Thursday, March 26, 2015

Brief Comments on Riyaadh al-Saaliheen #81

Etiquette: Glorifying Allaah while ascending and descending

بسم الله والحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله ، وبعد

Chapter: Glorification of Allaah by a traveler while ascending and descending:

975. Narrated Jaabir bin `Abdullaah رضي الله عنهما: Whenever we went up a place (like climbing a hill) we would say: “Allaahu-Akbar (i.e. Allaah is Greatest)”, and whenever we went down a place (down the valley) we would say: “Subhaan-Allaah”. [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (2993, 2994)]

976. Ibn `Umar رضي الله عنهما reported: Whenever the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and his army ascended a height, they would proclaim: “Allaahu-Akbar (Allaah is the Greatest),” and when they climbed down, they would proclaim: “Subhaan-Allaah (Allaah is free from imperfection).” [Sunan Abu Dawood (2599) and graded as “Saheeh” by Shaikh al-Albaanee].

Shaikh Ibn al-`Uthaymeen رحمه الله said:

From the etiquette of traveling is that a person while ascending, like going up a hill or upon taking off in an airplane, should say the “Takbeer”; he should say “Allaahu-Akbar” once or twice or thrice. And upon descending he should Glorify Allaah by saying “Subhaan-Allaah”, once or twice or thrice. The reason being, when a person climbs a higher place, he imagines himself to be on top (of everything), so he becomes pompous (the feelings of excessive pride). [Translator’s note: like how some of the mountain climbers say: “we are on top of the world”]

So when a person says: “Allaahu-Akbar”, doing so, he disdains himself and is exalting the Greatness of Allaah تعالى. Meaning: when a person is on a higher place, he should know that above him is the One who is higher than him, i.e. Allaah عز وجل. [Translator’s note: As Allaah تعالى says in the Qur’aan:

﴿نَرْفَعُ دَرَجَاتٍ مَّن نَّشَاءُ ۗ وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِي عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌ﴾

{We raise in degrees whom We will, but above all those endowed with knowledge is the All-Knowing.} [Surah Yusuf (12): 76]]

Similarly, when a person is descending, he is going down, getting lower and getting humbled; so he should say: “Subhaan-Allaah”; doing so: he is purifying Allaah عز وجل and declaring Him free from all types of imperfections - like being lowered or getting humbled - because Allaah سبحانه وتعالى is above everything. Even though the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم affirmed that (every night) Allaah تعالى descends to the lowest heaven, this descending is in a way that befits His Majesty, (we affirm that He تعالى descends, but we have not been informed the how of it and His descending is not like the way a human being descends) because {There is nothing like unto Him}.

Anyhow, this is from the recommended etiquette which is from the guidance of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and his companions, that if you are ascending, you say: “Allaahu-Akbar”; if you are descending a valley, you say: “Subhaan-Allaah”. Similarly, when you are in the airplane while taking off or ascending, you say the “Takbeer”; and while landing or descending you say: “Subhaan-Allaah” because there is no difference between climbing and descending in the air or on the land. And Allaah is the One who grants success.

[Sharh Riyaadh al-Saaliheen of Shaikh Ibn al-`Uthaymeen (4/608-609)]

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