Category Archives: General

General articles that dont fit elsewhere

The End…

In His Name, Most High

salamu `alaykum

After alot of thought and contemplation I have decided to close this blog permanently due to personal reasons and decisions I have made within the past month.

If you have benefited from the posts and entries made by this worthless one, please – i implore you – to remember me in your prayers. If I have offended anyone, hurt anyone or shown any sort of negativeness then forgive me and overlook my faults.

Wasalam

Salman

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Women Leaders…

Note: I have edited my needless conclusion, which is merely a personal opinion undeserving of being written or read, and not in line with the propriety of a beginner student of knowledge. Conclusions are for the fuqaha to make. Thus, I will only leave the actual translation of Maulana Thanawi’s verdict here, wa billahi tawfiq – Salman

———-

salamu `alaykum

I remember, one day in college, some of us brothers were discussing who the next MSA president would be. A few were quite fearful, for whatever reason, that a sister would emerge into that role. I remember remarking to these brothers, “What’s the problem with that?” to which they replied that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said:

‏لن يفلح قوم ولوا أمرهم امرأة

“Never will a nation be successful that is ruled by a woman.”

(Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al Maghazi. Also narrated in Kitab al Fitan by Bukhari and Tirmidhi, the latter from Muhammad ibn Muthana, and Nasa’i in Fadha’il)

Of course, they were mistaken in applying this narration generally across the board and thus forbidding female-leadership unconditionally. Yet, the fact of the matter is that such a narration is quite specific in its application, in the type of governance and leadership it refers to, and is not a universal negation of women holding any sort of leadership position.

Our Master, Ashraf `Ali Thanawi (May Allah be well-pleased with him) clarified this at length in his Imdad al Fatawa when asked regarding current day female leaders. He replied:

“Government can be of the three types:

Firstly, one that is autocratic (tamam) and generally encompassing (`aam). By ‘autocratic’ what is meant is the leader having sole authority, such that his/her governing is individual (shakhsi) without any need or approval from any other governor upon whom his/her decisions rest (mawquf). By ‘generally encompassing’ what is meant is that his/her subjects not be an exceedingly minute (qalil) group.

Secondly, one that is autocratic but not generally encompassing.

Thirdly, one that is generally encompassing but not autocratic.

An example of the first type is a woman being given sole sultanate or presidency, with the conditions mentioned previously.

An example of the second type is a woman receiving complete administrative duties over a small group, at the exclusion of all others.

An example of the third type is a woman being a democratic leader, yet, such that her guardianship is only an apparent (suri) one and not real (haqiqi). Rather, an integral part [of such a system of government] is seeking counsel (mashwera), and real leadership (wali haqiqi) therefore belongs to the parliament.

Analyzing the wording of the narration in question carefully brings to light the fact that it is in reference to the first group. Thus, the reason behind the [prophetic] statement, which was due to the Persians making Kisra [s: the name given to the leader] the monarch, unconditionally and completely as pointed to by the word usage, and connecting such leadership over a nation (qawm) – all of this contextualizes the narration.”

He continues a few lines down by stating:

“This is in opposition to the second type, which although has complete guardianship is not consigned over a nation [s: a “generally encompassing” body, as outlined before].

It is in opposition to the third type, which although is connected to a nation, does not constitute absolute and complete guardianship due to the presence of a counsel. Even though such counsel is given preference over individual counsels, it does not constitute complete and absolute guardianship…

Such contextualization is clear from the words of the hadith.”

Maulana Thanawi then continues by giving proof from the texts proving the validity and legitimacy of female leadership in certain cases – such as those of type two and three.

For type two, he brings forth the narration:

“A woman is a guardian over the household of her husband.”

(Bukhari and Muslim)

This proves that the leadership and guardianship of a woman, even if completely, over a minute constituency is valid.

As for type three, he gives the example of Queen Bilqis, who is referred to in the Qur’an, as being a “democratic leader” and the absence of any texts that imply her being removed from such a post even after her accepting the religion of Allah.

Since the basis was the establishment of her rulership and nothing specifies her removal from such a position, Maulana Thanawi brings forth the well known principle (qa’ida) that “Any matter passed upon by Allah and His Messenger without condemnation is a proof upon us.” Thus, it is established from the Qur’an that such a leadership is permitted for a woman since the reality of such governance is based on counsel and the woman only serves as the guardian of the counsel – not the ultimate authority.

Rather, Maulana stipulates that even if the woman has complete and sole leadership yet she, out of her own accord, chooses not to opinionate solely on her individual views and opinions, even this type of leadership does not enter into the forbidden leadership that the narration alludes to.

All of this is proof for the validity of the third type of government.

To conclude, he states:

“When the evidence establishes that the guardianship and leadership being referred to is that of type one then it becomes clear that the leadership of women in our times does not enter into this narration. This is because if we consider those that she rules over to be a small minority then it is of the second type [which is not interdicted]. If we do not consider her leadership to be over a very small group, which is what is clear today, even then such governance is democratic [and thus not interdicted]. This is whether such a system is manifestly apparent, such as in the case of the presence of a clearly viewable parliament, or non-apparent, such as the absence of a parliament yet the necessity of having laws passed through the consent of a representative or penitent of the leader. This enters into the third type.”

(Imdad al Fatawa, Vol 5 Pg: 91)

And Allah Knows Best

Wasalam

Salman

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What Is Superior: Knowledge Or Reason?

salamu `alaykum

Shaykh al Islam Ibn Hajar Haytami stated:

“There is difference [of opinion] among the scholars regarding this. The preferred opinion according to many of them is the superiority of knowledge (`ilm) because Allah Most High is categorized [fundamentally] by pre-eternal knowledge and not by reason (`aql). The actual attribute and qualifier is superior to what is from the genus [of that attribute].

Further, another proof for the superiority of knowledge is that it is connected to that which is more virtuous, and its merits have come in the narrations. No narrations have come on the superior merit of reason and verily all of them that have been narrated are fabricated and lies.

Some of the verifying scholars said: Knowledge is superior in relation to it being closer to the vastness of the knowledge (ma`arifa) of Allah and His attributes. Reason is superior in relation to it being the building block of knowledge and its basis.

The conclusion is that knowledge is superior in its essence while the superiority of reason is in its being a means to [attaining] knowledge.

(Fatawa Hadithiyya, Pg: 240 Dar Ihya al Turath Ed.)

[s: `Aql is a prerequisite to attaining `ilm. This is why the `ulum `aqliyya are so important in the shari`ah, as our master Ashraf `Ali Thanawi (May Allah be well-pleased with him) stresses often in his works. Further, one of the conditions for being morally responsible is being `aqil, which can be translated in this context as “sane”.

It is interesting to note here, in light of Ibn Hajar’s words (who was an Ash`ari), the Maturidi position on reason and intellect being sufficient in establishing and “knowing” the existence and oneness of God based on the various Qur’anic verses that command us to “reflect” on the creation in order to see the “purposeful design” behind it. Thus, one wonders, if reason is sufficient to establish this fundamental aspect of tawhid – the fountainhead of all knowledge – then how does this play into its superiority in contrast to `ilm?

Of course, there are alot of nuances involved in this discussion and details that need to be spelled out even before addressing such a question.]

Wasalam

Salman

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Additional Wording Of The Hadith: “If You Knew What I Knew”

salamu `alaykum

A brother asked:

[…] if my memory serves me somewhat well, shaykh adhami might have said that when the Prophet (sal’allahu ‘alayhi wa sallaam) said this (“verily, if you knew what I know you would laugh less and weep more.”) to his companions, angel gabriel later came to him and said something to the effect of, “but they dont know what you know so…” i dont want to complete the paraphrased quote because i dont want to make any unsubstantiated insinuations, but it was something like “be easy with them” or something else in the same spirit.

my two minutes of research has shown that all the accounts of this hadith that i read online end at the same place this one does. finally, id like to emphasize the content of my disclaimer; if my post isnt confirmed, ignore my comments.

This additional wording is found as:

لو تعلمون ما أعلم لضحكتم قليلا ولبكيتم كثيرا ولخرجتم إلى الصعدات تلدمون صدروكم وتجارون إلى ربكم فهبط جبريل عليه السلام فقال إن ربك يقول لك لم تقنط عبادي فخرج عليهم ورجاهم وشوقهم

“‘Verily, if you knew what I know you would laugh less and weep more, and you would go out to the hills hitting your chests and making petition to your Lord.’ [Then] Gibril (Allah bless him) descended and said, ‘Indeed, your Lord says to you (oh Messenger), ‘Why do you give rise to despair in my servants, so that their hope and longing will rebel against them?'”

Narrated by Imam Ghazali in his Ihya `Ulum al Din, Kitab al Khawf wal Raja’ [Book of Fear & Hope].

Imam al `Iraqi states in his takhrij that this hadith – mentioning Gibril (Allah bless him) – was narrated by Ibn Hibban in his Sahih from Abu Hurayra. Imam Ibn Hajar `Asqalani also states this in his Fath al Bari (bab al qasd wal mudawamat `ala `amal). However, note that the narration in Ibn Hibban’s Sahih only comes in the following wording:

فأتاه جبريل ، فقال : إن الله يقول لك : لم تقنط عبادي ؟ قال : فرجع إليهم ، فقال :سددوا وقاربوا وأبشروا

“‘Indeed, if you knew what I know you would laugh less and weep more.’ Gibril came to him and said, ‘Indeed, God says to you, ‘Why do you induce despair in my servants?’ He (s: the narrator) said, ‘And he (s: the Prophet) returned to them and said, ‘Direct yourself (to what is right), seek closeness, and rejoice.'”

(Kitab al `ilm. Ibn Hibban narrates it in Kitab al Birr without the phrase “qaaribu”)

[s: the word سدد comes in the meaning of ‘making right’ or ‘directing to what is right’ – among many other meanings. Ibn Hibban actually quotes Abu Hatim stating that what is meant by this phrase is directing towards what is right by following the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and his way]

Imam Ahmad narrates this same narration in his Musnad (#9692) but without the mention of Gibril (Allah bless him) coming down. Rather, his narration simply states, “If you knew what I know you would laugh less and weep more, but direct yourself to what is right, seek closeness, and rejoice.”

Further, the wording “you would go out to the hills” is not narrated by Ibn Hibban, but by Al Hakim in his Mustadrak, who narrates a number of variant and additional wordings none of which are with the mention of the coming of Gibril (Allah bless him) though – all of which Al Hakim declares sahih. Note that Al Hakim’s grading in his al Mustadrak does not carry much weight unless corroborated by others. Imam Ahmad also narrates similar versions, none of them mentioning this descent of Gibril.

Thus, it seems that Imam Ghazali combined these two narrations together to formulate one. Imam `Iraqi implicitly points this out when he states:

“And the narration ‘Gibril came to him’ comes from Ibn Hibban in his Sahih, narrated by Abu Hurayrah. Its beginning (i.e. the wording ‘If you knew what I know… weep more) is agreed upon. The additional wording of ‘you will go out to the hills’ comes in Hakim and Ahmad.”

To Conclude:

[1] The narration mentioning the descent of Gibril (Allah bless him) is narrated only by Ibn Hibban. Ibn Hajar mentions this additional wording and does not comment further, which would imply that the narration is at least hasan in his eyes.

[2] There are many other variants that mention ‘going to the hills’ (which is merely one) and so forth, in other sources though none of them mention this coming of Gibril (Allah bless him).

[3] Imam Ghazali combined both narrations together, a practice which is not uncommon amongst the scholars.

And Allah Knows Best

Wasalam

Salman

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A New Website

salamu `alaykum

Excellent new website by some friends up at:

http://www.marifah.net

It deals with a number of “hot” issues. Even though, due to my manhaj, I dont encourage or agree with certain aspects the articles are all from reliable Sunni scholars.

Wasalam

Salman

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An Invitation To Endorse The Amman Message Online

salamu `alaykum

The Amman Message is a crucial step towards tolerance and moderation in our community, which has been plagued by division and unrest. It was formulated after consultation with numerous Islamic figures, including major scholars like Mufti Taqi `Uthmani, Shaykh Nuh, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Shaykh `Abd al Hakim Murad, Shaykh Faraz, Shaykh Habib `Ali, Shaykh Habib `Umar – all of whom have endorsed it. I would urge everyone to endorse this message by reading and following the guidelines mentioned below. (www.ammanmessage.com – top right corner, click on “Endorse”)

Remember that it is from the prophetic way to promote and establish positive relationships between people, especially Muslims. One can acknowledge differences with others without having to resort to intolerance. Rather, tolerance is only manifest when such differences arise…

 

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Dear Friend,

As-Salamu alaykum. We hope this message finds you well. In November 2004, King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein of Jordan launched the Amman Message, a declaration aimed at clarifying the true nature of Islam and the nature of true Islam to the world. It is a message of devotion to God, love of the neighbor, goodwill, moderation and peace. Since then, the Amman Message has come to be epitomized in three major juridical and doctrinal points, each crucial to addressing the problems the Islamic world faces today.

  1. The great traditional schools of jurisprudence, theology, and spirituality are valid from the point of view of Islam, and the followers of these schools, which include both Sunni and Shi‘i denominations, are all Muslims. Islam has fundamental tenets but is also diverse.
  2. It is impermissible to declare any Muslim so defined as an unbeliever/apostate (a practice called takfir).
  3. Only those with the proper moral and intellectual qualifications, and the proper methodology, may issue fatwas (religious edicts).

Since they were first introduced, these three points have been recognized and ratified universally, through fatwas and official statements, in meetings of the highest and most recognized authorities and scholars in Islamic law, from all denominations and schools of thought all over the world. This is a unique historical event. The statements and signatures from these religious leaders can be see on www.ammanmessage.com.

These three points are vital for the future of the Islamic world. We suffer from disunity and discord, and must reaffirm our unity as an Islamic ummah. We suffer from wounds and ignorant prejudice which would take us into conflict with many of those who would live at peace with us. We must denounce the practice of takfir (accusing Muslims of apostasy for interpretations and opinions different from ours), which too often opens the door to terrible crimes against our own brothers and sisters. Moreover, all such atrocities committed in the name of Islam are traceable to the fatwa of men totally unqualified, morally and intellectually, to issue one. It is thus imperative that the ummah speak with one voice in reaffirming true Islam.

We invite you to add your voice to this unique and historic international Islamic consensus. Please visit www.ammanmessage.com, where you can read more about the Amman Message and find many useful documents and links. Under ENDORSE you can add your name to the list of Muslims worldwide who have endorsed and supported the three points. Your endorsement is important for all our futures.

Yours Sincerely,
The Amman Message Committee,

Wasalam

Salman

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Dear Amir…

I remember walking into the union for my first jumu`ah prayer on campus. I saw this guyanese kid with a thin line-beard, dressed quite ghettoish, staring at the khatib, and I thought to myself, “Wow, he’s pretty dark.” Yes, that is a true story.

Either way, that was the first time we “met”. Not much of a meeting since we didnt utter a single word to each other, but soon after we became a freshmen duo – rather a trio, with Naveed. With your active nature and connections (with everyone in the whole world), my supposed passion for fiqh, and Naveed’s crude humor there is no doubt in my mind why the Stony Brook Muslim Students Association is such a success. After all, we were in line to take charge and we did – in a way.

Some good memories during these past 3-4 years. Sitting at the EOB with Mujeeb trying to figure out his name and major. Watching you cry on the balcony like a little girl. Yes! I have witnessed Amir, the MujahideenRyder, cry! All those Chicken Guy runs. Spending nights playing cards. Going to MSA East Zone in Virginia and Maryland, and doing all the crazy stuff we did there. Watching you strive and overcome all barriers to get engaged. Going to Toronto and the border incident (lol). Singing nasheeds with you every week. The list is endless.

So, with that I say Happy Birthday my dear friend. It is really shocking that youre a month and fifteen days older than me. Yet, Insha’Allah, you will live a long, prosperous, and beneficial life. This is our last year together in University, and our last year seeing each other for the next couple of years since I’ll be leaving soon. You’ve been a great friend though and thank you for that.

Ever need anything dont hesitate to give a shout out. You can be certain that I’ll reply and be there in whatever way I can. My friends and loved ones mean the world to me and I would do anything for them.

 

Your true friend is the one who remains with you
And will even hurt himself to benefit you

 

And if the trials of life ever challenge you He’ll risk his very self to protect you.

(Imam Ghazali in his Ihya)

I leave, with deep love for you and prayers for your success.

Salman

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