The Chapter About نَوَاقِض الْوُضُوءِ (the Things That Nullify Wuḍuu’ [Minor Ablution]) from Matn Al Ashmaawiyyah

The Chapter About نَوَاقِض الْوُضُوءِ (the Things That Nullify Wuḍuu’ [Minor Ablution])

اعْـلَمْ (Know) – وَفََّـقَكَ‮ ‬اللَّهُ (May Allah, Exalted is He grant you success),أَنَّ نَـوَاقِـضَ‮ ‬الْـوُضُـوء (that the things which nullify wuḍuu’) عَـلَى قِـسْمَيْـنِ (are of two types): أَحْـدَاث (impurities) and وَأَسْـبابُ‮ ‬أحْـدَاث (that which causes impurities).

فَـأَمَّا أَحْـدَاث (As for impurities), فَخَـمْسَةٌ (they are five kinds): ثَـلاَثةٌ‮ ‬مِـنْ‮ ‬الْـقُبُلِ (three are from  the front of the body) وَهِـيَ (and they are): الْـمَذْيُ (prostatic fluid), وَالْـوَديُ (a thick white fluid which flows out immediately after urine)  وَالْـبَوْل (and urine); وَاثْـنَانِ (and two are) مِـنَ‮ ‬الدُّبْـر‮ ‬(from the rear of the body) وَهُمَا (and they are): الغَائِطُ (faeces)  وَالرِّيحُ (and gas) .

وَأَمَّا أَسبابُ‮ ‬الأَحْـدَاثِ (As for the causes of impurity), فَـالنَّوم (it is sleep),  وَهُوَ‮ ‬عَـلَى أَرْبَـعةِ‮ ‬أَقْـسَامٍ (which is of four kinds): طَـوِيل ثَـقِيل (long heavy sleep) which يَـنْقُضُ‮ ‬الْـوُضُـوءَ (nullifies wuḍuu’), قَـصِير ثَـقِِيل (short heavy sleep) which يَـنْقُضُ‮ ‬الْـوُضُـوءَ (nullifies wuḍuu’) also,  قَـصِير خَـفِيف (short light sleep) which  لَا‮ ‬يَـنْقُضُ‮ ‬الْـوُضُـوءَ‮ ‬(does not nullify wuḍuu’), and طَـوِيل خَفِيف (long light sleep) for which يَسْتَحَبُّ‮ ‬مِنْهُ‮ ‬الْوُضُوءُ (wuḍuu’ is recommended).

وَمِـنَ‮ ‬الأَسبَابُ (Among the other causes of impurity)  تَـنْـقُضُ (which nullify wuduu’) are: زَوَال الْـعَقْل (the loss of one’s senses)  بِـالْـجُنُون‮ ‬(through insanity), وَالإِغْـمَاء (unconsciousness), وَالسُّّكْر (drunkenness). وَيَـنْقُضُ‮ ‬الْـوُضُـوءَ (Wuḍuu’ is also nullified)  بِـالرِّدَّةِ (by apostasy from Islam) and وَشَـكّ‮ ‬فِـي‮ ‬الْـحَـدِث (doubt as to whether or not one is in a state of impurity); and by وَبِـمَـسِّ‮ ‬الذَّكْـرِ‮ ‬(continuously touching the penis) بِـبَاطِـنِ‮ ‬الْـكَفِّ (with the inside of the palm) or بِـبَاطِـنِ‮ ‬الأَصَابِعِ (by the inside of the fingers) or بِـجَـنْبَيْهِمَا (by the sides of the palms and the finger),  وَلَوْ‮ ‬بِـأَصْـبُعِ‮ ‬زَائِـدِ (although a single finger can be enough) إِنْ‮ ‬حَـسَّ‮ ‬وَبِاللَّمْسِ (if it touches the penis).

وَهُـوَ‮ ‬عَـلَى أَرْبَـعَةِ‮ ‬أَقْـسَامٍ (Touching involve four situations): (1)  إِنْ‮ ‬قَـصَدَ‮ ‬اللَّذَّةَ (when one sets out to derive pleasure) وَوَجَـدَهَـا (and finds it), فَـعَلَيْهِ‮ ‬الْوُضُوءُ (he should perform wuḍuu’); (2)  وَإِنْ‮ ‬وَجَـدَهَـا (if one finds pleasure), وَلَـمْ‮ ‬يَـقَْـصِدْهَا (but it was not his original intention to derive it), فَـعَلَيْهِ‮ ‬الْـوُضُـوءُ (he should perform wuḍuu’);  (3)  وَإِنْ‮ ‬قََـصَدَهَـا (if he set out to derive pleasure), وَلَـمْ‮ ‬يَجِـدْهَـا (but he did not find it), فَـعَلَيْهِ‮ ‬الْـوُضُـوءُ (he should perform wuḍuu’); (4) وَإِنْ‮ ‬لَـمْ‮ ‬يَـقَْـصِدْ‮ ‬اللَّذَّةَ (if he did not set out to derive pleasure) وَلَـمْ‮ ‬يَجِـدْهَـا (and he did not receive any pleasure), فَـلاَ‮ ‬وُضُـوءَ عَـلَيْهِ‮ ‬ (he need not perform wuḍuu’);

وَلاَ‮ ‬يُـنْتَقِضُ‮ ‬الْـوُضُـوءُ (Wuḍuu’ does not become nullified) بِـمَـسِّ‮ ‬الدُّبْرِ (by touching the rear end of the body),  وَلاَ‮ ‬أُنْـثَيَيْـن (nor the testicles) ,  وَلاَ‮ ‬فَـرْج صَـغِيرَة (nor the opening of the vagina of a small girl),  وَلاَ‮ ‬قَـيْء (nor vomiting) , وَلاَ‮ ‬بِـأَكْـلِ‮ ‬لَـحْـمِ‮ ‬جَـزُور (nor by eating camel meat) ,  وَلاَ‮ ‬حِـجَامَـة (nor cupping),  وَلاَ‮ ‬قَـصْد (nor a venesection),  وَلاَ‮ ‬قَـهْقَهَة فِـي‮ ‬الصّلاَة‮ ‬(nor laughing in prayer),  وَلاَ‮ ‬بِـمَـسِّ‮ ‬امْـرَأةِ‮ ‬فَـرْجَـهَا‮ ‬ (nor a woman touching her vagina). وَقِـيلَ (It  is  said),  إِنْ‮ ‬أَلْـطَفَتْ (if the vagina is fondled), فَـعَلَيْهَا الْـوُضُـوءُ (she should perform wuḍuu’), وَاللَّهُ‮ ‬أَعْـلَمُ (Allah is the Best Knower).

The Characteristics of the Water Used for Minor and Major Ablution From Matn al ʿIzziyyah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الْحَمْدُ‮ ‬لِله رَبِّ‮ ‬الْعَالَـمِـينَ‮ ‬وَأَشْهَدُ‮ ‬أَنْ‮ ‬لاَ‮ ‬إلَـاـه إلاَّ‮ ‬الله وَحْدَهُ‮ ‬لاَ‮ ‬شَرِيكَ‮ ‬لَهُ‮ ‬وَأَشْهَدُ‮ ‬أَنّض مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ‮ ‬وَرَسُولُهُ‮ ‬صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ‮ ‬وَسَلَّم وَعَلَى سَائِرِ‮ ‬الأَنبِيَاءِ‮ ‬وَالْـمُرْسَلـِيـنَ‮ ‬وآلِ‮ ‬كُلِّ‮ ‬التَّابِعِينَ‮ ‬لَهُمْ‮  ‬بِإحْسَانِ‮ ‬إِلَى‮ ‬يَـومِ‮ ‬الدِّينِ

‮ ‬أَمَّا بَعْدُ‮ ‬(As for what comes next:)

 يَقُولَ‮ ‬عَبْدُ‮ ‬الْفَقِيرِ‮ ‬إِلَى الله تَعَالَى أَبُو الْـحَسَنِ‮ ‬عَلِيِّ‮ ‬الْـمَالِكِيِّ‮ ‬الشَّاذِلِيِّ‮ ‬غَفَرَ‮ ‬الله لَهُ‮ ‬وَلِوَالِدَيْهِ‮ ‬وَمَشَايِخِهِ‮ ‬وإِخْوَانِهِ‮ ‬وَسَائِرِ‮ ‬أَهْلِ‮ ‬السُّنّةِ‮ ‬الْـمُحَمَّّدِيِّ

(The poor slave of Allah the Most High, Abūl Ḥasan ʿAlī al-Mālikī ash-Shādhilī may Allah forgive him, his parents, his shaykhs, his brothers and all of the people of the Muḥammadan Sunnah said),

 هَـذِهِ‮ ‬مُـقَدِمَّةٌ (“This is an introduction) فِي‮ ‬مُـسَائِـلَ‮ ‬مِـنَ‮ ‬الْـعِبَادَات (to the questions from the worshippers) وَغَـيْرِ‮ ‬ذَالك (and other than that) عَـلَى مَـذْهَـبِ‮ ‬الإِمَـامِ‮ ‬مَـالِـكِ‮ ‬بِـنْ‮ ‬إَنَـسٍ (about the Madh-hab [School of Islamic Law] of Imām Mālik bin Anas) رَحِـمَهُ‮ ‬الله تَـعالى (may Allah the Most High have mercy on him), لِـيَنْتَفِع الْـوِلْـدَانُ‮ ‬وَنَـحْوُهُـمْ (and may the progeny and others benefit as well).

  أِنْ‮ ‬شَـاءَ‮ ‬الله تَـعَالَـى‮ ‬ (If Allah the Most High wills),‮ ‬لَـخَّصْتُ‮ ‬كِـتَابِـي (I will make it a summary of my book) الْـمُسَمَّى‭:‬عُـمْدَةُ‮ ‬السَّالِكِ‮ ‬عَلَى مَذْهَبِ‮ ‬الإمَامِ‮ ‬مَالِكِ‮ ‬فِي‮ ‬الْعِبَادَاتِ‮ ‬وَغَيرِ‮ ‬ذَالِكَ‮ ‬ (which is entitled ‘Umdatu-l-Saalik ʿalaa Madh-habi-l-Imaam Maalik fii ʿIbaadaati wa Ghayri Dhaalik’), وَسَـمَّيْتُهَا (and I will name this summarization) بِـمُقَدَّمَـةِ‮ ‬العِزِّيَِةِ‮ ‬لِلْـجَـمَاعَةِ‮ ‬الأزْهَـارِيَّةِ (‘Muqadamati-l-ʿIzziyati li-l-Jamaaʿati-l-Azhaariyyah’) مُشتَمِلَةً‮ ‬عَلى أَحَـدَ‮ ‬عَشَـرَ‮ ‬بَابًـا (which consists of eleven chapters.)

The Characteristics of the Water Used for Minor and Major Ablution

قَـال اللََّهُ‮ ‬تَـعَالَى‮ ‬ (Allah the Most High has said [in His Noble Book]): وَاَنْزَلْـنَا مِنَ‮ ‬السَّمَاءِ‮ ‬مَـاءً‮ ‬طَـهُورًا (We have sent down from the sky pure water). الْـمَاءُ‮ ‬الطَّهُورُ (Pure water is) مَـا كَـانَ‮ ‬طَـاهِـرًا (what is pure) فِـي‮ ‬نَـفْسِهِ (in itself) مُطَهِّرًا (and a purifier) لِـغَيْرِهِ (for other substances) – كَـمَاءِ‮ ‬الْبَحْـرِ (like the water of the sea [for example]), وَالْـبِئْرِ (and the well)  وَالْـمَطْرِ (and the rain), إذَا لَـمْ‮ ‬يَـتَغَيَّرْ‮ ‬شَـيْءٌ (as long as nothing has been changed) مِـنْ‮ ‬أَوْصَـافِـهِ‮ ‬الثَّلاَثِ (in one of its three characteristics) – وَهِـيَ (and they are): اللَّوْنُ (the color), وَالطَّعْمُ (the taste),  والرِّيحُ (and the smell) – بِـمَا‮ ‬يَـنْفَكُّ‮ ‬عَـنْهُ‮ ‬غَالِبًا (by something that causes a predominant changes in it),  كَـاللَّبنِ (like milk), وَالْعَسَـلِ (honey), وَالْـبَوْلِ (urine) وَالْعَذِرَةِ (and faeces).

فَـإنْ‮ ‬تَـغٌيَّرَ‮ ‬ (If something changes) مِـنْ‮ ‬أَوْصَـافِـهِ‮ ‬الثَّلاَثِ (one of its three characteristics of the water) ذُكِـرَ (that have been mentioned) وَنَـحْوِهِ (or something similar happens), فَـلاَ‮ ‬يَـصِحُّ‮ ‬الوُضُـوعُ‮ ‬مِـنْهُ (then wuḍuu’ is not valid from its use) وَلاَ‮ ‬الْغُسْـلُ (nor is (ghusl)  وَلاَ‮ ‬الاِسْـتِنْجَاءُ (or istinjaa’).  الـْـمُتَغَيَّرُ (That which has been changed) بِـالطَّاهِـرِ (by (the pure) طَاهِـرٌ (is clean) غَـيْرُ‮ ‬طُـهُورٍ (but not pure enough). يَسْـتَعْمَلُ‮ ‬فِـي‮ ‬الْـعَادَتِ (It can be used for a common purpose use), وَلاَ‮ ‬يَسْـتَعْمَلُ‮ ‬فِـي‮ ‬عِـبَادَاتِ (but cannot be used for purposes of worship). الـْـمُتَغَيَّرُ (that which has been changed) بِـالنَّجِسِ (by the impure) نـَـجِسٌ (is impure)‮ ‬وَلاَ‮ ‬يَسْـتَعْمَلُ‮ ‬فِـي‮ ‬شَـيْءٍ‮  ‬مِـنَ‮ ‬الْـعَادَاتِ (and can neither be used for common purposes) وَلاَ‮ ‬فِـي‮ ‬شَـيْءٍ‮ ‬مِـنَ العبادات (nor purposes of worship).

وَإِذَِا تَـغَيَّرَ (If the change) بِـمَا هُـوَ‮ ‬مِـنْ‮ ‬قِرَارِهِ (is from what has settled at the bottom of it [the water]), كَالتُّرَابِ (such as dust), وَالـْـمِلْحِ (salt), وَالنُّورَة (lime) أَوْ‮ ‬بِـمَا تَوَلَّدَ‮ ‬مِنْهُ (or what grows from it [the water]),‮ ‬كَـالطُّهْـلُب (like moss) أَوْ‮ ‬بِـطُولِ‮ ‬الْـمُكْثِ (or because it has been sitting for a long time), فَـإِنَّهُ‮ ‬لاَ‮ ‬يَـضُرُّ (then it is not considered noxious) وَيَسْـتَعْمَلُ‮ ‬فِـي‮ ‬الْـعَادَتِ (and it can be used for common purposes)  وَالْعِبَادَاتِ (and worship).

وَإِذَا وَقَـعَ‮ ‬ُفِـي‮ ‬الْـمَاءِ‮ ‬الْـقَلِيلِ (If falls into a small amount of water), كَـآنِـيَةِ‮ ‬الْـوُضُـوءِ (like [what may be found in] the vessel containing water for ablution) لِـلْـمُتَوَضِّي (for the one who needs to perform wuḍuu’), وَآنِـيَةِ‮ ‬الْغُسْـلِ (and a vessel containing water for performing major ablution) لِلْـمُغْتَسِـلِ (for the person who is performing major ablution), نَـجَاسَـةً (an impure substance) , ولَـمْ‮ ‬تُـغَيِّرْهُ (and it did not alter it [the water]), فَـإنَّهُ‮ ‬يَـصِحُّ‮ ‬الطَّهِـيرُ‮ ‬بِـههِ (then purification with it is valid), لَـكِنْ‮ ‬يَـكْرَهُ (but it is disliked) إِذَا وَجَـدَ‮ ‬غَـيْرَهُ (if other [water] is found).

وَالْـمَـاءُ‮ ‬الْـمُسْـتَعْمَلُ‮ ‬فِـي‮ ‬الْـوُضُـوء‮ ‬وَالْغُسْـل (Water previously used for wuḍuu’ and ghusl) طَـهُورٌ (is pure); يَـكْرَهُ‮ ‬الطَّهِـيرُ‮ ‬بِـهِ‮ ‬ (purification with it is disliked) مَـعَ‮ ‬وُجُـود (if other water is found). وَفِـي‮ ‬الْـمُسْـتَعْمَلُ‮ ‬فِـي‮ ‬غَـيْرِهِ (In regards to used water) which is used for other than wuḍuu’, like كَـالْـمُسْـتَعْمَلِ‮ ‬فِـي‮ ‬التَّبَرُّدِ (the water used to refresh oneself or cool off) وَغَسْـلِ‮ ‬الْـجُـمُعَةِ (and used of it for the ghusl for the Jumuʿah prayer), قَـوْلاَنَ (there are two views) بِـالْـكَرَاهَـةِ (concerning the disliked for the use of it) عَدَمِهَا (and no problem with the use of it).

What Has Been Related As To Why ʿAmal is Chosen As a Higher Proof of the Sunnah Than the Ḥadith

What Has Been Related As To Why ʿAmal is Chosen As a Higher Proof of the Sunnah Than the Ḥadith

In his book ‘Tartiibu-l-Mudaarik’ Qaadi ʿIyaad has devoted a chapter to what has been transmitted concerning the matter of the ʿAmal being a proof of the Sunnah even if it contradicts hadith.  The title of the chapter which we have quoted and translated in full is ‘The Chapter About What Has Come from the Salaf and the ʿUlamaa About the Necessity for Returning to the ʿAmal of the People Madinah and Its Being a Proof with Them Even If It Differs with Al-Athaar (the related Sound Hadith).’

[ Tartiibu-l-Mudaarik  by al-Qaadi ʿIyaad (Wuzaaratu-l-Awqaaf  Government of Morocco Edition – Ribat) pgs. 44-46 ]

It reads as follows:

روى أن عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله تعلى عنه قال على المنبر احرّج بالله عز و جلّ على رجل روى حديثـًا العمل على خلافه

It has been related that ʿUmar (may Allah be pleased with him) said from the mimbar, “I forbid by Allah Exalted and Mighty is He, any man to relate a Ḥadith with which the ʿAmal differs.

قال ابن القاسم و ابن وهب رأيت العمل عند مالك اقوى من الحديث

Ibn Al-Qaasim and Ibn Wahb said: “I saw that the ʿAmal with Maalik  was stronger than the hadith.”

قال مالك  وقد كان رجال من أهل علم من التابعين يحدثّون بالاحاديث و تبلُغهم عن غيرهم فيقولون ما نجهل هذا و لكن مضى غيره

Maalik  said, “There were people among the men of knowledge from among the Tabi’uun who narrate hadiths and hear other hadiths  and so they say, ‘We are not ignorant of this, but the ʿAmal that has come down to us is different.’ ”

قال مالك رأيت محمد ابن أبي بكر بن عمرو بن حزم و كان قاضيا و أخوه عبد الله كثير الحديث رجل صدق فسمعت عبد الله إذا قضى مجمد بالقاضية قد جاء فيها الحديث مخالفا للقضاء يعاتِبُه يقول له ألم يأت في هذا حديث كذا ؟ فيقول له بلى فيقول له أخوه فما لك لا تقضي به فيقول فأين الناس عنه ؟ يعني ما اجمع عليه من العمل بالمدينة يريد أن العمل به اقوى من الحديث

Maalik  said I saw Muhammad bin Abi Bakr ʿAmr bin Hazm who was a judge and his brother who knew many Ḥadith and who was a man of truth.  I heard ʿAbdullah when Muhammad gave a judgment in the case, mention the Ḥadith which was at variance with the judgment while reproaching him saying to him, “Did this not come in such and such hadith?”  He (Muhammad) said, “Certainly!”  Then his brother (ʿAbdullah) said to him, “Why didn’t you take it into account when you passed judgment?”  Muhammad then said, Where are the people (that is to say: What is the opinion of the people of knowledge) in regards to the matter?”  What he meant is that the practice in Madinah did not agree with it.  He (also) meant by this that the ʿAmal was stronger.”

قال ابن المعذَّل سمعت إنسانًا سأل ابن الماجشون لِمَ رويتم الحديث ثم تركتموه ؟ قال ليعلم أنّا على علم تركناه

Ibn Al-Muʿadh-dhal said, “I heard a man ask Ibn Al-Maajishuun, ‘Why do all of you transmit the Ḥadith and then leave it (that is to say, not act by it)?’  He (Ibn Al-Maajishuun) said, ‘So that it is known that we were fully aware of it while we did not act by it .’ ”

قال ابن مهدي السنّة المتقدّمة من سنة أهل المدينة خير من الحديث و قال أيضًا إنّه ليكون عندي في الباب الاحاديث الكثيرة فأجد أهل العرصة على خلافه فيضعف عندي أو نحوَه

Ibn Mahdi said, “The well established Sunnah from the Sunnah of the people of Madinah is better than hadith.”  He also said, “I have many hadiths on the subject yet I have found Ahlu-l-ʿArsah (the people who teach in the masjid) at variance with them and so they (those hadith) are weak to me or close to that condition.

قال ربيعة ألف عن ألف أُحبّ إلى من واحد عن واحد لان واحد عن واحد ينتزع السنة من ايديكم

Rabiiʿah said one thousand from one thousand is preferable to one from one because one from one would snatch the Sunnah right out of your hands.

قال ابن أبي حازم كان أبو الدرداء يسأل فيجيب فقال له إنّه بلغنا كذا و كذا بخلاف ما قال فيقول و أنا قد سمعته و لكنه ادركت العمل على غير ذلك

Ibn Abii Haazim said, “Abud-Dardaa’ would be questioned and he would answer the questions.  He (the questioner) said to him, ‘Such and such has reached us’ contrary to what he (Abud-Dardaa’) had said, he would say, ‘And I have heard it (also) but I know that the ʿAmal is different.’”

قال ابن أبي الزناد كان عمر بن عبد العزيز يجمع الفقهاء و يسألهم عن السنن و الاقضية التي يعمل بها فيشبتها و ما كان منها لا يعلم به الناس القاه و ان كان مخرجه من ثقة

Ibn Abii-z-Zinaad said, “ʿUmar bin ʿAbdi-l-ʿAziiz use to gather the ʿUlamaa’ and ask them about the Sunnahs and legal judgements.   Those which were acted upon he would affirm and those which the people did not act upon he would discarded even when they came from a trustworthy source.”

قال مالك انصرف رسول الله صلّى الله عليه و سلم من غزوة كذا في نحو كذا و كذا ألفًا من الصحابة مات بالمدينة منهم نحو عشرة آلاف و باقيهم تفرق في البلدان فأيّهما احرى أن يتّبع و يؤخذ بقولهم من مات عندهم النبي صلّى الله عليه و سلّم و اصحابُه الذين ذكرت أو من مات عندهم واحد أو اثنان من اصحاب النبي صلّى الله عليه و سلّم ؟

Maalik , “The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم returned from such and such a ghazwah with so many thousand of the Sahaabah – ten thousand of whom died in Madinah while the remainder became dispersed (through out other) countries.  So which of them is more worthy of being followed and which of them is more worthy of being accepted in what they have said, those among whom the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم  and his Companions died whom I (meaning Maalik) have mentioned or those among whom (only) one or two of the Companions of the Prophet  صلى الله عليه وسلم died?”

قال عبيد الله عبد الكريم الرازي قُبِضَ رسول الله صلّى الله عليه و سلّم عن عشرين ألف عين تطرِف

ʿUbaydallah ʿAbdul Kariim ar-Raazii said, “The messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم died and twenty thousand eyes were weeping eyes.”

Published in: on August 16, 2010 at 16:41  Leave a Comment  

The Rank of Maalik Among the Muhadith-thuun

The Rank of Maalik Among the Muhadith-thuun

The Muwatta is the earliest written source book of Salafii behavior and its best indicator.  It is not a book of analogy or legal theory, but rather it is a book of behavior and action.  Imaam Maalik saw the ʿAmal of Madinah as the foremost behavior for the Muslim ummah.  This why he found it necessary it to codify this behavior in the Muwatta.

The Muwatta of Imaam Maalik  can be defined as both a book of hadiths and a book of ʿAmal – the ʿAmal of Madinah.  In the Muwatta 1,720 hadiths can be found.  Out of this number, 600 hadiths are musnad that is to say traceable directly back to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم without interruption.   222 of the hadiths found in the Muwatta are al-mawquf – those ending with the Prophet’s Companion’s and 285 of the hadiths are sayings of the Tabi’uun – the successors of the Companions.  Thus, out of the 1,720 hadiths found in the Muwatta, 822 Ḥadith come from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم  while 898 are derived from others.

The ‘Amal found in the Muwatta is based on the fundamental principles laid down by the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, as well as authoritative pronouncements of the Khalaafah Rashiiduun and other companions charged with that responsibility, legal opinions and juristic statements of the fuquhaa, verdicts passed down by the Qaadis, and decisions of the past people of authority from the city of Madinah and those who were its current scholars.

In his book Sihhatu Usuuli Ahli-l-Madinah Ibn Taymiyyah has devoted a whole section to the rank of Imaam Maalik  among the muhadith-thuun as well as the position of the Muwatta as a source of the Ḥadith and Sunnah it is quoted in full as follows:

إذا تبين ذلك فلا ريب عند أحد أنّ  مالك رضي  الله عن اقوم الناس بمذهب أهل المدينة رواية و رأيا فإنه لم  يكن في  عصره و لا بعده اقوم بذلك منه كان له من المكانة عند أهل الاسلام الخاص منهم والعام ما لايخفي  على من له بالعلم أدنى المام و قد جمع الحافظ أبو بكر الخطيب  اخبار الرواة عن مالك فبلغوا ألفا و سبعمائة أو نحوها و هؤلا الذين اتصل إلى الخطيب حديثهم بعد قريب من ثلاثمائة سنة فكيف بمن انقطعت اخبارهم أو لمم  يتصل إليه خبرهم فإن الخطيب توفي  سنة اثنتين و ستين و اربعمائة عصره عصر ابن عبد البر و البيهقي  و القاضي  أبي  يعلى  و امثال هؤلاء واحد و مالك توفي  سنة تسع و سبعين و مائة أبو حنيفة سنة خمسين و مائة و توفي  الشافعي  سنة اربع و مائتين و توفي  أحمد بن  حنبل أحدى و اربعين و مائتين

“It is absolutely clear and no one has any doubt that Maalik  was the strongest of the people of the madh-hab of the people of Madinah in respect of both transmission and opinion.  There was no one in his time nor after him who was stronger in those things than him.  Among the people of Islam, both the elite and the common, he has a position which is not hidden from anyone who has the least inspiration of knowledge.  Abu Bakr al-Khatiib has compiled the reports of the transmitters about Maalik  and they reached about 1700.  They are only those whose hadiths reached al-Khatiib after about 300 years, so how about those whose reports were cut off or whose reports did not reach him?  Al-Khatiib died in 462 and he  was contemporary with Ibn ‘ʿAbdu-l-Barr, al-Bayhaqii, Qaadi Abu Ya’laa and others like that, while Maalik   in 179 and Abu Haniifah  died in 150 and Ash-Shaafiʿii  died in 204 and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal  died in 241.

و لهذا قال الشافعي   ما تحت أديم السماء كتاب اكثر صوابا بعد كتاب الله من موطأ مالك و هو كما قال الشافعي   و هذا لا  يعارض ما عليه أئمة الاسلام من أنه ليس بعد القرآن كتاب اصح من صحيح البخاري  و مسلم مع الائمة على أن البخاري أن اصح من مسلم و من رجح مسلما فإنه رجحه بجمعه الفاط الحديث في  مكان واحد فإن ذلك ايسر على من  يريد جمع الفاظ الحديث و أما من زعم أن الاحاديث التي  انفرد بها مسلم أو الرجال الذين انفرد بهم اصح من الاحاديث التي  انفرد بها البخاري  و من الرجال الذين انفرد بهم فهذا  غلط لايشك فيه عالم كما لا  يشك أحد ان  البخاري  اعلم من مسلم بالحديث و العلل و التاريخ و إنه افقه منه إذ البخاري  و أبو داوود أفقه أهل الصحيح و السنن المشهورة و إن كان  قد  يتفق لبعض ما انفرد به مسلم أن  يرجح على بعض ما انفرد به البخاري  فهذا قليل و الغالب بخلاف ذلك فإن الذي  اتفق عليه أهل العلم أنه  ليس بعد القرآن كتاب اصح من كناب البخاري  و المسلم

And for this reason, Ash-Shaafiʿii  said:  ‘There is no book under the surface of heaven more correct after the Book of Allah than the Muwatta’ of Maalik’, and it is just as Ash-Shaafiʿii  said.  This is not in contradiction to what the Imaams of Islam said about there not being after the Qur’an any book sounder than Sahiihi-l-Bukhaarii and Muslim.  According to the Imaams al-Bukhaarii is sounder than Muslim.  Whoever prefers Muslim, prefers him because he place all the versions of each of the Ḥadith together in one place.  That is easier for someone who wants to collect all the versions of the hadith.  As for people who claim that the hadiths which are found in Muslim solely, or the men (from whom he took hadith) solely are sounder than the hadiths which are found solely in al-Bukhaarii or the men (whom he took hadith) solely, this is an error about which no scholar has any doubt, just as no one has any doubts that al-Bukhaarii had more knowledge than Muslim about the hadiths and the defects and the history (of them), and that he knew more fiqh than him.  Al-Bukhaarii and Abu Dawud knew the most fiqh of all of the people of the Sahiihs and famous Sunan.  If it does occur that something found in Muslim exclusively  is preferred to something found in al-Bukhaarii exclusively, this is rare. The majority of cases is contrary to that.  That upon which the people of knowledge agree is that after the Qur’an there is no book sounder than the book of al-Bukhaarii and (the book of) Muslim.”

انما كان هذان الكتابان كذلك لأنه جرد فيهما الحديث الصحيح المسند و لم  يكن القصد بتصنيفهما ذكر آثار الصحابة و التابعين و لا سائر الحديث من الحسن و المرسل و شبه ذلك و لا ريب أن ما جرد فيه الحديث الصحيح المسند عن الرسول الله صلى عليه و سلّم فهو اصح الكتاب لأنه  أصح منقولاً  عن المعصوم من الكتب المصنفة

These two books are looked upon in that manner because the hadiths of sound isnad have been compiled in both of them.  The intent in compiling these two (books) was not to mention the traditions of the Companions and the Tabiʿuun nor even all of the hadiths which are good and the mursal hadiths and what is similar to that. There is no doubt that what has been compiled in it (the Sahiih) are the Ḥadith of sound  isnad from the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم. And so it is the soundest book because it is the soundest transmission from among the impeccable books which have been written.

و أما الموطأ و نحوه فإنه صنف على طريقة العلماء المصنفين إذ ذاك فإن الناس على عهد رسول الله صلى علىه و سلم كانوا  يكتبون القرآن و  كان النبي  صلى الله عليه وسلم قد نهاهم أن  يكتبوا عنه  غير القرآن و قال من كتب عني  شيئا  غير القرآن فليمحه ثم نسخ ذلك عند جمهور العلماء حيث أذن في  الكتابة لعبد  الله بن عمرو و قال اكتبوا لأبي  شاه و كتب لعمر بن حزم كتابا قالوا و كان النهي  أولاً  خوفًا من اشتباه القرآن بغيره ثم أذن لما أمن ذلك فكان الناس  يكتبون من حديث رسول الله ما  يكتبون و كتبوا أيضا  غيره

As for the Muwatta’ and books like it, they were written in the manner of the scholars who wrote at that time.  The people in the time of the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم, people used to write down the Qur’an. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم had forbidden them to write down anything other than the Qur’an from him.  He صلى الله عليه وسلم said, ‘Anyone who has written down anything except the Qur’an should destroy it.’  Then he صلى الله عليه وسلم abrogated that according to the majority of the ʿulamaa’ wherein he صلى الله عليه وسلم gave permission for writing to ʿAbdullaah Ibn ʿAmr.  He صلى الله عليه وسلم said to Abi  Shah اُكْتُبُواْ ‘write (meaning all of you).’  He wrote a document for ʿAmr ibn Hazm.  They (The ʿulamaa’) said that the original prohibition was for fear of making the Qur’an like something else. Then he صلى الله عليه وسلم gave permission when that matter was secure.  Then the people used to write from what they wrote of the hadiths of the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم, and they also wrote down other things.

و لم  يكونوا  يصنفون ذلك في  كتب مصنفة إلى زمن تابع التابعين فصنف العلم فأول من صنف ابن جريح شىئًا في  التفسير و شيئًا في  الاموات و  صنف سعيد ابن أبي  عروبة و حماد بن سلمة و معمر و امثال هؤلاء  يصنفون ما في  الباب عن النبي  صلى عليه و سلّم والصحابة و التابعين و هذه  هي  كانت كتب الفقه و العلم و الأصول و الفروع بعد القرآن فصنف مالك الموطأ على هذه الطريقة و صنف بعد عبد الله بن المبارك و عبد الله و بن وهب و وكيع بن الجراح و عبد الرحمان بن مهدي  و عبدالرزاق و سعيد بن منصور و  غير هؤلاء فهذه الكتب التي  كانوا  يعدونها في  ذلك الزمان هي  التي  اشار إليها الشافعي   فقال ليس بعد القرآن كتاب اكثر صوابا من موطأ مالك فإن حديثه اصح من حديث نظرائه

They did not write that (hadiths etc.) in books which were written until the time of the Tabiʿu-t-Tabiʿiin.  Then knowledge became written. Ibn Jurayh was the first to write something about tafsiir and something about death.  Saʿiid ibn Abii ʿUruubah, Hammaad ibn Salamah, Maʿmar and men like these wrote what is found concerning the subject of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, the Companions and the Tabiʿuun.  These are the books of الفقه (Islamic Law), العلم (knowledge), الأصول (roots) and الفروع (branches) of the Diin after the Qur’an.  Maalik  wrote the Muwatta’ in this manner.  He wrote after ʿAbdullaah ibn al-Mubaarak, ʿAbdullaah ibn Wahb, Wukay’ ibn al-Jarrah, ʿAbdu-r-Rahmaan ibn Mahdi, ʿAbdu-r-Razzaaq, Said ibn Mansuur and others.  These books which were being considered in that time were those which Ash-Shaafiʿii   indicated when he said, ‘There is no book after the Qur’an more correct than the Muwatta’ of Maalik.  His hadiths are sounder that the hadiths of those men who were of an equal rank in knowledge.’

كذلك إمام أحمد لما سئل عن حديث مالك و رأيه و حديث  غيره و رأيهم رجح حديث مالك و ررأيه على حديث أولئك و رأيهم و هذا  يصدق الحديث الذي  رواه الترمذي  و  غيره عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال  يوشك أن  يضرب الناس اكباد الإبل في  طلب العلم فلا  يجدون عالماً  اعلم من عالم المدينة فقد روى عن  غير واحد كابن جريح و ابن عيينة و  غيرهما إنهم قالوا هو مالك

It was like that when Imaam Ahmad  was asked about the Ḥadith and opinion of Maalik  and the Ḥadith and opinion of others.  He preferred the Ḥadith and opinion of Maalik  over the Ḥadith and opinion of those people.  This confirms the Ḥadith which at-Tirmidhii and others related from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم: “A time is quickly approaching when the people will beat the livers of their camels (that is to say drive their camels) in search of knowledge and they will not find an ʿaalim (scholar) more knowledgeable than the ʿaalim of Madinah.”  It has been related by more than one transmitter like Ibn Jurayh, Ibn ʿUyayna and others all of whom said that it is Maalik.

الذين نازعوا في  هذا لهم مأخذان أحدهما الطعن في  الحديث فزعم بعضهم أن فيه انقطاعا و الثاني  انه اراد  غير مالك كالعمرى الزاهد و نحوه  فيقال ما دل عليه الحديث و إنه مالك أمر متقرر لمن كان موجودًا و بالتواتر لمن كان  غائبًا فإنه لا ريب أنه لم  يكن في  عصر مالك أحد ضرب إليه الناس اكباد الإبل اكثر من مالك و هذا  يقرر بوجهين أحدهما  يطلب تقديمه على مثل الثوري  و الأوزاعي  و الليث و أبي  حنيفة و هذا  في  نزاع و لا حاجة إليه في  هذا المقام والثاني  أن  يقال إن مالكا تأخر موته عن هؤلاء كلهم فإنه توفي  سنة تسع و سبعين و مائة و هؤلاء كلهم ماتوا قبل ذلك فمعلوم أنه بعد موت هؤلاء لم  يكن في  الأمة اعلم من مالك في  ذلك العصر و هذا لا  ينازع فيه أحد من المسلمين و لا رحل  إلى مالك لا قبله و لا بعده رحل إلىه من المشرق والمعرب و رحل إليه الناس على اختلاف طبقاتهم من العلماء و الزهاد و الملوك و العامة  و ان انتشرًا موطأ في  الأرض حتى لا  يعرف ذلك العصر كتاب بعد القرآن كان اكثر انتشارًا من الموطأ

Those who challenge this view have two approaches to the (hadith).  One is to dispute the Ḥadith with some of them alleging that there is an interruption in them (that is to say they are not complete), while others maintain that it is someone other than Maalik  who is meant like al-ʿUmarii az-Zaahid and people like him.  It is said that what the Ḥadith demonstrates is the fact that it is Maalik  (who is meant) which is a confirmed matter for all who were present then, and by multiple transmission (tawatir) for all who were not there.  There is no doubt that there was no one in the time of Maalik  to whom people drove their camels more than Maalik.  This is confirmed in two ways.  The first way is by establishing his precedence over people like ath-Thawrii, al-Awzaa’ii, al-Layth, and Abu Haniifah .  While there is dispute about this, there is no need to raise it at this point.  The second confirmation is that it is said that Maalik  died after all them (those who are mentioned above).  He died in 179 and all of them died before that.  So it is known that after the death of those men.

There was no one in the community with more knowledge than Maalik  at that time.  None of the Muslims disputes this.  No one travelled to any ʿulamaa’ of Madinah as the amount of people who travelled to Maalik ,not before him or after him.

They travelled to him from the east and from the west, and people of different levels travelled to him.  They were from among the scholars, the ascetics,  the kings and the common people.  His Muwatta’ spread throughout the land until there was no book known at that time after the Qur’an to have a greater dissemination than the Muwatta’.

أخد الموطأ عنه أهل الحجاز و الشام والعراق واصغر من أخذ عنه الشافعي  ومحمد بن الحسن و امثالهما وكان محمد بن الحسن إذا حدث بالعراق  عن مالك والحجاز بين تمتلئ داره و إذا وإذا حدث عن أهل العراق  يقل الناس لعلمهم بأن علم مالك وأهل المدينة اصح واثبت

The people of the Hijaaz, Syria and Iraaq took the Muwatta’ from him.  The youngest of those who took it from him were Ash-Shaafiʿii , Muhammad ibn al-Hasan and those who were similar to them.  When Muhammad ibn al-Hasan used to related something from Maalik  in Iraaq and the Hijaaz, his house was full, but when he related from the people of Iraaq few people came since they knew that the knowledge of Maalik  and the people of Madinah was sounder and firmer.

وأجل من أخذ الشافعي  العلم إثنان مالك وابن عيينة و معلوم عند كل أحد أن مالكًا أجل من ابن عيينة حتى أنه كان  يقول إني  ومالكا كما قال القائل وابن اللبون إذا ما لز في  قرن لم  يستطع صولة البزل القناعيس

The two people from whom Ash-Shaafiʿii  took the major portion of his knowledge were Maalik  and Ibn ʿUyayna.  It is known by everyone that Maalik  was greater (in knowledge) than Ibn ʿUyayna so that he (ash-Shaafi’ii) used to say, “Maalik  and I are as the sayer aid:

‘The short horned suckling cannot attack and puncture the (more powerful) nine year old.’ ”

ومن زعم أن الذي  ضربت إليه اكباد الإبل في  طلب العلم هو العمري  الزاهد مع كونه كان رجلا صالحا زاهدا   آمرا بالمعروبف ناهيًا عن المنكر لم  يعرف أن الناس احتاجو ا إلى شيء من علمه   و لا رحلوا إليه فيه و كان أذا اراد أمرًا  يستشير مالكًا و  يستفتيه كما نقل إنه استشاره لما كتب إليه من العراق أن  يتولى الخلافة فقال حتى اشاور مالكا فلما استشار اشار عليه أن لا  يدخل في  ذلك و أخبره أن هذا لا  يتركه ولد العباس حتى تراق فيه دماء كثيرة و ذكره له ما ذكره عمر بن عبد العزيز لما قبل له ولّ  القاسم بن محمدا إن بني  أمية لا  يدعون  هدا الأمر حتى تراق فيه دماء كثيرة

As for those who claim that the one to whom the camels livers were beaten in search of knowledge was al-ʿUmarii az-Zaahid – though he was an ascetic righteous man who commanded the right and forbade the wrong – it is not known that people were in need of any of his knowledge or travelled to him for it.  When he himself wanted to know something he would consult Maalik  and ask for his fatwaa concerning it, like what has been transmitted in that he (al-ʿUmari) consulted him (Maalik) when he wrote to him from Iraaq about them assuming the khalifate there.  He said, “Not until I consult Maalik .”  When he consulted him, he (Maalik) advised him that he (al-ʿUmari) should not involve himself in the matter and informed him that the descendants of al-ʿAbbas would not give it up without a lot of blood being spilled over it.  He mentioned to him what ʿUmar ibn ʿAbdu’l-ʿAziz had mentioned when he was told, ‘Appoint al-Qaasim ibn Muhammad.’  He said, ‘The Banu ʿUmayyah will not give up this command until a lot of blood is spilled over it.’

وهذه علوم التفسير والحديث والفتيا وغيرها من العلوم لم  يعلم أن الناس اخذوا عن العمري  الزاهد منها ما  يدكر فكيف  يقرن هذا بمالك في  العلم و رحلة الناس إليه

As for the knowledge of tafsiir and Ḥadith and fatwaas, and other kinds of knowledge, it is not known that people took any of fore-mentioned (kinds of knowledge) from al-ʿUmari az-Zaahid, so how can he be compared to Maalik  with respect to knowledge and the people travelling to him for it?

ثم هذه كتب الصحيح التي  أجل ما فبها كتاب البخاري  أول ما  يستفتح الباب بحديث مالك وإن كان في  الباب شيء من حديث مالك لا  يقدم على حديث  غيره و نحن نعلم أن الناس ضربوا اكباد الأبل في  طلب العلم فلم  يجدوا عالما اعلم من مالك في وقته

Then even in the books of Sahiih collections of which the book of al-Bukhaarii is the most important, the first Ḥadith with which he begins the chapter is the Ḥadith of Maalik , and if there is any Ḥadith of Maalik   on the subject, he does not put other Ḥadith ahead of it.  We know that people beat the livers of their camels to search for knowledge and did not find any man of knowledge with more knowledge than Maalik  in his time.

والناس كلهم مع مالك وأهل المدينة إما موافق وإما منازع فالموافق لهم عضد ونصير والمنازع لهم معظم لهم مبجّل لهم عارف بمقدارهم وما تجد من  يستخفّ  باقوالهم ومذاهبهم إلاّ  من ليس معدودًامن أئمة العلم وذلك لعلمهم أن مالكا هو قائم بمذهب أهل المدينة وهو اظهر عند الخاصة والعامة من رجحان مذهب أهل المدينة على شائر الامصار .

As for all of the other people with respect to Maalik and the people of Madinah, either they agreed with them or disagreed with them.   Whoever agreed with them was a helper and a supporter, and whoever disagreed with them still respected them and regarded them with high esteem while acknowledging their worth.  You will not find anyone who disrespects or gives little value to their words and their madhaahib except for someone who is not counted among the leaders of knowledge.  That is because they know that Maalik  is the chief proponent of the madh-hab of the people of Madinah.  The superiority in importance and influence of the madh-hab of the people of Madinah over the rest of cities is clear.

فإن موطأه مشحون إما بحديث أهل المدينة و إما بما اجتمع عليه أهل المدينة إما قديمًا وإما حديثًا وإما مسألة تنازع فيها أهل المدينة  وغيرهم ويختار فيها قولاً  ويقول هدا احسن ما سمعت فأما بآثار معروفة عند علماء المدينة

His Muwatta is filled either with the Ḥadith of the people of Madinah or with that which the people of Madinah agreed upon both old or new.  As for those matters about which the people of Madinah and others differed, he had a favorite statement concerning them.  He would say, “This is the best of what I have heard,” and so it was by traditions well-known to the ʿulamaa’ of Madinah.

و لسنا ننكر أن من الناس من انكر على مالك مخالفته أولا لاحديثهم في  بعض المسائل كما  يذكر عن عبد العزبز الدراوردي  إنه قال له في  مسألة تقدير المهر بنصاب السرقة تعرقة  يا أبا عبد الله أي  صرت فيها إلى قول أهل العرلق الذين  يقدرون اقل المهر  يناصب السرقة لكن النصاب  عند أبي  حنيفة و اصحابه عشرة دراهم و أما مالك و الشافعي  و أحمد فالنصاب عندهم ثلاثة دراهم أو ربع دينار كما جاءت بذلك الاحاديث الصحاح

We do not deny that among the people who contend with Maalik ,  differing with him first, about some questions like the ones which are mentioned that came from ʿAbdu-l-ʿAziiz ad-Daraawardii.  He said to him regarding the question of the amount of the bride-price being determined by the minimum for theft, ‘You already know, Oh Abu ʿAbdullaah!.’  That is to say, you have already taken the position of the people of Iraaq who have determined that the minimum of the bride-price as the minimum amount of theft, but the minimum with Abu Haniifah  and his companions is ten dirhams, and with Maalik , Ash-Shaafiʿii , and Ibn Hanbal , the minimum is three dirhams or a quarter of a dinaar, as has come in sound hadiths.

فيقال أولا إن مثل هذه الحكاية تدل علي  ضعف اقاويل أهل العراق عند أهل المدينة و إنهم كانوا  يكرهون الرجل أن  يوافقهم و هذا مشهور عندهم  يعيبون الرجل بذلك كما قال إبن عمر لما استفتاه عن دم البعوض و كما قال ابن المسيب لربيعة لما سأله عقل اصابع المرأة

It is said first of all that stories like these show the weakness of the positions of the people of Iraaq in the view of the people of Madinah, and that they used to dislike the man that agreed with them [the Iraaqis].  This is famous among them – that they would censure a man for that, like what Ibn ʿUmar said when he was asked to give a fatwaa concerning the blood of gnats and like what Ibn-al-Musayyab’s said to Rabiiʿah when he asked him about the blood money for a woman’s fingers.

وأما الثاني  فمثل هذا في  قول مالك قليل جدًا و ما من عالم إلاّ  و له ما  يرد عليه وما احس ما قال إبن خويزمنداد في  مسألة بيع كنب الرأي  والإجارة عليها لا فرق عندنا بين رأى صاحبنا مالك وغيره في  هدا الحكم لكنه اقل خطأ من  غيره

Secondly something like this in the speech of Maalik is very rare.  There is no scholar who does not have something which can be refuted.  How excellent is what Ibn Khuwayzmindad said about the question of selling books of opinion and taking a payment for it.  ‘We believe that there is no difference between the opinion of our companion Maalik  and others in this principle, but he was less subject to error than other people.’

وأما الحديث فاكثره نجد مالكا قد قال به في  إحدى الروايتين و إنما تركه طائفة من اصحابه كمسألة رفع اليدين عند الركوع و الرفع منه و  أهل المدينة رووا عن مالك الرفع موافقا للحديث الصحيح الذي  رواه لكن إبن القاسم ونحوه من البصريين هم الذين قالوا برواية الأولى و معلوم أن مدونة أبن القاسم أصلها مسائل أسد بن الفرات التي  فرعها أهل العراق ثم سأله عنها أسد ابن القاسم فاجابه بالنقل عن مالك و تارة  بالقياس على قوله ثم أصلها في  رواية سحنون فلهذا  يقع في  كلام ابن القاسم طائفة من الميل إلي  اقوال أهل العراق و أن لم  يكن ذلك من أصول أهل المدينة

As for the hadith, the majority which we find from Maalik  have been reported by him through one of two transmissions, even though some of it was abandoned by his companions, like the question of lifting the hands going into rukuu’ and when rising up from it.  The people of Madinah related from Maalik  that the raising of them is in accordance with the sound Ḥadith which he related, but Ibn al-Qaasim and other Basrans reported the former transmission.  It is known that the main reason for the writing of the Mudawwana of Ibn al-Qaasim was the questions of Asad ibn al-Furaat which he received from the People of Iraaq.  Then Asad asked Ibn al-Qaasim about them and he replied to him either with a direct transmission from Maalik or sometimes with his own words.  Then the source of its transmission was Sahnuun. This is why the words of Ibn al-Qaasim contain an inclination towards the words of the people of Iraaq, even if that is not from the fundamental principles of the people of Madinah.”

Published in: on August 16, 2010 at 16:36  Leave a Comment  

The Origin of the Sunnah

The Origin of the Sunnah

The Sunnah is a model pattern of behavior.  Ibn Mandhuur in his Lisaanu-l-Arab on the authority of at-Tahdhiibu-l-Lughah compiled by Abu Mansuur Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Azhar al Haraawī has defined the term sunnah in the following manner:  السُّنَّةُ  هِـيَ  الطَّرِيقَةُ  الْـمَحْـمُودَةُ  الْمُسْـتَقيمَةُ (the Sunnah is the commendable straight way).  And so the sunnah is a model behavior and an exemplary conduct which is followed by those who regard it as the most correct example of behavior without deviating to the right or to the left and without paying attention to any other way.

The original and primary meaning of the verb  سَـن (sanna) from which the word  سُـنّة  (sunnah) has been derived is he introduced; he set an example. Thus, the sunnah was an example that had been set or introduced.  From this concept came a secondary meaning he followed a trodden path .  It can be seen from that, that the original meaning for the word sunnah is a practice which was introduced and exemplified by a previous person or a former group of people as a way of behaving which became the most correct and normal behavior for the people who followed them.

The term سُـنّة اللّه (Sunnatu-l-laah) which has been used in the Qur’an in Surahs 33:38; 33:62 (twice); 35:43 (twice); 40:35 and 48:23 (twice) means the natural and moral law governing the rise and fall of nations of the world.  Both the verbal noun form سنة   (sunnah) and its verb form   سنّ (sanna) when applied as one of Allah’s actions or what is a manifestation of one of Allah’s actions means: He prescribed or manifested something.  This is further evidence that the original meaning of sunnah signified  something that is introduced rather than something that is followed .

Its second meaning, does not come from the first form root  verb سَـنَّ (sanna), but rather from its derived forms such as  اِسْـتَسَنَّ  ( istasannaa), تَـسَنَّنَ  (tasannana),  اِسْـتَـنَّ (istanna) all of which mean he followed .  From these verbs forms we are able to form a sentence with any one of the three verbs – for example:

اِسْـتَنَّ  سُنَّةَ  مُحَمَّدٍ – (istanna Sunnah Muhammad [He followed the Sunnah of Muhammad]) meaning: عَمِلَ بِهَا (ʿamila bihaa [He acted in accord with it]) or اِسْتَسَنَّ  بِصِرَاتِهِ  (istasanna bi ṣiraatihi [He followed his way or path]) meaning: اِتَّبَعَهَا (ittabaʿahaa [he observed, took heed, bore kept in mind (his duty) to follow the way, path or conduct of]) فُـلاَن فُـلاَن (fulaan fulaan [so and so]).  Therefore this second meaning for the word sunnah has come to mean model behavior, exemplary conduct or a set example and although someone can set a bad example or bad sunnah, if he desires it to be followed by others, he probably did not intend to set a bad example and in his mind he believes his behavior to be correct.  Thus, the word sunnah is always applied to positive intent although the outcome may be negative.

The phrase سنّة النبي (Sunnat-an-Nabii [Sunnah of the Prophet]), سنّة الرسول  (Sunnat-ur-Rasuul [Sunnah of the Messenger]) and سنّة محمّد (Sunnatu Muhammad [Sunnah of Muhammad]) do not appear in the Holy Qur’an.  The term which appears in the Holy Qur’an to describe the behavioral pattern of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم   is ‘uswatun hasanatun’ (an excellent example).  The word sunnah being used in connection with the Prophet  صلى الله عليه وسلم  seems to have originated from the Prophet himself صلى الله عليه وسلم .  In His last sermon delivered during his farewell pilgrimage to Makkah which is reported in the Muwatta of Imaam Maalik  as follows:

“Yahya related to me from Maalik  that he heard that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, ‘I have left among you two matters.  You will never go astray if you hold fast to them: the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet.’”

And so even though the phrase Sunnat-ur-Rasuul (Sunnah of the Messenger does not appear in the Holy Qur’an, it is clear that the concept of Sunnat-ur-Rasuul has been established since the beginning of the Prophet’s mission and the existence of a Sunnah that belongs to the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم and that is derived from his example is confirmed by the words of Allah the Most High

In the Holy Qur’an:

“Surely in the Messenger of Allah is ‘uswatun hasanatun’ (a good example) for you, who expect (to encounter) Allah and the Last Day.”

The Sunnah of the Prophet  صلى الله عليه وسلم is divided into three matters: سنة فعله  (sunnatu fiʿalihi [the sunnah of what the Prophet  صلى الله عليه وسلم did]), سنة قوله (sunnatu qawlihi [the sunnah of what he  صلى الله  يه و سلم said]) and سنة التقرير (the confirmed sunnah of what was done or said in his presence and he did not disapprove it).

This standard of conduct or Sunnah was not only practiced during the life time of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, but continued to be practiced after his lifetime.  The Ṣaḥaabah, the Tabiʿuun  and the Tabiʿu-t-Tabiʿiin continued to apply these fundamental principles in the early Madinan community on a more elaborate scale due to new and developing problems which confronted that ever expanding Muslim community.  As a result, the Sunnah of the Prophet began to take shape as ‘formal law’ (fiqh) and a ‘normative practice’ (ʿAmal) which was based on ‘the past practice’ (al-ʿamalu-s-saalif), and with the passage of time, two distinct and sometimes opposing views evolved concerning the process of deriving the Sunnah.  The first and earlier view was based on the idea that the on going behavioral practice of the Muslims was linked to the Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم not only by oral traditions (ḥadiths), but also by the behavioral tradition (ʿAmal) going back to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم  and the two generations that followed his.

Published in: on August 16, 2010 at 16:28  Leave a Comment  

The Amal of Madinah: Imaam Maalik’s View

The Amal of Madinah: Imaam Maalik’s View

Imaam Maalik considered the ʿAmal of the people of Madinah as a primary source and he relied upon it for his futaawaa (legal judgements).  Thus in the Muwatta, Imaam Maalik says quite often after mentioning reports and hadiths, “The matter is unanimously agreed upon by us” or he would mention a chain of authorities upon whom he relied heavily when there wasn’t a transmitted hadith.  It has been expressed in his letter to al-Layth bin Sa’d which demonstrated his great reliance upon them as well as his disapproval of those who followed other than their way.  An example of Imaams Maalik’s disapproval of other ways comes at the very beginning of this letter.  It reads as follows:

“From Maalik  bin Anas to al-Layth bin Saʿd as-Salaamu alaykum:

I praise before you Allah other than Whom there is no god.  After this, may Allah grant us and you protection by means of obedience to Him secretly and openly.

May He grant us and you full pardon from every unacceptable thing.  Know, may Allah have mercy on you, that it has reached me that you al-Layth ibn Sa’d, are giving fatwas to the people with things which are inconsistent with what is agreed upon by those of us (the fuquhaa of Madinah) and (the people) of our city.

You –  by virtue of your trustworthiness, your excellence and your rank among the people of your city, and the dependency of those around you upon you and the reliance of them upon what comes to them from you – should in reality have fear for yourself and you should follow that which by following it you hope to be safe.  For Allah, the Most High has said in His Book:

‘The forerunners, the first of the Muhaajiruun and the Ansaar and those who followed them in the performance of good deeds, Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him.  He has made ready for them gardens with rivers flowing beneath them, timelessly forever without end.  That is the great victory.’  9:101

And  the Most High has said,

‘So give glad tidings to the slave who listen to the speech and follows that which is best…   39:17-18

Therefore the other people must follow the people of Madinah.  To it the Hijrah was made and in it the Qur’an was revealed, the lawful was declared lawful and the unlawful was declared unlawful while the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم was in their midst and they were in the presence of revelation to the Messenger Of Allah  صلى الله عليه وسلم and the act of revelation itself.  He صلى الله عليه وسلم gave them commands and they obeyed him.  He صلى الله عليه وسلم established the Sunnah for them and they followed him until Allah brought his life to an end and chose for him the reward of His Presence.  The Prays of Allah be upon him and His Peace, His Mercy and His Blessings.

Then after him صلى الله عليه وسلم, those people from his ummah who obeyed him, rose up and assume authority by means of that which had been sent down to them.  Whatever they knew, they acted by.  Whatever they didn’t have knowledge of, they asked questions concerning it. Then they adopted that which they found to be the strongest position. As a result of their ijtihaad and their direct knowledge of the matter through experience, memory or proximity.  If there were those who held a different opinion or people expressed other opinions which were stronger or more worthy to be followed, they would set their own opinions aside, and follow and practice the others’ opinion.  Then the Tabiʿuun came after them following that same path.  They followed that Sunnah.

Therefore, if a matter in Madinah is clearly practiced, I am not of the opinion that anyone has the right to go contrary to it because of the legacy which they (the people of Madinah) possess.  They (The other people) are  not allowed to assume this or presume this.  If the people of the (other) cities begin saying, ‘This is the ʿAmal which is in our city and this is what was done in it by those who passed from   among us, they wouldn’t have certainty about that nor would that be permissible for them to claim.  Therefore, be careful.  May Allah have mercy upon you in this matter that I have written to you about.

Know that it is my hope that I have not been called to write this to you except out of the desire to give sincere counsel for sake of Allah glory be to Him.  I continue to hold you in the highest regard and to have the best thoughts about you.  Therefore give this letter of mine to you the closeness to your heart which it deserves.  If you do this, you will know that I have spared no efforts in giving you sincere advice.  May Allah give us and you the success to be able to obey Him and to obey His Prophet in every matter and in every circumstance, and peace be upon and the mercy of Allah and His blessings.”

In this statement Imaam Maalik  makes it clear that he believes it is unsound for the rest of the people in the other regions to differ with the ʿAmal of the people Madinah and in fact the other should follow ʿAmal.  Then, he further clarifies what he means after that with proof which defends his position and this way which he follows.  The basis of this proof is that the fact that the Qur’an which contains the Laws (was revealed in Madinah) and the Fiqh of Islam was revealed in Madinah and its people were the first of those who turn towards the precepts of the Diin and to be addressed about command and prohibition.  They obeyed Allah’s command.    They stood as pillars of the Diin.  Then after the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, Abu Bakr, ʿUmar and ʿUthmaan assumed leadership over them and the people of the Prophet’s Ummah obeyed them and carried out his Sunnah صلى الله عليه وسلم after aspiring it and studying it from the very beginning.  Then after them came the Tabiʿuun following the same path and following that (same) Sunnah.  It is by this that Madinah became the inheritor of the knowledge of the Sunnah.  The fiqh of Islam was strictly adhered to by the Tabiʿu Tabiʿiin.  It is that strict adherence which in Imaam Maalik’s view which does not allow for anyone else (from the other regions) to differ with it because of the inheritance with which the People of Madinah had been entrusted and because none of the other Muslims could to claim this about their city nor presume this about themselves.

This is Imaam Maalik’s proof about the matter which he advances in support of the ʿAmal of the Madinah and at times he use to place the ʿAmal of people of Madinah above the hadith.  Thus the reason that he usually mentions why he held such a view was that this ʿAmal which is practiced in Madinah is based on well known transmitted Sunnah and the well known Sunnah is placed above transmitted hadith.

It is obvious that Imaam Maalik  was not the first to hold this view however.  We have seen the opinion of Rabiiʿah his Shaykh whose opinion has been mention above: “a thousand from a thousand is better than one from one.”

Imaam Maalik  said, “Men from the people of knowledge and the Tabiʿiin have related the hadiths and we are not unaware of this, but the ʿAmal is passed on in a different way.  He said I saw Muhammad bin Abi Bakr ʿAmr bin Hazm who was a judge and his brother who knew many Ḥadith and who was a man of truth.  I heard ʿAbdullaah when Muhammad gave a judgment in the case, mention a Ḥadith which was at variance with the judgment while reproaching him.  ʿAbdullaah said to him, “Did this not come in such and such hadith?”  Muhammad said, “Certainly!  Then ʿAbdullaah said, “Why didn’t you take into account when you passed judgment?”  Muhammad then said, “Where are the people (that is to say: What is the opinion of the people of knowledge) in regards to the matter?”  What he meant is that the practice in Madinah did not agree with it.  The ʿAmal is stronger.”

As previously stated, it can be seen that Imaam Maalik   did not introduce this position (that the ʿAmal is stronger than the hadith) but rather, he was following a path that had been trodden by others before him from among the Tabiʿuun and the people of knowledge.  However, this view became well known through him because it was a position taken by him in the deliverance of (his) formal legal opinions and because some of what he gave as legal opinions has been recorded as being at variance with the reported Ḥadith which he had transmitted.  It was in the successive Islamic ages which followed his, that he became more well known than those from whom he took it.  Thus the position became ascribed to him however he was a follower of it and not its originator.

Published in: on August 16, 2010 at 16:26  Leave a Comment  

The ʿAmal of Madinah is The Original Salafī Way

The ʿAmal of Madinah is The Original Salafī Way

Ibn Taymiyyah said concerning this matter in his well known book: صحة أصول مذهب أهل المدينة  (The Soundness of the Fundamental Principles of the Madh-hab of the People of Madinah),

الحمد لله،‏  مذهب أهل المدينة النبوية‏  – دار السنة ودار الهجرة ودار النصرة إذ فيها سن الله لرسوله محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم سنن الإسلام وشرائعه وإليها هاجر المهاجرون إلى الله ورسوله وبها كان الأنصار الذين تبوءوا الدار والإيمان من قبلهم‏

“Praise belongs to Allah.  It is the Madh-hab of the people of Madinah – the City of the Prophet صلى اللّه عليه وسلّم, the Abode of the Sunnah, the Abode of Hijrah, the Abode of Assistance.  In Madinah Allah prescribed the Sunnah of Islam and His Shariiʿah, to Madinah the Muhaajiruun emigrated to Allah and His messenger صلى اللّه عليه وسلّم, and in Madinah were the Ansaar – ‘…those who lived in the Abode before them [the Muhaajiruun] and had adopted  faith…’ [59:9]

مذهبهم في‏  زمن الصحابة والتابعين وتابعيهم أصح مذاهب أهل المدائن الإسلامية شرقا وغربا،‏  في‏  الأصول والفروع

Their Madh-hab which existed in the time of the Sahaabah, the Taabiʿuun, Taabiʿu Taabiʿiin was the soundest of the Madh-habs of the people of all the cities of Islam in the east and in the west – in both Usuul (roots) and Furuuʿ (branches).”

Ibn Taymiyyah said in regards to the first three generations :

وهذه الأعصار الثلاثة هي‏  أعصار القرون الثلاثة المفضلة،‏  التي‏  قال فيها النبي‏  صلى الله عليه وسلم في‏  الحديث الصحيح من وجوه : ‏  خير القرون القرن الذي‏  بعثت فيهم،‏  ثم الذين‏  يلونهم،‏  ثم الذين‏  يلونهم‬‏ )

These three eras are (the eras) of the three most oustanding generations about which the Prophet said in the sound hadith, “The best of the generationsis the generation to whom I was sent, then those who come after them, and then those who come after them.” (narrated by ‘Imraan bin Husayn in Sahīh Muslim, the Virtues of the Sahaabah, chapter 52 hadīth no. 2535)

Ibn Taymiyyah continues:

أما أحاديث الثلاثة ففي‏  الصحيحين عن عبد الله بن مسعود قال : ‏  قال رسول الله صلى الله تعالى عليه وسلم  ( خير أمتي‏  القرن الذين‏  يلونني‏  ثم الذين‏  يلونهم ثم الذين‏  يلونهم

As for the three hadīth found in both Saḥīḥs from Ibn Masʿūd, he said, “The Messenger of Allah said صلى الله تعالى عليه وسلم, ‘The best of my community is the generation who follows me, then those who follow them.’ ”

وفي‏  صحيح مسلم عن عائشة رضي‏  الله عنها قالت :   ‏ ( سأل رجل رسول الله صلى الله تعالى عليه وسلم‬‏ :  أي‏  الناس خير‬؟  قال : ‏  القرن الذي‏  بعثت فيهم،‏  ثم الثاني،‏  ثم الثالث _ ‏ ) ‏

And in Saḥīh Muslim, ʿĀishah رضي‏  الله عنها  said, “A man asked the Messenger of Allah صلى الله تعالى عليه وسلم which people are better? He said, ‘The generation to whom I was sent, then the second and then the third.’”

Ibn Taymiyyah further states:

وفى القرون التي‏  أثنى عليها رسول الله صلى الله تعالى عليه وسلم،‏  كان مذهب أهل المدينة أصح مذاهب أهل المدائن،‏  فإنهم كانوا‏  يتأسون بأثر رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أكثر من سائر الأمصار،‏  وكان‏  غيرهم من أهل الأمصار دونهم في‏  العلم بالسنة النبوية واتباعها،‏  حتى إنهم لا‏  يفتقرون إلى نوع من سياسة الملوك،‏  وأن افتقار العلماء ومقاصد العباد،‏  أكثر من افتقار أهل المدينة حيث كانوا أغنى من‏  غيرهم عن ذلك كله،‏  بما كان عندهم من الأثار النبوية التي‏  يفتقر إلى العلم بها واتباعها كل أحد،‏  ولهذا لم‏  يذهب أحد من علماء المسلمين إلى أن إجماع أهل مدينة من المدائن حجة‏  يجب اتباعها‏  غير المدينة،‏  لا في‏  تلك الأعصار ولا فيما بعدها،‏  لا إجماع أهل مكة ولا الشام ولا العراق ولا‏  غير ذلك من أمصار المسلمين

ومن حكى عن أبي‏  حنيفة،‏  أو أحد من أصحابه أن إجماع أهل الكوفة حجة‏  يجب اتباعها على كل مسلم،‏  فقد‏  غلط على أبي‏  حنيفة وأصحابه في‏  ذلك،‏  وأما المدينة فقد تكلم الناس في‏  إجماع أهلها،‏  واشتهر عن مالك وأصحابه أن إجماع أهلها حجة،‏  وإن كان بقية الأئمة‏  ينازعونهم في‏  ذلك والكلام،

“In the generations which the Messenger of Allah صلى اللّه عليه وسلّم praised, the Madh-hab of the people of Madinah was the soundest of the madh-habs of the people of the cities.  They followed in the footsteps of the Messenger of Allah صلى اللّه عليه وسلّم more than the rest of the cities.  The people from the other cities had  less knowledge about the Prophetic Sunnah than them and they followed it less.  They were not in need of the administration of the rulers.  The needs of the scholars and the needs of the worshippers (elsewhere) were more than the needs of the people Madinah. This is due to the fact they (The People of Madinah) had less need than the others for any of these things because of what they possessed from the Prophetic Traditions which everyone needs to know and to follow.  It is for this reason, that none of the ‘ulamaa (scholars) of the Muslims was of the opinion that the ijmaaʿ (consensus) of any city from among the cities of the Muslims other than Madinah was a proof which should be followed – not in that era nor eras which follow – not the ijmaaʿ of the people Makkah, Ash-Shaam, Iraaq – nor that of any of the other cities of the Muslims.  Those who relate from Abu Haniifah  or one of his companions that the ijmaaʿ of al-Kuufah is a proof which must be followed by every Muslim have placed Abu Haniifah  and his companions in error by relating that.  As for Madinah, the people have conversed about the ijmaaʿ of its people and it is well known from Maalik  and his companions that the ijmaaʿ of its people is a proof and that the rest of the  Imaams contest them on that.”

Ibn Taymiyyah again says:

فأما الأعصار الثلاثة المفضلة فلم‏  يكن فيها بالمدينة النبوية بدعة ظاهرة البتة،‏  ولا خرج منها بدعة في‏  أصول الدين البتة،‏  كما خرج من سائر الأمصار

“As for the three preeminent eras (the eras of the Prophet صلى اللّه عليه وسلّم and his Ṣaḥaabah, the Tabiʿuun and the Tabiʿu Tabiʿiin), there was no clear bidʿah (innovation) in the Prophetic City of Madinah during those eras at all nor did any innovation in usuulu-d-diin (the fundamental principles of religion) emerge from it like what emerge from the rest of the cities.”

Published in: on August 16, 2010 at 16:24  Leave a Comment  

Madh-hab and ʿAmal

Madh-hab and ʿAmal

What must be clearly understood at the out set of this discussion about madh-hab is that the concept madh-hab with regards to Imaam Maalik  and the people of Madinah is totally different to the concept of Madh-hab which is applied to the other cities and their Imaams and their Madh-habs.  The original and early meaning ofmadh-haab with regards to the people of Madinah is synonymous with the meaning for the word ʿAmal.  In the Muwatta, Imaam Maalik  refers to the ʿAmal as:

الأَمْرُ  الْـمَعْمُولُ  بِهِ  وَمَعْرِفَةٌ  ذَلِكَ  فِي  صُدُورِ  النَّاسِ  وَمَا مَاضَى مِنْ  عَمَلِ  الْـمَاضِي  فِيهِ

Al-‘amru-l-maʿmuul bihi wa maʿrifah dhaalika fii suduuri-n-naasi wa maa maadaa min ʿAmali-l-maadii fihi

‘The matter is practiced by the people, and the knowledge of that is in the hearts of the people, and it is done in accordance with the ʿAmal (practice) of the past’ [ al-Muwatta with the sharh (Commentary) of az-Zurqaanii]

ʿAmal is the action or practice which is done in accordance with or on the strength of the behavior or actions of someone.  The ʿAmal of Madinah therefore is the action or practice of the people of Madinah who sought to perform every action or practice in accordance with or on the strength of the behavior and actions of Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, the Sahaabah, the Tabiʿuun and the Tabiʿu-t-Tabiʿiin.

Thus, it can be clearly seen that the ʿAmal of Madinah’ in reality is no more than the Sunnah of Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم combined with the accepted practices of the Salaf (The Worthy Predecessors) – the people of three generations – whom the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم called outstanding in the well known and sound hadiths.  In regards to this matter Imaam Maalik  is reported to have said:

“…I have thus said that it is my opinion after having considered the matter deeply in relation to the Sunnah and what has been endorsed by the people of knowledge who are worthy of being followed and what the practice has been from the time of the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم, and the Rightly Guided Khalifs along with those whom I have met in my life-time.  It is their opinion (I have followed) and I have not gone beyond them for (the opinion) of anyone else (لَـمْ  أَخْـرُجْ  عَـنْ  جُـمْلَتِهِمْ  إِلَـى  غَـيْرِهِـمْ [lam akhruj ‘an jumlatihim ilaa ghayrihim]).”

There are phrases and expressions which Imaam Maalik uses in the Muwatta that clearly indicate that what he means by the word Sunnah is the establish practice or authoritative precedent that is to say the establish practice or authoritative precedent of either the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, or the members of the three preeminent generations or the ʿulamaa of the city who were his contemporaries.   Some of these phrases and expressions are as follow:

١.‬  سنة نبيه

1. Sunnatu Nabiyyihi – The Sunnah of His prophet

٢ . …  السنة عندنا التي  لا اختلاف فيها

2. … the Sunnah with us in which there is no disagreement concerning it.

٣ . و تلك السنة التي  لا اختلاف فيها عندنا و الذي  لم  يزل عليه عَمَلُ  الناس

3. This is the Sunnah in which there is no difference of opinion among us and which is still the ʿAmal of the people.

٤ . فهذا الذي  كنت اسمع و الذي  عليه أمر الناس عندنا

4. And so this is what I have heard and it is the practice the people among us.

٥ . السنة عندنا و الذي  الدركت عليه أهل العلم ببلدنا  …

5. The Sunnah with us  and  which I saw the people of knowledge in our city doing it …

٦ .  فهذا الأمر عندنا و الذي  سمعت من أهل العلم

6. This is the practice among us and that which I have heard from the people of knowledge.

٧ . وبلغني  أن عمر بن الخطاب قال …

7. And it has reached me that ʿUmar bin al-Khattaab said …

٨ .  وهو الأمر الذي  لم  يزل عليه أهل العلم ببلدنا

8. It is the practice which the people of knowledge in our city continue to do.

As for the word مَـذْهَـب (madh-hab), it is rooted in the first form verb ذَهَـبَ (dhahaba) which means he went , while ذَهَـبَ  إِلَـى (dhahaba ilaa) means he held  the view, he was of the opinion and the phrase ذَهَبَ مَذْهَبَهُ (dhahaba madh-habahu) means he embraced so and so’s ideas; he followed so and so’s principles or rules; he went the way so and so went.  Thus, when Imaam Maalik  said he considered a matter according to the madh-hab of the people of Madinah he meant that he was making legal judgements according to the opinion, way and/or method of the people of knowledge in Madinah who were his contemporaries or were his predecessors going back to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم.  Even when he is force to use ijtihaad,

Imaam Maalik sets as his boundary the  madh-hab or way of the people of Madinah.  It is reported that Imaam Maalik  said:

“Where I have heard nothing from them (the scholars of Madinah), I have used my own judgement and considered the matter according to the madh-hab (way) of those whom I met, until I felt that I had arrived at the truth, or near it, so that it would not be outside of the madh-hab of the people of Madinah and their opinions…”

And so it can be seen from this statement, that in its early usage, the word madh-hab is nearly synonymous with the word ʿAmal.  Therefore, it can be said that Imaam Maalik’s madh-haab was the ʿAmal of Madinah.

Ibn Taymiyyah said concerning this matter,

الحمد لله،‏  مذهب أهل المدينة النبوية‏  – دار السنة ودار الهجرة ودار النصرة إذ فيها سن الله لرسوله محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم سنن الإسلام وشرائعه وإليها هاجر المهاجرون إلى الله ورسوله وبها كان الأنصار الذين تبوءوا الدار والإيمان من قبلهم‏

“Praise belongs to Allah.  It is the Madh-hab of the people of Madinah – the City of the Prophet صلى اللّه عليه وسلّم, the Abode of the Sunnah, the Abode of Hijrah, the Abode of Assistance.  In Madinah Allah prescribed the Sunnah of Islam and His Shariiʿah, to Madinah the Muhaajiruun emigrated to Allah and His messenger صلى اللّه عليه وسلّم, and in Madinah were the Ansaar – ‘…those who lived in the Abode before them [the Muhaajiruun] and had adopted  faith…’ [59:9]

مذهبهم في‏  زمن الصحابة والتابعين وتابعيهم أصح مذاهب أهل المدائن الإسلامية شرقا وغربا،‏  في‏  الأصول والفروع

Their Madh-hab which existed in the time of the Sahaabah, the Taabiʿuun, Taabiʿu Taabiʿiin was the soundest of the Madh-habsof the people of all the cities of Islam in the east and in the west – in both Usuul (roots) and Furuuʿ (branches).”

Ibn Taymiyyah further states:

وفى القرون التي‏  أثنى عليها رسول الله صلى الله تعالى عليه وسلم،‏  كان مذهب أهل المدينة أصح مذاهب أهل المدائن،‏  فإنهم كانوا‏  يتأسون بأثر رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أكثر من سائر الأمصار،‏  وكان‏  غيرهم من أهل الأمصار دونهم في‏  العلم بالسنة النبوية واتباعها،‏  حتى إنهم لا‏  يفتقرون إلى نوع من سياسة الملوك،‏  وأن افتقار العلماء ومقاصد العباد،‏  أكثر من افتقار أهل المدينة حيث كانوا أغنى من‏  غيرهم عن ذلك كله،‏  بما كان عندهم من الأثار النبوية التي‏  يفتقر إلى العلم بها واتباعها كل أحد،‏  ولهذا لم‏  يذهب أحد من علماء المسلمين إلى أن إجماع أهل مدينة من المدائن حجة‏  يجب اتباعها‏  غير المدينة،‏  لا في‏  تلك الأعصار ولا فيما بعدها،‏  لا إجماع أهل مكة ولا الشام ولا العراق ولا‏  غير ذلك من أمصار المسلمين

ومن حكى عن أبي‏  حنيفة،‏  أو أحد من أصحابه أن إجماع أهل الكوفة حجة‏  يجب اتباعها على كل مسلم،‏  فقد‏  غلط على أبي‏  حنيفة وأصحابه في‏  ذلك،‏  وأما المدينة فقد تكلم الناس في‏  إجماع أهلها،‏  واشتهر عن مالك وأصحابه أن إجماع أهلها حجة،‏  وإن كان بقية الأئمة‏  ينازعونهم في‏  ذلك والكلام

“In the generations which the Messenger of Allah صلى اللّه عليه وسلّم praised, the Madh-hab of the people of Madinah was the soundest of the madh-habs of the people of the cities.  They followed in the footsteps of the Messenger of Allah صلى اللّه عليه وسلّم more than the rest of the cities.  The people from the other cities had  less knowledge about the Prophetic Sunnah than them and they followed it less.  They were not in need of the administration of the rulers.  The needs of the scholars and the needs of the worshippers (elsewhere) were more than the needs of the people Madinah. This is due to the fact they (The People of Madinah) had less need than the others for any of these things because of what they possessed from the Prophetic Traditions which everyone needs to know and to follow.  It is for this reason, that none of the ‘ulamaa (scholars) of the Muslims was of the opinion that the ijmaaʿ (consensus) of any city from among the cities of the Muslims other than Madinah was a proof which should be followed – not in that era nor eras which follow – not the ijmaaʿ of the people Makkah, Ash-Shaam, Iraaq – nor that of any of the other cities of the Muslims.  Those who relate from Abu Haniifah  or one of his companions that the ijmaaʿ of al-Kuufah is a proof which must be followed by every Muslim have placed Abu Haniifah  and his companions in error by relating that.  As for Madinah, the people have conversed about the ijmaaʿ of its people and it is well known from Maalik  and his companions that the ijmaaʿ of its people is a proof and that the rest of the  Imaams contest them on that.”

Ibn Taymiyyah again says:

فأما الأعصار الثلاثة المفضلة فلم‏  يكن فيها بالمدينة النبوية بدعة ظاهرة البتة،‏  ولا خرج منها بدعة في‏  أصول الدين البتة،‏  كما خرج من سائر الأمصار

“As for the three preeminent eras (the eras of the Prophet صلى اللّه عليه وسلّم and his Ṣaḥaabah, the Tabiʿuun and the Tabiʿu Tabiʿiin), there was no evident bidʿah (innovation) in the Prophetic City of Madinah during those eras at all nor did any innovation in usuulu-d-diin (the fundamental principles of religion) emerge from it like what emerge from the rest of the cities.

Published in: on August 16, 2010 at 16:20  Leave a Comment  

ʿAmal and Ḥadith: Two Approaches to the Sunnah

ʿAmal and Ḥadith: Two Approaches to the Sunnah

Over time two views evolved concerning the methodology that should be used to derive and formulate the Sunnah.

One group – the people of Madinah utilized Ḥadith to derive the Sunnah. The Ḥadith they used were not only from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, but also from the Sahaabah and Tabiʿiin and Tabiʿu-t-Tabiʿiin. They also used the authoritative pronouncements of the khalifahs, the decision of the qaadis, and the generally practice  which had been agreed upon through the consensus of the ʿulamaa’ of Madinah as sources for deriving the Sunnah.  To them, the sunnah was organic, that is to say, an on going living reality that extended from the time of the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم to their time.

The other group – the Muhadith-thuun (scholars of traditions) believed that sunnah was only derived from Ḥadith going back to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم .

Imaam Maalik, who recorded the ʿAmal (social and behavioral practice) of the people of Madinah in his book Al-Muwatta generally opens each of its legal chapters with a Ḥadith from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم.  However,  he and the people of Madinah did not believe that the Sunnah was solely derived and formulated from these oral transmission (Ḥadith).  They believed that the Sunnah was best derived and formulated from the living transmission in the form of ʿAmal.  In the case of Imaam Maalik, it was the ʿAmal of the People of Madinah which was consider to be the primary source for deriving and establishing the Sunnah.  The ʿAmal of the people of Madinah was seen as a standard of behavior that was linked to the Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and a living and continuous practice which had passed from father to son from the time of Prophet up until their era. A statement which has been ascribed to Rabiiʿah ibn Abi ʿAbdu-r-Rahmaan one of the teachers of Imaam Maalik sums up the position of Imaam Maalik  and the Madinans on this point:

“A thousand from a thousand is better than one from one.  For one from one would tear the Sunnah right out of our hands”, that is to say, accepting a practice that a thousand people have learned from a thousand people who came before them is better than  accepting a practice which is in base on one Ḥadith that has been transmitted only from one transmitter to another and that stands in direct opposition to that accepted practice or ʿAmal.

Ibn al-Qaasim the chief transmitter of Maalik’s views and his pupil said: in reference to a particular Ḥadith concerning a woman married without the permission of her guardian, “This Ḥadith has come down to us and if it were accompanied by a practice which had been passed on by the predecessor of those from whom we have taken it, it would be right to follow,  but in fact, it is like those other Ḥadith which are not accompanied by practice.” This point of view which has been expressed by Ibn al-Qaasim was rendered after giving Maalik’s  view that the marriage of a woman without the permission of her guardian was invalid although interpretation of the Ḥadith from ʿAa’ishah in which she acted as an agent in the marriage of Hafsah bint Abdu-r-Rahmaan to al-Mundhir bin az-Zubair (without the permission of her father who was away traveling) has given the impression that such a marriage was valid.  Ibn al Qaasim does not challenge the authenticity of the hadith, however he states:

“We do not know what the tafsiir (explanation) of this is, except that we assume that she appointed someone else to actually contract the marriage.”

He further states:

“The ʿAmal (concerning this matter), which is confirmed and accompanied by practice is found in the words of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم  , ‘A woman should not be married without a legal guardian’ and the words of ʿUmar, ‘A woman should not marry without a legal guardian’ and the fact that ʿUmar separated a man and a woman who married without a legal guardian.’ ”

So ḥadiths of this nature were not discredited in principle nor adopted in practice by the Madinans.  They were transmitted from the Companions to the Tabiʿiin and then they were transmitted to the Tabi’u-t-Tabiʿiin all without having been rejected or doubted.  But the Ḥadith which were not exemplified by a traceable on going practice of ʿAmal (behavior) were left aside while what was corroborated by an on going practice was followed.

The above evidence points out the difference between Imaam  Ash-Shaafiʿii  view of what authenticates the Sunnah and that of Imaam Maalik.  According to Imaam Ash-Shaafiʿii  the only valid and authoritative way to authenticate a sunnah practice is to rely on Ḥadith going back to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم.  Ash-Shaafiʿii  is very emphatic on this point and he does not even recognize practice or consensus when they do not conform to the Qur’an and Sunnah.  According to Ash-Shaafiʿii  Sunnat-al-Islam and Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم are synonymous.  Imaam Ash-Shaafiʿii  said in his Risaalah:

“When a reliable person relates from a reliable person until it reaches the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, then it becomes authoritative,  we will not set it aside unless another Ḥadith from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم becomes available which contradicts it…”  On the other hand, according to Maalik, Sunnah is not merely based on Hadith.  It must also be corroborated as a practice by a traceable  ʿAmal.

Published in: on August 16, 2010 at 16:14  Leave a Comment  
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