Jumu’ah in a Maktab

[Mujlisul Ulama]

Question:  Is  Jumuah  Salaat  permissible  in  a  maktab  when  there  is  a  nearby  Musjid?  A    molvi  in  our  area  has  made  provision  for  Jum’ah  Salah  to  be  performed  slightly  earlier  at  his  maktab  for  those  that  find  it  difficult  to  go  the  Masjid  due  to  work.  Aside  from  the  permissibility  or  otherwise  of Jum’ah  at  a  maktab,  as  opposed  to  a  Masjid,  surely  the  focus  should  be  on  educating  the  masses  via  the  blessed  words  of  Nabi  Sallallahu  Alayhi Wasallam  of  the  importance  of  Jum’ah  in  the  Masjid.

By  simply  accommodating  the  “needs”  of  the  people,  regardless  of  whether  they  are  legitimate  or  not,  is  the  molvi not  derogating  from  the  original  stance  of  the  Deen;  the  result  being  a  precedent  is  set  and  people  forget  that  the    actual  demand  of  the  Shariah   is  to  perform  Salah  in  the Masjid?

The  same  argument  is  used  by  Molvis  for  performing  a  2nd  Jum’ah  Salah  at  a  later  time  in  a  Masjid  where  Jum’ah  has already  taken  place.  They  say  the  masses  weakness  needs  to  be  accommodated.

I  have  heard  from  senior  reliable  Muftis  (and  not  the  mass  sell  outs)  that  a  2nd  Jum’ah  in  a  Masjid  where  one  Jamat  has  taken  place  is  disliked.

The  masses,  who  are  devoid  of  spirituality  and  indoctrinated  by  secularist  mind-set  then  argue: “disliked  doesn’t  mean impermissible.”  There  is  no  reply  to  such  a  moronic  response,  other  than  would  you  make  that  comment  to  Nabi  Sallallahu  Alayhi  Wasallam  and his  Sahabah  if  they  were  alive  today?  Please  comment  on these  issues.

Answer: It  is  not  permissible  to  have  Jumuah  Salaat  in  a  maktab  when  there  is  a  Musjid  in  close  proximity.  The  Molvi  errs  grievously.  The  reason  proffered  does  not  justify  this  sinful  act.  The  ahkaam  of  the  Shariah  are  being  watered  down  in  every  branch  of  the Deen  by  the  molvis  and  sheikhs  of  this  age.  The  Deen  is  no  longer  of  primary  importance.  It  has  become  the  handmaid  of  secular  and  worldly  pursuits,  hence  employment  and  trade  are  given  greater  preference,  and  the  maktab  is  preferred  over the  Musjid.

The  second  Jumuah  Salaat  held  in  the  same  Musjid  is  not  permissible.  The  meaning  of  ‘disliked’  in  the  context  has  a  Shar’i  application.  It  means  Makrooh  Tahrimi  which  does  not  mean  permissible.  It  most  certainly  means  impermissible  and  Haraam.  The  consequence  of  both  Haraam  and  Makrooh  Tahrimi  is  the  Fire  of  Jahannam.  There  is  no  practical  difference  between  a  prohibition  described  haraam   and  a  prohibition  described  Makrooh  Tahrimi.  Both  are  abominable  and  for  both  there  is  the  punishment  of  Jahannam.

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The Meaning Of Tasawwuf

[Mujlisul Ulama]

TASAWWUF,  also  termed  Sufi’ism,  is  not  a  mystical  cult  of  rituals.  Tasawwuf  has  no  rituals.  The  Shariah  has  its  rituals  such  as  Salaat,  Saum,  Hajj,  Qur’baani,  etc.,  but  Tasawwuf  is  an  integral  component  of  the  Shariah,  and  it  has  no  rituals.

The  various  forms  of  athkaar  and  spiritual  practices prescribed  by  the  Auliya,  are not  part  of  Tasawwuf.  These  are  all  spiritual  remedies  for spiritual  ailments  which  the Mashaaikh  diagnose  in  their mureedeen. 

Tasawwuf  deals  only  with  moral  character.  Its  objective  is  moral  reformation  and  spiritual progress  for  the  sake  of  Divine Proximity  which  is  the  only objective  of  the  Mu’min  for  his presence  on  earth.

There  is  Ijma’  (Consensus)  of  all  the  Mashaaikh  of  Tasawwuf  of  all  Sufi  Math-habs  that  any  brand  of  tasawwuf  which  is  bereft  of  the  Shariah  and  Sunnah  or  in  conflict  thereof,  is  in  reality  satanism.

Describing  Tasawwuf,  Hadhrat  Abdullah  Khafeef  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  –  a  renowned  Wali  of  bygone  ages  said: 

“Tasawwuf  is  to  accept  whatever  is  recorded  in  the  Tablet  of  Taqdeer;  to  ask  from  only  the  Great  and  Glorious  King  (Allah  Azza  Wa  Jal),  and  to  traverse  wildernesses  and  mountains.”

The  Tablet  of  Taqdeer:  Whilst  employing  the  ways  and  means  permitted  by  the  Shariah  for  the  acquisition  of  needs,  the  Mu’min  has  to  be  satisfied  with  the  end  result  of  his  lawful  efforts.  Whether  he  succeeds  or  fails  in  his  lawful  pursuit  of  the  dunya,  his  focus  must  at  all  times  be  on  Allah  Ta’ala.  If  he  fails,  he  is  not  expected  to  become  despondent  and frustrated. 

He  is  not  permitted  to  complain.  He  has  to  understand  that  the  ultimate  result  is  Allah’s  ordainment.

Asking  from  only  Allah  Azza  Wa  Jal: This  precept  does  not  negate  employment  of  the  lawful  means  and  ways  created  by  Allah  Ta’ala  for  acquiring  lawful  objectives.  But,  it  demands  implicit  faith  (yaqeen)  that  needs  are  fulfilled  by  only  Allah  Ta’ala,  not  by  the  means and  agencies  via  which  the needs  are  fulfilled.  Thus,  when someone  denies  the  assistance sought,  one  will  not  feel  the slightest  annoyance.  One  will understand  by  the  refusal  that Allah  Ta’ala  has  not  inspired  the  person  to  render  the  assistance  sought.  If  this  is  one’s  is  asking  only  from  Allah  Ta’ala.  On  the  contrary,    annoyance  is  proof  of  great Imaani  deficiency.  It  will  mean that  one  lacks  belief  in  the Providence  of  Allah  Ta’ala,  and  in  the  fact  that  it  is  only  He Who  ordains.

Traversing  wildernesses  and mountains:  For  the  select  Auliya  of  former  ages,  this  had literal  application.  They  would physically  renounce  the  world and  journey  on  foot  through deserts,  wildernesses  and  over mountains  in  their  quest  for Divine  Proximity.  Their  journeys  were  not  sight-seeing  tours  and  holidaying.  On  the  contrary,  they  underwent  great trials  and  hardships.  The  rigours  of  travelling  on  foot  through  wild  wildernesses  and  deserts  without  provisions  could  be  borne  by  only  those  who  were  lost  in  Divine  Love.  Among  the  Ambiya  (Alayhimus  salaam),  Nabi  Isaa  (Alayhis  salaam)  was  famous  for  such  sojourns.

As  far  as  the  masses  are  concerned,  the  Waajib  degree  of  ‘journeying  through  the  wilderness’  is  to  migrate  from  sin  and  transgression;  to  adopt  solitude  and  seclusion  daily  for  a  short  while  to  contemplate  on  Maut,  the  Qabr  and  the  Aakhirah;  to  drastically  reduce  contact  with  people,  mingling  with  them  only  for  one’s  needs;  to  speak  less,  and  to  cultivate  Taqwa.  And  this  is  possible  only  by  complete  submission  to  the  Shariah  and    adoption  of  the  Sunnah  in  all  aspects  of  daily  life.

“Be with the Saadiqeen” – [Qur’an]

[Jamiatul Ulama Gauteng]

Attaining Divine Proximity

The normal Sunnah of Allah Ta’ala for His servants regarding the attainment of Qurb-e-Ilaahi (Divine Proximity – Nearness to Allah Ta’ala) is to join the ranks of the Saadiqeen. The Saadiqeen are the elite Auliya of Allah Ta’ala. The rule is that it is impossible to travel along the Path leading to Allah Azza Wa Jal without being in the company of the Saadiqeen. While every rule has exceptions, the exception is not the norm. Although the True spiritual guide is Allah Azza Wa Jal, He has created the institution of the Saadiqeen to lead His servants unto Him. It is for this reason that the Qur’aan Majeed commands in several Aayaat cultivation of the companionship with the Saadiqeen.

Allah Ta’ala says:

“O People of Imaan! Fear Allah (adopt Taqwa), and be with the Saadiqeen.” (At-Taubah, Aayat 119)

In this Aayat, Allah Ta’ala informs us that the way of acquiring Taqwa is in the company of the Saadiqeen and Saaliheen. With the march of time, the dearth of Saadiqeen is incremental. The further we move from the age of Nubuwwat, the fewer become the Saadiqeen. The current era in which we find ourselves is practically barren of Saadiqeen. They all have departed and are to be found only in the graves.

Regarding the disappearance of the Saadiqeen and Saaliheen, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“The Saaliheen are departing one after the other (in quick succession) until there will remain only the scum such as the chaff of dates or barley. Allah Ta’ala will have no care whatsoever for them.”

How to be with the Saadiqeen
In this era, we are deprived of the Saadiqeen. When the physical companionship of the Saadiqeen is not available, all the Mashaaikh have advised and emphasized the imperative importance of reading daily many pages from the life episodes, advices and admonition of the Auliya. Insha-Allah, this will become an adequate substitute for the sincere seeker of Islaah – moral reformation and spiritual elevation. Hadhrat Junaid Baghdadi (Rahmatullah alayh) said that the Waaqiaat (Anecdotes) of the Auliya are among the armies of Allah Azza Wa Jal. They morally purify and spiritually fortify the Traveler along the Path of Rectitude leading to Allah Ta’ala.

Confirming this truth, the Qur’aan Majeed says:

“And, whatever We narrate to you of the stories of the Rusul (Messengers of bygone times and of the Auliya), is to fortify your heart.” (Hud, Aayat 120)

This Aayat is in the first instance for Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The address is directed at him. When the Waaqiaat of the bygone Ambiya and Saadiqeen are a means for fortifying the purified heart of even Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), then we can understand the need for us to adopt this method prescribed by the Qur’aan Majeed.

The importance of their companionship

The imperative importance of companionship with the Saadiqeen is highlighted and emphasized in the following Qur’aanic Aayat:

“And, keep yourself (O Muhammad!) resolutely with those who call unto their Rabb morning and evening for the Sake of His Face (His Pleasure), and do not divert your eyes from them. Do you desire the adornment of the dunya? And, do not follow him whose heart is ghaafil (oblivious) of Our Thikr and he follows his vain desires, and his affairs are in transgression of the limits.” (Kahaf, Aayat 28)

Someone asked Hadhrat Shaikh Bu Ali Daqqaaq (Rahmatullah alayh) if there was any benefit in listening to the episodes of the Auliya if one does not practice accordingly. He said that there are two benefits.

(1) If the person is a seeker of the Truth, his resolution will increase. His search will increase.

(2) If a person suffers from pride, then his pride will diminish, and he will abstain from making claims of deception. He will view his virtues as deficiencies.

It is accepted that, especially in this era of abject Imaani weakness, it is not possible to follow in exactitude the austere ways of Taqwa and Wara’ of the illustrious Auliya of bygone times. The objective of reading and reflecting on the anecdotes of the Auliya is to view oneself in the mirror of these Auliya. In this Mirror one will observe with clarity one’s own deficiencies, and how far one has drifted from Siraatul Mustaqeem. When this realization dawns on a person, he will make endeavours to reform himself and at least conduct his life within the parameters of the Shariah. And, this is the very minimum obligatory requisite for immediate salvation in the Aakhirah, i.e. salvation from the Fire and entry into Jannat without first having to be purified in Jahannam.

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that the Rahmat of Allah Ta’ala descends when the stories of the Auliya are narrated. The Faidh (spiritual effulgence) of the Auliya whose life episodes are narrated exercises an effect on the audiences and becomes a wealth of fortune for them before Maut.

Some people asked Shaikh Abu Yusuf Hamdaani (Rahmatullah alayh): “When the Auliya disappear – when they are hidden, then what should we do to remain safe from the moral and spiritual ravages of the world?” The Shaikh said: “Daily read 16 pages of their advices and admonition.”

Hadhrat Shaikh Fareeduddeen Attaar (Rahmatullah alayh) said: “This kalaam (i.e. the advices of the Auliya) is the best speech. It creates an aversion in the heart for the dunya. It reminds of the Aakhirat. It cultivates friendship for Allah Ta’ala in the heart. It impels a person to make preparations for the Aakhirat. The kalaam of the Auliya is the commentary of the Qur’aan and Ahaadith.”

Although we are not of the Saaliheen and Saadiqeen, we do love them. Perhaps Allah Ta’ala will bestow to us reformation by virtue of this love, and perhaps he resurrects us in the assembly of those whom we love.

Click Here for Stories of the Auliyaa

Languages – A Sign of Allah

[By Mawlana Sulayman al-Kindi]

الرحمن علم القرآن خلق الإنسان علمه البيان الشمس والقمر بحسبان

The Most Merciful! He taught the Qurān. He created man. He taught him speech. The sun and moon follow fixed courses…. [Surah ar-Raḥmān: 1-5]

ومن آياته خلق السماوات والأرض واختلاف ألسنتكم وألوانكم إن في ذلك لآيات للعالمين

And amongst His signs are the creation of the heavens and the earth and the differences of your languages and colours. Indeed there are signs in that for those who know. [Surah ar-Rūm: 22]

I had previously written about Muslims who are also intellectuals, but have difficulty fusing the two concepts into a single identity of Muslim intellectual. That does not make them bad Muslims. A Muslim engineer for example may be a Palestine activist or involved in great works of charity. Rare however is the Muslim engineer/ chemist/ mathematician, who before venturing into “classical” fields of good deeds, manages to see the Sign of the Creator in his own field. How delightful it would be to meet a “secular” Muslim academic, who going through decades of study and libraries of information, actually manages, even if it be just once in his lifetime, to see the Sign of the Creator in his field and falls into prostration, consumed with recognition of the Most Glorious.      

Language – a sign of Allah

The above verses make it abundantly clear that language is a sign of Allāh. Just to clarify to those who read their own thoughts into the Qurān, the concept of language is Allāh’s sign, not specifically Arabic. If Allāh wills, I might write on the beauty of Arabic versus other languages at a later stage, but here, in terms of pointing to the magnificence of the Creator, the mere existence of English, German, Mandarin, Pashto etc are all equally signs of the Creator, alongside Arabic.

There are two levels to this sign. Firstly, ar-Raḥmān points to the divine origin of the concept of speech. The atheist-evolutionists are at pains to explain the origin of language. Yet all their theorising and speculation cannot reach resolution.

How did this supposed descendant of the ape arrive at the concept of speech? What was the need? Does not every other creature survive well enough without complex grammatically systemised language? Cockroaches seem to thrive well enough without studying Shakespeare. Once they decided to speak, how did these “apelings” collectively use the same word for the same object? How did even 10 apes decide to call a stone by the same name? When did “stone” become insufficient and when was limestone, granite and rubies invented? How did the apes vocalise concepts they could not see like love? How did they conceive of shades of meaning and differ between love, fondness, inclination, liking and affection?

As long as they deny the Most Merciful teaching man speech, they will never find the answer. Similarly, every time a Muslim speaks, reads or writes, he should understand that he is participating in one of Allāh’s signs.

Certain individuals may have written about signs of Allāh in other fields such as astronomy and biology, but as far as I know, no in-depth exposition on language as proof of the Creator exists from a Muslim perspective. It may be a legacy of the colonialists’ brain-washing us with nationalism, but it seems that there can be Muslims in love with Urdu, Persian and Turkish, but no professional Muslim linguist who finds his Creator in language in general.

The second level of this sign is the differing of tongues. Yet studies on reversing the process and discovering the original word for something, ultimately brings my thought to a single man uttering the original word. Is it not possible that a professional Muslim linguist can ultimately prove the existence of the first created man and thus his Creator?

The Proto-Indo-European language project aims to reconstruct a single language supposed to have been spoken from Europe to India thousands of years ago. Its origins lie in a British Raj judge noticing the amazing similarities between Sanskrit and Latin. Even if we look at their descendants there are still similarities, e.g. compare ignite to the Hindu fire-god, agni.

Professional linguists may blast me as merely clutching at unrelated coincidences, yet it seems that according to what I have noticed, even Arabic may be joined up to the P.I.E languages, either phonetically or conceptually. For example, The German Rhine River and Italian Renos River descend from the same PIE word meaning river. Is it just coincidence that Arabic, mainly based on three letter derivatives uses the similar sounding and same letters for nahr? The Romans claimed to descend from Aeneas whom they called Pius Aeneas. Just like the Arabic word used for pious, ṣāliḥ, pious actually means to do the right or appropriate thing at the right time, not necessarily someone who engages in constant prayer. Here the words may not have any similarity in sound, but the originating concept is the same in two cultures geographically and mentally distant.

I am not a specialist in the field and will be the first to admit that greater evidence is needed. Indeed, my conjecture may be utterly baseless, but my question stands…. Where is the Muslim linguist who can prove or disprove me, and more importantly, see the Hand of his Creator in language as indicated in the Qurān?

Social Condition of Today’s Ummah

[Mujlisul Ulama]

A STUDENTS HEARTFELT LAMENT

Assalamu’alaykum

We live in societies such as South Africa, UK, Canada etc. where secularism’s blighted and alienated the Imaani and Islamic thought process to such an extent that haq’s either rejected or countered with “rational” secularist arguments.

There are a number of examples listed below:

(A) “Muslim” females attend university because it’s considered a necessity in this day & age.

In the age of purity, Sahabiyyah were discouraged from attending Fardh Salah in the Masjid, but today sending one’s daughter to a den of vice to be ogled at is considered a necessity. It’s as if the Qur’anic injunction of “remain in your homes” is considered outdated and inapplicable.

To compound the issue Muftis invoke the principle of dharoorah (necessity) which every Tom, Dick & Harry then applies subjectively to suit their circumstances.

Without resort to fiqh, a layman should be able to comprehend that if the Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was alive today, he would never send his daughter Fatima (Radiallahu Anha) to the den of vice known as university.

Modesty is no longer part of the moral compass and therefore even Molvis, who are meant to be the upholders of the tenets of faith, succumb by sending their daughters to university.

Little do people understand that sustenance is from the Almighty. If women were to preserve their honour and fulfil the command of “remain in your homes”, then Allah would see to their needs in the same way as he did with Sahabah in the Ambar Expedition. It’s not the case, na’oodhoobillah, that Allah’s powers have deteriorated with the lapse of time and that if we rigidly adhere to his commands he will cease sustaining us. This is to have ill-expectations of the creator.

When the value of Imaan is worth less than a degree, we see Muslim girls attending university and, apparently, their attendance is accorded permissibility because they are donning hijab. They think hijab is a licence to drive, go to university and mingle with the opposite sex; yet they do not see the irony of their actions.

(B) Another example is engagements. In Shari’ah there is only the simple concept of nikah, yet in emulation of the kuffar, Muslims undertake engagements, which is a licence for zina.

The repercussions of this, in many instances, are seen in this life. Some rishtas break up before the nikah or within a few months or years of the nikah.

Then tears are shed and no contemplation is given as to the root cause of the break up. Instead families slandering each other becomes the order of the day.

Today very few people take in to account the Hadith which states that when the match for a solitary women is found, her marriage should take place without delay to preclude trials, tribulations and fitnas arising.

Instead families need to meet to set a wedding date, hire a hall & prepare for an extravaganza, where the girl is shamelessly paraded for all to stare at. The simplicity of the Prophet’s daughters marriage is considered a historical fact that no longer serves an example for “modern society.”

A walima is considered only a walima if a hall is involved. If the boy’s side feed a few people in their home, which is closest to the simplicity of the Sunnah, then people regard this as parsimony.

On these occasions people fear the people and not the Almighty and hence they feel obliged to spend outrageously on a wedding, whilst Muslims all over the world suffer.

People fear alienation of society if they don’t comply with what society wants from them. Little do they realise that the fear in the hereafter is much greater and that alienation in this day and age is actually a blessing.

(C) Free mixing between families takes place as if the religious command of staying away from all zina no longer applies.

Family functions violate the fundamental rule of segregation. This is justified on the basis that “we are family” and “she is like my sister.”

The irony of this is that same woman he regarded as his sister ends up being his mistress in many instances.

And even if she doesn’t, it does not mean the Command of Allah can be broken.

People consider themselves immune from their ravenous desires, or rather, they obtain a cheap thrill from seeing the shape of a woman.

In my family, brother in laws and sister in laws sit together and socialise, & then hypocritically discuss intricate Deeni issues without realising that due to their violation of Shari’ah, their discussion constitutes sin & not reward.

Their brains are flummoxed, yet they know it not.

(D) The inferiority complex of the Muslim today has reached such decadence that most Muslims will go to work hurting the Prophet by shaving their face and wearing their trousers below their ankles.

Even if a Muslim is unaware of the juristic ruling on keeping a beard and wearing his trousers above the ankles, the compulsory nature of such actions should be obvious by reference to the lives of Sahabah & the Prophet.

Today Muslims think, na’oodhoobillah, that Allah is not in control of the hearts of the kuffar employer. They will therefore turn up to work emulating the kuffar and hoping to die as Muslims. Little do they understand the Hadith that the way you live is the way you will die.

Today, these so called intellectuals argue that it’s what’s in the heart that matters. They do not realise the outward cannot contain what is manifested in the inner. This is why the Sahabi, who had just entered the fold of Islam, proclaimed his Shahadah in the midst of the disbelievers, knowing full well he would be beaten mercilessly.

(E) Nowadays nobody bats an eyelid at females going to work. It’s more common than women going to university. Here again, the principle of dharoorah is falsely invoked so that a comfortable lifestyle can be funded.

If there was reliance on Allah, the husband would never permit his wife to work. The couple would live within their means, the marriage would be happy/ prosperous and the wife would be at home undertaking the tarbiyah of the children producing Shaykhs rather than Shaytaans.

Suffice to say, we live in a day and age where Muslims’ cannot see the wood from the trees. Even if one tries to explain to them the haq, it appears that their hearts are sealed and therefore they are unable to comprehend the explanation or they flatly reject it, which in many cases leads to kufr.

Different Types Of Hadith Collections [Like Jaami, Sunan Etc]

[By Imam Luqman Ahmad]

إن الحمد لله نحمده ونستعينه ونستغفره ، ونعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا وسيئات أعمالنا ، من يهده الله فلا مضل له ، ومن يضلل فلا هادي له ، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدًا عبده ورسوله .

يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ

يَاأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ مِنْ نَفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالا كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاءً وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا )

:يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلا سَدِيدًا. يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا أما بعد :

The study of hadith is a world in itself. It is a beautiful, remarkable and detailed universe of source knowledge, intra-disciplinary sciences, and sub-sciences that support the preservation, transmission, explanation, understanding, and implementation of the Sunnah of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad ibn Abdullah ﷺ. The world of hadith is a world of guidance, knowledge, and understanding of this religion.  It is the collection of statements, actions, habits, travels, and events of the Prophet ﷺ and is one of the most satisfying and beneficial paths and pursuits of knowledge. The study of hadith and its related sciences is vast, and is something that scholars, students of knowledge, and regular folk engage in as a lifelong pursuit.

There are many ways to approach hadith study. Primarily as Muslims, we want to know and understand what the Prophet ﷺ did and said so we can obey him and follow him. Of course it’s more than that; it’s loving him, using his guidance, and following his path. No one gets to a point where they know all the hadith, or studied all the hadith or have learned everything there is to learn about hadith of the Prophet ﷺ. There are many approaches, many disciplines and sub-disciplines, and many methods. I advise every student, or serious seeker of knowledge that when you decide to read a collection of hadith, or an explanation of a collection of hadith like Aoun al-Ma’bood, or Tuh’fatu  Ah’wathi, or Fat’h al-Baari, or even study it with your sheikh, you would benefit a lot by reading the introduction, or the foreword by the author himself. You learn a lot from the introduction such as terminology, the reasons behind writing the book, how it is arranged, the authors methodology, and the views of that particular scholar on issues relating to hadith and to his own hadith collection or explanation.

There are two principle ways that hadith books are put together. One is according to chapter and subject matter or what scholars call ‘abwaab’ which is the plural of ‘baab’ which literally means door. In these types of hadith books, the book is organized by subject matter such as tahaarah, salat, zakat, siyaam, buying and selling etc. Books arranged by subject matter are easier for research and finding the topic you are looking for and is preferred by students and scholars alike. If a person wants to look up a hadith on a certain topic, then there’re likely to refer to these types of books first as opposed to the second type which I’m going to talk about next.

The second type of hadith book are books that are arranged according to the companions of the Prophet ﷺ that narrated the hadith originally. Usually this is done in alphabetical order. Sometimes it’s done according to the rank of the narrator (راوي) his preference in Islam or his ranking, or what’s called a tabaqa (طبقة).

The following types that I mention are not all of the types of books of hadith but they are the major ones. In sha Allah this short piece will help understand in some small way, how to study and look at books of hadith. Keep in mind that this is just a small window to a very wide and deep topic. Wal Allahu al-Musta’aan.

Types of Books of Hadith:

Jaami [جامع]:

A Jaami is a hadith collection that contains all the main categories of primary islamic knowledge which represent the full breadth of the religion such as aqeedah, adab, eating and drinking, tafseer, hadith about fitan (trials), raqaa’iqرقائق (spiritual heart softeners) and ibaadahعبادة (worship). The most well-known of such types of hadith books are Jaami as-Sahih by Imam Muhammad Ismaa’eel al-Bukhaari (d. 256 h.), better-known as Sahih al-Bukhaari. The actual title that Imam Bukhaari named the book that we’ve come to know as; “Sahih al-Bukhaari” was, “Al-Jaami’ al-Musnad as-Sahih al-Mukhtasar min umoor Rasoolillaah wa sunanihi wa iyyaamihi” (الجامع المسند الصيح المختصر من أمور رسول الله و سننه و ايامه). Over time it simply became known as Sahih al-Bukhaari, or Jaami Sahih, or Jaami’ Sahih al-Bukhaari.

Another is al-Jaami as-Sahih by Imam Muslim, known as Sahih Muslim, and al-Jaami by Imam Abu Eesa at-Tirmithee, better known as Sunan at-Tirmidhi. The actual name of Imam al-Tirmidhi’s collection is Al-Jaami al-Mukhtasar min al-Sunan wa Ma’rifatu as-Saheeh wal ma’lool, wa maa alaihi al-amal. الجامع المختصر من السنن عن رسول الله صلي الله عليه و سلم و معرفة الصحيح و المعلول ما عليه العمل)). As you can see, it is a pretty long name and one that is hardly ever used in any modern printings of the book. It has been referred to at times as Jaami’ as-Sahih by at-Tirmidhi which is a misnomer because the collection contains hadith which are not sound. It’s sometimes referred to as a Sunan because it deals a lot with hadith al-ah’kaam, or hadith that has to do with law and it follows the same pattern as other books of Sunan and notwithstanding that Sunan is part of the original title of the book.  Imam Abu Eesa said about his collection; “anyone who has this book in his house, it’s like the Prophet ﷺ is in his house talking”.

The titles of the books of hadith and the arrangement of the chapters and subject matter gives you an insight into the thinking and methodology of the muhaddith who authored the book. For example, Imam al-Bukhaari and others use what’s called the tarjama [ترجمة]. The word tarjama has several meanings in the Arabic language but according to traditionalists (scholars of hadith) the tarjama is the section heading. The common word for chapter is Kitaab [كتاب] and the common word used for section is baab [section]. The name of the section is the tarjama and the tarjama give you a clue of the scholar’s view on the issue. Imam an-Nawawi used to say; “Bukhaari’s fiqh is in his taraajam”. For example, in Sahih al-Bukhaari in the Book of ghusl (ritual bath), there is a section titled; “If one remembers while he is in the masjid that he is in a state of impurity, he should leave as he is without making tayammam” (بلب اذا ذكر في المسجد انه جنب خرج كما هو، و لا يتيمم), then he proceeds to present the hadith that proves the implication of the tarjama. You see this example throughout his Sahih and in other books of hadith.

Sunan [سنن]

Books of Sunan in the language of hadith scholars are books of hadith that contain hadith dealing with law (احكام), organized by the sections of fiqh. For example, these books usually begin with purification (طهارة), and the section on purification will start with a certain aspect of purification depending on the detail, the style and choice of the compiler of the book. For example, Imam Abu Eesa at-Tirmidhi (d. 279 h.), begins his book with tahaara but starts with the hadith; “the salat is not accepted without wudu”. Then he follows with hadith about the virtues of wudu and moves on from there. However, Imam Abu Dawood (d. 275 h.) takes a different approach; he begins his Sunan with a chapter titled tahaara but begins the first section with hadith about the etiquettes of relieving one’s self. Which is also a part of tahaara.  In the Sunan of an-Nasaai, Imam Abu Abdurrahman Nasaai (d. 303 h.) takes a slightly different approach. He begins his book with the chapter on tahaara but starts with the hadith of Abu Hurraira that the Prophet ﷺ said; “When one of you wakes up from sleep, he should not put his hands water (for ablution) until he washes them because he does not know where his hand spent the night”. (what his hands touched”. The second hadith in his collection is about using siwaak (miswaak), which is also a part of tahaara.

So the major books of Sunan follow the same style and methodology in that purification is usually at the beginning but differ in the exact approach to the topic. This is one reason why students of knowledge should be broad in their lifelong study of the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ which is not something that you do over a certain period of time; it’s something that you do without. Even the major shuyookh of the ummah, still read and study hadith of the Prophet ﷺ and engage in its related sciences.

This demonstrates the breadth of approach to knowledge and scholarly independence of hadith preservation. So of the great scholars who compiled and preserved the ahaadeeth of the Prophet ﷺ, they demonstrated their preferences in how they approach of hadith the topics of Sunnah in their books.

All books of hadith do not have the same detail, the same number of hadith, or the exact same approach to any given topic. After tahaara (purification) Sunan books usually follow with ibaadah starting with salat, then zakat, then fasting and so on. The most well-known books of Sunan are the Sunan of Abu Dawud, the Sunan of at-Tirmithee which is the Jaami of at-Tirmithee [جامع الترمذي], theSunan of an-Nasaa’i, and the Sunan of Ibn Majah. These four are known as the Four Sunan (السنن الاربعة). Within the discipline of hadith study, scholars employ certain terminology that is specific to the science. Within it, they have several ways of referring to books of hadith also. For example, if they say “the three”, then they mean the four Sunan we just mentioned minus the Sunan of ibn Majah. If the say “the five” for example, they mean the four Sunan and the Musnad of Imam Ahmad. If they say ‘Sahihain’ (صحيحين) they mean the collection of al-Bukhaari and Muslim and if they say; ‘as-shaykhaan (الشيخان), [the two shaykhs], then they are talking about al-Bukhaari and Muslim also.

Musnad [مسند]

A Musnad is a collection of hadith that is according to the name of the companion of the Prophet ﷺ who narrated the hadith. Sometimes this is done in alphabetical order, other times it is arranged according to who preceded who in Islam, and other times it is arranged according to preference (fadeelaفضيلة) of the particular companion to another. Many musaaneed begin with hadith narrated by the four caliphs (الخلفاء الراشدين) starting with Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq. Others arrange it according to the ten companions who were promised paradise, then the companions who were at Badr. At other times, a Musnad is arranged according to genealogical status or lineage. There are many musaaneed / مسانيد (plural of Musnad). The most well-known of the musaaneed is the Musnad of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d. 241 h.), followed by the Musnad of Abu Ya’laa.  At other times a Musnad its arranged according to preference or the historical position of the narrator of the hadith.

Al-Mu’jam [المعجم]

Al-Mu’jam (plural: mu’aajam/ معاجم ), in the terminology of traditionalists, are hadith collections that are arranged according to a name of the sheikh from whence the author narrated it. Where the author arranges the hadith according to his shuyookh that he heard them, in alphabetical order. The most well-known of these are the three ma’aajam written by Abu al-Qasim Sulayman at-Tabaraani (d. 360 h.), called al-Mu’jam al-Sagheer, and al-Mu’jam al-Awsat which were both hadith that he related from his shuyookh, and his third one is called al-Mu’jam al-Kabir [المعجم الكبير], which consists of hadith narrated by companions. The Mu’jam al-Kabir is the most famous of Tabaraani’s three collections. It popularity and recognition is at a level that when people mention “al-Mu’jam” then it is known that they are referring to al-Mu’jam al-Kabir by Tabaraani. Some books are so well-known and so widely used that they are fully recognized by even part of the name. for example, the book, Fat’h al-Baari, the famous explanation of Sahih al-Bukhaari by Ibn Hajar al-As’qalaani (d. 852 h.) is known across centuries simply as “al-Fat’h”, despite that there are hundreds of books whose title begins with al-Fat’h or contains the word Fat’h. Nevertheless, when a reference to al-Fat’h is mentioned in a book or a footnote, scholars of this discipline generally assume (depending on the context) that you are referring to Fat’h al-Baari. An anecdotal note about Ibn Hajar’s Fat’h al-Baari is that Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (d. 795 h.) himself, started writing an explanation of Sahih al-Bukhaari and he titled it; ‘Fat’h al-Baari’ he completed up to the chapter on salaatul janaaza before he died. Twenty years after his death, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalaani began his explanation of Sahih al-Bukhaari and he named it; ‘Fat’h al-Baari’ in honor of ibn Rajab.

Al-Musannafaat al-Jaami’a [المصنفات الجامعة]

These are encyclopedic collection of hadith compiled from many different collections by different scholars of hadith. These types are arranged in two different ways. The first way is to arrange it according to subject category or chapters (abwaab). An example of this type of hadith collect in this style is the book; Jaami’ al-Usool fi Ahaadeeth ar-Rasool [جامع الأصول في احاديث الرسول] by ibn al-Atheer [d. 606 h.] In his book he compiles hadith from Bukhaari, Muslim, Abu Dawood, at-Tirmidhi, ibn Maajah and the Muwatta by Imam Malik. He also takes the added steps of explaining unclear words.  Another book like this is the book; Khunz al-A’maal fi Sunan al-Af’aal wal Aq’waal [خنز العمال في سنن الاقوال و الافعال] by Ali ibn Hussaam al-Muttaqi (d, 975 h.), better known as al-Muttaqi. This is probably one of the most comprehensive books of this type; he complies hadith from about ninety something different collections of hadith. In the beginning of the book he explains terminologies of different scholars of hadith that are specific to them, since all scholars do not use all terminology in other same way.

The second style of collection of this category are books where the hadith are compiled alphabetically according to the first word in the hadith. Such is the book al-Jaami al-Kabir (الجامع الكبير) by  Jalaaluddeen as-Suyuti (d. 911 h.). al-Jaami al-Kabir by Suyuti is considered to be the basis for Khanz al-A’maal. Another book by Suyuti, al-Jaami as-Sagheer in one where he (Suyuti) abridged the Jaami Kabir by removing ahaadeeth that were repeated, and he added other ahaadeeth. The whole book (al-Jaami al-Kabir) has 10,031 hadith altogether.

 Al-Mustad’rak / المستدرك

Al-Mustad’rakaat [المستدركات] are books of hadith where the author writes down hadith whose status of authenticity meet the standards [شرط] of a traditionalist although that traditionalist did not include those ahaadeeth in his own book. For example, Imam Al-Bukhaari memorized 200,000 authentic hadith. However, he only included 7,275 hadith in his Sahih. If you count the hadith that Bukhaari repeated [المكرر], then the number of hadith in Sahih Bukhaari is only 4,000 or so hadith. So another scholar of hadith will come along and make a collection the hadith that meets Bukhaari’s standards of authenticity, but that Bukhaari did not include in his Sahih. Such a book is referred to by scholars of hadith as a Mustadrak /المستدرك.

The most well-known of the Mustad’rakaat (plural) is the Mustadrak of al-Haakim on Bukhari and Muslim titled; al-Mustadrak alaa Sahihain [المستدرك علي الصحيحين]. In al-Haakim’s MustadrakAl-Haakim (d. 403 h.) takes hadith that were collected by imam al-Bukhaari and Imam Muslim, that they did not included in their published collections. He somewhat follows some of Bukhaari’s arrangement of subject matter. The first four sections the Mustad’rak is similar to that of the Sahih as far as methodology. Al-Haakim begins with the book of faith [كتاب الايمان], then the book of knowledge [كتاب العلم], then the book of tahaara [كتاب الطهارة], followed by the book on salat [كتاب الصلاة]. Although he uses different hadith, he uses the same subject categories in the beginning of al-Mustad’rak except that Imam al-Bukhaari starts his book with “The Beginning of Revelation” (بدء الوحي), then he follows with the Book of faith, the book of Knowledge, and then after that al-Bukhaari, instead of having a chapter entitles the book of Tahaara like some of the others, he moves to the Book of Wudu, then the Book of Ghusl, then the Book of Menstruation, then the Book of Tayammum, then he moves to the Book of Salat, and so on. Similar methodology of the others, but different approach to the subject matter.

Unfortunately, scholarship is not without its controversy. Imam al-Haakim, like many other early scholars of hadith compilation, was a Persian. Some have accused Imam al-Haakim as having had leanings towards Shi’ism, and others have said that all of the hadith in the Mustadrak were not according to the standards of Bukhaari and Muslim; some of the hadith they say, were weak, and even forgeries. Other scholars defended him with that if particular muhaddith but that particular muhaddith did not include it in his book. For example, the most well-known Mustad’rak is the Mustad’rak of al-Haakim from Bukhaari and Muslim. He related hadith that met the standard of authenticity of Bukhaari and Muslim even though they did not include those hadith in their collections and we already mentioned some of the controversy surrounding al-Haakim (رحمه الله).

Forty Hadith Collections / الاربعينات

Forty hadith collections are amongst the most common and popular types of hadith collection. In the terminological language of traditionalists ((المحدثين, Arba’een is a collection of hadith that is comprised of forty ahaadeeth, or forty sections (ابواب) of knowledge. The most well-known and perhaps the most often used of forty hadith collections is the Forty Hadith of Imam Abu Zakariyyah Yahya ibn Sharf An-Nawawi (d. 676 h.). Sometimes a forty hadith collection will contain the isnaad of the hadith and at other times it won’t contain isnaad. Sometimes a collection or book will use forty hadith as a benchmark but add to it. For example, ibn Rajab al-Hanbali’s (d. 795 h.) Jaami Uloom wal Hikam (جامع العلوم و الحكم), is an explanation of Imam an-Nawawi’s forty hadith but he added ten more hadith to it.

Is the hadith about collecting Forty hadith, a weak hadith?

What prompted many scholars to compile books of forty hadith were two things; the first is the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ: “Whoever of my Ummah memorized forty hadith from the affairs of its deen, Allah will resurrect him (on the day of judgment) as a scholar, and I will be a witness and an intercessor for him on the Day of Judgment”. This hadith, although weak (ضعيف), was reported by thirteen different companions of the Prophet ﷺ. According to Imam an-Nawawi; scholars all agree that this is a weak hadith despite that it has been reported through several chains. Some scholars say that due to the severe weakness of the multiple chains of this hadith, it is not permissible to act according to it. Imam an-Nawawi himself, who compiled one the most famous and enduring collections of forty hadith said; “I’m not depending on this hadith to compile my collection, on the contrary, (I’m basing it on) other sound hadith such as the hadith; “Let those who are present inform those who are absent”, and the hadith; “Allah will brighten (the face) of the person who hears what we say, understands (memorizes) it and passes it on just like he heard it”. that he compiled his forty hadith collection based upon the virtue of compiling and spreading ahaadeeth of the Prophet ﷺ. Nevertheless, despite the weakness of this hadith, many scholars have compiled collections of forty hadith and it has become an accepted and agreed upon category in hadith compilation.

The first of our scholars to compile a book of forty hadith was Abdullah ibn al-Mubaarak (d, 181 h.). This was during the second century of Islam. His work was followed in the next century by Muhammad ibn As’slam at-Toosi (d. 242 h.), and Ibraheem ibn Ali at-Thah’li (d. 293 h.).  During each century of Islam, there have been scholars and Imams who compiled forty hadith collections. Even Ibn Hajar as-Asqalaani compiled a forty hadith compilation according to as-Sakhaawi in his biography of Ibn Hajar. This goes on up until this present day.

Books of Takh’reej / كتب التخريج

Books of takhreej (extraction) are books where the author extracts or deducts hadith from another a book of knowledge that has hadith mentioned in it, and he clarifies in which book this hadith is collected, or which hadith scholars narrated or has a chain to this hadith. books of takh’reej may or may not clarify the strength or the weakness of the hadith, but it will tell you where the hadith is located. There are many books of takh’reej. The idea being takh’reej is so that the reader or student of knowledge is clear about the origin of the hadith he finds in a book. So that he knows which of the traditionalists collected the hadith in his book, and possibly the authenticity of the hadith. Scholars continue to this very day to write books of takh’reej of other collections. It is common for a scholar to do a takh’reej on another book. Usually he’ll put the takh’reej right in a separate or supplemental printing or publication of the book as a footnote, and end note or part of the commentary.

A couple of the more well-known books of takh’reej are;

Tal’khees al-Hibar fi Takh’reej Ahaadeeth al-Raafi’ee al-Kabir /التلخيص الحبير في تخريج احاديث الرافعي الكبير written by Imam Ibn Hajar al-As’qalaani. In it ibn Hajar clarifies the hadith contained in Imam Abu al-Qaasim al-Raafi’ee’s (d. 623 h.) explanation of the book ‘al-Wajeez Fi fiqh al-Shaafi’ee (الوجيز في فقه الشافي) which was written by Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazaali. Al-Mughni an Himl al-Asfaar Fi al-As’faar Fi Takh’reej ma Fi al-Ih’yaa min al-Akh’baar / المغني عن حمل الاسفار في الاسفار في تخريج ما في الاحياء من الاخبار, by al-Haafiz Imam Abdul-Raheem ibn Hussain al-Araaqi, better known as al-Haafiz al-Araaqi (d. 806 h) who incidentally was one of the Shuyookh of ibn Hajar al-Asqalaani. In it, he extracts and clarifies the ahaadeeth contained in ‘Ih’yaa Uloom ad-Deen / احياء علوم الدين, by Imam al-Ghazaali and offers some explanation of some of the text.

Keep in mind, there are many, many other books of takh’reej, books of hadith, other types of hadith books, books about the different sciences of hadith and associated sciences of hadith. The number of books relating to hadith study and methodology are in the thousands, perhaps tens of thousands. Some are well-known and others are not so well-own. And Allah knows best as to their number.

These are not all of the types of books of hadith. However, these are the major ones. There is no one book that will give you all the understanding or all the knowledge of the religion . The religion is based upon the Quran and the sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ as recorded in hadith. Understanding is from Allah sub’haanahu wa ta’ala. The books are tools towards understanding in sha Allah, and our scholars are writers, compilers and preservers of these books.  May Allah increase us in knowledge and understanding of the religion.

The Shiites and Islamic History

One  of  the  worst  groups  when  it  comes  to  distorting  Islamic history  is  the  Raafdhi  Shia,  of  all  groups  and  types.  They  were  among  the  earliest  of  the  groups  to  emerge,  and  they  have  a  hierarchical  political  system  and  their  own  set  of  deviant  beliefs  and  ideology. This  is  the  group  that  tells  the  most  lies  against  its  opponents,  and  they  are  among  the  most  vehemently  opposed  of  people  towards  the Companions,  as  we  will  see.  Among  the  basic  foundations  of  their  belief  are  impugning  the  Companions  and  denouncing  them  as disbelievers,  especially  the  ‘two  shaykhs’  Abu  Bakr  and  ‘Umar  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  them),  whom  they  refer  to  as  ‘sorcery  and  evil.’  The  Shia  have  the  greatest  number  of  narrators  and  storytellers  who  took  on  the  mission  of  spreading  their  lies  and fabrications  and  compiling  them  in  books  and  essays  about  the  events  of  Islamic  history,  especially  internal  events.  Shu’oobiyyah  and  tribalism  also  had  an  effect  on  the  fabrication  of  historical  reports  and  stories  aimed  at  distorting  Islamic  history  and  ‘proving’  the  superiority  of  one  sect  or  people  or  race  over  another,  ignoring  the  Shariah  criterion  of  superiority,  namely  taqwa“Verily,  the  most  honourable  of  you  with  Allah  is  that  [believer]  who  has  At-Taqwa  [i.e.  he  is  one  of  the  Muttaqoon  (the  pious)]”   [Qur’an  49:13].

The  deviant  sects  took  advantage  of  the  prevalence  of storytellers,  the  ignorance  and  lack  of  knowledge  of  the  Sunnah  on  the  part  of  most  of  the  people,  and  the  fact  that  some  of  them  had  drifted  away  from  the  truth  while  seeking  to  earn  a  living.  They spread  their  lies  and  fabricated  stories,  which  these  storytellers welcomed  and  spread  among  the  common  folk,  without  realising  the  situation.  Hundreds  of  fabricated  reports  about  the  Companions,  Tabi’oon  and  Muslim  scholars,  which  undermined  them  and distorted  their  history,  were  disseminated  through  them.  But  by  His  grace  and  blessing,  Allah  Ta’ala  guided  a  number  of  scholarly  critics,  who  strove  hard  to  examine  the  narrators  and  narrations,  distinguishing  between  true  and  false  and  defending  the  beliefs  and history  of  the  Ummah.  The  Sunni  scholars  put  a  great  deal  of  effort  into  pointing  out  the  fabricated  reports  by  quoting  them  and  highlighting  those  narrators  who  were  weak,  suspicions,  or  followers of  whims  and  desires.  They  drew  up  a  methodology  for  examining  the  reports  and  determining  which  to  accept,  and  they  were  successful  in  these  efforts. 

Among  the  most  prominent  of  those  who  took  on  the  mission  of  explaining  historical  errors  and  pointing  out  flaws  in  the  false reports  were: 

al-Qadi  Ibn  al-‘Arabi  in  al- ‘Awasim  min  al-Qawasim; 

Ibn  Taymiyah  in  many  of  his  books  and  essays,  especially  his  valuable  book  Minhaj  as-Sunnah  an-Nabawiyyah  ji  Naqd  Kalam  ash-Shia  wal-Qadariyyah;

the  critic  adh-Dhahabi  in  many  of  his historical  writings  such  as  Siyar A’lam  an-Nubala’,  Tareekh  al-Islam  and  Mizan  al-l’tidal’,  Naqd  ar-Rijal; 

al-Hafidh  Ibn  Katheer,  the  interpreter  of  Qur’an  and  historian,  in  his  book  al-Bidayah  wan-Nihayah; 

al-Hafidh – Ibn  Hajar  al-‘Asqalani  in  his  books  Fath  al-Bari  fi  Sharh  Saheeh  al-Bukhari, Lisan  al-Mizan, Tahdheeb  at-Tahdheeb and  al-Isabah  fi  Ma’rifat  as-Sahabah. 

With  regard  to  the  methods  used  by  the  Shia  to  distort  the historical  events  and  images  of  the  early  generation  of  the Companions  and  Tabi’oon,  there  were  many  ways,  including:

☆ Outright  fabrications  and  Lies

☆ Mentioning  a  true  story  or  incident,  but  adding  or  omitting  details  so  as  to  distort  it  and  give  the  opposite  idea.

☆ Quoting  reports  out  of  context,  so  that  the  meaning  is distorted,  and  a  false  interpretation  of  events  is  given.

☆ Highlighting  shortcomings  and  mistakes  while  concealing well-established  facts.

☆ Fabricating  poetry  and  attributing  it  to  some  poets,  in  order  to  support  some  so-called  historical  events,  because Arabic  poetry  is  regarded  as  a  historical  document  and  proof  that  helps  to  authenticate  reports.

☆ Fabricating  books  and  essays  and  falsely  attributing  them  to  scholars  and  well  known  characters,  as  the  Raafdhis  fabricated  the  hook  al-Imamah  was-Siyasah,  which  they  attributed  to  Abu  Muhammad  Abdullah  ibn  Muslim  ibn  Qutaybah  ad-Daynoori  because  he  was  famous  among  and  trusted  by  the  Sunnis,  as  we  have  seen  above.

In  the  last  century,  these  lies  and  distortions  were  welcomed by  Western  scholars  and  writers,  such  as  Orientalists  and  missionaries,  during  the  period  in  which  they  invaded  and  spread  terror  in  Muslim  lands.  They  found  in  this  material  what  they  were  looking  for,  and  they  started to  highlight  it  and  focus  on  it.  Motivated  by  their  fanaticism  and  hatred  of  the  Muslims,  they  added  lies  by  inventing  events  that  never  happened  or  misinterpreting  historical events,  purposely  distorting  and  misinterpreting  the  facts  to  support  their  beliefs.  This  group  was  then  supported  by  a  large  number  of  the  students  of  the  Orientalists  from  Arab  and  Muslim  countries,  who  adopted  their  research  methodology  and  their  ideas  and  concepts  for  analysing  and  interpreting  history;  they  took  up  the  banner  after  the  European  Missionary  and  Materialistic  Terrorists  departed  from  the  Muslim  lands.  Thus  the  harm  that  they  did  was  worse  and  greater  than  that  of  their  Orientalist  teachers  and their  predecessors  among  the  misguided  and  innovating  groups.  That  is  because  they,  like  their  teachers,  claimed  to  be  following  a  pure  academic  spirit  and  scientific  method  in  research  by  giving  up  any  and  all  pre-conceptions,  but  in  fact  most  of  them  gave  up  nothing  but  their  faith.

They  had  no  sincerity  towards  the  truth  and  no  knowledge  of following  a  sound  academic  methodology  in  proving  historical  events,  such  as  comparing  reports,  knowing  the  value  of  the  sources  to  which  they  were  referring  and  the  extent  to  which  the  narrators  were  authentic  and  accurate,  and  studying  the  context  of  those  narrators  in  terms  of  human  nature  and  development.  They  did  not  learn  anything  of  scientific  or  academic  methodology  except  for  superficial  matters  such  as  how  to  write  footnotes  and  put  together  bibliographies,  and  so  on.  This  is  probably  what  scientific  methodology  meant  to  them.  Muhibb  ad-Deen  al-Khateeb  said: 

“Those  who  received  a  foreign  education  are  controlled  by  the illusion  that  they  are  disconnected  from  that  past,  and  their  attitude  towards  its  figures  is  like  that  of  a  public  attorney  towards  the  accused.  Indeed,  some  of  them  even  went  to  extremes  to  appear  in front  of  others  as if  they  had  no  connection  with  any  part  of  Arab  and  Muslim  history,  following  in  the  footsteps  of  the  Orientalists  with  their  suspicious  views  of  the  past.  They  have  a  sense  of  contentment  and  follow  their  whims  and  desires,  at  the  time  when  fairness  dictates  that  they  should  verify  the  matter,  in  order  to  reach  a  conclusion  and  feel  at  ease  with  it  before  they  have  enough  evidence  to  prove  it.”

One  of  the  most  important  means  by  which  the  Orientalists  and  their  students  sought  to  distort  the  facts  of  Islamic  history  is:

Misinterpreting  historical  events  on  the  basis  of  modern concepts  and  ideas  and  in  accordance  with  whatever  crossed  their  minds,  without  even  verifying  the  historical  events  in  the  first  place  and  without  paying  any  attention  to  the  historical  context  in  which  the  event  took  place,  the  people’s  circumstances  at  that  time,  or  the  beliefs  that  were  guiding  them  and  that  they  were  following.  Before discussing  any  event,  it  is  essential  to  first  verify  that  it  took  place;  the  fact  that  it  is  mentioned  in  some  book  is  not  sufficient  to  prove  it.  The  stage  of  verifying  precedes  the  stage  of  discussing  and interpreting  historical  events.

The  interpretation  should  also  be  in  accordance  with  the wording  of  the  historical  report,  as  well  as  the  context  of  the  research  and  the  general  nature  of  the  society,  era  and  environment  in  which the  event  took  place.  This  interpretation  of  the  historical  event  should  not  contradict another  incident  or  series  of  incidents  that  are  proven  to  have  happened.  Examination  of  an  event  should  not  be  limited  to  one  aspect  only,  as  is  the  habit  of  many  contemporary  schools  of  thought  when  studying  history;  instead,  all  the  factors  that  have  an impact  on  the  event  should  be  scrutinised,  especially  ideological  and  intellectual  factors.  Even  after  paying  attention  to  all  of  the  above, the  interpretation  of  historical  events  is  no  more  than  a  human  effort,  which  may  be  right  or  wrong.  Some  have  given  prominence  to  the history  of  misguided  groups  and  tried  to  exaggerate  their  role,  depicting  them  as  reformers  who  were  wronged  or  oppressed.  They  have  tried  to  suggest  that  Muslim  historians  were  unfair  to  groups  like  the  Qaramitah,  Isma’ilis,  Imami  Rafidhis,  Fatimids,  Zanj,  Ikhwan  as-Safa and  the  Kharijites.  In  the  view  of  these  historians,  all  of  these groups  were  advocates  of  reform,  justice,  freedom  and  equality,  and  their  uprisings  were  aimed  at  putting  an  end  to  injustice  and  oppression.  This  propaganda  against  Islamic  history,  and  trying  to  crowd  out  the  biographies  of  heroes  and  callers  to  Islam  with  the  biographies  of  the  leaders  of  misguided  groups,  is  something  that  comes  as  no  surprise  from  people  who  are  not  Muslims,  because  they  are motivated  by  their  own  beliefs  and  aims  to  plot  against  Islam  with  all  possible  efforts  by  night  and  day,  in  secret  and  openly.  One  cannot  expect  people  who  have  no  faith  and  who  belong  to  the  disbelieving groups  to  do  anything  other  than  to  support  their  brothers  in  misguidance. 

What  some  may  find  strange  however  is  that  after  the  collapse  of  Orientalism,  the  banner  of  distortion  was  taken  up  by  writers  who  have  Muslim  names  and  are  Muslims,  who  tried  to  spread  this  poison among  their  fellow  Muslims  so  as  to  divert  the  ignorant  away  from  the  straight  path.  These  writers  rely  on  dubious,  weak,  worthless  reports  which  they  pick  up  from  literature,  fairy  stories,  folktales  and  weak  or  falsely  attributed  books.  These  books  are  what  they  use  as proof,  along  with  what  they  find  of  fabricated  reports  in  at-Tabari  and  al-Mas’oodi,  even  though  they  know  that  they  are  not  regarded  as  reliable  academic  references.  This  transgression  against  and distortion  of  Islamic  history  –  especially  the  history  of  the  early  generations  – has  been  done  by  a  number  of  means,  namely:

(a)  Choosing  and  focusing  on  particular  events,  such  as  battles  and  wars,  and  depicting  them  incorrectly  so  as  to  take  away  the  idea  of  struggle  for  the  sake  of  Allah  Ta’ala,  or  focusing  on  events  and  internal  turmoil  with  the  aim  of  presenting  the  dispute  among  the  Companions (radhiyallahu  anhum)  as  if  it  were  a  typical  example  of  conflict  and  political  scheming like  those  of  modern  times.

(b)  Concealing  and  ignoring  everything  that  could  set  a  good  example  and  motivate  people.

(c)  Shedding  doubt  by  targeting  history  and  its  celebrated  figures,  as  well  as  the  Muslim  historians  themselves,  and  casting  aspersions  on  their  knowledge  and  authenticity.

(d)  Fragmenting  Islamic  history  into  small,  disparate  parts  as  if  there  is  no  connection  between  them,  such  as  dividing  Islamic  history  on  the  basis  of  regions,  race  and  so  on. 

All  of  these  means  are  attempts  to  destroy  our  Islamic  history  and  its  beautiful  features,  and  to  prevent  it  from  becoming  a  good  example  to  follow  and  a  means  of  sound  education.

Hence  the  Muslim  historians  have  to  know  about  these  things  and  be  wary  of  them.  They  should  also  be  aware  of  those  who  followed  the  Orientalists  in  their  views  and  methodology,  and  they  should  not  accept  anything  from  them  except  with  great  caution.  If  our  scholars  (may  Allah  have  mercy  on  them)  criticise  many narrators  of  history  and  regard  their  reports  as  weak  because  they  quote  from  the  People  of  the  Book  and  their  Jewish  and  Christian  sources,  then  we  should  be  equally  cautious  in  accepting  the  views  and  interpretations  of  those  who  learned  from  the  Orientalists.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  we  should  reject  and  disregard  them  unless  there  is  clear  proof  to  support  them.

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