Monthly Archives: August 2010

Story of a Bird and Sufyan al-Thawri



Imam al-Dhahabi mentions the following story in his entry for Sufyan al-Thawri -Allah have mercy on him- (as cited in Fawaid al-Gharra 3/281):

“Ali bin Abd al-Aziz said: Arim narrated to us saying: I went to Abu Mansur to visit him, he said to me: Sufyan resided in this house, and there was here a nightingale belonging to my son.

He [Sufyan] said: Why is this locked up (in a cage)? It should be freed

I said: It belongs to my son, and he gives it to you as a gift

Sufyan said: No, I will give him a dinar for it

He said: He then took it and freed it, and it would go out and return in the evening, and would be at the far end of the house.

When Sufyan died, it followed his funeral procession and was flying over his grave.  After this on some nights it would go to his grave, and sometimes would spend the night there, and sometimes would return back home.

They then found it dead by his grave and it was buried alongside Sufyan.

Basics of the Sirah


Please find below an extract on a project I am working on (every so often) regarding the sirah.  It is a translation of an 11th century (Hijri) Moroccan scholars abridgment of Imam Ibn Sayyid al-Nas’s Sirah work, wherein the author covers the basics which a Muslim should know about the blessed Prophetic biography.  May Allah Most High give us the tawfiq to complete this work along with the necessary annotations. The image above is from the manuscript of the text.


In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful Most Kind

Salutations and Blessings upon our Master Mawlana Muhammad and Upon His family and Companions.

The writer of these words, the lowly slave of Allah (Most High) Muhammad bin Saeed bin Muhammad al-Marghiti al-Susi, Allah forgive and pardon him, Amin,  says:

I have summarized from the words of Imam al-Yamari (Allah have mercy on him and be pleased with him) that which it is compulsory for a responsible person to know from the biography of our Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace). As was stated by scholars such as Imam Ibn al-Arabi and others (Allah have mercy on them), for the one who requested this from me. So I began with his noble lineage, and I say seeking help from Allah:

-His Lineage (Allah bless him and give him peace)

He is Muhammad bin Abdullah bin Abd al-Muttalib whose is name is Shayba

Son of Hashim whose name is Amr

Son of Abd Manaf who name is al-Mughirah

Son of Qusayy whose name is Zayd

Son of Kilab whose name is Hakim

Son of Murrah

Son of Ka’b

Son of Luay

Son of Ghalib

Son of Fihr

Son of Malik

Son of al-Nadr

Son of Kinanah

Son of Khuzaymah

Son of Mudrikah

Son of Ilyas

Son of Mudar

Son of Nizar

Son of Ma’ad

Son of Adnan.  This is his (Upon him be salutations and blessings) agreed upon lineage, it was due to this he said, “Do not raise me above Adnan”.

His mother Aminah was the daughter of Wahb son of Abd Manaf son of Zuhra son of Kilab son of Murrah the aforementioned.

-His Birth and Upbringing And a Mention of Some of His Matters Before Being Sent (Allah bless him and give him peace)

He was born on Monday on the 12th of Rabi al-Awwal in the year of the Elephant in the month of April. His father passed away whilst he was in his mothers womb, and he was suckled by Halimah bint Abi Dhuayb al-Masudiyyah.

His mother passed away when he was 4 years old and he was raised by his grandfather Abd al-Muttalib. When he reached 8 years of age and 2 months his grandfather passed away, and he was taken under the care of his uncle Abu Talib.

When he reached 12 years of age he travelled with his uncle to Shaam and he was seen en route by a monk names Buhayra, who took him by the hand and said, “This is the Master of the worlds,  Allah will send him and as a mercy to the worlds. We know his description in our book, and I saw the stones and trees prostrating to him. Return him so that the Jews in Shaam do not kill him. Because they are his enemies”. So his uncle returned him.

He travelled to Shaam another time with Maysarah the slave of Khadijah bint Khuwaylid to trade for her, this was before he married her. Maysarah saw with him many amazing matters and informed Khadijah who desired to marry him, so he married her, and he was 25 years of age.

When he reached 30 years of age the Quraysh demolished the Kaaba to rebuild it but they quaralled ver the black stone, every group wanting to take responsibility for its placing in its place. He (Upon him be blessings and peace) placed it with his hand after he ordered them to raise it on a cloth, each group of them taking a corner of it, and they were content with this and reconciled.

-Mention of His Being Sent (Allah bless him and give him peace) and Some of His Matters Until He Passed Away

When he reached 40 years of age Allah sent him as a giver of glad tidings and warner, and Gibril came to him with Messengership when he was in the cave of Hira and said to him,”Recite in the name of your Lord” up to “He taught man that which he did not know” and that was the first that was revealed to him, on Monday, 8th of Rabi al-Awwal, and other than it has been said. Those who believed in him believed and those who disbelieved disbelieved.

The first of the women to believe in him was Khadija bint Khuwaylid

From the children was Ali bin Abi Talib

From the men was Abu Bakr al-siddiq

And from the slaves was Zayd bin Haritha.

He (Blessings and peace be upon him) was blockaded by the people of Makka in al-Shiab for 3 years or less, he and his family exited from it when he was 43 years of age.

When he was in the fiftieth year of his life his uncle Abu Talib passed away, and his wife Khadija passed away three days after his uncle.

When he reached 51 years of age and 6 months he was travelled by night from between the Zamzam and Maqam to the Bayt al-Maqdis, and ascended from it upon al-Buraq to the heavens, and the five prayers were made obligatory.

When he reached 53 years he migrated from Makka to Madina during the night in which the people of Makka agreed to kill him. Allah protected him from them and his friend Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, and they hid in the cave for three nights. He entered Madina on Monday and stayed there for ten years.

He (Allah bless him and give him peace) passed away on Monday 12th of Rabi al-Awwal at the time of al-Duha in the month of February, and his age was 63 years. He was buried on Wednesday in the apartment (bayt) of our mother Aisha, and this is where he passed away 14 days after his illness. And there is a difference regarding some of these dates which we have not mentioned.

His battles (ghazwa) were 27, and fighting took place in 9 of them. As for his sending out and raiding parties they were 50.

He performed Hajj twice before its being made obligatory, and once after its being made obligatory, which is the farewell Hajj. He performed 4 Umra’s, all of them in Dhil Qaadah.”


[This is the end of the extract, we hope to be able to present additional material from this short text in the future inshAllah]

Shaykh al-Uthaymeen On Moonsighting


With Ramadan fast approaching again the controversial issue of moonsighting tends to crop up.  I have written about it elsewhere on the old blog, and to be honest cannot really understand why the global sighting view is not pointed out as being a valid Hanafi position (and why it is condemned so vociferously in some Hanafi circles despite its being preferred by numerous eminent Hanafi ulema).

I found the following discussion in preference of the local sighting position from Shaykh al-Uthaymeen in his commentary entitled ‘Sharh al-Mumti‘ on the Hanbali fiqh text ‘Zad al-Mustaqni‘.  In summary he prefers the local sighting position in the course of discussing other views on the issue; and interestingly seems to also suggest the practice of some mosques in the UK to refer to Morroco’s sighting when deciding about the start of the month.  He said in ‘Sharh al-Mumti‘ (6/309):

The second opinion: It is not incumbent for the one who see’s it (the moon), or is included in their legal ruling due to the same sighting zone for the crescent.  If the sighting zone is not the same then the fast is not incumbent.  Shaykh al-Islam (Allah have mercy on him) said: The sighting zones for the crescent differ by agreement of those knowledgeable of astronomy, if they are the same then fasting is incumbent, and if not then it is not.  And they deduced (this position) from legal texts (nass) and analogy.

As for the legal texts they are:
1- His (Most High’s) words: ‘Whomsoever from you witnesses the month then let him fast’ [Al-Baqarah:185] Those whom do not have the same sighting zone as the one who has witnessed it, it is not said that they have witnessed it, not in reality nor in terms of ruling.  Allah (Most High) has made compulsory fasting for the one who has witnessed it.

2-His (Allah bless him and give him peace): ‘Fast when you see it, and break your fast when you see it’. [Al-Bukhari 1909]  The order for fasting was conditioned by witnessing, and he who differs with the one who saw it on the sighting zone it is not said that he saw it, not in reality nor in terms of legal ruling.

3-The hadith of Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with them both) which contains that Umm Fadl bint al-Harith sent Kurayb to Muawiyah in al-Shaam.  He came to Madinah from al-Shaam at the end of the month and Ibn Abbas asked him regarding the crescent, so he replied: ‘We saw it on Thursday night’ Ibn Abbas replied: ‘We however saw it on the Friday night, we will continue to fast until we complete the 30 or we see it (the crescent)’.  He said to him: ‘Is the sighting of Muawiyah and his fasting not sufficient for you?’ He replied ‘No, this is what the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) ordered us to do’. [Muslim 1078]

As for analogy then it is because the Muslims differ over daily timings due to legal texts and consensus (ijma).  When dawn breaks in the East it is not incumbent to the people in the West to halt (eating and drinking etc).  This is due to His (Most High’s) words: ‘Eat and drink until the white thread becomes evident from the black thread’. [Al-Baqarah:187].  And if the Sun set in the East then the people in the West do not break their fast.  Just as the Muslims differ in their daily eating and fasting they should also differ in their monthly fasting and easting, and this is a clear analogy.

And this opinion is the stronger (rajih) opinion, and it is that which the verse indicates towards.  It is thus that the people of knowledge have said:  If the people of the East see it (the crescent) it is incumbent on the people in the West who are level with them to fast, because their sighting zone is the same.  And because the crescent, if it is after the Sun in the East, it will be more so in the West, because the orbit of the Moon is slow, as He (Most High) said: ‘And the moon when it follows it’. (Al-Shams]”

The Shaykh then went on to discuss some other opinions on the issue including the following of those in authority in Muslims countries regarding the sighting of the Moon.  He then addressed the issue of Muslim minorities living in Non Muslim countries and said:

“Issue:  Muslim minorities in non Muslim countries, if there is an Association, Office or Islamic centre, then they follow its decision/announcement.  And if this is not the case they choose, and the best is that they follow the country closest to them’.”