The Nasafi Creed

Salam

A project we are currently working on is a new English edition of the Nasafi creed with a set of simple and easy to understand explanatory notes. This text is  widely taught across the Muslim world, especially in areas where the Hanafi school is prevalent. The new edition we are preparing has the following features:

  1. The Arabic text of the Nasafi creed is presented checked against the Ottoman and other editions.
  2. The Edgar Earl translation has been relied upon with changes and improvements
  3. The text has been arranged in to chapters
  4. Basic explanatory notes have been added based primarily on the excellent contemporary commentary of Shaykh Abd al-Malik al-Sadi in addition to other works.
  5. The explanatory notes aim to present evidences from the Quran and Sunnah where possible, with very little by way of the ilm al-kalam arguments.

We hope that this work will be ready soon inshAllah.

Wassalam

Order of Events in the Afterlife

Salam

The following order of events to take place on the day of judgement has been summarized from a work on aqidah by Shaykh Mustafa al-Khin, (a recent Sunni scholar from Damascus).  I found it useful in its explaining how the different Quranic verses and hadith link together.

The order of events is as follows;

  • After the dead are resurrected they are taken to the gathering place.
  • They will head towards the Hawd (Lake)  as they will be thirsty.  Note: each Prophet will have a Hawd as per the hadith in Tirmidhi.
  • In the gathering place there will be intense heat as the sun draws closer.  Note:  some people will not suffer here as per the hadith of those shaded by the Throne.  A hadith in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad mentions that this stage will pass very quickly for the pious.
  • The great intercession of the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) will then take place for the reckoning to begin.  This is after people rush to other prophets asking them to intercede.
  • Then the accounting (hisab) will take place of actions.  Note: people will differ on this stage, some bypassing it as being those who ‘enter paradise without being taken to account’.
  • After this a person receives their book regarding their actions.
  • Then there will be the weighing of actions.  Note:  those who have equal level good and bad actions are referred to as the people of Araf.
  • Then people will traverse the sirat, some falling off in to the hellfire.
  • Then people will enter Paradise, at their head the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace).

We ask Allah Taala to make us from those who drink from Hawd, are under the shade of the throne, are not taken to account, receive our books in the right hand, have a heavy scale of good actions. Traverse the sirat easily and enter Paradise. Amin

 

A Short Aqidah Poem

Naqawatul Aqidah

Salam

Please find below a draft translation of a short poem on Sunni belief authored by a Meccan scholar.  It succinctly sums up the basics a Muslim should know regarding their creed.  I had begun annotating it with some comments from the author’s own commentary, but that is on hold at this current time.

Wassalam

http://telegram.me/daralhadith

Jawharah Tawhid Review Lesson

Jawharah 1-20 Overview

Salam

Please see a message below for a project I am involved with.  The image above is a draft page from the skeleton notes.

Dear all, Asalaamu alaykum warahmatulLah,

A review of the Jawharah al-Tawhid poem in aqeedah, lines 1-20 will take place this Friday the 16th of October. This class is relevant to all students who have an interest in aqeedah. It is of particular significance to those who have attended our monthly Jawharah al-Tawhid classes as it will reinforce what has been covered along with important additional points and a set of skeleton notes. Those who have not attended these classes but have some previous study of aqeedah such as the Islamic Belief module of CIL are welcome to attend.

Venue: Castlefield community centre in High Wycombe (HP12 3LL)

Timing: 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Date:  Friday 16-Oct-2015

Please confirm attendance by emailing: info@daralhadith.org.uk

Ilm al-Ghayb Treatise – Sh. Ahmad al-Barzanji

Ilm Ghayb Barzanji 2

Salam

Please find uploaded the treatise on the issue of Ilm al-Ghayb by Shaykh Ahmad al-Barzanji of Madinah the illuminated, a copy of which was provided by Shaykh Khalid al-Turkestani from Mecca.  I have not read the treatise in full at the time of posting here, but I believe a copy of this work is much sought after by students of knowledge.

The file can be downloaded from here: Barzanji Ilm Ghayb.

Wassalam

Sharh Aqidah al-Awam Publication

aqida awam

Salam

A work which we have contributed to is the translation of the commentary on the primers text in belief taught in Hijaz, Hadramawt and South East Asia, namely the Aqidah al-Awam.  The commentary is written by Shaykh Muhammad Ihya Ulum al-Din based on the lessons of Sayyid Muhammad bin Alawi al-Maliki.   It still puzzles me why larger more complex works on aqidah have been translated, but this basic work taught in numerous institutions of traditional Sunni learning has not attracted the attention of translators beyond the translation of the poem itself (a translation of which has been undertaken by a couple of scholars including Shaykh Ilyas Patel of the UK and Shaykh Mostafa Azzam of Canada in a slightly adapted form).

We started the serialised translation of the poem on this site some years back and the project was picked up by Shaykh Rami Nsour of the Tayba Foundation in the USA.  The text is currently being typeset and needs tidying up before Shaykh Rami decides how it should be distributed.

Please pray for the tawfiq and successful completion of this project and other projects such as the Bayquniyyah work mentioned on this site which is nearly complete.

Please find below a sample of the Table of Contents page.

Aqidah Awam Contents

Wassalam

Before You Listen to a Lecture on Imam al-Mahdi

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Salam

The topic of Imam al-Mahdi is one which naturally attracts the interest of concerned Muslims, not least in the times that we live in.    There is no doubt that belief in Imam Mahdi (Alaihi Salam) is part of our Sunni beliefs, however a more than normal interest in elusive information regarding the Imam’s appearance can be of concern.

Basic Principles

Those afflicted with an obsession with secretive information regarding the Imam’s appearance should apply a couple of principles to any lectures or lessons they hear regarding this topic, which can be summarized as follows:

  1. Authenticity of the hadith cited:  This is a crucial criteria which enables Sunni Islam to sift between reports which are authentic and those which have been invented or have been altered due to the bad memory of the narrator.  This central principle is what allows the Sunni Islam position on Imam al-Mahdi to be argued against the Shia position on Imam al-Mahdi, as the Shia books of hadith are replete with reports which support their claims regarding the Mahdi.
  2. Errors in Non Prophetic Sources:  Kashf and Ilham of the great Sufi Shuyukh is open to error and mistake, and to believe otherwise goes against the teachings of the great Sufi masters themselves [see below].   Likewise which Kashf and Ilham do you follow when there is clear disagreement between scholars on certain aspects of Imam al-Mahdi?  A good example is Allamah Adawi al-Hamzawi citing a pious person from centuries ago writing that he had met Imam al-Mahdi in person, that he was alive and when he had met him had already exceeded 100 years of age. It is of concern therefore when Kashf and Ilham of scholars is presented to audiences without explicit mention that it is based on Kashf and without highlighting it is open to error and may never materialise.

Distorted Picture

Thus with the combination of both weak or forged narrations and Kashf/Ilham a picture may be presented of the scenario at the end of times which is far from certain, the problem however the audience believes it to be an authentic relaying of how events will play out.  What then happens to the faith of believers if events unfold differently in reality, which is a realistic possibility?

The above points were brilliantly pointed out centuries ago by the great Indian hadith master Imam Ali al-Muttaqi, author one of the largest hadith collections of Sunni Islam, the Kanz al-Ummal.   His work on Imam al-Mahdi entitled Al-Burhan fi Alamat Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman is a collection of hadith on the topic of Imam al-Mahdi based primarily on Imam al-Suyuti’s work (printed in his Al-Hawi lil Fatawa).  Note: Imam al-Muttaqi however does not analyse the authenticity nor grade the narrations he has presented in his work.

Imam al-Muttaqi discusses in the preface of his work on Imam al-Mahdi (Alaihi Salam) a scholar in India who mistakenly made a claim of being the Mahdi.  He points out the root cause of this scholar and his followers misguidance was: 1.  Not understanding that a Wali can be wrong, as can his Kashf and Ilham. 2. Lack of knowledge of the hadith regarding the topic of the Mahdi.

Imam Ali al-Muttaqi’s Analysis 

In his work he says the following:

Ustadh Abul Qasim al-Qushayri and Imam Izz al-Din bin Abd al-Salam and other than them (Allah be pleased with them all) have said:  A murid should not have the belief that the Mashaikh are divinely protected from mistakes and errors.

Shaykh Abul Hasan al-Shadhili (Allah be pleased with him) said:  Allah Most High has guaranteed divine protection (from error) for the Book and the Sunnah, whereas there is no such guarantee for Kashf and Ilham.

It is known to the people of truth that many of the Mashaikh (Allah be pleased with all of them) who were of enlightened spiritual ranks (maqamat al-saniyyah) and lofty miracles – whom the people, both the elite and common man have been in agreement regarding their virtue, nobility and uprightness of their way – have laid claims to be the Mahdi.  Their description did not correspond with that which has been transmitted regarding the Mahdi in the Prophetic narrations and reports of the companions and Tabieen (Allah be pleased with them all).

Therefore there must be a reason for this phenomena, and this matter is not known except by one who understands the states of those who have drawn close (Muqarrabin), their statements and their spiritual stations.  He understands that these claims which issue forth from them are a necessary by product of their spiritual state and their spiritual rank which results in this claim emanating from them.

There is a group in India which has become numerous which holds the belief that a noble person born in India, his name being Al-Sayyid Muhammad bin Sayyid Khan al-Jaunpuri, who died (Allah have mercy on him) at around the age of 40, was the promised Mahdi who would emerge at the end of time.  His attributes did not correspond that which is related in the Prophetic narrations and reports from the companions and Tabieen (Allah be pleased with them all) regarding the promised Mahdi.  I saw that their belief in this matter was due to two reasons:

First:  Their not comprehending the difference between a Prophet and Wali, for it is known that the the difference between a Prophet and Wali is in many matters, as is explained in the relevant place [books of Aqidah], amongst these differences being:

A Prophet is divinely protected from sin (Masum), however a Wali is not so but rather is Mahfuz, meaning it is possible for a Wali to make a mistake and error, however he does not persist on it, as was stated by the author of Qawaid al-Tariqah.

In his book it is mentioned:  A Wali remains a Wali even if he commits a crime demanding a Hadd punishment which is applied on him, as long as he does not reach the level of being a Fasiq which is by habitually committing this sin.  The outward ruling of Wilayah is negated for him as related [in a hadith]:  “Do not curse him for he loves Allah and His Messenger.”

I say [Muttaqi al-Hindi]:  If a Wali does not leave the rank of Wilayah by committing a major sin, how can he exit from the rank of Wilayah by means of problematic words which are a necessary by product of their spiritual states?

The Second reason:  The belief of this group in this matter due to their not understanding principles of knowledge and having knowledge of the corpus of Prophetic narrations.  For I myself in the beginning of my matter was seeking to verify the belief of this group and accompanied them for some time.  I did not verify anything in this matter even when I travelled in India and discussed with its scholars regarding this matter. However when Allah Most High destined for me to travel to the the Two Noble Sanctuaries (Haramain) and I busied myself for ten years in the study of hadith and discussing with expert scholars regarding this matter, Allah Most High gave me understanding of the falsehood of the belief of this group, and All Praise and thanks are due to Him, and He is Most Knowledgeable of those who are rightly guided.

Also it is sufficient proof for the falseness of this group’s belief is their killing of the scholars, for this attribute of theirs points to the absence of any proof for their beliefs and their inability to prove their beliefs.  This attribute alone is sufficient to nullify their belief, so how is it if the Book and the Sunnah itself nullifies their belief and objectives?

We ask Allah Most High for protection from deviation, misguidance and oppression.

Resting in Peace Part 2: Burial in the Prophetic Chamber

Salam

Summary

A common misunderstanding is that burial of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) in the room of Sayyidah Aishah (Allah be pleased with her) is from the special prophetic qualities (khasais al-nubuwwah) which do not apply to others.  Scholars have argued that this in incorrect as Sayyiduna Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, Sayyiduna Umar (Allah be pleased with them) are also buried alongside the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).  Likewise Sayyidah Aishah initially wished to also be buried in the room as did Imam Hasan (Peace be upon him).

Sayyidah Aishah (Allah be pleased with her) would offer her prayers in the room containing the graves without any barrier between her and the noble graves, and on Fridays when space ran out in the masjid people would pray in the room containing the noble graves.

The details are furnished below:

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The Companions Did Not Think it Unlawful to Bury in the Masjid itself

After the passing away of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) the prominent companions (Allah be pleased with them) differed over where he should be buried. Some said he should be buried in the masjid itself by the pulpit (minbar) or in the prayer area. Some said he should be buried alongside the other companions in al-Baqi; this was detailed by Imam Malik in al-Muwatta (1/231) and Hafiz Ibn Abd al-Barr in al-Tamhid (24/394).

The narration related to the where the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) is currently buried is well known and does not require citing. What is important to note is that the initial difference regarding the specification of the burial location indicates that all of these locations were regarded as lawful places for burial, though agreement was finally reached on the current location.

The Burial of Non Prophets in the Prophetic Burial Chamber
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was buried in his room, after which his two companions were buried, after which Hasan was also given permission to buried there.  Burial in this location was also as the desire of Abd al-Rahman bin Awf and Aishah (Allah be pleased with them), all of which is a clear proof of the permissibility of burial in a building with a roof and building around a grave after burial. This is also negates the claims of those who state that burial in a building is  from the special unique qualities (khasais) of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).

It is also authentically reported that Sayyiduna Isa Ibn Maryam (Upon him be peace) will be buried in the room of Sayyidah Aishah (Allah be pleased with her) as detailed by Shaykh Abdullah bin al-Siddiq al-Ghumari in his two works Iqamat al-Burhan and Aqidah Ahl al-Islam.

Allamah al-Sayyid al-Samhudi in Wafa al-Wafa (2/557) said

There remains adjacent to the noble graves the space for one grave. This supported by that which is narrated by Aishah (Allah be pleased with her)…her granting permission to Hasan bin Ali (upon him be peace) to be buried in the room. However Bani Umayyah prevented the burial.
Likewise that which is related in Sahih al-Bukhari from Hisham bin Urwah that Aishah instructed Abdullah bin al-Zubair: ‘Do not bury me with them’ [meaning the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and his two companions] rather bury me with the companions of al-Baqi…
Al-Ismaili related this and cited the additional wording: ‘There was the space of a grave in her house’, however in the Sahih it is mentioned that Umar bin al-Khattab when he sent the message to Aisha requesting to be buried alongside the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and Abu Bakr, she replied: I had wanted it for myself, however today I give others preference to it over myself.

Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali’s Confirmation of the Above

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali said in his Fath al-Bari (3/233)

The majority of scholars hold the view of the permissibilty of burial within buildings. Yazid bin Abdullah bin al-Shakhir instructed that he buried in his home, and he was buried there. Hasan attended his funeral and no one condemned this.

Sayyidah Aishah’s Offering Prayer in the Prophetic Chamber

For the duration that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and then Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him) were buried in the room of Sayyidah Aishah (Allah be pleased with her) she would offer prayer in the room next to the noble grave. However when Sayydina Umar (Allah be pleased with him) was buried in the room she had a wall constructed between her and the graves, or would fully cover herself.

There are a couple of differing narrations detailing this in the Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d (2/294) the strongest of them being the following

Saeed bin Sulaiman informed us saying Abd al-Rahman bin Uthman bin Ibrahim informed us saying, I heard my father mention: Aishah would open her hijab up to the time when her father was buried alongside the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace). When Umar was buried there she covered up fully and did not untie her hijab.

This is supported by that which is mentioned by Ibn Zabalah (as cited by Ibn Asakir in his Tuhfah p.224) that

Ismail bin Ubaydullah narrated to me from his father from Amrah from Aishah (Allah be pleased with her) that she said: I used to remove my hijab and wear my normal clothing until Umar was buried [in the room]. I then was always carefully observed my clothing until a wall was built between me and the graves.

Friday Prayer in the Prophetic Chamber Due to Lack of Space

When there was no space in the masjid people would enter the rooms of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and offer prayer therein.  Ibn Shabbah said in Tarikh al-Madinah (as cited by Ibn Najjar p.152 and Ibn Taymiyyah in Rad ala al-Akhnai p.121)

Al-Qanabi and Abu Ghassan narrated to me from Malik that: People would enter the rooms of the wives of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) to pray therein on Fridays. This was after the passing away of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), this was when there was no space in the masjid.

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And tawfiq is from Allah (Most High) alone, salutations and peace be upon the Prophet, his companions, mothers of the believers and those that follow them with goodness till the last day.

Resting in Peace Part 1: What Does Taking a Grave as a Masjid Mean?

Salam

Many people have been shocked at the behaviour of the violent thugs in Libya and their desecration of the Maqams of pious Muslims not least a companion of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).  There seems to be a fair amount of misinformation circulating amongst Muslims regarding the common phenomenon of masajid which are built adjacent to the graves of the pious, or include a grave within their complex.  The worrying effect of this misinformation is the tacit approval from certain scholars, people of authority (politicians) and lay people alike for the destruction of these graves, and more alarmingly the digging out of the graves and transferring of remains.

I hope to be able to post a range of different information correcting misunderstandings from the work Kashf al-Satoor (inshAllah); but due to time commitments am not sure whether this will be possible.  We ask Allah (Most High) for tawfiq to do so.  Please find the first installment below:

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A common misunderstanding is that the hadith which prohibit taking the graves of the Prophets as a masjid mean that any grave within a masjid complex or adjacent to the main prayer hall are prohibited.  Our ulema who commented on this explained that this is not the meaning of the hadith, rather what is meant is that the actual grave itself is prostrated upon or that people offer their prayer in direction of the grave as opposed to the direction of Makka.

The hadith as related by Imam Al-Bukhari (435)  & Muslim (531) is as follows:

The Messenger of of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said in his final illness, “May Allah curse the Jews and Christians who took the graves of their Prophets as masajid.”

Explanation

Masajid is the plural of masjid, which is the name of a physical place/location.  The hadith is referring to the actual place of the grave itself and is not referring to that which surrounds the grave, is adjacent to the grave, or is above the grave.

Allamah Ali al-Qari said in his Sharh al-Mishkat (1/470)

They made masajid upon them.  He said: the conditional clause [upon them] indicates that making a masjid adjacent to graves is permitted [la ba’s bihi].

Ibn Abd al-Barr said in Al-Tamhid (6/383)

This hadith contains the permissibility of supplicating against the people of disbelief, the prohibition of prostrating upon the graves of the Prophets.  This includes that it is prohibited to prostrate to anyone other than Allah (Azza wa Jall).  The hadith can be interpreted to mean that the graves of the Prophets are not taken as a qibla (direction of prayer) to which prayers are directed…A group claimed that this hadith is evidence that it is disliked to pray in a graveyard or with a graveyard in front of one, however I do not regard this to be a proof for this.

Ibn Abd al-Barr said at another place in Al-Tamhid (5/45)

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)  warned his companions and the rest of his community of the bad practices of the nations which had preceded him, who would offer prayer to the graves of the Prophets, taking them as a qibla and masjid (place of prostration).

Allamah al-Baydawi said:

When the Jews and Christians had prostrated to the graves of their Prophets out of honouring them and making them a qibla to which they would direct their prayers, taking them as idols.

Allamah al-Tibi said in Sharh al-Mishkat (2/235)

As for the person who makes a masjid adjacent to [the grave of] a pious person or prays in his cemetry, intending by it istizhar of his soul, or attaining a trace from his worship, not out of honouring or facing the direction of the grave and its like, then there is no harm in this.  Do you not see that the resting place of Ismail (Upon him be peace) is in the Masjid al-Haram at the Hateem?

Similar points were mentioned by Qadi Iyad in Ikmal al-Muallim (2/450-452); Imam al-Nawawi in Sharh Sahih Muslim (3/17); Imam al-Qurtubi in al-Mufhim (2/128) and al-Turbushti in Mirat Sharh al-Mishkat (2/419).

Wassalam