Battle of Badr

A dear brother recently returned refreshed from a rihla to Madinah al-Munawwarah, armed with his pictures and video clips he enlightened me and others with the reminder of the various sites that the group he was with had visited in the course of their trip.

During his mention of their visit to Badr, the view of some of the scholars that the Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wassalam) did not actually participate physically in the battle was raised.  When he mentioned this issue it jogged my memory as something similar had been discussed a few years earlier, and when i had heard about it then it had also surprised me. However I did recall having read afterwards somewhere the mention of the Messenger (Sallalahu Alaihi Wassalam) fighting in Badr.

I went home with this issue on my mind, not being able to get to sleep that night meant that I decided to try to research this issue with the limited resources at my disposal, I picked up Diya al-Nabi which is a multi volume Sirah work in urdu (including arabic texts aswell) by Sheikh Karam Shah al-Azhari. Around 2:30 am in the morning i found the following two reports on (3/342) of the work, both are referenced to the arabic Sirah work ‘Subul al-Huda wal-Rashad’ (4/71) of Imam Yusuf al-Salihi wherein he mentions two reports of the Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasslam) participating in Badr they are:

Just as they both (The Messenger of Allah [Allah bless him and give him peace] and Abu Bakr [r.a.]) were in the Areesh making jihad by humbly supplicating, they both came (to the battlefield) and encouraged (the muslims) to fight, they both fought with their swords and joined between these two ranks (of making dua and fighting)

and also the narration from Imam Ali (Alaihi Salam):

When the fighting began on the day of Badr the Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasslam) lead us, we sought protection behind Him (Allah bless him ad give him peace), and He (Allah please give him peace) was involved in the heaviest fighting on that day, no one was closer to the mushrikin than Him (Allah bless him and give him peace)

May Allah (Most High) facilitate the ziyarah of Badr. Amin.

Darud Sharif – Before i forget !

One of the best, if not THE best work written on sending salutations upon the Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wassalam) is the al-Qawl al-Badi of Imam al-Sakhawi, the reknowned student Hafidh Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani. I have en edition of the work with poor editing and typo’s, very poor for a publishing house to print something wihout even bothering to get it proofread. The best available edition is by the hanafi hadith scholar residing in Madinah al-Habibah, Sheikh Muhammad Awwmah al-Madani, may Allah Most High facilitate meeting the sheikh and benefitting from his work, amin.
Since childhood I have been told to recite darud sharif when i had lost something and could not find it. Rather than being a baseless indo-pak custom it has a basis in the shariah as I discovered when i found the following when skimming through the contents of al-Qawl al-Badi, Imam al-Sakhawi says on p227:
As for salat upon Him for one whom forgets something, or wishes to remember something, and likewise for the one fearing forgetfullness, on the authority of Anas (r.a) who said: the Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alaihi Wassalam) said: if you forget something then send salat upon me and you will remember it with the permission of Allah Taala, reported Abu Musa al-Madeeni with a weak chain, and on the authority of Uthman bin Abi Harb al-Bahili that the Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wassalam) said: whomever wishes to say something but then forgets should send salat upon me for his salat upon me is a substitute for that which he wishes to say, and perhaps he will remember, reported like this by al-Daylami and its chain is weak….
and on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (r.a) said: whom so ever fears forgetfulness for himself should make abundant salat upon the Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wassalam), reported by Ibn Bushkawal with a broken (munqati) chain

Daeef Hadith and Fadail al-Amal

A common misconception is that weak hadith have no value in Islam, this is an incorrect presumption on the part of many well meaning muslims who have unwittingly bought into the ‘Sahih only’ mindset pushed by the salafi movement, at its head being Sheikh Nasir al-Albani (May Allah Most High have mercy on him).Inshallah I hope to post more on this subject, Allah willing, in the future. The point of this post is to acquaint muslims out there with the traditional position of orthodoxy that in fact acting on weak hadith in the realms of virtuous actions is permissible, and that the claims of some in the salafi movement that there are a large number of scholars who disagree with this is not accurate. A discussion of some of the great Imams whose names are usually cited by the salafi school to support their claims are cited below:

Acting on weak hadith in Fadail al-Amal according to Imam al-Bukhari, Muslim, Yahya Ibn Maeen, Abu Bakr Ibn al-Arabi, Abu Shamah al-Maqdisi and al-Shawkani
From ‘al-Tarif bi-Awham’ (1/98+)

The acting on weak hadith in fadail al-amal (virtuous actions) is well known as being recommended according to the vast majority of the scholars of ahl al-sunnah wal-jamah, those wishing to see further details in regard to the statements of the scholars are referred to ‘Qawaid fi Ulum al-Hadith’ of Allamah al-Uthmani with the notes of Sheikh Abu Ghuddah.

However some people who oppose the acting upon weak hadith in fadail claim that this is also the view of the above named Imams, this is however incorrect. The following are notes taken from Sheikh Mahmud Saeed Mamduh’s landmark book, which is a study of Sheikh al-Albani’s methodology in hadith, and hadith gradings.

Imam al-Bukhari:
Imam al-Bukhari’s compilation of al-Adab al-Mufrad which contains weak hadith is the clearest proof that he permits the acting upon weak hadith in the matters of fadail, and this practice of al-Bukhari was following in the footsteps of his Shaikh Imam Ahmad in his book ‘al-Zuhd’ and before him Ibn al-Mubarak in the book ‘al-Zuhd’ and other scholars.
Also Hafidh ibn Hajar said in ‘al-Fath’ [p441] regarding a narrator: ‘he was not strict (meaning al-Bukhari) regarding him because it is from the hadith of al-Targhib wal-Tarhib’

Imam Muslim:
Imam Muslim criteria for reporting Sahih hadith only was specific to his book ‘Sahih Muslim’ as no Hafidh has left the narrating from the weak narrators, not even Imam Muslim for he says in the introduction to his ‘Sahih’ [1/4]:

‘the narrations (akhbar) are sub-divided into 3 categories:
First: that which the precise Huffadh narrate
Second: that which the hidden/unknown (masturoon) and those at an intermediary level in memorisation and precision narrate
Third: that which the weak and abandoned narrate’.

Rather Imam Muslim narrates from a number from the third category in the follow up narrations and shawahid in his ‘Sahih’. To conclude that which Imam Muslim is referring to in the introduction to his ‘Sahih’ is not to be applied generally.

Yahya Ibn Maeen:
There are different opinions narrated from him regarding this issue, Ibn Sayyid al-Nas in Uyun al-Athar (1/65) narrates prohibition. However al-Khatib in ‘al-Kifayah’ (p.213) reports permissibility (permissibility here means recommended as was stated by Ibn al-Salah), and al-Sakhawi in ‘Fath al-Mugith’ [1/322] also narrates permissibility from Ibn Maeen. Sheikh Ahmad bin Muhammad Nur Saif in the introduction to ‘Tarikh Ibn Maeen’ [1/107] provides example from Ibn Maeen of his use of weak hadith in matters of fadail which show that Hafidh’s al-Sakhawi and al-Khatib are correct in their attributing permissibilty to Ibn Maeen.

Abu Bakr Ibn al-Arabi:
There is no clear explicit statement from him which condemns the use of weak hadith in fadail. Rather he is a Hafidh upon the methodology of the fuqaha and is a follower of the Maliki madhab in acting upon mursal narrations which are weak according to the muhaddithin, see ‘al-Aaridah’ [1/13, 2/237]
However in his commentary of ‘Jami al-Tirmidhi’ there is a clear statement which permits the use of weak hadith in fadail, see ‘Kitab al-Adab’ [10/205]

Abd al-Rahman bin Shamah al-Maqdisi
Those who claim that he did not regard as permissible the use of daeef hadith in the area of fadail have not understood his words. What he criticised in the statement that some people quote from him is the censure of the one who narrates fabricated hadith and is silent regarding them, even if they are from the greatest of huffadh.
This was explained by Allamah Shabbir Ahmad al-Uthmani in ‘Muqaddimah Fath al-Mulhim’ (1/58) who said:
There is not in this statement which is quoted from Imam Abu Shamah a censure of the use of weak narrations in fadail al-amal, rather he may Allah have mercy upon him censured Ibn Asakirs narration and citing of condemned hadith (al-ahadith al-munkirah) without stating their weakness and being condemned, along with his being a great muhaddith and hafidh.

Ibn Taymiyyah:
Ibn Taymiyyah himself used weak hadith in the area of fadail as can bee seen in his work ‘al-Kalim al-Tayyib’ for if he wished to have limited himself in his book to sahih hadith only he could have done so.

Al-Shawkani:
There is a statement stating the prohibition of using weak hadith in fadail from al-Shawkani in ‘al-Fawaid al-Majmuah’ [p.283] but this is not taken in to account as he said in ‘Nail al-Awtar’ [3/68]:

‘The aforementioned verses and hadith in the chapter are evidence of the validity of abundance of salah between maghrib and isha, and the hadith even though most of them are weak they are strengthened by their collective number, not least (in the area of) fadail al-amal.’

Tthose that have knowledge of al-Shawkani’s methodology in ‘Tuhfah al-Dhakirin’ will realise that he is in favour of the use of weak hadith in fadail al-amal.

From the above verification it will be realised that the vast majority of the Imams held the view of the permissibility of the use of weak hadith in fadail al-amal. Those wishing to see the full discussion which these notes are based on are referred to Sheikh Mamduh’s ‘al-Tarif bi Awham’ [1/98-103].

Qattar Sunni- definitions of orthodoxy

Salam

What is a Sunni is something which has plagued us all at some time, from those who have faced the inquisition at the local masjid about their “aqidah”, or on the other hand have had to trawl through all the different groups vying for a young muslims mind and soul, some clarity on the subject is greatly needed. Presented below are some extracts and summaries of points from Sheikh Wahbi Suleiman al-Albani ( a pillar of orthodoxy in this age) work on the issue of orthodox belief.

Development of the Science of Tawhid

The scholars of Islam did not invent anything new when they compiled and wrote books on Islamic belief, the need arose to write down and teach the correct muslim belief in a systematic way due to various deviant groups arising such as the Shiah, Khawarij, Mutazilah etc. In order to preserve the correct Islamic belief the scholars of the religion came forward to preserve and protect the aqidah, they wrote books and compiled works to preserve the belief as it was originally revealed. The earliest of them to write about aqidah was Imam Abu Hanifah rh who wrote Fiqh al-Akbar, after him of note was Imam Abul Hasan al-Ashari rh who destroyed the people of innovation in his age and so on down the centuries.

Definition of Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamaah

Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamaah are those who cling/stick to the way/path of the sunnah that the Messenger of Allah (s) gave us, and that which the sahabah followed.

The 2 main head scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah are:

1- Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi d.333

2- Imam Abul Hasan al-Ashari d.330

Qadi al-Baydawi said: “If we use the term ahl al-sunnah wal-jamaah what is meant are the ashari’s and maturidi’s.

Sheikh Muhammad al-Saffarini al-Hanbali al-Athari said: “ Ahl al-Sunnah consists of 3 groups: al-Athariyyah whose Imam is Ahmad bin Hanbal rh, al-Ashariyyah whose Imam is Abul Hasan al-Ashari rh, and the Maturidi’s whose Imam is Abu mansur al-Maturidi”

he also went on to mentioned that the four Imams , Compilers of the six books and others are all upon the salafi athari aqidah (Lawami al-Anwar p.73+22)

Allamah Abd al-Qahir al-Baghdadi in his book al-Farq bain al-Firaq said: “ Know may Allah be pleased with you – that ahl al-sunnah wal Jamaah is composed of 8 categories (of people)”

he then went on to mention them as being

1) Scholars of the 4 madhabs and their followers

2) Scholars of hadith

3) Scholars of Arabic Grammar

4) Scholars of Tafsir

5) The Sufi’s

6) The People making Jihad

7) The general masses of the muslims

Imams Abul Hasan and Abu Mansur were the heads in defining /clarifying the belief of ahl al-sunnah wal-jamaah, they did not innovate anything but rather they clarified and gave examples and laid down principles, and their teaching was passed on by the brilliant scholars of ahl al-sunnah until today.

Differences Between the Maturidis and Ashari’s

The differences between the Maturidi’s and the Ashari’s are not in the matters of the fundamentals of belief and its principles, their differences do not occur in the matters of the attributes of Allah.

One of the scholars has said the differences between the Ashari’s and Maturidi’s is a difference in understanding the meaning intended in some texts (nusus) or what can be derived from some of the evidences.

Definitions of terms Salaf and Khalaf

al-Salaf: They are the predecessors, the salaf of a person are his: forefathers, meaning your ancestors that passed before you.

Al-Kashani said: al-salaf al-salih is the first generation, those who strive in knowledge, guided by the guidance of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) preserving his sunnah, whom Allah chose to accompnay the Prophet, and chose them to be the Imams of his deen…

Abul Hasan said: They are the sahba in their actions and speech and that which they deduce in ijtihad.

Al-Ghazali said: al-salaf: meaning the madhab of the sahabah and tabieen.

Al-Bajuri said: what is meant by salaf are those who have preceded from the anbiyah, sahabah, Tabieen, Tabi tabieen and especially the four mujtahid Imams.

Sheikh al-Buti said: The technical menaing for this word is/are the first 3 generations in age of this islamic/muslim ummah, the ummah of Sayyidina Muhammad (Allah bless him and give peace), for its source are the words of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim from Ibn Masud ra: The best generation is my generation, then those that follow them, then those that follow them….

al-Khalaf: They are a large and numerous group from the Imams and trustworthy scholars from the fuqaha and mijtahidin, and scholars of usul al-din, tafsir, hadith and Arabic language that came after the third century.

Eid Prayer by Mufti Taqi al-Uthmani

A while back many moons ago some people in our town raised the issue of the evidences for the hanafi method of offering the eid prayer, and questioned its reliability resulting in some confusion in the minds of some youngsters. The very useful lecture notes to the hadith book Jami al-Tirmidhi came in very handy, I purchased the first 3 volumes a while back and found the lecture notes of Mufti Taqi (as recorded by his student) very useful and informative. The 3 volumes of the first release (subsequent volumes have since been released, however I do not possess a copy of these) are helpfully annotated in Arabic with cross referencing by the Sheikh’s student who has done an excellent job, may Allah (Most High) reward him. Please find the section dealing with the number of takbirs in the eid prayer below.

The following extract can be found on (2/314) onwards of Dars al-Tirmidhi, only the evidences for the hanafi’s have been translated, and the Sheikh’s replies to the evidences of the other madhabs have not been included, some slight abridgements have been made.***

The Evidence of the Hanafi’s[1]

The hanafi’s first proof is from the narration of Makhul in Sunan Abu Dawud[2] that:

Abu Aishah who was the companion of Abu Hurayrah informed me that Saeed bin al-Aas asked Abu Musa al-Ashari and Hudhayfah bin Yaman regarding how the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) would make takbir in the Adha and Fitr (prayers)? Abu Musa replied he would make takbir four times (similar) to the takbir in the funeral (prayer). Hudhayfah said: you are correct, Abu Musa said: I used to make takbir in this manner when I was amongst them…

Four takbirs are mentioned in this hadith, from these one is the opening takbir (takbir al-tahrimah) and three are extra. This hadith is equivalent to two hadith because it is mentioned that Hadrat Hudhayfah affirmed what Hadrat Abu Musa said.

Objection has been made to this hadith that it revolves around Abd al-Rahman bin Thawban who has been declared weak. The answer to this is that Abd al-Rahman bin Thawban is a narrator with regards to whom there is a difference of opinion, where as some of the scholars of hadith have declared him to be weak[3] the same number of scholars of hadith have declared him trustworthy. Therefore Hadrat Duhaim and Abu Hatim have declared him trustworthy, and Imam Abu Dawud said with regards to him ‘there was good in him (kana fihi salamah) and he was someone whose prayers were answered’ and Ibn Maeen said : ‘there is no harm in him’ also Saleh Jazrah has declared him ‘truthful’ and Ibn Adiyy said: ‘despite his weakness his hadith should be recorded’ therefore his hadith are no less than the level of Hasan

The second objection upon this hadith is that the narrator Abu Aisha is unknown according to Ibn Hazm and Ibn Qattan. The answer to this is that he is the father of Muhammad bin Abi Aishah and Musa bin Abi Aishah. Hafidh Ibn Hajar has said with regards to him in Taqrib[4]: ‘Abu Aishah al-Umawi, their mawla, the companion of Abu Hurayrah, acceptable (maqbul) from the second (level)’ also Hafidh said in Tahdhib[5] regarding him : ‘Makhul and Khalid bin Madan narrate from him’ and it is agreed in the principles of hadith that from which person two narrators narrate, then his being unknown (majhul) no longer applies, therefore the objection is not valid, and the hadith is no less than the level of hasan[6]

Imam Baihaqi [7] has made an objection that this hadith is actually a statement of Hadrat Ibn Masud, the detail of which is that this narration is narrated in Musannaf Abd al-Razzaq[8] from Alqamah and Aswad bin Yazid that:

Ibn Masud was sitting with Hudhayfah and Abu Musa al-Ashari, Saeed ibn al-Aas asked them both regarding the Takbirs in the prayer on the day of al-Fitr and al-Adha, each of them said: ask this person, Hudhayfah said to him: ask this person meaning Abdullah Ibn Masud, so he asked him and Ibn Masud said: make takbir four times then recite then make takbir and bow, then stand up for the second rakat and recite, then make takbir four times after the recitation

From this it is known that this narration is a statement of Ibn Masud and is only narrated from him.

Allamah Nimawi has answered this[9] by saying that reconciliation is possible between Abu Musa Ashari’s marfu narration and Hadrat Ibn Masud’s mawquf narration as Hadrat Abu Musa at the beginning was silent out of respect in front of Hadrat Ibn Masud, and when Hadrat Ibn Masud gave the legal ruling with regards to the issue then Hadrat Abu Musa in support of his statement gave his marfu narration. Then for arguments sake if it is accepted that this narration is only mawquf to Ibn Masud even then due to it not falling within the scope of analogy (qiyas) it will have the ruling of a marfu (narration). Then in this narration a group of the companions have agreed with Ibn Masud from which this narration gains extra strength.

The Hanafi’s second proof is the practice of Hadrat Ibn Abbas[10], Hadrat Mughirah bin Shubah[11], Hadrat Ibn Masud [12] may Allah be pleased with them and others [13]

Also a large number of the Tabieens position was in agreement with the hanafi’s [14]

The Hanafi’s third proof is the narration of Ibrahim Nakhai [15] who said:

The Messenger of Allah peace and blessings upon him passed away with the people differeing over the (number) of takbirs in the funeral (prayer)

He then further on said:

The difference continued until Abu Bakr passed away, and when Umar became leader and the difference of the people regarding this (issue) troubled him greatly, so he sent for the men from the companions of the Messenger of Allah peace and blessings be upon him and said: you are the companions of the Messenger of Allah peace and blessings be upon him, when you differ those after you will differ, and when you agree upon a matter the people will agree upon it…. So they discussed the issue among themselves and agreed to make the takbir in the funeral prayer like the takbir in the adha and fitr (prayers) consisting of four takbirs, and they agreed upon this.

So we learn that in Hadrat Umars time there was agreement (ijma) that there would be 4 takbirs in the eid prayer.

Allamah Ibn Rushd has written in Bidayah al-Mujtahid [16] that no there is no sahih marfu hadith regarding the number of takbirs in the eid prayer, therefore with regards to this he has copied the statement of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal that: ‘there is no sahih hadith reported from the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him regarding the takbir in the eid prayer’. Ibn Rushd states that the different jurists (fuqaha) have based their opinions upon the practice of different companions. Also this difference is one of virtue, there is agreement that the prayer will be valid (with a different number of takbirs). And Allah knows best that which is correct


[1]Dars al-Tirmidhi (2/314) onwards

[2] Sunan Abu Dawud (1/163)

[3] Uthman bin Saeed reports from Ibn Maeen that he said: weak, and Ahmad said: his hadith are reprehensible (manakir), al-Nasai said he: was not strong. Mizan al-Itidal (2/551)

[4] (2/444)

[5] Maarif al-Sunan (4/439)

[6] Hafidh al-Zaylai in Nasb al-Rayah (2/214) after narrating this from Abu Dawud said: Abu Dawud was silent regarding it as was al-Mundhiri in his Mukhtasar, and Ahmad narrated it in his musnad

[7] In his Sunan al-Kubra (3/290)

[8] (3/290) it should be clear that this chain of narration does not contain Abd al-Rahman bin Thawban nor Abu Aishah

[9] al-Taliq al-Hasan ala Athar al-Sunan (p.254)

[10] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah (2/174)

[11] Musannaf Abd al-Razzaq (3/295)

[12] Musannaf Abd al-Razzaq (3/293)

[13] Translators note: ten companions names are mentioned in the footnotes, those interested in the details are referred back to the original

[14] see Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah (2/172)

[15] Sharh Maani al-Athar (1/239)

[16] see Badhl al-Majhud (2/207)

Sheikh Muhammad Ali al-Sabuni, a contemporary Mufassir

Salam
I have on the shelf to the right of me the second volume of a tafsir by Sheikh al-Sabuni on the the legal rulings derived from the Quran, the sheikh as far as i am aware is from Syria, and currently teaches in Makkah. He has other works on tafsir, the most well known being his ‘Safwat al-Tafasir‘ in 3 volumes (if i recall correctly). I came across a copy of this work in a Slough bookshop, I asked the price to be told it was 90 pounds! not surprisingly i declined this offer, the lady then went down to 45 pounds.
Getting back to Sheikh al-Sabuni, from what I have heard, he is a murid of Sheikh Mahmud Effendi in Istanbul, and spends some months of the year in Turkey. May Allah (Most High) facilitate meeting him and sitting in his company to draw from the baraka of the years he has spent studying the Quran. Amin

ahlabkum wa sahlabkum

Asslamu Alaikum

I have seen so many others with blogs, so I decided to jump on the bandwagon! One of life comforts is to sit down with a warm mug of tea and some nice biscuits and read a good book. I read a bit a bit about the deen in Arabic so I thought I would set up this blog to share with you occasionally some gems that I regularly come across.  Also hopefully increasing other peoples desire to learn Arabic as well and access this immense ocean that is within all our grasps.

I decided to call it Dar al-Hadith in honour of the great tradition of transmitting the Prophet Sunnah that has been carried out by Islamic institutions across the world, some of which were called Dar al-Hadith. This is also because I have an interest in the hadith sciences which is reflected in my reading, may Allah (Most High) facilitate the study of the Prophetic Sunnah at the feet of the inheritors of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). Amin.