Before You Listen to a Lecture on Imam al-Mahdi

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Salam

The topic of Imam al-Mahdi is one which naturally attracts the interest of concerned Muslims, not least in the times that we live in.    There is no doubt that belief in Imam Mahdi (Alaihi Salam) is part of our Sunni beliefs, however a more than normal interest in elusive information regarding the Imam’s appearance can be of concern.

Basic Principles

Those afflicted with an obsession with secretive information regarding the Imam’s appearance should apply a couple of principles to any lectures or lessons they hear regarding this topic, which can be summarized as follows:

  1. Authenticity of the hadith cited:  This is a crucial criteria which enables Sunni Islam to sift between reports which are authentic and those which have been invented or have been altered due to the bad memory of the narrator.  This central principle is what allows the Sunni Islam position on Imam al-Mahdi to be argued against the Shia position on Imam al-Mahdi, as the Shia books of hadith are replete with reports which support their claims regarding the Mahdi.
  2. Errors in Non Prophetic Sources:  Kashf and Ilham of the great Sufi Shuyukh is open to error and mistake, and to believe otherwise goes against the teachings of the great Sufi masters themselves [see below].   Likewise which Kashf and Ilham do you follow when there is clear disagreement between scholars on certain aspects of Imam al-Mahdi?  A good example is Allamah Adawi al-Hamzawi citing a pious person from centuries ago writing that he had met Imam al-Mahdi in person, that he was alive and when he had met him had already exceeded 100 years of age. It is of concern therefore when Kashf and Ilham of scholars is presented to audiences without explicit mention that it is based on Kashf and without highlighting it is open to error and may never materialise.

Distorted Picture

Thus with the combination of both weak or forged narrations and Kashf/Ilham a picture may be presented of the scenario at the end of times which is far from certain, the problem however the audience believes it to be an authentic relaying of how events will play out.  What then happens to the faith of believers if events unfold differently in reality, which is a realistic possibility?

The above points were brilliantly pointed out centuries ago by the great Indian hadith master Imam Ali al-Muttaqi, author one of the largest hadith collections of Sunni Islam, the Kanz al-Ummal.   His work on Imam al-Mahdi entitled Al-Burhan fi Alamat Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman is a collection of hadith on the topic of Imam al-Mahdi based primarily on Imam al-Suyuti’s work (printed in his Al-Hawi lil Fatawa).  Note: Imam al-Muttaqi however does not analyse the authenticity nor grade the narrations he has presented in his work.

Imam al-Muttaqi discusses in the preface of his work on Imam al-Mahdi (Alaihi Salam) a scholar in India who mistakenly made a claim of being the Mahdi.  He points out the root cause of this scholar and his followers misguidance was: 1.  Not understanding that a Wali can be wrong, as can his Kashf and Ilham. 2. Lack of knowledge of the hadith regarding the topic of the Mahdi.

Imam Ali al-Muttaqi’s Analysis 

In his work he says the following:

Ustadh Abul Qasim al-Qushayri and Imam Izz al-Din bin Abd al-Salam and other than them (Allah be pleased with them all) have said:  A murid should not have the belief that the Mashaikh are divinely protected from mistakes and errors.

Shaykh Abul Hasan al-Shadhili (Allah be pleased with him) said:  Allah Most High has guaranteed divine protection (from error) for the Book and the Sunnah, whereas there is no such guarantee for Kashf and Ilham.

It is known to the people of truth that many of the Mashaikh (Allah be pleased with all of them) who were of enlightened spiritual ranks (maqamat al-saniyyah) and lofty miracles – whom the people, both the elite and common man have been in agreement regarding their virtue, nobility and uprightness of their way – have laid claims to be the Mahdi.  Their description did not correspond with that which has been transmitted regarding the Mahdi in the Prophetic narrations and reports of the companions and Tabieen (Allah be pleased with them all).

Therefore there must be a reason for this phenomena, and this matter is not known except by one who understands the states of those who have drawn close (Muqarrabin), their statements and their spiritual stations.  He understands that these claims which issue forth from them are a necessary by product of their spiritual state and their spiritual rank which results in this claim emanating from them.

There is a group in India which has become numerous which holds the belief that a noble person born in India, his name being Al-Sayyid Muhammad bin Sayyid Khan al-Jaunpuri, who died (Allah have mercy on him) at around the age of 40, was the promised Mahdi who would emerge at the end of time.  His attributes did not correspond that which is related in the Prophetic narrations and reports from the companions and Tabieen (Allah be pleased with them all) regarding the promised Mahdi.  I saw that their belief in this matter was due to two reasons:

First:  Their not comprehending the difference between a Prophet and Wali, for it is known that the the difference between a Prophet and Wali is in many matters, as is explained in the relevant place [books of Aqidah], amongst these differences being:

A Prophet is divinely protected from sin (Masum), however a Wali is not so but rather is Mahfuz, meaning it is possible for a Wali to make a mistake and error, however he does not persist on it, as was stated by the author of Qawaid al-Tariqah.

In his book it is mentioned:  A Wali remains a Wali even if he commits a crime demanding a Hadd punishment which is applied on him, as long as he does not reach the level of being a Fasiq which is by habitually committing this sin.  The outward ruling of Wilayah is negated for him as related [in a hadith]:  “Do not curse him for he loves Allah and His Messenger.”

I say [Muttaqi al-Hindi]:  If a Wali does not leave the rank of Wilayah by committing a major sin, how can he exit from the rank of Wilayah by means of problematic words which are a necessary by product of their spiritual states?

The Second reason:  The belief of this group in this matter due to their not understanding principles of knowledge and having knowledge of the corpus of Prophetic narrations.  For I myself in the beginning of my matter was seeking to verify the belief of this group and accompanied them for some time.  I did not verify anything in this matter even when I travelled in India and discussed with its scholars regarding this matter. However when Allah Most High destined for me to travel to the the Two Noble Sanctuaries (Haramain) and I busied myself for ten years in the study of hadith and discussing with expert scholars regarding this matter, Allah Most High gave me understanding of the falsehood of the belief of this group, and All Praise and thanks are due to Him, and He is Most Knowledgeable of those who are rightly guided.

Also it is sufficient proof for the falseness of this group’s belief is their killing of the scholars, for this attribute of theirs points to the absence of any proof for their beliefs and their inability to prove their beliefs.  This attribute alone is sufficient to nullify their belief, so how is it if the Book and the Sunnah itself nullifies their belief and objectives?

We ask Allah Most High for protection from deviation, misguidance and oppression.

Categories: Aqidah Hadith

Mukhtasar Bukhari Reading

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Bukhari Reading 1

Salam

The picture above is from the Mukhtasar Sahih al-Bukhari reading which was conducted in Ramadan in the town of High Wycombe (UK).  Shaykh Khalid Abd al-Karim al-Turkestani (on the left) who is a student of Shaykh Muhammad Yasin al-Fadani and Sayyid Muhammad bin Alawi al-Maliki amongst others traveled from Makka to teach the text, which was completed in around a week.

The above picture is of a catch up session in the students living area in the masjid,  which was conducted for Shaykh Amjad Mahmood from Birmingham on the right, as he was unable to make it to the first day of the reading, and therefore asked to read the hadith he had missed from the first session.

InshAllah additional pictures will follow soon.

Wassalam

Categories: Hadith Makkah

Pattern Chain Narration of Tying the Turban

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الشيخ عبد الله بن محمد الغازي المكي

Sayyidi Fadani

Salam

The following is the translation of the Musalsal hadith (pattern chained narration) which a number of students received upon the completion of the reading of Imam Ibn Abi Jamrah’s abridgement of Sahih al-Bukhari.  The reading took place in the latter part of the month of Ramadan 2013, spanning approximately 8 days and culminating at iftar time on the 27th night in the town of High Wycombe (UK).

The reading was supervised by Shaykh Khalid Abd al-Karim al-Turkestani, a Makkan born and raised scholar who is noted for his being a close student of the great Makkan hadith specialist, Shaykh Muhammad Yasin al-Fadani.

In the course of the 8 days we read a number of musalsal hadith narrations from the text Ithaf al-Ikhwan, however Shaykh Turkestani saved a number of special musalsal hadith narrations for the Khatam of the text, amongst them being the narration below.  InshAllah a more detailed review of the reading will be posted in the near future along with some pictures of the event.

Note 1:  The picture above is of Shaykh al-Fadani wearing a Turban along with a picture of Shaykh Abdullah Ghazi al-Makki from whom he received this musalsal, also wearing a Turban.

Note 2:  There is a video online of Shaykh Habib Ali Jifri transmitting a similar narration of the Turban via the Ba Alawi Shuyukh.  When Shaykh Turkestani was asked about this mentioned that the chain of the Ba Alawi Shuyukh in the video was for the wearing of the Khirqah (Sufi Cloak) as opposed to the Turban. Tthus these are two separate narrations which it would appear have become mixed up, and Allah Taala knows best.

♦♦

Shaykh Muhammad Yasīn al-Fādānī said:

I was informed by the two scholars Abdullah bin Muĥammad al-Ghãzī and Shãkir bin Saeed al-Farrã’ Ibn al-Ĥussain al-Ad-hami al-Tamimi al-Salihi, both of them tying their turban upon my me;

Both of them said:  Abd al-Razzaq bin Hasan al-Baytar al-Dimashqi narrated to me and tied his turban upon me and said;

My uncle Muhammad Amin Effendi al-Baytar al-Dimashqi tied his turban upon me and said;

Ibrahim bin Muhammad al-Bajuri narrated to me in Egypt and tied his turban upon me and said;

Abdullah bi Hijazi al-Sharqawi narrated to me and tied his turban upon me and said;

Muhammad bin Salim al-Hanafi al-Azhari narrated to me and tied his turban upon me and said;

Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Khalifi narrated to me and tied his turban upon me and said;

Abu al-Diya’ Ali bin Ali al-Shabramalsi narrated to me and tied his turban upon me and said;

Ali bin Ibrahim al-Halabi narrated to me and tied his turban upon me and said;

Ali bin Yahya al-Ziyadi narrated to me and tied his turban upon me and said;

The jurist Ahmad bin Muhammd Ibn Hajar al-Makki narrated to me and tied his turban upon me and said;

Yusuf bin Abdullah al-Armiyuni narrated to us and tied his turban upon me and said;

Abd al-Rahman bin Abi Bakr al-Suyuti narrated to us and tied his turban upon me and said;

Ahmad bin Abd al-Qadir al-Shawi narrated to us and tied his turban upon me and said;

Abd al-Wahhab bin Ali al-Subki narrated to us and tied his turban upon me and said;

Ahmad Ibn Ali bin al-Hasan al-Jazari narrated to us and tied his turban upon me and said;

Muhammad bin Abd al-Hadi al-Hanbali narrated to us and tied his turban upon me and said;

Abu al-Tahir Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Ibrahim al-Silafi narrated to us and tied his turban upon me and said;

Abu Ja’far Ahmad bin Muhammad bin al-Hussain al-Siraj al-Baghdadi al-Qari narrated to us and tied his turban upon me and said;

Ismaeel Ibn Ibrahim bin Urwah al-Bandaar narrated to us and tied his turban upon me and said;

Muhammad bin Abdullah Ibn Ibrahim al-Shafi’i  narrated to us and tied his turban upon me and said;

Al-Numan bin Nuaym bin Aban al-Qadi Abu al-Tayyib al-Wasiti narrated to us and tied his turban upon me and said;

Al-Hasan bin Khalaf narrated to us and tied his turban upon me and said;

Ubaydullah bin Tamam narrated to us and tied his turban upon me and said;

Khalid al-Khuzai narrated to us and tied his turban upon me and said;

Ghunaym bin Qays narrated to me and tied his turban upon me and said;

Abu Musa al-Ashari narrated to us and tied his turban upon me and said;

“Gibril (upon him be peace) descended upon the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) whilst he was wearing a black turban, the tail of which was hanging behind him”

♦♦

[Shaykh al-Fadani said:] This is the pattern chained hadith of tying the turban, where each of the narrators had his Shaykh tie his turban upon him and hang the tail behind him.  This is how the two Shaykhs transmitted it, in this form and wording, however it is not mentioned that the Messenger of Allah tied the turban upon Abu Musa al-Ashari.

In the version of al-Nasai in Amal al-Yaum wal-Laylah as cited by Hafiz Abu al-Shaykh in Kitab al-Libas, Ibn Adiyy, Al-Harith bin Abi Usamah in his Musnad, Abu Yaala and Hafiz Abul Hasan bin Jadid al-Alawi in his Musalsalat, the wording of which is:

 Muhammad bin Nasir al-Baghdadi narrated to us and tied his turban upon me and hung its tail behind me and said;

Abu Jafar al-Siraj al-Baghdadi narrated to us and tied his turban upon me and hung its tail behind me and said; [and so on to the end of the chain.]

 It was likewise narrated with this wording and form of transmission by Hafiz Abu Amr Salah al-Din Muhammad bin Ibrahim al-Salihi al-Maqdisi in his Musalsalat from Shams al-Dhahabi from Muslim bin Allan al-Qaysi from Yusuf bin Abd al-Mu’ti from Abi al-Tahir al-Silafi who mentioned it in a pattern chained form with wording of every one of its narrators “So and so tied his turban upon me and hung its end behind me.”

 It is from the most rarest of pattern chained narrations and it was not narrated by the people of knowledge except a few.

Categories: Hadith Makkah

Musalsal Hadith of the Handshake

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madinah habibah

Salam

On this site I have previously uploaded a biography of Shaykh Abd al-Baqi al-Ayyubi, originally from Lucknow (India) who settled in Madinah the Illuminated and became one of the prominent ulema of his era in the Hijaz.  When discussing him with Shaykh Yahya al-Mulla, I was informed that Shaykh Yahya’s father would during his holidays from the Sawlatiyyah school in Makka travel to Madinah al-Munawwarah and study with Shaykh Abd al-Baqi.  He added that his father had a good relationship with the Shaykh and that he has in his possession documents signed by Shaykh Abd al-Baqi which belong to his father.  Shaykh Abd al-Baqi is perhaps best known for his work on Musalsal hadith narrations entitled Manahil al-Salsalah, which is regarded to be the most comprehensive work on this topic (though not exhaustive).

In the course of Shaykh Abd al-Baqi’s relating the various types of Musalsal handshakes he related the following incident which he narrates via the scholars of his home city Lucknow. The incident took place with the notable Indian scholar widely known in scholarly circles by his title Bahr al-Ulum (d.1810), who authored a number of works in the Islamic sciences, and whose relating of the following incident should be taken seriously, as it is from a pious scholar respected for his mastery of the Islamic sciences.

Shaykh Abd al-Baqi al-Ayyubi said the following on page 57 of his Manahil al-Salsalah: 

We narrate the handshake of allegiance by means of the aforementioned chain, the story of which we narrate from our Shaykh who related it in Umdat al-Wasail hearing it from Malawi Abd al-Rab bin Bahr al-Ulum who heard it from Mulla Ala al-Din who has been mentioned earlier.

 The story is that Bahr al-Ulum was one night researching in a book as was his practice in the upper level of the house, this was whilst his students were sitting on the ground level of the house.

An Arab Shaykh came and went to him upstairs and greeted him with Salam.  Bahr  replied to his greeting and went back to his important research.

The Shaykh said: Will you not honour your guest?

At this he [Bahr al-Ulum] closed his book and turned his attention towards him.

The Shaykh said: Come with me,  a great person is calling you.

Bahr al-Ulum thus accompanied him until he came upon a rider upon a horse below a tree with his face covered.

The rider said to him:  Do you know that the Shaytan cannot impersonate your Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)?

Bahr al-Ulum replied: It is established in the Sahih hadith

The rider then said:  Do you know the physical description of your Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)?

Bahr al-Ulum replied:  Yes, and then proceeded to detail it

At this point the rider unveiled his blessed face and said: I am your Prophet and this is Abu Bakr al-Siddiq.

A cloth was then spread out for him and Bahr al-Ulum was ordered to take allegiance, and he took allegiance with the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) by means of a handshake, and this was in the city of Rampur.

The Arab Shaykh was seen by Bahr al-Ulum’s students including the previously mentioned Ala, and [later] Bahr informed them of what took place.  The form of the handshake which we took is the joining of one hand with the other and thumb with the other.

Note 1:  For those who may have questions about the possibility of meeting the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) in a waking state, Imam al-Suyuti and others have authored works where they argue such an occurrence is possible.

 Note 2: InshAllah, with the tawfiq of Allah Taala a project that has been discussed is to prepare a new edition of the Manahil al-Salsalah based on the copies of the students of the students of Shaykh Abd al-Baqi.

Categories: Hadith Sayyidi

Sayyid Ahmad al-Ruqaymi

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image

Salam

One of the hidden gems of traditional Islam in Makka is the teacher of our teachers, the Husayni Sayyid,  Allamah Ahmad al-Ruqaymi.  During his teaching career he was known for his mastery of a range of sciences and regularly taught works as diverse as Sharh Ibn Aqil in grammar, Tafsir Nasafi, logic, the books of hadith and complex calculations in inheritance law, not to mention the Shafi’i school.

He is the teacher of countless students who have travelled to Makka to study in its circles of traditional knowledge.  Shaykh Yahya Al-Mulla studied with him back in the 1970s when he was a student at Dar al-Ulum Makka, as did Shaykh Khalid Turkestani, who read a number of works with him privately and provided me with the information presented below.

It is unfortunate that elderly scholarly gems such as Sayyid Ahmad are virtually unknown in traditional circles in the West, despite their producing generations of scholars and dedicating their lives to teaching.  How many a student has visited Makka a number of times and had no idea that scholars of his calibre were actively teaching?

Alhumdulillah I was fortunate enough to visit the Sayyid a few months ago at an appointment he gave me despite his Ill health, when I entered his run down flat I was taken to his room where he was lying down with the Tafsir of Imam al Baydawi resting on his chest so it would face him so he could read it.  He was kind enough to narrate the hadith of mercy to me and had to be pulled up to an upright position to allow him to sit up.  May Allah Most High protect him and give him a long life filled with worship.

Sayyid Ahmad al-Ruqaymi

He is the most learned scholar, hadith specialist and jurist:  Sayyid Ahmad bin Abdullah bin Abd al-Aziz al-Ruqaymi al-Husayni al-Shafi’i previously of Yemen and now of Makkah.

Birth & Upbringing

He was born in 1350 Hijri in Yemen in the area lower Wassab, which is east to the city of Zabid.  He was raised by his parents and his religious ubringing was undertaken by his father Sayyid Abdullah, with whom he studied the Quran with.  Thereafter he studied the foundational sciences of Islamic law, grammar and other subjects with his uncle Sayyid Muhammad Abd al-Aziz al-Ruqaymi (d.1367).  After his passing away he kept the company of his cousins Sayyid Khalid bin Abd al-Baqi and his brother Sayyid Ahmad, with whom he studied.

Arrival in Makkah

In the year 1384 Hijri he travelled to Makkah to perform the obligatory Hajj, bidding farewell to his family and heading towards Makkah intending to fulfill his obligation and take up residence.

His Teachers

During his residence he attended the circles and lessons of Sayyid Alawi bin Abbas al-Maliki.  He studied a number of sciences with him, amongst them being:  Ibn Aqil in grammar and parts of Sahih Muslim and other works in hadith.  After the passing away of Sayyid Alawi he attended the circle of his son Sayyid Muhammad Alawi al-Maliki (Allah Most High have mercy on him).

Likewise he kept the company of Shaykh Hasan al-Mashat with whom he read parts of the Sahih of Imam Muslim, the Tafsir al-Jalalayn, Qatr al-Nada and other works in a number of sciences.

He studied Islamic law and fiqh with Abdullah al-Lahji

He kept the company of Sayyid Muhammad Amin Kutbi and read a large number of works with him, such as Qatr al-Nada, Al-Mughni of Ibn Hisham and Ibn Aqil in grammar; Jawhar al-Maknun in Balagha; Taftazani and Sharh al-Izzi in Sarf; Sirah al-Nabawiyyah of Halabi and Suhayli; Jalalayn and other books.

He studied with Sayyid Muhammad al-Arabi al-Tubbani in the Haram al-Makki al-Sharif as well in his home.

He studied fiqh with Shaykh Ibrahim Fatani, with whom he read many works of the Shafi school such as: Al-Tahrir; Mughni Sharh al-Minhaj; Sharh al-Adhkar of Ibn Allan.  Likewise in Balagha the work Hawashi al-Naqiyyah and other books…

He did not miss out on taking from Shaykh Muhammad Nur Sayf Hilal, as he read many books in different subjects with him in the Masjid al-Haram and in his home.

He studied Islamic and Inheritance law with Sayyid Salim al-Attas.

He read Islamic law, hadith and grammar with Shaykh Abdullah Dardum

He read the work Lub al-Usul with Shaykh Muhammad Iwad (d.1412)

He read the work Lub al-Usul and Jam’ al-Jawami’ with Shaykh Ismail al-Zayn

He read the Sahih of Imam al-Bukhari; hadith science, tafsir and Al-Ashmuni in grammar with Shaykh Khayr Muhammad Hijazi

He also studied fiqh with Sayyid Umar al-Yafi’i

His Permission to Teach
He was given permission by his Shuyukh to teach, he also told me [Khalid Turkestani],

“I opened a small grocery store in which I used to work, Shaykh Muhammad al-Arabi al-Tubbani passed by and [on seeing me] said:  This is not your place, your place is teaching.  After some time Sayyid Muhammad Amin Kutbi also passed by and [on seeing me] said:  Your place is teaching and instruction.  Thereafter I left the grocery shop and turned my attention to teaching, and all praise is due to Allah for this.”

Teaching Career
Sayyid Ahmad’s teaching career spans decades, with his being honoured with teaching in the Masjid al-Haram for a period of time.  In addition to this he also taught at Shaykh al-Fadani’s school Dar al-Ulum al-Diniyyah as well as the Sawlatiyyah from which he retired relatively recently in 1428H due to old age.  Despite his Ill health he still receives students who come to read with him in his home.

Categories: Makkah Scholarship

Hadith of Brotherhood

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image

Salam

We were honoured in the UK for this year’s Ramadan to host Shaykh Khalid Turkestani from Makkah, a student of Shaykh Muhammad Yasin al-Fadani and Sayyid Muhammad bin Alawi al-Maliki amongst others.  During his stay of 9 days we completed a reading of Imam Ibn Abi Jamrah’s abridgement of Bukhari as well as reading a number of musalsal hadith from the collection Ithaf al-Ikhwan.  A quick translation of the Musalsal hadith on brotherhood which was narrated at the Mukhtasar Bukhari Khatam on Sunday 4th August 2013 is presented below.  Alhumdulilah this is a rare musalsal narration not commonly found with scholars but transmitted by Shaykh al-Fadani to his students at special gatherings.

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Shaykh Khalid Turkestani said: I was informed by  Shaykh Muhammad Yasin al-Fadani who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by our brother in Allah, the Shaykh, the Allamah Abd al-Qadir bin Muhammad Salih ibn Abdullah al-Shaybi al-Makki who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Mulla Ismail bin Muhammad Nawab al-Hindi al-Hanafi who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Sharif Muhammad bin Nasir al-Hazimi al-Tihami al-Yamani who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Qadi Muhammad bin Ali al-Shawkani who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Abd al-Qadir al-Kawkabani al-Hasani who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by our Shaykh Muhammad Hayat al-Sindi who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Salim bin Abdullah bin Salim bin Muhammad bin Isa al-Basri al-Makki who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by my father who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Shams al-Din Muhammad bin Ala al-Din al-Babili al-Shafi’i who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Salim bin Muhammad al-Sanhuri who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Shams al-Din Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Rahman al-Alqama who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Hafiz Jalal al-Din Abd al-Rahman bin Abi Bakr al-Suyuti who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Abul Qasim bin Yusuf al-Tujibi who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Musa Ibn Abdullah bin Asim by ijazah who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Abu Ali Umar Ibn Abd al-Majid al-Randi who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Abul Hasan Ali bin al-Kawthar who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Abul Fath al-Karukhi who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Mahmud Ibn al-Qasim al-Marwazi who said to me to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Abd al-Jabbar who said to me to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

It was narrated to me by Muhammad Ibn Ahmad bin Mahbub al-Tajir who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

It was narrated to me by Muhammad bin Isa bin Sawrah who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

It was narrated to me by Yusuf bin Musa al-Qattan al-Baghdadi who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

It was narrated to me by Ali bin Qadim who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

It was narrated to me by Ali bin Salih Khuyay who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

It was narrated to me by Hakim bin Jubayr who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

It was narrated to me by Jami’ bin Umayr al-Taymi who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

On the authority of Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with them both) who said: The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) established ties of brotherhood between his companions.  Ali (Allah be pleased with him) came with tears in his eyes and said, “O Messenger of Allah, you have established the ties of brotherhood between your companions but not established this tie between me and anyone else”.  The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “You are my brother in this world and the next”.

Ibn Umar said:  Ali bin Abi Talib (Allah ennoble his countenance) said to me: “You are my brother in this world and the next”.

Jami’ Ibn Umayr al-Taymi in turn said: Ibn Umar said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next.”

I [Shaykh al-Fadani] say:  This hadith is Hasan Gharib, containing a pattern chain of brotherhood where each of the narrators says “So and so narrated to me and said to me: You are my brother in this world and the next,”  Some of the people of knowledge have questioned the authenticity of this pattern as al-Tirmidhi narrated it in his Jami’ with this chain without the pattern.  However this does not necessitate Tirmidhi not narrating it with the pattern chain as on some occasions he may have done so along with it being one chain of transmission.

Categories: Hadith Makkah

About Shaykh Abdullah bin Saeed al-Lahji

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image

Salam

Mention the name of Shaykh Abdullah bin Saeed al-Lahji to someone who is well versed with scholarly works from the Middle East and you will most likely receive a response with the word Shamail included in it somewhere.  The impact of Shaykh al-Lahji’s scholarly contribution is such that he has become well known for his masterpiece and lifelong work on the Shamail entitled Muntaha al-Sul.  It was because of this work that I came to know of the Shaykh – as mentioned in previous articles on this site – and resulted in seeking out his students when visiting the Hijaz and the UAE.   What follows are some glimpses in to the life of Shaykh al-Lahji that were recently shared with me by one of his students who studied with him both in the Haram al-Makki and the Madrasa al-Sawlatiyyah.  The points below are not a flowing account, however it is hoped some benefit can be derived from the information presented.

His student told me that he first met Shaykh al-Lahji in the Haram al-Makki as a small child when he was of primary school age.  He was assigned tasks related to handwriting and carried on these primary studies for a short time.  He then left these studies in the Haram al-Makki and attended a regular school and was to only study with the Shaykh again when he was enrolled in the Sawlatiyyah.  From then on the studies in the Sawlatiyyah were to be the means for keeping the close company of the Shaykh and benefiting from him.

Those familiar with Shaykh al-Lahji’s life will know he was already an established scholar before his migrating from Yemen to the Hijaz,  on arriving in Makkah he took up residence in a home on Jabal Umar with his family and children.  His home on Jabal Umar was to be his abode until he passed away and was buried in the Ma’ala graveyard in Makkah.   His daily practice in addition to his teaching in the Sawlatiyyah school was to come to the Masjid al-Haram before Maghrib time and stay till Isha in the Masjid.  This was his well known routine which would only be altered if he would leave the Masjid to pay condolences to the family of someone who was recently deceased.

His devotion to his students was absolute both physically and spiritually, early in his teaching career he was very strict with his students and would discipline them, but as his teaching career progressed this changed and his tarbiyah came by way of his spiritual state (hal).  As in the words of his student who emphasized this point to me saying, “I personally witnessed this”.  Likewise his firasah (insight) was keenly developed such that his students would not have to say anything to him regarding that which was on their minds, but rather he would broach the subject which was troubling them and offer them advice.  This firasah was witnessed in his lessons such that Shaykh al-Lahji would at times veer away from the subject of the lesson and directly answer a matter on the students mind totally unrelated to the topic at hand.

The two days holiday in the week from studies in Makkah were not a real holiday as such, Shaykh al-Lahji would gather together with his students as in the picture above and everyone would be busied with their respective task.  Whether it was the memorization of texts, recitation of Quran or worship, everyone was expected to be engaged in something of benefit.  On seeing the picture above the student I met mentioned this picture was taken on one of their days off in the week which was always used as an opportunity to review and reinforce what they had learnt.  Indeed there was healthy competition between the students in terms of what they had memorized and how far they had progressed.

Shaykh al-Lahji loved books, and his students had formed the habit of presenting their recently purchased books to him for approval, more specifically the books that they read with him which he would take and write with his own hand the name of the student who was studying the work with him inside the front cover.  I personally saw this handwriting in a couple of the books that his student had at hand to show me, namely the Shamail of Imam al-Tirmidhi and the Yaqut al-Nafis of Shaykh al-Shatiri in fiqh.

In terms of tasawwuf the Shaykh did not talk openly of any tariqah affiliations throughout the long contact his students had with him, the only possible link his student knowing of being his association in Yemen with the tariqah of the Ahdal family of scholars who have one wird which is called the Thaqbah al-Ahdliyyah.  Shaykh al-Lahji personally dictated some adhkar to his students to recite in the morning and evening as a wird which was published as the Hizb al-Lahji.  When asked whether the Shaykh could be regarded as a follower of the approach of Imam al-Nawawi of practising tasawwuf without a tariqah his student agreed to this as a sound description of the Shaykh.

Lessons in the Haram al-Makki took place under the watchful eye of those who were unhappy with Shaykh al-Lahji not being aligned to the Salafi school of thought.  Care was taken to not give ammunition to those seeking to cause problems, such that the older students of the Shaykh advised the younger students in the circle in the Haram al-Makki to avoid wearing turbans so as to not draw attention to themselves.  Likewise during lessons in the Haram al-Makki if the Shaykh came across any passage which might be a cause of contention between the Salafi school and others he would pass quickly over it without going in to too much detail.

Shaykh al-Lahji’s life was devoted to teaching, and he suffered immensely at the hands of his opponents when barred from teaching in the Haram al-Makki and giving fatwa in the last couple of years of his life.  A few months before he passed away he had a dream which was interpreted as an indication of his impending journey to the next world. His close friend in Makkah Shaykh Ismail Zayn al-Dahwi mentioned that Shaykh al-Lahji rang him and  told him that “relief has come!.”

I end these brief notes with something I had been longing to know, namely whether Shaykh al-Lahji had mentioned to any of his close students any of his dreams related to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace).  I was told that the Shaykh had mentioned that he had dreamed of being outside Bab al-Jibril with all the scholars of his time being present with him.  The dream had Shaykh Hasan al-Mashat (one of the great Makkan scholars of recent times and a teacher of Shaykh al-Lahji) walking around and arranging the different scholars in to rows/lines to go in to the Masjid to visit the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace); with Shaykh Hasan taking Shaykh al-Lahji and positioning him at the front to be the first to go in for ziyarah.

On my recent trip to the Hijaz I was fortunate to accompany someone who pointed out to me Shaykh al-Lahji’s grave in the Maa’la graveyard where he was resting in close proximity to his colleagues and other scholars of Makkah. Allah Most High have mercy on him and allow to benefit from him.

Categories: Uncategorized

Sharh Hikam Imam al-Haddad

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Sharh Hikam Haddadiyah

Salam

Shaykh Nizar Hamadi from Tunisia was kind enough to recently send me an electronic copy of his editing of a commentary on Imam al-Haddad’s Hikam collection; the commentary being by none other than Shaykh Muhammad Hayat al-Sindi of Madinah al-Munawwarah.  Some of you may have noted that his name is cited as one of the Shuyukh of Shaykh Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab; and that we have previously presented on this site a brief extract from Shaykh Hayat al-Sindi’s commentary on the Hikam of Imam Ibn Ataillah.  It goes without saying that thanks to these two commentaries on the Hikam works we can clearly see that the methodology and views of the teacher and student vary significantly.

Shaykh Hayat al-Sindi’s approach in his commentary is to unpack the and expand on the words of Imam al-Haddad without extensive discussions, an example of which is presented below.  Finally I would like to extend my thanks to Shaykh Nizar Hamadi for his tireless efforts in editing publishing works on traditional Islam which highlight our rich scholastic heritage.

***

Imam al-Haddad (Allah sanctify his secret) said in his Hikam:

84- Two matters are necessary for a person in order to attain success in the next world:

First: Guidance (hidayah) and tawfiq from Allah, which is like the rain which falls on the earth

Second: Striving towards Allah upon the path of uprightness, which is like cultivating the earth and taking care of what it needs from seeds, weeding, protection and warding off that which would harm it etc.

Thus cultivating the earth without watering it is stubborness and effort without result, and watering it without cultivating it is a waste.  Tawfiq from Allah is like the rain, the servant has no say in it, and this is the reality (haqiqah).  The striving and effort which is like the cultivating of the earth and looking after it is for the servant, which is his action regarding which he will be questioned and compensated.  And this is the shariah.

***
Shaykh Muhammad Hayat al-Sindi (Allah have mercy on him)  in his commentary said (commentary in italics below)

84- Two matters are necessary for a person in order to attain success in the next world:

First: Guidance (hidayah) –to the path of goodness– and tawfiq –to perform good actions and leave sins are– from Allah,- in whose Hand lies guidance and tawfiq– which is like the rain which falls on the earth – and gives life to it after its death…

Second: Striving towards Allah – Who ordered His servants to strive towards Him– upon the path of uprightness,- which is the Muhammadan way, without any shortcomings and deviation in the principles (usul) and branches (furu)– which is like cultivating the earth – which grows crops by the mere falling of rain upon it–  and taking care of what it needs from seeds,- which is the material source of cultivation– weeding, protection – from that which harms – and warding off that which would harm it- which will not facilitate growth– etc.- which are required for cultivation.

Thus cultivating the earth without it being watered is stubborness and effort without result,- as the earth does not grow crops without water– and watering it without cultivating it is a waste.- as it does not grow without being cultivated.

Tawfiq from Allah is like the rain, the servant has no say in it,- rather it is the Generosity of Allah which He grants whom He wills– and this is the reality (haqiqah).- For in reality all matters in the Hand of Allah and the servant has no say.–  The striving and effort which is like the cultivating of the earth and looking after it is for the servant, which is his action –The upshot of this is that Allah (Taala) has placed in the heart the power to choose good and adopt the correct belief, and the power to not choose evil and not adopt false beliefs and knowledge.   Likewise He has placed in his body the power to do good and avoid evil and made him responsible for that that which in in his ability to do.  Thus he who utilises his power by the guidance and tawfiq of Allah in that which pleases Him is successful, and the one unable to do this is blamed.– regarding which he will be questioned – on the day of judgement- and compensated.  And this is the shariah.- whose limits and rulings must be observed, thus every haqiqah which conflicts with the shariah is false…

Please note: This is a rough draft which is under review.

Categories: Other

Mawlid Hadith: Mawlid at the Time of the Companions

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Mawlid Hadith

Assalamu Alaikum

Once again the month of Rabi al-Awwal has witnessed the launch of campaigns to stop people attending gatherings known as “Mawlid”.  What I have found disturbing is the dissemination of misleading information on the issue from individuals who do not appear to be able to look calmly at the issue, but rather blindly copy and paste articles against the Mawlid without verifying the accuracy of what they are spreading.

The above hadith (from Sunan al-Nasai) is one of the clearest evidences for the permissibility of the Mawlid, and clearly shows the companions gathering together to thank Allah (Most High) and give thanks for blessing them with the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).  Are the Mawlid gatherings not what is being described in the hadith?

I have more to say on this topic but do not have the time at the moment, however I will suffice with the following points as summaries of more detailed discussions.

1. Definition of Mawlid gatherings:   It is not a birthday gathering as in the conventional western sense, but a gathering mentioning the sirah of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) which without saying would include a mention of the blessed birth.  These gatherings usually include recitation of the Quran and singing of Qasaid, the vast majority of them being held throughout history until today without any haram actions intermixed.

2. Mawlid is an issue of Fiqh not Aqidah:  Being an issue of fiqh it was dealt with Muslim scholars of the past, the vast majority of whom gave the fatwa of its permissibility and it being recommended.  Amongst these giants of Islamic scholarship are Hafiz Ibn Hajar, Imam al-Suyuti, Ibn Abidin and numerous others including Shah Abd al-Aziz al-Dihlawi.  Likewise being an issue of fiqh which mainstream ulema gave fatwa on, it is not permitted to then condemn those who attend such gatherings where no unlawful practices take place.  Side note: I was astonished to read on an Arabic language site an author boldly claim that the permissibility of the Mawlid was only a minority position in Muslim scholarship and the majority held it to be impermissible?!? (Did the author accidentally miss the countless verdicts of it being permitted/recommended throughout the centuries?)

3. Two Approaches: Muslim scholars took two approaches to argue for Mawlid gatherings being permitted/recommended.  First:  Mawlid gatherings existed at the time of the salaf but were not known by this name (refer to the Fatwa of Shaykh Abd al-Hayy al-Luknawi and the hadith above).  Second:  Mawlid gatherings in this exact form did not exist at the time of the salaf but their basis is present in the Shariah which has given scope for them to take place, thus they cannot be considered as a bad innovation.  (This is the approach of Hafiz Ibn Hajar and Imam al-Suyuti).

4. All in a name:  If the name of Mawlid gatherings was changed to “Sirah Lesson” where some qasaid are also sung how many people would find it problematic?  Indeed if you were to invite them to such an event they would probably not even notice they were actually attending a Mawlid.  This is the approach I have seen being taken in Madinah al-Munawwarah where outside the place of a well known weekly Mawlid a sign reads ‘Majlis al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah’.

5. Mawlid everyday:  Mawlids are held outside of Rabi al-Awwal and some scholars of the past are said to have held them everyday in the evening in their homes.  As with other lessons Mawlid gatherings are perhaps held once a week due to peoples time commitments and inability to attend everyday.  Thus to argue that they only take place in Rabi al-Awwal is incorrect and misleading.

6. Ignorance:  Cutting and pasting long articles on bidah and just repeating the flawed argument “Did the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) hold Mawlid gatherings” betrays an ignorance of what the sunnah is.  Our question to such people is:  Do you regard the words and tacit approval of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) as constituing the sunnah? if so why have you mentioned only actions? If you do agree with us with the prophetic words and tacit approval being from sunnah then how can you claim that organising gatherings where the sirah and qasaid are read is not sanctioned from the sunnah?

Note:  The scan of hadith at the top of the post was highlighted by Shaykh Abdullah al-Hussaini al-Hashimi from Makkah in his work on the Mawlid, may Allah (Most High) reward him abundantly.

O Allah, send your blessings and peace on the light which manifested in this month.

Wassalam

 

Categories: Fiqh Hadith Sayyidi

Shaykh al-Lahji in the Haram al-Makki

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Shaykh al-Lahji in the Haram al-Makki

Salam

I first came to know of Shaykh Abdullah bin Saeed al-Lahji when attending an open lesson of Sayyid Muhammad bin Alawi al-Maliki in his home in 2004, a few months before he passed away (Allah have mercy on him).  I was curious to see which work the students were reading from and having noted the name of the work from someone sitting next to me I took the opportunity to purchase his wonderful 4 volume work on the Shamail entitled Muntaha al-Sul.  More details on this work have been mentioned elsewhere on this site along with a translation of some passages from it and a biography of Shaykh al-Lahji.

The brilliance of this work has to be appreciated by its readers and the efforts of its authors painstaking efforts in the service of the Shamail has been attested to by many of those who have studied his work.  Shaykh al-Lahji’s khidmah of the Shamail lead me to seek out his students, two of whom I was fortunate to sit with and narrate from.  It also lead me to translate and annotate his 40 hadith collection he authored for the students of the Sawlatiyyah school in Makkah.

The picture above was shared by Sayyidi Shaykh Khalid al-Turkestani from Makkah al-Mukarramah and shows Shaykh al-Lahji sitting in the Haram al-Makki with I assume his students.  Shaykh al-Lahji can be seen sitting talking to a child facing towards the camera.

Wassalam

Categories: Makkah Scholarship