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In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful. 

AS SIDQ – The Truthfulness

By ABUBAKR KAROLIA

SOUTH AFRICA

South Africa, July 7, 2007

[Updated on October 6, 2007]

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The truthfulness of a lover affects even the lifeless;

Why then should it be found strange that it affects man's heart?
The truthfulness of Moses (to his Creator) affected his staff and the mountain;
nay, it also affected that great, splendid sea.
As for the truthfulness of Muhammad, it affected
the beautiful face of the Moon and also the shining Sun.

-Jalaludeen Rumi (1207-1273 C.E.)-[1] 

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On many occasions, Muslims look for a precise word or title that captures the inner spirit, meaning and form of the Islamic message. The title “As-Sidq” perfectly describes the attributes of a person who is loved or graced by Allah due to truly following the path of Tauheed - the belief in the Oneness of Allah and living according to His Divine Message. 

Examples of these model characters are mentioned in the Noble Qur’an in the following Surah 4, "An Nisa", The Women, verses 68 and 69. They are people that are guided by Allah on the straight path and who obey Him and His Last Messenger, the Prophet Muhammed (S). 

68:“And indeed We would have guided them on the straight path

 

69: and whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger - the Rasul

Will be with those whom Allah has blessed:

The Prophets - Al Nabiyeen and the Truthful - As Siddiqin,

The Martyrs - As Shuhada and the Righteous - As Salihun

What excellent company such people are.”

 

From the above verses, it can be seen that Allah has blessed four categories of people and they are the Prophets – Al Anbiya, The Truthful – As Siddiqin, The Martyrs – As Shuhada and The Righteous – As Salihun and that they are excellent company and companions. 

For our purpose we would like to investigate the character of the Siddiqin – those truthful people and why they are so highly regarded and worthy in the eyes of the Creator. 

The word Siddiq emanates from the Arabic root s-d-q which is also the basis of the word “Sadieq” (a friend). The root letters s-d-q are used to derive Sidq, yasduqu and sadaqa. The essence of its meaning refers to a true, sincere and upright companion. One may refer to one’s closest friend as a “Sadieq”. While the word Saadiq refers to a person who is truthful or has spoken the truth. 

The Qur’an al-Kareem uses the word Sadaqah for charity. Sa-da-qa means, “He spoke the truth” but may also mean that “he kept or fulfilled a promise” or “he gave charity”. Real charity is when it is given with sincere and benevolent intentions. Thus the word Sadaqah also qualifies for that feeling that is compassionate, which moves our heart for the suffering of others and what motivates us to help others. Compassion is the best quality one can have towards other human beings and creatures.[2] 

Giving obligatory - Zakah or voluntary charity - Sadaqah are both referred to in the Noble Qur’an since such giving is to purify one’s wealth and to be constantly interconnected to Allah with the knowledge that He is the ultimate provider.  This act of charity is to be in submission to Allah and eradicates meanness and hoarding. Practicing Zakah and Sadaqah (other voluntary charity) are practical steps of strengthening Iman – faith and it is a path to inner and outer purification. Zakah is a pillar of Islam and an obligatory act of charity and purification and whereas other voluntary acts of sadaqah (generosity to those in need) enhance your nearness and belief in Allah. 

Truthfulness is as effective as the "elixir" of God's Greatest Name. When asked about the Greatest Name, Bayazid al-Bistami (804-874 C.E.) answered:

 

“Show me the Least Name among God's Names so that I may show you the Greatest One. If there is something as effective (for the acceptability by God of prayers and actions) as the Greatest Name, it is truthfulness. Whichever Name is recited truthfully, it becomes the Greatest.”[3] Thus, real submission to Allah is truthfulness in expression of our belief in Him.

 

A note worthy point on this subject of As Sidq – truthfullness is to glance at the character of beloved Prophet’s (S) before his Prophethood. His reputation as a man who was fair, honest and with superb conduct became well known.  He always spoke the truth, he was always dependable, and he always fulfilled his promises.  His honesty was beyond question and to such an extent that he earned the nick-name of "Al‑Saadiq Al‑Amin" which means:  The Truthful, The Trustworthy.  This was an honour not given to anyone before in Mecca or Arabia.  Muhammad (S) acted and behaved as his very nature demanded and it was very difficult, if not impossible for him to be any other way.  His very nature was that of a man of the highest integrity and truthfullness. [4]

 

In those early days of the Prophet’s mission he kept the company of people as AbuBakr (R). From the early years AbuBakr (R) was known for his good an upright nature.  His parents named him Abu Kaaba (the servant of the Kaaba) and when he became a Muslim the Prophet changed his name to Abdullah (the servant of Allah).[5] However, he was called AbuBakr [6] because in Arabic a young camel is called 'Bakr'. Since AbuBakr (R) in his youth, loved looking after camels and their health & treatment, people started calling him AbuBakr (The father of camels).  

 

He was a close and constant companion of the Rasul (S) and later he referred to him as AbuBakr (R) As Siddiq – the absolutely attesting. Of him the Prophet (S) said, “If I had taken to myself a beloved friend, I would have taken Abu Bakr (R) as my beloved friend; but he is my brother and my companion.”[7] 

This title of As Siddiq – the truthful, was given to AbuBakr (R) by the Prophet Muhammed (S) when he related his experience of the night journey to Masjid al Aqsa in Jerusalem (Al-Isra) and his ascension through the Seven Heavens (Wal Mi’raj) to AbuBakr (R) and he immediately and without hesitation replied “Sadaqta” – “you have spoken the truth”. From then on AbuBakr (R) came to be known as AbuBakr as Siddiq – One who, due to his immense trust in Nabi S.A.W., attested to whatever he said even though he might have been absent from the scene of occurrence. [8] 

From the above verses 68-69 from Surah 4, “An Nisa”, The Women, we clearly appreciate that whoever obeys and acknowledges Allah and the Messenger of Islam will ultimately be in the company of whom The Creator has blessed and graced. 

All good actions done by people bring benefits of one kind or another. It is natural for righteousness to bear sweet fruits and fragrant flowers. On the other hand, evil leads to harm and loss. The above verse is a commentary on this principle of goodness, which brings enormous benefits and bounteousness to those people giving and receiving in the way of Allah. 

Imam Abu Abdullah Qurtubi, a commentator – Mufasir of the Noble Qur’an (died in 1273 C.E.) gives an interesting background to this revelation. He reports from Aisha (RA), the Prophet’s (S) wife and mother of the faithful, that one day a companion of the Prophet (S) called Thauban (R) came to visit him. Usually Thauban (R) was cheerful but today he looked miserable. The Messenger of Allah enquired, "What’s the matter O Thauban?" He replied ‘O Messenger of God whenever I am sad I come to visit you and that makes me happy, but now I worry that when I think about the Hereafter, there you will be very near to Allah but I will be far away and I will be unable to even see you. It is this thought of separation which is worrying me.” The Messenger said nothing and just then the Great angel Jibra’eel arrived with this Divine message: telling Thauban (R), “you need not worry if you truly love and obey Allah and His Messenger then you will be with them”. 

One of the most delightful pleasures of life is to be in the company of the people one loves. People like to be with their families, their beloved, relatives and friends. Here the Glorious Qur’an is giving the obedient servant the assurance and promise of being in the company of the four most honoured categories of people, in the Hereafter: The Prophets, The Truthful, the Martyrs and the Righteous.[9] 

The Siddiqin - The truthful are people who have a clear sense of right and wrong and when the truth is presented they readily accept it. Many of the followers of the Prophet (S) had this quality, but no one more so than AbuBakr As-Siddiq Akbar (the greatest Siddiq). His love of Islam and the blessed Prophet (S) was sincerely displayed and his ability to judge between truth and falsehood, illustrates the meaning of As- Sidq (real trueness to Allah and the Prophet (S)). 

For example, when the Messenger presented Islam to him for the first time, AbuBakr (R) immediately testified and became a Muslim. Similarly, when the Messenger told him the story of his miraculous night journey, AbuBakr (R) was the first to believe him. He knew the magnitude of the Prophet’s (S) character and because of his clear sightedness and truthfulness he testified accordingly. 

From the above discussion one can appreciate AbuBakr (R) as the Imam – leader of truthfulness and therefore, he is As Siddiq – the truthful. This station is attributed to AbuBakr (R) because he was a friend – among the awliya of Allah and he was truthful to Him. The essence of this characteristic is to establish a close relationship as a friend of the Creator. 

The Noble Qur’an in Surah 49, “Al Hujurat”, Inner Apartments, verse 15 advises that,

 

“The believers - Mu’minun are only those who have faith - Iman in Allah and His Messenger, and have subsequently had no doubt and they struggle – (make) Jihad with their wealth and themselves in the Way of Allah; they are the truthful ones (As-Saadiqun).”

 

This verse refers to those who believe in Allah and the Rasul (S) and are true in their actions and words and they struggle with all their means and especially with their wealth and thereafter their lives in the way of Allah - they are the Saadiqun - those truthful in the expression of Imaan. 

A beautiful example that imbibes this verse is the generosity of AbuBakr, As Siddiq, when he gave his wealth to support the Prophet (S) and Islam. A sound and an authentic – “hasan” hadith[10] from Abu Daud (817-888 C.E.) tells us that AbuBakr (R) was the quickest and the most generous to rush to a good deed. In this case there was an appeal for funds from the Prophet (S), to assist the cause of Islam. Umar (R) saw an opportunity to outdo AbuBakr (R) and committed a large amount. The Prophet (S) saw what Umar (R) brought and asked him what he had left for his family. Umar (R) answered that he came to the Prophet (S) with half of his wealth and left the other half for his family. When AbuBakr (R) was asked what he had left for his family. He answered that he had brought all of his wealth and had left Allah and his Rasul (S) for his family. On hearing the sacrifice of AbuBakr (R), Umar then realized that he could never surpass the generosity and helpfulness of AbuBakr (R).[11]

 On the perilous occasion of the Hijra – migration of the Prophet (S) to Madina, it was AbuBakr (R) that accompanied him. They took refuge in a cave on Mount Thur and the Meccans scouts were searching the districts around the city to make it difficult for their escape. Instruction had gone out by the Meccan leaders that the Prophet (S) should be killed as he was a threat to their leadership, power base and lifestyle. AbuBakr (R) feared the worst when these scouts came nearby the cave and he was anxious that they would be captured. Allah revealed a verse in the Noble Qur’an that describes the serenity of the incident in Surah 9, “At Tawba”, Repentance, verse 40: 

“And there were two (persons) of them in the Cave, when he said to his companion, “Do not be despondent, Allah is with us.” Then Allah sent down His serenity upon him and reinforced him with troops you could not see.” 

In this incident, Allah engraved His name on AbuBakr (R) Siddiq’s heart and due to his unstinting support, generosity, sincerity and truthfulness and a companion of the Prophet he became a teacher of the inner dimension of Islam. 

Ibn Ajiba (1747-1849 C.E.) the celebrated Moroccan Sufi in his exposition of Ibn Ata’alla’s (died 1309 C.E.) seminal sufi treatise Al-Hikam informs us that to refine our hearts, we must be in the state of Ihsan – beauty, perfection and to do deeds of excellence to worship Allah as though you see Him, and if you can’t visualize Him, then know that He sees you. He said that our beloved Prophet (S) had reached this high stage, which is to witness Allah. The Shaykh advices that for a person wanting to achieve this state of the heart, the essentials that must be in place is to have Al-Ikhlas - to be sincere and faithful to Allah, to achieve a state of As-Sidq - truthfulness for and towards the Creator and to have a calm, tranquil and contented heart by the remembrance of the Creator - Tumaaninah.[12]  

This heartly condition of As Sidq - truthfulness gives a willing trust in other men within defined limits. Its outward signs are ready trust, in Allah, in the Messengers, in the Books, The Angels, The Last Day, The Balance and the Decree. This in turn engenders strong companions and sets up a noble community. The company of the “Saadiq” (person true in fulfilling the orders of Allah) is the perfect setting for contemplation and witnessing. The “zikr” for strengthening the portion of the greatest of inner qualities is the “zikr” of acceptance of Allah and His vast power. It should be constantly on the tongue for the one who longs for this station.[13]  

The character of truthfulness is the most trusted and firmest road that leads to Allah, and the truthful are fortunate travellers upon it. A Siddiq is truthful to the essence of action and distinguishes believers from hypocrites and the people of Paradise from the people of Fire. Truthfulness is a Prophetic virtue in those who are not Prophets but are close friends of Allah. Thus, the Siddiq is a person who has reached complete truthfulness, because they are the best of human beings after the Prophets and they are recorded in the Creator’s Court as a trustworthy representative of loyalty to Him.

 

Junaid al-Baghdadi (830-910 C.E.) a great friend - Wali of Allah says: A loyal, truthful person changes states at least forty times a day (in order to preserve personal integrity), while a hypocrite remains the same for forty years without feeling any trouble or unease (over his or her deviation). 

 

The initial degree of truthfulness is sincerity and behaving the same whether in public or in private. This is followed by being true in all thoughts, feelings, actions, intentions and states. The truthful are those valiant people whose feelings, thoughts, and actions do not contradict one another. The most truthful are those heroes who are absolutely true in all of their imaginations, intentions, feelings, thoughts, actions, and gestures for the love of Allah.[14]

 

The nature of As Siddiq – an absolutely truthful person, consists of developing a spiritual rank until it attains perfection. One has, therefore, to be alert at all times and compensate for one’s shortcomings and with consistency, constancy and refining one’s acts and within a short while can hope to establish the perfect state of Sidq - truthfulness.[15]

 

This state of As Sidq – truthfulness to the declaration of Imaan, also delivers a person from the punishment of the fire as the following Surah 92 “Al-Layl”, The Night, verses 14-21 illustrates:

 

14. “I have warned you of a Fire which rages,

15. In which only the wretched will roast –

16. Those who denied and turned away.

17. Those with most taqwa – cautious awareness of Allah - will be far removed from it:

18. Those who give their wealth - Zakah to purify themselves –

19. Not to repay someone else for a favour done –

20. Desiring only the Face of their Lord Most High.

21. They will certainly be satisfied (in paradise).”

 

Ibn al-Jawzi (1126-1200 C.E.) a famous jurist and a historian during the Baghdad Caliphate, states that many Muslim scholars and the Companions of the Prophet (S) were certain that these verses referred to Abu Bakr (R). Among all the people, he was called “al-Atiq” - delivered from the punishments of the Fire – due to being the most devoted and pious.

 

Amongst the friends of Allah – the Wali’s that ranked among the siddiqin, was Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani (1077-1166 C.E.).  At the age of 18, his thirst for knowledge and eagerness for the company of the awliya – friends of Allah took him to the city of Baghdad in Iraq. 

It is related that as he was about to leave home on this momentous journey, his widowed mother sewed forty gold coins inside his coat as part of his inheritance, and as parting advice told him to be forever truthful. The caravan with whom he was travelling had gone as far as Hamadan when it was attacked by a gang of robbers.

In the course of their looting and pillaging, one of the robbers asked him whether he had anything with him and he truthfully replied that he had forty gold coins sewn in his coat. The robber obviously thought he was joking and narrated this incident to his chief who decided to come and see this young man.

When his coat was torn open, sure enough there were forty gold coins. The gang leader was astounded. He asked Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani as to why he revealed this secret when he could have kept it to himself. Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani told him that his mother had advised him not to lie and he was duty bound to obey his mother. On hearing this, the gang leader was overpowered with remorse, repented, accepted Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani as his Shaykh and so did all his followers and they went on to acquire wilayah (sainthood) themselves. This is how Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani came to be ranked among the Siddiqin.[16]

The reality of this station of As Sidq – truthfulness, is self orientation, awareness and transformation of the self with wisdom, action and deeds for the love and worship of Allah and as His close friend.  The recognition of the truth is to remove the disease in the heart of hypocrisy – nifaq. Cultivating and establishing a character and state of Sidq – truthfulness together with Ikhlas – sincerity and Taqwa – cautious awareness of Allah, is a condition of a purified heart as the Hadith Qudsi [17] renders that the entire universe cannot contain Allah but a heart of a Mu’min – a practicing believer, can. 

 

As Sidq – truthfulness is the attribute of the servant of Allah and it balances the inner and outward purification of the self. Truthfulness is achieved by realizing all states and stations towards the love of the Creator, so much so that sincerity needs truthfulness, and it does not need anything accept intending Allah by the act of His worship.[18]

 

May Allah guide us to be of those that He has graced and to be in the company of the best companionship. Aameen

 

AbuBakr Karolia, South Africa

4 July 2007

 

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Glossary: 

s-d-q- An Arabic root word and the essence of its meaning refers to a true, sincere and upright companion. The root also derives the words sidq, yasduku and sadaqa.

As Sidq - Truthfulness

As sadieq – A close friend

Sadaqah – a word that denotes the giving of voluntary charity.

As Saadiq – a person who has spoken the truth

As Saadiqun – Truthful in the attesting of Iman – faith

As Siddiq – The truthful or absolutely attesting person

Sadaqta – You have spoken the truth

As siddiqin – The truthful. The As siddiqin are gone to Madina

As siddiqun – The truthful. Those are the As siddiqun


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[1] http://72.14.235.104/search?q=cache:oOWlMvoc5YgJ:en.fgulen.com/content/view/881/17/+Rumi+and+sidq&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1

[3] http://72.14.235.104/search?q=cache:oOWlMvoc5YgJ:en.fgulen.com/content/view/881/17/+Rumi+and+sidq&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1

[4] http://islamicbooks.info/H-4-Muhammad/4-Muhammad-2.htm

[5] http://www.geocities.com/islamimiracles3/Hazrat_Abu_Bakr_Siddiq.htm

[6] According to a famous Egyptian historian, Muhammad Hussain Haikal

[7] To be brother or a companion is greater in Islam, because this relationship for the Creator.

[10] A Hadith is a saying of the Prophet of Islam

[11] http://www.java-man.com/Pages/BestGenerations/BestGenerations02.html

[12] Iqaad Al Himam fi Sharah Al Hikam - An explanation of the Hikam of Ibn Ata’alla Iskandri by Ibn Ajiba

[13] The Hundred steps by Shaykh Abdulqadir Al Murabit-1998

[14] http://en.fgulen.com/a.page/books/key.concepts.in.the.practice.of.sufism/a881.html

[15] http://www.islaam.org/Tasawwuf/Tasa_52.htm 

[16] http://hamzajennings.com/archives/251

[17] Hadith Qudsi – A hadith that is narrated by the Rasul in the words of the Creator

[18] http://64.233.187.104/search?q=cache:gpJG0z60rLMJ:www.bogvaerker.dk/Bookwright/The_Complete_Forty_Hadith.html+al+ghazali+on+truthfulness&hl=en

 

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