Category Archives: Imam Abu Hanifa

Imam Abu Hanifa & the Shoe Worship Narration

Translated By Waqar Akbar Cheema

Here is the response of Al-Imam al-Hafiz Muhibuddin Abi Abdullah Muhammad bin Mahmud ibn al-Hasan bin Hibat Allah bin Mahaasin a.k.a. Ibn al-Najjar al-Baghdadi (d. 643 AH) to the Khatib al-Baghdadi’s narration about Abu Hanifa tolerating worship of a shoe.

He writes:

وأما ما نقله عن محمد بن الحسين بن الفضل القطان إلى يحيى بن حمزة أَنَّ أَبَا حنيفة قَالَ: لو أَنَّ رجلا عبده هذه النعل يتقرب بها إلى الله لم أر بذلك بأسا. فَقَالَ سَعِيد: هَذَا الكفر صراحا

فهذا لم ينقله أحد من أصحاب أبى حنيفة واعلم أن أصحاب الإنسان أعرف به من الأجنبى، ثم اعلم أن مذهب أبى حنيفة له أصول وقواعد وشروط لا يخرج عنها، فأما أصول مذهبه رضى الله عنه فإنه يرى الأخذ بالقرآن والآثار ما وجد وقواعده أن لا يفرق بين الخبرين أو الآي والخبر مهما أمكن الجمع بينهما إلا إن ثبت ناسخا أو منسوخا وشروطه أن لا يعدل عنهما إلا أن لا يجد فيهما شيئا فيعدل إلى أقوال الصحابة الملائمة للقرآن والسنة وإن اختلفوا تخير ما كان أقرب إلى الكتاب والسنة. فهذا عليه إجماع أصحاب أبى حنيفة وهو إذا عددت المدرسين منهم في عصر واحد وجدتهم أكثر من إسناد الخطيب منه إلى أبى حنيفة رحمه الله.

واعلم أن أخبار الآحاد المروية عن النبي صلّى الله عليه وسلّم توجب العمل لأجل الاحتياط في الدين ولا توجب العلم. وأخبار التواتر توجب العلم والعمل معا فكيف بك عن أخبار الخطيب هذه التي لا تكاد تنفك عن قائل يقول فيها، فإذا نازلنا الأمر وساوينا قلنا أخباره أخبار آحاد وأخبار أصحاب أبى حنيفة متواترة والعمل بالمتواترة أولى؛ وقد ثبت مذهب أبى حنيفة وأصوله وقواعده فإذا ثبت أن هذه أصول أبى حنيفة فكيف يسوغ له أن يقول هذا مع علمه بقوله تعالى: ما نَعْبُدُهُمْ إِلَّا لِيُقَرِّبُونا إِلَى اللَّهِ زُلْفى

فهذا لا يصح عن أبى حنيفة

“As to what is narrated from Muhammad bin al-Hussain bin al-Fadl al-Qattan through Yahya bin Hamza that Abu Hanifa said: ‘If a man were to worship this shoe to get closer to Allah I do not find anything objectionable with this.’ Sa’id said: This is clear disbelief.

This is not narrated by any of the companions of Abu Hanifa and know that a person’s companions know him better than the strangers. Further, remember that the Madh-hab of Abu Hanifa has its rules and principles that it does not divorce with. And the principles of his Madh-hab is to first seek evidence with whatever one finds in Qur’an and Sunnah. And [his] Madh-hab‘s principle is not to see variance between two reports or an ayah or a report when reconciliation between the two is possible except when proof of one being abrogated and other the abrogator is established . Their principle in (science of seeking evidence) is not to turn away from Qur’an and Sunnah except when nothing is found in these two sources in which case the sayings of the Companions that are closest to Qur’an and Sunnah are to be referred to and if they differ then the one closest to Qur’an and Sunnah is to be adopted. This is something on which the companions of Abu Hanifa have agreed and when I counted the teachers among them at a given time I found them to be more than the links of al-Khatib back to Abu Hanifa, may Allah have mercy on him. And know that the isolated reports (akhbar al-ahaad) narrated from the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, necessitate practice by the way of cautiousness in religion but they do not give certain knowledge whereas continuously reported narrations (akhbaar al-tawatur) lead to certain knowledge and mandate practice as well. Then how can you refer to the narrations of al-Khatib (al-Baghdadi) that you will hardly ever find someone saying. Therefore, when it comes to it we say his narrations are isolated and the reports of the companions of Abu Hanifa are continuously reported (mutawatir) and going by what is continuous is the best, and the principles, rules and essentials of the Madh-hab of Abu Hanifa are established and when these principles of Abu Hanifa are proven how is it possible for him to say so with his knowledge of the word of Allah, “(the mushrikin say) We worship them for no other reason but because they would bring us near to Allah closely”?
The report, therefore [we say], is not proven from Abu Hanifa.”

In other words the report is one of isolated reports (akhbaar al-ahaad) and simply contradicts what is known through continuous reports (mutawatir) about the creed (aqeedah) of Imam Abu Hanifa, may Allah’s mercy be upon him. Such “munkar” and “shaadh” reports are no evidence for any purpose whatsoever..

See, Ibn an-Najjar al-Baghdadi, Kitab ar-Radd ‘alaa Khatib al-Baghdadi, (included in) Tarikh al-Baghdad wa Zuyulihi, (Beirut: Dar al-Kotob al-Ilmiyah, 1417 AH), vol.22 pp.46-47.


Falsity of Dividing Tawheed into Three Parts

          By Dr. Omar Abdullah Kaamil


Dividing tawheed into Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah and Al-Ruboobiyyah and Al-Asmaa Wa Al-Sifaat was not known prior to Ibn Taymiyyah. The Messenger of Allah did not tell someone who wanted to enter Islam that there are two types of tawheed (i.e. of Lordship and of Divinity) and one won’t become Muslim unless and until he acknowledges both. Nor did the Prophet ﷺ imply the multiplicity of tawheed in any way nor was it reported from any of the righteous predecessors until the seventh century where Ibn Taymiyyah divided tawheed into three parts:

1. Tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah: Ibn Taymiyyah claimed that Muslims and polytheists alike acknowledge this type of tawheed. Tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah, according to Ibn Taymiyyah, means that one has to believe that Allah is the sole creator, sustainer and disposer of affairs in the universe.

2. Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah: This means worshipping Allah alone. Ibn Taymiyyah states: “The true God is the one who deserves to be worshipped … and the tawheed means that you worship Him alone without associating any partners.” [Al-Tadmeeriyyah, p. 106]

3. Al-Asmaa Wa Al-Sifaat: It means, according to Ibn Taymiyyah, believing in the attributes of Allah according to the apparent literal meaning.

Ibn Taymiyyah says in his Minhaj al-Sunnah talking about the Muslims, Scholars of the Islamic Creed of Ash’aris and others:

“They took out from tawheed what is part and partial of it such as Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah and believing in the Attributes of Allah according to the apparent literal meaning. The only thing left in tawheed for them is Tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah which is to believe that Allah is the Creator of all things and their Lord. This last type of tawheed is even acknowledged by the polytheists. Allah Ta’ala says about them:

“If you ask them, who is it that created the heavens and the earth. They will certainly say: “Allah”. Say: “Praise be to Allah.” But most of them understand not.” [Surah Luqman: 25]

“Say, who is it in whose hands is the governance of all things, who protects (all), but is not protected (of any)? (say) if ye know, They will say, “(It belongs) to Allah.” Say: “Then how are ye deluded.” [Surah al-Mu’minoon: 86 & 87]

“And most of them believe them not in Allah without associating (others as partners) with Him!.” [Surah Yusuf: 106]

Some of the righteous predecessors said that when the polytheists were asked as to who created the heavens and the earth, they would respond: “Allah,” yet they used to worship idols. The tawheed that Allah demands of his slaves is Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah which contains Tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah and it means that only Allah is worshipped without any partners…” [Minhaaj al-Sunnah, Pages 2 & 6]

He said in his article called “Ahl al-Sunna”:

“Tawheed Al-Ruboobiyyah alone is not sufficient and does not guarantee that one is not a disbeliever.”

Ibn Abdul Wahhab said in his book called “Kashf al-Subhohaat”:

“The last of the Messengers, Muhammad, who destroyed the statues of these righteous people, was sent to a people, who used to worship, perform Hajj, give charity and remember Allah often. However, they used to take some of the creation as intermediaries between them and Allah. They used to say, “We want them to get us closer to Allah and we want their intercession for us with Allah.” Their intercessors include those of the angels, Jesus and Mary and other righteous people.” [Kashf al-Subhohaat: Pages 3-4]

He also says:

“These polytheists accept and acknowledge that Allah is the sole Creator without any partner, He is the sole Sustainer, He is the sole giver of life and taker of life, He is the sole disposer of affairs in the universe, and that all seven heavens and the earth and their inhabitants are all His slaves and worshippers He does with as He pleases and when He pleases.”

Then he quoted a few verses from the Holy Qur’an to prove that the polytheists are as he just described them and he added:

“When it is established that the Messenger of Allah fought them so that only Allah is called upon, vow is made to Him, sacrifices made only for His sake, only His aid is sought after and all for of worship is dedicated to Allah alone, then you must realize that their acknowledging the Tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah did not make them enter into the circle of Islam and the fact that they turn towards the Angels, the Prophets, the Saints seeking their intercession to get closer to Allah is what made their blood and their wealth permissible. It should now be clear that the tawheed to which the Messengers called is the Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah and that is exactly what the polytheists refused.”

How could the Messenger of Allah ﷺ stay quiet about a matter such as this? How was it possible that all the scholars of the Ummah missed this point for seven centuries until the coming of Ibn Taymiyyah? Or was it that the generations before Ibn Taymiyyah were not on the creed of the Ahlus Sunnah Wa al-Jama’ah and that the Ahlus Sunnah Wa al-Jama’ah are those who follow this division of tawheed?

This division of tawheed into three is illogical. The true God is at the same time the true Lord and vice versa. These two words are inseparable in that when (the word) ‘God’ is used ‘Lord’ is implied and when ‘Lord’ is used ‘God’ is also implied. We find that they are used interchangeably in the Qur’an, in hadith and in the statements of the scholars alike.

The Holy Qur’an and Prophetic tradition indicates the unrepeatability of Tawheed al-Uloohiyya and Ruboobiyyah. Allah Ta’ala says:

“(Kept them away from the Path), that they should not worship Allah, Who brings to light what is hidden in the heavens and the earth, and knows what ye hide and what ye reveal.” [Surah al-Naml: 25]

These verse establishes that none deserves to be prostrated to except the Omnipotent and Omniscient.

Allah Ta’ala says,

“And neither would he enjoin you that you should take the angels and the prophets for lords…” [Surah Aal Imran: 80]

This verse clearly states that the polytheists worshipped multiple lords. Despite this Divine injunction, the proponents of the bid’ah of trinity of tawheed say: The polytheists believed in the Tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah and they only have one Lord. They became polytheists because they associated partners with Allah in the Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah!!!.

Look at what the polytheists will say on the Day of Judgement:

“By Allah!, we were truly in an error manifest. When we held you (idols) as equals with the Lord of the Worlds.” [Surah al-Shura’a: 97-98]

That is to say that the polytheists held their idols as lords equal with Allah Ta’ala.

Allah Ta’ala says:

“Am I not your Lord (who cherishes and sustains you)? They said: “Yeah, we do testify!”   [Surah al-A’raaf: 172]

If acknowledging the Tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah was not enough, then it would not have been enough to take the covenant with just the Lordship (Am I not your Lord?) Nor would it be correct for them to say:

“Surely, we were heedless of this.”

If the Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah were not included in the Tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah, then the wording of the covenant would not be enough and the mankind would have to have been asked to acknowledge also the Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah as part of the covenant. The fact that Allah Ta’ala asked for the acknowledgement of His Lordship means that Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah is already included in Tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah.

As for evidence from the Sunnah [that the tawheed is inseparable], there is the questioning of the two Angels of an individual right after the burial – only about his Lord. They only say, “Who is your Lord?” This is because the angels do not distinguish between Lord and God. According to the view of the proponents of trinity of tawheed, the angels would have to ask: Who is your God not Who is your Lord? Or, they would have to ask both questions.

Thus, limiting the tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah to ‘tawheed of creation’ is a mistake and a dubious statement. This is because Lordship is not limited to creation only, as we have shown previously, but it also includes the administration of the universe as well as disposing of its affairs. Not all the polytheists and disbelievers were in agreement regarding the Lordship nor did they all believe in the Tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah as the proponents of the trinity of tawheed claim.

Some of the disbelievers at the time of the Prophet ﷺ were atheists and disbelieved in resurrection and life after death. Some of them were polytheists who associated partners with Allah Ta’ala and claimed that their idols were partaking in the creation as well as in controlling some of the matters of the universe. There were people of the book who believed in multiple gods. Yet Ibn Taymiyyah and his followers speak of the disbelievers as if they were one group having the same belief.

After all this, how can someone describe the word ‘Lord’ as just the Creator and the Originator?

Let us now examine the usage of the word ‘Allah’ in the Qur’an.

Use of the word ‘ilaah’ (a god) in the Qur’an

Upon beholding the Qur’an, we see that the word ‘god’ is a general term that is used for the same meeting as His exalted name ‘Allah’ but the latter is the clearest of all names that can refer to Him. We find that the understanding from these two words are one and the same to the extent that the word ‘Allah’ is used in place of “God” as a description, not as a proper noun in this verse:

“And He is Allah in the heavens and on earth. He knoweth what ye hide, and what ye reveal, and He knoweth the (recompense) which ye earn by your deeds.”   [Surah al-An’aam, 3]

This verse is a parallel of the following verse [where the word ‘God’ instead of ‘Allah’]:

“It is He Who is God in heaven and God on earth; and He is full of Wisdom and Knowledge.”   [Surah al-Zukhruf, 84]

The use of His exalted name “Allah” in this verse and the like is a synonym for “the God (al-ilaah)” That is to say: “He is the God Who is…”

Whoever studies the verses in which the word “the God (al-ilaah)” is mentioned, finds that this word is used to mean “He who does what the lord must do — either all of it or some of it — from creation, to managing, to having full control over all affairs in the universe, etc. In addition, He is the only One deserving to be worshipped since He possess the above qualities. Examples of such verses include:

1. “If there were, in the heavens and the earth, other gods besides Allah, there would have been confusion in both! But glory to Allah, the Lord of the Throne: (High is He) above what they attribute to Him!” [Surah al-Anbiya: 22]

The confusion in heavens and on earth won’t happen by the mere fact of multiplicity of gods unless and until we take the words “the God (al-ilaah)” in this verse to mean the disposer of affairs and the manager of the matters of the Universe.

2. “No son did Allah beget, nor is there any god along with Him: (if there were many gods), behold, each god would have taken away what he had created, and some would have lorded it over others! Glory to Allah. (He is free) from the (sort of) things they attribute to Him!” [Surah al-Mu’minoon: 91]

In this verse, “the God (al-ilaah)”, is described as the Creator,  Disposer of affairs, Victor over all things.

3. “Say: if there had been other (gods) with Him, as they say, behold, they would certainly have sort out a way to the Lord of the Throne!” [Surah al-Isra’: 42]

Seeking out a way to the Lord of the Throne would necessitate multiple creators, disposer of affairs, victors who control the universe.

Use of the word rabb (a lord) in the Qur’an

The word “Lord (rabb)” is used in the Nobel Qur’an, as in the language, with various shades of meanings:
1. Upbringing (al-tarbiya)
2. Mending and caring (al-islaah wa al-ria’aya)
3. Governance and politics (al-hukooma wa al-siyaasa)
4. Owner (al-maalik)
5. Possessor (al-Saahib) as in the saying of Allah Ta’ala in Surah Quraysh: (3): “Let them adore the Lord of this House.”

The original meaning of this word “Lord (rabb)” is He in Whose Hands is the power of administration, managing and bringing about what is necessary. This is the general meaning of the term and being a creator is not among its meanings as some claim.

The Falsity of Dividing Tawheed into Three Parts

Allah Ta’ala says:

“Behold! Verily to Allah belong all who dwell in the heavens and on earth. Those who follow [alleged] partners apart from Allah follow nothing but conjecture. They do nothing but lie.” [Surah Yunus: 66]

“He merges Night into Day, and He merges Day into Night, and He had subjected the sun and the moon (to His Laws); each one runs its course for a term appointed. Such is Allah your Lord: to Him belongs all Dominion. All those whom ye invoke besides Him have not the least power.” [Surah Faatir: 13]

These two verses indicate that the polytheists believed that the lords they were worshipping had a share in the dominion (mulk) and that they had influence on the Divine plan of Allah. The verses conclude by saying that what they believe is only conjecture. The lords or the idols had no influence over the Divine plan nor can they create anything.

Allah Ta’ala also says:

“Say: Do ye see what it is ye invoke besides Allah. Show me what it is they have created on earth, or have they a share in the heavens? Bring me a book (revealed) before this, or any remnant of knowledge (ye may have), if ye are telling the truth!”   [Surah al-Ahqaaf: 4]

This verse proclaims that the polytheists believed that their lords had a share in the lordship (ruboobiyyah) of Allah and that is why Allah Ta’ala demanded them to bring forth their evidence if they were speaking the truth.

How then can Ibn Taymiyyah and his followers claim that the polytheists were believing in Allah and were monotheists as far as the oneness of His Lordship (Uloohiyyah), despite the fact that Allah Ta’ala describes them as the violators of His Covenant!?

“Those who break Allah’s Covenant after it is ratified.”   [Surah Baqarah, 27]

What is the covenant that is mentioned in this verse? Isn’t it the first covenant that Allah took from mankind as described in the following verse?

“When thy Lord drew forth from the Children of Adam – from their lions – their descendants, and made them testify concerning themselves, (saying): “Am I not your Lord (who cherishes and sustains you)? – They said, “Yeah! We do testify!” (This) lest ye should say on the Day of Judgement “Of this we were never mindful.” [Surah al-A’raf: 172]

Did Allah Ta’ala take the covenant by saying “Am I not your God” Did not Allah Ta’ala say:

“In the case of those who say, “Our Lord is Allah, and, further, stand straight and steadfast, the angels descend on them (from time to time): “Fear ye not! (they suggest), Nor grieve! But receive the Glad tidings of the Garden (of Bliss), that which ye were promised.” [Surah Fussilat: 30]

Why would the polytheists then end up in hellfire after having believed in the Lordship of Allah?

Didn’t Fir’awn say:

“I am your Lord, the Most High.”   [Surah al-Naaziaat: 24]

Where is the Tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah of Fir’awn and his followers?

Didn’t the Prophet ﷺ inform us that the two angels ask everyone in the grave who his Lord is not who his God is?

The truth is that the word god (ilaah) and lord (rabb) are used interchangeably in the Qur’an as synonyms. The evidence is that “the God” and “the Lord” are one and the same thing in the Qur’anic and prophetic usage and are also found in the Qur’an itself and in the tradition of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ.

Allah relates the words of Yusuf (alayhissalaam) in Surah Yusuf: 39:

“O my two companions of the prison! (I ask you), are many lords differing among themselves better, or the One Allah, Supreme and Irresistible?”

He said thereafter:

“If not Him, ye worship nothing but names which ye have named, – ye and your fathers, – for which Allah hath sent down no authority. The command is for none but Allah. He hath commanded that ye worship none but Him, that is the right religion, but most men understand not.”   [Surah Yusuf, 40]

The “many lords” referred to in the above verse were being worshipped (not just taken as intermediaries or intercessors).

Allah Ta’ala said regarding ‘Eesa (alayhissalaam):

“Nor would he instruct you to take angels and prophets for Lords and patrons.” [Surah Aal Imran: 80]

He said regarding the same subject in another place:

“And behold! Allah will say: “O ‘Eesa the son of Maryam! Didst thou say unto men, worship me and my mother as gods in derogation to Allah?” [Surah Ma’idah: 116]

Read the following verse again:

“Nor would he instruct you to take angels and prophets for Lords and patrons.” [Surah Aal Imran: 80]

This was the religion of some of the polytheists of the Arabs. They took the angels as lords as did the tribe of Bani Maleeh from Khuzaa’ah. They used to worship Jinn and claimed that jinn appeared to them. They further believed that they were angels and daughters of Allah (Astaghfirullah). The fact that they claim that their lords were angels, it is as if they worshipped angels and that is why the angels will renounce the misdeeds of these polytheists as recorded in the Qur’an:

“One day He will gather them all together, and say to the angels, “Was it you that these men use to worship?” They will say,”Glory to Thee! Our (tie) is with Thee – as Protector – not with them. Nay! But they worshipped the Jinns: most of them believed in them (Jinns).” [Surah Saba 40 & 41]

Then Allah Ta’ala says regarding the angels:

“If any one of them should say, “I am a god besides Him,” such a one We should reward with Hell. Thus do We reward those who do wrong.” [Surah al-Anbiya: 29]


“The Lord” and “The God” are two terms that the Qur’an uses as synonyms meaning one and the same thing. The polytheists, therefore, who worships the false gods, not Allah, will automatically violate the Tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah. The evidence for this is that the formula “La ilaha illa Allah (There is none worthy of worship except Allah)” encompasses the Tawheed of both Al-Uloohiyyah and Al-Ruboobiyyah. If it weren’t so, tawheed of Al-Ruboobiyyah would be expressed with a formula other than “La ilaha illa Allah” and this does not exist. Those who claim otherwise, we would refer them to the following verse:

“Say: produce your proof if ye are truthful.” [Surah al-Baqarah:111]

Al-Sanusi mentions that the formula “La ilaha illa Allah”  contains both tawheeds and that “The God” is in fact “The Lord” who is worshipped. And as was related already the two terms are inseparable.

Allah Ta’ala says:

“But (I think) for my part that He is Allah, My Lord, and none shall I associate with my Lord.” [Surah al-Kahf: 38]

The disbeliever will say, after having tasted punishment of Allah, in the hereafter:

“…and he could only say, ‘Woe to me! Would that I had never ascribed partners to my Lord and Cherisher.” [Surah al-Kahf:42]

The usage of these terms in the Sunnah is the same as in the Qur’an. For example, Al-Haakim narrates in his “Al-Mustadrak” on the authority of Qurra bin Iyadh (radhiyallahu anhu) who said:

“In the Day of Battle of Qadisiyyah…a Zoroastrian said to Mughira bin Shu’ba (radhiyallahu anhu): “I know exactly what brought you Arabs to us. You don’t find enough food in your country to eat until you are full. Here, we will give you  of the food that you need…” Al-Mughira said to him: “By Allah, we did not come for that. We are a people who worshipped the rocks and idols. When we saw a rock better than the one we worshipped, we would throw the former and start worshipping the latter. We did not know what a Lord is until Allah Ta’ala sent us a Messenger from among us who invited us to Islam and we followed him…(to the end of the hadith)” [Al-Musradrak, Hadith 5901, 3/510]

Al-Mughira (radhiyallahu anhu) states clearly in this hadith that they did not know what a Lord (rabb) was yet Ibn Taymiyyah says that they acknowledged the Tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah!.

Al-Haakim said this hadith has an authentic chain even though neither of the Sahihs contains it. Al-Dhahabi agreed with Al-Haakim in his “Talkhees al-Khabeer.”

Perhaps the clearest evidence that the polytheists disbelieved in both Tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah and Al-Uloohiyyah is that when the angels ask the person in the grave who his Lord is, the disbeliever will say: “I do not know.”

[From the Book: The Bid’ah and Perils of Trinity of Tawheed]

Ibn Taymiyyah & The Conundrum Of Deobandi Praise


Some of our Akaabir Ulama of Deoband have lauded praise on Ibn Taimiyyah, and this created much obfuscation for laymen who have to contend with severe criticism of Ibn Taimiyyah by many other Ulama of Deoband. 

To dispel this confusion, we reproduce in this brief article a question and its answer which appeared in Hadhrat Thanvi’s Views – Some Ishkals (Doubts) From the Ibaraat of Malfuzaat Hakim ul-Ummat & Its Answers

A Deeni Student in U.K. wrote an Addendum which further clarifies the conundrum of the praise of Ibn Taimiyyah by some Akaabir Ulama of Deoband. We reproduce the Addendum as well. 

_Mujlisul Ulama of S.A. 

Hadhrat Thanvi praised Imaam ibn Taymiyyah and Imaam ibn al-Qayyim, saying they were `Aarifeen, and he referred to Imaam ibn Taymiyyah with the title of Allaamah.  

In India there was at that time a great dearth of the kutub of Ibn Taimiyyah and Ibn Qayyim, hence   most of our Akaabir of that era were unaware of the views of Ibn Taimiyyah. They were therefore justified to speak highly of Ibn Taimiyyah on the basis of the paucity of their awareness of his deviation. If you read some of our own publication of 40 years ago, you will find praise for Ibn Taimiyyah. That was due to our ignorance of his views. It was years later when Hadhrat Husain Ahmad Madani (Rahmatullah alayh) came from Madinah to teach Hadith in Deoband, that he began to apprize our Ulama of the reality of Ibn Taimiyyah. We are under no obligation to follow Hadhrat Thanvi’s view on this issue – a view based on insufficient information.

Such ‘taqleed’ is in fact jumood (fossilization of the brains) which is condemned by the Fuqaha.

Consider the example of stock market shares. Since our Akaabir were unaware of the true meaning of this concept, and since it was erroneously explained to them by some traders and by the one who posed the question, they understood that it was a valid shirkat, hence they issued their fatwa of permissibility. However, those who are aware of this concept, understand its hurmat to be clearer than the sun’s light at mid-day. Now making ‘taqleed’ of such an error of the Akaabir is satanic jumood (intellectual fossilization).


The authentic and only correct position regarding Ibn Taymiyyah as conveyed by a Deobandi authority who had had the opportunity to study many of Ibn Taymiyyah’s books which were not available in India to most of the Akaabir of Deoband, is represented by the explicit statements below of Shaykh-ul-Islam Maulana Husayn Ahmad Madani (rahmatullahi alayh), the Principal of Deoband for around 30 years.

Expressing conviction on the Tajseem (anthropomorphism) of Ibn Taymiyyah, Shaykhul Islam states:

“I am certain, having read his unpublished treatises, that he was guilty of innovation in beliefs, Tajseem and so on.” [Anwaar ul-Baari]

Shaykh-ul-Islam acquired this conviction only after having gained access to Ibn Taymiyyah’s unpublished treatises and books in Madeenah which were not accessible in India:

“While I was staying in Madeenah Munawwarah, I saw [Ibn  Taymiyyah’s] writings and treatises. I even saw some books which are probably not found in any of the libraries of Hindustan. Having read all of them, I came to the conclusion – upon insight – that there was an open deviation and departure from the path of Ahlus Sunnah found in him.” [Anwaar ul-Baari] 

Now that in this day and age the mass-publication and mass-propagation worldwide of Ibn Taymiyyah’s books have made his anthropomorphism as clear as daylight (see explicit statements below), and virulent sects are fervently propagating such anthropomorphic beliefs, it would be moronic and an aid for Baatil for someone to dig up some earlier Malfooz (statement) of Maulana Husayn Ahmad Madani in praise of Ibn Taymiyyah while he was still in a state of ignorance or uncertainty regarding Ibn Taymiyyah’s Tajseem.

It would be similarly moronic and an aid for Baatil for someone to translate and propagate some Malfoozaat of Allamah Taaj ud Deen as-Subki, Allamah Abu Hayyaan al-Andalusi, Allamah Salah ud Deen al-Alaai, Allamah Quwnawi, Allamah Zamlakani, and numerous others, in profuse praise of Ibn Taymiyyah, when the very same scholars turned extremely harshly against him later on, only after his Tajseem or his numerous other deviations became clear to them.

While the Salafis, Halafis (Salafis masquerading as Hanafis), and their like-minded breeds used to insinuate that the countless Fuqaha (jurists) throughout the ages who had carried out extremely harsh “Jarh Mufassar” (detailed criticism) on Ibn Taymiyyah, were all liars, fabricators, guilty of extreme bias, or part of a massive freemasonic-like conspiracy, in light of the mass-publication of Ibn Taymiyyah’s works in this age and the absolute vindication of such “Jarh Mufassar”, the Salafis are no longer able to maintain such irrational insinuations which tarnish the judgement and integrity of hundreds of upright scholars for the sake of their dear Mujaddid. “Hazrat-worship” (turning a blind eye to the flagrant evil of one’s dear Mujaddid) has never been more evident than in the attitude of the salafi-like breeds towards the deviances of Ibn Taymiyyah.

Furthermore, the status of the Salafis as Ahlul Hawaa (people of  desires), their hypocrisy, and their double-standards, are most manifest in their indiscriminate  application of the principle of  “Jarh Mufassar takes precedence over Ta’deel” (i.e. detailed criticism overrides praise), and the sudden and absolute suspension of this principle in regards to Ibn Taymiyyah and his student Ibnul Qayyim. We shall elaborate more on this principle and the Nafsaani-based application of it by the Ahlul  Hawaa such as the Salafis in a future article inshaAllah.

Consider the following explicit transmission of Mullah Ali al-Qaari that the Salafus-Saaliheen would regard as Kaafir the one who attributes a direction to Allah:

“A group from them (Salaf-us-Saaliheen) and the Khalaf said, ‘The one who believes in a direction [for Allah] is a Kaafir’, as explicitly stated by al-Iraaqi. He said, ‘This is the statement of Abu Hanifah, Maalik, Shafi’i, al-Ash’ari, and al-Baqillaani’”  [Mirqaat ul-Mafaateeh]


Now that in this age it is manifestly clear without the slightest doubt that Ibn Taymiyyah regarded Allah to be in a specific direction, with countless Salafi sects today propagating such a belief openly and shamelessly, it would be moronic and a complete disservice to the teachings of Mullah Ali al-Qaari himself, to dig out some Malfoozaat of his in praise of Ibn Taymiyyah, while he was obviously ignorant of the fact that Ibn Taymiyyah firmly affirmed a belief that would warrant a Takfeer according to the Salaf whom Mullah Ali al-Qaari himself approvingly quoted. Yet, the Mudaahins (psychophants) of this age do exactly this, thus advertising thoroughly their stupidity.

Perhaps a group of Deobandi Mudaahin Muftis, Maulanas and Shaykhs who have nothing better to do, should embark on the urgent task of digging out Malfoozaat of the Akaabir of Deoband in profuse praise of Maududi, the evil denigrator of the Ambiya (alayhis salaam) and the Sahabah (radhiyallahuanhum). Hadhrat Ilyas Khandelwi, for example, before passing away, paid glowing tribute to Maududi, indicating that Maududi’s movement was far more important and valuable than the Tableegh Jama’at. It is obvious that many of the deviate beliefs of Maududi were yet hidden from Hadhrat Ilyas Khandelwi and other Akaabir who had praised him. And, even if some Akaabir did praise Maududi while cognizant of his denigration of the Ambiya (alayhis salaam) and Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhu), we are obliged to regard it as a lapse on their part, now that there no longer exists any ambiguity over Maududi’s deviance.

While it is possible for righteous authorities of the past to have committed errors in Furoo’ (e.g. certain fiqhi matters), without such errors impinging on their authority and integrity, to grant the same latitude for errors in Usool (e.g. Sifaat of Allah) is to spell the destruction of the Deen. Kufr shall always remain Kufr, regardless of the Nooraniyat shining from the perpetrator’s face, or his monumental textual knowledge, or the length of his beard, or the extent of his Zuhd and Jihaad, or the numbers attending his Urs (death anniversary). 

If we were to tolerate such evil as  the anthropomorphism of Ibn Taymiyyah as vividly apparent in the explicit statements to come below, then justice and consistency would demand that we also tolerate the Baatil of all other deviate sects today. Exhibiting leniency towards such beliefs as Allah having a direction, body, size, Allah being able to sit upon the back of a mosquito, Hell-fire ending for even the Kuffaar, the beginninglessness of the Arsh etc. would entail tolerating all the deviances of the Barelwi grave-worshippers, modernists, feminists, progressives, etc. Perhaps even some of the more ‘moderate’ Shiah sects will then have to be shoved back into the Ummah.

Furthermore, in authentic Ahadith and narrations from the Salaf, it is clearly indicated that Mudaahanah (tolerating evil) is THE primary cause of Allah’s punishment which often takes the form of brutal Kuffaar armies such as those which are ravaging the Ummah today. According to the Shar’iah, deviations in Aqeedah of the degree of anthropomorphism are worse than adultery and murder. Knowingly propagating and aiding the cause of the leaders of anthropomorphism are worse than propagating adultery and murder.

Thus, the Mudaahin Maulanas, Muftis and Shaykhs of this age should understand that their praise and aid in service of Baatil are not trivial issues that can simply be consigned as Kuffaar-style “academia”. They should reflect on their true intention of propagating such Malfoozaat of the Akaabir in praise of deviates which were obviously made in ignorance. Perhaps in the freelancing deviances of Ibn Taymiyyah there exists a uniquely wide scope for justification for the Tafarrudaat (abominations/ anomalies) of their own Hazrats.

A detailed treatise will be compiled elaborating on the beliefs of Ibn Taymiyyah regarding which the Salafi-lovers and the proponents of Mudaahanah bury themselves head-first, deep under the sand. Such is the explicit nature and unambiguous anthropomorphism in the statements of Ibn Taymiyyah which have only been recently published that even many of the most fanatic Salafi breeds have been constrained to adopt a stance of deafening silence regarding them.  

For now, for the edification of the sincere Mudaahins who may consider rectifying their Mudahaanah, below is a small sample of explicit quotes straight from the books of Ibn Taymiyyah, whose existence is easily verifiable today, which lift the veil of ambiguity that may have shrouded for many centuries Ibn  Taymiyyah’s true beliefs which elicited the severe and now completely vindicated “Jarh Mufassar” of hundreds of Fuqaha throughout the ages.

Ibn Taymiyyah’s fork-tongued and taqiyyah-like statements elsewhere in other books, in a fashion typical of Ahlul Hawaa, which successfully duped many a scholar, cannot render into non-existence the monstrosities cited below and many other statements of the same category of depravity, which are all absolutely irreconcilable with the true Aqeedah of Ahlus Sunnah wa’l Jama’ah.

Let us begin with Ibn Taymiyyah’s explicit, non-taqiyyah affirmation of body (jism) and direction (jihat) for Allah. In one of his many refutations of the Ash’aris, Ibn Taymiyyah employs some typically perverse Salafi Kalaam to “prove” that it is necessary for Allah to have a body and direction, according to how these terms are defined by the Ulama of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah:

“It is known that the vision [of Allah in the afterlife] which the Lawgiver has told [us] about cannot be affirmed while negating [for Allah] what they regard as a ‘body’. Rather, affirming it [i.e. vision] necessitates [affirming for Allah] what they regard as a ‘body’ and ‘direction’. It is clear that whoever tries to combine these two [i.e. affirmation of vision and negation of ‘body’ and ‘direction’] is stubbornly refusing what is established by reason and by the senses.” [Bayaan Talbees al-Jahmiyyah]


While asserting ‘Jism‘ for Allah in the statement above, Ibn Taymiyyah was, no doubt, well aware of how his opponents defined ‘Jism‘ i.e. “what they regard as a body“. This clearcut definition of ‘Jism’ of the Ulama of Ahlus Sunnah which Ibn Taymiyyah emphatically and shamelessly affirmed for Allah Ta’ala is: 

“[Something with spatial] measurement of length, breadth and depth, which prevents something else from being present where it is, unless it moves from that place.”


Ibn Taymiyyah employs more stupid Salafi Kalaam here to “prove” that it is impossible for Allah (azza wa jal) not to have a size:

“As for a thing not be described with increase and decrease, nor the absence of that, and it is existent without having a size, then that is inconceivable.”   [Bayaan Talbees al-Jahmiyyah]


Ibn Taymiyyah explicitly affirms limits for Allah and the “Kufr” of denying limits for Allah:

“Allah, exalted is He, has a limit which nobody but Him knows. It is not permitted for anybody to imagine himself a demarcation to his limit, and rather he must believe in it and consign the knowledge of it to Allah. Allah’s place also has a limit, namely [His place] on the Throne above His heavens; so that means two limits.…[Here he cited a number of texts from the Qur’an which in his opinion show that Allah has a physical limit then he says:] This and what is like it are proofs that all show that [Allah has a] limit and whoever does not profess that has disbelieved in the revelation and denied the verses of Allah.” [Muwaafaqah, vol. 2, p. 29]


In his Bayaan Talbees al-Jahmiyyah, while gently refuting another Mujassim (anthropomorphist) who restricts Allah to only one limit, Ibn Taymiyyah makes clear that he believes Allah to have more limits from various sides.

Finally to end this short sample, Ibn Taymiyyah states that Allah is actually able to mount on the back of a mosquito, hence this is stupid Salafi Kalaamic “proof” that Allah is actually mounted on the throne:

“If He wanted He could board/get on the back of a mosquito and it would hold Him up/carry Him by His power and the gracefulness of His Lordship; so what about a great throne greater than the seven heavens and the seven earths?” [Bayaan Talbees al-Jahmiyyah]


Observe the violent and irreconcilable conflict between Ibn Taymiyyah’s explicit affirmation of body (tajseem), direction, size, limits for Allah, etc. with the pure Aqeedah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhu), and the Salafus-Saaliheen, as transmitted here by Imam Abu Ja’far Tahaawi (rahmatullah alayh) whom even the Salafis are constrained to accept as an authentic and uprighteous transmitter of the Aqeedah of the Salaf-us-Saaliheen:

“He (Allah Ta’ala) is transcendent beyond limits and boundaries, parts, limbs and instruments. The six directions do not contain Him like (the six directions contain) all created entities.” [Aqeedat-ut-Tahaawiyyah]


Furthermore, Imam Tahaawi transmits from the Salaf-us-Saaliheen the ruling of Kufr (disbelief) for the one who describes Allah with such attributes that can apply only to created entities which self-evidently includes direction, body, size, limits, ability to sit on the back of a mosquito, and other descriptions with which the Mujassimah such as Ibn Taymiyyah describe Allah Ta’ala:

“Whoever describes Allah with a meaning (or property) from the meanings (or properties) of man, he has committed Kufr (disbelief).” [Aqeedatut Tahaawiyyah]


For the sincere seekers of truth, the “Malfoozaat” (statements) above will more than suffice in providing a glimpse into the abundant reasons due to which Ibn Taymiyyah was severely and rightfully disparaged (Jarh Mufassar) by innumerable righteous scholars in every age, and which thoroughly overrides any praise (Ta’deel) he received from others who had clearly not come across all his abominations in their full gory detail which include literally dozens of contraventions of Ijma’ (consensus) in both the spheres of Aqeedah and Fiqh. The future article will highlight and examine many of those abominations in detail insha Allah.

ALSO READ:- The Kufr and Shirkiyyah Philosophy of Ibn Taymiyyah


Alleged Statement of Imam Abu Hanifa About Prophet ﷺ Following his Opinions

By Waqar Akbar Cheema

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم الحمد لله وحده و الصلاة و السلام على من لا نبي بعده و على آله و أصحابه أجمعين

Sometimes back I found a fellow referring to an alleged statement of Imam Abu Hanifa. Although he did not derive any conclusions from it, it really alarmed me because there is a potential of gross misuse of the statement as recorded in the work usually cited.

In this time of tribulation (fitna) there are people –liberals and the secular– who never cease to twist the meanings of the Qur’an according to whims and wishes and to restrict the scope of countless hadith narrations to seventh century Arabia. To these people statements of scholars and mutahid imams mean nothing but at the same time if somehow they can use a statement attributed to any of great early scholars they forget everything else and take any such statement as ultimate evidence as if it is a revelation from Allah. This attitude speaks a lot of their objectives and objectivity. And what if the statement they use is not authentic to begin with?

The alleged narration:

The alleged statement goes as;

قال أَبُو حنيفة: لو أدركني رسول الله صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وأدركته لأخذ بكثير من قولي

Below is the reproduction of the translation given in the article by Muhammad Altaf Hussain Ahangar titled “Iqbal and Hadith.”

Khatib Baghadadi in his history, with reference to Yusuf Ibn Isbat, writes:

Abu Hanifa used to say that if the Prophet (s.a.w) would have found me and I could have found him (i.e. both would have lived at the same time), then He [the Prophet (s.a.w)] would have adopted many of his (Abu Hanifa’s) thoughts. Religion is not anything else except the good and fine opinion.

Let’s find out and analyze the truth of these words;

What works actually record this narration?

The narration is as such related by Khatib al-Baghdadi (d. 453 A.H.)[1] and before him Ibn Hibban (d. 354 A.H.)[2] and has been reproduced by some later writers as well.

Authenticity of the Narration:

Now we discuss the most important issue i.e. the authenticity of this report.

1- The rules of narration (riwayah) check:

Wherever the report is given with a chain of narrator, we find that it comes through Yusuf bin Asbat (not “Isbat”). And this narrator itself is not truly reliable.

Ibn Abi Hatim said, “He is not to be sought evidence with.”[3]

And Imam Bukhari said, “He had buried his books, and did not narrate the narrations the way they were written.”[4] i.e. he mixed the things up

So these facts about the person attributing the words to Imam Abu Hanifah make the case of the narration quite weak. The following details will further add to the clarity on the evident dubious nature of the narration.

2- The rational rule (dirayah) check:

Imam al-Hafiz Muhibuddin Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Mahmud aka Ibn al-Najjar al-Baghdadi (d. 643 A.H.) actually showed that what the narration says is not tenable rationally. He first reproduces the narration and then writes;

“It is narrated from Abu Hanifa (rahimahullah) and all his fellows rule accordingly as to what is narrated from al-Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) that when the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) gave the sermon, he in a lengthy report said, ‘Verily Makkah is one the sanctuaries of Allah (where nothing can be harmed)” Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) said, “Except idhkhir  (a kind of grass), O Messenger of Allah”, so the Prophet (saaw) said, “”Except idhkhir ” Abu Hanifa said regarding it, ‘The Prophet (saaw) himself intended to make this exception (already), Abbas (just) uttered it before him.” Thus Abu Hanifa did not interpret it in a way making the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) follow the opinion of Abbas, so how could he (speak of to) make him follow his own opinion?”[5]

Simply put, there is a narration in which apparently the prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said something after his uncle and a great companion Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) had spoken of it, yet Abu Hanifa said the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has already decided to say it. It’s only that Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) in that moment uttered it before him i.e. the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not follow the opinion of Abbas (radhiyallahu angu). The argument is, when he did take the pain to interpret the narration against the apparent meanings just to avoid the notion of Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) following someone else opinion albeit of a great companion, how could then he say that Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would ever need to follow his own opinion?

On the reality of the alleged narration:

An Egyptian scholar Shaykh Muhammad Zahid al-Kawthari (d. 1371 A.H.) has discussed the narration in detail in his dedicated work on the narrations about Imam Abu Hanifa in “Tarikh Baghdad” of al-Khatib.

Following detail gives a fair proof on the origins of the narration.

Imam Mofiq bin Ahmad al-Makki (d. 568 A.H.) narrated the following words Imam Abu Hanifa on authority of Yusuf bin Khalid;

لو أدركني البتي لترك كثير من قوله

“If al-Batti would have found me, he would have left many of his opinions (in favor of mine).”[6]

Abu al-Mo’id Muhammad bin Muhammad al-Khwarazmi (d. 665 A.H.) narrates it with the following words;

لو أن البتي رآني لأخذ بكثير من أقوالي

“If al-Batti would have found me he would have adopted many of my sayings.”[7]

al-Batti here refers to a Kufan scholar who later settled in Basra, Usman bin Muslim al-Batti (d. 143 A.H.)

Shaykh al-Kawthari, following al-Mo’id al-Khwarazmi, argues that it is actually a scribal error or confusion of the narrator that made the narration as it is now recorded in Tarikh al-Baghdad etc.. In the narration al-Batti ( البتي) first became al-Nabi (النبي). This is easy to understand as the skeleton of both the words is same and the difference is only of the dots (nuqaat). Then seemingly undergoing the narration-by-meaning phenomenon the word النبي was replaced by  رسول الله and thereafter understandably the words صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ added to it.

This is no far-fetched an assertion, in fact we have a categorical example like it, in totally a different context, recorded in Tarikh Baghdad [8] itself where it is stated that a narrator confused the words رأيت البتي (I saw al-Batti) and put them as رأيت النبي (I saw the Prophet).

In fact this seems to be too general a mistake and confusion. Another example of the same is quoted by Al-Qifti (d. 646 A.H.)[9]

These examples show it was quite common for people to mix the two in both writing and reading.

So the reasonable conclusion is that the actual narration is misconstrued, apparently by, Yusuf bin Asbat who often did such things due to inadvertence and ignorance.[10] Here please recall Imam Bukhari’s statement about him quoted above.

The phrase, “Religion is nothing but fine opinion:

Coming to the last phrase, “Religion is not anything else except the good and fine opinion”, Shaykh al-Kawthari is of the opinion that this too involves confusion due a scribal error. He argues that the Arabic wording هل الدين إلا الرأي الحسن was originally هل أرى إلا الرأي الحسن i.e. what would he opine except according to the good opinion.He supports this by the fact that al-Batti too like Abu Hanifa was known for making extensive ijtihad and as as such known to be among Ahl al-Ra’i.[11]

Having looked into various old manuscripts myself I find the explanation quite plausible but it is a bit lacking in external independent support. However, even if accepted as such the phrase still does not signify more than the fact that when a matter is not resolved directly through Qur’an, Sunnah or the verdicts of the companions and it comes down to the opinions of the scholars then among those opinions the religious verdict is on nothing but the best of those opinions.

The principle of Imam Abu Hanifa:

Here I must quote the principle of Imam Abu Hanifa about the order of precedence among the the sources of Shariah.

ما جاء عن الله تعالى فعلى الرأس والعينين وما جاء عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فسمعا وطاعة وما جاء عن الصحابة رضي الله عنهم تخيرنا من أقوالهم ولم نخرج عنهم وما جاء عن التابعين فهم رجال ونحن رجال

“What comes to us (directly) from the Allah the Almighty (i.e. in the Qur’an) is held the most supreme by us, and what reaches us from the Messenger of Allah -peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – we (simply) listen and obey, and what reaches from the Companions -Allah be pleased with them- we chose the best from their opinions and do not leave them all (i.e. we stick to one of their opinions) and what comes to us from the opinions of the Followers (tabi’un), so they are men like us.”[12]

This shows the truth of the above explanation for he clearly stated that he could not think of leaving the opinions of the Companions even let alone leaving a hadith or thinking that Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would ever -God forbid- follow his opinion. But yes he, being himself a Follower (tabi’i) could contend with another of the same category and expect him to follow his opinion once he convinced him of its fineness.

And Indeed Allah knows the best!


[1] Tarikh al-Baghdad wa Ziyuluhu, Dar al-Kotob al-Ilmiyah, Beirut 1417 A.H, vol.13 p.386

[2] Al-Majruhin, Dar al-Wa’i, Halb, 1396 A.H. vol.3 p.65

[3] Mezan al-A’itdal, Dar al-Ma’rifah, Beirut 1963 vol.4 p.462 No. 9856

[4] ibid.

[5] Kitab al-Radd ‘alaa Abu Bakr al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, included in Tarikh al-Baghdad wa Ziyuluhu, vol.22 p.54

[6] Manaqib al-Imam al-‘Azam Abi Hanifa, Da’ira al-Ma’arif al-Nizamia, Hyderabad Deccan 1321 A.H. vol.2 p.102

[7] Jami’ al-Masanid, Dar al-Kotob al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut n.d. vol.1 p.63

[8] Tarikh al-Baghdad wa Ziyuluhu, vol.2 p.78

[9] Inbah al-Ruwat ‘ala Anbah al-Nuhat, Maktaba al-‘Ansariya, Beirut 1424 A.H. vol.2 p.344

[10] Ta’nib al-Khatib ‘ala Ma Saqahu fi Tarjimati Abi Hanifah Min al-Akazib, Dar al-Basha’ir al-Islamiyyah, Beirut, 1990 p.175

[11] ibid.

[12] Ibn Hazm, Al-Ahkam fi Usool al-Ahkam, Dar al-Afaq al-Jadida, Beirut n.d. vol.4 p.188



The Feet In Salaat – A Salafi Error

[Mujlisul  Ulama  of  South  Africa]


In  this  fourteenth  century  of  the  Islamic  era,  a  recently  mushroomed  sect  known  as  the  Salafis,  has  invented  some  new  rules  which  they  believe  are  the  Sunnat  teachings  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  Inspite  of  their  views  being  in  conflict  with  the  teachings  of  the  Salf-e-Saaliheen  belonging  to  the  Noblest  Ages  of  Islam  (Khairul  Quroon),  they  obstinately  cling  to  their  misguided  opinions.  Their  method  is  to  subject  the  Ahadith  to  their  personal  understanding.  Inspite  of  the  divergence  which  this  self-opinion  produces  from  the  Way  of  the  Ummah  inherited  from  the  Sahaabah,  the  Salafis  intransigently  cling  to  their  deviation.

A  little  reflection  would  convince  them  that  it  is  not  possible  that  the  Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen  who  were  the Students  of  the  Sahaabah  would  propagate  acts  which  are  in  conflict  with  the  Sunnah.  Any  act  which  has been  accepted  and  practised  by  the  entire  Ummah  from  the  earliest  era  of  Islam  cannot  be  deviation. Deviation  will  be  the  act  which  is  in  conflict  with  this  sacred  Unanimity.

One  of  the  erroneous  practices  of  the  Salafis  is  their  act  of  spreading  their  legs  wide  apart  during  Salaat.  In the  bid  to  touch  the  toes  of  the  musalli  standing  adjacent  to  them,  they  disfigure  their  stance  and  ruin  their composure  with  the  mental  preoccupation  of  touching  the  toes  of  the  musallis  standing  on  both  sides  in  the Saff  during  Jamaat  Salaat.  Even  when  performing  Salaat  alone,  they  stretch  the  legs  hideously  apart.  But  for this  innovation  they  have  absolutely  no  Shar’i  evidence.  A  solitary  Hadith  which  makes  reference  to  ‘foot with  foot’  has  been  grievously  misunderstood  and  misinterpreted  by  them.  Besides  their  misinterpretation, they  have  intentionally  ignored  all  the  other  Shar’i  proofs  which  refute  their  interpretation.

A  perusal  of  the  relevant  Ahadith  on  this  subject  will  convince  every  unbiased  Muslim  that  the  Salafi  interpretation  of  the  Hadith  is  a  concoction  of  the  nafs.  It  is  a  concoction  designed  and  prepared  by  shaitaan to  create  rifts  and  discord  in  the  Ummah.  When  people  opt  to  abandon  the  practices  which  the  Aimmah Mujtahideen  have  reported  on  the  basis  of  the  authority  of  the  Sahaabah,  then  shaitaani  manipulation  is evident.

All  four  Math-habs  of  the  Ahlus  Sunnah  Wal  Jama’ah  unanimously  refute  the  Salafi  contention  on  the position  to  be  adopted  when  standing  for  Salaat.  None  of  the  Math-habs  teaches  that  the  legs  should  be  spread  out  widely  when  standing  for  Salaat  nor  that  the  toes  of  the  Musalli  alongside  should  be  touched. Some  of  the  Salafis  go  to  great  lengths  in  spreading  their  legs  in  the  bid  to  touch  the  next  man’s  toes  causing  annoyance  and  much  irritation.

The  Emphasis  on  Straightening  the  Sufoof (Sufoof  is  the  plural  of  saff  which  refers  to  the  row  of  musallis  in  a  Jamaat)

The  Ahadith  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  emphasise  the  straightening  of  the  sufoof.  The emphasis  in  all  the  Hadith  narrations  dealing  with  this  subject  is  directed  to  proper  saff*–  formation,  not  on  the  feet  of  the  musallis  touching  the  toes  of  the  musalli  standing  alongside  as  the  Salafis  inordinately  and inconsiderately  practice.

In  the  endeavour  to  sustain  the  practice  of  stretching  the  legs  wide  open  while  performing  Salaat,  the  Salafis  have  gone  to  the  extreme  of  adopting  this  ugly  stance  even  when  performing  Salaat  alone.  While  a  man  who  is  uneducated  in  the  laws  of  the  Shariah  may  misunderstand  the  solitary  Hadith  in  which  reference  has  been  made  to  foot  with  foot,  the  same  mistake  cannot  and  should  not  be  made  in  so  far  as  Salaat  performed  alone  because  the  question  of  foot  with  foot  is  not  remotely  related  to  infiraadi  Salaat,  i.e.  performing  Salaat alone.

The  Salafis  may  abortively  argue  that  the  aim  of  spreading  the  legs  wide  apart  is  to  ensure  straightness  of  the  sufoof,  but  what  argument  do  they  have  for  justifying  this  unbecoming  practice  when  a  man  is  performing Salaat  infiraadan (individually)?  Furthermore,  there  is  no  Hadith  narration  in  this  regard  which  could  even  be  misinterpreted  to  support  the  case  of  a  munfarid  stretching  his  legs  to  the  extremities  of  east  and  west  or  north  and  south,  depending  on  the  location  of  the  Qiblah  from  where  he  happens  to  be.

The  Salafis  claim  that  it  is  Sunnah  to  stretch  the  legs  wide  apart  and  for  a  musalli’s  toes  to  touch  the  toes  of the  musalli  standing  alongside  him  in  the  saff.  This  ludicrous  position  is  imposed  by  the  Salafis  on  even  women  who  are  obliged  to  stand  with  their  legs  wide  open.  What  an  ugly,  miserable  and  immodest  stance for  a  woman  to  adopt?  A  woman  is  an  object  of  concealment  according  to  the  statement  of  Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  When  she  has  to  stretch  her  legs  wide  open,  she  adopts  the  stance  of  lewd  and shameless  women.  Throughout  Salaat,  a  woman’s  postures  are  to  be  constricted  —  made  small  and  drawn in,  not  asserted  like  a  man  asserts  and  expresses  his  actions  during  Salaat.

As  far  as  their  stance  is  concerned  for  the  munfarid,  there  is  not  a  single  Hadith  which  they  can  cite  in substantiation  for  their  view  which  anyhow  is  utterly  baseless.  All  the  relevant  Ahadith  on  this  topic  teach  the contrary,  namely,  that  the  feet  should  be  held  slightly  apart  —  about  four  to  five  inches  (10  cm).  There  also exists  consensus  of  the  Four  Math-habs  on  this  issue.

As  far  as  the  feet  position  for  the  saff  is  concerned,  the  Salafis  conveniently  overlook  all  the  Ahadith  which  negate  their  corrupt  view  and  intransigently  cling  to  a  view  which  they  have  understood  to  be  the  method.  In  taking  to  this  view,  they  deliberately  cast  aside  what  exactly  the  Hadith  in  question  says.  They  took  a  single word  (namely  ‘foot  with  foot’)  out  of  the  context  of  the  Hadith  and  formulated  the  practice  of  stretching  the legs  wide  apart  and  touching  the  toes  of  the  musallis  standing  alongside  on  either  side  in  the  saff.  For  understanding  this  issue,  it  is  best  that  we  cite  all  the  relevant  Ahadith.

The  Ahadith

1.  Hadhrat  Umar  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  narrates  that  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  said: Straighten  the  sufoof,  line  up  the  shoulders,  close  the  gaps  and  become  tender  in  the  hands  of  your  brothers.  Do  not  leave  any  gaps  for  shaitaan.  Whoever  joins  the  saff,  Allah  will  join  him.  And whoever  cuts  the  saff  Allah  will  cut  him.  (Bukhari  &  Abu  Dawood)

[Become  tender:  that  is  to  comply  when  a  brother  musalli  in  the  saff  touches  your  shoulder  indicating  that you  should  bring  it  in  line  with  the  shoulders  of  the  other  musallis  in  the  saff.]

2.  Hadhrat  Baraa’  Bin  Aazib  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  narrates  that  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam) used  to  enter  the  saff  from  end  to  end,  touching  our  chests  and  our  shoulders.  He  would  say:  Do  not  be  irregular  (in  your  rows),  for  then  your  hearts  will  become  irregular  (i.e.  discord  will  overtake  you). He  would  (also)  say: Verily,  Allah  Azza  Wa  Jal  and  His  Malaaikah  dispatch  Salaam  on  the  first  sufoof

[When  the  word  ‘Salaat’  is  related  to  Allah  Ta  ‘ala,  it  denotes  Rahmat,  i.e.  He  sends  down  mercy.  When  it  is related  to  the  Malaaikah,  it  means  that  they  supplicate  to  Allah  Ta`ala  to  send  His  mercy  upon  His  servants.]

3.  Hadhrat  Anas  Bin  Maalik  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  narrates  that  the  Iqaamah  for  Salaat  was  given. Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  turned  towards  us  and  said:  Straighten  your  sufoof  and stand  close  together,  for  verily  I  see  you  from  behind.  In  a  narration  of  Hadhrat  Anas  (radhiyallahu anhu)  it  is  mentioned:  Everyone  among  us  would  put  his  shoulder  with  the  shoulder  of  his  companion  (alongside)  and  his  foot  with  his  foot.

4.  Hadhrat  Anas  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  narrates  that  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  said:  Join your  sufoof  and  stand  close  together,  and  stand  in  line  with  (your)  necks.  I  take  oath  by  The  Being in  Whose  power  is  my  life  that  most  certainly  I  see  shaitaan  entering  the  gaps  in  the  saff  as  if  he  is a  lamb.  (Abu  Dawood)

5.  Abul  Qaasim  Jadli  (rahmatullah  alayh)  said  :I  heard  Nu’maan  Bin  Basheer  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  say: ‘Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  turned  towards  the  people  (the  musallis)  and  say  three times:  ‘By  Allah!  Most  certainly,  you  should  straighten  your  sufoof  otherwise  Allah  will  create discord  in  your  hearts.’  Thereafter  I  saw  that  a  man  would  attach  his  shoulder  to  the  shoulder  of  his companion  (the  one  standing  alongside),  his  knee  to  the  knee  of  his  companion  and  his  ankle  to  the  ankle  of  his  companion.  (Bukhari  &  Abu  Dawood)

6.  Nu’maan Bin  Basheer  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  narrates:  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  would arrange  (set  in  order)  our  sufoof.  One  day  he  came  out  (from  his  home)  and  saw  a  man  (in  the  saff) whose  chest  was  protruding  in  front  of  the  (chests  of)  the  community  (i.e.  the  musallis).  He  then commented:  ‘Straighten  your  sufoof  otherwise  Allah  will  cast  discord  in  your  faces  (i.e.  in  the  words coming  from  your  mouths).  (Tirmizi)

7.  Maalik  Ibn  Abi  Aamir  Ansaari  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  narrates:  Uthmaan  Bin  Affaan  (radhiyallahu  anhu) would  recite  in  his  Khutbah:  ‘When  the  Salaat  is  ready,  arrange  the  sufoof  properly  and  line  up  with the  shoulders’  (i.e.  the  shoulders  of  the  musallis  should  all  be  in  line  and  touching).  (Muatta  Imaam Muhammad)

8.  Hadhrat  Anas  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  narrated  that  Nabi  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  said:  Join  your  sufoof  and  draw  close  among  yourselves  and  line  up  with  the  necks.  Reported  by  Abu  Dawood  and Nisai.  Authenticated  by  Ibn  Hibbaan.  (Bulooghul  Maraam)–*I’laaus  Sunnan

These  are  about  all  the  narrations  pertaining  to  the  manner  and  style  of  standing  in  Jamaat  Salaat. Explaining  these  Ahadith,  Imaam  Bukhaari  (rahmatullah  alayh)  states  in  the  section  captioned:


This  is  what  the  Jamhoor  have  said:  ‘Verily,  the  meaning  (of  joining  in  this  context)  is  complete  nearness and  lining  up,  not  actual  joining  (or  touching).’  Al-Haafiz  said:  The  meaning  of  this  is  to  emphasise  in straightening  the  saff  and  closing  the  gaps.  And  Aini  too  has  said  so.  With  this,  the  indication  is  towards emphasis  in  straightening  the  sufoof  and  closing  the  gaps.  Qustulaani  and  others  have  also  said  this. (Laamiud Duraari commentary of Bukhari)

In  Faidhul  Baari  it  is  reported  as  follows:

It  is  stated  in  Sharhul  Wiqaayah:  ‘The  musalli  should  stand  apart  (with  his  feet)  so  that  there  is  a  distance  of  four  fingers  in  between  them,  and  that  is  also  the  view  of  Imaam  Shaafi  (rahmatullah  alayh),  In  another  view  it  is  said  that  the  distance  (between  the  feet)  should  be  one  hand  (i.e.  about  10  cm).’  (The  author  says):  I  did not  find  any  difference  of  opinion  among  the  Salf  (i.e.  Salf-e-Saaliheen)  between  the  stance  (of  the  musalli) in  Jama’ah  and  in  infiraad  (i.e.  performing  alone).  There  is  no  difference  regarding  the  gap  (between  the feet).  It  is  not  that  the  spreading  of  the  feet  should  be  more  in  Jama’ah  than  when  performing  Salaat  alone.

The  summary  of  this  is:  When  we  do  not  find  the  Sahaabah  and  the  Taabi-een  differentiating  in  their standing  position  between  Jama’ah  and  individual  Salaat,  then  we  understand  that  the  only  meaning  of Rasulullah’s  statement  of  ‘joining  the  shoulders’  is  to  line  up  closely  and  to  abstain  from  leaving  gaps (between  the  musallis).

The  following  appears  in  Laamiud  Duraari,  Commentary  of  Saheeh  Bukhaari:

The  Authorities  (the  Fuqaha)  stated  that  it  is  best  for  the  musalli  to  keep  his  feet  about  four  fingers  apart. They  did  not  say  that  the  feet  should  be  united  in  ruku’  or  sajdah.  Aini  says  in  Binaayah:  ‘It  is  appropriate  that  there  be  the  distance  of  four  fingers  between  the  feet  of  the  musalli,  for  verily,  this  is  nearest  to  khushoo.’

Ibn  Umar  (radhiyallahu  anhuma)  would  not  spread  (widely)  his  feet  nor  would  the  one  foot  touch  the  other, but  between  this  there  would  be  neither  much  closeness  nor  much  distance.

In  Raddul  Muhtaar  it  is  reported  as  follows:

The  meaning  of  joining  ankles  to  ankles  is  that  everyone  in  the  Jama’ah  should  stand  alongside  the  other (i.e.  in  a  straight  line).  So  is  it  said  in  Fataawa  Samarqand).  (I’laaus  Sunan)

From  all  the  narrations  and  views  of  the  Muhadditheen  and  Fuqaha  of  the  Khairul  Quroon  era  it  is abundantly  clear  that  the  Hadith  which  mentions  joining  foot  with  foot  does  not  have  a  literal  meaning.  It simply  means  that  the  feet  should  be  all  in  line,  and  this  is  achieved  by  the  heels  of  the  musallis  all  being  in the  same line. This  will  ensure  a  straight  saff  on  which  the  emphasis  of  all  the  Ahadith  is.

The  Salafis

The  Salafis  of  this  age,  while  grabbing  the  words  ‘foot  with  foot’,  ignore  ‘neck  with  neck’,  ‘shoulder  with  shoulder’,  ‘knee  with  knee’  and  ‘ankle  with  ankle’.  The  narrations  command  joining  of  the  necks  just  as  it instructs  joining  of  the  feet.  And,  in  the  same  way  it  commands  joining  of  the  knees  and  ankles.  How  is  it possible  for  the  neck  of  one  musalli  to  touch  the  neck  of  the  musalli  alongside?  At  most,  shoulders  can  touch.  But  to  achieve  the  phenomenal  act  of  joining  necks,  the  musallis  will  have  to  ruin  their  Salaat  and stand  on  their  toes  balancing  at  a  precarious  angle  to  achieve  the  goal  of  touching  each  other’s  neck.  But  no  one  has  ever  advocated  this  ludicrous  stance.  Similarly,  if  the  literal  sense  of  the  ‘ankle  with  ankle’  has  to  be  accepted,  it  will  place  the  musallis  under  great  stress  to  achieve  what  is  not  simple  because  the  protruding heels  are  barriers  for  this  achievement.  Also,  if  ‘knee  against  knee’  had  to  be  literally  considered,  the  musallis  would  have  to  stand  with  ugly  bandied  legs,  stretching  even  their  thighs  hideously  in  order  to  join their  knees  with  the  knees  of  their  companions?  But,  not  even  the  Salafis  have  ventured  such  ludicrousness.

Why do the  Salafis  choose  only  ‘foot  with  foot’  out  of  the  several  instructions  pertaining  to  the  joining  of various  bodily  parts?  For  this  choice  they  have  only  their  intransigent  nafsaani  desire –no  daleel  whatsoever. What  is  the  determining  factor  to  choose  only  feet  and  to  ignore  necks,  knees,  shoulders  and  ankles?  On the  other  hand,  the  Ahlus  Sunnah Wal  Jama’ah  —  the  followers  of  the  Four  Math-habs  —  *have  a  mass  of evidence  to  support  ‘joining  of  the  shoulders’.  Furthermore,  joining  or  lining  up  of  the  shoulders  is  simple, rational  and  fulfills  in  the  best  way  the  instruction  of  straightening  the  saff.

It  should  be  noted  that  the  emphasis  is  on  closing  the  gaps.  There  should  be  no  gap  between  two  musallis  standing  in  the  saff.  But,  the  wider  the  legs  are  spread  apart,  the  more  the  distance  between  the  shoulders will  increase.  Thus,  spreading  the  legs  wide  apart  defeats  the  very  command  issued  in  the  Hadith  to  close the  gaps  and  straighten  the  sufoof.

In  order  to  achieve  ‘foot  with  foot’  literally,  the  Salafis  are  constrained  to  turn  their  feet  at  angles  away  from  the  Qiblah.  In  this  hideous  exercise  they  manage  only  to  touch  the  toes  of  the  adjacent  musalli  with  much  difficulty  and  irritation  to  those  whose  peace  of  mind  is  disturbed  with  the  unruly  encroachment  of  his companion’s  toes.  When  the  toes  are  made  to  touch  with  the  feet  in  diagonal  positions,  the  shoulders  cannot touch,  the  knees,  ankles,  necks,  etc.  are  thrown  completely  out  of  alignment.

When shoulders  are  not  lined  up,  it  is  impossible  to  achieve  straight  sufoof.  It  is  for  this  reason  that  the Hadith  emphasises  more  on  shoulders.  Feet  are  mentioned  only  once.  The  Sahaabah  and  the  Taabi-een  relate  the  instruction  ‘to  line  up’  and  straighten  the  saff  to  the  shoulders,  necks,  knees,  ankles  and  the  feet.  In  other  words,  all  these  should  be  in  line,  not  out  of  alignment.  It  is  for  this  reason  that  the  Hadith  clearly mentions  that  the  Khulafa-e-Raashideen,  in  fact  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  himself,  would  order  protruding  chests  to  recede  into  line.  Never  did  any  of  the  Authorities  of  the  Shariah  speak  about  feet  which  should  touch.

In  the  adoption  of  the  Salafi  mode,  the  movement  is  excessive  in  Salaat.  Neither  is  proper  Ruku’  nor  proper  Sajdah  possible  if  this  hideous  posture  has  to  be  retained  throughout  Salaat.  In  fact  Sajdah  is  not  at  all  possible  with  the  feet  spread  wide  apart.  Therefore,  the  Salafis  are  constrained  to  shift  positions  repeatedly  when  going  to  ruku’.  This  excessive  movement  in  Salaat  in  negatory  of  khushoo’.


While  the  case  of  the  Four  Math-habs  is  logical,  the  actual  daleel  (proof)  for  our  view  is  not  rational interpretation,  but  is  narrational  evidence.  Such  evidence  has  been  transmitted  down  the  centuries  from  the Sahaabah.  It  should  be  understood  that  the  Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen  —  the  Imaams  of  the  Math-habs  —  had acquired  their  knowledge  of  Islam  from  either  the  Sahaabah  or  the  Taabi-een  who  were  the  Students  of  the Sahaabah.  Whatever  they  taught  is  therefore,  what  the  Sahaabah  had  instructed.  It  is  the  height  of  folly  and deviation  to  differ  with  them  and  to  choose  a  way  which  is  at  variance  with  what  they  had  disseminated.

It  is  not  conceivable  that  the  Salf-e-Saaliheen  —  all  the  Imaams  of  the  Math-bas  were  among  them  —  were in  deviation  and  the  present-day  Salafis  are  on  Rectitude.  This  is  unacceptable  to  any  Muslim  who  is prepared  to  reflect  a  bit.  The  greatest  daleel  for  the  view  of  the  Math-habs  is  that  whatever  they  teach  has been  acquired  directly  from  either  the  Sahaabah  or  the  Taabi-een.

The  Salafi  practice  of  spreading  the  feet  wide  apart  and  the  irritating  attempt  to  touch  the  next  man’s  toes  are  in  conflict  with  the  Sunnah  as  the  aforegoing  Shar’i  evidences  have  established.


1.  According  to  the  Hambali  Math-hab  there  should  be  a  ‘small’  gap  between  the  feet  of  the  musalli.

2.  According  to  the  Maaliki  Math-hab,  the  distance  should  be  moderate,  neither  together  nor  so  wide  apart  which  is  considered  repugnant.

3.  According  to  the  Shaafi  Math-hab,  the  gap  between  the  feet  should  be  one  hand.  It  is  Makrooh  to  spread the  feet  wider  than  this.

4.  According  to  the  Hanafi  Math-hab,  the  distance  between  the  feet  should  be  four  fingers.

This  is  the  Sunnah  and  the  Way  of  the  Salf-e-Saaliheen.  The  Salafis  have  no  authority  from  the  Salf-e-Saaliheen  to  substantiate  its  view  of  bid’ah.

Manner of standing in the rows of the jama`ah

[Shaikh Muhammad Ilyas Faisal, Madinat  al-Munawwara]

It  is  established  from  several  ahadith  that  the  row  should  be  absolutely  straight and  no  gaps  should  be  left  between  the  worshippers.  However,  some  people  insist on  spreading  their  feet  and  standing  in  such  a  manner  that  their  ankles  touch  the ankles  of  their  neighbour.  What  is  the  reality  of  standing  in  this  fashion?  

Those  who  stand  in  this  way  base  their  practice  upon  a  hadith  narrated  by Nu’maan  bin  Basheer  (radhiallahu  anhu).  He  says:  “Once  Rasulullah  (sallallahu alaihi  wasallam)  faced  us  and  said:  “Straighten  your  rows”.  He  repeated  this thrice.  He  then  said:  “By  Allah,  you  must  most  certainly  straighten  your  rows  or else  Allah  Ta’ala  will  disunite  your  hearts”.  Hazrat  Nu’maan  bin  Basheer (radhiallahu  anhu)  says:  “I  then  saw  the  people  joining  together  their  shoulders and  ankles”.  [Abu  Dawood,  Sahih  ibn  Khuzaima]  

The  concluding  statement  of  Hazrat  Nu’maan  (radhiallahu  anhu)  is  also  reported in  Sahih  Bukhari.  

However,  upon  analysing  this  hadith,  several  points  come  to  light:  Firstly, Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alaihi  wasallam)  never  commanded  the  joining  of  the ankles.  No  hadith  has  yet  been  found  wherein  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alaihi wasallam)  himself  instructed  the  Sahaaba  (radhiallahu  anhu)  to  join  their  ankles. The  Sahaaba  (radhiallahu  anhu)  had  themselves  adopted  this  manner  in  order  to fulfil  the  command  of  straightening  the  saff.  Secondly,  this  hadith  clearly mentions  that  Nu’maan  bin  Basheer  (radhiallahu  anhu)  saw  the  Sahaaba (radhiallahu  anhu)  doing  this  PRIOR  to  the  commencement  of  the  salah.  There is  no  mention  of  this  position  being  maintained  even  after  the  salah  had commenced.  Therefore  we  find  that  great  muhadditheen  such  as  Hafiz  ibn  Hajar (Rahimahullah)  and  Allama  Shawkani  (Rahimahullah)  have  regarded  this  as  an  extreme  measure which  was  occasionally  adopted  by  the  Sahaaba  (radhiallahu  anhu)  to  ensure  that the  row  is  straight.  

In  fact,  a  hadith  of  Hazrat  Anas  (radhiallahu  anhu)  makes  it  absolutely  clear  that this  practice  was  merely  a  measure  adopted  BEFORE  the  salah  to  ensure  the straightening  of  the  row.  He  says:  “If  I  had  to  do  that  (join  the  ankles)  with anyone  of  them  (the  tabi’een)  today,  they  would  run  like  wild  mules”.  [Fath  al-Bari,  vol.2,  pg.176]  

This  simply  means  that  the  taabi’een  severely  disliked  that  anybody  should  join their  ankles  with  them.  Several  points  are  understood  from  this:  Firstly,  Hazrat Anas  (radhiallahu  anhu)  had  stopped  doing  this  completely.  Had  this  been  a sunnah  and  not  just  a  manner  of  ensuring  that  the  saff  was  straight,  it  is impossible  that  Hazrat  Anas  (radhiallahu  anhu)  would  have  left  it  out  merely upon  somebody  disliking  it.  

Secondly,  the  taabi’een  would  never  have  disliked  it  if  they  had  observed  many  of the  Sahaba  (radhiallahu  anhum)  continuously  practicing  upon  this.  It  was  only due  to  the  fact  that  they  had  not  generally  observed  the  Sahaba  (radhiallahu anhum)  adopting  this  procedure  that  they  disliked  it.  Hence  this  makes  it  crystal clear  that  the  Sahaba  (radhiallahu  anhum)  had  only  occasionally  adopted  this practice  to  ensure  the  straightening  of  the  saff.  It  was  not  a  sunnah  in  itself, otherwise  they  would  never  have  left  it  out.  

It  has  already  been  made  clear  that  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alaihi  wasallam)  never  himself  instructed  the  joining  of  the  ankles,  nor  is  there  any  mention  of  the  Sahaba  (radhiallahu  anhum)  having  maintained  this  position  even  IN  salah. However,  if  for  a  moment  we  do  accept  that  this  position  must  be  adopted  during  the  course  of  the  salah  as  well,  the  question  is:  In  which  posture  of  salah  must this  position  be  maintained?  Must  it  be  maintained  during  qiyam,  ruku,  sajdah  and qada  or  in  only  some  of  these  postures?  If  one  says  that  the  ankles  should  be  joined  only  in  the  qiyam  posture,  on  what  basis  were  the  other  postures  excluded? If  it  is  argued  that  it  is  difficult  to  do  so  in  ruku  and  sajdah,  the  same  could  be  said for  qiyam,  since  to  stand  with  one’s  feet  spread  apart  is  naturally  awkward  and hence  it  presents  a  certain  amount  of  difficulty  and  uneasiness  for  many  people.  In short,  this  practice  is  not  established  as  a  sunnah  of  salah.  It  was  merely  adopted initially  by  the  Sahaba  (radiallahu  anhum)  BEFORE  the  commencement  of  salah  to  ensure  that  the  rows  are straight. 

Related Reading: The Distance to be kept between the feet during Salaat [Hanafi view]


Imam Abu Hanifa’s View on Six Fasts of Shawwal & the Mufta Bihi Position of the Hanafi Madh-hab

A  senior  Mufti  says  that  the  6  Shawwaal  Fasts  are  Makrooh.  He  cites  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  as  proof  for  this  view.  Please  comment.

Answer (Mujlisul Ulama): 
The  senior  Mufti  Sahib  is  short-sighted.  His  Ilm  is  superficial,  hence  he  could  muster  up  the  audacity  to  decry  a  practice  which  is entrenched  in  the  Math-hab  since  fourteen  centuries.  He  did  not  stop to  reflect  on  the  fact  that  it  is  the practice  of    all  our  Akaabireen  and  of  all Math-habs.

Secondly,  every  ruling  of  the Hanafi  Math-hab  is  not    necessarily  the  view  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah (Rahmatullah  alayh).  There  are  many  issues    on  which  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  has  a  contrary  view  to  the Mufta  Bihi  version  which  could  be  the  view  of  Imaam  Abu  Yusuf  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  or  of  Imaam  Muhammad  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  or  of  both.  For  example,  Aqeeqah, according  to  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah (Rahmatullah  alayh),  the  Qur’baani  has  displaced  Aqeeqah.  However,  this  is  not  the  Fatwa  of  the  Math-hab.

Thirdly,  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  stated  the  Makrooh  view  for  the six  fasts  at  a  time  when  it  was  being  considered  Waajib.  

What is Mufta Bihi??

The literal meaning of Mufta bihi is ‘the view in which fatwaa is given on’.

Basically, in every Madh-hab we have countless Fuqaha. At times, those who reached the status of Ijtihaad within a Madh-hab differ from others. For example, in the Hanafi Madh-hab, we have an elite student of Imam Abu Hanifa (may Allah be pleased with him) – (Imam Muhammad, for example) – differing with him. Since the student too is a Mujtahid, there are times when a Mufti will pass verdict in accordance to the view of that student. That view becomes the Mufta Bihi (the view upon which verdict is given). If the verdict is passed on the view of Imam Abu Hanifa, then that is Mufta Bihi.

On a side note, this proves that a Madh-hab is not the work of one individual, rather it is the combined effort of thousands of scholars.

Frameworks for issuing a ruling in the Hanafi Madh-hab

The Hanafi Fiqh is mainly based on the masā’il rendered to us by Imam Abu Hanifah and his two students, Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad (also known al-sāhibayn). What will the fatwa be based on in masā’il, wherein there is disagreement between Imam Abu Hanifah and his two students (Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad)?

There are two opinions expressed:

Opinion. 1
The opinion of Imam Abu Hanifah will ALWAYS be given preference over that of his two students. ’Allama Siraj al-Dīn writes in Fatāwa Sirajiyyah:

“The ruling unconditionally is given upon the opinion of Imam Abu Hanifah, then of sāhibayn (when both students have agreed upon something), then of Imam Abu Yusuf, then of Imam Muhammad, then Imam Zufar and then of Hasan bin Ziyad. It has been assumed that if a disagreement is between Imam Abu Hanifah on one side and the two students (together) on the other side, then the Mufti will have an option. HOWEVER, THE FIRST OPINION (of preference to Imam Abu Hanifah) IS MORE CORRECT.

Opinion. 2
The ruling is rendered upon the opinion of any (Imam Abu Hanifah or his students and not necessarily only upon that of Imam Abu Hanifah) as deemed appropriately (following the principles of Fiqh).

Response to the first opinion:

There are several masā’il wherein earlier jurists gave ruling upon the opinion of sāhibayn on the basis of their strong proofs. [Al-Hāwi al-Qudsi].

The fatwa was also sometimes given based on the opinion of the imam who was considered a greater authority than others in that particular area, such as, Imam Abu Yusuf in qadhā and shahadah, Imam Muhammad in inheritance (zawi al-arham) and Imam Zufar in 17 masā’il. [Radd al-Muhtār]

The opinion expressed by sāhibayn is, in fact, one of the opinions narrated by Imam Abu Hanifah himself. (Thus, the opinion of sahibayn does not also in any way contradict the taqleed of Imam Abu Hanifah) [Ibn ‘Abidin]

There are many fiqhi works which include disagreements in their books but have not clearly stated upon the opinion of whom is the ruling given. In such cases, what principle should be applied to give preference to one opinion over the other?

In principle, the fatwa must be given on that which is highlighted as ‘mufta bihi’ position (upon which fatwa is given) by accepted authorities (ashāb al-tarjih).

However, if no such expression is explicitly found in any of the reliable books, then the Mufti will consider many factors before rendering a fatwa on one of the valid opinions in the madh’hab: the difference in stage (tabaqah) among the jurists who may have differed in their preference, customary practice (‘urf), the state of the people, that which falls under the category of ‘need’, that which is the most practical for people, that which is stronger in proofs and other factors [Al-Durr al-Mukhtār].

And only Allah knows best
Mufti Hanif Patel


The 8 Raka’ts Dilemma and Debacle of the Salafi Juhhala

[By Zaheer Mangera – [(A Madrasah Student)]

I’m sure that by now we are accustomed to the 8 rakaat brigade slinking out of the Masaajid after 8 rakaats. This unfortunately has become a common aberration in many Masaajid throughout South Africa and other parts of the world. Some Masaajid in Johannesburg have actually made a separate parking area for the 8 rakaat gang of deviates. Hence I felt the need to comment on this matter. In reality the matter is quite simple. The complications arise as always from the side of the dim-witted Salafis who can’t grasp simple issues of the Shariah


I’m sure this is the question running through the minds of all and sundry who, for the pleasure of Allah, diligently uphold the Sunnah Taraaweeh of 20 rakaats. The reality is that no Aalim on the surface of this earth had declared Taraweeh to be 8 rakaats except a man who popped up in the last century, and who believed that he could interpret Hadith narrations better than the entire fraternity of Aimmah Mujtahideen and Fuqaha from the Sahaabah running all the way down over 1400 years. This person who had deviated from the Way of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah was Albaani, the recent Imam of the Salafis.

It is unfortunate that Salafis vigorously try to justify the deviation of their Imams from the Path of the Sahaabah and the Aimmah Mujtahideen. In complete conflict with the Sahaabah and the Ummah, they adamantly adhere to Albaani’s view and audaciously label anyone who opposes his view as one who is “disuniting the ummah”, when in fact they are the ones guilty of sowing discord in the Ummah with their baseless 8 raka’t stunt.

Quite hilarious I’d say, the man deviated from the interpretation of every single Aalim and the Ijma’ of this Ummah. When the ummah speaks and opposes his deviation then it is said that we causing disunity?

The main Hadith they present as proof is a Hadith with regards to Tahajjud Salaat which they take out of context and interpret only as Albani had understood. However, they are blind to the fact that Imaam Bukhari (Rahmatullah alayh) himself, from whose Kitaab they obtain their baseless daleel, is proven to having performed 20 Raka’ts.

The books of the Muhaditheen and Fuqaha are replete with discussions regarding Taraaweeh. None of these great authorities of the Shariah related to Taraaweeh the Hadith which Salafis usually quote, as ALL KNEW that the Hadith did not pertain to Taraaweeh, and that it referred to Tahajjud Salaat.

The Ummah always performed 20 rakaat and regarded it to be Sunnah. Some even performed extra as Nafil such as the Maalikis who performed extra rakaats whilst those in Makkah made Tawaaf after every four rakaats hence the people in Madinah used to performs 36 raka’ts. However, the Sahabah by consensus deemed Taraweeh to be 20 rakaats, and this elevates the 20 Raka’ts Taraaweeh to the status of Sunnatul Muakkadah.

Imaam Tirmidhi (Rahmatullah alayh), died 279 AH, states that ‘Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu), ‘Ali (Radhiyallahu anhu), Sufyan Thawri (Rahmatullah alayh) and Imam Shafi’i (Rahmatullah (alayh), all accept that Taraaweeh Salaat is Twenty Rakaahs. He quoted Imam Shafi’i as saying that he saw the people of Makkah performing twenty raka’ts. (Tirmidhi, v.1 p.99)

The Muwatta of Imam Muhammad (Rahmatullah alayh), reads:

“We go by this (twenty rak’ats Taraweeh)….because the Muslims (the Sahaabah) were unanimous about it and saw it to be a good act. It has been reported that Rasulallah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Whatever the Muslims (the Sahaabah) regard as a good act, it is indeed a good act in the sight of Allah as well.”

Hafiz Abu Zur’ah Al-’Iraqi stated,

“They (the Ulama) have regarded the approval of the Sahaabah [when Sayyiduna ‘Umar did so] as Ijma’“.

Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari stated that the Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu anhum) have enacted Ijma’ on the practice of twenty rak’ats. Ibn Hajar al-Haytami and many others have also claimed Ijma’ of the Sahaabah on this issue.


“You must then follow my Sunnah and that of the rightly-guided Khulafa” [Abu Dawud]

Many other Ahaadith emphasize that the Ummah should follow the Khulafah and more specifically, Shaikhain i.e.  Hadhrat Abu Bakr and Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallahu anhuma).

The errant Salafis say absurdly that it means that we should follow the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). It seems they can’t understand simple issues.

Nabi [Sallallahu alayhi wasallam] equated the Sunnah of his Sahabah to his own Sunnah. Thus he mentioned that out of the 73 sects only the one that holds on to both his way and the way of his Sahaabah would be saved. Since Salafi’ism is a sect of baatil, it’s no wonder that they so abortively justify their conflict with the Ijma’ of the Sahaabah.

Rasulullah [Sallallahu alayhi wasallam] said:

“A group of my Ummah shall remain steadfast on the truth, victorious, unharmed by those who oppose them, and do not support them, until death or until the Day of Resurrection.”

[Al-Bukhaari, Book 71 no. 3641 Sahih Muslim, no. 1920]

Now on the basis of this Hadith, Taraaweeh of less than 20 raka’ts and the Salafi malpractice of 8 raka’ts are manifestly baatil, because from the time the blessed Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) left this world until the last century NO ONE EVER PERFORMED 8 RAKAATS.  It was only with the advent of this miscreant Salafi group that it began to be propagated that Taraaweeh is 8 raka’ts. Thus, one does not require intelligence to understand that the innovated 8 rakaats can never be the Sunnah.

TRUTH ON THE TONGUE OF ‘UMAR (Radhiyallahu anhu)

Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Allah has placed truth on Umar’s tongue and heart.” [Abu Dawud]

We ask the Salafis when Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) said with his ‘tongue’ that Taraweeh should be 20 rakaats, was this the Haqq or not? What these Salafis don’t understand is that when they negate Ijma’, they automatically imply, like Shiahs, that they and their Imam, Albaani who died just yesterday, have understood the Sunnah better than the Sahaabah. It follows from this implication that the Sahaabah and Taabieen had erred in their Ijma’ of 20 raka’ts. These Salafis are opening the doors of fitnah – the fitnah of blatantly contradicting the Sahaabah in their understanding of the Sunnah, yet Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) explicitly said:

“The best of people are my generation, then those who follow after them, then those who follow after them, then there will come after them a people who will be fat, and they will love obesity, bearing witness before being asked to.”  [Tirmidhi and Al-Haakim]

These Salafis are in diametric conflict with this clear declaration of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam).


An old man dressed in woollen garments came to Imaam Shaafi’i (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) and said: “May I ask a question?” Imaam Shaafi’i gave him permission. He then asked: “What are the Shar’i proofs in the Deen of Allah Ta’ala?” Imaam Shaafi’i replied: “The Kitaab of Allah Ta’ala.” He then asked: “And what else?” Imaam Shaafi’i replied: “The Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). He then asked: “And what else?” Imaam Shaafi’ replied: “The consensus of the Ummah.” He then asked: “What is your proof for this?” Imaam Shaafi’i thought for a while. The old man then said: “I give you respite for three days, either you bring me proof from the Qur’aan or seek forgiveness and repent to Allah Ta’ala.” The facial complexion of Imaam Shaafi’i changed. He then went and did not come out for three days. On the third day between Zuhr and ‘Asr, weak and sick, he emerged from his seclusion. As he was about to be seated, the old man appeared, greeted and sat beside him. He then asked for his proof. Imaam Shaafi’i said: “Yes”, and he recited the Qur’aanic verse:

“And whoever opposes the Messenger after guidance has become clear to him and follows a path other than the path of the believers, we shall (forsake him) and let him continue on his path, and thereafter We shall drive him towards Hell, and evil an abode it is. [Surah Nisa, 115]

The man said: “You have spoken the truth.” The man then left. Imaam Shaafi’i said to those seated around him: “I recited the entire Qur’an thrice daily for three days, until the proof finally dawned upon me.”

It is no wonder that Salafis become blind and deaf to the Haq and can’t understand simple concepts because they have contradicted Ijma’. The warning of Allah Ta’ala mentioned in this verse is true. The stated calamity has overtaken the Salafis.

“We shall (forsake him) and let him continue on his path, and thereafter We shall drive him towards Hell, and evil an abode it is.”

Allah Ta’ala has abandoned them in their waywardness and deviation, and if Allah does not guide than who can guide one?

Despite all this Salafis will still monotonously ramble on. One should not waste one’s precious time, no matter what ‘daleels’ are put forward. The fact of the matter is that they will never accept the Haqq. Just deliver the message of Haqq. It is about such people that the Qur’aan mentions:

“Do you not see those who take their nafs  [also their own intellects and reasoning] as gods besides Allah [by giving preference over truth or making that the yardstick] how we lead them astray even though they possessed knowledge; how we sealed their hearts and ears and cast a veil over their eyes? Who can guide them besides Allah? Will you then not take heed?”

May Allah protect us and guide one and all and protect us from becoming part of the 8 rakaat brigade which contradicts the Sunnah of the noble Sahaabah.


As mentioned earlier on it was clearly proved that for over the past 1400 years, 20 rakaats Taraweeh were considered Sunnah by the Ummah. However, their main daleel which is a misinterpretation shall be neutralized. Hypothetically, we shall assume that the tooth fairy exists and that the Hadith and its interpretation were not known to any Sahaabi or Faqeeh. And that Imaam Bukhari himself became somewhat lacking in vision when he came across this Hadith, and that only Albani was raised up this past century to correct all the Sahaabah and those who followed them with regards to what the true SUNNAH is.


Narrated Abu Salama Bin Abdur Rrahman (Radhiyallahu anhu):

“I asked Aishah (Radhiyallahu anha) about the Salaat of Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) during the month of Ramadan. She said that Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) never exceeded 11 Rakats in Ramadan nor in the other months. (First) he used to offer 4 rakats. Do not ask me about their beauty and length, then 4 Raka’ts. Do not ask me about their beauty and length. Then 3 Raka’ts.”

Aishah further said: I said: ‘O Allah’s Messenger! Do you sleep before offering Witr salat?’ He replied: ‘O Aishah! My eyes sleep but my heart remains awake!”

[Bukhari, Book of Tahajjud Salaat, chapter: the Salaat of the Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) at night in Ramadan and in other months. 2:248]


1. The commentator of al-Sahih al-Bukhari and the erudite Muhaddith, Shaykh Shamsud-Din al-Kermani (d. 786 AH) said: ‘In the Hadith (above), the Tahajjud Salaat is meant. Abu Salama’s question and Hadrat Aishah’s answer concerned the Tahajjud.’ He adds further: ‘If the Tahajjud prayer is not meant, then this Hadith will be in conflict with the Hadith that states that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) led twenty Rak’ats  for each of two nights, and in the case of such clash the Hadith of twenty Rakat’s which is  affirmative (Muthbit) shall have precedence because according to the principles of Hadith, the affirmative takes precedence over the negative (Nafi)”  — [Al-Kawakib ud-Durari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 9, pg 155-156].

Let’s for one minute exercise some common sense, we all know and even Salafis agree that Taraaweeh was performed in JAMAAT IN PUBLIC for a number of days before Nabi [Sallallahu alayhi wasallam] desisted for fear of it becoming obligatory.

Now if it was performed in jamaat and in public what was the need to ask Aishah [Radiallahu anha]? Wouldn’t the number of raka’ts of Taraaweeh have been common knowledge to the Sahaabah?  It is quite obvious that the Sahaabi was asking Hadhrat Aishah (Radhiyallahu anha) about the private ibaadat of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The Sahaabi was not asking her about Taraaweeh which was being performed in public in the Musjid. She confirmed that Rasulullah’s Tahajjud remained 8 raka’ts throughout the year even in Ramadhaan. This Hadith does not refer to Taraaweeh Salaat.

While the deviant Salafis cite Hadhrat Ibn ‘Abbaas (Radhiyallahu anhu), they are either ignorant of his standing practice regarding Taraaweeh or they are conveniently ignoring it, or they attempt to conceal it in a vain bid to justify their 8 raka’t fallacy. Hadhrat Ibn ‘Abbaas (Radhiyallahu anhu) himself performed 20 rakaats Taraaweeh like the rest of the Sahaabah. Thus, in a conflict between his words and his practice, the latter takes precedence and is given preference. But the Salafis are too stupid to understand the operation of the principles of the Shariah.

For more detailed Analysis on this issue read: