ZHUD- by the Doctor of the Hearts Ibn Qayum Al’Jawziyah Translated by Taalib ibn Tyson Al’Britaani

as salaam alaikum wa rahmtulaahi wa baraktuhu

A few years ago I was asked by Taalib ibn Tyson to proof read this piece of transaltion that he has undertaken.It was an immense blessing for me to be able to read this work and introduced and affirmed things that were and needed to be enhance in my heart.

Inshallah I hope Taalib is gracious about me posting this in this special months, I am not able to contact him unless I see his mum later in Portobello Road.

May Allah reward him  700 times for each word he translate ameen and enable him to put this practice of ZHUD in practice with balance and truth ameen

A Series of the purification of the soul.

  الزهد

Renouncing the World and

Doing without the pleasures of the world

 

من كتاب مداراج السالكين

Extracted from the book

The steps the seeker of the truth has to take.

 

من  طبيب القلوب ابن قيم الجوزية

By the great doctor of the Hearts

Ibn Qayum Al’Jowziyah

 

Translated by Taalib ibn Tyson Al’Britaani

ترجمة طالب ابن تايسون البريطاني

 

                                  Contents

Author’s Biography………………………………………….3

Introduction…………………………………….……………5

Renouncing the world……………….…………..…………..16

The conclusion and the definitions of Zuhd…….…………33

First definition of Zuhd…………….……………….……….37

Second definition of Zuhd..…………………………………43

Third definition of Zuhd…….………………………………..47

Author’s Biography

His name is Shams Al Deen Abu Abdullah Muhammed Ibn Al’Qayim, commonly known as Ibn Qayim Al’Jowziyah.

He was born in the year 691H (1292-1350 ce) and was raised in a house of knowledge and excellence and at a time when knowledge flourished. He studied under many Scholars of his time.

He was known as an eminent Scholar of the Quraan, Hadith, Arabic language and Fiqh and principles of jurisprudence.

He was known for his inspiring and moving writings. He was born inDamascuswhere he studied with his teacher Ibn Taymiyyah for sixteen years which had a great impact upon him, and became his most distinguished student. He also has written over sixty books.

He had many known students such as Ibn Katheer, Ibn Rajab, and Shamsud’Deen Muhammed Ibn Adbul’Qaadir and Imaam Ath’Thahbi, also Taqiy’ed’Deen As’Subki and Ibn Abdul Haadi and others. He passed on to the mercy of his Lord 13 of Rajab in the year 751H (1350 ce)

 

A Series of the purification of the soul.

الزهد

Renouncing the World and

Doing without the pleasures of the world

Preoccupation with this world is very apparent in our times, when material greed and the desire to acquire more worthless goods have become widespread; we are now running after trade, manufacturing and shares and have completely forgotten about the salvation of our souls. One of the most important tasks for which prophet Muhammed was sent to this nation was, for the purification of the soul.

Allah says about Prophets Mohammed’s task:

الَّذِي بَعَثَ فِي الْأُمِّيِّينَ رَسُولًا مِنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آَيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِنْ كَانُوا مِنْ قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ

(He it is who sent among you the unlettered one a messenger (Muhammed) from among yourselves, reciting to them His verses, purifying them and teaching them the book and the wisdom even though before they were clearly in error)

(Suratul Jamu’ah 2)[1]

So this verse shows one of the reasons why the Honourable prophet was sent (i.e. for the purification of the soul.)

Zuhd (doing without the pleasures of the world) is one of the greatest ways to purify one soul.

Living simply means you should restrain your desires for worldly things in a hope of receiving something better instead.

In order to achieve this more easily you should realise that the things which people yearn for in this world are in fact worthless when compared with what we hope for in the next life.

If we know that what Allah has will remain and that the life to come is better and more lasting, then we realise that the life of this world is really like a piece of ice left out in the sun, it soon melts and vanishes.

But, the next life, however essentially never vanishes. We most learn to withdraw from the life of this world even though we still have a great desire for it in our hearts.

The self is always preoccupied with the life of this world, even though we struggle with it and try to restrain from it.

We must learn to detach ourselves from this world and to do without it.

 Once someone called out to Ibn Al’ Mubarak saying “O Zaahid!” (O the one who has renounced the world)

Ibn Al Mubarak replied:

“The real Zaahid is Umar ibn Abdul Azeez[2] for indeed he rejected the tremendous pleasures and riches of this world that were placed at his feet, where as I, I have very little to give up.”[3]

So O dear brothers and sister may Allah guide me and you, we most learn to withdraw from the life of this world even though we still have a great desire for it.

The self is always preoccupied with the life of this world, so we must struggle with it and try to restrain from it as much as we can, we must learn to detach ourselves from it and to do without it.

As our righteous predecessors, have often quoted this verse of poetry:

O people who take pleasure

In a world that will vanish,

Falling in love

With a fading shadow

Is sheer stupidity![4]

One of the things to which this life can most easily be compared is a shadow, it appears to be permanent, but in reality it is in a constant state of growing smaller or larger, and when you try to chase it and catch it- you cannot!

The one who loves the life of this world and prefers it to the next life is the lowest of creation and the least intelligent: he prefers illusion to reality.

Whoever is preoccupied with this life, Allah will make poverty apparent in his eyes, and whoever is preoccupied with the next life, Allah will place wealth within his heart.

Brother and sisters, seekers of the truth know, that love for the life of this world leads to over-emphasising its importance, when it is insignificant in the sight of Allah the Exalted.

It is one of greatest wrong actions to attach importance to what Allah considers trivial. The one who has great love for the life of this world is the one who suffers the most, his is suffering in the life of this world itself as a result of his striving to achieve worldly gains and his completing with its people over it, and He also suffers in his grave?

Because, he missed out in this life and regrets his lost opportunities, for now he is on his way to meet his Lord Allah in such a state that he wishes he will never meet him.

So dear brothers and sisters love for the life of this world makes the servant became preoccupied with it and prevents him from undertaking actions which will benefit him in the next world.

Allah has condemned it (i.e. this life). He dislikes and disapproves of it, except for whatever it contains that is duly His. Whoever loves what Allah condemns, dislikes and disapproves of, has left himself open to confusion and temptation, as well as to His disapproval and anger.

Brothers and sisters, the more we love the life of this world the more we make it our pleasures and achievement and the main goal in our lives. So in order to require more of it, we will utilise all ways and means to require it, which in fact Allah has provided it for us in order to lead us to him and the next life. We have become rebellious against what Allah intended us to strive to achieve.

We make the means an end in itself, and we use the means that should lead to the next life to acquire the pleasure of this world, and this is a great perversion of what these means were intended for.

The holy prophet as well as teaching us how to pray, has taught us how to fast, how to perform hajj as well as umrah and the likes. He has also taught us how to get closer to our Lord.

One of these ways, was through purification of the soul(i.e. Zuhd in abstaining from the life of this world), We must learn, not only to follow the conduct of the Prophet in ritual acts of worship but also in spiritual acts of worship which consist of  purifying ones soul(Zuhd.) Something many of us have neglected, except those Allah’s has mercy upon.

We most go back to the way our noble Prophet lived his life and how he was with regards to his Lord, and how he instructed his Ummah/Musim nation with regards to the Zuhd.

In a slow process and over a long period of time, I have come to realises, that is of one of the biggest problems in my life is (i.e. Zuhd abstaining from the life of this short world.) I therefore thought in adequate to try with the Allah’s help, to purify my soul from this disease. And in my search for the purification of my soul a came across many beneficial works in Arabic which have not yet been translated into English by some of the greatest scholars, Islaam has over seen.

All the praises are due to Allah, because He guided me to this work which I found in my search journey and quest for the betterment of myself and for the revival of my soul.

When I acknowledged my weakness, I also acknowledged that my beloved brothers and sisters are, also with regret, sharing in the same suffering I am.

I thought it befitting then, to address the problem we were all facing, being that we are trying to become more repentant and better upon our religion. I ask Allah that this work is a proof for me and not against me I ask Allah by his greatest Names, that He make it be a benefit for my brothers and sisters, indeed He has the power to do all things. I would like to thank Sulimaan Bin Haroon for assisting me with this work and thank those who have helped me in going over this work and I ask Allah to reward you all greatly and I thank my beloved mother (Umm Taalib) who has carried me this way and is still carrying me (by the grace of Allah) and also my noble sister who has helped my mum to also carry me. All foot notes were added by me. Lastly I thank my close brother Abdul Haqq kufi for requesting from me to put some stuff up on there website, may Allah reward him and the brothers working on the site.

طالب بن تايسون البريطاني

Taalib Ibn Tyson Al’Britaani

الاردن – عمان

‘Ammaan, Jordan

Oct/27/2006

المقدمة :

إن الحمد لله ، نحمده ونستعينه ونستغفره ، ونعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا ومن سيئات أعمالنا ، ومن يهده الله فلا مضل له ، ومن يضلل فلا هادي له ، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له ، وأشهد أن محمدا عبده ورسوله .

Indeed all praises are due to Allah. We praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from our evil souls and our wrong doings. He whom Allah guides, no one can misguide and He whom He misguides, no one      can guide.

I bear witness that there is no true god except Allah alone without any partners. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His ‘Abd (servant) and Messenger.

(يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ)                

“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared

and die not except in a state of submission.”    

(Aali-Imraan 102)

 

(يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ مِنْ نَفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالاً كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاءً وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءَلُونَ بِهِ وَاْلأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا)

 

“O mankind! Be dutiful to Your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from him created its mate, and from them both He created many men and women; and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual rights and do not sever the relations of the wombs (Kindship) Indeed, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you.”

(An-Nisaa1)

(يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلاً سَدِيدًا يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا

“O you who believe! Fear Allah and say just words. He will

direct you to do good deeds and forgive you your sins. He who obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly achieved a great victory.”

(Al-Ahzaab 70-71)

أما بعد :

فإن أصدق الحديث كتاب الله ، وخير الهدي هدي محمد ، وشر الأمور محدثاتها ،وكل محدثة بدعة ، وكل بدعة ضلالة وكل ضلالة في النار .

Verily, the best speech is Allah’s Speech and the best of guidance is Muhammad’s guidance and the worst matters (in creed or worship) are those innovated (by the people), for every innovated matter is a bid’ah (prohibited innovation), and every bid’ah is an act of misguidance that (whoever initiated it) will reside in the fire.[5]

 

A full discussion of the various reports of this sermon is provided by Shaykh Al-Albani in his booklet, “Khutba tul Haajah”, published by Al-Maktab ul Islaami,Beirut.

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

     (You alone we worship you alone we ask for help)

(Suratul Faatiha 5)

Allah says in noble Quraan:

مَا عِنْدَكُمْ يَنْفَدُ وَمَا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ بَاق

(Whatever is with you, will be exhausted, and whatever is with Allah (of good deeds) will remain.)

(Suratul Nahl 96)

Allah the Exalted also says:

 اعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ وَزِينَةٌ وَتَفَاخُرٌ بَيْنَكُمْ وَتَكَاثُرٌ فِي الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَوْلَادِ كَمَثَلِ غَيْثٍ أَعْجَبَ الْكُفَّارَ نَبَاتُهُ ثُمَّ يَهِيجُ فَتَرَاهُ مُصْفَرًّا ثُمَّ يَكُونُ حُطَامًا وَفِي الْآَخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانٌ وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا مَتَاعُ الْغُرُورِ

(Know that the life of this world is play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children, as the likeness of vegetation after rain, thereof the growth is pleasing to the tiller; afterwards it dries up and you see it turning yellow; then it becomes straw. But in the hereafter (there is) a severe torment (for the disbelievers-evil doers,) and (there is) Forgiveness from Allah and (His) good pleasure for the believers-good doers) whereas the life of this word is only a deceiving enjoyment.)

(Soratul Hadeed 20)

Allah also says about this Dunya/life of this world:    

إِنَّمَا مَثَلُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا كَمَاءٍ أَنْزَلْنَاهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ فَاخْتَلَطَ بِهِ نَبَاتُ الْأَرْضِ مِمَّا يَأْكُلُ النَّاسُ وَالْأَنْعَامُ حَتَّى إِذَا أَخَذَتِ الْأَرْضُ زُخْرُفَهَا وَازَّيَّنَتْ وَظَنَّ أَهْلُهَا أَنَّهُمْ قَادِرُونَ عَلَيْهَا أَتَاهَا أَمْرُنَا لَيْلًا أَوْ نَهَارًا فَجَعَلْنَاهَا حَصِيدًا كَأَنْ لَمْ تَغْنَ بِالْأَمْسِ كَذَلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الْآَيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

(Verily the likeness of (this) worldly life is as the rain which We send down from the sky, so by it arises the intermingled produce of the earth which men and cattle eat until when the earth is clad with its adornments and is beautified, and its people think they have all the power of disposal over it, Our Command reaches it by night or day and We make it like a clean-mown harvest, as if it had not flourished yesterday!)

(Suratul Yunus 24)

Allah also says:

وَاضْرِبْ لَهُمْ مَثَلَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا كَمَاءٍ أَنْزَلْنَاهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ فَاخْتَلَطَ بِهِ نَبَاتُ الْأَرْضِ فَأَصْبَحَ هَشِيمًا تَذْرُوهُ الرِّيَاحُ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ مُقْتَدِرًا الْمَالُ وَالْبَنُونَ زِينَةُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَالْبَاقِيَاتُ الصَّالِحَاتُ خَيْرٌ عِنْدَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَابًا وَخَيْرٌ أَمَلًا

(And put forward to them the example of the life of this world, it is like the water(rain) which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it, and becomes dry and broken pieces, which the wind scatters. And Allah is able to do everything. Wealth and children are the adornments of the life of this world. But the good righteous deeds that last, are better in your Lords sight for reward and better in respect of hope.)

(Suratul Kahf 45-46)

Allah the Exalted also says:

قُلْ مَتَاعُ الدُّنْيَا قَلِيلٌ وَالْآَخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لِمَنِ اتَّقَى

(Say: “Short is the enjoyment of this world, The Hereafter is (far) better for him who fears Allah.)

(Soratu Nisaa 77)

Allah also says:

بَلْ تُؤْثِرُونَ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا وَالْآَخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَى

(Nay, you prefer the life of this world. Although the Hereafter is better and more lasting.)

(Suratul Ghashiyah 16-17)

Allah also says:

 وَلَا تَمُدَّنَّ عَيْنَيْكَ إِلَى مَا مَتَّعْنَا بِهِ أَزْوَاجًا مِنْهُمْ زَهْرَةَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا لِنَفْتِنَهُمْ فِيهِ وَرِزْقُ رَبِّكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَى

(And strain not tour eyes in longing for the things We have given for enjoyment to various groups of them (polytheist and disbelievers in the oneness of Allah,) the splendour of the life of this world that We may test them thereby. But the provisions (good reward in the Hereafter) of your Lord is better and more lasting)

(Suratu Ta-Ha 131)

Allah the Exalted also says:

إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا مَا عَلَى الْأَرْضِ زِينَةً لَهَا لِنَبْلُوَهُمْ أَيُّهُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا وَإِنَّا لَجَاعِلُونَ مَا عَلَيْهَا صَعِيدًا جُرُزًا

(Verily! We have made that which is on the earth as an adoration for it, in order that We may test them (mankind) which of them is best in deeds. And Verily! We shall make all that is on (the earth) a bare dry soil (without vegetation or trees.)

(Suratul Kahf 7-8)

Allah the Exalted also says:

وَلَوْلَا أَنْ يَكُونَ النَّاسُ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً لَجَعَلْنَا لِمَنْ يَكْفُرُ بِالرَّحْمَنِ لِبُيُوتِهِمْ سُقُفًا مِنْ فَضَّةٍ وَمَعَارِجَ عَلَيْهَا يَظْهَرُونَ وَلِبُيُوتِهِمْ أَبْوَابًا وَسُرُرًا عَلَيْهَا يَتَّكِئُونَ وَزُخْرُفًا وَإِنْ كُلُّ ذَلِكَ لَمَّا مَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَالْآَخِرَةُ عِنْدَ رَبِّكَ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ

(And were in not that all mankind would become of one community (all disbelievers, desiring worldly life only,) We would have provided for those who disbelievers in the Most Beneficent (Allah,) silver roofs for their houses, and elevators (and stair-ways etc of silver) whereby to mount. And for their houses, doors (of silver,) and thrones (of silver) on which they could recline. And adornments of gold. Yet all this (i.e. the roofs, doors, stairs, elevators, thrones etc of their houses) would have been an enjoyment of this world And the Hereafter with your Lords only for the pious and righteous person.)

(Suratul Zukhruf 33-35)

In many places the Holy Quraan refers to one renouncing the life of this world and informing us of the lowliness, worthlessness and insignificance of it, and it finally coming to an end.

And encouraging the believers and exhorting them and placing in them an awaking desire for the next life, and explaining it pleasures and delights and forever lasting bliss.

So if Allah wants good for His Slave, He shows His Slave the reality of this debased and fleeting life, and which of the two should take precedence over the other (i.e. this life or the next life).

Many have defined the meaning of Zuhd and are as follows:

I heard Ibn Taymiyyah say about Zuhd:

Zuhd is to leave alone those things that will not benefit you in the next life.

 

الورع  And Wara’a/piety, is to leave the things you fear might harm in the next life.

And this so far has been the best explanation, of the meaning of Zuhd and Wara’a.

 

Sufiyan At’Thu’RI said about Zuhd:

Zuhd is to have limited amount of expectations (very few hopes.) and Zuhd isn’t eating rough foods as many think or wearing a cheap gown or cloak.

 

And with regards to Zuhd, Allah the Exalted says in holy the Quraan:

لِكَيْ لَا تَأْسَوْا عَلَى مَا فَاتَكُمْ وَلَا تَفْرَحُوا بِمَا آَتَاكُمْ وَاللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُورٍ

 

(In order that you may not be sad over matters that you fall to get, nor rejoice because of that which has been given to you. And Allah likes not prideful boasters)

(Suratul Hadeed 23)

So Zuhd here in this verse is defined as, not being to over joyful at the presents of the things of the life of this world (in having these things) and not to regret at what has passed you (meaning, what you might of lost or that which never came your way.)

Ibn ja’laal said:

Zuhd is to know that this life is temporal, and that it will pass away and, to not magnify it in ones heart, and to turn away from it and not focus too much on it.

It is said Zuhd means to refrain from this Dunya/world, without showing off.

Ja’need also said:

Zuhd means to free the heart from always wanting.

Imam Ahmed said:

Zuhd is to not have too many expectations.

And also Imam Ahmed said:

Zuhd in this world is to not be to over joyed with what one possesses.   And not to be distressed at turning away from it. So he (Imaam Ahmed) was also asked about a man, who had one thousand Dirham, could such an individual be considered Zaa’hid? (I.e. one who renounces this world.) So, Imam Ahmed said: Yes. But with one condition, that is, if his wealth increases his doesn’t become too joyful and if it decreases he doesn’t become distressed and unhappy.

The great Ibn Mubarak said regarding Zuhd:

It is having trust in Allah, and being content in times of poverty.

Also Abdul Waahid Ibn Zaid said:

Zuhd can be practised by one, even if he only has one diner or dirham.

Abi Sulimaan Daa’raani said:

Zuhd means, to leave those things that distract you from Allah the Exalted and High, and many others (Ulama) have also said this statement.

Also Ruweem Ju’naid said regarding Zuhd:

It is to belittle the Dunya.

And to wipe away it traits from ones heart.

Thew Nune said about Zuhd:

Zuhd is controlling ones Nafs/one desires.

Imaam Ahmed said Zuhd can be defined in three ways:

(1) In leaving the Haram/impermissible things.

(2) Leaving the preferred things even thou Halal.

(3) Leaving the things that distract you from Allah.

(1)The first mentioned Zuhd above of the three, is the Zuhd of the command people (leaving the impermissible things.)

(2)The second type is Zuhd is through leaving the Halal that is not beneficial, and this is the Zuhd of the special ones (steadfast and upright believers).

(3) The third type of Zuhd is the Zuhd of leaving every thing. This is the Zuhd of those knowledgeable ones (those grounded in knowledge).

Imaam Ahmed’s statement is the same as what we have mentioned previously by other ulama/scholars but he explains it more in detail.

So there are six things in which if the Slave doesn’t have them, or do them, doesn’t deserve the title of Zaahid/one who renounces the world:

(1) Moderation In one spending there wealth.

(2) Lack of longing for leadership.

(3) Moderation in ones appearance.

(4) One mixing too much with the people.

(5) One learning to control his desires.

(6) Moderation in things not concerning Allah

And this doesn’t mean refusing leadership such as being a King and the likes, because Prophet David/Dawood and his son, prophet sulimaan were of the noblest kings (ever to walk to earth) but both had renounced this world and at the same time both possessed masses of wealth, women and the things of this world.

And Prophet Muhammad, this one who had renounced this world also, and he had nine wives.

Also Ali Ibn Abi Taalib and also Adbul Rahmaan Ibn Awf and Zubeer and Uthmaan were these noble man known for renounced this (short) life.

And at the same time, these men were known to be wealthy man.

And also Hasan Ibn Ali was know amongst the companions to be one who renounced this (short) life regardless of the fact that he loved woman and to marry them.

Also Ibn Mubarak was know for his Zuhd, even thou in was known that he possessed great wealth.

And layth Ibn Sad was known also to be of those who practised Zuhd, and he possessed great wealth also.

That which seems to be the best out of the sayings of the best definition of the word Zuhd/renouncing the world, is the statement of great imaam of the Sunna Hasan Al’Busri who said:

Zuhd is not by making the permissible impermissible or by wasting ones money.

But, rather Zuhd is that you acknowledge that what Allah the Exalted has (i.e. in stall for the doers of good) is better then what you have (i.e. what Allah possesses is better than what you possess.)

TheUlama/ Scholars have differed weather or not one could practise Zuhd in our age and time?

Abu Hafs said regarding Zuhd:

There will not be any Zuhd except in the permissible things (i.e. one being moderate in the permissible things) and there are no permissible things in this Dunya/in this life.

Many people (Scholars) differ with this definition by Abu Hafs and said rather opposite to this!

They say that there is permissible things in this Dunya/life, and also a lot of impermissible things (meaning, that taking something of this life is like the eating of dead meat, you should just eat what is necessary and so is the case with this life.)

Yusif Ibn As’bart said:

If I was informed that so and so had reach the level in Zuhd that Abu thar did or that they had reached the level of Abu dar’dar in Zuhd or the level of Sulimaan or Mikdaad or the likes of these noble companions of the prophet Muhammed, then a would regard this individual as being one who practises Zuhd. Because the Halal/permissible things in our times are not clear but if you do Haraam, Allah will punish you.

A group of Scholars have said no rather, Zuhd can only be in the permissible things (i.e. even thou these things are permissible, it is recommended to leave and abstain in these things alone,) as for the impermissible things, then there is no zuhd/ abstinence in these things? Because one has to abstain from these things.

Another group of scholars have disagreed with the fact that Zuhd can not be except in the permissible things. They say, rather, zuhd can only be achieved by abstaining from the impermissible.

They say as for the permissible things, then these are things Allah has favoured and he has bestowed upon His Slaves, and he loves to see his Favours, he grants to his Slaves apparent on his Slaves.

He loves to see His Slaves thankful and to use his bestowed Favourers upon them in ways which will aid the slave upon obedience to him, and also the slave uses it as a means to help himself to get to Jina/paradise.

The Conclusion:

So if the permissible things distract the slave way from Allah, then it is preferred for the slave to abstain from them.

So if the slave sees that these permissible acts aid him and strengthen his relationship between and Allah, and increase him in being thankful to Allah, then this better to continual doing them.

So if the slave was to refrain from doing the afore mentioned things, he would be denying the heart much good, which needs and longs for such nourishment of the heart. And Allah knows best.

Definitions of Zuhd:

 

The Author of Ma’naazil Saa’ir’reen said regarding Zuhd/Abstance:

Zuhd means, to “completely abstaining” from what one desires. Meaning if he slave (craves or) desires a thing, he withholds, with the exception of things regarding his Lord, other than regarding ones Lord, one should refrain, and he should remove the urge from his heart and give up longing for this thing.           

As for the meaning “Completely abstaining,” then this means, he should pay no attention to what he is yearning for, and he should not be fascinated by his desires.

MEANS AND WAYS TO ACHIEVE ZUHD.

ZUHD CAN BE DIVIDED INTO THREE CATAGORIES:

 

(1) ZUHD/ABSTAINUNG FROM DOUBTFUL MATTERS:

(The slave will not be able to obtain Zuhd till he) avoids doubtful matters. Which will help him to avoid the impermissible matters and this is the first thing, secondly, the slave takes heed of Allah, to Allah’s admonition, and thirdly[6], realizes his own shortcoming, fourthly, the slave dislikes, spending his time with the evil, corrupt and sinning folk.

(2) ZUHD/ABSTAINING FROM THE PERMISSIBLE MATTERS:

(The Slave of Allah will not be able to obtain zuhd till he avoids the following,) firstly, till the slave is moderate in spending, secondly, till the slave spends his spare time in devotion (using his spare time to get closer the Allah,) thirdly, till the slave relieves himself from emotional anxiety, and lastly till the slave adores himself with the noble mannerism of the holy Prophets of Allah and the truthful ones.

 

 

 

 

(3) ZUHD/ABSTAING IN MATTERS OF ZUHD[7]

(The slave will not obtain Zuhd till he first avoids the following, firstly, till he slave gives up disregarding his Zuhd, secondly, the slave even thou he actualizes Zuhd, (he is moderate) when he gives and when he leaves. Thirdly, till the slave belittles the Dunya/ this world in his heart (I.e. he sees this Dunya as something small and of no value in his heart) lastly, that the slave realizes, Allah is the All-powerful, the giver and the taker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) ABSTAINING FROM THE DOUBTFUL MATTERS:

As for abstaining for the doubtful things, than it is that the slave leaves all the doubtful matters. Such as the slave being between to stations, and having the question, is this Halal or is this Haraam? And this is what comes in the Hadith of the messenger, when he said:

[What is lawful the clear and is unlawful is clear, but between them are certain doubtful things which many people do not know. So he guards who against doubtful things keeps his religion and his honour blameless. But he who falls into doubtful things falls into that which is unlawful, just as a shepherd who grazes his cattle in the vicinity of a pasture declared prohibited (by the King); he likely to stray into the pasture. Mind you, every king has a protected pasture and Allah’s involved limit is that which He has declared unlawful. Verily, there is a piece of flesh in the body, if it is healthy, the whole body is healthy, and if it is corrupt, the whole body is corrupt. Verily, it is the heart.[8] ]

 

 

 

 

The doubtful matters are those matters which are between Halal and Haraam. Allah the Exalted for the right reason, has made every thing with a partition (barrier or screen between it) just like he has made partition between life and death, (which is called the bar’zakبرزخ   or station in between life and death.)

Allah has also made between belief and disbelief a screen or partition, and He has made a screen between Jina and Jaar/ paradise and the hell-fire. And Allah the Exalted has made a barrier those doing Hajj, and made partition between Mina and Muz’delifa.[9]And He has made a screen (distance) between Mecca and Arafat.[10] And also Allah has made partition between farj (sunrise) and daybreak and He also has made between the night and day a screen.

FIRSTLY:

IMPERMISSIBLE MATTERS:

Meaning, one leaving doubtful matters, and one will not be able to avoid doubtful matters, till he first avoids the impermissible matters.

SECONDLY:

THE SLAVE TAKES HEED OF ALLAH’S ADMONITION:

 

Meaning, this could be a reason for the slave to leave doubtful matters.

So the slave is warned from turning away from Allah’s guidance.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THIRDLY:

REALIZING ONES SHORTCOMING:

This means, that the slave acknowledges between him and his Lord that he has many faults, and is falling very short with regards to his duties towards to his Lord.

And maybe, with regards to the people, he is not falling short, and this not something disliked (i.e. that the slave can conceal his faults and shortcomings from the eyes of the people.)

Infact this is what is recommended of the slave (to conceal his faults,) but, what is dispraised, is that the slave sins, and falls into error, due to the people (i.e. the slave falls into bad company and as a result he embarks many sins.)

FOURTHLY:

THE SLAVE DISLIKES SPENDING HIS TIME WITH THE CORRUPT AND SINNING FOLK:

 

 

(2)ZUHD/ABSTININCE IN THE PERMISSIBLE THINGS:

As for the slave being moderate in spending, then, the slave tries to spend on only what he will be in need, he doesn’t refrain from these accentuals  such as, his nourishment for his body, his clothing, his abode, marriage and the likes of.

If the slave becomes so busy in the worldly activities accumulating wealth with all his time, much of his time will be wasted, and he will barely make time for devotion to his Lord and sustainer.

The slave should take advantage of any time he has, and devote himself to his Lord.

Because, like is said: time is like a sword, if you do not cut it will cut you. (I.e. if you do not take control of it, it will take control of you, meaning, by cutting you.)

SECONDLY:

THE SLAVE SPENDS HIS TIME IN DEVOTION:

 

So, the slave should use all his time to get closer and closer to his Lord, meaning through his nourishment through (his food and his drink, and his world possessions,)

Through marriage through sleep, or his through resting, the slave brings himself closer to his Lord, but, with a condition, that the slave makes his intention to do these things for his Lords sake, hoping to be rewarded for doing them, and refraining from doing the things that invoke his anger upon his slave.

THIRDLY:

TILL THE SLAVE RELIEVES HIMELF FROM EMOTIONAL ANXIETY:

 

The slave tries to prevent those things that will cause distress and agitation in his heart, due to the affairs of this life, be it hope, love, fear, hatred, and his labouring.

So the slaves will not taste the sweetness of Zuhd, first, till he relieves himself from anxiety and distress of the heart.

 

So the slave’s heart should not be troubling him, and indeed Zuhd relieves the slave’s heart from this.

FOURTHLY:

THE SLAVE ADORES HIMSELF WITH THE MANNERISM OF THE HOLY PROPHETS AND THE TRUTHFUL ONES.

 

The slave should try to adore himself with the way the best of Allah’s creation did, the prophets, because they knew best how to live a life of Zuhd in this dunya/life.

 

 

 

 

 

(3)ZUHD IN MATTERS OF ZUHD:

FIRSTLY:

TILL THE SLAVE GIVES UP DISREGARDING HIS ZUHD/ABSTAINANCE OF THIS WORLD:

The slave should never underrate his striving in abstaining from all the afore mentioned things, one is advised to refrain from.

SECONDLY:

THE SLAVE WHEN HE ACTUALIZES ZUHD, HE IS (MODERATE) IN HIS GIVING AND IN HIS LEAVING:

 

The slave should be balanced when he is giving for the sake of Allah and also when he is leaving something for sake of Allah.

So if he takes something, in that, he is moderate and also, when the slave leaves something, in this to he shows modesty also.

Making the balance between the two, is a virtuous noble deed which has I high station in regards to giving and taking in Islaam, regardless of weather these deeds are deemed small and insignificant in the eyes of the people.

THIRDLY:

THE SLAVE BELITTLES THE DUNYA IN HEART.

The slave should belittle the life of this world in his heart, just the same, as his giving and leaving, he makes the balance between them.

So to does he, in his love for this world, so the slave, will realize and notice, that the more he shuns this dunya and turns away from it, the more Allah the Exalted raises the slaves rank and nobility (station to the foremost rank among His Slaves.)

And this is because the slave realized its true worth, he made in become something in his eyes and heart, of little value, so Allah the Exalted raises his rank to that of high excellence.

LASTLY:

THAT THE SLAVE REALIZES THAT ALLAH IS THE GIVER AND THE TAKER.

The slave should realize, that Allah, He is the giver (i.e. the provider) and the only one who taker (the one who possesses all,)so even if  the slave is giving, it is in fact Allah who has allowed this to happen by His Choice, so He is the Giver.

So if the slave receives any good, be it whatever, then, the slave should acknowledge, that this has come to him by way of his of his Lord (i.e. his Lord has bestowed this upon him.)

So whatever does not come to the slave know, Allah has not decreed that for him.


[1] Shayhk  Naasir As’Sa’di  says in his great Tafsir about this noble verse:

The Honorable prophet was sent to teach mankind (how to purify there souls) by having noble manners and to prevent them from despicable debased and low vices (i.e. preventing them from the deeds which corrupt the soul and encouraging them the deeds which purifying it and bring about its salvation.)

Tafsir Al’Kareem Mul’ Rahmaan p862 Suratul  Jamu’ah, Muwas’sa’sa’ Risaala.

[2] He was the great grandson of Umar Bin Khataab on his mother’s side and the grandson of Umayyad Khaleefah Marwan. He was known for his great piety and fear of Allah and his Zuhd.

[3] Ibn QayumTazkiya’Tul’Nufuus  Chapter of doing without the life of this world.

[4] Ibn Qayum Tazkiya’Tul’Nufuus chapter of the life of this world.

[5] Muslim

[6] These four, avoiding impermissible matters, taking heed to Allah’s Admonition and realizing ones shortcomings also not spending ones time with the sinners and corrupt the author will mention shortly on page 37 Inshallah

[7] The noble author will explain what he means hear shortly on page 47

[8] Bukhari and Muslim and others

[9] Two place in madinah that the one doing Hajj must visit., for further reference refer to This is how the Messenger preformed Hajj by Shaykh Bin Baz and also the rights of Hajj and Ummra by Shaykh Al’Abani  and also Hajj and Tawheed by Dr.Saleh As’Saleh.

[10] Ibid

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One thought on “ZHUD- by the Doctor of the Hearts Ibn Qayum Al’Jawziyah Translated by Taalib ibn Tyson Al’Britaani

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