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 . 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 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 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 . 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 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 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 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 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 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 never celebrated the event of mi'raj, nor did he give any instruction about it. No one can prove that the Holy Prophet 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 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 and had devoted their lives to preserve every minute detail of the sunnah of the Holy Prophet 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 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 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 or is noble Companions have recognized it as such, otherwise it may become a bid'ah about which the Holy Prophet 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 .
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 . 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 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 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 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 is found to this effect. Conversely Sayyidah 'Aishah, Radi-Allahu anha, has expressly negated the presumption by saying that the Holy Prophet 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 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 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.
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.
[Courtesy of alBalagh.net]
Meaning of Fiqhi Schools
'Fiqhi School is basically the name of different trends which have been adopted to derive solution of matters from the principal Shariah sources. The concept of Fiqhi schools was not prevalent in the period of the Prophet and the companions as it is today, but the basis of these trends was found and they were known in the period of the companions. These trends turned in to the form of Fiqhi schoos in the last period of the Sahaba (companions) and their successors. These trends got more accurate and new building erected at the foundation of separate rules and regulations.
Background of Fiqhi Schools
In the previous lines, it has been mentioned that at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) sometimes two different companions used to differ in understanding the saying of the Prophet. In these examples, there was possibility of taking different meanings since these examples were related to non-principal and partial matters. There is no place for such difference of understanding in the basic principles of religion. Therefore, the Prophet (pbuh) held right two opposite meanings of a guidance. Even, in the Glorious Quran, at many places there was possibility of taking various meanings. This difference of understanding sometimes was based on the word having two opposite meanings. Sometimes, the word had two meanings; one real and the other metaphor. Sometimes, the outer condition of the word gave a meaning and after contemplating the word or looking in to the context it gave another meaning. Some of the companions have adopted the first trend, so they used to stick to the outer meaning of the verses and Hadith. While some others tried to go in to the depth of the matter keeping the spirit of the Shariah and context in their view, and they used to issue orders accordingly. There is a famous account that once the Prophet (pbuh) ordered a group of the companions to offer the prayer of Asr in the locality of the Banu Quraizah. The companions went out and the time of Asr approached in the mid way. A group of the companions said that the Prophet meant that we reach quickly, so they offered Asr prayer in the mid way. While the rest, acting upon the outer meaning of the order, first reached to Banu Quraizah and they could only offer Asr prayer after Isha. When the Prophet (pbuh) was apprised of the incident, he objected none of the two.
When the Prophet (pbuh) left for his heavenly abode, the companions faced new issues about which there were no clear orders in the Glorious Quran and Hadith. So, the companions contemplated in to those matters in the light of the Quran and Hadith. As before, this contemplation was of two kinds and their opinions differed because of the difference in trends. The Tab’een (those who followed the companions) learnt the knowledge of Islam from the companions and thus theses trends shifted to them. The new issues and matters came up in abundance and they solved them according to their trends. Basically, it was this difference of trends which was associated with some other reasons that caused the formation variant jurisprudential interpretations. These Fiqhi scholars were in different cities of the Muslim rule and each had a circle of students and followers around him. Thus, their interpretations got the shape of a Fiqhi Maslak.
Logic of the Prevalent Fiqhi Schools
In the beginning, there were many Fiqhi schools and their followers. But as the time passed by, the followers of some schools, under various reasons, got lesser and lesser. All of their Fiqhi opinions and interpretative judgments were not compiled, and they became a part of the history. Only some of their opinions are found in few books and writings of the early authors. The other Fiqhi schools succeeded to win such scholars and jurists who compiled all the opinions and findings the particular school. They set up the rules and regulations and propagated them. Later, these Fiqhi schools enjoyed such scholars of Fiqh who transferred this asset to their successors and rendered a marvelous service to safeguard this treasure. These schools survived. In Ahlus Sunnah, there are Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali Fiqhi schools, while in the Shiites there are Ja’fariyah and Zaidiyah Fiqhs.
Translated and partly prepared by:
Mufti Obaidullah Qasmi, Maulana Afzal Qasmi, Mufti Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi
Imam Azam Abu Hanifa Mosque, Iraq
Introduction of Hanafi School of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence)
Fiqh Hanafi is the oldest of all four Sunni Fiqhi schools. The Fiqhi rules and matters were first compiled in this school. This school spread the most in the Islamic world and it was followed by a majority of the Muslims. This Fiqh is attributed to Imam Abu Hanifah and therefore is called Hanafi. It came in to being at Kufa and the compilation was carried out by collective research and interpretations. This Fiqh is originally based on the opinions, fatwas, judgments and thinking methods of the outstanding Companion Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mas’ood and fourth Caliph Hadhrat Ali bin Abu Talib. These opinions, fatwas, judgments and thinking methods reached Abu Hanifah by the channel of Hammad bin Abi Sulaiman, Hadhrat Ibrahim Nakh’ee and Hadhrat Alqamah. Imam Muhammad bin Hasan Shaibani, the renowned disciple of Imam Abu Hanifah, recorded the thousands of mas'alas (issues or cases) in to form of a book which were derived and compiled by a panel of forty ablest students and friends of Imam Abu Hanifah. Imam Abu Yusuf Ya’qub bin Ibrahim Ansari, the other student of Imam Abu Hanifah, played a prominent role in compiling and spreading Fiqh Hanafi.
Imam Abu Hanifah
The name of Imam Abu Hanifah is No’man bin Sabit Zooti. Abu Hanifah is his nickname. He was born in 80 Hijri in Kufa, a city of present day Iraq. As a profession, his family was cloth merchant and he also took in the same profession. A famous scholar of Kufa, Sha’bi apprehended his sharp-mindedness and sought him to achieve education. So, he joined the prominent circle of Hadhrat Hammad bin Abi Sulaiman and remained in his company till his demise. He benefited from all the scholars of Hadith in Kufa. He traveled Hijaz many a times and learned from the scholars and other educated ones. He benefited from Imam Malik in Medina and Imam Malik also benefited from him. He had so many teachers; among them are senior Tab’een (the successor of the companions of Prophet) from Makkah, Medina, Iraq and Syria. He himself was a Tab’ee, since he had the honour of visiting some companions of the Prophet (pbuh), though he did not narrate from them. After the demise of Hadhrat Hammad, all of his students agreed that Abu Hanifah, the youngest of them, is ablest among them to succeed their Shaikh. So they forced him to take over his position. This circle had the grand collection of the derivation method of Hadhrat Umar Farooq, traditions and fatwas of Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mas’ood, rulings and thoughts of Hadhrat Ali and the Hadiths and traditions of scholars of Hadith in Kufa. Imam Abu Hanifah was bestowed matchless mind, power of understanding and derivation, expansion and depth in knowledge. He had good moral characters and held a high position in fearing Allah, piety, righteousness and nobility. He was prosperous, so he used to spend wealth wholeheartedly in the path of Allah. He was famous in honesty in dealings and business. Because of these virtues, his circle of teaching earned fame far and wide and prominent scholars started to attend his classes where this generous teacher encouraged them and discussed the academic matters openly. He observed the Umayyad sultanate and witnessed its decline. The Abbasid caliphate was established before his eyes. Some Alvis also made armed efforts to gain power. Realizing them as able for the position, he extended oral and financial support to them. When the Abbasid caliphate was established the Caliph Mansoor offered him the post of Qazi, most probably, in order to test his loyalty to his government. He denied it and as a punishment was whipped lashes at public place and was put in to prison. He was then about seventy years old. He continued teaching while he was in prison and the punishment of whips also continued. Ultimately, he died in prison in 150 H in the month of Rajab and was buried in the graveyard of Khaizuran.
Method & Characteristics
The Fiqh of Imam Abu Hanifah bears this characteristic that it was collectively formulated. Hadhrat Umar Farooq populated the city of Kufa with keen interest and sent Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mas’ood as teacher and Qazi with this letter: “O people of Kufa! I prefer you on myself by sending Ibn Mas’ood.” So much of the companions turned to Kufa that it accommodated more than one thousand companions. Hadhrat Ali Murtuza, the fourth Caliph of Islam, made it his capital. Later, this city competed the cities of Makka and Medina in Hadith and Islamic sciences. This city was newly built, therefore the new coverts, who were from urban background and brought with them an asset of Greek and Persian sciences and philosophy, inhabited there in a big number. The mixing of Arabs with Iranian culture created countless many new problems and issues. On the other side, there came up so many sects due to political differences and amalgamation of religions and nations. Some of them were secretly involved in anti-Islamic efforts. One of these phenomena was to forge false Hadith. Every sect forged Hadith to support its view. The cities of Hijaz; Makka and Medina, were secure from such kinds of special cases to an extent.
Hadhrat Umar Farooq had a special relation with Iraq. He himself sent Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mas’ood to Kufa. Hadhrat Umar was given the title of Muhaddith from the Prophet (pbuh) i.e. 'his tongue and heart spoke according to the revelation'. There were several verses in the Glorious Quran which were revealed according to his opinion. Hadhrat Umar Farooq prevented the companions to go out of Medina in his time of caliphate. He formed two groups among the companions. He used to consult smaller group of the elder companions in special cases. And, whenever there happened to occur any important matter he used to assemble all of the companions for consultations. His style of derivation was that he used to deliberate in the depth of the Quran and Hadith, used to keep the objectives of Shariah and the interest of the Muslims before his eyes, observed the circumstances and used to reach a conclusion by collective decision. His interpretative judgments and Awwaliyaat (pioneering judgments) are well known, and they not only played a key role to enliven the Islamic Shariah in the wide Islamic caliphate but also provided a firm basis for his successors. This style of derivation was circulated in Kufa by Hadhrat Ali and Abdullah bin Mas’ood. Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood and his disciples, Alqamah and Ibrahim Nakh’ee, on one hand applied strict laws in accepting narrations so that no false Hadith is accepted. On the other hand, they avoided attributing Hadith directly to the Prophet (pbuh) and liked to narrate attributing to companions and Tab’eens lest an incorrect meaning is associated to the Prophet (pbuh). Thirdly, they applied their reasons and issued fatwas. These were the characteristics and styles that Imam Abu Hanifah inherited.
Collective Compilation of Fiqh
When Imam Abu Hanifah formed his penal to compile Fiqh he selected forty people from among his students. They were experts of Quranic exegesis, Hadith, Asmaur Rijal (complete record of the narrators), language, literature, logic, philosophy, analogy, history, mathematics and several other sciences. He himself had the experience of trade and marketing. He started this noble mission of compiling Fiqh. It was thus that a matter was presented before the panel and each member used to express his view, and he himself put his opinion. Sometimes, the discussion continued till a month on a single matter. When a decision was reached on he ordered to record it down. The matter was discussed in the light of Quran and Hadith. If they did not find any evidence in any of them, they turned to the sayings of the companions. Having failed they used to apply analogy. All the members also sometimes discussed analogy and some times discrete in legal matters. The conclusions of the discussion were written down in registers. Thus, the Mas'alas of Fiqh were compiled in a new order. This order was known as Fiqhi order; starting from chapter of prayers, dealings and ending at inheritance. It is said that thus 500,000 matters were compiled and 38000 matters of them were related to prayers.
Method of Derivation
Imam Abu Hanifah himself describes his method of derivation: "First of all I look in to the Noble Quran, then search the matter in the Hadith of the Prophet (pbuh) and take the narrations of the Faqeeh (jurist) narrators. If the matter is not found in the Quran and Hadith, then I turn to the sayings of the companions. If their opinions differ then I prefer any of them. If the opinions of the companions contradict the opinions of others I never go against the opinions of the companions. And, when it come to the opinions of Ibrahim Nakh’ee, Hasan Basari, Ibn Seereen, Saeed bin Musayyib and others then I also apply mind and interpret as they do.
After the collective compilation of the Fiqh matters, some companions of Imam Abu Hanifah wrote books. There is no book recorded on Fiqh by Imam Abu Hanifah. But, the books of his disciple Imam Muhammad Shaibani are considered to the first and foremost source of Hanafi Fiqh. In Fiqh Hanafi there are three types of books:
(1) Books of ‘Zahir Al-Riwayah’
(2) Books of ‘Nawadir’
(3) Fatawa and Waqi;aat.
The contents of Zahir Al-Riwayah are most trusted ones. Zahir Al-Riwayah is a collection of six books written by Imam Muhammad.
1. Al-Jame’ Al-Sageer: Eisa bin Aban and Muhammad bin Sama’ah narrated this book from Imam Muhammad. In this book, Imam Muhammad narrated from Imam Abu Hanifah through Imam Abu Yusuf. But, this book does not contain proofs.
2. Al-Jame’ Al-Kabeer: This book is like the previous one, but it deals with the subjects in details.
3. Ziyadaat: This is the complementary of Al-Jame’ Al-Kabeer.
4. Al-Mabsoot: This is also known as ‘Al-Asl’. In this book, Imam Muhammad has collected the thousands of Mas'alas that were derived by Imam Abu Hanifah. This book deals with Ahadith that is followed by Mas'alas and the variant opinions of the contemporary Ulama.
5. Al-Siyar Al-Sageer: This book deals with the subject of Jihad and international laws.
6. Al-Siyar Al-Kabeer: This is his last Fiqhi book that was narrated by Abu Sulaiman Jauzjani.
Muhammad bin Ahmad Marwazi, known as Hakim Shahid, amassed all of Imam Muhammad’s books with the name of ‘Al-Kafi’ after the deletion of repeated matters. Imam Sarkhasi has written its detailed commentary named as ‘Al-Mabsoot’.
Nawadir comprises the matters that are found in books other than the books of Imam Muhammad or in the books of Imam Abu Yusuf or Imam Hasan bin Ziyad. The collection of Nawadir consists of:
1. Harooniyaat: Imam Muhammad dictated it in the reign of Caliph Haroon Al-Rashid, this book is attributed to the Caliph.
2. Kisaniyaat: The narrations of his student Shoaib bin Sulaiman Kisani.
3. Ruqyaat: These are the matters that he expressed while he was Qazi in Ruqa area.
4. Kitabul Mujarrad: It is written by Hasan bin Ziyad.
5. Kitabul Amali: It is attributed to Imam Abu Yusuf.
Nawazil were the Mas'alas about which there was no mention in the aforementioned books and the succeeding scholars of Fiqh derived solutions keeping these books before them. Kitab Al-Nawazil of Abul Lais Samarqandi, Majmoo’un Nawazil wal Waqi’aat of Natifi and Al-Waqi’aat of Sadr Shahid are well known among scholars.
Translated and partly prepared by:
Mufti Obaidullah Qasmi, Maulana Afzal Qasmi, Mufti Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi
Introduction of Maliki School of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence)
Fiqh Maliki came in to being after the Fiqh Hanafi in historical order. This was a good mixture of Hadith and reason. It was founded in the city of the Prophet Medina and was called Maliki after the name of Imam Malik bin Anas. Medina was the holly city where each and every house was enlightened with the rays of the Prophet. The citizens of Medina had the honour to accompany the Prophet for a long time and they were directly addressed in the revelations and the matters of Shariah. When the Prophet (pbuh) left for his heavenly abode, there were a many companions who stayed at Medina. Specially, the environment of Madinah was resounding with the traditions, narrations and fatawa of Hadhrat Umar, Hadhrat Abdullah bin Umar, Hadhrat Aaishah, Hadhrat Zaid bin Sabit, Hadhrat Abu Hurairah and so on. The Fiqh Maliki is based on the traditions and opinions of these companions of the Prophet (pbuh).
Imam Malik bin Anas bin Malik bin Abu Aamir Asbahi was born in Medina in 93 Hijra. His father, uncle and grandfather were great scholars of Hadith. His great grandfatherAbu Aamir was a companion of the Prophet (pbuh) who embraced Islam in second year of Hijra and participated all the battles with the Messenger except Badr. The environment of Medina was resonating with the voices of Hadith when Imam Malik was born. The elder Tab’een and their students were busy in teaching and learning Hadith. Imam Malik obtained the knowledge of Hadith from senior Tab’een and their successors. First of all, he attended Abdur Rahman bin Hurmuz and benefited from him for a long period. From among his prominent teachers is Hadhrat Nafe’, (the freed slave of Hadhrat Abdullah bin Umar and his academic heir), Muhammad bin Shihab Zuhri, Imam Jaffar bin Sadiq, Muhammad bin Yahya Ansari etc. He gained the knowledge of Fiqh exclusively by Rabi’ah bin Abdur Rahman who is known as Rabi;atur Rai. Apart from these scholars of Hijaz, selected Ulama, Scholars of Hadith and sheikhs would come from every nook and corner of the Islamic world to Medina at the time of Hajj and there would hold circles and classes of learning and narration. Imam Malik benefited greatly from these occasions and attended the circles of great scholars. When he reached the scholarly position that, according to Sufyan bin Uyainah, the foretelling of the Prophet (pbuh) befitted him that ‘people will travel the world for knowledge and they will not find any scholar greater than that of Medina' and seventy other sheikhs certified that he became able to start his own circle, then he started his circle in the Mosque of the Prophet with a elegance that his circle was an ideal of staidness and sedateness. He would take bath and put on best of dresses, apply perfume and then would go to class. Scented woods and perfumes also were incensed occasionally. He used to give lectures with such an elegance that no noise was heard when the pages were turned. He would not tolerate even a petty improper movement or noise. When anyone posed him a question he used to answer him. Generally, his students used to read out and he would rectify the mistakes. His lectures were attended by many of his significant teachers as well.
Imam Malik was bestowed with special privileges. On one hand, he was a great Muhaddith and has a high and authentic chain of narration. Those who narrated from him were Rabi’atur Rai, Yahya bin Sa’eed and Musa bin Uqbah (from among his teachers), Imam Abu Hanifah, Sufyan Sauri, Lais bin Sa’d, Awza’ee, Imam Abu Yusuf etc (from among his coetaneous). Among his prominent students are Imam Shafi’i, Abdullah bin Mubarak, Imam Muhammad bin Hasan Shaibani and so on. His second characteristic was that he was a great scholar of Islamic Jurisprudence and Mujtahid (authority to interpret in Islamic matters). Outstanding Ulama and Imams of Fiqh have benefited from his Fiqhi views. The Caliphs Haroon Al-Rasheed, Abu Jaffar Mansoor and Mahdi and Mamoon also attended his lectures. In the beginning of Abbasid period he also had to pass through troubled conditions. In the reign of Caliph Mansoor, when Nafs Zakiyyah raised the claim of caliphate, Imam Malik supported him. Mansoor disliked it and tried to look for a pretext to catch him. Imam Malik was of the opinion that forced Bai'ah (pledge of allegiance) conditioned with divorce is unacceptable. The Governor of Mansoor in Medina asked him to avoid issuing such fatwas. When he did not stop he was so lashed at his naked arms that it was disjointed.
He stayed throughout of his life in Medina. He was so conscious about the honour of Prophet’s city that he did not even like to ride at places where the Prophet (pbuh) set his steps. He died in Medina in 179 Hijra and was buried in Jannat-ulBaqee, the famous graveyard of Medina.
Characteristics & Salient Features
Fiqh Maliki has acquired this prominence that it is a beautiful composite of narration and reason. Imam Malik, on one hand, was a great Muhaddith and has absorbed the Ahadith of the companions of Medina. He himself compiled the pioneering Hadith book named ‘Muwatta’. While, on the other hand, he is a torchbearer of Fiqh. He has recorded his Fiqhi views with the views and opinions of the companions and their successors. He derived Mas'alas keeping the commonweal and objective of Shariah in view. He gave commonweal so importance that it is counted one of the characteristics of Fiqh Maliki.
The Style of Derivation
Imam Malik obtained knowledge staying in Medina and there he started teaching. He benefited fully from the Ahadith and fatwas of companions in Medina and get enlightenment from them. He was well aware of the Ahadith of the companions of Medina and he used to trust them more. So this impression seems to overshadow Fiqh Maliki. The people of Medina witnessed the life of Prophet very closely and were directly trained by the Prophet. Hence, a general practice of people of Medina was very important to him and he used to consider their practice as Ijma (consensus). He gave it such importance that if Khabr-e-Wahid (narration of single person) contradicted their practice he would not trust the Hadith of the single narrator.
The style of his derivation was that first of all he looked in to the Quran, then in the traditions of the Prophet. In traditions he used to rely more on the scholars of Hadith from Hijaz and practice of Medina citizens. He preferred the fatwas and rulings of Hadhrat Umar and Hadhrat Abdullah bin Umar, then the fatwas of the other companions of Medina and then those of the seven Scholars of Fiqh in Medina. When he did not find any proof in Hadith he would turn to analogy. Also, he tried his level best to shut the door of evil sources. Instead of looking in the incident he would look in to the cause of the matter and prevent the causes that may lead to Haram or evil.
The first and foremost of Fiqh Maliki books is Muwatta of Imam Malik in which he collected Hadith with Fiqhi views. The second book is ‘Al-Mudawwnatul Kubra’ that contains matters that were answered by Imam Malik. First, his pupil Asad bin Furat recorded it from Abdur Rahman bin Qasim. But, Abdus Salam Saeed Sahnoon prepared a copy of it and presented it to bin Qasim who made corrections. This manuscript was known as Mudawwanah. Among the early books of Fiqh Maliki are ‘Al-Waziha’ of Abdul Malik bin Habib, ‘Utaibah’ of Muhammad bin Abu Bakr and ‘Muwaziyah’ of Muhammad bin Muwazi Misri. Among his promninent pupils are Abdullah bin Wahab, Abdur Rahman bin Qasim, Ashhab bin Abdul Aziz and Abdul Malik bin Majishoon.
Translated and partly prepared by:
Mufti Obaidullah Qasmi, Maulana Afzal Qasmi, Mufti Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi
Introduction of Shafi’i School of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence)
Fiqh Shafi’i is the third Fiqhi school of Islamic Jurisprudence attributed to Imam Shafi’i. Imam Shafi’i, on one hand, is a student of Imam Malik, he learnt the Fiqh Maliki and Hijazi thoughts from him. On the other hand, he attended Imam Muhammad bin Hasan Shaibani and learnt Fiqh Hanafi and Iraqi style of Fiqh. Apart from having acquired these two Fiqhs, he directly benefited from other Fiqhi trends and the Imams. So, he benefited from Umar bin Abu Salma, a disciple of Imam Awzai whose Fiqh was prevalent in Syria. In Egypt, the Fiqh of Imam Lais bin Sa’d was followed so he benefited from his disciple Yahya bin Hassaan. Thus, the Fiqh Shafi’i accumulated all the virtues of all known Fiqhi schools and trends. Being a towering Islamic Jurist, Imam Shafi’i was a great Muahddith. He had aquired the narrations of the Muhaddith of Makka Sufyan bin Uainah and the narrations of Muhaddith of Medina Imam Malik bin Anas. The Fiqh of Imam Shafi’i was founded at Makka. Then, passing from Medina, Iraq and Baghdad it arrived in Egypt. There it reached its peaks. As the Fiqh Hanafi is greatly impressed by the views of Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mas’ood and Hadhrat Ali and the Fiqh Maliki has heavily benefited from the opinions of Hadhrat Umar and Hadhrat Abdullah bin Umar, the Fiqh Shafi’i has drew inspiration from the views of Hadhrat Abdullah bin Abbas.
The name of Imam Shafi’i is Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Idrees. His family tree joins that of the Prophet at his ninth great-grandfather Muttalib bin Abd Munaf. He was a member of Quraish tribe. He was born in 150 Hijra in Gaza city of Palestine. This was not his native place but his father happened to visit that place and expired there. At the age of two, his mother took him to his ancestral home at Makka. He learnt the eloquence and nuance of Arabic language in the tribe of Huzail and memorized the Holy Quran. Then, he associated himself with Muslim bin Khalid Zanji, the Sheikh and Mufti of Haram, and completed his education. Then, he came in Medina to Imam Malik to learn the Quran and Hadith. He had already memorized the Muwatta of Imam Malik. Imam Malik was very impressed by him. Imam Shafi’i was not financially well so he looked for a source of income. Eventually he was given the governorship of Najran. He went Najran and discharged his duties with much honesty and trustworthiness. Haroon-ur-Rashid was then Caliph and he was disturbed on the account of Alvis’ uprisings. Somebody complained him that Imam Sha’ee tends to the Alvis. As a result, he was summoned to Baghdad and later discharged after clarification and some recommendations. Utilizing his presence in Iraq, he joined the circle of Imam Muhammad and learnt Hanafi Fiqh. He held discussions with Imam Muhammad and studied the books of Hanafi Fiqh. Then, he returned to Hijaz and stayed there for nine more years. In this span of time, he busied himself in learning and teaching. He used to meet the selected scholars of Islamic world who visited Makka at the time of Hajj. He would narrate from them as they narrate from him. Again, he visited Baghdad. Till this time his method of derivation and interpretation had been set up. So, many scholars joined him and he dictated some of his books to them. These opinions are called ‘Old Maslak’ or Iraqi Views. After about two years, he left Baghdad and till that time there came up a team of scholars who followed his Fiqh. Thrice, he returned to Baghdad and after a few months’ stay proceeded to Egypt. Here, he reviewed his previous opinions and in many matters he retracted and adopted new opinions. In Egypt, he authored his new books and with the power of his interpretations spread his school of Islamic Jurisprudence . Previously, the Maliki School of Fiqh was prevailing in Egypt, but with the advent of Imam Shafi’i his Fiqhi School dominated there. The new books he compiled in Egypt and the new ideas which he expressed there are called ‘New Maslak’. He died in Egypt in 204 H and was buried therein.
Characteristics & Distinguishing Qualities
Imam Shafi’i was luckiest among all the Imams that he was bestowed ‘comprehensiveness’. Due to stay in Hijaz. He gathered a pile of Ahadith and traditions. Makka was his native place; he attended Imam Malik in Medina. Then, he explored Iraq and Egypt. Thus, he became a great scholar of Hadith in his age. In the field of Fiqh, he learnt the derivation style of Hadhrat Abdullah bin Abbas in Makka and that of Hadhrat Umar and Abdullah bin Umar in Medina from Imam Malik. Then, in Iraq he learnt Hanafi Fqih from Imam Muhammad, in Syria he learnt the Fiqh of Imam Awza’ee and in Egypt the Fiqh of Imam Lais bin Sa’d. Besides, he was conferred with a tremendous power of imagination and accumulation and best of interpretative styles. So he absorbed the virtues of all the Fiqhi schools and avoided the positions that were not up to his standard. Till his age, the compilation of Hadith had begun and he himself had collected Ahadith exploring different cities. He observed that the other schools of Fiqh have applied analogy in matters about which Hadith is found so he extracted rulings according to Hadith. So, the tendency to support and defend Hadith overpowered him. The scholars of Fiqh in Iraq had conditioned that only the Ahadith will be accepted that are narrated by a number of people, and the scholars of Medina were of the opinion that only the Ahadith will be accepted that match the practice of Medina citizens. He opposed them and did not allow widening the area of analogy.
The Fiqh Shafi’i bear this characteristic that the founder of this Fiqh himself compiled a big part of his School. Thus, he recorded the rules and regulations and the derivation method of his Fiqhi School in the shape of a book. And, with his best power of interpretation he proved his methods and styles. The other distinct feature of this Fiqh is that the founder himself spread and publicized his Fiqh traveling in different cities. This was the reason that great Islamic scholars were among his followers and students. Great scholars of Hadith and compilers of Hadith books tended to this Fiqh and genius personalities of Islamic history followed it.
Imam Shafi’i himself authored the principle books of his Fiqh. His master piece of work is "Al-Umm' which he wrote in Baghdad and made some modifications while his stay in Egypt. His second famous book is 'Al-Risalah' that deals with the rules of derivation and inference. It is the first book on the subject. This book contains the complete compiled principles of Fiqh Shafi’i. There are some other books that are attributed to him but the aforementioned two books are well known. The other significant books on Fiqh Shafi’i are 'Mukhtasar' of Imam Buwaiti (student of Imam Shafi’i) and the book of Imam Muzani. Among his distinguished students are Rabi bin Sulaiman Muradi who narrated and propagated his books, Ismail bin Yahya Muzani whose books are considered base for Fiqh Shafi’i and Yusuf bin Yahya Buwaiti. The trios benefited from him in Egypt. His students in Iraq were Ibrahim bin Khalid Kalbi, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, Hasan bin Muhammad bin Sabbah bin Zafrani and Ahmad bin Yahya bin Abdul Aziz Baghdadi.
Imam Shafi’i has described his derivation method in his book 'Al-Umm' in detail. Concisely, it is that first of all he looked in to the Glorious Quran and took the outer meaning unless there is a proof that the outer meaning is not intended. Then, he would turn to Hadith. In Hadith, he used to take Khabr Wahid (traditions narrated by one to one person). Then, he would opt for Ijma (consensus) and finally he would go for analogy.
Translated and partly prepared by:
Mufti Obaidullah Qasmi, Maulana Afzal Qasmi, Mufti Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi
Introduction of Hanbali School of Fiqh
This is fourth Fiqhi school of Ahlus Sunnah attributed to Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal. Fiqh Hanbali falls in the last in historical order. The personality of Imam Ahmad is more Muhaddith than Faqeeh, therefore this aspect seems to dominate his Fiqh. Imam Shafi’i who accumulated all the Fiqhi trends and interpretations, was his main teacher. He paid most of his attention to Hadith. So he became a genius Muahddith and compiled the great encyclopedia of Hadith 'Al-Musnad'. Despite the fact that he was enjoying the virtues of Fiqh and Ijtehad, he did not like to compile his opinions and interpretations. But, it was destined that his Fiqhi School not only survived but also developed in the Islamic world as one of the dominant Fiqhi schools of Ahlus Sunnah. The Hanbali Fiqh was evolved and passed through all the stages of development in Iraq.
Imam Ahmad bin Hanbali
His name is Ahmad bin Hanbal bin Hilal Zuhli Shaibani. He was born in 164 H in Baghdad and grew up in orphan-hood. His father was a prominent soldier, but he died in Imam Ahmad's childhood. He was not financially strong, so he inherited hard work, determination and firmness against troubles. To begin with, he memorized the Glorious Quran. Then, he busied himself in learning in Baghdad and paid special attention to Haidth. He attended the famous Muhaddith of Baghdad Hushaim bin Bashir. Then, he started traveling from place to place in search of Hadith. He journeyed five times to Basra and five times to Hijaz. He learnt from Imam Shafi’i in Baghdad and acquired the knowledge of Fiqh and Hadith. When Imam Shafi’i was leaving Baghdad he said that Ahmad bin Hanbal has a leading position in seven things: Quran, Hadith, Fiqh, Linguistics, asceticism, dispense with the world and piety. Similarly, he learnt from Sufyan bn Uyainanh, Abu Bakr bin Ayyash, Waki bin Jarrah, Abdur Rahman bin Mahdi and Saeed bin Qattan. The historic incident of his life is the matter of 'Khalq-e-Quran' which he faced with determination and courage. The Caliph Mamoon asked him to believe that 'Quran is a creature of Allah' with so strictness that the most valorous people were shaken. But, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal demanded proof from the Quran and Hadith. He was given severest of punishments and put in trouble for a long period, but he stood firm. This incident was written with golden ink in the History of safeguarding the beliefs and faith of Muslims.
Characteristics & Important Features
Fiqh Hanbali owns some characteristics as other Fiqhi schools have special qualities. Though, Imam Ahmad was expert of Hadith and Fiqh, but Hadith was his favourite subject. Therefore, instead of compiling his Fiqhi views and fatwas he took interest in compiling Hadith. From his early age, he started compiling Hadith. His 'Musnad' consists of more than forty thousand traditions. His interest in Sunnah was so established that it dominated his school of Fiqh. So, he regarded the Holy Quran and Hadith as basic source and benefited from the fatwas of the companions. Then, he would refer to Weak and Mursal Ahadith (that were not directly narrated by the Prophet). Finally, he resorted to analogy.
The main characteristic of Fiqh Hanbali is that they, unlike other Fiqhi Schools, have regarded wisdom (Hikmat) more important than reason (Illat). They have utilized the rule of 'Isteshab' which means that the already proved matter will be maintained until there happens something contradictory. Then, they have the principles of 'public interest' and 'shutting down the door of evils'.
As mentioned above, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal did not like to compile his Fiqhi opinions and interpretative judgments. But, his able students, among whom are his two sons as well; Salih bin Ahmad and Abdullah bin Ahmad, who recoded it. The most brilliant among his students are Abu Bakr Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Hani, Ahmad bin Hajjaj Marwazi and Ishaq bin Ibrahim known as Ibn Rahwaih. The trios have authored 'Kitabus Sunan' in Fiqh. But, the credit of recording and compiling all the fatwas and views of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal goes to Abu Bak Khallal who compiled his fatwas in two hundred parts. This was later summarized by Abul Qasim Kahrqi and Abdul Aziz bin Jaffar Ghulam Khallal. The summary of Kharqi earned so popularity that three hundred commentaries were written on it, among which the 'Al-Mughni' of Ibn Qudamah stands out as most distinguished one.
Style of Derivation
Imam Ahmad's style of derivation was so that he used to put the Quran and Hadith foremost. Thereafter, he preferred the fatwas of the companions. Then, he would turn to Weak and Mursal Ahadith (that were not directly narrated by the Prophet). At last, he resorted to analogy. To him analogy was the last option in unavoidable circumstances. He used to state: I like Weak Hadith in comparison to applying reason.
Translated and partly prepared by:
Mufti Obaidullah Qasmi, Maulana Afzal Qasmi, Mufti Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi
Darul Uloom Deoband
By 'Allamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri
Translated by Zameelur Rahman
[Translator’s note: The following is the translation of an Arabic speech delivered by ‘Allamah Anwar Shah al-Kashmiri when Shaykh Rashid Rida visited Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband in 1912 CE. He explained the historical and intellectual background to the seminary and the school’s methodology in hadith-commentary.]
All praise to Allah and He suffices. Peace be upon His chosen bondsmen.
This humble servant offers the greeting of Islam before this esteemed audience. Allah – Exalted is He – preserve you. We have sensed from you signs of nobility and interest in our condition. We feel an Islamic uprising turning towards us and you, and indeed we are needier of you than you are of us.
These are my teachers, my elders and my treasures before Allah in my day and my morrow. They asked me to extend gratitude to you for your generosity and for honouring us by your blessed presence. May Allah reward you and us, and elevate your ranks in religion, the worldly life and the afterlife. O Allah, accept! From Him we seek assistance.
Mawlana! Our story is a mixed story, and one part leads to the memory of another part. These lands of ours are a long distance away from the lands of Islam like Iraq, Sham and Egypt, so the symbols of Islam here are weak and the lighthouses of knowledge are hidden, except what Allah wills and who He wills, and these are few.
This group of ours is a group walking along an ancient path, not a new one. Our chain in religion is connected to the great fountainhead, the luminous moon, the famous imam, the great Shaykh Waliullah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahim al-Faruqi al-Dahlawi. The condition of the shaykh is more manifest than needs mentioning, for his writings have spread to the east and the west. However, some of the conditions of the shaykh need verbal retelling as do events I have received from our mashayikh.
From the conditions of the shaykh was that he had initially excelled in the religious sciences and their principles under his father, the great scholar, the erudite Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahim. Then he travelled to the two Harams – Allah increase them in honour and nobility – and he benefited from their scholars and their jurists. He accompanied Shaykh Abu Tahir al-Kurdi in pursuing hadith and he exerted himself therein until he became accomplished in the subject. Shaykh Abu Tahir would say: “He learnt the words from us and we learnt the meaning from him.” He meant thereby clarification of the parts of hadith that require attention and specifying the intent of the lawgiver.
Then Shaykh Waliullah returned to his lands and he became occupied with amending what the people had corrupted from the Sunnah of the Noble Prophet – Allah bless him and grant him peace. Allah placed in his heart a light by which he could see the consequences of affairs, and he foresaw the coming of a battle between truth and falsehood, so he – Allah have mercy on him – began preparations to defend the religion. From that which he prepared for this [coming battle] is that he translated the Mighty Qur’an in the Persian language and he called it Fath al-Rahman. He shed it completely of Israelite accounts. By this he attempted to lay the foundations of Tawhid.
Then he commented on the Muwatta’ and he called it Al-Musawwa. [He commented on it] in the manner of the juristic scholars of hadith by verifying legal causes, selecting them and extracting them. By these are meant what is in the nomenclature of the scholars of Usul:
“Verifying a legal cause” (tahqiq al-manat) is that a ruling is issued from the lawgiver in a particular form, then that is established and is realised in all of the particulars of the type of that form. An example of this is evaluating the compensation for hunting [in the Haram during Hajj or ‘Umrah] so the price is recognised in a specific case. This is “verifying legal causes.” This is not analogy (qiyas), which is why the specific and the general are common to it, and it does not require ijtihad.
“Selecting a legal cause” (tanqih al-manat) is that a ruling is issued from the lawgiver in a form where different matters come together, and some of those things concur with the legal cause of that ruling and some of them have no bearing on it. So identifying the matter which is the legal cause is “selecting a legal cause.” An example of this is the hadith from Abu Hurayrah – Allah be pleased with him – he said: “A man came to the Prophet – Allah bless him and grant him peace – and said ‘I have perished!’ He said ‘What is your problem?’ He said: ‘I had intercourse with my wife during Ramadan.’ He said: ‘Can you free a slave?’ He said: ‘No’ He said: ‘Can you fast two consecutive months?’ He said: ‘No’ He said: ‘Can you feed sixty poor people?’ He said: ‘No’ – to the end of the hadith.” Abu Hanifah and Malik selected the legal cause of that ruling – the obligation of atonement (kaffarah) – as the act being a breaker of the fast, whether intercourse as in this scenario or eating and drinking intentionally. Thus, it being intercourse in this scenario is coincidental like all coincidents. Ahmad and Al-Shafi‘i opined that the legal cause was it being intercourse, so the ruling does not extend to eating and drinking. Another hadith is adduced as proof on the authority of Abu Hurayrah – Allah be pleased with him – he said: Allah’s Messenger – Allah bless him and grant him peace – said: “Whoever breaks the fast during a day of Ramadan without a dispensation offered by Allah, fasting a lifetime will not make up for it.” They understood it as eating and drinking intentionally and said “fasting a lifetime will not make up for it.”
“Extracting a legal cause” (takhrij al-manat) is that a ruling issued from the lawgiver in a form wherein a number of matters come together all of which are suited to be the legal cause, so the mujtahid selects a matter from those matters for the legal cause and makes that the legal cause. An example of it is the hadith prohibiting interest from the six things wherein a number of matters come together: quantity and type, foodstuff and price, and edibility and storability. Abu Hanifah opined that the legal cause of the ruling is the first quality [quantity and type], Al-Shafi‘i that it is the second [foodstuff and price], and Malik that it is the third [edibility and storability], in accordance with where their judgements led.
Hence, the difference between “selecting a legal cause” and “extracting it” is that in the first a number of matters come together which have no bearing on the legal cause, so the mujtahid selects the legal cause, and in the second a number of matters come together all of which are suited to be the legal cause, so the mujtahid prefers one of them to be the legal cause. “Selecting a legal cause” and “extracting it” are the tasks of a mujtahid, each of them rivalling the other.
Another example of this is the hadith: “The key to prayer is purification, its sanctification is glorification and its release is salutation.” The majority of the imams have opined that the wording of glorification [i.e. Allahu akbar] and the wording of salutation [i.e. al-salamu ‘alaykum] are integral, while Abu Hanifah extracted the legal cause from it as the first being any litany indicating glorification and the second being an exit [from prayer] by the [deliberate] action of the worshipper, and he opined that these two are obligatory (fard). However, the continuous practice of the Prophet – Allah bless him and grant him peace – has been established as the wording of glorification [i.e. Allahu akbar] and the wording of salutation [i.e. al-salamu ‘alaykum], so they ought to be obligatory (wajib), and Shaykh Ibn al-Humam has asserted that the wording of glorification is obligatory. The well-known opinion [in the Hanafi madhhab] is that it is an established practice (sunnah). In both of them [i.e. the wording of glorification and of salutation], a litany indicating glorification and an exit by the action of the worshipper are realised, like the realisation of a universal in a particular, so they ought to be obligatory (fard). There are many examples like this.
This is what Shaykh Waliullah attended to in the commentary of Al-Muwatta’. He also preferred therein a comprehensive jurisprudence. The shaykh also concluded in his book Al-Insaf fi Bayan Asbab al-Ikhtilaf and ‘Iqd al-Jid fi Masa’il al-Ijtihad wa al-Taqlid that the truth in the locus of ijtihad is multiple. He transmitted this from the four imams and preferred it. By “the locus of ijtihad” is meant where there is no [verse from] the Book or mass-transmitted Sunnah. So, the truth therein is multiple. Whenever there is a clear decider, that is not a “locus of ijtihad,” and the truth then is that which coincides with that clear decider, so whoever agrees with it has agreed with the truth and whoever opposes it has opposed the truth.
The shaykh – Allah Exalted is He have mercy on him – compiled many works on the system of legislation and true beliefs, which became a lamp and a standard for all who came after him. From them are: Hujjat Allah al-Balighah, Al-Budur al-Bazighah, Al-Tafhimat al-Ilahiyyah, Al-Khayr al-Kathir and others.
Then he was followed by his children and grandchildren. From his children were: the great shaykh, the perfect wellspring, Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, then Shaykh Rafi‘ al-Din, then Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir.
Then Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Aziz was succeeded by his grandson, the benefiter of the age and its transmitter famed in all regions, Shaykh Muhammad Ishaq, and his nephew, the reviver of the Sunnah, the magnificent scholar, Shaykh Muhammad Isma‘il. Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Aziz would recite: “Praise be to Allah, Who has given me in old age Isma‘il and Ishaq” (Qur’an, 14:39). Allah benefited these lands through them. Shaykh Muhammad Ishaq studied Prophetic hadith and took to travelling long distances [in search of knowledge]. Shaykh Muhammad Isma‘il wrote books on the difference between Sunnah and dark innovation, so he revived the Sunnah when it was made to die, and he died a martyr – Allah have mercy on him.
The shaykh of our mashayikh, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ghani studied under Shaykh Muhammad Ishaq. He became the pivot of transmission in his time, and he eventually migrated to the Pure City [i.e. Madinah] and became the transmitter of those lands and many people took from him there.
The sun of Islam and Muslims, the Gnostic, the hafiz, the verifier, Shaykh Muhammad Qasim al-Nanotwi, the founder of this glorious seminary, and the jurist, the hafiz, the mujtahid saint, Shaykh Rashid Ahmad studied under Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ghani. Shaykh Muhammad Qasim compiled books on the sciences and the realities and books in refutation of the opponents [of Islam] like the materialists, so Allah brought much benefit through him. I had composed these lines of poetry on his merit:
[The complete poem is not included in the transcript of the speech]
When truth became mixed with falsehood, many questions were presented to Shaykh Rashid Ahmad so he answered them soundly. He was a mujtahid jurist. So we adopted that [i.e. Shaykh Muhammad Qasim] as an imam in the principles (usul), and this [i.e. Shaykh Rashid Ahmad] as an imam in the peripherals (furu’). A purified and select knowledge was extracted for us from them.
Then when foreigners took power over these lands [i.e. the British ruled India], a war took place between truth and falsehood, and Shaykh Muhammad Qasim founded this glorious seminary, and Allah benefited thereby many. Allah reward him the best of rewards. The end goal of the seminary is study and understanding of hadith. He believed that the foundations were necessities [and not end goals], and necessities are limited to the degree of necessity; such that Shaykh Rashid Ahmad proscribed philosophy and removed it for some years [from the curriculum] of this seminary.
This is our chain.
The path of our mashayikh in hadith and the understanding of hadith is an exemplary, balanced path, between extremes. I mean by this that the four imams each have an additional principle; that is, that Imam Malik follows the example of the practice of the inhabitants of Madinah, rather he prefers it over marfu‘ hadiths; and Al-Shafi‘i adopts the most authentic [hadith] in every chapter; and Ahmad adopts the most authentic, the authentic, the good and the weak when the weakness is slight, and he allows this and that [i.e. he allows acting according to all the hadiths], and based on this principle he compiled his Musnad; and Abu Hanifah takes these categories of hadiths and construes all the hadiths [on a subject] according to a common understanding, which is why interpretations are common with the Hanafis, and criticisms of narrators are common with the Shafi‘is. Al-Shafi‘i was the first to reject proof using mursal hadiths except when it is supported [by connected hadiths].
The imam of this science, the erudite Imam al-Bukhari – Allah have mercy on him – adopted the principle of Malik and Al-Shafi‘i – Allah have mercy on them – and rode amongst them, so he produced the most authentic of what is in the chapter and added support from the practice of the predecessors, which is why he did not produce a single hadith contradicting another hadith in his book. Hence with regards to the eclipse prayer he did not produce [any hadiths] besides the hadith of two bowings, basing this on his principle. Muslim – Allah have mercy on him – relied on the trustworthiness of the narrators so he produced the hadith of three bowings and the hadith of four bowings and even the hadith of five bowings halted (mawquf) at the Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali – Allah be pleased with him. Hence, Al-Bukhari was selective and Muslim was principled.
Our mashayikh took a middle ground in the like of this. They did not adopt extremism or laxity, and they explain conflicting hadiths using explanations which nearly all listeners will accept. An example of this is the hadith of two qullahs [a volumetric unit of measurement], for it was narrated by Yazid ibn Harun and Kamil ibn Talhah and Hadiyyah ibn Khalid and Ibrahim ibn al-Hajjaj from Hammad ibn Salamah, and these are firm memorisers and trustworthy narrators, with the wording: “When the water reaches two qullahs or three it does not carry filth.” They said regarding this hadith that it is not a legal limit for he said “two qullahs or three” indicating variety, so it is an estimation and is [in reality] a reference to purity from the traces of filth from one side [of a container] to the other side, and this is the rule in the madhhab of Abu Hanifah and his two companions as stated by Shaykh Ibn al-Humam and Shaykh Ibn Nujaym. The hadiths conflicting the hadith of two qullahs are secured [by this explanation], like the hadith prohibiting urinating in stagnant water, and the hadith prohibiting inserting the hand in a vessel when having woken up from sleep, and the hadith commanding washing a vessel which was licked by a dog.
Another example of this is the hadiths of recitation behind the imam, for when they adduced as proof for omitting recitation behind the imam in prayer His – Exalted is He – statement: “When the Qur’an is recited listen to it attentively and be silent that you may receive mercy,” and his – Allah bless him and grant him peace – statement: “When he recites, be silent,” and the hadith: “Whoever has an imam, the imam’s recitation is his recitation,” they interpreted the hadith “Don’t do [this i.e. recite behind the imam] except with the mother of the Qur’an [i.e. Surah al-Fatihah], for indeed there is no prayer for one who has not read it.” This interpretation was because there is no authentic narration about the circumstance for the revelation of the verse, so the consideration is upon the generality of the wording. Also, Al-Bayhaqi narrated in Kitab al-Qira’ati Khalf al-Imam from Imam Ahmad that the ‘ulama are agreed that this verse is about recitation in prayer.
And the hadith, “When he recites, be silent” is an authentic hadith, authenticated by Ahmad ibn Hanbal, then his companion Abu Bakr al-Athram, then Muslim in the chapter of tashahhud from the hadith of Abu Musa al-Ash‘ari, and he referred to it in the hadith of Abu Hurayrah, then Ibn Khuzaymah authenticated it, and Hafiz Abu Ja‘far ibn Jarir al-Tabari, and Hafiz Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, and Hafiz Ibn Hazm al-Andalusi al-Zahiri, then Hafiz Zaki al-Din ‘Abd al-‘Azim al-Mundhiri, then the seal of the memorisers Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani in Fath al-Bari. This is from the perspective of the chain. As for the practice of the predecessors and the imams, multitudes of the Sahabah acted upon it, as did Malik, Ahmad and Abu Hanifah. When the narrators of a hadith are trustworthy, and then supported by the practice of the predecessors, that is undoubtedly authentic, not harmed by any disapproval nor affected by any criticism.
The hadith, “Whoever has an imam, the imam’s recitation is his recitation” was related by Shaykh Ibn al-Humam from the Musnad of Ahmad ibn Mani‘ (160 – 244 H) and he authenticated it, for its chain is according to the criterion of the two shaykhs [Al-Bukhari and Muslim], and we have not till now come across any defect in it. Its chain is: Ishaq ibn Yusuf al-Azraq reported to us: Sufyan and Sharik narrated to us from Musa ibn Abi ‘A’ishah from ‘Abd Allah ibn Shaddad from Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah he said: Allah’s Messenger – Allah bless him and grant him peace said – the hadith. It is supported by the mawquf hadith according to Al-Tirmidhi and the mursal according to others. Therefore, it is authentic. Thus, the explanation of the shaykh of our mashayikh Shaykh Rashid Ahmad of the hadith of ‘Ubadah through the route of Muhammad ibn Ishaq, the text of which is “Perhaps you recite behind your imam?” They said “Yes, O Messenger of Allah, we recite it quickly.” He said: “Don’t do [this]” – to the end of the hadith; he [i.e. Shaykh Rashid Ahmad] said this is proof of permissibility not proof of obligation. They would recite without a command from him – Allah bless him and grant him peace – which is why he asked “perhaps you recite behind your imam?” and when they said “yes” he said “don’t do [this] except the mother of the book” for it is a stipulated chapter from the rest of the Qur’an, apart from the chapters besides it. Hence, the Prophet – Allah bless him and grant him peace – justified its permissibility behind the imam its being stipulated from the chapters and there being no prayer without it. There being no prayer without it becomes manifest with respect to the imam and the individual worshipper (munfarid), and the effect of that is in terms of permissibility with respect to the follower (muqtadi). The issue of permissibility and undesirability is differed upon amongst the Hanafis, although they agree it is not obligatory.
They said in the issue of raising the hands and audible amin that raising and audibility have been authenticated from the Prophet – Allah bless him and grant him peace – and the Companions, and omitting raising and inaudibility have been authenticated, with an authentic chain for inaudibility in Abu Dawud, and omitting raising has been authenticated from the Commander of the Faithful ‘Umar and the Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali – Allah be pleased with them – and likewise inaudible amin has been authenticated from a group of the Companions and the pious predecessors. Hence, both matters ought to be sunnah, and only the matter of preference remains. This [being said], Allah gives accordance to what is right in the original abode and the return.
Our shaykh, the reliable proof, the transmitter of his age, Shaykh Mahmud al-Hasan – Allah benefit the Muslims by extending his life – studied under Shaykh Muhammad Qasim, and he is the shaykh of the seminary now, and upon him is the pivot of transmission in these lands. He follows the path of his mashayikh. Divine accordance helped him to reconcile between contradictions and to solve problems [in hadiths]. An example of this is what he said to me once that “The plurality of bowing in the eclipse prayer was established from the Prophet – Allah bless him and grant him peace – due to a circumstance specific to him, but he advised the community to make one bowing as he said, ‘Pray as the most recent prayer you prayed from the prescribed prayers.’” I revised the matter and I said, “The Shafi‘i masters consider the comparison to be for the number of cycles (rak‘at) not for one bowing” and he said that “This makes the self-evident (badihi) theoretical (nazari), for when the Prophet – Allah bless him and grant him peace – had prayed the eclipse prayer with multiple bowings himself before the eyes of the people and the heads of witnesses, were he to legislate multiple bowings for the community, why did he omit reference to what they witnessed and shifted it to comparison with the morning prayer? This is because the multiplicity of bowing was for a temporary reason, and he instructed the community with what is recognised in prayer.” Allah gives accordance and assistance. Our final call is that all praise belongs to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.
Nafhat al-’Anbar, p.72-81
An original Deoband.org article
Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani
Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani (born November 1956 at Jala, Darbhanga, Bihar) is the General Secretary of Islami Fiqh Academy, India and founder member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board. He is an eminent Islamic scholar with expertise in Islamic jurisprudence. With his deeper understanding of the Quran, Sunnah, Shariah and knowledge disciplines, Moulana guides the Muslim community on modern problems. He has inherited rich scholarly traditions from his family of reputed scholars, specifically his father Moulana Zainul Abidain and grandfather Moulana Abdul Ahad Jalavi. Due to his versatile and dynamic approach, Moulana is well known in media. He regularly delivers lectures and sermons in Hyderabad on current topics to guide the community.
Maulana Rahmani learned and practiced Islamic jurisprudence under the aegis of famous Islamic jurists like Moulana Minnatullah Rahmani and Moulana Mujahid-ul-Islam Qasmi. He also wrote more than 50 books on a wide range of topics and pioneered more than fifteen institutions of Islamic education, research and jurisprudence across the country. He has introduced specialization and super specialization in Islamic education, a pioneering work. He has attempted to introduce new disciplines in Madrasa education through adding practical affairs like Dawah and Media in the curriculum. His broad outlook, ability to provide solutions to the modern problems and represent Islam in media has made him popular in all sections and sects of the Muslim community in India.
His grandfather Moulana Abdul Ahad Jalavi was a renowned Islamic scholar and an apostle of Moulana Rasheed Ahmed Ganguhi, Shaikh-ul-Hind Mahmudul Hasan and Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi. His father Moulana Zainul Abidain, Islamic scholar and tabeeb, writer of the books Deen-e-Ibrahimi, Seerat-ul-Mustafa, Makarim-ul-Hadeeth. His paternal uncle Moulana Mujahidul Islam Qasmi was a renowned Islamic scholar, community leader and thinker, former President of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Founder of Islamic Fiqh Academy and All India Milli Council).
Positions held and Achievements
1. Quran ek ilhami ketab
2. 24 Ayaat (eterazat ka izala)
3. Fiqa al quran
4. Terjuma Quran–e majeed ma mukhtasar tawjihat (uncomp)
1. Asan usul Hadeeth
2. Ilm usul Hadeeth (under print)
3. Aasarussunan (uncomp..)
1. Qamusulfiqa (5 volumes)
2. Jadid fiqi masael
3. Ibadat aur jadid masael
4. Islam aur jadid maasherati masael
5. Islam aur jadid maashi masael
6. Islam aur jadid medical masael
7. Aasan usul fiqa
8. Tariq fiqa islami (under print)
9. Ketabulftawa (6 volumes)
10. Talaq w tafriq
11. Islam ke usul qaanun (under print)
12. Masjid ke shar ie masael
13. Muslamano aur gair muslmo ke taaluqat
14. Halal wo haram
15. Islam ka nzam usher wo zakat
16. Zakat fzael wo masael
17. Naye masael
Biography of Prophet SAW
1. Muqtasar sirat bin hasham
2. Qutbat Bengalor
3. Nuqoosh –e- Nabavi
Dawah & Tazkeer
1. Nuqoosh –e- Mouezat
2. Asre hazir ke samaji masael
3. Deeni va Asri taleem – Masael aur hal
4. Shama Farozan (I)
5. Shama Farozan (II) (under print)
1. Hayate Mujahid
1. Aasan osoole Hadeeth
2. Aasan osoole Fiq
3. Aasan Deeniyat
4. Islamiyat I, II (B.A Moulana Aazad Urdu University )
1. Haqayaq aur ghalat fahmiya
2. Rahe etedal
3. Muslim Persona law – ek Nazar me
4. Muravvija bidaat – Fuqaha-e – Islam ke Nazarme
5. Qadiyaniyat—Islam ke qilaf baghavat
6. Aurat –Islam ke sayeme
1. Safarname (under print)
His books and activities can be traced at: www.khalidrahmani.com
By: Salahuddin Qasmi*
There has been long debate between Muslims and Christians and even it still continues over Jesus Christ (Peace be upon him, (PBUH), his mission, his birth, his teachings and his so-called crucifixion. If the Bible itself be studied minutely, the fact will be known that the beliefs, teachings, rituals and tenets which Christians spread all over the world, contradict fully what Jesus Christ (PBUH) taught the people in the New Testament .Interestingly, Christians claim about themselves to be the followers of Jesus Christ and blame Muslims for not believing in him while in reality the Christians are far away from the real instructions and dogmas preached by Jesus Christ. In this article, we shall discuss who the real followers of Jesus are, Christians or Muslims.
All Muslims have the faith that Jesus was a Prophet and a Messenger of Allah Almighty. In this world, the purpose of his advent was to guide the strayed mankind toward the right path. He kept preaching the people and telling them for worshipping only One God, acting upon His commandments and being kind to one and all. On the other hand, Christians have put this belief aside and considered him as Son of God or God which is totally untrue.
It is the faith of Muslims that Jesus Christ was not sent by Allah Almighty to establish a new religion but to renew the religion brought by the prophet Moses (PBUH). He preached the mosaic teachings, acted upon them and ordered the people to do the same. Jesus Christ himself unveils this reality in a clear cut way.
"Do not think that I came to destroy the law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tilt will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled”. (Mathew, 5: 17-18)
See, how clearly Jesus Christ denies having come with a new religion but with the law introduced before and that is Mosaic Law. This statement of Jesus plainly makes the base of Christians null and void who have established a new religion after Jesus Christ. They, instead of founding the new religion, making up fabricated beliefs, and spreading the unsaid things of Jesus, should have stuck to the true teachings brought by Jesus.
When Jesus saw that no one even the Jew clerics seemed to carry out the Mosaic Laws, he apprising his disciples of the Jews' lack of interest and indolence in the Law, exhorted thus:
“The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but don’t do according to their works’ for they say and don’t do.” (Mathew 23,)
In those days, Scribes and Pharisees were two Jewish groups who used to explain the Law and were responsible for religious matters. This statement also reiterated that Jesus did try to carry out the Law, commanded his disciples for this too. In this view point, Christians are wrong to make separate religion from Judaism. Surely, they have derailed from the right track shown by Jesus Christ and that was to observe and follow the Law.
Muslims believe that there is only One God and Jesus Christ preached the same belief as well. There is plenty of places wherein Jesus Christ conveyed the message of Unity of God such as:
It is in Luke: “Why do you call me good? No one is Good but One, that is God.” (18: 19)
It is in Mark: “Hear, O; Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.” (12:29)
It is in Mathew: “Why do you call me good? No is good but one that is God” (19:17)
It is in John “And this is eternal life that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (17-03)
The Gospel is full of incidents which illustrate that Jesus was not a God but a God's slave who was unable to know happening occurring around him. Once, a woman touched Jesus' garments in a crowded place and he could not know who it was. So he said furiously who touched my clothes (Mark 05, 27 to 30). On a day, Jesus was feeling hungry like other human beings, he wanted to have something, he saw a fig tree in a far off place. On the expectation to eat fruits but unfortunately the tree had no fruit, he walke and cursed it. (Mark 11,12,13).
Once upon a time, the mother of Zebedees children with her sons with her sons and requested him to grant her sons sit, one on his right hand and the other one on the left, in your kingdom but he voices obviously his helplessness and says: “You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit on my right hand and on my left is not mine to give, but it shall be given to those for whom it is prepared by my Father” (Mathew, 20:20 to 23).
These quotations from the Gospel evidently nullify the doctrine of Christians that Jesus was a God. They have distorted the Gospel revealed to Jesus from Allah Almighty, altered the cherished message of Jesus Christ and misrepresented the Bible. Pitifully, they, in place of believing in Unity of God sermonized by Jesus and worshipping Him lone, regarded Jesus himself a God, adopted new ideology and groundless dogma befooling the people. Christian history itself tells that it was done with great conspiracy.
Muslims believe that Jesus Christ was not the son of God. he was a human being, a noble man, a rightful person, the son of Mary, and a salve of Allah Almighty. This very tenet is widely found in the Bible. The Holy Quran and the Bible state broadly the miracle birth of Jesus born to Mary. There are more than 55 places wherein Jesus has said about himself of being the son of Man rather than being a God. See in the Bible:
1. "For, the son of Man did not come to destroy men‘s lives but to save them." (Luke, 09, 56)
2. "Jesus as the son of Man did not come to be served but to serve" (Mathew, 20,28)
3. "Whoever confesses me before men, him the son of Man also will confess before the angels of God."(Luke, 12,08)
4. He (Jesus) asked his disciples saying, "Who do men say that I am the son of God?" (Mathew, 16,13)
On the contrary to this open fact, Christians proclaim that Jesus is the Son of God. It is exceedingly an unwise and irrational speech to declare that Jesus Christ is or was Son of God. It is nothing but a big trick which Christians play with their own Sacred Book i.e. the Bible. Any one studying the Gospel with calmness of mind will certainly come to know that Christians have nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus Christ. They do on their choice whatever they want. Their dogmas absolutely go against the teachings of Jesus. No where in the Gospel any saying of Jesus is found in support of the prevailing canons of Christians as namely some of their cannons or dogmas were annulled in light of the Gospel itself. Justly, it is Muslims who follow Jesus Christ, believe him to be Prophet, a slave of Allah Almighty, the son of Mary, having being risen up to the Sky. He will come down again on the earth before the Day of Judgment and will kill Anis-Christ (Dajjal) as a leader of Muslims. So the true followers of Jesus are Muslims not Christians.
Salahuddin Qasmi is a Research Fellow and Translator at Dept of Study of Christianity in Darul Uloom Deoband. He can be accessed at: email@example.com / +919759420836
by Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi*, Riyadh
One of the oldest places in District Moradabad, Sambhal, holds an important position in the historical Rohailkhand region for its academic and intellectual bountifulness. The great luminaries like Sheikh Hatim lit the light of intellectualism and Mullah Abdul Qadir Badayuni and Abul Fazl came here to acquire knowledge and wisdom.
There has been no dearth of people who sacrificed their lives for their country. During the 1857 upheavals when Prince Feroz Bakht came to Sambhal, Munshi Imamuddin who has been Deputy Mir Munshi during the reign of Akbar Shah II welcomed Prince Feroz Bakht with great passion and galore. Furious over this, the British hanged him in Moradabad and threw his body in lime kiln and confiscated his property which was later auctioned. His friend Maulana Ghulam Rasool Sambhli was also sentenced to death. Munshi Nooruddin, the grandson of Munshi Imamuddin also participated in Khilafat Movement. He was sent to jail when he was President of Meerut Congress. The rioters attacked his residence at Garhmukteshwar and killed him.
There is a long list of people in the history of Sambhal who confronted with British and posed great resistance with their historic acts of gallantry. Maulana Ismail Sambhli’s younger brother Abdul Qaiyyum, Lala Prem Pal, Qari Abdul Haq, Maulana Maqsood Turki, Chaudhary Riyasat Ali, Lala Chandulal, Lala Roop Kishor, Maulvi Noorul Hasan, Sheikh Abdul Raheem, Chetan Swaroop, Radhey Lal Poddar, Munshi Moinuddin, Maulvi Sultan Ahmad,Maulvi Abdul Waheed and Maulana Ismail Sambhli are prominent among such people.
In the context of Freedom Fighter Maulana Ismail Sambhli Welfare Society, a personal profile of Maulana Mohammad Ismail Sambhli and his national and community services is presented here to help the new generation get acquainted with his exemplary deeds so that his life remains to serve the people as path showing torch of enlightenment.
Maulana Ismail Sambhli belonged to the famous city of UP, Sambhal in district Moradabad. His correct date of birth is, even though, unknown however, to guess, he might have taken birth in 1899 at Mohallah Deepa Sarai. He belonged to the Sarwar Waley family of Turk community. His father, Munshi Kifayatullah was considered among the educated people of the area and was famous with the nickname ‘Munshiji’. His grandfather’s name was Sarwar Husain who was a native to village Mundha in J. P. Nagar. Later he shifted to Sambhal. His family surname, Sarwar Waley was due to his grandfather’s name.
He read the Holy Quran and received primary education HHe receat Madrasatul Mohammadia, Deepa Sarai and was admitted to class VI t continue further education in English against his mother’s wish. She wanted him to get Arabic education and finally her will prevailed. Meanwhile, his father passed away and he was sent to his elder brother at Bahawalpur where he had the honour to receive education from Maulana Farooq Ahmad, Sheikhul Hadees and Head, Jamia Usmania. Maulana Farooq Ahmad was the disciple of Shaikhul Hind Maulana Mahmoodul Hasan and relative of Maulana Mansoor Ansari who was put on exile on the pretext of abetting and participating in the freedom movement. He was extremely unhappy with British and a staunch supporter of freedom struggle. It was his company that helped instill a sense of nationalism in the heart of Maulana Ismail Sambhli and inspired him to participate in the freedom struggle.
After completing education at Bahawalpur, Maulana Ismail Sambhli returned back to his native place, Sambhal and continued with his education at Madrasa Sirajul Uloom. IN the meantime the barbaric incident of Jalianwala Bagh took place that put the whole of India on fire. A public strike was observed in Sambhal as well and a mass gathering f all communities was organized at the gardens of Gul Chhatar. Maulana Ismail Sambhli delivered a very inspiring lecture at the mass convention. Maulana was the youngest among all orators yet his oration impressed the public most and thus his national and political life began. Mualana gained popularity as Raeesul Muqarrareen (master orator).
When the British defeated Turkey, the resulting loss and the sense of defeat made the Muslims furious. On November 22, 1919 the Khilafat Committee was founded and the Jamiatul Ulema-e-Hind took birth in Delhi. The Khilafat Movement was pronounced through out the country. Just months after the sad demise of Sheikhul Hind Maulana Mahmoodul Hasan, Maulana Ismail Sambhli took admission in Darul Uloom Deoband where his nationalist ideas and concepts received firmness. He started partaking in the nationalist activities with much vigour and zeal and despite him being a student he was arrested on February 22, 1921 for his radical ideas and inflammatory speeches. After two – three days his case was heard at Moradabad Jail and he was sentenced to two years’ rigorous imprisonment. Then the political detainees were generally subject to extreme brutalities. Maulana and his companions borne all types of atrocities. They were put under penal servitude, were imprisoned in small cages and were compelled to sleep handcuffed. Precisely, they were put to all types of brutalities but did not tender apology despite the initiation on the part of the Collector. Finally, he was released after the term of his punishment was over. Back to home he concentrated on completing his education. He joined Madrasatul Sharã at Katra Moosa Khan, Mian Sarai where he received education in various arts with full concentration from Maulana Abdul Majeed, Maulana Kareem Bakhsh and Maulana Mohammad Ibrahim. He went to Darul Uloom Deoband again to gain certificates from Maulana Syed Anwar Shah Kashmiri, Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani and other teachers. After completing courses at Darul Ulloom Deoband he joined Jamia Qasmia Madrasa Shahi, Moradabad as a teacher in later 1924. The country’s condition had changed by the time, Khilafat had come to an end, there were communal disturbances through out the country and Congress had suspended its Civil Disobedience Movement. Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned for six years and radical organizations had started gaining prominence. The distinguished people too were feeling let down but Maulana Mohammad Ismail Sambhli’s feet did not staggered and he kept moving ahead with full confidence.
In 1930 a radical change took place. The Congress proclaimed complete freedom. On January 26, 1930 independence day was celebrated throughout the country. On March 13 Mahatma Gandhi commenced his famous Dandi March in violation of the laws of salt. A Civil Disobedience Movement was also commenced.
The government put the nationalist people to extreme brutalities. They were mercilessly beaten, shot by guns and imprisoned. The Jamiatul Ulema sense the need of the hour and vowed to support Congress in its Civil Disobedience Movement. It established a Daira-e-Harabia (Circle of War). Mufti Kifayatullah, Mualana Ahmad Saeed, Maulana Husain Ahmad and Maulana Mubarak Husain Sambhli were arrested one by one as the dictator of Jamiatul Ulema. Maulana Mohammad Ismail Sambhli was the seventh in this order to be arrested and was sentenced to six months’ rigorous imprisonment. He was initially put in the B class of Delhi Jail but was later transferred to Multan Jail. He was finally released after the completion of punishment.
After the announcement of Central Assembly elections in 1934 a Muslim Unity Board was constituted under the president ship of Raja Saleempur. The Board was entrusted with the responsibility of monitoring elections in United Provionce, Centralk Province and Bihar and Madras provinces. Shahjahanpur and Bijnor seats witnessed close fight between Sir Yaqub and Mr. Kareemur Raza Khan who was Board’s candidate. The Unity Board Incharge of Moradabad Board was Maulana Mohammad Ismail Sambhli. He participated in the elections very actively and the Board candidate won the election. It was in fact the success of Jamiatul Ulema and Maulana Ismail Sambhli and it added to his personal influence immensely.
When the time came for Provincial Assembly elections, the Muslim League Parliamentary Board came to existence. On behalf of Maulana Ahmad Saeed, Nazim of Jamiatul Ulema Mohammad Ali Jinnah was given the right to nominate members to the parliamentary board. Mr. Jinnah nominated 22 members from 56 out of which 20 were of Jamiatul Ulema and two of Ahrar. The Provincial Boards were under the control of Central Board. Maulana Ismail Sambhli was admitted to UP Board. He was also declare candidate from Sambhal of Moradabad and Tehsil Bilari constituencies. Those days the land lords, nawabs, kings and English title holders enjoyed great immunity and British supported people were considered prominent in the society. The nationalists participated in the election to defeat the pro-British candidates. The eminent personality of Sambhal, Nawab Ashiq Husain Khan was given ticket against Maulana Mohammad Ismail Sambhli. Nawab Ashiq, being chairman of Sambhal Board for twenty years and special magistrate for almost same period, was a respectable man and used to render a tax of rupees ten thousand per annum to the government . He also enjoyed an influence over the electorate yet he was miserably defeated in the election. Maulana Ismail Sambhli’s success was historic and this provided as a great boost to the nationalists. At other places the candidates of Muslim League won but after elections Mr. Jinnah tried to included the members of pro-government parties in Muslim League while they had been against the League. Some of them were of ill character. However Mr. Jinnah succeeded in getting the resolution of the admission of these members in Lucknow session and did not give ear to the objections raised by other members. Mr. Zaheeruddin Farroqui and others tried to object and said that we should consider the fact that Jamiat has helped the League and it is lenient towards Congress but Mr. Jinnah out rightly silenced them saying that these people had been admitted in the Board and Jamiat or Ahrar had no right to against the principle. Hearing these words, Maulana Ismail Sambhli rose in his seat and with an exemplary confidence said that we joined hands with you for the election purpose and not because we had left our beliefs, principles and objectives. We have the right to follow our own resolution. The full text of Maulana Ismail Sambhli’s speech has been reproduced by Maulana Husain Ahmad Madni in his book. Mr. Jinnah admitted all those people in the League who had been against the freedom of the country and were loyal to British. Maulana Ismail Sambhli and his likeminded colleagues who were a Congress and Jamiat sympathizer formally joined the Congress.
In 1939, the war in Europe started and the Indian government without taking the members in confidence sent the Indian army to war. The Congress opposed the move and boycotted the Assembly. It convened its session at Ramgarh on March 20-21, 1940 under the president ship of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. The Civil Disobedience Movement was pronounced in the session and finally in the last of 1940 the non-violent civil disobedience movement commenced. A programme was chalked out for individual speeches. Maulana Ismail Sambhli was arrested in Moradabad during the movement and was sentenced for nine months’ imprisonment. In August 1942, Congress gave the famous ‘Leave India’ slogan. Mahatma Gandhi was arrested and sent to Sabarmati Jail. There were arrests every where in the country. Maulana Ismail Sambhli was again arrested in Sambhal and was put under house arrest at Moradabad Jail for indefinite period. Later he was released after one year.
In 1946, when the elections were declared, the tussle between Congress and Muslim League was at the height. Muslim League carried venomous but impressive slogans. Supporting the Congress was a daring step and Mualana Ismail Sambhli dared to fight against Muslim League. Initially he was declared defeated due to the cheatings but after the election petition on the part of Maulana, he was declared elected without any fight in the re-election. He remained MLA till 1952 and had to leave the teaching at Madrasa Shahi Moradabad in 1946 due to his preoccupation.
Maulana Ismail Sambhli did not participate in the 1952 elections and stationed at Delhi as the Nazim-e-Ala of Jamiatul Ulema. He served Jamiat for four years and remained busy in social and political affairs. In 1957 he resigned from Jamiat and returned to Sambhal. On the order of his spiritual master Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani and requests of administrators of Madrasa Chilla he accepted to serve it as Sheikhul Hadees.
In 1962, he was appointed as Sheikhul Hadees at Madrasa Imdadia, Moradaba and served there for about three years. Later on repeated requests he joined Madrasa Taleemul Islam, Anand, Gujarat and remained there for eight years as Sheikhul Hadees teaching Bukhari and Muslim. In 1974, he shunned the idea of service and returned back to Sambhal and engaged himself in the literary work only to complete the half hatched books. “Maqalat-e-Tasawwuf”, “Akhbarul Tanzeel” (the Quranic prophesies) and “Taquleed-e-Aimma” are some important books authored by him. Meanwhile he went to Mawana, Meerut on the request of people and stayed there for about eight months. He taught Quran’s translation and analysis at Mawana. In his last age, he spent a few Ramadhan months in Bombay delivering lectures on the translation and analysis of Quran every night after Taraweeh. He fell sick in the last Ramadhan of his life yet he, disregarding the opposition of family members, went to Bombay on the request of people. Everyday after Iftar he used to take injection to be able to deliver the lecture after Taraweek and the whole Ramadhan passed this way. After returning to Sambhal he succumbed to the weakness and was admitted to the Moradabad government hospital. People of all faith, belief, opinion and social and political association came in flocks to see him at the hospital. Several teams of doctors was attending him. The former health minister Mr. Daudayal Khanna along with is companions and the CMO came to see him but nothing could help and his condition kept deteriorating. He insisted family members to take him home. The unconsciousness had engulfed him. He was given the oxygen aid and life saving injections to take him live to Sambhal by an ambulance. He was under deep unconsciousness on the way to Sambhal when he suddenly raised his right hand towards the sky and recited the Kalma loudly in the same typical manner as was seen in his speeches. After one hour from arriving home, he bid last farewell to the world at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, the 23rd November 1975 after one and half months’ prolonged illness.
*Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi is based in Riyadh and can be accessed at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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- Tablighi Jamat and Darul Uloom