Imam Ahmad Rida Khan's Ijazah to Sh Abd al-Hayy al-Kattani

Salam. Me and a number of others were surprised to read the chain of narration (cited by Dr Akram al-Nadwi in the introduction to Shah Abd al-Aziz al-Dehlawi’s work ‘Bustan al-Muhaddithin’)- in which Dr Akram narrates via Sh Abd al-Hayy al-Kattani to Imam Ahmad Rida Khan. Dr Akram translated the book from its original Persian into Arabic, this translation later received an English edition wherein the above chain of Dr Akram was produced. May Allah the Exalted rewards him generously for his meticulous work!
Looking through the work called ‘Al-Ijazatul Matinah li Ulama Bakkah wal Madinah’ which is a collection of ijazah’s granted by Imam Ahmad Rida to various scholars of the haramain who requested it from him, I found a copy of the ijazah granted to Sh Abd al-Hayy al-Kattani.
A Close Link to Shah Abd al-Aziz
What readers should note is that between Imam Ahmad Rida and Shah Abd al-Aziz al-Dehlawi is only one Sheikh. And therefore should also dispell any doubts regarding the close relationship of Imam Ahmad Rida and scholars of the same viewpoint as him to Shah Waliullah and his family.
My Link
As for me, seeing as this post deals with the Hijazi chains of transmission to Imam Ahmad Rida, and mentioning by way of giving thanks for blessings bestowed on someone totally undeserving:
I was fortunate enough to hear the hadith of firstness (awwaliyyah) and listen to, read and hear the recitation of other fellow students to parts of Sahih al-Bukhari from Sh Ibrahim al-Khalifah al-Hasani al-Ahsai, who in turn narrates from Sh Diya al-Din al-Madani, who was given ijazah by Imam Ahmad Rida. From this chain I have between myself and Imam Ahmad Rida two narrators.
I also directly narrate the hadith of firstness and have general ijazah from Sh Muhammad Alawi al-Maliki, obtained a few months before his passing away in his home in Makka. He in turn narrates from Sh Mustafa Rida Khan, who is from the family of Imam Ahmad Rida.
What follows below is a partial translation of the meaning of the ijazah granted to Sh Abd al-Hayy al-Kattani (p.119 onwards).
In the name of Allah, the All Merciful, the Most Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, the one for those who have no one, and the support for the one who has no support. The most excellent blessings and perfect peace upon the master of the generous and support of the creation, the seal of the chain/series of honoured Prophets. And upon his family and companions, the narrators of his knowledge and preservers of his manners.
To proceed: The righteous hadith specialist, complete scholar, the Sayyid of noble lineage, expert, gathering point of virtues, source of excellence: Mawlana, al-Sayyid, al-Sheikh Muhammad Abd al-Hayy Ibn al-Sheikh al-Kabir al-Sayyid Abd al-Kabir al-Kattani al-Hasani al-Idrisi al-Fasi. The Muhaddith of the west, rather the Muhaddith of the non Arabs and the Arabs, the Lord willing, visited me whilst I was staying in the holy land (Balad al-Haram), with three days remaining from Dhil Hijjah in the year 1323.
He came and heard from me the pattern chained hadith of firstness (musalsal bil awwaliyyah), and this was the first hadith he heard from this weak servant. Just as I heard it from my master and guide, my liegelord and support in this world and the next: Sayyidina al-Shah Aal-Rasul al-Ahmadi, Allah be pleased with him eternally. And this was the first hadith he heard from the Muhaddith of India, well known to the Arabs and those in Sindh: Mawlana al-Shah Abd al-Aziz al-Dehlawi. And this was the first hadith he heard from his Sheikh and father: al-Shah Waliullah al-Dehlawi. And his chain is well known and mentioned in his work on pattern chained narrations (musalsalat). And he also requested from me an ijazah and permission for all that I narrate from my noble Sheikhs who are:
1) Our master and guide whose noble mention has just passed
2) My master and father, the patron of the blessings upon me, the seal of the verifying scholars, the Imam of the earlier scholars, the defender of the sunnah and effacer of tribulation. Author of amazing works, overpowering proofs and radiant path: Hadrat Mawlana Muhammad Naqi Ali Khan, al-Qadiri al-Barkati al-Barelwi, Allah sanctify his powerful secret (died 1297) narrating from his noble father the knower of Allah Sayyidina Mawlawi Rida Ali Khan, Allah sanctify his secret.
3) The Sheikh of the scholars of the secure city, the trustworthy Imam, hadith specialist, jurist: Our master al-Sayyid Ahmad bin Zayn Dahlan al-Makki, Allah sanctify his angelic secret, narrating from Sheikh Uthman al-Dimyati.
4) Mawlana Imam al-Hummam, the lantern of Allah in the holy land: Abd al-Rahman bin Mawla Abdullah al-Siraj, the Mufti of the hanafi’s in Makkah the protected, Allah protect them both, narrating from al-Mawla Jamal bin Abdullah bin Umar the Mufti of the hanafi’s.
5) Mawlana the pious Sayyid Hussein Salih Jamal al-Layl, the Sheikh of the preachers and Imam of the Shafi’s in the holy lands, Allah the most High protect him, narrating from al-Mawla Abid al-Sindhi.
6) Mawlana, the grandson of my guide, and his successor, possessor of exalted mastery, beautiful felicity and immense stations: Sayyidina al-Shah Abil Hussein Ahmad al-Nuri, Allah most High perpetuate his enlightenment with both metaphorical and actual light, narrating from al-Shah Ali Hussein al-Muradabadi.
This low servant was not at that rank (such that he be requested for an ijazah by Sh al-Kattani)and is not fit for this:

It was incumbent upon me that I should go to him
But was preceded, and the noble ones are the first
Despite that the one ordered is excused, not least when the order is from the likes of the well known Sayyid, with the hope that he encompass all of us in the blessings of the pool (hawd) and praiseworthy station (maqam mahmud) by linking to him in the well known way, by sending the most excellent salutations, perfect peace, beautiful greetings and abundant blessings.

And this is because the Sayyid is from the family of the Messenger, and the family (ahl al-bayt) who are honoured in this world and the next and are under divine care. So whoever attains between himself and them a link, it is hoped for him from the generosity of Allah and his blessings of His Messenger (Allah the most High bless him and give him peace) every blessing and gift.
It is due to this beautiful hope and obeying the command of this esteemed Sayyid I have given him permission to narrate all that it is cor
rect for me to narrate from the noble scholars who are praised. I request from him not to forget this low weak servant his brothers, family and lovers in his righteous supplications. And the greatest hope is that with the power of the Lord of the earth and the heavens, on the day we meet his noble grandfather, the master of the Prophets, upon him and them the most excellent blessings and peace.
O Allah the one who sent this beloved as a mercy and blessing, sends salutations, peace and blessings upon him, by the number of that which is in your knowledge and words. And by his status with you, rectify our actions and realise our hopes, lighten our scales, take pity/have mercy on our states. And our last prayer is that all praise is due to Allah the lord of the worlds, peace and blessings upon the master of the Messengers Muhammad, his family and all of his companions.
Saying this with his tongue and writing with his pen, the needy one: Ahmad Rida al-Muhammadi al-Sunni al-Hanafi al-Qadiri al-Barkati. Allah forgive him for all his sins that have passed and those that are to come. Ameen.

Sh Muhammad Ashiq: Student of Shah Waliullah

Salam. Many thanks to Dr Marcia Hermansen for recently introducing me to Sh Muhammad Ashiq, the cousin of Shah Waliullah. It should be noted that Sh Muhammad Ashiq is an important first hand source regarding the life of one of the most celebrated and revered scholars of the subcontinent. Note: I have referred to Shah Waliullah at times in the post below as ‘Shah Sahib’.
He is Shah Muhammad Ashiq, the son of Shah Ubaidullah, the son of Shah Muhammad Siddiqi (Allah have mercy on all of them). He was born in the year 1110 (hijri) in Phulat in the district of Muzaffarnagar located in UP. He was a close relative of Shah Waliullah al-Dehlawi, his father was the maternal uncle of Shah Walilullah, and his paternal grandfather was Shah Sahib’s maternal grandfather. He was born four years before Shah Waliullah, and his sister was married to Shah Sahib, aswell as other family connections through marriage.
Pursuit of Knowledge
He began seeking knowledge from a young age, which resulted in his studying both the outward and inward sciences with Shah Waliullah. In the year 1144 (hijri) after completing the rites of Hajj and the visitation, he alongside Shah Sahib studied in the two holy sanctuaries with scholars such as Sh Abu Tahir al-Kurdi al-Madani. They both studied with the latter works of hadith and with other scholars of the Hijaz collections such as the Sahih al-Bukhari and Sunan al-Darimi.
Allegiance Twice
Whilst a student he had taken allegiance at the hand of Shah Sahib, however for a second time in the sacred precincts of the Masjid al-Haram underneath the ‘Mizab al-Rahmah’ he pledged allegiance for a second time. It is said that in knowledge and gnosis he reached a level which was not achieved by any of Shah Sahibs other students.
Keeping in Touch
Sh Muhammad Ashiq was based in Phulat, and other than the time of his studies when he was staying in Dehli, he would often travel back and forth from his home city to visit Shah Sahib. Every year in the month of Ramadan he would come to Dehli and make retreat (itikaf) in the masjid in the company of Shah Sahib.
He was often in contact with Shah Sahib, and it could be argued took on the role of his assistant/secretary, recording some of his writings, arranging and organizing his works and preserving his letters and correspondences.
Shah Sahib described him lovingly as: ‘The dearest of brothers and esteemed friend’.
And also as: ‘The repository/vessel of my knowledge, the protector of my secrets, the reviewer of my works and the cause of most of them being written’
Sh Abu Tahir al-Kurdi al-Madani in his ijazah to Shah Sahib made mention of Sh Muhammad Ashiq describing him as: ‘He is a mirror of his perfection, and the two cheeks of his beautiful attributes’.
Shah Sahib addressing Sh Muhammad Ashiq said in a poem:
My self tells me that you have arrived
To the centre point of the furthest station
And that you are in these lands honoured
Such that you suffice from the need of any scholar or those who have drawn near
Written Works
As for his written works they include the following:
Sabil al-Rashad: Written in Persian on tasawwuf
Sharh Khayr al-Kathir: A commentary on Shah Waliullah’s work ‘Khayr al-Kathir’
Dirayat al-Asrar
Sharh Itisam al-Amin
Kashf al-Hijab
Tadhkirah al-Waqiat
Makatib Shah Waliullah
Qawl al-Jalli fi Dhikr Athar al-Wali: A biography of Shah Sahib in Persian
Passing Away
Sh Muhammad Ashiq passed away in the year 1187 (hijri). May Allah have mercy on him, Shah Waliullah, his blessed family and all those scholars who are linked to him. Ameen.
The source for this post is the booklet on the life of Shah Abd al-Aziz al-Dihlawi (p.30-31) by Khalil Ahmad Rana, who in turn quotes from the Barkati’s edition of ‘Qawl al-Jalli’ (p.12,13) and Sharif Abd al-Hayy al-Hasani’s ‘Nuzhat al-Khawatir’ (6/328,330).


Al-Khair al-Kathir: Chapter Three

Third Chapter: On sending many blessings upon our master the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)

Hadith Eleven: From Abdullah bin Abbas (Allah be pleased with them both) said: I heard your Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) say: ‘Send a lot of blessings upon your Prophet on the unique night (laylah al-gharra) and the radiant day: Thursday night and Friday’.

Reported by al-Bayhaqi[1]

Hadith Twelve: From Umar bin al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: ‘Send a lot of blessings upon me on the radiant night and unique day, for your blessings are presented to me and I pray for you and ask for forgiveness’.

The radiant night: Thursday night, and The unique day: Friday.

Reported by Ibn Bashkuwal[2]

Hadith Thirteen: From Habban bin Munqidh (Allah be pleased with him) that a man said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, shall I make a third of my prayers upon you?
He said: Yes, if you wish.
He said: two thirds?
He replied: Yes.
He said: All of my prayers?
He (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: If so then Allah will be sufficient for you in that which you is of concern to you from the matters of your worldly life and the hereafter’.

Reported by al-Tabarani in his ‘Mujam al-Kabir’.[3]

Hadith Fourteen: From Abu Umamah al-Bahili (Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: ‘Send a lot of blessings upon me on every Friday, for those of you who sends the most blessings upon me will be the closest to me in terms of station’.

Reported by al-Bayhaqi and a group, and its chain of narration is good, and narrators are trustoworthy.[4]

Hadith Fifteen: From Abdullah bin Masud (Allah be pleased with him) said: ‘The Messenger of Allah (Allah be pleased with him said): The closest people to me on the day of judgement will be those of them who send the most blessings upon me’.

Reported by Abu Isa al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Abi Asim[5]
[1] Al-Bayhaqi in ‘al-Shuab’ (2772) the chain of narration contains Amr bin Shimr, who is abandoned and accused, al-Bayhaqi indicated towards this matter in his ‘Maarifah al-Sunan wal-Athar’ (4/420) where he said: ‘It has reached us with a weak chain in a marfu form, and Allah knows best”.
There are numerous narrations with a similar meaning, they strengthen each other, see ‘Al-Qawl al-Badi’ (p.235) and ‘Nur al-Lumah fi Khasais Yawm al-Jumah’ of al-Suyuti. Allah have mercy on both of them.

[2] Mentioned by al-Sakhawi in ‘Al-Qawl al-Badi’ (p.234) where he referenced it to Ibn Bashkuwal from the hadith of Umar bin al-Khattab and graded its chain as being weak. The supporting narrations al-Sakhawi indicated for it can be found in ‘Kashf al-Khafa’ of al-Ajluni (1/166).
[3] Al-Tabarani in ‘al-Kabir’ (3574) and it was graded as Hasan by al-Mundhiri (2/501) and al-Haithami in ‘al-Majma’ (2/160).
Also reported by Ibn Abi Asim (60) al-Bayhaqi in ‘al-Shuab’ (1478) in a mursal form from Muhammad bin Yahya bin Hibban who said: This is a good mursal narration. Al-Sakhawi indicated (p.176) that the grading of Hasan from al-Mundhiri and al-Haithami were due to the supporting narrations.
[4] Al-Bayhaqi in his ‘Sunan’ (3/249). It was also mentioned by al-Mundhiri in ‘al-Targhib wal-Tarhib’ (26) who said: Reported by al-Bayhaqi with a Hasan chain except that Makhul did not hear from Abu Umamah. Al-Sakhawi graded it Hasan in ‘al-Qawl al-Badi’ (p.233) and said: In the Musnad al-Shamiyyin of al-Tabarani is a clarification that he heard from him. Al-Hafidh Ibn Hajar said in ‘Fath al-Bari’ (11/167) that its chain was fair (la ba’s bi sanadihi).
[5] Al-Tirmidhi (484) who said: This hadith is Hasan Gharib and Ibn Abi Asim (24).
Also reported by Ibn Abi Shaibah (11836) al-Bukhari in ‘Tarikh al-Kabir’ (559) Abu Yaala (501) Ibn Hibban ( 911) al-Tabarani in ‘al-Kabir’ (9800) al-Bayhaqi in ‘Shuab al-Iman’ (1462) al-Khatib in ‘al-Jami’ (1305) from the route of al-Tirmidhi and reported by al-Baghawi in ‘Sharh al-Sunnah’ (686).

Al-Khair al-Kathir: Chapter Two

Second Chapter: The excellence/virtue of blessings upon our master the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) may he be ennobled and honoured

Hadith Six: From Ali bin Abi Talib (Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: ‘There is no supplication (dua) except that there is between it and the heavens a barrier, until he sends blessings upon the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), for if he sends blessings upon Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) the barrier is pierced and the supplication is answered. And if he does not send blessings upon the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) the supplication is not answered.’

Reported by al-Hafidh Rashid al-Din in ‘Wasilah al-Talibin’[1]

Hadith Seven: From Amir bin Rabiah (Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) deliver a sermon and say: ‘Whoever sends blessings upon me, the angels continue to send blessings upon him: O Allah send blessings and peace for that which he sent blessings upon me. So a servant (abd) should make little or much of it’.

Reported by Imam Ahmad in his ‘Musnad’ and Ibn Majah in his ‘Sunan’[2]

Hadith Eight: From Abdullah bin Masud (Allah be pleased with him) said: ‘I was praying and the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) had Abu Bakr and Umar with him (Allah be pleased with them both). When I sat I began with praising Allah (the most High), then by sending blessings upon the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), then I supplicated for myself. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: Ask and you will be given.

Reported by al-Bayhaqi, and related by al-Tirmidhi in his ‘Jami’ who said: the hadith is Hasan Sahih[3]

Hadith Nine: From Abu Saeed al-Khudari (Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: No group of people gather together and not send blessings upon me in it, except that it will be a cause of regret for them, even if they enter paradise, because of the reward they will see for it.

Reported by al-Bayhaqi in ‘Shuab al-Iman’ and its isnad is Sahih.

There is the wording: No group of people gather together not remembering Allah (the most High) and not sending blessings upon their Prophet except that it will be a cause of regret for them. If He wishes He will punish them, and if He wishes He will forgive them.

Reported by al-Tirmidhi in his ‘Jami’[4]

Hadith Ten: From Anas bin Malik (Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: No two muslims meet, shaking each others hand, sending blessings upon the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) except that they will not depart until their sins, both the previous and the future will be forgiven.

Reported by Ibn Bashkuwal the author of ‘Al-Qurbah’

And in a wording: There are no two servants (abd) who love each other for the sake of Allah (عز و جل), they meet each other, shake hands, and send blessings upon the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) except that they will not depart until their sins, the previous and the future are forgiven.

Mentioned by al-Hafidh Rashid al-Din (Allah the most High have mercy on him).[5]

[1] Al-Bayhaqi in his ‘Al-Shuab’ (1475) Abu Qasim al-Taymi in ‘Al-Targhib wal-Tarhib’ (1677)
Also reported in a mawquf form to Ali (Allah be pleased with him) by al-Tabarani in ‘Al-Awsat’ (725).AL-Haithami said in ‘Al-Majma’ (10/160): Its narrators are trustworthy. Refer to ‘Al-Qawl al-Badi’ (p.318) and that what comes after it.
Hafidh Rashid al-Din is the Imam well known as ‘Al-Rashid al-Attar’: Abu al-Hussein Yahya bin Ali al-Qurashi al-Umawi. Originally from Nablus, his birth and passing away was in Cairo (584-662 hijri). He is the author of ‘Ghurar al-Fawaid al-Majmuah’
Wasilah al-TAlibin: its correct full name is: ‘Wasilah al-Raghibin wa Tuhfah al-Talibin fil Ahadith al-Arbaeen’ as has been mentioned in the manuscript of of ‘Ghurar al-Fawaid al-Majmuah fi Bayah ma waqa fi Sahi Muslim min al-Ahadith al-Maqtuah’ also by Rashid al-Attar.

[2] Ahmad (3/445) Ibn MAjah (907) and al-Busiri said in ‘Misbah al-Zujajah’ (333): Its isnad is weak, because Asim bin Ubaidillah was commented on by al-Bukhari and others: Munkar al-hadith.
It was reported by Ibn al-Mubarak in his ‘Al-Zuhd’ (1026) al-Tayalisi (1142) Abd al-Razzaq (3115) with a similar wording. Ibn Abi Shaibah (11840) Abd bin Humaid (317) Ismaeel al-Qadi (6) Ibn Abi Asim (36) and al-Bazzar in ‘Kashf al-Astar’ (3161). It was weakened by al-Haithami (10/61) by the aforementioned Asim. Abu Yaala (7196) al-Bayhaqi in’Al-Shuab’ (1457) al-Baghawi in ‘Musnad Ibn al-Jad’ (869) Ibn Adiyy in ‘Al-KAmil’ (5/1868) and Abu Nuaym in ‘Al-Hilyah’ (1/180).
The hadith revolves around Asim bin Ubaidillah, and he is weak, however refer to discussion surrounding him mentioned in ‘Al-Targhib wa al-Tarhib’ (19) and ‘Al-Qawl al-Badi’ (p.169).

[3] Al-Bayhaqi in ‘Al-Sunan’ (2/153) al-Tirmidhi (593) who said: This hadith is Hasan Sahih
Also reported by al-Tabarani in ‘Al-Kabir’ (8413)

[4] The first wording is reported by:
Al-Bayhaqi in ‘Al-Shuab’ (1470) al-Sakhawi (p.221) said: The hadith is Sahih
Also reported by al-Nasai (10243) in a marfu form, and Ismaeel al-Qadi (55) in a mawquf form to Abu Saeed, and it takes the ruling of a marfu narration.
The second wording which is from the narrating of Abu Hurairah (Allah be pleased with him):
Reported by al-Tirmidhi (3380) who said: the hadith is Hasan Sahih
Also reported by Ibn al-Mubarak in ‘al-Zuhd’ (962) Ahmad (2/446) Ismaeel al-Qadi (54) Ibn al-Sunni in ‘Amal al-Yaum wal-Laylah’ (449) al-Hakim (1/496) who said: the hadith is Sahih and al-Bayhaqi in ‘al-Sunan’ (3/210)

[5] Both wordings are from the narration of Anas bin Malik (Allah be pleased with him), they revolve around the narrator Durust bin Hamzah. The first wording is reported by: Ibn Hibban in ‘al-Duafa’ (1/293).
The second wording is reported by: al-Bukhari in ‘al-Tarikh al-Kabir’ (871) both of them in the course of the biographical entry of Durust bin Hamzah. Abu Yaala (2960) Ibn al-Sunni in ‘Amal al-Yaum wal-Laylah’ (194) Ibn Adiyy in ‘al-Kamil’ (3/969) al-Dhahabi in ‘al-Mizan’ (2/26) both of them too in the entry for Durust.
It was mentioned by al-Sakhawi in ‘al-Qawl al-Badi’ (p.344) and said that it was: very weak

Al-Khair al-Kathir: Chapter One

Chapter One: Regarding the large reward[1] for the one who sends blessings upon our master the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)

Hadith One: We narrate from Sahih Muslim from Abu Hurairah (Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: ‘Whoever sends blessings upon me once, Allah sends ten blessings upon him’.
Reported by Muslim, Abu Dawud, Al-Nasai and al-Tirmidhi who said: the hadith is Hasan Sahih[2]
Hadith Two: From Abu Talha al-Ansari (Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) came one day and happiness was evident in his face. We said: We see that you are happy! He said: An angel came to me and said: O Muhammad, your Lord says: Are you not pleased that no one sends blessings upon you except that I send ten blessings upon him, and no one sends peace upon you except that I send ten peaces upon him’
Reported by al-Nasai and the wording is his, and its narrators are well known and trustworthy. It is also reported by Ibn Hibban in his ‘Sahih’, Imam Ahmad in his ‘Musnad’, al-Bayhaqi in ‘Shuab al-Iman’, al-Hakim in ‘al-Mustadrak’ who said: its isnad is Sahih. The version of Ibn Hibban has: ‘I said: Ofcourse O Lord’[3]
Hadith Three: From Abu Burdah bin Niyar (Allah be pleased with him) Said: The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: No servant (abd) from my community sends blessings upon me sincerely from himself except that Allah sends ten blessings upon him, and writes for him ten good deeds, and raises him by it ten levels, and wipes away from him by it ten sins’.
And in another wording: ‘Whoever sends blessings upon me sincerely from him heart Allah sends blessings upon him…’ till the end of the hadith
Reported by al-Nasai in his ‘Sunan’ in al-Yaum wal-Laylah, and Ibn Abi Asim.[4]
Hadith Four: From Abdullah bin Amr bin al-Aas (Allah be pleased with them both) said: The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: ‘If you hear the caller to prayer (muadhin) repeat what he says, and send blessings upon me, for the one who sends a blessing upon me Allah sends ten blessings upon him’
Reported by Muslim and al-Nasai
And in a version: ‘Whoever sends blessings upon me the angels sends blessings upon him as long as he is sending blessings, so a servant should make little or much of it’
Reported by Ibn Majah and Saeed bin Mansur.[5]

Hadith Five: From Abd al-Rahman bin Awf (Allah be pleased with him) said: I saw the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) making a lengthy prostration (sajdah). When he raised his head I asked him about it, He (Allah bless him and give peace) said: Gibril met me and said: The one who sends blessings on you, Allah sends blessings on him, and he who sends peace on you, Allah sends peace on him. He said- and I think he said: Ten.

He said: So I prostrated to Allah (عز و جل) out of thanks.’
Reported by Ibn Abi Asim and Ismaeel al-Qadi who did not say: I think he said: ten. And its isnad is good.[6]
[1] A more literal translation may read: ’…multiple rewards…’
[2] Muslim (408) Abu Dawud (1530) al-Nasai (1219) al-Tirmidhi (485) who said: the hadith is Hasan Sahih.
It is reported by Ahmad (2/372, 375) al-Darimi (2772) al-Bukhari in ‘Al-Adab al-Mufrad’ (645) Ismaeel al-Qadi in ‘Fadl al-Salat ala al-Nabi’ (8,9) Ibn Abi Asim in ‘Al-Salat ala al-Nabi’ (53,54) Abu Yaala (6464) Ibn Hibban (906) al-Bayhaqi in ‘Al-Shuab’ (1454)
[3] Al-Nasai (1206) Ibn Hibban (915) Ahmad (4/29) al-Bayhaqi in ‘Al-Shuab’ (1460) al-Hakim in ‘Al-Mustadrak’ (2/420) who said: this hadith is Sahih in terms of its isnad and al-Dhahabi agreed with his grading.
Also reported by Ibn al-Mubarak in ‘Al-Zuhd’ (1027) Ibn Abi Shaibah (11837) al-Darimi (2773) Ismaeel al-Qadi (2) Ibn Abi Asim (32) and al-Tabarani in ‘Al-Kabir’ (4724).
The angel in the second version was named as being Gibril (upon him be peace)
The narrator Suleiman the mawla of al-Hasan was declared trustworthy by Ibn Hibban (6/385) who cited narrations from him in his ‘Sahih’, likewise al-Hakim declared his narrations to be Sahih aswell as al-Dhahabi, therefore he is not unknown (majhul). Refer to ‘Al-Thiqat’ of Ibn Hibban.
[4] Ibn Abi Asim (42) Al-Nasai in ‘Amal al-Yaum wal-Laylah’ (9893) and he has another supporting narration for it narrated from Saeed bin Umair al-Ansari from his father (9892).
It is also reported by al-Bazzar –‘Kashf al-Astar’ (3160) and al-Haithami said (10/162): ‘Reported by al-Bazzar and its narrators are trustworthy’.
And also by al-Mizzi in ‘Al-Tahdhib al-Kamal’ (11/27) and mentioned by al-Sakhawi in ‘Al-Qawl al-Badi’ (p.160) who said: ‘Reported by Ishaq bin Rahaway and al-Bazzar with a chain whose narrators are trustworthy’
[5] Muslim (384) al-Nasai (1642)
It is also reported by Ahmad (2/168) Abu Dawud (523) al-Tirmidhi (3614) who said: This hadith is Hasan Sahih. Al-Nasai (1642) al-Bayhaqi in ‘Al-Sunan al-Kubra’ (1/409) al-Baghawi in ‘Sharh al-Sunnah’ (421) and it is present in ‘Al-Qawl al-Badi’ (p.168, 270)
As for the words of the author regarding the other version it is not a follow up to the first hadith, rather it is a separate hadith in itself which is of similar wording to hadith 7 to be mentioned in the this collection, its reference can be found there.
[6] Ibn Abi Asim (45) Ismaeel al-Qadi (7) in an abridged form.
It is also reported by Ibn Abi Shaibah (11838) Ahmad (1/191) Abu Yaala (847) in a lengthier version, al-Hakim (1/55) who said: This hadith’s isnad is Sahih and al-Dhahabi agreed. Al-Bayhaqi in ‘Al-Shuab’ (1456). Al-Haithami mentioned it in ‘Majma al-Zawaid’ (2/287) and referenced it to Ahmad, and said: Its narrators are trustworthy. And finally al-Sa
khawi in ‘Al-Qawl al-Badi’ (p.156).

Virtues of Salawat: Introduction to 'Al-Khair al-Kathir'

Please find below Imam al-Aathaari’s introduction to his collection of 40 hadith on sending peace and blessings upon our Master the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace). I was advised to not make the translation literal after consulting some people regarding some passages.
In the Name of Allah the All Merciful the Most Merciful, in Him I place my trust, He is sufficient for me and the best of those who are relied upon.

All praise is due to Allah for the abundant good, blessings and peace upon the giver of glad tidings and the warner, our master Muhammad the unlettered, and upon his family, companions, wives, household and group.

I bear witness that there is no god except Allah alone who has no partner, a testimony which benefits the one who says it on the day of resurrection and questioning. I bear witness that our master Muhammad is His (Allah’s) slave and messenger, Allah is his master who perfected him, His beloved whom He esteemed and beautified, and His Prophet whom He sent to the whole of creation, and was given excellence over all of the Prophets and Messengers, and ennobled and honoured, and specified him with greatness and exalted. Upon him and family and companions the most excellent blessings and peace.

To proceed: These are forty hadith on sending blessings and peace upon the noble Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), and that which is reported regarding their blessings and excellence/virtue, and the felicity of those who do this. And that which is reported regarding the immense reward for those who practise it, and the one who is consistent with it in his night and day.

A large number of the scholars (Allah be pleased with them) have authored countless number (of works) in this area[1] whose scope is not hidden.

Al-Nawawi –Allah have mercy on him- mentioned in his ‘Arbaeen’ a number of them[2], may Allah be pleased with them. They compiled these acting upon his (Allah bless him and give him peace) words: ‘Whosoever memorises and preserves for my people forty hadith relating to their religion, Allah (the most High) will resurrect him on the Day of Judgment in the company of jurists and religious scholars’ .

And in a version: ‘Allah (the most High) will resurrect him as a jurist and religious scholar’.
And in a version: ‘On the Day of Judgment I shall be an intercessor and a witness for him’
And in a version: ‘He will be written down in the company of the religious scholars and will be resurrected in the company of the martyrs’.
And in a version: ‘It will be said to him: Enter by whichever of the doors of Paradise you wish’[3]
The scholars of hadith –Allah be pleased with them- said: The meaning of memorizing here is: to transmit it to the Muslims, even if they do not memorize them, nor know their meanings. This is the reality of what it means, and by this benefit is attained/obtained for the Muslims Inshallah.
Some of them compiled them (a collection of forty hadith) on the foundations (Usul), some compiled them on the branches (furu), some compiled them on Jihad, some compiled them on Zuhd, some compiled them on manners (adab), some compiled them on sermons, some compiled them on the principles of the religion seeking benefit for the Muslims, and all of them have a lofty aim, and goal deserving of beautiful praise. Allah be pleased with them and please them, and benefit us by them.

I saw that I should compile them on sending blessings and peace upon the best of mankind, because it is the greatest gift a slave can present before Him. And most noble treasure the one who reaps can save for the day he is questioned by Him. I compiled it from the well known books on this subject, desiring to attain recompense and reward. I have compiled it without the chains of transmission so that it is easy for its readers, and organised it in a fine manner indicating to the various forms of its excellence/virtue. I have explained its difficult wording to make clear the matter for those who memorize it. I have divided it into chapters and it is the same number as the doors of paradise, and for Allah is the praise and kindness.

The first Chapter is: The large reward of the one who sends blessings upon our master the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)

Second Chapter: The excellence/virtue of blessings upon our master the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)

Third Chapter: On sending many blessings upon our master the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)

Fourth Chapter: On asking for wasilah for him along with blessings on him (Allah bless him and give him peace)

Fifth Chapter: On the blessings reaching our master the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)

Sixth Chapter: On the necessity of blessings upon our master the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)

Eighth Chapter: On sending peace upon our master the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)

This is the sum of the chapters contained within it, and is easily accessible to students/seekers. I have cited in each chapter five from the forty, and upon Allah I rely and I seek help from. I have named it:

The abundant reward in blessings and peace upon the giver of glad tidings and warner

Allah is asked for sincerity and acceptance, in the abundance of His blessings, and vastness of His mercy, and His all encompassing kindness, and immense gifts, for He is our sufficiency and best of those relied upon.
[1] Meaning collections of forty hadith
[2] This is in the introduction of his ‘Arbaeen’ where he mentioned Abdullah bin al-Mubarak, Muhammad bin Aslam al-Tusi and nine others. A large number of others can be found in ‘Al-Risalah al-Mustatrifah’ of al-Sayyid Muhammad Ibn Jafar al-Kattani (p.102-104).
[3] Refer to its various wordings and referencing in the treatise of al-Hafidh Ahmad bin al-Siddiq al-Ghumari (Allah have mercy on him) in his ‘Irshad al-Marbaeen ila Tareeq Hadith al-Arbaeen’ which was published in Egypt in the year 1354 (hijri).
The hadith is well known as being weak along with its numerous chains of transmission, except that Imam Ibn Asakir discussion in his work ‘Al-Arbaeen al-Buldaniyyah’ (p.44) indicates to his leaning towards the strengthening of hadith due to its numerous chains of transmission, and al-Hafidh al-Ghumari ended his treatise with a mention of this, as if he also leans towards this view. And Allah knows best.

Virtues of Salawat/Darud: Biography of Author

Salam. Inshallah we will be posting a serialised translation of a brief text which consists of 40 hadith on the virtues of sending blessings (salat) and peace (salam) upon our Master the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), intended as a donation of reward for a recently deceased relative. Please overlook any shortcomings of the translators as we post some passages which can be translated in more than one way.

The edition of the work being used annotated by Ahmad Sa’d al-Din Awwamah. We will start with a biography of the author, and Inshallah hope to post the authors introduction tommorrow followed by the rest of the chapters. And our tawfiq is only through Allah (the most High).
Biography of Author[1]
He is Najm al-Din, and Sharaf al-Din, Abu Saeed, Shaban bin Muhammad Ibn Dawud al-Qurashi by way of lineage, Shafi by madhab, well known as al-Aathaari, born in Mosul and raised and passed away in Cairo.

The author was born on the 15th of Shaban in year 765 (hijri)[2] and it is said in the year 759 (hijri)[3]. He became well known by the name of al-Aathaari due to his association with it.

As for his moving to Cairo, it appears this was at a young age, this is indicated to by al-Sakhawi’s mention of the authors studying with Sh Shams al-Din Muhammad bin Muhammad bin Ali al-Ghumari who passed away in 782 (hijri) at which time the author would have been 17 or 23 years old (due the differences regarding his date of birth).

His Teachers
From the notable scholars whom he studied with include:
– Siraj al-Bulqini
– Siraj Ibn al-Mulaqqin
– Sham al-Ghumari
– Burhan al-Ibnasi
– Al-Izz Ibn Jamah and others
Works Authored
He studied with them a number of Islamic sciences, including the Arabic language, in which he gained proficiency and expertise such that no less than al-Sakhawi described him as being an ‘Imam’ in this science[4]. This is evident in the list of his works which include the following:
-Poem on Ilm al-Kitabah
-Poem on Arabic language and balaghah
-Al-Badieiyyah al-Sughra, al-Wusta and al-Kubra
-Al-Halwah al-Sukriyyah: which is poem on grammar
-Al-Khair al-Kathir
-Al-Rad ala Man Tajawuz al-Had
-Commentary on the Alfiyyah Ibn Malik on grammar, he wrote three volumes on it, but passed away before completing it.
-Shifa al-Siqam fi Nawadir Al-Salat wal-Salam: In this he mentioned forty incidents of those whom Allah (the most High) helped because of their abundantly sending peace and blessings upon our master Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). Al-Sakhawi mentioned many of them in his work ‘Al-Qawl al-Badi’ without referencing the narratives to him.
-Al-Iqd al-Badee, written in Makkah al-Mukkaramah in the year 809 (hijri)
-Al-Umdah fi al-Mukhtar Min Takhamis al-Burdah
-Inan al-Arabiyyah, a poem on grammar
-Al-Inayah al-Rabbaniyyah fi al-Tariqah al-Shabaniyyah: A work on calligraphy, it maybe the same as another of his works cited above. Its editor Ustadh Hilal al-Naji described it as a thousand line poem on Arabic calligraphy.
-Al-Farj al-Qarib fi Mujizat al-Habib (Allah bless him and give him peace)
-Al-Fadl al-Kathir fi Salat wa Taslim ala al-Bashir al-Nadhir: This the original work from which Al-Khair al-Kathir was summarized.
-Al-Qiladah al-Jawhariyyah fi Sharh al-Halawah al-Sukriyyah
-Kifayah al-Ghulam fi Irab al-Kalam: A thousand line poem on grammar which was commended by Jalal al-Bulqini.
-Lisan al-Arab fi Ulum al-Adab
-Manzumah al-Arab fi Ulum al-Adab
-Al-Manhaj al-Mashur fi Taqallub al-Ayyam wa Shahur
-Misk al-Khitam fi Ashar al-Salat was-Salam
-Al-Manhal al-Adhab: An anthology of his poetry in Prophetic praise
-Nuzhah al-Kiram fi Madh Taibah wal-Balad al-HAram: A poem consisting of 90 lines
-Nayl al-Murad fi Takhmis Banat Suad
-Al-Wajh al-Jamil fi Ilm al-Khalil: A poem on the sciences of Urud and Qawafi
-Wasilah al-Malhuf Ind Ahl al-Maruf
Editors of his works mention that the above list is all that they have found thus far attributed to him, despite the fact that al-Sakhawi copied from the writing of al-Aathaari that his works on literature exceed thirty in number, most of them in the form of poetry.
It is also evident that many of his works are linked to the praise of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), which is evidence of his immense love for the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace).
Passing Away
Imam al-Aathaari passed away in Egypt on the 7th of Jamadi al-Akhir in the year 828 (hijri). May Allah (the most High) have mercy on him and all of the scholars of Islam.
[1] Taken from ‘al-Nujum al-Zahirah’ (14/302), ‘Manhal al-Safi’ (6/248), ‘Inba al-Ghamr’ (8/82) ‘Daw al-Lami’ (3/301) ‘Wajiz al-Kalam fi al-Dhail Ala Dawl al-Islam lil al-Dhahabi’ by al-Sakhawi (2/487) and Ustadh Hilal al-Naji’s introduction to ‘Khams Miah Nusus Islamiyyah Nadirah’ (p.5-12)
[2] ‘Al-Daw al-Lami’ (3/301-303)
[3] ibid
[4] See ‘Wajiz al-Kalam fi al-Dhail ala Duwal al-Islam lil Dhahabi’ (2/487)

Al-Akhtal: A Christian Arab Poet

Please find a short biographical entry for al-Akhtal, a famous Christian poet whose compositions are still cited as examples of how the Arabic language should be used.
Imam al-Dhahabi said regarding him in his ‘al-Siyar’ (4/589):
The poet of his era, his name is Ghiyath Ibn Ghawth al-Taghlabi, the Christian (al-Nasrani).
It was said to al-Farazdaq: Who is the best poet? He replied: I am sufficient for you for poetry whose subject matter is boasting, and Jarir is best for satire, and the son of the Christian woman (al-Akhtal) is best for poetry consisting of praise.
Abd al-Malik bin Marwan would generously reward al-Akhtal, and would give preference to him over others in poetry. Al-Akhtal said:
Peoples concern is life, and I do not see
A lengthy life increase except confusion
For if you are in need of treasure, you will not find
A treasure which is like righteous action
It was said: Al-Akhtal was imprisoned al-Usquf and humiliated, he was censured for his patience towards it, he replied: It is religion (deen), it is religion.
He obtained considerable wealth from the Umayyads (Bani Umayyah), and died a number of years before al-Farazdaq.
Adapted from ‘al-Fawaid al-Gharra’. Also please note that our Imam’s may cite poetry from the jahili Arabs, and even Christians such as al-Ahktal, not because they are authorities in the religion, but rather because they have authored compositions which highlight the correct usage of words. Understand this and do not be confused.

Tawassul Through the Awliyah

Tawassul Through the Awliyah in the Hanafi School
Please find above an extract from the hanafi fiqh primer ‘Nur al-Idah/Maraqi al-Falah’ along with its supercommentary called ‘Hashiyah al-Tahtawi’. The text underlined clearly mentions that when we visit Madinah the Illuminated, and visit Masjid al-Nabawi one should ask our Masters Abu Bakr al-Siddiq and Umar (Allah be pleased with them) to not just make dua to Allah for us, but rather ask the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) to make dua for us. Which can be described as a ‘double tawassul’. It should be noted that our Masters Abu Bakr and Umar are from companions and are not Prophets. [Take note those who may seek to explain away this clear example from an established hanafi text for making tawassul via the awliyah].
Competing Groups and Confusion
When growing up and being confronted by the numerous groups at university I would often hear of the concept of ‘grave worship’ from many quarters, including those who said they were hanafi and that the position of the madhab was that it was shirk to ask a deceased person to pray to Allah for one. This period of time was characterised by much confusion as back in the mid-late 90’s there was little material in english on the matter, and few people around who I was able to trust to clarify convincingly regarding the issue.

I agree there are strange and unlawful acts which take place at tombs. However the correct way to deal with them is through the proper transmission of the fiqh of our ulema, not the rather confusing positions of : No its haram/shirk/bida, and when confronted with the position of the akabir of the akabir the stance suddenly changes to: No actually it is ok, but we are saying that for the masses.

Hmm right, so something changes from being shirk/bida to an act of good based on a person being from the awam? This position is somewhat better than those who deny outright and seek to construct long winded interpretations of texts which affirm the permissibility of seeking help from the deceased( in the form of asking them to pray for one).
Transgressions and a Balanced View
As with many issues there are balances, I am no expert on mazars, and have only visited Pakistan once. I visited a mazar on a urs or celebration of sorts (from what I remember) and its was no religious gathering, all I recall is noise and being dragged through crowds where there seemed to be no segregation. Judging by the numerous video’s posted on the internet of abuses of the sacred law which occur at such places it would be difficult to deny there is a problem.
How is this to be dealt with? I leave it up to the ulema, however an approach which has not helped matters is having the confusing double edged policy which only exacerbates tensions between people and does not solve the problem. Instead we currently have the reactionary attitude of both camps, the ones who seek to deny and excommunicate from the religion, and those who seek to affirm and try to claim there is no problem in the indo pak subcontinent on this issue. What is more unfortunate is that we often have both of the above groups claiming to be hanafi.
Imam Ahmad Rida and the Baseless Blame
For the record, as mentioned (even in Nuzhat al-Khawatir) Imam Ahmad Rida has a treatise in which he labels a number of the practises of the ignorant masses as unlawful, such as prostrating to a grave, and a womans visiting a mazar. [Someone please correct me if I am wrong]. Yes there maybe fiqhi discussion’s on some points such as tomb structures, cloths on graves, flowers on graves etc…
Therefore those who seek to attribute positions to those who are free of such views take note, and seal your lips from continuously labelling as shirk something which has not been declared as such by the akabir of the akabir. And yes this principle should be applied in our transaction with all muslims no matter which group they belong to. Inshallah may Allah (the exalted) give us tawfiq to traverse the balanced path of the akabir of the akabir.
Additional Notes:
-We have already posted material from Sh Abd al-Haq al-Dehlawi on the permissibility of tawassul through the awliyah, and Inshallah If we can find the quote from Shah Abd al-Aziz al-Dehlawi affirming it also we will try to post it. Something which will make clearer the maslak of the Akabir of the Akabir on this contentious issue, and help many of those who may have been confused over this.
-The above quotes of the akabir clarify what can sometimes be understood as the opposite of such positions from some ulema, ie. the mashaikh have declared unlawful as asking from the deceased directly thinking they are the ones that benefit/harm etc, when this is understood then the confusion regarding the nuanced fatawa of the ulema becomes understood.
-Finally a brief extract from ‘al-Muhannad’ which is of interest and relates to this point:
السؤال الحادي عشرو هل يجوز عندكم الاشتغال بأشغال الصوفية و بيعتهم ؟و هل تقولون بصحة وصول الفيوض الباطنية عن صدور الأكابر و قبورهم ؟و هل يستفيد أهل السلوك من روحانية المشايخ الأجلة أم لا ؟
الجواب يستحب عندنا إذا فرغ الإنسان من تصحيح العقائد و تحصيل المسائل الضرورية من الشرع : أن يبايع شيخاً راسخَ القدم في الشريعة زاهداً في الدنيا راغباً في الآخرة قد قطع عقبات النفس و تمرن في المنجيات و تبتل عن المهلكات كاملاً مكملاً و يضع يده في يده و يحبس نظره في نظره و يشتغل بأشغال الصوفية من الذكر و الفكر و الفناء الكلي فيه و يكتسب النسبة التي هي النعمة العظمى و الغنيمة الكبرى و هي المعبَّر عنها بلسان الشرع بِ’الإحسان’ ، و أما من لم يتيسر له ذلك و لم يقدر له ما هنالك فيكفيه الانس
لاك بسلكهم و الانخراط في حزبهم ، فقد قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم : ” المرء مع من أحب أولئك قوم لا يشقى جليسُهم “و بحمد الله تعالى و حسن إنعامه ، نحن و مشايخنا قد دخلوا في بيعتهم و اشتغلوا بأشغالهم و تصدوا للإرشاد و التلقين ، و الحمد لله على ذلكو أما الاستفادة من روحانية المشايخ الأجلة و وصول الفيوض الباطنية من صدورهم أو قبورهم فيصحّ على الطريقة المعروفة في أهلها و خواصِها لا بما هو شائع في العوام

Mature Students

Salam. Please find some brief accounts of scholars who began their quest for knowledge at a relatively later stage of their live’s, Inshallah should be encouragement for us that we should never give up nor feel we are too old to learn.
Just reflect on how many people in terms of ‘dunyawi’ knowledge enroll on degrees, courses and training? they never feel they are too old for ‘professional development’. Yes I do agree that we need to have courses which are tailored for part time students, including those who maybe classified as ‘old’. How many a students resolve to learn has been broken by poorly arranged, structured (and sad to say) delivered courses? Knowledge is one thing and ability to teach in an effective way is another.
A Mature Grammarian: al-Kasai
Imam al-Dhahabi mentioned in his ‘al-Siyar’ (9/131-134):
Al-Farra said: Al-Kasai learnt grammar (nahw) when he was old
Imam al-Dhahabi commented:
Al-Kasai held a high position with al-Rashid, and taught his son al-Amin. He attained status and wealth, and I have written about him in a number of places…He travelled with al-Rashid, and passed away in al-Rayy in the village of Aranbuwayah in the year 189 aged 70 years.
A Locksmith Turned Faqih (Jurist): al-Qaffal al-Shafi
Imam al-Dhahabi said regarding Abu Bakr Abdullah bin Ahmad al-Marwazi in his ‘al-Siyar’ (17/405-408):
He was skilled in the manufacturing of locks such that he made a lock with its parts and key which weighed four habbat. When he was 30 years of age, he noticed in himself an intelligence which was being wasted. He loved fiqh, and focussed on its study until he excelled in it such that he became pointed out as an example…
The jurist Nasir al-Umari said: There was no one more knowledgeable than Abu Bakr al-Qaffal in his time, and there will not be after him the like of him. We used to say: He is an angel in the form of human who narrates and dictates. He was a leader in fiqh, and an example in zuhd.
Makruh Times of Prayer and Confusion: Ibn Hazm al-Dhahiri
Finally, all those who have studied some basic fiqh will know that there are specific rules as to when one should pray and then conversely this very same act of obedience at certain times of the day becomes disliked!, which incidentally is one of the needs of fiqh – as how can an act of worship become an act of disobedience at certain times?
Imam al-Dhahabi mentioned in his ‘al-Siyar’ (18/184-212):
Abu Bakr Muhammad bin Tarkhan al-Turki said: Imam Abu Muhammad Abdullah bin Muhammad -meaning the father of Abu Bakr Ibn al-Arabi- said to me: Abu Muhammad bin Hazm informed me that the cause for his learning fiqh was that he attended a funeral prayer, he entered the masjid and sat without praying. A man said to him: Stand and offer the greeting of the masjid (tahiyyah al-masjid), he had at the time reached 26 years of age. He said: So I stood and and prayed.
When we returned from the funeral prayer I entered the masjid, I hastened to pray and it was said to me: sit, sit, this is not the time for prayer- and this was after asr-. He said: I left and was saddened, and I said to my to teacher who had taught me: guide me towards the house of the jurist (faqih) Abu Abdullah bin Dahun. He said: I went to him and informed him of what had happened, he guided me to the ‘Muwatta’ of Malik, and I started (its study) with him, and I continued reading to him and others for around three years…
Adapted from ‘al-Fawaid al-Gharra’