Category Archives: Other

Allamah al-Kattani and Jinn


There has been some discussion in the past regarding the narrating of hadith from scholars from the world of the Jinn, we will leave the detailed discussion of the reliability and validity of such methods of hadith transmission to the experts in this field. I thought I would share with others some interesting things Allamah al-Sayyid Abd al-Hayy al-Kattani (d.1962/1382) mentions in his wonderful summary of the Shamail al-Tirmidhi entitled ‘Munyah al-Saail Khulasah al-Shamail’[1]

Allamah al-Kattani after discussing a chain of transmission of Imam al-Tirmidhi in which there are only three narrators between Imam al-Tirmidhi and the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), comments that he himself has a chain of transmission containing only three narrators between him and the Best of Creation (Allah bless Him and give Him peace). He said:

This faqir has also obtained the like of this, for I saw al-Sayyid al-Muammar al-Haaj al-Naasik, Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin al-Qutb Abu Abbas Ahmad bin al-Muhaddith al-Arif Abu Abdulah Muhammad bin al-Qutb Abul Abbas Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Husseini al-Kazimi al-Fasi[2]. He embraced me, interlaced his fingers with mine, shook my hand and gave me ijazah for all that he had.

And he met and derived blessings from the pious Muammar Abu Hafs Umar bin al-Makki bin al-Qutb Sayyidi al-Mu’ati bin Salih al-Tadili buried in Fes.

Who met with the notable companion Abd al-Rahman al-Jinni better known as Shamaharush and took from him, and was given ijazah by him in his Jinn handwriting.

He went on to say:

Ibn Hajar clearly stated in al-Isabah that he specifically mentioned amongst the companions those from the Jinn whose companionship was established. Therefore he wrote a biographical entry for numerous Jinn companions in al-Isabah.

More on Shamahrush the Jinn Companion
Al-Kattani mentioned that approximately 150 of the scholars, hadith specialists and Sufis had affirmed Shamahrush’s companionship with the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless Him and give Him peace).
It is mentioned in Salak al-Durar (1/134) that the Qadi of the Jinn, Abd al-Rahman better known as Shamahrush passed away in the year 1129 Hijri, his passing away being informed to the human world by none other Sheikh Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulsi

Shamahrush and the Recitation of the Quran
Imam al-Muhaddith al-Shihab Ahmad bin Ali al-Manini al-Dimashqi who authored a commentary of al-Bukhari, mentions (as in Salak al-Durar 1/134) that his father met Shamahrush around the year 1073 Hijri. He comments that he shook hands with him, and was ordered by Shamahrush to recite something from the Quran, so he recited whilst Shamahrush listened. When he had finished his recitation Shamahrush said to him: This is how the Prophet (Allah bless Him and give Him peace) recited to us between al-Abtah and Makkah.

Reflection: I will leave readers to reflect upon the blessing of being informed that their recitation was in conformity with that of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless Him and give Him peace). And we ask Allah (the Exalted) to protect us in all our matters, for He alone is powerful over all things.

[1] P. 170 onwards
[2] His biographical entry can be found in al-Azhar al-Anwar p.58, he was born in the year 1232 and passed away in 1322

A Shattered Glass

I made reference in a previous post to meeting in al-Ahsa the sons of Sh. Muhammad Awwamah. I had met them first at the home of one of the historians from the al-Mulla family (may Allah give us the tawfiq to record what occurred there).
Some of us had moved on to the home of Sh. Yahya al-Mulla to read some fiqh with him, during the course of the lesson the Sheikh received a call to say that the visitors from Madinah were on their way.

They entered, greeted the Sheikh and asked him if they could record some of the answers to their questions, what followed was Sh. Yahya mentioning in response to his visitors request the history of the Hanafi school in al-Ahsa, going on to reluctantly grant (due to his not feeling worthy) his guests request for an Ijaza to narrate from him.

Then as a final question the visitors asked the Sh. Yahya to relate to them the story that they heard about the broken glass.

Sh. Yahya expressed surprise at their knowledge of this and mentioned that he actually met the person who witnessed the event.

The Story
Sh. Yahya’s father Sh. Muhammad al-Mulla was known for his piety and people would often come to him so that he may recite and blow on water for them to drink. However due to his teaching commitments and lack of time, Sh. Muhammad al-Mulla would recite ‘Bismillah’ or the Fatiha (I cant recall exactly which of the two it was, but I think it was the former) and blow into a cup of water. A lady came to the Sh. Muhammad and asked him to recite and blow, which due to his busy schedule he quickly did, however the lady was not satisfied and requested the Sheikh to recite and blow properly. Sh. Muhammad paused, agreed to her request, recited (Bismillah or Fatiha) and then blew into the cup which to everyone’s amazement shattered to pieces.Sh. Yahya having recounted the story, found that one of his visitors had duly stood up and had asked him to recite and blow into his cup of tea that had been poured for him.

Sh. Yahya’s expression was: ‘Come on..! you must be joking’ mainly because the visitors were looking for a repeat of this extraordinary feat from the son.
After finally agreeing he recited and blew into the cup…..Wassalam


Zamzam: Stories of Fulfilment

Salam. We mentioned previously the noble hadith which encourages us to use Zamzam as a means to have our prayers fulfilled. Please find below some accounts of the Imams of our community (ummah) who literally tasted the reality of the words of the Most Truthful One (Allah bless Him and give Him peace). This is a rough draft which we will add to Inshallah, taken from Sh. Bakdash’s work.
Imam Abu Hanifah and Knowledge
Al-Zamzami mentions in Nashr al-Aas (L16) citing from ‘Qurrat al-Ain’ by Sh. Ghassan al-Waiz al-Rumi that:
Imam Abu Hanifah (Allah be pleased with him) drank Zamzam so that he may be the most knowledgeable of the scholars, and he was

Al-Busnawi said in his treatise on the Maqam Ibrahim (L20) that:

It is reported that Abu Hanifah (Allah have mercy on him) drank Zamzam for knowledge and understanding, and he was the most knowledgeable of the people of his time

A Student Drinks Zamzam So That His Sheikh Narrates to Him
The student of Imam Ibn Uyaynah drank Zamzam so that his Sheikh would narrate a hundred (100) hadith to him. Abu Bakr al-Dinawari relates in his work al-Mujalasah[1] from al-Humaidi who said:

We were with Sufyan bin Uyaynah, he narrated to us the hadith: ‘The water of Zamzam is for whatever it is drunk for’. A person got up from the gathering (left) and then returned and said: O Abu Muhammad: Is not the hadith which you related to us regarding Zamzam Sahih? He replied: Yes, the man said: I just drank a bucket of Zamzam water so that you narrate a hundred hadith to me. Sufyan said to him: Sit, and he sat, and he narrated a hundred hadith to him.

Imam al-Shafi Hits His Target
Hafidh Ibn Hajar said:

It has become well known regarding al-Shafi, the Imam, that he drank Zamzam water for archery, such that he would hit his target nine times out of ten

And in another version:

Imam al-Shafi (Allah have mercy on him) said: I drank Zamzam water for three matters: For archery, and I would hit the target ten times out of ten or nine times out of ten, for knowledge, and I am as you see me, and for entering paradise, and I hope to attain this[2]

Imam Ibn Khuzaimah Explains His Scholarship
It is related from Imam al-Hafidh Ibn Khuzaimah the author of the Sahih who passed away in the year 311 (Allah have mercy on him) that:

He was asked from where did you gain knowledge? He said: The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless Him and give Him peace) said: ‘The water of Zamzam is whatever it is drunk for’, when I drunk it I asked Allah for beneficial knowledge[3]

Khatib al-Baghdadi’s Three Prayers
It is reported from Imam al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, Abu Bakr Ahmad bin Ali, the great Hafidh, the Muhaddith of al-Sham and al-Iraq, who passed away in the year 463 AH (Allah have mercy on him) that when he performed Hajj he drank Zamzam three times and asked Allah (the Exalted) for three things….

The first: That he narrate the history of Baghdad
The second: That he dictate hadith in the Jami’ al-Mansur
The third: To be buried next to the grave of Bishr al-Hafi

Allah decreed all of the above to take place[4]

Imam Ibn Arabi al-Maliki: Knowledge and Action
It is reported from Qadi Abu Bakr Muhammad bin Abdullah Ibn al-Arabi al-Maliki, author of Ahkam al-Quran [d.543 AH] (Allah have mercy upon him) that he said:

I was staying in Makkah in Dhul Hijjah in the year 489. I would drink a large amount of Zamzam water, every time I drank it I intended with it knowledge and faith, until Allah opened for me knowledge from its blessing in a period that He made easy for me. However I forgot to drink it for action, if only I had drunk it for them both! So that Allah give me an opening in them both, but He did not decree this, and my desire towards knowledge is more than that of action. And we ask Allah for protection and success through his mercy[5]

Imam al-Jazari and His Fathers Intention
The Imam, Hafidh and Quran recitor Muhammad bin Muhammad al-JAzari [d.833 AH] in his book Jami al-Asanid mentioned his Sheikhs, the first whom was his father Muhammad al-Jazari (725-785) May Allah have mercy on all of them. He said:

He (meaning his father) told me: I drank Zamzam water so that Allah bless me with a son who would be from the people of the Quran, I married your mother in the year 750, and you were born on the 25th of Ramadan in the year 751

Hafidh Ibn Hajar and His Maqam
Hafidh Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani [d.852] (Allah have mercy on him) said:

And I drank it on an occasion and asked Allah, this was at a time when I was at the beginning of my study of hadith, that He bless me with the rank of al-Dhahabi in terms of memorisation of hadith. I then preformed Hajj again after a period of approximately 20 years and I find in myself a desire to exceed this rank, so I asked Him for one higher than it, and I hope that I reach it.[6]

His student Hafidh al-Sakhawi said:

Allah realised this wish of his, and a number bore witness to it[7]

Likewise Imam al-Suyuti said after mentioning the above that:

He reached this (rank) and exceeded it[8]

Imam al-Suyuti and High Standards
Imam al-Suyuti [d.911 AH] (Allah have mercy on him) said:

When I performed Hajj I drank from Zamzam water for some matters, from them: That I reach in Fiqh the level of al-Sheikh Siraj al-Din al-Bulqini, and in hadith the level of Hafidh Ibn Hajar[9]

The student of al-Suyuti Imam Shams al-Din Muhammad bin Ali al-Dawudi al-Maliki, author of ‘Tabaqat al-Mufassirin’ [d.945 AH] (Allah have mercy on
him) said:

By the One in whose Hand is my soul, that which I believe and is a blessing from Allah upon me is that the level that he (al-Suyuti) reached in knowledge, and comprehended, no one else has reached, nor has any of his Sheikhs been acquainted with, let alone those who are less than them.[10]

We ask Allah (the Exalted) to forgive our shortcomings, grant us wellbeing and deflect from us all calamities, for Indeed he does not burden His servants with more that they can bear. And we ask Him to help us realise all of our prayers made whilst drinking Zamzam.
[1] It was mentioned by Hafidh Ibn Hajar in his ‘Juz Ma Zamzam’ (p.271), the work is ‘al-Mujalasah wa Jawahir al-Ilm’ (2/342) by Ahmad bin Marwan Abi Bakr al-Dinawari. He was a Qadi, Maliki Faqih, the Allamah and Muhaddith. He passed away in the year 330 (AH). A biographical entry can be found for him in Siyar al-Ialam al-Nubala (15/427) and Ialam (1/256).
[2] Nashr al-Aas (L16), al-Jawhar al-Munazzam (p.44-45) citing from al-Jawahir al-Maknunah of Ibn Zahirah
[3] Siyar al-Ialam al-Nubala (14/370), Tadhkirah al-Huffadh (2/721)
[4] Tadhkirah al-Huffadh (3/1193), Tarikh Dimashq of Ibn Asakir (7/24), al-Jawahir wal Durar of al-Sakhawi (1/166)
[5] Ahkam al-Quran (1/1124)
[6] Juz’ fi Hadith Ma Zamzam of Hafidh Ibn Hajar (p.271)
[7] Al-Jawahir wal-Durar fi Tarjamah Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Hajar (1/166)
[8] Tabaqat al-Huffadh (p.547)
[9] Husn al-Muhadarah (1/338)
[10] Al-Jawhar al-Munazzam (p.45)

Dream Interpretation

Dream interpretation is an ‘art’ which cannot be attempted based on the cursory reading of various books on the subject, rather we have scholars within our ummah (community) those who have been blessed with the ability to interpret such experiences based on deep understanding and insight (basirah).I was told recently of an interesting incident wherein one of the local Mauritanians saw a dream in which he saw his father at a distance from himself, this was the dream.

For its interpretation he contacted Sh. Muhammad Hasan Dedew al-Shinqiti, a scholar who is known (amongst the Mauritanians atleast) for his ability to decipher any meanings contained within such visions. The story goes that the person who had the dream contacted Sh. Dewdew who replied that it meant that the one who saw the dream was going late to the sermon (khutbah) of the Jumah prayer. The questioner was astounded at the accuracy of the interpretation, as he admitted that he had been going late to the sermons each Friday. Also more astounding was the inference drawn from the dream itself which is not what someone seeing it would expect.

Another dream that Sh. Dedew interpreted was that of someone who saw a large camel tearing up the famous creedal text ‘Aqidah al-Tahawiyyah’, this he interpreted as a particular scholar being imprisoned by a ruler, and he named precisely the scholar and the ruler, which I believe turned out to have occured.

Finally before you all start desperately searching for the Sheikhs contact details, I was informed that he will only interpret dreams if he knows the person, or atleast the person is in front of him in a meeting, as he needs this familiarity/contact with the person in order to interpret correctly. I have heard that the Sheikh has a lecture on the topic, will try to see if I can locate it, if others have information please kindly share.

And with Allah (the Exalted) is Success

The Name Zamzami

Salam. Every so often whilst reading various material I would occasionally stumble across the interesting name ‘al-Zamzami’. Alhumdulillah I recently found some information (in Sh. Saaid Bakdash’s excellent work) which shed some light on the use of this name and its origins. Please note the following:

Al-Zamzami is one of the names of our Master, the Prophet (Allah bless Him and give Him peace).
The authors of works of prophetic biography (sirah) mention a number of names for Him (Allah bless Him and give Him peace) which are based around the word Zamzam.

Imam al-Salihi in his lengthy chapter on the prophetic names in his ‘Subul al-Huda wal-Rashad’ (1/468) mentions approximately five hundred (500) names, amongst them being ‘al-Zamzami’. He referenced this name to Ibn Dihyah. The other names which he mentions are:

‘Sahib al-Zamzam’ which he also referenced to Ibn Dihyah.

‘al-Muzamzam’ referenced to Allamah al-Zayni Abd al-Basit Ibn al-Imam Muhammad Badr al-Din al-Bulqini[1],and that He (Allah bless Him and give Him peace) was named ‘al-Muzamzam’ when His blessed heart was washed with zamzam water.

‘Nabi al-Zamzam’ The Prophet (Allah bless Him and give Him peace) took control of the well of Zamzam in the year of the Makkan conquest.

Scholars named ‘al-Zamzami’
From the scholars that were given this prophetic name are:

Sh. Muhammad al-Zamzami ibn al-Sayyid Muhammad Jafar al-Kattani who passed away in the year 1371 (AH)[2]

Some scholars, it is mentioned, were given this name due to their association with the actual well of Zamzam itself, amongst them being:

Imam Ibrahim bin Ali bin Muhammad al-Shambari al-Makki al-Shafi al-Zamzami, who passed away in the year 864 (AH)

Allamah Abd al-Aziz bin Ali bin Abd al-Aziz al-Zamzami al-Makki al-Shafi, he was a scholar of hadith, jurist and poet. He authored a collection of rulings called ‘Fatawa al-Zamzamiyah’. He passed away in the year 963 (AH)[3]

Allamah Khalifah bin Abi al-Faraj al-Zamzami, author of ‘Nashr al-Aas fi Fadail Zamzam wa Siqayah al-Abbas’

Imam Abd al-Aziz bin Muhammad bin Abd al-Aziz al-Zamzami al-Makki, the Shafi jurist. He was born in the year 977 (AH) and passed away in Makkah in 1072 (AH)

Other scholars have been mentioned in the works which have been cited from above[4]

We ask Allah (the Exalted) to make us from those who are closely attached and linked to this blessed water. Ameen

[1] Al-Sakhawi has a biographical entry for him in his al-Daw al-Lami’ (3/28). He mentions in it that he arranged the prophetic names into a poem which he authored.
[2] Refer to his biography in Mujam al-Muallifin (13/418).
[3] He has a biographical entry in: al-Kawakib al-Sairah (2/170) and Mujam al-Muallifin (5/254).
[4] Refer to Nazm al-Durar (p.73) for the biography of Allamah Ibrahim bin Muhammad bin Abd al-Latif al-Rais al-Zamzami al-Makki, who passed away in the year 1195.
Also refer to (p.146) which contains the biography of Sh. Muhammad bin Ali al-Zamzami al-Makki, one of the notable Makkan scholars from the 13th Islamic century. The date of his passing away is not mentioned.

Repentance- Sh. Abu Bakr al-Mulla

Sh. Abu Bakr al-Mulla in his work ‘Wasilah al-Talab’ after mentioning the major sins goes on to mention the issues related to repentance (tawbah). This is what he (May Allah have mercy on him) had to say:
Repentance and its Rulings:
Repentance is compulsory from every sin, it has conditions, namely:
  • That a person regrets what they have done
  • To abandon the like of it immediately
  • Resolve to never return to it

These are if it is between a person and Allah (the Exalted) and no right is related to it. For if a right is related to it, it is compulsory to fulfil it. If it is a prayer or fast then it is made up, or zakat then it is given. Peoples property is returned if it remains, and compensated if not present, or is absolved of iby them. If the ones whose right it is has passed away then it is given to their inheritors.

As for backbiting, if it does not reach the one who has been backbited the conditions mentioned are sufficient. If however it does reach the person then they ask them to be excused for it. If unable, he asks forgiveness for the person (who was backbited).

Wasilah al-Talab: The Major Sins

The cover page for Wasilah al-Talab in the pocket sized ‘Thalatha Mutun’ booklet from al-Ahsa

Note: Before I was about to post the message below I rang Sheikh Yahya in al-Ahsa, he informed me that they were working on editing Sheikh Abdullah al-Mulla’s commentary to Wasilah al-Talab! May Allah (the exalted) facilitate its completion. The name of the Pakistani scholar was Sheikh Afdal who resided in Lahore.


As mentioned previously, Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Mulla authored a number of texts, two of them are very similair in content, It-haf al-Talib (which is part of a serialised translation on this blog) and Wasilah al-Talab. The latter text was taught by Sheikh Muhammad al-Mulla to some of his students, and was normally completed in a short space of time. This is the text which was translated into Urdu by a student of Sheikh Muhammad when he returned back to Pakistan (Inshallah am trying to get hold of a copy).
Some of us were also fortunate to read this text in al-Ahsa for the purposes of barakah and clarfication of certain passages with Sheikh Rayed al-Mulla. Please find the following excerpt from the text, May Allah (the Exalted) protect us from all of these:

The Major Sins

From the major sins which make the one who perpetrates them a fasiq are: Killing unlawfully, fornication, theft, consuming interest, false accusations of adultery, drinking intoxicants and abandoning the prayer. Know that you disobey Allah with your body, and it is a blessing from Allah upon you, and a trust with you.

The bodyparts are seven: The eye, ear, tongue, stomach, private part, hand and foot.

As for the eye, safeguard it from looking at the unlawful.

As for the ear, safeguard it from listening to backbiting and lying.

As for the tongue, safeguard it from backbiting,lying, arguing and its like.

As for the stomach, safeguard it from the haram and doubtful.

As for the private part, safeguard it from that which Allah has made forbidden to you.

As for the hands, safeguard them from harming any of the creation, or to use them in that which is not lawful.

As for the feet, safeguard them from walking to that which is detested.

As for the sins of the heart, they are many, the principle ones are four, being:envy, showing off, arrogance and vanity

As for envy it is: to love the removal of anothers blessings

As for showing off it is: to seek a rank/station in the hearts of the creation with an action

As for arrogance it is: to despise another

As for vanity it is: to look to the self with the eye of greatness

Its All About Sincerity

Imam Zaid Shakir recently said “Its all about sincerity”, invaluable advice for all of us working in 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.

Give that pen back…!

Sheikh Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah, talking about wara’ (scrupulousness) and following the Prophetic sunnah in his notes to Imam al-Muhasibis work, p156:

“Meaning his knowledge is based upon acts of wara’ (scrupulousness), not dispensations and lenient rulings, this is the fruit of sound knowledge, especially for the one who who is example and model for others. Hafidh al-Khatib al-Baghdadi reports in Tarikh Baghdad 10:167, and Hafidh Ibn Hajar in Tahdhib al-Tahdhib 5:386 in the biography of Imam Abdullah bin al-Mubarak, the jurist of Khurasan, and Imam of the Muslims in his time, born in the year 118, and died in the year 181 may Allah have mercy upon him, from the the finest points of scrupulousness the likes of which are rare:

“Abu Hassan al-Basri Isa bin Abdullah said, I heard al-Hasan bin Arafah say: Ibn al-Mubarak said to me: I borrowed a pen in al-Shaam, I forgot to return it to its owner, when I came to Marw i found it with me, so I returned to al-Shaam to returned it to its owner.”

I say: perhaps you may find this as incredulous and far fetched? yes it is strange in our times in analogy to our lives and the lives of the likes of us and our societies. But the peoples lives before more than 1100 years differs with our lives today, a difference similar to the length of time separating us and them in terms virtue, exaltedness, uprightness, scrupulousness and action.

Imam Abu Dawud al-Sijistani the author of al-Sunan who died in the year 275 may Allah have mercy on him, acted to reply to someones sneezing that which we would regard as incredulous. Allamah al-Shanwani said at the end of his commentary of the ‘Mukhtasar Ibn Abi Jamrah’ p.290, commenting on the hadith of Anas regarding sneezing:

“It is reported that Abu Dawud the author of al-Sunan was on a ship, he heard someone on the shore, who had sneezed, praising Allah Taala (Hamid Allah Taala), he hired a boat for a dirham went to the man who had sneezed and replied to his sneezing, he was asked about this, he replied: perhaps he maybe one whose supplications (dua) is answered. When they went to sleep they heard a voice saying: O people of the ship, Indeed Abu Dawud has bought paradise from Allah for a dirham.”