Ibn Al-Jawzi’s Warning on the Great Trap

By Abu Dhar -September 18, 2022

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ


Praise be to الله‎ (Allah), Lord of the Worlds. The Hereafter is for the pious, and there is no enmity save toward the unjust. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship save Allah alone, and I bear witness that Muhammad ﷺ is His Slave and Messenger. May Allah bless him, his pure Household, his noble Companions, and all those who follow them in goodness up to the day of Judgement.

The theme of this project, Overcoming the Devil’s Deception, is inspired by the book of Ibn Al-Jawzi (رحمه الله) which seeks to warn mankind against the plots of the devil. Identifying the evil of the devil’s plots is in turn a form of warning against them. One of these modern-day plots which are in play upon the masses is the abandonment of obtaining Islamic literature and pondering upon them. The masses now seek to gain their self-thought-sufficient Islamic knowledge through online media forms such as social media posts and brief clips that are forwarded without verification or from unfit “compassionate imam” simps. The first book that will be covered in this project will be Sincere Counsel to the Seekers of Sacred Knowledge by Ibn al-Jawzi.

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We need to present Islamic literature to the masses even by summarizing chapters and concepts from well-known books authored by our amazing Islamic scholars of the past (may Allah have mercy on them). This is with the hope of presenting authentic Islamic knowledge from legitimate sources, directly from the books (which anybody can go back and verify) for example, to the masses and in a way that is both understandable and practical. Within these posts, we will share quotes from scholars and other books as deemed fit when summarizing and perhaps some commentary (if a modern-day issue that a concept in the text has a solution for, etc).

Allah has bestowed upon us His Mercy and Kindness by sending His Messenger Muhammad ﷺ and His Message as the final heavenly message. He has sent this Message pure and complete. No one, except the deviated people, could be diverted from it. He has promised happiness in this world and in the Hereafter for the followers of His Shariʹah—those who have fully appreciated its value and devoted themselves to conveying it in accordance with Allahʹs Wishes and the guidance of His Messenger. Allah has called them His friends and party. He has also promised misery and degradation for those who have deviated from His Shariʹah and His Right path. He has called them the friends and party of Satan. (Excerpt from Al-Wala’ Wa ‘l-Bara’, Vol.1)

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اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ عِلْمٍ لَا يَنْفَعُ وَمِنْ قَلْبٍ لَا يَخْشَعُ وَمِنْ نَفْسٍ ‏لَا تَشْبَعُ ‏ ‏وَمِنْ دَعْوَةٍ لَا يُسْتَجَابُ لَهَا‏

I also ask Allah that He accept this humble effort from me and make it of benefit to my brothers and sisters in Islam.

“Our Rabb! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error, our Rabb! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians); our Rabb! Put not on us a burden greater than we have the strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us Forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Mawla (Patron, Supporter, and Protector, etc.) and give us victory over the disbelieving people.” (Qur’an, 2:286)

Encouragement and Intimidation Prior to This Beneficial Exhortation

“You should know, my son, may Allah guide you to what is right, that man has been distinguished by intellect only so that he would act according to it. Bring it to the fore, use it in contemplation and spend time alone with yourself. You will conclude that you are a created being who has responsibilities and obligations and that the two angles are counting your every word and glance. Every breath is a step closer to our death. The time we spend in this world is short, the tie we are held in our graves is long, and the punishment for following our base desires is calamitous.”

This is from the first paragraph of this opening book. The last sentence, from a concerned father to his son, is a dire warning that all of us can take heed of. If you ever take a walk through a cemetery, whether of Muslims or of Kuffar, then you will undoubtedly notice the difference in the ages of those who have passed away. Consider your own age and see where it is that you fit in on the ground that you walk upon, and know that one day it will be your body laying beneath the earth.

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“Where Is the delight of yesterday? It has departed leaving only regret in its wake. Where Is the soul’s desire? How many has it brought low, how many has it caused to slip and falter? People have only attained happiness by going against their lusts and desires. People have only become wretched by giving preference to the life of this world. Learn from the lives of the kings and ascetics: where is the delight of the kings and where is the weariness of the ascetics? The only thing left is the abundant reward and beautiful mention for the pious, and malicious words and calamitous punishment for the disobedient. It is as if those who starved never starved and those who ate to their fill never did so. Laziness in virtuous deeds is an evil companion indeed, and love of comfort causes regret greater than any enjoyment. So take heed and tire yourself for your self.”

The message here is very clear. Relative to this is the statement of Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him):

“Bring yourself to account before you are taken to account; weigh your deeds before your deeds are weighed.” (Igathat al-Lahfan)

Have you taken the things you had done yesterday into account? Or have you forgotten and disregarded it all for it to possibly be placed on your scale of deeds as something bad?

What are your priorities? Is it this life or the next life? Islam is a way of life. Do you take care to ensure your lifestyle is in accordance with what Islam says or are you negligent?

People are asleep, and only when they enter their graves will they have a harsh awakening and regret their carefree slumber. Take heed and learn about the hereafter, whether through a series of lectures or via books. There are many books on this topic.

“Know, that performing the obligatory and avoiding the forbidden is a must; whenever a person transgresses the limits let him beware of the Fire. Then know that aspiring to virtuous deeds is the highest goal of those who strive yet virtuous deeds vary in status and ranks; some people consider them to mean abstaining from worldly vanities and others think they stand for dedicating oneself for worship. The truth, however, is that complete virtue is nothing but joining knowledge with action. When these two are combined they raise a person the level of truly knowing the Creator, Exalted and Most High, causing him to love, fear, and yearn for Him. That is the true goal. People also vary in determination: not everybody who wants is wanted and not everybody who seeks finds what he is looking for. Still, everyone must strive to reach their goals because “Everyone is eased towards what he is created for.”

Much of the Muslim masses today lack knowledge of what is obligatory and what is forbidden, which is why you see them wandering around like sheep. There is no desire within them to change or to learn the haqq (truth). If we desire to remain like sheep and continue acting like sheep, then we shall be skinned and slaughtered like sheep too.

RELATED: Reasons for the Current Miserable State and Life of Man

It is necessary for the scholars who have the knowledge to act upon that knowledge too, for abandoning action while having knowledge is like a body without a soul.

We must strive to learn the basics of Islam and our aqidah (creed) as Muslims—as taught to the noble prophetic companions (may Allah be pleased with them) and passed down faithfully throughout the generations until this day—so that we may fulfill our purpose and the honorable position bestowed upon us by Allah as the best of creation.

“And [know that] I have not created [either] jinn or human beings [for any other purpose] but to [know and] worship Me [alone].” (Qur’an, 51:56)

And ultimately Allah is the source of all help.

RELATED: Who Is Allah?


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