Is Islam a violent religion?

After every terrorist attack, a question is always on the mind of millions of people, Is Islam a violent religion?

If we look at the military expeditions (ghazawat) in which the Prophet Muhammad—peace and blessings be upon him—took part in during the last two decades of his blessed life (27 being the largest number that has been narrated and fighting occurred in only 9 of them) then we will see that only 1,018 people were killed: 759 of them were non-Muslims and 259 were Muslims.

Before dispatching the military forces, Caliph Abu Bakr had the following commands for his army:

  • Do not commit treachery or deviate from the right path.
  • You must not mutilate dead bodies.
  • Neither kill a child, nor a woman, nor an aged man.
  • Bring no harm to the trees, nor burn them with fire, especially those which are fruitful.
  • Slay not any of the enemy’s flock, save for your food.
  • You are likely to pass by people who have devoted their lives to monastic services; leave them alone.

So, is Islam a violent religion? Well, let’s drop the apologetic tone and be clear about what Islam does say: Islam does not prohibit war, but it has regulated war. It has set down clear guidelines as to when war is right:

  • To defend and protect.
  • Collective defence-to defend the Muslim lands when attacked by other nations.
  • To seek armed peace, where the two armies would meet before every battle and have peace talks.

How many people were killed in WWI? How many people were killed in WWII? How many people have been killed in Kashmir, Afghanistan, Iraq, Levant, north Africa and several other places? Did Islam cause all of that? If Islam caused all of that, then were the Islamic regulations followed? Hundreds of thousands of Muslims were killed during the WW fighting for the British Empire. And 4-million have been killed so far in the US-NATO wars, wars with no regulations and clearly no accountability.

In Islamic polity, it is upon the Muslims to protect Muslims, as well as non-Muslims, from all external threats. The ruler and those in authority are bound to look after the interests of all subjects using all the resources at their command. The famous Maliki scholar, Imam al-Qarafi, quotes the statement of Ibn Hazm from his book Maratib al-Ijma’:

If enemies at war come to our lands aiming at a certain dhimmi (non-Muslim who lives under Islamic governance and enjoys the rights enshrined in the contract he makes under the Shariah), it is essential for us that we—Muslims—come out to fight the enemies with all our might and weapons since the dhimmi is under the protection of Allah and His Messenger. If we did anything less than this, it means we have failed in our agreement for protection.

The main emphasis of Shariah is the sanctity of the concept of due process to guarantee the life, liberty, property and honour of every human being. Therefore, Shariah has justly regulated the conduct of the believers in this world. It has sanctioned the private as well as the society’s public conduct.

Allah says in the Qur’an

“There is no coercion into the religion. Right guidance has become clearly distinct form error.” [Surah al-Baqarah 2:255]

Ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi comments on the above verse:

“There is no coercion into the religion” means that the religion of Islam is at the furthest limit of clarity with the most obvious proofs of its authenticity, such that there is no need to coerce anyone to enter into it, but on the contrary every person possessing a sound intellect will enter into it voluntarily without coercion, and this is shown by His saying, “Right guidance has become clearly distinct from error,” i.e. it has become clear that Islam is right guidance and disbelief is error so that after this clarity there is no need for coercion.
[At-Tashil li’Ulum at-Tanzil, passage translated by Abdassamad Clarke]

Recommended Adhkar upon the completion of Friday prayer

After one makes the Salam from the Jumuʿah prayer and before he changes his position—and in another narration ‘before he speaks’—he recites Surah Al-Fatihah, Surah Al-Ikhlas, Surah Al-Falaq and Surah an-Nas each seven times. It has been related that whoever recites these will be forgiven for the past and future sins, and will be given in reward according to the number of those who believe in Allah and His Messenger ﷺ. [Fath Al-Muʿin]

The commentary on this is given by ad-Dimyati in Iʿanat ut-Talibin:

It has also been narrated that whoever recites them, Allah will protect his religion, worldly affairs, family and offspring. Our Lady ʿAishah narrates that the Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever recites Al-Ikhlas, Al-Falaq and an-Nas seven times each, Allah will protect him by them from evil until the next Jumuʿah.”

Ibn Masʿud, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

“After reciting what has been previously mentioned, whoever says:

اللهم يا غني يا حميد، يا مبدئ يا معيد، يا رحيم يا ودود، اغنني بفضلك عمن سواك، وبحلالك عن حرامك
Allāhumma  Yā Ghaniyyu Yā Hamīd, Yā Mubdiʾ Yā Muʿīd, Yā Rahīm Yā Wadūd, Ighnini bi-Fadhlika ʿAmman Siwāk wa bi-halālika ʿan Harāmik
[O Allah! O Self-Sufficing One! O Praiseworthy One! O Initiator! O Restorer! O Compassionate One! O Ever-Loving One! Make me independent, by Your Grace, from everyone apart from You. And (Suffice me) by Your lawful sustenance, whilst excluding that which is unlawful in Your sight.]

…Allah will make him not need to rely on others and provide for him from where he knows not.”

Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

“Whoever, on the day of Jumuʿah, says the following 70-times:

اللهم اغنني بفضلك عمن سواك، وبحلالك عن حرامك
Allāhumma Ighnini bi-Fadhlika ʿAmman Siwāk wa bi-halālika ʿan Harāmik
[O Allah! Make me independent, by Your Grace, from everyone apart from You. And (Suffice me) by Your lawful sustenance, whilst excluding that which is unlawful in Your sight.]

…two Jumuʿahs will not pass him except that Allah will be sufficient for him.”

Ibn ʿAbbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said on the authority of the Prophet ﷺ:

“When the Jumuʿah prayer is finished, whoever says the following 100-times:

سبحان الله العظيم وبحمده
SubhānAllāhiʾl-ʿAzīm wa bi-Hamdih
[Transcendent is Allah, the Supreme, and His is the Praise]

…will have 100,000 sins forgiven and his parents will have 24,000 sins forgiven.”

Imam ʿAbdul Wahhab ash-Shaʿrani said:

“Whoever is consistent in reciting the following every Friday, Allah will take his life as a muslim without a doubt,

إلٰهي لَسْتُ لِلْفِرْدَوْسِ أهْلاً وَلا أقْوٰى عَلٰى نَارِ الجَحِيمِ فَهَبْ لي تَوبَةً، وَاغْفِرْ ذُنُوبي فَإنَّكَ غَافِرُ الذَّنْبِ الْعَظِيْمِ
Ilāhi Lastu lil-Firdawsi Ahlan wa Lā Aqwā ‘alā Nārʾl-Jahīm fa-Hab Lī Tawbatan wa-ghfir Dhunūbī fa-Innaka Ghāfir udh-Dhanbil-ʿAzīm
[O Allah, I am not worthy of being an inhabitant of Firdaws and I cannot bear the Fire of Hell. So grant me a repentance and forgive my sins as You are the forgiver of a major sin.]

Some have said that it should be said 5-times after Jumuʿah prayer.

ʿArak b. Malik is reported to have stood at the door of the mosque after he prayed Jumʿuah prayer and said:

اللهم أجبت دعوتك، وصليت فريضتك، وانتشرت كما أمرتني، فارزقني من فضلك وأنت خير الرازقين
Allāhumma Ajibtu Daʿwatik, wa Sallaytu Farīdatik, wan-tashartu kamā Amartanī, far-zuqnī min Fadhlika wa anta Khayr ur-Rāziqīn

[O Allah, I have answered Your call, prayed Your obligation and have spread in the land as You have commanded me to do so. So grant me from Your bounty and You are the best of providers.]

:وقد قلت وقولك الحق
يا أيها الذين آمنوا إذا نودي للصلاة من يوم الجمعة فاسعوا إلى ذكر الله وذروا البيع، ذلكم خير لكم إن كنتم تعلمون
فإذا قضيت الصلاة فانتشروا في الأرض وابتغوا من فضل الله، واذكروا الله كثيرا لعلكم تفلحون

[You said and Your Speech is the Truth: “O you who believe! when the call is made for prayer on Friday, then hasten to the remembrance of Allah and leave off trading; that is better for you, if you know. And when the prayer has concluded, then disperse within the land and seek of Allah’s grace, and remember Allah much, that you may be successful” (al-Jumuʿah: 9-10).]


Translated by Sayyidi Mohammad Jamili 

In the Honourable Remembrance of Imam al-Haddad

In the Honourable Remembrance of

Imam al-Haddad

(al-Habib ‘Abdullah bin ‘Alawi bin Muhammad al Haddad)

haddad

“Allah make plentiful its water, and make it prosperous till the Day of Judgment, and may the pious people blossom in its lands as plants blossom from water.”

Dua for Yemen – Imam Abu Bakr as-Siddiq

“Sit with the spiritual masters, drink in their blessings, for their mere presence radiates such light that whoever is with them is penetrated by it through and through.”

Imam al-Haddad

Lineage

He is al-Imam al-Habib ‘Abdullah bin ‘Alawi bin Muhammad bin Ahmad bin ‘Abdullah bin Muhammad bin ‘Alawi bin Ahmad bin Abu Bakr bin Ahmad bin Muhammad bin ‘Abdullah bin Ahmad bin ‘Abd al-Rahman bin ‘Alawi ‘Amm al-Faqih (uncle of al-Faqih al-Muqaddam), bin Muhammad Sahib Mirbat, bin ‘Ali Khali’ Qasam, bin ‘Alawi, bin Muhammad Sahib al-Sawma’ah, bin ‘Alawi, bin ‘Ubaydullah, bin al-Imam al-Muhajir il-Allah Ahmad, bin ‘Isa, bin Muhammad al-Naqib, bin ‘Ali al-‘Uraydi, bin Ja’far al-Sadiq, bin Muhammad al-Baqir, bin ‘Ali Zayn al-‘Abidin, bin Husayn al-Sibt, bin ‘Ali bin Abu Talib and Fatimah al-Zahra’, the daughter of our Master Muhammad ﷺ, the Seal of the Prophets.

In the 4th century AH (after hijra), Imam Ahmad ibn Isa al-Husayni emigrated from the troubled Basra, Iraq due to receiving enlightenment of the calamities and tribulations to fall and the greatness of the sacred trust he carried in his loins.

It was said that the emigration of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was from Mecca to Medina, and the emigration of his offspring was from Basra to Hadramawt. One of the Gnostics saw the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and asked him: “Are you pleased with the emigration of al-Muhajir Ahmad ibn Isa to Hadramawt?” The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ replied “I am pleased with everything Ahmad ibn Isa is pleased with.”

His descendants became known as the children of Alawi, Banu Alawi or Ba-Alawi in hadrami province; Alawi was Imam Ahmad’s grandson. Their base was mainly in Tarim and surrounding cities in Hadramawt (Badawi, 2005). The Ba’Alawi followed Shafi’i school in jurisprudence and the Ash’ari school in creed therefore within the fold of Ahlsl Sunnah Wal Jammah.

The name “al-Haddad” goes back to one of the ancestors of Habib ‘Abdullah, Sayyid Ahmad bin Abu Bakr, who used to spend time with a blacksmith (haddad in Arabic) in his shop in Tarim and thus became known by that name to distinguish him from another Sayyid (descendent of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ), whose name was also Ahmad.

Later the title haddad al-quloob (blacksmith of the hearts) was given to Imam al-Haddad meaning the one who purifies the hearts to glow and shine with the life of belief, just as a blacksmith smelts iron to remove rust and makes it glow in the furnace.

Birth & Childhood

Abdulllah bin Alawi al-Haddad is best known as ‘Imam al-Haddad’ or ‘Qutb al-Irshad’ (The Pillar of Guidance). He was born in a Subair on the northern outskirts of Tarim in Hadramawt on the night of Sunday 5th Safar, 1044H. The night that he was born, one of the women of the village, a neighbour who attended his birth, took some of his father’s garments and wrapped Imam al-Haddad. His mother Sayyida Salma said that after his birth she could not sleep, because he was crying all night. Sayyida Salma then asked the woman to check up on Imam al-Haddad to see what was wrong with him. Surprisingly the woman found a large scorpion within the garment he was wrapped in, and he was stung several times (some narrations say up to 20 times). Imam al-Haddad narrated this account from his mother to his students later in his life, and a student asked him if this was an indication of the trials that Imam al-Haddad will face in this world just as the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ endured when squeezed 3 times by Angel Jibreel, Imam al-Haddad responded in his interpretation that this is among the tribulations that Allah sends to those whom he loves and those whose ranks he elevates.

Despite losing sight at the age of 3 or 4, due to smallpox, the imam had incredibly sharp memory, comprehension and recall of knowledge that he had learned inward and outwardly. He memorised the Qur’an and several other texts as a child. He had no interest in playing with other children. After his morning lessons he was known for praying 200 units of supererogatory prayer moving form masjid to masjid in Tarim.

He had a great attachment to Chapter Ya Sin, which he read constantly and in which he was given a special opening. His childhood friend Sayyid Abdallah Ba’l-Faqih said “Allah had endowed him with spiritual openings from a very young age. During the recital of Surah Ya Sin, we would see the effect upon him and he would weep persistently.” Another of his companion describes “We would gather for dhikr and an ecstatic state would overcome Sayyidina Abdallah to the extent that he would faint.” From the rest of his life he had this attachment to Sura Ya Sin and pushed others to recite it also.

As a child Imam al-Haddad frequently came under the sway of spiritual states during gatherings of remembrance and the only way to awaken him was by laying him in front of the tomb of al-Faqih al-Muqaddam.

Character

He was known for his Prophetic character, he was gently, kind, compassionate and extremely generous. He would accept any excuses that were made to him, and his eyes would gaze upon the pious and the sinful with complete compassion and mercy.

He was extremely kind to the servants, the poor, the widow, and the orphan. Whenever his servant caused annoyance to him, the imam would give him a present to abate his anger. Then the servant would say “If only he could be annoyed with me at all times.”

Gatherings

His gatherings consisted of learning and recitation of sound books of knowledge which included jurisprudence, creed, Prophetic biography and spirituality. He loved the seekers of knowledge and those aspiring for the hereafter. As an ascetic he disliked any form of worldly discussions in his gatherings and would say “No one has sat with me and been diverted from the remembrance of Allah.” As a caller to Allah on all levels he had a small number of close disciples who he trained in the spiritual path. He called the scholars to act according to their knowledge and to become callers themselves. He called the rulers and the common people alike. He established a mawlid in the month of Rajab and would feed all those who attended, saying “If they do not benefit from our speech then we will place our blessings in the food.”

Transmission

Imam al-Haddad received openings of knowledge and spiritual transmissions in two ways that is outwardly with the physical guidance of the scholars of his time and spiritually by transmissions from the great masters of the barzakh (intermediate realm).

He physically studied with approximately 140 scholars, amongst them, one the most significant of them was Habib ‘Umar bin Abdul Rahman al-Attas.

In regards to his spiritual transmission Imam al-Haddad said “I have been favoured by 4 people through the barzakh, al-Faqih al-Muqaddam, Shaykh Abd al-Rahman al-Saqqaf, Shaykh ‘Umar al-Mihdar, and Shaykh Abdallah ibn Abi Bakr al-Aydarus. Now I receive directly through the messenger of Allah ﷺ.”

He has also added “We have taken from Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani both intermediaries and without. We are also connected to him by way of the ties of kinship between the people of the house as well as otherwise.”

The Imam also indicated that he had inherited the inward function of Shaykh Abdul Qadir by saying “Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani sat on a carpet that was folded up after him and never unfolded again until the time of Shaykh Abdallah ibn Abu Bakr al-Aydarus. It was then folded up until our time when it was unfolded for us. It shall again be folded when we disappear from this world and none shall sit on it again.”

Passing

On the eve of the 7th Dhul-Qa’da of the year 1132, at the age of 88 lunar years the Imam passed away and his son Sayyid al-Hassan saw a flash of light shooting out from the body.

On that morning, in Mecca, one of those employed to sweep the sanctuary informed the people that the Imam had died. He was evidently a man of God, and when asked how he knew this, he answered that he usually saw Imam al-Haddad every day and night circumambulate the Ka’ba, but that night before he had not seen him and had thus deduced that he had passed to the next life. The water from the ritual washing was collected by the local people in all sorts of vessels for blessings. Not a drop was allowed to reach the ground when the body was washed.

Legacy & Teachings

His works revolve around the attainment of yaqin (certainty) the degree of unshakeable faith in God and His Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. His works are very well suited, if not purposely designed, for mass readership. His writings are brief because he judged that coming generations would not have time to read large volumes. ‘Yaqin‘ is attained by proper practice of the ‘Sunna‘ in fulfilling obligatory worships and avoiding prohibitions along with sincerity and truthfulness to God. There should be no barriers between the outward forms, the inward essence, and practical applicability of the Islamic teachings. Thus, whoever has knowledge, according to Imam al-Haddad, must teach it to those who need it.

Imam al-Haddad has a number of litanies & poetry, which are read as acts of devotion and reminders of the basic principles of monotheism. The most famous of his litanies are the famous Ratib (al-ratib al-shahir) and the Wird al-Latif. There are many many Qasaid(poetry) composed by the imam that are still recited regularly to this day including Qad Kafani and Ya Alima Sirri Minna.

Some of his books that are translated in to English include:

  • The Book of Assistance
  • Lives of Man
  • Gift for the Seeker
  • The Sublime Treasures
  • Taqwa and Knowledge

He produced many great students. Among the most famous were his son al-Imam Hasan bin Abdullah al-Haddad and al-Habib Ahmed bin Zayn al-Habashi and the two brothers Umar and Muhammad bin Zayn bin ‘Alawi bin Sumeit, Umar bin Abdul Rahman al-Bar and Abdul Rahman bin Abdullah Balfaqih. From the great scholars who came from his lineage was the late Habib Ahmad Mashur al-Haddad who has converted approximately 200,000 people to Islam.

His contribution to the spread of Islam through his words and actions and his students and writings was immense. His works continue to inspire and he remains the ‘Pillar of Guidance’ he had been during his lifetime.

The Imam has said “Were all the people of this age, old and young, male and female, to come to us, they would all benefit, both in their religious and worldly affairs, their outwards and their inwards, in the immediate and remote future. There are people whose bodies are in the maghrib and whose spirits are here with us, and there are others whose conditions is the opposite in this.”

fatiha

Alfātiḥata ilā rūḥi ṣāḥibir rātibi quṭbil irshādi wa ghawthil ‛ibādi wal bilād, alḥabībi ‛Abdillāhibni ‛Alawiyyibni Muḥammadil Ḥaddādi, wa usūlihī wa furū‛ihim, annallāha yu‛lī darajātihim fil jannati wa yukthiru min mathūbātihim wa yuḍā‛ifu ḥasanātihim, wa yaḥfaẓunā bijāhihim, yanfa‛unā bihim, wa yu‛īdu ‛alaynā min barakātihim wa asrārihim wa anwārihim wa ‛ulūmihim wa nafaḥātihim fiddīni waddunyā wal’ākhirati. [al-Fātiḥah].

Al-Fātiḥah on the soul of our master and compiler of the Rātib, the Axis of Guidance and the spiritual succour for the worshippers and nations, the beloved ‛Abd Allāh bin ‛Alawī bin Muḥammad al-Ḥaddād and his genealogical roots (ancestors) and their branches (descendants), that Allāh may elevate their ranks in Paradise and increase their benefit, and protects us with their status; and that He shower upon us of their blessings, (spiritual) mysteries, knowledge, and gifts in (our) religion in this world and in the Hereafter. [al-Fātiḥah].

The Significance of the Night of Emancipation—15th of Sha’ban

Hadith on the virtue of this night:

Muʿaẓ ibn Jabal narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said:

“Allah pays special attention to his entire creation on the fifteenth night of Shaʿban and forgives all of them except one who ascribes partners to Him and one who harbours enmity in his heart.” [Al-Muʿjam al-Kabīr vol.20 pg.108-109]
— Ibn Ḥibbān has classified this narration as Ṣaḥīḥ (authentic) [Ṣaḥīḥ ibn Ḥibbān Vol.12 pg.482; Ḥadīth: 5665]
— Ḥāfiẓ Al-Haythamī has mentioned that all the narrators of this ḥadīth are reliable. [Majmaʿ al-Zawā’id Vol. 8 pg. 65]

ʿAbdullah ibn ʿUmar related that the Prophet ﷺ said:

“There are five nights on which duʿa is not turned back: Friday eve, on the eve of Rajab, the 15th night of Sha‘ban, Laylat al-Qadr, and on the eve of the two Eids.” [Muṣannaf ʿAbd ar-Razzāq, Ḥadīth 7927; authenticity unverified]

Statements of the Scholars:

Imam ash-Shafiʿi states in al-Umm:

“It has reached us that it is said that there are five nights when the duʿas are accepted; the night of Friday, the night of Eid al-Aḍḥa, the night of Eid al- Fiṭr, the first night of Rajab and the 15th of Sha‘ban.”

Shaykh ʿAbd al-Qadir al-Jilani states in Ghunya al-Ṭālibīn:

“Malik ibn Anas reports from ʿUrwah, from ʿAisha (may Allah be pleased with her) who said she heard the Prophet ﷺ state that: ‘There are four nights in which the gates of righteousness are opened; the night of Eid al-Aḍḥa, the night of Eid al-Fiṭr, the night of ʿArafa (9th Dhu ʾl-Hajj) and 15th of Shaʿban.'” [pg. 448]

Al-Ajhuri al-Maliki records in Ḥusnul Bayān:

“‘Aṭā ibn Yasār—the great Tabiʿi of Madinah—said: ‘After Laylat al-Qadr, there is no other night in the year that is more virtuous than the middle (15th) night of Shaʿban.’” [pg.11]

Ibn al-Ḥajj states in al-Madkhal:

“This night has great virtue and abundant good.” He further says, “The salaf (pious predecessors) would sanctify this night and prepare themselves for it in advance.” [1/299]

Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi states in Mukhtaṣar Minhāj al-Qāṣidīn:

“The most virtuous nights, that the devout servant of Allah should observe Qiyam al-Layl therein, are:
—The odd nights from the last ten nights of Ramaḍan,
—1st and 10th of Muharram,
—1st and 15th of Rajab,
—15th of Sha’ban…”

Ibn Rajab al-Ḥanbalī states in Laṭāʾif al-Maʿārif:

“…There is nothing established from the Messenger of Allah ﷺ nor from his companions with regard to spending the 15th night of Shaʿban in worship. But it is established that a group of Tābiʿūn —who were senior jurists of Shām—used to spend this night in worship.” He further says, “…It is thus the duty of every believer to free himself on the night for the remembrance of Allah and supplicating to Him for the forgiveness of sins, concealment of faults, and removal of hardships. And he should precede all this with repentance because Allah Almighty turns to the one who repents to Him on this night.” [pg. 264-265]

All of the above sufficiently confirms the significance of the 15th night of Sha’ban. As for a list of optional acts that can be performed on this night, see:
Optional Acts for the Night of Emancipation—15th of Sha’ban

May Allah ﷻ guide us all, and may He ﷻ allow us to maximise our benefit from the auspiciousness of this night.

Maliki School: The Timbukti Syllabus

The Timbukti syllabus is an old method of teaching; it was the exact method of teaching adopted by scholars in Medina before and after Imam Malik: A student reads before the scholar, just like children read to the teacher, and if he makes a mistake, the teacher corrects him. The teacher interprets and explains the sacred texts to the student. The order that is followed in teaching the series of books of jurisprudence (fiqh)—according to the Maliki school—differs from place to place and from one school to another. However, the most common order is as follows:

  1. Qawāʿid aṣ-Ṣalāh (or Kawaʿidi) is a treatise of about thirty pages by an unknown author. It concerns the principles of prayer and articles of faith.
  2. Mukhtaṣar al-Akhḍarī by Abū Zaid ʿAbdur-Raḥmān al-Akhḍarī, which is an introduction to Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) with emphasis on purification of the heart (taṣawwuf), ritual purity (tahārah) and prayer (ṣalāh).
  3. Al-ʿAshmāwiyyah by ʿAbd al-Bārī al-ʿAshmāwī ar-Rifāʿī, which is an introductory text that covers ritual purity (tahārah), prayer (ṣalāh) and fasting (ṣawm). It is studied alongside:
  4. Manẓūmah al-Qurṭubī fiʾl-ʿIbādāt by Yaḥyā al-Qurṭubī, which is another introductory text covering the five pillars of Islam: creed (ʿaqīdah), prayer (ṣalāh), fasting (ṣawm), alms (zakāh) and pilgrimage (ḥajj) to the holy sanctuary.
  5. Al-Muqaddimah al-ʿIzziyyah by Abul Ḥassan ʿAlī ash-Shādhilī is an intermediate text that concerns the jurisprudence of worship (ʿibādāt), commercial transactions (muʿāmalāt), as well as social ethics. It is studied alongside:
  6. Naẓmu Muqaddimah Ibn Rushd by ʿAbd ar-Raḥmān ar-Rāfiʿī, which is an intermediate text that adds to Manẓūmah al-Qurṭubī. It explains the jurisprudence concerning the five pillars of Islam in detail.
  7. Al-Risālah by Abū Muḥammad ʿAbdullāh ibn Abī Zayd al-Qayrawānī is another intermediate text in the school. The first half is on worship (ʿibādāt), the second concerns aspects of jurisprudence such as marriage (nikāḥ), divorce (ṭalāq), commercial transactions (muʿāmalāt), inheritance (mīrāth), punishments (ḥudūd) and social ethics. This text has the distinction of being continuously taught for over a thousand years—the only fiqh text to have reached us with tawātur (mass-transmission). One unique feature is that the author often uses prophetic traditions (ahādīth) to construct the wording of the text.
  8. Al-Murshid al-Muʿīn by Ibn ‘Āshir, which is an extensive text, categorised into three sciences: Ashʿarī Theology (ʿaqīdah), Maliki Jurisprudence (fiqh) and Spirituality (taṣawwuf) based on the spiritual path of Imam Junaid al-Baghdādī.
  9. Miṣbāh al-Sālik by ʿAbd al-Waṣīf Muḥammad is one of the first advanced books of the Maliki school that is studied before studying later advanced works. This book covers theology, all chapters of jurisprudence (worship, marriage, transactions, commerce, judicial law etc.), and social ethics (akhlāq).
  10. Aqrab al-Masālik by Aḥmad bin Muḥammad bin Aḥmad ad-Dardīr is an advance text that is an abridgement of al-Khalil’s Mukhtaṣar. The author leaves out the differences of opinion, and clarifies some difficult passages from Mukhtaṣar.
  11. Mukhtaṣar Khalīl by Khalīl ibn Isḥāq al-Jundī is the last advance text that is covered by the students of the Maliki school.  It concerns the differences of opinion among major authorities within the school. It has an unrivalled position in the later Maliki school and is the relied upon and mufta bihi text today.

References:

Hausa Women in the Twentieth Century, edited by Catherine M. Coles, Beverly Mack
Maliki Law: The Predominant Muslim Law in Nigeria, by Barr. Abdullahi Ghazali

The Saint who asked for Hell

Ja’far Khuldi has said:

“Once Shaykh Abul Hasan Nuri was making the following supplication and I overheard him.

‘O My Lord! If you have to fill Your hell with human beings whom You have created by Your knowledge, power and love, then make me large enough to fill the entire hell so that everybody else goes to Paradise.’

I was amazed to hear this and dreamt the same night that I should go and tell Abul Hassan Nuri that Allah Almighty had forgiven him for the kindness and love he had for mankind.”

In short, self-sacrifice is the keynote of Nuri’s doctrine, which is regarded as the noblest state and the highest success in the eyes of the people of spiritual insight (Ahl al-Basirah). This is because nothing is more difficult in the world than sacrificing one’s life and surrendering the objects of one’s desire. Allah Almighty has said:

“None of you [believers] will attain true piety unless you give out of what you cherish: whatever you give, Good knows about it very well.” [Surah Aali-‘Imran 3:92]

How can giving away of wealth, health, food and garments bear comparison with sacrificing one’s life?


Taken from: Al-Hajweri, Kashful Mahjūb.
Featured Image: @Masrawi

Etiquettes of the Teacher and the Student

By Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi

The student should start with purifying his own soul and steer clear of evil manners, for knowledge is the worship of the heart. He should dedicate his life for seeking knowledge. The early Muslims used to give precedence to knowledge over anything else. For example, Imam Ahmad did not marry except after the age of 40.

To the student, the teacher should be how a physician is to a patient. The student should serve his teacher. Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, in his Jami’ Bayan al-‘Ilm wa Fadlih, states that Ibn ‘Abbas—may Allah be pleased with him—used to hold the reins of Zayd ibn Thabit’s mount and drive it. Zayd ibn Thabit—may Allah be pleased with him—would say to him, “Don’t, O cousin of the Prophetﷺ!” Ibn Abbas would then say, “This is how we were commanded to treat the learned ones among us.”

The student should be on his guard against feeling pride, for it is the flaw of the ignorant. He should evaluate all matters and give preference to his teacher’s opinion over his own. In Al-Jami’ li-Akhlaq al-Rawi wa Adab as-Sam’, al-Khatib al-Baghdadi reported that ‘Ali—may Allah be pleased with him—said, “It is the right of the scholar to greet the public in general and to be greeted in particular. You should sit before him and avoid overburdening him with questions. You should not divulge his secrets, nor backbite people in his presence, nor find his shortcomings…”

The student, at the beginning of seeking knowledge, is recommended not to occupy his mind with the differences of scholars in order not to perturb his mind.

As for the teacher, he should be patient and forbearing. He should dedicate his efforts in teaching knowledge for the sake of Allah and not to seek rewards or gratitude from people. Early Muslim scholars used to refuse gifts from students. The teacher should offer advice to his students and follow the best manners in this regard.

Furthermore, the teacher should teach his student what the latter can understand and comprehend. More importantly, the scholar should behave according to his knowledge. Allah, the Most High, says:

“How can you tell people to do what is right and forget to do it yourselves, even though you recite the Scripture? Have you no sense?” [Surah al-Baqarah 2, Verse 44]

[See Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi, Mukhtasar Minhaj al-Qasidin (Dar al-Manarah) pg 9-10]