How to study Sahih Muslim

Use Sharh Nawawi and Fath al-Mulhim as your base but supplement with relevant book dependent on the area of focus. Nawawi is better for sanad and aqa’id whilst Fath al-Mulhim for Hanafi fiqh and language.

By Muhaddith al-Asr Shaykh Yunus Jawnpuri
Yawaqit al-Ghaliya v.1 p. 275
Translated by Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami  – 28 Ramadan 1438 | 23 June 2017

In Muslim, there are both the disciplines of ilm riwayat al-hadith1 and ilm dirayat al-hadith2.

In the Muqaddimah, Imam Muslim discusses ilm dirayat al-hadith (usul hadith). Hence, you should get aid from the books usul hadith such as al-Kifayah of Khatib, ‘Ulum al-Hadith of Hakim, Fath al-Mughith of Sakhawi, Tadrib al-Rawi of Suyuti, Sharh Nukhbah of Ibn Hajar amongst others. Nawawi in Sharh Muslim has covered sufficient amount of usul. In Fath al-Mulhim there is also a significant amount, but in some instances, it is less than the Sharh of Nawawi.

After the Muqaddimah, the discipline of riwayat al-hadith starts. In riwayat, the sanad and matn are both worthy of attention.

In the present times, the practice of commenting on the sanads has ceased. However, if you want to review its, Sharh Nawawi has adequate records of the names and reports on the rijal (narrators). Before this check the books of rijal.3 Those hadith which are in Fath al-Bari etcetera, their status can be discovered there.

As for the matn of hadith, nowadays, there is a practice of commentary. On the matn, the usul is discussed as well as fiqh, lughat, and sarf. The points of usul are related to the muhaddithin as well as the mutakallimin.

The muhaddithin address the ilal (علل) and other matters of the matn. Hence, it is necessary to review the books of ilal. At present, Ilal Ibn Abi Hatim has passed my attention. If you can access other books of ilal review them such Ilal Darqutni, Ilal Kubra of Tirmidhi, Ilal Khallal among others.

The mutakallimin only comment on ahadith which relate to the names and qualities [of Allah Almighty]. Nawawi has elaborated on the issue significantly. Beyond this, you will find it a good amount in Mushkil al-Hadith of Ibn Furak and Mushkil al-Athar of Tahawi. Hafiz Ibn Hajar, Allamah Ayni and others in the commentaries of Bukhari have discussed it in detail. In Fatawa Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, he addresses the issue of Istiwa ala al-Arsh and Nuzul Bari in fine detail, but due to it, the Asha’irah are on his throat.

In terms of Hanafi fiqh, Fath al-Mulhim is better. However, one should not suffice on it alone rather you should review the Sharh of ‘Ayni on Bukhari, Awjaz, Bazl, and Fath al-Bari. The lectures of A’lam al-Muta’khkhirin4 Mawlana Anwar Shah Kashmiri are essential and particularly important. These books also contain discussion on lughat and sarf. For further research [on fiqh] study the books of mutun5.

Muhaddith al-Asr Shaykh Muhammad Yunus Jawnpuri
Circa 1387 AH (1968 CE)6


Supplementary reading

Nawhami, Muhammad Saifur Rahman. (2014). Introduction to Hadith. Islamic Studies Bulletin (DIBAJ), Number 3. Available at

Nawhami, Muhammad Saifur Rahman. (2014). Muslim b. Hajjaj al-Qushayri – d. 261. Islamic Studies Bulletin (DIBAJ), Number 3. Available at

Nawhami, Muhammad Saifur Rahman. (2016). How to Prepare for Lesson. The Students’ Notebook. Available at:


[1] علم رواية الحديث هو علم بنقل اقوال النبي صلي الله عليه و سلم و افعاله و احواله بالسماع المتصل و ضبطها و تحريرها

[2] علم دراية الحديث هو علم يتعرف به انواع الرواية و احكامها و شروط الرواة و اصناف المرويات واستخراج معانيها

[3] Rijal relates to the critical study of narrators. In one lecture, in reference to Muslim, I heard Shaykh Yunus recommend Tahzib al-Kamal as a good choice for checking rijal.

[4] Lit. The most knowledgeable of the later scholars. The work is scattered but see Fayd al-Bari.

[5] Such as Quduri, Kanz, Wiqayah, Bidayah, Tuhfat, Majma’ al-Bahrayn, and Multaqa al-Abhur. See ‘How to study Hidayah’ available online at:

[6] The letter is not dated but the question was asked in 12 Zul Qa’dah 1387 AH.

Cite Key: #170624501 – 28 Ramadan 1438 | 23 June 2017

Revision checklist: Nur al-Anwar

Nur al-Anwar is an advanced level book on usul fiqh. Contrary to what some might assume, it is not restricted to fiqh as is understood in the modern sense. Rather, within it are principles required to understand the shariah in general. Hence, Nur al-Anwar contains Usul QuranUsul Hadith and Usul Aqa’id – in short, it may be more apt to consider it Usul Shariah.

This note contains key question which if one answers should summarise that which is found in Nur al-Anwar bar few.

The relationship between Usul Shashi and Nur al-Anwar is similar to that of Quduri and Hidayah respectively. It can be used by Usul Shashi student but they do not need to justify their answer rather they can suffice on presenting examples to illustrate the concepts. Also, this list may be invaluable for Usul Shashi students as a road-map so that may glean what is expected later.

Note: The Ijma and Qiyas section still needs to included which, if Allah Almighty wills, will be done before the end of the academic year.


(1) Justify that there are four sources of evidence in the shariah. Define them all. 

textual analysis – Kitab

(2) Define and differentiate between khas, ammushtarak, mu’awwal and takhsis.

(3) Justify the ruling of khas.

(4) Outline and justify the rulings of ‘am.

(5) Define amr and nahi. Justify that it is a statement (See article)

(6) Amr is for wujub by default. Justify. (Resource 1)

(7) Amr never demands repetition. Justify.

(8) Justify that qada is proven through ada without the need for a separate evidence. Include the definitions of ada and qada.

(9) Outline the types of ada and qada with their respective examples and rulings.

(10) Highlight the relationship between amr and nahi with good and evil respectively. Illustrate with examples.

(11) Outline the impact of ability (qudrat) in the requirement of fulfilling an amr.

(12) When must an amr be fulfilled? Outline with examples with a particular reference to the requirement of intention. Justify where necessary.

(13) Who does the amr address? Clarify and justify.

(14) Identify techniques with which to recognise ‘am (عام). Include example to demonstrate it use.

(15) Define and differentiate between zahirnassmufassar, muhkamkhafimushkilmujmal and mutashabih. State their respective rulings especially if they are conflicted.

(16) Define and differentiate between haqiqatmajazsarih and kinayah along with their respective ruling.

(17) Majaz, like haqiqat, can be khas or ‘am (عام). Justify.

(18) By default haqiqat will be given priority over majaz and they will never be combined. Justify.

(19) Outline the valid methods of forming majaz.

(20) Outline, with examples, cases where majaz takes priority over haqiqat.

(21) Define and differentiate between ibaratun nassisharatun nassdalalatun nass and iqtidaun nass along with their respective ruling.

(22) Outline eight methods of interpretation which the Ahnaf reject despite being recognised by some of the other school.

(23) Outline the types of ‘azimat and rukhsat with examples along with their respective rulings.

(24) Differentiate between illat, sabab and shart. Outline techniques to identify sabab and demonstrate it in ibadatmu’amalat and ‘uqubat.

source analysis – Sunnah

(25) Define and state the ruling of mutawatirmashhur and khabr wahid. Prove that khabr wahid is hujjat (valid evidence).

(26) Outline, with particular reference to mukhalafat thiqat and jahalat, conditions which lead to the demotion of a narrator in favour for another.

(27) Outline the minimum and aspirational (kamil) qualities required of a narrator.

(28) Outline the rulings if there are gaps (inqita’) within the reporting either as a result of ommission (irsal), defective narration (‘illal) or narrator.

(29) State the minimum criteria required of a source (sanad) dependant on the impact it has on the rights of others.

(30) Rank reports based on the quality of source and mode of reporting

(31) Outline the methodology to reconcile between conflicting reports

(32) The action of sahabah is evidence. Justify.

ijma’ –

To be included


To be included


Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
19 Ramadhan 1438
14 June 2017

Zad #4: المجالس بالأمانة

Gatherings are enjoined with trust

By Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami – 5 Jumada II 1438 | 4 March 2017

المجالس بالأمانة

Trans: Gatherings are enjoined with trust

Vocabulary –

Majlis pl. Majalis (ض). Lit: a place of sitting. It is an ism zarf from julusan. Majlis here refers to the gathering or meeting of people.

Bi is a harf. Lit: with. Its primary function is to join one thing to another. Read Sharh Miat Amil, to find out more about its secondary meanings.

Amanat pl. Amanāt (ض، س). Lit: to rely, protect and trust. Trust in a gathering will be termed confidentiality.

Tarkib –

Majalis is Mubtada. Ba is jarr and Amanat is majrur; jarr and majrur combined form muta’alliq of thabitun which is a shibh fi’l. The shibh fi’l with its muta’alliq becomes jumlah fi’liyyaah which then is a khabr. Mubtada and khabr combined form jumlah ismiyyah khabriyyah

Explanation –

Gatherings are enjoined with trust and so it must be upheld even if it not explicitly requested. If you are in a private gathering or meeting, confidentiality and trust are automatically implied. There is no need to say, ‘Do not spread what we have discussed’ as that should be assumed by default. Unless there is actual harm to someone in keeping the secret, one should not leak or spread the content of a meeting or gathering without permission. A gathering need not necessarily be physical rather private messages between individuals or within groups will also be considered a trust and should be kept confidential.

Zad #3: الدعاء مخ العبادة

Dua is the essence of worship

By Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami – 7 Jumada II 1438 | 6 March 2017

الدعاء مخ العبادة

Trans: Dua is the essence of worship

Vocabulary –

Dua (ن) Lit. To ask, supplicate, call.

Mukhkh pl. Mikhakh (ن). Lit. marrow, brain, core, essence.

Ibadah (ن) Lit. To worship.

Tarkib –

Dua is mubtada. Mukhkh is mudhaf and Ibadah is mudhaf ilayhi. Mudhaf and mudhaf ilayhi combined becomes khabr. Mubtada and khabr combined becomes jumlah ismiyyah khabriyyah.

Explanation – 

Dua is an ibadah1. Dua is a great ibadah2. Dua is the essence of ibadah3. Do not assume that dua is wasted if is unanswered rather Allah Almighty rewards on the mere act of asking for it is ibadah. He Almighty does not waste any dua; He grant the dua or give recompense in the hereafter. In doing dua we humble our self to Allah, forsake others and seek His grace; this is the essence of ibadah. The example of person who does not dua is like a person who has done hard labour, then was paid but refuses to benefit from that pay. Allah Almighty says, ‘Ask and I will answer’4. So do dua, it in essence is worship.


1. روي الامام أبو داود في سننه أن رسول الله صلي الله عليه و سلم قال الدعاء هو العبادة و سنده صحيح
2. روي الحاكم في مستدركه عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما أنه قال الدعاء افضل العبادة. صححه الحاكم و وافق عليه الامام الذهبي و قيل هو موقوف علي قول ابن عباس
3. روي الامام الترمذي الدعاء مخ العبادة و تكلم علي سنده لان فيه ابن لهيعة و هو سيء الحفظ
4. و في سورة الغافر (60) و قال ربكم ادعني استجب لكم

Zad #2: الدين النصيحة

The din is fully wanting good for others.

By Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami – 5 Jumada II 1438 | 4 March 2017

الدين النصيحة

Trans: The din is fully wanting good for others


Din (دين) pl. adyan means religion. This should not be confused with dayn (دين) pl. duyun which means debt.

Nasihat (نصيحة) pl. nasa’ih means to want good for others or calling to good in advice. It can also mean sincerity

Tarkib –

Din is mubtada and nasihah is khabr. Mubtada and khabr combined forms jumlah ismiyyah khabriyyah.

Note! Although khabr is usually nakirah, in this case it is ma’rifah . The benefit of khabr being ma’rifah is that it creates emphasis. Hence, the translation would be ‘the din is fully wanting good’ rather than simply ‘the din is wanting good’

Explanation – 

Being muslim demands one focuses on the rights of others. So one should be pure in their faith to Allah Almighty and in fulfilling His commandment one should be free of ulterior worldly gains. The same should be with the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him). Furthermore, one should be sincere in their approach to fellow Muslims and the general populace. When any deed is done for another or advice given, it should be in earnest. In short, love for them what you would love for yourself.

This hadith is very comprehensive (jawami’ kalim) and has so many facets. It covers a wide array of subjects from sincerity, love, loyalty, kindness, honesty to jealousy, backbiting, cursing and much, much more.

See Sahih Muslim (ch kitab al-Iman) with Imam Nawawi’s commentary for further details.

Nukhbah #1: Links

Hafid Ibn Hajar Asqalani (may Allah Almighty have mercy upon him) writes in Nukhbat al-Fikr:

الْخَبَرُ إِمَّا أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُ: طُرُقٌ بِلَا عَدَدٍ مُعَيَّنٍ ، أَوْ مَعَ حَصْرِ بِمَا فَوْقَ الِاثْنَيْنِ، أَوْ بِهِمَا، أَوْ بِوَاحِدٍ. فَالْأَوَّلُ: الْمُتَوَاتِرُ: الْمُفِيدُ لِلْعِلْمِ الْيَقِينِيِّ بِشُرُوطِهِ. وَالثَّانِي: الْمَشْهُورُ، وَهُوَ الْمُسْتَفِيضُ عَلَى رَأْيٍ. وَالثَّالِثُ: الْعَزِيزُ ، وَلَيْسَ شَرْطًا لِلصَّحِيحِ خِلَافًا لِمَنْ زَعَمَهُ. وَالرَّابِعُ: الْغَرِيبُ.

وَكُلُّهَا – سِوَى الْأَوَّلِ – آحَادٌ. وَفِيهَا الْمَقْبُولُ وَالْمَرْدُودُ؛ لِتَوَقُّفِ الِاسْتِدْلَالِ بِهَا عَلَى الْبَحْثِ عَنْ أَحْوَالِ رُوَاتِهَا دُونَ الْأَوَّلِ. وَقَدْ يَقَعُ فِيهَا مَا يُفِيدُ الْعِلْمَ النَّظَرِيَّ بِالْقَرَائِنِ عَلَى الْمُخْتَارِ.

ثُمَّ الْغَرَابَةُ: إِمَّا أَنْ تَكُونَ فِي أَصْلِ السَّنَدِ ، أَوْ لَا. فَالْأَوَّلُ: الْفَرْدُ الْمُطْلَقُ. وَالثَّانِي: الْفَرْدُ النِّسْبِيُّ، وَيَقِلُّ إِطْلَاقُ الْفَرْدِيَّةِ عَلَيْهِ.

So I say: a khabr either it will have an (1) unlimited number of sources or (2) a limited which is (a) more than two, (b) two or (c) one. The first is mutawatir with its criteria1 which results in necessary knowledge. The second is Mashhur2 and it is also known as mustafidh according to an opinion. The third is Aziz and this is not a requisite for sahih as opposed what some have assumed. The fourth is gharib. All of them other than the first3 is ahad.

[Ahad] may be maqbul or mardud. [This is] due to [the ahad being] evidence which is dependent upon the analyses of the state of the narrators as opposed to the first.

Thereafter, the gharabat will either be in the origin of the sanad or not; the first is fard mutlaq and the second is fard nisabi which is rarely refered to simply as fard.


1. See ‘The introduction to Mutawatir‘ for the criteria. Also, read The types of mutawatir and Where does tawatur start? for more details.
2. This the definition according to the Shawafi. The Ahnaf consider Mashhur to be sanad which starts of ahad but reaches the level of tawatur by no later than the third generation.
3. 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).

Abjad numerals

The abjad numerals is a decimal system which is used in Arabic to number lists

The Abjad numerals was a method of writing numbers before the introduction of the Arabic numerals. Although not used in calculations anymore it continues to be used in numbering lists.

The Abjad numeral uses a decimal system. Each unit (1-9), ten (10, 20, 30 to 90) and hundred (100, 200, 300 to 900) is assigned a separate letter. The thousand is assigned a letter.

The units:

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
ي ط ح ز و ه د ج ب ا

The tens:

90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20
ض ف ع س ن م ل ك

The hundreds:

100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000
ق ر ش ت ث خ ذ ض ظ غ

Here is a mnemonic to easily remember the values:

أِبْجَدْ هَوَّزْ حُطِّي كَلِمَنْ سَعْفَص قَرْشَتْ ثَخَذْ ضَظِغْ

The system works similar to the Roman numerals. For instance, when smaller values follow larger values, the two are added together to attain the total, for example, the number 11 is written as يا.

See the conversion table for the standard numbering order:

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
ط ح ز و ه د ج ب ا
يط يح يز يو يه يد يج يب يا ي 10
كط كح كز كو كه كد كج كب كا ك 20
لط لح لز لو له لد لج لب لا ل 30
مط مح مز مو مه مد مج مب ما م 40
نط نح نز نو نه ند نج نب نا ن 50
سط سح سز سو سه سد سج سب سا س 60
عط عح عز عو عه عد عج عب عا ع 70
فط فح فز فو فه فد فج فب فا ف 80
صط صح صز صو ص صد صج صب صا ص 90

To write a number in the hundreds, simply put the relevant notation in front of the letters above. For example:

700 701 786
ذ ذا ذفو

An alternative method has also been used whereby all the values of the words are added to produce a number. The field is known as gematria or isopsephy. This follows from the notion of some cultures that the numeric value of a word has some relation with the word or subject.

An example of this is equating 786 to بسم الله الرحمن الحيم.

م ي ح ر ل ا ن م ح ر ل ا ه ل ل ا م س ب
40 10 8 200 30 1 50 40 8 200 30 1 5 30 30 1 40 60 2

2+60+40+1+30+30+5+1+30+200+8+40+50+1+30+200+8+10+40 = 786

Note: the mushaddad letter counts as one.

Some have opted to write 786 instead of بسم الله الرحمن الحيم on the assumption that the reward is the same. There is no basis of this in the shariah rather one is advised to write the full basmalah.

Arabic language is important to all Muslim. However, to us the function of the abjad numerals is not a spiritual one rather it aptly fulfills an organisational need which allows us to categorise and present information which is readily accessible. Whilst there may be patterns from which some may draw aesthetic value, it has no bearing on the application of the shariah.


Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
22 Safar 1438
21 November 2016

Credit: This note is adapted from the submissions of S. Zaman and F. Khan

السيف بالساعد لا الساعد بالسيف

السَيْفُ بالسَّاعِدِ لا السَّاعِد بالسَّيْفِ

قال العُتْبِي: بَعَثَ عُمَرُ بْنُ الخَطَّابِ إِلي عَمْرِو بْنِ مَعْدِيْكَرِبَ أَنْ يَبْعَثَ إِلَيْه بِسَيْفِهِ المَعْرُوْفِ بالصَّمْصَامَةِ. فَبَعَثَ بِهِ إِلَيْهِ. فَلَمَّا ضَرَبَ بِهِ وَجَدَهُ دُوْنَ مَا كَانَ يَبْلُغُهُ عَنْهُ فَكَتَبَ إِلَيْهِ فِي ذَلِكَ. فَرَدَّ عَلَيْهِ إِنَّمَا بَعَثْتُ إِلي أَمِيْرِ المُؤْمِنِيْنَ بِالسَّيْفِ. وَ لَمْ أَبْعَثْ بالسَّاعِدِ الَّذِي يُضْرَبُ بِهِ

Utbi reports - Umar b. al-Khattab (may Allah Almighty be pleased with him) sent for 'Amr b. Ma'dikarib that he send to him his sword known as Samsamah. So he sent it to him. When he struck with it, he found it less than what had reached him regarding it. He wrote to him regarding this. He retorted back to him, 'I have sent Amir al-Mu'minin the sword. I have not sent the arm with which it is struck'.

Summary: The value of a sword (or any tool) is determined by one who wields it.

Muqaddimah Muslim: The men criticised

Imam Muslim in the introduction to his Sahih, outlines the need to critically analyse narrators in order to determine the reliability of the source of a narration attributed to the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him). In this context, he lists some 50 plus narrators who have been criticised in a variety of ways. Below is a background to these individuals.


Imam Muslim in the introduction to his Sahih, outlines the need to critically analyse narrators in order to determine the reliability of the source of a narration attributed to the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him).  In this context, he lists some 50 plus narrators who have been criticised in a variety of ways. Below is a background to these individuals.

[1] Shahr b. Hawshab (شهر بن حوشب)

Shahr b. Hawshab al-Asha’ari al-Shami (d. 112). An ordinary narrator. The great Muhaddith Abu ‘Awn b. Abd Allah b. Awn b. Artaban Basri has criticised him. His narrations have a lot of doubts (أوهام) and irsal (ارسال). The author of the four sunans have narrated from him in their book.

[2] ‘Abbad b. Kathir

Abbad b. Kathir Shami1 (d. ?). He is Da’if and Matruk. Imams Sufyan Thawri and Shu’bah have criticised him. Imams Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah narrate from him in their respective sunan.

[3] Muhammad b. Sa’id Maslub

Muhammad b. Sa’id b. Hassan Asadi Shami . He is a notorious liar and would fabricate hadith. Ahmad b. Salih states, ‘He has fabricated four thousand hadith’. Imam Nasa’i also warned against him and called him ‘an infamous liar and fabricator in Syria’. According Abu Zar’a, ‘He himself is of the opinion that there is nothing wrong in fabricating hadith for good things’. Imam Thawri declared him to be a liar (كذاب). Imams Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah narrate from him in their respective sunan.

[4] The Hadith of the Sufi.

Read Shaykh Yunus Jawnpuri’s article on the issue.

[5] Ghalib b. Ubayd Allah

Ghalib b. Ubayd Allah Jazari ‘Uqayli (d. 135). He is extremely weak. Imam Bukhari declares him to be ‘Munkar al-Hadith

[6] Abu Miqdam Hisham Basri

Abu Miqdam Hisham b. Ziyad Basri. He is a Matruk narrator.

[7] Sulayman b. Hajjaj Ta’ifi

Sulayman b. Hajjaj Ta’ifi. He is a Majhul al-Hal narrator. Darawardi, Abd Allah b. Muhammad have narrated from him. Abdullah b. Mubarak has also narrated from him, however, upon further consideration stopped.

[8] Rawh b. Ghutayf

Rawh b. Ghutayf Thaqafi Jazari. He is munkar al-Hadith and used to fabricate hadith.

[9] Baqiyyah b. al-Walid

Abu Yuhmid Baqiyyah b. al-Walid b. Sayid Kali’I Himsi (110-197). He is a good narrator but ‘Uqayli, Abu Mushiz, Abd Allah Mubarak et al. warn that he narrates from all sorts. Hafidh Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalani state that he is truthful but does tadlis. Imam Ahmad and Abu Ishaq Fazari state that, ‘do not accept his narrations if he narrates from an narrators who are not Ma’ruf, however, if he narrates from Ma’ruf narrator it may be accepted’. Imam narrates from him in his sahih as supporting evidence (ta’liqan). The remaining five books also narrate from him.

[10] Harith A’war Kufi

Abu Zuhayr Harith b. Abd Allah Hamdani al-A’war al-Kufi (d. 65). The authorities are split in their judgment on him. Ibn Ma’in, Nasa’i, Ahmad, Ibn Salih, Ibn Abu Dawud  et al. have commended him (توثيق). On the other hand, Thawri, Ibn Mada’ini, Abu Zar’a Razi, Ibn Adi, Daraqutni, Ibn Sa’d, Abu Hatim, Sha’bi, Ibrahim Nakh’i et al. have criticised him. Ibn Hibban declares him to be a Ghali Shi’a. Allama Zahabi. The four sunans narrate from him although he occurs in Sunan Nasa’i only twice.

[11] Mughyarah b. Sa’id

Abu Abd Allah Mughayrah b. Sa’id Bajali Kufi. What a liar (كذاب) and a staunch Rafidhi. He used to believe that Ali (رضي الله عنه) had the ability to revive the dead. He was the first to speak badly about Abubakr and Umar (رضي الله عنهما). At the end he claimed himself to be a prophet and as a result was burnt.

[12] Abu Abd al-Rahim

Abu Abd al-Rahim Shaqiq Dabbi (ضبي) Kufi. He became also became known by the name ‘Qass’ because he used to give speeches in Kufa. He was the leader of the deviant sect Khawarij.  He is a liar and a weak narrator.

[13] Hadith narrated by orators.
[14] Jabir b.Yazid Ju’fi

Abu ‘Abd Allah Jabir b.Yazid Ju’fi Kufi (d. 167). He is a well known weak narrator. He was okay at first but later became a Saba’i Shia. Those who commended him did so prior to him deviating and those criticised him based it upon his later condition. Imam Abu Hanifa severely criticises him. He is narrated from in Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah.

[15] Harith b. Hasirah

Abu al-Nu’man Harith b. Hasirah Azdi Kufi. He is a weak narrator. He is the student of Jabir b. Yazid Ju’fi (see no. 14) and is a ghali Shi’ah. He was alright at first but turned later to Shi’ism as such some have commended (توثيق) him based on his previous condition. Imam Bukhari narrates from him in Adab al-Mufrad and Imam Nasa’i in his sunan [2].

[16] Two unknown people
[17] Abu Umayya Abd al-Karim Basri

Abu Umayyah Abd al-Karim b. al-Makhariq al-Mu’allim al-Basri (d. 126). Many authorities have criticised including Imams Ibn ‘Uyaynah, Ibn Mahdi, Yahya b. Qattan, Ahmad b. Hanbal, Ibn Adi and Ayyub Sakhtiyani. Imam Bukhari narrates from him once in his Sahih. Imam Nasa’i narrates from him a few times and Imams Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah of often in their respective sunans.

[18] Abu Dawud A’ma

Abu Dawud Nafi’ b. Haris, “Alqas al-A’ma” Kufi. He is a Matruk narrator. He has been narrated from by Timidhi and Ibn Majah.

[19] Abu Ja’far Hashimi Madani

Abu Ja’far Abd Allah b. Miswar Mada’ini (also Madani) Hashimi. He is a liar (كذاب) and fabricator of hadith (واضع الحديث).

[20] Amr b. ‘Ubayd

Abu Uthman Amr b. ‘Ubayd b. Bab Basri (d. 143). He is a well known Mu’tazili and is a weak narrator. He is devout and practising man but calls other towards his Mu’tazili belief.

[21] Abu Shaybah Qadhi Wasit

Ibrahim b.Uthman Abu Shaybah ‘Abasi Kufi[3]; also referred to as ‘Qadhi Wasit’ (d. 169). He is Matruk al-Hadith and is very weak. Imams Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah narrate from him in their respective sunans.

[22] Salih Murri

Abu Bishr Salih b. Bashir b. Wadi’ Murri Basri (d. 173). He is a pious person but when giving sermons he would narrate weak hadith. Imam Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi narrate from him in their respective sunan.

[23] Hasan b. ‘Umara

Abu Muhammad Hasan b. ‘Umara Bajali Kufi (d. 153). He was judge in Baghdad. He is extremely weak and has been declared Matruk. Imam Bukhari includes him in his Sahih as supporting evidence (Ta’liqan). Imam Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah narrate from him in his sunan.

[24] Ziyad b. Maymun

Abu Ammar Ziyad b. Maymun Thaqafi Fakihani Basri. He was big liar and fabricator of Hadith. He would fabricate and attribute hadith to the Sahabiyah ‘Attarah and the Sahabi Anas b. Malik (رضي الله عنهما) even though he never met the latter.

[25] Khalid b. Mahduj

Abu Rawh Khalid b. Mahduj Wasiti. He was a very and Matruk narrator. He would attribute narrations to Anas b. Malik despite never meeting him.

[26] Abd al-Quddus Shami

Abu Sa’id Abd al-Quddus b. Habib Kala’I Dimashqi Shami. All muhaddith are unanimous that he is Matruk. Not only was he weak he was also negligent (مغفل). Abd Allah b. Mubarak says, ‘In my opinion it is better do dacoity than to accept hadith from Abd Quddud Shami ’. Imam states, ‘His [Abd al-Quddus] hadith are all over the place’

[27] Mahdi b. Hilal

Abu Abd Allah Mahdi b. Hilal Basri. He is a Matruk narrator and associated with the Qadriyya. According to Ibn Ma’in, ‘he was a deviant and would fabricate narration’.

[28] Aban b. Abu Ayash

Abu Isma’il Aban b. Abu ‘Ayash Fayruz Abdi Zahid Basri (d. 140 circa). He was a minor Tabi’i  and a Matruk narrator. Imam Abu Dawud narrates from him in his sunan.

[29] Ismail b. ‘Ayash

Abu Utbah Ismail b. Ayash b. Sulaym ‘Anasi Himsi (106-182). He was a great man. His narration pertaining to his Syrian teacher are universally accepted, however, his narration originating from the Hijaz or Iraq have been criticised.

[30] Mu’alla b. Urfan

Mu’alla b. Urfan. He is considered Munkar and is a Ghali Shia. He had little knowledge of history. He usually narrates from his uncle Abu Wa’il Shaqiq b. Salamah

[31] Unknown narrator
[32] Muhammad b. Abd al-Rahman

Abu Jabir Muhammad b. Abd al-Rahman Bayadi (بياضي) Madani. All scholars are unanimous on him being weak. Imam Ahmad says, ‘He is extremely weak’. He usually narrates Sa’id b. al-Musayyab.

[33] Abu Huwayrith

Abu Huwayrith Abd al-Rahman b. Mu’awiyah b. Huwayrith Ansari Zuraqi Madani. He is an ordinary narrator. He had a poor memory and is accused of being associated with the Murjiyah sect. Imam Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah narrate from him in their sunan.

[34] Shu’bah Qurashi Hashimi

Abu Abd Allah Shu’bah b. Yahya (Dinar) Qurashi Hashimi Madani. He is the Mawla of Abd Allah b. Abbas (رضي الله عنه) and is an ordinary narrator. Imam Abu Dawud narrates from him in his Sunan.

[35] Salih, Mawla al-Tiwama

Salih b. Nahban, Mawla al-Tiwama, Madani (d. 125). He is an ordinary narrator. He is a honest person (صدوق) but his memory became in his later age. As such only his narrations from students of his early narrations are accepted. Imam Malik classification of him as unreliable (غير ثقة) was in reference to his last years.

[36] Haram b. Uthman

Haram b. Uthman Ansari Salami. He was a very weak narrator and a Ghali Shia. Imams Shafi and Ibn Mu’in say, “الرواية عن حرامٍ حرامٌ”.

[37] Unknown
[38] Shurahbil b. Sa’d

Abu Sa’d Shurahbil b. Sa’d Madani (d. 123). He was a honest person. Imam Bukhari narrates from him al-Adab al-Mufrad, Imams Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah in their respective Sunans. During his later years his memory became weak; he lived up to a hundred. As such some have criticised him.

[39] Abd Allah b. Muharrar

Abd Allah b. Muharrar Jazri; also known as Qadhi Raqqa. He is Matruk and unreliable. He is narrated from in Ibn Majah.

[40] Yahya b. Abu Unaysah

Yahya b. Abu Unaysah Jazri Ruhawi. He is a Matruk narrator. Fallas states that, ‘All scholars are unanimous in rejecting him’

[41] Farqad b. Ya’qub Sabakhi

Abu Ya’qub Farqad b. Ya’qub Sabakhi (d. 131). He was a pious man, however, was weak in hadith as he would make a lot of errors. Imams Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah have narrated from him.

[42] Muhammad b. Abdullah Laythi

Muhammad b. Abdullah b. Ubayd b. Umayr Laythi Makki. He is a very weak narrator. Imam Bukhari classifies him as Munkar. Imam Nasa’i calls him matruk. He usually narrates from ‘Ata b. Abu Rabah.

[43] Ya’qub b. Ata’

Ya’qub b. Ata’ b. Abu Rabah Makki (d. 155). He is a weak narrator. He narrates from his father. Imam Nasa’i has narrated from him.

[44] Hakim b. Jubayr

Hakim b. Jubayr Asadi Kufi. A famous controversial narrator of the four sunans. He is weak and is accused of being a Shia.

[45] Abd al-A’la b. Amir Tha’labi

Abd al-A’la b. Amir Tha’labi Kufi (d. 129). He is an honest narrator; however, there are doubts (وهم) in his narrations. He is narrated from in the four sunans.

[46] Musa b. Dinar

Musa b. Dinar Makki. He is a weak narrator. Saji declares him to be a liar (كذاب) and Matruk. He narrates from Sa’id b. Jubayr (رضي الله عنه).

[47] Musa b. Dihqan

Musa b. Dihqan Kufi Madani (d. before 150). He is a weak narrator. His memory became weak in his later years. Narrate from Abu Sa’id Khudri (رضي الله عنه).

[48] Isa b. Abu Isa Madani

Isa b. Abu Isa Maysarah Kufi Madani Khayyat (d. 151). He is a Matruk narrator. He is narrated by Imam Ibn Majah in his Sunan.

[49] Ubaydah b. Mu’attib

Abu Abd al-Rahim Ubaydah b. Mu’attib Dabbi (ضبي) Kufi. He is considered weak. His memory became poor in his last years. He is quoted in Bukhari (ch. Adahi) as supporting evidence. Imams Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah have taken from him, however, Imams Muslim and Nasa’i have not quoted in their sahih or sunan.

[50] al-Sariyy b. Isma’il

al-Sariyy b. Isma’il Hamdani Kufi. He was a judge and the Uncle of Sha’bi. He is a Matruk narrator. Imam Ibn Majah has taken hadith from him.

[51] Muhammad b. Salim

Muhammad b. Salim Hamdani Kufi. He is a weak narrator. Imam Tirmidhi has taken hadith from him.


[1] In another place he is referred to as Basri

[2] In Kitab al-Khasa’is

[3] The paternal grandfather of the great muhaddith Abu Bakr b. Abu Shaybah, the author of Musannif Abu Shaybah

Muqaddimah Muslim #1: Salutation

This is the exposition on the Muqaddimah of Imam Muslim which in effect is a preface to his famous Sahih. Here, if Allah almighty gives ability, I will clarify the text and summarise the issues rather than delve deep or prolong discussion for which I will merely point towards relevant article. Imam Muslim starts his Muqaddimah with the following declaration:

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ وَصَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ خَاتَمِ النَّبِيِّينَ وَعَلَى جَمِيعِ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ وَالْمُرْسَلِينَ أَمَّا بَعْدُ

"In the name of Allah, the very merciful and very kind. All praise is to Allah, the lord of the worlds. Salutation (salat) be upon Muhammad, the last of the prophets. [Salutations] be upon all the prophets and messengers.

Imam Muslim start with bimillah, hamd of Allah almighty and salat upon the prophet (peace be upon him). There are three topics discussed here; (1) the sequence of uttering bismillah, hamd and salat, (2) the detailed analysis of these three, (3) the validity of omitting salam when sending salat.

Firstly, in regards to the sequence of uttering bismillah, hamd and salat in the beginning. Although it is better to read or write all three, it is sufficient that the remembrance of Allah occurs in some way. This is the best solution for reconciling the narrations as the pronouncement must be sequential. The prophet (peace be upon him) declared in separate narrations that any matter of significance starting without bismillah, hamd or salah will be decrepit1. The arguments of relative beginnings is posited but is largely rejected.

Secondly, in regards to the detailed analysis of Bismillah, Hamd and the Salat. This is a long topic and one discussed in length in most tafasir. See the article bismillah, hamd and salat2.

Thirdly, in regards to omitting salam and relying upon salat as done by Imam Muslim. It is better to declare both3 as indicated in the Quran4, however, it is tolerable to rely upon only the salat or salam as was seen in numerous ahadith.


Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
9 Sha’ban 1437
16 May 2016


1 Lacking barakah

2 Note unpublished

3 Shami p.10 v.1

4 Surah Ahzab: 56. صلوا عليه و سلموا تسليما

Abu Dawud ch. 40: forbearance

حَدَّثَنَا مَخْلَدُ بْنُ خَالِدٍ الشَّعِيرِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا عُمَرُ بْنُ يُونُسَ، حَدَّثَنَا عِكْرِمَةُ يَعْنِي ابْنَ عَمَّارٍ قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي إِسْحَاقُ يَعْنِي ابْنَ عَبْدِ الله بْنِ أَبِي طَلْحَةَ قَالَ قَالَ أَنَسٌ كَانَ رَسُولُ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم مِنْ أَحْسَنِ النَّاسِ خُلُقًا فَأَرْسَلَنِي يَوْمًا لِحَاجَةٍ فَقُلْتُ وَاللهِ لاَ أَذْهَبُ (مزاحا و هو غلام غير مكلف) وَفِي نَفْسِي أَنْ أَذْهَبَ لِمَا أَمَرَنِي بِهِ نَبِيُّ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم‏.‏ قَالَ (أنس) فَخَرَجْتُ حَتَّى أَمُرَّ عَلَى صِبْيَانٍ وَهُمْ يَلْعَبُونَ فِي السُّوقِ (فاشتغلت معهم في اللعب) فَإِذَا رَسُولُ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قَابِضٌ بِقَفَاىَ () مِنْ وَرَائِي فَنَظَرْتُ إِلَيْهِ وَهُوَ يَضْحَكُ (أي يتبسم رفقا به) فَقَالَ ‏يَا أُنَيْسُ اذْهَبْ حَيْثُ أَمَرْتُكَ‏.‏ قُلْتُ نَعَمْ أَنَا أَذْهَبُ يَا رَسُولَ الله (أي أنا في سبيل إليه)‏.‏ قَالَ أَنَسٌ وَاللهِ لَقَدْ خَدَمْتُهُ سَبْعَ سِنِينَ أَوْ تِسْعَ سِنِينَ (شك الراوي لكن جزم تسع سنين في رواية المسلم) مَا عَلِمْتُ قَالَ لِشَىْءٍ صَنَعْتُ لِمَ فَعَلْتَ كَذَا وَكَذَا ولاَ لِشَىْءٍ تَرَكْتُ هَلاَّ فَعَلْتَ كَذَا وَكَذَا

#4773: Ishaq b. Abdullah b. Abu Talhah1 reports that Hadrat (May Allah be pleased with him) said, The prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) had the best of character. Once He sent me on an errand. I [being a child jokingly] said, ‘By Allah I won’t go’ but in my heart I intended to go to do what the prophet (peace be upon him) commanded me.

He (may Allah Almighty be pleased with him) said, I went out [to fulfil the errand] until I passed upon some boys who were playing in the market. [Distracted from his task, he joined them in play.] Then suddenly, the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) [standing] behind me grabbed the back of my neck. I [turned and] looked towards him and He was smiling. He (peace be upon him) said, ‘O Unays (Little Anas)! Go and do what I told you!’ I said, ‘Yes, I am going, O prophet of Allah’.

Anas (may Allah almighty be pleased with him) said, By Allah, I served [the Prophet] for seven or nine years. [During that time], I never knew Him to say on something I did, ‘Why did you do this or that!’ Nor did He say on something I missed, ‘Why didn’t you do this and that!’

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللهِ بْنُ مَسْلَمَةَ، حَدَّثَنَا سُلَيْمَانُ يَعْنِي ابْنَ الْمُغِيرَةِ عَنْ ثَابِتٍ (بن اسلم البناني) عَنْ أَنَسٍ قَالَ خَدَمْتُ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَشْرَ سِنِينَ بِالْمَدِينَةِ وَأَنَا غُلاَمٌ لَيْسَ كُلُّ أَمْرِي كَمَا يَشْتَهِي صَاحِبِي أَنْ أَكُونَ عَلَيْهِ مَا قَالَ لِي فِيهَا أُفٍّ قَطُّ وَمَا قَالَ لِي لِمَ فَعَلْتَ هَذَا أَوْ أَلاَ فَعَلْتَ هَذَا.‏

#4774: Thabit (b. Aslam al-Bunani)2 reports from Hadrat Anas that he said, I served the Prophet (peace be upon him) for ten years in Madinah. I a was a boy; not everything of mine was as my sire wanted it to be. He never said ‘uff‘ to me and he said to me, ‘why did you do this or why did you not do this?’

See Takmilah Fath al-Mulhim p. 454 v. 4; Bazl al-Majhud p. 29 v. 20

[1] The sanad is Sahih. Imam Muslim narrates with the same sanad except that he reports from Abu Ma’n rather than Makhlad b. Khalid both of whom are thiqah. Some have commented on the sanad due to the presence of Ikramah b. Ammar. The words in Muslim is the same except that the narrator is not conflicted and flatly reports nine years.

[2] —

Avoid some common mistakes in evaluating hadith


The following is a summary of some remedial principles mentioned by Mufti Taqi Usmani. This is in order to avoid the common mistakes in evaluating hadith and making unwarranted objections that one abandons strong evidences.

(1) A hadith is evaluated on the reliability of the sanad and validity of the matn not merely based on the collection it belongs.

(2) The appraisal of the hadith is a tedious task and solely the purview of those who possess the requisite criteria and the rank of ijtihad in the field.

(3) When such experts differ in their appraisal, prioritise the cautious expert over the lenient and the fair over the harsh. If both the experts are fair and cautious one should judge the rationale if they are qualified to do so or else they should choose the one they trust.

(4) Know that the opinion of one expert is not evidence against another expert.

(5) Furthermore, note that the experts judge with the quality of the sources at hand, hence, the loss of information at a later stage does not negate the classification of the earlier experts.

(6) The declaration of sahih or da’if signifies that it fulfils or lacks the set criteria for acceptance; it is highly likely that it reflects the reality but not certainly so. One must act upon the likelihood unless strong evidence indicates to the contrary.

(7) The ahnaf amongst others consider the practice of the sahabah and tabi’in as significant evidence to strengthen a seemingly weak hadith similar to the existence of multiple sanads which in effect reclassifies it to hasan li ghayrihi.

(8) If two reliable ahadith collide, the ahnaf will prioritise the content which conforms to the Quran or the general principles of Shari’ah irrespective if the other sanad is relatively stronger as according to them effect in superior to quantity once reliability is established.

For more details, read Eight Remedial principles in evaluating hadith

The conditions for ijazah in hadith

By Mufti Sa’eed Ahmad Palanpuri
Tuhfat al-Qari v.1 p. 116
Translated by Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami  – 13 Jumada I 1436

The ijazah for hadith is given with three conditions. When these three conditions are found, there will be ijazah or else not.

The first condition is that the student should have heard or read the hadith to a teacher. If they have neither heard or read the hadith rather they were absent or sleeping whilst sat, they will not have ijazah.

The second condition is that they must have understood the hadith. Those who did not understand, do not have permission.

The third condition is that the hadith be firmly remembered and relayed forward with caution.

Hence, the students should consistently be present in lessons. No hadith should remain unread or unheard. It should be understood with full focus and when stating the hadith in future it should be done with full caution. Reading in this form is ijazah. The teacher sitting to teach (تصدي للإقراء) is ijazah – there is no need to seek a separate ijazah at the end of the year. The ijazah which is given after cursory reading of the beginning of books is only for the kamil – it is not given to any and all. Hence, in the sanad of the Darul Uloom an ijazah for the hadith is not written. It simply states that this graduate has studied such and such hadith books and that’s it.


Note! The condition are not exhaustive rather the most pertinent for those studying in their final year. The criteria of piety is a given for one who has already studied for six years.

#201602221801 – 13 Jumada I 1436 | 22 February 2016

Abu Ayyub Ansari

By Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
10 Jumada I 1437 | 19 February 2016

Abu Ayyub Ansari was a close companion (sahabi) of the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) and a consummate warrior. He was born Khalid b. Zayd b. Kulayb of the clan Najjar which is a branch of the tribe Kazraj.1 Hence, he was amongst the Ansar who helped the Prophet (peace be upon him) when he emigrated to Madinah Munawwarah.

When the Prophet (peace be upon him) arrived in Madinah, most wanted to host him. The Prophet let loose his camel with the intent that He will stay at the house of the person where the camel stopped. It stopped briefly at the house of Abu Ayyub who in turn rushed and took off the saddle to his house. Thus, he was designated the host of the Prophet who stayed with him many months until the main masjid was built. Even after the prophet moved, Abu Ayyub (may Allah Almighty be pleased with him) used to prepare food for the Prophet (peace be upon him) and host his guests. This was due to the close amity the Prophet felt with Abu Ayyub Ansari.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) coupled him in brotherhood with the great Sahabi and standard bearer Mus’ab b. Umayr (may Allah Almighty be please with him) who was martyred in Uhad. Abu Ayyub himself was a seasoned warrior. He was present at the pledge of Aqabah as well as the battles of Badr, Uhad and all the campaigns of the Prophet (peace be upon him). It is said that the only reason he would not have been in a battle the Muslims fought is because he was engaged in another battle. He fought in the side of Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) during the civil war and thereafter for Mu’awiyah (may Allah Almighty be pleased with him) during his reign. Around 52 years after the Prophet’s arrival to Madinah, now in his old age, Abu Ayyub Ansari accompanied Yazid b. Mu’awiyah to conquer Constantinople. There he fought but then fell ill. Yazid visited him and asked if he had any requests. He replied, ‘My request is that when I die, ride deep into the enemy territory as far as possible and bury me there’. He died in that campaign and his wish was fulfilled. He was buried at the border of Constantinople. May Allah Almighty be pleased with him and elevate his status.

The notable sahabah such as Ibn Abbas, Ibn Umar, Bara’ b. Azib, Abu Umamah, Zayd b. Khalid, Miqdam b. Ma’dikarib, Anas b. Malik, Jabir b. Samurah, and Abdullah b. Yazid narrate from Abu Ayyub Ansari (May Allah Almighty be pleased with them all). Amongst the tabi’un, Sa’id b. Musayyab, ‘Urwah, Salim b. Abdillah, Abu Salamah, Ata b. Yasar, Ata b. Yazid etcetera narrate from him (may Allah almighty have mercy upon them).

For more details, read al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah #1361


[1] His full lineage is Khalid b. Zayd b. Kulayb b. Tha’labah b. Abd b. ‘Awf b. Ghanam b. Malik b. Najjar (Taym Allah) b. Tha’labah b. Amr b. Khazraj (Akbar). His mother’s name is Hind bt. Sa’id b. Amr b Imra’ al-Qays b. Malik b. Tha’labah b. Ka’b b. Khazraj b. Harith b. Khazraj.

Sadr Shariah – The author of Nuqayah, Sharh Wiqayah and Tawdih

By Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
2 Jumada I 1437 | 12 February 2016

He is the great scholar faqih, and master of usul, Sadr al-Shariah (al-asghar) Ubayd Allah b. Mas’ud b. Taj al-Shariah Mahmud b. Sadr al-Shariah al-Akbar al-Mahbubi al-Bukhari (d. 747). When Sadr al-Shariah is said without any prefix it refers to him. Amongst others, he acquired knowledge from his grandfather, the great scholar and the author of the monumental fiqh text Wiqayah,  Taj al-Shariah Mahmud.

His expertise expanded to many fields including Hadith, Fiqh, Usul, Aqa’id, logic, grammar, rhetoric and poetry. He researched assiduously and wrote meticulously. His knowledge was vast and incisive through which he was able to summarise many important and difficult topics succinctly. Allm. Abd al-Hayy Lacknawi writes that all the works of Sadr al-Shariah are accepted by the reliable scholars amongst the fuqaha.

His books Nuqayah, Sharh Wiqayah, and Tanqih wa Tawdhih are considered classics which summarises Hanafi fiqh and usul fiqh.

For further detail, read Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami’s article, ‘Sadr al-Shariah (al-Asghar) – d. 747′. Islamic Studies Bulletin (DIBAJ), Issue 2. Available at

How to study Usul al-Fiqh

By Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
Extracted from Mastering Usul Fiqh in Islamic Studies Bulletin – 9 Shawwal 1434

To master usul for a person with a Hanafi background, one must first have a strong foundation in fiqh. Study Usul al-Shashi to get an in-depth understanding of the central masa’il covered in usul fiqh as well as an introduction to the core principles. Thereafter, read Manar al-Anwar along with Nur al-Anwar to understand the principles in detail along with the evidence which support and justify these rules as well as answers objections posited by the mutakillimin. This will make it easy to decipher the usul of Bazdawi, Sarakhsi, Jassas and make Talwih accessible. Now that a solid foundation in the Hanafi approach is developed, one should consolidate the learning with the reading of Husami with special attention on the Qiyas section; this will cover the topics in Taqwim al-Adillah, Tasis al-Nazar and Usul Karkhi. This should suffice for one to understand the Hanafi evidence and usul.

To advance one should study Tawdih with Talwih. This will summarise the key mutakallimin works such as Ihkam and Muntaha al-Sul along with what was covered in Manar and Husami in addition to gaining the Ash’ari insight via Talwih. This should give one scope to understand most of the books of the other Mazahib. Follow up with the study of Musallam al-Thubut with Fawatih al-Rahmut; this will suffice to understand the works of the later works of the muta’akhkhirin including Jam’ al-Jawami’ and Tahrir.

For further detail, read Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami’s article, ‘Mastering Usul Fiqh’. Islamic Studies Bulletin (DIBAJ), Issue 3. Available at

Mu’in al-Fara’idh #4: Impediment


By Mufti Mahmud Hasan Ajmeri
Translated by Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami – 29 Rabi II 1437 | 10 February 2016

Those eligible to inherit, sometimes due to a certain causes can be impeded (mahrum) from inheriting. These causes are known as ‘Mawani’ al-Irth’. There are four such causes: Riqq (slavery), Qatl (homicide), Tabayun Din (religion), and Tabayun Darayn (nationality). The details are mentioned below.

(1) Riqq refers to full or partial slavery such as a slave, mudabbarmukatab or umm walad. The reason being, these people do not fully own themselves or anything in the possession. Hence, if any relative of theirs dies, they will not be eligible to get anything from the tarkah. Furthermore, they cannot impede others from inheriting either.

(2) Qatl [in this case refers to homicide] which necessitates qisas or kaffarah. The homicide which impedes the killer from inheriting are three types: Qatl ‘Amad,, Qatl Shibh ‘Amad (voluntary manslaughter) and Qatl Khata’ (involuntary manslaughter).

(a) Qatl ‘Amad (murder) is the purposeful killing of an innocent human life with a lethal weapon such as a sword, sharp stone, canon, gun and fire. This results in sin and qisas but not diyyat or kaffarah.

(b) Qatl Shibh Amad (voluntary manslaughter) is the purposeful killing of an innocent human life with a non-lethal item such as ordinary stone or wood piece. This results in diyyat, sin and kaffarah but not qisas.

(c) Qatl Khata’ (involuntary manslaughter) is the accidental killing of an innocent human life such as a hunter who shot at a target but accidentally hit a person due to which he died. This results in diyyat and kaffarah but not qisas and sin.

As there is qisas in ‘amad and kaffarah in shibh ‘amad and khata’, all these forms killing will impede inheritance.

(3) Tabayun Din refers to when from the deceased and the heir, one is a Muslim and the other is a non-Muslim. This difference (tabayun) in their religion impedes the heir from inheriting. Yes! amongst non-Muslims (disbelievers) regardless of how much difference [between them], they will be considered as one religion under the principal of ‘kufr millatun wahidah‘ (kufr is all one religion). Hence, non-Muslims of different religions will not be impeded [from each other].

(4) Tabayun Darayn refers to when non-Muslims live in two different nations. This is a cause of them being impeded. This is irrespective if the difference is real such as one is harbi and the other is zimmi or if the difference is assumed such as one is zimmi and the other is musta’min or both are from two separate dar al-harb. Muslims being of different nations does not impede them [from inheriting].

Mu’in al-Fara’idh #3: Succession

By Mufti Mahmud Hasan Ajmeri
Translated by Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami – 28 Rabi II 1437 | 9 February 2016

The estate which remains after shroud, burial, payment of debts and fulfilment of bequest will be distributed amongst the heirs in accordance to the Quran, sunnah of the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) and ijma.

There are three types of heirs (waratha): Zawil Furudh, ‘Asabat, and Zawil Arham. Their order of priority will be mentioned below.

(4)  Zawil Furudh: They are those who have been fixed a specific share in the Quran, Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and through ijma. From the inheritors, the zawil furudh are the first to be given their fixed shares. After their share, if any amount remains, it is given to the eligible ‘asabat.

(5) ‘Asabat: They are those who if alone take the entire tarkah and if with a zawi al-furudh take all that remains tarkah after their share. These ‘asabat are of two types:

(a) ‘Asabat Nisabi: They are those who are related to the deceased [by blood] such as father, father’s father, son, son’s son. The details will come in the ‘asabat section.

(b) ‘Asabat Sababi: They are those who freed the deceased or the ‘asabat of those who freed [the deceased]. As in the deceased was a slave who was freed by his owner. If this free person dies and there is no heir from the above category to inherit, the master who freed or if unavailable the master’s ‘asabah nisabi will be inherit. Note! If the master is not alive, only the male relatives may inherit – not the females. The reason being, females can only inherit [as ‘asabah] from their freed slave or the freed-slave of their freed slave – they cannot inherit [as ‘asabah] from the freed-slave of their relatives.

(6) Radd bi Zawil Furudh: Give the fixed share to the zawil furudh and thereafter if any amount remains give it to the ‘asaba nisabi and if they are unavailable give it to the ‘asaba sababi. However, if the deceased has neither of the ‘asabat, redistribute the remaining amount amongst the zawi al-furudh according to their proportions. This is called radd which we will discuss in detail in the radd section. Here, just remember that radd is only done to zawi al-furudh nisabi and not zawi al-furudh sababi (spouse).

(7) Zawil Arham: All relatives other than zawil furudh and ‘asabah are classed zawil arham such as the daughter’s son and daughter, brother’s daughter, sister’s daughter, father’s sister, mother’s sister, mother’s brother, and mother’s father etcetera. If there is no one from the above mentioned categories, the tarkah (estate) of the deceased will be given to the zawil arham. The detail will come in the zawil arham section. If from the zawil furudh there is only the spouse and there are no ‘asabah, give the remaining amount to the zawil arham.

(8) Mawla Muwalat: They are those who the deceased formed a pact of fealty. As in the deceased had no known family and so made a pact,

You are my mawla and after I die, you will receive my money. However, if a crime occurs on my part due to which I must pay diyyat (blood money), you shall fulfil it.

If after forming the pact, this person with no known family dies and leaves no eligible heirs from the above categories, the estate will be given to this mawla muwalat with whom the pact was made whilst alive. Hence, if the spouse is alive but after their share there is no heir from the above groups, the remaining amount will be given to the mawla muwalat with whom the pact was made.

(9) Muqirr lahu bi al-Nasab ala al-Ghayr: They are those regarding whom the deceased admitted to being related. However, the relationship could not be established by admittance alone as it entails including them in the lineage of another. For example, the deceased admitted a stranger to be his brother or uncle. As this entail this stranger being included in his father or grandfather’s lineage, the relationship will be established so long as the father or grandfather do not confirm. The mere admittance will not be sufficient be establish the person as his real brother or uncle. However, If the one remains adamant on their claim till death and after dying there is no one from the above categories or they have a spouse and there is no one from the above categories to receive the remaining amount, the muqir lahu bi al-nasabi ala ghayr will be given the remain estate.

(10) Musa lahu bi Jami’l Mal: They are those to whom the deceased bequeathed their entire estate. However, in accordance to the shariah, they were given a third and two-thirds was held for others who may be eligible. But on further investigation it was discovered there is no one eligible of the two-thirds from the above mentioned categories. Consequently, the remaining amount will be given to this musa lahu bi jami’l mal.

(11) Bayt al-Mal: If no one from the above mentioned categories, the estate will be given to the bayt al-mal (Muslim treasury) which then should be spent on [the needy who are destitute and have no one].

(12) Radd bi Zawjayn: If there no one from the above mentioned categories, the general books of fiqh state that the tarkah of the deceased be given to the bat al-mal. However, when the later scholars have seen that in our time there is no bayt al-mal or [if there is] they do not spend it in an Islamic cause, they deemed that if there is a spouse and for the remain amount there is no one from above mentioned categories, the spouse should be given the remaining amount.

Mu’in al-Fara’idh #2: Payment schedule

By Mufti Mahmud Hasan Ajmeri
Translated by Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami – 28 Rabi II 1437 | 8 February 2016

(1) Shroud and burial: First and foremost, pay the shroud and burial expenses from the deceased’s estate even if it requires that the entire estate be spent. You should be moderate in the funeral expenses. For example, the shroud should be of the standard which the deceased may have worn in jumua, the two Eids or when meeting friends.

(2) Debt payment: [Secondly,] repay [recognised] debts which are owed to people from the estate which remains after the payment of [necessary] funeral expenses even if it requires that the entire estate be spent.

If the estate is insufficient to repay all the debts, give priority to the payment of strong debts over weak debts. For example, debts incurred whilst the deceased was healthy or debts which are proven conclusively will be given priority over debts admitted (without any verifiable proof) whilst the person was dying . If multiple debts of equal standing have accumulated, divide the estate amongst the creditors according to their proportions.

Arrears of zakat and kaffarat are written off as a debt in this world. The reason being, it not associated with the rights of the people rather it is the right of Allah Almighty. Of course, the inheritors or someone else may give it from their own wealth as a form of compensation if they please. If the deceased at the time of their demise bequeathed that it be paid, it would be classified as a bequest.

(3) Bequest: [Thirdly,] fulfil the bequest (wasiyyat) of the deceased from one third of the estate (tarkah) which remains after the payment of [recognised] debts.

Wasiyyat (bequest) refers to the asset which the deceased expressed that it be given to a particular person or cause [upon their death].

In fulfilling the bequest, it is a requisite that (1) it not be more than a third, (2) it not be given to an heir automatically inheriting when the deceased died and (3) it not be a cause which contravenes the shari’ah.

If it is more than a third or the bequest was for an heir, it may not be fulfilled without the consent of the remaining heirs.


Keyword: Mal (estate: all the money and property owned by a person), Tarkah (the net asset of the deceased), Dayn pl. Duyun (debts), Wasiyyah (bequest).

Note: This schedule of payment which occurs before any heir receives their share is known as muqaddamah ‘alal irth.

Mu’in al-Fara’idh #1: Introduction

By Mufti Mahmud Hasan Ajmeri
Translated by Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami – 25 Rabi II 1437 | 5 February 2016

We praise Allah Almighty and send salutations to His noble Prophet.

Before starting any subject the introductory matters are mentioned so that the student may find it easy to learn and understand. Hence, before starting ilmul fara’id, we shall write the definition (ta’rif), subject matter (mawdu’), objective (ghard wa ghayat), some keywords and technical terms so that you may find learning this subject easy.

Definition: This is the knowledge of the rules and cases of fiqh which if known one will be informed of (1) the legal heirs of the deceased and (2) the legal principals of how to determine the shares of their inheritance.

Subject matter: The deceased’s estate (tarkah) and the eligible heirs (waratha).

Aim and objective: The aim of this knowledge is to discover the eligible heirs of the deceased’s estate and their share.

Etymology:  Fara’idh (فرائض) is derived from faridhah (فريضة) which means to fix. This knowledge is called ilmul fara’idh as the shares that are stated for the heirs, their amount are fixed by Allah Almighty himself.

Virtue: The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) says, ‘Knowledge is of three and all else is a bonus: the clear ayat, established sunnah and the fair share’ (Abu Dawud). The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said, ‘Learn inheritance and teach it’ (Ibn Majah). In another narration, [he says], ‘It is the first thing which will be taken from my ummah‘ (Majma’ al-Anhur).

قال رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم العلم ثلاثة، و ما سوي ذلك فهو فضل: اية محكمة، أو سنة قائمة، أو فريضة عادلة رواه أبو داود و قال صلي الله عليه و سلم أيضا تعلَموا الفرائض و علّموها، فإنها نصف العلم رواه ابن ماجة و في رواية أخري في مجمع الأنهر و هو سنتي و هو أول شئ ينزع من أمتي.

In consideration of these narrations, the importance and virtue of this knowledge over other subjects is apparent. Furthermore, before commencing on this subject, it is important that the student know mathematics in addition to sarfnahw and the masa’il of fiqh.

Tarkah: Any asset or property (be it real or owed) which remains after a person has died minus any asset associated with the rights of another person. For example, the asset of the deceased which the deceased has placed as a security of a loan or an asset which was bought but not paid and the buyer dies before taking possession of the asset. In these cases, as the lender or sellers right is associated with the asset, it will not be included within the tarkah.

Keywords: Mayyit (the deceased person), Tarkah (the net asset of the deceased), Warith pl. Waratha (heirs: a person entitled to inherit the asset of the deceased person), Fara’id (inheritance)

[Mu’in Fara’id is a standard primer for mirath which is taught before or in conjunction with Siraji]

Lightning, thunder and thunderbolt


رعد | برق | صائقة

In the Quran, Allah almighty uses the thunderstorm to exemplify His might. He uses three synonymic (mutaradif) words which translates to thunder (رعد), lightning (برق) and thunderbolt (صائقة).

قال الجوهري في الصحاح: الرعد الصوت الذي يُسْمَع من السَحاب اهـ البرق واحد بروق السحاب ويقال رعدت  السماء وبرقَت برقانا، أي لمعت اهـ الصاعقة نار تسقط من السماء في رعد شديد. يقال صَعَقَتْهُم السماءُ، إذا ألقت عليهم الصاعقَةَ. والصاعِقَةُ أيضا صيحة العذاب

الرعد / Thunder / The noise in the sky

أَوْ كَصَيِّبٍ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ فِيهِ ظُلُمَاتٌ وَرَعْدٌ وَبَرْقٌ – 2:19
وَيُسَبِّحُ الرَّعْدُ بِحَمْدِهِ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ مِنْ خِيفَتِهِ – 13:13

البرق / Lightning / The flash in the sky

أَوْ كَصَيِّبٍ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ فِيهِ ظُلُمَاتٌ وَرَعْدٌ وَبَرْقٌ – 2:19
يَكَادُ الْبَرْقُ يَخْطَفُ أَبْصَارَهُمْ كُلَّمَا أَضَاءَ لَهُمْ مَشَوْا فِيهِ – 2:20
هُوَ الَّذِي يُرِيكُمُ الْبَرْقَ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا وَيُنْشِئُ السَّحَابَ الثِّقَالَ – 13:12
يَكَادُ سَنَا بَرْقِهِ يَذْهَبُ بِالْأَبْصَارِ – 24:43
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ يُرِيكُمُ الْبَرْقَ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا وَيُنَزِّلُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً – 30:24
فَإِذَا بَرِقَ الْبَصَرُ – 75:7

الصاعقة / Thunderbolt / A bolt of lightning accompanied by thunder

يَجْعَلُونَ أَصَابِعَهُمْ فِي آذَانِهِمْ مِنَ الصَّوَاعِقِ حَذَرَ الْمَوْتِ – 2:19
لَنْ نُؤْمِنَ لَكَ حَتَّىٰ نَرَى الله جَهْرَةً فَأَخَذَتْكُمُ الصَّاعِقَةُ – 2:55
فَقَالُوا أَرِنَا الله جَهْرَةً فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ الصَّاعِقَةُ بِظُلْمِهِمْ – 4:153
وَيُرْسِلُ الصَّوَاعِقَ فَيُصِيبُ بِهَا مَنْ يَشَاءُ – 13:13
فَإِنْ أَعْرَضُوا فَقُلْ أَنْذَرْتُكُمْ صَاعِقَةً – 41:13
مِثْلَ صَاعِقَةِ عَادٍ وَثَمُودَ – 41:13
فَأَخَذَتْهُمْ صَاعِقَةُ الْعَذَابِ الْهُونِ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ – 41:17
فَعَتَوْا عَنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّهِمْ فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ الصَّاعِقَةُ وَهُمْ يَنْظُرُونَ – 51:44


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 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).

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.


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


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.


  • 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

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

How to prepare for a lesson (Mutala)


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.


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

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’.


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’.


7 January 2015

Not for public consumption


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.


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).



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 #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.

The class rules of Mufti Muzaffar Husayn

There are general etiquettes and then there are etiquettes particular to teachers. The following are some classroom rules stated by Mufti Muzaffar Husayn who was the hadith teacher and former principal of Mazahirul Uloom in India. Wait for the lesson to start inside the class; do not loiter outside. Attend class and consistently so. Do not leave the classroom unnecessarily. Focus! Do not doodle, text or distract others during lesson. Do not do anything which is unrelated to the current lesson during lesson time such as grooming or reading a novel. Come prepared; do not leave your books at home.

By Mufti Muzaffar Husayn Mazahiri
Taqrir Tirmidhi
Translated by Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami; Bulletin #150805501 – 19 Shawwal 1436

[There are general etiquettes and then there are etiquettes particular to teachers. The following are some classroom rules stated by Mufti Muzaffar Husayn who was the hadith teacher and former principal of Mazahirul Uloom in India. Wait for the lesson to start inside the class; do not loiter outside. Attend class and consistently so. Do not leave the classroom unnecessarily. Focus! Do not doodle, text or distract others during lesson. Do not do anything which is unrelated to the current lesson during lesson time such as grooming or reading a novel. Come prepared; do not leave your books at home. – Saif]

[Mufti Muzaffar Husayn Mazahiri (may Allah almighty have mercy upon him) states,]

It is a story through the year and I do not like fighting over and over either. In a lesson and especially so in a lesson of hadith, there are a few matters which must be given consideration […] The first is the general etiquettes of a lesson and the second is [specific] with each teacher who have particular approaches and some principles which want the students to fulfil.

First etiquette

The very first thing I want from you is that at the very least you are not standing here and there at lesson time. If you stand here and stand there, this is your first fight with me. When you stand here and there, I consider that in other words you have made a complaint about the teacher even if you have not made the complaint verbally […] Meaning complaint can be done with ‘قال’ (statement) as well as through ‘حال’ (conduct). This conduct of yours entails complaint. When the lesson time has started and the teacher has not arrived or came ten minutes late due to which you are standing here and there, you have announced that the teacher is not there yet. Is that not a complaint? When you complain about a teacher, it is apparent you cannot benefit from them. Even if there is not a clear fight, however, it is the ruling of Allah Almighty that when bitterness forms inside and the heart becomes constricted then one cannot benefit. Even if there are lots of lectures and everything else but the circumstance will be as I have mentioned that it is difficult to benefit. You should save yourself from this habit. At the very least let me tell you about myself that do not stand around in my lesson time. I should not see you standing. Rather sit for ten minutes and wait. I will send a message that there will be no lesson. It is my habit that if I am unable to teach the lesson, I inform but six or seven minutes late and not before.

Second etiquette

Let me mention to you another thing. In a few days something else starts which not being present in class. There are some who do not even bother to come here and sit in lesson. They are relaxing at lesson time even though it is mandatory upon them to be present and remain in lesson. If you start adopting this approach that you come sometimes and don’t come sometimes, I will start feeling dim and withdrawn, my lectures will become shallow and I would assume what is the point of in-depth speeches.

Let me mention another point. There are those who attend class (Masha-Allah). But the extent of their care is that if there is registration they will be present and if there is no registration they will be absent. Remember! In two or three days I will see your face (I will know who is what). After that I will be able to tell if you are not coming to lesson. Do not assume that if there was no register it is not known as to who did not come. […] This is a form of cheating with the lesson and the teacher […] Many are under the assumption that we have put one over [the teacher]; the teacher did not ask and so did not know. This is an error. This error should be removed as it is nothing and everything is known.

However, let me say that after the first, second or third occurrence, I may say that you are not consistent. Subsequently, after the third time I will assume that come or do not come, if after telling you, still you did not come, I will not ask why you did not come. The reason being, you are not children. Masha-Allah, you have intellect, are mature, have understanding, are able to lead the people, manage an organisation and all other thing. Even then if you are careless about what benefits and harms you, who can inform you. After the third time, as you would have read, even the Quran states, ‘This is a separation between me and you’. So up to three time the apology will be heard but after the third time it is not necessary. This is my personal stance or else the rule of the madrasah is different. Whether they expel you or keep you that is the madrasah’s matter, however, the special relationship that we have will definitely be different. Even if you do not call it a literal separation consider it is a figurative one. A figurative separation is when there is no connection between the teacher and student. So this separation is born. The point being, be consistent in you attendance.

Third etiquette

Some of our friends (viz. students) have adopted another form. Listen regarding it also. They arrive and are present, however, studying is not their objective. Their main purpose is to register their attendance. As soon as they have been marked in, they need to go toilet, they need to urinate, they have an extreme need, they have an illness and so they leave the class. Some will try to adopt this corner or that corner and thereafter when they feel like it, they leave, and when they feel like it, they return. They think we have fooled them and the teacher does not have a clue who left […] To inform or not to inform is a separate issue, however, to assume that it was not known, is not correct. It is definitely known but it is not my habit to say over and over; it is not appropriate either.

Fourth etiquette

There are some of our friends whose mind-set is that let us go to lesson and these poor souls come to lesson also as well as remain in lesson. However, whilst remaining some start doodling, sometimes sending a note here and sometime sending a note there, or thereafter they start to sign towards each other.

Fifth etiquette

Some fellows have gone to the limit, and this is my experience that someone is doing their moustache or reading a novel. The lesson of hadith is going on and the novel is open. It is a sad case! Think, the novel is open and hadith is being taught. Similarly, a scissors is in front or a pen and with these their exercise is done upon the book. These are experiences which I am telling. I am not merely saying but it is my experience. Now you let me how can such students gain anything.

Sixth etiquette

Similarly, some do not even bring their books such as today where some have come without their books. Meaning they are so well researched that they do not consider it necessary to lift so many books, and even if they pick, it is one or two important books which they will bring from their residence.

Listen! Those who find it burdensome to even carry books, it is clear what burden they will take to carry knowledge. I ask that if it is difficult to bring books for four lessons at once from the room, what would they be able to preserve of the lectures of four lessons? I want to ask to those whose state in regards to the respect of knowledge that they cannot even bring books and sit without books. This is my long experience and you will also see, this is their regular habit that they come without books and they impose on those who have brought their books. Think! What are they studying who cannot even bring books?


All these thing are causes for the deprivation, loss and deficiency in knowledge. Hence, if you want to study and teach properly, it should be learned in the right manner with full consideration of the etiquette of knowledge. The teacher should consider their station and student should realise their obligation. Thereafter, Allah almighty will very easily grant knowledge.


Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami (Translator)
19 Shawwal 1436
5 August 2015

Ml. Saharanpuri on Shami and Badai’

Ml.Khalil Ahmad Saharanpur advises that to create an affinity to fiqh one should read Shami (Radd al-Muhtar) and Badai’ al-Sanai’ comprehensively.

By Mawlana Ashiq Ilahi Mirati
Tazkirat al-Khalil pp. 351-352
Translated by Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami Bulletin #151228501 – 18 Rabi I 1437

When writing a fatwa, Hadrat [Ml. Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri] would often check Shami. If [Allm. Shami] would report a view [of an authority], he would consider it evidence but if it was the opinion of the author, he would not consider it evidence [in of itself]. Rather, he would critically analyse and research. He would say, ‘we are of one time –  they are men and we are men. His opinion is not evidence against us until his opinion is not supported by the view of the salaf’.

In his free time, he would often check Badai’. I have heard on many occasions Hadrat [Saharanpuri] make a lot of duas for its author [Allm. Kasani]. He would say, ‘For sure, this man is a faqih and Allah almighty has created him for fiqh’.

Ml. Zafar Ahmad Sahib once asked, Hadrat [Saharanpuri] to suggest a solution which will create an affinity to fiqh. He responded,

It is the habit of muftis that they revise the book only when a request for a fatwa is made. This is insufficient and results in the answer containing many errors. The reason being, they write an answer in a hurry after checking it in one place despite the fact that in this matter there is more detail in another place which changes the ruling for the given query. Hence, to create an affinity with fiqh one should read Shami and Badai’ comprehensively. Our Hadrat Gangohi read Shami fully multiple times but [then again] at that time Badai’ was not available in print. Now I consider it necessary to review also along with Shami. The reality is that Badai’ is an amazing book. Once he said, although Shami has more derivative edicts but the principles and the why of fiqh is more in Badai’. If one creates a familiarity to [Badai’], they will get to grips with fiqh.

The different temperaments of the pious

How would you have reacted in the given case? This is a useful exercise to connect with the ulama and the sahabah. Would Hadrat Abu Bakr, Umar and Usman (may Allah almighty be pleased with them) reacted alike considering what we know of their personality?


By Hakim al-Islam Qari Muhammad Tayyab Qasimi
Arwah Thalatha, p. 16
Translated by Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami; Bulletin #151225501 – 13 Rabi I 1437

Hadrat Amir Shah Khan Sahib relates that one man invited Shah Wali Allah Sahib (Muhaddith) Dihlawi, Mawlana Fakhr al-Din Sahib and Mirza Mazhar Jani Jana for food. He sat all three of them down and left. The man returned after midday. He placed one paisa (shilling) in each of their hand and said,

Hadrat, I left for some work and absolutely forgot about the invite given to you. Now there is no time to arrange the food, hence, keep this money for food.

Mawlana Fakhr al-Din Sahib thanked him and said,

Brother, even this is a favour because if we were to work from morning to now, we would have got a paisa and here you have sat us in comfort and gave us a paisa.  Shah Wali Allah accepted it silently and said nothing. However, Mirza Muhammad Jani Jana was offended and said,

You wasted the time of this honourable people. Shah Wali Allah Sahib would have taught hadith till now and Mawlana Fakhr al-Din Sahib would have benefited his adherents. (He did not say anything regarding himself as in what he would have done). However, you have stopped them from doing Islamic services. Be warned, never do that again.

Thereafter, the three got up and left. After stating the story, Amir Shah Khan Sahib said, Hadrat Haji Imdad Allah related this story to me as well as Hadrat Mawlana Qasim Sahib Nanotwi and Hadrat Mawlana Gangohi also.

Hadrat Haji Sahib after discussing this story said, Mawlana Rafi al-Din’s case is one of humility – it resonates of chistiyat. Hadrat Mawlana Qasim Sahib said, Shah Wali Allah’s case is higher in that his nafs was unfazed. Hadrat Gangohi used to say that Mirza Mazhar Jani Jana’s case is very high. Justice dictated here what Mirza Sahib said.

This highlights the differences of characters and opinions of our elders.

Hāfiż Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalānī’s day

By Shams al-Din al-Sakhawi
al-Jawāhir wa al-Durar, vol.3, pp.1050-1051
Translated by Ml. Muntasir Zaman in Ahadith Notes – 26 November 2015

In his early days, he (Allāh have mercy upon him) would perform the Fajr prayer at Jāmi‘ al-Hākim when it was still dark. Afterwards -perhaps after becoming a judge- he began performing it at Madrasah Mankūtamuriyyah when it [the sky] was bright. He would go to the Madrasah from the private quarters of his residence. When he completed his prayers, if anyone required his assistance, he would speak to them; otherwise, he would return home and engage in the morning adhkār and recitation of the Qur’ān. He would then engage in research and writing until the time of Salāt al-Duhā and then perform it [Salāt al-Duhā]. Thereafter, if there were people seeking permission to read hadith, he would attend to them. Thus, some would read with transmission and others with commentary; he would remain seated with them until shortly before the Zuhr prayer. He would then return home and rest for one-third of an hour, and perform the Zuhr prayer at his residence.

Thereafter, he would research and write until roughly two-thirds of an hour after the adhān of ‘Asr. Then he would go to the Madrasah and find the students and others waiting for him, so he would perform ‘Asr with them. After the prayer, he would sit to deliver lessons. By then, those who had prescribed invocations either finished them or had a small amount remaining. This is why he delayed slightly, intending wide spread benefit and considering the feelings of the students.

In between their recital to him, as well as in the morning session, he would write answers to Hadith and Fiqh related queries that were sent to him. Occasionally, a discussion would ensue between him and the students regarding some of the queries. Generally, this session would only terminate shortly before sunset. Thereafter, he would return home and eat dinner if he was not fasting; otherwise, he would wait for the adhān to eat and then pray.

He would engage in voluntary prayers or research until he heard the adhān for ‘Ishā’ during which he would make his way to the Madrasah, and upon his arrival, a group of students would be waiting for him. He would pray two raka’āt and then generally sit for dictation or mutual discussion for over an hour and then pray ‘Īshā’ in congregation. Thereafter, he would return home and perform the [post-‘Īshā’] Sunnah prayers. During the month of Ramadān, after the adhān, the prayer of ‘Īshā’ would commence once he appeared and the appointed Imām for the Tarāwīh prayer would go forward. For a lengthy period, the appointed Imām was al-Badr Hasan ibn ‘Abd Allah […] and after his demise, it was Nūr al-Dīn al-Samannūdī. Some nights I prayed with him. He would first pray ‘Īshā’ and then Tarāwīh. When the Imām would stand for the Witr prayer, he would generally remain seated and would engage in dhikr until its completion and then go home to rest. Thereafter, he would do as I described under the section “his night vigil prayer (tahajjud).”

This was his routine most of the time. When he had classes or official duties, however, his schedule would change slightly- as well as in Ramadān.

Mufti Shafi Usmani’s day

By Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
Nawhami Bulletin #120501501 – 9 Jumada II 1433 / 1 May 2012

The pious Ulama achieved greatness through dedication to Allah and maintenance of their duties to themselves and others for the sake of Allah. They made time for ibadat as well as fulfilling the rights of their body, family and meeting financial and social obligations. Here is a glimpse of one such man from the not too distant past.

In 24 Shawwal 1344 AH, the future grand Mufti Muhammad Shafi Usmani (d. 1399) wrote to Hakim al-Ummat Ml. Ashraf Ali Thanwi outlining his daily routine at the onset of the new academic year. He writes,

“As Hidayah generally goes unfinished during class hours I have planned to start teaching after the morning salah, an hour before the lesson, from Kitab al-Nikah and during lesson from the beginning [of the Kitab]. [I will teach] Hidayah in the first period, preparation of Hidayah in the second, exercise of Arabic writing in the third, and Maqamat in the fourth. After this, [I will spend] one and a half to two hours in business[1. He used to run a book store] and [then] an hour of rest (Qaylulah). After Zuhar Salah I will recite one juz of the Quran and thereafter write an article or thesis for an hour. [This will be] followed by one period of teaching Hammasa. After Asr I will go out for leisure. After Maghrib as per instruction Zikr of Allah’s name; to which now [I] adhere to for twelve Tasbihs and some times more. After Isha, the reading of books.”Hayat Mufti A’zam. (1415). Mufti Rafi Usmani. Idarat al-Ma’arif; Karachi, Pakistan. p. 60

Note how his timetable revolves around salah. After every salah there is a concrete action followed by a task that is flexible. The best actions are those that are measured and consistent.


Hadith Musalsal bil Awwaliyat

The very first hadith that normally teachers teach is the hadith rahmah. This custom is known as Musalsal bil Awwaliyat.

By Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
Nawhami Bulletin #151218501 – 6 Rabi I 1437 / 18 December 2015

الحمد لله رب  العالمين. و الصلاة و السلام علي سيدنا و مولانا محمد خاتم النبيين، و علي اله و أصحابه أجمعين، و علي كل من تبعهم بإحسان إلي يوم الدين. أما بعد: قال النبي صلي الله عليه و سلم:  الراحمون يرحمهم الرحمن – تبارك و تعالي –ارحموا من في الأرض يرحمكم من في السماء. رواه أبو داود  و الترمذي و احمد عن عبد الله بن عمرو بن العاص رضي الله عنهما

It is customary that the very first hadith that a teacher teaches be the hadith rahmah which is the following hadith:

الراحمون يرحمهم الرحمن، ارحموا من في الأرض يرحكمك من في السمآء

Trans: The prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Rahman has mercy upon those who show mercy. Have mercy upon those who are on the earth and He who is in the sky will have mercy upon you”.

The custom of starting with this hadith is called musalal bil awwaliyat. It has been done for many generations.

This was the very first hadith which I heard from the pre-eminent muhaddith of our time, Shaykh Yunus Jawnpuri (may Allah almighty raise his rank). The same was for him from his teacher and they from their teachers and so on and so forth. The chart below recounts one of the chains.

Sh. Yunus Jawnpuri الشيخ يونس الجونبوري
Sh. Zakariyyah Kandhalwi شيخ الحديث مولانا محمد زكريا كهاندلوي
Ml. Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri الشيخ مولانا خليل أحمد سهارنبوري
Ml. ‘Abd al-Qayyūm Badanwi مولانا عبد القيوم البدانوي
Sh. Ishaq Dehlawi الشاه اسحاق الدهلوي
Shah ‘Abd al-Aziz Dehlawi الشاه عبد العزيز الدهلوي
Shah Wali Allah Muhaddith Dehlawi الشاه ولي الله المحدث الدهلوي
Sayyid ‘Umar ibn Ahmad al-Saqqaf السيد عمر بن أحمد السقاف
Sh. ‘Abdullah b. Salim al-Basri الشيخ عبد الله بن سالم البصري
Sh. Yahya b. Muhammad al-Shawi الشيخ يحي بن محمد الشاوي
Sh. Sa’id b. Ibrahim al-Jazayiri الشيخ سعيد بن ابراهيم الجزائري
Sh. Sa’id b. Muhammad al-Maqqari الشيخ سعيد بن محمد المقري
Sh. Ahmad Haji al-Wahrani الشيخ أحمد حاجي الوهراني
Sh. Ibrahim al-Tazi الشيخ ابراهيم التازي
Sh. Muhammad b. Abi Bakr al-Maraghi الشيخ محمد بن أبي بكر المراغي
Hafidh Zayn al-Din al-Iraqi حافظ زين الدين العراقي
Sh. Muhammad b. Muhammad al-Bakri al-Maydumi الشيخ محمد بن محمد البكري الميدومي
Sh. ‘Abd al-Latif b. ‘Abd al-Mun’im al-Harrani الشيخ عبد اللطيف بن عبد المنعم الحراني
Hafidh Ibn al-Jawzi الحافظ ابن الجوزي
Sh. Isma’il b. Abi Salih al-Nayshaburi الشيخ إسماعيل بن أبي صالح النيشابوري
Sh. Abu Salih Ahmad b. ‘Abd al-Malik al-Mu’adhdhin الشيخ أبو صالح أحمد بن عبد المالك المؤذن
Sh. Muhammad b. Muhammad Mahmish al-Zabadi الشيخ محمد بن محمد المهمش الزبدي
Shaykh Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Bazzaz الشيخ أحمد بن محمد البزاز
Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Bishr ibn al-Hakam الشيخ عبد الرحمن بن بشر بن حكم
Hadrat Sufyan b. ‘Uyaynah حضرت سفيان بن عيينة

This is where the custom terminates whereby the hadith rahmat was the very first hadith which was taught. After this point the hadith was taught but it was not the very first hadith learned.

Hadrat Amr b. Dinar عمر بن دينار
Hadrat Abu Qabus (the Mawla of Abd Allah b. Amr) أبو قابوس مولي عبد الله بن عمرو بن العاص
Hadrat Abdullah b. Amr b. al-‘As (may Allah almighty be pleased with them) عبد الله بن عمرو بن العاص رضي الله عنهما
The final prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم

The total of this chain is 29 generations. May Allah almighty have mercy upon them all. Shaykh Yunus relays this hadith with the same form from other teachers also.

Furthermore, the very first hadith I heard from Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Fazlur Rahman Azami (may Allah almighty raise his rank) was also this hadith.

I also heard this hadith from Shaykh al-Islam Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani as well as my esteemed teachers Shaykh al-Hadith Mufti Umar Faruq Lawharwi on numerous occasions and Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Yusuf Koti whilst studying Tirmidhi. However, it was not the very first hadith as I heard other ahadith from them before. May Allah almighty protect them and raise their ranks.

The custom is followed to initiate a bond between the teacher and student. To iterate that the din is acquired and preserved through person to person – it is not merely confined to the text. Allah almighty sent the Quran and along with it the prophet (peace be upon him) to explain, expound and demonstrate the Quran. Without the texts one will be lost and without the person one will become wretched.

The full explanation of the hadith is the subject of another lesson. Suffice it to say, be kind to others and Allah almighty will be kind to you. Indeed it is a great kindness that Allah almighty gave us intellect and knowledge. It is what differentiated Hadrat Adam (peace be upon him) from the others.  Allah almighty says,

الرَّحْمَـٰنُ – عَلَّمَ الْقُرْآنَ – خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ – عَلَّمَهُ الْبَيَانَ

Trans: al-Rahman. He taught them the Quran. He created man. He taught them expression.



Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
6 Rabi I 1437
18 December 2015