Reasons for Writing

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Many a time when browsing in a bookshop I find works by contemporary scholars which make me think: Why!

I found the following quote in the interesting autobiography of Sh. Abdullah al-Ghumari which pretty much sums up what should be kept in mind by all authors. I would perhaps add an extra point, namely that of editors meticulously editing material which have not received critical editions, but perhaps this could be incorporated into one of the seven reasons, as editing as in the modern form did not exist at the time of Imam al-Maqqari.

Reasons for writing:
Al-Maqqari said in Azhar al-Riyad:
I saw in the handwriting of some of the senior (scholars) regarding that which is desired from writing are seven:
-something which has not been written before and is authored
-something written incompletely and is completed
-or is incorrect and is corrected
-or is difficult and is explained
-or is lengthy and is condensed/abridged
-or is not in one place and is gathered
-or is prose and is versified

Categories: Scholarship

Its All About Sincerity

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Imam Zaid Shakir recently said “Its all about sincerity”. Invaluable advice for all of us working on the “Islamic Scene”.

A quote from Sheikh Ibrahim bin Hasan al-Mulla, as quoted by another great scholar of the al-Mulla family, Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Mulla in Minhaj al-Raghib p.37:

When action is of no benefit without sincerity, one of the actions being seeking knowledge. It is not befitting for a sane person to waste his life in action which does not benefit. Therefore he should strive to purify his intention of seeking knowledge for Allah Taala. This is by the student intending by his seeking of knowledge the pleasure of Allah Taala, the next world, removal of ignorance which the sacred law and intellect hold to be repugnant from himself and all those who are ignorant. He should also intend the revival of the religion and preserving of Islam, for the preservation of Islam is by means of knowledge.

Taqwa, worship and travelling to Allah taala is not correct when ignorant due to that which is related in some reports that: ignorance is closer to disbelief (kufr) than the whiteness of the eye is to the black. We ask Him (Glorified be He) to guide us to the path leading to Him, and to bless us to travel towards Him in the manner that He is pleased with, by means of His generosity and kindness

Categories: It-haf al-Talib Other

Ramadan in Madina the illuminated

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Im pretty sure I took this picture in Ramadan. Mashallah it was an excellent way to spend the last week of Ramadan, i was walking down the street outside Masjid al-Nabawi al-Sharif and literally bumped in to Sheikh Ihsan from Turkey, I spent 2 weeks with him nearly 4 years ago in his village and in Istanbul, i gave him the longest hug i remember giving anyone in my life 🙂

Categories: Sayyidi

no need to queue!



Where else on earth can you touch the blackstone without being shoulder barged or rugby tackled by swirling cyclone of pilgrims?!? (me touching the blessed black stone fragment in istanbul)

Categories: Istanbul

Mehmet Sokulu Pasha Masjid

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A beautiful autumny/spring day in Istanbul, taken in the Mehmet Sokulu Pasha Camii, housing fragments of the blackstone, we finally found this blessed masjid after several blank looks from locals who hadn’t heard of the place, all praise due to Allah swt by whose grace all good things are completed

Categories: Istanbul

Understanding Love….

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Most of us have heard of the hadith about the importance of loving the Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wassalam), I can’t exactly remember where i bought the book ‘Lamahat min Tarikh al-Sunnah wa Ulum al-Hadith’ of Sheikh Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah, maybe it was Istanbul, maybe it was good old Bolton. However what i do remember is reading the following section about the famous hadith of Sayyidina Umar (ra) and thinking about our Master Umar’s reply which had never occured to me before. I thought I’d share it with others, I’ve included the whole section and combined the footnote into the text, maybe it might activate your brain cells the same way that mine were busied. By the way its not an exact translation but rather a ‘translation of the meaning’Sheikh Abd al-Fattah said (p.38):

-The Companions love for the Messenger (Sallalahu Alaihi Wassalam)

The noble companions, may Allah be pleased with them, were the most fervent of people in their love of the Messenger (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasslam), they saw and witnessed his noble blessed face, they sat with him and and knew his blessed way/manners, they saw with their own eyes his truthful miracles (which suspended the law of nature), they believed in him based on insight and conviction. It was due to this that they gave precedence to loving him above loving anything else, (and gave precedence) to his order to any other order, and they became the most closest in following him, and being guided by his guidance and sunnah, he became more beloved to them than their own selves, and the most dearest to them than anyone else.

al-Bukhari narrated in his ‘Sahih’ (11/525) from the honourable companion Abdullah bin Hashim al-Taymi said:
We were with the Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wassalam), he was holding the hand of Umar bin al-Khattab, Umar said to him: O Messenger of Allah, you are the most beloved to me than anything else except my own self, the Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasslam) said: No, by the one in whose hand is my soul, until I am beloved to you than your own self, Umar said to him: You now are the most beloved to me than my own self, the Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wassalam) said: Now O Umar
(fn) Hafidh Ibn Hajar said in Fath al-Bari 11:528:
al-Khattabi said: a persons loving himself is natural, and his loving others is by choice due to various factors, what the Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasslam) was referring to was love that is made by choice, as there is no means to change that which is the nature of the heart.
I say (Ibn Hajar): Umars first answer was on the basis of what is natural, then he reflected and understood by contemplating that the Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wassalam) was more beloved to him than his own self, because he is the means of him (Umar) being saved from destruction in this world and the next, so then he (Umar) informed that which was necessitated by his choice, and therefore He (Sallahu Alaihi Wasslam) answered: Now O Umar, meaning now you have understood and have said that which is incumbent…. (fn)

and al-Bukhari also narrated in his Sahih 1:58, from Anas (ra):

The Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alaihi Wassalam) said: ‘No one believes until I am more beloved to him than his parents, children and the rest of the people’

Indeed He (Sallalahu Alaihi Wassalam) had this position within the hearts of the companions, as has preceded in the hadith of Sayyidina Umar al-Khattab (ra)

(fn) Hafidh Ibn Hajar said in Fath al-Bari 1:59 commenting on this hadith:
In this hadith is an indication towards the virtue of contemplation, as the those aforementioned things which are loved are known by contemplation, as that which beloved to a person is either himself or others, as for himself he wishes to be remain free of troubles, this is the reality of that which is sought…… so if he reflects upon the benefit he has obtained from the Messenger (Sallalahu Alaihi Wassalam), the one who took him out from the darkness of disbelief to the light of Iman, either directly or by intermediary, he comes to know that he is the cause of his eternal existence in everlasting bliss, and comes to know that his benefit from this is the greatest of benefits, and due to this it entitles the amount love for him to be more than to anyone else, as the benefit which arouses love, come from him more than anyone else. However people are of different levels with regards to this upon the basis of their remembering this or not paying attention to it…. (fn)

Categories: Sayyidi

Turning to Allah swt

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Sheikh Abd al-Fattah, the late great hanafi scholar and muhaddith who passed away in 1997 is well known for his editing of books. His footnotes vary from work to work, but when they are copious they are a delight to behold, his wide reading and pulling together sources and quotes, sometimes only a few paragraphs long from literally hundreds of different books is astonishing, and a testament to his devotion to research of the works of our rightly guided Imams. One such editing of his is the “Risala al-Mustarshidin” of Imam al-Muhasibi who was a contemporary of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal. The contents of the book are fall under the category of sufism or purification of the soul. I thought i would present some useful notes from the book.

Imam al-Muhasibi quotes Imam Ali (r.a.) as saying:
Do not have hopes in anyone except your Lord

Sheikh Abd al-Fattah comments on this statement (p. 82):

How great is this guidance, and how virtuous is acting by it, it is narrated in the biography of the jurist and muhaddith, the abstinent pious worshipper Ahmad bin Abi Ghalib bin al-Tallayah al-Baghdadi d.548 may Allah’s mercy be upon him, people would go to him for dua due to his immense piety; “A man came to him and said: ask for me such and such a thing, He replied: O my brother, stand with me and let us both offer two rakats of prayer and then ask Allah Taala, for I do not leave an open door and go towards a closed door.” From Manaqib Imam Ahmad of Ibn al-Jawzi p.640, Dhail Tabaqat al-Hanabilah of Ibn Rajab 1:224, so do not leave an open door….offer two rakats of prayer and make dua to Him, for he is close answering, wise and all knowing.

Ibn al-Jawzi mentioned in his book “al-Luqat fi Hikayat al-Salihin” story number 507: Abd al-Rahman bin Ibrahim al-Fihri said: a man went to one of the rulers with a need, he found him making sajda making dua to Allah Azza Wa Jall, he said: he is reliant/in need of someone else, so how can I be in need of him? why do I not raise my need to the one with whom needs are not delayed (when raised to Him), he said: the ruler heard him, when he raised his head he said: bring the man to me, so he was brought to him, he said: give him 10,000 and then said to him: you have been given this by the one to whom I was making dua to in sajda, and the one to whom you turned to (Allah Taala)

Categories: Hadith

Battle of Badr

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A dear brother recently returned refreshed from a rihla to Madinah al-Munawwarah, armed with his pictures and video clips he enlightened me and others with the reminder of the various sites that the group he was with had visited in the course of their trip.

During his mention of their visit to Badr, the view of some of the scholars that the Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wassalam) did not actually participate physically in the battle was raised.  When he mentioned this issue it jogged my memory as something similar had been discussed a few years earlier, and when i had heard about it then it had also surprised me. However I did recall having read afterwards somewhere the mention of the Messenger (Sallalahu Alaihi Wassalam) fighting in Badr.

I went home with this issue on my mind, not being able to get to sleep that night meant that I decided to try to research this issue with the limited resources at my disposal, I picked up Diya al-Nabi which is a multi volume Sirah work in urdu (including arabic texts aswell) by Sheikh Karam Shah al-Azhari. Around 2:30 am in the morning i found the following two reports on (3/342) of the work, both are referenced to the arabic Sirah work ‘Subul al-Huda wal-Rashad’ (4/71) of Imam Yusuf al-Salihi wherein he mentions two reports of the Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasslam) participating in Badr they are:

Just as they both (The Messenger of Allah [Allah bless him and give him peace] and Abu Bakr [r.a.]) were in the Areesh making jihad by humbly supplicating, they both came (to the battlefield) and encouraged (the muslims) to fight, they both fought with their swords and joined between these two ranks (of making dua and fighting)

and also the narration from Imam Ali (Alaihi Salam):

When the fighting began on the day of Badr the Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasslam) lead us, we sought protection behind Him (Allah bless him ad give him peace), and He (Allah please give him peace) was involved in the heaviest fighting on that day, no one was closer to the mushrikin than Him (Allah bless him and give him peace)

May Allah (Most High) facilitate the ziyarah of Badr. Amin.

Categories: Hadith

Darud Sharif – Before i forget !

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One of the best, if not THE best work written on sending salutations upon the Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wassalam) is the al-Qawl al-Badi of Imam al-Sakhawi, the reknowned student Hafidh Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani. I have en edition of the work with poor editing and typo’s, very poor for a publishing house to print something wihout even bothering to get it proofread. The best available edition is by the hanafi hadith scholar residing in Madinah al-Habibah, Sheikh Muhammad Awwmah al-Madani, may Allah Most High facilitate meeting the sheikh and benefitting from his work, amin.
Since childhood I have been told to recite darud sharif when i had lost something and could not find it. Rather than being a baseless indo-pak custom it has a basis in the shariah as I discovered when i found the following when skimming through the contents of al-Qawl al-Badi, Imam al-Sakhawi says on p227:
As for salat upon Him for one whom forgets something, or wishes to remember something, and likewise for the one fearing forgetfullness, on the authority of Anas (r.a) who said: the Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alaihi Wassalam) said: if you forget something then send salat upon me and you will remember it with the permission of Allah Taala, reported Abu Musa al-Madeeni with a weak chain, and on the authority of Uthman bin Abi Harb al-Bahili that the Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wassalam) said: whomever wishes to say something but then forgets should send salat upon me for his salat upon me is a substitute for that which he wishes to say, and perhaps he will remember, reported like this by al-Daylami and its chain is weak….
and on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (r.a) said: whom so ever fears forgetfulness for himself should make abundant salat upon the Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wassalam), reported by Ibn Bushkawal with a broken (munqati) chain

Categories: Hadith Sayyidi