The Reality of Hamd

zikr-beadsالحمد لله

What does the phrase al-ḥamdu lillah really mean.

  • Ḥamd refers to praising someone for an intrinsically praiseworthy and perfect quality, while madḥ is more general praise or praise for something which is not intrinsically praiseworthy.
  • Ḥamd is praise that comes from love, while madḥ or shukr or other forms are not necessarily motivated by love.
  • Ḥamd is praising Allah for all states, good and bad, while shukr is praising Allah for the good one receives.
  • Ḥamd is restricted to verbal forms and states of the heart while other forms may be expressed by actions as well.

Therefore al-ḥamdu lillah really means praising Allah— out of love and gratitude— for His praiseworthy and perfect attributes, and for the bounties and blessings he bestows upon us, and for the calamities and adversities which purify us and raise us in ranks.

-adapted from Shaykh Walid Basyouni

Quick Facts about the Companions

blue-hillsDid you know . . .

  • The total number of Companions: around 114,000 [Abū Zur‘ah], though the documented names reach about 10,000
  • Mukthiruʼl-Ḥadīth [about 7 Companions who narrated the bulk of ḥadīth from the Prophet]— Abū Hurayrah (5,374), Ibn ʻUmar (2,630), Anas b. Mālik (2,286), ʻĀʼisha (2,210), Ibn ʻAbbās (1,660), Jābir b. ʻAbdullah (1,540) and Abū Saʻīd al-Khudrī (1,170); no other Companion narrated more than 1000 ḥadīth
  • Only 120 Companions known to give fatāwā (in general, they refrained from doing so)
  • Most learned Companions—ʻUmar, ʻAlī, Ubayy b. Kaʻb, Zayd b. Thābit, Abuʼl-Dardāʼ and Ibn Masʻūd
  • Abu Bakr narrated only 142 ḥadīth due to his early death and preoccupation with governance and more urgent matters
  • The Generation (Qarn) of the Companions: When the majority of them lived, ended with the end of ‘Alī’s Caliphate [Ibn Taymiyyah]
  • Last living Companion— Abū Ṭufayl ʻĀmir b. Wāthilah al-Laythī (died 100H in Makkah); Last Follower to meet him— Khalaf b. Khalīfah (d 188H)
  • About 300 were named ‘Abdullah, though only 3 are famous, known as the ‘Abādilah— Ibn ‘Umar, Ibn ‘Abbās, Ibn Amr b. al-‘Āṣ
  • There was no Companion named ‘Abd al-Raḥīm or Ismā‘il

[Sources: Shaykh Walid Basyouni, PhD, 

Mohammad Hashim Kamali, A Textbook of Ḥadīth Studies. The Islamic Foundation, United Kingdom. 2005.]

Disney World versus Jannah

epcotThe other day we were walking in the park. My four-year old, a little girl obsessed with castles and fairies and the Magic Kingdom, remarks: “Disney World is better than Jannah!” My six-year old, Zayd, corrects her, “No, Sarah, Jannah is better! In Jannah you can think about something and have it. You can even have all the candy you want, and you won’t get cavities! And if the candy is hard, it becomes soft so you can eat it!”

كلّ مولودٍ يُولد على الفطرة

We can learn a lot from children, created on the pure nature of the fitrah. At times their skills of logical deducton and advanced understanding is incomparable to ours, cluttered with our own complexes and colored views of the world.