بسم الله الرحمـٰن الرحيم
اِعْلَمْ -رَحِمَكَ اللهُ- أَنَّهُ يَجِبُ عَلَيْنَا تَعَلُّمُ أَرْبَعِ مَسَائِلَ؛
Know, may Allah (subhanahu wa ta ‘ala) have mercy upon you, that it is a must upon us to learn four issues, the first is knowledge
|may Allah (azza wa jal) have mercy on you||رَحِمَكَ اللهُ|
|that it is a must upon us||أَنَّهُ يَجِبُ عَلَيْنَا|
|the first one||الأُولَى|
Exlpanation of the Basmallah
The author (raḥimahullah) started his book by seeking the help of Allah (subhanahu wa ta ala) by saying “I start my book by the name of Allah (abda’u musanafiy bi bismillah)”. In this regard, he is following the book of Allah (azza wa jal), and he is taking the example of the Prophet (sallallahu alayi wa sallam) in the writings and messages he used to send.
The lafDul-Jalaalah (الله) – which indicates the majesty of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is the name of Allah, the creator, which all the names of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) follow.
Ar-Rahman & Ar-Raheedm – Ar-Rahman and Ar-Raheem are two attributes of Allah. The difference between them is that Rahmaan is used only for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), whereas Raheem can be used for the creation as well. Rahman is the one who has a vast and full mercy in himself. Raheem is the one who shows mercy to others.
The obligation to know four issues
Know – this is an order, and the shaykh (rahimahullah) is saying, know, and do not be ignorant regarding the affairs of the religion. I will mention to you issues, that are important in the foundations of the religion, which deserve your full attention and you should listen to them the real listening.
may allah have mercy on you – meaning, may Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) send down upon you his mercy, by which, you will achieve with it, all that you want, and with this mercy, you will be saved from that which you are cautioned of.
This is the custom of the true sincere advisor. He calls you to guidance and he asks Allah goodness for you, so he combines between teaching you and making dua for you. This is from the good care of the author (rahimahullah) towards the believing servants of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and him having good intention towards them.
Shaykh sadi says that best ways to multiply rewards is by ikhlas (sincerity), dikrullah (remembering Allah all the time), and wishing well for muslims.
that it is a must upon us to learn four issues – this is an individual obligation upon each and every one of us, that is responsible and charged with duties (mukalif), both males and females, young and old. We have have to know four issues, that are important in the religion, that are inclusive i.e. covering the whole of the religion.
the first is knowledge – the first of these four issues is to have knowledge. And that is to learn guidance with its proofs. This includes knowing Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), knowing his Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa salam) and knowing the religion of Islam.
The author (rahimahullah), specifically mentioned these three issues, because these three fundamentals are the foundations of the religion that without them there is no Islam. They are also the three questions that the slave will be asked about in his grave. If the servant of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) got to know his lord (subhanahu wa ta’ala), got to know his Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) and got to know the religion of Islam, with proofs, then his religion will be complete and perfect for him.
It is also an individual obligation, to learn how to carry out all the obligations, that the slave is tasked with, and how to stay away from the prohibitions he is told to stay away from. So that the servant can worship his Lord (subhanahu wa ta’ala) with sure knowledge (baseerah) and get close to Him (subhanahu wa ta’ala) with evidence (burhan). It is a must upon him, to ask the people of knowledge, about what he is ignorant of, of these wajib matters. As for the obligations on the ummah at large (fardu kifayah), such as the rules of inheritance (mawaariith), and how to wash the dead etc, then if a group from among the Muslims, learns and carries this out, the obligation is dropped from everybody but if nobody does it then all are sinning.