Four Principles #2: Author’s Preface
In the name of Allaah The Beneficent The Merciful
This is the second article in our commentary on The four principles by Sheikh Muhammad bn AbdilWahhaab. In the last article we discussed the sheikh’s biography. In this article we will be discussing the author’s preface.
We ask Allaah, The Exalted and Sublime, to accept it from us as an act of worship and forgive our shortcomings therein. He is indeed the Noble and Generous.
The author said:
I ask Allaah the Kareem, Lord of the noble throne to support you in this world and the hereafter, to make you blessed wherever you may be, and to make you one of those who are grateful when given, are patient when tested and seek forgiveness when they err.
For indeed these three are the way to success.
Explanation of Kareem
Kareem is one of the names of Allaah. He, Exalted and sublime is He, says:
O man! What has made you careless concerning your Lord, The Kareem?
The word Kareem in Arabic connotes two meanings;
- Generosity and
If a person is generous and not stingy he is called Kareem. Also, the best thing or person in its class or category is called Kareem.
Therefore, Allaah is Kareem because He is most generous. He is also Kareem because his nobility is beyond what any servant can fully describe.
The Throne of Allaah
The throne is a creature of Allaah. It is the greatest of Allaah’s creatures in terms of size. But in terms of status, the messenger (commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him) is the greatest of creations.
The size of the throne is simply impossible for us to fully grasp. So what do you think of the greatness of Allaah the creator of the throne? Now you know why it is unwise to ponder on the essence of Allaah Himself.
The Support of Allaah
If Allaah supports you then you have no problem even if the whole world were against you.
Allaah the exalted says:
If Allaah helps you, none can overcome you; and if He forsakes you, who is there after Him that can help you? And in Allaah (Alone) let believers put their trust.
(Surah Aal:Imraan: 160).
The messenger of Allaah (commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him) said to his little cousin:
“Know that if the world came together to harm you they would not be able to harm you in anyway except if Allaah had decreed it for you. And if they came together to benefit you they would not be able to benefit you in anyway except what Allaah had decreed for you. The pens have been raised and the sheets have dried.”
(Sunan Tirmidhee: 2516. Sheikh Albany authenticated it.)
Therefore the support and help of Allaah is what the slave should seek even if it would cause him to forsake the world. Anyone who ponders on this world will know that the love of people has no benefit.
A poet says about his love for Allaah:
If only (my relationship with) you would be sweet and the life would be bitter
And if only You would be pleased and the world would be angry
If only what is between me and you would remain
And what is between me and the world is destroyed
If your love is acquired every other thing is simple
Because everything that is on the soil is soil.
The Way of Success
Indeed, these three are the way of success. The condition of a slave in this world is either good or bad. If it is good he should be thankful for the blessing of Allaah. The blessing of Allaah do not only include worldly or material possessions such as wealth, good health, children, security etc. Rather the blessings of Allaah also include having sound and pristine Islamic faith.
In fact, the mercy of having a heart filled with Tawheed (Islamic monotheism), limbs that perform good deeds and a tongue that is always busy with the remembrance of Allaah cannot be compared with all the wealth and health of the universe.
If a servant is having problem in his worldly life, he should be patient, persevering and hopeful of Allaah’s mercy. If he does that Allaah will make it a means to erase his sins and raise him in ranks in this world and the hereafter.
If his problems are in his faith and good deeds (and that is the real problem) -we seek refuge with Allaah from such- he should hasten to repent and seek forgiveness. If he does that Allaah will forgive his sins and raise him in ranks.
Allaah the exalted says:
Except those who repent and believe (in Islâmic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds, for those, God will change their sins into good deeds, and God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
(Surah Furqan: 70)
Therefore, these three are indeed the way to success.
The sheikh – may Allaah have mercy on him- prayed for the reader of his book. This is due to the mercy and goodwill the sheikh has in his heart for his reader.
There are two lessons in this for us:
- It is important, rather obligatory, for the caller to Allaah to be kind, gentle, merciful and soft in speech. Why are you preaching? Isn’t it to save the people from going to hell? Isn’t it for them to enter paradise? Isn’t it out of your love, mercy, pity and fear for them? So why should you be tough? Why should you use the worst of speeches and terms? Indeed this is a great error and misdeed of many preachers in our time. We ask Allaah to rectify us all.
- We also see the falsehood in the claim of those who say that our author (Muhammad bn Abdil-Wahhaab) is a tough and rough preacher. The sheikh is not the only one who has been given a bad name; many prophets and messengers (Peace of Allaah be upon them) have gone through the same.
We ask Allaah for safety and steadfastness.