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    Website: http://www.spirituallight.co.za/
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    I sent the question to Maulana Arif Sahab. He said: I now understand "nafi" in Urdu means "to deny" and "ithbaat" means "to affirm". In Kalima لا إله إلا الله, we deny the existence of any other God and affirm that Allah alone is worthy of worship. That's why it is called "نفی اثبات".
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    Seeking the Shade of the Arsh - Guidance for the Youth Book by Maulana Yunus Patel RA This book is a revised edition of a compilation of advices that was prepared especially for a three day Youth Programme, hosted by Madrasatus Sawlehaat in Rajab 1431 / June 2010. Alhamdulillah, the first edition comprised of fifteen Malfuzaat, taken from the talks and lessons of Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (rahmatullah alayh) and was proof-read and edited by Hazrat Maulana. This second edition has been prepared with more of Hazrat Maulana's advices and includes standard prescriptions and guidelines towards giving up common weaknesses. Alhamdulillah, Hazrat Maulana (rahmatullahi alayh) had a unique way of presenting different analogies and lessons by which the message and importance of Taqwa and obedience to Allah Ta'ala and Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) were impressed in the heart and mind. These advices offered constant encouragement and motivation. The repetition of some advices is retained due to the diverse angles from which Hazrat Maulana would explain them. Download Book Now
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    Walaikumus Salam warahmatullahi wabarakatuh Yes apa Ummitaalib explained it well. "Pabandi of zikr" will help attain khushu in Salah. But I still don't understand the meaning of "nafi ithbaath".
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    I just thought of it as the Dhikr one does regularly or that which is prescribed by the Shaykh (and is often different according to each Shaykh as well as depending on the person) which should be done regularly and that would help attain Khushoo' in salaah...Allah ta'ala knows best
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    Jazakillah for sharing. But I didn't understand point no 2. And what does "nafi ithbaath" mean? Could you explain dear sis?
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    Relaxing Before Ramadān Some people relax for a few days before Ramadān, intending to busy themselves in ‘ibādah once Ramadān begins. Sometimes this relaxed attitude leads them to sin, with a reassuring feeling that they will make tawbah in Ramadān. Firstly, how do they know they will live to see Ramadān? Secondly, the sin committed may have a negative spiritual impact which may last for the duration of Ramadān, preventing the perpetrator from repenting and doing good deeds, even in the blessed month. Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh
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    Assalamu alaikum warahmatullaahi wabarakatuh Welcome to the forums sister!
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    Assalaamu 'alaykum warahmatullaah Welcome to the forum. Insha-allah it is of benefit and Jazaakillaah for the link...we look forward to beneficial contribution
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    Dearest bint e aisha abla As salamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu Yes dearest abla :)
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    No Shaikh can remove the Bid'aat which have become prevalent in homes. It is the Women of Ilm who can remove and correct these innovations from within their homes.
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    AishaZaynap..how about a short bio on ShaykhAarif sahib?
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    NEW FREE E-BOOK: A Student’s Guide in the Pursuit of Knowledge Mufti Faraz Adam Source Darul Fiqh is pleased to announce its first E-Book publication titled ‘A Student’s Guide in the Pursuit of Knowledge’. With the help of Allah, I have written a guide for students of the traditional sciences which includes: Motivation for students Advises and practical guidelines on how to study A look at each year of the `Alimiyyah course Information about the content of books studied Commentaries and supplementary books An extra-curricular reading list for each year A section on post graduate courses It is my desire that this guide be circulated among all students across the world and read whilst studying. You may download the E-Book from here: Alternative link:
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    Assalamu alaikum warahmatullaahi wabarakatuh Hey, I'm just looking at these images, sooo many of them MashaAllah :)
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    Jazakillaahu khayran sister AishaZaynap! This is wonderful collection. Allah ta'ala accept it from you and make it a means of inspiration for many, aameen Great to have you back sis : )
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    Various Forms of Tawassul and Istighatha and their Rulings <QUESTION> I wanted to know the Islamic position on seeking intermediaries to Allah, and on seeking help from the dead and calling onto them. Some say it is allowed, and others say it is major shirk. Can you please explain in detail? <ANSWER> In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful, You have asked about two different issues; and, as such, both will be treated separately. The first relates to supplicating Allah using an intermediary (known as Tawassul), and the second relates to calling upon and seek the help of other than Allah (known as Istighatha and Isti’ana). Supplicating Allah through Intermediaries (Tawassul) A detailed answer on this issue was previously posted (on our website). Nevertheless, here is a summary of what was outlined in that answer: There are three ways of supplicating Allah through a means or intermediary: 1) Seeking intermediary through one’s actions (tawassul bi ‘l-a’mal) This refers to using one’s good deeds and righteous acts as an intermediary when supplicating Allah Most High. For example, one says, “O Allah, please fulfil my need in consideration of such-and-such good deed I carried out on that particular day.” This type of Tawassul is permitted, and even recommended, according to all major classical Imams – with no disagreement on its permissibility. The proof for its permissibility is the famous incident described by the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) of three people from a nation before us who were blocked in a Cave. Each one of them beseeched Allah by naming a righteous deed, and then said, “O Allah, if I did this seeking only your pleasure, then relieve us [from this distress].” Consequently, Allah made the rock to move away and they all came out of the cave. (Bukhari and Muslim) 2) Seeking intermediary through living persons (tawassul bi ‘l-ahya) This refers to using a living person as an intermediary when supplicating Allah Most High, due to his righteousness and closeness to Allah. For example, one says, “O Allah, please fulfil my need in consideration of such-and-such pious slave of yours and your love for him.” This type of Tawassul is also permitted according to all major classical Imams and jurists, with no disagreement on its permissibility. The proof for its permissibility, amongst others, is that which is related by Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (Allah be pleased with him) that the Companion Sayyiduna Umar ibn al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) sought rain from Allah at the time of drought through the intermediary of the uncle of the Prophet, al-Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib (Allah be pleased with him). (Sahih al-Bukhari) 3) Seeking intermediary through deceased persons (tawassul bi ‘l-amwat) This refers to using a person who has passed away – such as a Prophet or saint – as an intermediary when supplicating Allah Most High, due to his righteousness and closeness to Allah. For example, one says, “O Allah, please fulfil my need in consideration of your Prophet whom you love” or “O Allah, I ask you through your Prophet.” This form of Tawassul is permitted according to the vast majority of classical Imams (salaf) and jurists (fuqaha) including the four Sunni Schools of Islamic law. Only Imam Ibn Taymiya and those who followed him object to it, saying that it negates the concept of Tawhid. Among the many proofs of its permissibility is the Hadith of Uthman ibn Hunayf (Allah be pleased with him) in which the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) advised a man complaining of blindness to offer two Rak’ats prayer and then supplicate saying, “O Allah, I ask you and turn to you through my Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of Mercy...” (Tirmidhi) The same Uthman ibn Hunayf, after the passing of the Prophet (peace be upon him), advised a person who visited him repeatedly, concerning something he needed, to do the same. (Al-Mu’jam al-Kabir of Tabarani and classed as authentic (sahih) by al-Bayhaqi, Mundhiri, al-Haythami and others). Moreover, if the second form of Tawassul (through living persons) is permitted, then the third form (through deceased persons) should also be allowed, since in both cases one supplicates Allah and not the individual. It is not through a physical body or through life or death; rather, through the positive meaning attached to the person in both life and death. In reality, both the second and third forms can simply be considered as manifestations of the first form, i.e. seeking intermediary through one’s actions. This is because when one uses Tawassul in supplication, one merely highlights the lofty position of the person before Allah and one’s love for him, i.e. saying, “O Allah, this certain Prophet of yours is very close to you. I do not possess any good deeds, but I have love for the pious. Pardon me and forgive my sins due to this love I have with this pious servant of yours”. As such, the thing being presented before Allah is the ‘love’ and ‘connection’ with the Prophet, which in reality is a righteous deed. Before ending this section, it is important to note that one’s supplication (dua’) is not in need of Tawassul. To believe that Dua’ is not accepted, or the chances of its acceptance are less, should Tawassul not be carried out, is an erroneous understanding. One may never use an intermediary in supplication, and by doing so, would have not done anything wrong. And Allah knows best. Calling Upon and Seeking the Help of other than Allah (Istighatha and Isti’ana bi ‘l-ghayr) There are various ways of calling upon and seeking the help of other than Allah: 1) Calling upon others in imaginary terms This is when a poet – for example – addresses a Prophet, saint or even inanimate objects in imaginary and figurative terms, merely to express love and desire. Such poetry has been related from a number of Imams and great scholars of Islam in which they address the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), pious individuals, the city of Madina, birds, mountains, and so on and so forth. This type of calling out is, in of itself, permitted because the intention is not to call upon the addressee and the belief is not that they are directly hearing; rather, it is done out of mere longing and love. However, in an atmosphere where such words may be misconstrued or lead to incorrect beliefs, they should be avoided. (Fatawa Usmani by Mufti Taqi Usmani 1/58-5) 2) Seeking help from one another in worldly matters This refers to asking help from a living person in matters ordinarily in his control or in apparent causes (al-asbab al-zahira). For example, seeking help from a medical doctor for treatment, taking medicine, or asking an engineer to fix one’s vehicle. This obviously is permitted and does not require any proof, provided one holds the one whose help is being sought merely as a means, and Allah alone as the true effecter. 3) Requesting living persons for Dua’ This refers to requesting a living person such as a scholar, pious individual, parent, friend or traveller to supplicate on one’s behalf, with the understanding that the chances of his Dua’ being accepted are great because of his rank, location or situation. This also is without doubt permitted. The proof for its permissibility is the Hadith in which the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said to Sayyiduna Umar (Allah be pleased with him) when the latter was departing for Umra, “O my brother, do not forget us in your supplications.” (Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi) 4) Requesting deceased persons for Dua’ This is done in two ways: a) Going to the grave of a Prophet or pious individual and requesting him to supplicate on one’s behalf. For example, one says, “Oh such-and-such person, pray for me that Allah Most High fulfils my work.” The ruling concerning this returns to the issue of whether the dead are able to hear in their graves. There is a ‘legitimate’ difference of opinion between the Companions and classical scholars on this issue, with many – such as Imams Ibn Abd al-Barr, Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Ibn Qutayba and Ibn Kathir (Allah have mercy on them) – affirming the hearing (sima’) of the dead, and this is also the position of the Companion Abdullah ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him). Among the proofs supporting this position is the Hadith narrated by Anas ibn Malik (Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Verily when the servant is put in his grave, and his companions turn away from him, he hears the noise of their sandals.” (Sahih Muslim) Secondly, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) addressed the disbelievers from the dead of Badr saying, “We have found true what our Lord promised us, did you find true what your Lord promised you?” Umar (Allah be pleased with him) said, “O Messenger of Allah! You are speaking to bodies that have no souls?” The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) replied, “You do not hear better [than them] to what I say to them, except that they are unable to reply.” (Bukhari and Muslim) Thirdly, the great exegete (mufassir) Imam Ibn Kathir (Allah have mercy on him), under the commentary of Surah al-Rum (3:438), relates a Hadith from Imam Ibn Abd al-Barr, who authenticated it, from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him), from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) that, “None passes by the grave of his Muslim brother that he knew in the world and greets him except Allah restores his soul to him and he returns the greeting to him.”(Tafsir Ibn Kathir) On the other hand, the position of Sayyida A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) and a group of scholars is that the dead do not hear, using as proof the statement of Allah Most High, “Truly you cannot cause the dead to listen.” (Qur’an 27:80) As such, in accordance with the position that the dead can hear in their graves, it would be permitted to request the deceased for Dua’ and intercession at his grave. Conversely, in accordance with the position that the dead are unable to hear in their graves, it would not be permitted. Since, this is a matter of genuine scholarly difference, no one position should be considered as absolute and decisive. It is possible that Allah Most High makes the dead in the grave hear a speech out of His Infinite Power, and Allah knows best. b) Requesting a Prophet or deceased saint from a distance (and not at his grave) to supplicate on one’s behalf. For example, whilst sitting at home, one says, “O Prophet, please pray for me that Allah forgives my sins.” Since, there are no such examples in Hadith literature or from the practice of the Companions and early Muslims, this is best avoided. Most scholars consider it to be impermissible, given that there is no ‘clear’ evidence suggesting that one’s request will be heard or conveyed to the deceased person. Indeed, the Hadith mentions that salutations (salawat) recited upon the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) are conveyed to him [by the angels], but there is no mention of Dua’ requests being conveyed to him. Indeed, it is ‘possible’ that Allah Most High conveys the message to the deceased, but since there are no proofs or examples, it is best to refrain – especially in the case of deceased persons besides the Prophet such as saints and the righteous. 5) Calling upon and seeking help from deceased persons in worldly matters through Allah’s granting This means asking help from a deceased person in matters ordinarily in the control of living persons or in apparent causes (al-asbab al-zahira). For example, asking a deceased person for money or asking him to help fix one’s vehicle – believing that he is merely a means and not independent of Allah, and that only Allah helps in absolute terms and without Him no one can help. 6) Calling upon and seeking help in matters of the unseen through Allah’s granting This refers to asking a deceased (or living) person such as a Prophet or saint for help in matters of the unseen (al-umur al-ghaybiyya) which are not ordinarily in the control of humans. For example; asking for good weather, children, prosperity or help in times of distress such as saying “O Messenger of Allah, help me (Ya Rasul Allah Madad)” or addressing the person in the grave and saying “Assist me in my trial” or “O Saint, grant me children” – believing that the one whose help is being sought is merely a means and not independent of Allah, and that only Allah helps in absolute terms and without Him no one can help. Although some scholars may allow these two types of Istighatha (5 and 6) subject to one having a sound belief that it is only Allah who helps in absolute terms, the opinion of many other scholars including most of my teachers (and the position which I hold to be correct) is that such type of Istighatha is an ‘expression’ of Shirk and hence prohibited even if done with a sound belief. Seeking help in a matter not ordinarily in the control of the one whose help is being sought may create a doubt that he is independent in that action, because there is no immediate external reason from Allah’s design in His creation. Since it is a practical expression of Shirk, means to Shirk and resembles the Shirk of the Polytheists (mushrikun), it is forbidden. It is in order to block the means to ‘clear’ Shirk, especially in our times, given the widespread nature of ignorance and corrupt beliefs within the masses. However, the perpetrator of such Istighatha will not be guilty of actual Shirk and disbelief (kufr), rather a sinful act. One must be careful in deeming other Muslims as polytheists (mushrikun) or out of the fold of Islam, especially when the person in question may be a scholar and generally has sound beliefs. 7) Calling upon and seeking help from deceased (or living) persons in absolute terms This refers to asking a Prophet or saint directly for help, believing that Allah Most High has delegated some of his powers to him in a particular area, after which he has become independent in those powers, and can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, gives to whoever he wants and withholds from whoever he wants, without needing permission from Allah in each and every moment of executing those powers (like the King’s delegation of powers to his viceroy and other officials). For example, asking a saint to grant children with the belief that he has been given complete control of this area by Allah Most High. Istighatha with this type of belief is clear and major Shirk, and takes one out of the fold of Islam, because one is assuming that the deceased shares a certain characteristic of Allah Most High. This was the type of Shirk committed by the idolaters and polytheists of Makka, and severely condemned by Allah Most High. Unlike worldly kings, Allah does not have such subservient rulers working under Him who, after having received powers from Allah, become independent themselves. The worldly kings require such deputies because of their weaknesses, whilst Allah Almighty has no such need. All matters are in His hands, and nothing is in the hand of another in an independent fashion. Allah Most High says, “Whatever you worship, other than Him, are nothing but names you have coined, you and your fathers. Allah has sent down no authority for them. Sovereignty belongs to none but Allah. He has ordained that you shall not worship anyone but Him. This is the only right path. But most of the people do not know” (Qur’an 12: 40) And, “Say, Who is the One in whose hand lies the kingdom of everything and who gives protection, and no protection can be given against him, if you have knowledge?” (Qur’an 23: 88) It is in this independent fashion we have been taught to seek only Allah’s help in Surat al-Fatiha, “You alone do we worship, and from You alone do we seek help.” (Qur’an 1: 5). The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, “When you ask, ask [only] Allah; and when you seek help, seek help [only] from Allah.” (Bukhari) This is even more serious when the one whose help is being sought is regarded as omnipotent (qadir al-mutlaq), i.e. he has absolute, permanent and intrinsic powers in which he is not always dependent on the Will of Allah, and that this power was not given to him by Allah. Such a belief was not even held by the disbelievers and idolaters of Makka about their objects of worship. And Allah knows best [Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam Darul Iftaa Leicester , UK
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    Tawassul and Waseelah literally means to make a request or supplicate through a means. It is permissible for one to request Allah Ta'ala to accept his du'aa through the medium of some deeds or the rank of certain individuals as this may be closer to acceptance. There are various forms of Tawassul and Waseela: 1. To make Tawassul to Almighty Allah that He accepts the Du'aa due to one having performed a certain good deed is permissible and unanimously accepted. It is supported by the Hadith of Sahih Bukhari in which three people were trapped in a cave. Each of them made Du'aa to Allah Ta'ala to move the obstructing rock and they requested Allah Ta'ala to accept their du'aas due to some good deed that each of them had done. 2. To make Tawassul with the names and attributes of Almighty Allah: This is also permissible and is supported by the following verse, 'And Allah has beautiful names, so call unto Him through them.' (Surah A'araaf v.180). Example: If someone says, 'Oh Allah, I ask you through your attributes and beautiful names to grant my specific wish.' 3. To make Tawassul to Allah Ta'ala through the rank and position of certain individuals, alive or deceased, in the sight of Almighty Allah This includes the Prophets [alayhimus salaam], the martyrs and any other pious servant of Allah. Example: If one says, 'Oh Allah, I beseech you to accept my du'aa due to the status of Rasulullah [sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam] in Your eyes.' This form of Tawassul is also permissible according to the vast majority of the Ulama (scholars) and it has in fact remained part of their practise. 4. Some scholars even mention a fourth type of Tawassul, where a person requests some living pious servant of Allah to make du'aa for him: This is also unanimously accepted. The only type of Tawassul that is disputed is number3, where one makes Tawassul through individuals that are alive or deceased by saying, 'O Allah, I besech you to accept my Du'aa due to the status that Rasulullah [sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam] (or some other pious person) hold in Your eyes.' The first opposition against this form of Tawassul was in the 7th century of Islam. (shifaa-u-siqaam) There are numerous proofs that support the permissibility of Tawassul through individuals. The following are some substantiations: 1. Sayyiduna Uthmaan ibn Hunayf [radhiallaahu anhu] narrates that once a blind person came to Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] and said, 'Oh Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam]! Ask Allah to cure me.' Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] replied, 'If you wish I will make Du'aa or else you may be patient and this is better for you.' The man said, 'Make Du'aa instead', Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] then commanded him to make Wudhu properly and that he recites the following Du'aa, 'Oh Allah, verily, I ask of you and I turn to you through your prophet, the prophet of mercy, O Muhammad [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam], verily, I have turned to my Lord through you so that my need be fulfilled. Oh Allah, accept his intercession on my behalf.' (Musnad Ahmad vol.4 pg.138; Sunan Tirmidhi; Sunan ibn Majah; Mustadrak Haakim and others). Imaams Tirmidhi, ibn Khuzaymah and Haakim have classified this Hadith as authentic. The words, 'I turn to you through your prophet' clearly proves Tawassul through the position of a person. Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] also told him that he should make the same supplication whenever he needed to. (al-Raddul Muhkamul Mateen pg.145) 2. Sayyiduna Uthmaan ibn Hunayf [radhiallaahu anhu] taught this du'aa to someone after the demise of Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam]. That person's need was also fulfilled. Abu Umaamah ibn Sahl ibn Hunayf [radhiallaahu anhu] reports that a person requested Sayyiduna Uthmaan ibn Affaan [radhiallaahu anhu] to fulfil his need. Sayyiduna Uthmaan [radhiallaahu anhu] did not attend to him. The person complained to Sayyiduna Uthmaan ibn Hunayf [radhiallaahu anhu] about his plight. Sayyiduna Uthmaan ibn Hunayf [radhiallaahu anhu] told him to make Wudhu, go to the Musjid, offer 2 Rakaats of Salaat and recite the following Du'aa: 'O Allah, verily I ask you and I turn to you through our prophet, the prophet of mercy (Rasulullah - sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). O Muhammad! Verily, I have turned to our Lord through you so that He may fulfil my need.' The person then went to Sayyiduna Uthmaan ibn Affaan [radhiallahu anhu] who then [radhiallaahu anhu] immediately fulfilled his need and told him to return whenever he had any need in the future. (al-Mu'jamus sagheer vol.1 pg.184; al-Mu'jamul Kabeer vol.9 pg.17; Dalaailun-nubuwwah of Imaam Bayhaqi vol.6 pg.167-168) Imaam Tabrani has mentioned that this Hadith is authentic. (al-Mu'jamus sagheer vol.1 pg.184). Allamah Mahmood Zaahid Al- Kawthari has also classified the chains of Baihaqi to be Saheeh (authentic). (Maqaalatul-Kawthari pg.391). For a detailed analysis refer to al-Raddul Muhkamul Mateen of Shaykh Abdullah Siddique al-Ghumarie pgs.141-157; Raf'ul Manaarah of Shaykh Mahmood Sa'eed Mamdooh pgs.125-131 3. Sayyiduna Anas ibn Maalik [radhiallaahu anhu] reports that when the mother of Sayyiduna Ali [radhiallahu anhu] passed away (Faatima bint Asad - radhiallaahu anha], Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] made the following Du'aa before burying her: 'O Allah, The One who gives life and death, and Who is living and will never die, forgive my mother Faatima bint Asad [radhiallaahu anha], and make her arguments known to her, i.e. make the answering of Munkar and Nakeer easy, and make her grave spacious for her. (I ask you) through the right of your prophet and all the prophet's before me, for verily You are Most Merciful.' (al-Mu'jamul awsat vol.1 pg.152; Hilya vol.3 pg.121) 'Bi haqqi nabiyyika' (through the right of your prophet). This narration is classified as authentic according to the standards of Imaam ibn Hibbaan and Haakim. (Raf'ul Manaarah pg.147; Maqaalaatul Kawthari). Haafiz Ibn Hajar Al-Haytami(RA) that its chain of narrators is good.(Refer to his footnotes on Al-Manaasik of Imaam Nawawi(RA) pg.500…) 4. When a person leaves the Musjid, the following du'aa is recorded, 'Allaahumma inniy as-aluka bi haqqis-saa-ileena alayka, wa bi haqqi mamshaaya haaza…'. (Translation: Oh Allah, I ask you through the right of those who ask you and through the right of the act of my walking…) In this narration, Tawassul through people is established, '…through the right of those who ask' and Tawassul through one's deeds is supported by the second part. This Hadith is recorded in Sunan ibn Maajah, Musnad Ahmad (vol.3 pg.21), Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah and others. The following Muhadditheen have regarded it as authentic: Imaam ibn Khuzaymah (Kitaab Tawheed pg.17), Hafiz Abdul-Ghani al-Maqdisi (al-Naseehah), Hafiz Abul-Hasan al-Maqdisi - teacher of Allaamah Munzhiri (refer al-Targheeb vol.3 pg.273), Allamah al-Iraqi - Ustaadh of Hafiz ibn Hajar (Takhrijul Ihyaa), Hafiz ibn Hajar al-Asqalaani (Nataa-ijul Afkaar vol.1 pg.272), Hafiz Dimyati (Al-Matjarur-raabih). These are six great Muhadditheen that have accepted this Hadith to be authentic, hence, there remains no doubt at all concerning its acceptability. The following two proofs illustrate to us the practise of the Sahaaba [radhiallaahu anhum] as well. 5. Sayyiduna Maalik al-Daar, the treasurer of food during the time of Sayyiduna Umar ibn al-Khattaab [radhiallaahu anhu], reports that once the people had been experiencing a drought in the era of Sayyiduna Umar [radhiallaahu anhu], a man went to the grave of Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] and said, 'O Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam], ask for rain on behalf of your Ummah, for verily, they are being destroyed.' Thereafter this person was instructed in a dream to go to Sayyiduna Umar [radhiallaahu anhu] and tell him that, 'the rains will soon come and say to him, Be intelligent', When Umar [radhiallaahu anhu] was informed of this, he began to cry and he said, 'O My Lord, I will only leave out what I am unable to do.' (Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah vol.12 pg.31-32; Dalaailun-nubuwwah of Imaam Bayhaqi vol.7 pg.47). Hafiz ibn Katheer [ra] has stated that the chain of narrators is 'good and strong' (Musnadul Faarooq vol.1 pg.223). Hafiz ibn Hajar has also indicated to its authenticity in Fathul Bari. 6. Abul-Jawzaa - Aws ibn Abdullah [radhiallaahu anhu] reports that once, the people of Madinah were experiencing a severe drought. They complained to Sayyidatuna Aaisha [radhiallahu anha]. She advised them that they should make a hole in the tomb of the roof of Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] so that the grave is exposed to the skies. He says, 'When they made a hole, heavy rains came down and crops also began to grow.' (Sunan Darimi vol.1 pg.56) 7. Imaam Haakim and others have narrated on the authority of Sayyiduna Umar ibn al-Khattaab [radhiallaahu anhu] that Rasulullah [sallallahu alayhi wasallam] said, 'When Adam [alayhis salaam] ate from the forbidden tree, he said, 'O My Lord, I ask you through the right of Muhammad [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] that you forgive me.' The words used were, 'Bi haqqi Muhammad' Allah Ta'ala accepted Aadam's [alayhis salaam] repentance. (al-Mustadrak vol.2 pg.615; Dalaailun-Nubuwwah of Imaam Bayhaqi vol.5 pg.489; al-Mu'jamus saghir of Imaam Tabrani vol.2 pg.82) The status of this narration has been extensively disputed by the various Muhadditheen. Some have accepted it to be authentic and others rejected it. However, there is another narration that supports this narration recorded by Imaam Abul-Hasan ibn Bishraan [ra] on the authority of Sayyidatuna Maysarah [radhiallaahu anha]. The chain of narrators for this Hadith is totally different from the previous one. And in fact, Hafiz ibn Hajar [ra] has stated concerning a completely different narration which has the very same chain of narrators, that this chain of narrators is strong. (al-Raddul Muhkamul Mateen pgs.138-139; al-Ahaadeethul Muntaqaa pg.14, both of Shaykh Abdullah Siddique al-Ghumarie). These narrations have all proven beyond a shadow of doubt that this form of Tawassul is permissible and was widely practised as well. Hereunder follows a list of some of the many illustrious Ulama of the past who had practised upon Tawassul through the rank of the pious, deceased or alive: 1. Imaam Hasan ibn Ibrahim al-Hallal [ra] has stated that whenever he had any urgent need, he would go to the grave of Imaam Moosa ibn Ja'far [ra] and make Tawassul through him. Allah Ta'ala would fulfil his need. (refer Taarikh Baghdaad) 2. Imaam Shaafi'ee [ra] would make Tawassul at the grave of Imaam Abu Hanifa [ra]. (Taarikh Baghdaad). Allaamah al-Kawthari has classified this incident as authentic. (Maqaalaatul Kawthari pg.381) 3. Allaamah Taajuddeen al-Subki [ra] has mentioned that the people would go to the grave of Imaam ibn Foorak(ra), the teacher of Imaam Bayhaqi [ra] and make Du'aa and their Du'aas would get accepted. 4. Hafiz Al-Zarkashi [ra] has made Tawassul in the introduction to his commentary to Sahih al-Bukhari entitled, 'al-Tanqeeh'. 5. Hafiz Taqi-u-ddin al-Subki [ra], the father of Taajuddin al-Subki [ra], has approved of this firm of Tawassul and he has written a detailed treatise on this topic. (See his book: Shifaa-u-Siqaam pgs.293-318) 6. Allamah Nawawi [ra] has mentioned that from among the etiquettes of visiting the grave of Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] one should make Tawassul through Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] to Allah Ta'ala to accept his Du'aas. Thereafter, Allamah Nawawi states, '…and one of the best things that one should do is what has been related by Allaamah al-Mawardi [ra], al-Qaadhi Abu Teeb [ra] and all our Ulama and they have all regarded it as commendable, and that is the incident of Imaam al-Utabi [ra] that he said, 'I was once seated by the grave of Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam], when a Bedouin came and said, 'Peace be upon you, oh, Messenger of Allah. O Messenger of Allah, I have heard Almighty Allah say in the Qur'aan "And if they, when they had been unjust to themselves, had come to you (Muhammad Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and begged Allah's forgiveness and the messenger had begged forgiveness for them, indeed they would have found Allah All-Forgiving. Most merciful.(Al-Nisaa:64) hence, I have come to you in a state that I seek forgiveness of my sins by seeking your intercession by my Lord', thereafter he recited a few couplets and departed. Imaam al-Utabi [ra] states, 'I then fell asleep and I saw Rasulullah [sallallahu alayhi wasallam] instructing me by the words, 'O Utabi, go to that Bedouin and give him the glad tidings that Almighty Allah has forgiven him.' (Refer al-Majmoo vol.8 pg.456 - Cairo and Manaasikul-Imaam-Al-Nawawi pg.498-499 Maktabah Salafia). This incident has been related by many Ulama in their respective compilations. Some of them are: Haafiz Ibn-Katheer in his Tafseer, Allamah Abu-Muhammad ibn Qudaamah in Al-Mughni vol.3 pg.556, Imaam Abul-Faraj in Al-Sharhul-Kabeervol.3 pg.495, etc.) 7. Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal(RA) has also encouraged making Tawassul through Rasulullah [sallallahu alayhi wasallam] in ones duas. (Fataawa ibn Taimiyyah vol.1 pg.140, Also see Mafaaheem pg.137) 8. Haafiz Shamsud-Deen Al-Sakhawi (RA), the grand student of Haafiz ibn Hajr Al-Asqalaani(RA) made Tawassul on many occasions through Rasulullah [sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam] in his books, see for example Al-Tuhfatul-Lateefah vol.1 pg.3, 17; al-Ibtihaaj bi azkaaril musaafiril haaj 9. Allamah Muhammad ibn-ul-Jazri(RA) the famous Muhaddith and Master of Qira'aat has mentioned that from amongst the Aadaab etiquettes of dua is that one makes Tawassul with the Ambiyaa and the pious ones.(Al-Hisnul Haseen) 10. Imaam Al-Shawkaani Al-Salafi(RA) has also permitted Tawassul. (Tuhfatu-Zaakireen pg.50) These are ten Different types of Ulama (i.e. some are Fuqahaa, some Muhadditheen and some are Qurraa). All have either practised on Tawassul or at least permitted it. And the list could go on….(refer to Maqaalatul Kawthari pg.378-397). After contemplating on all that was mentioned above, any person with sound intelligence would believe without a shadow of doubt in the permissibility of this form of Tawassul. More so when one realizes that this remained the practise of the Ummah for centuries. Allamah Taqee-ud-Deen Al-Subki(RA) and other Muhadditheen have stated that Haafiz Ibn-Taimiyyah(RA) - who passed away in the year 728 Hijri - was the first to refute the permissibility of this form of Tawassul (Shifaa-us-Siqaam pg.293) In fact, Abu-Abdillah Al-Tilmisani Al-Maaliki(RA) (a renown scholar of the 7th century) has written a book concerning how this remained the practise of the entire Ummah since its existence. (Refer Maqaalatul Kawthari pg.397) Lastly, we would like to draw your attention to the fact that the above permissibility is in regard to one who asks Allah Ta'ala for a particular need and in doing so, he uses some honourable personality as his Waseela (means) without thinking or believing that the person is being supplicated to or that he will fulfil his need. Yes, if one asks directly from the deceased and he believes that the Anbiyaa [alayhimus salaam] and the pious [rahimahumullah] independently possess the power to provide, then this would be Shirk (polytheism) because he is now ascribing partners to Allah in the quality of 'Providing'. Many contemporaries have mixed both these forms up; a) asking directly from the deceased and, b) asking Allah Alone, through the medium of some deceased) and have passed one ruling of Shirk for both forms. This is clearly a gross oversight on their path. and Allah Ta'ala Knows Best Ml. Muhammad ibn Moulana Haroon Abasoomar FACULTY OF SPECIALTY IN HADITH SCIENCES CHECKED & APPROVED: Mufti Ebrahim Desai (Fatwa Dept.) Source
  23. 1 point
    In-depth Answer from Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam Is Allah Everywhere or is He on His Throne? Question #: 6810 Date Posted: 06-07-2012 <QUESTION> Some people say Allah is everywhere, some say He is above the heavens, some say He is on His throne; and everyone seems to present tons of evidences to prove their point. I am so confused about the whole issue. Where is Allah? Please explain! <ANSWER> In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful, The short and simple answer to your question is that Allah Most High exists beyond time, space, location and ‘physical’ direction; He is where He has always been. Before detailing the above answer, it is important to realize that the issue ‘where is Allah?’ was never debated or made a matter of great dispute by the Companions (sahaba) and early Muslims (salaf). We seldom find within classical teachings of mainstream Muslim scholars that people went around asking and debating where Allah Most High is! And aside from the hadith of Sahih Muslim in which the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) asked the slave-girl (jariya) “Where is Allah?”, there seems to be no other text of the Qur’an and Sunna in which this question is asked. As for the hadith of the slave-girl, it has its own specific context, which will be explained later on, insha ‘Allah. The reason for this is simple: We have not been commanded to identify the exact ‘physical location’ of Allah; rather our responsibility is to recognize Allah (ma’rifa), build a strong relationship with Him, affirm His exaltedness (tanzih), affirm His Oneness (tawhid), learn about His attributes (sifat), worship Him, obey His commands and abstain from His prohibitions. Beyond that, there is no Islamic obligation to know where Allah Almighty exactly is; neither is it possible for the meager intellects of us created beings to fully grasp the reality and majesty of our Creator. We have not even fully understood the reality of our souls, bodies, the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the sky, and so forth; then how are we expected to comprehend the essence (kunh) of the Almighty. As such, it is important to note – at the outset – that we should avoid: 1) arguing about this topic, 2) considering it a fundamental part of belief (aqida), and 3) being hasty in declaring others as disbelievers or deviants if they happen to hold a different viewpoint. We should steer clear from trying to grasp the reality of Allah, and suffice by understanding that the human intellect is very limited in its reach. We must see our inability to fully understand Allah as being from our weakness and imperfection as humans. This will bring about a deeper sense of slave-hood and neediness towards the One who is in need of no one. Sadly, however, we live in a time where some Muslims constantly debate this issue and behave as though it is a fundamental part of one’s faith. They waste theirs and others’ precious time arguing for long periods about an issue that will not be questioned about on the Day of Judgment. As a result, much more important aspects of deen are neglected. Islamic forums and discussions are filled with arguments, counter-arguments, refutations, attacks and never ending debates about this one topic. Many are left confused and bemused with the whole experience, and some have even left Islam altogether due to their inability to fully comprehend this issue. As such, the first advice for my dear brothers and sisters – of whichever persuasion – is to take a step back, relax and not become over emotional about the issue at hand. Thereafter, with cool headedness, realize that this issue is not a foregone conclusion and that there is room for ‘valid’ disagreement and thus ‘agree to disagree’. By doing so, we would save ourselves and others from falling into major sins and even disbelief. To proceed with the answer: The central point of belief (aqida) with respect to Allah Most High – alongside affirmation of His Oneness (tawhid) – is His transcendence (tanzih), which has a clear Qur’anic basis and is unanimously agreed upon. Tanzih refers to affirming, in absolute and emphatic terms, that there is no similitude between Allah and His creation. Allah does not resemble His creation in any way, and there is no creation that is similar to Him in any way. No imagination can conceive of Him and no understanding can comprehend Him, as He is different from all created beings. Allah Most High says about Himself, “There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him.” (Qur’an 42:11) And He Most High says in Surat al-Ikhlas, “And there is none like unto Him.” (Qur’an 112: 4) This central belief has been outlined in almost all of the classical manuals on Islamic Creed. For example, Imam al-Nasafi (Allah have mercy on him) states, “He [Allah] is not a body (jism), nor an atom (jawhar), nor is He something formed (musawwar), nor a thing limited (mahdud), nor a thing numbered (ma’dud), nor a thing portioned or divided, nor a thing compounded (mutarakkab), and nor does He come to end in Himself. He is not described by quiddity (al-mahiyya), or by quality (al-kayfiyya), nor is He placed in a space (al-makan); and time (al-zaman) does not affect Him. Nothing resembles Him; that is to say, nothing is like unto Him.” (See: Sa’d al-Din al-Taftazani & Najm al-Din al-Nasafi, Sharh al-Aqa’id al-Nasafiyya, P: 92-97) To believe that Allah Most High resembles His creation in any way, or attribute human forms and qualities to Him (anthropomorphism/tashbih) constitutes disbelief (kufr). Imam al-Tahawi (Allah have mercy in him) states in his famous reference work on Muslim beliefs, “Anyone who describes Allah as being in any way the same as a human being has become an unbeliever. All those who grasp this will take heed and refrain from saying things such as the unbelievers say, and they will know that He, in His attributes, is not like human beings.” (Al-Aqida al-Tahawiyya, article 34) Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (Allah have mercy on him) states, “Whosoever thinks that Allah has a body made of organs is an idol-worshipper… Whosoever worships a body is considered a disbeliever by the consensus of all the scholars – both the early scholars (salaf) as well as the late ones (muta’akhirun).” (Iljam al-Anam an ilm al-Kalam, P: 6-8) Mulla Ali al-Qari states in his commentary of Al-Fiqh al-Akbar, “We are unable to comprehend Allah Most High. Whatever occurs in one’s mind [regarding Allah’s appearance], Allah is other than that, for Allah says: ‘But they shall not encompass Him with their knowledge.’” (Minah al-Rawd al-Azhar fi sharh al-Fiqh al-Akbar, P: 117) Abu ’l-Fadl al-Tamimi al-Hanbali says, “Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (Allah have mercy on him) condemned those who said that Allah is a body (jism)… since the term jism/body linguistically is used to indicate things that have length, width, depth, and a compound nature. (See the footnotes to Minah al-Rawd al-Azhar fi sharh al-Fiqh al-Akbar, P: 118) As such, this basic and central aqida in Allah’s transcendence is the only requirement from a believer (along with general affirmation of all of Allah’s attributes), and would be sufficient for one’s salvation. Thereafter, there is no need for a simple believer to scrutinize the technical details of Allah’s attributes, and there is definitely no need for disputes and arguments. Most Muslims – if not all – deny that Allah resembles His creation, thus argumentation and haste in declaring others as disbelievers must be avoided. Yes, if one clearly believes that Allah is ‘physically’ in a location or that He has organs – such as hands, feet, face, etc – that are similar to His creation, or one gives Allah attributes of created things, then that would entail disbelief. Beyond Time and Space Part of this central point of aqida is recognizing that Allah Most High is not confined to time (zaman) and space (makan), since He is the creator of both and absolutely free from needing anything (ghaniyy) that He has created. “Surely Allah is independent of all the worlds.” (Qur’an 29:6) He is not to be described with having a form, body, limits, directions and a material existence that occupies a particular space or location. Limiting Allah to time and space implies likening Him to His creation, because the one who exists in a physical place would, by nature, be a body; thus attributing a body to Allah. Sayyiduna Ali (Allah be pleased with him) says, “Allah existed when there was no place, and He is now where He has always been [i.e. without place].” (Al-Farq bayna al-Firaq, P: 333) Imam al-Tahawi (Allah have mercy on him) states, “He (Allah) is beyond having limits placed on Him, or being restricted, or having parts or limbs. Nor is He contained by the six directions like all the created things.” (Al-Aqida al-Tahawiyya, Point: 38) It is stated in Al-Fiqh al-Akbar, attributed to Imam Abu Hanifa, “Allah is an entity unlike any other entity. The meaning of [Allah being a] entity [unlike any other] is that He is without body (jism), substance (jawhar), or accident (arad). He has no definition/limit, no opposite, no equal, and no peer...” (See: Minah al-Rawd al-Azhar fi sharh al-Fiqh al-Akbar, P: 117-120) Imam Abu Hanifa (Allah be pleased with him) also states in his Al-Fiqh al-Absat, “If it is asked, ‘Where is Allah?’ It will be said to him that Allah Most High existed when there was no place, before creating the creation. And Allah Most High existed when there was no ‘where’, no creation, nothing; and He is the Creator of everything.” (Al-Fiqh al-Absat, P: 21) Mulla Ali al-Qari states in his commentary of Al-Fiqh al-Akbar, “Allah Most High does not reside in a place from the places and neither in a time from the times, because place and time are from the created things whilst Allah Most High has existed eternally when nothing from the created things were in existence with Him.” (Minah al-Rawd al-Azhar fi sharh al-Fiqh al-Akbar, P: 117) Qadi Abu Ya’la al-Hanbali says, “Indeed, Allah Most High is not to be described with [residing in a] place.” (Daf’ Shubah al-Tashbih, P: 43) Based on this, it is erroneous to say that Allah Most High is ‘physically’ in the sky or above the heavens on His Throne. Likewise, it is wrong to say that He Most High is ‘physically’ everywhere and in everything. The reason, as explained above, is that these things are created and limited. The Throne and heavens are restricted entities, and space is an area restricted within six dimensions. Allah Most High cannot be confined to things He has created, such as the heavens and the Throne. He is the creator of time and space, and thus is exalted beyond both. Furthermore; sitting, standing, rising over, ascending, descending, climbing, etc are all characteristics of created bodies, whilst Allah is pure from having any attributes of created things attributed to Him. Allah is not in need of a place in order to exist. Imam al-Tahawi sums this up by saying, “He [Allah] is independent of the Throne and that which is beneath it.” (Al-Aqida al-Tahawiyya, Point: 50) Dealing with texts whose meanings are not decisively known (mutashabihat) There are certain texts in the Qur’an and Sunna which indicate that Allah Most High is in the sky or above the heavens upon his Throne. For example: a) “The All-Merciful istawa [literal meaning: positioned Himself] upon the Throne.” (Qur’an 20:5) b) “Have you become fearless of Him who is in the sky if He makes you sink into the earth, and it starts trembling at once?” (Qur’an 67:17) c) Mu’awiya ibn al-Hakam relates, as part of a long hadith, that he came to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and asked various questions about his practices before Islam. From among the questions he said that he had slapped his slave girl, and whether he should free her. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) asked that she be brought before him, and then asked her, “Where is Allah?” She replied, “In the sky (fi ‘l-sama).” The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) asked, “Who am I?” She replied, “You are the Messenger of Allah.” The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, “Free her, for she is a believer.” (Sahih Muslim 537 and others) d) Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, “Our Lord ‘yanzilu [literal meaning: descends]’ every night to the closest heavens…” (Sunan Tirmidhi 2414) Conversely, there are other texts which indicate that Allah Most High is everywhere and All-Encompassing. For example: a) “No secret consultation takes place between three, but He [Allah] is fourth of them; nor between five, but He is sixth of them; nor between fewer than that or more, but He is with them wherever they may be…” (Qur’an 58:7) b) “Indeed, We have created man, and We know whatever thoughts his inner self develops, and We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein.” (Qur’an 50:16) c) “When My servants ask you about Me, then [inform them that] I am near. I respond to the call of one when he prays to Me…” (Qur’an 2:186) d) “Allah encompasses everything.” (Qur’an 4:126) e) “He is with you wherever you are…” (Qur’an 57:4) These types of texts are known as mutashabihat i.e. their meanings are not decisively known by us. Their outward apparent meanings indicate location for Allah Most High or a similitude between Allah and His creation, and thus they go against the fundamental ‘agreed-upon’ belief in Allah’s transcendence (tanzih), mentioned in unequivocal verses such as “There is nothing like unto Him.” The question that arises, then, is how do you deal with such texts? 1) The most precautious and mainstream position in this regard is of the early Muslims (salaf), which includes the majority of the Companions, their followers (tabi’un), the majority of hadith scholars (muhaddithun), the four main Imams and the major scholars of their schools (Allah be pleased with them all). Their view is that the outward purport of such texts is not intended, and only Allah knows the real meanings of such texts; thus they consign their meanings completely to Allah Most High without attempting to interpret them – either literally or figuratively. This is known as the position of tafwid. It means that we fully believe in the texts, but owing to the fact that their meanings have not been decisively established and that they apparently contradict the decisive texts, we consign the knowledge of their reality to Allah Most High, and avoid delving into them. We understand that they have meanings befitting Allah, but it is impossible that they would have physical meanings, since they do not befit Allah; such as places, shapes, limbs, movements, sitting, colors, directions, smiling, laughter, and other meanings which are not permissible to be attributed to Allah. As such; we affirm the words indicating location and Throne for Allah, and also those which indicate Him being everywhere. However, we cannot comprehend the reality of Allah being on his Throne and neither can we comprehend the reality of Him being everywhere – although we fully negate that Allah is ‘physically’ in the heavens/on his Throne (tashbih), and also negate that He is ‘physically’ everywhere in everything (hulul). This is what the early scholars meant when they said regarding such texts, “Pass them by as they are, without asking how” (amirruha bi la kayf). (Some of the scholars from this group, however, interpret the second type of texts which indicate that Allah Most High is everywhere by saying, He is everywhere by His Knowledge, His Seeing, His Hearing and His Power). This position of tafwid is based on the following verse of the Qur’an: “He [Allah] is the One who has revealed to you the Book [the Qur’an]. Out of it there are verses that are muhkamat [of established meaning], which are the principal verses of the Book, and some others are mutashabihat [whose definite meanings are unknown]. Now those who have perversity in their hearts go after the mutashabih of it, seeking [to create] discord, and searching for its interpretation [that meets their desires], while no one knows its interpretation except Allah; and those well-grounded in knowledge say: We believe therein; all is from our Lord. Only the men of understanding observe the advice.” (Qur’an 3:7) Mulla Ali al-Qari states in his commentary of Al-Fiqh al-Akbar, “Imam Abu Hanifa (Allah have mercy on him) said in his Kitab al-Wasiyya, ‘We agree that Allah performed istiwa [literal meaning: positioned Himself] upon the Throne without Him having any need for it or resting on it. He is the Guardian of the Throne and all besides the Throne. If He were in need [of the Throne], He would not have been capable of bringing the universe into existence and administrating over its affairs, like the created beings [for created things are in need, and the one in need of others cannot create the universe]. If He [Allah Most High] was in need of sitting or settling [on the Throne], then before the creation of the Throne, where was He Most High? In effect, He is transcendent of all of this.’ (Minah al-Rawd al-Azhar fi sharh al-Fiqh al-Akbar P: 126-127) Mulla Ali al-Qari further states, “How fitting is the response of Imam Malik (Allah have mercy on him) when he was asked about istiwa. He said, ‘istiwa is known [i.e. we know and accept that it has been mentioned in the Qur’an, because in another narration Imam Malik said, ‘istiwa is not unknown’], the ‘how’ (kayf) is unknown [this has also been transmitted as ‘the how is not comprehensible’], asking about it is an innovation, and belief in it [i.e. accepting it to be part of revelation] is obligatory.’ This is the way of the early scholars (salaf) and the safest path, and Allah knows best.” (Minah al-Rawd al-Azhar fi sharh al-Fiqh al-Akbar P: 127) Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (Allah have mercy on him) said, when asked about Allah’s istiwa on the Throne, “He performs istiwa upon the Throne, however He wills and as He wills, without any limit or any description that can be made by any describer.” (Daf’ Shubah al-Tashbih, P: 28) Imam Shafi’i (Allah have mercy on him) would simply say regarding the mutashabihat texts, “I believe in what has come from Allah as it was intended by Allah, and I believe in what has come from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) as it was intended by the Messenger of Allah.” (Ibn Qudama, Dhamm al-Ta’wil) Imam Sufyan ibn Uyayna (Allah have mercy on him) says, “All that Allah has described Himself with in His Book; its explanation is its reciting and keeping silent about it.” (Bayhaqi, Al-Asma’ wa ‘l-sifat 2/158) 2) The second position concerning such texts is of some later scholars; such as Imam Ibn Taymiya, Imam Ibn al-Qayyim and others (Allah have mercy on them). They also consign the knowledge of what is meant to Allah, but in a slightly different manner. They are of the opinion that we must affirm the apparent literal meaning that has been expressed in the text (tathbit), but then consign its details to Allah Most High. So for example, in relation to the verse of ‘istiwa’, we must believe in and affirm the apparent meaning which is ‘elevation’ and ‘rising over the Throne’. However, the modality (kayfiyya) of this ‘elevation’ or ‘rising’ is unknown, but it is certainly not like the rising of created things. (As for the second type of texts, they clearly interpret them by saying that Allah is everywhere by His Knowledge, His Seeing, His Hearing and His Power). The key difference between this position and the previous one is that in the case of the former, one recites the mutashabih text, accepts it to have been revealed by Allah, believes in it and affirms ‘whatever’ is intended by Allah through it, and then remains silent about it without saying whether the literal or figurative meaning is meant (pass them by as they are without asking how). In the latter position, however, after recital and acknowledgement of the text, one affirms that the apparent literal meaning is what is meant, but the details of this apparent meaning is only known by Allah. There is a very subtle difference between the two viewpoints! Even though this (latter) view – in of itself – can be considered acceptable, it can also potentially be highly dangerous, especially in our times. This is due to two reasons: Firstly; the human intellect is very limited, and thus it is very difficult for it to comprehend Allah being above the heavens upon His Throne without some sort of bodily figure coming to mind. The early Muslims had strong faiths, and may have been equipped to negate any thought of a bodily figure occupying a throne. This cannot be said for every simple believer today. In life, we are accustomed to only experiencing created things; and thus it may be difficult to fully realize the transcendent nature and majesty of Allah Most High – if we were to say that He is upon His Throne. Imam Abd al-Wahhab al-Sha’rani expresses this point in a very beautiful manner. He states that Allah’s attributes of ‘istiwa’, ‘elevation’ and ‘nuzul [descending] to the heavens’ are all eternal (qadim), for He is eternal with all His attributes; whereas there is a consensus that the Throne and everything surrounding it is created. As such, Allah Most High had the attribute of ‘istiwa’ and ‘nuzul’ even before He created the Throne and the heavens. So where was His ‘istiwa’ before creating the Throne, and upon what did He do ‘nuzul’ before creating the heavens and the sky? Therefore, the way you envisage Allah’s ‘istiwa’ upon the Throne and His ‘nuzul’ to the heavens before the creation of the Throne and the heavens, envisage it in the same manner after their creation. (Al-Yawaqit wa ‘l-Jawahir) Secondly, the discourse of the early Muslims was mainly in the Arabic language. As such, both approaches in consigning the mutashabihat texts to the knowledge of Allah seemed similar. The advocates of the first approach would, for example, merely recite the word ‘istawa’ and say “I affirm this istiwa as intended by Allah” and leave it to that, whilst those who took the second approach would also recite ‘istawa’ and then say that the meaning of this is literal ‘istiwa’ but in a manner befitting Allah. The difficulty arises when the word ‘istawa’ is translated into another language. If the second approach is taken, then one would translate it in English by saying “the meaning of this is that Allah rose over the Throne” and the like. This is when the thought of a bodily figure and human-like attributes come to mind. This also explains why the advocates of both approaches use the same evidences and statements of early Muslim scholars, such as the four Imams, in justifying their view. Using only the Arabic medium, it can be difficult to distinguish the clear difference between the two approaches. For example, Imam Abu Hanifa states in his Al-Fiqh al-Absat, “He who says that I do not know if my Lord is in the sky or the earth has indeed committed disbelief… Similarly, he who says that He is on His Throne, but I do not know whether the Throne is in the sky or the earth [has also committed disbelief].” (Al-Fiqh al-Absat, p: 14) This quote of Imam Abu Hanifa (Allah have mercy on him) is misunderstood by some, and incorrectly used to prove that the Imam believed in affirming a direction and location for Allah! The reality is that Imam Abu Hanifa was amongst the very early Muslims (salaf), and his position was in harmony with the mainstream popular opinion of that time – which is ultimate tafwid, as it is clear from his statements quoted earlier; such as, “If He [Allah Most High] was in need of sitting or settling [on the Throne], then before the creation of the Throne, where was He Most High?” However, the Imam was also against figurative interpretation of the mutashabihat texts, and firm on the position of consigning the meaning to the knowledge of Allah. As such, followers of Imam Abu Hanifa and commentators of his works have explained what he meant by the above text. They state that the reason why Imam Abu Hanifa declared a person who says these two phrases a disbeliever is because they contain attributing a direction and location for Allah. (See: Isharat al-Maram min Ibarat al-Imam, p: 168) Imam Izz al-Din ibn al-Salam says that the reason why Imam Abu Hanifa declared such a person a disbeliever is that by using such words, one suggests a place for Allah; and whosoever believes that Allah has a place is an anthropomorphist. (Minah al-Rawd al-Azhar fi sharh al-Fiqh al-Akbar P: 115) Thus, Imam Abu Hanifa’s intention is not to prove that the heavens and the Throne are places for Allah, and the clearest evidence for this is the aforementioned saying of the Imam himself, “If He [Allah Most High] was in need of sitting or settling [on the Throne], then before the creation of the Throne, where was He Most High? In effect, He is transcendent of all of this.” And Allah knows best. 3) The third position in regards to these mutashabihat texts is that their apparent literal meaning is impossible for Allah; thus the texts will be interpreted figuratively/metaphorically in a manner befitting Allah, yet without affirming it with certainty since other meanings could also be correct. This position was held mainly by scholars of later generations (khalaf), who were forced to take this stance in order to safeguard the iman of the masses, since people were not satisfied with merely consigning the knowledge of mutashabihat texts to Allah, and thus began to understand them literally and read into meanings that do not befit Allah Most High. This position is known as the position of ta’wil. Ta’wil means to interpret, make sense of, assign a meaning to, and give an interpretation or explanation to a particular text or phrase. For example, interpreting the saying “the King defeated the enemy” that the defeat occurred at the hands of the King’s army and not the King himself. This is also a valid and acceptable view according to the vast majority of scholars as long as it remains within the boundaries of the Arabic language and spirit of Shari’ah. Even some early Muslims (salaf), including some of the Sahaba such as Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him), made ta’wil in some of the Qur’anic verses and hadiths, and the reality is that at times we have no choice but to assign figurative meanings, otherwise they will contradict the decisive and emphatically established texts (muhkamat), leading to many contradictions in the Qur’an and Sunna. For example, Imam al-Bukhari (Allah have mercy on him) interprets the verse “There is no god but He. Everything is going to perish except His wajh [literal meaning: face]” (Qur’an 28:88) by saying that the word ‘wajh’ means ‘mulk’ or ‘dominion.’ He also quotes another interpretation, “that which was done solely for the sake of Allah [i.e. righteous actions].” Imam Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, in his Fath al-Bari, quotes Abu Ubayda as saying that the word ‘wajh’ in the verse means the ‘majesty (jalal)’ of Allah. (See: Fath al-Bari with Sahih al-Bukhari 8/641-642) Similarly, in regards to the hadith of Bukhari and Muslim wherein the attribute of Allah ‘dhik (literal meaning: laughing)’ has been mentioned, Imam Bukhari is quoted as saying that it means, “Allah’s mercy.” (Bayhaqi, Kitab al-Asma’ wa ‘l-Sifat, p: 433) In Surat al-Qalam, Allah Most High says, “On the Day when the saq [literal meaning: shin] will be exposed…” (Qur’an 68:42) Likewise, in the hadith of Bukhari, it is stated, “Our Lord will expose his saq [literal meaning: shin].” Many scholars from the salaf and khalaf; such as Abdullah ibn Abbas, Mujahid and Qatada interpret the term ‘saq’ with various different explanations. (See: Imam al-Bayhaqi’s Al-Asma’ wa ‘l-Sifat, p: 323) Imam Ibn Kathir (Allah have mercy on him) relates in his masterpiece Al-Bidaya wa ‘l-Nihaya quoting Imam al-Bayhaqi from his Manaqib through a sound chain that Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (Allah have mercy on him) interpreted the verse, “And your Lord shall come” (Qur’an 89:22) to mean, “His recompense (thawab) shall come.’ (Al-Bidaya wa ‘l-Nihaya, 10/327) There are countless other examples of this, but the above should suffice, insha‘Allah. Accordingly, scholars of later generations interpreted the mutashabihat texts which indicate Allah’s physical elevation above the heavens, and Allah being positioned in the sky or upon His Throne with various explanations. For example: a) Imam Ibn Jarir al-Tabari states in his well-known exegesis (tafsir) of the Qur’an, “Allah made himself exalted over the heavens with the exaltation of sovereignty and power, not that of dislodgment and movement.” (Tasir al-Tabari 1/430) Others who interpret the verses of ‘istiwa’ figuratively include: Imam al-Bayhaqi, Imam al-Haramayn al-Juwayni, Imam Raghib al-Isfahani, Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, Imam Abu ‘l-Faraj ibn al-Jazi al-Hanbali, Imam Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, Imam al-Baydawi, Imam al-Nasafi, Imam Taqi al-Din al-Subki, Imam Ibn al-Humam al-Hanafi, Imam al-Suyuti and others (Allah have mercy on them all). They state that ‘istiwa’ does not mean Allah’s physical elevation over the Throne; rather, it refers to elevation of rank, status and dominion, and Allah’s subjugation of the Throne that is without a beginning like all of the attributes of Allah. b) In regards to the verse of Surat al-Mulk [“Have you become fearless of Him who is in the sky…”], the great Maliki exegete (mufassir) Imam al-Qurtubi (Allah have mercy on him) says in his twenty-volume commentary of the Qur’an, Al-Jami’ li ahkam al-Qur’an, “It is said that the meaning of the verse is, have you become fearless of Him whose power, authority, Throne and dominion is in the sky. The reason for specifying the sky – despite His authority being universal – is to assert that a God is One whose power is [also] manifest in the heavens, and not [only] one whom people venerate on the earth. Some others said that it refers to the angels, and some said that it refers to angel Jibra’il who is entrusted with punishing people. I [Qurtubi] say that the verse could mean, “Have you become fearless of the Creator of those in the sky...” (Al-Jami’ li Ahkam al-Qur’an, tafsir of 67/17, 18/141) Imam al-Qurtubi further states in the commentary of the same verse, “The more exacting scholars hold that “in the heavens” is similar to Allah’s statement “Journey in the earth”, meaning over the heavens; but [not over it] by way of physical contact or spatialization, but by way of power (qahr) and control (tadbir). Another position is that it means, “Have you become fearless of Him who holds sway over (ala) the heavens” just as it is said, “So-and-so is over Iraq and the Hijaz”, meaning that he is the governor and commander of them. The hadiths on this subject are numerous, rigorously authenticated (sahih), and widely known, and indicate the exaltedness of Allah; only an atheist or a stubborn ignoramus would deny them. Their meaning is to dignify Allah and exalt Him above what is base and low, and to characterize Him by highness and grandeur, not by being in places, particular directions, or within limits, for these are the qualities of physical bodies. The hands are only raised towards the heavens when one supplicates because the sky is from where divine revelation descends and rain falls, the place of purity and the wellspring of the purified ones from the angels, and that the deeds of servants are raised to it; and over it is His Throne and His Paradise; just as Allah has made the Ka’ba the direction (qibla) of supplication and prayer. And also because He has created all places and has no need of them. He was in His beginning-less eternality before creating space and time, when there was no place or time, and is now as He was.” (Al-Jami’ li Ahkam al-Qur’an, tafsir of 67/17, 18/141) Similarly, Imam Nawawi (Allah have mercy on him) states in his commentary on Sahih Muslim, “Al-Qadi Iyad said, ‘There is no disagreement among any of the Muslims – their jurists (fuqaha), their hadith scholars (muhaddithun), their theologians (mutakallimun), their polemicists (nuddhar) and their ordinary followers (muqallidun) – that the texts which outwardly indicate that Allah is in the sky – for example, the statement of Allah Most High, “Have you become fearless of Him who is in the sky if He makes you sink into the earth?” (Qur’an 67:17) – are not to be taken literally; rather, according to them all [that is, all the Muslims and experts of every field of Shari’ah as mentioned above], they are to be interpreted figuratively.’” (Al-Minhaj sharh Sahih Muslim) c) In regards to the hadith of the slave-girl whom the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) asked, “Where is Allah?”, and she responded by saying, “In the sky”, Imam Nawawi states, “This is one of the hadiths which deal with the attributes [of Allah]. There are two positions with regards to them, both of which have been discussed repeatedly in the chapter of faith (iman). The first position is to believe in them without delving into its meaning (tafwid); while maintaining categorically that there is nothing like unto Allah Most High, and that He transcends the attributes of created things. The second position is to interpret them figuratively (ta’wil) in a manner that befits Him. Those who hold this [latter] position [of figurative interpretation] say that [in the present hadith] the Messenger of Allah’s (Allah bless him & give him peace) intention was to examine her to see whether or not she was one of those who worshiped idols that are before them, or one of those who believed in the Oneness of Allah and maintained that Allah alone is the creator, disposer, and one who effects [all things] – for He is the One that when a person supplicates to Him, he turns [his attention, or hands] towards the sky; just as when a person performs Salat, he faces the Ka’ba. [What is mentioned in the hadith] is not because Allah is restricted in the sky, just as He is not restricted in the direction of the Ka’ba. Rather, it is because the sky is the direction (qibla) for supplication (dua’), just as the Ka’ba is the direction (qibla) for the ritual prayer. So when she said that “He is in the sky”, it became known that she was one of those who believed in the Oneness of Allah, and not a worshipper of idols.” (Al-Minhaj sharh Sahih Muslim) Mulla Ali al-Qari states in his commentary on Mishkat al-Masabih in relation to this hadith, “Al-Qadi Iyad al-Maliki said, ‘By asking this question, the Messenger of Allah’s (Allah bless him & give him peace) objective was not to ask about Allah’s location (makan), for verily He is above and beyond space, as He is above and beyond time. Rather the intent of his question to her was to find out whether she was a believer in His oneness (muwahhida) or someone who associated partners with Allah (mushrika), because the unbelievers of the Arabs used to worship idols, and each tribe used to have a specific idol in its midst which it worshipped and aggrandized; and it may be that the simple-minded and ignorant ones among them did not know any other object of worship than that idol. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) meant to determine what she worshipped. When she said, ‘In the heavens’ – and another narration says that she made a sign towards the heavens – it was understood that she was a believer in tawhid. His objective by this line of questioning was the disowning of the gods of the earth, which are the idols; not the establishment of the heaven as a location for Allah. Allah is greatly exalted from the sayings of the wrong-doers.’” (Mirqat al-Mafatih) Furthermore; Imam al-Ubbiy in his commentary of Sahih Muslim, Shaykh Muhammad al-Shanqiti, Imam Abu Bakr ibn al-Furak in his Mushkil al-Hadith, Qadi Abu Bakr ibn al-Arabi in his commentary of Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Imam Ibn al-Jawzi al-Hanbali in his Daf’ Shubah al-Tashbih, Imam Abu ‘l-Walid al-Baji, Imam al-Baydawi, Imam Taqi al-Din al-Subki and countless other classical scholars also state that the Messenger of Allah’s (Allah bless him & give him peace) objective by the question was not to ask regarding the physical location of Allah (makan), but about His rank and status (makana); and the slave-girl’s response was not intended to describe Allah physically being in the sky, rather to express His tremendousness (adhama), superiority, nobility and elevation of status and rank. There are so many quotes of the Imams in this regard such that it is difficult to reproduce them here. As such, this group of scholars interpreted all such texts which indicate Allah’s physical elevation over the heavens and Throne by giving figurative meanings. Similarly, many of them interpreted the second type of texts which indicate that Allah Most High is everywhere by saying, He is everywhere with His knowledge, assistance and the like. Interpreting both types of texts is acceptable and valid as long as it remains within the known parameters of language and Shari’ah. Just as it is valid to interpret texts indicating Allah being everywhere or with His creation, it is likewise permitted to interpret the texts indicating Allah being above the heavens on His Throne. Sadly, some people consider the interpretation of ‘Allah above the heavens/upon His Throne’ texts to be deviation, yet they see no problem in interpreting the ‘Allah with His creation’ texts! This is an unjust approach. If interpreting the second type of texts is not deviation, then interpreting the first type of texts is also not deviation. Consistency demands that we hold the same stance with both types of texts. Conclusion and final thoughts In conclusion, the central point of aqida which every Muslim must firmly believe is of Allah’s transcendence (tanzih) – that is to say, Allah Most High is above and beyond having any resemblance with His creation. He Most High is not to be described with limits, organs and other such characteristics belonging to created things; and is not confined to time and space. “There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him.” (Qur’an 42:11) This much belief is sufficient for an average Muslim to attain salvation, insha Allah. Thereafter; with regard to the texts describing Allah to be everywhere or with His creation, most classical and later scholars interpret them to mean that Allah is everywhere with His knowledge, seeing and hearing; and this is not the real point of contention. Accordingly, one may interpret these texts, or consign their meaning to the knowledge of Allah. However, one must not believe that Allah Most High is ‘physically’ everywhere, since space is created whereas Allah is pre-existent and eternal. As for the texts describing Allah to be in the heavens/sky and above His Throne – which are the real point of contention, and apparently go against the above core belief in Allah’s transcendence – one may adopt any of the following positions; and all of them are valid positions and none of them can be considered outright deviation: a) Consigning their meanings and details completely to the knowledge of Allah. This position, known as tafwid, was chosen by the majority of early scholars (salaf), and by far the best and safest approach. b) Affirming their literal meanings (tathbit) – with emphatic rejection of a similitude between Allah and His creation – and then consigning the modality (kayfiyya) of such texts to the knowledge of Allah. This position, chosen by scholars such as Imam Ibn Taymiya, can be risky for an average believer. c) Interpreting such texts figuratively in a manner that befits Allah. This is known as ta’wil, and was chosen by some later scholars. None of the above three standpoints can be considered deviation or departure from the Ahl al-Sunna wa ’l-Jama’ah. One of my respected Shaykhs, Mufti Taqi Usmani (may Allah preserve him) states in his monumental commentary of Sahih Muslim, “All four positions [he mentioned one other position which can be incorporated in the three I have mentioned) are feasible. Large numbers of verifying scholars have taken every one of these positions, since the important thing in creed (aqida) is declaring Allah to be beyond having a similitude [with His creation], and not negating His attributes (ta’til); and every one of these four paths is firmly convinced of this. The difference between them is not a difference in creed, for indeed the creed is declaring Allah beyond tashbih and ta’til; it is only a difference of opinion in expressing that creed and basing them on the texts. So not one of these paths is entirely baseless or absolutely misguided, even if theoretical debates and arguments have not ceased to run between them for many centuries. Occasionally, exaggeration and excess occurred in them from the various sides, and occasionally one of them steered in the direction of trespassing the limits of moderation, but the truth is that the basis of the dispute is nothing but a judgmental (ijtihadi) dispute, akin to the differences of the jurists in juristic matters which are open to interpretation. For this reason, outstanding scholars of the Umma, adherent devotees to the Book and the Sunna, of whose being from the people of truth and from the Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah is not in doubt, took every opinion from these four opinions. It is apparent that the path of the majority from the predecessors (salaf) was tafwid, and this is the safest, most prudent and most in accordance with His statement (Most High), “No one knows its interpretation except Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: we believe therein’” (3:7) (Takmila Fath al-Mulhim 5/379-80) The famous late Jordanian scholar of immense knowledge and wisdom, Shaykh Nuh Ali Salman al-Qudat (Allah have mercy on him) expresses the same stance in his commentary of Jawharat al-Tawhid. He states that all the various positions of the scholars are close to one-another, since they all agree that Allah Most High does not possess human-like attributes. Thereafter, whether one consigns the meaning completely to the knowledge of Allah, or interprets the texts figuratively, or affirms the literal meaning but negates anthropomorphism (tashbih), it is all part of affirming Allah’s transcendence. As such, there is no need to fuel hostility and enmity between Muslims – especially at a time when Muslims have to combat the enemies of Islam. (See: Al-Mukhtasar al-Mufid fi sharh Jawharat al-Tawhid, p: 91) As such, all classical scholars agree on ensuring that the basic doctrine of Allah’s transcendence is preserved; they merely differ in the manner in which this is realized. Some perceive Allah’s transcendence in absolute tafwid, whilst others see it in interpreting the texts figuratively, and some others see it in affirming the literal meaning but with ‘emphatic rejection’ of Allah being similar to His creation. For example, Allah’s attribute of ‘yad’ has been mentioned in various texts of the Qur’an and Sunna. ‘Yad’ linguistically, as we understand it, refers to the hand of a created being. However, all the groups agree and emphatically deny that Allah has a hand like that of a human, thus they all preserve the central belief in Allah’s transcendence. Thereafter, whether we say “Allah knows best what ‘yad’ means” or “it refers to Allah’s assistance, etc” or “it means a hand but certainly unlike the human hand”, it does not undo the central aqida outlined in the verse, “There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him.” (Qur’an 42:11) Therefore, debates and heated arguments about this issue must be avoided, and we should learn to ‘agree to disagree’. No group should enforce their viewpoint on the other group, and no group has the right of claiming to be on the ultimate truth. Sadly, we live in a time of religious extremism and fanaticism. Some of us very easily term others as anthropomorphist (mushabbiha), whilst others consider tafwid, ta’wil and everything else besides affirming the literal meaning (tathbit) to be outright deviation and even disbelief! This implies declaring countless Imams and giants of this Umma as deviated, since most of them either chose the path of tafwid or ta’wil. May Allah protect us, Ameen. Indeed, the following positions are absolute deviation and may well even take one out of the fold of Islam: a) Believing (may Allah protect us) that Allah is ‘physically’ in the heavens or ‘physically sitting’ on His Throne like created beings, known as anthropomorphism (tashbih). Sitting, standing, coming into contact, separation, moving from one place to another, etc, are all characteristics of created bodies from which Allah is pure. b) Believing that Allah Most High is ‘physically’ everywhere and ‘physically’ with His creation and in every space. This is known as hulul. c) Rejecting and denying the non-decisive (mutashabihat) texts concerning the attributes of Allah altogether. This is known as ta’til. The above is what I have learnt from my teachers, especially Shaykh Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani (may Allah preserve him). It is what I consider and accept as the truth in the matter, and feel is the most balanced observation, Insha Allah. May Allah protect us all and bring about harmony and love between us, Ameen Ya Rabb. And Allah knows best [Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam Darul Iftaa Leicester , UK
  24. 1 point
    By Qari Mawlana Muhammad Tayyib al-Qasmi Summarised by Mawlana Moosa Kajee Their din is Islam which incorporates ‘aqa’id (beliefs), ‘ibadah (worship), mu‘amalat (social dealings), akhlaq (character) as well mu’asharat (social conduct). Their group is that of Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama’ah which is based totally on the Qur’an, Sunnah and the understanding of din in the light of the Sahabah which has reached us through a direct sanad (chain). Their fiqhi madhhab is Hanafi since the akabir (elders) of the Dar al-’Ulum were Hanafi, but at the same time refrain from slurring or insulting any of the other imams or their madhahib since all the imams were on haqq (truth). They have preferred staunch taqlid over giving their nafs a free reign and following their whims and fancy. Their spirituality is based on Tasawwuf which conforms totally to the Shari’ah, comprising of purification of the soul, beautification of one’s character and establishing a connection with Allah . Their beliefs (in the field of kalam (beliefs)) are Maturidi, a part of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama’ah who are on haqq, neither believing only in that which their intelligence accepts without considering the Qur’an, Sunnah and Ijma’, nor denying that one’s intelligence is a useful tool which clarifies the beliefs of Islam. Their chain of Tasawwuf is mainly Chishti, but in fact a combination of all chains which are on haqq. They are generally given khilafah (permission to accept pledge of allegiance) in all four famous chains i.e. Chishti, Qadiri, Naqshbandi and Suhrwardi. Their fikr (intellectual inclination) is according to the fikr of Shah Wali Allah which is a combination of naql (divine promptings) and aql (rational and intellectual promptings). Their principles and ideology regarding din are according to that of Mawlana Muhammad Qasim Nanautwi who had expounded on the beliefs of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama’a using logical and rational proofs and reconciled the differences between the Asha’ira and the Maturidiyya. Their ideology regarding the furu’ (subsidiary laws) of din i.e. fiqh is according to that of Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi who had figured out the intricacies of the field and expounded on it. Their nisbah (connection) is Deobandi since their starting point was the Dar al-’Ulum in Deoband. To achieve the spread of this school of thought, the Dar al-’Ulum was founded on these objectives: To spread the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah and to bring alive all branches of din through the system of ta’lim (teaching) and ta’allum (learning), since every facet of din is dependent upon knowledge. Thus the ‘ulama of Deoband gave greater significance to knowledge over all other branches of din. Islah and tazkiyah nafs (spiritual reformation and purification of the soul) through the medium of Tasawwuf and spiritual training. To protect and establish the personal and social interests of the Muslims by giving importance to fiqh (jurisprudence) and Islamic justice. To keep alive the spirit of jihad and self-defence by continuous training. To reform the society through the means of lectures and sermons which will aim to correct the incorrect beliefs of the masses, removing misconceptions regarding Islam and root out bid’ah (innovations). To bring alive the Sunnah by combining fikr (concern) for the reformation of the people and ‘amal (practice) by promoting the Sunnah lifestyle. To spread Islam and its beautiful teachings to all foreign non-Muslims by explaining to them that true wisdom lies in the way of the anbiya’ (messengers), not in their superficial wisdom and so-called progress. To fill the vacuum void of writing and authoring by presenting Islam according to the necessity of the hour. To keep Islamic brotherhood alive and to establish an Islāmic Khilāfah. To maintain freedom and independence in their expression of knowledge so that their teachings remain free from the influence of strangers by avoiding any assistance from the state and sufficing upon the sincere assistance, albeit limited, of the Muslim public. Thus it is not the system of the ‘ulama of Deoband to limit din to a few aspects labouring under the misconception that this is the entire din. Rather every aspect and branch of din is firmly adhered to in a just, enveloping maslak (ideology). (‘Ulama of Deoband. Azaadville: Madrasah Arabia Islamia. 1432H, 2011C. p. 13-6)
  25. 1 point
    Question: When it comes to womens sajdah in the Hanafi madhab they are required to put their arms on the ground. It seems as this conflicts with the hadith of Bukhari where the Prophet [saw] forbade putting the hands on the ground like a dog. Please give proof as to why women should go against this hadith even if it be for the sake of modesty. Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh. Women placing her forearms on the ground in sajda is understood from the following: Rasullullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said: عن يزيدَ بن أبي حبيب أنَّ رسولَ الله مَرَّ عَلَى امرأتينِ تصليانِ، فقال : «إذَا سَجَدْتُمَا فَضُمَّا بعضَ اللحمِ إلى الأرضِ، فإنَّ المرأةَ لَيْسَتْ في ذلِكَ كالرجلِ “When you make prostration, keep your body attached to the ground because a woman has not been created like a man” [1] If a woman raises her elbows from the ground, her body will not be attached to the ground. Thus she will go against the dictates of the Hadeeth. The narrators of the above Hadeeth have not been classified as weak and not acceptable. In fact, Imam Baihaqi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) has classified this Hadeeth as the best “Mawsool” Hadeeth on this topic.[2] عن أبى سعيد الخدرى رضى الله عنه صاحب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال خير صفوف الرجال الصف الاول وكان يأمر الرجال أن يتجافوا فى سجودهم ويأمر النساء ينخفضن فى سجودهن وكان يامر الرجال أن يفرشوا اليسرى وينصبوا اليمنى فى التشهد ويأمر النساء أن يتربعن وقال يا معشر النساء لا ترفعن أبصاركن فى صلاتكن تنظرن إلى عورات الرجال Abû Saîd Khudrî (Radhiyallahu Anhu) says that Rasûlullâh (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said, “The best saff for the men is the front saff while the best saff for the women is the last saff. He used to command the men to completely stretch out when performing sajdah while he ordered the women to completely contract during the sajdah. He used to command the men to lay down the left foot and make the right foot upright during tashah-hud. And he used to order the women to practise tarabbu’ (to sit cross legged) and he said, “O women, do not raise your glances in salâh in order to look at the satr of the males.[3] If a woman raises her elbows in Sajdah, she will not be contracting herself as ordered in the Hadeeth. Imâm Abdur Razzâq (211 A.H) رحمه الله has quoted the following hadîth in his Musannaf: وعن على قال إذا سجدت المرأة فلتحتفز ولتلصق فخذيها ببطنها Alî (Radhiyallahu Anhu) says, “When a woman prostrates, she must practise ihtifâz and keep her thighs close to her stomach.”[4] Spreading her elbows will be against Ihtifaaz. Imâm Abû Bakr Ibn Abî Shaybah (235 A.H) رحمه الله narrates the following statement: عن ابراهيم قال إذا سجدت المرأة فلتزق بطنها بفخذيها ولا ترفع عجزتها ولا تجافى كما يجافى الرجل “Ibrâhîm رحمه الله says that when a woman prostrates, she should join her thighs to her stomach without raising her posterior and without stretching her limbs out like a male.”[5] The above will not be fulfilled if a woman raises her elbows in Sajdah. The above Ahadeeth are clear regarding the difference in posture of the man from that of a woman in Salaah. Anyone who has even basic knowledge of Hadeeth would understand the concept of Mukhtalif al-Hadeeth and the sciences of reconciling apparent inconsistencies in Ahadeeth. Not being able to do this will lead one to erroneous conclusions as understood from the question. And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best Moulana Ismail Desai, Durban, South Africa Darul Iftaa Croydon Checked and Approved by, Mufti Ebrahim Desai. 1اعلاء السنن (ج3، ص 26) التلخيص الحبير (ج 1، ص 91) مراسيل لأبي داود 2قال البيهقي: هو أحسن من موصولين في هذا الباب (اعلاء السنن، ج 3، ص 27) 3 السنن الكبرى للبيهقى(ص 223، ج 2 , نشر السنة , ملتان باكستان) و سنن البيهقى (ص 223، ج 2، ادارة التأليفات) المصنف لعبد الرزّاق ، ج 3، ص 138، رقم الحديث: 4932[4] المصنف لابن أبى شيبة ،ج 1،ص 270[5 http://efiqh.com/2012/when-it-comes-to-womens-sajdah-in-the-hanafi-madhab-they-are-required-to-put-their-arms-on-the-ground/