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On That Which Tongues Shall Utter and Hearts Believe of the Obligatory Religious Affairs

In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

Imam Aboo Muhammad Abdullaah ibn Abee Zayd al-Qayrawaanee al-Malikee (312-389 AH) "Ar-Risaalah", also known as "Bakurah as-Sa`d" (the First Fruit of Happiness) [Translated by Bello Muhammed Daura (MA Classical Arabic, SOAS London), fwd. By Dr. A.R. Doi

Notes: Arabic transliteration is added where important, or where the English translation was not the best.
The following is from one of the most famous Malikee texts, written over a thousand years ago (in 329 AH).

That includes having faith at heart and uttering with the tongue that Allah is the one God and that there is no other god apart from Him. There is none similar to Him (wa laa shaabeeha lahu), and He has no equal. He has no son, father or wife. Besides, He has no associates.

His earlier existence had no beginning and His future existence shall have no end. His true nature cannot be described by anyone, nor can thinkers imagine that nature.

To know Him one considers His signs (aayaat), but one does not think about His essence. None learns anything about His knowledge, except that which He wills. His throne spreads over the heavens and the earth and the upholding of both the heavens and the earth does not burden Him. He is the Exalted (al-`Aliyy) and the Great (al-`Adh.eem).

He is the Knower (al-`Aleem), the Knowing (al-Khabeer), the Organiser (al-Mudabbir), the Powerful (al-Qadeer), the Hearing (as-Samee`), the Seeing (al-Bas.eer), the Exalted (al-`Aliyy) and the Great (al-Kabeer). He is above His glorious throne with His essence (Wa annahu fauqa `arshihi-l-majeedi bi dhaatihi). He is everywhere with His Knowledge (Wa Huwa fee kulli makaanin bi `ilmihi). He created man and knows what his soul is whispering. Allah is closer to a man than the man’s jugular vein. A single leaf does not fall down except that He knew of it. Neither would a grain in the dark recess of the earth nor a wet nor dry object exist without being in the clear book. Allah has raised above the throne (`ala-l-‘Arshi-stawaa) (in a manner that suits His Majesty) and holds sovereignty (wa `ala-l-Mulki-h.tawaa.) He has the most beautiful names and most exalted attributes. He continues with all His attributes and names. He is too Exalted for these attributes to have been created and for His names to have occurred at a given time. He addressed Moses with His words which are the attribute of His essence (siffatu dhaatihi), and not a creature from His creation. He appeared before the rock and it became flat, because of His Majesty.

Surely the Quran is the very word of Allah. It was not created and therefore not susceptible to extinction. Nor is it an attribute to a created being which would necessarily come to an end.

Another precept is the belief in divine fore-ordainment, whether it be for good or for evil, and whether it be pleasant or distasteful. All of that has been ordained by Allah our Lord. The beginnings of affairs are in His hand and they take pace by His decree. He knows everything before it happens and they happen in accordance with His knowledge. Neither words nor deeds can proceed from His servants except by His decree. He would also have a prior knowledge of that.

Surely He who creates knows, besides He is the Gentle and the knowing one (al-Lat.eef al-Khabeer). He leads astray whom He likes to, and then He forsakes him out of His justice. He also guides to the right path whom He wishes to, and grants him success, out of His grace. Everything is facilitated through His aid and takes place in accordance to His prior knowledge and decree as to whether His servant shall be miserable or happy in the hereafter. He is too exalted to be dispensed with anyone. Nor should there be any other creator to anything apart from Him - Lord of the servants and the Master of their deeds and the Director of their movements and their fates.

He sent Messengers to mankind to establish a plea against them. He completed their mission, admonition and prophethood with Muhammad, His prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, whom he made the last of the messengers, giving glad tidings, warning and calling people to Allah, with His permission. The Prophet was an illuminating lamp and Allah revealed to him His book, which is full of wisdom. He explained through it His true religion and guided by it along the right path. Surely, the resurrection will come to pass, there is no doubt about it; and surely Allah will raise to life the dead, as he created them before. And surely Allah shall multiply the reward of his faithful servants; and forgive them, their major sins, when they repent. He shall forgive them their venial sins when they keep away from the mortal sins. He shall deal with the person who failed to repent from mortal sins, in accordance to His wishes. Allah shall not forgive associating other deities with him, but shall forgive whom He wills for committing sins which fall short of that.

He would bring out of hell-fire the faithful servant He punishes and would cause him to enter paradise. Whoever does good of the size of an atom shall be rewarded for it. Those who committed mortal sins, of the Prophet’s community shall be taken out of hell-fire through the intercession of the Prophet. Surely Allah has created paradise as an abiding home for His faithful servants. And honoured them in it by allowing them to gaze at His noble essence (ar. an-nadh.r ilaa wajhihi). It is the paradise from which He caused Adam, His prophet and khaleefah upon the earth, to descend. In accordance with his predestined knowledge that this would happen. He has also created hell-fire as an abiding home for those who were ungrateful to Him and were heretical to His signs, His scriptures, and His messengers and barred them from gazing upon His essence.

Surely, Allah - Blessed and Exalted be He - shall come on the day of resurrection while the angels were in rows, investigating their affairs, rendering their accounts, punishing them and rewarding them. The scales will be set up in order to weigh the deeds of men. Those whose good deeds outweigh their sins shall be the lucky ones. People shall be given their papers in accordance to their deeds. Those who receive their books by the right hands shall receive a mild treatment. And those who receive their book from behind their backs shall burn inhell-fire.

It is also incumbent upon a Muslim to believe that the Sirat (the bridge over hell-fire leading to paradise) is real. The faster a man crosses the hell-fire over it the better his deeds are. There shall be people whose deeds shall cause them to perish into hell-fire. It is again incumbent upon a Muslim to believe in the cistern of the Messenger of Allah - sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam; his community shall come down and drink of it. Those who drank of it shall never be thirsty; and those who made changes and alterations in the faith shall be driven away from it.

Surely, faith consisted of a pronouncement with the tongue, sincerity at heart and deeds with the libms (Al-Eemaan qaulun bil-Lisaan wa Ikhlaas.un bil-Qalb wa `amalun bil Jawaarih). It increases through an increase in good works. It decreases through their decrease. A decrease or increase in faith is dependent upon the volume of good works. Mere pronouncement of faith is incomplete except when coupled with the good works. Further, a pronouncement of faith and the good works are incomplete except when they are accompanied with intention. Furthermore, the pronouncement of faith, good works and the intention are incomplete except when they coincide with the sunna (the tradition of the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam).

None from amongst Muslims shall be declared infidel on account of committing sins. The martyrs are alive with their Lord who sustains them. The souls of those who shall dwell in paradise remain comfortable until they are again raised to life. The souls of those who shall dwell in hell-fire shall continue to be punished until the day ofresurrection.

The faithful shall be tried and questioned in their graves. Allah shall strengthen those who believe with a firm word in the life of this world and that of the hereafter. Surely there are keepers upon Allah's servants who record their deeds. Nothing of that record shall escape the knowledge of their Lord.

Surely, the angel of death, takes people's lives with the permission of his Lord. The most honourable generation was that which was contemporanous with the Messenger of Allah - May Allah bless him and give him peace. The next in honour was that generation which followed immediately that of the Prophet. Following in honour was the generation which, in its turn followed that which followed that of the Prophet. The most honourable, of the companions of the Prophet, were the rightly guided Orthodox Caliphs. They were, in order of priority, Abu Bakr Umar, Uthman and Ali - May Allah be pleased with them all. None should speak ill of any of the Prophet's companions and one must refrain from discussing their mutual disagreements, because they deserved more than anybody else, to have their action justified. Their opinions on religious matters should be considered the best.

It is incumbent upon the Muslim to obey their Muslim leaders, those in charge of their affairs and the learned amongst them. It is equally incumbent upon Muslims to conform to the practice of their worthy ancestors and follow their footsteps and pray for their forgiveness. It is equally necessary for Muslims to avoid disputes and disagreements over religion. They must keep away from innovations.

May Allah bless our Master Muhammad, His Prophet. May He also bless his family, his wives and his descendants and give them much peace.

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