Rejected Repentance, God's Power, Spurious Hadiths

Issue 989 » March 9, 2018 - Jumada al-Thani 21, 1439

Living The Quran

Rejected Repentance
Al-e-Imran (The House of Imran) Sura 3: Verse 216

"But those who disbelieve after having believed, and then increase in their unbelief - their repentance shall not be accepted. They are the ones utterly astray. As to those who disbelieve, and die while they are disbelievers, there shall not be accepted from any of them even the earth full of gold, though they should offer it in ransom. For them, there shall be a painful punishment, and they shall have no helpers."

These verses refer to the people whose repentance shall not be accepted. They are the ones who were guilty of all the above-mentioned crimes: they believed and then went back and disbelieved, and then went on adding layers upon layers of disbelief. When their final moment came, they professed repentance verbally, without making amends for their crimes, nor openly confessing their concealment of the truth before the Prophet and the believers. Also, they did not spend in the cause of Allah and in support of the Prophet in order to wipe off their sins. They died, in the words of the Quran, falsely hoping that "Allah shall forgive us - sa-yughfiru lana". The Quran clearly warns all such people who thus delude themselves that their verbal repentance is no real repentance, nor will Allah accept it from them.

Similar is the case of those people who recognised the truth and believed in it and then reverted to kufr or unbelief and died in this state. Such people, even if they were to offer the earth full of gold in ransom to save themselves from the chastisement, it shall not be accepted from them. The style used here is meant to emphasise the impossibility of their salvation in the hereafter, for surely no one will possess anything in the hereafter to be able to offer it to anyone else, nor is the life hereafter a place for wheeling and dealing. The conclusion - Wa ma la-hum min nasirin - and they shall have no helpers - lays bare the false hopes of those who expected to be saved by the intercession of their forefathers on their behalf.

Compiled From:
"Pondering Over The Qur'an: Surah Ali Imran" - Amin Ahsan Islahi

Understanding The Prophet's Life

God's Power

The cause of covetousness, according to Sidi Ahmad al-Zarruq, is heedlessness (ghafla). A person permits himself to forget that blessings are from God alone. No good or harm can come to one except by God's leave. This level of heedlessness is not a casual lapse of memory. People can become so terribly preoccupied with seeking things from other people, they become heedless of God's power and ownership. When this happens, a person opens his or her heart to all kinds of spiritual diseases. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Know that if an entire nation were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that God had already prescribed for you. And if [an entire nation] were to gather together to harm you, it would harm you only with something that God had already prescribed for you." [Tirmidhi]

When the topic of God's power is discussed, questions often arise about those who hold rancor in their hearts to the degree that they wish harm to come to others. There is real concern about the affliction these people can cause. It is necessary to remember that when a person is straight with God—observant of His commands, avoiding what He has prohibited, and going beyond the mere obligations and remembering Him often through litanies, voluntary acts of worship, and generosity in charity—the evil prayers of others will not prevail.

Compiled From:
"Purification of the Heart" - Hamza Yusuf


Spurious Hadiths

Scholars who spent a great deal of their lives with the hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) developed a sense which they could use instantly in detecting error. Their example was like that of a man who lived with a beloved friend for scores of years, knew him very well in every situation and so could easily say which statement belonged to him and which not. Similarly, a literary critic who studies a poet for a long time and becomes fully acquainted with his style can, on the basis of his perception and personal experience, easily detect a poem which does not belong to the poet. However, Muhaddithin (hadith scholars) did not depend solely on personal experience as it may be counted a form subjective criticism. In short, if a hadith was not transmitted by any trustworthy scholar, and there was a liar or a person accused of lying in the chain of transmission it was said to have been fabricated by that person.

However, scholars laid down certain rules according to which one could reach conclusions about the spuriousness or genuineness of hadith even without going into detailed study of isnad (chain of narration). Here is a summary of the method described by Ibn al-Qayyim.

Ibn al-Qayyim's description of general rules about rejections of hadith are as follows:

1. If the hadith contains an exaggerated statement that the Prophet could not have made. For example, a false hadith attributed to the Prophet that when one pronounces 'La ilaha ill Allah' God creates from this sentence a bird with seventy thousand tongues.

2. Experiment rejects it.

3. Ridiculous kind of attribution.

4. Contradicts a well known Sunna.

5. Attributes a statement to the Prophet which was supposed to have been made in the presence of a thousand Companions but all of them supposedly concealed it.

6. The statement has no resemblance to other statements of the Prophet.

7. Sounds like the saying of mystics or medical practitioners.

8. Contradicts the clear and obvious meanings of the Quran.

9. Inadequate in its style.

Besides these rules, the entire system of isnad was applied to detect fabrication.

Compiled From:
"Studies in Early Hadith Literatures" - Mustafa al-Azami, pp. 71, 72