Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem
Which is better: Ribaat or Residing in Makkah for
by al-Imaam Ibn Taymiyyah
Which is better: Ribaat or Residing in Makkah for worship?
Shaykh al-Islaam, Ahmad bin Taymiyyah, may Allah sanctify his soul about the hadeeth,
'Guarding a night at the shores is better than a mans actions for his family, for a
thousand years;' and on the residents of Makkah and al-Quds and al-Madeenah, (who
reside) with the intention of worship and total devotion to Allah, the Most High, and the
ones who reside in Dimyaat and Alexandria and Tripoli with the intention of
Ribaat...which of them is better?
So he answered:
Praise be to Allah...
Nay, residing at the frontlines of the Muslims, like the ones in the Levant and Egypt is greater than
being a neighbour of the three masaajid.
I do not know any difference of opinion amongst the people of knowledge on this issue, and more
than one of the scholars has explicitly stated this.
The reason is that Ribaat is part of Jihaad, and being a neighbour (or within the proximity) is part
of Hajj, as the Most High says: 'Do you consider the providing of drinking water to the
pilgrims and the maintenance of Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah) as equal to the worth
of those who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and strive hard and fight in the Cause ofAllah?
They are not equal before Allah.' [at-Tawbah: 19]
And in the Saheehayn, the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam was asked: 'Which
action is best?' He answered: 'Belief in Allah and His Messenger'. It was said, 'Then what?'. He
said: 'Then Jihaad in His path'. It was asked, 'Then what?' He responded 'Then dedicated
Hajj' [that is, Hajj free of doing trade, Hajj, just for its sake].
It has been narrated, 'An expedition in the path of Allah is greater than seventy pilgrimages'.
In Muslim's Saheeh, from Salmaan al-Faarisi, the Prophet of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam said:
'The guarding (Ribaat) of a night and day in the path of Allah is greater than the fasting and
praying of a month; and whoever dies whilst in Ribaat, dies a Mujaahid, and he is given his reward
from paradise and is protected from the two tribulators (the angels who come at death)'
And in the Sunan, from 'Uthmaan, the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam said: 'The
guarding of a day in the path of Allah, is greater than one thousand days in other than it of places,'
and this was said by 'Uthmaan on the pulpit of the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam,
and it is said he narrated this to spread this Sunnah.
Abu Hurayrah said 'To do Ribaat for a night in the path of Allah is more beloved to me than to pray
on Laylat al-Qadr at the Black Stone'.
The rewards of Ribaat and guarding in the path of Allah are too many, and cannot mentioned fully
on this paper.
And Allah knows best.
[See Majmoo' al-Fataawaa 28/5]