Month: October 2009

Saying كرم الله وجهه For Imam Ali: Imam al-Saffarini al-Hanbali

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I found the following point of benefit in the work of the great Hanbali Sunni, Imam al-Saffarini al-Hanbali (d.1188) from his work entitled ‘Ghidha al-Albab’ (1/24-25 ).  I had been wanting to post something on this for some time, not least due to many of us having inherited this practice due to hearing it so often from our elders, only to have some well meaning people label it as incorrect.  It is hoped the passage below will foster greater tolerance and understanding of difference of opinion amongst Muslims.  Imam al-Saffarini said:

Ibn Kathir mentioned that it is common in the writing of many of the scribes of books to single out Ali (Allah be pleased with him) that they say ‘Upon him be peace’ عليه السلام  for him and not the other companions, or ‘Allah ennoble his face’  كرم الله وجهه.  Although the meaning of this is correct,  the companions should be treated equally in this, for this is from the point of respect and honouring, and the two Shaykhs and the commander of the believers Uthman are more deserving of this than him. [end of quote]

I say [Imam al-Saffarini]: this is common and widespread and has filled the books and the ears (of people).  The Shaykhs have said:  Ali (Allah be pleased with him) is specified with the statement ‘Allah ennoble his face’  كرم الله وجهه because he never prostrated to an idol, and there is no harm in this -Allah Most High willing-.  And Allah is the giver of success.

Note: Also refer to Shaykh Faraz Rabbani’s answer here

Categories: Fiqh Other

Garments Below Ankles (Isbal) in the Hanbali School- Shaykh al-Asmari


Shaykh Salih al-Asmari was questioned regarding the relied upon opinion in the Hanbali school related to the hanging of a persons garments below their ankles without pride and without a need to do so.  The summary of his answer is that it is disliked and not unlawful.   He answered with the following:

Answer: The position of the Madhab regarding this is that it is disliked, and their (the scholars of the Madhab) statements regarding the issue are well know, amongst them are the following:

Shams Ibn Muflih (Allah have mercy on him) said in ‘al-Furu’ (2/60):  “The more correct opinion is that it is disliked below the ankles without a need to do so”

Alaa al-Din al-Mardawi (Allah have mercy on him) said in ‘al-Insaf’ (1/472): “It is disliked to lengthen it to below the ankles without a need to do so according to the most correct of the two narrations”

Burhan Ibn Muflih (Allah have mercy on him) said in ‘al-Mubdi’ (1/332):  “It is disliked according to the most correct opinion: (meaning the garments being) below the ankles without need to do so”

Mari al-Karmi (Allah have mercy) on him said ‘Ghayah al-Muntaha’ (1/346):  “It is disliked that that the garment be above half of the shin or below the ankles without a need to do so”

Benefit: Taqi al-Din Ibn Taymiyyah (Allah have mercy on him) was not of the view that it was unlawful, and was silent regarding it being disliked.  Ibn Muflih al-Maqdisi said in ‘Adab al-Shariyyah’ (4/171):  “Shaykh Taqi al-Din chose the view of it not being unlawful and did not deal with whether it was disliked or not”

And Allah is the giver of success

Shaykh Salih bin Muhammad bin Hasan al-Asmari

Categories: Fiqh

Divine Mercy-Burdah


callig taj al-sirr hasan

Salam, I came across Imam al-Bayjuri’s beneficial commentary of the ‘Burdah’ last night, and finding myself finally having some time for myself today without being mentally exhausted I thought I would share some of it with those readers who pass by this blog.  I have left the linguistic and deeper theological discussions out of this extract.  Please drop me a line if you would like to see more, we ask Allah (Most High) to enable us to benefit more from this commentary and the ‘Burdah”.  The verses commented upon are [South African translation]:

  • O my soul do not become despondent due to your grievous sins.
  • Verily major sins when pardoned are minor.
  • Perhaps the mercy of my Lord when distributed.,
  • Would be distributed in proportion to the sins.

Imam Ibrahim al-Bajuri wrote in his commentary of the ‘Burdah’ (p.133):

His words: “O my soul do not become despondent…” When the author feared from his soul despondency from the mercy of Allah (Most High) due to intense fear he turned towards it addressing it and affirming his hope, comforting it with the immense kindness of his lord.

His words “Do not become despondent” meaning do not despair

His words “due to your grievous sins” meaning due to a sin which has become great, الزلة is a sin

His words “Verily major sins when pardoned are minor” meaning that O soul, the great sins which you committed in relation to mercy are like minor sins.  الكبائر are major sins and اللمم are minor sins.  It is known that He (Most High) forgives the minor sins and likewise the major, He (Most High) said:  “Indeed Allah does not forgive that partners are associated with Him, but He forgives other than this for whom He pleases”.[1]

The words of the author: “Verily major sins when pardoned are minor” are a rebuttal of those who claim that the major sins are not like the minor sins, such as the Mutazilites, for they say the major sins will not be forgiven, rather the perpetrator will remain in the hellfire because he is neither a believer nor a disbeliever. Rather they say it is a station between these two stations (heaven and hell), and he will be punished with a punishment lighter than that of unbelievers punishment.

The truth is the madhab of Ahl al-Sunnah that the major sins are like the minor sins in terms of forgiveness which is in accordance with the Quran, Sunnah and rational proof because He (Most High) is not obliged to reward nor is it necessary upon Him to punish.  Reward is from His kindness and punishment is from His justice.  He is not questioned about what He does rather they (the creation) are questioned.

His words: “Perhaps the mercy of my Lord” When the author forbade his soul from despairing, as if she said to him: ‘I do not despair however I fear that my share of mercy will not be proportionate to my sins which I have committed’.  He replied to her with his words: “Perhaps the mercy of my Lord” meaning I hope that the mercy of my Lord will come in proportion when it is divided between the sinners in proportion to their sins.  So he who carries a great burden of sins will attain a large amount of mercy.  And he who carries a small amount of sin will attain a small amount of mercy.  What is meant is the mercy which will encompass the sinners and not the general mercy which also encompasses the obedient.

[1] Al-Nisa: 48

Note:  Text of the ‘Burdah’ above is in bold.  The calligraphy is that of Taj al-Sirr Hasan

Categories: Other

Indian Chain for The Dalail al-Khayrat and Qasidah al-Burda

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burda start


The ‘Dalail al-Khayrat’ and ‘Qasidah al-Burda’ are two devotional texts which continue to be immensely popular in the Indian subcontinent (and in the West by means of the descendants of Muslims from this area).  I found some chains of narration for these two texts in the ‘Al-Intibah fi Salasil al-Awliyah’ of Shah Waliullah which may be of interest to readers, not least because the almost all of the chains of hadith transmitted today to Madrassa students in the Indian subcontinent link back to Shah Waliullah al-Dehlawi.  Shah Sahib said in his aforementioned work citing his chain for the ‘Dalail al-Khayrat’:

As for the Dalail al-Khayrat, our Shaykh Abu Tahir informed us of it:

From Shaykh Ahmad al-Nakhli

From Sayyid Abd al-Rahman al-Idrisi well known as al-Mahjub

From his father Ahmad

From his grandfather Muhammad

From his father’s grandfather Ahmad

From its author the noble Sayyid Muhammad bin Sulayman al-Jazuli, Allah have mercy on him.

Shah Sahib also mentioned his chain for the well known Qasidah al-Burda as follows:

As for the Qasida Burda, Abu Tahir informed us of it:

From Shaykh Ahmad al-Nakhli

From Muhammad bin al-Ala al-Amili

From Saalim al-Suhuri

From Najm al-Ghayti [sic]

From Shaykh al-Islam Zakariyyah

From Abu Ishaq al-Sahili

From Salah Muhammad bin Muhammad bin al-Hasan al-Shadhili

From Ali bin Jabir al-Hashimi

From its author Sharaf al-Din Muhammad bin Saeed Hammad al-Busiri, Allah have mercy on him.

Categories: Sayyidi