Chapter: The characteristics of Iblis (Satan) and his soldiers
Volume 4, Book 54, Number 496 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Satan comes to one of you and says, ‘Who created so-and-so? ’till he says, ‘Who has created your Lord?’ So, when he inspires such a question, one should seek refuge with Allah and give up such thoughts.”
We’ve thought about this at least once in our lives – “If Allah created everything, who created Him?” This question is inherently false and self-contradictory. If we were to say – for the sake of argument – that someone created Allah, then you would ask, who created the creator of the Creator? Then, who created the creator of the creator of the creator?! And so on, ad infinitum. This is irrational and impossible.
All of creation goes back to the Creator Who created all things. No one created Him; He created everything other than Himself. This is what makes sense and is logical. This Creator is Allah, may He be glorified and exalted.
Read more on this here.
Volume 4, Book 54, Number 497 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “When the month of Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of the (Hell) Fire are closed, and the devils are chained.”
Volume 4, Book 54, Number 498 :
Narrated by Ubai bin Kab (radiallaahu `anhu)
That he heard Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saying, “(The prophet) Moses said to his attendant, “Bring us our early meal’ (18.62). The latter said, ‘Did you remember when we betook ourselves to the rock? I indeed forgot the fish and none but Satan made me forget to remember it.” (18.63) Moses did not feel tired till he had crossed the place which Allah ordered him to go to.”
Volume 4, Book 54, Number 499 :
Narrated by ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu)
I saw Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) pointing towards the east saying, “Lo! Afflictions will verily emerge hence; afflictions will verily emerge hence where the (side of the head of) Satan appears.”
We start Kitaab Bad’-ul-Khalq [Book of Beginning of Creation] in Volume 4 of Sahih al-Bukhari today, and what a coincidence it is that Dr. Farhat Hashmi resumed her Bukhari lectures from this exact book a month ago (after 18 years). If you’ve been tuning in to the live sessions or recordings, you know what I’m talking about. ;)
So inshaAllah for future posts, I’ll be listening to these lectures, taking notes, doing my own research and combining all that into this amazingness I’m proud to call my blog. :)
You can join me in this journey, listen to one recording (25 – 50 min) each week, read my blog, share your thoughts and let’s make Bukhari fun! Yeah?
Link for recordings (in Urdu): http://www.farhathashmi.com/hadith-section/sahih-bukhari/
Select no. 13 (کتاب بدء الخلق) from the drop-down menu and listen to the first audio before reading this post. It’s only 35 minutes long and we cover the first three ahadith in it. Use this website for free Sahih Bukhari Arabic and English text if you don’t have the hard copy.
Feel free to comment below if you’ve got any questions or suggestions. For now, we begin. :)
The first chapter of this book is related to this statement of Allah:
وَهُوَ الَّذِي يَبْدَأُ الْخَلْقَ ثُمَّ يُعِيدُهُ وَهُوَ أَهْوَنُ عَلَيْهِ ۚ وَلَهُ الْمَثَلُ الْأَعْلَىٰ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
“And it is He who begins creation; then He repeats it, and that is [even] easier for Him. To Him belongs the highest attribute in the heavens and earth. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” [30:27]
Allah is the One who was there when nothing else was. He began creation. And it’ll be even easier for him to repeat the process of giving us life after death on the Day of Resurrection. People of Quraysh at the time of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) did not have a problem accepting Allah as their Creator, but the concept of resurrection amazed them. “How will we be brought back to life after we have disintegrated into the Earth”, they would ask. So Allah says the process of repetition is usually easier than doing it the first time around. Isn’t it common sense?
As for the atheists who believe in nothing but chance and evolution, He asks this question:
أَمْ خُلِقُوا مِنْ غَيْرِ شَيْءٍ أَمْ هُمُ الْخَالِقُونَ . أَمْ خَلَقُوا السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ ۚ بَل لَّا يُوقِنُونَ
“Were they created by nothing, or were they the creators [of themselves]? Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Rather, they are not certain.” [52:35-36]
Here’s an interesting anecdote from the life of Abu Hanifa who did a remarkable job of refuting an atheist by using nothing but plain ol’ logic.
Anyway, it’s natural to get this question in your mind sometimes, “if everything was created by Allah, who created Him?” Shaytan puts these doubtful thoughts in our heads. So whenever you find yourself asking this question, seek refuge in Allah from Shaytan and say “I believe”. It should take away the doubt and confusion. :)
The narrator of the following two ahadith, Imran ibn Husain, his father Husain and Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhum) all accepted Islam in 7 AH (the year of Khaybar). From the moment he put his right hand on the right hand of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) for the bai’ah (pledge) of allegiance, Imran (radiallaahu `anhu) took it upon himself to only use his right hand for good (طيب) and honorable (كريم) actions. He narrated many ahadith of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam). It is said that he was a very humble, honest and righteous man, devoted to Allah’s obedience and His love. He used to cry a lot during His worship, and he would often say these words:
ياليتني كنت رمادا تذروه الرياح
“Would that I were ashes, windswept.”
It is said about him that angels used to greet him with Salaam and talk to him until he was cauterized (a treatment method disliked by the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)). Mutarrif said:
‘Imraan ibn Husayn said to me: “The angels used to great me with Salaam until I was cauterized. When I was cauterized, the angels left it. When I left it, the angels greeted me again.” [Muslim]
Umar (radiallaahu `anhu), during his caliphate, sent Imran (radiallaahu `anhu) to Basra as a teacher of the religion to its people and he later assumed the office of the judge. Al-Hasan al-Basri and Ibn Sirin said about him:
ما قدم البصرة من أصحاب رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- أحد يَفضل عمران بن حصين
“No one better had come to Basra from among the Companions of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) than Imran ibn Husain.”
He died in the year 52 AH during the caliphate of Mu`awiyah (radiallaahu `anhu).
Volume 4, Book 54, Number 413 :
Narrated by ‘Imran bin Husain (radiallaahu `anhumaa)
Some people of Bani Tamim came to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and he said (to them), “O Bani Tamim! rejoice with glad tidings.” They said, “You have given us glad tidings, now give us something.” On hearing that the color of his face changed then the people of Yemen came to him and he said, “O people of Yemen ! Accept the good tidings, as Bani Tamim has refused them.” The Yemenites said, “We accept them. Then the Prophet started taking about the beginning of creation and about Allah’s Throne. In the mean time a man came saying, “O ‘Imran! Your she-camel has run away!” (I got up and went away), but l wish I had not left that place (for I missed what Allah’s Apostle had said).
Volume 4, Book 54, Number 414 :
Narrated by Imran bin Husain (radiallaahu `anhumaa)
I went to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and tied my she-camel at the gate. The people of Bani Tamim came to the Prophet who said “O Bani Tamim! Accept the good tidings.” They said twice, ‘You have given us the good tidings, now give us something.” Then some Yemenites came to him and he said, “Accept the good tidings, O people of Yemem, for Bani Tamim refused them.” They said, “We accept it, O Allah’s Apostle! We have come to ask you about this matter (i.e. the start of creations).” He said, “First of all, there was nothing but Allah, and (then He created His Throne). His throne was over the water, and He wrote everything in the Book (in the Heaven) and created the Heavens and the Earth.” Then a man shouted, “O Ibn Husain! Your she-camel has gone away!” So, I went away and could not see the she-camel because of the mirage. By Allah, I wished I had left that she-camel (but not that gathering).
This happens to us a lot, we skip something beneficial to take care of other less important matters and nine out of ten times we regret our decision. May Allah give us the wisdom to make the right choices when it comes to things that benefit and/or harm us.
Narrated ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu): One day the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) stood up amongst us for a long period and informed us about the beginning of creation (and talked about everything in detail) till he mentioned how the people of Paradise will enter their places and the people of Hell will enter their places. Some remembered what he had said, and some forgot it.
Volume 4, Book 54, Number 415 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Allah the Most Superior said, “The son of Adam slights Me, and he should not slight Me, and he disbelieves in Me, and he ought not to do so. As for his slighting Me, it is that he says that I have a son; and his disbelief in Me is his statement that I shall not recreate him as I have created (him) before.”
This last narration gave me the goosebumps. As Muslims, we tend to be overconfident in our faith by assuming this narration isn’t meant for us. It’s for the Jews and the Christians and this person or that person. Not us. Not me. I know God is One. I don’t ascribe partners to Him or say He has a son. I also believe He’ll resurrect us on the Final Day. So this is definitely not for me.
It’s true.. generally. But there’s something to be said about our liberal (and even the wannabe-liberal modern) Muslim brothers and sisters who for the fear of being impolite don’t refuse an invitation to the office Christmas party, for example. You argue, “I never do that”. Okay, let’s say you don’t. You avoid all kinds of events and celebrations that don’t have anything to do with Islam, because Eid is your thing. But I’m amazed (appalled, rather) at your audacity when on the morning of December 25th, your Facebook post looks something like this: “Merry Christmas to all my lovely Christian friends. xoxo”. What happened there? Did you forget that Allah considers it an abuse associating a son with Him. Allah says:
And they say, “The Most Merciful has taken [for Himself] a son.” You have done an atrocious thing. The heavens almost rupture therefrom and the earth splits open and the mountains collapse in devastation that they attribute to the Most Merciful a son. And it is not appropriate for the Most Merciful that He should take a son. There is no one in the heavens and earth but that he comes to the Most Merciful as a servant. [19:88-93]
Something to think about.
by Yasmin Mogahed
I still remember the desperation. In the deep disappointment which often follows self-reflection, I turned to my Creator to plead. I turned to plead – but not for what can be measured, bought, sold, or traded. It was desperation for a truer currency. With my flaws suddenly made open to me, I became desperate to be liberated from the tyranny of my own nafs (lower desires). I became desperate to be a better person.
And so, handing my heart to Allah (swt), I prayed that I might be purified. And while I had always held to firm faith that God is the Hearer of prayers, I never imagined when – or how – that prayer would be answered.
Soon after that prayer, I experienced one of the most difficult periods of my life. During the experience, I braced myself, and prayed for guidance and strength. But never did I see any connection to my previous prayer. It was not until that time had passed, and reflecting on it, I realized how I had grown. Suddenly I remembered my prayer. Suddenly I felt that the difficulty was itself the answer to the prayer I had made so desperately.
The words of Rumi explain beautifully: “When someone beats a rug with a stick, he is not beating the rug – his aim is to get rid of the dust. Your inward is full of dust from the veil of ‘I’-ness, and that dust will not leave all at once. With every cruelty and every blow, it departs little by little from the heart’s face, sometimes in sleep and sometimes in wakefulness.”
So often we experience things in life, and yet never see the connections between them. When we are given a hardship, or feel pain, we often fail to consider that that experience may be the direct cause or result of another action or experience. Sometimes we fail to recognize the direct connection between the pain in our lives and our relationship with Allah (swt).
That pain and adversity serves many purposes in life. Times of hardship can act as both an indication as well as a cure, for our broken relationship with our Creator.
Times of difficulty test our faith, our fortitude and our strength. During these times, the level of our iman becomes manifest. Adversity strips away our masks, revealing the truth behind mere declaration of faith. Hardships separate those whose declaration is true from those who are false.
Allah says: “Do the people think that they will be left to say, “We believe” and they will not be tested? But We have certainly tested those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars” (Qur’an,29:2-3).
Hardships test us. But hardships can also be a blessing and a sign of Allah’s love. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “Whenever Allah wills good for a person, He subjects him to adversity” [Bukhari].
And yet most people cannot fathom how adversity could possibly be good. Many do not recognize that hardship is in fact a purifier, which brings people back to their Lord. What happens to the arrogant who are suddenly put in a situation they cannot control? What happens to a man who finds himself stranded on the ocean in the middle of a storm? What happens when the ship that is ‘unsinkable’ becomes the tale of the Titanic?
These perceived misfortunes are in fact wake up calls. They humble. They shake. They remind us of how small we are, and how Great God is. And in that way they awaken us from the slumber of our deceptions, our heedlessness, our wandering, and bring us back to our Creator. Hardships strip away the veil of comfort from our eyes, and remind us of what we are and where we’re going.
Allah (swt) says: “…And We tested them with good [times] and bad that perhaps they would return [to obedience]” (Qur’an, 7:168). In another ayah, Allah (swt) explains: “And We sent no Prophet to any town (and they denied him), but We seized its people with suffering from extreme poverty (or loss in wealth) and loss of health and calamities, so that they might humiliate themselves (and repent to Allah)” (Qur’an, 7:94).
This lesson in humility purifies the human soul so much so that Allah (swt) comforts the believers in the Qur’an, assuring them that any pain they encounter is intended to elevate and honor them. He says:
“If a wound should touch you – there has already touched the [opposing] people a wound similar to it. And these days [of varying conditions] We alternate among the people so that Allah may make evident those who believe and [may] take to Himself from among you martyrs – and Allah does not like the wrongdoers – And that Allah may purify the believers [through trials] and destroy the disbelievers. Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while Allah has not yet made evident those of you who fight in His cause and made evident those who are steadfast?” (Qur’an, 3:140-142).
It is that very battle to purify the self which is the essence of the upward path to God. It begins with self-sacrifice, and is paved by the sweat of struggle. It is this path, which God describes when He says: “Oh mankind! Verily you are ever toiling on towards your Lord – painfully toiling – but you shall meet Him.” (Qur’an, 84:6).