بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Assalāmu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuhu
In this short article, I have provided thirty distinct benefits that one may derive from the Majalis of Hadith (Gatherings of Prophetic traditions). These advantages are self-explanatory and answer the doubts and criticism that some may level at these Majalis owing to an ignorance of the true spirit and nature of them. By the grace of Allah, these events are continuing to spread throughout the world as those who have experienced them continue to tell others.
1) Increase the love of the Prophet (salahu alayhi wasalam) and his Sunnah in our hearts because the more you read about him, the more you realize his status and are taken in awe by his magnificence.
2) The preservation of a unique system of transmission (Isnaad) that extends back over 1400 years and up until the advent of modern academia was widespread in the Ummah. Some Islamic texts have altogether lost the oral transmission that they had boasted for several hundred years before the recent neglect.
3) The inclusion of your name in a chain of narration that ends with you and goes back through Islam’s greatest scholars linking you to the most blessed of creation our Beloved (salahu alayhi wasalam) which is a great source of honour and barakah.
4) The entire gathering sends hundreds of thousands of salawaat on our Beloved (salahu alayhi wasalam) every time they hear his name over the course of the Majlis.
5) Establishing a bond between you and the celebrated Ulama of the past so that when you quote something from Imam Nawawi, Imam Suyuti or Ibn Hajr (RA) you are quoting from your own shoyoukh (as you are connected to them through isnaad) as opposed to simply quoting from a book as any other academic would do.
6) Improve the speed and proficiency of reading Arabic for both the readers and those that are following the recitation which is an essential skill for any student of knowledge.
7) The spread and revival of the Isnaad of mainstream Hadith texts throughout the Islamic World. In the South African Majlis people from over 20 countries participated and in many of these countries not a single person existed who narrated through Isnaad. Those who have inherited the Isnaad will return to their countries as ambassadors of the Sunnah and revive the tradition that existed several hundred years ago in places such as Timbuktu, Banjul and other famous cities of Africa.
8) Allow us to appreciate the richness, breadth and depth of the corpus of Islamic literature in times where people have become engrossed in reading about other civilizations and fantasies.
9) Increase our appreciation of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) by reading the proofs that the madhahib have established their rulings upon.
10) Increase your knowledge of Hadith terminology used by Muhaditheen when describing the reports in their collections and using terminology such as ghareeb.
11) Develop the time/events management skills that are an essential skill of any dedicated student of knowledge in their search for the Sacred Sciences.
12) Be constantly sitting in the company of senior Ulama for long hours with the ability to observe their ahklaaq and take from their adab before their knowledge.
13) Re-kindle the unity of this Ummah and the brotherhood that all Muslims have between themselves irrespective of skin colour, caste or socio-economic factors.
14) Becoming attached to the Sunnah of our Beloved (salahu alayhi wasalam) through the learning of his mission, his biography, his character, his appearance and all other sublime qualities that he possessed.
15) Earning the great reward promised to the people who set out in the pursuit of the Sacred Sciences.
16) Affords one with an opportunity to make new like-minded friends who are willing to dedicate hours to these blessed majalis. This company instead of distracting you and being a source of remorse for you on the day of Qiyamah, will aid you in worshipping Allah.
17) Learning about asbaab al-Nuzul or causes for the revelation of various ayaat from the Quran so we know the context that these verses were revealed in and are able to rectify the misunderstanding of modernists in their interpretation of these ayaat.
18) Read Ahadith of targheeb (virtues that encourage) and tarheeb (punishments that discourage) that will encourage us a desire to do good actions and discourage us from sinning.
19) Being amongst those who are observing the Fardh Kifayah action of safeguarding the Isnaad of this Ummah.
20) Get used to listening to Arabic while it is spoken or read fast therefore improving your overall listening skill which is yet another of the four primary skills required in language acquisition.
21) Learning how the muhaditheen would use abbreviations in the isnaad to mean different things such as ح for tahweel of the Isnaad.
22) The revival and imitation of a practice that was conducted by the muhaditheen for hundreds of years with the hope that through Allah’s mercy we will be raised in the hereafter with those that we imitate as stated in Hadith.
23) Increasing your knowledge of the Ahadith that are weak or strange by reading the hukm of the muhaditheen such as Imam al-Tirmidhi (RA)
24) Earn the reward of observing nafl (optional) I’tikaaf in the Masajid which creates an attachment to this serene and blessed environment in the company of Mala’ikah (angels) that would not otherwise be made available to one had there not such Majalis to motivate them to stay.
25) Knowing more about the Ulama in your isnaad who have preserved this unique tradition throughout hundreds of years of Islam.
26) Improving and correcting the recitation of difficult words that we would not normally come across other than in Hadith texts.
27) A source of reward for the elderly Ulama whom after their demise will continue receiving reward for everyone that studies and narrates through the Isnaad they inherited from these scholars; and the same for you when you pass away.
28) Gathering people together from different nationalities and backgrounds all of whom have one common denominator, that they are Muslim and leaving the company of the Kufaar for long periods of time which cleanses the heart from the filth of kufr.
29) Improvement in akhlaaq, by reading how the kufaar would treat our Beloved (Salahu alayhi wasalam) and his companions and the akhlaaq that he would reciprocate with.
30) Be part of a Majlis which is sought out by the angels and discussed by with your Lord who then forgives you for the sins you have done as occurs in the following Hadith that occurs in both Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim:
حَدَّثَنَا قُتَيْبَةُ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا جَرِيرٌ، عَنِ الأَعْمَشِ، عَنْ أَبِي صَالِحٍ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: " إِنَّ لِلَّهِ مَلاَئِكَةً يَطُوفُونَ فِي الطُّرُقِ يَلْتَمِسُونَ أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ، فَإِذَا وَجَدُوا قَوْمًا يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ تَنَادَوْا: هَلُمُّوا إِلَى حَاجَتِكُمْ " قَالَ: «فَيَحُفُّونَهُمْ بِأَجْنِحَتِهِمْ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا» قَالَ: " فَيَسْأَلُهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ، وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ مِنْهُمْ، مَا يَقُولُ عِبَادِي؟ قَالُوا: يَقُولُونَ: يُسَبِّحُونَكَ وَيُكَبِّرُونَكَ وَيَحْمَدُونَكَ وَيُمَجِّدُونَكَ " قَالَ: " فَيَقُولُ: هَلْ رَأَوْنِي؟ " قَالَ: " فَيَقُولُونَ: لاَ وَاللَّهِ مَا رَأَوْكَ؟ " قَالَ: " فَيَقُولُ: وَكَيْفَ لَوْ رَأَوْنِي؟ " قَالَ: " يَقُولُونَ: لَوْ رَأَوْكَ كَانُوا أَشَدَّ لَكَ عِبَادَةً، وَأَشَدَّ لَكَ تَمْجِيدًا وَتَحْمِيدًا، وَأَكْثَرَ لَكَ تَسْبِيحًا " قَالَ: " يَقُولُ: فَمَا يَسْأَلُونِي؟ " قَالَ: «يَسْأَلُونَكَ الجَنَّةَ» قَالَ: " يَقُولُ: وَهَلْ رَأَوْهَا؟ " قَالَ: " يَقُولُونَ: لاَ وَاللَّهِ يَا رَبِّ مَا رَأَوْهَا " قَالَ: " يَقُولُ: فَكَيْفَ لَوْ أَنَّهُمْ رَأَوْهَا؟ " قَالَ: " يَقُولُونَ: لَوْ أَنَّهُمْ رَأَوْهَا كَانُوا أَشَدَّ عَلَيْهَا حِرْصًا، وَأَشَدَّ لَهَا طَلَبًا، وَأَعْظَمَ فِيهَا رَغْبَةً، قَالَ: فَمِمَّ يَتَعَوَّذُونَ؟ " قَالَ: " يَقُولُونَ: مِنَ النَّارِ " قَالَ: " يَقُولُ: وَهَلْ رَأَوْهَا؟ " قَالَ: " يَقُولُونَ: لاَ وَاللَّهِ يَا رَبِّ مَا رَأَوْهَا " قَالَ: " يَقُولُ: فَكَيْفَ لَوْ رَأَوْهَا؟ " قَالَ: " يَقُولُونَ: لَوْ رَأَوْهَا كَانُوا أَشَدَّ مِنْهَا فِرَارًا، وَأَشَدَّ لَهَا مَخَافَةً " قَالَ: " فَيَقُولُ: فَأُشْهِدُكُمْ أَنِّي قَدْ غَفَرْتُ لَهُمْ " قَالَ: " يَقُولُ مَلَكٌ مِنَ المَلاَئِكَةِ: فِيهِمْ فُلاَنٌ لَيْسَ مِنْهُمْ، إِنَّمَا جَاءَ لِحَاجَةٍ. قَالَ: هُمُ الجُلَسَاءُ لاَ يَشْقَى بِهِمْ جَلِيسُهُمْ " رَوَاهُ شُعْبَةُ، عَنِ الأَعْمَشِ، وَلَمْ يَرْفَعْهُ، وَرَوَاهُ سُهَيْلٌ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ
Abu Hurairah (RA) narrates from the Apostle of Allah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) that there is a group of angels who patrol the earth and search for gatherings wherein Allah is remembered and the angels call out to each other, "Come to what you are searching for" and they form a circle around this gathering that reaches to the sky. When this gathering disperses, they return to the sky where they are questioned by Allah Ta’ala, although (who is All-knowing): Where have you come from? They reply: We come from a gathering of your servants who are engaged in Tasbeeh, Takbeer and Tahmeed. Allah Ta’ala asks them: Have they seen Me? The angels reply: No. Allah Ta’ala asks: And what if they had seen me? They reply: Then they would have engaged even more excessively in Your Ibadah and in glorifying of you. Allah Ta’ala says: What are they asking for? They reply: They ask of you Jannah. Allah Ta’ala then asks: Have they seen Jannah? The angels reply: No. Allah Ta’ala asks: And what if they had seen Jannah? They reply: Then they would have been even more desirous, eager and keen for it. Allah Ta’ala says: What are they seeking refuge from? They reply: They ask refuge from the Fire (of Hell). Allah Ta’ala asks: Have they seen the Fire? The angels reply: No. Allah Ta’ala asks: And what if they had seen it? They reply: Then they would have tried harder to escape from it and they would have been more fearful of it. Allah Ta’ala says: I make you witness that I have pardoned them. One angel exclaims: A certain person was not from them. He happened to be there for some other reason. Allah Ta’ala says: They are such a people that even those who sit with them (for other work) will not be deprived.
And Allah knows best