Category Archives: Hanafi Fiqh

A Hanafi scholar behind the compilation of Sahih al-Bukhari

Imam Is-haaq ibn Ibraheem al-Handhali al-Marwazi al-Hanafi, most commonly known as Ibn Rahuyah (rahimahullah) [d. 238 H] was the student of Imam ‘Abdullah ibn Mubaarak (rahimahullah) who was a student of Imam al-‘Adham, Abu Hanifa (rahimahullah). He was known as Ameer al-Mu-mineen (the leader of the believers) in Hadith. [See: Abu Ghuddah, Umaraa al-Mu-mineen fi al-Hadith 113]

He was one of the greatest Hadith scholars of his time. He dictated 11 000 Hadiths from his memory. He passed away during the night of mid-Sha’ban. Imam Al-Bukhari was among his students. [See for example: Al-Kalaabadhi, Rijaal Sahih al-Bukhari 1/72, Adh-Dhahabi, Siyar ‘Alaam an-Nubala 11/118 and Al-Mizzi, Tahdheeb al-Kamaal 2/10]

Imam Al-Kardari and Imam As-Salihi ad-Dimashqi mentioned him among the narrators who reported from Imam Abu Hanifa and his companions. [See respectively: Al-Kardari, Al-Manaaqib 2/241, As-Salihi, ‘Uqud al-Jumaan 99]

Hafidh Ibn Hajar said about Imam Al-Bukhari, “His determination became stronger on this [that is on the compilation of his Sahih] when he heard his teacher, the leader of the believers in Hadith and Fiqh Is-haq ibn Ibraheem al-Handhali, known as Ibn Rahuyah. […] Abu ‘Abdillah Muhammad ibn Ismaail al-Bukhari said, “We were at Is-haaq ibn Rahuyah when he expressed his desire saying, “If only you could assemble a concise book of the sound Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).” He said, “His words proved an inspiration for me and I almost immediately embarked on the compilation of Al-Jaami’ as-Sahih.” [Hadyu as-Saari Muqaddima Sahih al-Bukhari 1/4]

Shaykh Mufid ar-Rahman said, “So, we know from this that Is-haaq ibn Rahuyah was the reason behind the compilation of Al-Jaami’ as-Sahih of Imam Al-Bukhari. The latter compiled Al-Jaami’ as-Sahih from his words and he was a Hanafi. Therefore the Hanafi is the reason behind the compilation of Al-Jaami’ as-Sahih of Imam Al-Bukhari.” [Al-Warda al-Haadira 46]

Ifran Nauyock
Al-Kawthari Academy

Four Raka’at before ‘Isha Salat: Sunnah or Bid’ah?

Question: Shaykh, we studied when we were small kids in madrassah that it is Sunnah Ghayr Muakkadah to perform four Raka’at of Salat before the Fard Salat of ‘Isha. Two days back a friend discussed with me and said that this is a Bid’ah and has no basis. Please can you provide us with some evidences if any that prove this practice. Jazakumullah khayra.


Indeed, it is Sunnah Ghayr Muakkadah to pray four Raka’at before the Fard of ‘Isha. This practice is an act of great reward.

The following are some proofs used by our scholars:

1. Hadith Al-Baraa ibn ‘Azib (radiyallahu ‘anhu)
Al-Baraa ibn ‘Azib (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whoever prays four Raka’at before ‘Isha is as the one who performs Tahajjud that night and whoever prays it [that is four Raka’at ] after ‘Isha is as if he has prayed the same in the night of Qadr.”

Sa’eed ibn Mansoor reported it in his Sunan. It has been cited by many Hadith scholars in their books. See for example: Az-Zayla’i, Nasb ar-Raayah 2/139, Ibn Hajar, Ad-Diraayah 1/377 and Al-Qaari, Fath Bab al-‘Inaayah 1/329.

2. Hadith ‘Aisha (radiyallahu ‘anha)
‘Aisha (radiyallahu ‘anha) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to pray four Raka’at before ‘Isha, then he would pray after it four Raka’at and after that he would lie down.”

Al-Mawsili cited it in Al-Ikhtiyaar li Ta’leel al-Mukhtaar 1/277. He was followed by Ibn Qutlubugha in At-Ta’reef wa al-Ikhbaar 1/261 and Ash-Shurunbulaali in Maraaqi al-Falaah 259.

3. Athar ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-Aas (radiyallahu ‘anhuma)

Mujaahid reported from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-Aas (radiyallahu ‘anhuma) who said, “Praying four Raka’at before ‘Isha is the same as praying them in the night of Qadr.”

Al-‘Uqayli reported it with his chain in Ad-Du’afaa 5/322 (1664). Its narrators are all trustworthy except Muhammad ibn ‘Abd ar-Rahman as-Sahmi on whom Hadith scholars have different views. However, Ibn Hibbaan mentioned him in his book of trustworthy narrators entitled Ath-Thiqaat 9/72 and Ibn ‘Adiyy said, “For me, he is acceptable (Laa Ba-sa bihi).” See: Ibn Hajar, Lisaan al-Mizaan 7/277-278 (7050).

4. Athar ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu)
Both Maysara and Zaadhaan said, “‘Ali used to perform as voluntary prayers: four Raka’at before Zohr and two after it, two Raka’at after Maghrib, four Raka’at after ‘Isha and two Raka’at before Fajr.”

Ibn Abi Shayba reported it in Al-Musannaf 4/283 (6021). In his annotations, Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwama mentioned that in three other manuscripts the wording of the Hadith is, “And four Raka’at before ‘Isha”. Shaykh Abu al-Wafaa al-Afghani, in his marginalia on Kitaab al-Aathaar of Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan 1/283, established the narration of four Raka’ats before ‘Isha. Its chain of narrators is Hassan (good).

5. The saying of the great Tabi’i, Sa’eed ibn Jubayr (rahimahullah)
Sa’eed ibn Jubayr said, “They [that is the Sahaba and the Tabi’een] would consider it desirable to perform four Raka’at before ‘Isha.”

Al-Marwazi reported it in Qiyaam al-Layl and Al-Maqrizi cited it is his Mukhtasar Qiyaam al-Layl 88.

6. Other general Hadiths
‘Abdullah ibn Mughaffal (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Between every two Adhaan [that is Adhaan and Iqaamah] there is a Salat.” He said it three times. In the third time, he added, “For the one who wants to pray.”

Al-Bukhari 624, Muslim 1937 and Ahmad 5/54 reported it.

In another version, reported by Ibn Buraydah (radiyallahu ‘anhu), the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Between every two Adhaan [that is Adhaan and Iqaamah] there is a Salat except for Maghrib.”

Al-Bazzaar 693 and Ad-Darqutni 1/264 reported it. Many Hadith scholars accepted this addition. See: Ibn Turkumaani, Al-Jawhar an-Naqi printed on the margin of Al-Bayhaqi’s Sunan al-Kubra 1/702, Ibn Mulaqqin, Al-Badr al-Muneer 4/294 and Al-Qaari, Fath Baab al-‘Inaayah 1/330.

After citing these evidence, it becomes clear that to perform four Raka’at before ‘Isha Salat is a Sunnah and is not in any way a Bid’ah.

Be assured that the Hanafi Madhhab has proofs from Qur’an and Sunnah for all Masaail. Many books have been written exclusively on our proofs.
Furthermore, nowadays we have people giving Fatwa without even an Ijaaza from the Mashayikh. Others talks about Hadith only by following contemporaries blindly without having either studied books of Hadith not consulting the primary sources of the Hadith. This is the age of Fitna. So, beware of such people and stick to the Hanafi Madhhab.

And Allah knows best.

Ifran Nauyock
Al-Kawthari Academy

Hanafi Proof for the Masah on the Nape


What is the reason for the Hanafi madhab stating that one should do masah of the nape during wudu?
Is there any proof for this from Hadith?


According to the Hanafi Madhhab and some of the Shafi’is, it is mustahab (preferable) for one to make masah (wipe) of his nape in wudu. This is based upon adequate proofs, some being authentic and others weak. However, they all after being combined are strong enough to prove this matter.

1. Imam Abu Dawud (rahimahullah) and Imam Ahmad ibn Hambal (rahimahullah) have recorded a narration in their respective works that Rasulullah (sallallahu ’alayhi wasallam), whilst making wudu, had also made masah of his nape. (Sunan Abu Dawud; Musnad Ahmad)

This Hadith has been classified as weak by some muhaddithin (refer Talkhisul-Habir of Hafiz bn Hajar vol.1 pg.287-288; Al-Shakwani has said that Hafiz ibn Sayyidin-Nas had classified it as hasan (sound) – see Naylul-Awtar vol.1 pg.179). Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) has stated that, ‘based on this narration, Imam Muhaddith al-Baghawi ash-Shafi’i has mentioned that masah of the nape is mustahab.’

This indicates that this narration is sufficient enough to prove the issue at hand.

2. Sayyiduna ibn ‘Umar (radiyallahu’anhuma) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasal said, ‘Whoever makes masah of the nape in wudu will be saved from the burning thirst / shackles on the day of Qiyamah.’ (Musnadul-Firdaws vol.4 pg.44 Hadith 5628; Tarikh Isbahan vol.2 pg.115)

This narration has been classified as weak by Hafiz al-‘Iraqi and Allamah Zabidi (rahimahumallah)
(refer Takhrijul-Ihya vol.1 pg.82 Hadith 308; Sharhul-Ihyah vol.2 pg.580; ‘Ilmiyyah)

3. Imam Ibn Faris (rahimahullah) has also recorded this narration of Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radiyallahu ’anhuma) with a separate chain of narrators.

Imam Ibn Faris (rahimahullah) then says, ‘This, Inshallah, is an authentic (Sahih) Hadith.’ (Refer Talkhis al-Habir vol.1 pg.288)

4. This is further supported by the fact that doing masah of the nape has been reported as the habit of the narrator of the above Hadith; Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radiyallahu’an
huma) himself.
(Sunanul Bayhaqi, vol.1 pg.60)

5. Imam Abu ‘Ubayd (rahimahullah) has recorded a (mursal) Hadith from Imam Musa ibn Talhah that, ‘Whoever makes masah of his nape together with his head will be saved from severe thirst / shackles on the day of Qiyamah.’
(Refer Talkhisul-Habir vol.1 pg.288; Sharhul-Ihyah vol.2 pg.580)

Muhaddith Zafar Ahmad al-Uthmani (rahimahullah) has accepted all the reporters of this narration to be reliable. (‘Ilaus-Sunan vol.1 pg.123)

Mursal narrations (like the above) are acceptable according to majority of the fuqaha.

As I have stated at the outset, that though some narrations are weak, there are others that are authentic as well, like narration numbers 3 and 5.

Some Muhaddithin have also regarded number 1 as authentic.

Besides the above, there are other narrations mentioned by Al-Shawkani in Naylul-Awtar.

A narration that has eluded many
In fact, the following is an authentic narration that has somehow eluded those who reject the validity of masah on the nape:

Sayyiduna Wa’il ibn Hujr (radiyallahu ’anhu) has reported a lengthy narration regarding the manner in which Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) performed wudu, in which he stated, ‘And he (sallallahu ’alayhi wasallam) had made masah on his nape and the inner part of his beard with the water that remained from the masah of the head.’
(This narration has been recorded by Imam al-Tabrani and Bazzar).

Hafiz al-‘Iraqi (rahimahullah), the teacher of the famous Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah), referred to this Hadith with the following words, ‘Yes, the mention of masah on the nape has been reported in the narration of Sayyiduna Wa’il ibn Hujr (radiyallahu ’anhu) by Imam Tabrani in his Mu’jam al-Kabir and Imam Bazzar in his Musnad and there is nothing wrong with it’s chain of narrators.’
(Tanzihush-Shari’ah, vol.2 pg.75).

Hence, this Hadith according to ‘Allamah‘Iraqi is effectively classified as hasan (soundly authentic) – ﻻ ﺑﺄﺱ ﺑﻪ

Therefore, there remains no doubt with the validity of the Hanafi standpoint on this matter.

A false claim

It is surprising to note that those who claim to follow Hadith directly, openly deny this and also falsely claim that the Hanafi Madhab is not based on Hadith, but on rational only.

In the issue at hand, these objectors are the one’s who have failed to act upon the Hadith.

Some of those who deny the existence of such Hadiths have relied upon the claim of a few scholars of the past who claimed that there exists no Hadith to support this issue.

However, as seen above, there are numerous Hadiths that give this meaning. It is for this reason that some muhaddithun and fuqaha that came later on had rebutted the claim of these scholars.

One would be forced to say that perhaps those scholars did not come across all these narrations and this is what lead him to denial.

In fact, Al-Shawkani, after mentioning the aforementioned narrations and a few others states, ‘And by means of all these narrations you would acknowledge that the claim of Imam Nawawi (who is one of those scholars that denied the existence of Hadith proofs for this matter) was issued in haste…

(Al-Shawkani further states) even Imam Ibn Rif’ah (rahimahullah) disagreed with Imam Nawawi (rahimahullah) and he argued that Imam Baghawi (rahimahullah) who is an accepted (Shafi’i) Muhaddith had said that it was mustahab to make masah on the nape. Imam Baghawi would only base his decision on a suitable narration, nothing else.’
(Naylul-Awtar vol.1 pg.179; ‘Ilmiyyah)
Another angle

In fact, some scholars have even proven the masah of the nape through those Hadiths in which Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) has stated that his followers will be recognised on the day of Qiyamah through the shine on their limbs of wudu.

Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) then said, ‘If any one is able to increase that shine, he should do so.’,
i.e. by washing more than the required amount. For example, when washing the arms, to wash till way above the elbows and when washing the feet, to do so till the shin, etc.

So, in the same manner, if one, while making masah ‘increases’ it till his nape, he will be following this Hadith as well (which this has been recorded in Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 136 and Sahih Muslim, Hadith 579).
(Refer Tuhfatul-Kamalah ‘ala Hawashi Tuhfatut-Talabah, pg.13; Majmu’ah Rasa’il ul-Laknawi vol.1 pg.261)

The above are sufficient to prove that to make masah on the nape is indeed established from authentic Hadiths.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,

Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar.

The Salaf followed the Hanafi Madh-hab

[By Shaykh Ifran Nauyock, Mauritius]

The Hanafi Madh-hab is the first among the four schools of thought. The Madhhab was developed very early and it had numerous followers from the pious predecessors (Salaf). Imam Abu Hanifa, himself a Tabi’i, had a panel of forty of his students where issues were discussed and the results compiled. This was the first Fiqh Academy in history. Imam Abu Hanifa was the first to compile juristic verdicts into different chapters. [See for example: Al-Khawarizmi, Jami’ al-Masaneed 1/34 and Al-Makki, Manaqib Abi Hanifa 2/131]

In this brief article, we will give a few examples of such pious predecessors who expressed their affiliations and adhered to the Hanafi Madhhab.
Hafidh Ibn Hajar said in the biography of Shu’ayb ibn Is-haq ibn ‘Abd ar-Rahman ad-Dimashqi al-Umawi (118-189 H), a narrator in both Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim: “He narrated from his father and Abu Hanifa and he adopted his Madhhab (Tamadhhaba lahu).” [Tahdhib at-Tahdhib 4/347-348]
After quoting this saying, Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwama adds: “So, adhering to Madhhab is something ancient (Qadeem).” [Annotations on Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba 20/7]

Another example of those following the Hanafi Madhhab is Waqi’ ibn al-Jarrah (127-196 H). He was among the teachers of Imam Ash-Shafi’i and from the narrators of both Al-Bukhari and Muslim in their respective Sahihs. Imam Yahya ibn Ma’īn said about him: “I have not seen the like of Waki’ and he would give Fatwa according to the opinions of Abu Hanifa.” [Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, Al-Intiqa 211]

Yahya ibn Sa’id al-Qattan (120-198 H), the master and authority in Hadith criticism was a staunch follower of the Hanafi Madhhab. He said: “We do not lie in front of Allah. We have not heard any better opinions than that of Abu Hanifa and we have adopted most of his opinions.” [Al-Khatib, Tarikh Baghdad 15/474]

There are many such examples. Citing all these will be difficult in this brief article. Only in Sahih al-Bukhari, the number of students of Imam Abu Hanifa and those adhering to his Madh-hab rose to one hundred and fifteen narrators. Shaykh Mufid ar-Rahman compiled an entire book of four hundred and seventy-nine pages on these Hanafi narrators in Sahih al-Bukhari which he entitled “Al-Warda al-Haadira fi Ahadith Talaamidh al-Imam al-‘Adham wa Ahadith ‘Ulama al-Ahnaf fi al-Jami’ as-Sahih lil Imam al-Bukhari”.
The Madh-hab of Imam Abu Hanifa thus started spreading during the time of the pious predecessors and was accepted from this blessed early era of Islam. So, there is no reason why people of this age cannot make the Taqlid of Imam Abu Hanifa. The criticism usually facing the Hanafi followers in the name of the Salaf in recent days are thus baseless.

Betrayal of the Inheritance – Contemporary Muslim Scholars and the Jurisprudence of Capitulation

Numerous well known scholars have become interlocutors for the current regimes across the Middle East and Muslim countries, forsaking leadership of the oppressed in the name of a wisdom they claim monopoly over, promoting a perversion of normative Islamic thought under the guise of a traditional Islam that they have ceased to represent, if they ever did.

“The scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets”

Much has been written, by scholars and others, regarding the prohibition in Islamic jurisprudence of intentionally killing civilians. This has generally been considered an abuse of differences within the Islamic tradition regarding the rules and conduct of armed conflict (jihad). Consequently, those groups and individuals who carry out and subsequently try to justify such actions with reference to that tradition are cast as perversions completely outside of the bounds of legitimate Islamic rulings (ijtihad). This is unsurprising, as generally the underlying cause for such acts are emotional reactions to the circumstances rather than religious, meaning that the attempt at justification was secondary.

There is a separate strand of thought that belongs within a discursive tradition of support for the current regimes and governments across Muslim countries, which is also detrimental, destructive and divorced from the Islamic tradition. Just as those who justify killing civilians dress their acts in the robes of jihad, there are those who justify submission to and promotion of the current regimes across the Middle East and other Muslim countries using the dressing of what they would claim is the Islamic tradition regarding rebellion. Through their misrepresentation of this tradition, they contribute to helping the current regimes maintain their grip over the society while removing the space or any avenue for dissent. While they may claim to be upholding a Prophetic tradition, by forsaking leadership of the oppressed and instead becoming promoters of the status quo they thereby perpetuate oppression. They bear some responsibility for the bloodshed which can occur when others within society, who feel the brunt of that oppression and have lost trust in the scholars claim to Islamic authority,  consequently resort to indiscriminate violence in the perceived absence of practical alternatives.

This jurisprudence (fiqh) of perpetuating the contemporary status quo, what can be referred to as the jurisprudence of capitulation and submission (fiqh al-istislam), attempts to derive its legitimacy from a strand of opinion held by some Muslim scholars throughout history that favoured unity and stability over rebellion against a tyrannical ruler. What began as a minority view consolidated over time under the justification that maintaining overall unity of the Muslim polity (khilafaimama) was more important than the suitability of the leader of that polity. This strand became the mainstream position in later periods, but neither was it the sole position nor the simplistic caricature of submission to authority that it is being misrepresented as.

“And do not dispute (fight) with those in authority over power, unless you see a clear proof of sin/ of disbelief”

The differences over when rebellion against the ruler was justified centre around

a) what constituted a legitimate ruler in the first place,

b) at what point it was permitted to rebel against a legitimate ruler,

c) a form of cost-benefit analysis of rebelling against that ruler.

Auxiliary to this were the questions of

d) what was the view regarding those who decided to rebel when others adopted patience, and

e) what was the attitude towards the rulers taken by those who adopted patience rather than rebellion

Traditional normative Islam considered that the ruler was delegated by the society to rule them according to Islamic rules and norms. This delegation was to be carried out via the pledge of allegiance (bay`a), which was a contract between the ruler and the ruled that so long as the ruler abided by and implemented those Islamic rules and norms, they were to be followed and there was no justification for rebellion. This contract was to be entered into willingly by both sides.

If such a ruler had taken this bay`a by force, or was in origin an un-just person before taking the bay`a, there is a difference among scholars whether they could be considered legitimate thereafter. Those who did not recognise them as legitimate considered it obligatory to remove them, by force if necessary, and establish a just authority which had the consent of the people.

There is a divergence of opinion regarding when rebellion against a legitimate ruler is mandated – in other words, to rebel against someone who was originally just and appointed by the society via the mechanism of a consensual bay`a. Justification considered legitimate ranges from personal corruption such as drunkenness or other behaviour contrary to personal Islamic laws, to not enforcing Islamic rules and norms in public, to implementing rules contrary to Islam. While there were differences upon what justified rebellion if the ruler’s actions remained short of open disbelief in Islam, all agreed that when the ruler did an action that took them out of Islam, or contradicted fundamental Islamic beliefs openly, that rebellion was mandated.

The earlier generations were much more permissive as to when rebellion against the legitimate ruler was justified, with some companions fighting against the fourth caliph and son-in-law of the Prophet, Ali, due to their demands that he investigate and punish the killers of the third caliph, Uthman. It is clear that the cost-benefit analysis of rebellion was much more weighted towards what they considered were the benefits, namely the establishment of a more just rule. Within a generation, Ali’s grandson Husain refused to accept the authority of Yazid, resulting in another war among Muslims and ultimately led to the events of Karbala. Further similar wars followed, such as the rebellion of Zayd bin Ali which was supported by the Imam Abu Hanifa.

Ibn Hazm writes in al-muhalla that the opinion that it was obligatory to physically remove a corrupted ruler by force was held by the mother of the believers Aisha, as well as by Talha, al-Zubair, Husain bin Ali, Abdullah bin al-Zubair among several other companions and the subsequent generation.

Abu Bakr al-Jassas mentions in his Quranic exegeses “and (Abu Hanifa’s) school of thought was well known to support fighting against oppression of despotic rulers

Abu Hanifa was not alone among the founders of the main four schools of thought within Sunni Islam to support rebellion against an oppressive ruler; it being the opinion which has been attributed to all four. In his history book, al-Tabari writes about how Imam Malik supported the rebellion of Muhammad bin Abdullah bin al-Hasan against the caliph al-Mansur – explicitly stating to those who came to him seeking advice about joining the rebellion given that they had already pledged themselves to al-Mansur – “You did so under duress, and there is no (validity for the) oath taken by anyone under duress”, giving a direct permission to join the rebellion.

With respect to the remaining two heads of the major schools of thought, al-Taftazani wrote “And according to al-Shafi`i, may Allah have Mercy upon him, the ruler is removed due to sinfulness and despotism”, while Qadi Abu al-Hasan related from Imam Ahmad that “Do not answer to or show respect towards those from among them (leaders) who calls to innovation, and you should remove them if you are able to”.

After the first four to five centuries of Islam, the majority position became more restrictive. The main justification was the belief that maintaining Islamic unity under a corrupted or oppressive legitimate Muslim ruler outweighed the strife and bloodshed (fitna)that may result from any rebellion in an attempt to replace them. It was in this way that the cost-benefit analysis of rebellion became more heavily weighted towards the costs of the rebellion as opposed to the gain of a better ruler.

This did not mean that such a rebellion would necessarily be illegitimate, but that unless a rebellion was sure to succeed with minimal upheaval and bloodshed, patience would be the wiser counsel until such a time that any rebellion was more capable to succeed.

The above can be summarised from ibn Hajr al-Asqalani’s commentary upon Sahih al-Bukhari where he mentions “and ibn al-tin relayed from al-Dawudi who said: The scholars view upon despotic rulers is that if it was possible to remove them without fitna or oppression, then it is obligatory to do so, otherwise patience is mandated. Some of them considered that it was not permitted to pledge allegiance to someone who was sinful (a fasiq) in the first place. If it is the case that they became despotic after being just, there is a difference over whether it was permitted to rebel against them, and the correct opinion is that it wasn’t permitted unless they committed an act of disbelief, in which case it became obligatory to rebel”

In his book based upon doctoral research carried out under the supervision of Professor Wahbah al-Zuhayli, Dr. Haikal concludes a section by narrating the opinions of classical scholars regarding their views around armed rebellion under three categories:

“1. The view that armed revolt is obligatory against every deviation of the ruler, whether it was an act of disbelief or less than that.

2. The view that the obligation to rebel is limited to the appearance of clear disbelief, while remaining obedient if there are deviation less than that, in which case rebellion would be forbidden.

3. And the view that it is permitted to rebel for reasons other than disbelief, based upon the argument that some of the companions did not participate in rebellion against oppression, while at the same time not criticising those who did.”

Given the divergence of opinions about when it was permissible to rebel against an oppressive ruler, from a legislative perspective on the one hand, and a consideration of capability on the other, it is not surprising that while one group engaged in armed rebellion others would refrain from joining. While each group would give counsel to and exhort the other, within mainstream opinion neither side would cast the other out of Islam nor consider that their view was illegitimate. Rather, the sympathies of those who preferred patience were with those who rebelled, and they would not openly support the oppressive ruler. The approach was to either speak out against the ruler if they were capable, or remain silent if not.

This is explicit in the views of the scholars that while it was obligatory to support a just ruler if they faced a rebellion, it was similarly obligatory to support a just leader of a rebellion against an unjust ruler, and otherwise to leave both sides without supporting either. In his Quranic exegesis, ibn Al-Arabi al-Maliki wrote “According to the transmission of Sahnun our scholars have said: Only fight alongside the just leader, irrespective if they were the original ruler or the one who rebelled against him. If neither are just, then withhold yourself unless you need to protect yourself, your wealth or the general Muslim population from oppression”.

“Whosoever comes to the gate of the Sultan will face fitna (by being corrupted), and whenever a slave of Allah seeks closeness to the ruler, he finds himself further from Allah

In contrast, while questions of the legitimacy of the ruler in normative Islam revolved around the question of suitability of the candidate to govern by Islam and the consent of the people, fiqh al-istislam considers the various assortment of (largely British created) monarchies and military junta that currently lead the post-Sykes-Picot nation-state Middle East as Islamically legitimate rulers in origin. Consequently they promote that the narrations, opinions and rules that apply to a legitimate caliph also apply to the current regimes, which is a totally untenable position.

While most conservative traditional views would view the revolutions in Syria, Egypt and Libya, among others such as the struggle in Palestine as legitimate expressions of resistance, fiqh al-istislamis the fiqh of a defeated mindset which delegitimises resistance to oppression and the continuing struggle against colonial and post-colonial regimes, denigrating those who resist them and advising them to do nothing except to submit, be patient and rectify oneself in a vacuum.

While most conservative traditional views would commemorate Husain bin Ali and his followers as martyrs for their stand, fiqh al-istislam claims that those seeking to remove current regimes are akin to the khawarij sect, or alternatively have been humiliated by Allah.

While most conservative traditional views would either speak against oppressive rulers such as Yazid or Hisham bin Abdul Malik, or at a minimum stay silent, fiqh al-istislam openly supports contemporary oppressive governments that have no Islamic legitimacy in origin.

While most conservative traditional views would encourage the people to enjoin the good and forbid the evil, while stopping short of open rebellion if success was not guaranteed, fiqh al-istislam enjoins submission, quietism and a culture of being apolitical upon the general population, at the same time as its scholarly adherents are being openly political in their public (supposedly apolitical) support for whichever regime they are seeking patronage from.

While the most conservative traditional views would counsel patience in the face of potential fitna to maintain the status quo of stability and unity of the Islamic people under their ruler, fiqh al-istislam perpetuates the disunity and chaos by upholding the system of nation states and their interlocutors, ensuring the maintenance of the secular post-colonial system in region.

You must enjoin the good, and you must forbid the evil, or Allah will make the worst of you sovereign over you, who will afflict you with the worst of punishments, until even the best of you raise their hands in prayer and it will not be answered”

The contemporary quietism promoted by such people is a uniquely modern phenomenon, and the call to remain silent and submissive or even support the rulers in this context has no precedent. If they considered that rebellion was not appropriate due to lack of capability, then they should at least speak out against the rulers and their wrongdoing wherever that may be. If they were unable to do that, then they should hate it in their hearts. Instead what is commonly seen is support for these rulers dressed in the robe of traditional Islam, while calling the people to focus upon themselves and spiritual enlightenment rather than taking any practical actions or speaking out.

Though proponents of fiqh al-istislam are not a monolith, for example ranging from those who almost gleefully support a regime crushing peaceful protesters to those who profess sadness at the loss of life, but they still nonetheless share the same underlying mentality of defeatism which they spread among the general population. If we are to accept that we are in a position of weakness, and incapable of removing and replacing these current rulers and the colonial states they maintain – and that we need to follow the example of the Prophet, peace be upon him, when the Muslims were in a position of weakness while in Mecca – then remember that neither the Prophet, nor the companions ever supported the Quraish or neglected to struggle for justice and call against their despotism and disbelief.

What we must not do is accept those who come to the Muslims dressed in the garb of scholars, with the eloquence of poets, and yet are promoting only defeatism. To return to the authentic Prophetic narration mentioned at the beginning of this article, Islamic scholarship is an inheritance from the Messengers. Whether for personal gain, or a misjudged appreciation of the circumstances, the creation and promotion of fiqh al-istislam is a betrayal of that inheritance, a modern innovation without precedent in Islamic tradition which is being exposed for the empty and corrupt ideology it is.

“The master of the martyrs is Hamza ibn Abdul Mattalib, and a man who stands (in front of) an oppressive ruler and enjoins the good and forbids the evil and so is killed for it”

The First Evil Bid’ah

Recitation of the muqtadi behind the imam in salat was considered by the salaf us-saliheen as the first innovation in Islam.

Ibrahim an-Nakha’i, the great tabi’i and jurist said:

“The first thing the people innovated [in religion] was recitation behind the imam – the companions (Sahaba) did not recite behind the imam.” [Ibn at-Turkumani, Al-Jawhar an-Naqi printed on the margin of Sunan al-Kubra of Al-Bayhaqi 2/169]

He also said:
“The first person to recite behind the imam was a person accused [of innovation]” [Muhammad ibn al-Hassan, Al-Muwatta printed with At-Ta’liq al-Mumajjad of Al-Luknawi 1/426 and Al-Hujjah ‘ala Ahl al-Madina 1/120]

Furthermore, as Imam Al-Ayni wrote, it was the opinion of approximately eighty companions that the muqtadi should not recite behind the imam. [See: Umdatul Qari 3/67]

It should be noted that the recitation meant here is that of Sura Fatiha and a part of the Quran while in qiyaam.

Shaikh Ifran Nauyock
Al Kawthari Academy (Mauritius)

Refuting the Deviant Assim al-Hakeem about the Hanafi View of Delaying Salaat al-Fajr

The timing of the morning prayer (fajr) according to the Hanafi school. A certain Jahil “Shaykh” named Assim al-Hakeem said during his program on Huda tv and his disgraced Q&A Site:

“In the Hanafi Madh-hab, they tend to delay the fajr until it is a little bit light before sunrise of course… This is against the majority of the scholars and this is against the sunna of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).”

This “Shaykh” declared the Hanafi practice, in no uncertain terms, as contrary to the Sunnah. But, what evidence do the Hanafis use for this practice?

I checked out the most basic of the Hanafi books such as al-Ikthiar (volume 1 page 44) and I found that the Hanafi scholars based their view on ahadith narrated by al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Al-Tabarani and Imam Ahmad.

If you look at Jami’ al-Tirmidhi, you will see chapter 117 called “Narrations about delaying the fajr until it starts to get lighter ( ﺑﺎﻟﻔﺠﺮ ﺍﺍﻟﺴﻔﺎﺭ ﻓﻲ ﺟﺎﺀ ﻣﺎ ﺑﺎﺏ .“(al-Tirmidhi narrates a hadith (number 154) on the authority of Rabi’ bin Khadeej who said:

“I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say: “Delay the fajr towards the end of its time [when it starts to get lighter] for there is more reward”.

Al-Tirmidhi goes on to say that this hadith was also narrated by Shu’ba and [Sufyaan] al-Thawri from Muhammed bin Ishaaq. It is also narrated by Muhammed bin Ajlaan on the authority of Aasim bin ‘Umar bin Qatada. There are also other ahadith regarding this subject from Abu Barza Al-Aslami, Jaabir and Bilal. al-Tirmidhi said this is a fair and authentic hadith (haadha hadithun hasanun saheeh). 

Imaam Anwar Shah Kashmiri has more to say on this subject in his commentary on Jami’ al-Tirmidhy called “Al-Urf al-Shadhy” on page 177 of volume 1. It can be found here.

In addition, Al-Hafidh al-Suyuti al-Shafi’i included the above hadith of al-Tirmidhi among the mutawatir hadith (unanimously authentic) in his booklet called “Al-Azhaar al-Mutanathira fi al-ahadith al-mutawatira” as was recorded by the author of I’ila al-Sunan volume 2 page 24. His brilliant research can be found here.

In summary, the Hanafi scholars’ point of view is based on multiple narrations (see Nasb al-Raya of Hafidh al-Zaylai volume 1 pages 304-313 for more details.):

1. Hadith of Rabi’ bin Khadeej narrated by al-Tirmidhy. He declared it a fair and authentic hadith (haadha hadithun hasanun saheeh). Al-Hafidh al-Zaylai, Al-Muhaqqiq al-Kamal bin Al-Humaam agreed with al-Tirmidhy. Al-Hafidz Al-Suyuti declared this hadith mutawatir (unanimously authentic).

2. Al-Nasa’i narrated a hadith similar in meaning and he did not comment on its authenticity. Al-Hafidh Al-Zaylai declared the chain authentic (I’ila al-Sunnan volume 2 page 24-25)

Now, how can someone declare a practice based on a mutawatir (unanimously authentic) and a saheeh (authentic) hadith (not to mention the rest of the evidence) to be against the sunnah? Even if the “Shaykh” believes that hadith is not mutawatir but only authentic (saheeh), I still cannot fathom how a “Shaykh” would dismiss all of the above evidence and label the Hanafi practice as “contrary to sunnah.” Just like his teacher, this Shaykh never even bothered to glance over the Hanafi books before he gave his fatwa. One wonders if these people really believe it themselves wholeheartedly when they say they are following the daleel (evidence). How can someone claim they are following the daleel when time and time again we see that they do not collect all the evidence in a given subject before they make up their minds? They are either delusional or dishonest. I cannot think of a third possibility, can you?

(The from a book of Dr. Sadi Kose).

No Possibility of Error in Hanafi Fiqh

Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi (392–463) narrates in Tarikh Baghdad: Al-Khallal informed me: ‘Ali ibn ‘Amr al-Hariri informed me that ‘Ali ibn Muhammad al-Nakha‘i narrated to them: Najih ibn Ibrahim narrated to us: Ibn Karamah narrated to us:

We were with Waki‘ [ibn al-Jarrah, one of the teachers of Imam Ash-Shafi’i] (126–196) one day and a man said: “Abu Hanifah erred!” Waki‘ said: “How can Abu Hanifah err when with him are the likes of Abu Yusuf (113–182) and Zufar (110–158) in their logic;

and the likes of Yahya ibn Abi Za’idah (120–182), Hafs ibn Ghiyath (117–194), Hibban (111–171) and Mindal (103–169) in their memorisation of hadith;

and the like of al-Qasim ibn Ma‘n (100–175) in his knowledge of language and Arabic;

and Dawud al-Ta’i (105-162) and Fudayl ibn ‘Iyad (107–187) in their asceticism and their scrupulousness?

The one whose sitting partners are such, he does not come close to erring, because if he erred they would correct him.”
[Tarikh Baghdad 16/365]

Al-Kawrhari Academy


[By Darul Uloom Trinidad & Tobago]

With respect to the fast of Shawaal (that is, the six days of Shawaal), this has been authentically established from a few traditions of the Prophet ﷺ. In this regard, it is narrated from Abu Ayoob (Radhiyallahu Anhu) that the Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Whoever fasts the month of Ramadhan and then follows it with six fasts of shawaal, then it is like if he fasted for the whole year’.

(Recorded by Imam Tirmidhi who said that the hadith of Abu Ayoob is Hasan and Saheeh (good and sound), and similar narrations have come from Jabir (Radhiyallahu Anhu), Abu Hurairah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) and Thawban (Radhiyallahu Anhu). (Jame Tirmidhi – Chapter of what is mentioned about the fasts of six days of Shawwaal.

Based on this and other similar traditions, Imam Shafi  and Ahmad (Rahmatullah Alayh) have considered it Mustahab to fast the six days of Shawwaal.

With respect to the Madh-hab of Imam Abu Hanifa (Rahmatullah Alayb), most of the latter day Hanafi scholars have seen no harm/objection in observing the six fasts of Shawwaal. In fact, in the famous Hanafi book ‘Nurul Idhaah’ and its commentary ‘Maraqi’ ul Falah’, it is stated that it is Mandoob (commendable) to observe these fasts.

However, it has been narrated in some books that according to Imam Abu Hanifah and his student Imam Abu Yusuf, it is Makrooh (disliked) to observe the Shawwaal fasts of six days as identified in certain traditions.

While discussing this position of these two great Hanafi Imams, the renowned scholar of Hadith, Shaikhul Hadith, Shaikh Muhammad Zakariya Kandhalawi (Rahmatullah Alayh), writes in his famous work, ‘Awjaz Al Masalik’ (commentary of Muwatta Malik), ‘As for the Hanafi scholars, different narrations have been transmitted from them. In ‘Al Bahr Ar Ra’iq’, it is mentioned, ‘And from the Makrooh acts, is the fast of the six days of Shawwaal according to Imam Abu Hanifah, whether it is done separately or consecutively. Imam Abu Yusuf considered it Makrooh if the fast is done consecutively, not separately. However, most of the latter day scholars do not see any harm in observing the six fasts of Shawwaal. In ‘Nurul Idhaah’ and its Sharh (commentary), it has been considered ‘Mandoob’ (commendable). In ‘Al Bada’i, it is mentioned, ‘From the Makrooh fasts is to follow Ramadhan with six fasts of Shawwaal. This has been stated by Imam Abu Yusuf. These scholars disliked following the month of Ramadhan with fasting, fearing that such fast would be attached/joined with the compulsory Ramadhan fast. The same has been narrated from Imam Malik’. The author of ‘Al Bada’i further writes, ‘Fasting immediately after Ramadhan, becomes Makrooh when a person observes fast on the day of Eid and then observes five days afterwards. But if one does not fast on the day of Eid, and then observes the fast for six days (after Eid), this will not be Makrooh. Instead, it will be Mustahab and Sunnah’. [(End quote of Al Bada’i). (Awjaz Al Masalik Vol.5 pg.173 – Idara Taleefat Ashrafiya Multan Pakistan)].

The renowned Hanafi Jurist, Ibn Abideen Shami (Rahmatullah Alayb) has also explained this matter in his famous work ‘Hashiya Raddul Muhtar’, and stated, ‘The author of Al Hidaya has written in his famous book ‘At Tajnees’ that with respect to the six fasts (of Shawwal ) after Eid-ul-Fitr consecutively, some scholars have disliked it, however, the preferred opinion is that there is no objection in it (and there is nothing wrong in observing this fast), because the dislike occurs when one cannot differentiate it from the Ramadhan fast, (that is, it becomes disliked when one may consider it to be connected to the Ramadhan fast). However, this understanding does not take place now. Similar statements to that of ‘At Tajnees’ have been mentioned in ‘Kitab An Nawazil’ by Abu Laith; in ‘Al Waqiaat’ by Husaam Ash Shaheed; in ‘Al Muheet Al Burhani’ and ‘Adh Dhakheerah’. However, in ‘Al Ghayah’, it is narrated from Hasan bin Ziyad that he did not see anything wrong in observing the six fasts of Shawwaal. He explained that the day of Eid-ul-Fitr was sufficient to separate between the Ramadhan fasts (which was compulsory) and the Shawwaal fasts (which was not compulsory). (Hence, there was no possibility of one becoming confused about the both types of fast). It is also mentioned in ‘Al Ghayah’ that most of the latter scholars do not see anything wrong on observing the six fasts of Shawwaal’. [(Hashiya Raddul Muhtar/Ibn Abideen Vol.2 pg. 435 H.M Saeed Karachi 1406 A.H)].

Allamah Ibn Abideen further indicated to a detailed discussion of this topic and said, ‘A complete explanation of this discussion is to be found in the treatise ‘A Record of the statement regarding the six fasts of Shawwaal’ by Allama Qasim bin Qutlobogha تحرير الاقوال فى صوم الست من شوال.

In this treatise, the great Hanafi Jurist, Allaama Qasim bin Qutlobogha (Alayhi Rahmah) has refuted the didactic poetry/treatise of Allamah Al Jalal At Tabani Al Hanafi, in which he attributed to Imam Abu Hanifah that fasting the six fasts of Shawwaal was generally Makrooh (disliked). (End Quote). (Hashiya Raddul Muhtaar Vol. 2 pg. 435 H.M saeed Karachi 1406 A.H).

The great scholar, Allamah Yusuf Al Binnori (Alayhi Rahmah) has also spoken about this matter in his famous work, ‘Ma’arif As Sunnan’ and said, ‘With respect to the six fasts of Shawwaal, it has been ascribed to Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Malik (Rahmatullah Alayh) that they regard it as Makrooh, and Imam Shafi and Imam Ahmad have considered it Mustahab (commendable). However, the information which has been transmitted and narrated by the latter scholars from Ibn Nujaim, Al Kamal, Ibn Al Kamal and others from among our scholars is confused/mix-up (ةبرطضم Mudhtaraba). The great researcher and investigator, Allama Hafiz Qasim bin Qutlobogha has written a separate/ unique treatise on this topic entitled ‘Tahreer Al Aqwal Fi Sawm As Sitt Min Shawwaal)’. In this, he has established from the clear texts of the Hanafi Madhab that the six fasts of Shawwaal is Mustahab (commendable) according to Imam Abu Hanifah and Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi Alayhim)’. (Ma’arif As Sunnan Vol.5 pg. 443 H.M Saeed Karachi 1407 A.H).

From the above discussion, we see that reference has been made by these great scholars to the ‘Risala’ (treatise) written by the great 9th century Hanafi Jurist, Hafiz Allamah Qasim bin Qutlobogha. In this famous ‘Risala’, Allamah Qasim refuted statements which were written by another Hanafi Jurist, Shaikh Imam Jalal At Tabani in his ‘Mandhooma’ (treatise). That which was written in At Tabani’s ‘Mandhooma’, showed that observing the six fasts of Shawwaal was Makrooh according to the great scholars of the Hanafi Madhhab. For example, the following was mentioned:-

‘ لاضفلأا ىلوا دنع ةه ارك لاوش نم تسلا مايص ىف و ‘

And in the fasting of the six days of Shawwaal’ ‘There is Karahah (dislike) according to the people of virtues and knowledge’.

Then, in the Sharh (commentary) of his ‘Mandhoomah’ (treatise), Shaikh At Tabani went on to say, ‘Fasting the six days of Shawwaal consecutively or separately is Makrooh according to Imam Abu Hanifa, and according to Imam Abu Yusuf it is Makrooh to fast consecutively. Imam Malik says that it is Makrooh in all conditions, and this is the practice of the ignorant ones’. (Sharh of the treatise of Shaikh At Tabani).

In response to these statements made by Shaikh At Tabani, the great Jurist and scholar Allamah Hafiz Qasim bin Qutlobogha (died 879 A.H) wrote, ‘This person has gone towards nullifying that which has great blessings, with an untrue claim, and without any evidence. He has relied upon that which is weak and subjected to interpretations, and has neglected/left out that which is relied upon (in the Madh-hab)’.

‘He has gone further to regard as being sound and correct, that which no one before him has regarded as sound, and no one has relied upon it’.

Allamah Qasim (Rahimahullah) further writes, ‘as for the Shaikh Tabani’s statement that it is Makrooh to fast the six days of Shawwal according to Imam Abu Hanifa, this is mentioned in Al Muheet Al Burhani and in Adh Dhakheerah Al Burhaniyah with such wording which indicates that the narration is in conflict with the well-established principles ‘Al Usool’ (لوصلاا فلاخ هنا). The author of Adh Dhakeerah has afterwards mentioned that the correct and sound position is opposite to what has been mentioned’.

Allamah Qasim bin Qutlobogha went on to explain that Shaikh Tabani’s statement that it is Makrooh according to Imam Abu Yusuf also, is a transmission which is in error’. The reason is that all the classical texts with their explanations and statements, are unanimous, and in agreement, that what has been transmitted from Imam Abu Yusuf, is that which has been mentioned in the narration of ‘Al Karkhi’ (died in 340 AH) which states, ‘they (the jurists) used to dislike (consider it Makrooh) that people should follow Ramadhan with fast, (that is, they disliked that people should begin to fast immediately after Ramadhan), fearing that they join /attach the optional fasts with the compulsory ones. Based on this statement, the author of Al-Haqaa’iq thought that fasting in Shawwal consecutively (i.e. the six days) is Makrooh’.

Allamah Qasim further clarified the statement of Imam Abu Yusuf and said, ‘the act of fasting consecutively and immediately after Ramadhan which is Makrooh is that one observes fast on the day of Eid, and then fasts for 5 days afterwards (which will result in six days fast of Shawwal)’.

He stated, ‘so this is the meaning of the statement of Imam Abu Yusuf’.

He further mentioned the statements of some of the greatest Fuqaha of the Hanafi madhhab, including the companions of Imam Abu Hanifa (Rahmatullah Alayh) and those who came after in the succeeding generations, to show that they were all unanimous on the ruling that fasting the six days of Shawwal was not Makrooh. In fact, the karahah (dislike) was due to a specific reason / cause, and it was not general. From among the statements, he quoted the following:

1. Imam Muhammad (died in 189 AH), the student and companion of Imam Abu Hanifa, said that it was not Makrooh.

2. Imam Hasan bin Ziyad (died in 204 AH), a student and companion of Imam Abu Hanifa, said that it was not Makrooh.

3. Imam Tahawi (died in 321 AH) who was one of the grand jurists of the Hanafi madhhab quoted the hadith regarding the virtues of the six fasts of Shawwal and showed that it was well-established.

4. The great Faqeeh, Mufassir and Muhadith, Abu Laith As Samarqandi (died in 373 AH), stated in his book ‘An Nawazil’, ‘with respect to the fasting of the six days of Shawwal consecutively after the day of Eid ul Fitr, some stated, that it is Makrooh, however, the preferred opinion / ruling is that there is no objection to it’.

5. The great Hanafi jurist, As Sadr Ash Shaheed (died in 526 AH), stated in his book ‘Al Waaqiaat’, ‘with respect to fasting the six days of Shawwal consecutively after the day of Eid, some have stated that it is Makrooh, however, the preferred opinion is that there is nothing wrong in observing that fast’.

In this way, Allamah Qasim bin Qutlobogha (Rahimahullah) went on to quote the most famous works of some of the greatest jurists of the Madh-hab of Imam Abu Hanifa, whose works have been accepted as the most reliable and authentic, in giving the official rulings of the Madhhab of Imam Hanifa. These included:

– ‘At-Tajnees’ by Allamah Marghinani (author of Hidaya died in 593 AH).

– ‘Al Haqaaiq’ by Muhammad Mahmood Bin Muhammad Al Lul’ui Al Bukhari.

– ‘Al Fatawa Al Khaniya’ by Qazi Khan Hasan Bin Mansoor Al Awzjandi, mujtahid of Masail. in the Hanafi Madhab (died in 592 AH).

– ‘Al Yanaab’ee’ by Allamah Isfara’niee

– ‘Umdatul Mufti’ by As Sadr Ash Shaheed (died 536 AH).

– ‘Al Mubtaghi’ by Isa Bin Muhammad Al Qarshahri died in 734 AH.

– ‘Adh Dhakheerah Al Burhaniyah’ by Burhanudeen Abdul Azeez Bin Umar Bin Mazah.

– ‘Al Waafi’ ‘Al Kaafi’, and Al Mussafa, by Abul Barkaat Ahmad bin Abdullah An Nasafi. (died 710 AH).

– ‘Majma Al Bahrain’ by Ibn Saa’ati died (694 AH).

In all these references, Allamah Qasim quoted directly from the statements given by these great Hanafi jurists in which they all mentioned that fasting the six days of Shawwal was not Makrooh, and that there was no harm in observing these fasts.

In concluding the discussion, Allamah Qasim then wrote, ‘This is what is clear to me at present from the texts of the books of our Ulama’. From these statements, it is evident that no one from among those who preceded Shaikh Tabani said that the dislike (the karahah) was general’ Here, Allamah Qasim explained that no one from among the great Hanafi jurists who came before him, considered it generally Makrooh to observe the six fasts of Shawwal. Instead, the statement attributed to Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Abu Yusuf and others after them, was that it was specific to the following states:

1. When there was a fear that people may consider the fast of Shawwal to be like the compulsory Ramadhan fast, when they begin to fast immediately after Ramadhan,

2. When a person fasted on the day of Eid (1st Shawwal) and then observed five days of fast afterwards to complete six days of Shawwal.

These were the only situations in which some scholars regarded observing the six fasts of Shawwal to be makrooh. It therefore means, that when these situations are absent, and there is no such fear, then according to these scholars, the six fasts of Shawwal will remain as being Sunnah/Mustahab, as pointed out in the treatise of the grand Jurist, Allamah Qasim bin Qutloboga (Rahimahullah).

The scholars of the Maliki Madhhab have also clarified the stance adopted by Imam Malik (Rahmatullahi Alayh) regarding the fasts of Shawwal where he stated that it was makrooh. The position of the Imam is recorded in his Muwatta, which reads, Yahya said, ‘I heard Malik saying in regards to the six days of fasting after the completion of Ramadhan (i.e. of Shawwal), that he did not see anyone from among the people of knowledge and fiqh observing these. He further said, ‘the fasting for six days in Shawwal has not reached me from anyone from the pious predecessors. The people of knowledge disliked this (they consider it makrooh), and they fear that it becomes a Bidah (an innovation). They also fear that the ignorant ones may attach it to Ramadhan if they see the people of knowledge observing these fasts. (Muwatta of Imam Malik page 256 Mir Muhammad Kutub Karachi).

While explaining the opinion of Imam Malik as highlighted above, the great Maliki scholar, Allamah Al Zarqani Al Maliki (died 1122 A.H), says, ‘Imam Malik disliked the fasts of Shawwal for this reason (that is, the ignorant people may attach it and join it to Ramadhan, while these are not a part of Ramadhan.) As for those who observe the fasts of Shawwal, desirous of the rewards in them, then there is no dislike in it’. (It is not Makrooh) (End Quote).

Allamah Muhammad bin Abdul Baqi bin Yusuf Al Zarqani Al Maliki further writes, ‘Our Shuyukh (great teachers and scholars) have stated, ‘Imam Malik considered the six fasts of Shawwal to be Makrooh only due to the fear that the ignorant people may attach / connect it to Ramadhan. As for observing these fasts based on what the Shariah requires, then it is not Makrooh.’

‘It has also been said that the Hadith concerning the six days of Shawwal did not reach him, or it was not evident according to him, or he found the people of Madina not observing the fasts of Shawwal’.

Allamah Zarqani further states, ‘It is also possible that Imam Malik disliked that the fasts of Shawwal be joined directly with the fasts of Ramadhan. It is for this reason, he said, ‘fasting for six days (immediately) after Eid Ul Fitr was disliked’. Therefore, if one observes the six days of fasting during the month, it will not be Makrooh’.

Allamah Zarqani then cited the statement of the great Maliki scholar, Ibn Abd Al Barr (died in 463 AH) regarding Imam Malik’s approach in religious matters and stated, ‘Abu Umar Ibn Abd Al Barr said, ‘Imam Malik was protective and very cautious in religious matters, and fasting was a great act of goodness. As such, he did not see that the fast of Shawwal should be observed, fearing that the ignorant people may connect it to the Ramadhan fast’. (End quote – Sharh Muwata Malik by Allamah Zarqani).

Another great Maliki jurist, Ibn Rushd Al Maliki (died 595 AH) wrote the following regarding Imam Malik’s position on the fasts of Shawwal. He wrote, ‘as for the six fasts of Shawwal, it is evident that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘whoever observes the fast of Ramadhan and then follows it with six fasts of Shawwal, then it is like fasting for the year’.

‘However, Imam Malik considered this to be Makrooh. The reason for his opinion is that he either feared that people may connect to Ramadhan what does not belong to it (like the six fasts of Shawwal), or the hadith did not reach him, or the hadith is not sound in his opinion, and this is the better opinion’ (Bidayatul Mujtahid Ibn Rushd Maliki Vol 1 pg 319. Manshoorat Ar Radha Qum Tehran 1406 AH).

The famous 7th century Maliki scholar, Allamah Ibn Shaas Maliki (died 616 AH) writes the following regarding Imam Malik’s position. He states, ‘The six days of fasts in Shawwal has been mentioned in sound / authentic narrations. However, Imam Malik feared that the ignorant people may connect / join to the compulsory fast what is not from it. Hence, he considered it disliked (makrooh), but he regarded the six days fast of Shawwal to be Mustahab (commendable) when these are observed at another time besides Shawwal’.

Ibn Shaas (Rahimahullah) further explained and said, ‘the fixing of the time of fasting in the month of Shawwal after the fasts of Ramadhan was done for ease upon the believers, and it was not done to make the ruling of fasting specific only to the month of Shawwal. Therefore, there will be no harm if one observes the six days in the month of Dhul Hijjah’ (Aqd Al Jawahir Ath Thameena Fi Madhhab Alim Al Madinah).

The great Maliki jurist, Imam Al Qarrafi (died in 684 AH), has also given a similar explanation and said, ‘Imam Malik considered it Mustahab (commendable) to observe the six fasts of Shawwal at another time besides Shawwal, fearing that these be joined with Ramadhan (fast) by the ignorant ones. The Shariah has only fixed it in Shawwal to be an ease upon the followers, since it is close to the fasting in Ramadhan’. (It means that they have already become accustomed to fasting in Ramadhan, therefore, it will be easy for them to fast in Shawwal’).

‘The objective of these six fasts in Shawwal however, can be achieved in another month. As such, delaying the six fasts of Shawwal to another month, will be permissible in order to achieve the benefits’. (Adh Dhakheera by Imam Al Qarrafi Al Maliki.)

The 13th century great Maliki jurist Allamah Dardeer Maliki (died 1201 AH) also explained the Maliki’s position on the fast of Shawwal and said in his famous work, ‘Ash Sharh As Sageer’, ‘it is Makrooh to observe the six fasts of Shawwal if one attaches it to Eid in order to make it manifest and apparent. It will not be Makrooh if it is separated from Eid or it is delayed. Similarly, if one observes it immediately after Ramadhan in a secret manner. In all these cases, it will not be Makrooh, since the cause for believing that it is wajib (essential) is negated. (Ash Sharh As Sageer by Imam Ahmad Dardeer Maliki.)

It is therefore evident from these explanations, that Imam Malik (Rahmatullahi Alayh) did not consider the six days of fast in Shawwal to be generally Makrooh. His dislike was on account of a specific reason which has been explained in details by the Maliki scholars.

And Allah knows best,

Mufti Waseem Khan.