Ibn al-Qayyim(RA) is one of the renowned scholars of Islamic jurisprudence who spent his life seeking knowledge. Ibn al-Qayyim(RA) is also the student of one of the greatest Muslim scholar Ibn Taymiyyah(RA).
Ibn Kathir(RA) alongside with Ibn al-Qayyim(RA) was also the student of Ibn Taymiyyah(RA). Ibn al-Qayyim(RA) gained so much knowledge and teaching of Theology from his teacher and after the death of his teacher Ibn Taymiyyah(RA), he took over his place to produce more Islamic Scholars.
Most of his writings were compilations, although he authored several books himself, and manuscripts with his own handwriting are preserved today in the central Library of Damascus.
Ibn al-Qayyim(RA) Proficient Work
- Tahthib Sunan Abi Dawoud (Emendation of Sunan Abi Dawoud)
- Al-Kalam al-Tayyib wa-al-‘Amal al-Salih (The Essence of Good Words and Deeds)
- Manazil-u Sa’ireen (Stations of the Seekers)
- Zad al-Ma’ad (Provisions of the Hereafter)
#1 The heart is like a bird: love as its head and its two wings are hope and fear.
#2 When a sin causes someone to feel glad, it is a sign of the strength of their desire for it, their ignorance of the status of the One they disobeyed, and their ignorance of its dangers and evil consequences.
#3 A believer never attains perfect pleasure from sin, and he cannot attain happiness through it. Sorrow will always be the constant companion of his heart whenever he tries to attain pleasure or happiness through a sin.
#4 The truly enlightened one is the one whose good deeds appear small before his eyes, and his sins appear great to him. You increase in the sight of God by the amount that your deeds appear small to you, and whenever you consider yourself great and high in status in your heart, you become small in the sight of God.
#5 The most arrogant of people is the one who lets himself be deceived by the worldly life and its immediate rewards, who prefers it to the Hereafter, and who have become content with it as a substitute for the Hereafter.
#6 The servant is always walking, never stopping; either upward, downward, forward or backward. Stopping does not exist in nature, nor in Islamic law. [Life] is entirely made up of stages that are passed at great speed, either toward Paradise or toward the Hellfire. Some walk fast, others slowly, some are ahead and others lag behind. No one stands still on the road.
#7 Immediate repentance from sin is obligatory and it is not permitted to delay it, and whenever it is delayed, this delay is disobedience toward God.
#8 True repentance requires one to flee from the sin, to feel remorse, and to resolve to not return to it.
#9 It is a stage that all of those who are striving and competing are competing for it, and it is a kind of life that if you are missing it you are one of the dead.
#10 If the servant follows his desire, his opinions and views become corrupted so that he sees goodness where there are ugliness and ugliness where there is good so that he confuses the truth for falsehood.
#11 It is enough for the reduction of one’s expectations in the worldly life [to read] these sayings of God: “Do you think, if We let them enjoy themselves for years, and then what they were promised comes to them, that what they enjoyed will be of any use to them?
#12 On the day We gather them together—when it will seem as if they had tarried no more than an hour of a single day being introduced to one another.
#13 The servant continues to commit sins as long as they appear small in his eye and feel unimportant in his heart, and this is the sign of falling into disaster, for the smaller a sin is in the eyes of the servant the greater it is in the sight of God.
#14 On the Day they see it, it will be as if they had only lingered for the evening or the morning of a single day.
#15 They will say, ‘We tarried there for a day or part of a day. Ask those able to count!’ He will say, ‘You only tarried there for a little while if you did but know!
#16 On the Day they see what they were promised, it will be as if they had only tarried for just one hour of a single day. It has been transmitted! Will any be destroyed except for deviant people?
#17 They will whisper secrets to one another, ‘You only stayed [in the worldly life] for ten.’ We know best what they will say when the most correct of them will say, ‘You only stayed a day.
#18 Do not consider God’s saying “the righteous will be in bliss, and the wicked will be in a fire” to only apply to the bliss and torment of the Hereafter, And is bliss other than the bliss of the heart, and is torment other than the torment of the heart?
#19 Whenever the servant thinks the best of God, sincerely puts his hope in God and relies on Him, then God will never let him down.
#20 The first is to abstain from what is forbidden, and this is the asceticism of the average believer. The second rank is to abstain from excess in what is permitted, and this is the asceticism of extraordinary believers. The third is to abstain from everything that distracts one from God, and this is the asceticism of the enlightened believers.”
#21 Whoever does not seek God will seek other than Him; whoever does not dedicate his heart to worshiping Him will worship other than Him, and whoever does not do his deeds for the sake of God will inevitably have to do them for the sake of other than Him.
#22 Nothing preserves the available blessings of God and begets the missing ones like obedience to Him, for what is with God cannot be gained except through His obedience.
#23 People’s need for knowledge is greater than their need for food and drink since a person needs food and drink a few times a day, while he needs knowledge with every breath he takes
#24 The true man is the one who fears the death of his heart, not the death of his body. Most people fear the death of their bodies and are not concerned with the death of their hearts. They do not know of life except the material part of it.
#25 Of the signs of the knower of God are that he does not make demands, he does not quarrel, he does not reproach, and he does not consider himself above anyone else, and he does not think that he has any rights over anyone else.
#26 Thankfulness is built on three foundations: Acknowledgment of the blessing in one’s heart, acknowledgment of the blessing in public, and the use of the blessing in accordance with the wishes of the Giver of the blessing.
#27 He does not grieve over a good thing that he misses, and he does not celebrate an evil thing that misses him, because he looks at things from the point of view of passing away and evanescence, for in truth everything [in this worldly life] is like a shadow or illusion.
#28 When God wants good for His servant, He purifies him from every base and evil ingredient before he dies. He purifies him through His enabling him to repent with sincere repentance, to do good deeds that wipe out his sinful deeds and through hardships that cause the same, until he is able to meet God without having any sins to burden him.
#29 There are two types of love. One of them is a Paradise in this worldly life, a cause for the soul’s gladness, the heart’s pleasure and the bliss, nourishment, and cure of the spirit, and its very livelihood and cause for joy, and that is the love of God alone in the heart. And there is a love that is torment for the soul, sorrow for the spirit, a prison for the heart, and constriction of one’s breast, a cause for pain, toil, and suffering, and that is the love of other than God, glory to Him.
#30 True patience is to withhold the ego from vengeance when one has the ability to carry it out, to withhold the tongue from complaining, and to withhold the limbs from sinning.
#31 Know with certainty that the formal prayer is the joy of the heart of the lovers [of God], and pleasure of their souls, and the garden of the worshipers and the pleasure of the spirits of the ones who fear God, the criterion for measuring the state of the sincere ones, the gauge for determining the state of the seekers, and God’s mercy that He has bestowed upon His believing servants.
#32 As long as the servant carries out the remembrance of God and strives toward Him, God’s mercy pours upon him like torrential rain. But if he becomes heedless, he will suffer drought because of it, and if he is overcome by heedlessness and taken over by it, his land becomes a dead and ruined land, his year becomes a barren and dry year, and the fire of desires blows everywhere over it like simoom [hot, dry and dusty desert wind].
#33 The formal prayer was established so that the servant uses all of his limbs in worship along with his heart.
#34 The wisdom in God’s afflicting His servant with hardship is that He did not afflict him to destroy him, but to test his patience and obedience.
#35 God is greater in his heart than anything else. He makes this statement true in his heart by not having anything greater than God in his heart that would distract him from Him. If his heart contains something that distracts him from God, it is evidence that that thing is greater to him than God. If he is distracted from God by something else, the thing that distracts him is more important to him than God, and his saying of “God is great” is only by the tongue, not the heart.
#36 If a sheepdog tries to attack you, do not busy yourself with trying to fight it back. Rather, ask the shepherd for help and he will remove the dog. And when the servant seeks refuge in God from Satan, He will protect him from him.
#37 Whoever tastes the joy of true prayer knows that the saying of “God is great” and the recitation of al-Fātiḥa cannot be substituted by anything else, and knows that nothing can substitute for carrying outstanding in prayer, bowing and prostrating, because each one of them contains a secret, an effect and a type of worship that other things do not contain, and every verse of al-Fātiḥa contains a type of worship and joy that is special to it and that cannot be found in anything else.
#38 The heart acquires rust through heedlessness and sins, and it is polished by the seeking of forgiveness and the remembrance of God.
#39 To truly enjoy the benefits of worshiping God through bowing in prayer, the servant has to consider himself small and insignificant before his Lord, so that this feeling of insignificance removes from his heart any arrogance and self-glorification he has or any glorification he has toward the rest of the creation, so that it is replaced by the glorification of God alone without partner. The servant praises God through this by lowering himself before Him, bowing his head, bending his back, and speaking words of praise and glorification about Him.
#40 God, glory to Him, wanted to take among the children of Adam prophets, messengers, friends, and martyrs, loved by Him and loving toward Him. Therefore He withdrew Himself from them to let them deal with His enemies on their own, in this way testing them. When they preferred Him and strove with their souls and wealth in His way, they earned His love and approval and closeness to Him, which would have been impossible to earn without this process [of testing].
#41 The ranks of messenger-hood, prophecy, martyrdom and love and dislike for His sake and showing friendship toward His friends and enmity toward His enemies are of the greatest ranks which could not have been earned except in the way that God had arranged through lowering [Adam] to the earth and making his livelihood and the livelihood of his offspring in it.
#42 The most beneficial things to the nafs [the ego] are the things it dislikes, the same way that the most harmful and destructive things to it are the things it loves.
#43 God, glory to Him, is the possessor of the Beautiful Names; of His names are the Forgiving, the Merciful, the Pardoning, the Abaser, the Exalter, the Giver of Honor, the Giver of Humiliation, the Enlivener, the Causer of Death, the Inheritor and the Patient.
#44 God wishes His attributes to become manifest, so in His wisdom, He decided to send Adam and his offspring down to a home in which the effects of His Names become manifest to them. He forgives, shows mercy, exalts, gives greatness, lowers, abases and takes vengeance from whomever He wills, and He withholds and gives freely, and all the other ways in which His Names and Attributes become manifest.
#45 God, glory to Him, sent [humanity] down to a home where their belief in God has to be without having seen Him. Faith without seeing is true faith. As for faith after seeing, everyone on the Day of Judgment will have it, but their faith will have no benefit except those who also had faith in the worldly life. Had they been created in the home of Bliss [Paradise], they wouldn’t have acquired the rank of faith without seeing. The pleasure and grace that is earned through this cannot be earned otherwise.
#46 The decrees God makes about His servant [i.e. the blessings and calamities He sends] are always from [God’s] justice, bounty, wisdom, and mercy, and they are never from anything other than these.
#47 God, glory to Him, “when He said to the angels: ‘I am putting a steward [agent or deputy] on the earth,’ they said, ‘Why put on it one who will cause corruption on it and shed blood when we glorify You with praise and proclaim Your purity?
#48 I know that which you do not know.
#49 He then showed His knowledge to His servants and angels of what He had caused to exist on earth of the attributes of His creation, His prophets, His friends and those who strive toward Him by doing what He loves and pleases while struggling against their own lusts and desires, leaving what they love to increase their closeness to Him.
#50 A servant is not afflicted with a punishment more severe than the hardness of the heart and distance from God If the hearts become hard, the eyes become dry [they no longer shed tears out of love or fear of God].
#51 God, glory to Him, loves the patient, the good-doers, those who fight in His way, those who repent, those who purify themselves, and those who show gratitude toward Him.
#52 In His wisdom, He decided to cause Adam and his offspring to take up residence in a home where they would have the opportunity to show these attributes through which they would acquire the highest ranks of His love, therefore His banishing them to earth was of His greatest blessings to them, “God selects for His mercy whomever He wills. God’s favor is truly vast.
#53 God, glory to Him, created His creation to worship Him, and that is their purpose, as He says: “I have not created the jinn and humans except to worship Me
#54 Hearts that are attached to pleasures are blocked from God by the amount of their attachment to pleasures. Hearts are God’s goblets on earth, The most beloved of them to Him are the most delicate, the firmest and the most transparent among them.
#55 Ikhlaas and Tawheed are a tree in the heart. Its branches are good actions. Its fruits are a good life in this world, and eternal comfort in the Hereafter, and just like in Paradise the fruits whose supply is not cut off, nor are they out of reach, likewise, are the fruits of Tawheed and Ikhlaas in this world.
#56 An action done without Ikhlaas and without following the Messenger is like a traveler whose sock becomes filled with sand, which weighs him down, and has no benefit.” “Allah loves from His slave that he beautifies his tongue with the truth, and his heart with Ikhlaas and love, turning repentantly with reliance upon Allah.
#57 And verily for everything that a slave loses there is a substitute, but the one who loses Allah will never find anything to replace Him.
#58 Sincerity and the desire for praise and the desire for that which is with people cannot be united, together in the same heart any more than water and fire can be united.
#59 Were it not that Allah treats His slaves with the remedy of trials and calamities, they would transgress and overstep the mark. When Allah wills good for His slaves, He gives him the medicine of calamities and trials according to his situation, so as to cure him of all fatal illnesses and diseases.
#60 Until He purifies and cleanses him, and then makes him qualified for the most honorable position in this world, which is that of being a true slave of Allah (‘uboodiyyah), and for the greatest reward in the Hereafter, which is that of seeing Him and being close to Him.
#61 Loving Allah resembles a brook in a desert with no millstone, and that is why there are few water-drawers. The lover usually wants to be isolated with his lover in privacy in order to find delight, the same as the whale resorts to water, and a child seeks his mother.
#62 By the amount that one desires the worldly life and seeks its approval, one will be unwilling to obey God and seek the Hereafter.
#63 O people who take pleasure in a life that will vanish; falling in love with a fading shadow is sheer stupidity.
#64 Repel the thought, for if you don’t, it becomes an idea. So repel the idea; for if you don’t it will become a desire. So fight against that (desire), for if you don’t, it will become a determination and a passion. And if you don’t repel that, it will become an action. And if you don’t replace it with its opposite, it will become a constant habit. So at that point, it will be difficult for you to change it.
#65 Loving Allah resembles a brook in a desert with no millstone, and that is why there are few water-drawers. The lover usually wants to be isolated with his lover in privacy in order to find delight, the same as the whale resorts to water, and a child seeks his mother.
#66 By God, no enemy can attack you except after your Protector has turned away from you, Do not think that Satan has won [when you feel weak in faith and overpowered], it is just that the Guardian has left [you].
#67 He whom Allah has predestined to enter Paradise, the reasons which will cause his entrance shall spring from calamities; and he whom Allah has predestined to enter the Hellfire, the reasons which will cause his entrance shall spring from lusts.
#68 The slave is not afflicted with a punishment greater than the hardening of the heart and being distant from Allah. For the Fire was created to melt the hardened heart. The most distant heart from Allah is the heart which is hardened. If the heart becomes hardened, the eye becomes dry.
#69 The servant exists between the Hands of Allah at two times- while standing during performing prayer, and while standing on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever fulfills the rights of the first standing, will, in fact, be facilitating the second one. And whoever considers this easy and does not pay due attention to it, he will be making the other one difficult for himself.
#70 O one who spends the commodity of his lifetime in going against the wishes of his Beloved and distancing himself from Him, there is not among your enemies one who does more harm to you than yourself.
#71 Gratitude is built upon five pillars: Submissiveness to Allah from the one expressing gratitude; loving Him for it; acknowledging His favor; praising Him for it, and not utilizing it in a way that displeases Him.
#72 The divine decree related to the believer is always a bounty, even if it is in the form of withholding (something that is desired), and it is a blessing, even if it appears to be a trial, and an affliction that has befallen him is, in reality, a cure, even though it appears to be a disease!
#73 Do not get tired of standing at His door, even if you were thrown out And do not stop apologizing to Him, even if you were turned back And if He opens the door for the ones who were accepted, then enter (with them) the entrance of the ones who were unexpected and say, ‘Miskeen (poor) so give me Sadaqah (charity)
#74 A person who repents from a sin is like a sick person who drinks medicine, and perhaps an illness will be the cause of health.
#75 Because names have meanings, these meanings will inevitably have an effect on the person who carries the name. Names have an effect on the things that are named, and the things that are named have an effect on their names, whether they are beautiful or ugly, light or heavy, subtle or crude.
#76 Whoever is prevented from sinning by feeling the greatness of God’s status in his heart, God increases his status in the hearts of the creation so that they do not belittle or dishonor him.
#77 All sins are based on three things: Arrogance, which caused Satan to be the way he is; greed, which is what caused Adam to be cast out of Paradise, and envy, which is what pushed one of the sons of Adam to kill the other.