| 2 Summary of Ethics


Overall Meaning: The Meaning of Laziness

Kasal linguistically: is lethargy in what ought not have lethargy in it. [1206] al-`Ayn, al-Khalil (5/310); Tahdhib al-Lughah, al-Azhari (10/37); Lisan al-`Arab, Ibn Manzur (11/587).

Kasal technically: is lethargy and flagging in what ought to be upheld whilst having the ability to uphold it. It is the lack of resurgence to doing good. [1207] Zad al-Masir fi `Ilm al-Tafsir, Ibn al-Jawzi (1/489); Fayd al-Qadir, al-Manawi (2/154). The Difference between Laziness and Incapacity (`Ajz)

Laziness is leaving a thing despite being able to undertake it, whereas incapacity is a lack of ability to do so. [1208] Fath al-Bari, Ibn Hajar (6/36). Dispraise of Laziness in the Qur’an and Sunnah

❖ Allah, honoured and majestic, says: “The hypocrites try to deceive Allah, but it is He who causes them to be deceived. When they stand up to pray, they do so sluggishly, showing off in front of people, and remember Allah only a little.” al-Nisa’: 142.
❖ Allah, exalted, says: “Believers, why, when it is said to you, ‘Go and fight in Allah’s way,’ do you feel weighed down to the ground?” al-Tawbah: 38. Meaning, you became lazy and preferred to rest and find comfort in the earth. [1209] Tafsir al-Sa`di (1/337).
❖ Abu Hurayrah, Allah be pleased with him, narrates that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Satan puts three knots at the back of your heads when you go to sleep. On every knot he says: ‘The night is long, so stay asleep.’ When one wakes up and remembers Allah, one knot is undone; and when one performs ablution, the second knot is undone, and when one prays the third knot is undone. As a result, one gets up energetic with a good heart in the morning; otherwise one gets up lazy and with a mischievous heart.” [1210] Reported by al-Bukhari (1142).
❖ Anas ibn Malik, Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to say: “Allah, I seek refuge in You from incapacity, laziness, cowardice, weak old age, miserliness; and I seek refuge in You from the punishment of the grave, and from the trials of life and death.” [1211] Reported by al-Bukhari (2823) and Muslim (2706). Quotes of the Predecessors and Scholars on Dispraising Laziness

❖ al-Khalwati said: “It is said that whoever’s laziness prolongs, his hope is lost.” [1212] Ruh al-Bayan (3/448).
❖ Ibn al-Qayyim said: “When the night approaches, a battle takes place between sleep and wakefulness. Longing and fear stand at the forefront of the army led by wakefulness, while laziness and waning stand in the ranks of heedlessness. If the protagonist leads a truthful campaign, he will defeat the forces of waning and sleep. Victory and bounty are realised, and dawn does not break but the shares of good have been split, yet the sleeping have no idea.” [1213] Bada’i` al-Fawa’id , Ibn al-Qayyim (3/232).
❖ `Abd al-`Aziz al-Salman said: “It has been said: ‘Laziness is the slide of profit, illness of all dealings, and the lowest of bought goods. If the self lies in the bed of laziness, the sleep of heedlessness overtakes it away from righteous action.’” [1214] Mawarid al-Zam’an li-Durus al-Zaman, `Abd al-`Aziz al-Salman (3/35). Categories of Laziness [1215] These categories are from al-Futur by Dr. Nasir al-`Umar (p. 23-26), with abridgement.
A general laziness and lethargy in all acts of worship, disliking them and not wanting to engage in them. This is the state of the hypocrites. They are the most intense in their laziness, waning, and repulsion. Laziness and waning in some acts of worship, accompanied by a lack of desire to engage in it but with no dislike of it. There may be a desire for it, but weak. This is the state of many a miscreant Muslim who is immersed in his base desires. A general laziness and lethargy that has the body as its root cause, not the spirit. One has the desire for worship and loves to perform acts of obedience. He is saddened if he misses out on them. Nonetheless, he endures in his laziness and lethargy. Many nights may come and go in which he wished to stand in prayer, but he does not do this despite his awareness. This is the state of many Muslims afflicted by this condition. Among them are the righteous, while others are miscreants. A passing sense of waning and laziness. It does not persist nor stays for too long. It does not result in sin nor takes one out of obedience. No one is free from this type of waning, despite them being different in their being affected by it. Its cause is usually temporary; like tiredness, being busy, sickness, or the like. Harms of Laziness
Being too lazy to perform acts of worship and obedience, and being lethargic and heavy in performing them if performed. Having a cruel, harsh heart that is no longer affected by the Qur’an or words of admonishment. Sins and disobedience envelop such a heart. Having no sense of responsibility on one’s shoulders, taking the trust that Allah burdened one with lightly. A lot of talk without any beneficial action to follow, setting the precedent for future generations. Wasting time and not using it beneficially, prioritising the less-important over the more-important. Experiencing spiritual and temporal idleness, having no blessing in one’s time. Not being well prepared to diligently adhere to a thing, running away from any and every serious venture out of fear that it will take out of his current lifestyle. Reasons for Falling into Laziness
Hypocrisy will inevitably cause laziness in worship, as is elucidated in the aforementioned verses. Delaying action: this is a chronic ailment and a killer malady, since saying, ‘Soon,’ is one of the forces of Satan. Having a fully satiated belly. Not saying words of remembrance, nor performing ritual ablution and prayer upon waking up. Opening the mouth when yawning and not controlling it. Faux reliance on Allah. Some hold the misconception that there is no need to act since the decree of Allah is passing over us regardless whether we act or not. This false reliance has led them to incapacity and laziness. Staying up late into the night causes laziness in the day such that one is lethargic in performing obligatory acts of worship and upholding necessary rights, missing out on both worldly and religious benefit. [1216] Ikmal al-Mu`lim, al-Qadi `Iyad (2/612). Love of comfort and relaxation, favouring idleness. Means to Desisting from Laziness
Seeking refuge in Allah as has reached us from the Prophet ﷺ: “Allah, I seek refuge in You from incapacity and laziness.” [1217] Reported by al-Bukhari (2823) and Muslim (2706) from the narration of Anas ibn Malik, Allah be pleased with him. Being moderate. Moderation is a life motto, and the Ummah is characterised by it. Rushing towards good deeds, racing towards them. Befriending the serious, ambitious seekers. Looking through the biographies of the tireless who realised the value of beneficial knowledge and righteous deeds, making efficient use of their time. [1218] Mawarid al-Zam’an li-Durus al-Zaman, `Abd al-`Aziz al-Salman (3/34). Habitually exercising by walking in the day, moving around, or playing a sport, so that laziness never creeps in. [1219] Maw`izat al-Mu’minin, Jamal al-Din al-Qasimi (1/185). Poetry about Laziness

Abu Bakr al-Khawarizmi said:

“Do not accompany the lazy in his state:
Many a decent man is corrupted by others.

The dull’s infection to the sharp is swift,
And coals are put out when placed in ash.” [1220] Ruh al-Bayan, Isma`il Haqqi al-Khalwati (3/449).

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