Shaykh Ahmad al-Dawghan- Mujaddid of the Shafi’i School in Saudi Arabia

Shaykh Ahmad al-Dawghan al-Ahsai
(Born 1911/1332 Hijri)

This is a brief biographical entry for the most learned scholar, jurist, ascetic, remnant of the pious predecessors, the Mufti and reviver (Mujaddid) of the Shafi’i school in al-Ahsa.  Ever since coming to learn about Shaykh Ahmad al-Dawghan for the first time in 1997 I had desired to somehow meet the Shaykh.  Alhumdulillah I was finally able to meet him at the end of 2006 or beginning of 2007 , visiting him in his home in al-Ahsa.

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Birth and Lineage

He is Shaykh Ahmad bin Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Hussaina al-Dawghan al-Ahsai al-Khalidi.

His father was from the students of knowledge, his grandfather was a scholar as was his ancestor Shaykh Hussain.

He was born in the year 1332 Hijri (1911) in the area of al-Koot in the city of al-Ahsa and was raised there.

Pursuit of Knowledge

It was in al-Ahsa where he undertook his studies, amongst his teachers being:

Shaykh Muhammad bin Hussain al-Arfaj al-Shafi’i (1287-1360)
Shaykh Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Aliyy al-Arfaj al-Shafi’i (1280-1357)
Shaykh Abd al-Aziz bin Salih al-Ulji al-Maliki (1288-1362)

In the course of his studies he memorized the Quran at a young age, as well as the text of al-Zubad in Shafi’i fiqh and parts of the Alfiyyah Ibn Malik.

Work

Shaykh Ahmad al-Dawghan taught for approximately 25 years in Saudi schools.  However in his youth due to poverty (before the Saudi oil boom) he travelled to India in pursuit of a livelihood.  He taught Quran to young children there, his wage being 2 rupees a month!  Shaykh Ahmad al-Dawghan said,

“We were afflicted with poverty and now we are experiencing immense blessings, we are unable to praise Him (Allah Most High) sufficently.”

Elevated Chain

He possesses an unbroken chain for the books of the Shafi’i school linking back to Imam al-Shafi’i. It is said that there is between Shaykh Ahmad al-Dawghan and between Shaykh Ahmad Zayni Dahlan (the Mufti of Makkah who died in 1304 Hijri/1886) only one narrator, namely his teacher Shaykh Muhammad bin Hussain al-Arfaj.

Students

He has numerous students from both al-Ahsa and outside it, the most notable being:  His sons Dr Muhammad and Shaykh Abd al-Aziz, Shaykh Walid bin Abd al-Latif al-Arfaj and his brother Dr. Ahmad, Shaykh Abd al-Latif bin Abdullah al-Saeed al-Arfaj, Shaykh Abd al-Latif bin Muhammad al-Arfaj, Dr Abd al-Ilah al-Arfaj, Dr. Isam al-Khatib, Dr Muhammad bin Abdullah al-Jughaiman, Shaykh Muhammad bin Abdullah al-Dawghan, Shaykh Luay bin Abdullah Sayyid al-Hashim, Shaykh Mahir al-Jafari, Shaykh Muhammad bin Abu Isa al-Umayr, Sayyid Ibrahim al-Khalifah and numerous others including those from Kuwait, Syria, Sudan and elsewhere.

Advice to Students

His advice to students of knowledge when once requested to do so was,

“I advise you to have taqwa of Allah and obedience to Him, seeking knowledge, righteous action and sincere intention.”

Praise of a Notable Scholar

Shaykh Muhammad Awwamah said of him,

“In the city of al-Ahsa is the remnant of the righteous Salaf, our Shaykh, the scholar who practices his knowledge, the example to be followed…Shaykh Ahmad al-Dawghan, Allah protect him and give him well being.  He trained generations over decades.  They are relied upon in Fatwa in Shafi’i fiqh, may Allah give coolness to his eyes through them.”

Works Taught

From the works which he has taught are:

Umdat al-Salik of Shaykh Ahmad bin Naqib al-Misri
Sharh al-Zubad of Shaykh Ahmad bin Hijazi al-Fashani
Al-Idah of Imam al-Nawawi
Fath al-Muin of Shaykh Zayn al-Din al-Mallibari
Fath al-Wahhab of Qadi Zakariyyah al-Ansari
Kifayat al-Akhyar of Shaykh Taqi al-Din al-Hisni
Al-Iqna of Shaykh Khatib al-Shirbini
Mughni al-Muhtaj Sharh al-Minhaj of Shaykh Khatib al-Shirbini
Fath al-Jawwad Sharh al-Irshad of Shaykh Ibn Hajar al-Haytami

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May Allah Taala protect Shaykh Ahmad al-Dawghan and allow us to continue benefitting from him, Amin.

Wassalam

Shaykh Abd al-Rahman al- Mulla in Defence of Sayyid Maliki

Salam

I came across the following heartwarming lines of poetry by Shaykh Abd al-Rahman bin Abi Bakr al-Mulla, one of the senior ulema of al-Ahsa who passed away aged 98 in 2001.  A brief biography can be found of him on this blog, however I will suffice by mentioning that he studied in his native al-Ahsa with the its numerous scholars, and travelled to the Hijaz where he studied in the Sawlatiyyah school as well as travelling to Taif and Madinah al-Munawwarah to benefit from the ulema there.

Someone mentioned to me recently that they heard regarding Shaykh Abd al-Rahman that when in the Hijaz during times of monetary difficulty and lack of food he would suffice himself on bread dipped in zamzam water.  When I spoke to his grandson about him and asked him which ulema did his father mention the most, he replied that he would often speak about Shaykh Alawi al-Maliki (father of Shaykh Muhammad) and Shaykh Muhammad Nur Saif amongst others, both of them were his colleagues in the study circles which took place in Makka.

Towards the end of his life his home in al-Ahsa became the visiting point of numerous students of knowledge who eagerly sought his ijazah, as he was one of the last remaining students who had studied extensively in the Haramain with its muhaddith, the great Shaykh Umar bin Hamdan al-Mahrasi.

The following lines of poetry were written by Shaykh Abd al-Rahman as supporting words to the work of Kuwait’s Shaykh Yusuf al-Rifai in defence of Shaykh Muhammad bin Alawi al-Maliki.  The lines of poetry are clear proof regarding his viewpoints on certain issues and are a clear testimony to the manhaj of the traditional ulema of Saudi Arabia.

Wassalam

لَكَ القدحُ المعلَّى يا رفاعي

لما أبديتَ من حُسن الدفاعِ

نصرتَ محمدا ً خيرَ البرايا

وسيد كل مدعوٍ وداعي

نصرتَ رسوله مع تابعيهِ

من الأصحاب والآل الرفاعي

أتيتَ ببيناتٍ واضحاتٍ

مسلمة الثبوتِ بلا نزاع

وأثبتَّ الأدلة من نقول

ثقاتٌ أهلها من كل واعي

وبلغت الحديث كما أُمِرْنا

من الهادي بكل المستطاع

يراعك في الطروس له سباق

حاكى بهزيزه البرق اللماع

هزمت به لمن أبدى سلوكًا

بميدان المعارك والنزاع

وخصمك قد عراه لذا وجوم

فضل طريقه بين السواعي

جوادك ليس يكبو في صراعٍ

وعضك ليس بنبو في قراع

نقلتَ لنا الأدلة عن ثقاتٍ

لهم في العلم أشواط انتفاع

فقدوتنا هموا في كل قولٍ

رووه عن الرسولِ عن اطلاع

وصاحب ذا الحوار له شذوذ

كفانا الله شر الإندفاع

ونحن له نحب الخير نرجو

إلى طريق الصواب يكون داعي

نقضت بناءه فانهار لما

رصدتَ له وكِلت له بصاع

وأوضحت الدليل له كشمسٍ

تضئ له ليبدو في اقتناع

رمى بالابتداع رواةَ علمٍ

كما كانوا كأطوادٍ مِناع

كبحر العلم ذي الفضل السخاوي

ومن أمثاله أطوال باع

فهم لله أتقى في سلوك

وهم بالله أعرف بالمساعي

وما العلويُّ إلا مُقْتَفِيهم

لهُ من وردهم أهنى اكتراع

تصدى للعلوم بصدقِ عزمٍ

لينشرها وإطعام الجياع

ومن آذى بني الزهراء آذى

رسول الله في خبر مذاع

رعاك الله يا من جاء يدعو

لهدي المصطفى بين الدواعي

نصرت الحق حتى زال عنه

ضُبابَ الشَّكِ يُسفِرُ بالشعاع

فكنت معلماً أيدت دينًا

لخير الخلق محمود المساعي

جُزِيتَ من الإله بكل خير

وألهمت الصواب وكنت داعي

وهذا شأن ذي علم عليم

كما قد جاء عن أمر المطاع

أتيت بما يروق إلى نفوس

تتوق إلى الحقائق يا رفاع

مؤلفك المؤيد قد أتانا

بآثار مشرِّفة سراع

لقد أثلجت منا كل صدرٍ

بما أمليت من تعبيرٍ واعي

وقد ناضلتَ في حقٍ مبين

عن الدين الحنيف بطولِ باع

كما أسندت ما قد قلتَ حتى

أبنتَ لنا الطريق فكنت راعي

فبوركَ فيكَ من شيخٍ حكيم

تحلُّ مشاكلاً دون امتناع

أمانتك النصحية تجتليها

وتبذلها لمن يأتيك ساعي

حوارك لا يدانيه حوار

بحلمٍ ثم علمٍ في اتساع

ومولد خير خلق الله طه

يفوح شذاه في كل البقاع

ومنكره بلا شك أثيم

ومهزوم بميدان الصراع

يحرم ما أبيح وذا قصور

بدى منه وذا شأن الرعاع

نماه لبدعة وإلى ضلال

ومن يعنى به أهل ابتداع

وليس لديه يوجد من دليل

سوى ما كان من دعوى المداعي

وهذا عندنا عمل مباح

وذا مستحسن عند الجماع

وأشياخ لنا قِدَمًا رضوه

بإجماع لهم وبلا نزاع

ونحن على الهدى والخير فينا

نقيم لسنة الهادي طواعي

فتوحيدُ الإلهِ لنا شعارٌ

نفوز به بيوم الارتجاع

يغيظ البعض مدحك يا نبيًا

هدايتنا به بعد الضياع

وصحبك مدحوك وأنت عنهم

رضيت وأعلنوا في الاجتماع

وجاء الحقُّ يظهر في ضياء

ليزهق باطلاً من كل داعي

وأبياتي تؤيد كل حق

يسر النفس حبرها يراعي

وقد أنشأتها خمسين بيتًا

تؤيد من تصدَّى للدفاع

وقائلها المحل لخير داع

دعا لله في خير البقاع

وصلى الله ربي ما تغنَّت

حمامُ الأيكِ في روض المراعي

على الهادي وعترته وصحبٍ

كرامٍ ما دعا لله داعي

Tuhfat al-Mubtadi Now On Sale

Salam

As many visitors to this blog are aware, we have been working for some time on a beginners hanafi fiqh text from Saudi Arabia entitled Tuhfat al-Mubtadi.  After a long wait, the Karima al-Marwaziyya Foundation (an educational charity based in the UK) have published the Tuhfat al-Mubtadi text and are selling it via their website.  Those wishing to purchase the text and are residing outside the UK are requested to contact the email address on the link below.

The cost of the book has been kept as low as possible, we pray that those who purchase the book will be happy with the quality of the work.

http://www.karima.org.uk/book-release/index.php

Wassalam

Forthcoming Release: Tuhfat al-Mubtadi (The Beginners Gift)

Salam

The above is a draft cover design for the forthcoming publication of the classical beginners text in Hanafi fiqh entitled T’uhfat al-Mubtadi’.

The text was authored for beginners setting out in their journey in the study of fiqh, as it only covers the subjects of purification and prayer.

The work is split in to three parts:

i) Translation of the text alongside the original Arabic

ii) Commentary of the text with detailed referencing, based on the notes of Shaykh Yahya bin Muhammad al-Mulla

iii) Appendices consisting of materials such as:  Supplications after the prayer, Information regarding al-Ahsa and a previously unpublished treatise on the Hanafi school by a recent senior Hanafi scholar from al-Ahsa.

Please find a sample of parts i) & ii) below:

Please keep an eye out for further information, likewise please feel free to submit any feedback or questions/queries regarding the work.

Wassalam

The Hanafi Madhab- Extract From An Unpublished Article from al-Ahsa

Salam

I recently received a rare unpublished brief article on the Hanafi school authored by one the recent giants of Ahsai scholarship:  Shaykh Abd al-Rahman bin Abi Bakr al-Mulla who passed away aged 98 in 2001.  I hope to append it to a forthcoming publication (May Allah facilitate its completion).  Extracts from it have been posted elsewhere on this blog along with some details of the author.  Presented below is an extract from the introduction to the article:

“The Recognition of The Correctness of the Hanafi Madhab

All praise is due to Allah, the One who answers those who ask, and rewards those who perform righteous acts.  Salutations and blessings upon the one who was sent by Allah as a mercy to the worlds.  Our Master Muhammad, and upon all his family and companions.  To proceed:

I was asked by one of the students of knowledge in the Makkan sanctuary (Haram al-Makki), and he was Hanafi in madhab, saying:  O Shaykh Abu Bakr, some students speak regarding the madhab of Abu Hanifah, and say such and such, and that his madhab is based upon personal opinion.  Do you have a beneficial [answer] to reply to that which has been said?

I answered him with that which was convincing, and he said to me: If you were to be kind enough to write this along with anything in addition to what you have mentioned which occurs to you, then I would benefit from it more.

I said to him: Allah willing, and the next day I began the writing of that which Allah made easy for me in terms of an answer, hoping that the student and others who are ignorant of the knowledge and excellence of this Imam of great stature would benefit from it.”

The Scholars Of Al-Ahsa And The Issue Of Bidah

A New Book On The Issue Of Bidah

Salam

I recently came across the very useful work on innovation (bidah) by the Saudi Shafi jurist resident in al-Ahsa, Dr Abd al-Ilah al-Arfaj.  His work takes a novel and brave approach in tackling the subject, not least due to hostile elements within his homeland whom he is hoping to engage in dialogue.

One of the unique features of the work is the authors analysis of modern fatawa related to bidah which have been issued by respected figures of the Salafi movement such as Shaykhs: Ibn Baz, al-Uthaimin, al-Jibrin, al-Fawzan, Bakr Abu Zayd, al-Albani et al.  Through the examination of 20 issues around which fatawa by the above mentioned scholars have been issued he proceeds to identify some interesting findings.  We hope to share more on this in the future inshAllah, or perhaps hope for Shaykh Abd al-Ilah himself to enlighten us (as he speaks fluent English).

Three Ahsai Scholars Views

I will suffice here with three quotes from Ahsai scholars that the author cited in his work, all of these representing the majority (janhur) position on the understanding of bidah.  I have sufficed with these three as a number of people have expressed interest in knowing of the Ahsai scholars view on these issues.  What readers may also note is that the first two quotes deal specifically with the issue of an action not being performed by the early Muslims (Salaf) not necessitating it being labelled as a reprehensible innovation.  Shaykh Abd al-Ilah cited the following in his work (p.77-79)

Ahsai Hanbali Scholar On Loud Recitation Of Salawat After The Adhan

Shaykh Abdullah bin Fayruz al-Hanbali(d.1175) Allah have mercy on him was asked regarding the ruling of the loud reciting of Salat and Salam after the Adhan upon the minaret on the night of Friday, he replied:

Salat after the Adhan upon the minarets is not an innovation, because they -the callers to prayer- when they mention the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) do so after the Adhan from the minaret, and there is no innovation in this.

If it is supposed that the specification of this time -meaning after the Adhan-  in this place -meaning upon the minaret-  with Salat upon -the Master- of the chidren of Adnan (Allah bless him and give him peace)- is an innovation- as this ignoramus claims…Does he not know -meaning the critic- that innovation falls within five legal rulings, such as the authoring of books, recording of hadith, organising issues of language, history, narrator disparagement and authentication (jarh wa tadil), recording of language, tafsir and other than it…

Thus there is no harm in it (K:loud recitation of Salawat after the Adhan), rather in it are numerous benefits, from it is that everyone who hears it sends salat upon him, and from them are that he knows -meaning is reminded- of Friday night, thus the people are aware of it and know -meaning remember- its night, and send abundant Salat upon him (Allah bless him and give him peace).

Note: Shaykh Muhammad al-Saffarini al-Hanbali and Shaykh Abd al-Aziz al-Razini were also signatories to this fatwa which was authored around 1165 Hijri.

Ahsai Shafi Scholar On Loud Recitation Of Tahlil After Prayers

Shaykh Hussain bin Ahmad al-Dawsari al-Shafi Allah have mercy on him was a scholar from the 13th century Hijri.  In his answer to a question regarding the legal ruling of the ten tahlils (tahlilat al-ashr) after the prayer, and legal ruling of reciting them loudly he replied:

From the principles of the Madhab -meaning al-Shafi- is that every matter regarding which there is no prohibition it is permitted to do it.  All those who claim the unlawfulness of a matter or its being disliked and which has not been prohibited by Allah and His Messenger place themselves in great danger…

The intelligent one should not be deceived by understanding of some ignoramuses of his words (Allah bless him and give him peace): “Every newly invented matter is an innovation, and every innovation is misguidance”.  For these ignoramuses do not know what is meant by the words of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), for if they knew they would understand that innovation is subdivided into five categories, and that this general hadith is specified by his (Allah bless him and give him peace) words:  “He who introduces is this matter of ours that which is not from it, it is rejected”.

And also by his (Allah bless him and give him peace) words: “He who inaugarates a good sunnah earns the reward of it and those who perform it till the Day of Judgement”.  Thus he (Allah bless him and give him peace) named that good which would be introduced after him as being sunnah.  Therefore every innovation which is not from the religion nor righteous actions is misguidance.

If we were to say:  Everything which has been introduced is an innovation of misguidance then the religion would be defunct.  This is because every book in our hands today is from the newly introduced matters, even Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, for the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) did not author any books, and it is not reported from any of his companions that they authored a book organised into chapters, thus all written books are a newly introduced innovation.

Rather even the Quran, al-Hajjaj-Ibn Yusuf- introduced into it that which the companions did not introduce (Allah be pleased with them all).  And al-Hajjaj was the most corrupt of the people of his time.  He was the one who divided the Quran into Juz’, and Ahzab and Ashar, and vowelled it.  Thus according to the claims of theses ignoramuses we should abandon books because they are a newly introduced innovation.  And we should abandon the Quran due to that which was introduced into it, or that it should be written without vowelling because its vowelling is an innovation, and if it were written without vowelling reading it would be difficult for the majority of the creation as most of them are common folk…

Ahsai Hanafi Scholar On Bidah Being Of Two Types

Shaykh Abu Bakr bin Muhammad al-Mulla al-Hanafi (d.1270) Allah have mercy on him said:

Know that the rulings of the sacred law are of two categories.  Principles (Usul) which are beliefs, and branches (Furu) which are the outward transactions.  Innovation in the principles (usul) is more severe than innovation in the branches…

The scholars have mentioned that innovation is subdivided into two categories.  One them is praiseworthy and the other is reprehensible.  Imam al-Shafi Allah have mercy on him said:  “Newly innovated matters are of two types, the first of them is the introduction of that which conflicts with the Quran, Sunnah, a narration or consensus, this is an innovation of misguidance.  Second: That which is introduced from the good, and there is no conflict of it with anyone one of these (meaning the Quran, Sunnah, a narration or consensus).  Thus this is a newly introduced matter which is not reprehensible.”

More On Al-Ahsa: Virtues and the Hanafi Madhab

Salam. Please find some more information on the area of al-Ahsa that we may not have mentioned thus far on this blog.  Inshallah we hope to compile into one article in the near future the various posts on the topic.  This article is based on Dr Abd al-Ilah al-Mulla’s introduction to Shaykh Abd al-Latif al-Mulla’s fiqh work ‘Wasilah al-Zafar’, Wassalam.

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It is relevant that we begin this brief article with a clarification regarding the names previously used for the al-Ahsa region located in the Eastern province of present day Saudia Arabia.  Al-Ahsa was previously known by the names of ‘al-Bahrain’ and ‘Hajr’.  This detail is an important point, as many people consider the name of ‘al-Bahrain’ found in the hadith literature to refer to the small island that today bears this name.

Early Entry Into Islam

Its inhabitants possessed a number of virtues, the first of which was their early entry into Muslim faith.  The ‘Banu Abd al-Qais’ tribe which inhabited the area accepted Islam out of their own free choice and without any pressure nor compulsion.  In the two Sahih’s from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) is the following narration:

…When the delegation of the tribe of ‘Abdul Qais came to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) he asked them, “Who are the people (i.e. you)? (Or) who are the delegates?” They replied, “We are from the tribe of Rabi’a.” He said to them: Welcome! O people (or O delegation of ‘Abdul Qais)! Neither will you have disgrace nor will you regret. [1]

Closest In Resemblance to the Ansar

Likewise from the virtues of the its people is that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) prayed/supplicated for them, his informing them that they were the best of the people of the East,  and that they were the closest of people in resemblance to the Ansar, as in the hadith reported by Imam Ahmad regarding the delegation of ‘Abd al-Qais’ which contains:

He turned to the Ansar when the delegation of Abd al-Qais came and said:  O people of the Ansar, honour your brothers, for they are the closest in resemblance to you in Islam.[2]

The Prophet (Allah Bless Him And Give Him Peace) Was Given The Choice To Migrate to Al-Ahsa

Likewise from its virtues is that Allah (Most High) gave His Noble Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) the choice of migrating towards it, as in the hadith reported by al-Tirmidhi and al-Hakim that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

I have been given revelation, meaning these three have been revealed and they are the places of your migration: Madinah or Bahrain or Qansarayn[3][4]

The Second Jumah of Islam

Likewise the first Jumah prayer established after the Jumah in the masjid of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) was in the Masjid of Abd al-Qais in Jawatha, as mentioned by in al-Bukhari from the hadith of Ibn Abbas.[5]

Firmness During Early Tribulations

When all the Arabs of the Arabian peninsula apostated from Islam during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (Allah be pleased with him) the tribe of Banu Abd al-Qais remained firm to the Muslim faith and fought alongside the Muslims in the conquest of neighbouring area’s.[6]

The Hanafi Madhab in al-Ahsa

Al-Ahsa has been a land of knowledge and scholars from the earliest times of Muslim history.  Over the centuries many students travelled to it in order to study in its numerous schools, and due to the presence of the four legal schools (madhahib) in it.

Perhaps the earliest of the madhabs to enter al-Ahsa is the Hanafi school[7] which reached it from Iraq where the Abbasid dynasty ruled as indicated to in historical sources.  Evidence for this is found in a lengthy letter sent by Abu al-Bahlul al-Awam bin Muhammad al-Zujaj from the Abd al-Qais tribe to Abu Mansur Yusuf, a member of the Abbasid court in the year 447 Hijri.  In it he describes the condition of the Banu Abd al-Qais in al-Ahsa and those under the rule of the Qaramitah that they:

…Know of obedience to the Abbasid state and the blessed Hashimi instructions (kalimah) for the length of their lives and till the end of their lifespan. Their way is that of obedience, their madhab is that of the sunnah and jamah, and the madhab of Imam Abu Hanifah, by this they are known, and upon this they live and die…[8]

This school continued to exist in al-Ahsa alongside other schools following from the ruling authorities adopting them in their legal code.  Every ruler would pay special attention to the madhab that he followed.  When the Ottomans conquered al-Ahsa in the middle of the tenth Islamic century the Hanafi madhab gained strength and entered what could be termed its ‘golden age’ as the Turks practised the Hanafi school as their legal code according to the edict (farman) of Sultan Suleiman the 1st announcing that the Hanafi madhab is the legal school of the state in all judicial rulings and religious edicts, this was applied across the entire Ottoman empire.[9]

Likewise the presence of the al-Mulla family helped in the establishment of the Hanafi madhab in the al-Ahsa and the surrounding areas[10] where they have been actively involved the service of the madhab for over five centuries, this includes teaching, writing, preaching, guiding people and leading prayers in masjids.


[1] Al-Bukhari, Book of Faith (53)

[2] Ahmad in his Musnad (3/432) al-Haithami said in Majma al-Zawaid (8/178) that its narrators were trustworthy.

[3] Qansarayn:  It is a place in Syria close to Halab, it was conquered by Khalid bin al-Walid in the year 18 Hijri and it contains the grave of the Prophet Salih (Upon him be peace).  See Mujam al-Buldan (7/169).

[4] Al-Tirmidhi (13/378) and by al-Hakim (3/2,3) via another chain who commented that this hadith has a Sahih chain but they both did not narrate it.

[5] Al-Bukhari in the Book of Jumah (892) Hafidh ibn Hajar said in Fath al-Bari (1/216): This is evidence that they preceded other villages to Islam.

[6] Refer to al-Bidayah wal-Nihayah (6/369)

[7] Some researchers including Dr Abd al-Hamid Aal-Shaykh Mubarak are of the view that the earliest madhab to enter al-Ahsa was the Maliki school.  They argue this on the basis that this was the madhab followed by the al-Uyuniyyah dynasty which ruled the area after the fall of the Qaramitah rule.  However the evidence we will cite precedes the coming to power of the al-Uyuniyyah dynasty, which is clear proof the legal school followed by Banu Abd al-Qais before the al-Uyuniyyah rule was Hanafi.  Refer to the introduction of the ‘al-Tasheel‘ of Shaykh Mubarak bin Ali al-Ahsai al-Maliki edited by Dr Abd al-Hamid Aal-Shaykh al-Mubarak.

[8] Majallah al-Arabiyah, Shaykh Hamd al-Jasir, Ramadan and Shawal edition 1401 Hijri, p.169

[9] Refer to ‘al-Awdah al-Tashriyyah fi al-Dawl al-Arabiyyah’ p.178

[10] Most of the people of al-Kharaj were followers of the Hanafi madhab, amongst them being Shaykh Rashid bin Khanin al-Hanafi who passed away in 1209 Hijri in Qatar.  Refer to ‘Injaz al-Wad’ p.32 of Shaykh Muhammad Ismaeel

Sharh Kifayah al-Ghulam of Imam al-Nabulsi by Shaykh Abd al-Latif al-Mulla

Salam

I was pleased to come across a scan of a useful work by one of the al-Mulla scholars of al-Ahsa, especially as it is not easily available for purchase (I bought my copy in al-Ahsa).  It is the detailed commentary on Imam al-Nabulsi’s 150 line poem on what could be described as the 5 pillars of Islam, with the fiqh being in accordance with the Hanafi school.

I have a very rough draft of a translation of about 40 odd lines from this poem, these were translated at a time when some of us were discussing/thinking about whether the poem would be useful as a brief text to be studied on short courses.

The poem itself was studied in al-Ahsa and other parts of the Muslim world, and was often one of the first few works studied by Hanafi students (as can be deduced by the name of the poem).  Likewise the editor himself mentions that he studied it during his youth in the ‘Shahlubiyyah’ school in al-Ahsa (details and picture of which can be found on this blog).  The only other commentary on the poem is by the author Imam al-Nabulsi, thus making this work quite unique.

Note: Shaykh Yahya al-Mulla is one of the teachers and a relative of the editor.  I personally heard him express his reservations about some of the footnotes in the Aqidah section.  Please be aware of this  and do not be confused about the belief of the al-Mulla scholars.

The commentary can be downloaded from here

Wassalam