The Battle of Uhad: A rough video guide

By Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami; Bulletin #140530001 – 1 Sh’aban 1435

The battle of Uhad was one of the key battle of Islam which was fought against the Quraysh on the 3 Shawwal 3 AH. The video focuses on the key aspects rather than every minute detail which can be found in the Sirat Books. The pink represents the Quraysh and blue represents the Muslims. Each circle represents 50 people. The semicircle represents cavalry except for the blue on the hill where each semicircle represents 25 archers. The shooting lines signifies arrows. The green cutting board was my rendition of Mount Uhad and the post-it note a hill.

To read how it was made visit Nawhami Bulletin #14053001

The Definitions of Dhubba’, Hantham, Muzaffat and Naqir

These four types of vessels were commonly used for the production and storage of drinks which would become quickly intoxicant. The prophet (peace be upon him) forbade drinking from it regardless. The ruling was later abrogated when people became aware of its danger.

stack-of-wine-barrels-hdr-313809

By Sh. R. Kazi
17 Rabi II 1437 | 28 January 2016

It has been reported by Imam Muslim that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

I command you with four and I forbid you from four. Worship Allah and do not associate with him any partner, establish prayer, give zakah, fast the month of ramadhan, and give one fifth of what you have gained as booty and I forbid you from four, from Dhubba’, Hantham, Muzaffath and Naqir.

These were four types of vessels in which the Arabs at the time of the prophet (peace be upon him) would immerse dates, raisins etcetera in water until it would sweeten. Thereafter, they would drink it once it had become intoxicant. The reason why these have been forbidden specifically is due to the speed with which the substances in them intoxicate. Thus making the drink impure, forbidden, valueless and a means of destruction of wealth. It was also easy for a person do drink such drinks from these vessels being unaware that it had become intoxicant as opposed to vessels made of leather skin; this was not prohibited due to its thinness; any drink that had become intoxicant will become obvious; when it did, the vessel would tear. This was the initial command.  Later on, the prohibition of producing drinks in these vessels was abrogated with a narration of Buraydah RA,

I forbade you from producing drinks (in vessels) except for some, (now) produce drinks in any vessel, however, do not drink anything intoxicant.

Hereunder are the definitions of each type of vessel mentioned in the narration,

  1. Dhubba: Dried up gourd/pumpkin or a vessel made out of this
  2. Hantham: Singular is “hanthamah”. This is also called “Jirar”; singular is “Jarrah”, an earthenware jar. There are differences of opinion in regards to the type of earthenware jar. Strongest opinion is that it is a green earthenware jar.
  3. Naqir: This is when the inside of the trunk of a palm tree is excavated, hollowed out and made into a vessel.
  4. Muzaffat: Also referred to as “Muqayyar”. This is a vessel that has been coated with asphalt1.

————-

17 Rabi II 1437 AH
28 January 2015 CE

[1] Asphalt, also known as bitumen, is a sticky, black and highly viscous liquid or semi-solid form of petroleum. It may be found in natural deposits or may be a refined product; it is a substance classed as a pitch.

How to study Hidayah

hidayah_sample

By B. Shu’ayb
16 Rabi II 1437 | 27 January 2016

This is a summary of The path to Hidayah1 which outlines a guide on how to study Hidayah2.

Introduction

Hidayah is the commentary of:

# Bidayah al-Mubtadi = Quduri + Jami’ al-Saghir

Hidayah shows the way forward for beginners and provides a summary for the experts.

If you can read Hidayah, you can read:

# al-Ikhtiyar (commentary of al-Mukhtar) by Allm. Mawsuli
# al-Wafi (summary of Kanz) by Allm. Nasafi

N.B: these are equivalent to Hidayah but more refined

How to study Hidayah

Prepare

To learn the core masa’il in advance study:

Mukhtasar Quduri
Wiqaya (+ summary: Nuqayah)

N.B: Reading these will make way to: Kanz al-Daqa’iq, al-IkhtiyarMajma Abhur, Majma al Bahrayn, and Tuhfatul Fuqaha.

Read

To understand the core text use:

# Binayah
# Hashiyatu Laknawi

Advance

To delve further, you must know usul and follow one of the two path:

Muhaddithins’ Path:

# Nasb al-Rayah (+ Dirayah)
# ‘Inayah
# I’la al-sunan

Usuliyyins’ Path:

# Fath al-Qadir
# Radd al-Muhtar
# Badai’ al-Sanai’

—————–

16 Rabi II 1437 AH
27 January 2015 CE

[1] Nawhami, Muhammad Saifur Rahman. (2012). The Path to Hidayah. Islamic Studies Bulletin (DIBAJ), Number 1. Available at http://uloom.com/dibaj/article/120426501. Accessed 27 January 2015

[2] This is the monumental work of Allm. Marghinani on the Hanafi fiqh.

Praying salah without wudu

Salah will not be accepted without cleanliness so what should one do if they were stuck in a plane with no way of doing wudhu or tayammum? This issue is known as faqid al-tahurayn.

Metal-Sub

By A. Rahman
14 Rabi II 1437 | 25 January 2016

The prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said, لاَ تُقْبَلُ صَلاَةٌ بِغَيْرِ طُهُورٍ (trans. salah will not be accepted without cleanliness). This was reported in Tirmidhi and Muslim. The sanad  is sahih. The scholars are unanimous that salah is not permitted without cleanliness and consider a severe sin if one prays without wudhu or tayammum.

So here is the conundrum. What is the ruling if salah time comes and one has no water or soil available with which they may gain cleanliness through wudhu or tayammum respectively?

The schools are differed on this matter. This case is called faqid tahurayn (a person who has no access to water or soil).

قضاء اداء امام
لا لا مالك
نعم نعم شافعي
لا نعم احمد
نعم لا أبو حنيفة

Imam Malik (may Allah almighty have mercy upon him): Both ada and qadha are not wajib as the person is ‘ajiz (incapacitated). So salah is dropped similar to how it is dropped for a woman on her haydh.

Imam Shafi’i (may Allah almighty have mercy upon him): The person should read salah even though he is not tahir (clean), but they will have to do qadha when they have sufficient water. This is also one of the views of Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal.

Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal (may Allah almighty have mercy upon him): Ada is wajib even though the person is not tahir. They do not need to do qadha later.

Imam Abu Hanifa (may Allah almighty have mercy upon him): Ada is not wajib, but the person must do qadha later when water is available. Imam Abu Yusuf (may Allah almighty have mercy upon him) asserts that if possible the person should imitate those praying salah  (do the actions but not read anything) and then do qadha later. This is generally the preferred view amongst the ahnaf.

Note! Here ada means to read on time and qada means to read after the alloted time for salah has expired.

—–

14 Rabi II 1437
25 January 2016

The class rules of Shaykh Zakariyya Kandalwi

By Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
11 Rabi II 1437 | 22 January 2016

Hadrat Shaykh al-Hadith Ml. Zakariyya Kandhalwi at the onset of the madrasah year used to state 10 rules for his class. The following is abridged version of these rules.

  1. Unauthorised absence is unacceptable. If you are ill or needs leave, you must inform and have it authorised.
  2. You must sit in an orderly manner similar to how the saff are straightened in salah.
  3. Your appearance must be proper in that it must not conflict against the salaf and ulama. This is especially so in regards to the beard which must be appropriate length.
  4. When a narration comes with seemingly lewd words, the teacher it will translate it accurately and unambiguously. You are not to laugh at hearing it as it is a sign of disrespect.
  5. Do not put lean your elbow on the book.
  6. Do not sleep in class.
  7. Sit properly; do not sit cross legged or leaning on the wall especially in the lessons of hadith. Have respect for the book externally and internally.
  8. Wear clothing which conforms to the shariah and is loose fitted. Your clothing should be dignified and resemble that worn by the ulama.
  9. Show the utmost respects to the Imams of hadith and fiqh regardless of their school. Do not think or speak ill of them as a result of your bias towards your own school.
  10. If you wish to query based on something which you have learned from another teacher, do so but do not mention their name.

To read the rules in detail and in the words of Hadrat Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Zakariyya Kandalwi, read Ap Biti (v. 2 pp. 30-33).

Etiquette towards the teacher

Boat-on-river-delta-sketch

By Mufti Yaseen Shaikh
10 Rabi II 1437 | 21 January 2016

قَالَ لَهُ ۥ مُوسَىٰ هَلۡ أَتَّبِعُكَ عَلَىٰٓ أَن تُعَلِّمَنِ مِمَّا عُلِّمۡتَ رُشۡدً۬ا

Musa said to him, ‘May I follow you, on the footing that you teach me something of the (Higher) Truth which you have been taught?’1

Under this particular verse in Surah al-Kahf, Imam Fakhruddin Razi2 (may Allah have mercy upon him) writes,

You must know that Musa (peace be upon him) upheld many etiquettes and depths of compassion when requesting to learn under Khidr (peace be upon him).

هل أتبعك

He made himself a subordinate of, and subservient to Khidr, because he said, ‘Can I follow you?’

He sought the permission of Khidr for the realisation of this subservience. He is saying, ‘Do you give me the permission to make myself subservient to you’? This is a great expression and exaggeration in humility.

علي أن تعلمن

He said, ‘On the footing that you teach me’. This is an acknowledgement and confession of one’s lack of knowledge, and of the teacher’s knowledge.

من ما علمت

He said, ‘Of that which you have been taught’. The word ‘of’ is partitive. He sought from Khidr teachings of some of that which Allah had taught him (Khidr). This is also an expression of humility. It is as if he said, ‘I am not seeking from you that you make me your equivalent in knowledge, rather I am seeking that you give me a part of the knowledge you have’, just as a beggar seeks only a portion of the wealth of the rich, and not all of it.

He said, ‘which you have been taught’, an acknowledgement that Allah has taught that knowledge to Khidr (it is not self-taught).

رشدا

He said, ‘of the truth’, thus he was seeking from him guidance. Guidance is a matter if not achieved, one is led to misguidance. (He sought beneficial knowledge).

He said, ‘that you teach me of what you were taught’. This means he is asking Khidr to treat him the same as he was treated by Allah. It is an indication that your favour upon me by teaching me is like Allah’s favour upon you when he taught you. That is why it is said, ‘I am the slave of anyone from whom I learn a letter’.

Following a teacher

Following (subservience) means to do like the one being followed. It means to abide by the same practice the teacher abides by. This teaches that at the beginning stages, the seeker must always comply, not argue, or raise objections’.

‘May I follow you’, means following him absolutely, in all matters, not restricted to some matters besides others.

Khidr (peace be upon him) knew Musa (peace be upon him) was the Prophet of the people of Israel, who received the Torah, was spoken to by Allah directly, and selected for many powerful miracles. Despite all of these honourable and elevated attributes, he came with such pearls of humility. This shows that he came seeking knowledge with the greatest humility, which was fitting, because the one who has more knowledge, also knows more about its fortune. So his search for it is also more intense, and his etiquette towards those who possess the knowledge is also greater and complete.

In the sequence ‘May I follow you on the footing that thou teach me something’, he first made himself his subordinate/subservient, then requested he teach him. So, he started with khidmah (service), which is the first stage of pursuit, then the second stage, seeking knowledge from him.

He only sought knowledge from him; he had no other motives such as wealth or position.

———

[1] al-Kahf, verse 66

[2] Born in 543 A.H., died in 606 A.H.- He was born in Rayy, originally from Tabristan, had traveled to Khwarzam and Khurasan. He was a champion of the Ash’ari tradition in theology, a Shafi’i in Fiqh, influenced heavily by Al-Ghazali. He wrote the famous Tafseer known as Al-Tafsir al-Kabir)

Where does tawatur start?

By Shaykh al-Hadith Ml. Muhammad Yunus Jawnpuri
Yawaqit al-Ghaliyah v.1 pp.40
Translated by Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami – 9 Rabi II 1437 | 20 Jan 2016

For tawatur, it is a condition in every stage that group be such that collusion upon a lie be normally impossible. All usul experts state this point.

قال ابن الهمام في التحرير خبر جماعة يفيد العلم. لا بالقرائن المنفصلة. بخلاف ما يلزم نفسه أو المخبَر عنه. و عنه يتفاوت عدده. و شروط المتواتر تعدد النقلة بحيث يمنع التواطؤ عادة علي الكذب و الاستناد إلي الحسّ و لا يشترط في كل واحد و إستواء الطرفين و الوسط في ذلك أي التعدد و الإستناد لأن أهل كل طبقة لهم حكم أنفسهم فيشترط كل منهما فيهم. انتهي بزيادة من التقرير و التحبير لابن أمير الحاج – ص 233 ج 2

Muhaqqiq Ibn Humam has declared the middle and the two sides being equal a condition. This mentioned by all the usul experts. The meaning of the two end (tarafayn) is [as follows]. The beginning side (ibtida’) refers to where the sanad starts. The ending side (intiha’) refers to where the sanad ends. The ending side is the sahabi. Hence, all the examples of mutawatir which the ulama have wrote, in every one there is a large group of sahabah (may Allah almighty be pleased with him). Muhaqqiq Ibn Humam writes on,

و الحنفية قالوا الخبر متواتر و آحاد و مشهور وهو ما كان آحاد الأصل متواترا في القرن الثاني و الثالث اهـ

This text states the very same thing. The reason being, from the three generation (qurun thalathah), the first generation (qarn) is that of the sahabah, the second qarn is that of the tabi’in and the third qarn is that of the tab’ tabi’in. Despite a hadith being mutawatir in the second qarn it is not considered mutawatir because there was no tawatur in the first qarn. Consequently, for tawatur it is a conditional that in the generation of the sahabah, there also be a large group.

قال صاحب مسلم الثبوت و عندما عامة الحنفية ما ليس بمتواتر آحاد و مشهور اهـ و قال صاحب فواتح الرحموت فالقسمة عندهم مثلثة وجه الحصر أن الخبر إن رواه جماعة لا يتوهم تواطؤهم علي الكذب ثمّ وثمّ فمتواتر و إلا فإن روي عن صحابي جماعة لا يتوهم تواطؤهم ثمّ و ثمّ و تلقّته الامة بالقبول فمشهور اهـ

This text is clear, in the generation of the sahabah, a [large] group is a condition.

و قال ابن عابدين في حاشية الدر المختار (ص 177 ج1) المشهور في أصول الفقه ما يكون من الآحاد في العصر الأول اي عصر الصحابة ثم ينقله في العصر الثاني و ما بعده قوم  لا يتوهم تواطؤهم علي الكذب

[…]

[Shaykh al-Hadith] Muhammad Yunus [Jawnpuri]
(may Allah almighty increase his blessing)
قد عرضته علي شيخنا (مولانا محمد زكريا الكاندلوي نور الله مرقده) فأقره
Friday, 10 Jumada II 1390

Types of mutawatir

Tawatur can be achieved in four ways – tawatur fil isnad, tabaqat, ta’amul and qadr mushtarak. All of them lead to certainty.

Mutawatir

By Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
8 Rabi II 1437 | 19 January 2016

The author of Usul al-Shashi writes,

Mutawatir is that which is transferred from one group to [another] group such that there is no possibility of collusion upon a lie due to them being so many. [Furthermore,] it should have reached you in the same way. Examples of it is the reporting of the Quran, numbers of raka’ats and amount fixed for zakat. Its ruling is that it results in certainty (ilm qat’i) and to deny it is kufr.

Tawatur can be achieved in four ways – tawatur fil isnad, tabaqat, ta’amul and qadr mushtarak. All of them have the same ruling.

Tawatur fil Isnad

The message which is narrated with so many sanads in every generation from the time of the Prophet to now such that it is impossible for them to have colluded upon a lie in any given generation.

Example: من كذب علي متعمدا فليتبوء مقعده من النار

Tawatur fi al-tabaqat

The message for which there are no huge collection of identifiable sanads but in every generation there are so many narrators stating it from the time of the Prophet to now that it is impossible for them to have colluded upon a lie in any given generation.

Example: The Quran

Tawatur fi al-ta’amul

The message for which there are no huge collection of identifiable sanads or statements but in every generation there are so many people acting upon it from the time of the Prophet to now that it is impossible upon to have colluded upon a lie in any given generation.

Example: The five times prayer

Tawatur fi al-Qadr al-Mushtarak

The message for which there are no instances which are reported or acted to the level of tawatur, however, when multiple corroborative instances are combined it becomes such that is was impossible for them to have colluded upon a lie in any given generation.

Example: The miracles of the Prophet (peace be upon him)

An introduction to mutawatir

Social_Network_Analysis_Visualization

Allamah Abu Barakat al-Nasafi writes in Manar:

[Mutawatir] is the message which is narrated by a group whose number [is so high that it] cannot be accounted and it is [normally] impossible for them to have colluded upon a lie. This criterion extends [to every point in the chain]. Hence, its end will be like its start, its start like its end and middle like it two sides. For example, the reporting of the Quran and the five salahs. [Mutawatir] results in knowing with certainty (yaqin) like seeing gives necessary knowledge.

Mulla Jiwan explains the text in his commentary, Nur al-Anwar:

[Mutawatir] is the message which is narrated by a group whose number [is so high that it] cannot be accounted and it is impossible for them to have colluded upon a lie.

[The reason for the impossibility] is due to sheer number, differed places and character. An exact number (minimum threshold) is not specified as [opposed to what] some have inferred such as seven, forty and seventy. Rather, so long as necessary knowledge is attained, it will signify tawatur.

This criterion extends [to every point in the chain]. Hence, its end will be like its start, its start like its end and middle like it two sides.

In other words, [the volume] will remain the same in every era from the start when the message arose to the end when it reached the reporter. The start is the era when the message occurred. The end is the era of every reporter as they would have perceived it as the end. If it was not like that at the start, it will be ahad al-asl and called ‘mashhur’ so long as it spreads in the middle and the end [with the second or third generation]. If it did not spread like that in the middle or end [despite the fact that it had tawatur at the start], it is [considered] munqati’.

For example, the reporting of the Quran and the five salahs.

The examples are of mutawatir in general and not mutawatir [as found in the] sunnah. The reason being there is a dispute as to [whether] mutawatir in the sunnah exists. It is said, no [example] of it is found. Some said, ‘innamal a’malu bi al-niyyat’ and others said, ‘al-bayyinatu ala al-mudda’i wa al-yaminu ala man ankar’ [are examples of mutawatir].

[Mutawatir] results in knowing with certainty (yaqin) like seeing which gives necessary knowledge.

This is in contrast to what the mu’tazila say, ‘it provides convincing knowledge such that it gives weight to the truth but does not deliver certainty’. This is also in contrast to another group who say, ‘it provides evidentiary knowledge which arises from considering factors; [it does not deliver] necessary knowledge’. [Mutawatir leads to knowledge necessarily] because the existence of Makkah and Baghdad is clear and apparent [through mutawatir reports]; [it is free] from the need to prove it with evidence to remove doubt of its existence or the need to defend it through hypothetical constructs.

Notes

  • There is no specific threshold for tawatur. The numbers stated such as 5, 7, 10, 12, 40, 70 etcetera should be perceived more as a marker. It is a rule of thumb that a hadith which contain 10 or more separate sahabah is indicative of that hadith being mutawatir although not necessarily so.
  • The impossibility of collusion refers to the fact that it should be practically or generally (adatan) impossible. It does not refer to that which is theoretically (aqlan) impossible (cf Yawaqit al-Ghaliyah v. 1. p. 41).
  • The message must have been mutawatir in every era including the time of the sahabah (See Yawaqit al-Ghaliyah v. 1 p. 40).
  • The example of mutawatir in the sunan is من كذب علي متعمدا فليتبوأ مقعده من النار. The point mentioned by Mulla Jiwan addresses mutawatir in both text and sanad. If one considers mutawatir to have other forms such as through practice or amalgamation, there will many examples within the sunnah (cf types of mutawatir).
  • Necessary knowledge (ilm daruri or ilm yaqini) is knowledge which is self evident (requires no evidence) and understandable to any average person who hears. This is in contrast to evidentiary or convincing knowledge (ilm iktisabi or ilm nazari) which requires evidence to know and a level of expertise to understand (cf Nuzhat al-Nazar lil Asqalani).

————

Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
8 Rabi II 1437
18 January 2016

Allamah Zafar Ahmad Usmani

The great alim, muhaddith-jurist, researcher, prolific writer and shaykh, Zafar Ahmad b. Abd al-Latif Uthmani Thanwi. He was born on 13 Rabi I 1310 (Oct, 1892) and died in Dhul Qa’dah 1394 (1974 CE). He was a close member of Hakim al-Ummat Ml. Ashraf Ali Thanwi’s circle who was also his maternal uncle and teacher. Amongst others, he also studied under Shaykh al-Hadith Ml. Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri from who he has ijazah for the kutub sittah. He served as a teacher in Mazahirul Uloom for seven years and thereafter at Imdamul Uloom in Thana Bawan. He also taught at Madrasah Muhammadiyah in Rangoon, Burma, served at head teacher Madrasah Aliyah in Dacca for eight years and was the shaykh al-hadith at Darul Uloom Islamiyyah in Ashafabad (Hyderabad, Sind).

His magnus opus is Ila’ al-Sunan in which he produced and critically analysed the hadith evidence used in the Hanafi fiqh. He further wrote supplementary works to this title; Qawa’id fi Ulum al-Hadith and Inja’ al-Watan ‘an al-Izdira’ bi Imam al-Zaman. It took twenty years to complete. Another work of note is Dala’il al-Qur’an ‘ala Masa’il al-Nu‘man (popularly known Ahkam al-Quran li Thanwi) in which he was assigned to write from the beginning to Surah Nisa’. These works were commissioned by Hakim al-Ummat Thanwi. He has many other works in Arabic and Urdu. His fatawa is published in multi volumes under the title Imdad al-Ahkam; they are particularly insightful as he highlights the principles of the issues.

May Allah almighty have mercy upon him and grant him a high station in Junnah.

———-

Muhammad Saifur Rahman
5 Rabi II 1437
15 January 2016

For a more detail read the biography written by Shaykh Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuddah (May Allah have mercy upon him) available in introduction to ‘Ila al-Sunan.

Mawlana Mamluk al-Ali Nanautwi

1204 – 1267 AH (1789 – 1851 CE). One of the great Alim of his time in Delhi and a renowned educator. His student number is countless and notably include nearly all the founders of Deoband.

By Mawlana Abd al-Hayy b. Fakhr al-Din al-Husayni
Nuzhat al-Khawatir v.7 pp.1119 #917
Translated by Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami

The great Shaykh and scholar. Mamluk al-Ali b. Ahmad Ali b. Ghulam Sharf b. Abd Allah al-Siddiqi Nanautwi. [Considered] one of the famous teachers. He was born and raised in Nanauta – a village in the district of Saharanpur. He acquired knowledge from Allamah Rashid al-Din Dihlawi and other ulama. He specialised in fiqh, usul, Arabic and had complete mastery of logic. He was posted to teach in Madrasa Dar al-Baqa’. He benefited [them] the length of his age and exerted his effort on this [endeavour] so much so that his advancements became known amongst the ulama. A huge number of people, a sum which is countless, have learnt from him. He travelled to the Hijaz in 1258. [There] he did hajj and ziyarah. [Then] he returned to India after a full year. He died eleven days before the end of Zul Hijjah, 1267 AH before seven from liver disease.

[This entry is based on] the article of his son [Shaykh] Ya’qub [included] in the biography of Shaykh Muhammad Qasim Nanautwi. [May Allah almighty have mercy upon them all].

For a detailed article, read ‘Nanautwi, Mamluk al-Ali – d. 1267‘. Islamic Studies Bulletin (DIBAJ). Issue 104. Available at http://uloom.com/dibaj/article/150620501

Ml. Nur al-Hasan Rashid Kandhalwi has written a detailed book on his biography entitled, ‘Ustad al-Kull Hadrat Mawlana Mamluk al-Ali Nanautwi‘. The work is in Urdu and has been published by Mufti Ilahi Bakhsh Academy; Kandhla, India, (1430 AH/ 2009 CE).

————–

4 Rabi I 1437
14 January 2016

Note: In regards to his date of death, the sources are inconsistent  with some suggesting he died on 11 Zul Hijjah whilst this entry suggests it was 11 days before the end of Zul Hijjah. Furthermore, he was in the full time employ of Dehli college which was a government institute as opposed to Darul Baqa where at the most he could have been a visiting lecturer.

Have wudu in lesson

Ilm is not gained, it is given. For this privilege, one cannot simply rely on the minimum; rather they must go beyond the fard and embrace the sunnah, mustahab and the requisite etiquettes of which one is cleanliness. Verily Allah loves the repentant and the clean (Baqarah: 222). The prophet (peace be upon him) would encourage one to be in wudu even if it were just before going to sleep. Be clean, have wudu, when studying the din and seeking the love of Allah.

Read Mufti Umar Faruq Lawharwi’s article, ‘Have wudu whilst in lessons of hadith‘. Islamic Studies Bulletin (DIBAJ), Issue 2. Available at http://uloom.com/dibaj/article/130824501

Buyu’ terminology chart

The chart below illustrates the terminologies in buyu’ (business). Click on the image to enlarge.

Buyu's terminology chart
illustrator: Abdul Qadir Ja’far

Note! Use the chart as a guide but not as the source of your answer for which you should turn to the book. Some of the masa’il stated may not be representative of the position of all the schools or it may be an over generalisation. For example, there is differed opinion on the selling of guard dogs.

How to prepare for a lesson (Mutala)

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By Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
Nawhami Bulletin – 1 Rabi II 1427 | 11 January 2016

If you want to understand a subject well and gain depth, you must prepare before going to lesson – this is called mutala. The following is a suggested approach to preparing for a text covered in a lesson.

Firstly, determine the literal meaning (lughat) and form (sayghah) of the words. You may enquire, is the word an ismfi’l or harf? If the word is an ism, what is the gender (muzakkar or mu’annath), number (wahidtathniya or jama’) and type (ma’rifah or nakirah)?  If it is a fi’l, what is the sayghah as per the rules of sarf and perhaps even ascertain what is its masdarIf it is a harf, which group of harf does it belong. Ultimately, you would determine, what does this word literally mean and perhaps it has more than one literal meaning? The primary skill in this step is sarf and vocabulary (esp. masadir).

Secondly, determine the structure (tarkib) of the sentence and the relationship between the words vis status (marfu’mansub and majrur). You may need to identify if the word is mu’rab, mabni (ghayr mutamakkin) (mabni), ghayr munsarif or munsarif to glean how the word will react to a stimuli (‘amil). Ultimately, you should try to read the text and identify its function through the irab. The primary skill in this step is nahw.

Thirdly, translate the text in a meaningful way. You may ask what did the author intend here? If there are different possible meanings, what is the likely meaning here. To this end, you will need to look at the context of the sentence by checking what came prior to and after it as well as read further around the topic.

The objective is not to understand everything rather identify areas where you may need help. The part which you do not understand, mark it and when in class ask the teacher to clarify.

This is a tried and tested method. At first it may seem tedious and time consuming. In fact at first a few lines may take your entire time. But rest assured, it gets easier – after awhile you will get sharper and faster. Then reading will become a joy and you would advance at an accelerated pace so long as you are consistent in mutala daily even if the quantity is little.

If you were to read the dars nizami entirely in this manner, you would have built within yourself a capacity to de-construct any subject in the field.

Extended reading, beyond the dars nizami, is the subject of another note. Suffice it to say, you should read selectively and consult a pious expert alim regarding a book rather than reading any and every book that crosses your path – do not squander your time or cloud your judgement.

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Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
1 Rabi II 1437 AH
11 January 2016 CE

The principle of blocking the means

Blocking the means (sadd al-zara’i) or closing the ‘floodgate’ is a legal principle used as a device to stop the future occurrence of sin.

By Allamah Zafar Ahmad Uthamani
Ahkam al-Qur’an v.1 pp.54-46 – Hakim al-Ummat Ml. Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Editor)
Translated by Ml. Zameelur Rahman in Deoband – 18 December 2011

The ummah have agreed that when an abomination is attached to a permissible or desirable action and it becomes a means to disobedience or innovation, even though that is not the intention and objective of the doer, it is obligatory to remove this disobedience whatever it may be. Thereafter, they differed:

Some of them said: This desirable act should be totally abandoned in order to block the means to disobedience and to sever the substance of innovation in the religion.

And some of them said: This abomination is removed, and a recognised desirable act is not abandoned for its sake.

The Hanafis, Malikis and Hanbalis have inclined to the first [view]. Their proof is in His (Exalted is He) statement: “O you who believe, do not say ra‘ina, but say unzurna,” (Qur’an 2:104), as Ibn Kathir said in his Tafsir:

Allah Almighty forbade His servants from resembling the disbelievers in word and deed, and that is because the Jews would keep in mind the allusion in the speech with the objective of degrading [the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace)] – may the curses of Allah be upon them. Thus, when they intended to say: “Listen to us,” they would say: “Ra‘ina” (observe us) with the hidden meaning of “stupidity” (ru‘unah). [This is] as He (Exalted is He) said: “Among the Jews there are some who distort the words against their contexts, and say, ‘We hear and disobey,’ and, ‘Hear. May you not be made to hear,’ and, ‘Ra‘ina,’ twisting their tongues and maligning the religion.” (Qur’an 4:46)

Al-Baydawi said:

“Twisting their tongues,” twisting and turning with [their tongues] the speech into what resembles an insult, since they used ra‘ina, which resembles what they would use to insult one another, in place of unzurna.

It is not hidden that the sanctity of the Sahabah (Allah Almighty’s pleasure be on them all) is far removed from them [ever] alluding as the Jews would allude, or twisting their tongues as they would twist [them], yet despite this, you see they were forbidden from this word. This is not but from the door of blocking the means to abomination, and severing resemblance with the disbelievers. This is an elementary principle, from which uncountable branches derive.

From this the meaning of “relative innovation” (al-bid‘ah al-idafiyya) which ‘Allamah al-Shatibi discussed in his book al-I‘tisam is understood, and we will quote here a beautiful passage from it. He said:

Often an original practice is lawful but it falls onto the pattern of an innovation through the door of means…The reason for the inclusion of innovation here is that all that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) performed continuously of optional prayers and which he displayed openly in congregations, they are Sunnah, so acting on optional activities which are not Sunnah in the way a Sunnah is practiced equates to removing the optional act from its place stipulated in the Shari‘ah. Then a consequence of this is the laypeople and the ignorant believe that it is a Sunnah. This is a great evil! Because believing what is not a Sunnah [to be a Sunnah], and acting upon it within the remit in which a Sunnah is practiced equates to changing the Shari‘ah, just as if it were believed that an obligation is not an obligation or that that which is not an obligation is an obligation, and then practice in accordance with this belief – For, this is ruinous! So, granted, the action is originally valid, but its extraction from its remits [stipulated in the Shari‘ah] in belief or practice equates to ruining the laws of the Shari‘ah.

From this the justification of the righteous Salaf in their intentional avoidance of Sunnahs becomes manifest – so that the ignorant person doesn’t believe that it is from the obligations, like the sacrifice (udhiyah) and other than that, as has preceded. This is why most of them also forbade tracing the relics [of pious people], as al-Tahawi, Ibn Waddah and others transmitted from Ma‘rur ibn Suwayd al-Asadi, he said: “I attended the [Hajj] season with the commander of the believers, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him). When we turned back to Medina, I went back with him. When he had prayed with us the Morning Prayer and recited therein alam tara kayfa fa‘ala (Sura 105) and li’ilafi Quraysh (Sura 106), he then saw people taking a path, so he said: ‘Where are these people going?’ They said: ‘They are going to a mosque here wherein the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) prayed.’ He said: ‘Those before you were destroyed because of this! They traced the relics of their Prophets and adopted them as churches and monasteries. Whoever [unintentionally] catches the prayer in any of these mosques in which the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) prayed, then he should pray in them, otherwise he should not intentionally proceed to them.’”

Ibn Waddah said: I heard ‘Isa ibn Yunus – the Mufti of the people of Tartus – say:

‘Umar ibn al-Khattab ordered the cutting of the tree under which the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) was pledged allegiance. He cut it because the people would go and pray under it, so he feared temptation for them.

Ibn Waddah said:

Malik ibn Anas and other jurists would dislike going to those relics of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) with the exception of Quba’ alone.

Malik would dislike all innovations even if it was [done] in goodness. All of this is a means to not take as a Sunnah what is not a Sunnah, or to consider as part of the Shari‘ah what is not recognised. Malik would dislike going to the Bayt al-Maqdis for fear that that would be taken as a Sunnah, and he would dislike going to the graves of the martyrs and he disliked going to Quba’ for that very fear – despite the reports that have come on encouragement towards this, but since the ‘ulama feared the consequence of that, they avoided it.

Ibn Kinanah and Ashhab said: We heard Malik say when he came to [the grave of] Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqas: “I wish my legs were paralysed and I did not do this!”

Sa‘id ibn Hassan said: I used to read [hadiths] to Ibn Nafi‘, and when I read the hadith of spending generously [on one’s family] on the night of ‘Ashura’, he said to me: “Burn it!” I said: “Why is that O Abu Sa‘d?” He said: “For fear that it will be taken as a Sunnah.”

Hence, these are permissible or desirable activities, but they disliked their performance for fear of innovation, because taking them as Sunnah by continuously practicing upon them with open display of them – which is the nature of Sunnah – and when it falls on the pattern of Sunnahs, they turn into innovations without doubt. (End of abbreviated quote from al-Shatibi)

I say: This is the position of our Hanafi Imams (Allah Almighty have mercy on him). It is according to this [principle,] al-Halabi said in Sharh al-Munyah under “The Prostration of Gratitude and what is Done after the Prayer”: “It is disliked because the ignorant believe it is Sunnah or obligatory, and every permissible act leading to this is disliked.” Al-Shami said in the “Undesirable Acts of Prayer” of Radd al-Muhtar (1:43): “When a ruling wavers between Sunnah and innovation, avoidance of Sunnah is given priority.” The same [passage] is found in the Funerals [section] of Fatawa ‘Alamgiriyya and in it there is the addition: “That which wavers between obligatory and innovation, it should be practiced with caution.” Al-Tibi and al-Sayrafi said in their marginalia to Mishkat al-Masabih under the hadith of Ibn Mas‘ud, “None of you should make any part of his prayer for the devil by believing that it is duty-bound on him to turn to his right, for indeed I have seen the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) many times having turned to his left,”: “[The principle] behind this is that one who persists on a recommended act and has resolve on it, and does not act on a concession, then the devil has afflicted him, so what about the one who persists on innovations or abominations?” These [quotations] are found in Majmu‘at al-Fatawa al-Laknawiyyah (2:295).

In brief, blocking the means and cutting off resemblance with the disbelievers is a wide door in the religion on which is premised uncountable branches and rulings; and the basis of all of this is what is contained in this noble verse of a clear indication to this.

Overcoming personal challenges

A scattered mind and frail body may become a hindrance to learning. Start everyday with a focus and objective, then exert effort to attain it regardless of state or circumstance – do not think, ‘I cannot do this’.

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By Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami

A scattered mind and frail body may become a hindrance to learning. The pious always faced one form of challenge or another. However, they made their mind and body subservient to the will of Allah Almighty and thus overcame all challenges. The key is focus and effort. They determined their focus and then tirelessly worked towards that goal regardless of state or circumstance. Those who lack focus or effort become the victim of their state and circumstance.

Hakim al-Ummat Ml. Ashraf Ali Thanwi says,

Those who are in the habit of hard work, look at how their health is good. Look at the village folks, they are so much more stronger than you. Hot or cold; it does not faze them. [Now] look at the city folks, even the mu’azzin is so brittle that it is difficult for them to exit the masjid to give azan. God forbid should something befall the city people, what would they do. This is not just me saying, everyone knows that seeking luxury is not a good thing whilst effort and hard work is a good thing. However, the culture has changed such that there is no effort. Culture is in your control – change this culture [where] we consider idleness and seeking luxury a high achievement … if not in matters of din, at least do mubah (any permissible actions)  but for goodness sake do not sit around uselessly.

– Tuhfat al-Fuqaha (p. 262 v. 1)

Those who make the luxury of this world their focus and so exert no real effort in anything, their mind and body becomes diseased.  Those who make luxury of the hereafter their focus and so exert effort to utilise every moment, their spirit remains high and driven regardless of their state.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) walked with purpose; it always seemed he is going somewhere. The path to perfection in Islam is to avoid trivial matters.

Start everyday with a focus and objective, then exert effort to attain it regardless; do not think, ‘I cannot do this’.

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7 January 2015

Not for public consumption

Formula

Knowledge should be shared but not everything learned is to be spread to the general public. Some things are best left amongst the ulama. This is not tantamount to hiding knowledge as that is applicable to necessary and preferable matters of din and not arcane issues. Take caution and be mindful of the consequence of what you tell the public for you may distance them further. Do not confuse people rather build them gradually. There are certain ahadith which the sahabah only mentioned in their death bed for fear of the adverse effect it would have on the people (cf Muslim). The Prophet (peace be upon him), on the urging of Hadrat Umar, stopped Hadrat Abu Hurayrah from spreading a hadith to the masses on possibility that it would bread complacency. This was the hadith that whoever says la ilaha illallah would enter jannah.

Imam Qurtubi writes,

Those discrete and distinct issues which the general public will not understand rather it is likely they will misunderstand, it is better not to mention such issues and rulings to the public. This does not fall under hiding knowledge. Regarding such issues Hadrat Abd Allah b. Mas’ud (may Allah Almighty be pleased with him) said, if you present such ahadith to the public which they cannot understand fully, you will place them in fitnah.

Mufti Shafi Usmani write,

In Sahih Bukhari, Hadrat Ali (may Allah almighty be pleased with him) is reported as saying reports that mention only so much knowledge which their intellect can bear. Do you want people to belie Allah Almighty and his Prophet (peace be upon him)? The reason being, that which is beyond their understanding will create doubts and qualms in their heart which may lead them to deny.

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26 Rabi I 1437
6 January 2016

The Miqat

Miqat is the set boundary beyond which a Muslim intending to do hajj or umrah is not allowed to cross without ihram.

In essence there are two sets of boundaries. The outer boundary and the inner boundary. The first (marked red) highlights the point before which a person must start Ihram for those living beyond it. The second (marked blue) highlights the boundary of the haram and requires those living within to go beyond it and initiate ihram if they wish to do umrah such as the case of Hadrat Aysha (may Allah almighty be please with her) who whilst in Makkah was sent to Tan’im to put on her ihram for umrah.

Thulathiyat of Ibn Majah

By Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami

Thulathi (pl. thulathiyat) is a hadith where there are only three narrators between the author and the Prophet (peace be upon him) in the sanad. A thulathi is the shortest chains available in the kutub sittah.

Sanads with shorter chains (‘ali) are favoured over those that have longer chains (nazil). The reason being, a shorter chain is easier to analyse and has a lower margin of error as opposed to  a sanad that has more people in the chain. However, it should be noted that a short sanad does not guarantee that the hadith is reliable.

There are five thulathiyat in Sunan Ibn Majah. These are as follows:

حدّثنا جبارة بن المغلّس، حدّثنا كثير بن سليمٍ، قال: سمعت أنس بن مالكٍ، يقول: قال رسول الله صلّى الله عليه وسلّم : من أحبّ أن يكثر الله خير بيته، فليتوضّأ إذا حضر غداؤه، وإذا رفع – رواه ابن ماجة (3620) باب الوضوء عند الطعام

حدّثنا جبارة بن المغلّس، حدّثنا كثير بن سليمٍ عن أنس بن مالكٍ، قال: ما رفع من بين يدي رسول الله صلّى الله عليه وسلّم فضل شواءٍ قطّ، ولا حملت معه طنفسةٌ – رواه ابن ماجة (3110) باب الشواء

حدّثنا جبارة بن المغلّس، حدّثنا كثير بن سليمٍ عن أنس بن مالكٍ، قال: قال رسول الله صلّى الله عليه وسلّم : الخير أسرع إلى البيت الّذي يغشى من الشّفرة إلى سنام البعير – رواه ابن ماجة (3356) باب الضيافة

حدّثنا جبارة بن المغلّس، حدّثنا كثير بن سليمٍ سمعت أنس بن مالكٍ يقول: قال رسول الله صلّى الله عليه وسلّم : ما مررت ليلة أسري بي بملإٍ إلّا قالوا: يا محمّد، مر أمّتك بالحجامة  – رواه ابن ماجة (3479) باب الحجامة

حدّثنا جبارة بن المغلّس، حدّثنا كثير بن سليمٍ عن أنس بن مالكٍ، قال: قال رسول الله صلّى الله عليه وسلّم : إنّ هذه الأمّة مرحومةٌ، عذابها بأيديها، فإذا كان يوم القيامة دفع إلى كلّ رجلٍ من المسلمين رجلٌ من المشركين، فيقال: هذا فداؤك من النّار  – رواه ابن ماجة (4292) باب صفة أمة محمد صلي الله عليه وسلم

In all of these narrations the sanad is the same which is from Jubarah b. Mughallith who narrates from Kathir b. Sulaym who in turn narrates from Anas b. Malik (may Allah almighty be  pleased upon him) who says that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said …

The above mentioned sanad is da’if due to Kathir b. Sulaym who is generally criticised (cf Tahzib al-Kamal) particularly when he quotes Hadrat Anas b. Malik (may Allah almighty be pleased with him). Hafidh Ibn Hajar Asqalani declares him da’if, Imam Bukhari calls him munkar whilst Imam Nasa’i classed him to be matruk.

Jubarah b. Mughallith is a mutakallam fih narrator. Ibn Numayr says that he is ‘honest’ and Imam Abu Dawud Sajistani says he is ‘a pious man’. In contrast, Imam Zahabi et al. simply call him weak. The weakness does not arise from the lack of piety. Abu Zur’a states, ‘I do not see him as a person who would lie rather he was presented with fabricated hadith and he in turn forwarded it; I do not think he intended to lie.’ Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal said, ‘Some of his hadith are fabricated.’ Hafidh Ibn Hajar Asqalani clarifies that he reported the fabricated collection of Kathir b. Sulaym. Yahya b.Mu’in calls him a liar which is a bit harsh whilst Imam Bukhari is more reserved and declares his hadith Mudhtarab as in its authenticity are hit and miss. Considering this it is understandable why Usman b. Abi Shaybah and Maslamah consider him reliable.

In summary, Jubarah b. Mughallith is a good person and can be reliable person, however, his hadith cannot be accepted outright rather  one should check from whom he narrates. If it is from Kathir b. Sulaym and the like, reject it whilst if it is a reliable narrator his narration may be accepted (cf Tahzib al-Kamal).

 

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Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
24 Rabi I 1437 AH
4 January 2016 CE

Pray for knowledge

Knowledge is light. It is a gift given by Allah almighty and cannot be merely acquired by sheer ability alone. We must beseech Allah for knowledge.

By Shaykh al-Islam Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani
In’am al-Bari v.1 p.46
Translated by Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami ijtima.org #111123501

[Knowledge is light. It is a gift given by Allah almighty and cannot be merely acquired by sheer ability alone. We must beseech Allah for knowledge. Mufti Taqi Usmani advises students of Hadith how to pray and outlines a dua. He says:]

Oh Allah! In truth we are not deserving of gaining this knowledge or becoming its student; we have no capacity. The reality is that our smutty mouths and filthy tongues are not even good enough to be permitted to say the name of Muhammad Rasul Allah (صلي الله عليه و سلم) let alone be given the opportunity to study his Ahadith and utterances. Oh Allah! We have absolutely no capacity to study the words of your beloved (صلي الله عليه و سلم), however, Oh Allah! You are the creator and maintainer of capacity. Through your grace, generosity and mercy, grant us this aptitude and fitness. Grant us the ability to value this blessing. Grant us the ability to fulfil the rights associated with this knowledge. The radiance and blessing which you have gifted within the Ahadith, we deserve none of it but Oh Allah! We are definitely in need. We deserve nothing at all but are in need of everything. Oh Allah! Consider what we deserve, consider what we need and with your grace and generosity give us the radiance and blessing based on our needs. Give us the ability to fulfil the etiquettes, conditions and requisites needed for acquiring this knowledge. Give us the proper understanding of this knowledge. Give us the ability to act and stay steadfast upon it.