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The Status of al-Istiqaama

The Status of al-Istiqaama


Shaykh ul –Islaam

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah as-Salafi


Translated by

Abbas Abu Yahya


Ibn Qayyim aj-Jawzeeyah (d.751 A.H.) -Rahimullaah- said:

‘From the levels of << It is only You we worship and only You we ask for help>> is the level of al-Istiqaama (being steadfast on the right way).

Allaah –Ta’ala – said:

<< Indeed, those who have said, ‘Our Lord is Allaah’ and then remained steadfast – the angels will descend upon them, [saying], ‘Do not fear and do not grieve but receive good tidings of Paradise, which you were promised.>>

[Fussilat :30]

Allaah –Ta’ala – said:

<< Indeed, those who have said, ‘Our Lord is Allaah,’ and then remained steadfast – there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. Those are the companions of Paradise, abiding eternally therein as reward for what they used to do.>>

[al-Ahaqqaf : 13-14]


And Allaah said to His Messenger -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam:

<< So remain steadfast as you have been commanded, [you] and those who have turned back with you [to Allaah], and do not transgress. Indeed, He Sees of what you do. >>

[Hood :112]

So He explained that Istiqaama is the opposite of oppression, which is overstepping the bounds in everything.

Allaah –Ta’ala – said:

<< Say, O [Muhammad], ‘I am only a man like you to whom it has been revealed that your god is but one God; so take a straight course to Him and seek His forgiveness. >>

 [Fussilat : 6]

Allaah –Ta’ala – said:

<< And [Allaah revealed] that if they had remained steadfast on the right way, We would have given them abundant provision So We might test them therein. >>


The most truthful of this Ummah and the one who had the greatest Istiqaama – Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq Radi Allaahu anhu was asked about Istiqaama? He answered:

‘That you do not associate anything with Allaah.’

What he intended was Istiqaama upon pure Tawheed.

Umar bin al-Khattab Radi Allaahu anhu said:

Istiqaama is that you remain steadfast upon commands and prohibitions. And do not dodge them in the way that foxes swerve away.’

Uthmaan bin ‘Affan Radi Allaahu anhu said:

‘To be steadfast means that you make your actions purely and sincerely for Allaah.’

‘Ali bin Abee Taalib Radi Allaahu anhu and Ibn ‘Abbas Radi Allaahu anhu said:

‘To be steadfast means: to perform the obligatory worship.’

Al-Hasan said:

‘Be steadfast upon the command of Allaah, fulfil His obedience, and distance yourself from sinning against Him.’

Mujahid said:

‘Be steadfast upon the testification of La ilaha ‘illa Allaah’ (‘There is none worthy of worship, in truth, except Allaah’) until they meet Allaah.’

I heard Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah -Rahimullaah- say:

‘Be steadfast upon love for Allaah and His worship and do not turn away from Him to the right or to the left.’

In the Saheeh of Muslim from Sufyaan bin Abdullaah Radi Allaahu anhu who said: ‘I said O Messenger of Allaah tell me a statement about Islaam, which I can only ask of from you.’

He -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam – answered:

‘Say, I believe in Allaah, then be steadfast.’

Also in the Saheeh of Muslim from Thawbaan Radi Allaahu anhu from the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam – who said:

‘Be steadfast, and you will not be in loss, and know that the best of your actions is the prayer, and no one is continuous upon Wudoo except a believer.’

What is required from the slave of Allaah is to remain steadfast, and that is being steadfast and upright. If he is not capable of remaining steadfast, then he should do that what is close to remaining steadfast as possible, however, if he falls below that, then he is in loss and in a state of negligence.

As is mentioned in the Saheeh of Muslim from the hadeeth of Abu Huraira Radi Allaahu anhu from the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam – who said:

‘Adhere to the correct way and if you cannot then that which is nearest to it, and know that none of you will not succeed with just his actions alone.’

They asked: ‘Not even you O Messenger of Allaah?’

He -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam – answered:

‘Not even me, only if Allaah encompasses me with mercy from Himself and His excellence.’

All the different levels and status of the Deen are gathered together in this hadeeth, so the command of being steadfast means to be correct, namely to be correct in intentions, statements and in actions.

The Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– mentioned in the hadeeth of Thawbaan that they would not be capable of continuously remaining steadfast, so he referred them to coming closer to being steadfast, namely that they come as close as possible to being steadfast according to their own capability, like the person who shoots at a target but he does not hit the target however he comes close to it.  Along with this he -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam – informed them that being steadfast and coming close to being steadfast will not grant you success on the Day of Judgement by itself. Therefore, one should not just rely upon ones actions alone, or be amazed by his actions, nor should one view his success through his actions alone, rather his success is with the mercy of Allaah and His pardoning and His excellence.

Istiqaama is a comprehensive word, its meaning embodies the Deen. And it is to stand in front of Allaah with honesty and adhering to the reality of truth, and fulfilling Allaah’s covenant.

Istiqaama is linked to sayings, actions, situations and intentions, so to possess Istiqaama in these matters means that they are done for Allaah and for the sake of Allaah and upon the command of Allaah.

Some righteous people said:

‘Make Istiqaama your companion, not one who seeks a miracle, even though your inner self desires to seek a miracle, because your Lord requests Istiqaama from you.’

I heard Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah -Rahimullaah- saying:

‘The greatest of miracles is adhering to Istiqaama’.


[Taken from: ‘Madarij as-Salikeen’ vol 2 p.103]