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Kitaab At-Tawheed, Chapter: 26

What Has Been Said About At-Tatayyur 1

Allah (swt ) says:

" And when good came to them, they said: "This is due to us." But when evil befell them, they ascribed it to omens connected with Moosa and those with him! Verily, in truth the omens of evil are theirs in Allah's sight, but most of them understand not!" (Qur'an 7:131)

In this verse, Allah (swt ), Most High, describes the ways of Fir'aoun and his people in their dealings with Moosa (as ) and his companions: That when any good came to them, they would claim the credit for it themselves, not attributing it to Allah (swt ); but when any calamity befell them, they would blame it on the presence of Moosaa (as ) and his people. Then Allah (swt ) makes plain the falseness of their claims, Confirms that whatever evil comes to them is from Allah (swt ) and it is what they have earned by their disbelief and rejection of the Signs of Allah (swt ). Then He (swt ), Most High, explains the reason for their behaving in this manner, which is their ignorance and lack of knowledge that Allah (swt ) is the Ordainer of all good and evil.

Benefits Derived From This Verse

1. That good and evil are ordained by Allah.

2. The prohibition of denying Allah's Blessings.

3. The forbiddance of belief in omens.

4. That ignorance is the cause of all evil.

Relevance of This Verse to the Subject of the Chapter

That the verse proves the prohibition of at-tatayyur.

Relevance of This Verse to the Subject of Tawheed

That it proves that at-tatayyur is Shirk because it is an attachment of the heart to other than Allah (swt ) and a belief that the cause of events is other than He.

..ooOOoo..

Allah (swt ), Most High, says:

" They said: "Your evil omens are with yourselves." If you are admonished [do you deem it an evil omen?] No! But you are a people transgressing all bounds" (Qur'an 36:19)

In this verse, Allah (swt ), Most Glorified, Most High, explains that the Messengers who came to their people with warnings and reminders were considered evil omens by them, but that those Messengers rejected this, saying to them that whatever afflicts the unbelievers is because of their disbelief and rejection of Allah's Signs for they were peoples who transgressed all decent limits and were estranged from the Truth, preferring disbelief over faith - and this is the end result for the disbeliever.

Benefits Derived From This Verse

1. The prohibition of belief in evil omens and of pessimism based upon those omens.

2. The forbiddance of exceeding the limits of Allah.

3. That exceeding Allah's prescribed limits is the cause of destruction and humiliation.

Relevance of This Verse to the Subject of the Chapter

That it proves the forbiddance of at-tataayyur.

Relevance of This Verse to the Subject of Tawheed

That the verse rejects at-tiyarah because it causes the heart to become attached to other than Allah (swt ) and this is Shirk.

..ooOOoo..

It is reported on the authority of Abu Hurairah (ra ) that the Messenger of Allah (saas ) said:

"There is no `adwaa,2 no tiyarah and no haamah 3 and no Safar. 4" (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)

Muslim, in his Saheeh, adds: "...and no naw` and no ghool." 5

Benefits Derived From This Hadith

1. That illness cannot spread except by Allah's Will.

2. The falseness of believing in omens and their effect.

3. The falseness of the beliefs of the Jahiliyyah regarding the flight of nocturnal birds.

4. The falseness of pessimism due to the approach of the month of Safar.

5. The falseness of the beliefs of the Jahiliyyah regarding ghosts and ghouls.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of the Chapter

That the Hadith proves the falseness of belief in omens.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed

That the Hadith proves the invalidity of belief in omens because such beliefs cause an attachment of the heart to other than Allah (swt ) and this is Shirk.

Important Note

There is no conflict between this Hadith which states: "There is no `adwaa..." and that in which the Prophet (saas ) said:

"Flee from the leper as you would flee from a lion,"

Because in the former Hadith, what is intended is that no disease may affect us except by Allah's leave, while the latter Hadith instructs us to undertake the necessary measures to ensure as best we can that we do not become ill, and this is the true meaning of at-tawakkul (dependence on Allah swt ), to do that which is in your power in order to attain your objective and then to depend upon Allah (swt ).

..ooOOoo..

Bukhari and Muslim report on the authority of Anas (ra ) that he said: "Allah's Messenger (saas ) said:

"There is no `adwaa and no tiyarah, but al-f`al 6 pleases me." They asked: "What is al-f`al?" He (saas ) replied: "It is the good word."

Because good and evil are ordained by Allah (swt ), the Prophet (saas ) negated the idea that infectious disease of itself may affect a person or that omens may affect us, either adversely or positively. And then He (saas ) endorsed and approved optimism because optimism means to think well of Allah (swt ) and to be filled with positive zeal to achieve one's objectives - as opposed to pessimism which produces lethargy and depression.

Benefits Derived From This Hadith

1. The negation of the belief that disease may affect us of itself, without Allah's leave.

2. The absolute falseness of belief in omens.

3. The desirabilty of optimism, rather than pessimism.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of the Chapter

That the Hadith proves that belief in omens is false.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed

That the Hadith rejects the belief in omens because such belief is a denial of Allah's Qadr 7 and because it causes the heart to become attached to other than Allah (swt ), and this is Shirk.

..ooOOoo..

It is authentically reported by Abu Dawood, on the authority of `Uqbah Ibn `Amir (ra ), that he said: "At-tiyarah was mentioned before the Messenger of Allah (saas ) and he said: "The best form of it is al-f`al, for it does not prevent a Muslim (from achieving his objective). Whenever any of you sees something he dislikes, he should say: "Oh, Allah (swt )! None but You Brings good things. None but You can prevent evil things. There is no power and no strength except in You."

Because at-tiyarah is a sickness in society, which held sway over peoples' souls in the Jahiliyyah, it was mentioned during a gathering in which the Prophet (saas ) was present and so he informed the Companions that such beliefs were baseless, and that while al-f`al is a form of tiyarah, it is much superior because it necessitates thinking good of Allah (swt ), and encourages positive thinking and optimism for the good. Then He (saas ) informed them that at-tiyarah will not prevent any Muslim whose beliefs are correct from attaining his goals, nor weaken his resolve. Then He (saas ) described an effective treatment for whomsoever is confonted by such supposed omens which is to place; the matter in Allah's Hands, that He may attract the good and repel the evil, by Allah's leave and continue to depend only upon Allah (swt ) in order to fulfill all his goals.

Benefits Derived From This Hadith

1. That al-f`al is a (permissible) form of tiyarah.

2. The desirability of optimism because it strengthens one's trust in Allah (swt ).

3. The legality of supplicating Allah (swt ) should any trace of this belief in omens take hold of one's heart.

4. That good and evil are ordained by Allah (swt ).

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of the Chapter

That it proves the falseness of at-tiyarah.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed

That it rejects at-tiyarah because it negates belief in Allah's Qadr and because it causes the heart to become attached to other than Allah (swt ) and this is Shirk.

..ooOOoo..

On the authority of Ibn Mas'ood (ra ), in a marfoo' form, it is reported that he said: "At-tiyarah is Shirk, at-tiyrah is Shirk. There is none among us who is not afflicted by it, but Allah (swt ), by true dependence on Him removes it from the heart." (Narrated by Abu Dawood and At-Tirmizi, who said it is authentic, but considered the last part of it to be Ibn Mas'ood's own statement)

Ibn Mas'ood informs us in this narration that the Prophet (saas ) described at-tiyarah as Shirk, and he emphasised this by repeating it. And he said that there is none who is not afflicted by it to some degree at sometime or other, but that Allah (swt ) will remove it from the heart of the one who places his complete trust in Him and depends upon Him Alone.

Benefits Derived From This Hadith

1. That at-tiyarah is Shirk.

2. The desirability of emphasising important matters.

3. That true dependence on Allah (swt ) causes at-tiyarah to be removed from the heart.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of the Chapter

That the Hadith proves the falseness of belief in omens.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed

That the Hadith rejects belief in omens because it necessitates negation of belief in Allah's Qadr and because it causes the heart to become attached to other than Allah (swt ), which is Shirk.

..ooOOoo..

Imam Ahmad reports, on the authority of Ibn `Amr (ra ), that the Prophet (saas ) said:

"Whoever is turned back from his objective by a bad omen has committed Shirk." They asked: "And what is the expiation for that?" He (saas ) replied: "It is to say: "Oh, Allah (swt )! There is no good except that which You bestow and there is no evil except that which You bestow and there is none has the right to be worshipped but You."

The Messenger of Allah (saas ) informs us in this Hadith that whoever allowed pessimism due to omens to deflect him from his intentions has committed a form of Shirk, and when the Companions asked him what the penance due for this major sin is, He (saas ) replied that it is to supplicate Allah (swt ), rejecting the belief in good and evil omens and affirming their belief in His Qadr, His Oneness and His sole right to be worshipped.

Benefits Derived From This Hadith

1. Confirmation of the Shirk of those who allow themselves to be guided by omens.

2. The acceptance of the repentance of the mushrik.

3. Guidance as to what the one who succumbs to the temptation of at-tiyarah should say as expiation.

4. That all good and all evil occur in accordance with Allah's Qadr.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of the Chapter and to the Subject of Tawheed

That it proves the Shirk of those who allow themselves to be turned away from their goals by omens.

..ooOOoo..

Also narrated by Imam Ahmad, on the authority of Al- Fadhl Ibn Al-'Abbas is: "At-tiyarah is that which causes you to carry out some act or turns you away from some deed.

This is an excellent summing up of this chapter for the kind of tiyarah which has been forbidden is that which determines our course of action or prompts us to abandon a course of action. Even al-f`al may fall under this category of prohibition if the person relies upon optimism alone, without remembering dependence upon and trust in Allah (swt ), for he is the same as the one who depends upon omens of good or evil. Likewise, when a person hears or sees something which he dislikes and become pessimistic due to it, or allows it determine his actions, he is also guilty of at-tiyarah.

Benefits Derived From This Hadith

1. The forbiddance of at-tiyarah, which causes one to take a certain course of action or deflects one from acting.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of the Chapter

That it proves the prohibition of at-tiyarah when it causes us to alter our plans or abandon them.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed

That it rejects at-tiyarah as forbidden because it causes the heart to become attached to other than Allah (swt ) and it negates belief in Allah's Qadr, both of which amount to Shirk.

Footnotes

1. At-Tatayyur: Belief in omens.
2. 'Adwaa: Infectious or contagious disease. What is meant here is that disease cannot be contracted unless Allah (swt) wills it.
3. Haamah: Interpreting omens based on the flight of a nocturnal bird.
4. Safar: Some scholars said that it refers to parasites which infest the stomach and intestines of mankind and cattle, while others said that it refers to the pagan belief that the arrival of the month of Safar in the Muslim calendar bodes ill, while the dictionary defines safar as jaundice - and Allah (swt) knows best.
5. That is, there is no foundation to the belief that the positions of the stars affect the climate and there are no such things as ghosts and ghouls.
6. Al-F`al: Optimism.
7. Qadr: Divine Preordination: That all events - both good and bad - were written and ordained by Allah (swt), before their creation.

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