Imam Zayn-al-Dīn al-Irāqī [d. 1404 CE] – There Is No Sufficient Justification For a Fabrication.

Hadith, Uncategorised

Imam Zayn-al-Dīn al-Irāqī [d. 1404 CE] – “Mu’ammal [ibn Isma’il] said, ‘a shaykh informed me of a hadith – (that spoke of specific virtues effectuated by reading specific chapters of the Qur’an) – I asked the shaykh, ‘who informed you [of this]?’ he replied, ‘a man in al-Mada’in,’ he was still alive, and so I then travelled to him and asked, ‘who conveyed [this hadith] to you?’ he replied, ‘a man in Wasit.’ I travelled to him, and he told me, ‘I received this narration from a man in Basra.’ I then travelled to him, and he told me he received the narration from a man living in Abadān. I travelled to him, and he took me by my hand and lead me into a house, therein I found nestled a group of Sufis with their Shaykh. The man I met in Abadān told me, ‘This shaykh related the hadith to me.’ I then asked their Shaykh, ‘Ya Shaykh, and who informed you?’ He replied, “No one. However we saw that people sought after other than the Qur’an and so we made (fabricated) this narration to turn their hearts back to the Qur’an!”

→ Sharh Muqaddimah Ibn Salāh – 1/547 | Zayn al-Dīn al-Irāqī [d. 1404 CE] | [Edition: al-Khayāt]

Imam al-Shawkāni [D. 1834 CE] – About Muhmmad ibn ‘Abd al-WahhĀb [d. 1791 CE]

Biographies, Uncategorised

Imam al-Shawkāni [d. 1834 CE]: “In the year (1215 AH), we received two amicable publications from the leader of Najd [‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn Muhammad ibn Sa’ud] addressed to the court of our Imam [al-Mansur ibn ‘Ali]. One of the volumes contained the treatises of Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab, all of which stressed the importance of sincerity in Tawhid and escaping shirk (in all its forms), but specifically the prevalent form of shirk practised by those invested in grave-worship. They are remarkable letters; full of proofs from the Qur’an and Sunnah. The other volume included responses to rulings issued by a group of incapable jurists in Sana’a and Sa’dah in matters that concerned fundamental beliefs and personalities among the Sahabah – the one responding to these rulings (issued by the incapable jurists) composed a definitive response that reflected his understanding of the Qur’an and Sunnah. A response which completely dismantled what the incapable jurists had built, and disproved what they wrote, because the incapable jurists were impassioned (overzealous), and thus what they produced led to their humiliation and the consequent humiliation [of their likes] in the people of Sana’a and Sa’dah. This is what is expected to become of a people who publish and dispatch such letters while misjudging their abilities. A letter personally addressed to the Imam (al-Mansur ibn ‘Ali), from the leader of Najd, also complemented the aforementioned volumes, and the Imam delegated the responsibility of responding to me. The Imam reflected a remark to the effect that he knew not the group that initially sent the letters out (the incapable jurists), and that their sullen speech only proves they are uneducated (stupid).”

→ “al-Badr al-Ṭāli'” – 2/7 | Imam al-Shawkāni [d. 1834 CE] | [Publisher: Dār al-Kitab al-Islāmi] | Translated by: Abu Dawūd al-Ḥushayshi

Continuation of excerpt:

111

 

Imam al-Shāwkani [d. 1834 CE] – The Standard Used To Distinguish Right from Wrong.

Misc

“Truth is not demarcated by men; it is men that are defined through truth. None from the scholars and leaders are infallible, and one not infallible is prone to err just as he is liable to be right. Correct in some matters and mistaken in others. His being right is not discerned from his mistakes except through referencing the Qur’an and the Sunnah. A correct view if it is in agreement [with the authoritative sources]; incorrect if it fails to agree. There is no disagreement on this standard between Muslims, from those who preceded them and their successors, from their foremost and those after them, from their seniors… [all in agreement upon this principle].” – Imam al-Shawkāni [d. 1834 CE]

→ Sharh al-Sudur fi-Tahrim Raf’ al-Qubur – Pg. 11 | Imam al-Shawkāni [d. 1834 CE] | [Publisher: al-Ri’asat al-‘Amah l-il buhuth al-‘Ilmiyyah wa’l Ifta’; 1432 AH]

The Stigma of the Mubtadi’ – How do we treat those who spread Bid’ah?

Manners

While “Sunnah” linguistically means “Path”, Bid’ah can relatively be defined as a diversion from the path. Though Bid’ah, in the technical [shar’i] sense, is an action introduced into the religion which has no general or specific basis for it – a supposed act of drawing nearer to Allaah ﷻ which has no basis in the Shari’ah.

Imam as-Suyuti [d. 1505 CE]: “Bid’ah is a term that describes an action that clashes and conflicts with [what is established] in the Shar’iah, and engaging in the action obligates [unsanctioned] additions or deductions – and the Salaf abhorred bid’ah, and would keep away from [all forms] of Bid’ah”. ~ [“al-Amr bi’l-Itbaa'” – 1/24 | Imam as-Suyuti]

Imam al-Baghawi [d. 1122 CE]: “The Sahabah, The Tabi’een, their followers, and those who came after them from the compilers of the Sunan, with one accord, unanimously agreed upon opposing and repugning the people of Bid’ah, and forsaking them.” ~ [“Sharh as-Sunnah” 1/227 | Imam al-Baghawi]

Imam ash-Shatibi [d. 1388 CE]: “The Saved Sect, and they are the ‘Ahlul-Sunnah’, are ordered to oppose and rebut the people of Bid’ah, expel them [from their circles], making an example of those who incline towards Bid’ah [to deter others], and we are ordered to oppose them just as they are ordered to align themselves with us [Ahlul-Sunnah] by returning to the Jama’ah.” ~ [“al-Isabah” – 1/120 | Imam ash-Shatibi]

Imam Abu ‘Uthman al-Sabuni [d. 1057 CE]: “…[and the people of Sunnah] hate the people of Bid’ah who introduce into the religion what was never from it, and they do not love them, and they do not accompany them.” ~ [“‘Aqidat-ul-Salaf Ashab-ul-Hadith” – 1/118 | Imam Abu ‘Uthman al-Sabuni]

Ayyūb Al-Sakhtiyānī [d. 748 CE] was once asked to help wash a body before a Janazah, and when the face of the man was uncovered, he recognised him and refused to help, saying: “Come attend to your man. I will not wash him. I used to see him accompany a man of Bid’ah.” ~ [“al-Ibaanah” – 2/467 | Ibn Battah]

Shaykh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah [d. 1328]: “The testimony of one who calls to Bid’ah is not accepted, no one is to pray behind them, and knowledge is not taken from them, and no one is to marry them. This is a punishment for them until they cease [their call to] Bid’ah. And thus, they [the Salaf] would differentiate between the one who calls to Bid’ah and the one who does not call to Bid’ah. The caller to Bid’ah publicises evil, and is deserving of the punishment, unlike the one who conceals his Bid’ah, for this individual [who conceals] is not worse than the hypocrites whom the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ would accept their publicised impressions, while leaving their hidden deeds to Allaah. Concerning these individuals is what is reported in the narrations: ‘If the sin is concealed, then it harms no one except the sinner, and if the sin is publicised and not condemned, then its harms are collective.’ and the report: ‘if the people see an evil but do not change it, perhaps Allaah ﷻ would collectively punish them.'” ~ [“Majmu’ Fataawah Shaykh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah” – 28/205]

Ibrahim Ibn Maysarah [d. 749 CE] – “Whoever honours a Man of Bid’ah has aided in the destruction of Islam.” ~ [“Shu’ab al-Imaan” | Imam al-Bayhaqi] (Imam al-Albani: Da’eef) — but it is an interesting narration.

When ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar [d. 693 CE] was informed of ‘the Qadariyyah’ [a heterodoxical group], he said: “Tell them I am free from them, and that they are free from me.” ~ [“Sharh as-Sunnah” 1/227 | Imam al-Baghawi]

Salaam ibn Abi Mutee’ said a man from the people of Ahwaa’ [those who engage in Bid’ah and follow their whims] asked Ayyūb Al-Sakhtiyānī [d. 748 CE], “I would like to ask you about a word.” Ayyub refused, saying, “Not even half a word.” ~ [“Sharh as-Sunnah” 1/227 | Imam al-Baghawi]

Asma’, the grandmother of Sa’eed ibn ‘Aamir, said: “Two men from the People of Ahwaa’ entered upon Muhammad ibn Sireen [d. 728 CE], and said: ‘We would like to relate a hadith to you’ — he replied, ‘No.’ They then said, ‘Then let us recite to you a verse from the Book of Allaah’ — he replied, “Either you leave or I leave.”

However, we have to be fair and just in our dealings. Allaah ﷻ said: “O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.” [The Qur’an – 5/8]

Ibn Abi’l ‘Izz al-Hanafi “Love and hatred appropriately corresponds to the level of good and evil traits existing within the person, for an individual may embody certain traits that evoke accordance or evoke opposition, [or causes] for love and hatred, where they are loved from one perspective and hated from another. Judgement is in favour of the side that overcomes.” ~ [“Sharh ‘Aqidatul Tahawiyyah” 1/434 | Ibn Abi’l ‘Izz al-Hanafi]

Shaykh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah [d. 1328]: “If within one man exists good and evil; wickedness, obedience, and sinfulness; Sunnah and Bid’ah; then they are rightfully dealt with accordance that corresponds to their level of good, and they are dealt opposition that corresponds to their level of evil. Joined, within one individual, what obligates honour and dishonour, like a poor thief: whose hand is cut for theft, but is accorded an amount from the treasury what fulfils his needs. This is the principle that the People of Sunnah, the Jama’ah, have agreed upon.” ~ [“Majmu’ Fataawah Shaykh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah” – 28/209]

Allahu’l Musta’an. No human enterprise is free from error, and perhaps I may have erred in my translations. May Allaah forgive my shortcomings. I would normally include a screenshot of the excerpt, but I suppose you understand how impractical that would be given the nature of the document.

Translated by: Abu Dawūd [Mustafa b. Saalih] al-Ḥushayshi

Imam al-Albāni [d. 1999 CE] – Affirmation Of The Authenticity Of The Narration Is Not Limited To It Being Reported Within The Work Of A Known Scholar. Verification Of The Isnād Is Imperative.

Hadith

Imam al-Albāni [d. 1999 CE] – “This is the method employed by our scholars who are proficient in the science of Ḥadith. That they report the narrations with the corresponding Isnād [chain of narrators] so that one may determine the authenticity of the narration, and thus, discern the Saḥiḥ narration from the Da’eef, by utilising knowledge of Istilāh and the biographies of the narrators [mentioned in the chains].”

“This [knowledge of hadith] is the only verifiable means for a scholar to substantiate what the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said from what he ﷺ did not say. And since the vast majority, except for a few, do not know [of the intricacies of this subject] – and from them [who do know] are those who are not adept in their utilisation of these means [of verifying and determining] and benefiting from it to discern [the ruling] – it, without a doubt, impelled those who are proficient in this subject [the scholars] to clarify to the laymen, thereby sincerely advising them in their religious affairs.”

Haith.jpg

“[one practice that] does not suffice – [is] a practice that you find many a commentator and editor [who do takhrij of ḥadith, and relate their findings in the footnotes], both classical and contemporary, fall prey to – except whom Allaah ﷻ protected [from this particular insufficient practice] – and that is to simply suffice with statements like: “Imam so and so related it from the hadith of so and so” [in the footnotes], without clarifying the condition of the Isnād, and perhaps from the narrators mentioned in the Isnād are those who are weakened, and those who are rejected, and liars and fabricators. This type of inadequate takhrij [citation of a hadith] does not benefit the layman.”

NCEEDS.jpg

“Rather, it will only mistakenly cause them to infer that the ḥadith is authentic, because – in their ignorance – they will surmise the ḥadith is saḥiḥ simply because [the commentator] cites that it was reportedly related by “Imam at-Tabarāni”, for instance, and this will lead the layman reader to presume that this sufficiently proves the ḥadith is saḥiḥ.”

[note: Imam at-Tabarāni compiled a compendium of aḥadith in which he relates the narrations he encountered for future citations and revision; he did not simply include the narrations he ascertained were authentic.]

“[and the report cited from the work of Imam at-Tabarāni] could very well include a liar or a fabricator in the Isnād, and this report could simply be of benefit to those who specialise in this field [not the layman], those who rely on takhrij and return to the cited reference and study the corresponding Isnād of the ḥadith. But the citations [at the bottom of the page] are not placed there for these specialists, rather they are for the layman. It is for this reason – through the blessing and favour of Allaah ﷻ alone – that, in all my works, I clarify the condition of the Isnād; the authentic and saḥiḥ from that which is not saḥiḥ, because I believe concealing this is not permissible.”

→ “Kitāb al-Imaan” – Pg. 6 – 7 | Imam Ibn Abi Shaybah (d. 235 AH) [Editor: Imam al-Albāni] | [Published: al-Maktab al-Islami; 1983 CE] | Translated by: Abu Dawūd [Mustafa b. Saalih] al-Ḥushayshi

Abu Bakr at-Ṭurtushi al-Andalusi [d. 520 AH] warning the Fatimid vizier, al-Afḍal b. Badr al-Jamālī.

Biographies

Andalusian Scholar, Abu Bakr at-Ṭurtushi [d. 520 AH], entered the court of the Fatimid vizier, al-Afḍal b. Badr al-Jamālī, and said: “This position you find yourself in was only granted to you because of the death of another before you, and this fleeting position is bound to leave you as it has come to you. So fear Allaah ﷻ in [how you use this] position accorded to you among this nation, and know that Allaah ﷻ will ask you about every date-seed and wick [in your domain]. Open the door [for appeals], and loosen the barrier, and aid the oppressed.”

→ “Nafḥ at-Ṭeeb Ġhusn al-Andalus ar-Raṭeeb” – 2/87 | al-Maqqarī al-Tilimsāni al-Ash’ari [d. 1632 CE] | Abu Dawūd [Mustafa b. Saalih] al-Ḥushayshi

at-Ṭurtushi strongly opposed the Ismaili ideology of the Fatimids. al-Afḍal loathed him.

al-Ḥussayn b. Muhammad al-Maghribī [d. 1119 AH] – “The technical definition of Shukr [شكر] is for a worshipper to utilise everything they were granted in accordance with the intended purpose they were conferred [worshipping Allaah ﷻ alone].”

Aqidah

al-Ḥussayn b. Muhammad al-Maghribī [d. 1119 AH] – “The technical definition of Shukr [شكر] is for a worshipper to utilise everything they were granted in accordance with the intended purpose they were conferred [worshipping Allaah ﷻ alone]. [For the sake of brevity] – “One drawing nearer to [Allaah ﷻ], through the blessings conferred upon them in this dunya, by utilising all the blessings in a manner that pleases Him.” [2/2]

→ al-Badr at-Tamām Sharḥ Bulugh al-Marām – 1/9 | al-Hussayn b. Muhammad al-Maghribī |  Translated by: Abu Dawūd [Mustafa b. Saalih] al-Ḥushayshi

[Bible Study] | The Birth of Jesus: The Nativity Narrative – Bethlehem or Nazareth?

Christianity

Bethlehem of Judea, where Jesus was born. Or perhaps not. We learn of these events within the canonical books of the Christian ‘New Testament’, implausibly credited with authorship by early followers of Jesus called Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

These Gospels are biographical works on Jesus; written not less than half a century after his departure. They are collectively called the Gospels, the etymological root of the word being “good news” in Greek.

Yet, this care to find a special name for the four books reflects their peculiar nature. Biographical works were not so rare in the ancient world and the Canonical Gospels do have many features in common with non-Christian examples. The Gospels are an unusually duff variety of biography, in their relation of events, in which ordinary people reflect on their experience of Jesus, where it is often the miskeen, the ill-educated, and the louche who lead the narrative and whose account with Jesus are often vividly described.

It is important to note that the book of good news is not the same as straightforward and structured reported news.

This nativity narrative is commemorated through an annual rendition of the events, which would obviously suggest to a layman that the details enshrouded in this celebration of the ‘nativity’ are reliable and authentic. Hence why laymen Christians are so accepting of the plot, without even consulting the account in their scripture, and are disposed to accept the portrayal as an incontrovertible accurate retelling.

Only two out of four Gospels, Matthew and Luke, have narratives of this birth in Bethlehem at the end of the reign of King Herod the Great [73 – 4 BCE], and outside those narratives, there is much to direct the alert reader to a contrary story.

John’s Gospel is most explicit when it records arguments among people in Jerusalem, once Jesus had grown up and his teaching was making a stir; some sceptics pointed out that Jesus came from the northern district of Galilee, whereas the prophet they were told to expect, foretold by Micah, would come from Bethlehem in Judea, in the South.

Jessuuuss

Notice the assertion by the people that he was a Prophet.

Noiiceee.JPG

“Ephrath” is a description for members of the Israelite tribe of Judah, as well as the possible founders of Bethlehem.

The other three Gospels – even the Gospels with narrations about the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem – repeatedly refer to Jesus as coming from Galilee, or more precisely from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. In fact, outside the text of the two birth narratives, the Gospels do not refer to Jesus being born in Bethlehem, nor does any other book of the New Testament.

Luke’s birth narrative, the more elaborate, explains that Maryam [Jesus’s Mother – peace be upon them both], travelled from Nazareth to Bethlehem at the time of Jesus’s birth because they had to comply with the residence terms of a Roman imperial census for tax purposes. “Census” for those who are unfamiliar with the term, is an official count of the population.

Tayyibasda

Implausible. The idea is based on Luke’s ancestor list for Jesus, designed to show that Jesus was linked to King David a thousand years before, which was a matter of no concern whatsoever to Roman bureaucrats. Implausibilities multiply: the Roman authorities would not have held a census in a client kingdom of the empire such as Herod’s, and in any case there really is no record elsewhere of such an empire-wide census.

Numerous difficulties attend Luke’s reference to the first census ordered by Caesar Augustus. The difficulties may be summarised as follows:

  • According to Matthew 2:1 – Jesus was born “in the days of Herod”; if this is Herod the great, the dude whom I briefly mentioned earlier, it is an established fact that he died in 4 B.C.  [Yes, i’m obliged to stick with the dating terms. We’re arguably still in 2014.]
  • There is no record of a census ordered by Augustus at this time. [It’s acceptable to assert that of course not everything in history has been preserved, but…] It is hard to imagine that in all of the ancient histories, there is not even a single reference found to an empire-wide census.
  • You would not be required to travel in order to register for tax purposes. It would be taxation officers who would travel (because they had to link the property to their owners).
  • Joseph mentioned here, resident of Galilee and not Judea, would NOT have been affected by the census in any case.

There is, however, record of a census ordered during the time when Quirinius was governor of the Levant [Bilad ash-Sham], but this was in 6–7 CE / AD.

Apologists can argue: that Luke’s usage of the term “Protos”, translated in the excerpt I shared above as “First”, literally implies “Before” – and that is a valid argument, because it is a legitimate and acceptable meaning of ‘Protos’.

…and because there is some evidence to suggest that because of strained relations between Augustus and Herod in the latter’s years the Roman Emperor demanded that Herod’s subjects swear an oath of allegiance to him, and during the relatively brief and incompetent rule of Herod’s son, a census was ordered. It may be that Luke viewed the entire sequence as a single episode.

In the sense of “this was the census before the one issued when Quirinius was governor of Syria” in an effort to differentiate between the census to which he refers in 2:1-2 and the better known census taken in 6–7 CE / AD.

But this just doesn’t quite cut it. Why? because this entire suggestion and retort is challenged and troubled by Luke implying no such differentiation when he explicitly refers to one census in Acts 5:37, and by the proposed translation of 2:2 in the argument which renders the term “Protos” in an unusual way.

What does this establish?

The story seems to embody a confusion with a well-attested Roman imperial census which did happen, but in 6 CE / AD, far too late for the birth of Jesus, and long remembered as a traumatic event because it was the first real taste of what direct Roman rule meant for Judea.

The suspicion then arises that someone writing a good deal later, rather hazy about the chronology of decades before, has been fairly cavalier with the story of Jesus’s birth, for reasons other than retrieving events as they actually happened. The suspicion grows more when one observes how little the birth and infancy narratives have to do with the later story of Jesus’s life, which occupies all four Gospels; nowhere do these Gospels refer back to the tales of birth or infancy, which suggest that the bulk of their texts were written before the infancy narratives. Remember these are written accounts, penned decades after, by humans with deep convictions.

What would motivate these particular unknown authors to add these strange details into their accounts? One motive for locating the birth in Bethlehem might be precisely to settle the argument noted in John’s Gospel about Jesus’s status as Messiah of his people Israel. It answered the sceptics who pointed out the problem with Micah’s prophecy [in the excerpt above].

But there is much else to these stories. We must conclude, though, that beside the likelihood that Christmas did not happen at Christmas [deserving of a separate article], it probably didn’t happen in Bethlehem.

Allaah knows best.

→ Abu Dawūd [Mustafa b. Saalih] al-Hushayshi

Ibn Mas’ud [d. 32 AH] – “Follow and do not innovate, for you have been sufficed. Every bid’ah is misguidance.”

Fiqh [Jurisprudence]

Ibn Mas’ud [d. 32 AH] – “Follow and Do Not Innovate, For You Have Been Sufficed. Every Bid’ah is Misguidance.”

→ “al-‘Ilm” – 54 | Ibn Abi Khaythama | Translated by: Abu Dawūd [Mustafa b. Saalih] al-Ḥushayshi

Other References:
→ “Kitab az-Zuhd” – 315 | Waki’ b. al-Jarrāh
→ “Kitab az-Zuhd” – 162 | Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal
→ “al-Mu’jam al-Kabir” – 9/168 | Imam at-Tabarani

Imam al-Haythami said in “al-Majma'” [1/181]: “The men [in this isnād] are the men [found in the] Sahih [compilations]”

Imam al-Fulāni [d. 1218 AH] – The narrations obliging taking from where the Imams took from concern the Muqallid, because the Mujtahid Is qualified to exercise Ijtihad and is not limited to their verdicts.

Fiqh [Jurisprudence]

→ “al-Iqādh Himam Ulil-Absaar” – 1/50 | Imam al-Fulāni [d. 1218]

The narrations binding the followers to take from where the Imams took from concern the Muqallid [follower] more, as for the Mujtahid, then they are not necessarily dependent on the verdicts of the Imams because they are qualified to exercise ijtihād.

Responses to the understanding that the follower is required to understand the daleel of the Imam before binding the fatwa of the Imam onto other individuals is usually that “it applies only to someone who is an adept Mujtahid, who displays a prowess in authentication of narrations” but that is contrary to reality; an impractical and irresponsible suggestion.

→ Written by: Abu Dawūd [Mustafa b. Saalih] al-Hushayshi