Category Archives: It-haf al-Talib

It-haf: Obligatory Acts of Wudu -Pt.2

Salam, another addition alhumdulilah to the fiqh series I hope to put up Inshallah. As mentioned previously, its from It-haf al-Talib by Sh. Abu Bakr al-Mulla, with explanatory notes taken from his and Sh. Yahya al-Mulla notes.
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The Book of Purification
– The conditions for purification being compulsory (wajib) are eight in number[1]:

1) Sanity
2) Maturity
3) Islam
4) Ability to use a sufficient amount of purifying water
5) Being in a state of ritual impurity (hadath)
6) Absence of menstruation
7) Absence of post birth bleeding
8) Time constraint

The conditions for it being valid/correct are three[2]:
1) Covering the area to be washed with purifiying water
2) Absence of that which negates it such as menstruation and post birth bleeding
3) The removal of that which prevents water reaching the body[3]

The pillars (arkan) of washing (wudu)
– A pillar (rukn) is an obligatory act which exists within the form of an act of worship, as for a condition (shart) it exists outside of this act of worship. Obligatory (fard) is a more general term and applies to them both.

are four:
– Due to His (taala) words: ‘O you who believe, when you stand for prayer then wash your faces, your hands up to the elbows, wipe your heads, and your feet up to the ankles’ [al-Maida:6]

Washing the face,
– Washing is the flowing of the water over a body part such that atleast two drops drip according to the strongest opinion[4]
The definition of the face lengthwise is from the top of the forehead where the hairlines usually begins to below the chin[5] and width wise that which is between the two earlobes[6]. It is also compulsory to wash the corner of the eyes[7] and that which remains apparent from the lips when they are closed. Likewise the area which is between the beard and the ear.
It is not compulsory to wash the inside of the eyes[8]
As for facial hair: if it is copious and covers the skin then it is compulsory to wash the outer part of it[9]. As for the facial hair which is light then it is compulsory for water to reach the skin beneath it.

washing the hands including the elbows,
– Meaning from the hands, including the arms all the way up to and including the elbows

wiping a quarter of the head[10],
– The area of the head to be wiped is that which is above the ears, from any of the four sides of the head, with new water.
In the case of rainwater dripping on the head and covering a quarter of it then it would be regarded as valid, likewise wiping the head with moisture/wetness remaining on the hands after having washed a body part is valid, however wiping the head with moisture on the hands after having wiped another body part is not valid except if the hands are wet such that water drips from them.[11]
If someone wipes their head and then shaves their hair then they are not required to wipe the head again.

washing the feet including the ankles
– The ankles are the bones protruding from the sides of the feet

[1] The conditions for washing (wudu) becoming compulsory means that when all of the above are found in a person, then they it becomes compulsory for them to purify themselves. In the sacred law a condition (shart) is that which the existence of something is dependent upon. See Sharh Muniyah al-Musalli (p.12).
[2] The conditions for validity/correctness means that the purification is correct when these conditions are met. Menstruation and post birth bleeding are mentioned in both sets of conditions, in the first (conditions for purification being compulsory) they are present to indicate upon whom purification is compulsory, and here they are to indicate that this compulsory purification has been performed correctly. See Rad al-Muhtar (1/86).
[3] Such that if something the breadth of a hair or head of a needle was covering the skin area to be washed then the washing is not valid. An example of this is nail polish worn by women which creates a barrier over the nail and prevents water reaching the nails. As for dyeing with henna then there is no harm in this, because it does not leave a substance which prevents water reaching the skin.
[4] It is apparent that if someone washes an amount such that only two drops of water drip then this will not be regarded as being insufficient washing of the body part. It also possible that this definition of washing is a clarification of the amount which would make the washing valid/correct and therefore limiting oneself to washing by which only two drops of water drip is disliked (makruh). See Hashiyah al-Tahtawi ala al-Dur (1/61).
[5] Meaning the bottom of the bone upon which the lower teeth are. See al-Dur al-Mukhtar with al-Hashiyah (1/71)
[6] Te earlobes are soft part of the ear at its bottom
[7] Mulla Ali al-Qari in his Sharh Mishkat al-Masabih (1/317) mentions that it is referring here to the corner of the eye adjacent to the nose and the substances which accumulate in the corner of the eyes.
[8] Rather it is not recommended to wash the inside of the eyes due to the harm involved, such that the scholars have mentioned that if a person was to apply antimony to the eyes which was impure, even then washing the insides of the eyes would not be compulsory. See Rad al-Muhtar (1/90).
The author of al-Binayah (1/91) mentioned that those of the companions such as Ibn Abbas and Ibn Umar who did wash inside their eyes suffered problems with their eyesight in old age.
[9] This excludes the facial hair which hangs from the face such as the beard. See Ibn Abidin (1/72)
[10] A quarter of the head has been specified as being the obligatory amount to be wiped due to that which is reporte
d by Muslim (81) that Mughriah bin Shubah said that the Prophet (s): ‘Performed wudu and wiped his forelock and his turban and his socks’. The forelock is front part of the head, which is a quarter of the head. For a more detailed discussion refer to Fath Bab al-Inayah of Mulla Ali al-Qari (1/44).
[11] The difference between the moisture/wetness remaining after wiping and washing is that water by its mere contact with a washed limb does not become used aslong as it does not flow, as ritual impurity is not removed except by the water flowing over an area. With the case of wiping the waters coming in contact with the skin of the head becomes used, as wiping is defined as the water coming in contact with the skin and does not have to flow in order to purify. See al-Siayah fi Sharh al-Wiqayah of al-Luknawi (1/76).

It-haf: Aqida with Notes – Pt.1

Salam, please find below the section on Aqidah from the text It-haf al-Talib. I selected some very brief notes based on the commentary (Minhaj al-Raghib) by the author (Sh. Abu Bakr al-Mulla), as you can see some points go without a detailed explanation, the reason being that the Sheikhs discussion was very ilm al-kalam based, and is thus of little benefit to the beginner student in this day and age (in the past it may have been different!). Ideally some detailed notes for each of the points from excellent modern works such as ‘Mukhtasar al-Mufid’ of Sh. Nuh Ali Salman would prove extremely useful for the intended audience, may Allah (the exalted) facilitate this project in the future. Note: Matn is in bold
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Introduction: The Correct Belief:
-Meaning that which a person believes and hold to be true in their heart and mind

It is to know
-meaning to have a firm definite belief[1] along with acceptance and conviction

that Allah is:
Existent

– Because of the agreement of the Salaf and Khalaf from the scholars of hadith and Imams of Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah that everything other than Allah (taala) is created[2]

and is necessarily[3] existent,
– His essence (dhat) necessitates that He is existent[4]

beginningless[5],
– Meaning that He (taala) has always existed without a beginning. He (taala) said: ‘He is the First and Last’[6]

Everlasting
– Meaning that it is impossible for Him to be non existent, or that His existence come to an end[7]

one,
– Meaning in his essence, attributes and actions. There is no other essence like Him, nothing else has the same attributes as Him, and nothing is similar to Him in terms of actions meaning that He alone has created everything and is the real cause for everything.[8] All of this is generally included in the Kalimah al-Tawhid.

There are many proofs for Tawhid mentioned in the transmitted sources and rational proofs. The prophets and messengers were sent because of tawhid, He (taala) said: ‘Your God is one, there is no god except He’[9] ‘Say: He Allah is one’[10]

He (s) said: ‘I have been ordered to fight the people until they say ‘there is no god except Allah’ if they say it their blood, wealth is protected from me except due to a right and their reckoning is with Allah’[11]

self sufficient,
-Meaning through His essence. It means that Allah (Taala) is free of need or help from anything, He does not need a place in which to exist.

dissimilair to created things.
– Meaning none of the creation resembles Him, not in his essence, attributes or actions. Allah (taala) has said: ‘Nothing resembles Him, and He is all hearing all seeing’[12]

From is attributes are:
– These attributes subsist in His essence, they are seven in number and are called the ‘Sifat al-Ma’ani’[13]. The first being:

Life,
-…… The second being:

knowledge,
– It is an attribute which totally encompasses all things without there having been any previous ignorance of them. He (taala) is knowledgeable of all information/knowledge and that what can possibly take place. He (taala) said: ‘And Allah is knowledgeable of all things’[14] ‘He encompasses everything with His knowledge’[15]. He is knowledgeable of that which was, what will be, that which wasn’t if it were to be how it would be. The third is:

power,
– It is the attribute which brings into existence the possible and vice versa according to His will. It relates to all of the possible acts (mumkinat) as opposed to the necessary (wajibat) and impossible (mustahilat).
He (taala) is powerful to do as He wishes what is meant by the possible (mumkin) acts are bodies[16] or accidents[17]. The fourth is:

will,
– This is the attribute which specifies whether something occurs or not. Allah (taala) will relates to the occurrence of good and evil, He (taala) said: ‘He whom Allah wishes to be guided He expands their chests/hearts to Islam, and whom Allah wishes to misguide He makes his heart constricted’[18] The fifth is:

hearing,
– It is an attribute which encompasses everything which can be heard, even if imperceptible. The sixth is:

seeing,
– It is an attribute which encompasses everything which can be seen even if minute and not evident. The evidences for both of these attributes are mentioned in numerous places in the Quran and Sunnah and are necessarily known from the religion of the Prophet (s), there it is incumbent definitively affirm them. The seventh is:

Speech
– Which does not consist of letters nor sounds[19]

His essence does not resemble other essences
– Rather He (taala) is different to anything else

and His attributes do not resemble other attributes.
– Allahs attributes such as knowledge and power are more greater and perfect than similarly described attributes amongst created things, such that there is no similtude between them. For example our knowledge is recently discovered or learnt, is limited etc, His (taala) knowledge is all encompassing, beginningless, everlasting etc. Therefore there is no similarity between Allah and the creations attribute of knowledge.
Allah (taala) is neither a body (jism)[20] nor an atom[21], nor an accident. Because He (taala) is free from being created. Neither is He a form, nor limit
ed, He does not exist in a place, time does not pass over Him, anything that comes to your mind in terms of imagining Allah, then know that Allah is different to it.
After learning of that which is necessary for Him (taala) in terms of His attributes, know that it is also necessary to learn/know that which is impossible for Him.

He is free from attributes of deficiency,
– Such as the opposites of the attributes which have been mentioned, we cannot conceive of the opposites of these attributes being possible. It is impossible for Allah to be non-existent, created, that He is not one in terms of His essence, attributes and actions. That He is not self sufficient, that He resembles the creation, that He is unable to do something possible, that He be forced to create something, that He be attributed with ignorance, sleep, death, deafness, blindness, being unable to speak.
To conclude: It is necessary for everyone to believe that Allah (taala) is free from every deficiency, and also anything which is not a deficiency nor is perfection. By mentioning these points specifically a clear refutation of all deviated groups including the anthropomorphists is intended.[22]

nothing is incumbent upon Him
– Such as reward, punishment, the performance of an act or its non performance

Qadr, the good and the evil is from Him.
– Its is necessary to believe that He (taala) apportioned the good and evil before creating the creation, and that all of existence is according to His decree, Qadr and will. That which He apportioned in pre eternity from the good and evil must occur, and that which He did not apportion cannot occur. This is the amount which must be believed in as mentioned in the hadith of Gibril reported in the two Sahih’s.[23]
The evidences for this from the Quran and Sunnah are numerous, He (taala) said: ‘Verily, all things have We created in proportion and measure’[24]

He the Exalted sent his Messengers
– Meaning sent them to the creation, giving good news and warning, so as to inform them of Allah’s orders, prohibitions, reward and punishment. And to explain to them that which they are in need of knowing from the matters of this world and the religion present in the sacred law and rulings revealed to them in the form their books.
Belief in the messengers also includes belief in the prophets. Those whose specific name is known it is incumbent to believe in them specifically, and those whose name is not known are to be believed in a general sense, likewise the divinely revealed books and angels, those whose name is known belief in them specifically is necessary, and those whose name is not known a general belief in them is required.

and revealed to them Books
– They are 104 in number, 50 to Sheeth, 30 to Idris, 20 to Adam, 10 to Ibrahim, the Tawrah, the Injil, al-Zabur and the Quran.
Belief in them entails that one affirms that they are the beginningless, uncreated speech of Allah, neither letters nor sounds, and all that they contain is true and correct.

and divinely protected them
– That Allah (taala) does not create in them a sin along with their still having the choice and ability to do so

from
-All

sins.
– Both the major and minor sins, whether forgetfully or deliberately, before and after prophethood. This position was chosen and declared as correct by Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haytami[25]

The Angels
– They are bodies of light able to take on different forms, they worship their Lord and reside in the heavens, therefore it is necessary to believe that they are:

are servants of Allah
– Allah (Taala) said: ‘they do not disobey Allah in what He commands them, and do as they are commanded’[26]
Their numbers are such that Allah alone knows it, He (taala) said: ‘And none can know the forces of your Lord, except He’[27]

and are not attributed with sin
– Because of their being protected from and unable to sin

The miracles of the Saints (awliyah)
– A saint/friend (wali) is one knowledgeable of Allah and his attributes, who is firm in obedience, avoids sins.
A miracle (karamah) is an event which breaks the natural order of events at the hands of a righteous servant who does not claim prophethood, the righteous servant closely follows the sacred law of the Prophet whom he is obliged to follow, and possesses sound belief and righteous works.

are true
– Meaning it is established that they may possibly take place as was the view of the majority of Ahl al-Sunnah, whose proof lies in what is mentioned in the Quran of the story of Maryam and her giving birth to Isa[28] (as) without a husband, the story of the people of the cave and their living for a number of years without eating nor drinking[29], the story of Asif[30] and his bringing of the throne in an instant to Suleiman (as).

Also those miracles which took place at the hands of the companions (Allah be pleased with them), such as the flowing of the nile due to the letter of Umar (ra)[31], and his seeing whilst on the minbar in al-Madinah his army in Nahuwand such that he said to to the commander of the army ‘O Sariyah! The mountain the mountain’ warning him of the enemy behind the mountain, and Sariyah hearing his voice despite the distance between the two[32]. Likewise Khalids drinking poison and it not harming him[33]

Death
– Which is the seperation of the soul from the body

is according to lifespan
– It is the time that Allah has written in pre eternity for the end of a persons life, everyone who dies or is killed is because of the ending of his lifespan which Allah knew in pre eternity that it would take place. He (taala) said: ‘When their term comes, neither can they delay it nor can they advance it an hour (or a moment)’[34]

Commiting major sins does not remove one from faith/belief
– A person does not become a disbeliever by commiting major sins in contrast to the view of the khawarij[35]
The proof against them is the description in the Quran and Sunnah of sinners as being believers, He (taala) said: ‘And if two parties or groups among the believers fall to fighting, then make peace between them both, But if one of them rebels against the other, then fight you (all) against the one that which rebels till it com
plies with the Command of Allâh…’[36]
Both groups have been described as believers despite them fighting each other and one of them rebelling against another, both of the acts being sins.

Additional Note[37]:
Iman (faith) is the affirmation of all that which our Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless Him and give Him peace has come with) and which is known by necessity in the religion. Such as the oneness of Allah, prophethood, the sending forth from the graves, recompense for actions, the obligatory nature of the five daily prayers, zakat, fasting, hajj, the prohibition of alcohol, fornication etc. Therefore if someone does not affirm that the five daily prayers are obligatory when asked they becomes disbelievers. What is meant by affirming that which He (s) has come with is: Accepting that which He has come with happiness/pleasure, not the mere ascription in the heart of His being truthful without being convinced of it and accepting it. As many of the unbelievers knew He (s) was truthful with regards to His (s) prophethood and that which He (s) came with, however they did not accept it. When affirmation is a hidden matter which we cannot comprehend, the sacred law has linked it to the verbal utterance of the shahadatain (testimony of faith) for the one able to.

Therefore is the verbal utterance of the shahadatain a condition for the application of the rulings of believers upon them in this world (dunya), such as the funeral prayer over them, inheritance, marriage etc. The majority of the verifying scholars from the salaf and khalaf are of the view that it is a condition, whilst many of the jurists (fuqaha) say that it is not. Despite this difference the one who verbally utters the shadatain is without doubt a believer, even if done due to imitating (taqlid) of others. Imam al-Nawawi[38] said: this is the view of the verifying scholars and majority of the salaf and khalaf.As for Islam it is the outward performance with the limbs of acts of obedience such as, uttering the shahdatain, prayer, zakat and other acts. It was due to this that the Prophet (s) explained Islam as being: ‘To bear witness that there is no god except Allah, and that Muhammad is his servant and messenger, to establish the prayer, give zakat, fast in ramadan and perform Hajj if possible’
[1] Al-Bukhari (8) Muslim (16) with slight variant wordings
[1] Meaning without any doubts due to His (Taala) words: ‘And know that there is no god except Allah’
[2] Meaning coming forth from non existence to existence. Or in other words, did not exist and then was created and brought into existence. For further details refer to Sharh al-Aqaid (p.75) of al-Taftazani
[3] The scholars of belief (aqidah) have three terms that they often use
i) Necessary (wajib): This is that whose non-existence the intellect cannot comprehend or regards as impossible
ii) Impossible (mustaheel): That whose existence the intellect cannot comprehend or regard as possible
iii) Possible (mumkin): That which the intellect can comprehend or hold to exist or not exist
[4] Allah (taala) said: ‘Their Messengers said: Is there any doubt in Allah, the creator of the heavens and the earth’ [Ibrahim:10] Ibn Kathir commented in his Tafsir (4/401): Meaning is their in His- Meaning Allah- existence any doubt?, the natural disposition (fitar) are witness to His existence and are bound to affirm this, for acceptance of this is necessary in sound minds.
[5] As for the Arabic term al-Qidam, al-Zabidi said in ‘Ithaf al-Sadah al-Muttaqin’ (2/21): The muslim community (ummah) has agreed with His being described with this attribute’.
[6] Al-Hadid:3
Muslim (2713) reports that the Prophet (s) would say: ‘O Allah, you ar the first, and there is none before you, and you are the last and there is none after you…’
[7] As for that which is mentioned in the sacred law regarding paradise and hell lasting forever, then this everlastingness is only because Allah wishes for them to exist for eternity, as of themselves it is possible for them to come to an end. However the pleasures and rewards of paradise will always exist according to the consensus of the muslim community, as for the punishment of the people of disbelief it has been said: it will come to an end, but this is an odd opinion which should not be given any attention.
[8] The position of Ahl al-Sunnah is that Allah (taala) is the causer/effector of all things and has the choice whether to break the habitual chain of events (adaat). See Rasail fi Aqaid Ahl al-Sunnah of Sh. Muhammad al-Hoot (p.58).
[9] Al-Imran:163
[10] Al-Ikhlas:1
[11] Reported by the six, it is a Mutawatir report. See Qatf al-Azhaar al-Mutanathirah of Imam al-Suyuti (no.4)
[12] Al-Shurah:11
[13] They are named as such because they indicate to things which can be perceived/seen in the creation. For example Zayd is powerful, knowledgeable, has a choice to do a certain act, these all can be seen in Zaid by people.
[14] Al-Nur:64
[15] Al-Talaq:12
[16] The term al-Jawhar has been used here, according to the Ahl al-Sunnah it refers to an atom or particle (al-jawhar al-fard) which can no longer be subdivided further into smaller parts. All bodies are constructed from a number of these
[17] An accident is something which needs another thing in which to exist, an example are colours which need a body or substance in which to exist. For further details refer to ‘al-Tarifat’ of al-Jurjani (p.193).
[18] Al-Anam:125
[19] This is the position of Imam Abu Hanifah, that the speech of Allah does not consist of letters and sounds. See al-Fiqh al-Akbar (p.40-51) with the Sharh of Mulla Ali al-Qari.
[20] Because a body is constructed and exists in a place which would in turn necessitate that it is created (Sharh al-Aqaid al-Nasafi p.92).
Imam al-Zabidi mentioned in his Sharh al-Ihya (2/24) that those who describe Allah (taala) as a body are misguided and are misguiding, and that al-Bayhaqi relates from his Sheikh al-Halimi that a group have deviated from the truth by their describing Allah (taala) as a body.
Imam Ahmad bin Hanbals condemnation of those who describe Allah as a body and negation of this description for Him (taala) can be found the Tabaqat al-Hanabilah of Ibn Abi Yaala (2/298)
[21] The term jawhar has been used here by the author, translated earlier as body, it is referring to all bodies being constructed from atoms.
[22] Further details of their history and beliefs can be found in the following works: al-Farq bain al-Firaq (p.225), al-Tabseer fi al-Din (p.70-71) and al-Milal wa al-Nahl (1/137/144).
[23] Al-Bukhari (50) Muslim (8)
[24] Al-Qamar:49
[25] He is Ahmad Ibn Hajar al-Haytami al-Shafi. A jurist (faqih) and deeply knowledgeable of a number of Islamic sciences. He was born in in Egypt in 909 (AH) and passed away in Makkah in 973 (AH). From his authored works are Tuhfah al-Muhtaj li Sharh al-Minhaj and al-Zawajir. See Mujam al-Muallifin (2/152).
[26] Al-Tahrim:6
[27] Al-Mudathir:31
[28] ‘When the angels said: “O Maryam! Verily, Allâh gives you the glad tidings of a Word from Him, his name will be the Messiah ‘Īsā, the son of Maryam , held in honour in this world and in the Hereafter, and will be one of those who are near to Allâh.” “He will speak to the people in the cradle and in manhood, and he will be one of the righteous.” She said: “O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me.” He said: “So (it will be) for Allâh creates what He wills. When He has decreed something, He says to it only: “Be!” – and it is.’ (al-Imran:45-47)
[29] ‘And they stayed in their Cave three hundred years, and adding nine’ (al-Kahf:25)
[30] It is mentioned that he was a one of Suleiman (as) ministers, He (taala) said: ‘He said: “O chiefs! Which of you can bring me her throne before they come to me surrendering themselves in obedience?” , An Ifrît (strong one) from the jinn said: “I will bring it to you before you rise from your place (council). And verily, I am indeed strong, and trustworthy for such work.” One with whom was knowledge of the Scripture said: “I will bring it to you within the twinkling of an eye!” Then when he saw it placed before him, he said: “This is by the Grace of my Lord – to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful…” (al-Naml:38-40)
[31] Al-Suyuti said in his referencing of the hadith of Sharh al-Aqaid al-Nasafiyah that the hadith was reported by Abu al-Sheikh bin Hibban in Kitab al-Udhmah with a chain containing unknown narrators. It was also mentioned by Ibn Kathir in al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah (1/27-28) from the same route. It was mentioned by the author of al-Mujam (5/335) from Abd al-Rahman bin Abdullah bin Ab al-Hakim from Amr bin al-Aas.
[32] This occurred in the year 23 (AH) it is reported by al-Bayhaqi in Dalail al-Nubuwwah (6/370), Abu Nuaym (525) with two chains one of which is Hasan as was mentioned by al-Hafih Ibn Hajar in al-Isabah and al-Suyuti in Takhrij Ahadith Sharh al-Aqaid. See al-Isabah (4/98) al-Sakhawi’s Takhrij of al-Arbain al-Sulamiyah (44-46)
[33] Reported by al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan and Abu Nuaym in al-Dalail (2/574), al-Haithami said in Majma al-Zawaid (9/350) that the narrators of one of al-Tabaranis chains were those of the Sahih, except that it is mursal, as Abu al-Safar and Abu Burda did not hear from Khalid. And Allah knows best.
[34] Al-Araf:34
[35] They were given this name due to their opposing Ali (ra), they held the view that every major sin is disbelief (kufr) and the one who commits a major sin becomes a non muslim. Also those who commit major sins will be punished eternally in the next world. For more details refer to: al-Milal wa al-Nihal (1/114-139), al-Farq bain al-Firaq (72-113), al-Tabseer fi al-Din (26-36)
[36] Al-Hujurat:9
[37] Also based Minhaj al-Raghib Sharh It-haf al-Talib (p.65-66)
[38] He is Yahya bin Sharaf al-Nawawi al-Shafi (631-677 AH) A jurist, Muhaddith, Hafidh. He was born in Nawa where he studied the Quran, he then came later to Damascus where he stayed at Madrasa al-Rawahiyyah, he also taught at Dar al-Hadith. He passed away in Nawa and is buried there. See Mujam al-Muallifin (13/202)

Sharh Muqaddimah It-haf al-Talib

Salam, The following is a brief commentary based very loosely on the authors ‘Sharh’ to Ithaf al-Talib. The original text is in bold, with the commentary/notes following thereafter, more detailed discussions and biographies are present as footnotes.

In the name of Allah
– Allah is the supreme name according to the most correct opinion[1].

The author started with the Basmalah followed by the Hamdalah following the example of the Quran and due to the words of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace): ‘Every important matter which does not begin with Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim is cut off’[2]

the most Beneficient the most Merciful.
All praise is due to Allah, and Salutations and Blessings
– Due to His (taala) words: ‘Send salutatations and blessings upon him’[3]

upon our Master
-meaning the the best of creation

the Messenger of Allah.
– Referring to our Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). A messenger is: a free male human given revelation of a sacred law and ordered to convey it to others

To proceed:
– A word used to move from one statement to another, it is desirable to use it in speeches and writings following the example of the Messenger of Allah (s)[4]

This is a Mukhtasar
– A mukhtasar is that which has a small number of words but a large amount of meanings.

on fiqh
– It deals with that which the responsible person must perform and that which he must avoid, its source/origin is the Quran, Sunnah, consensus and analogy. Its is the goal amongst the different sciences, the others being means, as by means of learning fiqh one comes to know the lawful and unlawful, and other legal rulings, it is the cause for the organisation of peoples lives.

according to the madhab
– That which is the strongest opinion according to the Mujtahid scholar after his having analysed the evidences

of the greatest Imam:
– The possesor of noble and praiseworthy virtues, Numan bin Thabit, whose kunyah is

Abu Hanifah (may Allah the exalted have mercy upon him)
– He was born in al-Anbar[5] and it is said in al-Kufah in 80(AH), he lived for 70 years and died in Rajab or Shaban in the year 150. According to the most correct view he died whilst in prison in Baghdad, due to his refusing to accept the position of Qadi. He was buried in the Khaizran graveyard.
His father Thabit was born a muslim, and was from the people of al-Anbar according to that which is reported from Muhammad bin Ishaq[6]
Al-Khatib[7] mentioned in his Tarikh that Abu Hanifah met four of the companions, they are: Anas bin Malik in Basrah, Abdullah bin Abi Awfah in al-Kufah, Sahl bin Sad al-Saaidi in al-Madinah and Abu Tufail Amir bin Wathilah in Makkah. He did not meet any of them except that he took from them. He took fiqh from Hammad bin Abi Sulaiman[8], Ata bin Abi Rabah[9], Abu Ishaq al-Sabiee[10], al-Haitham bin Habib[11], Muhammad bin al-Munkadir[12], Nafi’ the Mawla of Abdullah bin Umar[13], Hisham bin Urwah[14] Sammak bin Harb[15] and other major scholars from the generation of the Tabieen may Allah be pleased with them all.

From those who narrate from him and thus are his students are:
Abdullah bin al-Mubarak[16], Waki Ibn al-Jarrah[17], al-Qadi Abu Yusuf[18],Muhammad bin al-Hasan al-Shaibani[19], Dawud al-Tai[20], Fudail Ibn Iyad[21], Bishr al-Hafi[22], Ibrahim bin Adham[23] and others.

His knowledge has spread far and wide, his virtues and excellent qualities are numerous and have been mentioned elsewhere in other works.

which the legally responsible person
– Meaning the one who has reached puberty and is sane

cannot do without
– Due to that which it contains from the important legal rulings of the religion and muslim belief

if unable to study
– Due to a lack of resolve

that which is more detailed than it.

I have summarized it
– Meaning selected it

from the books of our companions
– Meaning the authors of the works in the madhab such as the book al-Kanz[24], Mukhtasar al-Wiqayah[25], Ghurar al-Ahkam[26] and Tanwir al-Absar[27]

when I saw that there was a need for it.
-For some students due the lack of their desire or ability

I have named it Ithaf al-Talib. I ask Allah
– And no one other than Him, for he is all powerful to give, and other than Him have no power

glorified be He
– Transcending him from anyone else possessing benefit and harm

to benefit by it
– Meaning by this Mukhtasar, by learning it and understanding the legal rulings contained within it

all those desirous [of seeking knowledge and teaching]
– By understanding its meanings and acting according to what it necessitates

****
[1] This is the view of the majority of the people of knowledge, due to its greatness it was mentioned by Allah 2360 times in the Quran according to some. It has also been said that the supreme name (Ism al-Adham) is al-Hayy al-Qayyum, this was the view of a group of scholars including Imam al-Nawawi. A large group also said that the gratest name was La ilah Illah Anta Subhanaka Inni Kuntu Min al-Zalimin.
Ibn Abidin said in his Hashiyah (1/7) that Imam Abu Hanifah said that Allah was the supreme name, and this was the view of al-Tahawi, many of the scholars and the majority of the gnostics (arifin).
[2] Al-Jami al-Saghir with Fayd al-Qadir (5/13, n. 6284) what it means is that it will be lacking in barakah (blessings).
[3] The full verse is: […]
Know that sending salutations upon Him(s) is compulsory (wajib). There are varying opinions as to when it is compulsory. One: After the last tashahhud of every prayer according to the Shafi scholars. Two: After accepting Islam during ones liftetime, atleast once. Three: Everytime He (s) is mentioned, this was the view of al-Halimi from the Shafis, al-Lakhami from the Malikis, al-Tahawi from the Hanafis, and Ibn Battah from the Hanbalis. Four: In every gathering. Five: At the beginning and end of every supplication/dua. See Sharh al-Safawi Ala al-Zubad.
[4] Al-Bukhari (1061) Muslim (876)
[5] In present day Iraq, for further information refer to Mujam al-Buldan of Yaqut al-Hamawi (1/305)
[6] Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar al-Muttalibi. He was a Muhaddith,Hafidh, knowledgeable of Arab history and reported their poetry. He died in the year 151. al-Dhahabi mentioned that he was a trsutoworthy narrator. See Mizan al-Itidal (2/468-475) and Mujam al-Muallifin (9/44)
[7] He is Ahmad bin Ali bin Thabit better known as al-Khatib al-Baghdadi. He was a mUhaddith, historian. Born in the year 392 and it is said 391,he was raisedin Baghdad, he travelled to learn hadith and passed away in Baghdad in the year 463. His Tarikh al-Baghdad is printed in 14 volumes. See Mujam al-Muallifin (2/3) al-Ialaam (1/172)
[8] Hammad bin Abi Suleiman, the mawla of Ibrahim bin Abi Musa al-Ashari, he was from al-Kufah and a jurist. He was a trustoworthy Mujtahid Imam. See al-Kashif (1/349) of al-Dhahabi and al-Khulasah al-Khazraji (92)
[9] Ata bin Abi Rabah, Abu Muammad al-Qurashi. He took from Aishah and Abu Hurairah. He lived till he was 80 and passed away in the year 114 or 115. See al-Kashif (2/21), al-Khulasah (p.266)
[10] He is Amr bin Abdullah Abu Ishaq al-Hamdhani al-Sabiee. One of the major scholars, he took from Jarir, Udayy bin Hatim, Zayd bin Arqam and Ibn Abbas. He lived till he was 95,and passed away in the year 127. al-Kashif (2/82)
[11] He is al-Haitham bin Habib al-Sairafi al-Kufi, he narrates from Ikrimah, Hammad bin Abi Suleiman, Muharib bin Dithar and al-Hakam bin Utaibah. Imam Ahmad praised him. See Tahdhib al-Tahdhib (11/91)
[12] Muhammad bin al-Munkadir bin Abdullah bin al-Hudair al-Taymi al-Madani, the Hafidh. He narrates from his father, Aishah, Abu Hurairah, Abu Qatadah, Abu Ayyub an Jabir. See al-Kashif (2/224)
[13] He is Nafi Abu Abdullah al-Faqih, he narrates from his Mawla Ibn Umar, Abu Hurairah and Aishah. He was one of the major Imam’s of the Tabieen. See al-Kashif (2/315)
[14] Hisham bin Urwah Abu al-Mundhir, and it is said Abu Abdullah al-Qurashi, he narrates from his uncle Ibn al-Zubair and his father. Abu Hatim said: He is trustworthy and an Imam in hadith. See al-Kashif (2/337)
[15] Sammak bin Harb Abu al-Mughirah al-Dhuhli, one of the scholars of al-Kufah. He narrates from Jabir bin Samurah and al-Numan bin Bashir. He said: I met 80 of the companions. See al-Kashif (1/465) and al-Khulasah of al-Khazraji (p.155-156)
[16] Abdullah bin al-Mubarak bin Wadih Abu Abd al-Rahman al-Hanzali, the Sheikh of Khurasan. His students include: Ibn Mahdi, Ibn Maeen and Ibn Arafah. He was born in the year 118 and passed away in Ramadan 181. See al-Kashif (1/591)
[17] Waki Ibn al-Jarrah Abu Sufyan al-Ruwasi, one of the major scholars. His students include: Ahmad, Ishaq and Ibrahim bin Abdullah al-Qassar. He was born in 128 and passed away on the day of Ashurah in 197. See al-Kashif (2/350)
[18] He is the Imam, Allamah, Jurist (Faqih) of the Iraqi’s, Yaqub bin Ibrahim al-Ansari al-Kufi. The student of Abu Hanifah. He narrates from Hisham bin Urwah, Abu Ishaq al-Shaibani, Ata bin al-Saaib and their level. Those who narrate from him include: Muhammad bin al-Hasan, Ahmad bin Hanbal, Bishr bin al-Walid, Yahya bin Maeen, Ali bin al-Ja’d, Ali bin Muslim al-Tusi. Ibn Maeen said: Abu Yusuf is from the people of hadith and people of the sunnah. See al-Tadhkirah of Hafidh al-Dhahabi (1/293) and al-Intiqa of Ibn Abd al-Barr (p.329)
[19] Muhammad bin al-Hasan bin Farqad al-Shaibani, the author of the six works which are called the Zahir al-Riwayah which transmit the relied upon positions of the Hanafi madhab. Ibn Abd al-Barr quoted al-Shafi as saying: I have not met a man more intelligent than him. Al-Intiqa (337).
He was raised in al-Kufah, he studied with Abu Hanifah, Misar bin Kidam and Sufyan al-Thawri. He also narrated from Malik bin Anas and is one of the narrators of his Muwatta, al-Awzai and Qadi Abu Yusuf. He came to Baghdad where people came to study from him hadith and fiqh. His students include: Imam al-Shafi, Abu Suleiman al-Jawzjani, Abu Ubaid al-Qasim bin Salam and others. See Tarikh al-Baghdad (2/172)
[20] He is Dawud bin Nasr al-Tai, the jurist and ascetic, he narrates from Abd al-Malik Ibn Umair,Humaid al-Taweel, Ibn Abi Laylah, Amash and others. His students include: Ibn Uyaynah, Ishaq bin Mansur al-Saluli, Waki and Abu Nuaym. He was declared trustworthy by Ibn Maeen and was included by Ibn Hibban in the trustworthy narrators. Muharib bin Dithar said: If Dawud had been in the previous communities Allah would have informed us about him. See al-Tahdhib al-Tahdhib (3/203).
[21] Fudayl bin Iyad al-Tamimi al-Khurasani the ascetic. His students include: Yahya al-Qattan, Ibn Mahdi and others. He was trustworthy and praised greatly. He lived over 80 years and passed away in Muharram 187. See al-Kashif (2/124).
[22] He is Bishr bin al-Harith bin Abd al-Rahman bin Ata bin Hilal al-Marwazi, the well known trustworthy ascetic. He passed away in the year 227 at 67 years of age. Se Taqrib al-Tahdhib (p.122)
[23] Ibrahim bin Adham Abu Ishaq al-Balkhi, the ascetic. He passed away in the year 162. See al-Kashif (1/208)
[24] Kanz al-Daqaiq, one of the relied upon texts in fiqh. It is by Imam Abu al-Barakat Abdullah bin Ahmad al-Nasafi (d.710). See Kashf al-Zunun (2/1515).
[25] Mukhtasar al-Wiqayah known as al-Nuqayah, by Sadr al-Shariah Ubaidullah bin Masud al-Mahbubi al-Hanafi (d.750). See Kashf al-Zanun (2/2021)
[26] Ghurar al-Ahkam fi Furu al-Hanafiyyah is a text by Mulla Khusrau (d.885), he also authored a commentary to it called Durar al-Hukkam. See Kashf al-Zanun (2/1199)
[27] Tanwir al-Absar wa Jami al-Bihar fi al-Furu by Sheikh Muhammad bin Abdullah bin Tumurtash al-Ghazzi (d.1004) he also authored a commentary to it called Fath al-Ghaffar. See Kashf al-Zanun (1/501)

Tasawwuf from It-haf al-Talib

I decided to jump to the last chapter because of the immense benefits contained within it. Imam Abu Bakr al-Mulla finishes off his text with advice on tasawwuf, in reality putting aside the name, all groups would agree with the contents. **************************************************************
Ending on Tasawwuf: It is to free the heart for Allah (the most High), and to despise all other than Him so be aware of Allah (the most high) in all of your states.

This is by first carrying out all of the obligatory (faraid) acts and leaving the unlawful, then performing the optional (nawafil) and leaving the disliked (makruhat).

Be concerned with your abandoning of the unlawful more than the performing the obligatory acts and believe that you fall short/ are deficient in all that you do and that you have not fulfilled even an atoms weight from the right of Allah upon you.

You are not better/superior to anyone as you do not know how your and his ending will be.

Submit to the will and Qada of Allah (the most high), believing that nothing except that which He wishes occurs.

Beware of observing/prying into the conditions of people, or to watch over them except with that which the sacred law has permitted.

Keep in mind three principles: The first: There is no benefit nor harm except from Him (the most high), and that He has apportioned sustenance (rizq) from pre eternity which will reach you.

The second: that you are a slave (under a contract), and that your master can dispense with you as he wishes, therefore it is despicable for you to hate that which your master does, the one who is more concerned about you than your own self and your parents, and that He is the most wise in His actions, and that He does not wish the harm that comes your way except that it is for your benefit.

The third: The the world is temporary and perishing, and the the next world is forthcoming and everlasting, you are in the world as a traveller and your journey must come to an end with you reaching your destination, so bear with the difficulties of the journey which will be over soon, and strive in the building, repair and adornment of your abode in this short time so as to enjoy it for eternity without any hardship and Allah (glorified is He) knows best.

Dua Before a Dars

A beneficial prayer to be recited before the start of a lesson, written on the first page of a manuscript by a student. I found this in Sheikh Yahya al-Mulla’s edition of the hanafi fiqh text ‘Minhaj al-Raghib Sharh It-haf al-Talib’. May Allah (the exalted) facilitate its translation. For the benefit of those who may not be able to decipher the handwriting I had it typed out below:
اللهم افتحْ عليّ حكمتَكَ وانشرْ عليّ رحمتَكَ
يا ذا الجلالِ والإكرامِ
اللهمّ أخرجْنَا من ظلماتِ الوهمِ وأكرمْنَا بنورِ الفهمِ
اللهمّ افتحْ لنا أبوابَ فضلِك ويسرْ لنا خزائنَ علمِك
ياأرحمَ الراحمين
وصلى اللهُ على سيدنا محمدٍ وعلى آله وصحبِه وسلم

Creed- Gift for the Seeker

From the Ithaf al-Talib by Imam Abu Bakr al-Mulla
“In the name of Allah the most Beneficient the most Merciful. All praise is due to Allah, and Salutations and Blessings upon our Master the Messenger of Allah. To proceed: This is a Mukhtasar on fiqh according to the madhab of the greatest Imam: Abu Hanifah (may Allah the exalted have mercy upon him) which the legally responsible person cannot do without if unable to study that which is more detailed than it.
I have summarized it from the books of our companions when I saw that there was a need for it. I have named it Ithaf al-Talib. I ask Allah glorified be He to benefit by it all those desirous [of seeking knowledge and teaching]
Introduction: The Correct Belief: It is to know that Allah is: Existent and is necessarily existent, beginningless, everlasting, one, self sufficient, dissimilar to created things.
From His attributes are: Life, knowledge, power, will, hearing, seeing, speech His essence does not resemble other essences and His attributes do not resemble other attributes.
He is free from attributes of deficiency, nothing is incumbent upon Him Qadr, the good and the evil is from Him.
He the Exalted sent His Messengers and revealed to them Books and divinely protected them from sins.
The Angels are servants of Allah and are not attributed with sin.
The miracles of the Saints are true.
Death is according to lifespan.
Committing major sins does not remove one from faith/belief.”

Its All About Sincerity

Imam Zaid Shakir recently said “Its all about sincerity”, invaluable advice for all of us working in the “Islamic Scene”.

A quote from Sheikh Ibrahim bin Hasan al-Mulla, as quoted by another great scholar of the al-Mulla family, Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Mulla in Minhaj al-Raghib p.37:

When action is of no benefit without sincerity, one of the actions being seeking knowledge. It is not befitting for a sane person to waste his life in action which does not benefit. Therefore he should strive to purify his intention of seeking knowledge for Allah Taala. This is by the student intending by his seeking of knowledge the pleasure of Allah Taala, the next world, removal of ignorance which the sacred law and intellect hold to be repugnant from himself and all those who are ignorant. He should also intend the revival of the religion and preserving of Islam, for the preservation of Islam is by means of knowledge.

Taqwa, worship and travelling to Allah taala is not correct when ignorant due to that which is related in some reports that: ignorance is closer to disbelief (kufr) than the whiteness of the eye is to the black. We ask Him (Glorified be He) to guide us to the path leading to Him, and to bless us to travel towards Him in the manner that He is pleased with, by means of His generosity and kindness.

Thoughts on the Tarawih

Salam

With Ramadan fast approaching, and the duration of the fasts once again increasing in length, we need to explore some issues regarding our practices within this holy month. Tarawih can because of its length be quite tough for a lot of us, coupled with the fact that unfortunately in a number of pakistani masjids the poor hafiz recites so fast disregarding all rules of tajwid that infact we have ‘ritualised’ this act of worship.

I found the following which may be of use to us hanafis:

With regards to the tarawih prayer, from the level 2 text taught currently in al-Ahsa by the hanafis: Minhaj al-Raghib Sharh Ithaf al-Talib p181 authored by Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Mulla (d.1270 AH):

It is a sunnah to complete the Quran once In it meaning the tarawih, there is a difference (of opinion) regarding whether the complete recital of the Quran should be left due to the laziness of the people or not? In al-Ikhtiyar it is mentioned that in our time an amount should be recited which will not be burdensome upon them.”

I asked Sh. Yahya al-Mulla about this, he mentioned that in tarawih he has lead the prayer and read the whole Quran only twice, he currently in tarawih recites from surah al-Duha onward each night for tarawih. Basically there is leeway in the madhab for this, it should be noted that the author of al-Ikhtiyar died in the year 683 AH!