Warning mankind about the issue of standing up (for others)
Source: Fataawaa of Shaikh Al-Albaanee [Al-Asaalah, Issue #20]
The Messenger of Allaah, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Whoever loves that the people appear before him standing (up for him), then let him find his seat in the Hellfire.” Reported by Al-Bukhaaree in Al-Adab-ul-Mufrad (977) and others
It occurs from the path of Habeeb Ibn Ash-Shaheed on the authority of Abu Mujliz, who said: “Mu’awiyah entered a house in which was ‘Abdullaah Ibn Az-Zubair and ‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘Aamir. So Ibn ‘Aamir stood up while Ibn Az-Zubair remained seated – and he was the one with the most experience of the two. So Mu’awiyah, radyAllaahu ‘anhumaa, said: “Sit O Ibn ‘Aamir for I heard the Messenger of Allaah, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, say: [and he mentioned the hadeeth]. At-Tirmidhee said: “It is a hasan hadeeth.” I say: Rather, it is a saheeh hadeeth.
Al-Mukhlis said in (his book) Al-Fawaa’id:
‘Abdullaah narrated to us: Dawood reported to us: Marwaan reported to us, Mugheerah Ibn Muslim As-Siraaj reported on the authority of ‘Abdullaah Ibn Buraidah that he said: “Mu’awiyah went outside (one day) and saw that they were standing up because he was going out. So he said to them: Sit for the Messenger of Allaah, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: ‘Whoever is pleased that the Children of Adam (mankind) stand up for him, Hellfire becomes binding upon him.’”
This hadeeth has an authentic chain of narration.
Shabaaba Ibn Siwaar followed up the same hadeeth except that he reported “Whoever loves that men gather around him standing (up for him)…” and the rest is the same.
Reported by At-Tahaawee (2/38/39) and Al-Khateeb in Taareekh Baghdaad (13/193). And the hadeeth has another supporting evidence with Al-Khateeb (11/361) in mursal form concerning a road story. He reported it from ‘Abd-ur-Razzaaq Ibn Sulaimaan Ibn ‘Alee Ibn Al-Ja’ad who said: I heard my father say:
“Once Al-Ma’moon (the Khaleefah at that time) went to visit the jewelers in the market place. So he haggled with them on the price of an object that they had. Then Al-Ma’moon embarked on completing some of his needs. Then he left, so everyone that was in that gathering stood up for him except for Ibn Al-Ja’ad, for he did not stand. So Al-Ma’moon looked at him with an expression of anger. Then he took him to the side and said: ‘O Shaikh, what prevented you from standing up for me as your companions stand up for me?’ So he (‘Alee Ibn Al-Ja’ad) said: ‘I honor the Ameer Al-Mu’mineen too much (to stand up for him) because of the hadeeth that we report from the Prophet, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.’ He said: ‘What is it?’ “Alee Ibn Al-Ja’ad said: ‘I heard Al-Mubaraak Ibn Fudaalah say: I heard Al-Hasan say: the Prophet, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said…[then he mentioned the hadeeth with the first wording]. So Al-Ma’moon lowered his head pondering over the hadeeth. Then he raised his head and said: ‘No one should buy except from this Shaikh.’ So the people bought only from that Shaikh on that day till he had the amount of thirty thousand deenaars.”
So Allaah’s saying:
“And whoever fears Allaah, he will make a way out for him (i.e. from difficulty), and he will provide for him from places he never imagined” became a reality for ‘Alee Ibn Al-Ja’ad, the reliable and trustworthy reporter.
Ad-Dainooree reported a similar story to this in Al-Muntaqaa min Al-Majaalisah: Ahmad Ibn ‘Alee Al-Basree narrated to us saying:
“Al-Mutawakkil (the Khaleefah at that time) turned his attention to Ahmad Ibn Al-Mu’adhal and other scholars and so he gathered them in his home. Then he came out to them, so all of the people there stood up for him except Ahmad Ibn Al-Mu’adhal. So Al-Mutawakkil said to ‘Ubaidullaah. ‘This man does not agree with swearing allegiance to us (bay’ah).’ So he (‘Ubaidullaah) said to him: ‘Yes O Ameer Al-Mu’mineen, but he appears to have bad eyesight.’ So Ahmad Ibn Al-Mu’adhal said: ‘O Ameer Al-Mu’mineen, I do not have any defect in my eyesight. But rather I removed you from the punishment of Allaah, the Most Exalted, for the Prophet, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: ‘Whosoever loves that men present themselves to him standing (up for him), then let him find his seat in the Hellfire.’ So Al-Mutawakkil went to sit down beside him.”
Ibn ‘Asaakir reported in Taareekh Dimashq (19/170/2) with his chain of narration to Al-Awzaa’ee:
Some of the guards of ‘Umar Ibn ‘Abd-il-’Azeez (the Khaleefah) narrated to me saying:
“‘Umar Ibn ‘Abd-il-’Azeez came out one day while we were waiting for him on the day of Jumu’ah. So when we saw him, we stood up. So he said: ‘When you see me do not stand up but instead spread out (to make way for passing).’”
The Fiqh (understanding) of the Hadeeth: This hadeeth indicates two matters to us:
- First: The prohibition of someone loving that people stand up for him when he enters. And this evidence is clear such that there is no need for it to be clarified.
- Second: The disapproval of those sitting to stand up for the one who is entering, even if he doesn’t have a love for people standing up for him. This falls under the aspect of helping one another in goodness and avoiding opening the door to evil. And that is an accurate understanding that has been indicated to us by the narrator of the hadeeth, Mu’awiyah, radyAllaahu ‘anhumaa, when he refused that ‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘Aamir stand up for him, and he used this hadeeth as evidence for what he said. He did this because of his understanding and knowledge of the Religion and it’s legal principles, which include “preventing the means”, and because of his awareness of the natural dispositions of humans and their reactions to good and evil factors.
And if you were to imagine a community like the community of the first predecessors, they never practiced the custom of standing up for one another. It would be very rare that you find among them anyone that loved this kind of standing, which can throw someone into the Hellfire. And this was due to the lack of there being present that thing which would remind one about it – and it is the standing itself. On the other hand, if you were to look at a society like our society today, they have taken this particular type of standing as a normal custom. Indeed, this practice, particularly when done repeatedly, constantly reminds the person. So then the person’s soul desires it and finds pleasure in it until he ends up loving it. So when he loves it, he becomes ruined. So it becomes from the aspect of helping one another towards righteousness and Taqwaa to abandon doing this standing, even to those whom we feel don’t have a love for it, out of fear that our standing up for him will bring him to love it, for then we would be assisting him in bringing destruction to his soul and this is not permissible. Among the proofs that bear witness to this is when you see some of the people of knowledge of whom it is thought have good manners, their souls change when their eyes fall upon an individual that does not stand up for them. This is if they don’t become angry with him and attribute him with having little manners and give him the tidings of being prevented form the blessing of knowledge due to his lack of showing respect for its people, according to their claim.
Rather, there is even among them he who calls others to stand, deceiving them with such sayings as “You do not stand up for me for the sake of a body of flesh and bones, but rather you only stand up for the knowledge that is contained in my chest!!” As if the Prophet, sallAllaahu ‘ alayhi wa sallam, did not have knowledge in his!! For the Companions did not used to stand up for him. Or is it that the Companions did not used to give him the respect that was befitting of him! So can a Muslim honestly say this or the other?!
And due to this hadeeth and others beside it, a group of scholars have taken the opinion that it is prohibited to stand up for another person, as is stated in Al-Fath (4/14). Then he (Ibn Hajr) said: “The outcome of what has been reported on Maalik is the forbiddance of standing for the length of time that the one who is being stood up for doesn’t sit., even if he is busy serving himself. For he (Maalik) was asked about the woman who goes to great extents in hosting her husband, by receiving him, taking off his (outer) garments and standing until he sits? So he responded: ‘As for her receiving him, then there is nothing wrong with this. But as for her standing until he sits down, then no, for this is from the acts of the tyrants. And ‘Umar Ibn ‘Abd-il-’Azeez forbade this.”
I say: There is nothing in this subject that presents a contradiction to the evidence found in this hadeeth at all. And those who oppose and hold the opinion that it is permissible to stand, rather that it is recommended, they use as evidence ahaadeeth, some of which are authentic and some of which are weak. But all of them, when one reflects on their chains of narration and texts do not present a contradiction to the evidences for that (prohibition).
And what further confirms and clarifies this is the Prophet’s dislike of people standing up for him:
“There was no individual in the world that was more beloved to them than the Messenger of Allaah, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. And when they would see him, they would not stand up for him due to what they knew of his dislike for that.”
Reported by Al-Bukhaaree in Al-Adab-ul-Mufrad (946), At-Tirmidhee (2/125), At-Tahaawee in Mushkil-ul-Athaar (2/39), Ahmad (3/132), and Abu Ya’laa in his Musnad (2/183) and the wording is from him. It is from the path of Humaid on Anas, radyAllaahu ‘anhu. And At-Tirmidhee said: “It is a hasan saheeh hadeeth, ghareeb from this perspective.” I say its chain of narration is authentic according to the standards of Muslim.
This hadeeth strengthens what the previous hadeeth has indicated from the forbiddance of standing out of respect and honor. This is since if standing up were a legislated form of showing respect, it would not be permitted for him sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to make it disliked for his Companions. And he, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is the most deserving of people to be shown respect and honor. And they, radyAllaahu ‘anhum, were the most aware of people of what he, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, deserved.
Also, the Prophet, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, hated this standing up for him to be done by his Companions. So therefore, it is upon the Muslims – especially if they are from the people of knowledge and exemplary figures – that they should hate that for themselves, in accordance with following his, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, way. And they should hate that for those Muslims beside themselves due to his saying: “None of you truly believes untill he loves for his brother what he loves for himself from good.” So no one should stand up for him nor should he stand up for anyone. Rather their hatred for this standing should be greater than that of the Prophet’s hatred (for it). This is since if they do not hate it, it will become a normal practice for some of them to stand up for others. And that will lead them to hold a love for it, which then will serve as a cause for which they will be deserving of the Hellfire, as is stated in the previous hadeeth. And Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was not like this, for he was free and protected from having any love for this act of disobedience. So if he also hated it along with that, it becomes clear that it is more fitting that the Muslim hate it.30
The Prophet, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, has gathered the comprehensive and abundant good manners in his saying: “He is not from us who doesn’t have mercy for our young, and respects our old and knows the right of our scholar.” 31
30 Silsilat Al-Ahadeeth As-Saheehah (no. 358)
31 Saheeh Al-Jaami’-us-Sagheer (no. 5443)
So knowing the right of the scholar requires having good manners with him in his presence as well as in his absence. However, this does not require that one should worship him, as is the case with some of the Sufis and the extremists among the shaikhs. An example of this is standing up for the scholar when he enters the gathering. This act is not befitting for the pure and uncorrupted Islaamic society. So the main concern of the true Islaamic callers is to bring back as close as possible the first Islaamic society, in which it was not possible to adopt a practice any way they felt like. So indeed the matter is only as the famous saying goes: “So imitate them if you are not like them, Verily, imitation of the righteous is success.”
So we are trying to imitate those righteous and good individuals (from the Salaf), and we are attempting to bring forth a society that resembles that first luminous society that existed in that radiant time. So our attention must always be directed towards doing what they used to do, as much as we are able to, for the reality is as his, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, saying indicates: “Whatever I command you to do, then do as much of it as you are able. And what I forbid you from, then stay away from it.”32 So the matters related to actions are restricted and thus additions to them are not accepted. An example of that is being kind to the scholar by outward gestures, such as by standing up for him or others when they enter one of the gatherings. And I do not say the gatherings of knowledge, for this is very clear – that the students in that situation should not stand up for this scholar. However, if he enters a gathering that is not a gathering of knowledge, is it from the beneficial knowledge and from the righteous deeds that the people of that gathering stand up for that scholar who has entered the gathering?
Answer: “So imitate them if you are not like them.” Who is the only single individual that we should imitate apart from others? He is, as we all know, Muhammad the Messenger of Allaah. And the people of knowledge know, and this is something that they do not differ about.
Nowadays, the whole Islaamic world – except for those whom Allaah has mercy on – is in opposition to the Prophet’s guidance of the past concerning this matter. So the people of knowledge do not forbid their companions nor the general people when one of them enters a gathering and they stand up for him. And those who stand up for him out of kindness and respect, they deem that this is how the first society (of the Companions) were. Therefore, it is upon us to constantly direct the attention towards physically imitating the (way of this) first society.
These are from the matters of which it is obligatory upon the scholars, rather upon the students of knowledge, to take concern of. This is since if you are truthful in your imitation of the Messenger, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, then spread amongst your companions the fact that you hate this outward expression. This means to humble yourself as the Messenger, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, used to humble himself. The Messenger, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, used to hate this standing and so the people accepted it, for in reality he hated this thing. So if the scholar is following the example of the Messenger then let him spread that amongst his companions. This comes first.
32 Agreed upon
Second, it falls into the realm of “preventing the means.” For instance, if the scholar makes it a normal habit for the people to stand up for him, his soul will yearn for this standing. Then there will come a time when he will see his student who loves him and is devoted to him. He used to stand up for him then all of a sudden he stopped standing up for him. So there will occur disputes, then blaming, then perhaps more than that between the scholar and the student. This is because this scholar made it a normal habit for himself to love this standing. So what brought him to fall into this hated and forbidden love was the people’s accustoming him to it. I also wanted to remind the scholar and the students of knowledge to not adapt the societies because this adapting (and conforming) has no fixed limits today, for an innovation may appear and we will say: “There is something more important than it.” And then tomorrow there will be another innovation and we will say what we said in the first instance, until the society has gone far away from acting in accordance with what Islaam has brought, due to these distortions and false justifications. [Al-Asaalah, Issue #20]