I recently met the proprietor of a well known publishing house from Riyadh who has published a large number of translated works in English. When I told him I was working on a translation he eagerly handed me his business card. When I mentioned it was a Hanafi work from al-Ahsa he expressed his amazement with the words “Are you sure?, Hanafi’s in al-Ahsa?” Unfortunately I was unable to convince him in our brief conversation of the existence of these Hanafis.
By good fortune the Saudi based Islamic Channel ‘Iqra’ recently hosted Shaykh Yahya al-Mulla from al-Ahsa on one of its programme. Please find a link to an audio recording of Shaykh Yahya al-Mulla’s appearance on the Iqra Channel. The programme is regarding the Hanafi Madhab. Above is a picture of the Shaykh, May Allah (Most High) allow us to continue to benefit from him. I also hope the proprietor of the publishing house from Riyadh is also gets the opportunity to watch the programme.
I came across this thought provoking discussion in a hadith commentary which might be of interest to many of us. Not least when there are times when we despair at our lapses, and our wondering if we are in fact going backwards as opposed to forward. We ask Allah (Most High) to make us from those who continually repent for our shortcomings, and protect us from being those who lose all of their spiritual stations due to their sins.
Finally we ask Him to make us from those who (as mentioned below) are from those who after their slipping up and repenting are in a better state than they were before. Amin.
In Mishkat al-Masabih the following hadith is mentioned:
“Abdullah bin Masud said The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: ‘The one who repents from a sin is like the one who has no sin’.”
Shaykh Muhammad Idris al-Kandehlawi commented in his Taliq al-Sabih (3/118) onwards:
“Hafiz Ibn al-Qayyim said that: A servant if he repents from a sin does he return back to the level (daraja) that he was before the sin which removed him from it, or does he not return to it. There is a difference over it, a group said: He returns to his [previous] level because repentance wipes out the sin in its entirety, and it as if it never was…so he returns back to it by repentance. They said: And because repentance is an immense good action and righteous deed, if his sin had removed him from his level, then his good action by means of his repentance will raise him back to it. This is like the one who falls in a well and he has a compassionate friend who lowers down for him a rope which he can grasp until he rises by it back to his place. Repentance is like this, and righteous action is like this pious friend and compassionate brother.
A group said: He does not return back to his [previous] level and state (haal) because he was not stationary but rather was in ascension, but by sinning he is in descent and freefall…The said: The similitude of this is like the example of two men travelling along a path on one journey, then there occurs for one of them that which makes him turn back or come to a stop, all the while his companion continues travelling. If he finishes his backtracking and stopping and follows the steps of his companion he will never ctach up with him because whenever he reaches a point the other will always be ahead…
I heard Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah mention this difference and then say that the correct opinion is that from those who repent is one who does not return to his [previous] level, there are from them he who returns back to his level, and them he who returns back to a higher level than he previously was, and becomes better than he was before the sin…”
I recently received a rare unpublished brief article on the Hanafi school authored by one the recent giants of Ahsai scholarship: Shaykh Abd al-Rahman bin Abi Bakr al-Mulla who passed away aged 98 in 2001. I hope to append it to a forthcoming publication (May Allah facilitate its completion). Extracts from it have been posted elsewhere on this blog along with some details of the author. Presented below is an extract from the introduction to the article:
“The Recognition of The Correctness of the Hanafi Madhab
All praise is due to Allah, the One who answers those who ask, and rewards those who perform righteous acts. Salutations and blessings upon the one who was sent by Allah as a mercy to the worlds. Our Master Muhammad, and upon all his family and companions. To proceed:
I was asked by one of the students of knowledge in the Makkan sanctuary (Haram al-Makki), and he was Hanafi in madhab, saying: O Shaykh Abu Bakr, some students speak regarding the madhab of Abu Hanifah, and say such and such, and that his madhab is based upon personal opinion. Do you have a beneficial to reply to that which has been said?
I answered him with that which was convincing, and he said to me: If you were to be kind enough to write this along with anything in addition to what you have mentioned which occurs to you, then I would benefit from it more.
I said to him: Allah willing, and the next day I began the writing of that which Allah made easy for me in terms of an answer, hoping that the student and others who are ignorant of the knowledge and excellence of this Imam of great stature would benefit from it.”