Imam Ali quotes in Tawheed / Worship / Piety

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1- “If I narrated from the messenger of Allah peace be upon him, I would rather fall from the sky than attribute to him something he didn’t say.”

Al-Bukhari (3611)

2- “My favorite words by a servant to Allah are: ‘O’ Allah, there is no god but you. O’ Allah, I worship none but you. O’ Allah, I don’t associate any partners with you. O’ Allah, I wronged myself, so forgive me from my sins, for none can forgive sins but you.”

Al-Musanaf by Abi Shayba (29522)

3- Ali bin Abi Talib told Abi Al-Hayyaj Al-Asadi: “Shall I send you to what I was sent for by the Messenger of Allah – peace be upon him – ? To leave no idol undistorted and to level all graves with height.”

Muslim (969)

4- “Those fortune-tellers are the soothsayers of Persians. Whosoever goes to a soothsayer and believes what he says has disassociated himself from the teachings of Muhammad – peace be upon him – .”

Ibn Abi Shayba (23525)

5- “Meet up and recite the narrations in remembrance, otherwise they would be erased (from your memory).”

Al Musanaf by Abi Shayba (26134)

6- “Our souls are in the hand of Allah, if He wishes to send us (to the hereafter) He would send us.”

Saheeh Al-Bukhari (1127)

7- “If words are overused, they will lose effect before you find a substitute for them. Do not seek help but from Allah. Do not fear anything but your sins. Don’t be shy to learn if you are ignorant. Scholars are not to be shy to say Allah knows best about matters they don’t know. Be aware that patience is to faith as the head is to the body. If the head goes, the body goes as well, and if patience diminishes, faith diminishes as well.”

Al-Musannaf by Abi Shayba (34504)

8- When Ali bin Abi Talib was asked to talk about himself, he said: “I speak of the blessings of my Lord. By Allah, I was answered whenever I asked and was given even before I could request, and underneath the ribs there is tremendous knowledge.”

Fadha’il Al-Sahaba by Imam Ahmad (1099)

9- “Shall I inform you about the true jurist? He is the one who does not let people despair from the mercy of Allah. He does not permit them to disobey Allah’s orders. He does not secure them from Allah’s punishments. He also does not leave Qur’an for others. Truly, there is no benefit from worship that does not entail jurisprudence, there is no benefit from jurisprudence that is excluded from understanding, and there is no benefit from reading without contemplation.”

Al-Zuhd by Abu Dawud (111)

10- “Quraish are the leaders of Arabs. The pious among them are the leaders of their pious and wicked among them are the leaders of their wicked. The two groups have rights so give each group their rights as long as you are not asked to choose between Islam and decapitation. If anyone among you was given the choice between Islam and decapitation, then he is to extend his neck – may his mother weep for him – for there is no life or afterlife without Islam.”

Al-Musannaf by Ibn Abi Shayba (33712)

11- “The leaders are from Quraysh. Whoever abandons the people by a span is one who pulls the head of Islam from his neck.”

Al-Musannaf by Ibn Abi Shayba (3715)

12- “The key of prayer is purification; the takbeer (the exclamation of the greatness of Allah) causes all those surrounding it to be forbidden, and the salutations allows the permissibility to return.”

Musnad Ahmad (1006)

13- “I bathe in cold nights without even being in a greater state of impurity in order to grow in patience and purify myself.”

Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba (2081)

14- “If you say when bowing: O’ Allah, I bow down for your sake, in piety to you, I submit to you, I believe in you, and from you I seek assistance; your bowing shall be considered complete.”

Musnad Al-Shafi’i (386)

15- Ali bin Abi Talib said while upon the grave of Yazid bin Al Mukaffaf, “O’ Allah, he is your worshiper and the son of your worshiper. He is your guest and You are the Greatest Host. O’ Allah, expand his entry and forgive his sins. We only know good of him – and You know best – and that is what is held by us.”

Musannaf Abdul-Razzaq (6506)

16- “To rule according to what was revealed by Allah and execute what he was trusted upon is the duty of the Imam, if he were to do those things, then it is a duty for the Muslims to hear, obey, and beckon his call.”

Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba (32532)

17- When asked what he was delegated with during the pilgrimage, he responded, “I was sent with four matters: That the Ka’aba will not be encircled in the nude, that those who have a pact between them and the Prophet – peace be upon him – will have it until it expires and those that don’t have four months, that only a believer shall go to paradise, and that Muslims and disbelievers will not gather after this year.”

Sunan Al-Tirmithi (3092)

18- When asked about the second verse in Surat Al-Mu’minoon, he replied, “Being god-fearing is an act of the heart, to be soft with your fellow Muslim, and to not turn around (due to distraction) in prayer.”

Al-Hakim in Al-Mustadrak 2/392

19- “I fear for you two things: Attachment to the world and the following of desires. The attachment will make you forget the afterlife and the following of desires is an obstacle to truth. This world is going away and the hereafter is coming. Each one has children, so be from the children of the hereafter and not those of this world. Today is a day of work without judgment and tomorrow is a day of judgment without work.”

Al-Zuhd by Ibn Al-Mubarak 1/269

20- “The son of Adam was destroyed by the two containers: His reproductive organ and his stomach.”

Ibn Abi Al-Dunya’s Mawsoo’ah 1/218

21- When criticized for his modest clothing, he replied, “It influences a believer to follow it (in modesty) and it creates piety.”

Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba (34500)   

Mothers in Islam

This is one of the most convincing things about Islam – the treatment of women in general and especially the high position mothers hold in Islam.

Amongst the clearest examples of Islam’s honoring women is the great status of the mother in Islam. Islam commands kindness, respect and obedience to parents and specifically emphasizes and gives preference to the mother as shall be shown in this article. Islam raises parents to a status greater than that found in any other religion or ideology.

The command to be good to one’s parents begins right from the Qur’an. Allah says:

“Worship God and join not any partners with Him; and be kind to your parents…” [Noble Quran 4:36]

The mention of servitude to parents follows immediately after servitude to God. This is repeated throughout the Qur’an.

“Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. And out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility and say, “My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.” [Noble Quran 17:23-24]

The great scholar, Abu al-Faraj Ibn Al-Jawz� (d. 1201CE) explained:

To be kind to one’s parents is: to obey them when they order you to do something, unless it is something which Allah has forbidden; to give priority to their orders over voluntary acts of worship; to abstain from that which they forbid you to do; to provide for them; to serve them; to approach them with gentle humility and mercy; not to raise your voice in front of them; nor to fix your glance on them; nor to call them by their names; and to be patient with them. (Ibn al-Jawz�, Birr al-W�lidayn)

The Qur’an emphasizes the great struggles the mother goes through for her child, to highlight the need for one to reciprocate their parents sacrifice for them:

“And We have enjoined on man [to be good] to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him and his weaning was over two years. Be thankful to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination.”[Noble Quran 31:14]

The renowned exegete, Shaykh Abdur-Rahman As-Sa’di (d. 1956), says about this verse:

{And to your parents} meaning, be kind to your parents, shower on them love, affection and piety, both in words and deeds, treat them with tender humility, provide for them and never harm them verbally nor physically. […] Then, Allah mentions the reason why we should be kind to our parents, when He says {His mother bore him in travail upon travail}, that is, the mother bore constant suffering; in pain and hardship from the first moment she felt the child moving in her womb to the worst pangs during the time of delivery. And {his weaning is for two years}, that is, during these two years the mother breast-feeds her child and looks after him/her. So after all the years of suffering, hardship, love and care, could we not, at least, compensate our mothers for what they have done for us and pay them back their rights? (Tays�r al-Kar�m ar-Rahm�n f� Tafs�r al-Kal�m al-Man�n)

The Qur’an repeats its mention of the struggles of the mother in yet another passage:

“And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his gestation and weaning [period] is thirty months. [He grows] until, when he reaches maturity and reaches [the age of] forty years, he says, “My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to work righteousness of which You will approve and make righteous for me my offspring. Indeed, I have repented to You, and indeed, I am of the Muslims.” [Noble Quran 46:15]

In connection to this passage, the late Grand Mufti of Pakistan, Shaykh Muhammad Shafy (d. 1976) wrote:

Mother has more rights than father
Although the first part of this verse is a command to do good to both the parents, the second sentence refers only to the hardships suffered by the mother, because they are unavoidable, and no child can be born without them. Every mother has to go through the problems of pregnancy and severe pains of delivery. As against this, it is not necessary for a father that he suffers any hardship in bringing up and educating the child, if he can afford to pay somebody else for these services. This is why the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has given more rights to the mother than anybody else. According to a had�th he has said,

“Do good to and serve your mother, then your mother, then your mother, then your father, then the near relatives and then those who come after them.”[Mazhari]

“And his carrying and his weaning is in thirty months”[Noble Quran 46:15]

This sentence too describes the hardships suffered by the mother for her baby. It points out that even after suffering hardships during pregnancy and the severe labor pains, the mother does not get respite from toils, because the natural food of the infants is in her breasts, and she has to suckle them. (Shafy, Ma’�riful Qur’�n [Eng. trans.], vol. 7, pp. 795-796)

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) continually used to remind his followers of the status of the mother and the obligation of being good to one’s parents. The following narration is a beautiful example of the noble position of the mother:

A man came to the Prophet and said: O Messenger of Allah! Who from amongst mankind warrants the best companionship from me? He replied: “Your mother.” The man asked: Then who? So he replied: “Your mother.” The man then asked: Then who? So the Prophet replied again: “Your mother.” The man then asked: Then who? So he replied: “Then your father.” (Sah�h Bukh�r� 5971 and Sah�h Muslim 7/2)

Commenting on this hadith, Shaykh Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi notes:

This hadith confirms that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) gave precedence to kind treatment of one’s mother over kind treatment of one’s father (Al-Hashimi, The Ideal Muslimah, IIPH 2005, p. 165)

Likewise, the late Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Shaykh Abdul-Az�z Ibn B�z (d. 1999) comments on this hadith saying:

So this necessitates that the mother is given three times the like of kindness and good treatment than the father. (Majmoo’ Fataawaa wa Maqalat Mutanawwi’ah)

He also writes:

The secret of her importance lies in the tremendous burden and responsibility that is placed upon her, and the difficulties that she has to shoulder – responsibilities and difficulties some of which not even a man bears. This is why from the most important obligations upon a person is to show gratitude to the mother, and kindness and good companionship with her. And in this matter, she is to be given precedence over and above the father.[…] And I have no doubt that my mother – may Allah shower His mercy upon her – had a tremendous effect upon me, in encouraging me to study; and she assisted me in it. May Allah greatly increase her reward and reward her with the best of rewards for what she did for me. (Majmoo’ Fatawa wa Maqalat Mutanawwi’ah)

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) also said in a famous narration:

‘Paradise lies at the feet of your mother’ [Musnad Ahmad, Sunan An-Nas�i, Sunan Ibn M�jah]

What can be greater evidence of honoring women than this? Islam has effectively placed the ultimate reward for human beings in their devotion to their mothers.

Shaykh Ibrah�m Ibn S�lih Al-Mahmud writes:

Treat your mother with the best companionship, then your father; because paradise is under the mother’s feet. Never disobey your parents, nor make them angry, otherwise you will live a miserable life in this world and the hereafter, and your children will treat you likewise. Ask your parents gently if you need something. Always thank them if they give it to you, and excuse them if they do not, and never insist on a matter if they refuse to give you something. (Al-Mahmoud, How to be kind to your Parents, p.40)

It is related from Talhah ibn Mu’�wiyah as-Salam� who said:

I came to the Prophet and said, “O Messenger of Allah, I want to perform Jihad in the way of Allah. He asked, “Is your mother alive?” I replied, “Yes.” The Prophet then said: “Cling to her feet, because paradise is there.” (at-Tabar�n�).

Shaykh Nidhaam Sakkijihaa comments:

Cling to her feet means to submit yourself to her, be close to her, protect her, serve her because in this is Paradise and with her satisfaction you will enjoy the good blessings of Allah. (Sakkijihaa, Honoring the Parents, p. 52)

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) showed us the importance of serving one’s parents in the following narration reported by Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud:

I asked the Prophet, ‘O Messenger of Allah, what is the best deed?’ He replied ‘Prayer offered on time.’ I asked, ‘What is next in goodness?’ He replied, ‘To be dutiful and kind to one’s parents.’ I further asked, ‘What is next in goodness?’ He replied, ‘Jihad in the Allah’s cause. [Sah�h Bukh�r�, Sah�h Muslim]

Just as the Prophet said that kindness to one’s parents was of the best deeds, he also said that disobedience to them was amongst the major sins:

“The greatest sins are to associate partners in worship with Allah, to be undutiful or unkind to one’s parents, to kill a soul forbidden by Allah and to bear false witness.” [Sah�h Bukh�r�]

Even after the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), the Muslim scholars continued to stress the importance of being dutiful to one’s mother. By examining the conduct and teachings of the early Muslim scholars, one may see how the direct recipients of the Islamic message understood the command to be dutiful to one’s parents. Their behavior towards their parents shows Muslims how one is to implement the teachings of the Prophet on honoring parents.

Abdullah Ibn Abb�s (d. 687CE), a companions of the Prophet and a great scholar of Islam, considered kind treatment of one’s mother to be the best deed for strengthening or rectifying one’s relation with God. He said:

I know of no other deed that brings people closer to Allah than kind treatment and respect towards one’s mother. [Al-Adab al-Mufrad Bukh�r� 1/45]

An even more powerful example is found in the statement of another one of the Prophet’s companions, Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar (d. 692CE), who was also a great scholar of Islam. It has been related that:

Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar saw a Yemeni man performing Taw�f (circumambulating the Ka’bah) while carrying his mother on his back. This man said to Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar, “I am like a tame camel for her! I have carried her more than she carried me. Do you think I have paid her back, O Ibn ‘Umar?” Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar replied, “No, not even one contraction!!” [Al-Adab al-Mufrad Bukh�r� 1/62]

Subh�nAllah (Glory be to God)! The efforts of a man who carries his mother on his back while performing taw�f cannot even repay his mother for a single contraction that she went through for him. Wise indeed was Ibn ‘Umar’s reply to this man to show him how massively indebted he was to his mother. This is the tremendous value and prestigious position of mothers in Islam!

Yet another example is found in the following prophecy of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him):

There will come to you with reinforcements from Yemen a man called Uways ibn ‘�mir of the clan of Mur�d from the tribe of Qaran. He had leprosy but has been cured of it except for a spot the size of a coin. He has a mother and he has always treated her with kindness and respect. If he prays to Allah, Allah will fulfill his wish. If you can ask him to pray for forgiveness for you, then do so. [Sah�h Muslim 16/95]

Indeed, later on ‘Umar ibn al-Khatt�b met Uways who was exactly as the Prophet described, and upon ‘Umar’s request Uways prayed for him. Commenting on this narration, Shaykh Muhammad Ali Al-Hashim� writes:

What a high status Uways reached by virtue of his kindness and respect towards his mother, so that the Prophet recommended his Sahabah [companions] to seek him out and ask him to pray for them!

All of this indicates the high status to which Islam has raised the position of motherhood, and given the mother precedence over the father. At the same time, Islam has given importance to both parents, and has enjoined kindness and respect to both. (Al-Hashimi, The Ideal Muslimah, IIPH 2005, p. 167)

So great was the Islamic emphasis on parents, that the Muslims considered a great opportunity to attain paradise in service to one’s mother. Iy�s Ibn Mu’�wiyah was a famous Islamic scholar from the second generation of Muslims. When his mother died, Iy�s Ibn Mu’�wiyah cried. He was asked, “Why do you cry?” He said, “I used to have two gates open to Paradise, now one of them is closed.”

Zayn al-‘Abid�n (d. 713CE) was the great grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and also a renowned scholar. He used to treat his mother with so much kindness and love as seen in the following narration:

Once he was asked, ‘You are the most kind person to his mother, yet we have never seen you eating with her from a single dish.’ He replied, ‘I fear that my hand would take the what her eyes have already seen in the dish, and then I would be disobeying her’. [At-Tartushi, Birr al-W�lidayn]

In other words, he was so careful not to disobey his mother that he would even avoid eating out of the same plate as her; He thought that she would see a morsel and intend to take it, but before she did he might unknowingly take that same morsel and eat it. This is how careful he was to obey his mother in the most minute details.

Another early Islamic scholar, Sa’�d Ibn Al-Musayyib (d. 709CE), was asked about the meaning of the verse “but address them in terms of honor” (17:23). Sa’�d Ibn Al-Musayyib replied:

It means that you should address them as a servant addresses his master.

Muhammad Ibn Sir�n (d. 729CE) used to speak to his mother in a very soft voice, out of respect for her. He was also often seen in the company of his mother and looking after her. (Ibn al-Jawz�, Birr al-W�lidayn)

All that has preceded shows how the status of mothers – and consequently that of women – is elevated to the highest position in Islam. The honor Islam has given to mothers is beyond that found in any other religion, ideology or culture. This is clear proof of the lofty status of Muslim Women.

The Book on Public Finance, by Abu `Ubayd Al-Harawi


The author Abu `Ubayd al-Qasim b. Salam was born in Herat (cerea 174 A.H. (770 A.D.) where he completed his early education. He then studied in Kufa, Basra and Baghdad and excelled in Hadith, Fiqh, Arabic Language, Grammar and Literature. After returning to his home country, he was appointed Qadi of Tarsus in Cilicia where he served for about 18 years. In 213 A.H. (828 C.E.) he visited Egypt, and after sometime proceeded to Baghdad where scholars studied his books under him. In the later years of his life, he journeyed to Hijaz, performed the Hajj and died later at Makka sometime in 224 A.H.

Abu `Ubayd was an eminent scholar of Hadith and Fiqh. He was also most accomplished in his study of the Arabic language in its style and syntax. He wrote about twenty works on these subjects, and dedicated many of them to Abdullah b. Tahir, the Tahirid ruler of Khurasan (207-213 A.H./828-845 C.E.) in whose opinion Abu `Ubayd was, until then, the fourth greatest scholar of Islam (after Abdullah b. `Abbas, al-Shu`bi, and al-Qasim b. Ma`an in their times). Abu `Ubayd’s works on language elicited highest praise from such a distinguished literatuer as al-Jahiz who observed that “None ever wrote more accurate and more useful works than him (Abu `Ubayd)”. His voluminous “al-Gharib al-Musannaf” was a pioneering work on codification of the rare hadith of the Prophet (SAW).


Among the early known works dealing with Public Finance, Abu `Ubayd’s book occupies chronologically the third position after Kitab al-kharaj of Qadi Abu Yusuf (d. 182 A.H.) and Kitab al-Kharaj of Yahya b. Adam (d.203 A.H.). The first two deal mainly with Law, rather Constitutional law, governing interstate relations. Abu `Ubayd’s work is much more comprehensive in the subject of public finance of the Islamic State. He begins by stressing the mutual rights and obligations of the Imam (the ruling leader) and the community, and their responsibilities under Islamic Polity. He discusses the institution of Bayt al-mal (The Public Treasury) and how the accumulated incomes therein are to be distributed.


Figures 3-5. Pages from Fada’il al-Qur’an, by Abu `Ubayd al-Qasim al-Harawi, dated 1166, Collection 20 – Ma Oriental Manuscripts (Source)

Abu `Ubayd refers to the main sources of the finance, of which Bayt al-Mal becomes the sole repository and the administration of which, both on income and expenditure, is the responsibility of the Islamic State. In Kitab al-Amwal he deals elaborately with Ghanima (war-booty), the Khums (one-fifth of the booty earmarked for the Prophet), Fai’ (the property that falls in the hands of the Muslims without battle), Jiziya (tax realised from the non-Muslim subjects) and Kharaj (an annual grant realised from the defeated states). He also explains which of the lands are subject to `Ushr and which to Kharaj and how to divide them among the Muslims.

In the latter part on Sadaqat and Zakat, the methods of collection and distribution thereof are discussed. The final chapter on Sadaqah pertains to the property of orphans and other relevant details.