All humans are dead except…Imaam Shafi(RA)

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All humans are dead except…Imaam Shafi(RA)

With the name of Allah, Most Kind, Most Merciful…

A commentary on the following words of Imaam Shafi(RA)

All humans are dead except those who have knowledge;

and all those who have knowledge are asleep, except those who do good deeds;

and those who do good deeds are deceived, except those who are sincere;

and those who are sincere are always in a state of worry
– Imam Shafi (r.a)

 All humans are dead except those who have knowledge;

Imaam Shafi describes people without knowledge as dead. When one thinks of a dead person we can understand that person to be senseless, unconscious, unaware without any growth, without any love and disabled from any activity…

 The world as we know it was in a state of death pre Islam, Ignorance, fasle worship, violence and sheer brute strength were the powers that ruled the world, devoid of justice, devoid of reason, much the same as the rest of the animal world created by Allah(SWT).

 The first words / command revealed to the Prophet(SAW), were اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ

“Read in the name of your Lord”. Thus ushered in a new world order that would awaken the dead souls that roamed the earth.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is reported to have said: “The seeking of knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim.” – Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 74 

 Reading, an act of acquiring knowledge and stimulating the brain is as fard as salaah. The constant quest and spread of knowledge is the responsibility of every Believer.

 If we compare the Golden ages of the Muslim era today, the significant difference is the quest, application and spread of knowledge. Al Khwarismi, Ibn Sina, Ibn Khuldun, Ibn Farnaas, AL Zahrawi, Imam Ghazali are among numerous names of Muslims that were part of the foundation of modern sciences and technology. These were all men inspired, ignited by the Quraan.

 The Muslims in Spain and other parts of the Muslim world were translating the books of the Greeks, building libraries, contemplating and studying the amazing, wonderful, beautiful creation of the world. Whilst teaching history i discovered that Akbar, one of the Mughal emperors would pay people to translate books for him. He would pay them with gold, the weight of the book they translated. He would have people reading in his court from various different texts. Under him flourished a prosperous society.

 Unfortunately today there is no emphasis on knowledge except for the pursuit of wealth. There is no pursuit of knowledge “in the name of your Lord”. There is no pursuit of knowledge to see Allah(SWT)’s great engineering and artistry, no seeking of knowledge for the benefit of society. We study only for an exam that would increase our financial value and honour.

 We run to weddings, to KFC, to movies, but when there are talks, workshops we are too tired…Dead people! Seeking Knowledge is Fard! We need to develop a learning environment in our homes urgently. I was speaking to a group of youth, and hardly anyone knew of what was happening in Syria, most did not even know where in the world Syria or Lebanon were.

 As Believers we need to set the educational ethos in our homes. Monitoring and helping with kids Homework, watching news and discussing events in the world, buying books for kids to read, we need to extend our emphasis of knowledge within our families. Just as we motivate our kids to pray salah, we need to motivate them to read, instil in them a desire to learn…

 and all those who have knowledge are asleep, except those who do good deeds

You can be an Aalim of religion or a doctor, a lawyer, teacher…but without good deeds as Imaam Shafi(ra) puts it ur asleep.

 Good deeds should be rooted in knowledge, knowledge of what? And this is where the Quraan and the example of the Prophet(SAW) is sooooo important. Before you start with good deeds you need to understand who you are and what the purpose of your creation was. (Doznt take 20 years to figure out)

 The Quraan keeps those answers simple, reminding us that we are only made from dust, from sperm, and that our role in this world is as caretakers, vicegerents, custodians of this wonderful planet earth which is to be our temporary home. The Quraan keeps stressing our accountability and that we will be judged by our actions of love for Allah and for our fellow dust created brothers and sisters in this world.

 What life is it, that we work and play and enjoy and then die?

 إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُدْخِلُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الأنْهَارُ وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا يَتَمَتَّعُونَ وَيَأْكُلُونَ كَمَا تَأْكُلُ الأنْعَامُ وَالنَّارُ مَثْوًى لَهُمْ

047.012 Verily Allah will admit those who believe and do righteous deeds, to Gardens beneath which rivers flow; while those who reject Allah will enjoy (this world) and eat as cattle eat; and the Fire will be their abode.

 “Eat as cattle eat…” What legacy do we leave behind? “Who will cry when i die?”. I heard of this book but think about it, who will cry when you die. How much of the great purpose for which you were created have you fulfilled?

Imagine you give your staff a machine to clean the floor, they waste the whole time cleaning the machine,

The floor stays and grows in dirt while the machine shines.

Like us we individually are shining with material glitter whilst the earth is totally messed up.

What’s our purpose?

(Parable of The servant who brings no benefit compared to the one who commands justice)

 وَضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلا رَجُلَيْنِ أَحَدُهُمَا أَبْكَمُ لا يَقْدِرُ عَلَى شَيْءٍ وَهُوَ كَلٌّ عَلَى مَوْلاهُ أَيْنَمَا يُوَجِّهْهُ لا يَأْتِ بِخَيْرٍ هَلْ يَسْتَوِي هُوَ وَمَنْ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَهُوَ عَلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ

016.076 Allah sets forth (another) Parable of two men: one of them dumb, with no power of any sort; a wearisome burden is he to his master; whichever way be directs him, he brings no good: is such a man equal with one who commands Justice, and is on a Straight Way?

 What good is a life of the servant who forgot his master, who got carried away with this world, who did not part take in great purpose of establishing justice and peace on earth?

 Are we in any way involved in that process, are we in anyway besides our money involved in finding and establishing solutions to the educational, physical, economic problems the earth is faced with?

 Without good deeds we are nothing but asleep

 and those who do good deeds are deceived, except those who are sincere;

What’s sincerity?

 وَيُطْعِمُونَ الطَّعَامَ عَلَى حُبِّهِ مِسْكِينًا وَيَتِيمًا وَأَسِيرًا

076.008 And they feed, for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive,-

إِنَّمَا نُطْعِمُكُمْ لِوَجْهِ اللَّهِ لا نُرِيدُ مِنْكُمْ جَزَاءً وَلا شُكُورًا

076.009 (Saying),”We feed you for the sake of Allah alone: no reward do we desire from you, nor thanks.

إِنَّا نَخَافُ مِنْ رَبِّنَا يَوْمًا عَبُوسًا قَمْطَرِيرًا

076.010 “We only fear a Day of distressful Wrath from the side of our Lord.”

فَوَقَاهُمُ اللَّهُ شَرَّ ذَلِكَ الْيَوْمِ وَلَقَّاهُمْ نَضْرَةً وَسُرُورًا

076.011 But Allah will deliver them from the evil of that Day, and will shed over them a Light of Beauty and (blissful) Joy.

 “We seek only the face of Allah”. We live in a society that makes us feel good if we give some money. That’s it! Give some money and your righteousness is accepted in the community.

But Is that really it?

There could be a hungry man or family living down the road and there are many in this capitalistic oppressive system, yet you send 10 000 rands to Pakistan or India or Malawi…

Your domestic worker could be having a son who is battling to get money for studying a course while you giving money to Another masjid in Laudium.

Sometimes even simple advice to a poor man can help.

But are we engaging the local population?

Where is our sincerity?

Do we have any concern for whole communities that live without water and sanitation on our door steps? Concern, love, worry for the next human being, that’s sincerity, not giving 10 000 to my brother Haroon who comes to collect, whom i cannot turn away because it would be embarrassing…

 and those who are sincere are always in a state of worry
Sincerity leads to worry, true sincere people are always worried, worried about others, worried about the poor, worried about the community, worried about the fire of hell for themselves and more so for those around them

 In the words of the Prophet(SAW), “My Ummah, My Ummah” he cried, full of love and concern for the Believers…