Category Archives: Books

Stories of the Stupid and the Oblivious by Ibn Al-Jawzee

(Page 106, Dar-Al-Fikr 1990)

It is said that one community leader went to lead the community in Friday prayer.  He ascended the Mimbar (pulpit) and said “O people if you respect me, I will give you respect and if you consider me insignificant and disrespect me I will hold you less significant than this Fart (passing gas) and then he proceeded to fart while on the Mimbar (pulpit)! Continue reading

Stories of the Stupid and the Oblivious by Ibn Al-Jawzee

Stories of the Stupid and the Oblivious by Ibn Al-Jawzee

(Page 166, Dar-Al Fikr 1990)

narrated Ibn al-Faraj, my father said” I saw a man on corner of the street tickling himself to laugh.  I inquired what are you doing?  The man replied I felt sad so I wanted to laugh a little!

Translation and contribution for youth reformation:

Br Yassir Butt

Best to sometimes be quiet

Stories of the Stupid and the Oblivious by Ibn Al-Jawzee

(Page 157, Dar-Al Fikr 1990)

A man used to sit in Qadi Abu Yusuf’s Halaqa (the great student of Imam Abu-Hanifa).  This individual used to maintain silence at all times, till Abu Yusuf started to notice him and thought highly of him for his manners and respect.  So, one day Abu Yusuf asked him “Brother why don’t you speak to us and participate in our discussion of Fiqh”.  The individual replied “When does a Fasting person eat?”.  Abu Yusuf replied “When the Sun sets at Maghrib”.  The individual replied “What if the Sun does not set till midnight?”.  Abu Yusuf laughed and said “You were correct to keep quite in the Halaqa at all times, and I was wrong when I forced you to speak”.

Translation and contribution for youth reformation:

Br Yassir Butt

From: Stories of the Stupid and the Oblivious

Stories of the Stupid and the Oblivious by Ibn Al-Jawzee chapter 17

وعن الأصمعي قال‏:‏ خرج قوم من قريش إلى أرضهم وخرج معهم رجل من بني غفار فأصابهم ريح عاصف يئسوا معها من الحياة ثم سلموا فأعتق كل رجل منهم مملوكاً فقال ذلك الأعرابي‏:‏ اللهم لا مملوك لي أعتقه ولكن امرأتي طالق لوجهك ثلاثاً‏.‏

According to Al-Asmae: Some people from the from Quraish traveling back to their land were severely affected by strong wind to a point where they were not able to withstand it.  Finally, the wind subsided so they demonstrated their gratitude by freeing a slave they owned.  One person did not have a slave so he said” O Allah I do not own a slave yet I like to show gratitude therefore I am divorcing my wife for your sake three times!”

Translation and contribution for youth reformation:

Br Yassir Butt

from: Stories of the Stupid and the Oblivious

أخبار الحمقى والمغفلين

اسم المؤلف. أبو الفرج عبد الرحمن بن علي بن الجوزي.

الباب الثاني عشر في ذكر المغفلين من الأمراء والولاة

قال ابن خلف‏:‏ واختصم رجلان إلى بعض الولاة فلم يحسن أن يقضي بينهما فضربهما وقال‏:‏ الحمد لله الذي لم يفتني الظالم منهما‏.‏

Stories of the Stupid and the Oblivious by Ibn Al-Jawzee chapter 12 Continue reading

‘i learn from your ignorance’ (section)

Stories of the Stupid and Oblivious (people)

By Abu al-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi

عن أبي العيناء قال‏:‏ كان المدني في الصف من وراء الإمام فذكر الإمام شيئاً فقطع الصلاة وقدم المدني ليؤمهم فوقف طويلاً فلما أعيا الناس سبحوا له وهو لا يتحرك فنحوه وقدموا غيره فعاتبوه فقال‏:‏ ظننته يقول لي‏:‏ احفظ مكاني حتى أجيء‏.‏

Narrated Abee Al-Ainaa: Continue reading

nothing like a good book

Assalamu Alaikum,
I was wondering what scholars or Imams you would recommend for us to read? I remember at the conference you mentioned Imam Al Ghazali.
Time Sent: Monday June 1, 2009

وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته

A. Since you have used the word ‘scholars’ and ’imaams’ as a recommendation, we are rightfully (we hope) assuming that you want author names that are of excellent caliber. Thus we are to recommend the following for our varied audience:

For the non-fickle mined

Our all time favorites remain Allahma Suyuti and Allamah Qurtubi for Tafseer, Hajr Asqalanis work relating to Hadith makes superior reading for the well educated. For a basic understanding of Quran, Ibn Kathir proves well for non hanafee students, while the works of Allmah Mufti Muhammad Shafee proves well for those ascribing to the hanafee realm. Although each Tafseer scholar may translate the ayah in the same manner, rulings derived are inextricably linked to aspects of fiqh, etc.

Giving you something simple

For basic fiqh, shafee students must get hold of at least the translated copy of a book called Reliance of the traveler. It is an excelled book, a must have for shawafees. For hanafee students, the basic works of Imaam Quduri usually proves well. (For students not ascribing to a a mazhab, we welcome you to become your personal mujtahid, or you can chose to confuse yourself silly with data you can seldom decipher)

Nothing serious but yet genuine

For more casual reading, peruse through the works of Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyah and the commentaries of Imaam Nawai. Make sure that these works are direct translations of the original authors and not translated work filled with translator’s personal opinions claiming to be the works of Imaam Nawaee. Shamail-e-tirmizi makes excellent reading for people that are passionate about the description of our belovered Nabi (SAW). These authors’ names have passed the test of time and remain favorable for people that prefer classical works of the sincere predecessors.

Modern readers that want pass and present

For modern day works, lots of lay people read and you are welcome to read the works of Jalaluddeed Rumi, the scientific writings of Harun Yahya, historical presentations of Abul Hassan Ali Nadwi have been greatly accepted within the Arab and non-Arab world. Allmah Iqbals works have been accepted by both, Muslims and nonmuslims, mainly from its poetic vantage point. Hayatus sahaba makes excellent reading to educate people about the challenges of the sahaba went through in life. Many have been moved by this book as a result of sincere reading. It is also a good idea to attain the khutbas of the Imaams of Haramain – Mecca and Medinah-tul-munawarah. Their content can be very inspiring. To gain a pulse of everyday life westernized countries, read Khlid Baigs works: first things first.

Friendly reminder

Read books that inspire you, that enhance your spirituality. Always avoid books that push a particular narrow view of life upon you. Books that make you argue and debate with fellow Muslims should always be avoided.

Our audience is also welcome to send recommendations as to classy good books that aspire the spirit and mind to a positive intellectual level. We would prefer author names of people that have passed the test of time, and maintain a high Islamic and secular standing.

Allah Certainly Knows Best.

Coping with Hard Times

Q. Why is that all my good luck seems to go away. My family life is hanging on a thread, financially I am not what I used to be… every type of misfortune that ever existed seems to have now come my way… to help remove my distress, please help me…

A. Various types of patience exist in our noble religion. Three are usually mentioned by the scholars.

  • The first type of patience is found with those working constantly to fulfill one’s obligations while simultaneously striving to do righteous deeds in all occurrences.
  • The second is the type of patience a person exercises in abstaining from actions that are prohibited.
  • Whilst the third type of patience is the one that seems to be the type of patience you are being called upon to exercise; this is when a person practices patience (during times of hardship) without complaints.

One must not complain because Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) has brought this difficulty for a reason.  It has afflicted all of our honourable predecessors, including Prophets (peace be upon them all).  Sayidinah Ayub (alayhis salaam) was a man who had a great family, with many children, and maintained a profound level of wealth — it was in the form of animals as well as property.  Gradually, Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) took away all of his belongings until he was left with very little.  Never did Ayub (alayhis salaam) complain against ALlah (SWT).  Shaytan was hardship for humans, and craves for a believer to be become despondent. Rather, Ayub (alayhis salaam) states: ‘Harm has afflicted me, and You the most Merciful of the merciful.’ Shaytann resents suchs claims; rather than human losing courage, shaytaan is asked to depart in grief. (ibn Kathir)

So, my brother, to endure is part of sunnah — sunnah of all the prophets. Every prophet went through a test, and as believers we realize, people that chose a prophetic way of life would also be called upon to go through various types of tests…. So stay strong. May Allah make things easy for you and all believing people.
If there is a book you would like to read to help endure your misfortunes, let me recommend the book by the name of “Don’t be Sad,” by Aaidh ibn Abdullah al-Qarni:

At a time in which the Muslims are beset with trials from every periphery and within, comes this heartening book rooted in the commandments of Allah (swt), the Sunnah and the excellent guidance and examples of the Muslims that have come before us.

Don’t Be Sad is an absolute must-read for all people. It is full of practical advice on how to replace sadness with a pragmatic and ultimately satisfying Islamic outlook on life. It exposes to the modern reader how Islam teaches us to deal with the tests and tribulations of this world.

So, take heart and hold firmly onto the rope of Allah (swt).