In the name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful
All Thanks is due to Allah, and May His Peace and Blessings be upon His Last and Final Messenger Muhammad ﷺ.
Praise is due to Allah, we praise Him, ask His help, and seek refuge in Him; he whom Allah guides no one can lead astray, and he whom Allah leaves to be led astray then there is no one that can bring him back to guidance except Him, and I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, He is One, having no partner, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger may many Peace and Blessings of Allah be on him, his household, and companions.
The noble Sheikh Sulaymaan bin Naasir al-‘Alwaan, gave a talk on 29/1/1422 H, about the importance of contemplating and understanding the Prophetic traditions in a correct manner, through which one can arrive at what Allah wants of us. This proper understanding is what we wish to attain first, before we can [properly] act upon this knowledge revealed to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. The Sheikh mentioned a tradition in the two authentic books [sahihayn], as an example, and pointed out what that tradition contains from rich meanings and great benefits, and he deduced from that tradition more than 70 benefits. The Sheikh may Allah hasten his release said:
Imam al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated in their authentic books from the way of ‘Abdul-‘Aziz ibn Abi Haazim and ‘Abdur-Rahman ibn Ya’coub, both from the way of Abu Hazim Salamah ibn Dinar [and the wording is that of ‘Abdulaziz] who said: “Sahl ibn Sa’d al-Sa’idy, may Allah be pleased with him told me that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said on the Day of Khaibar: “I will give this banner (flag) tomorrow to a man whom Allah will facilitate victory through him. He loves Allah and His Messenger, and is loved by Allah and His Messenger.” He (Sahl) said: So the people kept on thinking the whole night as to which one from among them will be given the banner? In the morning the people eagerly rushed to Allah’s Messenger ﷺ, all of them hoping to be the one who is given it. He said: “Where is Ali ibn Abi Talib?” The people replied: He is suffering from eye-trouble. He said: “Send for him and bring him to me.” So when ‘Ali was brought, the Messenger ﷺ spat in his eyes and invoked Allah to cure him, and he became al-right as if he had no ailment. The Prophet then gave him the banner. ‘Ali said: “O Allah’s Messenger, Shall I fight them (i.e. the enemies) till they become like us?” So he said: “Proceed to them steadily till you approach near to them, and then invite them to Islam and inform them of their duties towards Allah which Islam prescribes for them, for by Allah, if one man is guided on the right path through you, it would be better for you than [a great number of] red camels”.
Imam Muslim also narrated it from the way of Ya’koub ibn ‘Abdulrahman from Suhail ibn Abi Saleh, from his father, from the way of Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with him with the same meaning [of the tradition mentioned], and in it: ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab said: Never did I cherish for leadership but on that day. I came before the Messenger of Allah with the hope that I may be called for this, but Allah’s Messenger ﷺ called ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib and he conferred it upon him and said: “Proceed on and do not look about until Allah grants you victory.” He said: So ‘Ali went a bit and then halted and did not look about and said in a loud voice: O Allah’s Messenger, on what issue should I fight with the people? Thereupon he (the Prophet) said: “Fight with them until they bear testimony to the fact that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his Messenger, and when they do that then their blood and their riches are inviolable from your hands but what is justified by law and their reckoning is with Allah.”
Imam Muslim also narrated it from the way of ‘Amer ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Waqas, from the way of his father summarized.
The Benefits from the Tradition:
- In it is the great concern the Companions had for conveying this Religion.
- In it is the [duty of] the Imam to assigning the banner of Jihad.
- In it is that matters that are common are not considered imitation (Tashabuh), since Banners and Flags were known from before.
- In it is that leadership (Imarah) is exclusive for men over women.
- The glad tidings of the victory, given by the Prophet, is a sign from among the signs of his Prophethood ﷺ.
- In it is an affirmation to the Attribute of Love (Mahabah) for Allah, and a refutation of the Jahmiyyah.
- In it is affirmation that Allah the Exalted Loves and is loved.
- In it is an affirmation of taking the necessary means and reasons, and that can be seen in his saying: Allah will facilitate victory through him.
- In it is the eagerness of the companions to all good, and their search for all that is loved by Allah and his Messenger ﷺ.
- The Messenger ﷺ concealing the identity of the man is from his mercy for the Believers, since their hope for that great virtue led to an increase in their Iman, that only Allah knows of.
- In it is a reply to the Murjiah, and that deeds are part of Iman.
- In it is the permissibility of staying up during the night and discussing matters of goodness, and affairs that would benefit the Muslims.
- In it is the hastening of the companions to Goodness and that can be seen in his saying: “In the morning the people eagerly rushed.”
- In it is that Rajaa’ (wishing for) is in matters that are expected to happen, contrary to Tamany (desire).
- In it is a reply to the Sufis and those like them, from among those who claim that the Prophet ﷺ knows the absolute unseen (i.e. that he is All-knowing) during his life and after his death, and that reply can be seen in his saying: “Where is Ali?”
- In it is the love which benefits is the love for Allah and His Messenger, and for their allies.
- In it is a reply to the Jews and Christians who claim that: “We are the children of Allah and His beloved.”
- In it is an explanation of one of the meanings of the verse: “That is the bounty of Allah, which He gives to whom He wills, and Allah is the possessor of great bounty”, since this great bounty and honor was given to he who was not in attendance and was not given to those who sought after it.
- In it is the obligation in believing in Predestination and Fate, and the great faith the companions have in this matter, and their submission to it.
- In it is reply to the Qadariyyah who claim that the people create their own deeds.
- In it is a reply to the Naasibis who set up hatred to Ali, may Allah be pleased with him.
- In it is a reply to the Khawarij who claim that ‘Ali is a Kaafir (Apostate) and a Faasiq (Major sinner).
- From it we see that love for Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, is part of Iman (Faith).
- In it is a reply to the Raafidah (Shi’ah) who claim that it is only them that love Ali, may Allah be pleased with him.
- In it is a reply to the extreme Raafidah who claim that Ali is a Deity, and that is because the Prophet said that he will give the banner: “To a man.”
- In it is the permissibility of mentioning the sickness one has, if it did not involve anger over what Allah the Exalted had decreed.
- In it is a sign of the blessing (Barakah) of the Prophet’s saliva.
- In it is that the supplication of Messengers is accepted mostly.
- In it is that the Imam should assign he who is most suited for the matter at hand without looking into matters of kinship or prestige or lineage. And that does not mean that Ali is better than Abu Bakr, Umar, or Uthman, may Allah be pleased with them, rather just that this situation required a man like Ali, may Allah be pleased with him.
- In it is a virtue of ‘Umar may Allah be pleased with him, and the greatness of his determination.
- In it is the permissibility of asking for leadership in the Religion.
- In it is the bravery of Ali, and his eagerness for Jihad for the sake of Allah.
- In it is a meaning of what Allah said: “And fight them until there is no fitnah and (until) the religion, all of it, is for Allah”, and that Jihad will remain until the Hour.
- In it is the permissibility of mentioning the good traits and virtues of a person, when there is no fear of Fitnah, or that he will feel arrogance and amazement within himself.
- In it is the cleanness (Taharah) of Saliva.
- In it is the manner by which the Imam can mention [words of] encouragements to raise people’s determination towards elevated matters, and towards [attaining] high manners.
- The permissibility of using Nafs as a Ruqyah, and that it does not negate depending on Allah. That is based on the view which says that Prophet Muhammad’s Nafs in this tradition was a Ruqiyah, but the most likely view is that it was a sign of his Prophethood ﷺ.
- In it is the order to be lenient and to avoid hastiness and recklessness, and to take our time in matters and to study it before setting forth to it.
- In it is that the Call to Islam comes before everything else.
- In it is the Fiqh of progressing in Calling to Allah from what is most important to what follows it in importance.
- In it is that the overall Da’wah requires knowledge, understanding, realization, and wisdom, proper tactics when dealing with people and events, since those ignorant of these matters do more damage than good.
- In it is the importance of including along with your call to the testimony of Faith, the explanation of its meaning and what it entails of due rights, especially in these later centuries where ignorance has increased to the meaning of the testimony of “There is no God worthy of worship except Allah”, and what incorporates of negation and affirmation.
- In it is the virtue of [being a way of] guidance, and the greatness of its reward.
- In it is the importance of establishing the evidence against the people.
- In it is a proof of the obligation of clarifying the evidence, and explaining it to those being called to it, and [the importance] of removing what might cause doubts, confusions, or raise questions.
- In it is that the virtue resulting from guiding people is general to men and women, but the pronoun was used as a generality.
- In it is that there is no comparison between this Life and the Hereafter.
- In it is that loving this Life is not defamed, if the slave was upholding the orders of Allah in it.
- In it is the permissibility of bringing matters closer to people’s understanding by using concrete sensory examples.
- In it is that guidance is of two types, the: Guidance of Dalalah and Irshaad (showing the way) and this is the job of Prophets, Messengers, Callers to Allah, and everyone Righteous. The second is, the: Guidance of Tawfeeq and Ilhaam (capability and success) and none can do this except Allah the One, the all Powerful.
- In it is the permissibility of swearing (by Allah), without being asked.
- In it is the Prophet’s great concern for the guidance of people.
- In it is that guiding the people is more favored to the Lawgiver than fighting them.
- In it is a reply to those who claim that Muslims have no interest except in shedding blood. Since [as can be seen] the Call [to Islam] comes before fighting. However, when the Message had already reached them then at that time fighting them is allowed, as the Prophet did with Bani Al-Mustaliq.
- In it is the virtue of Jihad for the sake of Allah, and being patient in it.
- In it is that the one whom Allah loves, would not be affected after that by whoever hates him, or loves him in an (unacceptable) excessive manner.
- In it is the obligation of hating those who hate Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, and that loving him is from Iman (part of ones Faith).
- In it is the great understanding of Ali, may Allah be pleased with him and the great extend of his knowledge in, which can be seen in the Prophet’s words to him: “And inform them of their duties towards Allah which Islam prescribes for them.”
- In it that a man is attributed to his father even if (his father) was a disbeliever.
- In it is the great manners of Ali, may Allah be pleased with him with the Prophet ﷺ, since he neither referred to him (directly) by his name, nor with their kinship.
- In it is that Allah has a great due right on the people that they must fulfill, or be from among the people of Hell. That right is: To worship none but Him, and to follow exactly in the footsteps of his Messenger ﷺ.
- In it is that if a servant gets an order from Allah or his Messenger not to hesitate or to slack of, rather he should quickly accept, apply, and act.
- In it is an affirmation of resurrection, accountability, and judgment (in the Hereafter).
- In it is an explanation of Allah’s name Al-Haseeb (The Reckon-er).
- In it is that the servants of Allah should accept what appears of the people, and to leave what they have hidden in their interior to Allah, as long as they do not produce words or actions that are contrary to the Religion of Islam.
- The permissibility of raising ones voice in front of people of virtue, if it was necessary.
- In it is the obligation of asking for a clarification, when a problem or confusion arises.
- In it is a meaning of what Allah said: “So ask the People of Zikr (Scriptures, Knowledge, etc) if you do not know.”
- In it is that there is no Ijtihad when a clear Text is there, or when something that takes its place is present such as the presence of Messenger ﷺ, as was the case in this tradition.
- In it is that the greatest and most noble deed one can perform and put all his efforts in is: Calling to Allah, and being concerned with guiding people.
- In it is a reply to the Takfiri’s who pass down rulings on the people from Takfir or Tafsiq without even calling them to the Tawheed and the Sunnah, and clarifying (for the people) the reality of the message the Prophets came with, and the Books were revealed for.
- In it is the concern the companions had for one another, and their constant checking on one another.
- In it is that pronouncing the testimony of Faith does not preserve ones wealth or blood, if not accompanied by its due right, otherwise it would not benefit him in front of Allah the al Mighty.
- In it is that applying the Hudood is the duty of the Sultan or the one who takes his place.
- In it is the inviolability of Muslims blood, honors, and riches, except by the Haqq.
- In it is the purity of the hearts of the companions, since they did not envy Ali for that (virtue), by protesting or hoping that this virtue would be taken away from him.
And Allah knows best.
Sulaymaan bin Naasir al-‘Alwaan
First English publication was here