Sultan Selim (III) Letter to the Prophet (Allah Bless Him and Give Him Peace)

Salam
In the course of some research on the relationship of the scholars of Najd  who followed Shaykh Ibn Abd al-Wahab and their shocking takfir of the Ottoman Empire I came across the mention of the contents of a letter authored by the Ottoman Sultan Selim (III) [d. 1223 Hijri] addressed to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).  The letter was found in the Hujurah Sharifah (which I believe is the area behind the golden gates and between the blessed grave) by the followers of the Scholars of Najd movement and was disturbingly regarded as a proof of the Sultan’s disbelief.
In contrast someone with a rudimentary understanding of the Sunni schools of law cannot fail to see that the letter contains a moving heartfelt plea of tawassul by means of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) which is established as a desirable action in the four madhahib and contains wording which is not too different to that found in Sunni books of law. This is an extract is taken from the Durar al-Saniyyah collection and can be found in the Maktaba al-Shamela version (1/304):
Saud bin Abd al-Aziz said in his letter to the ruler of Baghdad the following:
Your condition and the condition of your Imams and rulers bears witness to your lying and false claim [that you are Muslim]. For we saw that when we opened the blessed chamber (Hujarah al-Sharifah) upon its inhabitant be the best of blessings and peace in the year 22, a letter of your Sultan Selim which he had sent via his cousin to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) in which he sought help from him, supplicated to him and asked him for victory against his enemies. The letter contains debasement of the self, humility and reverence which bears witness against your lies. The beginning of the letter is:
“From your lowly slave Sultan Selim, to proceed: O Messenger of Allah, we have been inflicted with harm and hardship has befallen us which we are unable to ward off. The servants of the cross (Christians) have gained dominion over the servants of the All-Merciful. We ask of you for victory over them, help against them and that you break them.”
He wrote a significant amount which this is the summary of its meaning. So look at this great shirk and disbelief in Allah the One and All Knowing.

Qasida Iqd al-Thamin

Old Madina Pictures (3)

Salam

Please find below a link to the poem entitled Iqd al-Thamin in praise of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) authored by Shaykh Abu Bakr al-Mulla from al-Ahsa in present day Saudi Arabia.

The poem appears to be on the same meter as the famous Qasida al-Burda (i.e. the same tunes used for the Burda can also be used for this poem) and consists of words of: praise of Allah (Most High); lofty attributes and qualities of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and supplication.

We received this poem from a scholarly descendant of the author in a gathering the month of Rabi al-Awwal a couple of years ago.  He in turn had received it from the scholars of his family going back to the author himself.

The audio recording is of a small group of Saudi Munshids reciting the poem and may be useful to those who would like to review the wording of the poem.

Wassalam

Links

Qasida Iqd al-Thamin PDF

Musalsal Hadith of the Handshake

madinah habibah

Salam

On this site I have previously uploaded a biography of Shaykh Abd al-Baqi al-Ayyubi, originally from Lucknow (India) who settled in Madinah the Illuminated and became one of the prominent ulema of his era in the Hijaz.  When discussing him with Shaykh Yahya al-Mulla, I was informed that Shaykh Yahya’s father would during his holidays from the Sawlatiyyah school in Makka travel to Madinah al-Munawwarah and study with Shaykh Abd al-Baqi.  He added that his father had a good relationship with the Shaykh and that he has in his possession documents signed by Shaykh Abd al-Baqi which belong to his father.  Shaykh Abd al-Baqi is perhaps best known for his work on Musalsal hadith narrations entitled Manahil al-Salsalah, which is regarded to be the most comprehensive work on this topic (though not exhaustive).

In the course of Shaykh Abd al-Baqi’s relating the various types of Musalsal handshakes he related the following incident which he narrates via the scholars of his home city Lucknow. The incident took place with the notable Indian scholar widely known in scholarly circles by his title Bahr al-Ulum (d.1810), who authored a number of works in the Islamic sciences, and whose relating of the following incident should be taken seriously, as it is from a pious scholar respected for his mastery of the Islamic sciences.

Shaykh Abd al-Baqi al-Ayyubi said the following on page 57 of his Manahil al-Salsalah: 

We narrate the handshake of allegiance by means of the aforementioned chain, the story of which we narrate from our Shaykh who related it in Umdat al-Wasail hearing it from Malawi Abd al-Rab bin Bahr al-Ulum who heard it from Mulla Ala al-Din who has been mentioned earlier.

 The story is that Bahr al-Ulum was one night researching in a book as was his practice in the upper level of the house, this was whilst his students were sitting on the ground level of the house.

An Arab Shaykh came and went to him upstairs and greeted him with Salam.  Bahr  replied to his greeting and went back to his important research.

The Shaykh said: Will you not honour your guest?

At this he [Bahr al-Ulum] closed his book and turned his attention towards him.

The Shaykh said: Come with me,  a great person is calling you.

Bahr al-Ulum thus accompanied him until he came upon a rider upon a horse below a tree with his face covered.

The rider said to him:  Do you know that the Shaytan cannot impersonate your Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)?

Bahr al-Ulum replied: It is established in the Sahih hadith

The rider then said:  Do you know the physical description of your Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)?

Bahr al-Ulum replied:  Yes, and then proceeded to detail it

At this point the rider unveiled his blessed face and said: I am your Prophet and this is Abu Bakr al-Siddiq.

A cloth was then spread out for him and Bahr al-Ulum was ordered to take allegiance, and he took allegiance with the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) by means of a handshake, and this was in the city of Rampur.

The Arab Shaykh was seen by Bahr al-Ulum’s students including the previously mentioned Ala, and [later] Bahr informed them of what took place.  The form of the handshake which we took is the joining of one hand with the other and thumb with the other.

Note 1:  For those who may have questions about the possibility of meeting the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) in a waking state, Imam al-Suyuti and others have authored works where they argue such an occurrence is possible.

 Note 2: InshAllah, with the tawfiq of Allah Taala a project that has been discussed is to prepare a new edition of the Manahil al-Salsalah based on the copies of the students of the students of Shaykh Abd al-Baqi.

Mawlid Hadith: Mawlid at the Time of the Companions

Mawlid Hadith

Assalamu Alaikum

Once again the month of Rabi al-Awwal has witnessed the launch of campaigns to stop people attending gatherings known as “Mawlid”.  What I have found disturbing is the dissemination of misleading information on the issue from individuals who do not appear to be able to look calmly at the issue, but rather blindly copy and paste articles against the Mawlid without verifying the accuracy of what they are spreading.

The above hadith (from Sunan al-Nasai) is one of the clearest evidences for the permissibility of the Mawlid, and clearly shows the companions gathering together to thank Allah (Most High) and give thanks for blessing them with the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).  Are the Mawlid gatherings not what is being described in the hadith?

I have more to say on this topic but do not have the time at the moment, however I will suffice with the following points as summaries of more detailed discussions.

1. Definition of Mawlid gatherings:   It is not a birthday gathering as in the conventional western sense, but a gathering mentioning the sirah of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) which without saying would include a mention of the blessed birth.  These gatherings usually include recitation of the Quran and singing of Qasaid, the vast majority of them being held throughout history until today without any haram actions intermixed.

2. Mawlid is an issue of Fiqh not Aqidah:  Being an issue of fiqh it was dealt with Muslim scholars of the past, the vast majority of whom gave the fatwa of its permissibility and it being recommended.  Amongst these giants of Islamic scholarship are Hafiz Ibn Hajar, Imam al-Suyuti, Ibn Abidin and numerous others including Shah Abd al-Aziz al-Dihlawi.  Likewise being an issue of fiqh which mainstream ulema gave fatwa on, it is not permitted to then condemn those who attend such gatherings where no unlawful practices take place.  Side note: I was astonished to read on an Arabic language site an author boldly claim that the permissibility of the Mawlid was only a minority position in Muslim scholarship and the majority held it to be impermissible?!? (Did the author accidentally miss the countless verdicts of it being permitted/recommended throughout the centuries?)

3. Two Approaches: Muslim scholars took two approaches to argue for Mawlid gatherings being permitted/recommended.  First:  Mawlid gatherings existed at the time of the salaf but were not known by this name (refer to the Fatwa of Shaykh Abd al-Hayy al-Luknawi and the hadith above).  Second:  Mawlid gatherings in this exact form did not exist at the time of the salaf but their basis is present in the Shariah which has given scope for them to take place, thus they cannot be considered as a bad innovation.  (This is the approach of Hafiz Ibn Hajar and Imam al-Suyuti).

4. All in a name:  If the name of Mawlid gatherings was changed to “Sirah Lesson” where some qasaid are also sung how many people would find it problematic?  Indeed if you were to invite them to such an event they would probably not even notice they were actually attending a Mawlid.  This is the approach I have seen being taken in Madinah al-Munawwarah where outside the place of a well known weekly Mawlid a sign reads ‘Majlis al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah’.

5. Mawlid everyday:  Mawlids are held outside of Rabi al-Awwal and some scholars of the past are said to have held them everyday in the evening in their homes.  As with other lessons Mawlid gatherings are perhaps held once a week due to peoples time commitments and inability to attend everyday.  Thus to argue that they only take place in Rabi al-Awwal is incorrect and misleading.

6. Ignorance:  Cutting and pasting long articles on bidah and just repeating the flawed argument “Did the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) hold Mawlid gatherings” betrays an ignorance of what the sunnah is.  Our question to such people is:  Do you regard the words and tacit approval of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) as constituing the sunnah? if so why have you mentioned only actions? If you do agree with us with the prophetic words and tacit approval being from sunnah then how can you claim that organising gatherings where the sirah and qasaid are read is not sanctioned from the sunnah?

Note:  The scan of hadith at the top of the post was highlighted by Shaykh Abdullah al-Hussaini al-Hashimi from Makkah in his work on the Mawlid, may Allah (Most High) reward him abundantly.

O Allah, send your blessings and peace on the light which manifested in this month.

Wassalam

 

Shaykh Ahmad al-Nakhli al-Makki

dua  khatm 2Salam

More than a year ago I helped put together a rough translation of the Dua to be recited after the completion of the reading of the Dalail al-Khayrat by Shaykh Ahmad al-Nakhli of Makkah.  A brief biography was appended to this translation taken from a couple of sources, most notably from Shah Waliullah al-Dihlawi (whose comments also shed light on his maslaki leanings).  I am considering revising the translation of the dua (the start of which is pasted here) and publishing the small text in the future.  In the meantime the biographical entry for Shaykh Ahmad al-Nakhli is included below.  Please note a general biography is mentioned first followed by Shah Waliullah’s words regarding the Shaykh:

 

Shaykh Ahmad al-Nakhli

(Allah Have Mercy On Him)

 

All praise is for Allāh, Lord of the Worlds; blessings and peace be upon the Master of the Messengers, his family, companions and all those that follow them with goodness.

*

He is the Imam, most learned scholar, hadith expert and jurist: Abu Muhammad Shihab al-Din Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Ali well known as al-Nakhli, the Sufi, al-Naqshbandi al-Makki al-Shafi.  He was born in the year 1044 Hijri in Makka al-Mukarrama and grew up there.

He narrated from:  Muhammad bin Yahya al-Radini, Abdullah bin Saeed Ba Qushayr al-Makki, Sayyid Ahmad al-Hasani al-Maghribi al-Meknasi, Muhammad Ala al-Din al-Babili and others.

He distinguished himself the Islamic sciences and taught and benefitted people in the Masjid al-Haram.  He was described as being cheerful, humble and possessing an illuminated face.

Countless students narrated and benefitted from him, amongst them: Abu Tahir al-Kawrani, Abd al-Rahman bin Ahmad al-Nakhli, Shihab Ahmad al-Malwi and others.

From his works are: Bughyah al-Talibin li Bayan al-Mashaikh al-Muhaqqiqin al-Mu’tamidin which was published in the past in India.  He passed away in Makka al-Mukarrama at the beginning of the year 1130 Hijri.[1]

*

Shah Waliullah al-Dihlawi (Allah have mercy on him) said regarding him:

“He was an expert in both the outer and inward sciences and benefitted from the regular company of Shaykhs of sufi orders and scholars of the sacred law.  He obtained the cloak of authorisation from Sayyid Abd al-Rahman Mahbub, Sayyid Ahmad Rumi, Sayyid Abdullah Saqqaf and Mir Kalan bin Mir Mahmud Balkhi and others.  He studied hadith with Muhammad bin al-Ala’ Babili, Shaykh Isa Maghribi and other scholars from that generation, and from them he obtained the unbroken transmission for the hearing of Bukhari and the Muwatta.  He was associated with the families of a number of scholars and from the beginning he was attracted to a love of knowledge and scholars and keeping their company.  He held the Sufis in high regard and was consistent in their spiritual practices, and benefited from the company of the scholars from the Haramain and those from outside it.  To sum up, it is that Shaykh Ahmad Nakhli was from the great figures of Makka Muazzama the light of whose blessedness was widespread and whose supplication was answered.

Shaykh Ahmad Nakhli’s son Shaykh Abd al-Rahman Nahkli recounts that his grandfather would not have any male children who remained alive, due to which he would remain extremely distressed.  When Shaykh Ahmad was born a supplication for him was requested from the awliyah as well as their help and spiritual attention.  Every Friday he would send Shaykh Ahmad Nakhli to Shaykh Taj Sunbhuli.  One day by it so happened that Shaykh Taj Sunbhuli after a period of reflection conveyed him a message by means of the servant who brought Shaykh Ahmad Nakhli to him that, “This child is not like you, rather he will excel you and be a person of virtue and felicity.  It is a separate matter that he is of a small lifespan.”  When the servant reached his master and conveyed to him the message of Shaykh Taj Sunbhuli he sent him back immediately to request from Shaykh Taj Sunbhuli that “I have given my lifespan to this child and in relation to this I seek your intercession.”  When Hadrat Shaykh [Taj Subhuli] heard this message he immediately focused and after a few moments said to the servant that “Tell your master that his request is completed, and from myself I give him (meaning the father of Shaykh Ahmad Nakhli) a staying period of three months to prepare for his journey to the afterlife.”  As a result Shaykh Ahmad Nakhli’s father departed from this perishing world at this time and Shaykh Ahmad Nahkli reached 90 years of age.

Shaykh Abd al-Rahman further stated that in all worldly dealings and lending and borrowing I was my father’s agent. When my respected father (Shaykh Ahmad Nakhli) reached the end of his life and weakness had overcome him I presented to him the complaints of those who requested the repayment of their loans.  I stated that “I fear that if God forbid if you were to pass away then all of these debts will become my responsibility and those close to me and relatives will not reply upon my being an agent.”  My respected father told me that “Do not give this fear any place in your heart.  I have full faith that I will not die until I have repaid all debts which I owe.  I think that that night will be the last night of my life in which nobodies debt will remain on me.”  A short period before his passing away all of these debts were repaid with money coming from places which could not have been expected.  And according to what he said his last night in this world arrived when he had no debt left to repay.

Shaykh Ahmad Nakhli stated that when my guide in the Khalwati tariqah, Shaykh Isa bin Kanan Khalwati granted me authorisation in this tariqah he made me his deputy (khalifah) in Makka Muazzama so that all the disciples of the khalwati tariqah gather in front of me after the offering of the tahajjud prayer, as was their habit, and be busied in their awrad and wazaif.  There was extreme hesitation in my heart regarding this because I was fully inclined towards the Naqshbandi order, and I did not have the courage to speak in front of Shaykh Khalwati.  In the state of this hesitation I turned to the Master of the Messengers upon him be salutations and blessings and that year was honoured to visit the sacred rawdah.  On Friday before the Juma’h prayer I was blessed with a vision of the Master of the two worlds (Allah bless him and give him peace) that he along with the four khalifah’s was present in the Ottoman area of visitation (ziyarate-e-uthmania).  I quickly made my way towards him and attained the good fortune of kissing his blessed hand, thereafter proceeding in order to kiss the hands of the Khulafah.  After this the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) grasped my hand and took me towards a new prayer mat laid out at the front of his blessed tomb in the first row.  He said, “This is the prayer mat of Shaykh Taj, sit upon it”.  I understood that he was indicating to the Naqshbandi order and that he had granted an authorisation (ijazah) in that order.”[2]



[1] Refer to his biography in Salk al-Durar (1/171); Fihris al-Faharis (1/251); Al-Alam of al-Zirikli (1/241) and Anfas al-Arifin (p.392-394)

[2] Anfas al-Arifin (p.392-394)

Establishing The Location of the Bayt al-Mawlid

Salam

Many of you will be aware that the small building known as the Maktabah Makkah al-Mukarramah is regarded as being the location of the birth of the best of all creation, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace).

On a trip to the Hijaz last year I was honoured to meet a great Makkan scholar who I was previously unaware of, namely Dr Abd al-Wahab Ibrahim Abu Sulayman. Dr Abd al-Wahab is I am guessing is in his mid to late 70’s and was a student of the great Shaykh Hasan al-Mashat.  He also happens to be a member of the committe of senior Saudi scholars and thus holds an important position in scholarly circles.

During my visit to his home I was fortunate enough to hear him discuss a number of issues relating to Maliki fiqh and his research on the birthplace of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) which he mentioned was established accurately without room for any doubt. I thought it may be of benefit to present a summary for English speaking Muslims of Dr Abd al-Wahab’s article on the authenticity of the location of the library . The article was written in an academic fashion and an attempt has been made to present the main findings and evidences in an easy to follow manner.

***

There has been much discussion surrounding the location of the Maktabah Makka al-Mukarramah and whether this is the location where the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was born. Those who have not studied history have spoken on this issue without researching the matter, what follows is a presentation of historical evidences which prove beyond doubt that the knowledge of the precise location of the Prophetic birthplace was recorded and passed down accurately.

Introduction

It is not difficult to know the place of birth of the noble individuals of a society. From the agreed upon matters in Islamic history is that the family of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) were from the noblest of Qurayshi families and highest of them in rank. Their place of residence in Makka was in the Shiab Bani Hashim which is a well known area in previous and in recent times. Bani Hashim, the family of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) held a position of leadership in the tribe of Quraysh, their children were of special importance, at their head being Muhammad bin Abdullah the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace).

His (Allah bless him and give him peace) famly was their most noblest and greatest in rank and therefore were well known. It follows that the birth of al-Mustafa (Allah bless him and give him peace) which was the divine choice for the seal of messengership was a well known matter; whereas the birthplace of ordinary people who have no importance in society can be unknown. There is not the least doubt in the minds of knowledgeable intelligent people and uneducated ordinary people regarding the location of the birthplace of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace). For this information is mass transmitted (tawatur) certain knowledge which has been established from records.

We begin this study with some examples – on the basis of citing as evidences and not as an exhaustive list- from the writings of authors in different fields and different sciences who paid attention in detailing/specifying the place in which al-Mustafa (Allah bless him and give him peace) was born in Makkah al-Mukarramah.

Sirah Works

The later books of Prophetic biography relate that which the early companions and tabieen recorded in their works, thus it is the narration of trustworthy narrators from trustworthy narrators from trustworthy narrators. The authenticity of these statement is understood by all those who have any experience relating to Islamic heritage, more specifically the collections of the blessed prophetic hadith. Books along, their authors information and relevant quote is presented. Note: Some authors (as is known to those familiar with Islamic works) will first cite the strongest view and then follow it with the weaker opinions on the matter with the phrase ‘it is said’. This practice presents the strongest view to the reader and help identify any weak opinions which might have been mentioned in the past.

Book: Al-Istiab fi Asma’ al-Ashab 

Author: The learned scholar and hadith specialist, Abi Umar Yusuf bin Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Abd al-Barr (d.463 H/1070 C.E)

That which he mentions regarding the birthplace of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) is the following (13/1),

“Al-Zubair said: He (Allah bless him and give him peace) was born in Makkah in the house which was identified by (being owned by) Muhammad bin Yusuf the brother of al-Hajjaj..”

Book: Rawd al-Unf (A commentary on the sirah of Ibn Hisham)

Author: The learned scholar, jurist and hadith specialist, Abil Qasim Abd al-Rahman bin Abdullah al-Suhayli (d.581H/1185CE)

He said (1/107),

“The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was born in the mountain pass (Shiab), and it is said in the house by al-Safa.  Afterwards it came in to the posession of of Muhammad bin Yusuf the brother of al-Hajjaj. It was then made in to a masjid by Zubaydah when she came to perform Hajj…”

Note: He first mentioned regarding the birth of the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) the strongest view as is the practice of authors and then mentioned the weaker opinion which he prefaced with “it is said”. This is to denote that it is a weak opinion and not relied upon.

Book: Imta’ al-Asma’

Author: The learned scholar and historian, Taqi al-Din Ahmad bin Ali al-Maqrizi (d.885H/1441CE)

He said (1/3),

“Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) was born in Makkah in the house known as the house of Ibn Yusuf in the mountain pass (Shiab) of Bani Hashim on Monday on the 12th of Rabi al-Awwal.”

Book: Subul al-Huda wal-Rashad fi Sirah Khayr al-Ibad

Author: The learned scholar, the Imam, Muhammad bin Yusuf al-Salihi al-Shami (942H/1535CE)

He (1/408) mentioned the strongest opinion which the majority of scholars adhere to which has been mentioned above, after which he cited the weaker opinions on this issue which are not relied upon.

Works on Makkan History

Makkan history has been blessed with a detailed recording of its facts from Makkan authors themselves. From this blessing has been that this history has been preserved not be mere historians but rather  by scholars of hadith, jurists and judges who did not pay attention except to matters which were established according to their precise criteria. From these works are:

Book: Akhbar Makkah Wa Ma Ja’a Fiha Min al-Athar

Author: The Shaykh of the Makkan historians, Abi al-Walid Muhammad bin Abdullah bin Ahmad al-Azraqi (d.223H/837CE)

In the course of discussing the historical places in Makkah he said (2/199),

“Mawlid al-Nabi (Allah bless him and give him peace)-meaning-the house in which the Prophet (Allah bless him, his family and give him peace) was born. It is in the home of Muhammad bin Yusuf the brother of al-Hajjaj bin Yusuf. Aqil bin Abi Talib took it when the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) migrated. Regarding this and other homes the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said in the year of the farewell pilgrimage ‘Has Aqil left us a place of shade?’ this was when he was asked, ‘Where should we stay O Messenger of Allah?’.

It continued to be in his possession and the possession of his son until he sold it to Muhammad bin Yusuf who entered it in to his home which was called al-Bayda’. It is known today as Ibn Yusuf. His home continued to be part of the larger house until al-Khayzaran performed Hajj, she was the mother of both Khalifah Musa and Harun. She made it in to a masjid which is prayed in and seperated it from the larger house…

Abu Walid narrated to us, he said: I heard my grandfather and Yusuf bin Muhammad affirming the matter regarding the Mawlid, and that it is that house. There is no difference over this amongst the people of Makka.

Abu Walid narrated to us, he said: A man from the people of Makkah called Sulayman bin Abi Marhab the Mawla of Bani Khaytham narrated to us: People who used to live in that house before it was seperated by al-Khayzaran from the larger house and were moved from it when it was made in to a masjid, they said: By Allah we were not afflicted in it by misfortune nor any need. However when we moved from it we have been faced with difficulties.”

Book: Akhbar Makkah fi Qadim al-Dahr wa Hadithuhu

Author: Abi Abdullah Muhammad bin Ishaq al-Fakihi (245H/859CE)

He authored a specific chapter entitled,

“The places where it is recommended to offer prayer in Makkah and the relics of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) in it and an explanation of this.”

He further said (4/5),

“The house in which the the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) was born, in the Dar Ibn Yusuf. This house continued to be part of the larger home until al-Khayzaran the mother of the two Khalifahs Musa and Harun came and converted it in to a masjid to be prayed in, seperating it from the house. Some people of Makkah claim the a person from Makkah called Sulayman bin Abi Marhab would remember: People lived in this house, then moved from it and said, ‘By Allah we were not afflicted with any need nor misfortune when residing in it. When we left we have faced difficulties.’ It is from the most authentic of the relics according to the people of Makkah as verified by their scholars.”

Book: Shifa’ al-Gharam bi Akhbar al-Balad al-Haram

Author: Hafiz Abi al-Tayyib Taqi al-Din Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Ali al-Fasi al-Makki al-Maliki (775-832H)

He said (1/508),

“The place of birth which is called the Mawlid al-Nabi (Allah bless him and give him peace) in the place called Suq al-Layl which is well known to the people of Makkah…”

Note: Allamah al-Fasi mentioned the weaker opinions regarding the place of the blessed mawlid and highlighted they are weak opinions.

Book: Jami’ al-Latif fi Fadl Makkah

Author: Jamal al-Din Muhammad JarAllah bin Muhammad Nur al-Din bin Abi Bakr bin Ali Ibn Zahira al-Qurashi al-Makhzumi (986H/1578CE)

He detailed the places of visitation in Makkah beginning with the place of the blessed Prophetic mawlid saying (p.325),

“From amongst them is the greatest of them, the birthplace of our Master the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace). We start with it as it is in Makkah in the place well known as Suq al-Layl well known as the Mawlid al-Nabi (Allah bless him and give him peace).”

Until he said,

“That this is his (Allah bless him and give him peace) birthplace is well known and passed on from generation to generation, transmitted by the later people from the earlier people. The custom in Makkah is that on the night preceding Monday on the 10th of Rabi al-Awwal every year the Shafi Qadi of Makkah visits the blessed place after the Maghrib prayer in a large group.  Amongst them being the three Qadis and most of the notable scholars and people of virtue, residents with numerous lamps and large candles along with a large crowd”

Book: Al-Ialam bi Alam Bayt Allah al-Haram fi Tarikh Makkah al-Musharrafah

Author: Muhammad Qutb al-Din bin Ahmad Ala’ al-Din bin Muhammad al-Nahrawali al-Makki better known as al-Qutbi (917-990H/1511-1582CE)

He finished his work by detailing the historical places which have been transmitted down in Makkah with the heading (p.353),

“Epilogue regarding a mention of the blessed places and established locations in Makkah al-Musharaffah.”

He discussed them in detail beginning with a mention of,

“The home of Sayyidah al-Khadijah (Allah be pleased with her), then the birthplace of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), then Dar al-Arqam al-Makhzumi…”

He then proceeded to mention the rest of the places and that which relates to their history and building. Imam al-Qutbi al-Nahrawali limited himself to that which was well known during his time ending his article with the words,

“We have limited ourselves to the well known amongst them”

Book: Al-Araj al-Miski fi Tarikh al-Makki wa Tarajim al-Muluk wal-Khulafa’

Author: Ali bin Abd al-Qadir al-Tabari (d.1070H/1659CE)

He wrote a chapter entitled (p.68),

“Chapter Three: Regarding the well known places in it (Makkah al-Mukarramah) and Masajid”.

He said,

“In Makkah and its surrounding areas are well known areas…” -beginning with the mention of the birthplace of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) saying that it was-“…at the entrance to Shiab Ali, it is well known and has been mentioned by…”

Book: Manaih al-Karam fi Akhbar Makkah wal-Bayt wal-Wulat al-Haram

Author: Ali bin Taj al-Din bin Taqi al-Din al-Sanjari (1057-1125H/1647-1713CE)

He mentioned the the locations to be visited in Makkah and recorded them by writing (1/440),

“There are a number of locations and places of visitation in Makkah which have been mentioned by the historians in their detailed works. A mention of some of them where needed…”

He then went on to detail it by saying,

“His (Allah bless him and give him peace) birth: It was on the 12th of Rabi al-Awwal according to the well known opinion. He was born in the birthplace (Mawlid) which is well known in the year of the elephant, and their is agreement upon this…”

Book: Tahsil al-Maram fi Akhbar al-Bayt al-Haram

Author: Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Salim bin Umar al-Makki al-Maliki, better known as Ibn al-Sabbagh (d.1321/1903CE)

He wrote (2/586),

“Chapter Three: Regarding the places where dua is accepted in Makkah al-Musharrafah, its sanctuary and nearby areas…”

He then said,

“Qadi Majd al-DIn al-Shirazi mentioned in his book ‘Al-Wasl wal-Muna’ other places in Makkah and its sanctuary where dua is accepted because it is related from al-Naqqash the Mufassir that he said in his work on Hajj rites: Dua is accepted upon Thabir, Masjid al-Kabsh and others added in Masjid al-Khayf…”

Until he said,

“And in the house of Khadijah the wife of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) on the night preceding Friday and in the birthplace (Mawlid) of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) on Monday at the time of Zawal…”

Book: Al-Iqd al-Thamin fi Fadail al-Balad al-Amin

Author: The learned scholar, historian and hadith specialist Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Hadrawi (1252-1327H)

He dedicated his third chapter (p.102-108) to the historical places in Makkah counting 31 places including mention of locations linked to the companions (Allah be pleased with them all). He included all that was mentioned by the earlier scholars, sifting through authentic and weak opinions and indentifying them as such.

Book: Ifadah al-Anam bi Dhikr Akhbar BaladAllah al-Haram

Author: The learned scholar and hadith specialist Abdullah bin Muhammad al-Ghazi al-Makki al-Hanafi (1290-1365H/1873-1945CE)

He presented a number of chapters on this subject in a detailed manner and cited most of that which the previous Makkan authors had recorded. Examples are his third chapter which is (2/37-62),

“A mention of the established blessed masajid.”

Also chapter four which is (2/67-85),

“A mention of the well known places in Makkah relating to births.”

Summary

There is no doubt that these trustworthy authors words carry weight, as the majority of them were from the specialists of hadith (Muhaddithin), jurists (Fuqaha), judges and people of knowledge from Makkah al-Mukarramah who had lived there since their childhood (if they were Makkan born), or its scholars who had taken up permanent residence.  Their words regarding the location of the birthplace of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) is reliable transmitted information by which certain knowledge is established (tawatur al-ilmi) in its most clear and manifest form. There is no need for additional quotes and references, as those who require further references can refer specifically to the books of Hajj rites authored by the Makkan scholars.

It is known that the passing down of information from generation to generation is a method of the establishment of facts according to the scholars, and as highlighted by Ibn al-Qayyim in his work Ialam al-Muwaqqien (2/273).

Legal Confirmation Regarding the Library Being Located on the Site of the Prophetic Birth

A large group of people from the later generation transmit from the previous generation consisting of the sons and residents of Makkah regarding the specification of the locations which has been transmitted & established. They are well known to the people of Makkah and well known between their scholars and common people. Most of them were standing and observable before the expansion of the Haram al-Sharif in the year 1375H and the following expansions. The specification and confirmation of the location have been cited in this article from the statements of the previous scholars.

A recent affirmation of the location of the Prophetic birthplace is the ruling of the High Shariah Court of Makkah al-Mukarramah regarding this blessed place is deed number 140 in the fourth volume dated Jamadi al-Akhirah 1373H/1 February 1954. The deed was affirmed by the head of the Shariah High Court of the time Shaykh Abdullah bin Umar bin Duhaysh for the building of the library which stands on this place today.

The salient features of the wording of this deed which point to the widespread acceptance of this location being that of the prophetic birth are:

First: Shaykh Abdullah bin Duhaysh affirmed the location and its description by saying that it was,

“…well known as the Mawlid al-Nabi (Allah bless him and give him peace) in Shiab Ali in the area of Souq al-Layl, which is well known in its area to the extent that it does not require it to be specified nor described..”

It should be noted that no witnesses needed to be called either for this legal document due to the common knowledge of the location of the Prophetic birth.

Second: His Majesty King Abd al-Aziz (Allah have mercy on him) took the step of establishing a general library in this blessed place after consulting senior scholars over this.

Thus it is established clearly through mass transmitted information that the current Maktabah Makkah al-Mukarramah in its current location is the place where the noblest of creation our Master Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) was born.

Another Reconfirmation

To reaffirm this Dr Abd al-Wahab Ibrahim Abu Sulayman met with one Shaykh Ahmad Nasar, who is an elderly reliable person of the neighbourhood where the library stands who spent his whole life from birth to old age in the neighbourhood.  He is similar to what we would describe as a councillor for the area where the library is located.  He was asked a number of questions to further confirm this established evidence which exists regarding the location of the Prophetic birth. His answers to the questions left no doubt regarding that this location is indeed the birthplace of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). Indeed the saying holds true, namely,”The people of Makkah are most knowledgeable of its mountain passes.”

***

Here ends the summary of the article originally authored by Dr Abd al-Wahab Ibrahim Abu Sulaiman, may Allah protect him, give him health, increase him in good deeds and allow us to benefit from him further.  Amin

Ya Sayyidi

Salam

The term Sayyidi, or its shortened version ‘Sidi’ has now become a standardised term in the vocabulary of the ‘Traditonal Knowledge’ camp.  A friend of mine who heard the term for the first time being used left right and centre at an event asked me, “Is Sidi used for those who are half way between being a common person and a scholar?.”  I laughed at his analysis and told him it might be similar to the Indo-Pak usage of ‘Sahib’ for respect.

I saw the following when preparing some notes on the Mukhtasar Mawlid al-Barzanji of Shaykh Fatih al-Habrawi.  It is from Sayyidi Muhammad bin Alawi al-Maliki’s important but neglected work Manhaj al-Salaf which could be regarded as a follow up and completion of his famous Mafahim work.  He said regarding the use of the term Sayyid/Sayyidi (p.101):

Saeed bin Abi Saeed al-Maqbari relates that: “We were with Abu Hurayrah when Hasan bin Ali bin Abi Talib came, he gaves us the greeting of peace (salam) and we replied back to him with greetings of peace.  Abu Hurayrah did not know who he was.

We said to him: O Abu Hurayrah, that was Hasan bin Ali who just greeted us, Abu Hurayrah caught up with him and said, Wa Alaikassalam Ya Sayyidi.  He then said, I heard the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) say, ‘He is a Sayyid’.”

This was narrated by al-Hakim who said that its chain was Sahih…and by al-Tabarani in al-Kabir and its narrators are trustworthy.

The Different Editions of the Dalail al-Khayrat

Salam
Continuing with our series on the Dalail…
***
Perhaps unknown to some, a number of different editions of the Dalā’il al-Khayrāt exist, each of them differing in some aspects from the other editions.  Thus a person examining copies of the Dalā’il from different parts of the world will find differences in the respective copies of the text.  Shaykh al-Nabhānī explained this by saying,

“The needy one Yūsuf al-Nabhānī says:  I have obtained, and all praise is for Allāh, a number of old accurate copies of the Dalā’il al-Khayrāt, each one of them being unique.  One of them being the al-Sahliyyah edition well known for its accuracy; which was often indicated to by the commentator al-Fāsī and others.  This is the statement of the scribe of that copy, at the end of which he wrote:  ‘The transmission of Sayyidī Muḥammad al-Ṣughayyir al-Sahlī for the Dalā’il al-Khayrāt was completed from Sayyidī Muḥammad bin Sulaimān al-Jazūlī.  This transmission is which Shaykh al-Fāsī refers to in Kabīr at times as the copy of the Shaykh, at times as al-Atīqah, at times as al-Sahliyyah and at time as al-Muʿtamidah.  It is that which the author (Allāh be pleased with him) wrote and corrected and it is the most correct in terms of transmission.  It was due to this that the commentators paid attention to its scribing and how it differed from other versions.  At the hands of the most needy of the slaves of Allāh (Most High) Muḥammad bin Aḥmad bin Muḥammad bin Ḥussain bin Ibrāhīm al-Barūdī, Allāh forgive them, Amin,  27 Safar al-Khayr 1276 H.’”

It was loaned to me in Madinah al-Munawwarah by the virtuous scholar and reknowned jurist Sayyidī al-Shaykh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz al-Wazīr al-Tūnisī, a teacher in the Masjid al-Nabawi. I corrected and compared my copy against it twice, rather more than this and then returned it to him.  It is housed in his large library which he has made a charitable endowment in Madinah al-Munawwarah.  He showed me its contents and I saw in it numerous fine rare works, may Allāh reward him with Paradise…”[1]



[1]   Dalālāt al-Wādihāt ʿala Dalā’il al-Khayrāt (p57-60)

 

Muslim Scholars Praise of the Dalail al-Khayrat

Salam

Continuing our series regarding the Dalail al-Khayrat:

Praise Regarding the Dalail al-Khayrat

The Dalā’il al-Khayrāt’s acceptance and popularity amongst scholars and laity alike serves as an important reminder of the importance of this text since it was authored.  It was based on the spiritual benefits which worshippers found resulted from its recitation thay lead to many of them recording their praise of this work.  Shaykh Yūsuf al-Nabhānī said,

“Our Shaykh, the Shaykh of the Sunnah, Imām al-ʿAllāmah, Shaykh Ḥasan al-ʿAdawī al-Misri in his marginalia on Bulūgh al-Musarrāt ʿala Dalā’il al-Khayrāt said, ‘It is sufficient honour for this book that it has attained in terms of benefit and acceptance that which the intellects find astonishing.  How can it not be so when some of the gnostics have taken it directly from the Master of the Messengers (Allah bless him and give him peace).

The Shaykh of our Shaykhs, and their Shaykh, Imām al-Sujāʿī said in his marginalia to this book, copying from his Shaykh the Quṭb and Ghawth, Imām Muḥammad al-Ḥifnī, ‘I have taken this book through the outward means from our Shaykh al-ʿAllāmah Muḥammad al-Budayrī al-Dimyāṭī, who took it from the Quṭb al-Ghawth Muḥammad bin Aḥmad al-Meknāsī to the end of the chain to the author.

He said, I have also taken it by spiritual means from the friend of Allāh Most High, Sayyidī Muḥammad al-Maghribī al-Tilmisānī who said: I have taken it spiritually from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).’”[1]

 Shaykh al-Nabhānī further added,

“In Kashf al-Ẓunūn an Asmā’’ al-Kutub wal-Funūn it is [mentioned], Dalā’il al-Khayrāt wa Shawāriq al-Anwār fi Dhikr al-Salāt ʿala al-Nabī al-Mukhtār upon him be blessings and peace.  It’s beginning is, ‘All praise is due to Allāh who guided us to faith…to the end by the Shaykh Abī ʿAbdullah Muḥammad bin Sulaimān bin Abī Bakr al-Jazūlī al-Simlālī, al-Sharīf al-Ḥasanī who died in the year 875H.

This book is a sign from the signs’ of Allāh regarding the sending of blessings and peace.  It is continuously recited in the East and the West, not least in the land of al-Rūm.  It has a fine interlineal commentary by Shaykh Muḥammad al-Mahdī bin Aḥmad bin ʿAlī bin Yūsuf al-Fāsī which he named Maṭālʿi al-Musarrāt bi Jalā’ Dalā’il al-Khayrāt.  The Dalā’il has variants in the manuscript copies due to the large number of narrators of it from the author (Allah bless him and give him peace).  However the relied upon is the copy of Shaykh Abi ʿAbdullah Muḥammad al-Ṣughayyir al-Sahlī who was from his most senior companions.  The author corrected it eight years before his death which was [at the time of] Duha on Friday on the 6th of Rabi al-Awwal in the year 862H.  It has other commentaries, however the relied upon is the aforementioned commentary of al-Fāsī.”[2]

The Muhaddith of India and Sufi Master, Shāh Walīullah al-Dihlawī praised the Dalā’il by saying the following,

“The Dalā’il al-Khayrāt at this time is recited by many people in the Arab world.  If a person wishes to attain divine blessings for a particular need by means of it, then it should be with the condition that his self in general has one resolve.  When this opening occurs this person persists in this meaning linked to this action; and makes it a means of attaining his needs.”[3]

Shaykh al-Talīdī said,

“What is meant is that the Dalā’il al-Khayrāt is priceless and there is nothing similar to it in it’s genre, the writer of these words is from those who has witnessed and experienced its blessings.  The book by the praise of Allāh (the Most High) does not contain that which the author can be criticized for except for some hadith which are fabricated or have no basis.  A book whose author does not possess knowledge of hadith is not free of this.  As for that which they criticized it for such as his words: ‘And send blessings upon our Master Muḥammad by the number of your knowledge’…it is interpreted and understood in a good way as is known from the answer of Abul Maḥāsin Sayyidī Yūsuf al-Fāsī as in Mumtiʿ al-Asmā’ and Mirāh al-Maḥāsin.  As for that which it contains of intercession by means of the Messenger of Allāh (Allah bless him and give him peace), seeking a means by him and calling out to him by his name ‘Ya Sayyidana Muḥammad’.  The objection to this is from the whisperings of the Wahabis and their false drivel.  The pure sunnah and language of the Arabs contains that which is evidence for this, as is known by the people of correct knowledge and which is mentioned in the books in refutation of the Wahabis and their followers.”[4]

Shaykh al-Talīdī continued by advising the following,

“I sincerely advise all Muslims to regularly recite the Dalā’il al-Khayrāt for the one who regularly (recites it) along with reflection on the greatness of the noble Messenger and with love towards him will be successful if Allāh (the Most High) wills.”

Mawlana Muḥammad Karam Shāh al-Azharī writes regarding the Dalā’il,

“The Dalā’il al-Khayrāt includes all those forms of sending salutations which have been transmitted with various chains.  It has attained such widespread acceptance that all spiritual orders recite it and it is regarded as a means of felicity and salvation.  In the Indian sub-continent the four well known orders, the Chishtiyyah, Qādiriyyah, Suhrawardiyyah and Naqshbandiyyah all recite this litany regularly.  Those people who are inclined to it and have made it their habit have personally witnessed its blessings…Hadrat Shah Walīullah Muḥaddith Dihlawī (Allāh Most High have mercy on him), his Shaykhs, father, ancestors and his students recited it.”[5]



[1]  Dalālāt al-Wādihāt ʿala Dalā’il al-Khayrāt (p.48-49)

[2]   Dalālāt al-Wādihāt ʿala Dalā’il al-Khayrāt (p.50-52)

[3]  Qawl al-Jallī fī Dhikr Athār al-Walī (p.432)

[4]   Al-Muṭrib fi Mashāhīr Awliyāh al-Maghrib (p.144)

[5]   Majmūʿa Wazā’if maʿ Dalā’il al-Khayrāt (p.11)

The Story Behind the Dalail al-Khayrat

Salam

As mentioned previously I was fortunate enough to be involved in the publishing of 2 brief works on the Dalail al-Khayrat for private distribution. I thought it might be useful to post the contents of the booklet online, especially as it does not look likely that we will be publishing these booklets for sale.  Some readers had been asking about the contents of the work regarding the Dalail, we hope that the information  presented in these series of posts dedicated to this blessed work will be of benefit in gaining a deeper understanding of this text.

Wassalam

***

The Story Behind the Dalā’il al-Khayrāt

The story behind the Dalā’il al-Khayrāt is one which has been cited by numerous scholars in their works; all of them serving to highlight the spiritual importance and benefits of this blessed work. Shaykh Yūsuf al-Nabhānī detailed the story as follows saying,

“My master, the knower of Allāh, Shaykh Aḥmad al-Ṣāwi al-Miṣrī in his commentary on the ṣalawāt of his Shaykh, the Quṭb al-Dardīr, -which was copied from him by our Shaykh Ḥasan al-ʿAdawī in his marginalia on the Dalā’il al-Khayrāt -said that he [al-Jazūlī] authored it in Fez.  The reason for its being written was that the time [for prayer] entered upon him-meaning Imām al-Jazūlī-.  He stood up to make ablution but did not find anything to take out the water from the well.  Whilst in this state a young girl saw him from an elevated place, she said to him, ‘Who are you?’  He informed her so she replied, ‘You are the man that is praised as being good, but is perplexed as to how to take out the water from the well?’  She then spat in to the water which rose up till it was level with the ground.

After he had performed his wudu the Shaykh said to her, ‘I implore you to tell me, how did you attain this station?’  She replied, ‘By sending blessings upon him whom beasts lovingly followed as he walked through the wilds (Allah bless him and give him peace).’

He [al-Jazūlī] then took an oath that he would author a work on sending blessings upon the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).”[1]



[1]   Dalālāt al-Wādihāt ʿala Dalā’il al-Khayrāt (p.61-62)