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Targheeb and Tarheeb
  Al-Wasiyyat us-Sughraa (The Concise Legacy)
Author: Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah
Article ID : TZK050004  [21712]  
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The Question

Abu l-'Aasim al-Qasim bin Yusuf bin Muhammad at-Tajeebi as-Sabti al-Maghribi says,

"I requested the Shaikh, Faqeeh, respected Imaam, `Aalim, last of the pious predecessors and leader of the later generations, inimitable, fascinating, possessor of great eloquence and clarity of expression, the most knowledgeable person I have met in the East or West, Taqi ad-Deen Abu l-`Abbaas Ahmad bin Taymiyyah, (may Allah enable us to continue benefiting from him):

to direct me towards what would set right my affairs of Deen and Dunyaa; to point me towards those books on which I might rely regarding knowledge of Hadeeth, and similarly for other sciences of the Sharee`ah; to draw my attention towards the best of righteous actions after the compulsory duties; and to explain to me those goals which should outweigh all other aims; - all of this by way of concise guidelines. May Allah safeguard him, and peace and Allah's blessings be on him."

The Answer :

The Shaikh of Islam, Ocean of Knowledge, Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah bestow His mercy and pleasure on him, answered as follows:

All Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.

To begin with the Wasiyyah : in my opinion, there is no Wasiyyah more beneficial than that of Allah and His Messenger for whoever understands it and follows it.

The Wasiyyah of Allah, Mighty and Sublime.

The Wasiyyah of Allah Exalted is mentioned in the following Aayah:

Verily, We have directed the People of the Book before you, and you (O Muslims) to Fear Allah

The Messenger's Wasiyyah

The Prophet enjoined on Mu`aadh (radi Allahu 'anhu) when he sent him to Yemen as a judge, the following:

"O Mu`aadh, fear Allah wherever you are, and follow up a bad deed with a good one and it will wipe it out, and behave well towards people."

The Excellence of Mu`aadh bin Jabal

Mu`aadh had a high status in the eyes of the Prophet (SallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam), who once said to him, "O Mu`aadh! By Allah, truly I love you."

Sometimes, the Messenger would let Mu`aadh ride behind him on the same mount.

It is also narrated about him that he is the most knowledgeable person in the Ummah about the (issues of) Halaal and Haraam (Lawful and Prohibited) , and on the Day of Resurrection he will be raised up one step ahead of all the people of knowledge. Also, part of Mu`aadh's excellence is that the Prophet sent him to the people of Yemen as a preacher on his behalf, a caller, a man of understanding in the Deen, a giver of religious verdicts, and a judge.

He also used to compare Mu`aadh to Ibraaheem ('alayhis-salaam) , the friend of Allah and Imaam of mankind. Also, Ibn Mas`ood, used to say, "Verily, Mu`aadh is a leader of the people, he is Allah's obedient slave, and he is not of the polytheists" , thus comparing him to Ibraaheem.

With all these qualities of Mu`aadh, the Prophet (sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) bequeathed to him this Wasiyyah, so we know that this Wasiyyah is comprehensive, and whoever understands it will see that it is so. Furthermore, it is an explanation of the Qur'aanic Wasiyyah.

The Reason for the Comprehensiveness of the Wasiyyah

As for the explanation of the comprehensiveness of this legacy, it covers the fact that there are two rights over a human being:

(i) The responsibility towards Allah, Mighty and Sublime;

(ii) The responsibility towards His servants.

Further, (the Wasiyyah also covers the fact ) that there will always be a deficiency in each person's fufilling of this responsibility, e.g. by missing a duty or doing something forbidden: hence the Messenger said, "Fear Allah wherever you may be". This statement is comprehensive and his words "wherever you are" confirm that the human being is in need of taqwaa (piety, fear of Allah) both secretly and in the open. He then said, "Follow up a bad deed with a good one, which will cancel it"; the example of this is that whenever a patient eats something bad for him, the doctor prescribes him to take something which will make him better. Since it is definite that a human being will commit sin, the wise person is the one who is continuously doing good acts in order that the effects of his bad deeds are cancelled out. In this hadeeth, the phrase "bad deed" is used first because the purpose here is to wipe out bad deeds, rather than to do good deeds; hence, this saying is like his (sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam)'s saying about the bedouin's urine, "Pour over his urine a bucketful of water."

The types of actions by which sins can be forgiven

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