua! Aku sudah pun memintamu supaya menyelamatkanku dari ular itu, tapi kamu tidak melakukannya.” Lalu orang tua itu pun menangis dan berkata: “Aku ini lemah. Tetapi, kamu berlarilah kepada bukit itu. Di sana terdapat tinggalan orang-orang Islam. Jikalau kamu ada tinggalan di sana, ianya dapat membantumu.” Aku pun melihat ke arah sebuah bukit yang dikelilingi oleh perak. Padanya terdapat lubang dindingnya yang menembusi di belakangnya, terdapat dua daun pintu diperbuat dari emas merah, diselangi dengan batu delima dan diliputi oleh permata. Pada setiap daun pintu terdapat tirai dari sutera. Setelah mana aku melihat ke arah bukit itu, aku pun berlari-lari ke arahnya dan ular itu masih di belakangku.

Sehinggalah aku mendekatinya, terdengar beberapa malaikat menjerit: “Angkatlah tirai, bukalah daun pintu dan perhatikanlah!, Moga-moga terdapat simpanan buat orang putus-asa ini dalam kalanganmu semua yang dapat menyelamatkannya dari musuhnya itu.” Setelah mana dibuka daun-daun pintu itu dan mereka memerhatikanku, aku dapati ramai kanak-kanak seumpama bulan-bulan. Ular itu pun mendekatiku dan aku tercengang. Beberapa orang dari kanak-kanak itu menjerit: “Dengarlah kamu semua! Kesemua kamu perhatikannya! Musuhnya telah pun menghampirinya.” Mereka itu pun datang memerhatikan sekumpulan demi sekumpulan. Tiba-tiba anak perempuanku memerhatikan aku, menangis dan berkata: “Demi Allah ini adalah ayahku!” Lalu dia pun melompat kepadaku dalam satu bekas diperbuat dari cahaya jalan seperti anak panah sehinggalah dia berada di sisiku. Dia pun menghulurkan tangan kirinya ke arah tangan kiriku. Maka aku pun berpaut kepadanya. Dia juga menghulurkan tangan kanannya ke arah ular itu sehinggalah ia melarikan diri. Kemudiannya, anakku itu meletakkan aku dan dia duduk dalam pangkuanku. Dia meletakkan tangan kanannya ke atas janggutku sambil berkata: Wahai ayahku!

“Belum sampaikah lagi masanya bagi orang-orang yang beriman, untuk khusyuk hati mereka mematuhi peringatan dan pengajaran Allah?”(Surah Al-Hadid: 16).

Lalu aku pun menangis dan berkata: “Wahai anakku! Kamu semua tahu tentang Al-Quran?” Maka dia pun berkata: “Wahai ayahku! Kami semua lebih mengetahui tentangnya berbanding kamu semua.” Aku berkata: “Beritahulah kepadaku tentang siular yang hendak membinasakanku itu.” Sianak itu menjawab: “Itulah amalan burukmu yang telah engkau menguatkannya. Ianya hendak menghumbankanmu kedalam neraka Jahannam.” Aku bertanya: “Lelaki tua yang aku berjumpa dengannya itu?” Dia menjawab: “Itulah amalan solehmu yang engkau telah melemahkannya sehingga ianya tidak lagi mampu mengalahkan amalanmu yang buruk itu.” Maka aku pun berkata: “Wahai anakku, apakah yang kamu semua lakukan dibukit ini?” Dia menjawab: “Kanak-kanak orang Islam telah tinggal didalamnya sehinggalah ke hari kiamat. Kami pula menantikan kamu semua datang kepada kami, maka kami dapat membantu kamu semua.” Malik ibn Dinar pun berkata: “Maka aku pun terjaga dalam keadaan takut dan gementar. Maka aku pun memecahkan kesemua alat-alat yang digunakan dalam menentang Allah. Aku juga telah meninggalkan kesemua itu. Aku jua telah mengikatkan taubatku dengan Allah Taala, iaitu Taubat Nasuha. Maka Allah pun menerima taubatku itu.”
Dari itu, Malik ibn Dinar telah menukar kehidupannya seratus-peratus daru kehidupan dunia kepada kehidupan yang menuju keakhirat semata-mata. Suatu hari, Harits ibn Nabhan menghadiahkannya sebuah bejana yang dibuat dari kulit. Bejana tersebut disimpan oleh Malik ibn Dinar untuk beberapa ketika, namun kemudian dipulangkannya sambil berkata: Wahai Harits, ambillah kembali bejanamu ini, ianya telah membuat hatiku sibuk. Setiap kali aku memasuki masjid, syaitan datang dan membisikkan padaku bahawa bejana ini telah dicuri. Syaitan telah membuat hatiku sibuk memikirkannya.

Malik ibn Dinar, kehidupannya amat zuhud hatta didalam rumahnya hanya terdapat kitab-kitab dan pakaiannya, tanpa perabot dan lain-lain. Suatu hari, rumahnya dimasuki pencuri dan bila Malik ibn Dinar melihatnya, bertanya: "Apakah engkau menemukan sesuatu yang dihajati?" "Tidak": jawap pencuri yang terkejut melihat Malik Ibn Dinar. Lalu Malik Ibn Dinar berkata: "Berwuduklah dan sholat 2 rakaat". Sipencuri tersebut pun melakukannya. Kemudian Malik ibn Dinar membawanya kemasjid untuk bersholat jemaah. Ketika Malik ibn Dinar ditanya siapa lelaki yang bersamanya, beliau menjawab: "Dia datang untuk mencuri tetapi dia yang kena curi (hatinya dicuri dari dunia untuk beralih kepada akhirat)".

Malik Ibn Dinar rah. meninggal pada tahun 131H / 748 M diBasrah. Semoga Allah merahmati beliau.


Syaikh Abdul Qadir Al-Jailani

Part - 3 / Part - 4 / Part - 5 / Part - 6 / Part - 7 / Part - 8 / Part - 9 / Part - 10 / Part - 11

Nama lengkap Syaikh Abdul Qadir Al-Jailani mengikut salsilah ayahnya adalah Abu Muhamad Abdul Qadir bin Abu Shalih  Musa bin Jankidaous bin Musa At-Tsani bin Abdullah bin Musaal-Jun bin Abdullah al-Mahdi bin Hassan al-Mutsana bin Hasan bin Ali ra. Bin Abu Thalib. Manakala nama mengikut salsilah ibunya adalah Syarifah Fatimah binti Sayid Abdillah Ashshuma’I az-zahid bin Abi Jamaluddin Muhammad bin Sayid Kamaluddin Isa bin Alauddin Muhamad Al-Jawad bin Sayid Ridha bin Sayid Musa al Khadim bin Sayid Ja’far Ash-Shadiq bin Sayid Muhamad al-Baqir bin Sayid Zainal Abidin bin Sayid al-Husain bin Sayid Ali bin Abi Thalib.

Dilahirkan di Naif, Jailan (daerah Iran selatan laut qazwan) pada 1 ramadhan 470H/1077M, dizaman pertengahan pemerintahan Daulah Abbasiyah IV (bani Saljuk Turki). Sedari berusia kecil, beliau telah dididik dalam lingkungan para solehan iaitu didikan kaum sufi yang hidup serba sederhana. Beliau yang sedari kecinya kehilangan ayahnya juga mendapat julukan Sulthan Al-Auliya (pemimpin para wali).

Salah satu kisah yang termasyhur tentang Syaikh Abdul Qadir Jailani adalah ketika beliau hendak berangkat menuntut ilmu keBaghdad, dimana di riwayatkan bahawa ibunda beliau memberinya beliau wang saku 40 keping emas yang dijahit didalam saku bajunya. Beliau yang amat mentaati ibundanya dinasihatkan oleh ibundanya sebelum berangkat agar dia jujur dan tidak berdusta dalam keadaan apa pun. Semasa dipertengahan jalanan keHamadan, kabilah yang diikui Syaikh Abdul Qadir Jailani diserang oleh perompak. Semua harta kabilah tersebut, dirampas oleh para perampok, akan tetapi tidak dengan beliau, kerana penampilannya yang sederhana mengambarkan beliau tidak memiliki apa-apa. Hanya-sanya bila salah seorang dari perompak bertanya apakah beliau mempunyai wang, beliau menjawab dengan jujur bahawa beliau membawa 40 keping wang emas disaku bajunya. Para perompak mulanya tidak mempercayai tetapi bila terbukti benar apa yang dikatakan, semua para perompak terpegun dengan kejujuran Syaikh Abdul Qadir Jailani. Syaikh Abdul Qadir Jailani memberitahu bahawa dia mendapat pesan dari ibundanya agar selalu jujur dalam keadaan apapun, dan jika berdusta maka Ilmunya tidak akan bermanfaat. Diatas asbab kejujuran beliau, Allah telah memberi hidayat dimana para-para perompak tersebut kemudiannya bertaubat.

Semasa diBagdad, beliau belajar daripada beberapa ulama seperti Ibnu Aqil, Abul Khatthath, Abul Husein Al Farra dan juga Abu Saad Al Mukharrimi, sehingga kemudian beliau mampu menguasai ilmu-ilmu ushul dan juga perbezaan-perbezaan pendapat antara para-para ulama. Abu Saad Al Mukharrimi yang membangunkan sebuah madrasa, telah menyerahkan madrasa tersebut untuk dikelolakan oleh Syaikh Abdul Qadir Jailanai, dimana kemudiannya madrasa tersebut diperbesarkan untuk menampung jumlah murid-murid beliau yang sentiasa bertambah.

Ketika Ibnu Qudamah rah. ditanya tentang Syaikh Abdul Qadir Al Jailani, beliau menjawab, "Kami sempat berjumpa dengan beliau dimasa akhir hayatnya. Beliau menempatkan kami disekolahnya. Beliau sangat memberi perhatian kepada kami. Kadang-kadang beliau mengutuskan anak beliau, Yahya, untuk menyalakan lampu buat kami serta mengirimkan makanan buat kami. Beliau juga sentiasa menjadi imam dalam shalat fardhu."

Syaikh Abdul Qadir Al Jailani yang wafat pada 11 Rabi' al-Thani ( 561H / 1166M) telah meninggalkan ramai anak-anak muridnya yang sebahagian menjadi ulama terkenal, seperti Al Hafidz Abdul Ghani yang menyusun Umdatul Ahkam Fi Kalami Khairil Anam, Ibnu Qudamah penyusun kitab fiqh terkenal Al Mughni dan lain-lain.

Selain dari itu, Syeikh Abdul Qadir Jailani yang bermazhab Hanbali serta bermanhaj Salaf disisi aqidahnya (tanpa takwil) sebagaimana tercatit dalam kitabnya Al-Ghunyah juga dikenal sebagai pendiri sekaligus penyebar salah satu tariqat yang memiliki pengikut terbesar didunia bernama Tariqat Qadiriyah.


Jihad nafs - 2

The Arabic word "jihad" is a noun. Its singular past tense verb is "jahada" (masculine) or "jahadat" (feminine). The singular active participle of "jihad" is "mujahid" (masculine) or "mujahida"(feminine). The root of the word "jihad" is "juhd" which means "effort." Another related word is "ijtihad"which means "working hard or diligently."

Jihad is simply the process of "exerting the best efforts," involving some form of "struggle" and "resistance," to achieve a particular goal. In other words, jihad is the struggle against, or resistance to, something for the sake of a goal. The meaning of the word is independent of the nature of the invested efforts or the sought goal.

Contrary to common belief, the word "jihad" does not necessarily imply any violent effort, let alone "war" and such instances of extreme violence. It is a general term that can mean violent as well as peaceful actions, depending on the context in which it is used, as we shall indeed see later. Similarly, "jihad" as a generic word can be used even when the sought goals are not Islamic, i.e. in non-religious contexts.

The Qur'an uses the verb of "jihad" in its generic meaning of "exerting the best efforts against something" in the following two verses:  And We have enjoined on man goodness to parents, but if they jahadaka (do jihad against you) to make you associate [a god] with Me, of which you have no knowledge [being a god], do not obey them. To Me is your return [O people!], so I shall inform you of your past deeds (29.8).

And We have enjoined on man to be good to his parents; his mother bears him in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years; and that [you must] be grateful to Me and to both your parents. To Me is the eventual coming (31.14). And if they jahadaka (do jihad against you) to make you associate [a god] with Me, of which you have no knowledge [being a god], do not obey them, but keep company with them in this world kindly; and follow the way of he who turns to Me. Then to Me is your [O people!] return, then I shall inform you of your past deeds (31.15).

Jihad in the verses above refers to actions taken by non-Muslim parents against their Muslim offspring to force them to worship other than Allah. This goal goes against the message of Islam which teaches the oneness of God, Allah; obviously this kind of jihad is not Islamic. The verses above also confirm the already mentioned fact that jihad is not necessarily an act of violence.

It is worth noting that the verses above command the Muslims to remain kind and caring toward their parents, but to resist any attempt by the latter to force them to give up the Islamic tenet of monotheism in favor of some polytheistic belief.

"Jihad" in the Qur'an

Aside from its use of the term "jihad" in its generic meaning in the two verses above, the Qur'an uses "jihad" in another twenty eight verses in a specific meaning. In this case, the phrase "fi sabili Allah", which means "in the way of Allah" or "for the sake of Allah", either follows "jihad," or one of its derivatives, explicitly, or is implied by the context. 

Contrary to the common belief that is embodied in the misinterpretation of "jihad" as "holy war," Islamic jihad does not refer solely to fighting in the way of Allah. This, in fact, is a special case of jihad. The Qur'anic concept of jihad refers to exerting efforts, in the form of struggle against or resistance to something, for the sake of Allah. This effort can be fighting back armed aggression, but can also be resisting evil drives and desires in one's self. Even donating money to the needy is a form of jihad, as it involves struggling against one's selfishness and inner desire to keep one's money for one's own pleasures. Jihad can, therefore, be subdivided into armed jihad and peaceful jihad. Armed jihad, which is the subject of Chapter 4, is only temporary and is a response to armed aggression. Once the aggression has ceased, armed jihad comes to an end. Armed jihad, thus, can take place only when there is an aggressive, external enemy.

Causes of peaceful jihad, on the other hand, are always existent, which is why this form of jihad is permanent. One major form of peaceful jihad is the war of the Muslim against his "nafs," an Arabic term that may be translated as the "lower self," and which refers to the individual's inferior drives and evil motives. This most dangerous enemy never disappears, hence this war knows no end.

The other form of peaceful jihad involves every act of peaceful struggle undertaken by the Muslim against external sources of evil. Preaching the message of Islam in a hostile environment, opposing an evil act, and all such peaceful good actions are instances of jihad because they involve some form of resistance and struggle to achieve a good goal.

For instance, the Prophet's patience at the accusations and abuse that the disbelievers directed at him for preaching the Qur'an was peaceful jihad:  Therefore [O Muhammad!] be patient with what they say, and glorify your Lord by praising Him before the rising of the sun and before its setting, and during hours of the night do also glorify [Him], and during parts of the day, that you may be well satisfied (20.130).

It is interesting to note how the terms "jihad" and "Islam" relate to each other in Arabic and in the Qur'anic sense. Linguistically, the general term "jihad," which refers to "struggle" and "resistance," has almost exactly the opposite meaning of the general term "Islam," which means "surrender" or "submission." The Qur'anic "jihad," however, which is about resisting the lower self and other sources and forms of evil, is the route that the individual must take to attain the state of Qur'anic "Islam" or "submission to Allah."

Although Islamic jihad is a Qur'anic concept, the Qur'an, in reality, is rarely consulted for understanding this concept. The widespread misunderstanding of jihad can only be attributed to an endemic neglect of the Qur'an, not only by non-Muslims, but by Muslims as well. The Qur'an has charged Muslims with the responsibility of educating others about its message and disseminating its teachings. Unfortunately, Muslims have had a big share in propagating the common misunderstanding that jihad is all about violence. Many Muslims think that "jihad" means "holy war." It is a sad but undeniable fact that many Muslims learn about Islamic practices and concepts, such as jihad, from secondary, often unreliable, sources. It is not uncommon even for cultural beliefs and narratives to be among those sources.

Those who misunderstand the Qur'anic term jihad as armed jihad only have totally failed to notice, among other things, this particularly important fact: in the majority of verses in which the Qur'an talks about fighting the enemy, it uses variations of the word "qital," which means "fighting." Here are some examples, and we will encounter more later on: 
And qatilu (fight) [O you who believe!] in the way of Allah, and know that Allah is Hearing, Knowing (2.244).

Falyuqatil (then let) those who sell this world's life for the hereafter (fight) in the way of Allah. And whoever yuqatil (fights) in the way of Allah so he gets killed or turns victorious, We shall grant him a great reward (4.74).

Faqatil (then fight) [O Muhammad!] in the way of Allah; you are not held responsible but for yourself; and urge the believers [to fight]. May be Allah will restrain the might of the disbelievers; and Allah is greatest in might and greatest in punishment (4.84).
The term jihad actually refers to the more general concept of exerting efforts in the way of Allah, of which fighting the enemy, or armed jihad, is only one aspect. In Qur'anic terminology, it is wrong to equate the words "jihad" and "qital," as this reduces a broad concept to a more specific one.

Let's look at an example. The Qur'an refers in several verses to doing jihad with "one's properties and self," i.e. sacrificing one's properties and self in the cause of Islam, as in the following verse: 
The believers are those who believe in Allah and His Messenger, then do not doubt [the verity of Islam], and jahadu (do jihad) with their properties and selves in the way of Allah; those are the truthful (49.15).

It is simply wrong to suggest that the verb jahadu (do jihad) in this verse is equivalent to the verb qatalu (fight). Doing jihad with one's properties and self in the way of Allah covers every effort that the person exerts to please Allah. Even when such efforts are in connection with a war, they would include more than the act of fighting. In other words, jihad is more than armed jihad, which itself is more than just fighting. Going to war means coping with the fear of getting killed or seriously injured, overcoming concerns over the family and properties that the person left behind, losing earnings for being out of work during that time, and all such testing sacrifices.

Braving the heat of the desert sun when traveling to and from the battle field is one aspect of armed jihad that is different from fighting itself: Those who were left behind were glad to stay home and not join the Messenger of Allah. They were averse to yujahidu (do jihad) with their properties and selves, and said [to other Muslims]: "Do not go forth in the heat." Say [O Muhammad!]: "The fire of hell is far hotter," if they understand (9.81).

The following verses make the point absolutely clear. They detail a number of different forms of hardship involved in armed jihad; the act of fighting itself is only one of those hardships: 
It would not be fitting for the people of al-Madina and the Bedouin Arabs of the neighborhood to stay home and not join the Messenger of Allah, nor should they hold themselves back from doing what he wants them to do. That is because no thirst, fatigue, or hunger in the way of Allah afflicts them; no path they tread which angers the disbelievers; and no success they achieve against an enemy but a righteous deed is written down for them on account of it. Surely, Allah does not waste the reward of the doers of good (9.120). And they do not spend anything, small or great, or cut across a valley but it is written down for them [as a credit], that Allah may reward them according to the best of their past deeds (9.121).

Qital in the way of Allah is, thus, only one aspect of armed jihad. It is, however, the most prominent aspect and the climax of that form of jihad, which is why it is usually possible to use "qital in the way of Allah" and "armed jihad" interchangeably. Armed jihad in turn is one of two forms of jihad; the second is peaceful jihad.

So, one major aspect of the widespread misunderstanding of "jihad" is reducing it to "fighting in the way of Allah." What has made this confusion of "jihad" with "fighting" particularly disastrous is another serious misunderstanding, which is that of the characteristics of Islamic fighting, i.e. "fighting in the way of Allah." The erroneous view of the Qur'anic concept of fighting in the way of Allah has been extended to the Qur'anic concept of jihad. Thus, the true Qur'anic meanings of "jihad" and "fighting in the way of Allah" have both been distorted.

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