Abdullahi bin Fodio as a Muslim Jurist

ʿAbdullahi bin Fodio as a Muslim Jurist   by Abubakar Aliu Gwandu

A Thesis submitted to the Faculty of Arts at the University of Durham for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

This work is a critical and objective study of ʿAbdullahi as a Muslim jurist.

Chapter one deals with the background to ʿAbdullahi’s society and gives a brief account of the political  social, economic and religious conditions of the peoples of the Hausa States in the 18th century.

Chapter two gives a brief account of ʿAbdullahi’s life. It covers his education and preaching, and the part which he played in the Sokoto Jihad. It concludes with a brief sketch of his character.

In chapter three we have tried to trace the personalities that most influenced ʿAbdullahi’s thinking. It is hoped that a knowledge of these personalities would help to account for ʿAbdullah!’s views.

Chapter four deals with ʿAbdullahi’s ideas on constitutional theory and government, and in particular his conception of the Caliphate and various departments of its administration.

Chapter five deals with ʿAbdullahi’s ideas on Islamic society and the vital role which he ascribed to religious  revival in the process of social reform. It deals with his ideas on the significance of rituals and the relationship between the various sections of Islamic society, and his attitude towards non-conformists like rebels and zindīqs. It deals with ʿAbdullahi’s ideas on the institution of  marriage, the upbringing of children, and the lawful and unlawful means of the acquisition of wealth.

In chapter six we have attempted to make a critical assessment of ʿAbdullahi as a mujtahid or an independent Muslim jurist. We dealt first with the principles which guided him in formulating his opinions. While stressing his independent juristic approach, we placed him as a mujtahid within the Mālikī School of Law. We also showed how his choice of sources extended to the three orthodox schools of law.

To read the complete thesis click on the following link:

ʿAbdullahi bin Fodio as a Muslim Jurist

 

Published in: Uncategorized on April 11, 2020 at 19:15  Leave a Comment  

Who was Malcolm X’s Shaykh?

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By Omar Zaki 

This article was originally published by the Sudanese Community and Information Centre – London. Apr 5, 2014

Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz) is by far one of the most influential activists of our time and increasingly so in a period when young Muslim generations have gained ‘a new  kind of consciousness’ as Malcolm once said, in light of increasing violation of Muslims civil liberties and Islamophobia primarily in the West, since 9/11.

To many Muslims, Malcolm X holds a great place of respect and admiration as a man who spoke and fought for not only the rights of African-Americans but for the oppressed people of the third world. Even Rosa Parks whose act of refusing to move from a white only seat triggered the civil rights movement, stated that Malcolm X was her hero.

Throughout the active political years of his life with the Nation of Islam until his end,  Malcolm X had few but interesting encounters with Sudan and Sudanese. He travelled to Sudan in 1959 visiting Khartoum and Omdurman and spoke of Sudanese in glowing terms saying, ‘’I was impressed the most by the Muslims of the Sudan. Their religious piety and hospitality are unmatched anywhere. I really felt in heaven and home there.’’

In 1962 Malcolm X felt increased resentment from high ranking Nation of Islam members in Chicago for his public recognition and were suspicious that he wanted to succeed Elijah Muhammed. Malcolm sought to deflect these feelings by reducing his media appearances and promote Elijah Muhammed’s cult by defending the NOI against orthodox Muslims. The Muslim community in America looked at the NOI from the outset as a heretical cult but rarely spoke against it outright.

One of the first Orthodox Muslims to publicly criticise the NOI was a Sudanese student at Pennsylvania University called Yahya Hayari. Malcolm responded both private and publicly with a letter to the Pittsburg Courier against Hayari saying it’s ‘’difficult for me to believe that you’re a Muslim from the Sudan’’, he further aggressively defended Muhammed and accused Hayari for sounding ‘’like a brainwashed, American negro’’ that had ‘’been in Christian America too long’’ yet Hayari continued prompting Malcolm.

In the same year, another Sudanese student from Dartmouth College called Ahmed Osman, who attended services at No. 7 Mosque (the active Harlem Mosque that Malcolm himself set up) engaged with Malcolm  during a question and answer session. He directly challenged Malcolm on Elijah Muhammed’s prophetic claims and that whites were literally ‘’devils’’. Osman was ‘’greatly impressed by Malcolm’’ but not by his answer. Afterwards the two exchanged letters and Osman sent literature from the Islamic Centre in Geneva with which Malcolm was grateful for and requested more. Despite Osman’s insistence for Malcolm to join true Islam, he was unprepared.  These engagements between Yahya, Ahmed and Malcolm must of helped lay the tracks for Malcolm’s searching into orthodox Islam as he would later incorporate their discourses against the NOI.

In chapter 18 of Malcolm’s autobiography edited by Alex Haley, when he discusses his Hajj and the warm exchanges with various Muslims who expressed their solidarity with the struggle of African-Americans in the US, he pointed out a Sudanese ‘high official’ who hugged him and said ‘’You champion the American black people!’’. When at Mecca, Malcolm befriended a Sudanese called Shiekh Ahmed Hassoun who taught in Mecca for 35 years and would serve as Malcolm’s spiritual advisor and later taught at the Muslim Mosque Inc. which Malcolm created four days after his departure from the NOI in 1964.  It was Shiekh Ahmed who prepared Malcolm’s body for burial at the Faith Temple Church of God in West Harlem where he lay in state and oversaw his burial.

It is common that Sudanese feel their country is rarely recognised or mentioned some way in contemporary history, however many I believe will take pride in knowing that Sudanese were involved closely in the inspiring picture of Malcolm X’s incredible life.

Omar Zaki is an active half-Sudanese student with an BA History degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and former Union Secretary for the SOAS Student’s Union. 

Published in: Uncategorized on April 8, 2020 at 16:40  Leave a Comment  

Hadith on the Benefits of Reading Surah Al-Kahf

(Sahih Muslim » The Book of Prayers (Kitab Al-Salat)

وَحَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ الْمُثَنَّى، حَدَّثَنَا مُعَاذُ بْنُ هِشَامٍ، حَدَّثَنِي أَبِي، عَنْ قَتَادَةَ، عَنْ سَالِمِ، بْنِ أَبِي الْجَعْدِ الْغَطَفَانِيِّ عَنْ مَعْدَانَ بْنِ أَبِي طَلْحَةَ الْيَعْمَرِيِّ، عَنْ أَبِي الدَّرْدَاءِ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ مَنْ حَفِظَ عَشْرَ آيَاتٍ مِنْ أَوَّلِ سُورَةِ الْكَهْفِ عُصِمَ مِنَ الدَّجَّالِ ‏”‏

Abu Darda’ reported Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) as saying: If anyone learns by heart the first ten verses of the Surah al-Kahf, he will be protected from the Dajjal.

Sahih Muslim » The Book of Prayers (Kitab Al-Salat)

وَحَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ الْمُثَنَّى، وَابْنُ، بَشَّارٍ – وَاللَّفْظُ لاِبْنِ الْمُثَنَّى – قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ، جَعْفَرٍ حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ، عَنْ أَبِي إِسْحَاقَ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ الْبَرَاءَ، يَقُولُ قَرَأَ رَجُلٌ الْكَهْفَ وَفِي الدَّارِ دَابَّةٌ فَجَعَلَتْ تَنْفِرُ فَنَظَرَ فَإِذَا ضَبَابَةٌ أَوْ سَحَابَةٌ قَدْ غَشِيَتْهُ قَالَ فَذَكَرَ ذَلِكَ لِلنَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ ‏ “‏ اقْرَأْ فُلاَنُ فَإِنَّهَا السَّكِينَةُ تَنَزَّلَتْ عِنْدَ الْقُرْآنِ أَوْ تَنَزَّلَتْ لِلْقُرْآنِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Ibn Ishaq reported:

I heard al-Bara’ as saying that a man recited al-Kahf when an animal was there in the house and it began to take fright. And as he looked around, he found a cloud overshadowing it. He mentioned that to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). Upon this he said: O so and so, recite on (the surah) as-Sakina descends at the (recitation of the Qur’an) or on account (of the recitation) of the Qur’an.

Jami` at-Tirmidhi » Chapters On Al-Fitan

حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ حُجْرٍ، أَخْبَرَنَا الْوَلِيدُ بْنُ مُسْلِمٍ، وَعَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ يَزِيدَ بْنِ جَابِرٍ، دَخَلَ حَدِيثُ أَحَدِهِمَا فِي حَدِيثِ الآخَرِ عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ يَزِيدَ بْنِ جَابِرٍ عَنْ يَحْيَى بْنِ جَابِرٍ الطَّائِيِّ عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ جُبَيْرٍ عَنْ أَبِيهِ جُبَيْرِ بْنِ نُفَيْرٍ عَنِ النَّوَّاسِ بْنِ سَمْعَانَ الْكِلاَبِيِّ قَالَ ذَكَرَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الدَّجَّالَ ذَاتَ غَدَاةٍ فَخَفَّضَ فِيهِ وَرَفَّعَ حَتَّى ظَنَنَّاهُ فِي طَائِفَةِ النَّخْلِ ‏.‏ قَالَ فَانْصَرَفْنَا مِنْ عِنْدِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ثُمَّ رَجَعْنَا إِلَيْهِ فَعَرَفَ ذَلِكَ فِينَا فَقَالَ ‏”‏ مَا شَأْنُكُمْ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ قُلْنَا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ذَكَرْتَ الدَّجَّالَ الْغَدَاةَ فَخَفَّضْتَ فِيهِ وَرَفَّعْتَ حَتَّى ظَنَنَّاهُ فِي طَائِفَةِ النَّخْلِ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ غَيْرُ الدَّجَّالِ أَخْوَفُ لِي عَلَيْكُمْ إِنْ يَخْرُجْ وَأَنَا فِيكُمْ فَأَنَا حَجِيجُهُ دُونَكُمْ وَإِنْ يَخْرُجْ وَلَسْتُ فِيكُمْ فَامْرُؤٌ حَجِيجُ نَفْسِهِ وَاللَّهُ خَلِيفَتِي عَلَى كُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ إِنَّهُ شَابٌّ قَطَطٌ عَيْنُهُ قَائِمَةٌ شَبِيهٌ بِعَبْدِ الْعُزَّى بْنِ قَطَنٍ فَمَنْ رَآهُ مِنْكُمْ فَلْيَقْرَأْ فَوَاتِحَ سُورَةِ أَصْحَابِ الْكَهْفِ قَالَ يَخْرُجُ مَا بَيْنَ الشَّامِ وَالْعِرَاقِ فَعَاثَ يَمِينًا وَشِمَالاً يَا عِبَادَ اللَّهِ اثْبُتُوا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ قُلْنَا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَمَا لُبْثُهُ فِي الأَرْضِ قَالَ ‏”‏ أَرْبَعِينَ يَوْمًا يَوْمٌ كَسَنَةٍ وَيَوْمٌ كَشَهْرٍ وَيَوْمٌ كَجُمُعَةٍ وَسَائِرُ أَيَّامِهُ كَأَيَّامِكُمْ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ قُلْنَا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَرَأَيْتَ الْيَوْمَ الَّذِي كَالسَّنَةِ أَتَكْفِينَا فِيهِ صَلاَةُ يَوْمٍ قَالَ ‏”‏ لاَ وَلَكِنِ اقْدُرُوا لَهُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ قُلْنَا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ فَمَا سُرْعَتُهُ فِي الأَرْضِ قَالَ ‏”‏ كَالْغَيْثِ اسْتَدْبَرَتْهُ الرِّيحُ فَيَأْتِي الْقَوْمَ فَيَدْعُوهُمْ فَيُكَذِّبُونَهُ وَيَرُدُّونَ عَلَيْهِ قَوْلَهُ فَيَنْصَرِفُ عَنْهُمْ فَتَتْبَعُهُ أَمْوَالُهُمْ فَيُصْبِحُونَ لَيْسَ بِأَيْدِيهِمْ شَيْءٌ ثُمَّ يَأْتِي الْقَوْمَ فَيَدْعُوهُمْ فَيَسْتَجِيبُونَ لَهُ وَيُصَدِّقُونَهُ فَيَأْمُرُ السَّمَاءَ أَنْ تُمْطِرَ فَتُمْطِرَ وَيَأْمُرُ الأَرْضَ أَنْ تُنْبِتَ فَتُنْبِتَ فَتَرُوحُ عَلَيْهِمْ سَارِحَتُهُمْ كَأَطْوَلِ مَا كَانَتْ ذُرًى وَأَمَدِّهِ خَوَاصِرَ وَأَدَرِّهِ ضُرُوعًا قَالَ ثُمَّ يَأْتِي الْخَرِبَةَ فَيَقُولُ لَهَا أَخْرِجِي كُنُوزَكِ فَيَنْصَرِفُ مِنْهَا فَتَتْبَعُهُ كَيَعَاسِيبِ النَّحْلِ ثُمَّ يَدْعُو رَجُلاً شَابًّا مُمْتَلِئًا شَبَابًا فَيَضْرِبُهُ بِالسَّيْفِ فَيَقْطَعُهُ جِزْلَتَيْنِ ثُمَّ يَدْعُوهُ فَيُقْبِلُ يَتَهَلَّلُ وَجْهُهُ يَضْحَكُ فَبَيْنَمَا هُوَ كَذَلِكَ إِذْ هَبَطَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ بِشَرْقِيِّ دِمَشْقَ عِنْدَ الْمَنَارَةِ الْبَيْضَاءِ بَيْنَ مَهْرُودَتَيْنِ وَاضِعًا يَدَيْهِ عَلَى أَجْنِحَةِ مَلَكَيْنِ إِذَا طَأْطَأَ رَأْسَهُ قَطَرَ وَإِذَا رَفَعَهُ تَحَدَّرَ مِنْهُ جُمَانٌ كَاللُّؤْلُؤِ قَالَ وَلاَ يَجِدُ رِيحَ نَفَسِهِ يَعْنِي أَحَدٌ إِلاَّ مَاتَ وَرِيحُ نَفَسِهِ مُنْتَهَى بَصَرِهِ قَالَ فَيَطْلُبُهُ حَتَّى يُدْرِكَهُ بِبَابِ لُدٍّ فَيَقْتُلَهُ قَالَ فَيَلْبَثُ كَذَلِكَ مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ ‏.‏ قَالَ ثُمَّ يُوحِي اللَّهُ إِلَيْهِ أَنْ حَرِّزْ عِبَادِي إِلَى الطُّورِ فَإِنِّي قَدْ أَنْزَلْتُ عِبَادًا لِي لاَ يَدَانِ لأَحَدٍ بِقِتَالِهِمْ ‏.‏ قَالَ وَيَبْعَثُ اللَّهُ يَأْجُوجَ وَمَأْجُوجَ وَهُمْ كَمَا قَالَ اللَّهُ‏:‏ ‏(‏ مِنْ كُلِّ حَدَبٍ يَنْسِلُونَ ‏)‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ فَيَمُرُّ أَوَّلُهُمْ بِبُحَيْرَةِ الطَّبَرِيَّةِ فَيَشْرَبُ مَا فِيهَا ثُمَّ يَمُرُّ بِهَا آخِرُهُمْ فَيَقُولُ لَقَدْ كَانَ بِهَذِهِ مَرَّةً مَاءٌ ثُمَّ يَسِيرُونَ حَتَّى يَنْتَهُوا إِلَى جَبَلِ بَيْتِ الْمَقْدِسِ فَيَقُولُونَ لَقَدْ قَتَلْنَا مَنْ فِي الأَرْضِ هَلُمَّ فَلْنَقْتُلْ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاءِ ‏.‏ فَيَرْمُونَ بِنُشَّابِهِمْ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ فَيَرُدُّ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ نُشَّابَهُمْ مُحْمَرًّا دَمًا وَيُحَاصَرُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ وَأَصْحَابُهُ حَتَّى يَكُونَ رَأْسُ الثَّوْرِ يَوْمَئِذٍ خَيْرًا لأَحَدِهِمْ مِنْ مِائَةِ دِينَارٍ لأَحَدِكُمُ الْيَوْمَ ‏.‏ قَالَ فَيَرْغَبُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَأَصْحَابُهُ قَالَ فَيُرْسِلُ اللَّهُ إِلَيْهِمُ النَّغَفَ فِي رِقَابِهِمْ فَيُصْبِحُونَ فَرْسَى مَوْتَى كَمَوْتِ نَفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ قَالَ وَيَهْبِطُ عِيسَى وَأَصْحَابُهُ فَلاَ يَجِدُ مَوْضِعَ شِبْرٍ إِلاَّ وَقَدْ مَلأَتْهُ زَهَمَتُهُمْ وَنَتَنُهُمْ وَدِمَاؤُهُمْ قَالَ فَيَرْغَبُ عِيسَى إِلَى اللَّهِ وَأَصْحَابُهُ قَالَ فَيُرْسِلُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ طَيْرًا كَأَعْنَاقِ الْبُخْتِ قَالَ فَتَحْمِلُهُمْ فَتَطْرَحُهُمْ بِالْمَهْبِلِ وَيَسْتَوْقِدُ الْمُسْلِمُونَ مِنْ قِسِيِّهِمْ وَنُشَّابِهِمْ وَجِعَابِهِمْ سَبْعَ سِنِينَ قَالَ وَيُرْسِلُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ مَطَرًا لاَ يَكُنُّ مِنْهُ بَيْتُ وَبَرٍ وَلاَ مَدَرٍ قَالَ فَيَغْسِلُ الأَرْضَ فَيَتْرُكُهَا كَالزَّلَفَةِ قَالَ ثُمَّ يُقَالُ لِلأَرْضِ أَخْرِجِي ثَمَرَتَكِ وَرُدِّي بَرَكَتَكِ ‏.‏ فَيَوْمَئِذٍ تَأْكُلُ الْعِصَابَةُ مِنَ الرُّمَّانَةِ وَيَسْتَظِلُّونَ بِقِحْفِهَا وَيُبَارَكُ فِي الرِّسْلِ حَتَّى إِنَّ الْفِئَامَ مِنَ النَّاسِ لَيَكْتَفُونَ بِاللَّقْحَةِ مِنَ الإِبِلِ وَإِنَّ الْقَبِيلَةَ لَيَكْتَفُونَ بِاللَّقْحَةِ مِنَ الْبَقَرِ وَإِنَّ الْفَخِذَ لَيَكْتَفُونَ بِاللَّقْحَةِ مِنَ الْغَنَمِ فَبَيْنَمَا هُمْ كَذَلِكَ إِذْ بَعَثَ اللَّهُ رِيحًا فَقَبَضَتْ رُوحَ كُلِّ مُؤْمِنٍ وَيَبْقَى سَائِرُ النَّاسِ يَتَهَارَجُونَ كَمَا تَتَهَارَجُ الْحُمُرُ فَعَلَيْهِمْ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ غَرِيبٌ لاَ نَعْرِفُهُ إِلاَّ مِنْ حَدِيثِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ يَزِيدَ بْنِ جَابِرٍ ‏.‏

It was narrated from An-Nawwas bin Sam’an, who said:

“The Messenger of Allah(s.a.w) mentioned the Dajjal one morning, he belittled him and mentioned his importance until we thought that he might be amidst a cluster of date-palms.” He said: “We departed from the presence of the Messenger of Allah(s.a.w), then we returned to him, and he noticed that(concern) in us. So he said: ‘What is wrong with you?'” We said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! You mentioned the Dajjal this morning, belittling him, and mentioning his importance until we thought that he might be amidst a cluster of the date-palms.’ He said: ‘It is not the Dajjal that I fear for you. If he were to appear while I am among you, then I will be his adversary on your behalf. And if he appears and I am not among you, then each man will have to fend for himself. And Allah will take care of every Muslim after me. He is young, with curly hair, his eyes protruding, resembling someone from ‘Abdul-Uzza bin Qatan. Whoever among you sees him, then let him recite the beginning of Surah Ashab Al-Kahf.'”He said: ‘He will appear from what is between Ash-Sham and Al-‘Iraq, causing devastation toward the right and toward the left. O worshippers of Allah! Hold fast!'” We said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! How long will he linger on the earth?’ He said: ‘Forty days, a day like a year, a day like a month, a day like a week, and the remainder of his days are like your days.'” We said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! Do you think that during the day that is like a year, the Salat of one day will be sufficient for us?’ He said: ‘No. You will have to estimate it.’ We said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! How fast will he move through the earth.’ He said: ‘Like a rain storm driven by the wind. He will come upon a people and call them, and they will deny him, and reject his claims. Then he will leave them, and their wealth will follow him. They will awaken in the morning with nothing left. Then he will come upon a people and call them, and they will respond to him, believing in him. So he will order the Heavens to bring rain, and it shall rain, and he will order the land to sprout, and it will sprout. Their cattle will return to them with their coats the longest, their udders the fullest and their stomachs the fattest.’ He said: ‘Then he will come upon some ruins, saying to it: “Bring me your treasures!” He will turn to leave it, and it will follow him, like drone bees. Then he will call a young man, full of youth, and he will strike him with the sword cutting him into two pieces. Then he will call him, and he will come forward with his face beaming and laughing. So while he is doing that, ‘Eisa bin Mariam, peace be upon him, will descend in eastern Damascus at the white minaret, between two Mahrud, with his hands on the wings of two angels. When he lowers his head, drops fall, and when raises it, gems like pearls drop from him.’ He said: ‘His (the Dajjal’s) breath does not reach anyone but he dies, and his breath reaches as far as his sight.’ He said: ‘So he pursues him(the Dajjal) and he catches up with him at the gate of Ludd where he kills him.’ He said: ‘So he remains there as long as Allah wills.’ He said: ‘Then Allah reveals to him: “Take my slaves to At-Tur, for I have sent down some creatures of Mine which no one shall be able to kill.'” He said: ‘Allah dispatches Ya’juj and Ma’juj, and they are as Allah said: They swoop down from every mount.’ “He said: ‘The first of them pass by the lake of Tiberias, drinking what is in it. Then the last of them pass by it saying: “There was water here at one time.” They travel until they reach a mountain at Bait Al-Maqdis. They will say: “We have killed whoever was in the earth. Come! Let us kill whoever is in the skies.” They will shoot their arrows into the Heavens, so Allah will return their arrows to them red with blood. Eisa bin Mariam and his Companions be surrounded, until the head of a bull on that day would be better to them than a hundred Dinar to one of you today.’ “He (s.a.w) said: “Eisa will beseech Allah, as will his companions.’ He said: ‘So Allah will send An-Naghaf down upon their necks. In the morning they will find that they have all died like the death of a single soul.’ He said: ” ‘Eisa and his companions will come down, and no spot nor hand-span can be found, except that it is filled with their stench, decay and blood. So ‘Eisa will beseech Allah, as will his companions.’ So Allah will send upon them birds like the necks of Bukht(milch)camels.’ They will carry them off and cast them into an abyss. The Muslims will burn their bows, arrows and quivers for seventy years.’ “He(s.a.w) said: ‘Allah will send upon them a rain which no house of hide nor mud will bear. The earth will be washed, leaving it like a mirror. Then it will be said to the earth: “bring forth your fruits and return your blessings.” So on that day, a whole troop would eat a pomegranate and seek shade under its skin. Milk will be so blessed that a large group of people will be sufficed by one milking of a camel. And that a tribe will be sufficed by one milking of a cow, and that a group will be sufficed by the milking of sheep. While it is like that, Allah will send a wind which grabs the soul of every believer, leaving the remainder of the people copulating publicly like the copulation of donkeys. Upon them the Hour shall begin.'”

Published in: Uncategorized on April 8, 2020 at 02:26  Leave a Comment  

From the Muwatta of Imam Malik Chapter: 45, Madinah The Section: About What Has Been Transmitted  Concerning the Plague

From the Muwatta of Imam Malik Chapter: 45, Madina 

The Section: About What Has Been Transmitted  Concerning the Plague

 باب مَا جَاءَ فِي الطَّاعُونِ         

وَحَدَّثَنِي عَنْ مَالِكٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، عَنْ عَبْدِ الْحَمِيدِ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ زَيْدِ بْنِ الْخَطَّابِ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ الْحَارِثِ بْنِ نَوْفَلٍ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، أَنَّ عُمَرَ بْنَ الْخَطَّابِ خَرَجَ إِلَى الشَّامِ، حَتَّى إِذَا كَانَ بِسَرْغَ لَقِيَهُ أُمَرَاءُ الأَجْنَادِ، أَبُو عُبَيْدَةَ بْنُ الْجَرَّاحِ وَأَصْحَابُهُ، فَأَخْبَرُوهُ أَنَّ الْوَبَأَ قَدْ وَقَعَ بِأَرْضِ الشَّامِ، قَالَ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ  فَقَالَ عُمَرُ بْنُ الْخَطَّابِ ادْعُ لِي الْمُهَاجِرِينَ الأَوَّلِينَ. فَدَعَاهُمْ فَاسْتَشَارَهُمْ، وَأَخْبَرَهُمْ أَنَّ الْوَبَأَ قَدْ وَقَعَ بِالشَّامِ، فَاخْتَلَفُوا فَقَالَ بَعْضُهُمْ  قَدْ خَرَجْتَ لأَمْرٍ، وَلاَ نَرَى أَنْ تَرْجِعَ عَنْهُ. وَقَالَ بَعْضُهُمْ  مَعَكَ بَقِيَّةُ النَّاسِ وَأَصْحَابُ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلْى الله عليه وسلّم، وَلاَ نَرَى أَنْ تُقْدِمَهُمْ عَلَى هَذَا الْوَبَإِ. فَقَالَ عُمَرُ  ارْتَفِعُوا عَنِّي. ثُمَّ قَالَ  ادْعُ لِي الأَنْصَارَ. فَدَعَوْتُهُمْ فَاسْتَشَارَهُمْ، فَسَلَكُوا سَبِيلَ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَاخْتَلَفُوا كَاخْتِلاَفِهِمْ، فَقَالَ  ارْتَفِعُوا عَنِّي. ثُمَّ قَالَ  ادْعُ لِي مَنْ كَانَ هَا هُنَا مِنْ مَشْيَخَةِ قُرَيْشٍ مِنْ مُهَاجِرَةِ الْفَتْحِ. فَدَعَوْتُهُمْ، فَلَمْ يَخْتَلِفْ عَلَيْهِ مِنْهُمُ اثْنَانِ فَقَالُوا  نَرَى أَنْ تَرْجِعَ بِالنَّاسِ وَلاَ تُقْدِمَهُمْ عَلَى هَذَا الْوَبَإِ، فَنَادَى عُمَرُ فِي النَّاسِ  إنِّي مُصْبِحٌ عَلَى ظَهْرٍ فَأَصْبِحُوا عَلَيْهِ. فَقَالَ أَبُو عُبَيْدَةَ  أَفِرَاراً مِنْ قَدَرِ اللَّهِ ؟ فَقَالَ عُمَرُ  لَوْ غَيْرُكَ قَالَهَا يَا أَبَا عُبَيْدَةَ، نَعَمْ نَفِرُّ مِنْ قَدَرِ اللَّهِ إِلَى قَدَرِ اللَّهِ، أَرَأَيْتَ لَوْ كَانَ لَكَ إِبِلٌ، فَهَبَطَتْ وَادِياً لَهُ عُدْوَتَانِ، إِحْدَاهُمَا مُخْصِبَةٌ وَالأُخْرَى جَدْبَةٌ، أَلَيْسَ إِنْ رَعَيْتَ الْخَصِبَةَ رَعَيْتَهَا بِقَدَرِ اللَّهِ، وَإِنْ رَعَيْتَ الْجَدْبَةَ رَعَيْتَهَا بِقَدَرِ اللَّهِ، فَجَاءَ عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ عَوْفٍ – وَكَانَ غَائِباً فِي بَعْضِ حَاجَتِهِ – فَقَالَ  إِنَّ عِنْدِي مِنْ هَذَا عِلْماً, سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلْى الله عليه وسلّم يَقُولُ  « إِذَا سَمِعْتُمْ بِهِ بِأَرْضٍ فَلاَ تَقْدَمُوا عَلَيْهِ، وَإِذَا وَقَعَ بِأَرْضٍ وَأَنْتُمْ بِهَا، فَلاَ تَخْرُجُوا فِرَاراً مِنْهُ ». قَالَ  فَحَمِدَ اللَّهَ عُمَرُ، ثُمَّ انْصَرَفَ

Hadith No: 22

Narrated by / on  the Authority of Abdullah bin Abbas Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab from Abd al-Hamid ibn Abd ar-Rahman ibn Zayd ibn al-Khattab from Abdullah ibn Abdullah ibn al-Harith ibn Nawfal from Abdullah ibn Abbas that Umar ibn al-Khattab set out for ash Sham and when he was at Sargh, near Tabuk, the commanders of the army, Abu Ubayda ibn al-Jarrah and his companions, met him and told him that the plague had broken out in ash-Sham. Ibn Abbas said, “Umar ibn al-Khattab said, ‘(Send) all the first Muhājir to me.’ He assembled them and asked them for advice, informing them that the plague had broken out in ash Sham. They disagreed. Some said, ‘You have set out for something, and we do not think that you should leave it.’ Others said, ‘You have the companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and the rest of the people with you, and we do not think that you should send them towards this plague.’ Umar said, ‘Leave me.’ Then he said, ‘Summon the Ansar to me.’ They were summoned and he asked them for advice. They acted as the Muhājirun had and disagreed as they had disagreed. He said, ‘Leave me.’ “Then he said, ‘Summon to me whoever is here of the aged men of Quraysh from the Muhājirun of the conquest.’ He summoned them and not one of them differed. They said, ‘We think that you should withdraw the people and not send them towards the plague.’ Umar called out to the people, ‘I am leaving by camel in the morning,’ so they set out. Abu Ubayda said, ‘Is it flight from the qadar (decree) of Allah?‘ Umar said, ‘It would have been better that someone other than you had said it, Abu Ubayda. Yes! We run from the (qadar) decree of Allah to the qadar (decree) of Allah. What would you think if these camels had gone down into a valley which had two slopes, one of them fertile, and the other barren. If you pastured in the fertile part, wouldn’t you pasture them by the decree of Allah? If you pastured them in the barren part, wouldn’t you pasture them by the decree of Allah?’ ”Abd ar-Rahman ibn Awf arrived and he had been off doing something and he said, ‘I have some knowledge of this. I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, “If you hear about it in a land, do not go forward to it. If it comes upon a land and you are in it, then do not depart in flight from it.” ‘ Umar praised Allah and then set off.”

وَحَدَّثَنِي عَنْ مَالِكٍ، عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ الْمُنْكَدِرِ، وَعَنْ سَالِمٍ أبِي النَّضْرِ مَوْلَى عُمَرَ بْنِ عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ، عَنْ عَامِرِ بْنِ سَعْدِ بْنِ أبِي وَقَّاصٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، أَنَّهُ سَمِعَهُ يَسْأَلُ أُسَامَةَ بْنَ زَيْدٍ  مَا سَمِعْتَ مِنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلْى الله عليه وسلّم فِي الطَّاعُونِ ؟ فَقَالَ أُسَامَةُ  قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلْى الله عليه وسلّم  « الطَّاعُونُ رِجْزٌ، أُرْسِلَ عَلَى طَائِفَةٍ مِنْ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ، أَوْ عَلَى مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ، فَإِذَا سَمِعْتُمْ بِهِ بِأَرْضٍ فَلاَ تَدْخُلُوا عَلَيْهِ، وَإِذَا وَقَعَ بِأَرْضٍ وَأَنْتُمْ بِهَا، فَلاَ تَخْرُجُوا فِرَاراً مِنْهُ ».  قَالَ مَالِكٌ  قَالَ أَبُو النَّضْرِ  لاَ يُخْرِجُكُمْ إِلاَّ فِرَارٌ مِنْهُ. 

Hadith No: 23

Narrated by / on  the Authority of Yahya related to me from Malik from Muhammad ibn al-Munkadir and from Salim ibn Abin-Nadr, the mawla of Umar ibn Ubaydullah that Amir ibn Sad ibn Abi Waqqas heard his father ask Usama ibn Zayd, “Have you heard anything from the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, about the plague?” Usama said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘The plague is a punishment that was sent down on a party of the Banu Israil or whoever was before them. When you hear of it in a land, do not enter it. If it comes upon a land and you are in it, do not depart in flight from it.’ “ Malik said that Abu’n-Nadr said, “That is, do not depart with no other intention but flight.”

وَحَدَّثَنِي عَنْ مَالِكٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَامِرِ بْنِ رَبِيعَةَ  أَنَّ عُمَرَ بْنَ الْخَطَّابِ خَرَجَ إِلَى الشَّامِ، فَلَمَّا جَاءَ سَرْغَ، بَلَغَهُ أَنَّ الْوَبَأَ قَدْ وَقَعَ بِالشَّامِ، فَأَخْبَرَهُ عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ عَوْفٍ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلْى الله عليه قَالَ  « إِذَا سَمِعْتُمْ بِهِ بِأَرْضٍ فَلاَ تَقْدَمُوا عَلَيْهِ، وَإِذَا وَقَعَ بِأَرْضٍ وَأَنْتُمْ بِهَا، فَلاَ تَخْرُجُوا فِرَاراً مِنْهُ ». فَرَجَعَ عُمَرُ بْنُ الْخَطَّابِ مِنْ سَرْغَ.

Hadith No: 24 

Narrated/Authority of Abdullah ibn Amir ibn Rabia Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab from Abdullah ibn Amir ibn Rabia that Umar ibn al-Khattab went out to ash-Sham. When he came to Sargh, near Tabuk, he heard that the plague had broken out in ash-Sham. Abd ar-Rahman ibn Awf told him that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “If you hear that a land has a plague in it, do not go forward to it. If it comes upon a land which you are in, do not depart in flight from it.” Umar ibn al-Khattab came back from Sargh.

وَحَدَّثَنِي عَنْ مَالِكٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، عَنْ سَالِمِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ  أَنَّ عُمَرَ بْنَ الْخَطَّابِ إِنَّمَا رَجَعَ بِالنَّاسِ عَنْ حَدِيثِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ عَوْفٍ.

Hadith No: 25

Narrated by / on  the Authority of Salim bin Abdullah Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab from Salim ibn Abdullah that Umar ibn al-Khattab turned people back at Sargh according to the hadith of Abd ar-Rahman ibn Awf.

وَحَدَّثَنِي عَنْ مَالِكٍ، أَنَّهُ قَالَ  بَلَغَنِي أَنَّ عُمَرَ بْنَ الْخَطَّابِ قَالَ  لَبَيْتٌ بِرُكْبَةَ، أَحَبُّ إِلَىَّ مِنْ عَشَرَةِ أَبْيَاتٍ بِالشَّامِ. قَالَ مَالِكٌ  يُرِيدُ لِطُولِ الأَعْمَارِ وَالْبَقَاءِ، وَلِشِدَّةِ الْوَبَإِ بِالشَّامِ 

Hadith No: 26

Narrated by / on  the Authority of Yahya related to me that Malik said, “I heard that Umar ibn al-Khattab said, ‘A night in Rukba (a valley near Taif,) is more preferable to me than ten nights in ash-Sham.’ ” Malik said, “He meant (more preferable in regards to) the  lengthening and preservation of their lives, because of the severity of the plague in ash-Sham.”

Published in: Uncategorized on April 5, 2020 at 04:18  Leave a Comment  

Who Was Malcolm X’s Shaykh?

By Omar Zaki 

This article was originally published by the Sudanese Community and Information Centre – London. Apr 5, 2014

Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz) is by far one of the most influential activists of our time and increasingly so in a period when young Muslim generations have gained ‘a new  kind of consciousness’ as Malcolm once said, in light of increasing violation of Muslims civil liberties and Islamophobia primarily in the West, since 9/11.

To many Muslims, Malcolm X holds a great place of respect and admiration as a man who spoke and fought for not only the rights of African-Americans but for the oppressed people of the third world. Even Rosa Parks whose act of refusing to move from a white only seat triggered the civil rights movement, stated that Malcolm X was her hero.

Throughout the active political years of his life with the Nation of Islam until his end,  Malcolm X had few but interesting encounters with Sudan and Sudanese. He travelled to Sudan in 1959 visiting Khartoum and Omdurman and spoke of Sudanese in glowing terms saying, ‘’I was impressed the most by the Muslims of the Sudan. Their religious piety and hospitality are unmatched anywhere. I really felt in heaven and home there.’’

In 1962 Malcolm X felt increased resentment from high ranking Nation of Islam members in Chicago for his public recognition and were suspicious that he wanted to succeed Elijah Muhammed. Malcolm sought to deflect these feelings by reducing his media appearances and promote Elijah Muhammed’s cult by defending the NOI against orthodox Muslims. The Muslim community in America looked at the NOI from the outset as a heretical cult but rarely spoke against it outright.

One of the first Orthodox Muslims to publicly criticise the NOI was a Sudanese student at Pennsylvania University called Yahya Hayari. Malcolm responded both private and publicly with a letter to the Pittsburg Courier against Hayari saying it’s ‘’difficult for me to believe that you’re a Muslim from the Sudan’’, he further aggressively defended Muhammed and accused Hayari for sounding ‘’like a brainwashed, American negro’’ that had ‘’been in Christian America too long’’ yet Hayari continued prompting Malcolm.

In the same year, another Sudanese student from Dartmouth College called Ahmed Osman, who attended services at No. 7 Mosque (the active Harlem Mosque that Malcolm himself set up) engaged with Malcolm  during a question and answer session. He directly challenged Malcolm on Elijah Muhammed’s prophetic claims and that whites were literally ‘’devils’’. Osman was ‘’greatly impressed by Malcolm’’ but not by his answer. Afterwards the two exchanged letters and Osman sent literature from the Islamic Centre in Geneva with which Malcolm was grateful for and requested more. Despite Osman’s insistence for Malcolm to join true Islam, he was unprepared.  These engagements between Yahya, Ahmed and Malcolm must of helped lay the tracks for Malcolm’s searching into orthodox Islam as he would later incorporate their discourses against the NOI.

In chapter 18 of Malcolm’s autobiography edited by Alex Haley, when he discusses his Hajj and the warm exchanges with various Muslims who expressed their solidarity with the struggle of African-Americans in the US, he pointed out a Sudanese ‘high official’ who hugged him and said ‘’You champion the American black people!’’. When at Mecca, Malcolm befriended a Sudanese called Shiekh Ahmed Hassoun who taught in Mecca for 35 years and would serve as Malcolm’s spiritual advisor and later taught at the Muslim Mosque Inc. which Malcolm created four days after his departure from the NOI in 1964.  It was Shiekh Ahmed who prepared Malcolm’s body for burial at the Faith Temple Church of God in West Harlem where he lay in state and oversaw his burial.

It is common that Sudanese feel their country is rarely recognised or mentioned some way in contemporary history, however many I believe will take pride in knowing that Sudanese were involved closely in the inspiring picture of Malcolm X’s incredible life.

Omar Zaki is an active half-Sudanese student with an BA History degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and former Union Secretary for the SOAS Student’s Union. 

Published in: Uncategorized on March 8, 2020 at 13:32  Comments (1)  

Educating Muslim Women: The West African Legacy of Nana Asma’u 1793-1864.

This is a Book Review by Amidu Olalekan Sanni

by Jean Boyd and Beverly Mack 

Until very recently a dominant stereotype in the Western discursive tradition portrayed Africa as a ‘Dark Continent’ and her women as subalterns who lived on the margins of history. The work under review not only invalidates this negative assumption, but also establishes the lasting influence of Nana Asma’u (1793-1864), ‘the most prolific woman writer and influential lady to emerge in the Western Soudan in the nineteenth-century’ (p. 173). This six-chapter work highlights the history of Sufism in West Africa—the esoteric platform on which Asma’u’s sociointellectual upbringing and engagement was built; the routines in the house of the state officials, especially in relation to harems, slaves, and concubines; and the events that led to the establishment of the Sokoto caliphate in 1808, especially those relating to migration and wars. The social infelicities of the antebellum migration, and the postwar social dislocations suffered by women inspired Nana Asma’u to establish ‘Yan Taru’ (The Associates), a movement that undertook the education, edification, social welfare, and empowerment of rural women through trained local facilitators (Jajis). This movement, which came into being by the first quarter of the nineteenth century, not only survived British colonialism but also continued into modern Nigeria in the form of women’s rights and activist groups, as demonstrable with Women in Nigeria (WIN) founded in 1982, and the Federation of Muslim Women Associations of Nigeria (FOMWAN) founded in 1985.

Yan Taru’s replication and transformation as far afield as North America is further proof of its universal relevance. This is a central, if not the central, subject matter of this work. In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the organisation promotes the original ideals of Nana Asma’u, albeit in an urban setting, through the appropriation of modern information facilities and intellectual enterprise.

For example, since 2005 it has published a bimonthly newsletter, Yan Taru, and in 1985 founded the Sankore Institute. The Institute has engaged not only in facilitating the ‘restoration of cultural ties between African-Americans and Africans’ (p. 219), but also in promoting African Islamic heritage, particularly the values of the Sokoto Qadiriyya community, as well as translating the writings of the Fodios into English (see http://www.siiasi.org/). This narrative goes a long way in establishing that women’s leadership in intellectual, social, and spiritual voyages had never been lacking in the West African Sufi tradition.

A particular merit of this work is that the personal experiences of the two authors arising from their extensive field studies and stays in Nigeria enhances the probative value of their analyses of works by and on Nana Asma’u. These analyses also provide insights into her intellectual credentials, social orientation, and the nature and quality of her interaction in a conservative cultural landscape in which she also collaborated with men in the production of poetry and prose pedagogic materials in Arabic, Fulfulde, and Hausa for the community, particularly women. The work also provides an objective assessment of women and their roles in the caliphate where they ‘are allowed more liberty’, and of the harem as a place of honour rather than ‘a place where women were sequestered, waiting to provide sex service in turn’ (p. 69).

There are, however, some inadequacies and drawbacks in this otherwise outstanding work. References to the landmass south of the Sahara as sub-Saharan Africa (p. 13) has become less than eirenic due to its inherent pejorative undertone; Sudanic Africa has become a more-acceptable term. Although past Eurocentric authors and travellers’ accounts may be pardoned for being unaware of local developments in the political and intellectual terrain of colonial and/or postcolonial Nigeria or for simply choosing to ignore them, this cannot be extended to modern authors bivouacking in the terrain of the narratives.

The claim that there were no records or minutes of events at the Sokoto caliphal courts during colonialism (p. 157) is not true, as can be gleaned from Muhammad S. Umar’s enlightening study Islam and Colonialism: Intellectual Responses of Muslims of Northern Nigeria to British Colonial Rule (Leiden: 2006). Also, the claim that ‘Asma’u’s works had not yet been published’ (p. 173) is absolutely incorrect. A cursory look at the bio-bibliographical notice on Asma’u in John Hunwick’s Arabic Literature of Africa (Leiden: 1995, pp. 162-172) indicates that a number of her works, some with English translations, have been published since the last quarter of the twentieth century, as has her major prose work on paraenetic, the Tanbīh al-ghāfilīn. In fact, as early as 1968 Isaac A. Ogunbiyi made available to the reading public materials from the works of Nana Asma’u, (Isaac. A. Ogunbiyi, ‘Further Light on Asma’u bint ’Uthman bin Fudi’, Research Bulletin of the Centre for Arabic Documentation 11 (1975): 26-37) and has followed this up with the publication as text editions and translations of her other works. Evidence of the circulation of Ogunbiyi’s pioneering publication of Asma’u, as later updated, among the Sokoto intellectual and academic elites is not altogether lacking, even while one of the authors of the title under review was in the Caliphate. Nikki Merritt, unnoticed by our authors, also presents an insightful description of Asma’u’s elegies (Nikki Merritt, ‘Nana Asma’u, Her Elegies and the Possibility of ‘insider alternatives’, African Languages and Cultures 7.2 (1994): 91-99). It is exceedingly strange that Boyd and Mack could fail to notice, even en passant, John Hunwick’s monumental reference work on West African Islamic intellectual legacy already noted above. The concluding chapter (pp. 187-231) on scholars of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries would also have benefitted from the insights afforded by recent studies on Muslim women’s education in Nigeria. These criticisms notwithstanding, this work brilliantly illustrates the enduring legacy of Asma’u as a quintessential local educator, a Muslim family woman, and above all, a social mobiliser with universal appeal.

Amidu Olalekan Sanni

Lagos State University, Nigeria

Oxford Center for Islamic Studies (OCIS), UK

Published in: Uncategorized on March 6, 2020 at 17:29  Leave a Comment  

Tackling Religious Literacy: Lexical Empiricism

by Marc Manley

In a recent khutbah, I addressed a major issue that Muslims in general, and American Muslims in specific, face: Religious literacy. There have been a few scholars coming out now to draw attention to this deficit in the community and I pray their efforts are doubly successful. While having a conversation today with a brother regarding fiqh, I came across a passage in the Mālikī text, al-Mudawwanah, a foundational treatise on Mālikī jurisprudence that reminded me again of the subtle and elusive nature of language. I hope these thoughts will be a small voice in  the growing chorus calling for religious literacy by Muslims everywhere.

Religious literacy is not simply a new buzz word, a phrase to kick around to either feel good about or to feel intellectually superior, but it is a real need that embraces both the fard al-‘Ayn/فرض الكفاية as well as the fard al-Kifāyah/فرض العين: Individual as well as communal obligations. Religious literacy, like its secular counterpart, allows for functionality. It is also the engine that drives the plurality in Islam. At the moment, the engine block feels like it might seize at any moment. However, with some attention, care, and maintenance, we might set out to fix this debilitating condition. I would like to use wudū’/وضوء, or ablution, as the model to open the conversation on religious literacy.

I am sure many of us have experienced the following: One enters into the mosque to offer prayers, and before doing so, one goes to perform wudū’. Whilst performing wudu’, one is interrupted by an individual who objects to the manner and method one is making wudū’. “The water needs to be running,” the person says. “The water must be like this, or like that, you must apply the water this way, or that way.” You get the gist of what I am saying. The problem does not lay solely with this interrogation, but with the excessive demand that if one does not perform wudū’ in the way this particular person deems to be correct, then one’s wudū’—and by extension, prayer—is invalid. The typical response one might have is to offer this person one’s own proofs, from the Sunnah of course, and demonstrate that despite the difference of opinion you both share, rest assured, you are performing wudū’ correctly. Much to one’s chagrin, this is met with further condemnation, bordering on hostility.

So what is at play and at stake here? What stands out plainly here is that difference of opinion or practice, in our current time, is equivalent to innovation. Yet, as we will see below, differences in practice are a staple of our religious tradition. To begin, let us look at the difference of opinion that has cropped up regarding the wiping of socks/foot versus the washing the foot. As we will see, much of the basis for this difference is rooted in language—the very means by which we come to understand and know our religion, which highly complicates the notion of literalism being the equivalent of one single interpretation:

The first entry in Imām Mālik’s al-Mudawwanah al-Kubrā looks at wudū’ and how the act of wudū’ is approached, whether one is to wipe, wash, or touch the extremities once, twice, or three times, and some of the variance which surrounds it. Mālik’s student, ‘Abd al-Rahmān Bin al-Qāsim, provides us some background information on how Imām Mālik looked at the process of wudū’:

قال بن القاسم لم يكن مالك يوقت في الوضوء مرة ولا مرتين ولا ثلاثا وقال إنما قال الله تبارك وتعالى

“[Imām] Mālik did not arbitrarily wash once, twice, or three times, but instead also looked at what God Almighty had said concerning it [wudū’]:

يا أيها الذين آمنوا إذا قمتم إلى الصلاة فاغسلوا وجوهكم وأيديكم إلى المرافق وامسحوا برؤوسكم وأرجلَكم إلى الكعبين وإن كنتم جنبا فاطهروا وإن كنتم مرضى أو على سفر أو جاء أحد منكم من الغائط أو لامستم النساء فلم تجدوا ماء فتيمموا صعيدا طيبا فامسحوا بوجوهكم وأيديكم منه ما يريد الله ليجعل عليكم من حرج ولكن يريد ليطهركم وليتم نعمته عليكم لعلكم تشكرون

“O’ you who profess faith! When you stand to perform prayer, wash your faces and your hands and your arms to the elbows, and wipe over your heads, and your feet to the ankles. If you are in a state of major impurity, then purify yourselves. But if you are sick, on a journey, have come from the lavatory or have touched women and cannot find any water, then perform tayammumwith pure earth and wipe your faces and your hands. God does not want to make things difficult for you, but God does want to purify you and to perfect God’s blessing upon you so that hopefully you will be thankful.” [Qur’ān al-Mā’idah (5):6]

I have marked some of the text with some colorations to key in on some of the inflections of the language here to highlight how, from the same lexical source, differing opinions on language, nuance, grammar, etc., can extract different opinions.

The first is the highlighted command, “wash your faces”. Most importantly here is the verb, “wash”, in the imperative mood. As we’ll see, this command here will be the root of one of the differences of opinion regarding washing one’s feet instead of simply wiping over them. Of key interest here is Ibn al-Qāsim’s observation:

فلم يوقت تبارك وتعالى واحدة من ثلاث

“The Almighty did not differentiate the number of times, one from three.”

Ibn al-Qāsim does note, however, [Imām] Mālik’s approach to wudū’ in a more comprehensive manner:

و ما رأيت عند مالك في الغسل و الوضوء توقيتا لا واحدة و لا اثنتين و لا ثلاثا و لكنه كان يقول يتوضأ و يغتسل و يسبغهما جميعا

“I did not see [Imām] Mālik, concerning ghusul/غسل[washing], wudu’, where it was done solely a number of times, once, twice, or three times, but instead he used to say one does wudū’ and ghusul a number of times asbagha/يسبغ أسبغ“excellently”, where these two components are considered part of an excellent wudū’ altogether [lit. jamī’an/جميعا].”

Mālik’s method as we can see here is a conglomerate of Qur’ānic sources as well as those compiled from the Sunnah, which we will note below for reference, though for time’s sake, we’ll skip in detail. But let us return to the above phrase, “wash your faces”, فاغلسوا وجوهكم. As I mentioned, this extended passage here is one of the source points for differences on washing versus wiping. This stems not from the “fā’”, but from the “waw” and the “bā’” in the phrase:

و امسحوا برؤوسكم و أرجلكم

For the ease of argument sake, I will note the two opinions: One stronger, the other weaker. The stronger opinion links the washing of one’s feet back to the washing of one’s face. This is a matter of rhetoric, or what is also known as balāghah/بلاغة . The weaker opinion, as is favored in some Shiite as well as “Sunni” schools [as minor opinions to be sure] is that the washing of the feet is linked not to the washing of one’s face, but to the wiping of one’s head. From this understanding, those that take this weaker or should I say minority opinion, root their stance not in wanton allegory, but in the language of the Verse itself. To be clear, this is not intended to be a lesson in wudū’, but to demonstrate the fluidity and nuance of language. In this case, the interpretations are literal: They proceed directly from the source text [the Qur’ān], yet, due to the duality of language, both parties are able to extract two very different meanings from the same source. To be sure, Imām Mālik, as supported by Ibn al-Qāsim’s statement, relies not solely on this Verse, but also includes states from other Companions, who themselves provide their own accounts of how the Prophet [peace and blessings be upon him] performed or reacted to [actively or tacitly] their respective performance of wudū’.

To see this play out in a different manner, let us examine some of the various English translations of the Qur’ān. We will see how each of these translators interpreted this verse, taking into account the aforementioned nuances of language:

“O ye who believe! When ye prepare for prayer, wash your faces, and your hands (and arms) to the elbows; Rub your heads (with water); and (wash) your feet to the ankles” [Abdullah Yusuf Ali Translation].

“You who have iman! when you get up to do salat, wash your faces and your hands and your arms to the elbows, and wipe over your heads, and wash your feet to the ankles” [Aisha Bewley].

“O YOU who have attained to faith! When you are about to pray, wash your face, and your hands and arms up to the elbows, and pass your [wet] hands lightly over your head, and [wash] your feet up to the ankles” [Muhammad Asad Translation].

As we can see here, all three of these translators had to tackle this issue regarding the interpretive methods of language. Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s method was to use parenthetical inserts to flush out the meanings that were not explicitly mentioned in the text. Inserts such as “(and arms)”, “(with water)”, and especially in relation to the argument here, “(wash)”, show how Ali had to tackle this issue of literal interpretation coupled with implicit meanings. Muhammad Asad’s translation follows a similar path, making use of brackets to highlight implied meanings. Aisha Bewely’s translation however, skips parenthetical usage and quotes, “and wash your feet to the ankles” as if the meaning were explicit. This is done in part because Bewely, a Mālikī scholar in her own right, is assuming Mālik’s position [the above “jamī’an”] which is in favor of washing the feet, and is no doubt familiar with this very same text. Again, the message here is not who is right or wrong, but rather to demonstrate how these three translators, who recognize the ambiguity that is latent in the text [the Qur’ān]—not unlike ‘Abd al-Rahmān Bin al-Qāsim, Ibn Wahab, and Imām Mālik himself—and are all able to make “literal translations” that differ in practice, though not in meaning, as they all recognize the closing portion of the Verse:

ما يريد الله ليجعل عليكم من حرج و لكن يريد ليطهركم وليتم نعمته عليكم لعلكم تشكرون

God does not want to make things difficult for you, but God does want to purify you and to perfect God’s blessing upon you so that hopefully you will be thankful. [Qur’ān al-Mā’idah (5):6]

I will mention one last hadith here from Mālik’s al-Mudawwanah to highlight the existence of ambiguity, particularly as it relates to language. Mālik sites a hadith from ‘Uthmān Bin ‘Affān, a noted Companion of the Prophet [may God be pleased with him and peace and blessings upon the Prophet], where by ‘Uthmān uses the preposition “nawha”/نحو :

أن عثمان بن عفان دعا يوما بوضوء فتوضأ فغسل كفيه ثلاث مرات ثم تمضمض واستنثر ثلاث مرات ثم غسل وجهه ثلاث مرات ثم غسل يده اليُمنى إلى المرفق ثلاث مرات ثم غسل يده اليسرى أيضا إلى المرفق ثلاث مرات ثم مسح رأسه وأذنيه ثم غسل رجله اليمنى إلى الكعب ثلاث مرات ثم غسل رجله اليسرى إلى الكعب ثلاث مرات وأخبرنا أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم توضأ نحو وضوئي

“‘Uthmān Bin ‘Affān called to make wudū’ one day and so he performed wudū’: He washed his palms three times, then rinsed his nose and mouth three times, washed his face three times, washed his right hand to his elbows three times as well as the left, then he wiped his head and ears and washed his feet, right then left, up to his ankle bone, three times, whereupon he informed us that the Messenger of God, peace and blessings be upon him, performed wudū’similar to my wudū’.

‘Uthmān’s use of “similar”/نحو is of key importance [as is Mālik’s mentioning of it], as it highlights a proximity, not an exactness, of ‘Uthmān’s wudū’ and that of the Prophet. Mālik quotes the Prophet again:

من توضأ نحو وضوئي هذا ثم قام فركع ركعتين لا يحدث فيهما نفسه غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه

“Whoever performs wudū’ like me and then stands for prayer, praying two units, does  not talk idly to himself, he will be forgiven for what sins proceeded him.”

I hope the short example here will be of some use to demonstrate not only the pluralism that exists in Islam, but to show that literalism is not the same as uniformity. Language is a multifaceted enterprise and cannot be reduce to single interpretations. It is my hope as well to also illustrate that literal interpretations are also not problematic [as is often the opinion of certain voices who feel ‘literal interpretations’ are always locked in stasis of a time gone by]. Above all, I hope this case helps to impart the awe, humility, and respect we should all be taking when approaching this gift we call Islam. We may differ from one another, but before we cast aspersions at one another, I hope we will think twice, and take more time to grasp the enormity, if not the entirety, of these topics which are both broad and expansive.

Published in: Uncategorized on March 5, 2020 at 18:50  Leave a Comment  

The Way Forward for the Muslims is to Establish Madinan Communities, Markets and Trade

بسم اللّه الرّحمن الرّحيم

The Way Forward

This affair of ours which is the establishment of the Diin wherever we are is the business of establishing families and clans who in turn band together in a community relationship that functions under the commands and adaab of the Qur’an and the Sunnah.  This affair of ours is about social transactions, social interaction, and the social contract. 

Allah has said in His Noble Book

و جعلناكم شعوبًا و قبآئل لتعارَفوا

We have made you nations and tribes so that you know one another… 49:104

When the Prophet صلّى الله عليه وسلّم arrive in Madinah, he brought together the believers from the two existing tribes al-Aws and al-Khazraj who historically had been enemies under the singular title al-Ansaar.  Furthermore, when they arrive in Madinah, he صلّى الله عليه وسلّم paired an Ansaar with a muhaajiruun (ones who had emigrated with the Prophet صلّى الله عليه وسلّم)..

There is a narration in Sahiih al-Bukhaarii about the patterns of mutual aid which was practiced in Madinah. It was narrated by Ibraahiim bin Saʿd from his father from his grand-father ʿAbdu-r-Rahmaan bin ʿAuf who said, 

“When we came to Madinah as immigrants, the Messenger of Allah صلّى الله عليه وسلّم established a bond of brotherhood between me and Saʿd bin Rabiiʿ.  Saʿd bin Rabiiʿ said to me, I am the riches among the Ansaar, so I will give you half of my wealth and you may look at my two wives and whichever of the two you choose, I will divorce her, and when she has completed the prescribed waiting period you may marry her.  ʿAbdu-r-Rahmaan said, ‘I am not in need of all of that. (Then he said),‘Is there a marketplace where trade is practiced?’  Saʿd bin Rabii said, “the market of Qaynuqaa’u”. ʿAbdu-r-Rahmaan went to that market the following day and brought some yogurt and butter… ”  B34:6 

On one occasion, a Jewish leader by the name of Shaas ibn Qays passed by a group of al-Aws and al-Khazraj tribesmen enjoying each other’s company.  He began to reflect on the days when these two tribes were enemies of one another and so he decided to send a Jewish youth who frequented their gatherings to stir up memories of the Days of Buʿaath when the Aws had victory over the Khazraj.  When the youth brought up the matter, it aroused old pride and tribal hatred.  When the Prophet ¬ heard about this, he immediately went to them and reminded them how Islam had come and softened their hearts towards one another.  He ¬ continued talking to them emphasizing the need for unity and brotherhood.

واعتصم بحبل اللّه جميعًا و لا تفرّقوا واذكرو نعمت اللّه عليكمو إذ كنتمو أعْدآء فأَلَّف بين قلوبِكم فأصبَحْتم بنعمته إخوانًا و كنتم على شَفَا حُفْرَةٍ مِنَ النَّارِ فَأَنْقَذَكُم مِّنْهَا …

“And hold on to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided.  And remember Allah’s favor on you when you were enemies and He joined your hearts together so that by His favor you became brothers.  And you were on the brink of a pit of fire and He saved you from it …” 3:103

This business is about Ṣuḥbah (companionship).  We should build and organize what we do around this principle.   Ṣuḥbah includes visiting, keeping company, inviting each other to eat (feed each other; the secret is the food) and mutual assistance.

Diin means social transaction – which means there is a need for adaab (good behavior and good manners).  All of Islam is adaab – the adaab you owe to Allah, the adaab you owe to His Prophet صلّى الله عليه وسلّم,  the adaab you owe to your neighbor, the adaab you owe to the members of your family, the adaab you owe to the rest of the creation and the adaab you owe to yourself.  The Holy Qur’an is a book full of adaab and the Prophet صلّى الله عليه وسلّم is the best example of the practice of it’s adaab.

Our Daʿwah

Our greatest daʿwah is our behavior (adaab) towards each other and others who are not from among us.  This is followed by our actions and our activism.  It has been said actions speak louder than words. This is followed by ours words which are our expressions based on sincerity and truthfulness which will raise us in stature in the community or our expressions base on hypocrisy and untruthfulness which lower or standing in the community.  

When we behave with good adaab and love towards each other, our ranks will grow in-shaa’a-l-laah.  There is a natural inclination of the ahlu-l-khayr (the people of good action and intent) to incline towards the ‘lovers’.  Who are the lovers?  They are those who love Allah more than anybody or anything; they are those who love the Prophet صلّى الله عليه وسلّم more than themselves or those who are near and dear to them, and they are those who love each other for the sake of Allah and by means of the example of His beloved Prophet  Muhammad صلّى الله عليه وسلّم.   

We must fortify the barrier between us and the Hellfire, and collapse the barrier that stands between us and the Jannah.  We must get our priorities straight.  The Prophet صلّى الله عليه وسلّم said: “Strive for the Dunyaa (the life of this world) as if you are going to live forever, and strive for your hereafter as if you were going to die tomorrow.”

Allah has said in His Noble Book:  

ولتكن منكمو أمّة يدعون إلى الخير

Let there arise from out of you an Ummah (internationally: a nation;: a community [locally]) calling to good … (to the end of the ayat) 3:104

That community should be established on the character of Muhammad صلّى الله عليه وسلّم.

We can not remain in the position of trying to be this or that or trying to do this or that and nothing gets up off the ground.  We must check ourselves to see what we are possibly doing wrong and accept our shortcomings, and when we find them, we should do something to change them, and find the best way to bring about success.    

When you are young it is hard to stay focused, because you want instant gratification.  In reality, the business of Islamic movement is about patience and staying in for the long haul.   Success comes not to the swift, but it comes to he who endures to the end. It is not about taking your ball and going home when the game doesn’t go your way.   

Allah says in His noble Book:

Do you say you believe and think that you will not be tried?

On the contrary, Allah has also said,

ولِنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيءٍ مِّنَ الْْخَوفِ وَ الْجُوعِ وَ نَقْصٍ مِنَ الاَموَالِ وَ الاَنفُسِ و َالثَّمَارَاتِ وَ بَشِرِ الصَابِرينَ

“And We will try you with something of fear and hunger and loss of wealth and lives and fruits.  And give glad tiding to the patient ones.”  2:155

Allah also tries us with each other.  That’s why it is necessary that we become team players – people who are willing to humble our nafs in order to foster cooperation and mutual assistance rather than be self-centered – ‘see me and see what I can do all by myself individual’.   

One of the best examples given to us by our Prophet صلّى الله عليه وسلّم is when he was called upon to solve the problem between the tribal elders as to who would have the honor of placing the black stone in the corner of the Kaʿbah.    The Prophet صلّى الله عليه وسلّم said, “Bring me a robe.  He صلّى الله عليه وسلّم took the robe they brought him, and spread it out on the ground and place the Black Stone on it, and then said, “Let the elders of each clan hold on to a corner of the robe.”  They all complied and together they carried the stone to the site of the reconstruction of the Kaʿbah.  Then the Prophet صلّى الله عليه وسلّم himself picked up the stone and laid it in its place.  As a result, the dispute was resolved peacefully and so bloodshed was avoided.

Our daʿwah should be one of action rather than words. We must overcome the prevailing condition that exists in the Muslim Ummah الكلام كثير والفعل قليل (The words are many while the actions are few.  On the contrary, we must become people of few words and a lot of action.

The Madinan Way

Muslim life is distinct in that it is a Diin (a social transaction) between its members based on the Qur’aan and the Sunnah.  The core value of the community is its religious beliefs. 

The Diin of Islam permeates daily life, Learning, diet, marriage, trade, and the applications of energy to business pursuits. The Diin of Islam determines hours of prayer, the daily, weekly, seasonal, and yearly activities which are associated with the social transaction.  The Diin of Islam helps to determine the Muslim’s occupation, means and destination of travel, choice of friends, and mates.

The natural organic environment of the Diin is found in small close-knit communities where customs and culture within the bounds of Islam are upheld, a strong sense of togetherness is fostered, continuity and consistency of Islamic practice prevails and the needs of the individual from birth to death are met and assured within an integrated and shared value system.

The Muslims best survive in a small homogeneous and self-governing community.  The homogeneous character of the Muslim community can be observed in the parts its members play, the activities which govern their lives, and the willingness of the members of their community to conform to the pattern of life that has been established by previous generations.  Their distinctive dress, social behavior, personal conduct, and religious attitude demonstrate the seriousness of their conformity and helps to preserve their Muslim way of life in an ever-changing world.  

Self-sufficiency is the basis of upon which the economy of the Muslims rest, and although the Muslim’s economy is sometimes linked to the economy of the broader non-Muslim society outside of their community, this economic linkage is conditioned by distinct core values embedded in their belief system and by special rules which govern such relationships.  The economic life of Muslims is connected to trade.  Hard work, thrift, and mutual aid fortify the economic independence of the Muslims.

Muslim success, with the help of Allah at self-sufficiency and self-governance, is best achieved as a result of their living in close proximity to one another.   The Madinan model, based on the function of the “Little Community” has been the best example given. 

The prototype offered in the fiqh discussion put forth concerning the Madinan model is a community of Muslims living adjacent to one another in communities consisting of forty households with a Masjid, a market, and a madrasah (school).  These communities in turn form a functional part of the broader society in which they are located, but at the same time, they are a distinct cultural unit within that society.  Under this social arrangement, the Muslims are able to practice mutual-aid, bartering, intensive trading, thrift, educate their children, care for the elderly of their community, achieve prosperity, observe the tenets of their religion, maintain their way of life and preserve their identity.

Self-sufficiency is also the Muslims answer to government aid.  They wouldn’t have  to rely on receiving government aid of any kind, whether it is an old age pension, welfare subsidy, or compensation payments.  The continued acceptance of and the reliance on such aid,  undermines the stability of the Muslim community and its ability to rely on itself. 

The Muslims must assume responsibility for their aged relatives.  Life insurance and nursing homes run contrary to Muslims values.  The goals of the greater outside non-Muslim society are unacceptable as well to the Muslims with respect to the education of their children.  

The Muslim must assume responsibility for the education of their children.  The non-Muslim school system can not be allowed to relieve the Muslim family and community of the duty of preparing the young for the future task of being honorable members of the Muslim community, raising good families, and calling people to Islam.

The Market of Madinah 

There is the narration in Sahiih al-Bukhaarii that was already mentioned above but shall be repeated here about the patterns of mutual aid which was practiced in Madinah. It was narrated by Ibraahiim bin Saʿd from his father from his grand-father ʿAbdu-r-Rahmaan bin ʿAuf who said, 

“When we came to Madinah as immigrants, the Messenger of Allah Sallaa-l-laahu ʿalayhi wa Sallim established a bond of brotherhood between me and Saʿd bin Rabiiʿ.  Saʿd bin Rabiiʿ said to me I am the riches among the Ansaar, so I will give you half of my wealth and you may look at my two wives and whichever of the two you choose, I will divorce her and when she has completed the prescribed waiting period you may marry her.  ʿAbdu-r-Rahmaan said, ‘I am not in need of all of that. (Then he said),‘Is there a marketplace where trade is practiced?’  Saʿd bin Rabiiʿ said the market of Qaynuqaa’u ʿAbdu-r-Rahmaan went to that market the following day and brought some yogurt and butter… ”  B34:6 

Again from this hadith, we can see that “Trading must be promoted as the means to increase the wealth of the Ummah.” When the Messenger of Allah entered Madinah, after he built the mosque he made the market of the Muslims. This is the central model of Islamic cities.

Islamic Trade

TRADE IS THE BASIS OF PROSPERITY IN ISLAM. TRADING MUST BE PROMOTED AS THE MEANS TO INCREASE THE WEALTH OF THE UMMAH.

When the Messenger of Allah entered Madinah, after he constructed the masjid, he organized the market of the Muslims. The Madinan model is the central model for Islamic trade in all of the Islamic cities.  

Islamic Trading raises societies by raising people’s capabilities to their highest economic potential, offering equal accessibility to the business nexus to everyone in identical conditions of equality and justice.

Up until the 15th century the Muslims completely dominated world trading.

Under the Islamic model, in principle, unemployment shouldn’t exist, and the one earning income is not a slave of a salary, but rather enjoys his own business, free from the compulsion of having to work for someone else for a meager wage.

In the Islamic model, multinationals and hyper-markets do not exist. Unlike the model of one owner with a thousand employees that is the case of many hyper-market today. On the contrary, in the Islamic Model, we have a thousand free owners in an open Free Market.

The Islamic model removes any form of monopoly that makes everybody a salaried worker and gives a chance of independence to the self-motivated individual in a ‘free-market without an interest based economy’.

The Muslims Must Establish Real Free Markets (Islamic Open Air Market [Suuq]), regulated according to the Islamic Law.

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The Market is in fact the most essential of all the elements that constitute the practice of trading. It is the open space where trading and the pricing of the goods takes place. The Market is the space for the free evaluation, in it, a substantial part of our freedom is invested. The guaranteeing of the freedom in the market is a pillar in the guaranteeing of freedom of the society in general.

Freedom of the market does not mean what modern economists mean by a free market. Free market is that market where usury (interest), monopolies, restrictions of access or prices, privileges, and impositions are not allowed. For a start, the medium of exchange can not be imposed, but should be commonly agreed upon by the people.

The market is also the physical space where trading takes place. The protection of this physical space and the preservation of its main legal parameters is therefore a task of major importance in our days.

Like a mosque as Rasuulu-l-laah صلّي اللّّه عليه و سلم,  indicated  and  guarantees that most people can enter the business nexus with the absolute minimum conditions. he shops and the end to reserved space, something that Umar Ibn al-Khattab clearly forbade in the market place; just as we will not tolerate reserving a place in the prayer-line of the mosque; but more significantly it is the end of the supermarket.

The supermarket is the most infamous of all monopolies for it affects the most important of all institutions of trading, the marketplace. If the marketplace is monopolized, soon the distribution and production processes will be monopolized as well, forcing people to abandon honest business endeavors in favor of artificially higher profits gained from monopolistic privileges.

The Rasuulu-l-laah صلّي اللّّه عليه و سلم, not only made the markets accessible to all, professionals and non-professionals, but also made them free and he forbade charging any form of tax or rent. It is very important to realize, that the first thing that gets corrupted when a Muslim society is in decline is the marketplace. That is why the market is the most regulated by Law, and about 1/3 of all Islamic Law is about trading. The market is corrupted most readily by the introduction of private shops and consequently by renting the spaces. Umar Ibn al-Khattab رضي اللّه عنه, had to fight against it even in Madinah.

Soon after his arrival in Madinah al-Munawwarah, when he صلّى الله عليه وسلّم created two institutions, a mosque and a market,  the Prophet of Islam, صلّى الله عليه وسلّم, made it perfectly clear, by his statements and explicit injunctions, that the marketplace was to be a space freely accessible to everybody, with no divisions (such as shops), and where no taxes, levies or rents could be charged.

The Messenger of Allah, صلّى الله عليه وسلّم, said: The Market is like a Mosque… 

The Messenger of Allah, صلّى الله عليه وسلّم, said: “Markets should follow the same sunnah as the mosques: whoever gets his place first has a right to it until he gets up and goes back to his house or finishes his selling. (suq al-muslimin ka-musallah l-muslimin, man sabaqah ila shay’in fa-huwa lahu yawmahu hatta yada’ahu.)”. (Al-Hindi, Kanz al-‘Ummal, V, 488, no. 2688)

It is a sadaqah, with no private ownership... Ibrahim ibn al-Mundhir al Hizami relates from Abdallah ibn Ja’far, that Muhammad ibn Abdallah ibn Hasan said, “The Messenger of Allah, صلّى الله عليه وسلّم, gave the Muslims their markets as a charitable gift (tasaddaqa ‘ala l-muslimina bi-aswaqihim).” (Ibn Shabba, K. Tarikh al-Madinah al-Munawwarah, 304)

With no rent charged …

Ibn Zabala relates that Khalid ibn Ilyas al-‘Adawi said, “The letter of Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz was read out to us in Madinah, saying that the market was a sadaqah and that no rent (kira’) should be charged on anyone for it.” (As-Samhudi, Wafa al-Wafa, 749)

With no taxes levied on it …

Ibrahim ibn al-Mundhir relates from Ishaq ibn Ja’far ibn Muhammad, from Abdallah ibn Ja’far ibn al-Miswar, from Shurayh ibn Abdallah ibn Abi Namir, that Ata’ ibn Yasar said, “When the Messenger of Allah, salla’llahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, wanted to set up a market in Madinah, he went to the market of Bani Qaynuqa’ and then came to the market of Madinah, stamped his foot on the ground and said, “This is your market. Do not cause it to be narrower (than this) (la yudayyaq), and do not let any tax (kharaj) be levied on it.'” (Ibn Shabba, K. Tarikh al-Madinah al-Munawwarah, 304)

Where no reservations or claims can be made …

Ibn Zabala relates from Hatim ibn Isma’il that Habib said that Umar ibn al-Khattab (once) passed by the Gate of Ma’mar in the market and [saw that] a jar had been placed by the gate and he ordered that it be taken away. … Umar forbade him to put any stones on the place or lay claim to it (in any way) (an yuhajjir ‘alayha aw yahuzaha). (As-Samhudi, Wafa al-Wafa, 749)

And where no shops can be constructed …

Ibn Shabba relates from Salih ibn Kaysan that The Messenger of Allah, salla’llahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: ‘This is your market. Do not build anything with stone (la tatahajjaru) (on it), and do not let any tax (kharaj) be levied on it.'”  (As-Samhudi, Wafa al-Wafa, 747-8)

Abu-r-Rijaal relates from Israa’il, from Ziyaad ibn Fayyad, from one of the Shaykhs of Madinah that Umar ibn al Khattab, radiya’llahu ‘anhu, saw a shop (dukkan) which someone had newly put up in the market and he destroyed it. (Ibn Shabba, K. Tarikh al-Madinah al-Munawwarah, 750)

Trading must be promoted as the means to increase the wealth of the Ummah. The exaggerated rents paid nowadays by shopkeepers all over the world and in places like the Grand Bazaar and the enormous amount of small traders selling very inefficiently in the streets or in small shops all around the town, are clear signs that people need open markets.

Open Islamic markets will not only unleash the inhibited potential of the local people, but will also attract traders from other countries who will come to trade in our open markets. The return of the caravans to our cities will be the sign of the restoration of the glory that the town had in the past. And we will achieve that simply by following the same method that the great sultans used: the promotion of Islamic Trading. 

Most of the design features are focused on the increase of the productivity for the traders, through architectural design and use of technology. For example, to facilitate the daily movement of the merchandise and to provide the buyers with some convenient technical facilities for the payment and the collection of the goods. 

Employment is the Lowest Form of Economic Activity. Trading must be promoted as the means to increase the wealth of the Ummah. 

Most employees spend their lives working for others, paying off debts to others, and performing tasks that others tell them that they “must” do.  The vast majority of employees are no more than indentured servants.  It is just that the mechanisms of servitude are more sophisticated these days.

Debt bondage at an early part of adulthood. creates obligations that must be met to avoid the unwanted consequences that are faced when debts are not paid.  Most people don’t realize that over the course of a lifetimes the amount of money that they repay on their debts is far greater than the amount that they originally borrowed. As a result, they spend most of their lives as employees of others paying off debts, without ever working for themselves or owning their own businesses  In fact, their tenure of employment, makes the businesses that other people own more profitable.

So if they spend the best years of their lives building businesses for others in order to  service debts owed to others while making others wealthier, what does that make them?  Answer: dependent and indentured (bound) because of debt bondage.

Employees, particularly those at the bottom end of the infrastructure, will be provided with a basic salary which usually amounts to a fraction of that of their employers profits. The amount they receive merely enables them to feed, clothe, and house themselves.

In some cases, the salary provided will just barely cover the employee’s living costs, making it almost impossible for them to save up any money, and thus keeping them trapped. Those with families and mortgages would likely face financial ruin if they were to lose their jobs. This in turn creates an atmosphere of fear and desperation.

Unlike the slave and the serf, the employee is a “free”  to work or to be idle. Idleness of course is not really a choice because of the more than likely negative consequences that will come as a result of it. Therefore, the so-called freedom of choice is no real choice at all.. The worker as an individual appears to be free; in reality, however, he becomes enslaved by the need for employment.

The employee sells his labour at so much per hour, per day, per week.  Yet, he never participates in ownership of either the means of production or the finished product. He receives the wages that were agreed upon only.

On the other hand, the guild craftsman of the earlier ages stood a better chance at becoming his own master. Even the individual slave now and then might rise above his fellows and buy his freedom or escape from slavery; but the modern employee is solidly enslaved to his wage and his debt. Employment is slavery and debts are the chains that bind.

The Islamic Guild Represented the Free Society of Free People. 

For centuries, Muslims living within an Islamic Madinah belonged to an Islamic guild. The relationship in the Islamic guild which is the relationship of the master craftsman / apprentice is a higher relationship than employer / employee.

The Guilds Are Born FromThe Open Market

If the market was only accessible to a few then a few masters would keep their apprentices as employees forever, because they would depend on those few to buy and sell.

But the guild master knows that once his apprentice has reached a certain professional expertise he is able just like him, by virtue of the open Islamic market, to buy the same materials and sell his manufactured products in the same market as he does. The guilds are, thus, natural to the Islamic market. And it follows that wherever there is an Islamic market, it will be difficult to find life-time employees. For many employees of today, the Islamic market is an opportunity to emancipate themselves to rise above the salary and to unleash their own inhibited motivation to work, individually or in a group, for themselves.

The employee, as a member of a class of people forced to work for someone else or otherwise be on the dole (unemployed), did not exist in Islam. This is why some people have spoken about the Islamic guilds as the condition of a society without a working class, for only slaves historically speaking could be classified as the working class.

The End of Unemployment Must Coincide with the End of Employment.

Unemployment based on the non-Muslim model hides a more severe problem which is the massive situation of implicit enforced employment, due to access being denied to the market and business opportunities for a significant segment of society. That is the real problem. Unemployment is only the severe symptom of that problem.

Trading must be promoted as the means to increase the wealth of the Ummah.

In the open Islamic market, an old lady can come in the morning produce and sell a soup in the Islamic market and go in the afternoon with the earnings she has honestly earned. In the Islamic market, a carpenter can buy wood at the same price as the factory does and can then sell his product alongside all other wood producers in the same place. The comparative quality, price, and acceptance of their products, and nothing else, will then determine the success of these two people.

Accessibility and no rent in the Islamic market secure that the only minimum conditions are required to enter into the business nexus.

If we now consider the enormous potential wasted by unemployment, plus the inhibited talent of life-time employees (the lowest form of economic activity), plus the resources wasted in the really unnecessary yet unavoidable ‘private tax’ on thousands of private shops who pay exorbitant rents, plus the immense wealth lost by forbidding trading (that is the caravans), then, if we add all this, it becomes very clear that not to have Islamic markets is a luxury that no society can afford.

Unemployment is a time-bomb in Europe and America. There is no answer within their economic models. All the economists can do is to accommodate, as best they can, the increasing number of the unemployed, as if it were something natural, that can at best perhaps be stabilized.

On the other hand, we Muslims, have a model that has worked in the past and it will work in the future In shaa’a-l-laah. It is Islamic trading. Islamic trading will not only eliminate unemployment but will eliminate inflation as well. 

The Caravans 

The caravans can only happen if there is a place to go to; that is if there is an Open market. Their disappearance is the clearest symptom of the abolition of trading. The caravans represent an open distribution network which means that anyone can sell anything, anywhere within that trading network.

The caravan is the transportation and agency. Who would go on their own if they could participate of the expectation and the attention of the caravan of the whole city? Just like who wouldn’t like to sell out of the market-place, if in the market-place is where all the customers were? Nobody was denied from doing it on their own, but the Caravan represented the interest of the great majority of sellers in the town. They all nurse and care for its reach and quality.

The caravans can only happen if there is a place to go to; that is if there is an Open Market. Their disappearance is the clearest symptom of the abolition of trading. The caravans represent an open distribution network which means that anyone can sell anything, anywhere within that trading network.

aravans both serve to acquire good materials for production andto acquire new customers to sell directly without barriers or intermediaries

Why would traders join the caravans?

A caravan is more powerful than an individual and might obtain, from the government of the land visited, special privileges which would not be granted to the solitary merchant.

A caravan offers protection since a large part of international trading is protection against robbery, fraud, trickery, and deceit.

A caravan stops corruption since its trade would be carried on year after year, and would be anxious to build up and maintain a reputation for honesty and fair dealing.

A caravan offers access to the benefits from the services that it has already established throughout the years in the areas of protection, storage, accommodation, and most importantly, reputation.

Summation

Islamic Trading versus Monopolistic Distribution 

All civilizations created markets for trading, because there can be no trading without markets, without markets, there can only be monopolistic distribution.

What is the difference between trading and monopolistic distribution?

Trading is the movement of merchandise to be sold in the Islamic market. Trading requires a market place, so that the merchandise can move from one place to another in order to be sold. The caravans cannot exist if there is not a place to go.

Distribution is the movement of merchandise already sold. Without a market place, merchandise can only move if it is already sold. Without the market, trade disappears and only monopolistic distribution is left. Caravans cannot go to a supermarket. 

Accessibility and Openness of Trading

Accessibility is the opposite of monopoly and privilege.

It is the condition for the return of all other elements of Islamic trading.  Without markets no guilds. Without the markets no trading.  Without trading no caravans

Islamic Trading – Accessibility Based on Trade

There are the three institutions of Islamic trading:

A. Open Markets Islamic Market

B. Open Distribution Caravans

C. Open Production Guilds

Non-Islamic trading is based on non-access based distribution.

There are the three institutions of non-Islamic trading. These are the new institutions that have replaced the institutions of Islamic trading:

A.Closed Markets Shops or Supermarkets

B. Closed Distribution Exclusive Distributors

C. Closed Production Patent or Capital Corporation

The highest degree of civilization and justice comes from the Institutions of Islamic trading based on the following three elements: 

* Markets

* Caravans

* Guilds

These institutions have been present in the culture of man  since the beginning of the civilized world, only to be completely supplanted in the modern times by un-Islamic economic theory and  un-Islamic trade practices.

Published in: Uncategorized on March 1, 2020 at 16:36  Leave a Comment  

Shaykh Abdul Rashid Ali Sufi Reciting in Khalaf Reading Style – Complete Qur’an

Shaykh Abdul Rashid Ali Sufi Reciting in Khalaf Reading Style – Complete Qur’an
The Reciter is Shaykh Abdur Rashid Ali Sufi who is reciting in Qirā’atu Khalaf (the reading method) of Khalaf. A Qirā’at is a method of pronunciation used in the recitations of the Qur’an. There ten Qirā’āt methods. Seven qirā’āt (methods of recitations) out of the ten qirā’āt have authentic chains of transmission as outlined by Imam Ash-Shaatibiyy. Each of the seven qirā’āt has two separate modes of reading that were made famous by each of the two main students of the original teachers (imams) of the recitation. The remaining three qirā’āt that have been mentioned by Imam ibn Al-Jazari are also named after the students of the scholars who were the original reciters.
Each qirā’āt has two narrators of the recitation of the first scholar, sometimes the two different narrations they learned from the first scholar are almost identical, other times, there is quite a difference between them. Each qirā’āt (methods of recitations) was either transmitted directly from the Imam himself or transmitted with a shaykh or two in between the student and the main teacher.
What’s really interesting is that each qirā’āt has received its name from the main student who mastered and popularized the reading rather than the master teacher who taught it. Another interesting point is that even though two modes of reading may have been transmitted from the same teacher, they may have very different rules, as each has its own chain of transmission and each has its own identity. The main point is that these are all authentic ways of recitation passed down in chains of transmission from the Messenger of Allah, (S.A.W), person by person until the recitation has reached us today.
In respect to the Khalaf reading method, you’ll notice the high ended pronunciation placed on the Alif Maqsuurah. For example in Surah (93) Suratu-ḍ-Ḍuḥaa the Shaykh reads the verse , wa-ḍ-ḍuḥay, as opposed to wa-ḍ-ḍuḥaa and wa maa qalay as opposed to wa maa qalaa as found in the other readings styles.
Those who are hearing this for the first time; keep an opened mind. Don’t assume the reciter is making mistakes. He’s not.
Another example of the uniqueness of this reading style is found in Suratu-l-Faatiḥah wherein the Shaykh reads verses 6 and 7: ihdina-z-ziraṭa-l-mustaqiima ziraṭa-l-ladhiina an ʿamta ʿalayhum ghayru-l-maghḍuubi ʿalayhum wala-d-daaaaaa liiiiiin,
as opposed to ihdina-ṣ-ṣiraṭa-l-mustaqiima ṣiraṭa-l-ladhiina an ʿamta ʿalayhim ghayru-l-maghḍuubi ʿalayhim wala-d-daaaaaa liiiiiim, as found in the other readings styles.
Click on the following link:
Click the following link to read each Surah individually:
Click on the following link to down a copy of the Qur’an in the Khalaf style of reading with the color coded rules of tajwīd:
Published in: Uncategorized on February 14, 2020 at 10:02  Leave a Comment  

Aspects of The ʿAmal of The People of Madinah

Aspects of The ʿAmal of The People of Madinah

 ©Al-Madanii Publishers

© 1996 Amal Al-Madanii Publishers

Chapter 1: 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 verbسَـنَّ (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 these means, 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 عليه و سلم said]) and سنة التقرير (sunnatu at-taqriir [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’ (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.  A fuller discussion of this matter is coming in the next chapter.   

  

Chapter 2: 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.

  

Chapter 3 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 Imaam 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 beforehand, praise 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 fataawa  (legal decisions) to the people with things which are inconsistent with what is generally 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 their reliance 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 (behavioral practice) 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 him 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 the ʿAmal of the people Madinah.  

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 (the progeny of the first generation) 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 (the progeny of the second generation).  It is that strict adherence (to the preceding practice of the Sunnah) which in Imaam Maalik’s view that 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 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.  And the reason that he usually mentions why he held such a view was that the ʿAmal which was practiced in Madinah was based on well known transmitted Sunnah, and that well known Sunnah should be placed above transmitted hadith. 

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 in the previous chapter: “A thousand from a thousand is better than one from one.  For one from one would tear the Sunnah right out of our hands. 

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) fatwaawa (formal legal opinions), and because some of what he gave as legal opinions has been recorded as being at variance with the reported hadith 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. And Allah is the Best Knower In this matter.

       

Chapter 4 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 of madh-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 issue concerning their practice (ʿAmal) , and what is known about it, is in the hearts of the people, and what it is done in accordance with the ʿamal al-maaḍii ( the past practice) is (also) in their hearts.  [ al-Muwatta with the sharḥ (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 (لَمْ أَخْرُجْ عَنْ جُمْلَتِهِمْ إِلَى غَيْرِهِمْ [lam akhruj ‘an jumlatihim ilaa ghayrihim]).” 

With regards to the word Sunnah, there are phrases and expressions which Imaam Maalik uses in his Muwatta that clearly show that what he means by the word Sunnah is established practice and 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 pre-eminent generations or the ʿulamaa (scholars) of the city who were his contemporaries.   

Phrases and expressions that are used by Imaam Maalik to mean the establish practice or authoritative precedent are as follows:

1. 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. That 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 والذي الدركت عليه أهل العلم ببلدنا …

5. (This is ) our Sunnah which I saw the people of knowledge in our city doing …  

٦ . فهذا الأمر عندنا و الذي سمعت من أهل العلم

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

٧ . و بلغني أن عمر بن الخطاب قال …

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

٨ . و هو الأمر الذي لم يزل عليه أهل العلم ببلدنا 

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

     

        As for the word مَذْهَب (madh-hab), it is rooted in the first form verb ذَهَبَ (dhahaba) which means he went , while ذَهَبَ إِلَى (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 as 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:

         “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]

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 further states:

“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, Iraq – 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:

“As for the three pre-eminent 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.” 

Chapter 5 What is the Difference between the Maalikii Madh-hab and the Others (I.e. Hanafii, Shaafiʿii and Hanbalii)

The first and foremost thing that should be said about this subject is that none of the Imaams set out to found a school, but rather each Imaam assumed a tasked that was written on his heart by Allah.  The period they live in, the time they live in, the social environment in which they grew and lived all impacted these men and directed them towards the task of formulating a method by which to capture, preserve, protect and advance the Sunnah.  The schools of fiqh that became attributed to them by their students who desired to capture, preserve, protect and advance the methodology of their teachers.  This continued until the Middle Ages when certain scholars decided the gates to ijtihaad were closed.  Thereafter, every legal matter and new situation was reviewed and adjudicated on the basis of previous precedents and fatwas given by predecessors going all the way back to the Prophet Sallaa-l-laahu alayhi wa-s-Sallam. 

The first Madh-hab was that of Imaam Abu Haniifah originally know as the “School of Ra’ii (Opinion) and in later generations the Hanafii Madh-hab.  The method of this madh-hab or school of fiqh to deriving the Sunnah was influenced by the fact that it was functioning in an environment that was away from the original source Madinah and although their were Companions and men of knowledge who had arrived in Iraq and who live amongst them, new situations were occurring on a regular basis.   Few Companions travelled from Madinah and stayed in Iraq.  This was because of a policy that been established by ʿUmar which prevent scholars of the Diin from leaving Madinah in mass. In the absence of known or direct precedents, and because of the limited number of companions living in their midst, the ʿIraqiis resorted to making new rulings based on an understanding of the legal purpose of a prior ruling from the Kitaab, Sunnah, ijtihaad or ijmaa’a of first three generations.  They also formulated hypothetical cases which had not occurred in order to have judgement in place for their possible occurrence; and it for this reason that the people of the Iraqii School  are sometimes referred to as ‘the what-iffers’.  

In the case of Imaam Abu Haniifah, to whom the Madh-hab is attributed, he would go beyond the outward meaning of something and search further for their intent.  He would then use analogy to arrive at his judgements and opinions.   In doing this, it was not his intention to establish a new sunnah, but rather to uphold the already established Kitaab wa-s-Sunnah as it was being applied to anew situation.

 

What has been identified as the second madh-hab is the Madh-hab of the People of Madinah which as was previously mentioned  pre-dates Imaam Maalik who recorded and transmitted it in his well known book al-Muwatta.  Again, as previously mentioned, the methodology  used by this madh-hab for deriving the Sunnah was by direct transmission, that is say that one generation of people received it from the prior generation through the transmission of behavior and actions. These behaviors actions may or may not have been record in Ḥadith or they may have even be contradicted by one sound Ḥadith or another, but with the Madinans, an ʿamal  (precedent behavior or practice) which emanated from the first three generations would have precedence over the Ḥadith because as it was said and believed by them, as ibn Abi ʿAbdu-r-Rahmaan is reported to have said: “A thousand from a thousand is better than one from one.  For one from one would tear the Sunnah right out of our hands”. 

As previously mentioned, to the Madinans 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 ʿAmal).  This is because that thousand people weren’t just ordinary people but rather they were the upright people of the first three generations whose behavior and adaab towards the Sunnah is impeccable and who are considered the most truthful of the generations about this matter.  

The third Madh-hab is the Shafiʿii which has been attributed to Imaam Shafiʿii.  Imaam Shafiʿii unlike Imaam Maalik who remained in Madinah and Imaam Abu Haniifah who travelled very little, Imaam Shafiʿii traveled widely and  much.  In the course of his travels, he had an opportunity to see how the Diin was developing in the different parts of the Ummah.  He also had the opportunity to study most if not all the fiqh methods of his time.  

These experiences help to shape Imaam Shaafiʿii’s views as to the best way to preserve and advance the knowledge of the Sunnah of the Prophet.   In his travels,  Imaam Shafiʿii began to notice an alarming amount of diversity in the practice of the Diin and out of fear that the Diin would become fracture because of these diverse approaches, Imaam Shafiʿii saw it as his task to develop a minhaaj (methodology) of hard copying and codifying an authoritative source from which all the approaches to the Sunnah will be measured.   The Qur’an had been codified and established in book form during the time Khalif ʿUthmaan.   Now it was time to do the same with authentic hadiths.  And so arm with the Qur’an and the Hadiiths as authoritative textual sources, Imaam Shaafiʿii established an impeccable method for deducing the Sunnah which left little room for corrupt innovations to creep into the Diin.  

Another thing that resulted from Imaam Shafiʿii’s methodology for deriving the Sunnah was the need to have trustworthy textual evidence.  This in turn led to establishment of the science of Ḥadith and the great collections of hadith; and as we review the biographies of many of the well known Ḥadith collectors, we find that many of them were followers of the Shafiʿii Madh-hab.  

The last of the four recognized Sunni Madh-habs is the Hanbalii Madh-hab which was established around the methodology and teachings of Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal by his students and followers. It is even questioned by some whether or that this methodology can genuinely be called a madh-hab.  Case in point, the other three madh-habs were used for the purpose of governance whereas the methodology of Imaam Hanbal was established for collecting hadith.  Imaam Hanbal is seen more in the light of being a man of Ḥadith rather than a faqiih.   His methodology is base on investigating and deriving sources rather than deriving the law itself.  

This does not mean that Imaam Ahmad did not have the capacity to be a faqiih and that he himself did not give fataawa.  He had that capacity and beyond according to what has been transmitted about him.  What is being discussed here is his area of concentration which was compilation and authentication of hadiths and clarification of their context and meaning.  

In the end, when we discuss the differences between the Madh-habs, we should not discuss them as competitive differences, but rather their differences should be seen the light of methodological differences that evolve out each of the Imaam’s need to fulfill a task or service towards the preservation or the advancement of the Sunnah. Any competitive differences that evolve are as result of ignorant students and adherents to each of the Madh-habs.

Chapter 6 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 below 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 Allahصلى الله عليه وسلمreturned 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.”     

Chapter 7 The Rank of Maalik Among the Muhadith-thuun; The Muwatta of Imaam Maalik and What is Known About It and What Has Been said about Maalik Concerning It

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 is 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 هؤلاء 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 و الصحابة 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 و العراق و اصغر من أخذ عنه الشافعي و محمد بن الحسن و امثالهما و كان محمد بن الحسن إذا حدث بالعراق عن مالك و الحجاز بين تمتلئ داره و إذا و إذا حدث عن أهل العراق يقل الناس لعلمهم بأن علم مالك و أهل المدينة اصح و اثبت

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.

و أجل من أخذ الشافعي العلم إثنان مالك وابن عيينة و معلوم عند كل أحد أن مالكًا أجل من ابن عيينة حتى أنه كان يقول إني و مالكا كما قال القائل و ابن 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.’ ”

و من 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.’

و هذه علوم التفسير و الحديث و الفتيا و غيرها 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 

و إن 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.

و الناس كلهم مع مالك و أهل المدينة إما موافق و إما منازع فالموافق لهم عضد و نصير و المنازع لهم معظم لهم مبجّل لهم عارف بمقدارهم و ما تجد من يستخفّ باقوالهم و مذاهبهم إلاّ من ليس معدودًامن أئمة العلم و ذلك لعلمهم أن مالكا هو قائم بمذهب أهل المدينة و هو اظهر عند الخاصة و العامة 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 و إما حديثًا و إما مسألة تنازع فيها أهل المدينة و غيرهم و يختار فيها قولاً و يقول 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.

و أما الثاني فمثل هذا في قول مالك قليل جدًا و ما من عالم إلاّ و له ما يرد عليه و ما احس ما قال إبن خويزمنداد في مسألة بيع كنب الرأي و الإجارة عليها لا فرق عندنا بين رأى صاحبنا مالك و غيره 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.’

و أما 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 و نحوه 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.”

Chapter 8 What Has Been Said About The Position of the Hands in the Prayer According Maalik and the ʿAmal of Madinah

The placement of the hands in salaah is another example of an action by ʿAmal verses an action by hadith.  In the Muwatta, Imaam Maalik  has recorded two hadiths in the ‘Book of Prayer’ the section on:  وضع اليدين إحداهما على الأخرى في الصلاة (The Placing of the Two Hands One Over the Other in Salaah).   They are quoted as follows:

 (حَدَّثَنِي يَحْيَ عَنْ مَالِكٍ) عَنْ عَبْدِالْكَرِيمِ بْنِ أَبِي الْمُخَارِقِ الْبَصْرِي أَنَّهُ قَالَ مِنْ كَلاَمِ النُّبُوَّةِ إِذَا لَمْ تَسْتَحِ فَافْعَلْ مَا شِئْتَ وَ وَضْعُ الْيَدَيْنِ إِحْدَاهُمَا عَلَى الأُخْرَى فِي الصَّلاَةِ يَضْعُ الْيُمْنَى عَلَى الْيُسْرَى وَ تَعْجِيلُ الْفِطْرِ وَ الاسْتِيناءُ بِالسُّحُورِ

Yahya reported from Maalik  from ʿAbdu-l-Kariim bin Abii al-Mukhaariq al-Basrii  that he said from the words of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم “If you do not feel shy, then do what you like.   The placing of the hands one over the other in salaah is the placing of the right over the left.  You should hurry to break the fast and delay the suhuur (the meal before the fast).”

(حَددَّثَني يَحْيَ عَنْ مَالك عَنْ أَبِي حَازِم بِنْ دِينَارٍ) عَنْ سَهْلِ بِنْ سَعْدٍ أَنَّهُ قَالَ كَانَ النَّاسُ يُؤْمَرُونَ أَنْ يَضْعَ الرَّجُلُ الْيَدَ الْيُمْنَى عَلَى ذِرَاعِهِ الْيُسْرَي فِي الصَّلاَةِ قَالَ أَبُو حَازِمٍ لاَ اَعْلَمُ إلاَّ أَنَّهُ يَنْمِي ذَلِكَ 

Yahya reported from Maalik from Abu Haazim bin Diinaar from Sahl bin Saʿiid that he said, “The people were ordered that the man should place the right arm over his left in salaah.  Abu Haazim said, “I only know that he traces that back.” (That is to say, he ascribes to a Prophetic tradition)

Although these Ḥadith have been related in the Muwatta, it appears that they are in that category of Ḥadith that were considered sound in all of its aspects and it was even recorded in the Muwatta yet it were not acted upon because according to the Mudawwana Imaam Maalik  disapproved of placing the right hand over the left in Fard Salaah but permitted it in the Nafl salaah.  In the Mudawwana Imaam Maalik is quoted as saying: 

لا اعرف ذلك في الفريضة و لكن في النوافل إذا طال القيام فلا بأس بذلك يعين به على نفسه

“I do not know of this in the faraa’id (obligatory prayers) but in the nawaafil (voluntary prayers) it can be done if the standing has been long in order to make it easy for himself.” [ al-Mudawwanatu-l-Kubraa transmitted by Imaam Sahnuun bin Saiid at-Tanuukhii page 74 (Daaru-s-Saadir edition) Beirut, Lebanon]

In the same above Ḥadith which was transmitted by Sahnuun, he relates:

عن ابن وهب عن سفيان الثوري عن غير واحد من اصحاب رسول الله صلى الله علىه و سلم أنهم رأوا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وضعًا يده اليمنى على يده اليسرى في الصلاة

“From Ibn Wahb from Sufyaan ath-Thawrii  who received it from more than one of the companions of the Messenger Of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم saw the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم place his right hand on his left in the salaah.”

In spite of this report, the two Ḥadith recorded in the Ḥadith and the fact that the majority of jurist consider the position of qabd (the placing the right hand over the  left in the prayer as a sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, it was consider makruuh by Maalik  what was preferable with him was the ʿAmal of praying with one’s hands in the position of sadl (hands hanging in a natural position to sides of the body).

Ibn Rushd explains in his book ‘Bidaayatu-l-Mujtahid’ the cause of the difference of opinion between Imaam Maalik  and the rest of the jurist.  He says:

و السبب في اختلافهم إنه قد جاءت آثار ثابتة نقلت فيها صفة صلاته عليه الصلاة و السلام و لم ينقل فيها أنه كان يضع يده اليمنى على اليسرى و ثبت أيضًا أن الناس كانوا يؤمرون بذلك و ورد ذلك أيضًا من صفة صلاته عليه الصلاة و السلام في حديث أبي حميد فرأى قوم أن الآثار التي اثبتت ذلك اقتضت زيادة على الآثار التي لم تنقل فيها هذه الزيادة و إن الزيادة يجب أن يصار إليها و رأى قوم أن الاوجب المصير إلى الآثار التي ليس فيها هذه الزيادة لأنها اكثر و لكون هذه ليست مناسبة لافعال الصلاة و أنما هي باب الاستعانة و لذلك اجازها مالك في النفل و لم يجزها في الفرض …   

“…The reason for their difference of opinion is that confirmed hadiths have been report in which the description of the Prophet’s  prayer  عليه الصلاة والسلم have been transmitted, however it has not been transmitted in them that he عليه الصلاة والسلم used to place his right hand over his left during the prayer while it has also been reported that the people were commanded to do that.  And it has also been mentioned in a hadith of Abuu Humayd concerning the description of the Prophet’s  prayer  عليه الصلاة والسلم .  

A group of jurists, therefore, held the view that the traditions in which this (qabḍ) is confirmed created the need for the addition of more details to those traditions in which this detail was not transmitted.  And when added, it then becomes a necessary part of it. 

Another group of jurist said that it is necessary to adopt the traditions in which this additional detail has not been transmitted because they are more numerous, and also because it (this practice of qabḍ) is not suitable for prayer because it belongs to the category of seeking support and so for that reason Maalik permitted it in the nafl prayer and not in the fard prayer…

Both az-Zurqaanii in his sharh on the Muwatta of Imaam Maalik and Khaliil bin Ishaaq in his ‘Mukhtasar’ have reconfirm Imaam Maalik’s position on the placement of the arms in salaat.   Az-Zurqaanii

reports:

و روى ابن القاسم عن مالك الارسال و صار إليه اكثر اصحابه و روى أيضًا عنه اباحته في النافلة لطول القيام و كرهه في الفربضة و نقل ابن الحاجب أن ذلك حيث تمسك معتمدا لقصد الراحة

“Ibn al-Qaasim has related from Maalik the transmission and many of his companions went to him and he also related from him the allowance of it (qabd) in the naafilah salaah because of standing in prayer for a long time while he disliked it in the fard salaah.”

Khaliil bin Ishaaq says in the Mukhtasar: 

و سدل يديه 

(“and he should let his hands hang” [that is to say, let them hang to his side”]) 

One final point on this matter. As mentioned above, the majority of Sunni ulamaa maintain that the placing of the hands in the position of qabd is the most correct position for them, yet among the majority of the Shiiʿah ulamaa you will find the opposite. They maintain that the position of the arms is sadl.  There is a view that this position of the Shiiʿah ʿulamaa is derived directly from the amal of the people Madinah because the dispute which arose between them and the Sunnis occurred at an early date in Islamic history and was based on issues of politics rather fiqh.  In other words the Shiiʿahs did not drop their arms to their sides as one of the signs of their opposition to the Sunnis.   And Allah is the Best Knower in this matter.

 

  

   

Published in: Uncategorized on February 4, 2020 at 14:57  Leave a Comment  
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