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Responding to JazakAllahu Khayrun


Source: Salaf us Saalih.com
QUESTION
Some people always say "Aameen, wa iyyaak" (which means "Aameen, and to you also") after someone supplicates, "Jazaak Allaahu khayran" (which means "may Allaah reward you with good"). Is it is an innovation to reply with this phrase all the time?
ANSWER by Shaykh Muhammad 'Umar Baazmool, instructor at Umm Al-Quraa University in Makkah
There are many narrations from the Companions and the from the Messenger (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam), and there are narrations describing the actions of the people of knowledge. In these narrations, it is said to them, "Jazaak Allaahu khayran," there is no mention that they used to reply specifically with "Aameen, wa iyyaakum."
Due to this, my position on a person clinging to this phrase, "Aameen, wa iyyaakum," after any supplication, not just "Jazaak Allaahu khayran," is that he has fallen into an innovation that has been added (to the Religion).
So in these kinds of circumstances, Muslims can use this phrase sometimes, and abandon it sometimes, but they must not cling to it as if it is an established Sunnah of the Messenger (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam), and Allaah knows best.
This was translated exclusively for http://www.bakkah.net from a cassette recording with the knowledge and permission of the shaykh, file no. AAMB021, dated 1423/7/18.

Dr. Muhammad Baazmool mentioned that there is no specified answer for it from the Sunnah.
To add something to that: The phrase "Jazaak Allaahu khayran" is something that is from the Sunnah to be said to express thanks or praise, due to the hadeeth:
On the authority of Usaamah ibn Zayd, he said that the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam said: "Whoever has had something nice done for him and then says to his companion, 'Jazaak Allaahu khayran,' then he has surely excelled in praising (him)."
Al-Albaanee authenticated it in Saheeh Sunan At-Tirmithee #2035 (2/392).
So then it is not like other phrases found in the sunnah that have specified answers, like:
  • 1) Al-hamdulillaah --- yarhamukallaah --- yahdeekumullaahu wa yuslihu baalakum
  • 2) As-Salaamu 'alaykum --- wa 'alaykumus-salaam
  • 3) Uhibbuka fillaah --- ahabbak Allaahul-lathee ahbabtanee feeh, etc
These are all supported by evidences.  We may not say that the response to a certain phrase must be such-and-such except with evidence.
So then a person may respond to "Jazaak Allaahu khayran" with any number of phrases that make sense, like:
aameen wa iyyaak
wa jazaak
aameen wa jazaak
wa iyyaak kathaalik
wa iyyaanaa ajma'een
wa iyyaak bi'ashri amthaalihaa
etc...
or other things in English:
aameen, and to you brother
aameen, to you likewise
and may He reward you too
and to you
to you the same
etc...
And this is done without clinging to any one phrase.  So actually "Aameen wa iyyaak" is a very sensible reply in 'arabic.  The shaykh only made a difference between saying it sometimes and saying it as if it is legislated in the Deen.
So we have to make a note here since many of us fall into this when we are learning arabic.  The phrase "kayfa haaluk" does not have a legislated answer.  It is not a must to reply, "tayyib walhamdulillaah."  This is simply something taught since it is a common conversation, like "how are you?" and "i'm fine."  It should not be taken as legislation, meaning that when you hear someone say, "jayyid walillaahil-hamd" you correct him.  Rather many of us stick to "tayyib walhamdulillaah" since it is the only phrase we know in arabic.  We do not intend to make it deen, but it is unfortunately our constant, unchanging answer to "kayfa haaluk".
Likewise, "aameen wa iyyaak."  It is just something we were taught as a conversation.  "Jazaak Allaahu khayran, aameen wa iyyaak"  Its fine like that, it makes sense.  But we have to realize it is not Deen.  The specific phrase of "jazaak Allaahu khayran" is Deen, but the reply is left up to how ever you want to answer.  I am not suggesting that you must learn all those phrases I mentioned above and meanwhile you have a lot of legislated du'aas to learn still, but you could simply not reply sometimes when someone says "Jazaak Allaahu khayran" as there is no obligatory or recommended reply needed.  You could also mix up "Ameen, wa iyyaak" with a simple "Aameen" or simply "wa iyyaak", and sometimes no reply.  Here you have four different answers.  I hope I am not complicating this issue, may Allaah forgive me.
Additional note:  The word 'Aameen' is legislated in general for du'aa.  So a person may say Aameen based on that, but not because it is specifically related to this du'aa.
And it has been related that when 'Aa'ishah, radhiyallaahi 'anhaa had heard the du'aa of those who received some charity, saying, "Baarak Allaahu feekum" she replied "wa feehim baarak Allaahu" and she used to reply to their supplications in a way similar to how the people worded their supplication.  See Saheeh Al-Waabilis-Sayyib (p.257)
And Allaah knows best.
Moosaa Richardson