Monthly Archives: March 2009

Dying in Madinah by Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khan

prophet-green-dome-249x300Salam.  Perhaps ten years ago in the late 1990’s when my Arabic was even weaker than it is at the moment, I along with a friend attended some lessons of the ‘Ikhtiyar’ taught by the Syrian Hanafi jurist Shaykh Ahmad al-Jammal in Amman.

We caught the tail end of his lessons on the chapter of Hajj, where at at the chapters completion he made mention of a book by Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khan which contained an account of his difficult and arduous Hajj journey from India.  Shaykh Ahmad commented that this account he had read could have easily resembled a work of fiction, such were the incidents  that took place during Nawab Siddiq’s journey, and highlighted how difficult it was in the past to undertake the Hajj and return back to ones homeland safely.

The name of the book had stuck in my mind all these years, and recently I was finally able to locate a copy of this work entitled ‘Rihla al-Siddiq ila Balad al-Atiq’.  I will try to post if possible (Inshallah) Nawab Siddiq’s comments attempting to describe what he felt when he first set eyes on the blessed Kabah, and what he experienced in his stay in Madinah the Illuminated.

For now I leave you with what he mentions in his book about living and dying in Madinah, May Allah Taala make us worthy of such a blessing, and grant us the dust of al-Baqi, Ameen.

Note: The story of Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khans journey is the final chapter of the book, he preceded it with a discussion of the legal rulings of Hajj and other related matters.

Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khan said (p.157):

Malik, al-Bukhari and Razin al-Abdari narrate: that Umar bin al-Khattab said:

O Allah bless me with martyrdom in your path, and make my death in the city of your Messenger

And al-Bayhaqi narrates in a marfu form:

Whom so ever is able to die in Madinah, then let him die in it.  For whoever dies in Madinah I will be an intercessor and witness for him

And in a version:

For whoever dies in it, I will intercede for, and be a witness for

And this version was mentioned by Ibn Hibban in his Sahih.

Al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Hibban in his Sahih, Ibn Majah, al-Bayhaqi, Abd al-Haq who graded it Sahih narrate that Ibn Umar said:

The Messenger of Allah said:  Whom so ever is able to die in Madinah, then let him die in it.  For I will intercede for the one who dies in it

It was also reported by al-Tabarani in al-Kabir with a Hasan chain, al-Tirmidhi said:  This is a hadith which has a Hasan Sahih Gharib chain.

Al-Tabarani narrates in a marfu form:

The first of my community whom I will intercede for will be the people of Madinah, then the people of Makkah, then the people of Taif

Reported by al-Tirmidhi

To sum up:  The like of the encouragement of dying in Madinah is not established for any other (city).  Its being chosen as a place of residence is well known from the practice of the early Muslims (hal al-salaf).  There is no doubt that residing in Madinah during his (Allah bless him and give him peace) earthly life is superior (afdal) by consensus. And it is recommended after his passing away…

In the two Sahih’s (it is narrated):

O Allah, make Madinah beloved to us like our love for Makkah, and more!

And in them both:

O Allah place in Madinah double that which you have placed in Makkah of blessings (barakah)

And from Abu Hurayrah:

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:  O Allah bless us in our dates, bless us in our city, bless us in our Saa’, bless us in our Mudd.  O Allah, indeed Ibrahim is your servant, friend and Prophet.  And I am your servant and Prophet.  He prayed to you for Makkah, and I am praying to you for Madinah for the likes of that which he prayed to you for Makkah, and the like of it in addition

Reported by Muslim, and it has other wordings mentioned by the authors of the Sunan works.

Repentance (tawbah): Wasiyyah of Imam al-Haddad with Imam al-Habshi's Notes


Salam.  Please find below some brief selections from Imam al-Habshi’s commentary on his teacher Imam al-Haddad’s poem called ‘al-Wasiyyah’.  Please note that it is a rough draft and not a literal translation, and that the original commentary contains much more material from which the following has been presented in an abridged form.  The following is what I have selected from Imam al-Habshi’s commentary (pg. 342 onwards) on line 36 of the poem (kindly translated by Sidi Amin Buxton):

36. He is, however, repentant of what he has done

And has come to You acknowledging his sins, fearing Your wrath.

Imam al-Habshi said:

Know that repentance (tawbah) is an immense rank of the religion, and it is the first station of the spiritual travellers (salikin).  Its meaning is to return back from that which is censured in the divine law to that which is praiseworthy in it.

It (repentance) is not the uttering of the slave with his tongue أستغفر الله و اتوب اليه without remorse in the heart and without abandoning the sinful act.  Rather this is supplication (dua) and remembrance of Allah (the Exalted), by which reward is attained for the one says it.

And from delusion and stupidity is the hoping for forgiveness and paradise without striving in acts of obedience, and without leaving sinful acts, and without a correct repentance from them to the Knower of the hidden.

He (the Exalted) said:

Or do those who earn evil deeds think that We shall hold them equal with those who believe and do righteous good deeds [al-Jathiyah:21]

If this is known then there are three conditions for repentance:

First: Remorse in the heart for previous sins

Second: Abandoning the sin, which is leaving it immediately

Third: Resolve with the heart that he will not return to the sin for the rest of his life.

If the sin involves the servants (of Allah) a fourth condition is added which is:  The redressing of any injustice.

If the injustice was in relation to a person it is necessary to enable him to retaliate (qisas).

If it is in relation to wealth it is compulsory to return it, or to be absolved of it, and if the person is not alive then from his inheritor.

Likewise it is compulsory that if he has left any of the necessary obligatory acts, such as the prayer, zakat, that he rectify that which he has missed by making up according to his ability.  And that he generalises his repentance for all sins, even if it is correct (to specify) one sin and not another.

If he does all of this, then he should be between fear and hope, hoping for acceptance out of Allah (the Exalted’s) kindness and generosity.  And fears non acceptance, fearing that he has not completely repented as he was ordered by Allah (the Exalted).

It is reported that Sahl bin Abdullah al-Tustari (Allah the Exalted have mercy on him) was questioned regarding a man who repents from a thing and leaves it, then afterwards a thought of it occurs in his heart, or he sees it, and hears about it and senses a sweetness?

He replied (Allah the Exalted have mercy on him):

The sensing of sweetness is human nature, there is no strategy/approach except to raise his heart to his Lord with complaint, and to reject it with his heart, and persevere himself in rejecting it, and not do it.  And to supplicate to Allah that he forgets it immediately, and that he busies him with other than it with an act of obedience to Him.

Allah (the Exalted) has said:

And turn you all together in repentance to Allah O believers, that you may be successful” [Al-Noor:31]

And Glorified is He said:

O you who believe! Turn in sincere repentance to Allah. [al-Tahrim:8]

And He (جل و علا) said:

Surely Allah loves those who turn unto him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves. [al-Baqarah:222]

And it is reported:

The one repenting from a sin is like the one who has no sin

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

Glad tidings to the one who finds in his records (sahifah) much seeking of forgiveness (istighfar).

And he (upon him be blessings and peace) said:

Should I not inform you of your illness and your medicine?  Your illness is your sins and your medicine is seeking forgiveness (istighfar).

The proof of Islam (Allah have mercy on him) said:

In the reports/narrations is that which indicates that a sin if followed with eight acts, then forgiveness from it is hoped for:  Four are from the acts of the heart:  Which are: repentance or resolve to repent, love of abandoning the sinful act, fear of being punished for it, and hope of forgiveness.

Four are from the acts of the body, they are:  prayer of two units or more, seeking forgiveness (istighfar) seventy times, and saying:  سبحان الله وبحمده one hundred times, charity and fasting.

And in some reports/narrations: wudu and entering the masjid

A righteous act if it does not atone for the sin, it lightens it.

‘And whoever does an atoms weight of good will see it. And whoever acts an atoms weight of evil with see it.'[al-Zalzalah:7-8][1]

[1] Ihya Ulum al-Din (4/46-47)

Sharh Aqidah al-Awam of Sayyid al-Maliki: Introduction

Salam. Please find below the Introduction along with its commentary. I have omitted the inclusion of the discussion surrounding individual words which can be found in the commentary for a number of reasons. Inshallah perhaps they can be incorporated in the future.

بسم اله الرحمن الرحيم
عقيدة العوام

The author (Allah have mercy on him) said:

أَبْدَأُ بِسْمِ اللهِ وَالّرَحْمنِ   َوبِالّرَحِيْمِ دَائِمِ الإِحْسَانِ
I begin in the name of Allah, and most merciful, compassionate, eternally kind

Commentary: I begin the writing of this poem ‘Aqidah al-Awam’ with the basmalah seeking help from Allah (عز و جل) whose mercy has encompassed everything, and whose bestowing and blessings are continuous without break nor decrease.

First: Following the noble book in its order not in its sequence of revelation.
Second: Acting upon that which has come from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) that:

Every important matter which is not begun with bismillah al-rahman al-raheem is cut off (meaning deficient and of little good and blessing). [al-Khatib from Abu Hurayrah in a Marfu form]

Third: Following the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) who would begin his writings and letters with the basmalah as has come in his (Allah bless him and give him peace) letter to Harqal and others.

The author Allah have mercy on him said:

فَالحَمْدُ ِللهِ القَدِيْمِ الأَوَّلِ    وَالآخِرِ البَاقِىْ بِلاَ تَحَوُّلِ
All praise is for Allah, Without Beginning, the First and the Last, Everlasting without change

Commentary: I also begin adding to the writing of this poem with praise for Him, meaning by Praise for Allah with the tongue, the Without Beginning, the First, the Last, the Everlasting. Along with honouring Him and believing that all praise is established for Him.

First: Acting by His (Allah bless him and give him peace) words:

Every important matter not begun with praise for Allah is cut off [Abu Dawud and others and graded Hasan by Ibn al-Salah]

Second: Fulfilling the right of a thing which is incumbent upon him which is expressing thanks for blessings from amongst which is the authoring of this poem.

The author (Allah have mercy on him) said:

ثُمَّ الّصَلوةُ وَاّلسَلاَمُ سَرْمَدَا   عَلى اّلنَِبىِّ خَيْرِ مَنْ قَدْ وَحَّدَا
Then peace and blessings be continuously upon the messenger, best of those who affirmed the oneness
وَآلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ وَمَنْ تَبِعْ   سَبِيْلَ دِيْنِ الحَقِّ غَيْرَ مُبتَدِعْ
And His family, His companions and those who follow the path of the true religion without innovation

Commentary: Then I send blessings and peace upon our Master Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) the best of all of those who affirm divine oneness, and upon his family, companions and those that follow them on the path of the true religion with goodness till the last day. Acting upon that which is reported from him (Allah bless him and give him peace) that he said:

Every important matter which is not begun with the praise of Allah, and blessings upon me, it is cut off and devoid of all blessings [al-Qadir al-Rahawi in ‘al-Arbain’. Al-Haithaimi said its chain was weak, however it is in on virtues (fadail) and the weak is acted upon in it along with its conditions]

Benefit: Imam al-Shafi (Allah have mercy on him) said:

I like it that a person should precede his speech (khutbah) and every matter he seeks with the praise of Allah (the Exalted) glorifying Him (Glorified and Exalted is He) and sending blessings upon the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace).

Sharh Aqidah al-Awam of Sayyid al-Maliki: The Story of The Poem


One of my favourite Aqidah texts is the beginners poem on belief named ‘Aqidah al-Awam’ (The common/lay persons belief) written by Shaykh Ahmad al-Marzuqi al-Maliki.  I obtained a useful commentary on this poem many years ago by the Muhaddith of the Haramayn:  Sayyid Muhammad bin Alawi al-Maliki which was transcribed by his student Shaykh Muhammad Ihya Ulum al-Din from the teaching of this text in sacred city of Makkah in the late 1970’s.

I had been puzzled for some time why this wonderful work has seemingly been ignored by translators (not least as it is the first text studied by students of knowledge in many parts of the Muslim world) whilst other more detailed and complex works have been translated and offered to the English speaking public.  I pray that we have the tawfiq to be able to present all of this brief commentary on this blog in the upcoming months, Ameen.  Please find below an extract from pg 11-12 of Sayyid Malikis commentary compiled by his wonderfully named student (Muhammad Ihya Ulum al-Din).  The commentary states:

The Reason For the Composition of This Poem
A unique story is reported from the author regarding the reason for his composing this poem which we will make mention of, and it is:

The author (Allah have mercy on him) saw the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and his companions (Allah be pleased with them) standing around him (in a dream). He (Allah bless him and give him peace) said to him:

Recite the poem of al-Tawhid which whomsoever memorizes it will enter paradise, and will attain all that is desired from every good which is in conformity with the Book and the Sunnah.

He said to him:

What is that poem O Messenger of Allah?

The Companions said to him:

Listen to the Messenger of Allah to what he says. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: Say  أَبدَأُ بِسْمِ اللهِ وَالّرَحْمن

So he said:

أَبدَأُ بِسْمِ اللهِ وَالّرَحْمن

To its end which are his words:

وَصُحُفُ الخَلِيْلِ وَالكَلِيم فِيْهَا كَلاَمُ الحَكَمِ العَلِيْم

Whilst the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) was listening to him. When he awoke from his sleep he recited that which he had seen in his dream and found that it was preserved with him from its beginning to its end. He then saw the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) a second time in a dream at the time before dawn, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said to him:

Recite that which you have gathered (meaning in your heart).

So he recited it from its beginning to its end whilst standing in front of him (Allah bless him and give him peace) and his companions standing around him saying: ‘Ameen’ after every verse of this poem. When he had completed his recitation the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

May Allah (the Exalted) give you success to that which pleases Him, and accept that from you, and bless you and the believers, and benefit the slaves by it, Ameen.

The author was then questioned after people came to know of the poem, so he answered their question, and added to it the poem from his words:
كُلُّ مَا أَتَى بِهِ الّرَسُوْلُ فَحَقُّهُ الّتَسْلِيمُ وَالقَبُوْلُ until the end of the poem. This is what the author has informed regarding himself, and we have conveyed it exactly, and the responsibility is upon the narrator.

The Mawlid Is An Eid And The Malikis: Zarruq, Ibn Abbad and Ibn Ashir



I have been away for a while attending to personal matters.  I hope the following post is of benefit, not least in this blessed month, and also for those who maybe wondering about the use of  the term of Eid being used for the Mawlid (as is the case in the Indo Pak subcontinent).

Mawlid In Mauritania: When a while back when I went to visit one of our teachers from Mauritania, I raised the issue of the Mawlid and its practice in his country.  I had been reading the attempts of some (who in their desperate search to find some kind of justification for their minority position for the Mawlid opinion being impermissible) had tried to give the impression that some scholars in Mauritania were anti Mawlid.  The Shaykh Muhammad reassured me that the Mawlid was celebrated all across Mauritania and was a widespread practice in the country.  He added that it is also celebrated in his fathers school (mahdara) where students are given the 12th of Rabi al-Awwal as a holiday.  He described that the students dressed in their best clothing, gathered together, some qasaid were read and I believe refreshments were given.  What is of note is that this is a description of a Mahdara not linked to any tariqah and the Shuyukh who run it are respectful of the Sufi Turuq but prefer to keep a distance from them and some of their other practices/ideas.

The Mawlid Is An Eid According To The Later Malikis and A Wonderful Passage: He had mentioned something previously to me about his reading a discussion on the Mawlid in a work authored by a Salafi leaning author which he found of interest.  Alhumdulilah he found it for me and it indeed is wonderful passage, not least as it involves a number of giants of Maliki scholarship, namely: al-Hattab quoting Zarruq, Ibn Abbad and Ibn Ashir.  Note: I found some parts of the passage below a little difficult to translate, however I hastened to share it with you in the blessed month of Rabi al-Awwal, so please overlook any shortcomings.

Imam al-Hattab said in his commentary on the ‘Mukhtasar Khalil’:

Shaykh Zarruq said:  Fasting on the (day of) the Mawlid was disliked by some…He said:  It is from from the Eids of the Muslims and fasting should not take place on it.  Our Shaykh Abu Abdullah al-Quri would mention this often and regarded it as good.

I say:  Perhaps he means Ibn Abbad, as he said in his ‘Rasail al-Kubra’:  As for the Mawlid, what is apparent to me is that it is an Eid from the Eids of the Muslims, and a season from its seasons.  All that is done in it which results from the presence of joy and happiness regarding the blessed Mawlid such as the lighting of lamps, the gratification of the sight and hearing, adorning by wearing of beautiful clothing and mounting on fine riding animals is a permissible matter which no one can be condemned for, being analogous/similar to other than it of times of happiness.

The ruling that these things are an innovation (bidah) at this time in which the secret of existence manifested, the banner of witnessing was raised, the darkness of disbelief and rejection was driven away in it.  And the claim that this time is not from the legislated seasons for the people of belief, and its comparison to the Nayruz/Mahrajan is a disturbing matter which sounds hearts and intellects find repulsive.

In the past I had gone out on the day of the Mawlid to the sea coast, I happened to meet there Sayyidi al-Hajj Ibn Ashir (Allah have mercy on him) along with a group of his companions. Some of them had brought different types of food to eat there, as they had brought it for this they wished for me to join them in eating.  I was at that time fasting, so I said to them:  I am fasting.  Sayyidi al-Hajj looked gazed towards me with a reprimanding look, and said to me, the meaning of which was:  This day is one of joy and happiness in which fasting is disliked, and is at the level of the Eid.  I reflected on his words and found them to be true, it was as if I had been asleep and he had awoken me.