Making use of Our Youth-Advice to the Muslim Youth

My dear Slaves of Allah, if Allah gives us 60 years to live then it comes to around 22,000 days (60×365). All these days Allah gives us to prepare for one day of interview with Allah. That is on the Day of Judgement. On that day, Allah will ask us some questions and He wants some correct answers. Allah is so merciful that He already told us what the questions will be through Shari’ah and our deeds. His Mercy is so great that He even told us the answers to these questions.

Now imagine, a student goes to write an exam. He opens his exam paper and finds the questions on one side. Then he finds that the answers to the questions are on the other side. Now after writing the exam, if this student still fails then what would we think of him? We would think that he is the dumbest person around. Well, tell you what, on the Day of Judgement, us people who knew the questions and answers will still fail! That is why, this is the time to wake up before we prove ourselves to be the dumbest of people.

Youth is the prime time of our lives. This is where people make important decisions like what to become in the future. Things you do in this time will most likely affect you throughout the rest of your life. That is why, it is important to bring Islam into your life during these days. Many people have the conception that when they get old then they will start practising Islam. Probably you and me also have this feeling.

But look at it this way:

If you want to become a famous hockey player then you would start playing right from the youth. As you grow up, you will become better and better. But if you think that you will start playing when you are an old man then the chances of becoming famous is virtually zero. That’s the reality. When we become old, we won’t have enough energy to even stand up and pray.

Because youth is the prime time of your life, that is why it is very precious to Allah. Allah has prepared a shade on the Day of Judgement for those people who used to worship Allah in their youth. On that Day, there will be no other shade except the shade from the throne of Allah. Imagine standing outside on a very hot day under the sun for hours after hours. You would definitely want some shadow to rest under. But what about that Day when the sun will be much nearer to us and the heat will be much more extreme. Wouldn’t you want some shade on that day? Of course you would!

You and I are all weak in terms of keeping our duties to Allah and Allah is aware of that. Allah wants that we keep trying to do our best. If a baby falls down while walking he tries to get up again and walk. He doesn’t keep sitting down. Then a day comes when he does start to walk. Similarly, we should keep trying our best and not give up. A day will come when, Insha Allah, we will be strong enough to obey Allah in every situation. Let us make a small promise to Allah right now that we will start doing the things for which we were sent to this life. Otherwise, we will be like that dumb guy who will fail the test on the Day of Judgement.

May Allah make it easy for us. Aameen.

Parents — The Cause of Disobedience & Delinquency of their Children

By Majlisul Ulama of S.A

“O People of Imaan! Save yourselves and your families (wives and children) from the Fire!, the fuel of which is people and stones…. [Surah At-Tahreem: Ayah 6]

Disobedience to parents has become an endemic problem in the Muslim Community. In this regard Muslims have followed in the footsteps of other communites among whom the dividing line between children and parents is extremely feint if not completely non-existent. Delinquency is on the increase. Kuffaar cultures and cults have made their impact on Muslim society. The embrace of westernization of Muslims have introduced all the evils of that kufr culture into Muslim homes thus bringing ruin to the holy moral fabric of the Muslim society.

Complaints of Parents

Parents are complaining of the gross disobedience of their children. From an early age the modern Muslim child displays his traits of rebellion against the parental authority. By the time he/she is a teenager there exists hardly any parental control. The child is misbehaved, displays misconduct and is rude to parents and indifferent  to the demands of Islam. The behaviour exhibited by the children in these times of them being the parents and the parents the children. Children dictate the terms of their desire and parents meekly comply. Most parents in this modern age are on the defensive when they have to confront the misdemeanours of their children. In fact, parents have become scared for the reactions of their children in the event of any confrontation with them.

Parents – those who still have some religious feeling – complain about the immoral behaviour of their children; they bemoan the irreligious attitude and slack ties which their children have with Islam. When the child ultimately takes the plunge into total moral and spiritual ruin by drugs or ‘marrying’ a non-Muslim to whom the parents are violently opposed, the world of the parents comes to a crushing end. They had provided the ‘best’ worldly upbringing to their child. They slaved for the education and well-being of their child. They left no stone unturned to make their child comfortable and successful on earth, yet they are now tortured with their beloved child’s moral collapse and ruin. The child renounces and denounces his parents who can now shed tears of sorrow, grief and disappointment.

Rights of Parents

When parents are faced with the gross disobedience and obstinacy of their teenage children, they wish and pray that their  children will understand the gravity of the sin of disobedience to parents. They may even tell to give their children lectures about Islam’s emphasis on obedience to parents. Some will approach others to speak and reason with the disobedient children and to make them aware of the punishment for disobeying parents. Different means and ways are explored in an attempt to bring the errant children to their senses, but all to no avail.  Once the child has chosen a particular path of evil or disobedience which is his/her mind is the only correct way, he/she will walk in that direction regardless  of the protests, threats and laments of his/her parents. These are daily incidents which are on the increase.

Undoubtedly, the Shariah has elaborately explained the rights of parents. The emphasis on obedience and kindness to parents is of such a high and prior degree that the Qur’an couples the sin of disobedience to parents to disobedience to Allah Ta’ala. It is, in fact, likened to shirk (association of partners with Allah Ta’ala). Hence, the Qur’an Majeed says in a number of places:

“Do not commit shirk with Allah and be kind to parents…”

After prohibiting shirk, the Qur’an prohibits disobedience to parents. A disobedient child lives under Divine curse. The rights of parents are numerous and sacred. There can be no argument in this regard. However, what is usually  overlooked is that the children too have rights  which are also sacred, and it is incumbent on parents to observe these rights which the Shariah has commanded.

Rights of Children

The Qur’anic verse:

“O People of Imaan! Save yourselves and your families from the fire….”

is a command to observe the rights of children as well. Since parents have grossly and miserably failed to observe the rights of their children, they are confronted in later life by the disobedience of their children. One shall reap only what one has sown. If parents study dispassionately the cause of their children’s spiritual and moral ruin, they will not fail to understand that the cause was parental neglect. The parents themselves have failed to discharge correctly and fully the sacred command of Allah Ta’ala with regard to children, hence the heart-breaking consequences they have to suffer.

The rights of children are not confined to the worldly and material well-being. Parents labour under the impression that as lomg as they have fulfilled their duty to their children with regard to food, clothes, shelter, worldly comfort and worldly kuffaar education, they have fully discharged the rights of their children. But, these provisions are only part of  Huqooq (Rights) which the Shariah imposes on parents. Of far greater importance  than worldly and material comfort and benefit is the Deeni Tarbiyat (training) of children. Nothing is more important than the Deeni and moral development of the child. The Qur’anic command to save one’s family from the Fire is an instruction to impart proper Deeni Ta’leem and Tarbiyat to children. Without such training it is not possible to save children from the “Fire” stated in the Aayat. The fire into which they will plunge figuratively speaking, commences right here on earth. The moral ruin and spiritual destruction   which follow in the way of parentap neglect represents the Fire on earth which will devour children. In Qiyamah, the fire is of course, Jahannum in which they will be punished for their evil conduct here on earth. But, parents should remember  that they have paved the path of Jahannum for their children by failing to observe the rights of their children.

The Attitude of Parents

Most parents in these days Islamically fail their children. While they slog night and day for the worldly well-being and welfare of their children, scant regard is shown for the Deeni Ta’leem and Tarbiyat of their children. The domain of Akhlaaq (Islamic Morals)  has been largele excised from the lives of modernstically inclined Muslim parents. As long as the children are materially provided for and their secular education attended to, parents are satisfied. Beyond this ectremely short-sighted policy their imagination cannot dwell.

Even the smattering of Deeni Ta’leem which children are allowed to pursue in their part-time Madrasahs after kuffaar school time is imparted grugdingly and disconsolately. The little Deeni Ta’leem provided by the impoverished Madrasahs are also made subservient to kuffaar secular education. Most children emerging from these part-time Madrasahs after doing a stint of Ta’leem in haphazard fashion lack adequate ability to even correctly recite the Qur’an Shariff. As far as the necessary Deeni Masaa’il are concerned, they are grossly deficient. The issue of Akhlaq does not even feature. What then can be expected from such a child lacking entirely in spiritual and moral background.

The Most Fundamental Right

Of all the rights which the children hold over their parents, the most important is the Haqq of  Tarbiyat (Islamic Morals and educational training). Since man has been created for the Aakhirah, his spiritual welfare has prior importance. The Qur’an and Hadith make incumbent on parents the provision of proper moral and Islamic educational training to their children. This department is of fundamental importance.  It has a greater status than even the provision of food , shelter and clothing. The best Sadqah a man can give is to train his child in Akhlaaq (Islamic Morals).

In the program of moral training, of vital importance is the company  and circle in which the child spends time and moves. Echoing the instruction of the Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), the Mashaa-ikh say:

Better than virtuous acts is virtuous company and worse than evil acts is evil company.

Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) supplicated:

“O Allah! I seek refuge with you from an evil moment and from evil company”

In this sphere the parents in this age have grossly and miserably failed their children. This Shar’i command has been completely ignored and children are exposed to the worst kind of shaitani company and influences which utterly corrupt and ruin them. Instead of ensuring that their children remain in pious company or, as a last resort, in the home environment where pious company is not available, parents are not only content, but actually encourage their children  to associate with fussaaq, fujjaar and kuffaar. The best period of their formative life is destructively squandered in the ‘suhbat’ (company) of fussaaq and fujjaar secular teachers. Men and women of dubious and immoral character in secular schools become the guides and instructors of Muslim children. Children are constrained by their parents to live in the liberal and immoral school and university environment for up to twenty years or most part of their delicate lives. They mix with the opposite sex in co-ed schools. Their playmates and confidantes are non-Muslim teachers and schoolmates. While parents are too much engaged in their worldly pursuits, their children are involved in the immoral pursuits of cults and cultures of kufr to which they are being exposed. What Akhlaaq – what Islamic character can be expected of such children? How can intelligent Muslims expect such children to be obedient to their parents and obedient to the Laws of Allah Ta’ala? The logical consequence of such evil exposure is moral ruin, scepticism, atheism and delinquency. There is, therefore, no surprise when children display all their traits, habits and characteristics of the kuffaar.

Parents have to realise that they are the prime cause for the moral and spiritual destruction of their children . They have violated the sacred terms of the Amaanat and Pledge of Allah Ta’ala by their abdication of parental duty. The sins children perpetrate will be laid at the door of parents who will share the punishment in the Hereafter.

The oblique intellectual vision and corruption of intelligence of modern Muslims today have made them completely indifferent of them demads of Imaan and Islam. For the sake of worldly gain and transient pleasures and comforts they are prepared to barter away the Najaat (Salvation) of their children. Their goal in life is primarily worldly progress and perfection. In the process of worldly pursuit and acquisition the Deen and the Imaan of their children can be confounded. It does not matter to them.

Parents of this ilk are in reality the enemies of their children. They pave the path for the ruin of their offspring. The obedience to parents which the Shariah imposes as a sacred and obligatory duty on children is not related to such traitorous parents. Children are not under  Shar’i obligation to obey the evil and haraam commands of such parents.

When a child has been allowed by his parents to associate and mingle with a faasiq or Kafir member of the opposite sex for years at school or university, then such parents forfeit the right to debar the child from marrying that person when the couple has gone overboard in their immorality. It then becomes permissible  for such delinquent children to marry without the consent of their fussaaq parents who were instrumental in the spiritual and moral ruin of their beloved children.

It is imperative to understand that the basic cause of delinquency, disobedience and immorality  prevalent among Muslim children of this age is PARENTS who have abdicated their office of parenthood by shirking the parental obligations towards their children.

Principles of Deobandi Fiqhi Approach

[Hazrat Mufti Syed Abdush Shakoor Tirmizi (rahimahullah)
(Khalifa of Mawlana Zafar Ahmed Usmani and Mufti Mohammad Shafi’)]

Introduction:

Firstly it is essential to reiterate the fact vividly obvious to anyone who studies the works of senior Deobandi scholars. That is, their beliefs and practices conform completely with the teachings of Quran, hadith and hanafi fiqh. Their sulook and tasawwuf is also exactly according to the Sunnah. They are staunch hanafi and high caliber ahle-sunnah. Neither any of their beliefs is against Qur’an and hadith, nor any of their fiqh ruling against Hanafi fiqh.

Deobandiyat is not a separate maslak (route). In our day and age it is synonymous with maslak of Ahlus Sunnah wal jama’ah.

Few guiding principles:

If the following essential principles are kept in mind the Shari’ah ruling regarding all the contemporary bid’at/innovations will be easy to know:

First Principle:

Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala says:

ولا تسبوالذین یدعون من دون اللیسبو الل عدوا بغیر علم

 
Commenting under the heading, Hakeemul Ummat Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanavi (rahimahullah) said:

“The defamation of idols (gods) is per se a mubah (permissible) act. However, if it becomes a cause of a prohibited act, that is, denigration of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala, it will become prohibited (منھی عن) and objectionable (قبیح).

This forms the proof of a fiqh ruling. That is, if a permissible act becomes the cause of a prohibited act that (mubah) act itself becomes haram.

[Bayanul Qur’an volume 1 page 119]

Second Principle

Although, numerous verses of Quran mention tawheed (Oneness of Allah Ta’ala), prophethood, negation of disbelief and polytheism and on various occasions’ infidels (kuffar) mocked at them and denigrated Allah and His Prophet (salallaahu alayhi wasallam). These incidents are well documented in various places. But there is no prohibition of discussing these things.

The reason for this variance is that the discussion of these subjects is essential (wajib) and required by Shariah. If some corruption happens secondary to their discussion even then they will not be abandoned.

This proves the second principle.

Both of these principles are treasure trove of knowledge. Orders and rulings regarding numerous peripheral issues can be found from them. In ‘Ruhul Ma’ani’ this difference has been documented from the answer of Abul-Mansoor (rahimahullah) with Ibn e Sireen (rahimahullahl agreeing  to it.

The net result of these two principles is that,

If a permissible act, and similarly mustebbat & Sunan za’idah become contaminated with prohibited acts, then it will be essential (wajib) to abandon that permissible act. In actions that are themselves essential (wajib) and required by Shari’ah if there is any contamination with prohibited acts then even they will not be abandoned. However, it will be necessary to rectify those wrong doings.

This is the very difference which if not kept in mind leads to propagation of innovations.

Third Principle

Allah Ta’ala says:

یاایھاالذین امنوالاتقولوا رعنا

From this order we come to know the ruling that if an individual’s own permissible act becomes a source/excuse for another individual to commit a prohibited action, then that act becomes impermissible for the first person (to start with).

For example, if a scholar’s act is used to justify an ignorant person’s prohibited action, then if that act is non essential it will become impermissible for the scholar also. [Bayanul Qur’an volume 1 page 57]

This is documented in ‘Durr mukhtar’ and its explanation ‘Raddul mukhtar’ under the discussion of “prostration of thankfulness:

وسجدۃ الشکر مستحبۃ بھ تی لکنھا تکر بعد الصلوۃ لان الجھلۃ یعتقدونھا سنۃ او واجبۃ وکل مباح یودی الیمکرو۔ وی الشرح: وحاصل ان ما لیس لھا سبب لا تکر ما لم یود علھا الی اعتقاد الجھلۃ سنیتھا کالتی یعلھا بعض الناس بعد الصلوۃ  [الشامی جلد 1 ص 731]

It is based on these principles derived from Qur’an, Hadith and ruling of Hanafi jurists, the Deobandi scholars have spoken regarding the contemporary rituals and polemic issues.

[Maqalat e Tirmizi  page 216-218, Darul Ishat, Karachi. 1426H]

Applications of these principles

Based on these well established principles they have said that appointing special dates and other specific requirements for rituals like mawlid shareef gatherings, customs of fathiha (esal-e-thawab),  third and tenth day (post-death) esal e thawab gatherings, etc. to be bid’at.
 
By fixing these specification and precise requirements belief of them being necessary was developing.  Even if the person performing them had correct beliefs the danger of corrupting the beliefs of less knowledgeable was arising.
 
It is an established fiqh principle that as important it is to save one’s self from a destruction essentially important is to save others from any loss. That is, as important it to preserve one’s own beliefs equally important is to save others beliefs also.
 
‘Allamah Shami (Ibn Abideen) rahimahullah has written this principle in the discussion of fixing recitation of particular Surah in Salah. That is, wherever there is possibility of distorting shari’ah rulings or misunderstanding of ignorants. He writes:
 

“واقول حاصل معنی کلام ھذا الشیخین بیان وج الکراۃ ی المداومۃ وھو انان رای ذالک حقا یکر حیث تغیر المشروع والا یکر من حیث ایھام الجاھل”
[شامی جلد 1 ص 508]
 

The reason to stop the general people is  تغیر المشروعand for elite is ایھام الجاھل.

A general principle established is that mubah should not exceed its limits (both in knowledge and practice) and mutlaq must not change from its itlaq, both in knowledge and practice and a muqqiyad must not change similarly. There are many verses and hadith to prove this. As this is an established principle I do not need to mention daleel. Just to remind forgetful I mention,
 
It is narrated in Muslim:
 
قال رسول الل صلی الل علی وسلم لا تختصوا لیلۃ الجمعۃ من بین اللیلی ولا تختصو یوم الجمعۃ لقیام من الایام الا ان یکون ی یصوم احدکم  (الحدیث)
 

As Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had mention numerous merits of jumu’ah day and salatul jumu’ah there was a possibility that some will decide himself to specially select them for praying and fasting. For this Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) himself negated this thinking and reiterated that only those things that he had mentioned in this regard are recommendable and a Sunnah. If some one exceeds them then it will not be acceptable.
 
Imam Nawawi (rahimahullah) explains this principle:
 
احتج ب العلماء علی کراھۃ ھذ الصلوۃ المبتدعۃ التی تسمی الرغائب قاتل الل “واضعھا” و مخترعھا قھا بدعۃ منکر من البدع الضلال و الجھال
 
[Maqalat e Tirmizi pg 219-20]

The most striking thing we see in these days is that a mubah is given so much significance that people will easily ignore a person who does not pray salah or fast or makes ghiyba or lies but if a observant Muslim does not perform mawlid he is chastised, looked down upon and called names.
 
Is it not exceeding the mubah from its limits?? 

Response to Objections regarding Bayaan before Khutbah on Yaum al Jumu’ah

[Darul Uloom T & T]

Below is the article (in Red) which was written by a Shaykh as a refutation against our article: Ruling on the Religious Bayaan/Wa’az Delivered Before the Khutbah on Yaum Al-Jumu’ah.

DECEPTION OR NON-COMPREHENSION?

The practice of giving a Bayaan (talk or lecture) in English on Fridays, not on the minbar, at the time normally allotted for the Khutbah and sometimes takes about half an hour relegating THE KHUTBAH OF JUMU’AH SALAAH TO JUST TWO OR THREE MINUTES IN ARABIC has taken root in some of our masaajid.

It should be noted that:

(1) This practice takes place in the presence of the lmaam.

(2) The Khateeb (the person who gives the Khutbah) for The Jumu’ah Salaah is also present.

(3) Most times the person giving the Bayaan is the Khateeb for Jumu’ah.

(4) The Khutbah of Jumu’ah, which is given purely in Arabic, is not understood by the masses.

(5) Everyone agrees that This Bayaan is not part of The Jumu’ah Salaah and should anyone absent himself or herself from it they would have done no wrong.

The Darul Uloom gave a ruling on this practice saying it is permissible and allowed. This was signed and dispatched by the head of that institute dated 19/05/2005. It was then subsequently published in their newsletter #24. The Darul Uloom quotes a number of ahaadeeth and a Fatwaa (Islamic Ruling) of The Permanent Committee for Religious and Legal Rulings of Saudi Arabia to support their position. However on close examination we discover an attempt to mislead the innocent and un-informed masses.

Firstly, they quote a hadeeth from Al Mustadrak, which says that Aboo Hurairah (Abpwh) will stand besides the mimbar and recite ahadeeth and then The Khaleefah ‘Umar (Abpwh) would deliver the Khutbah.

They insinuate that Umar (Abpwh) was present at Aboo Hurairah’s narration of ahaadeeth.

This was not so. What is found in Al Haakim’s collection of ahaadeeth (Al Mustadrak Vol.1 page306) is that he, Aboo Hurairah (Abpwh) would stand besides the mimbar and narrate ahadeeth and when he heard the movement of the door indicating the emergence of The lmaam he stopped his narrations and sat. The lmaam here is ‘Umar (Abpwh) who is also the Khateeb.

This and the other references that the Darul Uloom quotes, clearly establishes that when the Imaam came there was no preaching or narrating of ahaadeeth

Secondly they, the Darul Uloom quotes out of context the practice of The Prophet (u.w.b.p) going to the women and preaching to them after he delivered the Khutbah of Eid Salaah as evidence. What is contentious is the preaching before the Khutbah in the presence of the lmaam/Khateeb, and not after.

Thirdly, the Darul Uloom again attempts to mislead us by quoting the third part of a Fatwaa, which was given by The Permanent Committee for Religious and Legal Rulings in Saudi Arabia.

Here is how Darul Uloom Quoted The Fatwaa:

“When asked about religious instructions held following The Friday Prayer; the Committee responded by saying: There is no sin in it since there is no prohibition for it in The Sunna”

The Darul Uloom here makes a serious blunder in not presenting the Fatwaa as was given.

Firstly they left out the words {after prayer} at the end of the fatwaa

Secondly the Darul Uloom in its attempt to mislead, also conveniently omits the second part of the Fatwaa of the Committee. This is indeed poor scholarship and not the way the students of knowledge.

Presented for your information is the Second and Third part of the fatwaa of the Permanent

Committee for Religious and Legal Rulings in Saudi Arabia.

“Recitation of Assamadiyyah (saying of Suratul lkhlaas) or anything else from the Qur’aan or remembrance before the start of the Khutbah is not obligatory; in fact. IT IS AN INNOVATION and it has been authentically reported from the Prophet (u.w.bp) that he said: Whoever innovated in this matter (i.e. this religion) of ours will have it rejected; Reported by both AI-Bukhaaree and Muslim.

Thirdly, there is no sin in holding a lesson or lessons in circles of learning on Fridays, as there is no

evidence to forbid ATER PRAYER.” (Fatawa Islamiyah Vol. 2 Page 447)

Dear readers know that this practice of giving a Bayaan before the Khutbah as is presently done, is not found in the practices or preaching of the Prophet (u.w.b.p), nor that of The Four Rightly Guided Caliph (Abpwt). Their preaching, admonishments, advices at the time of Jumu’ah Salaah came from The Mimbar

It is indeed imperative that the Muslims adhere to the Qur’aan and the Sunnah in all of their affairs. Allaah The Almighty warns us in Al-Qur’aan: But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you (O Muhammad – uwbp-) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept them with full submission. Ch.4 V65.

We beseech Allaah to pardon us for our shortcomings and to forgive our wrongdoings; He indeed is The Forgiving, The Merciful. (Aameen)

Look out for our next Article where we address the real reason for the persistence by some to give a Bayaan before the Khutbah of Jumu’ah Salaah In Shaa Allaah.

Shaykh Hassan Hamid – Faculty of Shariah University Of Medina Saudi Arabia

[End of Shaykh Hassan’s Article]

THE DARUL ULOOM’S RESPONSE

Before responding to this article we wish to make it abundantly clear that the Darul Uloom’s article was not written to condemn or attack a person’s behavior or opinion, instead it was written as an answer to a question which was posed to the Darul Uloom. As such the article firstly came out in the form of an Islamic ruling and was then published in the Sabeelur-Rashaad publication.

The author of the article prints in bold letters DECEPTION OR NON-COMPREHENSION?’ giving an indication to the reader that the article written by the Darul Uloom is either to deceive others or it is that they have no understanding of the issues involved. Upon close examination it would be seen that this statement is more fitting to the writer of the said article than anyone else. We ask our readers to follow closely to what is being written.

The Shaykh then writes ‘The Practice of giving a Bayaan (talk or lecture) in English on Fridays, not on the minbar, at the time normally allotted for the Khutbah and sometimes takes about half an hour relegating THE KHUTBAH OF JUMU’AH SALAAH TO JUST TWO OR THREE MINUTES IN ARABIC has taken root in some of our masaajid’.

Based on this statement of the shaykh, we ask:- “What is the time normally allotted for Khutbah? Is it ½ hour, is it 1 hour, or is it 2 hours?”

The Shaykh gives the impression that whatever time has been allotted for the Khutbah – it is taken to give this talk which leaves only two or three minutes for the Arabic Khutbah.

According to the Islamic teachings, the time for Jumu’ah salaah/khutbah is the same as that of Zuhr salaah. If the Zuhr salaah lasts for 2 ½ -3 hours, so will be the time for Jumu’ah salaah/khutbah and since this is the allowable time, it means this entire period can be allotted for Jumu’ah salaah/khutbah. As such, if a person uses ½ hour for a bayaan, it is clear misguidance to say that he has used up the allotted time for the Khutbah OR he has relegated the Khutbah to just two or three minutes.

Regardless of the time taken by the one who is giving an English talk, the Khateeb/Imam has the full authority to give the Arabic Khutba in 10 minutes, 5 minutes, ½ hour or one hour. If he chooses to deliver the Arabic Khutbah in a few minutes, it has nothing to do with whatever time the lecturer took, seeing that the allotted time in the Shariah for Jumu’ah salaah is more that 2 hours on a Friday.

Hence it is totally wrong to say that the half hour taken by a lecturer is actually taking away from the ‘allotted time’ for Khutbah.

Further to this, the Shaykh writes that due to the time taken for the bayaan, the Khutbah of Jumu’ah is relegated, to just two or three minutes in Arabic.

On this point, we repeat, that Arabic Khutbahs given in a short or long time, have nothing to do with the time taken by the lecturer who had delivered a bayaan before the Khutbahs. It is up to the Imam or khateeb to take whatever time he wishes to deliver Arabic Khutbahs. And since there is no minimum or maximum time fixed in the Shariah for delivering Khutbahs, the Imam/Khateeb is at liberty to deliver them in a short or long time, once it conforms to the sacred Shari’ah.

Secondly, we have not seen anyone who has delivered two Arabic Khutbahs in just two or three minutes. This, in our opinion is undue exaggeration in order to swerve the minds of the reader.

The Shaykh continues by saying ‘it should be noted that:

(1) This practice takes place in the presence of the lmaam.

(2) The Khateeb (the person who gives the Khutbah) for The Jumu’ah salaah is also present.

(3) Most times the person giving the Bayaan is the Khateeb for Jumu’ah.

(4) The Khutbah of Jumu’ah, which is given purely in Arabic, is not understood by the masses.

(5) Everyone agrees that This Bayaan is not part of The Jumu’ah Salaah and should anyone absent himself or herself from it they would have done no wrong’.

It seems that the message which is being put across by the Shaykh in these statements are:

(1) This bayaan should not take place in the presence of the Imaam.

(2) This bayaan should not take place when the khateeb is present.

(3) The khateeb for Jumu’ah should not give the bayaan.

(4) The Khutbah of Jumu’ah should be given in a language which is understood by the masses. Since the masses cannot understand Arabic, the Khutbah should not be given purely in Arabic.

(5) A person who absents himself/herself from this bayaan is not doing anything wrong.

If this is the message of the shaykh, then we ask:-

*1. Where is it stated in any Islamic teaching that a bayaan cannot be given in the presence of the Imaam?

*2. Where is it evident in the Shari’ah that such bayaan cannot be given in the presence of the khateeb?

*3. Which law of the Shari’ah prohibits a khateeb from giving the bayaan himself?

*4. ‘The khutbah of Jumu’ah is not understood by the masses’. We ask, Is this a condition for the validity of the Jumu’ah Khutbah/Salaat? If this be the case then during the Hajj season where the majority of pilgrims are non arabs, the khateebs at the both harams (Makkah/Madinah) should be giving their khutbahs in a language which the masses or at least the majority can understand.

*5. Sure, this is not part of the Jumu’ah Salaah and there is no wrongdoing on the part of anyone who is not present for such bayaans. In fact this was explained clearly in our article since many people had the misunderstanding that this was a third Khutbah.

After this the Shaykh states: The Darul Uloom quotes a number of ahaadeeth and a Fatwaa (Islamic Ruling) of The Permanent Committee for Religious and Legal Rulings of Saudi Arabia to support their position.

We find that this statement of the shaykh is vague and can be misguiding to the reader, hence we will explain why the ahadeeth were quoted and why the fatawaa of the permanent committee was also quoted.

In explaining our point we wish to let the reader know that the purpose of our article was to respond to two questions which were brought to our attention by a few Muslim brothers. These questions were:

1. Is the lecture before the formal Khutbahs (on the minbar) on a Friday a third Khutbah? Some are saying it is a third Khutbah.

2. What is the ruling of delivering a lecture or bayaan given before the Khutbahs?

Based on these questions, the article incorporated a few traditions which proved that the two Khutbahs for Jumu’ah salaat are done in a manner specified by the Shariah and since these are not to be found in the lecture or bayaan, it cannot be deemed or called a Khutbah. Those who possess understanding would see that the quoted ahadeeth in this aspect had nothing to do with the permissibility or impermissibility of the bayaan or lecture before the Khutbahs.

In answering the other question certain ‘Athaar’ (traditions) were quoted to show that this act was done in the past and hence cannot be considered as forbidden. In addition, a fatawaa of the permanent committee was given simply to prove that an allowance was given by the committee for religious instructions to be done after the Jumu’ah Khutbah/Salaah. This was given to show that such religious instructions could not be deemed as a third Khutbah and it was permissible because there is no prohibition for it in the Sunnah. As such, if the same is done before Jumu’ah, then there is also no prohibition for this in the Sunnah.

The Shaykh then writes, ‘However on close examination we discover an attempt to mislead the innocent and un-informed masses.’

We think that this statement is an error from the Shaykh. We firmly believe that the Shaykh did not have a close examination of our article or probably he did not or could not understand it. It seems that upon seeing our article he was overcome with so much anger and displeasure that he immediately responded to it without understanding its content. We think that the problem with this Shaykh is that he cannot tolerate any opinion which is opposing to his. (And Allah knows best).

The Shaykh then states: ‘Firstly, they quote a hadeeth from Al Mustadrak, which says that Aboo Hurairah (Abpwh) will stand besides the minbar and recite ahadeeth and then The Khaleefah ‘Umar (Abpwh) would deliver the Khutbah. They insinuate that Umar (Abpwh) was present at Aboo Hurairah’s narration of ahaadeeth. This was not so. What is found in Al Haakim’s collection of ahaadeeth (Al Mustadrak Vol.1 page 306) is that he, Aboo Hurairah (Abpwh) would stand besides the minbar and narrate ahadeeth and when he heard the movement of the door indicating the emergence of the lmaam he stopped his narrations and sat. The lmaam here is ‘Umar (Abpwh) who is also the Khateeb.

The Shaykh uses these statements to try to prove to the reader that we are misrepresenting the truth. We ask: “Which part of the statement of our narration tells anyone that Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was present?”

The word ‘then’ simply means ‘after’ and whether or not Umar was there, he (Umar) did deliver the Khutbah after Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated the traditions. Our narration is therefore correct.

If anyone, such as the shaykh wishes to deduce anything from this narration according to their thinking, then he/they are at liberty to do so, however we have not narrated anything that indicates that Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was present nor can anyone think that the narration means that Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was present.

As such, the shaykh’s statement: ‘They insinuate that Umar (Abpwh) was present at Aboo Hurairah’s narration of ahadeeth’,   is a slander and false allegation against us (of something which we have not said or written).

Besides this, it is clearly established that this preaching (lecturing) of Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) prior to the Khutbah on Fridays was officially okayed and sanctioned by the Khalifah Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) himself, since it was tolally impossible that Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) may do this without the consent of the Khalifah. As such, whether Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was present or not, his official consent was given for this practice.

The Shaykh then concludes his first point by saying ‘This and the other references that the Darul Uloom quotes, clearly establishes that when the Imaam came there was no preaching or narrating of of ahadeeth’.

Based on what the shaykh has established and his acceptance of the tradition from Al-Mustadrak it shows that he is allowing the preaching and lecture to take place before the formal Khutbahs, however it should be stopped when the Imaam comes to deliver the Khutbahs. Probably the people of his masjid who are in favour of the said lecture or bayaan can use this strategy in order to avoid confrontation with the Shaykh.

As for us, we have not established such a principle or law from such narrations, nor is there such a principle in any Islamic text, nor has there been any such rulings held by the former and latter Jurists of Islam, as such we think that this is the Shaykh’s personal deduction which is not binding upon anyone to follow.

The Shaykh further writes: ‘Secondly they, the Darul Uloom quotes out of context the practice of The Prophet (u.w.b.p) going to the women and preaching to them after he delivered the Khutbah of Eid Salaah as evidence. What is contentious is the preaching before the Khutbah in the presence of the lmaam/Khateeb, and not after.’

When we read statements such as these, we have no choice except to beg Allah to show mercy to the shaykh and grant him wisdom and understanding. Statements such as these clearly indicate to us that the sheikh did not even read or understand our article.

Even a child who understands our article would see that the above practice of the Rasool (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was not used to prove the permissibility of giving a bayaan or lecture before the Jumu’ah Khutbahs. Instead, this tradition was simply used to prove that a bayaan, lecture, advice or religious instruction given after the two Khutbahs cannot be deemed a Khutbah. As such, when this was not considered to be a third Khutba then why should the lecture or bayaan before the Jumu’ah Khutbahs be called a third Khutbah. This is the context in which the tradition was quoted.

The Shaykh should pay more attention to what he reads before misjudging others. The Shaykh goes further to state his third point by saying, ‘Thirdly, the Darul Uloom again attempts to mislead us by quoting the third part of a Fatwaa, which was given by The Permanent Committee for Religious and Legal Rulings in Saudi Arabia. Here is how Darul Uloom Quoted The Fatwaa:

“When asked about religious instructions held following The Friday Prayer; the Committee responded by saying: There is no sin in it since there is no prohibition for it in The Sunnah.”

The Darul Uloom here makes a serious blunder in not presenting the Fatwaa as was given. Firstly they left out the words {after prayer} at the end of the fatwa. Secondly the Darul Uloom in its attempt to mislead, also conveniently omits the second part of the Fatwaa of the Committee. This is indeed poor scholarship and not the way of the students of knowledge.

Presented for your information is the Second and Third part of the fatwaa of the Permanent Committee for Religious and Legal Rulings in Saudi Arabia.

“Recitation of Assamadiyyah (saying of Suratul lkhlaas) or anything else from the Qur’aan or remembrance before the start of the Khutbah is not obligatory; in fact. IT IS AN INNOVATION and it has been authentically reported from the Prophet (u.w.bp) that he said: Whoever innovated in this matter (i.e. this religion) of ours will have it rejected. Reported by both AI-Bukhaaree and Muslim.

Thirdly, there is no sin in holding a lesson or lessons in circles of learning on Fridays, as there is no evidence to forbid ATER PRAYER.” (Fatawa Islamiyah Vol. 2 Page 447).

In this false allegation, the shaykh tries again to mislead the reader, by saying that the Darul Uloom is trying to mislead others, and quotes three points from which he made deductions. First he says: ‘The Darul Uloom here makes a serious blunder in not presenting the fatwa as was given’.

In our article, we simply presented the message of the Fatawaa which was given by the Permanent Committee. If one looks at our statement in the article, it would be clear that the opinion was not reported with a direct speech nor was a quotation made with quotation marks. The purpose was simply to convey the opinion of the Permanent Committee and not to quote their statement word for word.

We ask, was it essential upon us to present a fatawaa in exactly the same words as it was given in the article? We wrote, ‘when asked about’, this statement goes to show that what is being related is indirect and not direct. What we did was to give the message of the fatawaa and not the fatawaa itself, and this is acceptable by the jurists of Islam when the original message is not distorted. This practice is to be found in many books written by great scholars and occurs also in the field of hadith, where scholars would give the meaning and message of the hadith rather then quoting the hadith itself. We therefore ask the question, ‘what wrong have we done if we did not misrepresent or distort the message of the fatawa’. (We will later explain that the message was the same as indicated in the fatawaa).

The other point quoted by the Shaykh is, ‘firstly they left out the words {after prayer} at the end of the fatawaa ’.

In order for our reader to see the lack of understanding of simple English by the Shaykh we will put both statements together to see if there is any difference between the both.

The Shaykh is reporting that the Fatawaa says, ‘there is no sin in it since there is no prohibition for it in the Sunnah after the prayer.’   He then says that because we used the word  ‘following the Friday prayer’ instead of ‘after the Friday prayer’  we have made a blunder, hence we are misleading the people.

We ask you, our readers, Is there any difference between these two statements:-

1) ‘Religious Instructions done following the Friday prayer’ and

2) ‘Religious Instructions done after the Friday prayer’.

If both have the same meaning then what is the problem with the Shaykh? The Shaykh wants the reader to think that the Darul Uloom is misleading the people and has changed the words of the Fatawaa.

The truth my dear readers, is that the Permanent Committee was asked about a statement made by a person upon which they responded. The statement made by the person, which is mentioned in Fatawaa Islamiya, is: ‘Religious instruction following the Friday prayer is something highly preferred and there is no objection to it’. The Committee was asked to say whether this is correct or not. As such, commenting on this statement the Permanent Committee said, ‘There is no sin in holding a lesson or lessons in circles of learning on Fridays, as there is no evidence to forbid it after the prayer.

We want our readers to know that the Permanent Committee was asked about lessons held ‘following the Friday prayer’. As such, the Darul Uloom noted the exact words that were used in the statement as given in the book Fatawaa Islamiyah.

While reporting this, our article states (indicating to the point of after the prayer), ‘when asked about religious instructions held following the Friday prayer’.

In presenting this to our readers we simply conveyed the message of both the question and answer instead of narrating the full question and its answer. We wrote, ‘when questioned about religious instructions held following the Friday prayer, the permanent committee responded ……’

This, in simple English, means that the permanent secretary was asked about the ruling regarding holding religious instructions after the Friday prayer.

The only thing that was done was to simply use the word ‘following’ and everyone who understands the English language knows very well that the word ‘following’ in this context means ‘after’. Remember, we said in the beginning that we were presenting the message of the question/answer and not narrating the identical words.

As such, the statement made by the Committee is exactly what was conveyed in the Darul Uloom’s article.

The Shaykh who is saying that we left out the words ‘after the prayer’ should know that ‘following the prayer’ and ‘after the prayer’ have the same meaning. He should make an effort to understand what has been written rather than looking for faults which he alone can see.

The Shaykh again shows his lack of understanding by writing the following: ‘Secondly the Darul Uloom in its attempt to mislead, also conveniently omits the second part of the Fatawaa of the committee’.

Having quoted this he says: ‘This is indeed poor scholarship and not the way of the students of knowledge.’

We say this is poor understanding on his part, for one who has studied at an Islamic University. The question is why did we leave out the part which has annoyed him? Was it a mistake or was it intentional? These are questions the Shaykh should have asked, before drawing wrong conclusions from our article in order to make false allegations.

The reason that the second part of the fatawa was not given is that it was not relevant to the issue which was being discussed. The main topic of the article was about the permissibility and impermissibility of the lecture/bayaan before the Jumu’ah Khutbahs, the second part of the fatawa (which the shaykh speaks about) has nothing to do with the topic. This part of the fatawa was given in response to a question asked about a person/persons reciting surah Ikhlaas or anything else from the Qur’an or remembrance (Zikr) before the start of the Khutbah. Many people who have seen this practice being done can immediately understand the question asked. This, I have seen for myself in certain masjids in different parts of the world where a few people would normally gather together prior to the Jumu’ah salaah and recite the Zikr, (remembrance of Allah, by saying the first Kalimah) loudly.

In other places some gather together to recite salaat and salaam collectively before and after Jumu’ah salaah. In our opinion, this was the nature of what was asked of the permanent committee, which they responded to. These actions are undoubtedly Bid’ah and innovations which we also condemn. With this understanding, it is clear that this part of the fatawa has no relevance to the topic of discussion and hence was left out. This also has been the practice of many scholars of the past and present, even in the field of ahadith many of the Muhadditheen would quote only part of a hadith and leave out other parts. Many Jurists have done the same regarding fatawas in their books of Islamic Jurisprudence and this is an acceptable practice among the Scholars of Islam, (they would quote only that which is relevant to the topic of discussion).

Further to this, it seems that the Shaykh himself is guilty of the same thing which he accuses us of. He writes, ‘Presented for your information is the Second and Third part of the fatawa of the Permanent Committee for Religious and Legal Rulings in Saudi Arabia’.

We ask: “Why did the shaykh leave out the first part of the fatawa and why did he not quote the questions which were asked, so that the reader would have a full understanding of the responses?”

For the information of the readers, we will give the entire section which dealt with this issue as given in Fatawa Islamiyah, so that the readers would see for themselves that the Darul Uloom was not misleading anyone when only a part of the fatawa was quoted. The readers would also see that while the Shaykh was accusing us of leaving out a part, he has also done the same.

The Permanent Committee for Religious Research and Legal Rulings read the following letter which was addressed to His Excellency, the General Director and whose text was as follows:

Q. Allah, the Most High says: “But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith until they make you (O Muhammad Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) judge in all disputes between them and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions and accept (them) with full submission” (4:65).

Khalid: There must be religious chanting before the Adhan of Zuhr on Fridays.

‘Umar: No, rather, recitation of the Quraan through the loudspeaker is more loved by Allah than that.

Khalid: The recitation of As-Samadiyyah (Surah Al-Ikhlaas) before the start of the Khutbah and religious chanting is obligatory and highly preferred.

‘Umar: That has not been prescribed by Allah, nor by His Messenger (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) and it is not obligatory. In fact it is obligatory to be silent until the Imam ascends the pulpit and the Adhan is made.

Khalid: Religious instruction following the Friday prayer is something highly preferred and there is no objection to it.

‘Umar: This has not been reported from the mouth of the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) nor from his companions, may Allah be pleased with them, and they did not do it during their lifetimes.

Khalid: Praying two Rak’ahs before the Friday prayer is obligatory and it is a Sunnah.

‘Umar: The Messenger of Allah  did not pray it neither did his companions, may Allah be pleased with them.

Khalid: The Mu’adhin sending blessings upon the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) after the Adhan is something highly preferred and there is no objection to it.

‘Umar: No, it is not permissible and it was not done by the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) nor was it done by his companions, may Allah be pleased with them.

It is requested that you provide the correct answer in writing, in accordance with the ruling of the Islamic Law. May Allah reward you with the best reward.

A. First of all, Nasheed (Religious chanting) prior to the Adhan for Friday prayer has not been confirmed as lawful; rather, it is an innovation. And Friday should not be singled out for the recitation of the Qur’aan through the loudspeaker, or otherwise – neither before the Adhan, nor after the prayer – and its recitation is not an Islamic feature of Friday; rather, its recitation is prescribed everyday, so making it particular for Fridays is an innovation. The confirmed Sunnah is to confine oneself to the Adhan for it.

Secondly, recitation of As-Samadiyah or anything else from the Qur’an or remembrance before the start of the Khutbah is not obligatory; in fact, it is an innovation, and it has been authentically reported from the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) that he said: “Whoever innovated in this matter (i.e. this religion) of ours will have it rejected.” (Bukhaari and Muslim).

Thirdly, there is no sin in holding a lesson or lessons in circles of learning on Fridays, as there is no evidence to forbid it after prayer.

Fourthly, there is no Sunnah prayer before the Friday prayer, because this has not been authentically reported from the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam), neither has it been reported from his companions, may Allah be pleased with them. But it is lawful for the one who comes to the Friday prayer to pray whatever supererogatory prayers are easy for him, until the Khatib ascends the pulpit. And whoever enters after the Khatib has ascended the pulpit, it is only prescribed for him to pray Tahiyyatul-Masjid.

Fifthly, sending prayers on the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) is encouraged in the Islamic law and its reward is great, and it is a Sunnah after the Adhan; but the Mu’adhin should send prayers on him after the Adhan quietly, not aloud. It is an innovation for the Mu’adhin to do so upon completing the Adhan. As for the one who hears the Adhan, it is Sunnah for him to repeat it and to send prayers on the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) after the Mu’adhin completes the Adhan, and he should ask Allah to grant intercession to His Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam), saying “O Allah! Lord of this complete supplication, and of the established prayer, grant Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) intercession and the most virtuous place and raise him to the praiseworthy station which You have promised him” (Bukhari).

The Permanent Committee

As can be seen, the last part of the fatawa is relevant to our topic of discussion since in allowing the establishment of circles of learning on Fridays after Jumu’ah salaat the permanent committee said, ‘there is no evidence to forbid it after prayer’. What is established from this statement of the permanent committee is that when there is no evidence to forbid a thing in the Shariah, it would be allowed to do it. Using this same principle we ask the shaykh: ‘where is the evidence to prohibit the bayaan or lecture before Juma?’

Our opinion on this matter remains the same that, ‘since there is absolutely no evidence to prohibit the lecture or bayaan before the formal Khutbahs on the day of Jumu’ah, it would be permissible.

In the aforementioned statements of the shaykh, the reader would note that while narrating the fatawaa of the Permanent Committee, the shaykh made a special highlight of the words ‘IT IS AN INNOVATION’, by putting it in capital letters, underlining it and also typing it bold. In addition he also highlighted in bold letters the words, ‘before the start of the khutba is not obligatory’. We want our readers to know that this is not the way it has been narrated in the book ‘Fatawaa Islamiyah’. This special highlight of these words gives the impression to the reader that this is the way it has been given in the book, when it is not so. As such, this is deception on the part of the Shaykh.

In our opinion (and Allah knows best) the Shaykh wants to convey to the reader that the lecture/bayaan done before the Khutbah is an innovation.

We wish to ask our readers to pay careful attention to the words written by the Permanent Committee before these statements, so that they may understand what exactly is being considered an innovation. The statement reads ‘Recitation of Assamadiyah (saying of Surah Ikhlaas) or anything else from the Qur’an or remembrance before the start of the Khutbah is not obligatory; in fact, it is an innovation’.

If the reader examines the statement carefully, it will become clear to him/her that the above ruling of the Permanent Committee has no connection with the issue of giving a bayaan or lecture before the Khutbahs. If the Shaykh wishes to use this statement to prove to the readers that giving a lecture or bayaan before the Friday Khutbah is an innovation, then it will be sheer ignorance and misguidance on his part.

The Shaykh further writes, ‘Dear readers know that this practice of giving a Bayaan before the Khutbah as is presently done, is not found in the practices or preaching of the Prophet (u.w.b.p), nor that of the Four Rightly Guided Caliph (Abpwt). Their preaching, admonishments, advices at the time of Jumu’ah Salaah came from The Mimbar’.

We say that there are many things which are being presently done and are not in accordance to the practices of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) nor from the rightly guided Caliphs. Is this a principle in the Shariah which tells us to categorize all such actions to be haraam, bid’ah or impermissible? Such principles are certainly not in the Shariah.

Besides this, it is clearly established in Mustadrak Al Hakim that Abdullah bin Basr (Radhiyallahu Anhu) used to preach prior to the Khutbah on Fridays and it is also evident that Tameem Daari (radhiyallahu anhu) used to preach before the Khutbah on Fridays. (Musnad Ahmad, Al Isabah Fi Tazkirah As Sahaba).

The Shaykh concludes the article by stating: It is indeed imperative that the Muslims adhere to the Qur’aan and the Sunnah in all of their affairs. Allah the Almighty warns us in Al-Qur’aan: But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you (0 Muhammad – uwbp-) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept them with full submission. Ch.4 v.65.

In the above verse the shaykh calls upon Muslims to adhere to the Quran and Sunnah in all their affairs, this is a very good invitation to which every Muslim must adhere. However the Shaykh should have explained the ‘concept of Sunnah’ so that people may have the proper understanding of the word. It is important that Muslims understand what can be classified under the word ‘Sunnah’ and what cannot (be classified). This understanding is extremely important, especially in today’s world where there have been a lot of condemnation simply due to the misunderstanding of ‘what is Sunnah’ and ‘what is Bid’ah’. We have seen the roaming about of many uneducated and ignorant ones preaching about ‘Sunnah’ and often quoting from Sahih Al-Bukhari and upon being confronted it is seen that they possess absolutely no knowledge of that which they preach or invite towards.

In conclusion, we wish to let the Muslims know that the Darul Uloom has never misguided anyone and its agenda has never been to create factions, disunity and dissension among Muslims.

As readers can see, our article which was circulated amongst the Muslims did not criticize, condemn or attack anyone. We believe that differences of opinion can always be settled in a better way.

However since our brother’s article in condemning the Darul Uloom was widely circulated, then its correction must be done in the same manner. In doing so, we did not use ‘names’ for our dear brother, instead we pointed out to certain mistakes, which we believe, needed to be corrected.

With respect to what we say or write, we know that we are all accountable to Allah and as such we ensure that a proper and thorough research is done on any given topic before an official opinion is given and only that is given which conforms to the true and authentic teachings of Islam coming through the generations of the Sahabahs to the Pious Predecessors (Salafus Saaliheen) and to the rightly guided scholars throughout the ages until our time.

In all matters, Darul Uloom does not give its own personal opinion; instead it adopts that which has been agreed upon by great Jurists and Scholars of the past and present. Hence with respect to the topic of discussion, we clearly state that ‘there is absolutely no prohibition for the talk or bayaan given before the official Khutbas on the day of Jumu’ah. Whoever wishes to prohibit it must provide sound and valid texts for the same.

As for its allowance, besides the explanations we have given in our article, we see that many great Muftis and Scholars throughout the world have all allowed it, since there is no prohibition for it in the Shariah.

In the end, we pray that Allah gives us all the true understanding of the teachings of His beautiful religion and may He give us the wisdom to preach, propagate and teach it to others. We beg Him to accept our humble efforts and to keep us on the straight path. We also beseech Him to protect the Muslims from all forms of mischief and dissension and to keep them on the straight path.

Clarification of the false arguments against the school of ‘Ilm ul Kalam

The answer of Shaykh al-Islam Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn Husayn al-Bayhaqi (rahimahullah) on the enemies of Kalaam [Islamic linguistics] what mistakenly is often translated as “philosophy”.  What in it is a lie against the choice of words and against the terminology.

Who was al-Bayhaqi (rahimahullah) first?

Amirul Mu’mineen fi al-Hadith Shams ud-Deen adh-Dhahabi (rahimahullah) said of him:

“Hafidh, a scholar, the precise, the jurist, Shaykh al-Islam …. if he had wanted he could establish his own legal school.”

[Tadhkirat ul-Huffaz, al-Dhahabi]

The Shafi’s say that without him there would be no Shafi’i school of law.

And al-Juwayni (rahimahullah) says of him:

“There is no one amongst the Shafi’s who has an advantage over Imam Shafi’i (rahmatullah alayh) himself except Al-Bayhaqi, because of his many books and his assistance to his Madh-hab.”

[Dhahabi, Ibid]

It is the following statement from Imam Shafi’i [meaningful]:

“My opinion of the people of Kalaam is that you have to beat them with palm leaves.”

And the statements generally of the Salaf, where they talk bad about the Kalaam, as they refer to the Kalaam of atheists and sects such as the Mu’tazilah, Qadariyah, Karramiyah, Hashawiyyah etc.

Imam al-Bayhaqi (rahimahullah) said with regard to these statements:

“Allah knows best, but with theological rhetoric [Kalaam], they meant only those of the innovators. During their time only the innovators were known to deal with theological rhetoric. The Ahlus Sunnah, however, was very concerned with this until they were obliged to do so..”

Imam Shafi’i (rahmatullah alayh)’s student Abu Bakr al-Muzani (rahimahullah) handed down:

“I debated with a certain person who asked me questions that almost caused me to get doubts about my religion. I came to Ash-Shafi’i (rahmatullah alayh) and told him this matter. He said to me, “Where are you?” I answered, “In the mosque!” He said, “No! You are in a Taran [in the Red Sea] and its waves are falling down on you! This is a popular topic of atheists and it is so and so (he Muzani gave the answer). That the servant of Allah ﷻ with everything He has forbidden – except Shirk encounters, is better for him than Kalaam ”!

Imam al-Bayhaqi (rahimahullah) comments on this story in his manaqib as follows:

“This shows that Ash-Shafi’i (rahmatullah alayh) had excellent knowledge of this subject [Kalaam] and saw the duty to respond, if necessary, to the distortions of the atheist. With Kalaam, and – Allah knows best – he meant the atheism of the atheists and the false teachings of the innovators.”

[Manaqib Al-Imam ash-Shafi’i, p. 458]

And Shaykh al-Islam Abu Bakr al-Bayhaqi (rahimahullah) also said:

وكيف يكون كلام أهل السنة والجماعة مذموما عنده وقد تكلم فيه وناظر من ناظره وكشف عن تمويه من ألقىلى سمع بعض أصحابه من أهل الأهواء شيئا مما هم فيه?

“And how could he [al-Shafi’i] consider the kalaam of Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jama’a as criminal when he himself followed it, debating with those who debated [Kalaam] and the errors Uncovered doubts among some of his disciples?”

[Manaqib Al-Imam ash-Shafi’i]

And Hafs al-Fard debated and defeated one of the Mu’tazilah with that of the Imam ash-Shafi’i, himself said about him:

ما تكلم في هذا مثله ولا أقدر منه على هذا

“No one who is more akin to him [Shafi’i] [in this area] than he did in it [i.e. in Kalaam]”

[Manaqib al-Imam ash-Shafi’i, p. 456]

The Roots of Sunni-Shi’i Differences in Fiqh

[Abu Muhammad al-Afriqui]

It is often alleged by the protagonists of Sunni-Shi‘i unity that differences between the two schools are not more grave or serious than the differences that exist within the four Sunni schools of jurisprudence. Sunni-Shi‘i differences should therefore be treated with the same tolerance and acceptance as Hanafi – Shafi‘i differences, and it is in the spirit of this proposed “mutual tolerance” that the advocates of unity speak of the Shi‘i Ja‘fari school of jurisprudence as nothing more than a “fifth madh-hab“.

It is therefore only normal for the average Sunni lay person who has come into contact with advocates of Sunni-Shi‘i unity to wonder about, or even be taken in, by such a claim. How serious are the differences between the Ahl as-Sunnah and the Shi‘ah really? Could they ever be reconciled? If not, could there at least be an amicable agreement to disagree, just like the Hanafis disagree with the Shafi‘is, or the Malikis with the Hanbalis? It is these questions that this article sets out to answer.

Full reconciliation between the Ahl as-Sunnah and the Ithna ‘Ashari Ja‘fari Shi‘ah is not merely elusive, it is simply an impossibility. Anyone who knows the reality of the issues that separate the Shi’ah from the Ahl as-Sunnah is bound to agree. Nothing sums up the truth of the situation better than the words of Hamid Algar—an ardent admirer of Khomeini and the revolution—, who describes Sunnism and Shi‘ism as “two parallel lines that cannot meet”. The endeavour to bring about reconciliation between the Ahl as-Sunnah and the Shi‘ah is therefore a wasted effort. The next best option is thus mutual tolerance and acceptance.

In order to test the viability of tolerance and acceptance between the Ahl as-Sunnah and the Shi‘ah we will have to look more closely at the issues that separate the one from the other. These issues can be categorised into two groups:

 

1. fundamental differences,

which include articles of faith, and all such issues that could be termed “differences in principle”, that by their nature give rise to differences in secondary matters;

2. secondary differences,

i.e. difference in matters of jurisprudence, like the way salah is performed, or that marriage and divorce take place, etc..

Each of the fundamental issues of difference would require a separate study to see how they affect compatibility between the Ahl as-Sunnah and the Shi‘ah. In this article it is our intention to look more closely at the type of difference that is usually dismissed as “secondary”, and thus “unimportant”. Are differences in fiqh between the Ahl as-Sunnah and the Shi‘ah really so insignificant that we can jusitifiably turn a blind eye when we encounter them?

There can be no doubt that this question is anathema to the propagators of Shi‘ism amongst the Ahl as-Sunnah, as well as to those who have fallen prey to their propaganda. Yet, if it is truth we seek, we cannot allow the preferences of such obviously biased persons to deter us. The “unity” such people strive to achieve, and which they accuse others of trying to destroy, is a unity forged in ignorance. How much do we really know about the Shi‘ah? We have taken them on face value, and on grounds of what we have thus learnt about them we proceed to create unity. The naivety of such a position in a matter of far reaching religious implications is far too obvious. A unity founded upon ignorance is a very precarious unity indeed. Like a mirage, it seems very real when seen from afar, but as soon as you approach it, it slips out of existence.

There are two levels at which one can look at the differences in jurisprudence between the Ahl as-Sunnah and the Shi‘ah. The first is the level of external appearance. When the differences in fiqh are inspected at this level they do not seem any more alien than the differences that exist between the various schools of Sunni jurisprudence. In fact, in many, or even most cases one will find the Shi‘i position to be conformity with at least one of the four Sunni madhahib. This is illustrated in the following three examples:

In the salah, the jalsat al-istirahah is held to be sunnah by the Shi‘ah. In this they concur with the view of the Shafi‘i madhhab. [Yahya ibn Sa‘id al-Hilli: al-Jami‘ lish-Sharai’ p.75 (Mu’assasat Sayyid ash-Shuhada’, Qum 1405)]

In marriage the majority of Shi‘i jurists hold the view that khalwah, i.e. valid seclusion, has no effect on the mahr (dowry) nor upon any other aspect of the marital contract. In this they are once again agreement with the Shafi‘is, but differ from the other three schools. [Muhammad Jawad Maghniyyah: The Five Schools of Islamic Law p. 319 (Ansariyan Publications, Qum 1995)] If the husband is unable to pay the mahr the wife is not entitled to divorce according to the Shi‘i and the Hanafi schools. The Malikis, the Shafi‘is and the Hanbalis all have different views. [ibid]

It is on this level that most people view the differences that exist between the Ahl as-Sunnah and the Shi‘ah. Even certain `ulama of the Ahl as-Sunnah, looking at the matter on this level, have been known to express the view that “differences between the Ahl as- Sunnah and the Shi‘ah are no more serious than the differences that exist between the various schools of Sunni jurisprudence”.

However, when we confine ourselves to viewing the problem of Sunni-Shi‘i differences on this level we are in effect closing our eyes to the most important aspect of those differences: THE ROOT. The true nature of Sunni-Shi‘i differences can never be appreciated or understood in full without comprehending the reasons for their existence. It is only when the problem has been viewed and grasped on the level of the reasons for difference, and not merely the external appearance of difference, that one is justified to take further steps.

When the Shi‘ah differ from the Ahl as-Sunnah, it is not the same as when one Sunni school differs from the other. This is because the various Sunni schools all trace their roots back to the same legacy. They share a common heritage in the Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam). When differences do occur, they occur not because one madhhab bases itself on a legacy other than the legacy of the other. Both believe in and hold on to the same legacy. Their differences are caused by secondary factors, like whether certain categories of hadith possess binding authority or not, or the divergence in the methods they regard as valid to interpret the legacy and extrapolate from it. The following two examples illustrate how such differences occur:

The mursal hadith (a hadith with an interruption in its chain of narrators between the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam and the Tabi‘i), for example, is deemed to possess binding authority by the Hanafis, while the Shafi‘is do not accept it except if it is supported by any one of a number of external factors. If we imagine a mursal hadith that is not supported by any of the factors the Shafi‘is stipulate, it is only logical to expect that the Shafi‘i ruling on the issue the hadith pertains to will differ from the Hanafi ruling.

Spoken words are sometimes accompanied by implied meanings. For example, when it is said, “Stay awake,” this also means “Don’t sleep”. This unspoken opposite meaning is termed mafhum al-mukhalafah. The Shafi‘is accept it as a valid means of extracting meaning from a text, while the Hanafis do not. If the former extract such meaning from a text and base a ruling upon the meaning inferred by this method, and the latter base their ruling upon some other grounds, there is bound to be a measure of difference in the outcome of their respective views.

Sunni-Shi‘i differences, on the other hand, are fundamentally distinct from inter-Sunni differences. While it may rightly be claimed that the Shi‘ah, too, have their particular principles of extrapolation, it would be incorrect to describe those principles as the root cause of difference between them and the Ahl as-Sunnah, the reason for that being that while the Sunni schools each have methods of extrapolation particular to themselves, they all apply their respective methods to the same legacy. The Shi‘ah, on the other hand, have not only their own set of principles, but also a legacy distinct from the legacy of the Ahl as-Sunnah. When there are differences between the Ahl as-Sunnah and the Shi‘ah, they arise not on account of differences in interpretation or methods of extrapolation, but because the source from which the Shi‘ah draw their law is a source other than the source of the Ahl as-Sunnah.

What is this “legacy”, the reader may well ask. It is embodied in the Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam). As far as the Qur’an is concerned, although history is witness to alot of Shi‘ite calumny against the inviolability of the Qur’an, most contemporary Shi‘i scholars, and even many of their classical ‘ulama who staunchly believe in its interpolation, will admit the Qur’an’s status as the prime source of legislation. (A Shi‘i scholar of the present century, Muhammad ‘Ali Tabataba’i, reconciles belief in the interpolation of the Qur’an with acceptance of the Qur’an as a source of legislation by saying that “interpolation occured specifically in those verses relating to Imamah.” [Tafsir al-Qummi] Verses with a legal purport are thus left uncorrupted.) Since the Qur’an is thus “agreed upon” between the Ahl as-Sunnah and the Shi‘ah, there remains only the other part of the legacy we inherited from the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam): the Sunnah.

Essentially, the difference lies in the concepts each have of what constitutes the Sunnah. According to the Ahl as-Sunnah the Sunnah is everything narrated from the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wasallam), as long as the transmitters are trustworthy. The Shi‘ah, on the other hand, will only accept as the Sunnah that which is transmitted by ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and the rest of the twelve Imams, and that which is narrated from these Imams by their Shi‘ah followers. Forget what the rest of the Sahabah narrate, not even the narrations of other members of the household of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam), his daughters besides Fatimah (radiyallahu ‘anha), his wives, his cousins or uncles, are considered part of the Sunnah by the Shi‘ah. That is the first observation.

The second is the way the Shi‘ah regard the legacy upon which the foundations of Sunni fiqh rests. Since the days of the Sahabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) the Sunnah of the Prophet was handed down from generation to generation. The Sahabah narrated it to the Tabi‘in, they to the generation after them, and so on, until it came to be compiled in what we know today as the hadith literature. To the Shi‘ah, when this legacy is found to be in contradiction to what is supposedly narrated from their Imams, the reason behind it is that the Sahabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) were guilty of wilfully distorting and corrupting the Din of Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam). Thus, where inter-Sunni differences amount to nothing more than technicalities, Sunni-Shi‘i differences are differences in historical perspective.

To use an example: In salah, the Malikis let their hands hang by their sides, while the Hanafis, Shafi‘is and Hanbalis fold their hands. The Shi‘ah too, let their hands hang by their sides. In this single issue of fiqh we thus have an inter-Sunni difference as well as a Sunni-Shi‘i difference. Between the Malikis and the other three madhahib the difference is a mere technicality. The Malikis accept the validity of folding the hands in salah (after all, Imam Malik (rahmatullah alayh) himself in the Muwatta’ narrates a hadith that supports the folding of the hands), but prefer letting the hands hang for the reason that in Imam Malik’s day this was the practice of the community in Madinah. The other madhahib take into consideration that the Companions of the Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) who narrate his Sunnah were not exclusively settled in Madinah. Many of them resided in the Makkah, ‘Iraq, Syria and Egypt. Ahadith to the effect that it is sunnah to fold the hands have been authentically narrated from a number of Sahabah (amongst whom ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (radiyallahu ‘anhu), and therefore this, and not the practice of the people of one particular city, takes precedence. Between the Sunni schools this difference is a technical one, one that amounts to giving preference to one view over another. But between the Shi‘ah and the Ahl as-Sunnah the issue assumes much more serious proportions. From a question of mere technical preference it turns into an acrimonious indictment of the Sahabah (radiyallahu ‘anhum). Traditions in the book Tahdhib al-Ahkam, one of the four major collections of Shi‘i hadith, describe the folding of the hands in salah as “an act of kufr” and “something that is only done by the fire-worshippers”. Here one would have to ask: How could an alien practice like this creep into Islam? The answer is given by Ayatullah Khomeini himself, in his treatise at-Ta‘adul wat-Tarjih, wherein he quotes the following tradition from the book ‘Ilal ash-Shara’i‘ by Ibn Babawayh al-Qummi:

(Ja‘far as-Sadiq) asked: Do you know why you are commanded to act contrary to the`Àimmah (the Ahl as-Sunnah)?

I replied: I do not know.

He said: Verily, the Ummah contradicted ‘Ali in each and every aspect of his religion, intending thereby to destroy his cause. They used to ask him about things they did not know, and when he gave a ruling they would invent an opposite verdict from their own side to mislead the people.  [at-Ta‘adul wat-Tarjih by Ayatullah Khomeini, p. 82, cited in Dr. Zayd al-‘Is:al-Khomeini wal-Wajh al-Àkhar p. 131]

In the Shi‘i perspective of Islamic legislative history the fact that the Sahabah deliberately corrupted and distorted the teachings of the Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is such a fundamental truth, that is came to be looked upon as a criterion of truth in itself. This position is reflected in the way they deal with the phenomenon of Shi’i narrations that contradict one another. Abu Ja‘far al-Kulayni, in the introduction to al-Kafi, the most important of their four canonical hadith collections, expresses it in the following terms:

Know… that no one can distinguish narrations of the Possessors of Knowledge (the Imams) by his opinion; except according to the words of the Possessor of Knowledge: ‘Compare them to the Qur’an. Accept that which is in accordance with it, and reject that which contradicts it,’ and his words: ‘Abandon that which is in accordance with the people (the Ahl as- Sunnah), for truly, guidance lies in being different to them’. [al-Kafi  vol. 1 pp. 55-56 (Dar al-Adwa’, Beirut 1992)]

This particular perspective has persisted in the Shi‘i psyche over the centuries since Kulayni and his teacher Qummi, until it became, in the opinion of Khomeini and all other Shi‘i jurists, one of the two principal methods of juridical preference in cases of conflicting narrations. In light of the alarming frequency with which contradictions occur in the ahadith of the Shi‘ah (one of their four major hadith sources, al-Istibsar, is devoted to the phenomenon of contradiction) the importance of a principle of this nature is evident. We reproduce here from Khomeini’s works various Shi‘i narrations in which he and other Shi‘i mujtahids find justification for their view:

1. Hasan ibn Abil Jahm asked: If something is narrated from Abu ‘Abdillah (Imam Ja‘far), and something contrary to it is also narrated from him, which should we accept?

The Imam answered: Accept that which is in contradiction to the people, and avoid that which is accordance with them. [at-Ta‘adul wat-Tarjih p.80]

2. Abu ‘Abdillah said: Our Shi‘ah are those who submit to our command, who accept our words, and who act contrary to our enemies. Whoever is not like that is not of us. [Tahrir al-Wasilah p. 83, from al-Fusul al-Muhimmah by al-Hurr al-‘Amili p. 225]

3. ‘Ali ibn Asbat narrates that he asked Imam Rida: (What should I do in case) an incident occurs for which I am need of a juridical opinion, but nowhere in the city do I find anyone of your partisans (the Shi‘ah) whom I can ask?

He replied: Go to the (Sunni) faqih of the city and refer your case to him. Then take the opposite of whatever answer he gives you, for verily, therein lies the truth. [at-Ta‘adul wat-Tarjih p.82, from ‘Uyun Akhbar ar-Rida by Ibn Babawayh al-Qummi, vol. 1 p. 275]

It is on account of these and other similar narrations which the Shi‘ah claim to emanatefrom their infallible Imams that the mujtahids of the Ja‘fari madhhab were led to formulate the principle Khomeini expresses in these terms:

In cases of conflicting reports, contradiction of the Ahl as-Sunnah is a factor of preference … In fact, it is the most common and widespread factor of preference in all chapters of fiqh and upon the tongues of the fuqaha. [at-Ta‘adul wat-Tarjih p. 83]

There is no ambiguity with regard to the issue of contradicting the Ahl as- Sunnah being a factor of preference in the case of conflicting narrations. [at-Ta‘adul wat-Tarjih p. 84]

The factors of tarjih (preference) are limited to two: conforming to the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and contradicting the Ahl as-Sunnah. [at-Ta‘adul wat-Tarjih p. 84]

All of these quotations show a definite obsession with being different from the Ahl as- Sunnah. We therefore ask: If so much importance is attached to being different, to the point of it being regarded as the criterion of truth, why should there be such a noise and clamour for unity? Why should the Shi‘ah seek unity with people whose version of Islam they regard as the corruption of the Din of Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) wrought by the hands of his Companions? And even if the Shi‘ah do manage to create a semblance of such unity, how much goodwill and sincerity can be expected of them if one considers their particular perspective of the legacy which forms the basis of our faith and practice?

We have chosen Khomeini’s views as representative of Shi‘i opinion for a very special reason, and that is the fact that in the contemporary world it is he and his successors who are the most vociferous proponents of Sunni-Shi‘i unity, and who dismiss Sunni-Shi‘i differences as negligible. In more than one of his public addresses he takes to task those who attempt to create mischief amongst the Muslims by “misleading” them into believing that there are substantial differences between the Ahl as-Sunnah and the Shi‘ah. However, closer scrutiny of his jurisprudential works reveal that such condemnations are nothing but political rhetoric. When we remove the image he projects as Leader of the Revolution, we are left with merely another Shi‘i scholar imprisoned by the fundamentals of his faith. In his eyes, and likewise in the eyes of generations of Shi‘i scholars before him, the legacy of the Sunnah upon which their Sunni “brothers” base their practice of Islam is the product of the envious mischief and the disbelief of the Sahabah, who in the hope of destroying the cause of the Ahl al-Bayt distorted every teaching of the Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) they could lay their hands upon. If this is how they regard the very basis upon which the foundations of our Deen rests, what remains to be said for unity?