Book : 40 Hadeeth by Imaam An-Nawawee رحمه الله
Explanation of Shaykh Ibne ‘Uthymeen رحمه الله
In the beginning of the discussion the Shaykh رحمه الله started with the saying,
”All praise is due to Allaah, we praise Him and we seek His Help and forgiveness and that We seek refuge in Allaah from our own evil and from our own evil self and our own deeds. Whoever Allaah guides none can misguide him and whoever Allaah guides none can guide him and I testify that there is no true God worthy of worship except Allaah and that Allaah is One and Unique having no partner, nor an associate and I testify that Mohammad is Allaah’s slave and Messenger May Allaah’s salaat and salaam be upon him and his noble and pure family and his companions.
Shaykh رحمه الله went on to give an introduction concerning Al-Haafidh An-Nawawi the great scholar of Islaam,
”that he was from the reliable and trustworthy scholars from the companions of Imaam Ash-Shafee’ رحمه الله and he was known for his authorship. Authoring in many fields in hadeeth and its sciences, as well as in linguistics. He in reality is one of the most knowledgeable people and it is apparent and Allaah knows best that he is from the most sincere in his authorship because his works spread in the Muslim world. To the degree that you can even find a Masjid except that his book Riyadh As-Saaliheen is recited or is read. And his books are known famous in the world indicating his correct intention.
The acceptance of the works is an indication for the purity of the intention.
He is a Mujtahid a scholar of ijtihaad. And the Mujtahid arrives at the correct as well as incorrect opinions. And he رحمه الله was incorrect in his position regarding the Names and Attributes of Allaah عزوجل. So he resorted to figurative interpretation of some of the Attributes of Allaah عزوجل, however without denying them.
Like for example :a figurative interpretation of Al-istiwaa Allaah’s ascending the Throne. The people of figurative interpretation say it means, ” that Allaah took control of the Throne.’‘ But they don’t deny that. Because if they would deny the Istiwaa then in this case they would commit disbelief. However, the person who deny’s such Attributes by way of figurative interpretation. Not belying them in this case if there is a proof for his figurative interpretation that maybe accommodated in the Arabic language then in this case he does not becomes disbeliever.
However, if there is no way to accommodate that in the or permitted in Arabic language. Then this entails kufr.
For example if one would say Allaah doesn’t posses a real hand. And he says that it doesn’t mean His power nor His favor because some people of figurative interpretation say that the meaning of Allaah’s Hand is His favor or His power. So the person who deny’s all of that, then in this case he deny’s the reality of Allaah’s Hand and that it is real and true Hand. And off course Allaah’s Attributes are different and distinct from the attributes of creation. So those who deny the Hand and they don’t even permit the figurative interpretation . In this case, they commit Kufr because they denied that in absolute sense. As for people of figurative interpretation(Ta’weel) they believe but they distort the meaning through the unsubstantiated figurative interpretation. Such matters where Imaam رحمه الله yane in which he erred is a matter of a mistake in ta’weel, the wrong being done in terms of figurative interpretation in some of the texts of the Attributes and these are few when compared to the great merits and benefits of the works of this Imam and we have no doubt that what occurred from him is due to his ijtihaad and his permissible interpretation. At least his opinion and I hope that he is forgiven for that and that what he offered from and presented to the Ummah from the good and the benefits is from the acceptable work and the saying of Allaah in Soorah Hud, verse 114 may be applicable on him,
”Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins). That is a reminder (an advice) for the mindful (those who accept advice).”
We testify as far as we know that Imaam An-Nawawee he is on righteousness and that he is a Mujtahid and everyone who is qualified with the degree of Ijtihaad may err and may also reach the correct conclusions and if he err he is rewarded once and if he is correct then his reward is doubled. Imam Ann-Nawawee authored as we said many books and this book the 40 hadeeth and its actually more then 40. Its 42 and its of the best of his authorship”
and Shaykh رحمه الله at the end of the introduction he said, ”These 40 Hadeeth he encouraged the seeker of knowledge to memorize it because they are chosen from many hadeeth and covering many different topics”.
Transcript by Om Zakariyaa Al-Baakistaniyyah