Month: January 2010

Shah Waliullah al-Dehlawi's Chain For Hanafi Fiqh

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I found the chain of Shah Waliullah for Hanafi fiqh in the second of volume of his Al-Intibah fi Salasil al-Awliyah, also called Ithaf al-Nabih (p.281):

“As for the madhab of Imam Abu Hanifah (Allah have mercy on him) I gained knowledge of it by reading the whole of the Hidayah by means of an in depth study with my master, my father Shaykh Abd al-Rahim except for a small part from the book of Kafalah and Wakalah and that which is between them both. And by the reading of a large part from the ‘Sharh al-Wiqayah’ of Sadr al-Shariah. A portion of ‘al-Tawdih wal-Talwih’ and a large part from ‘Al-Kanz’ of Abul Barakat al-Nasafi, and the book of ‘Al-Husami’ in the principles of fiqh, from its beginning to its end with my master, my father from Mir Zahid from Mulla Fadil with his chain.”

[Note} Shah Waliullah mentioned in ‘Al-Qawl al-Jamil’ (p.119):

“My master, my father, read the smaller works with his brother Abul Rida Muhammad, and the larger ones with Mir Zahid

from Mirza Fadil,

from Mulla Yusuf al-Kawsaj,

from Mirza Jan and others,

from the verfiying scholar al-Duwani

from his father Asad and others

from the students of al-Taftazani and Sharif al-Jurjani.


And by ijazah from Shaykh Abu Tahir for the Hidayah

from his father

from al-Qashashi

from al-Shinawi

from Abd al-Rahman bin Abd al-Qadir bin Fahd

from his uncle Jarullah Ibn Fahd

from the Mufti Siraj al-Din Umar bin Abd al-Rahim al-Qahiri then al-Madini

from Allamah Majd al-Din Muhammad bin Abdullah bin Muhammad al-Zarandi al-Madani al-Hanafi

from the Shaykh of the Hanafi’s Imam Amin al-Din Yahya bin Muhammad bin Ibrahim al-Hanafi al-Aqsarai al-Qahiri

from the chief judge Zayn al-Din Abu Bakr bin al-Hussain al-Uthmani al-Maraghi

from al-Hafidh Alamuddin al-Qasim bin Muhammad bin Yusuf al-Barzali1

from Imam Muzaffar al-Din Ahmad bin Ali al-Sa’ati al-Hanafi2

from Imam Zaheer al-Din Muhammad bin Umar bin Muhammad al-Bukhari al-Nawjabadhi3

from Shams al-Aimmah Muhammad bin Abd al-Sattar al-Kurdi

from its author Imam Burhan al-Din Ali bin Abi Bakr al-Farghani al-Marghinani4

Then Shaykh Burhan al-Din Ali bin Abi Bakr al-Marghinani the author of ‘Al-Hidayah’ took fiqh from Sadr al-Shahid Hussam al-Din Umar5bin Abd al-Aziz bin Umar bin Bazah6

from his father Burhan al-Aimmah abd al-Aziz7 bin Umar bin Bazah

from Shams al-Aimmah Abu Bakr Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Sahl al-Sarakhsi8

from Shams al-Aimmah Abd al-Aziz bin Ahmad al-Halwani9

from Qadi Abu Ali al-Hussain al-Nasafi

from Imam Muhammad bin al-Fadl al-Bukhari

from Abdullah bin Muhammad al-Subadhmuni

from Abu Abdullah bin Abi Hafs

from his father Abu Hafs al-Kabir

from Imam Muhammad bin al-Hasan

from Abu Hanifah

and also from Abu Yusuf from Abu Hanifah.”

1Al-Shafi. The Muhaddith of al-Shaam and author of ‘Tarikh al-Kabir’. He passed away in the year 739 Hijri. (Shadharat al-Dhahab 6/122)

2Al-Balbaki al-Baghdadi. He passed away in the year 694 Hijri. (Al-Fawaid p.27)

3The Hanafi jurist of the seventh Islamic century (Al-Fawaid p.183)

4From the major Hanafi jurists, his fame does not require that he be described. He passed away in the year 593 Hijri. (Al-Fawaid p.143)

5Abu Muhammad. He was from the notable Hanafi jurists. He was martyred in the year 536 Hijri. (Al-Fawaid p.139)

6And in ‘Al-Fawaid’ (p.98, 139) it is written as “Mazah” it also like this in ‘al-Jawahir’ (1/320), and Allah knows best.

7He is mentioned in ‘al-Jawahir’ (1/320) and ‘al-Fawaid’ (p.98) but the date of his passing away is not mentioned.

8Al-Hanafi, he was an Imam, a most learned scholar, skilled theologian and debater. He passed away in the year 438 Hijri. (al-Fawaid p.158-159)

9Al-Bukhari al-Hanafi, he passed away in the year 448 hijri (al-Jawahir 1/318, al-Fawaid p.95)

Categories: Fiqh Scholarship

Mixing With People Or Avoiding Company

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I recently saw this interesting discussion in the commentary on Imam al-Bukhari’s Adab al-Mufrad by Shaykh Fadlullah al-Jaylani, a former lecturer at the Jamia al-Uthmaniyyah in Hyderabad, India.  The hadith which he comments on is as follows:

“388- …Ibn Umar relates from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:  The believer who mixes with people and is patient with their harm is better than the believer who mixes with people and is not patient with their harm.”

Shaykh Fadlullah in his commentary (1/478) writes:

“(Mixes) but the mixing is not except with the pious due to the words of the Prophet (Allah bless him and his family and give them peace):  ‘You should not keep the company of except a believer and your food should not be eaten except by the pious.’

You will not keep the company of nor eat with except those whom you mix with and sit with and visit you often.  Mixing varies with different situations.  The related evidences encouraging meeting are interpreted to that which relates to the obedience of the Imams and leaders of the religion…

As for being amongst people and being seperated then those who know of his being self sufficient in relation to their living and preservation of his religion, then it is superior for him to refrain from mixing with people with the condition that he adheres to the congregation (jamaah), giving greetings, replying to them, [fulfilling] the rights of Muslims from worship, attending their funerals and its like.

What is desired is the leaving of unnecessary company due to it busying the mind and wasting time away from important matters.  Meeting others is at the level of lunch and supper, such  that he takes from it that which is necessary, and this is more relaxing for the body and heart.  Al-Qushayri said:  The way of those who prefer solitude is to believe in the safety of people from his harm, and not the opposite.  For the first is the result of his debasing himself which is an attribute of humility, and the second is his seeing that he has a merit over others and this is an attribute of the arrogant. (al-Fath)

Al-Qushayri said:  Seclusion is an attribute of the select…there occurs in mixing usually backbiting, showing off, disputation and being influenced by bad character traits.

Al-Junayd said: Enduring solitude is easier than indulging mixing [with people], it is so because enduring solitude is busying onseself specifically and rejecting that which it [the self] desires as opposed to mixing with people with their varying characters, desires, objectives and that which emerges from them from harm and that which he requires from forbearance and overlooking.  Yes mixing becomes necessary in order to seek knowledge or work (al-Qastallani:  Chapter on solitude being a relief from bad company, volume 2 page 271)”

Categories: Fiqh Hadith

Spiritual Connections

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Please find below a rough draft for what Shah Waliullah mentions in his Anfas al-Arifin pp 99-100 quoting from his father that:

“He said that in the beginning I wished to keep a continuous fast.  I turned my attention to the Prophet (Upon him be peace).  I saw in a waking state (bi chashm haqiqat) that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was giving me some bread.  Hazrat Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (Allah be pleased with him) expressing happiness said,  ‘gifts are shared’.  I presented the bread to them and they took a piece.

At this point Hazrat Umar (Allah be pleased with him) said, ‘gifts are shared’, again I presented the bread to him, and he also took a piece.

Then Hazrat Ali (Allah be pleased with him) said, ‘gifts are shared’ so I also presented the bread to him, and he also took a piece.

At this point Hazrat Uthman (Allah be pleased with him) said, ‘gifts are shared’, I said: If the bread will continue to be divided in this manner then which portion will the darwesh receive?  He (Hazrat Uthman) pulled back his hand.  At this point I awoke.

For a period of time I closely reflected on what the hidden point was in the excuse presented to Hazrat Dhul Nurayn [Uthman} (Allah bless him and give him peace).  Finally I came to know that in the mithali forms the aim is the connection to the mithal.  Such as Hazrat Abu Bakr al-Siddiq’s (Allah bless him and give him peace) link to the Naqshbandi order, our lineage extending to Hazrat Umar (Allah bless him and give him peace) and by means of my mother the origin of our lineage extends to the person of Hazrat Ali.  Likewise the Naqshbandi order and other Sufi orders extend back to his person, and on some occasions we have received spiritual benefit (fuyud) from his person.  Thus this matter being limited to these three persons was necessary, whereas with Hazrat Uthman (Allah be pleased with him) none of these reasons or causes is present.  And Allah knows best.”

Categories: Other

About Me

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I came across Imam al-Dhahabi’s citing of the letter below which reminded me of the humility of our true scholars.  In an age of pomp, titles and entourages it is refreshing to read and more so meet living examples of humility.

A recent example which comes to mind was meeting Shaykh Ali al-Maini, an  elderly Shafi jurist of the Sohar region in Oman (about whom InshAllah I hope to write more about in the future).  I met Shaykh Ali in his home  after he was pointed out by a local as being one of the people of knowledge of the area.  Despite literally turning up unannounced on his doorstep he welcomed me in warmly, and when I mentioned that I came to know of him because of his being known as a scholar he replied:

“All the ulama of this area have died, this area used to be full of scholars, now no one is left, we are only trying to be students of knowledge, my circle of fiqh is only for us to do collectively study”.

Afterwards when I spoke to one of the Shaykh’s students he told me that Shaykh Ali had taught the Minhaj al-Talibin to students and was a firmly grounded in Shafi fiqh.

Imam al-Dhahabi said in his Siyar (6/288-296):

“Jafar bin Burqan said:  The virtue and righteousness of Yunus bin Ubaid reached me.  I wished to write to him and ask him [about this].  He wrote to me:

“Your letter has reached me asking me to write to you about what I am upon.  I will tell you that I remonstrated with my nafs for it to love for people what it loves for itself, and detest for them that which it detests for itself.  But it was far from this.  Then I remonstrated with it another time to leave the mention of them (people) except with good, but I found fasting on a hot day easier  upon (my nafs) than that.  O my brother, this is my condition.


Categories: Other

Why Make Taqlid Of Only One Madhab?



Recently someone raised the issue of the evidences for the common person making taqlid (following qualified scholarship) of a Madhab (school of law).  This query is still a common question asked by many educated people who take an interest in their religion, whilst also feeling  uneasy with the concept of adhering to one Madhab.

I hope to present a couple of posts on this topic from a work on the issue by Shaykh Abd al-Fattah al-Yafi’i, the post below mentioning the reasoning for adherence to one Madhab cited by some scholars, and the next (Allah willing) briefly mentioning the classical legal authorities who endorsed this view.  And success is from Allah (Most High) alone.

Preventing Legal Anarchy And Fatwa Shopping

The scholars who forbid a person from leaving their Madhab, and insist on the common person to adhere to only one generally cite the reason of: Closing the means to legal anarchy by a person moving from one madhab to another, and taking the easiest position from each Madhab.

Imam al-Nawawi said in the introduction of  al-Majmu (1/93):

“Second: It is incumbent on him-to adhere to a Madhab- and it applies to all those from the jurists and scholars of all the sciences who do not reach the rank of ijtihad.  The reason for it is that if it was permissible to follow any Madhab he pleases it would lead to seeking out dispensations of the Madhab’s by following his desires.  Thus he would choose between the lawful and prohibited, obligation and permissibility, and that would lead to the freeing of the leash of legal responsibility.”

Al-Kayranawi said in Fawaid fi Ulum al-Fiqh p.25:

“That which this person says, [namely] that they (the Imam’s of Madhabs) did not have a single follower (muqallid) who would follow them in all that they said.  The answer to it is: If there was not a specific follower, did they have a hadith scholar who would lay down for them the principles of hadith criticism.  Authenticating some of them and weakening some of them, and people relying upon his authenticating, weakening, declaring [narrators] trustworthy and declaring them weak?
If you say: At that time there was no need for the science of [hadith] criticism due to the predominance of truthfulness and uprightness amongst people

We say: Likewise there was no need at that time for the following of a specific [Madhab] due to the predominance of truthfulness and uprightness.  Rather this was not possible due to the absence of the codification of the schools and their being dispersed.  If a person at that time had adhered to the following of a specific [Imam] the matter would have been difficult for him and would have been placed in severe difficulty, as opposed to our time. Therefore how can our time be compared with their time, and our situation with their situaton?
Then when the permissibility of  taqlid is established, then [the taqlid] of 1 or 100 is the same, why is it that you permit the taqlid of 100 but do not permit the taqlid of 1?
If you say: Why is it that you permit the taqlid of 1 but do not permit the taqlid of 100 even though the the taqlid of the second was present at the time of the early Muslims?
We say: You have admitted that rulings change with the change of time and conditions.  Likewise you have admitted that the ‘blocking of the means’ to the unlawful is obligatory, and it is not hidden to you that to open this door for people [of not having to follow one madhab] in these times in which ignorance, evil and following of desires is prevalent amongst its people will open for them doors of following dispensations and following desires and misguidance.

I have narrated from Ibn al-Mubarak that he said:  al-Mutamar informed me saying:  My father saw me reciting poetry, he said:  My son do not recite poetry.  I said: O father, al-Hasan would recite poetry and Ibn Sirin would recite poetry.  He replied:  My son, if you took the ‘evil’ of what is in al-Hasan, and ‘evil’ of that which is in Ibn Sirin all evil would be gathered in you.  Sulayman al-Taymi said:  If you took the dispensation of each scholar you would gather in you all evil.
This is the reason for our forbidding of taqlid of anyone he wishes.  We do not say it is totally impermissible such that someone may cite the practice of the early Muslims as a proof against us.  When the taqlid of the Imams is such then what do you think of the permission to leave taqlid totally and act upon that which he views, or make taqlid of whom he wishes in that which he wishes.  Understand this and do not be from the arrogant quarrelsome ones.”

Al-Kayrawani also said on p.84 of the same work, under the subheading of ‘The secret of the impermissibility of leaving a Madhab for another Madhab’:

“And by the view of the jurists (fuqaha) it becomes clear, [namely] the impermissibility of leaving a Madhab for another Madhab because if this was due to finding a mistake with the Madhab he left-then he is not qualified to do this.
If this was due to preferring (tarjih) then he is also not qualified to do this, thus there is no reason for moving except desire or an invalid consideration.  Thus it is impermissible not least because this action will open for him the door of following desires.
If you say: If he is not from the people of preference (tarjih) then how can he choose a Mujtahid to make taqlid of and not another?
I say: The preference of a Mujtahid does not require a specific proof rather the leaning of the heart whom he chooses for Taqlid is sufficient, along with good opinion of him.  As opposed to preferring an issue over another which is based on an evidence and he is not from the people of deducing [from evidences].
Also a basis for the preference of a Mujtahid over another is due the first Madhab being widespread in his land, and ease of referring to the scholars and books of his Madhab as opposed to another.  And from this you see the Madhab of al-Shafi widespread in Egypt and Hijaz, the Madhab of Malik in al-Maghrib, the Madhab of Abu Hanifah in Persia, al-Rum, India and Sind and other places due to the large amount of scholars of these Madhahib in these lands.”

Categories: Fiqh

I'm Looking At You

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Imam al-Dhahabi in his Siyar (20/439-451) mentions a karamah of Sayyidi Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Gilani (Allah sanctify his secret) which reminded me of the title of this blog post.  Imam al-Dhahabi said:

Muhammad bin Muhammad al-Maratibi said, I heard Shaykh Abu Bakr al-Imad (Allah have mercy on him) say:

I studied Usul al-Din (belief), and there occurred a doubt in me so I said: I will go to the gathering of Shaykh Abd al-Qadir, it is said he speaks regarding peoples private thoughts.

I went and he was speaking, he said, ‘Our belief is that of the pious predecessors (salaf al-salih) and the companions’.

I said to myself:  ‘He said this by coincidence’.

He spoke [again] and then turned towards me and repeated it.

I said ‘A preacher does look around’.

He addressed me for the third time and said:  ‘O Abu Bakr!’ and he repeated his words and then said:  ‘Stand, your father has arrived’ and he had been absent.  I stood and went and found that my father had come.

Categories: Other Scholarship




It appears that al-Hallaj is a favourite of the new age pseudo sufi movement whereas his heresy within orthodox Sunni circles appears to be well known.   In addition to this I came across an advert for a book from one of the major Indo-Pak scholars of the past which dealt with his case in a more detailed manner.  Those with access to this work please share, as for Imam al-Dhahabi he mentioned the following as cited in Fawaid al-Gharra (1/343):

Ibn Bakawayh said:  I heard Ibn Khafif being asked:  “What do you think about al-Hallaj?”
He replied:  “I believe that he is a Muslim”
It was said to him: “Many of the scholars declared him kafir and so did the majority of the Muslims”
He said: “If that which I saw from him when he was imprisoned was not Tawhid then there is no Tawhid in the world”

Imam al-Dhahabi commented on this saying:

This is a mistake from Ibn Khafif, for al-Hallaj at the time of his execution continued to affirm the oneness of Allah and cry: ‘Allah, Allah,  in my blood, I am upon Islam and disassociate from everything other than Islam’.
A heretic (zindiq) affirms the oneness of Allah outwardly, but his heresy is within him.  The hypocrites (Munafiqun) would affirm the oneness of Allah, would fast and pray outwardly, but their hypocrisy was in their hearts.

Al-Hallaj was not stupid (lit. not a donkey) that he would manifest his heresy in front Ibn Khafif and his like.  Rather he would manifest it with those whom he was sure of their being closely connected to him.  It is possible that he became a heretic and deviated, claimed divinity, practised magic and false supernatural feats for a period of time.  Then when affliction descended upon him and he saw that death was inevitable he embraced Islam and returned to the truth, and Allah knows best his inner state.  However we absolve ourselves-to Allah- from his statements, for they are pure disbelief.  And we ask Allah for well being and forgiveness.

Al-Hallaj was executed in the year 309.

Categories: Aqidah Other

Self Denial

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How to be “pious” and deal with worldly comforts is something which scholars of the past have discussed in great detail, and can be referred to.  I found the following brief point related to this from Imam al-Dhahabi which I would like to share with readers (note: rough translation).  He said as cited in Fawaid al-Gharra (1/555/556):

Abu Muhammad al-Jariri said:  I heard al-Junayd say:  “We did not take tasawwuf from words, but from hunger, leaving the world and abandoning comfort”

Imam al-Dhahabi commenting on this said:

This is good, and he means:  Abandoning most comforts, leaving excess from the dunya, and hunger without going to extremes.

As for the one who practices hunger significantly-as done by priests-and reject all of the dunya, the comforts of the self such as food, sleep, and family. He has presented himself with a grave tribulation.

Perhaps there is confusion in his intellect, and by this he misses out from much of the upright and tolerant religion الحنفية السمحة.  Indeed Allah has made for everything a measure, and success is in the following of the sunan.  Therefore weigh up matters with justice, fast and then break your fast, sleep and then wake, be persistently scrupulous in your provision, and be content with that which Allah has apportioned for you.  Be silent except for good.

Allah have mercy on al-Junayd, and where are the likes of al-Junayd in terms of his knowledge and spiritual state?

Categories: Other