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Story of Isra / Miraj

Adopted from Mariful Qur’aan by Mufti Mohammed Shafi (RA)

سُبۡحَـٰنَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَسۡرَىٰ بِعَبۡدِهِۦ لَيۡلاً۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡمَسۡجِدِ ٱلۡحَرَامِ إِلَى ٱلۡمَسۡجِدِ ٱلۡأَقۡصَا ٱلَّذِى بَـٰرَكۡنَا حَوۡلَهُ ۥ لِنُرِيَهُ ۥ مِنۡ ءَايَـٰتِنَآ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ هُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلۡبَصِيرُ

Pure is He Who made his servant travel at night from al-Masjid al-Har am to al-Masjid al-Aqsa the environs of which We have blessed, so that We let him see some of Our signs. Surely, He is the All Hearing, All Seeing. [1]

Commentary

Described in this verse is the event of Mi’raj (the Ascent to the heavens, or al-Isra’, the midnight journey of the Holy Prophet ~ which is a signal honor and distinctive miracle of our Messenger of Allah (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam). The word: أَسۡرَىٰ (asra) is a derivation from: أِسۡرَىٰ (isra’) which literally means to make someone travel at night. After that, the introduction of the word: لَيۡلاً۬ (lailan) also makes this sense very clear. Then, by placing this word as a common noun, the indication released was that during this event the time spent was that of a part of the night – not even that of the whole night. The journey from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al-Aqsa mentioned in this verse is called al-ٰIsra’ and the name of the journey from here to the seven heavens is al-Mi’raj. Isra’ stands proved under the definitive textual authority of this verse and the Mi’raj finds mention in the verses of Surah an-Najm and is proved by AHadith appearing in an uninterrupted succession. The word: بِعَبۡدِهِ (His servant) used here for the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) is special. It shows that, in this magnificent setting of honor and welcome, when Allah Ta’ala, on His own, elects to call someone ‘His servant’, a unique bond of love lies embedded therein and that this is the highest honor any man could ever have.

This is similar to what has been said in another verseعِبَادُ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلَّذِينَ يَمۡشُونَ عَلَى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ هَوۡنً۬ا (and the servants of Ar-Rahman [the Most Merciful] are those who walk on the Earth gently – al-Furqan, 25:63) where the objective is to increase the prestige of those who are acceptable with Him. From here, we also learn that the highest achievement man is capable of is to become a perfect servant of Allah – for, on this eve of special honor, the quality of ideal servitude, out of his many attributes of perfection, was chosen. Then, the presence of this expression yields yet another beneficial outcome in that no one gets the wrong impression of divinity from this wonderful journey by night which, from its beginning to the end, is full of extra-habitual miracles. This is something like what happened with the Christians who fell into deception over the event of Sayyidna ‘Isa (AS) being raised unto the heavens. For this reason, by saying عَبۡدِ (‘abd: servant), it was declared that, despite all those attributes, achievements and miracles, the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) was still a servant of Allah, not god.

The Qur’an, Sunnah and ‘Ijma’ prove that the Mi’raj was physical:

It is proved from the text of the Holy Qur’an, and from Ahadith coming in uninterrupted succession mentioned later that the entire journey of the Isra’ and Mi’raj was not simply spiritual, instead, it was physical like the journey of anyone else. The very first word of the Holy Qur’an in this Surah: سُبۡحَـٰنَ (Subhan: Pure is He!) carries a hint in this direction because this word is used to register wonder or introduce a great marvel. Had the Mi’raj been merely spiritual, just a matter of dream, what was there so unusual about it? As for a dream, every Muslim, even every human being, can see it and report that he or she went to the heavens, did this and did that.

The second indication embedded in the word: عَبۡدِ (‘abd: servant) also points out in the same direction because ‘abd is no spirit all by itself, instead, it is the name of the combination of body and spirit.

In addition to that, when the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) related the event of Mi’raj to Sayyidah Umm Hanl (RA), she advised him not to mention it before anyone otherwise people would falsify it even more. Had this been the matter of a dream, what was there in it that needed to be falsified?

After that, when he did tell people about it, the disbelievers of Makkah called it a lie and made fun of him, so much so that some neo-Muslims became apostates (murtadd) after hearing the news. If this would have been the matter of a dream, the likelihood of such reactions was least warranted. And that he had experienced some spiritual Mi’raj in the form of a dream, before this or after that, does not become contrary to it. According to the majority of Muslim scholars, the word: ٱلرُّءۡيَا (ar-ru’ya) in the verse of the Qur’an: ~) وَمَا جَعَلۡنَا ٱلرُّءۡيَا ٱلَّتِىٓ أَرَيۡنَـٰكَ (And We showed you the scene – 17:60) means: رُءُیَھُ: seeing). But, it has been expressed through the word: رُویا (ru’ya, which is frequently used in the sense of seeing a dream). The reason for this expression could be that this thing has been called ru’ya in the sense of a simile. This is like someone seeing a dream. And if, ru’yii is taken to mean dream itself, then, it is also not too far out to say that the event of Mi’raj, in addition to its being physical, also transpired, before or after it, in the form of a spiritual Mi’raj as a dream as well. Therefore, the saying, that it was a dream, reported from Sayyidna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (RA) and Umm al-Mu’minin Sayyidah ‘Aishah (RA) is also correct in its place – but, it does not necessarily imply that physical Mi’raj did not take place.

It appears in Tafsir al-Qurtubi that the Ahadith relating to the event of al-Isra’ are recurrent and uninterrupted. Naqqash has reported related narratives from twenty Sahabah of the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam). Then, Qadi ‘Iyad has given additional details in Al-Shifa’ (Qurtubi).

Imam Ibn Kathir has, in his Tafsir, reported all these narratives and after applying the standard rules of scrutiny has mentioned the names of twenty-five Sahabah from whom these reports come. Their names are:

Sayyidna ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab,

Sayyidna ‘Ali al-Murtaza,

Sayyidna ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud,

Sayyidna Abu Dharr al-Ghifari,

Sayyidna Malik ibn Sa’sa’ah,

Sayyidna Abu Hurairah,

Sayyidna Abu Sa’ld al-Khudri,

Sayyidna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas,

Sayyidna Shaddad ibn Aws,

Sayyidna Ubaiyy ibn Ka’b,

Sayyidna ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn al-Quraz,

Sayyidna Abu Hayyah ,

Sayyidna Abu Laila,

Sayyidna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar,

Sayyidna Jablr ibn ‘Abdullah,

Sayyidna Hudhayfah ibn Yaman,

Sayyidna Buraidah,

Sayyidna Abu Ayyub al-Ansari,

Sayyidna Abu ‘Umamah,

Sayyidna Samurah ibn Jundub,

Sayyidna Abu al-Hamra’,

Sayyidna Suhayb al-Rumi,

Sayyidah Umm Hani’,

Umm al-Mu’minin Sayyidah ‘A’ishah,

Sayyidah Asma’ bint Abi Bakr, After that, Ibn Kathir said:

As for the Hadith of al-Isra’, there is a consensus of all Muslim on it. Only heretics and atheists have denied it. (Ibn Kathir)

A brief account of Mi’raj as reported by Ibn Kathir

After having explained the present verse in his Tafsir along with a detailed background of relevant Ahadith, Imam Ibn Kathir has said: The truth of the matter is that the journey of Isra’ came to pass when the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) was awake, not dreaming. From Makkah al-Mukarramah to Baitulmaqdis, the journey was covered on buraq (a special heavenly horse to ride). When he reached the gate of Baitulmaqdis, he tied the buraq close to the gate, entered the Masjid of Baitulmaqdis and offered two rakaat of Tahiyyatul-masjid (prayer in honor of the Mosque) facing its orientation. After that, a staircase was brought which had steps to go up from below. Through this staircase, he went to the first heaven. After that, he went to the rest of the heavens. [Only Allah knows the reality of this staircase – what it was and how did it work and things like that. In our day too, many kinds of stairs are in use. There are stairs that escalate automatically and there are elevators that take one up. Therefore, falling into any doubt or suspicion about this miraculous staircase is not right.] On every heaven, the resident angels greeted him and on every heaven, he met blessed prophets who were stationed on a particular heaven, such as, Sayyidna Musa (AS) on the sixth heaven, and Sayyidna Ibraheem Khalillullah (AS) on the seventh heaven. After that, he went beyond the stations of all these blessed prophets and reached a plain where he could hear the sound of the pen writing destinies. And he saw the Sidratul-muntaha, the Far Tree in Jannah, on which moths in gold and variegated colors were falling from above by the command of Allah and which was surrounded by angels of Allah. And it was at this place that the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) saw Sayyidna Jibra’il al-Amin in his real form with six hundred wings. And right there, he saw a flag in green that had the horizon all covered up. And he also saw al-Bayt al-Ma’mur (the well-attended House believed to be located in Jannah exactly above the Baytullah in Makkah) sitting by which was the founder of the Ka’bah, Sayyidna Ibrahim (AS) with his back reclining against its wall. Seventy thousand angels enter this Bayt al-Ma’mur every day who shall be waiting for their turn to re-enter there right through the day of Qiyamah. And the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) saw the Jannah and the Jahannam with his own blessed eyes. At that time, first came the command that his people were being obligated with fifty prayers, then, these were reduced to five. This shows the importance and merit of Salah as being the foremost out of all acts of Ibadah.

After that, he alighted back into Baytul-maqdis and, with him, so did the blessed prophets he had met on different heavens (as if) they had come to see him off as far as Baytul-maqdis. At that time, as it was time for Salah, he offered the prayer with all prophets. It is also probable that this Salah was the Salah of Fajr the same day. Ibn Kathir says that this event concerning the prayer with prophets led by the Holy Prophet ~ has come to pass, as held by some, before he went to the heavens. But, as obvious, this event took place after the return because it has been reported in the incident relating to his meeting with blessed prophets at different heavens that it was Sayyidna -Jibra’il (AS)who introduced him to all prophets. Had this event relating to his leading the prayer passed earlier, no introduction was needed there – and, for that matter, it is obvious enough that the real purpose ofthis journey was to visit with the heavenly hosts. Doing that first appears to be more likely. Once he was done with the real mission, all prophets came to say good bye to him up to Baytul-maqdis and by making him the Imam of the prayer through a signal from Sayyidna -Jibra’il, his precedence over others was demonstrated practically.

After that, he departed from Baytul-maqdis riding buraq and reached Makkah al-Mu’azzamah while it was still dark. (And Allah, the Pure and the High, knows best).

The testimony of a non-Muslims about the event of Mi’raj

It appears in Tafsir ibn Kathir that Hafiz Abu Nu’aym al-Isbahani, in his book, Da la’il al-Nubuwwah , has reported a narrative from Muhammad ibn Ka’b al-Qurazi on the authority of Muhammad ibn ‘Amr al-Waqidi *(RA) giving details of the event as follows:

The Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) sent Sayyidna Dihyah ibn Khallfah (RA) with a blessed letter from him to the Roman Emperor, Caesar. After that, he has given a detailed account of how Sayyidna Dihyah reached the Emperor, delivered the letter, and how intelligent he was in his mission (an event present in the Sahih of al-B’ukhari as well as in all trustworthy books of Ahadith). Towards the end of it, it has been reported that Hiraql, the Roman Emperor, once he had read the blessed letter, ordered that all Arab traders who were visiting the country at that time should be assembled together. He wanted to investigate into the background of the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam). The royal order was carried out. Abu Sufyan ibn Harb and those with him visiting Syria at that time with their famous trade caravan were presented before the Emperor. Details of the questions asked by the Emperor are present in the Sahih of al-Bukhari and Muslim, as well as elsewhere. Abu Sufyan was really eager to use this occasion to say things about the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) which show his insignificance. But, says Abu Sufyan : Nothing stopped me from doing that except that I may slip and say something which turns out to be a lie and I stand disgraced in the eyes of the Emperor and my own comrades keep taunting me for being a liar. Certainly, then it occurred to me that I should relate the event of Mi’raj before him. The Emperor would himself conclude from it that it was a lie. So, I said: I shall describe before you what he claims to have happened to him regarding which you will yourself realize that it was a lie. Hiraql asked:

What event is that? Abu Sufyan said: This claimant of prophet-hood says that, one night, he left Makkah al-Mukarramah, reached this Masjid Baytul-maqdis of yours and, then, within that night, before dawn, he returned to us in Makkah al-Mukarramah!

At that time, the leading scholar of Elia’ (Baytul-maqdis) was standing close to Hiraql, the Roman Emperor. He disclosed that he knew that night. The Emperor turned to him and inquired as to how did he come to know about it. He submitted that, as a matter of habit, he would not sleep at night until he had closed all gates of Baytul-maqdis. That night he habitually closed all gates but one which would not close despite his effort. He summoned his staff. They all tried but they too failed to close it. The panels of the gate remained simply unmoved from their place. It seemed as if they were trying to move some mountain. Rendered helpless, he called technicians and carpenters. They looked at the gate and decided that the weight of the building has come to rest on the panels of the gate. There was no way it could be closed before morning. When morning comes, they said, they will see how this could be fixed. Nonplussed, he returned leaving both panels of the gate ajar. As soon as it was morning, he came back to the gate where he noticed that someone had made a hole in the rock close to the gate of the Masjid which gave the impression that some animal was tied down there. At that time he had told his colleagues: Perhaps, Allah Ta’ala has caused this gate not to close today because some prophet was to come here. And then, he also stated that this blessed prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) has also offered his prayer in this Masjid of ours. Thereafter, he has described further details. (Ibn Kathir, p. 24, v.3)

The date of the event of al-Isra’ and Mi’raj

Imam al-Qurtubi has said in his Tafsir that the narratives of Hadlth regarding the date of Mi’raj are quite different. According to Musa ibn ‘Uqbah, this event came to pass six month before the Hijrah to Madinah. Sayyidah ‘A’ishah (RA) says that Umm al-Mu’minin Sayyidah Khadijah (RA) had passed away before the injunction making Salah a Fard (obligation) was revealed. Imam Zuhri says that the event of the sad demise of Sayyidah Khadijah (RA) took place seven years after the call to the mission of prophet-hood.

According to some Hadith narratives, the event of Mi’raj happened five years after the call to prophet-hood. Ibn Ishaq says that the event of Mi’raj took place at a time when Islam had spread throughout the tribes of Arabia generally. The outcome of all these narratives is that the event of Mi’raj dates back to several years before the Hijrah to Madinah.

Al-Harbi says that the event of al-Isra’ and Mi’raj has happened during the night of the 27th of Rabi’ath-Thani, one year before Hijrah and Ibn al-Qasim adh-Dhahabi says that it took place eighteen months after the call to prophet-hood. Esteemed Muhaddithin (Hadith scholars) who have mentioned these different narratives have not followed it up with any decisive statement. And as commonly known, the 27th night of the month of Rajab is the Night of Mi’raj. (And Allah, the Pure and the High, knows best).

Al-Masjid al-Haram and al-Masjid al-Aqsa

Sayyidna AbU: Dharr al-Ghifari (RA) says that he asked the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) ‘Which Masjid of this world comes first?’ He said, ‘Al-Masjid al-Hariim.’ Then he inquired, ‘Which one after that?’ He said, ‘AI-Masjid al-Aqsa.’ Then he tried to find out the intervening time difference between the two whereupon he said, ‘Forty years.’ After that, he added, ‘(as for the order of these masajid, this is it) but, Allah Ta’ala has made the entire Earth a masjid for us. Wherever comes the time of Salah, offer it right there.’ (Reported by Muslim)

Early Tafsir authority, Mujahid says that Allah Ta’aIa has made the site of Baytullah two thousand years before He made the entire Earth and that its foundations reach as far down as the seventh (strata of) Earth and that al-Masjid al-Aqsa was made by Sayyidna Sulayman (AS). (Reported by an-Nasa’i with sound chains of authority from Sayyidna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar) (Tafsir al-Qurtubi, p. 137, v. 4)

And al-Masjid al-Haram is the name of the Mosque that stands around the Baytullah ash-Sharif while, on occasions, the entire Haram is also identified as al-Masjid al-Haram. In terms of this second sense, the dichotomy of those two reports – some hold that the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) left for the nocturnal journey, al-Isra’, from the home of Sayyidah Umm Hani (RA)while others say that he departed from the section of Baytullah known as Hatim – stands removed. If we were to take al-Masjid al-Haram in its general sense, it is not far out to believe that he may have been there in the home of Sayyidah Umm Hani (RA) first, then he walked over to the Hatim of Ka’bah and then began the journey of al-Isra’ from there. Allah knows best.

Al-Masjid al-Aqsa and blessings of the Syrian environs

The word: حَوۡلَ (Hawl: environs) in the verse: بَـٰرَكۡنَا حَوۡلَهُ (the environs of which We have blessed) means the entire land of Syria. It appears in a Hadlth that Allah Ta’ala has made the land from the ‘Arsh (Divine Throne) to the river, Euphrates and, out of this, He has bestowed particular holiness on the land of Palestine. (Ruh al-Ma’ani)

The blessings it has are both religious and worldly. As for religious blessings, it has been the Qiblah of all past prophets, and their home, and the last resting place. And that its land is green, lush and verdant with streams, rivers and fruit farms etc. shows its worldly blessings.

Sayyidna Mu’adh ibn Jabal (RA) reports that the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) said: Allah Ta’ala says: 0 land of Syria, thou art My region chosen from many and I shall make My chosen servants reach thee. (Qurtubi) And it appears in a Hadith of the Musnad of Ahmad that the Imposter will traverse the whole Earth but he will not be granted access to four Mosques:

Masjid of Madinah,

Masjid of Makkah al-Mukarramah,

Al-Masjid al-Aqsa and

Masjid Tur.

*The Scholars of Hadlth say that Al-Waqidi is weak in Hadith narrations but a cautious Muhaddith like Imam Ibn Kathir has reported his narration for the reason that this matter is not connected with ‘Aqa’id or Halal and Haram and in such historical matters his narration is trustworthy – Muhammad Shafi’

The Month of Rajab

By Mufti Taqi Usmani

Rajab is the seventh month in the Islamic lunar calendar. This month was regarded as one of the sacred months (Al-Ashhur-al-hurum) in which battles were prohibited in the days of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) . It is also a prelude to the month of Ramadan, because Ramadan follows it after the intervening month of Sha’ban. Therefore, when the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sighted the moon of Rajab, he used to pray to Allah in the following words:

“O Allah, make the months of Rajab and Sha’ban blessed for us, and let us reach the month of Ramadan (i.e. prolong our life up to Ramadan, so that we may benefit from its merits and blessings).”

Yet no specific way of worship has been prescribed by the Shari’ah in this month. However, some people have invented some special rituals or practices in this month, which are not supported by reliable resources of the Shari’ah or are based on some unauthentic traditions. We would like to explain here the correct position about them.

 

1. Celebration of Lailatul Mi’raj

It is generally believed that the great event of Mi’raj (ascension of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to the heavens) took place in the night of 27th of Rajab. Therefore, some people celebrate the night as “Lailatul- Mi’raj” (the night of ascension to heavens).

Indeed, the event of mi’raj was one of the most remarkable episodes in the life of our beloved Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) . He was called by Almighty Allah. He traveled from Makkah to Baitul-Maqdis and from there he ascended the heavens through the miraculous power of Allah. He was honored with a direct contact with his Creator at a place where even the angels had no access. This was the unique honor conferred by Allah to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) alone. It was the climax of the spiritual progress which is not attained by anybody except him. No doubt the night in which he was blessed with this unparalleled honor was one of the greatest nights in the history of this world.

But, Islam has its own principles with regard to the historic and religious events. Its approach about observing festivals and celebrating days and nights is totally different from the approach of other religions. The Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not prescribe any festival or any celebration to commemorate an event from the past, however remarkable it might have been. Instead, Islam has prescribed two annual celebrations only. One is Eid-ul-Fitr and the other is Eid ul-Adha. Both of these festivals have been fixed at a date on which the Muslims accomplish a great ‘ibadah (worship) every year. Eid-ul-Fitr has been prescribed after the fasts of Ramadan, while Eid-ul-Adha has been fixed when the Muslims perform the Hajj annually. None of these two eids is designed to commemorate a particular event of the past which has happened in these dates. This approach is indicative of the fact that the real occasion for a happy celebration is the day in which the celebrators themselves have accomplished remarkable work through their own active effort. As for the accomplishments of our ancestors, their commemoration should not be restricted to a particular day or night. Instead, their accomplishments must be remembered every day in the practical life by observing their teachings and following the great examples they have set for us.

Keeping this principle in view, the following points should be remembered with regard to the “Lailatul-mi’raj”:

  1. We cannot say with absolute certainty in which night the great event of mi’raj took place. Although some traditions relate this event to 27th night of the month of Rajab, yet there are other traditions that suggest other dates. Al-Zurqani, the famous biographer of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has referred to five different views in this respect: Rabi-ul-Awwal, Rabi-u-Thani, Rajab, Ramadan and Shawwal. Later, while discussing different traditions, he has added a sixth opinion, that the mi’raj took place in the month of Zulhijjah.Allama Abdulhaq Muhaddith Dehlawi, the well-known scholar of the Indian subcontinent, has written a detailed book on the merits of Islamic months. While discussing the ‘Lailatul-mi’raj’ has mentioned that most of the scholars are of the view that the event of mi’raj took place in the month of Ramadan or in Rabi-ul-awwal.
  2.  It is also not known in which year the event of Mi’raj took place. The books of history suggest a wide range between the fifth-year and the twelfth year after the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was entrusted with prophethood.Now, if it is assumed that the event of Mi’raj took place in the fifth year of his prophethood, it will mean that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) remained in this world for eighteen years after this event. Even if it is presumed that the mi’raj took place in the twelfth year of his prophethood, his remaining life-time after this event would be eleven years. Throughout this long period, which may range between eleven years and eighteen years, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) never celebrated the event of mi’raj, nor did he give any instruction about it. No one can prove that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ever performed some specific modes of worship in a night calling it the ‘Lailatul-mi’raj’ or advised his followers to commemorate the event in a particular manner.
  3. After the demise of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also, no one of his companions is reported to celebrate this night as a night of special acts of worship. They were the true devotees of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and had devoted their lives to preserve every minute detail of the sunnah of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and other Islamic teachings. Still, they did not celebrate the event of mi’raj in a particular night in a particular way.All these points go a long way to prove that the celebration of the 27th night of Rajab, being the lailatul-mi’raj has no basis in the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or in the practice of his noble companions. Had it been a commendable practice to celebrate this night, the exact date of this event would have been preserved accurately by the Ummah and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his blessed companions would have given specific directions for it.Therefore, it is not a Sunnah to celebrate the Lailatul-mi’raj’. We cannot declare any practice as a sunnah unless it is established through authentic sources that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or is noble Companions have recognized it as such, otherwise it may become a bid’ah about which the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has observed in the following words: “Whoever invents something in our religion which is not a part of it, it is to be rejected.”Being mindful of this serious warning, we should appreciate that the 27th night of the month of Rajab is not like ‘Lailatul-qadr’ or ‘Lailatul-bara’ah’ for which special merits have been mentioned expressly either y the Holy Qur’an or by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) .However, all the recognized modes of ‘ibadah (worship) like Salat, recitation of the Holy Qur’an, dhikr, etc. are commendable any time, especially in the late hours of night, and obviously the 27th night of Rajab is not an exception. Therefore, if someone performs any recognized ‘ibadah in this night from this point of view nothing can stop him from doing so, and he will be entitled to the thawab (reward allocated for that recognized ‘ibadah insha-Allah.) But it is not permissible to believe that performing ‘ibadah in this night is more meritorious or carries more thawab like ‘Lailatul-qadr’ or ‘Lailatul-bara’ah’, because this belief is not based on any authentic verse or on a sunnah of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) . Similarly, it is not a correct practice to celebrate this night collectively and to invite people to special ritual congregations.
  4. Some people suggest some special modes of worship to be performed in this night. Since no special mode of worship is prescribed by the Shari’ah in this night, these suggestions are devoid of any authority and should not be acted upon.It is believed by some that the Muslims should keep fast on 27th of Rajab. Although there are some traditions attributing special merits to the fast of this day yet the scholars of hadith have held these traditions as very weak and unauthentic reports which cannot be sufficient to establish a rule of Shari’ah. On the contrary, there is an authentic report that Sayyidna ‘Umar, Radi-Allahu anhu, used to forbid people from fasting on this day, rather to compel them to eat if they had started fasting.It should be borne in mind here that a “nafl” fast can be observed any day (except the six prohibited days of the year); therefore, fasting on 27th of Rajab is not prohibited in itself. What is prohibited is the belief that fasting on this day is more meritorious than fasting in other normal days. One should not fast in this day with this belief. But if someone fasts therein, believing it to be a normal nafl fast, there is no bar against it.

 

Sacrifice (qurbani) in the month of Rajab

In the days of ignorance (jahiliyyah) the Arabs used to offer the sacrifice of a goat in the month of Rajab. This sacrifice used to be called “Atirah’ or ‘Rajabiyyah’. This sacrifice was offered in the name of different so-called gods and their icons. In the beginning of Islam, this custom was retained, but the Muslims modified it by offering the sacrifice of ‘Atirah in the name of Allah instead of the false gods. But finally, this custom was abandoned and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) prohibited the offering of ‘Atirah. In a tradition of Sayyidna Abu Hurairah, Radi-Allahu anhu, reported by both al-Bukhari and Muslim, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has said: “Fara’ is nothing and ‘Atirah is nothing.”

Abu Hurairah, Radi-Allahu anhu, has explained in the same tradition that ‘Fara” was the first child of a she-camel. Whenever a she-camel delivered its first child, the Arabs used to sacrifice it in the name of their so-called gods, while the ‘Atirah’ was a goat used to be sacrificed in the month of Rajab. Since the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stopped both these customs, ‘Atirah is no longer a recognized practice.

‘Umrah in the month of Rajab

Ibn ‘Abidin, the well-known scholar of the Islamic jurisprudence, has mentioned that the people of Makkah (in his days) used to perform ‘umrah in the month of Rajab. Perhaps they believed that performing ‘umrah in this month is more meritorious than in other months. Then Ibn Abidin himself has rejected the authenticity of this practice, because no tradition of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is found to this effect. Conversely Sayyidah ‘Aishah, Radi-Allahu anha, has expressly negated the presumption by saying that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) never performed an ‘umrah in the month of Rajab (Sahih Muslim 1:409)

However, Ibn ‘Aibidin has quoted a narration that ‘Abdullah ibn Zubair, Radi-Allahu anhu, completed the renovation of Ka’bah shortly before 27th of Rajab, and as a sign of gratefulness he performed ‘umrah and slaughtered some animals. But this report cannot form the basis of a recognized annual practice, firstly because the report is not very authentic, and secondly because it does not mention that Abdullah ibn Zubair, Radi-Allahu anhu, had adopted it as a continuing practice. At the most, he performed ‘umrah once as a sign of gratefulness on the completion of Ka’bah. It does not mean that he performed it as a characteristic of the month of Rajab. Therefore, performing ‘Umrah in this month is like performing it in any other month and no special merit can be attached to it merely because it has been performed in the month of Rajab.

The Salat of “Ragha’ib”

Another special mode of worship attributed by some people to this month is the Salat of Raghai’b. According to the custom of such people, this Salat is performed in the night of first Friday of the month of Eajab. The Salat of Raghaib is said to consist of twelve rak’ats to be performed in pairs with six salams, and in each rak’at the surah al-qadr is recited three times followed by the Surah-al-ikhlas. This type of Salat is also not based on any sound source of Shari’ah. Therefore, almost all the jurists and scholars of Shari’ah have held that the Salat of Raghaib is a baseless practice and it is not permissible to treat it as a recognized practice of this month. It is true that there is a tradition, narrated by Razin, the author of a book of hadith, which attributes the origin of this practice to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) but almost all the scholars of the science of hadith have held it to be absolutely unauthentic. Therefore, no importance can be attached to it.

Distribution of Breads:

Another baseless practice in the month of Rajab is that the people bake special types of breads and, after reciting some verses and prayers on them, distribute them among their friends and neighbors. This custom has two different shapes.

  1. In some communities, this custom is celebrated on 17th of Rajab on the assumption that Sayyidna Ali, Radi-Allahu anhu, was born on 11th of Rajab and the 17th of Rajab is the day on which his ‘Aqiqa (Shaving of his head) was performed. In order to celebrate this happy event, the breads of some special type are prepared and after reciting Surah Al-Mulk on them, they are distributed among the relatives and friends. These breads are generally called “breads of Tabarak” because Surah Al-Mulk is usually recited on them.This practice is baseless because it is never proved that Sayyidna Ali, Radi-Allahu anhu, was born on 11th of Rajab or that his Aqiqa was performed on 17th of this month and, as explained earlier, even if these events are proved to have happened in those days, their commemoration through these specific rituals is not warranted by the Shari’ah.
  2. A more common practice of this type is observed on 22nd of Rajab whereby some breads and meals of a special type are prepared and distributed among the people. Since these special meals are usually placed in some bowls made of clay, the custom is usually known as “Koonda”, an Urdu equivalent of such bowls. It is usually believed that the custom is designed to make ‘isal-al-thawab to the soul of Sayyidna Jafar Al-Sadiq who himself has directed his followers to observe this custom and has promised them that whoever observes it, his desires will be fulfilled.

All these assumptions also have no basis at all, neither historically, nor according to the principles of Shari’ah. In fact, the date of 22nd of Rajab has no concern whatsoever with Sayyidna Jafar al-Sadiq, Rahimah-u-Allah. According to the historians, he was born on 8th of Ramadan 80 A.H. and died in Shawwal 148 A.H. No specific event of the life of Sayyidna Jafar al-Sadiq is proved to have happened on this date. The people believing in the custom refer to a coined story mentioned in an unauthentic book named “Dastaan-e-Ajeeb”.

Briefly stated, the gist of the story is that a poor woodcutter lived in Madinah in the days of Jafar Al-Sadiq. He went abroad to earn his livelihood. His wife was employed in the house of the Prime Minister. Once she was cleaning the courtyard of the Prime Minister when Sayyidna Jafar al-Sadiq passed by her. It was 22nd of Rajab. He advised her to bake some breads of a special type and make ‘isal-al-sawab to him. According to this story, he promised her that if her desire is not fulfilled after this practice, she can catch hold of him at the doom’s day. On hearing this, the woman made a vow that if her husband will come back with a considerable wealth, she will observe the custom of “Koonda”. On the same day her husband, who was in another country, found a valuable treasure in the earth and came back with it to Madinah where he established himself as a rich man and started living in a magnificent castle. When his wife told the story to the wife of the Prime Minister, she disbelieved her and because of this disbelief, she and her husband, the Prime Minister, were punished by Allah. He was removed by the king from the prime minister-ship and was imprisoned in a jail and was ordered to be hanged. While being in the prison, the wife of the Prime Minister remembered that she had disbelieved the story of Jafar al-Sadiq told to her by her maidservant and their misery might be the punishment of their disbelief. On this point, she and her husband repented before Allah and made a vow to observe the custom of “Koonda”, if they are released from the jail. After they made such a vow, the whole scenario of the events changed suddenly. The king released the Prime Minister from the jail and reinstated him on his former position.

As it can be seen by any reasonable person, this story is totally forged on the face of it. The person who has coined this story did not even know that Madinah had never a king nor a Prime Minister. All the Muslim rulers were named as caliphs and had no Prime Minister at all. In the days of Umayyads, their capital was Damascus and in the days of Abbasids, their permanent seat was in Baghdad.

It is ironical that the story of such a woodcutter is not even known to anybody in Madinah, nor in any city of the Arab countries. No Arabic book has ever referred to it. It has no mention except in an Urdu book ‘Dastaan-e-Ajeeb’, the author of which is unknown. One can easily see that a custom based on such a fallacious and mythical story can never be an Islamic custom. Islam has always been far away from such superstitions.

Therefore, this baseless custom should completely be avoided by the true Muslims. Some historians have opined that in fact, this custom has been coined by some Shi’ites because the date of 22nd of Rajab is the date of the demise of Sayyidna Mu’awiyah whom they take as their biggest enemy. They took that date as a happy occasion and made the Sunni Muslims also to celebrate it on the pretext of the above mentioned story.

Be that as it may, it is evident that such customs have crept into the Muslim society by their long association with Hindus who commemorate different historical events of their religion in the like manner. The Muslims must be careful about these customs, because they are not only an invention of ignorance but also the imitation of non-Muslims in their religious rituals. No doubt the “‘isal-al-thawab’ to the soul of a deceased Muslim, and particularly to a pious person is not only permissible but also a commendable practice but the Shari’ah has not prescribed a particular date, nor a particular mode to do so. If someone wants to make “‘isal-al-thawab” to Sayyidna ‘Ali, Radi-Allahu anhu, or to Ja’far al-Sadiq, he can do it any day and by performing any act of worship, like Salat, fast, Sadaqah, dhikr etc. There is no reason why it should be restricted to a special type of meal or bread distributed on a particular date. What makes this practice worse is the fact that the people accustomed to this practice deem it as necessary as a fard (obligation); rather they treat it as more necessary than fard because they do not care to perform the obligatory Salat or to fulfill the rights of men obligated on them, but they are very strict and punctual to perform these activities. Moreover, if a person does not observe this practice, they reproach him and call him with bad names. Such behavior makes this custom a bid’ah which is condemned by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) as a misguidance. Therefore, the Muslims must abandon all such practices and should not cling to it only because it has been the practice of their society for many years. A Muslim is supposed to follow the dictates of Shari’ah and not the practice of the society, if it violates any of its principles.

Conclusion

The upshot of the above discussion is that the Shari’ah has not prescribed any specific way to observe the month of Rajab or to perform a specific mode of worship or a ritual in any one of its dates. However, being a prologue to the month of Ramadan, it should be availed of for preparing oneself for Ramadan and one should pray Allah to make him reach the blessed month and to benefit from its unique merits.

Physical Descriptions of the Four Imams

By Imam Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Ahmad al-Dhahabi [1]

Abu Hanifah an-Nu’man bin Thabit:

Abu Yusuf said: “Abu Hanifah was well-formed, was from the best of people in appearance, the most eloquent of them in speech, the sweetest in tone, and the clearest of them in expressing what he felt.”

Hamad bin Abi Hanifah said: “My father was very handsome, dark, had good posture, would wear a lot of perfume, was tall, would not speak except in reply to what someone else had said, and he – may Allah have Mercy upon him – would not involve himself in what did not concern him.” [6/535]

Abu ‘Abdillah Malik bin Anas:

‘Isa bin ‘Umar said: “I never saw anything white or red that was more beautiful than the face of Malik, or any clothes whiter than Malik’s.”

And a number of people relate that he was tall, firm, serious, blond, had a white beard and hair, had a large beard, was balding, and would not shave his moustache, as he considered this to be a form of mutilation.

It is said that he had blue eyes, and some of this was narrated by Ibn Sa’d from Mutarraf bin ‘Abdillah.

Muhammad bin ad-Dahhak al-Hizami said: “Malik’s clothes were clean and soft, and he would constantly wear different clothes.”

al-Walid bin Muslim said: “Malik would wear white clothes, and I saw he and al-Awza’i wearing black and green caps.”

Ashhab said: “When Malik would wear a turban, he would wrap part of it under his chin and would leave the ends of it hanging between his shoulders.”

Khalid bin Khidash said: “I saw Malik wearing a cap, and I saw him wearing woven clothes.”

Ashhab said: “If Malik would wear kohl for a necessity, he would remain in his house.”

Mus’ab said: “Malik would wear ‘Adani clothes, and he would wear perfume.”

Abu ‘Asim said: “I never saw a Muhaddith with a more handsome face than Malik’s.”

It is said: “He was so light colored that he was blond. He had wide eyes, a raised, pointed nose, and he would let his moustache grow long based on ‘Umar’s curling of his moustache.”

Ibn Wahb said: “I saw Malik dying his hair with henna once.”

Abu Mus’ab said: “Malik had the most handsome face of the people, the widest of eyes, the whitest skin, and was the greatest of them in height – all in the strongest body.”

al-Waqidi said: “He was well-formed, would not dye his hair, and would not enter the public baths.”

Bishr bin al-Harith said: “I entered upon Malik and saw him wearing a cap that was worth about 500 dirhams.”

Ashhab said: “When Malik would wear a turban, he would wrap part of it under his chin and would leave the ends of it behind his back, and he would scent himself with musk and other scents.”

[7/396-397]

Abu ‘Abdillah Muhammad bin Idris ash-Shafi’i:

Ibrahim bin Buranah said: “ash-Shafi’i was serious, tall, and noble.”

[8/391]

az-Za’farani said: “ash-Shafi’i visited us in Baghdad in the year 95. He stayed with us for a few months, then left. He would dye his hair with henna, and he had thin cheeks.”

Ahmad bin Sinan said: “I saw him with a red beard and hair – i.e. he used to dye them.”

[8/415]

Abu ‘Abdillah Ahmad bin Hambal:

Ibn Dharih al-’Ukbari said: “I requested to see Ahmad bin Hambal. So, I greeted him, and he was an old man who dyed his hair. He was tall and extremely dark.”

Muhammad bin ‘Abbas an-Nahwi said: “I saw Ahmad bin Hambal with a handsome face, well-formed, and dyeing his hair with henna that was not too dark. He had black hairs in his beard, and I saw his clothes extremely white. When I saw him, he was wearing a turban and an izar.”

[9/438]

‘Abd al-Malik al-Maymuni said: “I do not know that I have ever seen anyone who wore cleaner clothes, was more attentive to trimming his moustache and grooming the hair on his head and body, or wore purer and whiter garments than Ahmad bin Hambal.”

[9/454]

One man said: “In Khurasan, they did not think that Ahmad resembled a human being. They thought that he resembled the Angels.”

[9/456]

al-Fadl bin Ziyad said: “I saw Abi ‘Abdillah in the winter, and he was wearing two shirts with a colored vest between them, and maybe he was wearing a shirt with a heavy sweater. And I saw him with a turban over a hood and heavy outer garment. So, I heard Aba ‘Imran al-Warkani saying to him: “O Aba ‘Abdillah! All of these clothes?” So, he laughed and said: “I cannot stand the cold,” and he would also wear the hood without a turban.”

al-Fadl bin Ziyad said: “I saw Abi ‘Abdillah in the summer wearing a shirt, trousers, and robe.”

[9/461]

 

——————————

Footnotes:

[1] Collected from Siyar A’lām al-Nubalā

The Beard between the Salaf & Khalaf

CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION

Definition: The Arabic word for beard is lihyah. It derives from lahy (jaw) and lahyan (the two jaws). Thus, a beard is defined as the hair that grows on the cheeks and jaws- [Al-Qamus ul-Muhit by al-Fayruzabadi, and Lisan ul-Arab by Ibn Manzur]. It includes the hair that grows on the temples, underneath the lower lip, the hair of the chin, and the hair that grows on the lower side of the jaws.

Ruling: Growing the beard is wajib (mandatory) for all males who are capable of doing so. As will be presented below, there is ample evidence for this in the Sunnah, and it is the unanimous opinion of the ‘ulama’ of Islam.

Position of the Scholars : All the ‘ulama’ (scholars) of as-Salaf us-Salih (the Righteous early Muslims), including the Four Imams, agree that shaving the beard is haram (prohibited). They consider shaving it an impermissible mutilation, as has been reported from Umar Bin Abdul Aziz- [At-Tarikh by Ibn Asakir]. They considered the man who shaved his beard effeminate. Many of them would not accept his testimony or allow him to lead the prayers.

THE HANAFIS

According to the Hanafis:

“It is prohibited for a man to cut his beard … as for cutting it shorter than a fist-length – as is done by some people from the west and by the effeminate men – no one permits this. And as for shaving it completely, it is the doing of the Indian Jews and the Persian Magians” [Persian Magians-Followers of an old religion, possibly the same as the “Zoroastrians”] [Ad-Durr ul-Mukhtar].

Ibn-Abidayn said:  “It is prohibited for a man to cut his beard.” (Radd ul-Muhtar [2:418]) [Ghitha ul-Albab (1:376)].

THE MALIKIS

According to the Malikis:

“Shaving the beard is prohibited, as is cutting it if it causes a (clear) mutilation. But if it becomes oversized, and if cutting it would not appear as a mutilation, then it may be cut; but that would be disliked and contrary to that which is better.” [Sharh ur-Risalah by Abu al-Hasan, and the commentary on it by al-Adwi]

Al-`Adwi said:  “It has been reported from Malik that he hated shaving anything under the jaws, until he said, ‘It is from the doing of the Magians.’ And it is prohibited to remove the hair of the beard.” [Sharh ur-Risalah by Abu al-Hasan, and the commentary on it by al-Adwi (2:411)]

Ibn Abd al-Barr said: “It is prohibited to shave the beard, and it is not done except by effeminate men.”[At-Tamhid]

THE SHAFI’IS

As for the Shafi’is, al-Imam ash-Shafi’i has expressed that it is prohibited to shave the beard [al-Umm]. Also, al-Athru’i said, “The correct position is that it is prohibited to totally shave the beard without a (medical) problem with it.”
[Sharh ul-Ubab].

THE HANBALIS

The Hanbali’s agree without exception that it is prohibited to shave the beard
[Al-Insaf, Sharh ul-Muntaha, etc.].

Ibn Taymiyyah stated: “It is prohibited to shave the beard.” [Al-Ikhtiyarat ul-Ilmiyyah (p.6)]

As-Saffarini said: “It is agreed in our mathhab that it is prohibited to shave the beard.” them all), (may Allah be pleased with [Maratib ul-Ijma’
IBN HAZM]

Ibn Hazm al-Andalusi said: “All of the scholars agree that shaving the beard is a form of mutilation, and is prohibited.” (p.157), and al-Muhalla (2:189)]

IBN TAYMIYYAH

Shaykh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said: “Because of the authentic hadiths, it is prohibited to shave the beard, and no one has ever permitted it.”

CONTEMPORARY SCHOLARS

The great scholars of our time have expressed that it is prohibited to shave the beard or cut it short. Among those are Ali Mahfuz, Muhammad Nasir ud-Din al-Albani, Abd ul-Aziz Bin Baz, al-Kandahlawi, Abu Bakr al-Jaza’iri, Ismail al-Ansari, and many others.

Extent of the Beard

The commands of the Prophet ! clearly indicate that the beard should be completely spared. Furthermore, the Prophet ! and his companions had full and large beards.

There are no authentic reports indicating that the Prophet ! trimmed his beard. However, there are authentic reports from a number of the sahabah –
particularly, Ibn-Umar, Abu Hurayrah, and Ibn-Abbas

indicating that they used to cut what extended beyond a fist-length.

There are similar reports as well from a number of the salaf such as Ibrahim an-Nakhi, Malik, and Ahmad. [Several such authentic reports are compiled by al-Albani in ad-Da’ifah (following hadith no. 2355)]

When ‘Abdullah bin Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both), went for Hajj or

Umrah, he used to hold his beard with his fist and cut whatever extended beyond his fist. [Al-Bukhari]

Thus, the general command of sparing the beard should be restricted to the understanding and practice of the sahabah, and its length below the chin should not exceed a man’s fist.

CHAPTER 2

WRONGS OF SHAVING THE BEARD

Shaving the beard results in a series of Islamic violations, among which are the following:

  • Disobedience to Allah

Shaving the beard is an act of disobedience to Allah, as is expressed in the words of His Messenger !,

Abu Hurayrah ” reported that the ruler of Yemen, appointed by the Persian emperor Kisra, sent two envoys to the Messenger !. When they came into his presence, he noticed that they had shaved their beards and let their moustaches grow big. Hating their ugly appearance, he turned his face away and said,

“Woe be to you, who told you to do so?” They replied: “Our lord (Kisra) did!”

The Messenger ! responded: “But my Lord, exalted and glorified be He, has commanded me to spare my beard and trim my moustaches.” [Recorded by Ibn Jarir at-Tabari, Ibn Sa’d, and Ibn Bishran. Verified to be hasan (good) by al-Albani (Fiqh us-Sirah by al-Ghazali p. 359)]

  •  Disobedience to the Messenger

Shaving the beard is an act of disobedience to the Messenger ! who commanded the men to spare their beards in many hadiths. Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) reported that Allah’s Messenger ! said:

“Closely trim the moustaches, and spare the beard.”

[Al-Bukhari, Muslim and others].

Obeying the Messenger ! is equivalent to obeying Allah:

[the Prophet’s companions-May Allah be pleased with them all]
“He who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah; and as for those who turn away: We have not sent you as a guardian over them.” [An-Nisa 4:80]

  • Deviation from the Guidance of the Messenger

There is no doubt that Allah’s Messenger ! is the best example of a man, both in his appearance and actions.

Allah says:  “There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern – for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day, and who remembers Allah often.” [An-Nisa’ 4:80]

And Jabir ” reported that Allah’s Messenger ! said: “Verily, the best guidance is Muhammad’s guidance.” [Recorded by Muslim].

Jabir Bin Samurah ” reported that Allah’s Messenger ! had a large beard

[Recorded by Muslim]. Shaving the beard clearly exhibits a deviation from his appearance and guidance.

  • Deviation from the Way of Believers

One must strive to follow the ways of the believers and identify with them. This is an obligation expressed by Allah:

“Whoever opposes the Messenger, after guidance has become clear to him, and follows other than the way of the ‘Believers’, We will give him what he has chosen and let him into Hell: What an evil destination!” [an-Nisa 4:115]

Note: The description ‘Believers’ in the ayah applies first and foremost to the Sahabah

All of the prophets (alaihis-salaam), the Sahabah (the Prophet’s companions), the great ‘ulama’, and the righteous Salaf (early Muslims) of (may Allah be pleased with this Ummah (Nation) grew their beards. There is no report of a single one of them selectively shaving his beard. – For example, Allah tells us that Harun (alaihis-salaam) addressed his brother Musa (alaihis-salaam) as follows:

He said, “O son of my mother! Do not hold me by my beard or head.” [Ta-Ha 20:94]

Furthermore, there are authentic reports indicating that the Rightly Guided Successors, as well as other sahabah and tabi’un had large beards. Abu Bakr ” had a thick beard [Qut ul-Qulub 4:9], Umar ” had a big beard [Al-Isabah 2:511], Uthman had a large beard [Al-Isabah 2:455], and Ali’s beard was so wide as to span the distance between his shoulders [At-Tabaqat (3:25) by Ibn Sa’d],

Therefore, shaving the beard exhibits a clear deviation from the way of the believers.

  • Imitation of the Disbelievers

The Muslims have been commanded to be different and distinct from the disbelievers. In Surat ul-Fatihah, we are commanded to ask Allah to guide us away from the ways of the disbelievers:

“Guide us to the Straight Path – The path of those upon whom You have bestowed Your favor, not of those who have earned Your anger, nor of those who are astray.” [Al-Fatihah 1:6~7]

Also, Allah prohibits His Messenger ! from following the desires of the ignorant. And indeed, anyone who is not on the True Guidance is ignorant. Allah says:

“Do not follow the whims of those who have no knowledge (of Islam).” [Al-Jathiyah 45:18]

The Prophet ! has indicated that a person who imitates a certain people will

be counted (in Islam) as being one of them. Ibn Umar them) reported that Allah’s Messenger ! said:

“I have been sent, close to the Last Hour, with the sword (to fight for the truth) – until Allah is worshipped alone without partners. My sustenance has been allotted under the shade of my spear. Humility and defeat have been allocated to whoever strays from my command. And whoever imitates a people is one of them.” [Recorded by Abu Dawud and others. Verifies to be authentic by al-Albani (Irwa ul-ghalil no. 1269)]

[Recorded by al-Bukhari, Muslim and others].

[Recorded by Muslim and Others]
How terrible it would be for a person whom Allah has favored with Islam to find himself resurrected on the Day of Judgment among non-Muslims – simply because he liked to imitate them.

In several hadiths, Allah’s Messenger ! has linked sparing the beard to being different from the followers of other religions.
Abu Hurayrah ” reported that the Prophet ! said:  “Cut the moustaches and grow your beards. Be different from the ‘Magians’.”

Note: ‘Magians’ – Followers of an ancient Persian religion.  Abu Umamah ” reported that Allah’s Messenger ! said: “Cut your moustaches and leave your beards alone. Be different from the people of the scripture.” [Recorded by Muslim]

Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) reported that Allah’s Messenger ! said: “Be different from the ‘mushrikin’; trim your moustaches and save your beards.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Note: ‘mushrikin’ – Those who join others with Allah in worship.

Therefore, shaving the beard is an act of imitation of the disbelievers, and should be extremely abhorred. It conflicts with many fundamentals of Islam, and yet many Muslim men do it in compliance with the practices of the disbelievers! Verily, Allah’s Messenger ! has foretold the truth, as was reported by Abu Said al-Khudri ” that he !, said: “You will follow the example of those who preceded you, hand-span for hand-span, and arm-length for arm-length. Even if they entered into a lizard’s hole, you would surely enter it!”

He ! was asked, “Do you mean the Jews and Christians?” He replied, “Who else are the (previous) people?”

  • Changing Allah’s Creation Without Permission

Except for cases that are expressly indicated in Islam, it is prohibited to change the way that Allah has created things. Changing Allah’s creation without permission involves obeying Satan who, as Allah tells us, had said:

“They actually call upon none but rebellious Satan, whom Allah has cursed. And he had said (to Allah), “I will surely take from among Your servants a specific portion. I will mislead them, give them false promises, command them so they will slit the ears of cattle, and command them so they will change the creation of Allah.” Certainly, whoever takes Satan as an ally instead of Allah is in tremendous loss.” [an-Nisa 4:117~119]

Allah has honored the human beings and fashioned them in the best form:

“Verily, We have created the human being in the best of stature.” [At-Tin 95:4]

Changing this without permission is indeed an act of great atrocity and deviation that deserves punishment.

The Messenger ! has declared that the women who change what Allah has created (such as removing their facial hair, wearing wigs, filing their teeth, or tattooing their bodies) seeking by that to improve their appearance, are accursed by Allah.

Ibn Mas’ud ” reported that Allah’s Messenger ! said: “Allah curses those (women) who tattoo (for others) and those who get tattoos, those who pluck the facial hair (for others) and those who have their facial hair plucked, those who connect their hair with other (fake) hair, and those who file their teeth for beauty – they all change Allah’s creation.” [al-Bukhari and Muslim]

This hadith mentions women in particular because they normally seek to beautify themselves more than men. But the warning applies to both genders, because the condition for the curse is declared: changing Allah’s creation. Thus the curse applies to anyone who satisfies such condition.

Shaving the beard falls under this warning, as it is much worse than ‘nams’ – (removal of facial hair) practiced by some women.

[Wujub i’fa il-Lihyah (may Allah be pleased with them), [Bayan ul-Quran]

[Bayan ul- At-Tahanawi said:  “It is established that changing Allah’s creation is a cause for the curse, and that whatever Allah’s
Messenger ! prohibits is prohibited by Allah.” Quran]

Waliyy Ullah ad-Dahlawi said: “Cutting it is the way of the Magians, and involves changing Allah’s creation.”

  • Imitation of Women

The beard presents a major distinction between men and women. Shaving it removes this distinction, and is thus a means of imitating women. Any act that involves imitation of the opposite gender makes a person liable for the

curse of Allah and His Messenger !. Ibn Abbas reported:

“Allah’s Messenger ! has cursed the men who imitate the women; and the women who imitate the men.”

[Recorded by al-Bukhari and others].

Al-Kandahlawi said: “No one can have doubt that complete imitation of women arises from shaving the beard. This imitation is stronger than that of imitating their clothing and other matters, because the beard is the foremost and greatest distinction between men and women. This is possible to observe by all people, and is not denied except by one who wants to deceive himself, follow his whims, and be effeminate after Allah has favored him

with the good appearance of a man.” 31-32].

  • Contradicting the Pure Fitrah

The Messenger ! indicates that a child is born with a pure nature, which may subsequently be blurred by self-indulgence or unfavorable environmental influence. Abu Hurayrah and al-Aswad Bin Sari reported that Allah’s Messenger ! said:

“Every child is born with the pure fitrah (nature) – until he becomes able to express himself. It is his parents who then turn him into a Jew, a Christian, a Magian, or a pagan.” [al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Furthermore, Allah’s Messenger ! mentioned ten qualities as indicative of a good, clean nature. Two of these qualities are to trim the moustaches and to grow the beard.
A’ishah ” reported that Allah’s Messenger ! said:  “There are ten qualities of fitrah: trimming the mustaches, sparing the beard, siwak (brushing the teeth), inhaling water (to clean the nose) [and rinsing the mouth], cutting the nails, washing the finger knuckles, plucking the armpit hair, shaving the pubic hair, washing the private parts with water, [and circumcision].” [Muslim, Abu Dawud, Ahmad, Ibn Abi Shaybah, and others. The part between square brackets is not in Muslim (Sahah ul-Jami `no. 2222)]

This fitrah never changes with time: Allah says: “The pure nature according to which Allah has created the people. There is no change in Allah’s creation.” [ar-Rum 30:30]

In the footsteps of the disbelievers, many Muslims fitrah is now very deformed. They find a clean-shaven man more handsome and masculine than one with a beard – exactly the opposite to what the Messenger ! declared in the above hadith!

  • Ridiculing the Din

With the deformed fitrah that many contemporary Muslims have, they approve of the ways of the disbelievers and disapprove of the guidance of Allah’s Messenger !! They adorn themselves with closely shaved beards, and are ashamed of attending important functions or meetings with even a slight beard. They admire the shiny look of a clean shaved man, and congratulate one who just had a nice shave! They command their relatives, children, and subordinates to shave their beards, declaring that the beard is a sign of being messy, backward, and lazy! They ridicule the beard and anyone who grows it!

By doing this, they redicule an established part of the religion of Islam, which is a major sin. If they do not know that, they are most ignorant about

[Recorded by their din, and if they do it knowingly, they could fall into a definite act of kufr (disbelief) – in Allah we seek refuge.

CHAPTER 3

DOUBTS AND MISCONCEPTIONS

Despite clear texts from the Sunnah, and the consensus of the great scholars of Islam, we find that the majority of the Muslim men in our time do not grow their beards. This is one of the many indications that most of the Muslims do not follow the teachings of their Din. In addition, there are various doubts or misconceptions to which many men resort in order to justify shaving their beards. In what follows, we highlight the most important of these.

A Mere Sunnah?

One frequently hears the excuse, “But it is only a sunnah!” In their understanding, growing the beard is an optional sunnah at best! From the previous discussion, it is obvious that this is a wrong understanding, and there is no doubt that growing it is a mandatory sunnah.

Fatwas from Scholars?

BAD EXAMPLES

People are often misled by a number of contemporary shaykhs who neglect this sunnah or provide unfounded fatwas (religious verdicts) belittling it. Thus they give a bad example for others, and cause them to neglect this sunnah as well. And surely, this adds to their burden of sins. Jarir Bin Abdillah ” reported that Allah’s Messenger ! said:

“He who initiates in Islam a good way gets his reward for it, as well as rewards similar to those who follow him into it, without reducing any of their rewards. And he who initiates in Islam an evil way gets his burden for it, as well as burdens similar to those who follow him into

it, without reducing any of their burdens.”  Muslim, Ahmad and others (Ahkam al-Janaiz 226)]

One such wrong fatwa was given by al-Qaradawi: “It is true that no reports exist of anyone among the salaf shaving his beard; but that could be because they  [Recorded by al-Bukhari, Muslims, and others]. had no need for that, and it was their custom (to grow it).” [al-Halal wal Haram fil Islaam]

It is obvious from our earlier discussion that this is an invalid rationale; especially since the reason for growing the beard is much greater than mere custom – it is Allah’s command!

FALSE vs. TRUE SCHOLARS

Not every one who is in position of leadership or fatwa is a true scholar. True scholars are those who found their fatwas on clear evidence from Allah’s Book and His Messenger’s Sunnah. As time passes, fewer and fewer of the true scholars will be around. But this should not justify for anyone turning toward the false scholars.
Abdullah Bin Amr ” reported that Allah’s Messenger ! said:

“Allah does not pull the knowledge suddenly from the breasts of people, but takes away the knowledge by taking the lives of the ulama (true scholars). When no ulama are left, the people will appoint ignorant guides. When they are asked, they provide fatwa (Islamic verdicts) without knowledge, thereby straying and leading others astray.”

The Prophet Trimmed His Beard?

Some people justify shaving their beards by that the Prophet ! used to trim his. By this, they usually refer to what has been recorded by at-Tirmithhi from Amr Bin Shu’ay from his father from his grandfather (Ibn Umar) -may Allah be pleased with them: “The Prophet ! used to cut from the width and length of his beard.”

However, this report is extremely weak, and may not be used as an evidence
[as expressed by an-Nawawi in Sharh ul-Muhaththab (1:321)]

And even if it were not weak, this report would then only provide an evidence for trimming the beard, not for shaving it.

Whom Are We to Please?

In order to justify shaving their beard, some men offer the excuse that their wives prefer them without one! One should fear Allah and remember that our course in this life must be to abide by the clear commands of Allah and His

Messenger !, and not to follow the deformed inclinations of wives, parents, friends, etc.
Ali ” reported that Allah’s Messenger ! said: “Obedience may not be offered to a human being if it involves disobeying Allah. Obedience should only be in good things.” [Recorded by al-Bukhari, Muslim, and others. A similar hadith is recorded by Ahmad and others from Imran Bin Husayn ” and verified to be authentic byal-Albani (as-Sahihah no. 179,180)]

Irritation and Scratching?

Some men claim that growing their beard causes to them severe skin irritation and scratching. This cannot result from abiding by the pure fitrah, but would result from neglect of the proper cleaning and washing with wudu’, as instructed in the Sunnah.

If a person has a legitimate and unusual skin problem, he must consult a true Muslim doctor in order to find the best way to treat his problem in a way that would, as much as possible, preserve his beard intact.

Job Requirements?

Some men assert that their jobs require shaving the beard, and that they would lose their jobs if they do not shave. Usually, this is not true. If one provides evidence (like the letter included in the Appendix) that the beard is a religious requirement, the employer cannot force a man to shave it.

If it becomes most likely that one would lose his job if he grew his beard, then he should weigh his situation and see which option would constitute more harm to him, shaving the beard or losing that enslaving job. Based on that, and after consulting with some people of knowledge, he should take the course that would be most pleasing to Allah.

Threat to Life?

Some men assert that growing their beards in certain countries would endanger their lives or cause them harm in their person, property, or Din. If this is true, it should be dealt with in a cautious and reasonable manner, similar to that described in the previous section.

However, one should not hold a paranoid or cowardly position, and expect that all forces of evil will be mobilized against him once a few hairs start surfacing from his face.

CHAPTER 4

OTHER HAIR

The Moustaches

The hadiths presented in Chapter 3 command the men to closely trim their moustaches, and indicate that trimming them is one of the qualities of fitrah.

Trimming the moustaches is done by cutting them level with the upper lip. This has been reported from five of the sahabah [Recorded by at-Tabarani, al-Bayhaqi, and others. Verified to be hasan by al-Albani (Adab uz-Zifaf p. 209].

Trimming the moustaches should be done at least once every forty days. This is indicated in Anas’s hadith below.
Shaving the moustaches completely is a bid ah, as declared by Malik:

“This is a bid ah that has appeared among the people

… my opinion in regard to a person who completely shaves his moustaches is that he should be beaten.”
[Recorded by al-Bayhaqi (1:151). Verified to be authentic by al Albani (Adab uz Zifaf p. 209)].

Malik had big moustaches. When questioned about that, he reported that when Umar ” got angry, he would roll his moustaches and blow [Recorded by at-Tabarani in al-Kabir. Verified to be authentic by al-Albani (Adab uz-Zifaf p. 209)].

Facial Hair

Except for the moustaches, it is prohibited to pluck or shave the facial hair. We mentioned earlier that Allah’s Messenger ! has declared that those who remove their facial hair are accursed by Allah, as was reported from him by Ibn Mas`ud “:

“Allaah curses … those who pluck the facial hair (for others) and those who have their facial hair plucked, … ” [al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Hair of The Head

[Recorded by Muslim, Ahmad and others].

[Recorded by The Prophet ! was not particular about the hair of his head. It would sometimes extend to a level between his ears and shoulders

Muslim, Abu Dawud, and others, from Anas Bin Malik ” and Aishah “], other times (in Umrah) he would shave it completely, and when he entered Makkah he had four braids [Recorded by Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, and others, from Umm Hani Bint Abi Talib. Verified to be authentic by al-Albani (Mukhtasar ush-Shamail p.35)].
Thus there is no specific restriction in regard to the hair of the head – other than the following:

a) A woman’s hair may not be shaved or cut short so as to resemble that of the men.

b) A man’s or woman’s hair may not be cut or done in a way resembling that of the sinners, disbelievers, etc.

Armpit and Pubic Hair

Removing the hair of the armpits and the pubic hair is among the qualities of fitrah. It should be done at least once every forty days. Anas ” reported:

“Allah’s Messenger ! timed for us trimming our moustaches, clipping our nails, pulling our armpit hair, and shaving our pubic hair-that we do not delay that beyond forty nights.”

Removing the hair is not considered among the prohibited “change in Allah’s creation”, because Allah commands us to do it.

Other Hair of the Body

From the above, it is apparent that the human hair is of three types: that which is obligatory to remove (ex. The pubic hair), that which is prohibited to remove (ex. the Facial Hair), and that which is optional (the hair of the head). Other bodily hair is not mentioned in any hadith is considered of the type: it may be removed for convenience if that does not lead to any violations, such as for men to resemble women.

Conclusion

Some of the issues mentioned in this chapter are of controversial nature among the scholars. We attempted to present the opinion that appears to be closest to the Sunnah, and Allah knows best.

May Allah guide us to abide by His Din, adhere to His Messenger’s Sunnah, and be among those whom He blessed.

APPENDIX

==============================

SAMPLE LETTER TO SUPERIORS

The following is a sample letter that may be presented to employers, prison authorities, army commanders, etc, in order to get permission to grow the beard.

Date:

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

This is to inform that the Islamic faith requires of every Muslim man growing a substantial beard. This is based on the command of the Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him): “Trim your moustaches and leave alone your beards.”

Muslim employees and subordinates who choose to abide by this should be permitted to do so by their superiors. Freedom of religion is protected by our Constitution. Help and cooperation to facilitate for the Muslims performing their religious duties is appreciated.

Questions and inquiries are welcome to be directed to us.

Signature

Name

Imaam or Director of Islamic Center

============================

REFERENCES

Adb uz-Zifafi-fis-Sunnat il-Mutahharah, Muhammad Nasir-ud -Din al- Albani, al-Maktabat ul-Islamiyyah, Amman, .1414 H.

Adillatu Tahrimi Halq il-Lihyah, Muhammad Bin Ismail al-Muqaddam.

Ar-Raddu `ala Man Ajaza Tahthib al-Lihyah, Humud at-Tuwayjiri, Riyadh.

Jilbab ul- Mar’at il-Muslimah, Muhammad Nasir-ud- Din al-Albani, al-Maktabat ul-Islamiyyah, Amman, 1414 H.

Hukm ud-Dini fil-Lihyati wat-Tadkhin, ‘Ali Hasan al-Halabi, al-Maktabat ul-Islamiyyah, Amman, 1413 H.

Hukmu ifa’il-Lihyah, Abd ul-Aziz Bin Baz, Da’wah & Irshad, Riyadh, 1414 H.

Tabsiru uli l-Albabi bi- Bidati Taqsim id-Dini ila Qishrin wa-Lubab, Muhammad Bin Ismail al-Muqaddam.

Thalathu Sha’air, Umar al-Ashqar, ad-Dar as-Salafiyyah, Kuwait, 1399 H.

The Method of Salaah in the Light of Authentic Ahadith

Aspects of the Salaat with evidences used by the Hanafi Madhhab

[Sifatus Salaah: The Method of Salaah in the Light of Authentic Ahadith]
Shaikh Muhammad Ilyas Faisal, Madina al-Munawwara

 With thanks from the providers

 CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

Very often the following question is posed to many people: “Do you follow the Deen of Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.) or the Deen of Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim)?” “Obviously the Deen of Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim),” comes the instant reply. The second question is then posed: “Why then do you call yourself a Hanafi?” The person not well versed is perplexed by this question. Doubts are then created in his mind. He soon starts gradually drifting towards the abandoning of taqleed i.e. following one of the four illustrious Imaams viz. Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.), Imaam Shafi’i (R.A.), Imaam Malik (R.A.) and Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal (R.A.).

By means of the type of questions that have been mentioned above, a deliberate attempt is made to create a misconception in the minds of the unwary — that if you are a Hanafi, you are following the Deen of Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.), NOT the Deen of Muhammad (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim). This is an absolute fallacy. Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.), Imaam Shafi’i (R.A.) and the other Imaams did not invent any Deen of their own. They strictly followed the one and only Deen — the Deenof Islam brought by Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim). Their followers are hence also following the same Deen — the Deen of Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim).

Why Follow an Imam?

The question that arises here is that why then should one follow any of the four Imaams? This can be answered by posing a counter-question: “Do you know all the various laws of Deen? Are you capable of extracting and deriving the laws pertaining to wudhu, salaah, zakaah, etc. directly from the Qur’an and Hadith? Do you know which Hadith has abrogated another? Do you have the ability to reconcile between the various Ahadith which apparently contradict each other? Do you know which verses of the Qur’an are general in their application and which verses are qualified by other texts? etc., etc.” If one does not have the knowledge of these aspects, then one definitely does not have the ability to derive the laws directly from the Qur’an and Hadith. In that case the following aayah applies directly to oneself: “Ask those of knowledge if you do not know.” (16:43 & 21:7) Hence when we do not have the enormous amount of knowledge and expertise that is necessary to derive the laws directly from the Qur’an and Hadith, we have opted to follow one of those great people who had attained that distinguished mastery in this field, among whom is Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.). Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.) is a Taabi’i (one who has seen a Sahabi). He attained the knowledge of Hadith from approximately 4000ustaads. His piety was such that for 40 years he performed fajr salaah with the wudhu of Isha salaah (i.e. he did not sleep the entire night) [Tareekhul Baghdad]. His knowledge, brilliance and righteousness was such that all the great scholars of his time attested to his mastery. Thus one can be well assured that such a person is absolutely capable of deriving the laws directly from the Qur’an and Hadith.

Another reason for adopting one of the Imaams as a guide is the following aayah of the Qur’an: Allah Ta’ala says: “And follow the path of those who turn to me” (31:15). In order to “turn” to Allah Ta’ala, two aspects are basic requisites — knowledge and practicing according to that knowledge. In this regard the four Imaams were in an extremely high category. Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.) was regarded by various Ulama of his time as being the most knowledgeable of the people of that era (footnotes of Tahzeebut Tahzeeb vol. 1 pg. 451). Makki bin Ibrahim, who was one of the renown ustaads of Imaam Bukhari (R.A.), was a student of Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.). Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.) compiled a book of Hadith entitled “Kitaabul Aathaar” from among 40,000 Ahadith. Thus those who follow such a guide can be satisfied that they are strictly following the commands of Allah Ta’ala and His Rasul (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim).

Difference of Opinion

At this point somebody may ask: “If all the Imaams deduced the laws directly from the Qur’an and Hadith, how is it possible for them to differ on various aspects?” In order to understand the reality of these differences, we will have to go back in history right upto the time of the Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhum).

Once Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) had just returned from a battle when he ordered the Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhum) to immediately proceed to the place of Banu Quraizah — a clan of Jews who lived on the outskirts of Madina Munawwarah. The purpose was to lay a siege upon them for having broken the pact that they had made with the Muslims. In order to impress the urgency of the matter upon the Sahaaba (R.A.), Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) said to them: “None of you should perform your salaah al-Asr except in Banu Quraizah.” While the Sahaaba (R.A.) were still en-route, the time of Asr arrived. Some Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhum) felt that they should perform their Asr immediately. They regarded the instruction of Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) as actually being a command to proceed very swiftly to their destination. It did not imply that the Asr salaah could not be performed en-route. They thus performed their salaah there. Another group of Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhum.) viewed the instruction literally. They therefore continued and only performed their Asr salaah after having reached Banu Quraizah. Later when Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) was informed about this, he did not rebuke either group. [Sahih Bukhaari]

Thus we find that the difference arose from a point of interpretation. However, this difference of interpretation is only entertained when it comes from a person who has in-depth knowledge of Deen and has attained a mastery in the Qur’an and Hadith and the other related aspects. At times a difference of opinion occurs due to the different narrations that are found with regards to a particular aspect. One Imaam gives preference to one narration on the basis of various criteria while the other Imaam, in the light of his knowledge, prefers the other narration. This is basically the manner in which these differences occur. However, just as Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) did not rebuke either of the two groups in the incident mentioned above, similarly since the Imaams have attained the status of a mujtahid (one who is capable of deriving the laws directly from the Qur’an and Hadith), they will not be blame worthy even if they have erred. Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) is reported to have said: “When a haakim (ruler) passes judgement, and after having exerted his utmost effort he arrives at the correct solution, he gets a double reward. And if he errs after having exerted his utmost ability, he gets one reward.” (Bukhari vol. 2 pg. 1092). Ibn al-Munzir (R.A.) while commenting on this Hadith writes that a ruler will only get this reward if he has thorough knowledge and in the light of his knowledge he passed judgement. (see footnotes of Sahih Bukhari; ibid). The four Imaams had the ability and necessary knowledge to practice ijtihaad. Thus they fall under the ambit of this Hadith.

Following One Imaam Only

Another point that often comes up is the following: Why is it necessary to follow one Imaam only? Why can one not follow a certain Imaam in one aspect and another Imaam in another aspect? The simple answer to this is: On what basis will one pick and choose, especially since one does not have the knowledge required to derive the laws. Thus one will not be in a position to evaluate the deductions of each Imaam. Hence it will obviously be on the basis of what suits one. This is nothing but following one’s desires — regarding which Allah Ta’ala has issued severe warnings in the Qur’an. Following one’s desires sometimes even leads a person to kufr. Thus great jurists of latter times, among them Shah Waliullah (R.A.), have reaffirmed that it is wajib for the masses to follow one Imaam only.

Authenticity of Hadith

Here one more point needs clarification with regards to the authenticity of Ahadith. The general masses are made to believe that a Hadith is only authentic if it is related in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. This is a misconception. The authenticity of the Hadith is based on its chain of narrators, irrespective of whether it appears in any one of the Sihah Sitta (the famous six authentic compilations of Hadith) or in any other compilation besides these. Imaam Muslim has written in hismuqqadama (introduction to Sahih Muslim) that he has not recorded every authentic Hadith in his Sahih. Actually, according to Imaam Bukhari and imaam Muslim, there are more authentic Ahadith which are not recorded in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim than the number of narrations contained in these two books. TheHanafi madhhab is derived directly from the Qur’an and Hadith, like all the other madhhabs. However, to truly appreciate the conformity of the Hanafi madhhab with theHadith, one will have to undertake a thorough study of the following books of Hadith: (1) Sharah Ma’anil Aathaar (2) Aljawharan Naqi (3) Nasbur Raayah (4) I’la as-Sunan (5) Bazlul Majhood (6) Fathul Mulhim (7) Awjazul Masaalik (8) Aathaarus Sunan, etc

 

 

The Purpose of This Book

It has already been explained above that the differences between the Imaams are based on the different narrations or the difference of interpretation. However, all the Imaams have their proofs from the Qur’an and Sunnah. Thus it is the duty of every person, while strictly following his Imaam, to respect and honour the other Imaams and their followers. Nevertheless, in this belated age there are many people who have cast aside the following of any of the four Imaams completely. Instead, while claiming to follow the Qur’an and Hadith directly, they in reality have begun to follow the interpretations of (make taqleed of!) some modern day ghair muqallid (one who has abandoned taqleed). However, coupled with this they often will be found denigrating the followers of an Imaam and classifing them as people following the Deen of Imaam Abu Hanifa and others — not the Deen of Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim). They make themselves out as being the only ones who follow Hadith while all others are regarded as being contradictory to the Hadith. Many people have become entrapped in this propaganda. Thus this book sets out to explain proofs of specifically those aspects regarding which the Hanafis are generally made a target of abuse. The purpose is to simply bring to the attention of the unwary person that he is following the Deen of Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim.) — not some other Deen. This book is not intended to create a climate of debate and argument. As already explained, all the Imaams have their proofs. It is hoped that by the means of this book the baseless propaganda against those who follow one of the four illustrious Imaams will be halted in its tracks.

About This Book

Initially a very detailed book on this topic was written in urdu by Sheik Muhammad Ilyas Faisal of Madina Munawwarah. A concise version was later published. This is the english rendering of the concise version which was translated by Moulana Abdul Qadir Vawda of Madrasah Taaleemuddeen. Some additions and alterations have been made where it was deemed appropriate. It must also be pointed out that every narration quoted in this booklet is highly authentic and of such a category which, according to the muhadditheen, can be used to derive the laws of Deen from it. May Allah Ta’ala accept this humble effort and make it a means of assisting in our salvation on the day of QiyaamahAameen.

The Masnoon Method Of Wudhu

Hazrat Usman (radhiallahu anhu) once asked: “Should I not show you the manner in which Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) performed his wudhu?” Thereafter he performed wudhu in such a manner that he washed every limb thrice. [Sahih Muslim, ch. on wudhu, Hadith 23]

 

 

 

Masah (passing wet fingers) Over The Nape.

Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) said: “Whoever performs wudhu and makes masah over his nape, he will be saved from wearing a necklace (of fire) around his neck on the the day of judgement”. The famous commentator of Sahih al-Bukhari, Allamah Ibn Hajar Asqalaani (R.A), writes in his book Talkheesul Habeer (vol. 1: p.92) that this narration is Sahih. Allamah Shawkani (R.A.) has also affirmed this in Naylul Awtaar(vol. 1, p.204).

Performing Masah Over Ordinary Socks

(i.e. cotton, woolen, polyester, etc.) It is not permissible to make masah over ordinary socks (cotton, woolen, nylon, etc. — i.e. all socks other than leather socks) in wudhu. There is no authentic narration sanctioning this practice. In the commentary of TirmidhiTuhfatul Ahwazee, the famous Ahle Hadith scholar Allamah Mubarakpuri, has written that this practice of making masah on woollen, cotton, nylon socks and socks made from similar materials is not established from any authentic Hadith (vol. 1, pg.333). Many other high ranking scholars of the ghair muqallid sect (those who do not prescribe to taqleed) have refuted this practice and declared it as impermissible. (see fatawa Nazeeriah; 1:423)

Prescribed Times For The Five Daily Salaah

Hazrat Abu Huraira (radhiallahu anhu) narrates: “When the length of your shadow (from the sun) is equal to your height then perform the zuhr salaah. When the length of your shadow becomes twice your height, perform the asr salaah. Perform the maghrib salaah when the sun has set. Perform the esha salaah before one-third (1/3) of the night passes. And perform the fajr salaah while it is still dark.” [Muwatta Imaam Maalik vol.1, pg.8, Hadith 9]

Masnoon Time For Zuhr Salaah

Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) has said: “When the heat becomes very intense (after mid-day), then delay the zuhr salaah until it cools down, for verily the intensity of the heat is from the effects of Jahannam“. [Sahih MuslimHadith 615]

Masnoon Time For Asar

It was the noble habit of Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) that he used to delay the performance of asar so long as the sun remained white and clear. [Abu Daud; Waqtul Asr]

 

 

 

Masnoon Time For Fajar 

Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) is reported to have said: “Perform the fajar salaah when the sky brightens at the time of dawn (i.e. before sunrise) since this is a means of earning greater reward. [Tirmidhi, Hadith 154]

Imam Tirmidhi explains that the majority of the Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhum) used to perform fajar salaah at this time (i.e. when the sky had brightened up).

Masnoon Method Of Iqaamah

Hazrat Bilal (radhiallahu anhu), Rasulullah’s (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallimmuazzin, used to call out the words of azaan and iqaamah twice. (This Hadith is classified as Sahih — Musannaf Abdur Razzaak; see Aathaarus Sunan v.1, pg. 53)

The muazzins of Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim), Abu Mahzoora (radhiallahu anhu) and Thaubaan (radhiallahu anhu) also used to call out the azaan andiqaamah in the above mentioned manner (i.e. by saying the words twice). Allaamah Shawkani (R.A.) has affirmed the authenticity of the above narrations in Naylul Autaar, (vol.2. pg.24.)

Covering of the Head During Salaah

Ibn Umar (R.A.) narrates that Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) wore a white hat. (Tabarani — Allama Suyuti has classified this Hadith as highly authentic: see Sirajul Muneer; v.4, pg.112). It is written in Fataawa Thunaaiyya vol. 1, pg. 525), and in the Fatawaa of the Ahle Hadith Scholars (vol. 4 pg.291) that Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) always used to keep his mubarak head covered during salaah. In the same books it is also mentioned that to intentionally remove the headgear (hat) and perform salaah bare-headed is contrary to the sunnah. (vol. 1, pg.523.)

To Raise the Hands upto the Earlobes

Hazrat Qataada (radhiallahu anhu) relates that he saw Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) performing his salaah. He relates that Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) used to lift his hands until they were in line with his earlobes. [Sahih Muslim, ch. on Istihbaabur Raf’, Hadith 391]

To Tie the Hands Beneath the Navel

Hazrat Ali (radhiallahu anhu) relates that the sunnah of Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) is to place one hand over the other below the navel. [Abu Daud, ch. on Wad’ul Yumna, Hadith 756]

The above-mentioned method of tying the hands is also related by Hazrat Anas (radhiallahu anhu).

Reciting Bismillah Softly

Hazrat Anas (radhiallahu anhu) states, “I have performed congregational salaah behind Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim), Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthmaan (radhiallahu anhum) and I did not hear any one of them recite Bismillahir rahmaan nir raheem” [Sahih Muslim, Hadith 399]

Imaam Tirmidhi (R.A.) states that the majority of the Sahaba (radhiallahu anhum) also used to recite Bismillah softly.

The Muqtadi (follower) Should Listen and Remain Silent

Allah Ta’aala says: “When the Qur’an is being recited then listen attentively and remain silent so that mercy will be showered upon you“.

Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud, Abu Hurairah, Abdullah Ibn Abbas and Abdullah Ibn Mughaffal (radhiallahu anhum) state that this verse of the Quran was revealed with regards to the Khutba (of Juma’ah) and with regards to Salaah. [Tafsir Ibn Kathir, vol. 1 pg. 281]

The dictates of this verse of the Holy Qur’an is that when the Imaam recites the Qur’an aloud, the followers should listen attentively, and when he recites softly, the followers should remain silent.

Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) is reported to have said: “When you begin your congregational prayers, straighten your rows. Thereafter when the Imaam says the takbeer (i.e. when he says Allahu Akbar aloud) you must also say the takbeer. However, when he begins the recital of the Qur’an, you must remain silent. And when he recites walad daul leen then you should say Aameen“. By performing your salaah in this manner Allah Ta’ala will love you.” [Muslim; ch. ontashahhud]

(A similar Hadith has been narrated by Abu Hurairah (radhiallahu anhu)-Imaam Muslim has attested to its authenticity; ibid).

The muqtadi Must Not Recite Surah Fatiha

It is reported from Hazrat Ataa Ibn Yasaar (radhiallahu anhu) that he questioned Hazrat Zaid Ibn Thaabit (radhiallahu anhu) concerning reciting Qira’at with the Imaam. Hazrat Zaid (radhiallahu anhu) answered: “There is no recitation of the Glorious Qur’an in any salaah behind the Imaam“. [Sahih Muslim, chapter on Sujood-ut-Tilaawah, Hadith 577]

The Qiraat of the Imaam SUFFICES for the Muqtadi

Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhiallahu anhu) used to repeatedly say: “Whoever performs salaah behind the Imaam, the Imaam’s qiraat suffices for him”. (Sunan Baihaqi; chapter on not reciting qiraat behind the Imaam — Imaam Baihaqi (R.A.) has stated that this Hadith is Sahih.)

The Person Performing salaah Individually Must Recite Surah Fatiha, Not the Muqtadi

Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhiallahu anhu) was asked: “Must the muqtadi recite behind the Imam?” He replied that the qiraat of the Imaam is sufficient for themuqtadi. But if he performs salaah individually, then he must recite qiraat. It was the practice of Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhiallahu anhu) also that he would not recite surah fatiha behind the Imam. (In Aathaarus Sunan (Vol. 1 pg.89) this Hadith has been classified as sahih).

Hazrat Jaabir (radhiallahu anhu) narrates that the one who does not recite sura fatiha even in one rakaat, his salaah is not valid. However, if he is behind an Imam he must not recite surah fatiha. (This Hadith has been classified as hasan — Tirmizi – ch. on not reciting behind the Imaam). It is on the basis of this Hadith that Imaam Tirmidhi (R.A.) has narrated from Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (R.A.) [who was the teacher of the ustaad of Imaam Bukhari (R.A.)] that the narration “Whoever does not recitesurah fatiha his salaah is not complete” refers to one who performs his salaah alone. It does not include the muqtadi (Jami’ Tirmidhi, ibid). In the above Hadith it is very clearly mentioned that the muqtadi must not recite sura fatiha.

“Aameen” Must be said softly

Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) is reported to have said: “Do not hasten before the Imaam! When he says the takbeer, then you should do the same. When he recites Walad da ul leen, then you should say Aameen. When he makes ruku’ then you should make ruku’. And when he says sami’-Allahu liman hamidah then you should say Allahumma Rabbana wa lakal hamd“. [Sahih Muslim, Hadith 415]

With regards to the saying of Aameen this narration is very clear and explicit. Like in the case where the Imaam says Allahu Akbar and sami’-Allahu liman hamidah aloud, but all the followers say “Allahu Akbar“and “Rabbana lakal hamd” softly. In the same manner when the Imaam recites “walad daul leen” aloud, the followers should sayAameen softly. It is also reported from Abu Ma’mar that Umar (radhiallahu anhu) used to say: “The Imaam will recite four things softly-Ta’awwuz, Bismillah, Aameen and Rabbana Lakalhamd” (Aini Vol. 1 pg. 620)

Raising the Hands (upto the shoulders) During Salaah

Hazrat Jaabir Ibn Samurah (radhiallahu anhu) relates that once Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) came out of his house towards us and said: “Why is it that I see you all raising your hands as though they are the tails of stubborn horses. Be tranquil in salaah“. [Sahih Muslim, Hadith 430]

This hadith alone makes it clear that those narrations which mention the raising of the hands (during the salaah) were narrated prior to the prohibition of this practice.

 

 

Proof from the PRACTICE of Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim)

Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (radhiallahu anhu) said: “Shall I not show you the manner in which Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) performed hissalaah?” Thereafter he performed the salaah but he did not raise his hands except at the beginning (of his salaah). [Tirmidhi, Hadith no.257] This Hadith is classifiedHasan. Ibn Hazm (R.A.) has declared it as sahih. Ahmed Shakir (R.A.) has also declared it as sahih.

Proof from the Practice of the Sahaabah (radhiallahu anhum)

It is related that Hazrat Ali (radhiallahu anhu) used to raise his hands at the time of the first Takbeer (during his salaah). Thereafter he did not raise them. [Sunanal Bayhaqi]

(The commentator of Bukhari Shareef, Allaama Ibn Hajar, Allaama Zayla’i and Allaama ‘Aini (R.A.) have said that this narration and its chain of narrators is Sahih)

One should take note of the fact that the practice of Hazrat Umar, the remaining Khulafa-e-Raashideen, Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud and many more Sahaabah (radhiallahu anhu) was the same, that they only raised their hands at the time of the first takbeer. Imaam Tirmidhi (R.A.) also states that this was the practice of a great number of the Sahaabah (radhiallahu anhum).

 

Jalsatul Istiraaha – Sitting briefly After The 2nd Sajdah Of The First Or Third Rakaat

In a narration from the ibn Sahl (radhiallahu anhu) it is mentioned that Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) said the takbeer and simultaneously went intosajdah. Then he said the takbeer and simultaneously stood up erect without sitting. [Abu Daud, Hadith no. 966]

Imaam Bayhaqi (R.A.) has recorded in his Sunan that this was the practice of Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (radhiallahu anhu). Allaama Zayla’i (R.A.) has recorded inNasabur Raayah that the same procedure was the practice of Hazrat Umar, Ali, Abdullah Ibn Zubeir and Abdullah Ibn Abbaas (radhiallahu anhu). (vol. 1, pg. 289)

Likewise Allaamah Turkumaani has recorded in Jauharun Naqi regarding several Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhum) that it was their practice that after the first and thirdrakaat they would stand up straight from sajdah without sitting. (vol. 1, pg. 125)

 

 

 

 

Tashahhud

Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) is reported to have said: “When you sit during salaah (for Qa’dah Akheerah, the last Qa’dah) read the following:-

“All oral, physical and monetary worship is due to Allah alone. Salutations to you ‘O Nabi, and the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you. Peace be upon us and upon all the righteous servants of Allah. I bear witness that none is worthy of worship besides Allah and that Muhammad (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) is his servant and messenger.)

Thereafter he would choose from the supplications whatever he wished.”
[Sahih Muslim, Hadith no. 402; Sahih Bukhari, chapter on Tashahhud].

Rasing the Index Finger During Tashahhud

It is narrated that when Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) used to sit down to supplicate, (to recite tashahhud) he used to place his right hand on his right thigh and his left hand on his left thigh. He would indicate at the time of reciting the shahadah by raising his index finger. He would also join the ends of his thumb and middle finger (thereby forming a circle). [Sahih Muslim, chapter on the description of sitting-Hadith no.579]

Durood Sharif

The Sahaabah-e-Kiraam (radhiallahu anhum) inquired from Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) as to which durood should they recite (during salaah). Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) replied: “Recite the following durood

(trans: O Allah shower your mercy upon Muhammad (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) and the family of Muhammad (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) as you have showered your mercy upon Ibrahim (A.S.) and the family of Ibrahim (A.S.). Behold, you are Praiseworthy, Glorious. O Allah shower your blessings upon Muhammad (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) and the family of Muhammad (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) as you have showered your blessings upon Ibrahim (A.S.) and the family of Ibrahim (A.S.). Behold, you are Praiseworthy, Glorious.

Raising Both the Hands and Making Dua

It is narrated that Abdullah Ibn Zubair (radhiallahu anhu) saw a man raising his hands and making dua before completing his salah. When the person had completed his salaah, Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Zubair (radhiallahu anhu) went up to him and said: “Verily, Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) used to only raise his hands and make dua after completing his salaah” (the narrators of this Hadith are all trustworthy — Majmauz Zawaaid, vol. 1, pg. 169).

It is also mentioned in the Fataawa of Ahle Hadith (vol. 1, pg.190) as well as in Fataawa Nazeeriyyaa (vol. 1, pg. 566) that in the light of the Sharia, the dua after salaah is an authentically established practice and it is mustahab to do so.

Sunnats BEFORE Salaat al-Zuhr

Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) has said: “Whoever performs four rakaats before the fardh of zuhr and four rakaats after it, Allah Ta’aala will make him haraam upon the fire of Jahannam“. [Tirmidhi, Hadith no. 428]

Sunnats BEFORE Salaat al-Asr

Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) has said: “May Allah show mercy upon that person who performs four rakaats before the fardh of asr“. [Tirmidhi, chapter on the narrations regarding the four rakaats, Hadith no. 430]

Sunnats of Salaat al-Maghrib

Hazrat Abu Ma’mar (radhiallahu anhu) has said that the Sahaabah (radhiallahu anhum) used to consider 4 rakaats after the Fardh of maghrib to be mustahab. [Qiyaamul-Layl of Marwazi pg.58]

4 Rakaats Before Salaat al-Isha

Hazrat Sa’eed Ibn Jubair (radhiallahu anhu) narrates that the Sahaabah (radhiallahu anhum) used to regard the performing of four rakaats before the fardh of isha asmustahab. [ibid. pg.58]

Three Rakaats of Witr

Hazrat A’yesha (radhiallahu anha) is reported to have said (with regards to the tahajjud salaah of Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim): “He (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) never used to perform more than eleven rakaats, whether in Ramadhan or out of Ramadhaan. Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) would perform long rakaats in two units of four rakaats each with such excellence and devotion which cannot be described. Thereafter he would perform threerakaats of witr salaah“. [Sahih Muslim, chapter on salaatul layl, Hadith 738]

Reciting Qunoot Before Ruku’

Hazrat Aasim (radhiallahu anhu) narrates: “I inquired from Hazrat Anas Ibn Malik (radhiallahu anhu) concerning the qunoot of witr. He affirmed its occurrence in the witr salaah. Then I asked whether it should be recited before the ruku or after it. He replied: “It should be recited before the ruku“. I then informed him of a certain person who had heard him (Hazrat Anas (radhiallahu anhu) saying that it should be recited after ruku. Hazrat Anas (radhiallahu anhu) most vehemently denied this”. Furthermore he said: “Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) recited the qunoot after the ruku for only one month.(referring to the qunootun naazilah)” [Sahih Bukhari, chapter on qunoot before ruku].

In Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah it is mentioned that for this very reason the Sahaaba-e-Kiraam (radhiallahu anhum) used to recite the qunoot before ruku.

Allaama Ibn Hajar (R.A.) writes in his commentary on Bukhari, Fath al-Bari that after analysing all these narrations we learn that it was the normal practice to recite the qunoot before ruku.
However on certain occasions (such as the befalling of a calamity, etc.) the qunoot would be recited after ruku. (vol. 1, pg. 291)

Salaam Should Be Made at the End of the Witr salaah

Hazrat A’yesha (radhiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) used to perform three rakaats witr without making salaam in between (i.e. after two rakaats.) [Zadul Ma’aad, pg.110]

Allama Ibn Hajar (R.A.) writes in Fathul Baari, the commentary on Sahih Bukhari, that Hazrat Ubay Ibn Ka’b, Hazrat Umar, Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud and Anas Ibn Malik (radhiallahu anhum) used to make salaam at the end of three rakaats witr, not in between. (vol. 1, pg. 291)

Two Rakaats Sunnah of Fajr

It is narrated that once Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (radhiallahu anhu) reached the masjid whilst the Imaam was leading the salaah of fajr with the congregation. Hence, since he had not as yet performed the two rakaats sunnah of fajr, he stood behind one of the pillars of the masjid and performed it (while the jama’ah was in progress). Thereafter he joined the jamaat. [Majmauz-Zawaaid, vol. 1, pg. 75]

This was also the practice of Abdullah Ibn Abbas, Abu Dardaa and Uthmaan (radhiallahu anhum).

Qadha of the Two Rakaats Sunnah of Salaat al-Fajr

Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) is reported to have said: “Whoever did not perform the sunnah of fajr should perform it after the sun rises”. [Tirmidhi, Hadith no. 423]

In the Muwwatta of Imaam Malik (R.A.) it is narrated that this was also the practice of Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhiallahu anhu).

 

 

Salaat al-Tarawih During The Lifetime Of Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim)

It is narrated that one night during Ramadhaan Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) performed salaat al-tarawih in the masjid. A group of Sahaabah joined him during his salaah. The following night the same happened as the previous night except that the number of followers had increased considerably. Hence on the third (or fourth) night Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) did not come out to the masjid to perform salaat al-tarawih with the people. The following morning he said to them: “Indeed I had seen your eagerness (to perform the tarawih behind me), but for the fear that this salaah will be made fardh (compulsory) upon you during Ramadhaan, I did not come out to join you in the tarawih“. [Muslim, Hadith no.761]

Salaat al-Tarawih During the Period of the Rightly-Guided Khulafa (TWENTY RAKAATS)

Hazrat Yazeed Ibn Ruman (radhiallahu anhu) narrates that during the khilaafah of Hazrat Umar (radhiallahu anhu) the Sahaabah used to perform twenty rakaats tarawihand three rakaats witr salaah (with jamaat). [Muwwatta Imaam Maalik, chapter concerning standing in salaah during Ramadhaan]

During the khilafah of Abu Bakr (radhiallahu anhu) tarawih with jamaat was not in vogue. The practice of performing twenty rakaats with jamaat in every night of Ramadhaan and the completion of the entire Quraan began only during the the khilaafat of Hazrat Umar (radhiallahu anhu). All the Sahaabah present had agreed upon this practice. From then onwards including the Khilafah of both Hazrat Uthmaan and Hazrat Ali (radhiallahu anhu) upto this day the Muslim Ummah (at large) has followed this practice.

Twenty rakaats tarawih is also performed in both the Masjids of Makkah and Madinah upto the present time. However, it is tragic that in recent times a group of people have conflicted with the consensus of the Sahaabah (radhiallahu anhum) and the rest of the Ummah with regards to the number of rakaats in Tarawih salaah.

The Takbeers Of Salaat al-Eid

Hazrat Abu Musa Ash’ari (radhiallahu anhu) was asked regarding the number of takbeers that Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) used to say in both theEid salaahs. He replied: “He (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) used to say four takbeers (in every rakaat), in the same way as he used to say the takbeers in the salaat al-Janaaza“. Hazrat Hudhaifa (radhiallahu anhu) also confirmed this practice of Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim). [Abu Dawud, Hadith no. 1153]

Imaam Tirmidhi (R.A.) has also recorded several narrations of similar meaning from Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud and other Sahaabah-e-Kiraam (radhiallahu anhum).

Distance Of Shar’i Safar (Travel in the Shariah)

It is narrated that Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar and Abdullah Ibn Abbas (radhiallahu anhu) would perform Qasr salaah and that they would also make iftaar (i.e. they would not fast) whenever they travelled the distance of four burud. Four burud is sixteen farsakh i.e. 48 miles. [Bukhari, chapter regarding the distance upon which one will perform Qasr salaah].

It is mentioned in Fataawa Thunaiyya that the majority of the Muhadditheen say that 48 miles is the correct distance of Shar’i travel (safar). Nine miles is incorrect. (vol.1, pg.482)

The Duration Of Time Pertaining To Qasr

Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhiallahu anhu) stated that whoever intends to stopover at any place along his journey for fifteen days (or more), he should perform hissalaah fully (i.e. he should not perform Qasr salaah.) [Tirmidhi, Hadith no. 548]

Manner of standing in the saff (rows of the jamaah)

It is established from several ahadith that the saff (row) should be absolutely straight and no gaps should be left between the musallis (worshippers). However, some people insist on spreading their feet and standing in such a manner that their ankles touch the ankles of their neighbour. What is the reality of standing in this fashion?

Those who stand in this way base their practice upon a hadith narrated by Nu’maan bin Basheer (radhiallahu anhu). He says: “Once Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) faced us and said: “Straighten your rows”. He repeated this thrice. He then said: “By Allah, you must most certainly straighten your rows or else Allah Ta’ala will disunite your hearts”. Hazrat Nu’maan bin Basheer (radhiallahu anhu) says: “I then saw the people joining together their shoulders and ankles”. [Abu DawoodSahih ibn Khuzaima]

The concluding statement of Hazrat Nu’maan (radhiallahu anhu) is also reported in Sahih Bukhari.

However, upon analysing this hadith, several points come to light: Firstly, Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) never commanded the joining of the ankles. No hadith has yet been found wherein Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) himself instructed the Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhu) to join their ankles. The Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhu) had themselves adopted this manner in order to fulfil the command of straightening the saffSecondly, this hadith clearly mentions that Nu’maan bin Basheer (radhiallahu anhu) saw the Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhu) doing this PRIOR to the commencement of the salaah. There is no mention of this position being maintained even after the salaah had commenced. Therefore we find that great muhadditheen such as Hafiz ibn Hajar (R.A.) and Allama Shawkani (R.A.) have regarded this as an extreme measure which was occasionally adopted by the Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhu) to ensure that the saff is straight.

In fact, a hadith of Hazrat Anas (radhiallahu anhu) makes it absolutely clear that this practice was merely a measure adopted BEFORE the salaah to ensure the straightening of the saff. He says: “If I had to do that (join the ankles) with anyone of them (the taabi’een) today, they would run like wild mules”. [Fath al-Bari, vol.2, pg.176]

This simply means that the taabi’een severely disliked that anybody should join their ankles with them. Several points are understood from this: Firstly, Hazrat Anas(radhiallahu anhu) had stopped doing this completely. Had this been a sunnah and not just a manner of ensuring that the saff was straight, it is impossible that Hazrat Anas (radhiallahu anhu) would have left it out merely upon somebody disliking it.

Secondly, the taabi’een would never have disliked it if they had observed many of the Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhum) continuously practicing upon this. It was only due to the fact that they had not generally observed the Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhum) adopting this procedure that they disliked it. Hence this makes it crystal clear that the Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhum) had only occasionally adopted this practice to ensure the straightening of the saff. It was not a sunnah in itself, otherwise they would never have left it out.

It has already been made clear that Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) never himself instructed the joining of the ankles, nor is there any mention of the Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhum) having maintained this position even INsalaah. However, if for a moment we do accept that this position must be adopted during the course of the salaah as well, the question is: In which posture of salaah must this position be maintained? Must it be maintained during qiyaam, ruku, sajdah and qa’dahor in only some of these postures? If one says that the ankles should be joined only in the qiyaam posture, on what basis were the other postures excluded? If it is argued that it is difficult to do so in ruku and sajdah, the same could be said for qiyaam, since to stand with one’s feet spread apart is naturally awkward and hence it presents a certain amount of difficulty and uneasiness for many people. In short, this practice is not established as a sunnah of salaah. It was merely adopted initially by the Sahaaba (radiallahu anhumBEFORE the commencement of salaah to ensure that the rows are straight.

And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

 

What is the Origin of the “Manzil”?

By Mawlana Tameem Ahmadi

Edited by IlmGate

Question:

(Shaykh), I had a question about Manzil, what is its origin and its purpose?

Answer:

The Manzil is popular in [the Indian Subcontinent] and read as a wazifa and hirz for protection.

The Kandhlawi family would give a lot of importance to it and it was a custom of the family to teach it to the women and children. It is helpful for protection from jinns, satanic whisperings, black magic, and all types of calamities.

Hazrat [Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Zakariyya al-Kandhlawi’s] son, Mawlana Talha حفظه الله, mentioned in the short introduction to one copy of the Manzil, which I have, that the Manzil is actually taken from a Hadith [of] Mustadrak.

The Hadith is mentioned in the Mustadrak of Hākim (vol.4, p.413):

Ubayy ibn Ka`b رضي الله عنه said: I was with the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم when a bedouin came and said: “O Prophet of Allah, I have a brother who has a problem.”

The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم asked, “And what is his problem?”

The bedouin said, “He has a slight mental derangement.”

The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم told him to bring his brother to him. So the bedouin brought his brother before the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم, so he صلى الله عليه وسلم read over him:

  1. Surat al-Fatiha and the last four verses of Surat al-Baqarah.
  2. Two verses starting from: “wa ilāhukum ilāhun Wāhidun lā ilāha illa huw al-Rahmān al-Rahīm” (2:163)
  3. Ayat al-Kursi
  4. Verse from Surat Āle Imrān: “shahidallahu annahu…” ( 3:18)
  5. Verse from Surat al-A`rāf: “inna rabbakum Allah al-ladhi khalaqa al-samāwāt…” (7:54)
  6. Last verse from Surat al-Mu’minūn: “fa ta`ālā Allahu al-malik al-haqq…” (23:116)
  7. Verse from Surat al-Jinn: “wa annahu ta`ālā jaddu rabbina…“(72:3)
  8. Ten verses from the beginning of Surat al-Sāffāt (37: 1-10)
  9. Last 3 verses of Surat al-Hashr (59)
  10. Surat Ikhlas and Mu`awwadhatayn.

And when the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم read this upon him, he got up as if he never had a problem to complain about. (Mustadrak of Hākim (vol.4, p.413)

Imam Hākim says: “Shaykhān (Bukhari and Muslim) have accepted the narrators of this Hadith, except for Abu Jannab al-Kalbi. But the Hadith is Mahfūz and Sahīh…”

Imam Dhahabi comments saying: “Abu Jannab al-Kalbi: Dāruqutni has said he is da`īf and the Hadith is munkar.”

And Allah Knows Best
[Mawlana] Tameem Ahmadi

 

Note: This article was edited for spelling, grammar, and style.

The Month of Safar

Safar” is the second month in the Islamic calendar. It is one of “Al-Ashhur-al-hurum” the four sanctified months in which battle was prohibited in the days of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). However, no specific mode of worship or other special rules are set by the Shari’ah to observe this month.

Some people believe that this month is an unlucky month, therefore, they avoid to hold marriage ceremonies or any other happy gatherings in this month. This belief is totally baseless and it is a part of the superstitions rampant in the ignorants of Arabia before the advent of Islam. The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) eradicated all such superstitious beliefs. Especially in the case of the month of Safar, he expressly said, “(To hold) the month of Safar (as unlucky) is nothing.”

Therefore, Muslims should not give ear to such superstitions. There is no problem in holding marriages etc. in this month.

Book Ref: Islamic Months Merits & Precepts – By Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani (DB)

Righteous Deeds with the Same Reward as Hajj & Umrah

From Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, who said:  “The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, said:  ‘Whoever prays the morning prayer in congregation then sits remembering Allah until the sun rises, then prays two units of prayer has the reward like that of Hajj and `Umrah.’”  He said, “Allah’s Messenger, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, said: ‘Complete, complete, complete (i.e. reward)’” (narrated by Tirmidhi).

Basically, the concept is that if you pray Fajr in the masjid congregation (for sisters, they can do this at their residence as it is better for them to pray in their homes) and then after the fajr salat, you don’t get up and instead you remember Allah (do dhikr, read Quran, etc) until the time for Duha prayer (a.k.a. Ishraq prayer, which has a start time about twenty minutes after fajr ends) and then you pray the Duha prayer, you will insh’Allah, receive the reward of a full Hajj AND Umrah (however, this does not lift the obligation upon one to perform Hajj).  Subhan’Allah, how great is the bounty of Allah (SWT) to give His servant sooo much reward for so little time and action.  Surely, Allah (SWT) is the Owner of great bounty.

Here are more narrations that support the hadith listed above:

  • From Abi Umaamah who said:  “Allah’s Messenger, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, said: ‘Whoever prays the morning prayer in congregation then sits remembering Allah until he sun rises, then stands up ad prays two units of prayer returns with the reward of Hajj and `Umrah’” (narrated by Tabarani).
  • From `Abdullah bin `Aamir that Abu Umaamah and `Utbah Bin `Abd related that Allah’s Messenger, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said:   “Whoever prays as-S.ubh. (i.e. fajr prayer)  in congregation then sits until he prays for Allah the prayer of Dhuha has the reward like that of a haajj (pilgrim performing Hajj) and a mu`tamir (pilgrim peforming `Umrah), complete reward of his Hajj and his `Umrah”  (narrated by Tabarani).
  • From `Usrah who said, “I heard the Mother of believers, meaning `Aa’isha, say:  ‘I heard  Allah’s Messenger, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, say:‘Whoever prays fajr (or he said al-ghadaah, [transl. both referring to the morning prayer]), then sits in his place and does not speak idly with something from matters of this world and remembers Allah until he prays four units of Dhuha, he will leave his sins like the day his mother bore him, without any sin’‘” (narrated by Ibn Hajr).
  • From Sammaak  That he asked Jaabir bin Samurah: “What did the Messenger, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam do when he prayed as-Subh (the morning prayer).”  He said:  “He used to sit in the Musallaa after he prayed as-Subh until the Sun rises”(narrated by Muslim).
  • From Sahl bin Mu`aadh bin Anas al-Juhani from his father, that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, said:  “Whoever sits in his prayer area (musallaa) after he completes as-Subh prayer until he prays two units of Dhuha prayer, [and] doesn’t say except what is good, his sins will be forgiven even if they are more than the foam of the sea”(narrated by Abu Dawud).

All the hadith mentioned have been classified as either sahih (authentic) or hasan (good).  These narrations were complied by Shaykh Abdullah ibn Abdur Rahman Al-Jibreen.

(Source: www.islaam.com)

Time is Precious, What can be Accomplished in One Minute!

Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said: “When I say ‘Subhaanallah, wa’l-hamdu Lillah, wa laa ilaah illallah, wallahu akbar (Glory be to Allah, praise be to Allah, there is no god except Allah, and Allah is Most Great)’, this is more beloved to me than all that the sun rises upon.” (Narrated by Muslim).

In one minute, you can say the above words more than 18 times. These words are the most beloved words to Allah, the best of words, and they weigh heavily in the balance of good deeds, as was narrated in the Saheeh Ahaadith.

In one minute you can say Subhaanallahi wa bi hamdihi Subhaanallaa-hil-‘Azeem (Glory and praise be to Allah, glory be to Allah the Almighty) 50 times. These are two phrases which are light on the lips, heavy in the balance and beloved to the Most Merciful, as was narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim.

In one minute you can say Subhaanallahi wa bi hamdihi (Glory and praise be to Allah) 100 times. Whoever says that in one day will be forgiven for his sins even if they are like the foam of the sea.

In one minute you can say, Laa hawla wa laa quwwata illaa Billaah (there is no strength and no power except with Allah) more than 40 times. This is one of the treasures of Paradise, as was narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim.

In one minute you can say Laa ilaaha illallah approximately 50 times. This is the greatest word, for it is the word of Tawheed, the good word, the word that stands firm. If these are the last words of a person, he will enter Paradise, and there are other Ahaadith which indicate how great these words are.

In one minute you can say Subhaanallah wa bi hamdih, ‘adada khalqihi, wa ridaa nafsihi, wazinata ‘arshihi, wa midaada kalimaatihi (Glory and praise be to Allah, as much as the number of His creation, as much as pleases Him, as much as the weight of His Throne and as much as the ink of His words) more than 15 times. This words bring many more times the reward for other forms of tasbeeh and dhikr, as was reported in Saheeh Ahaadith from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

In one minute you can seek the forgiveness of Allah more than 100 times by saying Astaghfirullah (I seek the forgiveness of Allah). The virtues of seeking forgiveness are no secret, for it is the means of attaining forgiveness and entering Paradise, and it is the means of being granted a good life, increasing one’s strength, warding off disasters, making things easier, bringing rain and increasing one’s wealth and children.

In one minute you can send blessings on Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam 50 times by saying Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam (May Allah bless him and grant him peace). In return Allah will send blessings upon you 500 hundred times because one blessing brings ten like it.

In one minute you can recite Surah al-Ikhlaas (Qul Huwallaa-hu Ahad) 20 times, reciting rapidly and silently. Reciting it once is equivalent to one-third of the Qur’aan. If you read it 20 times it is equivalent to reading the Qur’aan 7 times. If you read it 20 times in one minute each day, you will have read it 600 times in one month, and 7200 times in one year, which will be equal in reward to reading the Qur’aan 2400 times.

In one minute you can motivate your heart to give thanks to Allah, to love Him, to fear Him, to put hope in Him, to long for Him, and thus travel through the stages of ‘Uboodiyyah (total enslavement to Allah). You could do this when you are lying on your bed or walking in the street.

These actions are also among the greatest means of attaining happiness, expanding the chest (i.e., bringing relief and joy) and removing stress and anxiety. May Allah help us and you to do that which He loves and which pleases Him.

Productive Holidays

Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam has stated, “There are two blessings which many people waste: health and free time.” (Bukhari)
The holiday period is generally a time when people have time to spare. We can while away that time in frivolous and at times sinful pursuits or we can utilise such opportunities productively.
The holidays are an ideal opportunity for spending quality time with our families. Sitting in front of the television together does not count as quality time. Engaging with our families in physical activity, in laughter and clean fun is part of quality time. The Hadith encourages horsemanship, archery and swimming amongst other physical activities.
Take your family out to explore the beauty of nature, and ponder over Allah’s magnificence that He displays through His creation. This will bring us closer to Him and humble us in awe of His majesty.
Most importantly, sit with your family and talk about Allah Ta’ala and the beautiful Islam he has blessed us with. Discuss the life of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam and relive with them the history of Islam. Talk to them about the real life challenges that we face and how to navigate them.
We live in a time when families are fragmenting and contentment seems a distant dream. A holiday spent productively will, insha-Allah, bring the family closer together and leave us with a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction.
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