Author Archives: al-Kakazai

Raising Hands in Dua After the Prayer – Hanbali School

Salam

An important principle of orthodox Sunni Islam is that we respect the four schools of law (Madhabs).

When matters of possible dispute arise – such as if something argued to be bidah or shirk – we examine what the fatwa positions of the four madhabs are on these issues. If we find that one of the madhab’s fatwa position is that the issue is NOT bidah nor shirk, we then know that there is leeway in the matter, and we cannot condemn others for the position they follow.

One of these issues is the raising of the hands in dua after the prayer, for which different viewpoints exist in Sunni law. For the young men of High Wycombe (and beyond) hasty in their rushing to judgement on this issue, we will share the following quotes from the Hanbali school. A Hanbali can follow the rulings below without any blame nor condemnation.

Imam Ibn Muflih al-Hanbali after mentioning it is desirable make dua after the prayer said in Al-Furu 1/401:

From the manners of dua is to spread out the hands and raise them to the level of the chest.

Shaykh Mansur al-Buhuti said in Kashaf al-Qina 1/36:

The Imam makes dua after the Fajr and Asr prayer due to the attendance of the angels, meaning the angels of the day and night at those times, and their saying ‘Amin’ to the dua. This makes the dua more likely to be answered, and likewise he should make dua after the other prayers, because from the times of prayer being answered is after the performance of the obligatory salat.

Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali said in Sharh al-Bukhari 5/236:

Qadi Abu Yaala said in Jami al-Kabir: The apparent meaning of the statement of [Imam] Ahmad is that it is Sunnah for the Imam to make dhikr and dua in a loud voice after the obligatory prayers, to the point that those praying behind him can hear, and he does not go beyond this.

The above is based on an answer given by the Saudi Hanbali scholar: Shaykh Salih al-Asmari

Convert or Revert

Salam

It appears that referring to non Muslims who enter Islam as being “reverts” as opposed to “converts” is terminology unique to English speaking Muslims from the West.

The argument put forward by “revert” supporters is the hadith which states that all humans are born on Fitrah which is Islam and thereafter change their belief due to their respective upbringing. According to Shaykh Abd al-Fattah al-Yafi there are some Muslim scholars who hold this view.

As an aside – when did the phrase “Let me revert back to you” come in usage? Is it not supposed to be, “I will reply back to you?”

Coming back to the topic at hand, it is clear that numerous prominent Sunni scholars held the view that Fitrah (natural disposition) referred to in hadith is not Islam, and thus by extension for English speakers the term “convert” would be more accurate. One evidence of many is the following hadith recorded in Sahih Muslim 4/2048:

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: Every person is given birth to by their mother upon the Fitrah, thereafter their parents make them Jewish, Christians or Magians, and if the parents are Muslim then the person will be Muslim…

Imam al-Nawawi in his commentary said:

The strongest view is that the meaning is that every child is born with the natural disposition towards Islam.

Imam Ibn al-Athir said in Al-Nihayah (1/247):

The meaning of the hadith is that every child is born with a type of natural disposition which is the Fitrah of Allah Most High and that it inclines towards the acceptance of truth both naturally and in obedience.

Other scholars who supported this understanding are: Ibn Abd al-Barr, Ibn Atiyyah, al-Qurtubi, Ibn Qutaybah, Abu Shamah, al-Ayni and others, and Allah Taala knows best.

Source: Mawahib Karim al-Fattah of Shaykh Abd al-Fattah al-Yafi 1/531 onwards.

Supplicatory Prayer (Based on Imam al-Haddad’s Poem)

Salam

Please find below a supplicatory prayer I wrote a short time back based primarily (but not wholly) on a well known poem of Imam al-Haddad (see image above). Recitors will find that they should be able to sing this according to the tune of the Arabic version.

O Lord we have admitted
to sins we have committed
to You we have submitted
our hopes in Your Mercy

O Lord grant us repentance
coupled with Your acceptance
and free us from dependence
From all of the creation

O Lord grant us a veiling
which will protect us failing
a day of Your prevailing
upon all Your deniers

O Lord grant us admission
to blessings You have given
of health and wealth provision
raining upon your servants

O Lord protect our household
the elderly and young folk
for ever more our stronghold
and in Paradise unite us

O Lord grant Your protection
And ward off the affliction
With ease from all restriction
The homes of the believers

O Lord bestow Your favours
upon our friends and neighbours
and everyone who labours
to serve your creation

O Lord Your peace and blessings
Until the leaves and birds sing
Upon the light that guides us
Muhammad and companions

Shaykh al-Nabhani and Respect for Ibn Taymiyyah

A short passage to reflect over and ponder, especially for those from an Indian Subcontinent background where matters are always presented as black and white.

Shaykh Yusuf al-Nabhani , the recent prominent Sunni theologian of Palestine wrote the following passage in his work Shawahid al-Haqq (p.62).

“Know that the belief I hold regarding Ibn Taymiyyah and his two students – Ibn al-Qayyim and Ibn Abd al-Hadi – is that they are from the Imams of the religion and from the prominent (akabir) Muslim scholars. They have greatly benefitted the Muhammadan community with their knowledge, even though they made serious errors regarding the issues of visitation and istighatha as a result which they caused significant harm to Islam and the Muslims. I swear by Allah to Magnificent! Before my coming across their statements regarding these issues regarding the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) I did not believe that a Muslim could venture to say such a thing. I have now for a number of months been reflecting over citing their statements but cannot venture to do so even for the sake of refuting them out of fear that I might be a means of increasing their circulation such is their ugliness. May Allah forgive them and have mercy on them according to their intentions and not deprive us from seeking mercy for them and benefitting from their knowledge.”

Sunnah Wrestling

Salam

I came across the following short extract when looking for material regarding a description of wrestling at the time of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)  1500 years ago.  It seems clear – to me at least – that the wrestling referred to in Muslim sources is closer in spirit to the stand up (Tachi-Waza) throwing techniques of Judo than the ground grappling focus of BJJ.

The great Moroccan sholar Shaykh Abd al-Hayy al-Kattani mentions the following in his work Taratib al-Idariyyah:

Ibn Ishaq amongst others mentions in his Sirah that in Mecca there was a person of immense strength who was skilled in wrestling.  People would come from other places to wrestle him and he would defeat them.  One day when he was in one of the valleys of Mecca he met the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) who said to him, ‘O Rukanah, are you not conscious of Allah and accept that which I call you to?’ Rukanah replied, ‘O Muhammad, do you have anything as proof of your truthfulness?’  He replied, ‘Yes, if I was to defeat you in wrestling would you have faith in Allah and His Messenger?’
Rukanah replied, ‘Yes O Muhammad, prepare for a wrestling match!’
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,  ‘I am ready,’ at which point the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) drew closer to Rukanah and threw him down.
Rukanah was astonished at this and asked for another match, and he was defeated for a second and then a third time.  Rukanah stood up amazed and said, ‘Your matter is astonishing.’
This was narrated by Abu Nuaym and al-Bayhaqi from Abu Umamah from two routes of transmission, one Marfu and the other Mursal.

The Rukanah who has been mentioned here is Ibn Abd Yazid bin Hisham bin al-Muttalib bin Abd Manaf, al-Qurashi, a Meccan companion who entered in to Islam in the year of the Meccan conquest.  He died in Medina during the caliphate of Muawiyah in the year 42.  Rukanah was fearsome, well built, strong and well known for his wrestling skills, such that no one had ever defeated him in wrestling nor had his skin ever touched the ground in defeat.
It is authentically reported that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) wrestled him and defeated him, as was stated by al-Khafaji in al-Nasim.

In Ibn al-Tayyib al-Fasi’s notes on the Qamus it is mentioned regarding Rukanah, ‘His story is well known, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) defeating him is from his great miracles, for Rukanah was the most skilled wrestler of his age.  His strength was such that he would stand on a piece of camel skin of a good flexible quality which would be pulled by ten men without his being moved from his spot, this was stated in the commentaries of the Shifa, al-Mawahib and other works.'”

The author then discussed some scholars who highlighted some weakness in the chain for this incident as well as it not being authentically established that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) wrestled Abu Jahl.  It would however appear that the incident above with Rukanah does have a number of chains of transmission.  Shaykh Abd al-Hayy al-Kattani continued:

I have in my possession a short work by Hafiz al-Suyuti named Al-Musarah ila al-Musarah in which he mentioned the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) wrestling with Abu Rukanah via a number of chains of transmission, likewise the younger companions wrestling amongst themselves to gain permission for military service.  He also mentioned that Meccans were skilled in wrestling and defeated all others…and narrated via routes of transmission that Hasan and Hussain (Upon both of them be peace) wrestled in the presence of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).”

Note: I have been informed that the short treatise of Imam al-Suyuti referenced above has been translated and will inshAllah be published soon.

Shah Waliullah & Istighatha Clarified

Salam

Shah Waliullah and the topic of istighatha can be confusing.  You have the anti-istighatha scholars usually citing passages from his Hujatullah al-Baligha and at times other disputed works which seem to support their argument.  Yet when you read works of Shah Waliullah such as the Anfas al-Arifin you get a totally different impression, as it contains a number of pro istighatha anecdotes and comments, some of which have been presented on this site.  So which is the real Shah Waliullah?  I had been thinking for some time that the written words of a scholar can be misinterpreted and misrepresented by parties seeking to validate their own views, and that a record of the personal practice of an individual is often the best means to understand their view on an issue.  I was therefore overjoyed to some time ago come across the authorised biography of Shah Waliullah which was penned by his close disciple, and which happens to shed light on the issue of istighatha in such as a decisive way that only a stubborn partisan fanatic would engage in intellectual gymnastics to refute it.

Shaykh Muhammad Ashiq Phulati, the close disciple of Shah Waliullah and author of his authorised biography named Qawl al-Jalli mentions (p.82-83) a clear instance of istighatha which Shah Waliullah taught his students and which is cited approvingly by Shaykh Muhammad Ashiq Phulati. He said:

“A person named Muhammad Yusuf, who was a learned and pious mystic (darwesh) person narrates from a person named Dost Muhammad who was also a pious learned (fadil) person who narrated the following incident:

I would usually go to a person who I was close to who was well known in tasawwuf but regarding whom I knew that his beliefs (aqaid) were not good. I would also go to another person whose company I found beneficial and outwardly he conformed to the sacred law (shariah), and I had full trust in both of them.

One day I got up for the Fajr prayer and the congregation was ready and about to begin, I wished to pray 2 units and then join the congregation, however just as I had formed my intention for this that both of these Shaykhs forms manifested in front of me and attempted to prevent me from praying. I wished to get rid of them and begin the prayer but despite my attempts I was unable to do so. One of the Shaykhs sat down at the place of prostration (sajda) in order to prevent me from prostrating. The other Shaykh stood next to me* and was preventing me…when I found I was unable to do anything I began to recite, ‘La Hawla…’ but I did not find this beneficial to my predicament. I was increasingly becoming more distressed and was aware that the time for the prayer was running out.

I then began to individually recite the names of the pious folk of the past, meaning the noble awliyah and great Prophets and seeking help from them. I then remembered that Hazrat-e-Aqdas (Shah Waliullah) had once said that at a time of distress or difficulty remember my name. As soon as I had called out/took the name of Hazrat-e-Aqdas and sought help from him that I saw that Hazrat-e-Aqdas appeared and with his two hands took both Shaykhs by the ear and banished them and saved me from this tribulation.

I thanked Allah for this and busied myself with the prayer, and this incident was a reason for my increased veneration of Hazrat-e-Aqdas.”

Hanbali Text on Imam Hussain and Karbala

Salam

Have any of the classical Hanbali scholars made mention of Imam Hussain and Karbala in their works? The answer is: Yes.

Imam Ibn Abd al-Hadi al-Maqdisi, better known as Ibn al-Mibrad (d.909 Hijri) discussed this in his work related to the Islamic months of the year in the entry for Muharram.

He said in his book Ma-arif al-Inam wa Fadl al-Shuhur wal-Ayyam p.71:

“Section:

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Hasan and Hussain are leaders of the youth of Paradise.” [Tirmidhi 3768; Ibn Majah 118]

Abdullah bin Nujayy reports from his father that he was travelling with Ali (Upon him be peace)…when they came close to Nineveh on their way to Siffin, Ali called out: Have patience O Abdullah at the banks of the Euphrates! I said: What is this?
Ali replied: I entered upon the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) one day and found that he had tears in his eyes. I said: O Prophet of Allah, has someone upset you? He replied: No. I then said: Why is it that you have tears in your eyes?
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) replied: Gibril visited me and informed me that Hussain will be killed at the bank of the Euphrates, and he said to me: Would you like to smell the fragrance from its soil? I said: Yes. He [Gibril] then extended his hand and took a handful of soil which he gave to me, and I was unable to stop myself crying.” [Imam Ahmad in his Musnad 1/85]

(Poem) I weep over the one murdered in Karbala
His body soaked with blood
I weep over the one murdered by oppressive tyrants
For no reason except Wafa (faithfulness)
I weep for the murdered one for whom weeped out of sorrow
The people of the earth and the heavens

We narrate that: A rock was found 300 years before the coming of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) upon which it was written in Greek:

(Poem) Do the group who murdered Hussain hope for
The intercession of his grandfather on the day of reckoning?

Woe be to the killer of Hussain, how will his matter be with Hussain’s parents and his grandfather!

My brothers! I ask you by Allah, those who were treacherous to Yusuf, with which face can they face Yaqub?

(Poem) Fatima will pass through on the day of judgement
Her shirt having the blood of Hussain on it
Woe be to the one whose supposed intercessors will in fact be his enemies
On the day of judgement when people are resurrected.