Various Questions

Answered by Shaykh Gibril Haddad


Keywords, Questions

Abu HanifaI Am Disabled, Skip Fajr?Reg. Kibr (arroganc, pride)
Apostate wife, motherIf Hadith Authentic, MadhhabRepent. for zina and drinking
Atonement for SinsIsmail al Faruqi's CriticismSaints in Islam? Chr. concept?
Attending a church weddingJihad al-Nafs: Strive f Self-Perfection ... Seeking Allah's Pleasure
Attributes of AllahJinn, girlfriends, and faith Selfish Drives
Attributes of Allah, Interpret.Killing of repeat drunkards?Sickness
Barelwis and DeobandisLingering illicit relationshipSoul's travel out of body
Been involved with partnerLiteralism & Figurative InterpretSunna of the Turban
Bukhari-only heresy Lives .Man & Imam al-HaddadSunnism is respect
Christian-Muslim MarriageLove for the SahabaTaking the Means
Clergy or Hierarchy in IslamMahdi in hadithThe path of illicit desires (shahwa) ...
Convert with child, parentsMajority Always Correct?The Pious Salaf & Kalam
Dawah: reg. BibleMarriage Muslim & ChristianTreatment of depression
Desire for GoodMixed-sex conversationTrusting in Allah
Earth and the Creation of Adam .....Molested By A Fellow BrotherWhat is the Sunnah?
Eve Created Fr. Adam's RibNo Prophet after me What To Do Ab. Roommates
Gayness and Homosex. Non-MadhhabismWhisperings of the Devil
Good & Evil from Allah Planting on graves`Isa raised to heaven
Hijab readiness Recitation of the Qur'anRule for recognizing forgeries
Hospitality Or Overbearingness Reg. Following a Madhhab

Eve Created From Adam's Rib

According to my knowledge Hawa (eve) was created from a rib of Adam. I always knew this to be the case however an article in a local newspaper in Pakistan, a scholar said that there is no proof of this i.e. no evidence (hadith) exists. Is this true brother that there are no hadith on it and if there is then can you please quote one or two. Your help in this matter would be very appreciated as some of the sisters now believe that eve was not created from Adam's rib.

Salam `alaykum:

It is in Sahih al-Bukhari, Arabic-English translation, vol. VII Hadith No. 113 that woman was created from man's rib.

The meaning of this is that Allah has created some of humankind without the means of a father, such as `Isa, some without the means of a mother, such as Hawwa, and some without the means of either, such as Adam, upon our Prophet and upon them blessings and peace. And may Allah be glorified Who is the best of creators.

The general meaning is that the rib is the protection of the heart. I.e. Woman represents the protection of man rather than the reverse, but for such protection to take place then man must protect woman in the first place. This is because if any harm reaches the rib (woman) then the heart (man) is left unprotected.

The Prophet, upon him peace, said in that very same hadith: "Therefore, treat women kindly."

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad

Planting green stalks on top of graves

  It is established in the Sahihayn and others that the Prophet (SallAllahu `alayhi wasallam) planted 2 date-palms talks on top of two graves and said that as long as these branches are green, the punishment of these people in their graves will be lightened.

  Someone said: "This was the Barkaat of the hands of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) and his specialty. If this action was general for all people, then the Sahaaba (Radhiallaahu Anhum) would have definitely done the same... Sahaaba-e-Kiraam never did this. Also, nowadays so much of emphasis has been placed on this action and is regarded as a necessary which result in there being no doubt about it being a Bid’at (innovation). Also, people become brave to do sins by such actions and is therefore impermissible. The custom of placing flowers is a Bid’at (innovation) and is not established from the Shari’ah."


1. Al-Bukhari narrates in his Sahih that the Sahabi Burayda al-Aslami requested that two green stalks be planted on his grave precisely because of this hadith.

2. Al-Qurtubi in his Tafsir ( Surat al-Isra' v. 44) said the hadith shows it is generally desirable to plant vegetation on top of Muslim graves. Al-Tahtawi in Sharh Maraqi al-Falah (p. 415) mentions that some of the Fuqaha' said it is a Sunna. The Shafi`i al-Malibari in Fath al-Mu`in (p. 119) states it is a Sunna.

3. Al-Turtushi the Maliki did count the planting among the Prophet's ﷺ khasa'is (specialties) but this was not retained by his School as shown by al-Qurtubi's words. Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari said it is not even sure the Prophet ﷺ did the planting with his own blessed hand: he may have ordered someone else to do it.

4. Yes, the hadith itself is mentioned in al-Suyuti's al-Khasa'is al-Kubra but as an example of the Prophet's ﷺ `ILM AL-GHAYB.

5. As for the misbehavior of some people sometimes taking place in so doing, such as the fact that, in Syria, uneducated people undertake expenses and do this mostly the morning of `Eid before Salat al-`Eid, then we say to those people: Your good deed is diminished and suspended until you quit excess and do what is required first, i.e. go to Salat al-`Eid. We do not declare the basis of the act an innovation, since it is related from the Prophet ﷺ and the Sahaba. And Allah knows best.

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad

Is the Mahdi mentioned in any authentic hadith

I have heard from some people that the hadith about the mahdi are weak , is this true? and what are the hadith that talk or give signs about the coming of the mahdi?

As-Salamu `alaykum:

The hadiths about the Mahdi are so numerous that many of the Ulema consider the topic to be mutawatir in meaning, i.e. mass-transmitted and not possibly invented.

Following is a hadith of interest for the present time.

 In the summer of 1990, at the time the words ALLAHU AKBAR first appeared on the flag of Iraq, Saddam Hussain declared he was a descendent of the Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace, and produced a family chart to prove it. This chart hangs in one of the heavily frequented Shi`i mosques in Iraq, next to the presumed grave of one of Ahl al-Bayt. Saddam also began to address King Hussayn of Jordan, a real 27-generation descendent, as "cousin."

Abu Dawud in his Sunan and Ahmad in his Musnad narrated that `Abd Allah ibn `Umar said - Allah be well-pleased with him:

We were sitting with the Messenger of Allah - upon him blessings and peace - when he mentioned the strifes. He spoke at length about many of them until he mentioned the "strife of the saddle-blankets" (fitnat al-ahlas). He said the latter was all flight and war. Then he mentioned the "strife of prosperity" (fitnat al-sarra').

 He said, "Its heat and smoke (dakhan) would seep in from under the feet of a man from my family - he will claim that is descends from me but he does not descend from me. My relatives are only those who fear God."

    Then [the Prophet said] the people will rally around a man like a rib-bone on top of a hip-bone [=a temporary, impermanent arrangement].

    Then will come the "pitch-dark, blind strife" (al-fitnat al-duhayma'). "It will leave none of this Umma except it will smite him. When they think it is over it will linger some more. At that time, a man will rise a believer in the morning and will reach night a disbeliever. People will eventually take two sides - the rallying - place of belief which will contain no hypocrisy; and the rallying- place of hypocrisy which will contain no belief. When you see this, expect the appearance of the Anti-Christ (Dajjal) from one day to the next."

GF Haddad

Atonement for Sins

A non-Muslim inquired about (1) How do Muslims atone for sins? and (2) and how does sacrificing an animal atone for one's sins?   

Muslims atone for sins by resolving repentance in the heart, earnestly seeking forgiveness from Allah Who is infinitely merciful, and taking the necessary steps in steering clear of recidivation and eliminating the harm done as a consequence of sins, such as mending the rights that were violated and assuming consequences. Some atonements carry obligatory ritual forms such as fasts, almsgiving, or sacrifices, others voluntary.

Sacrificing an animal atones for sins in a sense that carries significance for the atoners and the rest of creation, not for the Forgiver. That is, Allah is able to forgive without the least expiatory sacrifice and He is not bound by it to forgive. But He has made it purposeful sacrifice religion and He has assigned it value in the economy of His creation and in the balance-scale of one's struggle to increase goodness in oneself and in the world. Sacrifice in this understanding is a Prophet-sanctioned and Prophetically-modelled offering spent from one's property that carries home the meaning of expiation in one's heart, in the society, and in the entire universe. Thus, Allah may cause the purposed almsgiving of shillings at the beginning of the day to grow so much as to deflect, in the economy of His creation, a harmful car accident at the end of the day. This is legible only to believers in a morality system that transcends visible causes and effects, and becomes more and more evident in proportion to one's faith, without which only ritual forms remain.

There is plenty more on this topic in the archives of the Hanafi list, please look it up there. [See: (]


Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad

Repentance for zina and drinking

Could you please advise the best method of repentance for the following:

1) Adultery 2) Drinking alcohol

Wa `alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh:

There is no legal punishment (hadd) for these offenses in our time. However, the following four are required:

- Desisting from those offenses once and for all (iqla`).

- Remorse for having committed them (nadama).

- Resolve not to return to them (`azm).

- Repayment of any rights that were violated through them (huquq).

It is advisable to avoid the places where one committed these offenses as well as the people with whom they were committed.

It is advised that the last thing one does in such a place before leaving it is a good deed so that it will witness to that effect on Qiyama.

It is advised to do tawassul and salawat on the Prophet, upon him peace, due to the hadith where he says: "If so-and-so hade come to me I would have made istighfar for him..."

In addition, any pious act such as sadaqa is encouraged, as good deeds erase bad ones.

Please advise of particular dhikr that you know of and the amount also duas and how many nawafil should be offered.

Wudu', two rak`as, and istighfar as per the hadith:

"No-one sins then gets up, does ablution, prays two rak`ats, and asks Allah forgiveness except Allah forgives him."

Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, and Ahmad.

Does the hadith below cover major sins, as the above are major sins?


RasulAllah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) is reported to have said, 'If a person has sins equivalent to the foams of the sea and pebbles on a desert, Allah's mercy is so encompassing that He will forgive every sin.' In another narration, it is mentioned that Allah will speak secretly to one of His slaves on the day of Qiyamat and remind him of all his sins. After the person will confess his sins, Allah will say to him, 'I concealed your faults in the world, today too, I will conceal your faults. Go in Jannah, I have forgiven you.'

Wa `alaykum as-Salam,

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad

On Seeking Allah's Pleasure and Selfish Drives

Recently, a sister said that she understands that in Islam, one must do everything for the sake of pleasing Allah, and His pleasure is our only goal in obedience and submission, yet at the same time we are doing things for OUR own benefit, so that WE will be rewarded with Jannah and other such she felt that this is a difficult thing to reconcile, as it seems like "circular logic", and almost contradictory. Are we doing things for Allah only? or for Him, then ourselves? If we do things for Him and ourselves simultaneously, this seems like an "ego-centric" niyyah to some, not selfless. So how should one respond to this? How can it be explained logically, thoroughly so as to bring her way of thinking back on track and avoid any doubtful inclinations?

Wa `alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah:

His pleasure is our only goal in obedience and submission, not only "at the same time" as we are doing things for OUR own benefit but more _because_ our greatest good is to worship Him.

The more our faith increases, the more we see (with the eyes of our head as well as those of faith) that the two are in line: to worship Him and to achieve our happiness. This is part of knowing his Oneness (Tawhid).

However, in our wayfaring into this conscious faith, it is normal to feel - most of the time - a dichotomy between faith on the one hand, and ego on the other. They wondered to the Prophet ﷺ, "Can it be that one gets reward even when engaged in his own pleasure with his wife?" The Prophet ﷺ assured them that yes.

The reason is that all acts, even the outwardly trivial, that are in line with the Divine will are counted for us as acts of worship. Niyya is the difference between the Believer and the unbeliever, so that even eating and sleeping become worship-`ibada instead of being merely habit-`ada. Even anger and happiness. Otherwise all these are mere instincts, lusts and appetites.

The purpose of the education of the soul is to harmonize these two dimensions.

In this way every step we make in this life is actually a test: are we turning to the Divine Countenance adorned with His blessing? or with His displeasure? It can only be one or the other. The Shari`a is a guide to knowing which is which.

The best guide to these topics is Imam al-Ghazzali's Ihya' `Ulum al-Din.


Hajj Gibril [Haddad]

No Clergy or Hierarchy in Islam?

How would you respond to those modern day writers who say there is no clergy or hierarchy in Islam? How would you differentiate between the hierarchy in Islam with that in Catholicism?

The Prophet ﷺ stated there is no rahbaniyya in Islam, meaning by rahbaniyya the monastic vows of perpetual celibacy, poverty, and solitariness. However, Islam promotes modesty (haya'), simple living (zuhd), and temporary retreat from the world (i`tikaf).

The statement that there is no hierarchy in Islam is false, Allah Most High in the Qur'an differentiated between selected Prophets and others, between the earlier believers and the later believers, between those whose belief holds complete sway over them and those who admix their faith with sins, between the Anbiya', the Siddiqin, the Shuhada' and the Salihin, between the Darajaat or levels that the Believers receive from their Lord, between those who possess hikma, fiqh, albab, absar, Iman etc. as opposed to those who possess merely Islam, between those whose hearts shake at His mention as opposed to the rest, etc. It is all about hierarchy even among the disbelievers, some being closer to belief than others. To say there is no hierarchy in Islam is as novel a concept as it is a novel wording.

As for the second question the difference is that (ecclesiastical) hierarchy in Catholicism is a man-made institution while hierarchy in Islam is decreed by Allah Most High: When Allah loves someone, He decrees it to Gibril who then announces it to the angels who then announce it in the heavens and the earth, and that person becomes beloved, their prayers answered, their presence beneficial to others etc. The Awliya' or saints come second only to the Prophets in this respect, as in the verses alluded to in the previous paragraph and as in the hadith al-`Ulama' warathat al-Anbiya'. The verse stresses their spiritual primacy while the hadith stresses their primacy in knowledge. There is also Islamic hierarchy in the socio-political institution of Ahl al-Hall wal-`Aqd, which probably disappeared with the end of the rightly-guided Caliphate. And Allah knows best.

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad

Did the Prophet call for the killing of repeat drunkards?

I would really like to get some advice from some Muslims who know what they are talking about...Almost three years ago I converted to Islam after being divorced and having a child... 

Wa `alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah:

Narrated Mu'awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: If they (the people) drink wine, flog them, again if they drink it, flog them. AGAIN IF THEY DRINK IT, KILL THEM.

This Hadith is in Abu Dawud, al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, and Ahmad.

Imam al-Tirmidhi said that this was an early ruling, later abrogated.

He then narrated from Jabir ibn `Abd Allah that the Prophet had a fourth-time recidivist flogged. He narrates the same from another Companion, Qabisa ibn Dhu'ayb, from the Prophet, upon him peace. Tirmidhi then states: "And this [abrogation] is the position of the totality of the people of knowledge as far as we know, without exception."


Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad

Apostate wife, mother of my children...

I would appreciate some enlightenment for my son.  He is 23, he married a young lady who was not Muslim.  She took shahada three month before they married in 2000.  She never took on any Islamic character, attitude or conduct.  They have two children age 2  and one is age 11 months.  In February, it was revealed that she had an affair with another young man, denounce Islam to him and his family and told them that she was not Muslim.  She left and my son kept the children.  She has expressed remorse and talks about getting back with him, but she never says anything about her position on Islam. He is very confused and does not know  what to do.   What is it that is preventing my son to move forward with his life without this person.  Could false love be that strong.  Please give him some guidance.

Bismillah. False love can only be exposed in the light of true love for Allah. The reason it was easy for the apostate lady to leave Islam and for her to avoid mentioning it now is that it does not loom large in the life of your son.

Hence he is confused although the situation is clear. Unless he makes his life a clean place of prayer five times a day and a responsible Islamic lifestyle in which parents and children can grow safely, shaytans will keep visiting and his confusion will increase as well as the danger now threatening the children.

He seems not in a position to help this woman at this point but needs help himself. Therefore he should be looking for a new wife who knows the responsibilities of a Muslim mother and spouse and can help him, not one unsure whether she will not betray him and her children again.

In either case, the marriage is dissolved because of her declaration that she is no longer a Muslim.

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad

No Difference between Barelwis and Deobandis 

What exactly is the difference between the school of thought that follows Ala Hadrath Ahmed Rida Khan RA and those that follow the school of thought of Rashid Ahmed Gangohi against whom i understand Ala Hadrath had said that there is inherent kufr in the nature of thought expressed but did not issue a fatwa of Kufr, as Maulana Rashid Gangohi had passed on. (may Allah Ta'laa forgive me if i have made a mistake ) there is a lot of ikhtiflaaf in the Indian subcontinent on this issue and I do understand that it is extremely volatile - but, I would request you to kindly spare sometime and answer me

[Faraz Rabbani notes: I agree wholeheartedly with the content of Shaykh Gibril’s comments.]

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim:

There is no difference in the generalities of `Aqida and Fiqh between Barelwis and Deobandis. They are both Sunni Hanafis, Sufis, Ash`aris or Maturidis. One stands in need of the best each school has to offer, as indeed hold many of the living prestigious teachers known to both sides.

Among the best commentaries on Sahih Muslim and the Sunan of al-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud are works by the Deobandis. The Lives of the Sahaba by al-Kandihlawi is a masterpiece. I`la'al-Sunan and Aathaar al-Sunan are very valuable. As for Imam Ahmad Rida Khan and his works, whoever does not recognize their worth as one of the treasures of this Umma is a blasted nincompoop who should wear a dunce cap until he learns.

Both sides are strict Hanafis and mainstream Sufis. We do not endorse the mistakes that anyone might have made, such as uttering words rightly perceived to lack adab in matters of `Aqida or contesting the legality of celebrating Mawlid.

Nor do we endorse Takfir. Demonization of the other, saying they are munafiq is unacceptable. We leave extremism to Najd and its minions. Come together. Sayyid Muhammad `Alawi al-Maliki advised you to do so, Sayyid Yusuf al-Rifa`i advised you, Shaykh `Abd al-Hadi Kharsa advised you, Sayyid Ya`qubi, Dr. al-Nass, others... Do you think you stand for the honor of Allah and His Prophet more than such as these? Think again.

When the situation is such that there is mutual avoidance at mosques, gatherings, etc. then it becomes wajib for every true and sincere Deobandi should seek out his counterparts among Barelwis and for every true and sincere Barelwi to seek out his counterparts among Deobandis, pray together, learn from one another, give salam, and increase love. Disunity is sin. Or are you afraid you will lose reputation or funding? Shame.

Here is the resting-place of Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir Gilani and Imam Abu Hanifa bracing for another Mongoloid onslaught. Will you Sunnis still be debating and anathematizing one another because of who said what as the Hour rises? Stressing ikhtilaf and schism is from Shaytan. If this is what the general public chooses to follow, it is their loss even as they shout ALLAHU AKBAR and YA RASULALLAH from God's dawn to the wee hours. Salam.

Hajj Gibril
Shawwal 1423/December 2002
GF Haddad

Soul's travel out of the body

Is it permissible to, take your soul out of your body (The way the Buddhists or wizards do it)? Because the way the wizards do it, is that they just sit down and imagine themselves floating and then their soul comes out of their body (in simple words).

I will leave it for others to address permissibility, but it seems to me that permissibility in the Law is for matters that involve both the spirit and the body.

However, I will address the issue of the soul's travel. The soul roams away from the body at sleep and may do so also when awake, if there is a purpose.

A soul that becomes deliberately disembodied may take another form. The form may be identical to the body left behind, or another form, including animal forms East or West, in the higher world (for Muslims) or lower world (for all others).

One purpose for this is to help others. There is permission for this for many Awliya' who, depending on their strength, may take one a multiplicity of self-forms (dhawaat) at one at the same time. The original body stays awake or goes unconscious depending on strength also.

There is a very important difference between Muslims and non-Muslims in such phenomena. Muslim spirits are clothed with light while non-Muslim spirits are clothed with darkness and vulnerable to dark forces. Another danger is that the disembodied soul may "lose" its way back or be prevented from its body, which results in death.

And Allah knows best.

Source: al-Ibriz min Kalam Sayyidi `Abd al`Aziz.

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad

Sunna of the Turban

Are you aware of any sunnahs as to how to wear the turban?

The Sunna is to wear it. As to its length they vary without specific prescription. The Prophet ﷺ wore it with its extremity hanging between his shoulders, as in the report from Ibn `Umar in al-Tirmidhi's Sunan and he said it is hasan. The Shafi`is said it may also be worn without this extremity. The Salaf wound it also around the chin. This winding is a pre-condition for wiping, without which it is invalid to wipe over the turban during wudu'. Al-Munawi in Sharh al-Shama'il and al-Suyuti in al-Hawi fil-Fatawa said the length is indeterminate. The Shuyukh said the sirwal is put on sitting and the turban is put on standing. At each winding of it, repeat the Shahada and invoke blessings on the Prophet. The most complete documentation of the rulings that pertain to this vestimentary Sunna is al-Hafiz Muhammad Ja`far al- Kattani's al-Di`ama fi Ahkam Sunnat al-`Imama. I have also seen an excellent long discussion of it in Imam al-Saffarini's Ghidha' al-Albab. See also the pertinent chapter in the books of Shama'il and their Shuruh. In English: al-Kandihlawi on al-Tirmidhi's Shama'il. In 1994-1995 I put together a synopsis of this literature which is still available from al-Sunnah Foundation of America insha Allah, titled the Turban in Islam.
→ The Turban Tradition in Islam


Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad

What To Do About My Ibadi Roommates

I currently live in an apartment by myself, and was considering having two Omani brothers who are Ibadis move in with me. I would like to pray in Jamaah with any future room mates inshaAllah, and I was wondering if I could pray Salah with them, or even if there would be other things that could cause problems or a lack of compatibility. I know they have strange fatwas like not praying Jumuah b/c it's "nafl", or combining Salaats when they feel like, or being averse to tasawwuf, collective supplication, etc. However, they have great akhlaq and know Arabic (which I'd like to learn from them). Would it be allowed to pray with them? Would it be recommended to choose another roommate instead?

Wa `alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah:

It is recommended you choose Sunni housemates. The Ibadiyya are a sect of the Khawarij and it is offensive to pray behind them unless one is praying behind the Imam of all Muslims - the Caliph- and he happens to be a Khariji. Otherwise, one is obliged to find a person of incorrupt religion as one's imam. Only then do the facts that they speak good Arabic and have high manners become meaningful. (These traits are found in some Arab Christians and Qadyanis yet one's Salat behind them would be invalid.)

Historical note:

The Ibadiyya are the most moderate - and only - formally surviving Khariji madhhab today, originating with Jabir ibn Zayd (d. 93) and ‘Abd Allah ibn Ibad al-Maqa`isi al-Tamimi (d. 86). They consider – without declaring it openly – the Muslims who differ with them to be neither mu’mins nor mushriks but kuffār ni‘ma i.e. "thankless sinners" but not kuffar `aqīda (actual apostates), whose lives are sacred and their regions within Dār al-Islam, and they allow intermarriage with and inheritance from and to them. They have a strong fiqh and respected Ulema, e.g. Muhammad Attfayyish, _Sharh al-Nil wa Shifa' al-`Alil_ (al-Matba`a al-Salafiyya). They are found mostly in Algeria and Western Sahara, Zanzibar, and, mostly, the Sultanate of Oman where they are the State madhhab.

Cf. Abu Zahra, Tarikh al-Madhahib al-Islamiyya (1:85, 2:54); al-Zirikli, al-A‘lam (4:61); and M. ‘Abd al-Latif Farfur, Tarikh al-Fiqh al-Islami (p. 117).

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad

The reliability of The Lives of Man and Imam al-Haddad

Is the book titled The Lives of Man by Imam Abdullah ibn Alawi al-Haddad reliable? And is his aqidah in 100%  accordance with that of the Ashari school and ahlus sunnah wal jamaah? He states in his book, and I quote from page 7-8, “It is narrated [1] that rasullulah (saw), was already a prophet when Adam (AS) was between water and clay, between spirit and body, and [2] that he (saw) accompanied Adam when he boarded the ark, and Ibrahim (AS) when he was thrown into nimrods fire.” Is this accurate? And is this the belief of the majority of ahlus sunnah wal jamaah? This is just one of many quotes from the book in which there are many similar stories, please explain. Also, there are many more popular books written by this sheikh and another, Habib Ahmad Mashur al-Haddad, including The Key to the Garden, Gifts for the Seeker, and The Book of Assistance. Are these books alright to read?


As-Salamu `alaykum:

These books are inestimable and filled with guidance. Imam `Abd Allah al-Haddad was one of the great Imams of Ahl al-Sunna and a Mujaddid (Renewer) of this Religion. If his `Aqeedah is not 100% in accordance with the Ash`ari School and Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jama`a then there is no Ash`ari School and no Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jama`a. That `Aqida is cited in full in Key to the Garden. As for the hadiths quoted:

[1] Water and clay / spirit and body hadith:

Al-Qari said in al-Asrar al-Marfu`a:

The Hadith: “I was a Prophet when Adam was still between water and clay.” Al-Sakhawi said, “I never saw it in this wording... Al-Zarkashi said, “It is baseless in that wording but al-Tirmidhi narrated:

“When were you a Prophet?” He replied: “When Adam was still between the spirit and the flesh.”

Ibn Hibban in his Sahih and al-Hakim narrated from al-`Irbad ibn Sariya that the Prophet said, upon him peace:

“I was decreed in the Divine Presence to be the Seal of the Prophets when Adam was still kneaded in his clay.”

[2] Prophetic translation hadith:

Imam al-Suyuti in al-Durr al-Manthur cites Ibn Marduyah’s narration that Ibn `Abbas said - Allah be pleased with them:

“I asked the Prophet - Allah bless him and greet him: ‘May my father and mother be your ransom! Where were you when Adam was in Paradise?’ Whereupon he smiled until his pre-molars showed and said: ‘Truly I was in his loins, and he alighted upon the earth while I was in his loins, and I boarded the Ark in the loins of my father Nuh, and I was cast into the fire in the loins of my father Ibrahim. Nor did my forefathers and mothers ever join illicitly....” Etc.

Narrated by Ibn Abi `Umar al-`Adani in his Musnad and Ibn `Asakir in Tarikh Dimashq (1:349) cf. Kanz al-’Ummal (#32010, 35489). Ibn Kathir cited it with its chain in al-Bidaya wal-Nihaya and al-Suyuti in al-La’ali’ al-Masnu’a (1996 ed. 1:243-244) with another very weak chain. Al-Qadi `Iyad cited the bracketed portion in al-Shifa (p. 126-127 #131) cf. al-Suyuti, Manahil al-Safa (#1280) and commented: “Al-`Abbas’s panegyric of the Prophet - upon him peace - witnesses to the veracity of this report.” `Iyad is referring to the narration in which al-`Abbas ibn `Abd al-Muttalib - Allah be well-pleased with him - said:

“Messenger of Allah, I wish to praise you.” The Prophet replied, upon him peace: “Go ahead - how well you speak!” (lā yafdudillāhu fāk). Al-`Abbas said:

“Before [your translation] you were blessed
in the shades [of Paradise] and the repository (Eden)
where leaves were used for garments.
Then you alighted upon earth, neither a formed human being
nor a piece of flesh nor clot,
But as a drop that boarded the Ark
when the flood destroyed Nasr and the rest of the idols:
Transported from the loins to the wombs
in the succession of worlds and centuries.
Until your noble House, proclaiming [your merit],
took hold of the highest summit of the line of Khindif.
And then, when you were born, the sun rose over the earth
and the horizon was illuminated with your light.
So we - in that radiance and that light
and paths of guidance - can pierce through.”

Narrated from Khuraym ibn Aws ibn Jariya by al-Hakim (3:327=1990 ed. 3:369), al-Bayhaqi in Dala’il al-Nubuwwa (5:267-268) as cited by Ibn Kathir in his Sira (ed. Mustafa `Abd al-Wahid 4:51=1:195), Abu Nu`aym in the Hilya (1:364), Ibn Sayyid al-Nas in Minah al-Madh (p. 192-193) with his chain through al-Bazzar and al-Tabarani, and - as mentioned by al-Qari in Sharh al-Shifa (1:364) - Abu Bakr al-Shafi`i and al-Tabarani in al-Kabir (4:213). Al-Suyuti in al-La’ali’ al-Masnu`a (1:265=1996 ed. 1:244) said: “There is no question that these verses are by al-`Abbas.” Also cited by al-Qadi `Iyad in al-Shifa (p. 216 #393), Ibn al-Athir in Usud al-Ghaba (2:129 #1348), Ibn `Abd al-Barr in al-Isti`ab (8:447), also from Khuraym’s brother Jarir ibn Aws, Ibn Hajar in al-Isaba - in the entry “Khuraym,” al-Dhahabi in the Siyar (1-2:36-37 and 3:415=al-Arna’ut ed. 2:102-103), Ibn al-Qayyim in Zad al-Ma`ad (3:482-483), and in Sharh al-Mawahib (3:84).

I heard the Shaykh of Tarim and Prophetic inheritor, al- Habib `Umar ibn Hafiz say on tape: “The reason the Umma no longer ‘pierces through’ is because they have abandoned the conviction in their Prophet which al-`Abbas and the rest of the Companions had.”

Hajj Gibril

What is the Sunnah?

For the new and prospective Muslim, how should one interpret the Sunnah? Should it be considered the emulation, or imitation rather of His (saw) actions or the striving of the state of His (saw) character?

Sunna, pl. sunan: "Road" or "practice (s)." Standard practice, primarily of the Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa-Alihi wa-Sallam, including his sayings, deeds, tacit approvals or disapprovals. Hadith Scholars add his personal traits - including physical features - to this definition.

The "sciences of the Sunna" (`ulum al-Sunna) refer to the biography of the Prophet ﷺ (sira), the chronicle of his battles (maghazi), his everyday sayings and acts or "ways" (sunan) including his personal and moral qualities (shama'il), and the host of the ancillary hadith sciences such as the circumstances of occurrence (asbab al-wurud), knowledge of the abrogating and abrogated hadith, difficult words (gharib al-hadith), narrator criticism (al-jarh wal-ta`dil), narrator-biographies (al-rijal), etc. This meaning is used in contradistinction to the Qur'an in expressions such as "Qur'an and Sunna" and applies in the usage of hadith Scholars.

"The Sunna in our definition consists in the reports transmitted from the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, and the Sunna is the commentary (tafsir) of the Qur'an and contains its directives (dala'il)" (Imam Ahmad).

The early Sunni hadith Masters such as Abu Dawud and Abu Nasr al-Marwazi also used the term "the Sunna" in the narrow sense to refer to Sunni Doctrine as opposed to the creeds of non-Sunni sects.

In the terminology of usul al-fiqh or principles of jurisprudence, sunna denotes a saying (qawl), action (fi'l) or approval (taqrir) related from (nuqila `an) the Prophet ﷺ or issuing (sadara) from him other than the Qur'an.

In the terminology of fiqh or jurisprudence, sunna denotes whatever is firmly established (thabata) as called for (matlub) in the Religion on the basis of a legal proof (dalil shar`i) but without being obligatory, the continued abandonment of which constitutes disregard (istikhfaf) of the Religion and sin, and incurs blame (lawm, `itab, tadlil) - also punishment (`uquba) according to some jurists.

Some made a distinction between what they called "Emphasized Sunna" (sunna mu'akkada) or "Sunna of Guidance" (sunnat al-huda), such as what the Prophet ﷺ ordered or emphasized in word or in deed, and other types of Sunna considered less binding in their legal status, such as what they called "Non-Emphasized Sunna" (sunna ghayr mu'akkada) and "Sunna of Habit" (sunnat al-`ada).

The above jurisprudential meanings of Sunna are used in contradistinction to the other four of the five legal categories for human actions - fard ("obligatory"), mubah ("indifferent"), makruh ("offensive"), haram ("prohibited") - and apply in the usage of jurists from the second Hijri century.

More on the Sunna as binding evidence (Hujjiyyat al-Sunna) at:
< at living islam : Islamic tradition >

And Allah knows best.

Hajj Gibril Haddad

Both good and evil from Allah Most High 

I have a book of Prophetic Invocations, in it is a du'a that goes like this:

In the Name of Allah (swt), all praise belongs to Allah, both good and evil are by the will of Allah.

Bismi' Llah, wa'l humdu li'Llah, wal khayru wa'sh-sharru bi mashi ati 'Llah

I understand that good and bad both comes from Allah, but to what extent does that go. I mean obviously some bad thoughts and things are from Shaytan. How do we know the difference. And how is Evil from Allah?

Evil is by will (irada) of Allah Most High but without His good pleasure (rida). At the same time we attribute only good to Allah. Evil is attributed to Shaytan, Nafs, or Hawa.

As for moral responsibility, it belongs squarely to creatures and is the basis on which they are judged.

Christians and the Mu`tazila - an Islamic sect - believe that Allah cannot possibly create evil. The logical conclusion is that there is another creator - possibly several - besides Allah Most High which is absurd and impious.

This is a topic related to Qadar - Divine Foreordainment, which was explained most succinctly and brilliantly by Dr. Muhammad Sa`id Ramadan al-Buti in a talk available on the net under the title:

 "Foreordained Destiny, the Inefficacy of Material Causes-and-Effects, and the Servant's Earning of Deeds Created by Allah."


Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad

Hospitality Or Overbearingness?   

My husband and I are in disagreement over a particular issue regarding visitors to our home. My view is that if someone calls and says they would like to come visit on a particular day, the husband should check with the wife to see if this day is a good day, as sometimes there are other commitments the husband may not know about. Further, the wife is usually the one who will prepare the house and perhaps a meal for the guests, and she should have a say in whether that day is a good day for visitors or if another day would be more appropriate. My husband says that if a guest asks to come on a particular day, the husband cannot tell the guest that he must check plans with his wife; rather he should allow the guest to come, without having to double-check with his wife before confirming.
What is your judgment on this issue?

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

Wa `alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah:

Traditional Muslim domestic architecture provided for a separate guest room or “diwan” with adjoining bath and restroom near the foyer of the house so that a guest or guests might be entertained there even several days without interfering in the normal run of the house. Cheap ready-made hot dishes could be ordered day and night from the corner chickpea and bean stores. Nowadays, however, houses tend to be smaller and the guests tend to be brought right into the private spaces of the house so that its appearance has to be readjusted for each such occasion, otherwise a visitor might think negatively not of the master, but typically of the mistress of the house. In addition, the world and its pomp has so overwhelmed society that hospitality now requires a veritable protocol. Simplicity often goes out the window together with many Islamic manners. Protracted and impromptu visits thus become a burden because they alter the normal run of the house more radically than before. And all this applies to women of the East who tend to be more demanding with themselves over the “proper” way to keep house and treat guests; then what about Western women who tend to be less prepared to begin with?

Therefore, in our regimented times and in the West especially, the fact that it is the wife that usually prepares the house and perhaps meals for guests, often without help, is a good motivation for the husband (especially with the widespread use of cellphones) to let her know as much as possible in advance of the coming of a visitor to their home, as a courtesy to her, to alleviate the pressure of an added duty, and in order to refine ever more the paradisiacal harmony of marital life at home as well as ensure proper hospitality due to guests, both of which are types of worship for which he will get reward, and also to thank her on a regular basis with deeds and not just words. Indeed, it is good for the couple to discuss anything and everything that enters and exits the household when it might affect it for better or for worse.

Nevertheless, delaying an unexpected guest on the grounds of prior engagements or inappropriate timing is not an Islamic trait. But we need first to understand the importance of hospitality in Islam.

A Muslim household must endeavor their utmost to acquire Muslim manners in the chapter of hospitality such as generosity and abnegation, as hospitality is one of the Divine tests of belief in Allah and the Last Day according to the mass-transmitted (mutawatir) hadith of the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace:

“Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let them treat their guest generously.” Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Malik, al-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, al-Darimi, and Ahmad.

Generosity here means to readily shelter and refresh a guest for at last three days as if the guest were actually the most important member of the household. Abnegation means to put their interests before our own from the first we hear of their need, without making excuses, so that we reap the reward of the hadith:

“Whoever caters to his brother’s need, Allah fulfills his need...” Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Hence, spending one’s God-given property including space, time, and energy as well as money and food, toward hosting a guest whom Allah Most High sends our way is a very serious matter that deserves our full immediate attention and does not bear delay. Proper etiquette here is not so much to prepare in advance but to give from whatever we have, as the Prophet would do, upon him blessings and peace, when he said, coming home: “Is there anything to eat?” If something is prepared, we share, if not, then remnants and simplicity. We should not go overboard trying to “make everything perfect” as some ultra-organized spouses might tend to stress. Allah Most High said in his Book:

And Our messengers came unto Ibrahim with good news. They said: Peace! He answered: Peace! and delayed not to bring a roasted calf (Hud 11:69).

Imam al-Qurtubi said: “In this verse, part of the etiquette related to guests is that they be hosted promptly, so whatever is available is presented to them on the spot. Then it can be followed up with something else if one has wealth. The host should not task himself with what might overly burden him. Hospitality is part of excellent manners, the etiquette of Islam, and the high character of Prophets and the Righteous.”

In reality, it is we that are in need and Allah is supporting us, sustaining us, saving us from our self-centered lives by sending us a guest who redeems us merely by eating our food and sleeping in our house. The Righteous of olden times would say that “the guest brings his rizq and leaves with the sins of the hosts forgiven.”

To help put your priorities and commitments in proper perspective, imagine yourself standing under the unbearable hot sun at the horrific scene of wailing and desolation on the Day of Judgment; would you not appreciate a prompt rescue? Your selfless generosity to guests and husband now might become your prompt rescue then. How small and insignificant might “other commitments” loom then!

I know of a European Muslim family – all converts – that had a guest. It was the family’s day off and they all had put on their coats to go out in the family car when the eldest son came with the news that: “Our guest says he needs the car to go somewhere.” Without so much as a huff of annoyance they all took off their jackets and the father handed the car keys over.

Another time I heard a pious person praise his wife in these terms: “A guest may knock at my door in the night, she will get out of bed and prepare some refreshment without complaining. May Allah bless her and thank her.”

And how many times have I seen my teacher give up his food, his rest, his privacy, his “quality time” at home or rest time on the road, so as to attend to other people’s needs, all of whom he considered his God-sent guests, even if they called on the phone at mealtimes or in the middle of the night? His household never stood in the way but always helped because they, like him, made a conscious choice of Allah and his Prophet over their own comforts.

The magnificent paradigm of the Muslims described above is the following hadith:

One time someone visited the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, who said: “Who will host this man?” One of the Ansar immediately said: “I will.” Then he rushed to his wife and told her: “Provide generously for the guest of the Messenger of Allah.” She replied: “We only have food for the children!” He said: “Prepare the food then light the candle and put the children to bed at dinner-time.” She did as he said [and put the children to sleep on an empty stomach] then she got up to tinker with the light and she put it out. Then she and her husband pretended to eat but remained hungry that night. The next morning they went to see the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, and he said: “Last night Allah laughed or was astonished [the narrator hesitated] at what you two did!” Then Allah revealed the verse: They put others above their need though poverty become their lot (59:9). Narrated from Abu Hurayra by Bukhari and Muslim.

Imam Bukhari said that the meaning of laughter (dahik) here is mercy (rahma). Imam Ahmad interpreted it as abundant generosity (kathrat al-karam) and vast good pleasure (si‘at al-rida). Imam al-Khattabi interpreted it as good pleasure (rida). Ibn al-Jawzi interpreted it as generosity (karam) and favor (fadl). Imam al-Nawawi explained it as a metaphor (isti‘ara) for good pleasure, bestowal of reward (thawab), and Allah’s love (mahabba) after Qadi ‘Iyad who added that another possible meaning is that the laughter applies to Allah’s angels. The latter is the interpretation preferred by Ibn Hibban. Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani said, “The attribution of laughter and wonder to Allah is figurative (majaziyya) and their meaning is Allah’s good pleasure at their deed.”

Khattabi said concerning the words “Allah was astonished”:

“Astonishment cannot be applied to Allah Almighty nor befits His Attributes. Its significance is only good pleasure, and it actually means that the deed of the two spouses met with Divine good pleasure, acceptance, and many-fold rewards in the place of something trivial which causes our astonishment for being placed high above its value, and being repaid many times its kind. Its meaning may also be that Allah causes astonishment and laughter among the angels.”

May your deeds meet with the Divine good pleasure, a wondrous reward for something trivial! May Allah inspire us with small gestures in this world through which He will forgive us with a big forgiveness in the next and may He teach us the ways of true hospitality according to the Sunna of His Prophet, upon him and his Family and Companions blessings and peace.

Hajj Gibril

The Statement "If the Hadith is Authentic, that is my Madhhab"

One of the most misunderstood statements of Imām al-Shāfi‘ī is his famous phrase: “When the authenticity of the hadīth is established, that is my madhhab.” The Ulema of the School explained, contrary to the populist approaches of “Salafīs,” that this principle addresses the jurists who are capable of sifting the abrogating and sound hadīths from the abrogated and unsound ones as well as extract the rulings from their collective evidence according to the principles of the Law and those of the Arabic language. [1] Al-Nawawī said:

What Imām al-Shāfi‘ī said does not mean that everyone who sees a sahīh hadīth should say “This is the madhhab of al-Shāfi‘ī,” applying the purely external or apparent meaning of his statement. What he said most certainly applies only to such a person as has the rank of ijtihād in the madhhab. It is a condition for such a person that he be firmly convinced that either Imām al-Shāfi‘ī was unaware of this hadīth or he was unaware of its authenticity. And this is possible only after having researched all the books of al-Shāfi‘ī and similar other books of the companions of al-Shāfi‘ī, those who took knowledge from him and others similar to them. This is indeed a difficult condition to fulfill. Few are those who measure upto this standard in our times. [2] What we have explained has been made conditional because Imām al-Shāfi‘ī had abandoned acting purely on the external meaning of many hadīths, which he declared and knew. However, he established proofs for criticism of the hadīth or its abrogation or specific circumstances or interpretation and so forth. Shaykh Abu ‘Amr [Ibn al-Salāh] said: “It is no trivial matter to act according to the apparent meaning of what Imām al-Shāfi‘ī said. For it is not permissible for every faqīh – let alone a layman (‘āmmī) – to act independently with what he takes to be a proof from the hadīth… Therefore, whoever among the Shāfi‘īs finds a hadīth that contradicts his School must examine whether he is absolutely accomplished in all the disciplines of ijtihād, or in that particular topic, or specific question. [If he is,] then he has the right to apply it independently. If he is not, but finds that contravening the hadīth bears too heavily upon him–after having researched it and found no justification for contravening it–then he may apply it if another independent Imām other than al-Shāfi‘ī applies it. This is a good excuse for him to leave the madhhab of his Imām in such a case.” [3]

[1] See, in particular, Shaykh al-Islām Taqī al-Dīn al-Subkī’s Ma‘nā Qawl al-Imām al-Muttalibī Idhā Sahha al-Hadīthu Fahuwa Madhhabī; Ibn al-Salāh’s Adab al-Muftī wa al-Mustaftī; and the first volume of al-Nawawī’s al-Majm‘.

[2] I.e. al-Nawawī’s times, a fortiori ours. Among those who lived in al-Nawawī’s century were al-Fakhr al-Rāzī, Ibn al-Salāh, al-Mundhirī, Ibn ‘Abd al-Salām, al-Qurtubī, Ibn al-Munayyir, Ibn al-Qattān, al- Diyā’ al-Maqdisī, Ibn Qudāma, and Ibn Daqīq al-‘īd!

[3] Al-Nawawī, al-Majm‘ Sharh al-Muhadhdhab (1:64), citing Ibn al-Salāh’s Fatāwā wa Masā’il (1:54, 1:58-59). Cf. al-Tahānawī, I‘lā’ al-Sunan (2:290-291).

< This section is also in French >

Attributes of Allah, Interpretation, and Abu Hanifa

Affirmation of a 'hand' for Allah, as is stated in the translation of Abu Hanifa's al-Fiqh al-Akbar by Hamid Algar, where he writes, under article 4: ".He has a hand, a face, and a self (nafs); the mention that God most High has made of these in the Qur'an has the sense that these are among His attributes, and no question can be raised concerning their modality (bila kayf). It cannot be said that His hand represents His power or His bestowal of bounty, because such an interpretation would require a negation of an attribute. This is the path taken by the Qadarites and the Mu'tazilites (two theological sects in early Islam that deviated from the path of Ahl as-Sunna - trans.) Rather, His hand is an attribute, of unknowable modality, in the same way that His anger and pleasure are two attributes of unknowable modality God Most High created things out of nothing, and He had knowledge of them in pre-eternity, before their creation." ( Does this translation authentically relate the opinion of al-Imam?

Wa `alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh:

A more accurate translation would be:

"Whatever Allah mentioned in the Qur'an about the 'Face,' 'Hand,' and 'Essence,' these are His Attributes without asking how. [i.e. their proof-text (asl) is known while their description (wasf) is unknown to us (al-Maghnisawi).] Let it not be said that His Hand is [but] His Power (qudra) or Bounty (ni`ma) because doing so is a nullification of the Attribute [which the Qur'an affirms (al-Maghnisawi)] and is the position of the Qadaris and Mu`tazilis. His Hand is an Attribute without asking how!" [Al-Qari comments: "That is, without knowledge of any modality, exactly as we are incapable of having knowledge of the true nature (kunh) of the rest of His Attributes, not to mention the true nature of His Essence."]

Imam Abu Hanifa's caveat does not contradict the Maturidi position that the Attributes of corporeality are not corporeal (as in al-Tahawi's `Aqida) but are among the mutashabihat (as in al-Pazdawi's Usul and its Sharh by al-Bukhari). These guidelines - avoidance of figurative interpretation, avoidance of corporeal explanation, and affirmation that Yad etc. are among the Mutashabihat - are also within the Ash`aris' method. The latter allow the option of interpretation if it coincides with the bases of the Arabic language and the general purport of `Aqida, as does Imam al-Maturidi in Kitab al-Tawhid.

And Allah knows best.

I understand that the following statement of al-Uthaymeen: We believe that Allah possesses two real eyes, [....] is an anthropomorphic statement due to the insertion of the words 'two' and 'real', and would contravene the true position of the salaf- is this a correct understanding?

Without a doubt.

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad

Lingering illicit relationship

I am in a very difficult situation and aim to do the right thing by my iman and the shariah, this is why I come to you for advice. I pray insha'Allah that you receive this in good health and will be able to help me.

I had been seeing a guy for a while and despite knowing the ruling of premarital relationships went ahead with it in the hope of marriage at the end. ( what else can I do to repent for this aside from begging for the mercy of Allah?)

The guy is now married to girl of his parents choice. We have both tried very hard to move on, forget each other and cease contact. however this has been very difficult, the more distance we have put between each other the more difficult it becomes to resist. I have made much dua to be strong in this time and for Allah (swt) to help me find a suitable partner as I feel this will help this difficult situation. I am very fearful that in the moments of weakness shaitan will play with our minds and we will cross the line as this has already happened at beginning of his marriage. (i.e. we have met up)

I am finding it very difficult if not impossible to find a suitable partner.... perhaps my imaan is being tested in terms of my ex.

My self and my ex still have very strong feeling for one another and are unable to shrug this no matter how hard we try. A knowledgeable friend of mine has suggested polygamy. However I would like to know the ruling on this.

1. In my situation is a second marriage a valid reason? If not what can we do to get through this?

2. What are the conditions in the shariah for a second marriage to be able to take place? what makes it permissible. i.e. Does he have to have a valid reason aside from the situation we are in?

3. Is it true that he does not need permission from his wife to get married again? and that he does not even have to tell her although it is recommended?? I find the latter hard to believe as won't he have to lie when we meet and won't it make it difficult in terms of equality between the two?

I know polygamy is not desirable because of the complexity of it and the difficulties to maintain equality between the two wives but he has alot of Iman and I'm sure he will be able to abide by it as best he can....right now this seems like the only option as it's not working the other way.

Your question indicates you have crossed the line with him both before his marriage and after, for which you should fear for your soul and need to repent earnestly.

Yet, the path you have chosen in continuing contact is the opposite of repentance, so you both have now added a third sin to the first two, which are among the gravest of enormities. This shows the opposite of iman and shows that Shaytan is continuing to lead you astray.

Your hope of becoming his second wife is like your former hope of becoming his first wife, another trap by which Shaytan wishes to cause more of your rebellion against Allah and cause harm to the servants of Allah through you both.

How long will you test the patience of Allah Ta`ala?

Leave that destructive path and repent to Allah with sincere resolve once and for all. Repentance means: control yourself; no more contact with that man; and turn a new leaf.

Only then will your `ibaada and du`a have any meaning.

May Allah help you in your aiming to do the right thing and seeking a solution from Divine guidance with sincerity and true fear of His punishment.

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad

Been involved with partner who ‘intends to marry me’ in the future

I have been doing a wrong act with a partner who intends to marry me for 4yrs. Although I was ashamed of my act I had continued and had gotten pregnant. I did not want to terminate but was in fear of family and society. I regret everything and repent but fearful of what happens to those who do such acts (I cry for that baby I could have had, had I got more support). I want to continue our relationship, but the Islamic way. but am I allowed to do that? I feel it's best to stay with whom I' have shared my scared part to. Right now I am expected by family members to choose a partner or let them decide. My partner is very reluctant to make the first move, as I am not Bengali but Muslim and his parents may refuse. Should I go for another who my family may choose or stick with the one who I know has repented and together with prayers we may be get Allah's forgiveness? also I feel although strict but religious family will influence me the right way. Also is it wrong to argue over the fact that one should marry young with an older person because men want young girls.

A basic condition of repentance is to stop the sin and quit associating with its main causes and means. By continuing to associate with your partner and he with you it appears neither of you has repented. He has not repented if he is still in contact with you unless he changes the character of this contact by coming out in the open right away and marrying you. You are allowed to marry him but his reluctance to "make the first move" after four years of using you and an abortion which you had as a result of this relationship show a man who is still making war against Allah Subhan wa-Ta`ala.

Your repentance necessitates leaving him right away if he refuses. After that you must resolve never to see him or talk to him or have anything to do with him again and make sincere istighfar. Then you can start a new life with the choice of your family in sha' Allah, if Allah Ta`ala decides to give you a second chance.

May Allah guide you to what is good and right.

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad

Treatment of depression

Does Islam permit the treatment of depression with prescribed antidepressants plus psychotherapy (as well as dua, dhikr etc)?

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Yes, the Prophet, upon him peace, said to seek treatments for ailments and antidepressants are some such treatments.

As for psychotherapy, the best advice is to seek a Muslim practitioner.

It is advised also to renew family ties and gift the entirety of a dhabiha (a sacrifice) to feed the poor with the intention of recovery.

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad

Marriage Between a Muslim Girl & Devout Christian Man

I would like to know if marriage between a Muslim girl and a devoted Christian man is permissible or not? Note: we agreed that the children (if we have any) will be raised as Muslims and that my last name will not be changed to his.

Wa Alaykum Assalam wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuhu,

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful & Compassionate

Shaykh Gibril Haddad previously answered this:

Islam forbids marriage of a Muslim woman with a non-Muslim man and considers it invalid. It used to be the same in the Christian denominations regarding betrothal of Christian persons to non-Christians; Islam, however, is a religion that does not change.

At the same time Islam is eminently suitable to new developments for all time to come within the bounds of reason, truth, and right in the eyes of God and Man.

Accordingly, Islam does allow a Jewish or Christian woman to marry a Muslim man with the provision that the children are raised Muslim, which is facilitated by two factors in the eyes of the Law: (1) The head of the household is Muslim and (2) Her Abrahamic background qualifies her to grow into the fullness and maturity of the final Divine dispensation. There is no such allowance for a non-Muslim man who would purport to marry a Muslim woman even if he promised to raise their children in the Muslim faith; the Law cannot rely on such a promise on the part of the head of the household short of his accepting Islam.

As for the disparities of cult between the faiths it is neither the view of Christians nor those of Muslims that they are few and minor. However, it is a sign of Divine inspiration when the Creator wishes success for someone, that the impediments towards his becoming Muslim seem small and insignificant. Therefore this former practicing Christian (for thirty years) invites you to consider accepting the message of Muhammad, upon him peace, which is the same message brought by Jesus, Moses, and Abraham, upon them peace, concerning God and His Attributes of oneness, mercy, knowledge, omnipotence. We do not make any differences between any of them nor reject any of them. Rather, we deem them the proof of the Divine covenant with human beings that He should be worshipped as He ought to be worshipped. They are the fulfillment of His promise that whoever follows guidance there shall be no fear for them nor shall they grieve. You will receive your reward twice. Peace upon those who follow guidance!

- Hajj Gibril

Also see:

Related Questions

Marrying non-Muslims: the legal ruling
x L 20120703

Hypochondria, whisperings of the Devil, and sickness

I am 24 years old. and I have been troubled by the whisperings of shaitaan (I think). I sometimes worry about things so much that it causes me to have extreme anxiety where I feel sick to my stomach. [...] I wear hijab, pray, fast, read quran daily, do zikr, avoid haram as best as I can. I read duas to keep shaitaan away but it still happens. then the terrible thought comes into mind of the existence of Allah or if he is even listening to me because I continue to feel like this. [...] what am I lacking in my life to be feeling like this, (trust, love, or fear of Allah?) please help me I feel like this eating me away. Please help from your Knowledge from Allah.

The most beneficial remedy is to ignore those whisperings and not dwell on them, and to counter them by reciting this du`a abundantly:

Subhan al-Malik al-Khallaq, {in yasha' yudhhibkum wa-ya'ti bi-khalqin jadid, wa-ma dhalika `ala Allahi bi`-aziz}.

This means:

Glorified and exalted be the King that creates all at every instant! {If He will he can take you away and bring a new creation instead. That is not difficult for Allah at all.} (see Q 14:19-20; 35:16-17)

These overpowering thoughts are a kind of test for which the believer receives reward as long as he or she observes right and adab with Allah in them [i.e. turns constantly to Allah Most High from them]. Allah Most High gives them power over a servant only so that that servant return to Him broken-hearted and pressed, and He then answers him or her as He said:

{Or, who listens to the (soul) distressed when it calls on Him, and who relieves its suffering, and makes you (mankind) inheritors of the earth? Is there any God beside Allah? Little do you reflect!} (see Q 27:62)

It is possible that these bad thoughts stem from bad habits such as eating dubious food or sharing the company of an evil person. One must also search within oneself and repent from anything they may come up with. If one blames oneself but without pinpointing anything in particular then repent generally speaking of anything you may know or not know.

If one finds no reason outward nor inward then this is a pure test over which one must pluck up sabr and be steadfast until its time passes. Allah will grant reward for this.

Source: Imam al-Habib `Abd Allah al-Haddad - his soul be sanctified - in al-Nafa'is al-`Ulwiyya (p. 88, q. 65).

Hajj Gibril

Jihad al-Nafs: Striving for Self-Perfection

I was listening to some girls talk the other day, and they were saying that there was no evidence for jihad al nafs, that all the evidence for it was fabricated, or so weak as to be worthless, and so jihad can only mean fighting physically. I am very confused by this. If you could explain this to me and show me the evidences, I would really appreciate it.

Allah Most High said:

Quran 29:6
Quran 29:69

{And whosoever STRIVES (JAAHADA), STRIVES (YUJAAHIDU) only for himself} (29:6). {As for those who STRIVE (JAHADU) in Us (the cause of Allah), We surely guide them to Our paths, and lo! Allah is with the good doers.} (29:69) This is a Meccan Sura and the two verses refer to Jihad al-Nafs. There was no military jihad then.

Without jihad of the nafs, fighting leads to Hellfire.

Allah Most High said:

Quran 91-8 space Quran 91-7
Quran 91-10 space Quran 91-9


"By the nafs and the proportion and order given to it, and its inspiration as to its wrong and its right; Truly he succeeds who purifies it, and he fails that corrupts it" (91:7-10). This is also a Meccan Sura.

Without purification, the nafs remains a "soul that enjoins evil" (al-nafs al - ammara bil-su') until it surrenders itself in total obedience to the call of animal passions and shaytan.

Allah Most High said:

Quran 25:43
Quran 7:176

{Have you seen the one who chooses for his god his own lust?} (25:43). {He followed his own lust. Therefore his likeness is as the likeness of a dog; if you attack him he pants with his tongue out and if you leave him he pants with his tongue out} (7:176). These are both also Meccan Suras.

Quran 79:40
Quran 79:41

About the person who controlled the passion of his ego Allah says: {But as for him who feared to stand before his Lord and restrained his soul from lust, Lo! The garden will be his home} (79:40-41). This is also a Meccan Sura.

The above are among the many Meccan verses and Suras enjoining jihad al-nafs. One that denies that there was/is such a Divine command commits kufr. Such a command cannot mean military jihad, as there was no permission - much less an order - for such a jihad until the Madinan period.

Further, the Prophet said, upon him peace:

1. The mujahid is he who makes jihad against his nafs (ego) for the sake of obeying Allah.

- Ibn Hibban (#1624, 2519): Authentic;

- Shu`ayb al-Arna'ut (Commentary on Ibn Hibban): authentic;

- al-Hakim: sahih;

- `Iraqi confirms him;

- it is also in Tirmidhi, Ahmad, and Tabarani;

- Albani included it in the "Sahiha".

2. "`A'isha, Allah be well-pleased with her, asked: 'Messenger of Allah, we see jihad as the best of deeds, so shouldn't we join it?' He replied, 'But the best jihad is a perfect Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah).'" (Sahih Al-Bukhari #2784)

3. On another occasion, a man asked: "Should I join the jihad?" The Prophet asked, upon him peace, "Do you have parents?" The man said yes. The Prophet said: "Then do jihad by serving them!" (Sahih Al-Bukhari #5972)

4. Another man asked: "What kind of jihad is better?" The Prophet replied, upon him peace: "A word of truth spoken in front of an oppressive ruler." (Sunan Al-Nasa'i #4209)

5. The Prophet also said, upon him peace: The strong one is not the one who overcomes people, the strong one is he who overcomes his nafs [ego]. Al-Haythami declared it authentic in Majma` al-Zawa'id.

6. The Prophet, upon him peace, said to Abu Sa`id al-Khudri: "Even if one strikes unbelievers and idolaters with his sword until it breaks, and he is *completely* dyed with their blood, the Rememberers of Allah are above him one degree."

The above authentic hadiths provide additional explicit evidence - especially 1 and 5 - refuting the lie that "all the evidence for jihad al-nafs is fabricated or weak."


Allah Most High is Tayyibun and accepts only the Tayyib. He declares in the Qur'an that He accepts acts of worship only if they are based on:

- purification of the self {qad aflaha man zakkaha}

- soundness of the heart {illa man ata Allaha bi-qalbin salim}

- an humble spirit {wa-innaha lakabiratun illa `alal khashi`in}

Purification of the Intention is the general heading for these. That is why the Imams (e.g. Bukhari, Shafi`i, Nawawi) always began their books of fiqh with the hadith of intention: "Actions count only according to intention."

An act outwardly considered worship but performed without pure intention is not considered worship, even fighting and dying in defense of Muslims. The Prophet, upon him peace, explicitly said of one such fighter that he was bound for the fire.

In fact, purification of intention is needed for all five pillars of Islam. Such purification is a fard `ayn and is required of all.

Thus those that claim there is no jihad al-nafs in Islam have imperiled their Islam and might make their shahada, salat, zakat, sawm, hajj, AND jihad worthless. Allah is our refuge from this.

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad

Saints in Islam? Is this not a Christian concept?

What is a saint? Should Muslims believe in saints? How does one know if a person is a saint or not?

Wa`alaykum as-Salam:

"Saint" is the English word often used to refer to a wali, pl. awliya', which literally means a friend, i.e. a friend of Allah.

Imam al-Qushayri defined the wali as "One whose obedience attains permanence without interference of sin; whom Allah (swt) preserves and guards, in permanent fashion, from the failures of sin through the power of acts of obedience." In Ibn `Abidin's Rasa'il (2:277).

These are present in the Umma until the end of time, as stated by the Prophet - upon him blessings and peace - in his mass-transmitted (mutawatir) narrations on the Victorious Group.

Some condemn the rendering 'sainthood' and 'saint' for wilaya and wali as Christian imports. This is a specious objection as these are - like 'Religion' (din), 'Believer' (mu'min), 'prayer' (salat), etc. – generic terms for holiness and holy persons while there is no confusion, for Muslims, over their specific referents in Islam, namely: the reality of iman with Godwariness and those who possess those qualities.

Allah knows best.

Hajj Gibril

Convert with child, living with non-Muslim parents... difficult issues

Almost three years ago I converted to Islam after being divorced and having a child from a Muslim that the marriage was to put it nicely not good at all so now I live with my family who are extremely religious Christians and I have always been raised in the church went to a Christian school where my brother-n-law now teaches and my grandfather donated the money for the new Bible building to be built and now my parents are trying to enroll my daughter in this school and I really have no authority over what to say since they tell me i am living with them and they do not want her raised by these horrible Muslims who only really care about themselves, now my ex-husband does not support his daughter and the masjid here which is not very good at all they tell me to just act as if I am Christian until I get married and move out but the problem is what should I do with my parents? this is a no win situation and I am not going to get on the internet and go find some Muslim man that I don't know what his intentions are with me to be able to get married and get out but then in the same sense I don't live in a community that has the resources to get married so what should I do?

Wa `alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah:

In response to your letter:

Your daughter needs her schooling and a safe home which you are able to provide through her grandparents. In the absence of a viable alternative at present, it is acceptable to enroll her even in a Christian school, temporarily.

Your daughter's religion is safe as long as her mother's religion is safe. You were rightly guided to Islam, you took the right decision to leave a bad marriage, you are seeking advice in the best manner, and your intentions are for the best. You are winning and on the right track even if you cannot see that right now.

Keep your Salat firmly even if you must put everything else on hold. Stay away from bad Muslims as you would want to stay away from bad non-Muslims. Your parents are doing the best they know and their help is true; but try also to stay in touch with a Muslim family that can provide advice or moral support and relieve the pressure.

Take this time to turn to Allah and strengthen yourself with His dhikr for your daughter's sake. A parent's prayer is answered. You do not have to go on the Internet husband-hunting. Allah sees your duress and will see you safely through this test with goodness soon insha Allah, and reward for your patience.

Hajj Gibril

The Attributes of Allah, Literalism & Figurative Interpretation

Q1) In Fiqh ul Akbar it states "It cannot be said that His hand represents His power or His bestowal of bounty, because such an interpretation would require a negation of an attribute. This is the path taken by the Qadarites and the Mu'tazilites". I know that most of the Salaf preferred not to interpret the Attributes, but didn't the Imam know the tawil of Ibn Abbas concerning the Shin, or of Jafar Sadiq's tawil of the Wajh. What exactly is the truth behind this statement?

Wa `alaykum as-Salam,

A. The text of the Fiqh al-Akbar states: "It cannot be said that His hand IS His power etc."

The explanation is given by Mulla `Ali al-Qari in his Sharh, a little further down, after the phrase bila kayf (without asking how), quoting Fakhr al-Islam [al-Pazdawi in his Usul]:

"The affirmation of the Hand and Face are true and right in our [Maturidi] School but this is known as a matter of principle (ma`lum bi-aslihi) and ambiguous in its description (mutashabih bi-wasfihi). It is not permissible to nullify the principle because of incapacity to attain a modal description (dark al-wasf bil-kayf)."

Then al-Qari cites Imam al-Sarakhsi to the same effect. So the Maturidi position is indeed to preclude figurative interpretation, whether such is done in categorical terms that nullify the principle [such as the Mu`tazila did] or in non-categorical terms as a possible explanation [such as Ash`aris do]. Al-Qari himself does the latter at times as one can ascertain from his comments on the Attributes in the Mirqat, Sharh al-Shama'il, and elsewhere.

Q.2) As I understand it, an attribute is uncreated. So therefore Allah Ta'ala did not create His Hand or His Eye, but some interpretations imply createdness of the attributes, e.g. Hasan al Basri's interpretation of Qadam as being those whom Allah has sent forth into the fire. Yet those who are in the fire are created, does this mean the the Qadam of Allah does not refer to an attribute?

A. Al-Hasan al-Basri's above interpretation does not imply createdness of the Attributes at all. The attribution of the qadam to Allah in his interpretation is not one of the same order as that of Hand or Face but one of createdness and command.

To say otherwise is exactly the position of Christians when they argue that the OF in "the Ruh OF Allah" is an attribute of the same order as Hand or Face; hence their worship of it as a so-called hypostasis of the Divinity or same-substanced person. Cf. Imam Ibn al-Jawzi in Daf` Shubah al-Tashbih, beginning.

Note: Some of Ahl al-Hadith crossed bounds and accused al-Hasan of Mu`tazilism because of the above interpretation of the qadam.

Q.3) The Wahhabis claim that Imam Ahmad did not interpret the Coming of Allah to mean the coming of His Order. They say the isnad is a singular one containing Abu Amr bin Sammak, who is declared unknown by Imam Dhahabi. How can we counter this argument, especially since we know Imam Ahmad was usually against tawil?

A. Abu `Amr `Uthman ibn al-Sammak was not declared unknown by al-Dhahabi but he only said: "Tukullima fihi" - he has been criticized (Mizan). However, he does not consider him weak since he does not retain him in al-Mughni fil-Du`afa'. Al-Bayhaqi said of this chain that it is free of defects and Ibn Kathir confirmed it. It is also questionable that Imam Ahmad was against all types of ta'wil to begin with. Further, if we know that Imam Ahmad was against ta'wil it is through the very same type of proofs as this report provides and there are also other proofs from him.

Q.4) Sheikh Nuh mentions in one of his articles a quote from Imam Ahmad from a book entitled al-Sunnah by Imam Khallal. However, this book allegedly contains anthropomorphist statements. Was Imam Khallal an anthropomorphist?

A. Definitely, as was his Hanbali peer Abu Muhammad al-Barbahari. The latter never sat to teach except he mentioned that Allah seats the Prophet ﷺ "next to Him" on the Throne, and the former said in al-Sunna that whoever denies such a belief is a "Jahmi Kafir Zindiq." This is not to detract from al-Khallal's stature as the earliest major codifier of the Hanbali Madhhab. And Allah knows best.

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad

Mixed-sex conversation: Proofs?

The Reliance, r32.6, quotes from Nahlawi's "al-Durar al-Mubaha" the ruling in the Hanafi school about speaking without need to a member of the opposite sex. I was asked about the legal/textual basis for this ruling - do you know the evidence (beyond what the Reliance gives), or where exactly the evidence for this is recorded in depth? As far as you know, what is the range of ikhtilaf among the madhahib on this ruling?

Walaikum assalam,

The textual basis is the Prophetic hadith on the zina of the limbs narrated from Ibn Mas`ud by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad with a strong chain: "The two eyes commit zina, the two hands commit zina, the two feet commit zina, and the genitals commit zina." Another wording with a passable chain in the Musnad includes the tongue and specifies in the end: "Then the genitals actualize it or belly it." There is no difference, as far as I know, in the offensiveness of unnecessary mixed conversation between young people among the Schools.

A bit of lecturing is in order to complete Nasiha insha Allah.

Many, especially in the West, are immersed to their necks in the gravest harams that cause danger to their Religion, ignorant of much of the obligatory knowledge that pertain to the Pillars not to mention their daily transactions, reveling in unIslamic behavior at every turn, from which they are in many cases blinded because of their delusion that Islam consists in their ethnic culture and/or their going to the mosque, or in flaying their arms for a couple of hours at some demonstration, or - worse - their own DIY construction of what goes and what not without realizing they have already adopted atheism (wal-`iyadhu billah) or a freethinking barely different; under fire in their beliefs, practices, lifestyles, education (elementary, middle, and higher), and in their very thoughts, most if not all cases categorically necessitating their leaving the abode of unbelief for the abode of belief. Focusing on rulings that pertain to manners or preferability avails nothing until the basics of categorical obligation and prohibition are first learnt and practiced. Even less does it matter to know proofs or fiqh differences. In the midst of a raging fire or a whirlpool about to drown, one should focus on saving his soul, not on snippets of useless learning.

Hajj Gibril

Dawah: Some Questions about the Bible

As-Salamu `alaykum:

I could not help but notice that the Questions brought up show that this well-meaning da`i still has a way to go before qualifying, if he chooses that technique of da`wa so to speak.

I remember that as a Christian I was uninterested in discussions of Christianity with Muslims but wanted to hear about Islam and the Qur'an. Most Muslims who do da`wah as far as I know as not truly qualified to discuss the Gospels or the Bible in terms other than what the Qur'an says.

Nor should they need to know other than the Qur'an among Scriptures, even when approaching Ahl al-Kitab. To look into their books was definitely frowned upon by the Prophet himself, upon him blessings and peace, unless one happened to come from that background i.e. as a convert.

It would be best to focus on presenting attractive models of Islamic teaching and practice, not debates about the Trinity or the Bible.

This is, at least, the advice of Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad and is borne out by the practice of Shaykh Nuh Keller.

However, if one is still interested in this then I suppose Brother Shibli Zaman ( would be a reference in such debates. He has a website and can be looked up on the internet insha Allah.

Hajj Gibril

Gayness and Homosexuality

In Islam [...] How do we look upon gays... what is the Islamic viewpoint? do we respect them for them being gay because they choose to be gay?

The people of Sodom and Gomorrah were not held in any respect by God but rather were destroyed, as all three Abrahamic faiths say.

Psychologists say that gays is a genes thing... that it is inherited or its something we were born as? what does Islam say about this? Why are people gay according to Islam?

Islam recognizes various genetically-based sexualities other than the norm such as hermaphroditism/androgyny (khunutha) = having the sexual organs of both the male and the female. There are rules that apply for the role of such individuals in the society just as for others.

Islam also recognizes "epicenes" belonging to one sex physically but having characteristics of the other, or of neither; e.g. effeminate men or manly women.

What Islam rejects is the social normalization of these categories and their invasion of universally shared values pertaining to the couple and the family.

"Gay advocacy" in the West is an attempt to equalize between all statuses as morally indifferent, equally valid under the law, equally worthy of respect, and equally deserving of benefit and entitled to a place in the sun whether in subtle ways or as exhibitionistic and aggressive proselytism in the public space including schools. And the supposed keepers of faith are all caving in to the chime of "gay rights." Islam provides the only unchanging moral compass that is being lost slowly but surely by all the other communities, as conservative as they try to be over the values they once cherished.

Less than ten years ago the student gay and lesbian coalition at Columbia University in New York applied for permission to use Earl Hall to hold its annual party. Earl Hall is the home of all the religious offices in the University: the Muslim Student Association, the Catholic Campus Ministry, and the several Jewish and Protestant Ministries, capped by an "Earth" ecological group and the campus community services. Why was such a party bringing its foul breath to a religious building? Ostensibly because the space could be gotten for nothing or next to nothing, and "no other space seemed available"! But in reality it was defiance. ALL the groups voted to allow the party EXCEPT for the MSA. Later, one of the rabbis privately conceded to the Muslim representative: "We know you cast the right vote and that we were cowards." So the wine-bibbing mixed-sex lesbian and gay party took place.

The morning after, the Muslims got on all fours to wipe the place clean from the alcohol to hold Jumu`a prayer...

In late 2000 the state of Vermont in the USA passed legislation recognizing the validity of same-sex marriages in its jurisdiction despite its heavily Catholic constituency. Nebraska reacted with its own version of the DOMA [Defense of Marriage Acts] - the most strongly worded proposal yet. Nebraskan Christian groups (non-Catholics) voted in block on this issue. The text of the Nebraska proposition (416) which passed [by a 70% majority] is as follows:

"Only marriage between a man and a woman shall be valid or recognized in Nebraska. The uniting of two persons of the same sex in a civil union, domestic partnerships, or other similar same-sex relationships shall not be valid or recognized in Nebraska."

Similarly, Islam does not recognize such relations as anything valid. Yet Islam grants every person under the sun dignity and liberty as long as they do not exercise them at the expense of the dignity and liberty of the society at large including unnatural acts whether between couples of the same sex or between unmarried men and women as in the case of fornication and adultery.

Hajj Gibril

Desire for Good

All my life I was raised a Jehovah Witness ( which I would never talk bad about the religion) I never had the opportunity to go seek out other religions. I have for quite a while wonder about the Muslim faith what they believe and what keep the women so strong? With so many religions, bibles, torah, Holy Quran, etc. its hard to know what is right. Recently I met a man [...] Muslim but he doesn't go pray on Friday or anything he just work really hard [...] he moved with me in April till present. I do love him very much. Sometimes he could be the sweetest guy at other times the meanest. His mother was here from his home town and he couldn't let me meet her because I am either black or because I am not Muslim. I don't know yet. I cook for him wash his clothes everything and then some. We actually talked about marriage but I don't know if he just want to marry with me for citizen or because he actually love me. Then he wont take me to the Mosque. I really want to go for me. [...] I do have a son 18 mos. I just got out of a marriage where he wanted to have his single life back.

My son father is my ex-husband. Never had pre-marital sex. Why is my life going backwards. Is this guy the man that will lead my son and I rightly. Will he start acting like a Muslim and start praying? What is exactly the afterlife? When to pray how to pray? How do I teach my son if I can't read Arabic?

Dear Sister:

Your life is going forward in the best way. Your desire for goodness and truth is evident. You mentioned many positive things. Mainly, the phrase that you want to go to the mosque for your own good. You are right in this and are looking in the right direction. It is not clear whether this is the right stepfather for your son.

What is clear is that you may go to the mosque and declare your intention to become a Muslim. You do not need anyone to go with you except your sincere intention.

God will do the rest. Great goodness awaits you, strength, light, and inspiration to make the right choices. Do not be discouraged by bad examples you have already seen and may continue to see.

Go to the mosque, learn to pray. Prayer is the meeting with the Lord and Creator of the worlds, He will do the rest and give you everything. He has already been with you this far. Make some room in your life to learn little by little, search for a reliable Muslim lady friend or a Muslim family to help you. Your son will follow you naturally. If there is no fear for you, there is no fear for him.

The afterlife is the continuation of this life, if good then good, if evil then evil; but much stronger, complete, and without end. I pray that Allah will help you and send you a guiding companion. Feel free to ask more questions that you may have in the future.

Hajj Gibril

Jinn, girlfriends, and faith

My brother has changed a lot for this past year. He now has a girlfriend who is not Muslim and he likes to be out of the house. He doesn't bother to tell his family where he is. When his mother and sisters tell him not to have a girlfriend then he threatens to commit suicide if he can't be with the girl. Aside from this he says that Jinns are bothering him and they may be in his closet? Please please tell me what I can do in relation to helping him strengthen his iman and guiding him back to slavehood to Allah insha allah.

Rebellion is antithetical to slavehood and is a sure recipe for disaster. The lack of discipline that leads to it through a long time of spiritual neglect or heedlessness cannot be undone just like that. If he cannot be kept from a non-Muslim girlfriend then make her a Muslim by making her part of the family. It may be because he takes for granted the entire family's rejection of his choice of her that he chooses to stay away from his family. Let him be with her and with the family, in a halal way that undoes evil in sha Allah.

Perhaps, Allah Most High will relent toward him and you, and give you all reward in bringing a person to Islam. He must keep his five daily prayers.

Hajj Gibril

`Isa physically raised alive to heaven

A new translation of the meaning of the Qur'an named "The Holy Qur'an" by Allamah Nooruddin is being sold in Islamic book stores in America.On page 62-B of the glossary, while explaining the arabic word rafa'a, the translator says that "Of course, no one supposes that in these places raf'a means raising the body to the heavens. In fact when the raf'a of a person is spoken of as being to or toward God the meaning is invariably his spiritual elevation. (Lisan al Arab by Ibn Manzur, Taj al Arus by murtadza Husaini, Murfadat fi Gharaib al Qur'an, Sahih Al-Bukhari). Jesus himself has denied the possibility of his rising physically to heaven. Says he, "And no man has ascended up to heaven but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven."

What is the view of the 'ulama of ahl-as-sunnah wal-jama'ah on the raising up of Isa (as)? Was it physical or was it spiritual? Is there any difference of opinion on this?

1. There is no difference of opinion among the Ulema of reports and of Tafsir that `Isa, upon him peace, was raised to heaven with his material body as narrated from Ibn `Abbas by al-Tabari and from Qatada by Ibn Sa`d and is now alive with his body in the first heaven just as Idris is now alive with his body in the fourth although there is divergence concerning the latter, upon our Prophet and them blessings and peace.

Since it matters to "Christian Muslims,"(*) we may add that the physical ascension of `Isa is also the belief of Christians in the near-totality or totality of their sects, and they know no grave nor claim any grave for him anywhere, upon him peace, other than the so-called Holy Sepulcher which they say he vacated after three days.

(*) "Christian Muslims": Purported Muslims who attempt to re-formulate Islam according to Christian beliefs and methodology.


Ibn Sa`d, Tabaqat (1:53).

Al-Tabari, Tarikh (1:495).

Al-Baghawi, Tafsir (3:200).

Ibn Taymiyya, Fatawa (4:322-323).

Ibn Kathir, Bidaya (6:291).

Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari (7:209), Talkhis al-Habir (3:214).

`Azim Abadi, `Awn al-Ma`bud (11:307, 11:311-313).

2. Further, it is mass-transmitted (mutawatir) that `Isa will descend again from the heaven both body and soul, and this can only be after he had been raised there body and soul, upon him peace. In fact, the hadith of his descent in the two Sahihs mentions that his head will be dripping with water. This is a reference to (a) the presence of a physical body and (b) the suspension of time for him since his head was dripping with water just before he was raised up, as narrated from Ibn `Abbas by al-Tabari, Ibn Abi Hatim, al-Nasa'i, and Ibn Abi Shayba with a chain meeting the criterion of Imam Muslim according to Ibn Kathir.


Ibn Abi Shayba (6:339).

Al-Nasa'i, al-Sunan al-Kubra (6:489).

Al-Tabari, Tafsir (28:92).

Abu Ghudda in Anwar Shah Kashmiri, al-Tasrih (p. 116-117).

Ibn Kathir, Bidaya (2:92), Tafsir (1:366, 1:574-575, 4:363).

Ibn Taymiyya, Fatawa (4:322-323).

Al-Ghumari, `Aqidat Ahl al-Islam (p. 25-37).

As for those that say "Of course, no one supposes that in these places [of the Qur'an] rafa`a means raising the body to the heavens" - if they mean `Isa, upon him be peace, then they are people of ignorance upon innovation upon corruption. This is confirmed by the fact that they not only dare reject mutawatir Islamic doctrine but do so on an Israelite basis. Islam is not so poor that it need rely on abrogated and corrupted scriptures when it has the Furqan.

Hajj Gibril

Daily Khatma- Recitation of the Qur'an in one night

One of the brothers was talking to someone about how these great men of the past use to recite the Noble Qur'an completely every night (i.e. imam Bukhari (r.a)). Even though that someone wasn't rude and is a practising Muslim, he said brother it is a noble thing to do but it shouldn't be done because the Hadith says clearly that one should finish the Qur'an in at least 3 days. Ya shaikh I want to ask you about the ruling on that hadith and about the recitation in 1 day, is it permissible or not?

The hadith is sahih and one that did not gather up the qualities of Imam al-Bukhari should stick to the letter of the hadith. Allah Most High gave al-Bukhari exceptional qualities and this is a good example to show that the exception confirms the rule, which is to take 3 days at least, otherwise it is offensive (makruh).

When Allah Most High gives one paramount knowledge of the meanings of Arabic; paramount scrupulous fear of Allah; adab; exemplary renunciation of the world; knowledge and practice of the Sunna inside out; then one may recite a khatma even in one rak`a like `Uthman ibn `Affan, Tamim al-Dari, Abu Hanifa etc. -- Allah be well-pleased with them and forgive us all.

Hajj Gibril


From Sidi Musa Furber's translation of al-Nawawi's Tibyan fi Adab Hamalat al-Qur'an (Etiquette of Qur'an Memorizers):

<<The Salaf (Allah be well pleased with them) had different habits regarding the amount in which they would finish (the Qur'an). Ibn Abi Dawud related from the Salaf (Allah be well pleased with them) that some of them would finish the Qur'an once every two months, once every month, every ten nights, every eight; most of them every seven nights; some every six nights, every five, every four; many every three nights; some every two days, every day-and-night, twice every day-and-night, twice each day, and eight (each day): four by night and four by day.

<<Every day

<<Those who completed the Qur'an every day include:

'Uthman bin 'Affan, Tamim Al-Dari, Sa'id bin Jubayr, Mujahid, al-Shafi'i, and others.

<<Three times per day

<<Those who completed the Qur'an three times daily include Sulaym bin 'Itr (Allah be well pleased with him) the judge of Egypt when Mu'awia (Allah be well pleased with him) was the khalifa. Abu Bakr bin Abi Dawud related that he would complete three times each night, and Abu Bakr Al-Kindi relates in his book about the judges of Egypt that he would complete four times in a night.

<<Eight times in 24 hours

<<The righteous sheikh Abu `Abd Al-Rahman Al-Sulami (Allah be well pleased with him) said: "I heard the Sheikh Abu 'Uthman Al-Maghribi say: 'Ibn Al-Katib would complete four times by day and four times by night'". This is the most that reached us for a day and a night.

<<During Ramadan

<<The sheikh, the magnificent, Ahmad Al-Dauraqi relates with his chain from Mansur bin Zadhan, among the devotees of the Successors, (Allah be well pleased from him) that he would complete the Qur'an in the time between the noon and after-noon prayers, and complete it again in the time between the sunset and nightfall prayers, (and) during Ramadan two times and a bit. And they delayed the nightfall prayer during Ramadan until a quarter of the night passed.

<<Ibn Abi Dawud related with his sound chain that Mujahid would complete the Qur'an during Ramadan every night between the sunset and nightfall prayers.

<<Mansur said: "'Ali Al-Azdi would complete it during Ramadan every night between the sunset and nightfall prayers."

<<Ibrahim bin Sa'd said: "My father would sit with a habwa (garment or rope or one's own arms tied around one's legs) and would continue sitting that way until completing the Qur'an."

<<In a single Rak`a

<<Those who completed the Qur'an during one rak`a are too numerous to enumerate.

<<The early generations include: 'Uthman bin 'Affan, Tamim Al-Dari, and Sa'id bin Jubayr (Allah be well pleased with them) completing it every rak`a inside the Ka'ba.

<<Once a week

<<There are many who completed once a week. It is conveyed from 'Uthman bin 'Affan, `Abd Allah bin Mas`ud, Zaid bin Thabit , `Ubay bin Ka'b (Allah be well pleased with them), and from a group of the Successors such as `Abd Al-Rahman bin Yazid, 'Alqama and Ibrahim (Allah be merciful upon them).

<<The General Rule

<<The preferred opinion is that this differs from person to person. Whoever finds subtleties and experiences by intricately thinking limits [himself] to the amount where he obtains complete understanding of what he reads. It is the same for anyone occupied with spreading knowledge or something else important to the religion and general welfare of the Muslims: he limits [himself] to the amount that does not disturb what he is earmarked for. If he is not among those mentioned, he should do as much as possible without going out to the limit of boredom and chopping his recitation .

<<Less than three days being offensive

<<A group of the early generations of scholars disliked completing in a day and a night. This is alluded to by the rigorously authenticated hadith that `Abd Allah bin 'Amr bin Al-'As (Allah be well pleased with them both) said that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: "Whoever reads the Qur'an in less than three days does not understand (what he recited)" Abu Dawud, Al-Tirmidhi, Al-Nasa'i, and others related it; Al-Tirmidhi said: "hadith hasan sahih." Footnote:

"This is because whoever recites the Qur'an in less than three nights does not understand what is required when reciting, since etiquette requires having ritual purity, sitting facing the qibla, reciting correctly, pondering the meanings, being aware that Allah is observing him and answers each word he says, and intending to act according to its contents as long as he lives. May Allah give us success in this. Amin. See al-Taj al-Jami` lil-Usul (4:13)."

<<And Allah knows best.>>

End of Musa Furber's translation from al-Nawawi's Tibyan. [available through ]

GF Haddad

Hijab readiness

I am 13 years old , my dad insists that I wear my hijab to school and commit to it but I don't feel ready yet. I feel when you start wearing it you never take it off to attend anywhere etc only around immediate family members and I am not quite ready for that commitment. What should I do?

There may be a spiritual readiness you feel is missing from the picture of yourself wearing hijab at this point but you are physically ready enough by virtue of being a Muslima of age.

This is what your father's insistence reflects, not the hidden aspects of your personality. What matters right now is to continue to meet the basic requirements of the Shari`a that apply to your situation, age, sex etc. just like having to pray Salat even when one does not feel like it.

One has a lifetime, in sha' Allah, to work on strengthening readiness and commitment.

Hajj Gibril

Is The Majority Always Correct?

I would appreciate it if you can shed some light on the following hadith:

"Good tidings are for the stranger: A people who rectify (themselves and others) among people who are in much evil. Those who disobey them are greater in number than those who obey them." (Ahmad)

Is there any way this hadith implies that just because a majority of Muslims hold a view, it doesn't make their view correct (i.e. just because Sunni's make up the majority of Muslims it does not mean that Sunni Islam is correct)?

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

The correct translation is:

“Blessings and glad tidings to the strangers, a few righteous people among many evil ones, those who disobey them are more numerous than those that obey them.”

Narrated from `Abd Allah ibn `Amr ibn al-`As by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad, Ibn al-Mubarak in his Musnad and his Zuhd, al-Tabarani in al-Kabir and al-Awsat, al-Ajurri in al-Ghuraba’ min al-Mu’minin, and al-Bayhaqi in al-Zuhd al-Kabir.

The above chains contain Ibn Lahi`a whose narrations vary from fair to weak if unconfirmed, however, the hadith Masters said that his narrations are sound when certain narrators narrate from him `Abd Allah ibn al-Mubarak, `Abd Allah ibn Wahb, `Abd Allah ibn Yazid al-Muqri’, Abd Allah ibn Maslama al-Qa`nabi, Sa`id ibn Abi Sa`id Kaysan al-Maqburi and his father Kaysan cf. Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib al-Tahdhib (5:330) and al-Arna’ut Tahrir al-Taqrib (2:258-259 no. 3563).

Al-Ajurri’s chain is through Ibn al-Mubarak, from Ibn Lahi`a. This makes this particular wording sahih insha'Allah.

The wording “Blessings and glad tidings to the strangers” is mass-transmitted verbatim (mutawatir lafzi) from 23 Companions while the wording of the above hadith is also mass-transmitted in meaning but not verbatim.

The Hafiz Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali said of the above hadith in his book, Kashf al-Kurba fi Wasfi Ahli al-Ghurba:

“The word ‘Sunna’ became, in the terminology of many of the later Sunni Scholars and others, a descriptive term for unadmixed right belief especially with regard to belief in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and also in the matters pertaining to foreordained Destiny and the immense merits of the Companions. They compiled books in that knowledge and named them the books of the Sunna. They were specifying by that term the perfected way, for it is the path that is devoid of fallacies and lusts, as al-Hasan [al-Basri], Yunus ibn `Ubayd, Sufyan [al-Thawri], al-Fudayl [ibn `Iyad], and others said.

“Hence the people of that Path are described as strangers at the end of times because they will be few and they will be strangers to that time. This is why some of the narrations say, as we mentioned previously while explaining the strangers, ‘a few righteous people among many evil ones, those who disobey them are more numerous than those that obey them.’ This shows that they will be few; and few are those that will respond to them and accept from them [what they have to say], but many those that contradict them and disobey them. This is why many hadiths praise those that hold fast to their Religion at the end of times, and describe them as one that is holding a hot coal in his hand, and tell us that one of them will have the reward of fifty of those that came afore, because they will find no help toward goodness.

“Those strangers are two types: those that reform themselves when all others are corrupt and those that reform what the people have corrupted of the Sunna, and this is the higher of the two.” End of Ibn Rajab’s words, Allah have mercy on him and reward him.

As shown in the explanation above, the strangers are the people of pure belief “in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and also in the matters pertaining to foreordained Destiny and the immense merits of the Companions” i.e. the people of the Sunna known as Sunnis. This does not mean that every Sunni is a perfect representative of the Sunna, but only that perfect representation is necessarily found among Sunnis, while other groups have by and large embraced fallacies and lusts.

At the same time, Allah Most High does not look at our names and labels but at our hearts and intentions. And Allah knows best, may He count every sincere Believer among the strangers for His sake.

Hajj Gibril

I Was Molested By A Fellow Brother, What Should I Do?

I was sitting in the mosque and a brother I know happened to come over and was very happy to see me. He told me to come with him outside. I thought he wanted to give me something in secret, as in a good deed, but instead of this he started kissing me all over and hugging me very tightly. I have been very careful not to talk about this incident for it would cause a fitna beyond control. I am afraid that he might do this to others. But what can I do about it?

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

This person actually extracted you from the mosque in order to give vent to his lust and it is fair to assume that this is neither the first nor the last time he would try this, or worse. Therefore, I would advise you to bring his case to the custodians of that mosque and ensure that he is not allowed to inflict his harm on the community nor show his face again among pious men and women nor be allowed to act the role of a reliable community member anymore.

Other mosques and communities are not your responsibility but this mosque and this community are your responsibility.

Hajj Gibril

Love for the Sahaba

How can someone gain love for the sahaba?

Keep company with those that love and know them, and read about what Allah Most High says of them in His Book, how the Prophet praised them in his hadith, upon him blessings and peace, and read about their lives and how they benefited the Umma forever.


Hajj Gibril

"Bukhari-only" heresy

Is it acceptable to solely abide by the hadith of Imam Bukhari? What is the status of the other five hadith collections?

Wa `alaykum as-Salam

If it is a despicable heresy to abide only by the Qur'an and reject the Sunna - which the Qur'an itself orders us to follow - then you can be sure that it is also a despicable heresy to try and limit the Sunna to a single book on the same pretext of purported magnification. There are many more main hadith collections and not just five but these six are the principal ones that contain all that one needs for the obligatory basics. Furthermore, we do not abide by the Qur'an and the Sunna in a vacuum nor do we make up our Religion as we go, but rather we follow the path of the Believers in imitation of the Imams of the Law and forerunners among the authorities back to the Companions of the Prophet, upon him and them blessings and peace, and take from them our understanding of the Qur'an and Sunna - not from books.

Hajj Gibril

The path of illicit desires (shahwa)

What is the exact punishment (this world and hereafter) for the following:

(1) Watching porn
(2) Going out with a girl but not having intercourse
(3) Looking at girls
(4) Talking to girls (Muslim and non-Muslim) without real reason.

Wa `alaykum as-Salam

May Allah keep you and us on the path of the blessed righteous, clear of the path of the impious that are oblivious to the nobility of the human person and the purpose of creation.

By giving free rein to one's lusts and doffing the garb of modesty and self-control to the point of becoming undistinguishable from non-Muslims and worshippers of their bellies and underbellies, one becomes one of them.

This extinguishes the light of the heart, the eyes, and the rest of the five senses, mars the beauty and radiance of the face, blocks the conditions and avenues of success with constant interference, shackles the spirit with the chains of pleasures and the world, slowly but surely erasing one's name from all the lists of those that are granted success here and hereafter.

So, from the record of the angelic pious men he will be transferred to the record of the earthbound swinish men; from the record of the mujahid against his ego he will be transferred to the record of the slave of his endless lusts.

Instead of flying to his Lord he will be crawling under the weight of his nafs and might reach a point of being neglectful of prayer and fasting, forgetful of the Qur'an and the Fatiha, mired in all varieties of impurity, kept away from the company of the Friends of Allah both in the visible and the invisible worlds, tongue-tied at the moment of death, cursed here and hereafter, after he had been thinking that he was not only fine, but on top of the world. Mawlana Jalal al-Din Rumi represented the Divine address to such tyrants with three words: "Sweet dreams, Pharaoh!"

Hajj Gibril

Sunnism is respect

How do we know if scholars are ahle sunnah ahle jamaat? Is there a special verification system one must take into consideration? If so what is the verification system so we may use it when we are reading books written by scholars we haven’t heard of.

Wa `alaykum as-Salam

Sunnis hold the greatest love for the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, his Family, and all his Companions. Further, they hold in the highest respect the imams and righteous followers of the schools of Ahl al-Sunna on three broad lines:

1. The schools of doctrine i.e. Ash`aris and Maturidis.

2. The schools of jurisprudence i.e. Hanafis, Malikis, Shafi`is, Hanbalis.

3. The schools of tasawwuf i.e. the known Tariqas.

When you detect the slightest whiff of disrespect for any of the above, you have been given the first sign that you are in the presence of a disconnected, unbeneficial person. The early sufis recognized such persons even from a distance, from their appearance. Hence the saying of one of the sufis in the hadith Master al-Malini's _Forty hadiths from the Sufi Shuyukh_: "One whose appearance does not benefit you, his words will not benefit you either" i.e. since his appearance does not remind you of Allah Most High, do not expect his words to.

Hajj Gibril

Attending a church wedding

My half brother is a non-Muslim from my fathers first marriage. He is getting married in a church soon. Am I ok to attend his wedding?

No, it is impermissible to attend a church ceremony except if one is called upon by one's parents or grandparents -- and then only from a distance as far as possible, or from outside the ceremony and its locale unless one wishes to be visited by the unblessedness of defying our Lord and disobeying Him; but if one's intention is to avoid breaking the heart of one's parents and to truly uphold filial and daughterly duty (there is no such duty to half-brothers) then one is protected even at the tables where imbibing goes on, as long as one attend such events with hearts full of sorrow and pity then get out; not indifference nor mindless gaiety as if all were just dandy. The key words here are "true intention."

It is also impermissible for a pious Muslim or Muslima to attend functions or events where mixing and drinking alcohol occur unless they are pressed by their own parents and only if their participation is for filial or daughterly piety. The Religion of the Believer and her sense of right and beauty must prevail and are too high a standard to cheapen with idle socializing whether with relatives or strangers and whether at wedding parties or at funerals if one can help it. Allah knows best.

Hajj Gibril

I Am Disabled, Can I Skip Fajr?

I am disabled, and I cannot pray the way the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) prayed... For the fajr prayer, waking up so early is not good for my health, because my condition depends on good sleep. Is there any way I can pray the early morning prayer when I wake up at the time I feel refreshed? In addition, if I am having a very bad day and feeling very sick, am I exempt from prayer?

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

[May Allah grant you strength and well-being.]

For the fajr prayer, you should pray it in its time if you feel strong enough, since getting good sleep in the daytime and early and middle nighttime - even at the expense of work - is preferable to getting good sleep in the early morning at the expense of the First Pillar of the Religion. Our Grand Shaykh Mawlana Shaykh `Abd Allah al-Daghestani defined "feeling strong enough" in such a situation as follows: if you are strong enough to get up and collect a gift to you of 100 gold coins (approx. US$10,000) from the next room then you are strong enough to get up and pray.

Further, do not forget that your condition also depends on the improvement of your spiritual health which itself hinges on the acceptance of your sickness as a God-given test through which He is helping you, to erase your sins and raise your levels. Why seek to defeat or circumvent your added reward and the Divine support?

Nevertheless, if lack of sleep or the effect of drugs leaves you nearly mentally or physically impaired at the time of fajr then at least perform tayammum and pray in bed, then make up that prayer when you feel strong enough. The same as the above applies to all your other prayers: they must all be performed without exemption or exception, if not in time then as soon as possible.

From Allah comes support and strength!

Hajj Gibril

La Nabi ya Baadi [No Prophet after me] 

I have read a hadith related to Hazrat Aisha Siddiqa (Razi Allahu Anha) that she said "o people! call The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Khatam Al Nabiyin [the seal of the prophets], but do not say that no Prophet will come after him" (Tafsir Dur-e-Manshoor)

Wa `alaykum as-Salam,

This is narrated by Ibn Abi Shayba in his Musannaf with a broken chain between `A'isha and the narrator that reports it from her, with up to three missing links.

The report that says: "No Prophet will come after me" is mass-transmitted (mutawatir).

Ibn Abi Shayba also narrates with a somewhat weak chain that al-Mughira ibn Shu`ba said: "It is enough to say 'Khatam al-Anbiya' for it was narrated to us that `Isa, upon him peace, would come out, so if he comes out, he would be both before and after him."

So these reports are meant as a reminder that the descent of `Isa, upon him peace, at the end of time is established, not that there will be any another Prophet after the Prophet, upon him peace, since `Isa will be a follower of the Shari`a and not of his own dispensation nor of the Mosaic Law which he followed in his own time. And Allah knows best.

Hajj Gibril

Earth and the Creation of Adam (peace be upon him)

1.) Was the earth inhabited by jinns before Sayyidina Adam (alaihis salaam) was placed on it?

Wa `alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah:

Yes, this is the Tafsir of Ibn `Abbas as narrated by al-Tabari and al-Hakim in the Mustadrak and as mentioned in the near-totality of the Tafsirs.

2.) Our local Imam also said that he had read from some mufassireen that Sayyidina Adam (as) was also made out of clay taken from different places on  earth by Arch-Angel, Sayyidina Gibril (alaihis salaam), and that he found no hadiths supporting this claim whatsoever as well.  So do you know how true  this report by some mufassireen about Sayyidina Adam (as) being created out of  clay taken from earth is?

Abu Musa al-Ash`ari - Allah be well-pleased with him - relates that the Prophet said - upon him and his House blessings and peace:

<< Truly, Allah Most High created Adam from a handful of earth He took from all the corners of the earth. Hence did human beings come according to the earth: among them the red, the white, the black, and those in-between;   the plain and the arduous; the vicious and the good. >>

It was narrated by Abu Dawud and al-Tirmidhi (who graded it hasan sahih) in their Sunan, and Ahmad in his Musnad - Allah Most High have mercy on them.

The Prophet, upon him peace, developed the simile of "earth from earth" into a literal kinship between the human species and the earth on three levels: complexion reflects the composition of the soil, character reflects terrain, and moral mettle is proportionate to salubrity.

A scientific hint for the soundness of this etiology - aside from considerations of race and human psychology - is the fact that the 70% proportion of water in the earth is almost literally reflected in the 75% proportion of water in the human body.

3.) How or on what basis did the angels know that humans would shed blood and cause corruption on earth before humans were even created?

Because Allah informed them of this, as al-Tabari narrated from a number of the early Muslims - even if He did not inform them of everything, as is clear from the next verse, namely that human beings, despite the faults of their race, are nevertheless higher than the angels since the latter were ordered to prostrate to Adam after his creation, upon our Prophet and upon Adam and the angels blessings and peace.

And Allah knows best.

Hajj Gibril

Christian-Muslim Marriage 

Respected Sir, I am a practicing Christian and I want to make it clear to you before I start off that I am not at all confused in my concept of God. The thing is I love a girl who is a Muslim. I have a basic knowledge of Islam I have never asked or expected a relation with her before marriage. I respect a persons religion whatever it may be. I want to marry her. I want to know if there is any religious limitation to the fulfillment of my wish. I do not want her to convert. And I will never ask her to do that. Because for her to leave Islam would be a great tragedy as I consider it too to be a good religion and that both Moslems and Christians are almost the same except for a few minor differences on the matter of faith. Please give me a reply.

Dear Sir,

Islam forbids marriage of a Muslim woman with a non-Muslim man and considers it invalid. It used to be the same in the Christian denominations regarding betrothal of Christian persons to non-Christians; Islam, however, is a religion that does not change.

At the same time Islam is eminently suitable to new developments for all time to come within the bounds of reason, truth, and right in the eyes of God and Man.

Accordingly, Islam does allow a Jewish or Christian woman to marry a Muslim man with the provision that the children are raised Muslim, which is facilitated by two factors in the eyes of the Law: (1) The head of the household is Muslim and (2) Her Abrahamic background qualifies her to grow into the fullness and maturity of the final Divine dispensation. There is no such allowance for a non-Muslim man who would purport to marry a Muslim woman even if he promised to raise their children in the Muslim faith; the Law cannot rely on such a promise on the part of the head of the household short of his accepting Islam.

As for the disparities of cult between the faiths it is neither the view of Christians nor those of Muslims that they are few and minor. However, it is a sign of Divine inspiration when the Creator wishes success for someone, that the impediments towards his becoming Muslim seem small and insignificant. Therefore this former practicing Christian (for thirty years) invites you to consider accepting the message of Muhammad, upon him peace, which is the same message brought by Jesus, Moses, and Abraham, upon them peace, concerning God and His Attributes of oneness, mercy, knowledge, omnipotence. We do not make any differences between any of them nor reject any of them. Rather, we deem them the proof of the Divine covenant with human beings that He should be worshipped as He ought to be worshipped. They are the fulfillment of His promise that whoever follows guidance there shall be no fear for them nor shall they grieve. You will receive your reward twice. Peace upon those who follow guidance!

Hajj Gibril

Regarding Arrogance And Pride (kibr)

In what instances is it permissible for a Muslim to experience or show kibr [arrogance]?

Wa `alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh:

The Questionhas two parts: (i) experience kibr and (ii) show kibr.

It is never permissible for a Muslim to experience or commit kibr, one of the enormities.

Allah Most High says, "Greatness is My garment and haughtiness My mantle: whoever vies with Me for them I will throw into hell." "No one with the slightest particle of arrogance in his heart will enter paradise."

A man remarked, "But a man likes his clothes to be nice and his sandals good." The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, "verily, Allah is beautiful and loves beauty. Arrogance is refusing to acknowledge what is right and considering others beneath one."

They said, however, it is a good deed for one to outwardly show kibr to those who have kibr.

Hajj Gibril

Trusting in Allah and Taking the Means

How does on join between putting one’s trust in Allah and taking the means? Can’t the former lead to lazy ‘reliance…’

As-Salamu `alaykum:

We should not confuse Tawakkul - reliance on Allah - with the acts we do in a period of deliberation, reflection, consultation, and special prayer before an important decision. Those acts and that period may come to an end, however, Tawakkul never ends. No matter what the decision, or when, we continue relying on Allah even for matters that seem granted and far less momentous. "Tie it [the camel] and rely [on Allah]" meaning go ahead and act - after due consideration - but always rely on Allah: before, during, and after.


Ismail al Faruqi's Criticism

As-Salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah:

Isma`il Faruqi (born 1921) was a Mu`tazili. He appeals to modernists, orientalists, academics, and similar types. Among his works: Islam and other faiths /  1998; Al Tawhid : its implications for thought and life /  1992 ; Toward Islamic English; Towards Islamic labour & unionism : three papers; The cultural atlas of Islam /  1986 ; Trilogue of the Abrahamic faiths 1986 ; Humanism and the law : the case of the Shari`ah; Essays in Islamic and comparative studies;  1982 ; Social and natural sciences : the Islamic perspective /  1981; Islam and culture /  1980 ; Historical atlas of the religions of the world.  1974  ; Christian ethics: a historical and systematic analysis of its dominant ideas  1967;  On Arabism.  1962

This Faruqi is the same as the translator of the disastrous book by Muhammad Haykal, Hayatu Muhammad [sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam!]: Haykal, M. H., THE LIFE OF MUHAMMAD, Tr. Ismail R. Faruqi, American Trust Publications, 1976.

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad

Non-Madhhabism: Regarding Following a Madhhab

As-Salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah:

The fitna of La-Madhhabiyya [Not following an Islamic School] is among the modern heresies in Islam. There are many proofs against it. It is a superficial problem. One wonders why it is still around. Surely it survives only by the Divine will and is a blessing in disguise. It is a chance for learning what exactly is orthodoxy in Islam and knowing where one stands with respect to it. La-Madhhabiyya creepage is also a good indicator of the progress of anti-traditional trends inside Islam, secularism, and other stray philosophies, all of them with Muslim faces. The Prophet ﷺ predicted this. He ﷺ also said: "The last of this Umma will curse and disparage the first."

Following are a few basic points and some clarifying evidence on the issue. I have organized these replies around seven misconceptions related to La-Madhhabiyya.

1. The misconception that << Consultation and following of the scholars as is done for priests and rabbis, is nowhere made obligatory in this religion.>>

Learning is without doubt a categorical individual obligation (fard `ayn) in Islam. This learning is done from the People of learning since the beginning of this Deen. What was good for the best generations is good for us. Whatever is necessary toward it is also fard. Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir said in the Ghunya, "Teacher-and-Student will be the way until the Day of Resurrection."

The phrase "as is done for priests and rabbis" in this debate is a smokescreen designed to cloud the issue. It is used mostly dishonestly. Whoever preaches accuracy in explaining {ahl al-dhikr} should first practice it with the terms "priests and rabbis" and beware immensely of training the guns of such terms on the Ulema. The context of those terms in the hadith points to those interested in usurping Divine authority to mislead people and cause them to disobey Allah. This is inapplicable to the Ulema of Islam. Actually, to compare the Ulema and Imams of Islam to the Christian clergy and the Synagogue is kufr.

2. The misconception that << The obligation is to do one's best, and certainly one may consult anyone, but it is not an absolute obligation in religious affairs.>>

The reverse is true: One who is able MUST learn from the knowledgeable what the Religion requires one to learn and practice and there is NO excuse for failing to do so.

An elephant in a China shop may "do its best" also. An ignoramus fed and dressed with haram may "do his best" to supplicate Allah also. Trying to do one's best without bothering about pre-conditions is a pious wish. Allah Most High made a difference between those who know and those who do not, precisely so one is no longer excused to just "consult anyone."

There are those who argue for the irrelevancy today of {Ask the people of the remembrance if you do not know}. Apparently the angels who are in search of Ahl al-Dhikr in the earth were sent down in vain?; nor do they see from the heaven the houses of the Ahl al-Dhikr lit up with light?; nor did our Master `Ali ibn Abi Talib, when he said: "WE are the Ahl al-Dhikr," know what he was saying? (Tabari, Qurtubi) What about the Prophet ﷺ who said: "The one who is ignorant is not permitted to remain mute and not ask when Allah has said: {Ask the people of Dhikr if you know not}. Each Believer must know whether his work follows guidance or not." Narrated from Jabir by Ibn Marduyah in his Tafsir.

Equally irrelevant to them would become a host of other commands, such as {Of every troop of them, a party only should go forth, that they who are left behind may gain sound knowledge in religion, and that they may warn their folk when they return to them, so that they may beware}. They will probably equally dismiss {The knowledgeable and the ignorant are not equal} with the defeated claim that there are close to zero truly knowledgeable Muslims today. This is all a bankrupt argument. Allah does not give inapplicable commands nor does He strike irrelevant comparisons. The Ahl al-Dhikr are the Ahl al-Qur'an wal-Sunna. They are present until the Day of Judgment so no excuse is left. Nor does He accept a criterion of "doing one's best" that one's own conscience rejects.

3. The misconception that << In worldly affairs even the prophet was told to consult with the Muslims but not in religion.>>

This is a doubly false analogy. First, the Prophet ﷺ does not need a Madhhab. Second, worldly affairs are irrelevant. What is relevant here is the unchangeable fact that (a) learning the Religion is obligatory and that (b) learning is obligatorily effected through the people of learning.

Hence the need to discern character and the Sahabi's golden rule of ISNAD spelled out for the Muslims in the manner of obtaining Religious knowledge: "Verily, this knowledge is our Religion, therefore let each of you carefully observe from whom he takes his Religion!" (From Abu Hurayra and Anas in al-Khatib's al-Jami` li-Akhlaq al-Rawi and al-Hakim's Mustadrak; from Ibn Sirin and Ibn `Awn in Muslim's Sahih and al-Khatib's al-Faqih wal-Mutafaqqih).

The proof of madhhabism is by definition a non-Prophetic paradigm because madhhab means road i.e. the intermediary that leads to knowledge and understanding of the Prophetic Message. Some examples:

`Ali (ra) said: "I am not a Prophet nor do I receive revelation but I put into practice the Book of Allah and the Sunna of His Prophet ﷺ as much as I can. Therefore, as long as I order you to obey Allah, it is incumbent upon you to obey me whether you like it or not!" Musnad Ahmad.

Ibn Mas`ud (ra) and Ibn `Umar (ra) said: "Whoever wishes to follow the Sunna, let him follow the Sunna of those that died - the Companions of Muhammad." Ibn `Abd al-Barr, Jami` Bayan al-`Ilm. Abu Nu`aym, Hilya. Ibn Abi Zayd, al-Jami` fil-Sunan.

`Imran ibn Husayn (ra) said: "The Qur'an was revealed and the Messenger of Allah instituted the Sunan; so follow us [Companions] or, by Allah! if you do not, you shall go astray." Musnad Ahmad.

Ibrahim al-Nakha`i (ra) said: "If the Companions made ablution to the wrists I swear I would do the same, even as I read the verse of ablution as stating {to the elbows} (5:6)." Ibn Abi Zayd, al-Jami` fil-Sunan. This nass from the Salaf should be studied carefully and probably a whole book could be written explaining it.

Al-Hasan al-Basri (ra) said of the Companions: They were a people whom Allah (swt) chose for His Prophet's ﷺ company. Therefore imitate their manners and their ways, for truly they were - by the Lord of the Ka'ba! - on the straight path." Ibn `Abd al-Barr, Jami` Bayan al-`Ilm.

Muhammad ibn Sirin (ra), when asked about certain beverages, would say: "An Imam of right guidance forbade it - `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz, Allah be well-pleased with him and grant him mercy!" Abu Nu`aym, Hilya.

4. The misconception that << Those that claim religion to be confusing to the ordinary Muslim and requiring "certified" scholars (like themselves) to sort out it for the rabble, are guilty of falsely accusing the religion and misleading the people.>>

First, The ordinary Muslim is a muqallid - one who imitates his imam in Religion - and Religion is not confusing to the ordinary Muqallid. Second, no-one should let such misconceived remarks pass unchallenged. They go against so many Qur'anic verses and hadiths that they might easily meet the criteria of kufr wal-`iyadhu billah. The best minds of the Salaf conceded defeat before the cruxes of jurisprudence and thanked Allah for having people like the Four Imams around. See on this my post titled "The Superiority of Fiqh Over Hadith." This objector probably knows full well that something does not even have to be confusing to require a qualified teacher. However, his problem is with authority.

The questions were asked recently:

<< How would you respond to those modern day writers who say there is no clergy or hierarchy in Islam? How would you differentiate the hierarchy in Islam with that in Catholicism?>>

The Prophet ﷺ stated there is no rahbaniyya in Islam, meaning by rahbaniyya the monastic vows of perpetual celibacy, poverty, and solitariness. However, Islam promotes modesty and chastity (haya', `iffa), simple living (zuhd), and paced retreat from the world (i`tikaf, `uzla).

The statement that there is no hierarchy in Islam is false, Allah Most High in the Qur'an differentiated between selected Prophets and others, between the earlier believers and the later believers, between those whose belief holds complete sway over them and those who admix their faith with sins, between the Anbiya', the Siddiqin, the Shuhada' and the Salihin, between the Darajaat or levels that the Believers receive from their Lord, between those who possess hikma, fiqh, albab, absar, Iman etc. as opposed to those who possess merely Islam, between those whose hearts shake at His mention as opposed to the rest, etc. It is all about hierarchy even among the disbelievers, some being closer to belief than others. To say there is no hierarchy in Islam is as novel a concept as it is a novel wording.

As for the second question the difference is that (ecclesiastical) hierarchy in Catholicism is a man-made institution while hierarchy in Islam is decreed by Allah Most High: When Allah loves someone, He decrees it to Gibril who then announces it to the angels who then announce it in the heavens and the earth, and that person becomes beloved, their prayers answered, their presence beneficial to others etc. The Awliya' or saints come second only to the Prophets in this respect, as in the verses alluded to in the previous paragraph and as in the hadith al-`Ulama' warathat al-Anbiya'. The verse stresses their spiritual primacy while the hadith stresses their primacy in knowledge. There is also Islamic hierarchy in the socio-political institution of Ahl al-Hall wal-`Aqd, which probably disappeared with the end of the rightly-guided Caliphate. And Allah knows best.

5. The misconception that << Any one that says that the law of God needs an intermediary for understanding - if they become intermediaries they are following the example of the priests and rabbis.>>

Once more the People of knowledge whom Allah named next to Himself and the angels in His book are disparaged. This is very far from the ethics of the Salaf.

`Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz (ra) said: "The Messenger of Allah ﷺ and those in authority after him instituted ways (sunan). To hold to these ways is to hold fast to the book of Allah and to achieve strength in order to establish the Religion of Allah. It is not for anyone to substitute nor modify nor probe any of those ways. Whoever is guided by them is well-guided." Hilya, Siyar.

Abu Hatim al-Razi narrated in his Manaqib al-Shafi`i from Harmala that Imam al-Shafi`i said: "The Khulafa' are five: Abu Bakr, `Umar, `Uthman, `Ali, and `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz." Meaning, the Rightly-Guided Caliphs. In his Diwan, al-Shafi`i named them "leaders of their people, by whose guidance one obtains guidance." Was Imam al-Shafi`i following the examples of the pontiffs of the kuffar? Subhan Allah. Ibn `Umar reviled the Khawarij for applying to the Muslims the verses revealed about the kuffar.

Some excerpts from the book of Sheikhul Hadith Moulana Zakariyya (rahimahulLah) titled al-I’tidaal, thanks to Br. `Abd Lashay:

Imam Abdul Wahab Sha’rani (R) writes: A covenant was made with us (Muslims) on behalf of Rasulullah (Sallallahu-Alaihi-wasallam) that we respect the Ulama, the saintly and the elders, whether they themselves act according to their knowledge or not. And that we shall continue to discharge their necessary rights and entrust their personal matter to Allah Ta’ala. Whosoever fails to discharge the Ulama’s rights and fails to show them the necessary respect and honor is indeed guilty of sin towards Allah and His Rasul (Sallallahu-Alaihi-wasallam), for the Ulama are the successors of the Ambiya (AS), the heirs of Rasulullah (Sallallahu-Alaihi-wasallam), the bearers of the Shariah and they are His servants. When anyone insults them, the insults set forth a chain reaction which reaches Rasulullah (Sallallahu-Alaihi-wasallam). This is Kufr. Now think for yourself: The king appoints someone as his ambassador. The king will with attention listen to this ambassador and debar the insulter from his court. On the other hand, the king will make a favorite out of that man who showed respect and honor to his ambassador and who discharged the rights due to his emissary (al-I’tidaal of H.Sheikh)

Rasulullah (Sallallahu-Alaihi-wasallam) said: In a certain house of Bani Israel, there was a bitch that was about to give birth to puppies. A guest arrived at the house. The bitch decided that she would not bark at the guest that night (so as to cause him trouble). However from inside the womb of the bitch, the puppies began to bark. Then Allah Ta’ala revealed: This is the example of that Ummah which will come after you. The foolish ones of that Ummah will overcome and subdue its Ulama (Al-I’tidaal of H.Sheikh)

Maulana Abdul Hayy (R) writes in his "Fatawa": If the object of one who humiliates and causes pain to the Ulama is because of their knowledge of Deen, then the Fuqaha have passed a verdict of Kufr. against him. If however, he has any other object then too there is no doubt in that person being a Faasiq, sinful person, worthy of Allah’s anger and deserving of His punishment in this world and the Hereafter (Al-I’tidaal of H.Sheikh)

6. The misconception that << The necessity of following a "madhhab" was not known before the death of the prophet ﷺ, and as such may not be considered a part of our religion.>>

This is another myth of anti-madhhabism compounded with a contrived rule.

Madhhab as "way" is synonymous with siraat and we pray seventy times a day for the siraat of the righteous in the Fatiha. Madhhab is also lexically synonymous with sunna. This is exactly the sense in which the Prophet ﷺ ordered the Muslims to follow the Sunna of the rightly-guided Successors, and ordered them specifically to follow Abu Bakr and `Umar. He ﷺ also ordered them at various times to follow Ibn Mas`ud, Mu`adh ibn Jabal, and `Ammar ibn Yasir. He extended this status of leadership-in-the-Religion to all the Companions: "My Companions are trust keepers for my Community." Muslim. He ﷺ further extended it to the Tabi`in and the generation after them, i.e. to the Mujtahid Imams: "I recommend to you my Companions, then those that come after them, then those that come after them. Afterwards, falsehood will spread." Sunan and Sahihayn.

As for the claim that something "not known before the death of the prophet ﷺ... may not be considered a part of our religion" this rule is simply not recognized in the principles and practice of Islam. Such a rule calls for people to disobey all seven of the hadiths cited above. What a curse must such a person bear, to be forced to violate his own rule every time he opens a Mus-haf!

7. The reductionist misconception that << The necessity is only of being a Muslim and following the commandments of God and His Messenger.>>

Is it permissible for a Muslim to "follow the commandments of God and His Messenger" in ignorance - or independently - of the practice of the Companions and Mujtahid Imams for those commandments? If one answers yes, one has nullified {Siraat al-ladheena an`amta `alayhim}. If one answers no, then he agrees that following authority is obligatory even in the understanding of such basic commands as {Establish Salat} and "Pray as you see me pray."

There is no disagreement between the seventy-three sects over "the necessity is only of being a Muslim and following the commandments of God and His Messenger" ﷺ. Seventy-two of those sects are in the Fire. The Khawarij had plenty of similar words of truth spoken in the pursuit of misguidance. They misconstrued the Qur'an so as to part ways with the Jama`a. The wise should not be bitten from the same hole twice.

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad

The Involvement of the Pious Salaf in Kalam

Abu Hanīfa's Works in Kalām

Among the works of the Imām in kalām:[1]

* * Al-Fiqh al-Akbar ("The Supreme Wisdom"), authentically narrated from the Imām by his son Hammād. The Ash'arī Shaykh Ab al-Muzaffar al-Isfarāyīnī [2] said in his book al-Tabsīr fīl-Dīn: "Al-Fiqh al-Akbar was narrated to us by the trustworthy through a reliable way and a sound chain of transmission from Nasīr ibn Yahyā [up to] Abu Hanīfa."[3] In it the Imām said: "Allāh is 'something' unlike any other thing, and the meaning of 'something' here is: neither a body (jism), nor an indivisible substance (jawhar), nor an accident ('arad.); and He has no limit (hadd)." He also said: "Whatever Allāh I mentioned in the Qur'ān about the 'Face,' Hand,' and 'Essence,' these are His Attributes without asking how. Let it not be said that His Hand is [but] His Power (qudra) or Bounty (ni'ma) because doing so is a nullification of the Attribute and is the position of the Qadarīs and Mu'tazilīs. His Hand is an Attribute without asking how!" Mullā 'Alī al-Qārī comments in Sharh al-Fiqh al-Akbar: "That is, without knowledge of any modality, exactly as we are incapable of having knowledge of the true nature (kunh) of the rest of His Attributes, not to mention the true nature of His Essence." Imam Abu Hanīfa's caveat does not contradict the Māturīdī position that the Attributes of corporeality are not corporeal (as in al-Tahāwī's 'Aqīda) but are among the Mutashābihāt (as in al-Pazdawī's Usul and its Sharh. by al-Bukhārī). These guidelines - avoidance of figurative interpretation, avoidance of corporeal explanation, and affirmation that Yad etc. are among the Mutashābihāt - are also within the Ash'arīs' method. The latter allow the option of interpretation if it coincides with the bases of the Arabic language and the general purport of
'Aqīda, as does Imām al-Māturīdī in Kitāb al-Tawhīd. The reconciliation with Imām Abu Hanīfa's statement is to understand it to mean: "It should not be categorically affirmed that His hand is His power and nothing else." And Allāh knows best. This work received no less than fifteen commentaries, among them those of al-Qārī, al-Maghīsāwī, and al-Bayādī, all three of them in print.

* * Al-Wasiyya ("The Testament"), a brief epistle dictated by Abu Hanīfa on his death-bed according to the Sunna,[4] in which he states: "The meeting (liqā') of Allāh Most High with the dwellers of Paradise is by visual sight without modality, nor simile, nor direction" and "We affirm that Allāh established Himself on the Throne without his having need for it and without settlement on it as He is the Preserver of the Throne and other than the Throne. If He stood in need for it, He would have been unable to bring the world into being or dispose of it, just like created beings [are unable]. And if He became in need of sitting down and settling, then, before creating the Throne, where was Allāh I Rather, He is greatly and immensely transcendent beyond all such notions."

* * Risālat Abī Hanīfa ilā 'Uthmān al-Battī, a brief epistle to the Mujtahid of Basra Abu 'Amr 'Uthmān ibn Muslim al-Battī (d. 143) also narrated through Nasīr ibn Yahyā - from Abu 'Abd Allāh Muhammad ibn Samā'a al-Tamīmī, from Abu Yusuf, from Abu Hanīfa, in which the Imām explains the principle of his School whereby īmān has two, not three pillars, namely: conviction in the heart and affirmation by the tongue, in refutation of those who imputed him with the label of Murji'.

* * Al-'Àlim wal-Muta'allim ("The Teacher and the Apprentice"), placed by Abu al-Muzaffar al-Isfarāyīnī "among the overwhelming proofs against atheists and innovators,"[5] narrated through two chains, both of them through Abu Hanīfa's student Abu Muqātil Hafs ibn Salm al-Fazārī al-Samarqandī but actually attributed by some to Abu Muqātil, who is - in either case - mostly discarded.[6]

* * Al-Fiqh al-Absat. ("The Greatest Wisdom"), the same work as the Fiqh al-Akbar but in catechetic form narrated from the Imām exclusively by Abu Mutī' al-Hakam ibn 'Abd Allāh ibn Muslim al-Balkhī al-Khurāsānī through Abu 'Abd Allāh al-Husayn ibn 'Alī al-Alma'ī al-Kāshgharī (d. >484), both of them discarded as narrators. In this version the Imām is related to state:

[1] "Whoever says, 'I do not know whether my Lord is in the heaven or on earth' commits disbelief (qad kafar), as does whoever says, 'He is on the Throne and I do not know whether the Throne is in the heaven or on earth.'" Imām Ab al-Layth al-Samarqandī (d. 373) in his Sharh. al-Fiqh al-Akbar (misattributed to al-Māturīdī) and his commentary on the Fiqh al-Absat., and Imām al-Bayādī in Ishārāt al-Marām all said: "He is a disbeliever because he attributes a place to Allāh Most High."[7]

[2] "(The Hand of Allāh is above their hands) (48:10), not like the hand of creatures, and it is not a limb (laysat bi-jārih.a)."

[3] "If someone says, 'Where is Allāh' The answer for him is that Allāh existed when there was no 'where,' no creation, nothing! And He is the Creator of everything!" This is confirmed as the true position of the Imām by al-Tahāwī's article in his "Exposition of the Doctrine of Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jamā'a" that "This is the religion of the Muslims. Anyone that does not guard himself against negation [of the Divine Attributes] or likening [Allāh to something else], has gone astray and missed transcendence. For our Lord - Glorified and Exalted! - is only described in terms of oneness and absolute singularity. No creation is in any way whatsoever like Him. He is beyond having limits placed on Him, or having boundaries, or having parts, limbs, or organs! Nor is He contained by the six directions as all created things are."

Certain versions of the Fiqh al-Absat. have undergone identifiable interpolations such as that narrated by the anthropomorphist al-Harawī al-Ansārī in his book al-Fāruq fīl-Sifāt as pointed out by al-Kawtharī.[8]

The above documentation shows that the pious Salaf did not wholly condemn involvement in kalām as a blameworthy activity but only, as Imām Ab Zahra pointed out, its specific use by the innovators - particularly their main sect, the Mu'tazila - who diverged from the doctrines of Ahl al-Sunna.[9] Those whom the Salaf meant in their condemnations of kalām were the likes of Dāwud al-Jawāribī,[10] Ibn Karrām,[11] and other leaders of sects such as those described in heresiographies such al-Ash'arī's Maqālāt al-Islāmiyyīn, al-Baghdādī's al-Farq bayn al-Firaq, Ibn Hazm's al-Fisal fīl-Milal, and al-Shahrastānī's al-Milal wal-Nihal.

The Aim of those who Deny the Existence of Sunni Kalām

As for those who, today, insist on claiming that the Salaf rejected all of kalām in unqualified terms, their aim in such a misrepresentation is threefold:[12]

* * First, to empower themselves to cast the label of bid'a against those who do not agree with their anthropomorphist leanings, in calculated ignorance of the strong proofs adduced by the Ash'arī and Māturīdī Scholars of kalām against the heresies of the Hashwiyya and Mujassima.

* * Second, to instill obscurantism into the hearts of uneducated Muslims and degree-bearing Muslims uneducated in the Religious sciences, as well as fear of learning the foundations of belief from the mouth of the great Scholars who elucidated the texts of the Qur'ān and Sunna, on the specious grounds that "all that people need is the Qur'ān and Sunna."

* * Third, to promote the idea that all the Sunni Imāms of the Khalaf - whose majority are Ash'arīs - are in fact Jahmī-like innovators except two or three controversial figures that happened to revive anthropomorphist doctrines.

The First Mutakallim is 'Alī ibn Abī T.ālib t

The truth is that all four of the Four Imāms practiced or supported kalām, in one form or another, precisely in order to refute kalām-based innovations. In so doing they actually imitated the major Companions who had debated the Khawārij and defeated them both in disputation and on the field. Imām al-Ghazzālī said: "The first to initiate (sanna) the invitation of innovators back to the fold of truth through disputation is 'Alī ibn Abī Tālib t who sent Ibn 'Abbās *# to the Khawārij to speak to them."[13]

The Involvement of the Mujtahid Imāms in Kalām

The following are authentic examples illustrating the involvement of the
Imāms into kalām after Abu Hanīfa:

* * It is established that Imām al-Shāfi'ī entered kalām disputations with Hafs. al-Fard[14] over the issue of the creation of the Qur'ān until he declared Hafs. a disbeliever, and he used to nickname him "Hafs. the Isolated" (H.afs. al-Munfarid). Hafs. had tried unsuccessfully to make 'Abd Allāh ibn 'Abd al-Hākim and Yusuf ibn 'Amr ibn Yazīd debate him before al-Shāfi'ī accepted - and defeated him.[15] Al-Bayhaqī said: "And how could he [al-Shāfi'ī] possibly consider the kalām of Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jamā'a reprehensible when he himself practiced it, debated whoever he debated in it, and exposed the fallacies of those who had cast doubt into the minds of some of his students" [16] Al-Shāfi'ī also debated the Mu'tazilī Ibrāhīm ibn Ismā'īl ibn 'Ulayya - the student of Abu Bakr al-Asamm - and the Jahmī Bishr al-Marīsī at whose house he once resided when he first came to Baghdād.[17]

* * Imām Mālik compiled a refutation of the Qadariyya for the benefit of his student Ibn Wahb.[18]

* * Imām al-Awzā'ī debated and defeated the Qadarī Ghaylān ibn Muslim al-Dimashqī upon the request of the Caliph Hishām ibn 'Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān, after which Hishām had him executed.[19]

* * Imām Ahmad's disputations with Abu 'īsā Muhammad ibn 'īsā Barghth and his condemnations of the Jahmiyya and Mu'tazila over the issue of the creation of the Qur'ān and the Divine Attributes are recorded in a number in the books of his School, as well as his numerous statements of doctrine - narrated by Ibn Abī Ya'lā in his Tabaqāt al-H.anābila - which are, with Abu Hanīfa's works, among the early manifestos of Sunnī kalām. However, the spurious work entitled al-Radd 'alā al-Zanādiqa and attributed to Imām Ahmad by anti-Ash'arīs today, is a work of the worst sort of kalām whose authenticity is categorically rejected by al-Dhahabī and others.

* * Imām al-Bukhārī compiled a refutation of the Qadariyya and other sects titled Khalq Af'āl al-'Ibād, and was expelled from Naysābr by the Hanbalīs because of what they perceived as an unacceptable stand in kalām.

And Allāh knows best.

[1]The full chains of transmission for all these works are given in
al-Muwaffaq's Manāqib and al-Kawtharī's Ta'nīb al-Khatīb as well as (in
part) his introduction to al-Bayādī's Ishārāt al-Marām (p. 6).

[2]Imām Ab al-Muzaffar Tāhir ibn Muhammad al-Isfarāyīnī al-Shāfi'ī
al-Ash'arī, known as Shahafur (d. 471), author of Tāj al-Tarājim fī Tafsīr
al-Qur'ān lil-A'ājim cf. Hajjī Khalīfa, Kashf al-Z.unn (1:268, 1:442). In
his book al-Tabsīr fīl-Dīn wa-Tamyīz al-Firqat al-Nājiya min Firaq
al-Hālikīn he defines Ahl al-Sunna as the Ash'arīs.

[3]In al-Tabsīr (p. 113) as cited by al-Kawtharī in his introduction to
al-Bayādī's Ishārāt al-Marām (p. 5). The complete chain is: 'Alī ibn Ahmad
al-Fārisī < Nasīr [not Nusayr nor Nasr] ibn Yahyā [al-Balkhī (d. 268)] <
Abu Muqātil < 'Isām ibn Yusuf [ibn Maymun al-Balkhī (d. 210 or 215)] <
Hammād ibn Abī Hanīfa < Abu Hanīfa. (Ibid. p. 6.) Shaykh Wahbī Sulaymān
Ghāwijī said in his edition of al-Qārī's Sharh. al-Fiqh al-Akbar (p. 13)
that he saw in Maktabat Shaykh al-Islām 'Àrif Hikmat in Madīna (Compendium
#226 or #234) a manuscript of the Fiqh al-Akbar with the same chain.

[4]Printed together with al-Nasāfi's Matn al-Manār fī Us.l al-Fiqh
(Cairo: al-Matba'at al-Mahmudiyya, 1326).

[5]In al-Tabsīr (p. 113) as cited by al-Kawtharī in his introduction to
al-Bayādī's Ishārāt (p. 5).

[6]Cf. al-H.ākim, al-Madkhal ilā al-S.ah.īh. (p. 130 #42), al-Dhahabī,
Mīzān ('Ilmiyya 2:219), Ibn H.ajar, Lisān (2:322-323), Ibn al-Jawzī,
al-D.u'afā' wal-Matrkīn (1:221), and al-Khalīlī, Irshād (3:975).

[7]Cf. Ghāwjī, Ab H.anīfa (p. 260).

[8]In his introduction to al-Bayād.ī's Ishārāt al-Marām (p. 6 n. 1) as
well as his edition of the Fiqh al-Absat. together with al-'Àlim
wal-Muta'allim and other doctrinal texts of the Imām.

[9]"Whenever you hear Abu Yusuf or Muhammad or al-Shāfi'ī or Ibn Hanbal
and others [among the early Imāms] revile the science of kalām and those who
take knowledge by following the methods of the mutakallimun, know that
they only meant the Mu'tazila by their criticism, and their methods." Abu
Zahra, Abu Hanīfa (p. 133).

[10]"He described the God that he worshipped as possessing all the human
organs except the pudenda and the beard." Al-Shahrastānī, al-Milal
wal-Nihal (1:105, 1:187).

[11]He used to say: "Allāh is firmly seated on the Throne and He is in
person (dhātan) on the upper side of it." Al-Shahrastānī, al-Milal
wal-Nihal (1:108).

[12]Cf. Hasan al-Saqqāf, Sahīh Sharh. al-'Aqīda al-Tahāwiyya (p.

[13]Al-Ghazzālī, Ih.yā' 'Ulm al-Dīn (1:96).

[14]Ab 'Amr al-Bas.rī Hafs. al-Fard, also known as Abu Yahyā, he came to Basra as a Mu'tazilī then turned against them and joined the Jabriyya as stated by Ibn al-Nadīm in al-Fihrist (p. 255).

[15]Ibn 'Asākir, Tabyīn Kadhib al-Muftarī (1404 ed. p. 338-340) and
al-Bayhaqī, Manāqib al-Shāfi'ī (1:455). See also al-Lālikā'ī, Us.l Ahl
al-Sunna (2:252-253).

[16]Al-Bayhaqī, Manāqib al-Shāfi'ī (1:454-455).

[17]Cf. al-Bayhaqī, Manāqib al-Shāfi'ī (1:229, 1:407, 1:464), Ibn
Taymiyya, Muqaddima fīl-Tafsīr (Risāla ed. p. 69), and al-Lacknawī,
al-Fawā'id al-Bahiyya (p. 94).

[18]Narrated by al-Qādī 'Iyād. in Tartīb al-Madārik (1:204). Al-Dhahabī declared its chain of transmission sound (sahīh.) in Siyar A'lām
al-Nubalā' (Arna't. ed. 8:88).

[19]Cited by Shīth ibn Ibrāhīm (d. 598) in H.azz al-Ghalāsim (p. 112)
cf. al-Rāzī, I'tiqādāt Firaq al-Muslimīn (1:40), al-Yāfi'ī, Marham al-'Ilal
(1992 ed. p. 133) and Ibn Taymiyya, Bayān Talbīs al-Jahmiyya (1:275=
al-Ta'sīs fī Radd Asās al-Taqdīs).

Basic Internal Rule For Recognizing Forgeries

Is there a rule for recognizing forgeries?

Al-Qari said in al-Asrar al-Marfu`a: Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya was asked whether it was possible to identify forgeries through a universal rule (dabit) independently of their chain of transmission and he said the following [in al-Manar al-Munif fil-Sahih wal-Da`if]:

"This is a question of tremendous significance. Only he knows it who is so conversant with the authentic Sunna that the latter has become part of his flesh and blood and he has achieved mastery in it. He has developed thorough expertise in knowledge of the Prophetic and other transmitted reports, and in that of the biography of the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, and his guidance. He knows his commands, his prohibitions, what he relates, what he summons to, what he loves, what he hates, and what he made law for his Community as though he were one of his noble Companions. Someone such as this knows the states of the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, his guidance, his speech, what can be attributed to him and what cannot, in a way others do not.

"It is the same with every follower in relation to the one he follows: he who is more familiar with his leader and assiduous in keeping track of his sayings and deeds, reaches a position of expert knowledge of them and discernment between what is correctly attributable to him and what not, which those who are neither familiar nor assiduous do not reach. This applies to all the imitators in relation to their Imams: they know their sayings, stipulations, and positions. And Allah knows best."





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