The minimum mahr

Allah Almighty has ordained that when a man marries a woman, he must give her something. Is there a minimum? The Ahnaf state ten dirhams, the Malikiyyah state 1/4 of a dinar and the others state no minimum so long as it is of some value.

By Mulla Ali Qari al-Harawi
Fathu Bab al-Inayah v.2 pp. 51-52
Translated by F. Miah & Z. Mahmud – 3 Rabi I 1438 | 3 December 2016

The minimum mahr, according to [the Ahnaf], is ten dirhams; it should weigh [ten dirhams] in silver coins, nuggets or be equal in value to 10 dirhams in price or property.

Imam Muhammad [b. Hasan Shaybani] (may Allah Almighty have mercy upon him) states in Asl, ‘We learnt that the minimum of mahr is ten dirhams from Ali, Abdullah b. Umar, Amir and Ibrahim (may Allah Almighty be pleased with them all)’.

Imam Malik (may Allah Almighty have mercy upon him) mentions in Muwatta, ‘I do not consider that a woman be married with less than a quarter of a dinar.’ This is the threshold for theft according to him.

Imams Shafi’i and Ahmad (may Allah Almighty have mercy upon them) state that everything that has a price can be mahr’.

Imams Daraqutni and Bayhaqi in Sunan Kubra narrate via multiple sources, albeit da’if, from Jabir (may Allah Almighty have mercy upon him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘There is no mahr less than ten dirhams’. Daraqutni and then Bayhaqi narrate in their Sunans from Dawud al-Awdi [who narrates] from Sha’bi [who in turn narrates] from Ali (may Allah Almighty be pleased with him) who says, ‘Do not cut the hand for [theft on] less than ten dirhams. The mahr should not be less than ten dirhams’. Imam Ibn Hibban (may Allah Almighty have mercy upon him) declared al-Awdi to be da’if. Imam Daraqutni narrates from Juwaybir, who narrates from Dhahhak, who narrated from Bazzal b. Sabrah, who narrates from Ali who mentions [the same]. Juwaybir is weak. He narrates through another source via Dhahhak but in the sanad there is Muhammad b. Marwan Abu Ja’far. Imam Zahabi (may Allah Almighty have mercy upon him) says, ‘He is not closely to being known’1.

It is accepted that multiple sources raises [a narration] to the rank of hasan. This is sufficient for evidence.

As for what is mentioned in the Sahihayn2 from the statement of the Prophet (peace be upon him), ‘Request! Even if it is a ring made of iron’. What is in Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah from Abdullah b. Amir b. Rabi’a from his father that the Prophet (peace be upon him) permitted marriage to a woman [in exchange] for a pair of shoes [as mahr]. What is in Sunan Abu Dawud from Jabir that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘He who gave in mahr for the wife a handful of stalk or dates, then it is halal for him (to consummate)’. However, in this sanad there is Ishaq b. Jabir b. Jibril. Abdul Haq says, ‘That which is linked through him cannot be trusted’. Imam Zahabi states, ‘He is not known and Azdi has declared him da’if.’

All [of these ahadith] refer to [the portion of the mahr] that which is immediately due. It was common practice amongst them that part of the mahr was given immediately before consummation. So much so that it reported that Ibn Abbas, Ibn Umar, Zuhri and Qatada (may Allah Almighty be pleased with them) [held] that the man should not consummate until she has been given something [of the mahr]. [This is] based on the Prophet (peace be upon him) stopping Ali from consummating [his marriage] to Fatimah (may Allah Almighty be pleased with them both) until he has given her something. He said, ‘O Prophet of Allah! I have nothing.’ [The Prophet] responded, ‘Give her your armour’. So, he gave her his armour and then consummated the marriage. It is known that the mahr was four hundred dirhams of silver.

Nevertheless, the preferred view is that it is allowed [for a woman to go to her husband] before [he gives her] anything. This is due to what is in Sunan Abi Dawud from Aisha (may Allah Almighty be pleased with her) who says, ‘The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) commanded me that I allow a woman to consummate her marriage with her husband before he gave her anything.’ So the stoppage mentioned [before] will be deemed mustahab. It is mustahab to give something before consummating to make her happy and create amity.

As this is the established custom, it is necessary to base that which oppose what we have narrated to it to combine between the ahadith. as it is the custom and it is Waajib to place it in contrast to that which was reported against us. Similarly, the command of the prophet (peace be upon him) to request for an iron ring will be taken to mean advancing something to create amity. Do you not see that he commanded the man to give what was in his hand; it is possible the mahr remained in debt. So, we understand, the meaning was to pay immediately what was in his possession. When he was unable, [the Prophet] said, ‘Stand and teach her twenty ayats and she is your wife. This is narrated by Imam Abu Dawud. This is the meaning of the narration, ‘I marry you to her in exchange of that which you have of the Quran.’ This is not contradictory and combines the narration.

The is how some muhaqqin have answer and Allah Almighty knows best.

 

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[1] Nothing much is known about him.

[2] Bukhari and Muslim

Amr is a statement

By default without added context, can any mere action prove compulsion and be construed as an amr (imperative)? The answer according to the Ahnaf is ‘No’ as an amr is a statement and not an action.

By Alm. S A Rahman

فال العلامة أبو البركات في كتابه المنار: منه (اي من الخاص) الأمر و هو قول القائل لغيره علي سبيل الإستعلاء إفعل. و يختص مراده بصيغة لازمة حتي لا يكون الفعل موجبا خلافا لبعض أصحاب الشافعي رحمه الله تعالي للمنع عن الوصال و خلع النعال. و الوجوب أستفيد بقوله عليه السلام صلو كما رأيتموني أصلي لا بالفعل و سمي الفعل به لأنه سببه اهـ

Amr is a statement said to someone other than themselves from an authoritative position using imperative words. Amr is a type of khas and it is specific with a statement or word. Hence, an action by it mere act will not be considered an amr (imperative) nor wajib.

The Ahnaf maintain that amr (imperative) are words; actions by default do not infer an imperative or compulsion.

The prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) used to fast a number of days without breaking the fast in between. Upon seeing this, the sahabah also began fasting without a break. The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) told the sahabah to stop fasting in this manner as they did not have the same strength Allah Almighty had given him.

In another instance, the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) was praying and whilst in salah, he took off his shoes. The sahabah also took off their shoes in turn. Upon finishing, the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) asked the sahabah why they had taken their shoes off during salah. They replied, ‘We saw you take it off so we took it off’. The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) replied, ‘Jibra’il (peace be upon him) informed me that on it there was impurity’.

If actions were imperative, in both instances it would have been compulsory for the sahabah to do as the Prophet (peace be upon him) did. However, this was not the case as the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) did not expect the sahabah to do these actions as a matter of compulsion without his express direction.

In contrast, some argue that an imperative can be inferred through an actions as well as words. They use the occasion of the battle of Khandaq. The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) missed his Zuhr, Asr and Maghrib salah due to the battle and so he prayed the missed salahs together at Isha consecutively. The sahabah also did the same thing. Some say that this is evidence that amr can be through action as the sahabah had to pray the same way after seeing the prayer of the Prophet (peace be upon him). However, this proof is incomplete. The prophet (peace be upon him) did pray the missed salahs as mentioned but he then turned and said ‘Pray as you see me pray’. So the sahabah were not compelled to pray by the mere fact that they saw the prophet (peace be upon him) pray rather it was because he commanded them to pray.

قال الله سبحانه و تعالي و ما امر فرعون برشيد

Alternatively, some argue the case that an amr (imperative) can be inferred through action by using the ayat (11:97), ‘The amr of the Pharaoh was not rashid (prudent)’. The word ‘rashid’ is used in Arabic to describe an action whilst ‘sadid’ is used to describe a statement. Hence, here the amr refers to the action of the Pharaoh and not his statement. Allm. Nasafi declares this argument to have moved beyond the matter being discussed. Here, Amr refers to action as a metaphor due to it being the cause for action. Whilst, the key discussion here is whether amr can be inferred through action literally and by default without the aid of further contextual evidences.

 

Preferred wordings for Tashahhud

By T. Zaman
24 Rabi II 1437 | 4 February 2016

The wordings of tashahhud in salah differ slightly in the narrations with the reports of Hadrats Umar, Abdullah b. Mas’ud, and Abdullah b. Ibn Abbas (may Allah Almighty be pleased with them) considered the clearest. If one were to read any of these it would be permissible1. However, the schools differ as to which is the most preferred form of tashahhud of the three.

Imam Abu Hanifah2 and Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal3 (may Allah Almighty be pleased with them) give preference to the narration of Hadrat Abdullah b. Mas’ud (may Allah Almighty be pleased with him) as it is considered the most authentic4, consistent5 (asah and athbat) and in line with the practice of majority of the ahlul ilm amongst the sahabah. He relates:

التحيات لله و الصلوات و الطيبات، السلام عليك أيها النبي و رحمة الله و بركاته، السلام علينا و على عباد الله الصالحين أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله، و أشهد أن محمدا عبده و رسوله

Imam Shafi’i6 (may Allah Almighty have mercy upon him) gives preference to the narration of Hadrat Abdullah b. Abbas (may Allah Almighty be pleased with him) as he considered it the most comprehensive. He relates:

التحيات المباركات الصلوات الطيبات لله، سلام عليك أيها النبى و رحمة الله و بركاته، سلام علينا و على عباد الله الصالحين، أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله و أن محمدا رسول الله

Imam Malik Bin Anas7 (may Allah Almighty have mercy upon him) gives preference to the narration of Hadrat Umar b. Khattab (may Allah Almighty be pleased with him) as he mentioned it in the pulpit (minbar) and none in the congregation objected. His relates:

التحيات لله الزاكيات لله الطيبات الصلوات لله السلام عليك أيها النبى و رحمة الله السلام علينا و على عباد الله الصالحين أشهد أن لا اله الا الله و أشهد أن محمدا عبد الله و رسوله

Read Fath al-Mulhim for more detail8.

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[1] The great Hanafi scholar Allm. Ibn Nujaym in Bahr suggests that to read any other al-tahiyyat other than the one reported by Hadrat Abdullah b. Mas’ud is Makruh Tahrimi. However, this is not so as Imam Muhammad in Muwatta indicates it is permissible and this is the position of the majority of the Ahnaf (See Fath al-Mulhim v. 2 p. 311).

[2] Imam Quduri. 2008. Mukhtasar Al-Quduri. Maktabah al-Bushra; Pakistan p. 76

[3] Ibn Qudama. al-Mughni.

[4] See Sunan Tirmidhi

[5] Hadrat Abdullah b. Mas’ud did not used to like to add or decrease any words of the tahiyyat, hence, his reported form is consistent throughout.

[6] al-Umm li Imam al-Shafi’i. 2001. Dar Al-Wafa; Egypt

[7] Imam Maalik bin Anas & Sahnun (ed). al- Mudawwanah al-Kubrah. v. 1 p.143

[8] Usmani, Allm. Shabbir Ahmad. 2006. Fath al-Mulhim. Darul Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi; Beirut, Lebanon. v. 3 pp. 310-312

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.

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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.

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.

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[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)