Archive for the ‘Wahabi Scholars’ category

False Wahabi Ijtihad

June 27, 2007

THE WAHHABIS’ IJTIHADS ARE FALSE

From http://www.hizmetbooks.org/Advice_for_the_Muslim/wah-25.htm

25 – The Wahhabis themselves say that what the ‘ulama’ of Ahl as-Sunnat (rahimahum-Allahu ta’ala) have written is right. Allahu ta’ala makes them, too, tell the truth. See how that book praises Ahl as-Sunnat on its 432nd page:

“Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta’ala ‘alaihi wa sallam) asked Muaz how he was going to judge when he ordered Muaz to go to Yaman as a judge. ‘According to Allahu ta’ala’s Book,’ he said. ‘What if you cannot find [a solution] in it?’ asked Rasulullah. ‘I will look at Rasulullah’s sunnat,’ he answered. And when Rasulullah asked, ‘If you cannot find it there, either?’ Muaz said, ‘I shall do it according to what I understand as a result of my ijtihad.’ Thereupon, Rasulullah said, ‘My thanks be to Allahu ta’ala who bestows what His Rasul agrees upon His Rasul’s judge.’ Muaz was one of the most learned among the Sahabis in the knowledge of fiqh, halal and haram. Therefore, he was a profound alim who was able to make ijtihad. It was permissible for him to judge according to his ijtihad if he could not find any clear evidence in Allahu ta’ala’s Book and Rasulullah’s sunnat. But, today and in the past, there have been some people so ignorant as not to know the laws in Allahu ta’ala’s Book and His Rasul’s sunnat, but who still think that they can make ijtihad. Shame on them!”

That author has taken these lines from the books of great ‘ulama’ of Ahl as-Sunnat (rahimahum-Allahu ta’ala) as he has taken all his documentary evidence from them. There was no one who wrote heretical ideas before Ibn Taymiyya. He was the first to start this cult of false concepts. Those who came later went too far in this line to the extreme of impetuousness. They interpreted wrongly the invaluable words they quoted from the books of Ahl as-Sunnat. They said that everybody should learn Arabic and make ijtihad. They dissented from the right path and led astray millions of people. The above quotation refutes their assertions and shows that ignorant people like them do not have the ability to make ijtihad, that the conclusions or meanings they derive are wrong and heretical.

Nowadays, the number of people who do not believe ijtihad has been on the increase. They say,

“What is the use of madhhabs. They disunited Muslims. They made the religion difficult. Allah orders easiness. There is no such things as a ‘madhhab’ in Islam. They have been made up later. I follow the path of as-Sahaba and do not recognize another path.”

Such words are made up by the ignorant of Islam, who now cunningly disseminate them among Muslims. After quoting correct statements from the ‘ulama’ of Ahl as-Sunnat, they add their lies in as if the quotations going on. The people who see the correct statements consider all what they read as correct and thus are taken in. The path of salvation is that of the Sahabat al-kiram (ridwan-Allahi ta’ala ‘alaihim ajmain). The hadith ash-Sharif narrated by al-Baihaki and written in Kunuz ad-daqaiq declares, “My Companions are like the stars in the sky. You follow any one of them, and you will find the right path.” This hadith ash-Sharif shows that anyone who follows any one of the Sahabis will attain bliss in both worlds. The hadith ash-Sharif related by ad-Dailami (rahmat-Allahi ‘alaih) declares, “My companions are good human beings. May Allahu ta’ala always bestow goodness upon them.” Two hadiths, again related by ad-Dailami, declare, “Do not talk about the faults of my Companions!” and, “Muawiya will certainly become a ruler.”

From which source will those who claim that they follow the path of as-Sahabat al-kiram learn this path? Will they learn from the la-madhhabi who came about a thousand years after them? Or will they learn it from the books of those ‘ulama’ who lived during the time of and were educated by as-Sahabat al-kiram? The ‘ulama’ educated by as-Sahabat al-kiram and the students of those ‘ulama’ formed the ‘ulama’ of the madhhab of Ahl as-Sunnat wal-Jamaat (rahimahum-Allahu ta’ala). Madhhab means path. Ahl as-Sunnat wal-Jamaat means the Muslims who follow the path of Rasulullah and his jamaat, that is, his Companions. The blessed ‘ulama’ of this path wrote exactly what they learned from as-Sahabat al-kiram. They did not write their personal opinions. There is not a single statement in their books for which they did not give documents and proofs. The belief of all the four madhhabs is the same. The path of as-Sahabat al-kiram can only be learned from the books by the ‘ulama’ of Ahl as-Sunnat.

Those who want to be in the path of as-Sahabat al-kiram (ridwan-Allahu ta’ala ‘alaihim ajmain) have to belong to the madhhab of Ahl as-Sunnat and should avoid upstart, corrupt movements.

Albani’s weakening of Imam Abu Hanifah and Abu Raumaysah blind following

June 25, 2007

 From Sidi Faqir’s post on sunniforum.com

In recent times certain pseudo-Salafis have attempted to weaken the status of Imam Abu Hanifah RH as a narrator of Hadith.

Abu Rumaysah [who is known to the users of sunniforum for his blatant mistakes (see the thread on ta’wil of the sahaba, for example)] produced a “defence” of his shaykh al-Albani [may Allah have mercy upon him] against the comments of Hassan Saqqaf. This can be read here: [posted by a certain “Ibn Adam “al-athari“] http://www.mail-archive.com/msa_ec@l…/msg00014.html

Alhamdolillah I recently came across a useful article in defense of Imam Abu Hanifah RH by Shaykh Dr. G.F. Haddad and I will post it on the forum for those who may have mistakenly fallen into the trap of the pseudo-Salafiyya .

[The article will be posted in sections [InshaAllah] as it is too large to post together]

The vindication of the Imam from the claim of “Salafis” whereby Abu Hanifa was da’if (weak in Hadith)

Hasan al-Saqqaf wrote in his book about Albani’s attacks on the great scholars entitled Qamus shata’im al-Albani [Dictionary of Albani’s Insults of the Scholars]:

“He [Albani] says of Imam Abu Hanifa: “The imams have declared him weak for his poor memorization” (in his commentary of Ibn Abi `Asim’s Kitab as-Sunna 1:76) although no such position is reported, see for example Ibn Hajar `Asqalani’s biography of Abu Hanifa in “Tahdhib al-tahdhib”.

A blind follower of Albani replied:

The statement that no such position is reported is a lie, it was the position of Muslim (al-Kunaa wal Asmaa), Nasaa’ee (ad-Du’afaa) ibn Adee (al-Kaamil 2/403), ibn Sa’d (Tabaqaat 6/256), al-Uqailee (ad-Du’afaa p.432), ibn Abee Haatim (al-Jarh wat Tadil), Daaruqutnee (as-Sunan p132), al-Haakim (Ma’rifa Ulum al-Hadeeth), Abdul Haqq al-Ishbelee (al-Ahkaam al-Kubraa q.17/2), adh-Dhahabee (ad-Du’afaa q. 215/1-2), Bukharee (at-Taareekh al-Kabeer), ibn Hibbaan (al-Majrooheen)

Our reliance is on Allah. Shaykh Albani has shown enmity towards scholars, of a kind that passes all bounds and is unbefitting of a person with knowledge in Islam. As we mentioned in the first volume, Saqqaf has documented in his book an instance where Albani compares Hanafi fiqh to the Gospel in respect to distance from Qur’an and Sunna, and this would be unacceptable coming from a Christian, how then could it be accepted from a Muslim? Albani and his following have pushed even the gentlest of scholars, the late `Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda, to take pen to paper to oppose such aberrations in his book Radd `ala abatil wa iftira’at Nasir al-Albani wa sahibihi sabiqan Zuhayr al-Shawish wa mu’azirihima (Refutation of the falsehood and fabrications of Nasir al-Din Albani and his former friend Zuhayr al-Shawish and their supporters). This book received two editions recently.

The claim by Albani’s supporter whereby “The statement that no such position is reported is a lie” is itself a lie. None of the references he adduces contains a single authentic proof for Albani‘s claim that “the imams have declared him weak for his poor memorization.” For such a claim to be remotely true it would have to be modified to read: “He was graded weak by some scholars but this grading was rejected by the Imams.” The proof for this is that the positions reported against Abu Hanifa in the references given are all weak and rejected, and often inauthentic in the first place, in the end amounting to nothing: therefore, even though there is criticism reported, it comes to nothing and does not constitute any “declaration of weakness by the Imams” as asserted by Albani!

The example given as proof by Saqqaf, namely Ibn Hajar `Asqalani‘s notice on Abu Hanifa in Tahdhib al-tahdhib, confirms that the Imams of hadith never declared Abu Hanifa weak, for Ibn Hajar would have had to report such a weakening if it held true. Rather, he states the reverse, as seen from the translation of Ibn Hajar’s notice excerpted below. This shows that Saqqaf’s statement is correct, since Ibn Hajar undoubtedly represents the opinions of the Imams of hadith criticism and methodology concerning the weakness or poor memorization of any given narrator or scholar. Moreover, Ibn Hajar in Taqrib al-tahdhib (1993 ed. 2:248 #7179) calls Abu Hanifah al-Imam, and al-faqih al-mashhur (the well-known jurisprudent), and Dhahabi includes him among the hadith masters in his Tadhkirat al-huffaz [Memorial of the Hadith Masters]. These titles are not given to anyone who is declared weak in hadith. And Dhahabi before Ibn Hajar, and al-Mizzi before Dhahabi, all concurred that no position purporting Abu Hanifa’s weakness should be retained, as Dhahabi said in Tadhhib al-tahdhib (4:101): “Our shaykh Abu al-Hajjaj [al-Mizzi] did well when he did not cite anything [in Tahdhib al-kamal] whereby he [Abu Hanifa] should be deemed weak as a narrator.”

The remainder of the “Salafi”‘s references are therefore irrelevant and over-ruled, especially in view of Ibn `Abd al-Barr‘s statement that “Those who narrated from Abu Hanifa, who declared him trustworthy (waththaquhu), and who praised him, outnumber those who criticized him” as related by Ibn Hajar al-Haytami in his book al-Khayrat al-hisan fi manaqib Abi Hanifa al-Nu`man (p. 74).

Nevertheless we shall examine the sources that he brings up to show the extent to which these sources all suffer from various problems, as it is the wont of “Salafis” seen time and again to adduce false or weak evidence to promote their opinion.

Hafiz Ibn Hajar’s Notice of Abu Hanifa in Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib

From Tahdhib al-tahdhib, 1st ed. (Hyderabad: Da’irat al-ma`arif al-nizamiyya, 1327) Vol. 10 p. 449-452 #817 (10:45f. of the later edition)



Al-Nu`man ibn Thabit al-Taymi, Abu Hanifa, al-Kufi, mawla Bani Taym Allah ibn Tha`laba.

It is said that he was Persian.

He saw Anas.

He narrated hadith from `Ata’ ibn Abi Rabah, `Asim ibn Abi al-Nujud, `Alqama ibn Marthad, Hammad ibn Abi Sulayman, al-Hakam ibn `Utayba, Salama ibn Kuhayl, Abu Ja`far Muhammad ibn `Ali, `Ali ibn al-Aqmar, Ziyad ibn `Alaqa, Sa`id ibn Masruq al-Thawri, `Adi ibn Thabit al-Ansari, `Atiyya ibn Sa`id al-`Awfi, Abu Sufyan al-Sa`di, `Abd al-Karim Abu Umayya, Yahya ibn Sa`id al-Ansari, and Hisham Ibn `Urwa among others.

From him narrated:

his son Hammad, Ibrahim ibn Tahman, Hamza ibn Habib al-Zayyat, Zafr ibn al-Hadhil, Abu Yusuf al-Qadi, Abu Yahya al-Hamani, `Isa ibn Yunus, Waki` (ibn al-Jarrah al-Kufi),* Yazid ibn Zuray`, Asad ibn `Amr, al-Bajali, Hakkam ibn Ya`la ibn Salm al-Razi, Kharija ibn Mus`ab, `Abd al-Majid ibn Abi Rawad, `Ali ibn Mus-hir, Muhammad ibn Bishr al-`Abdi, `Abd al-Razzaq [one of Bukhari’s shaykhs], Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani, Mus`ib ibn al-Miqdam, Yahya ibn Yaman, Abu `Usma Nuh ibn Abi Maryam, Abu `Abd al-Rahman al-Muqri, Abu Nu`aym, Abu `Asim, and others

[such as `Abd Allah Ibn al-Mubarak and Dawud al-Ta’i: see al-Mizzi’s Tahdhib al-kamal 12 and al-Dhahabi in Manaqib Abi Hanifa (p. 20). al-Mizzi’s list is about one hundred strong.]…

[* Dhahabi relates in his Tadhkirat al-huffaz (1:306) in the biography of Waki` that Yahya ibn Ma`in said: “I have not seen better than Waki`, he spends the night praying, fasts without interruption, and gives fatwa according to what Abu Hanifa said, and Yahya al-Qattan also used to give fatwa according to what Abu Hanifa said.” al-Hafiz al-Qurashi in his al-Jawahir al-mudiyya fi manaqib al-hanafiyya (2:208-209) said: “Waki` took the Science from Abu Hanifa and received a great deal from him.”]

Remarks on Abu Hanifa’s national origins and his father’s profession.


Muhammad ibn Sa`d al-`Awfi
said: I heard Ibn Ma`in say: “Abu Hanifa was trustworthy (thiqa), and he did not narrate any hadith except what he had memorized, nor did he narrate what he had not memorized.”

Salih ibn Muhammad al-Asadi said on the authority of Ibn Ma`in: “Abu Hanifa was trustworthy (thiqa) in hadith.”

[a) Ibn `Abd al-Barr relates in al-Intiqa’ (p. 127): `Abd Allah ibn Ahmad al-Dawraqi said: Ibn Ma`in was asked about Abu Hanifa as I was listening, so he said: “He is trustworthy (thiqatun), I never heard that anyone had weakened him: No less than Shu`ba wrote to him (for narrations), and ordered him to narrate hadith.” Ibn Hajar said in Kharija ibn al-Salt’s notice in Tahdhib al-tahdhib (3:75-76): “Ibn Abi Khaythama said: If al-Shu`bi narrates from someone and names him, that man is trustworthy (thiqa) and his narration is used as proof (yuhtajju bi hadithihi).”

b) al-Haytami in al-Khayrat al-hisan (p. 74) and al-Qurashi in al-Jawahir al-mudiyya (1:29) relate that Imam `Ali ibn al-Madini said: “From Abu Hanifa narrated: al-Thawri, Ibn al-Mubarak, Hammad ibn Zayd, Hisham, Waki` (ibn al-Jarrah al-Kufi), `Abbad ibn al-`Awwam, and Ja`far ibn `Awn. He [Abu Hanifa] is trustworthy (thiqatun) and reliable (la ba’sa bihi = there is no harm in him). Shu`ba thought well of him.” Ibn Ma`in said: “Our colleagues are exaggerating concerning Abu Hanifa and his colleagues.” He was asked: “Does he lie?” Ibn Ma`in replied: “No! he is nobler than that.”

c) Dhahabi in Tadhkirat al-huffaz (1:168) cites Ibn Ma`in’s statement about Abu Hanifa: la ba’sa bihi (= there is no harm in him, i.e. he is reliable). Ibn Salah in his Muqaddima (p. 134) and Dhahabi in Lisan al-mizan (1:13) have shown that this expression by Ibn Ma`in is the same as declaring someone as thiqa or trustworthy: “Ibn Abi Khaythama said: I said to Ibn Ma`in: You say: “There is no harm in so-and-so” and “so-and-so is weak (da`if)?” He replied: “If I say of someone that there is no harm in him: he is trustworthy (fa thiqatun), and if I say da`if: he is not trustworthy, do not write his hadith.”” Abu Ghudda in his commentary to Lucknawi’s Raf` (p. 222 n. 3) has indicated that the equivalency of saying “There is no harm in him” with the grade of trustworthy (thiqa) is also the case for other early authorities of the third century such as Ibn al-Madini, Imam Ahmad, Duhaym, Abu Zur`a, Abu Hatim al-Razi, Ya`qub ibn Sufyan al-Fasawi, and others. Note that like Abu Hanifa, Imam Shafi`i is declared trustworthy by the early authorities with the expression la ba’sa bihi in Dhahabi’s Tadhkirat al-huffaz (1:362).]

Abu Wahb Muhammad ibn Muzahim
said: I heard Ibn al-Mubarak say: “The most knowledgeable of people in fiqh (afqah al-nas) is Abu Hanifa. I have never seen anyone like him in fiqh.” Ibn al-Mubarak also said: “If Allah had not rescued me with Abu Hanifa and Sufyan [al-Thawri] I would have been like the rest of the common people.” [Dhahabi in Manaqib Abu Hanifa (p. 30) relates it as: “I would have been an innovator.”]

Ibn Abi Khaythama
said from Sulayman ibn Abu Shaykh: “Abu Hanifa was extremely scrupulous (wari`) and generous (sakhi).”

Ibn `Isa ibn al-Tabba`
said: I heard Rawh ibn `Ubada say: “I was with Ibn Jurayj in the year 150 when the news of Abu Hanifa’s death reached him. He winced and pain seized him; he said: “Verily, knowledge has departed (ay `ilmun dhahab).” Ibn Jurayj died that same year.”

Abu Nu`aym said: “Abu Hanifa dived for the meanings of matters so that he reached the uttermost of them.”

Ahmad ibn `Ali ibn Sa`id al-Qadi
said: I heard Yahya ibn Ma`in say: I heard Yahya ibn Sa`id al-Qattan [Ahmad ibn Hanbal’s greatest shaykh] say: “This is no lie on our part, by Allah! We have not heard better than Abu Hanifa’s opinion, and we have followed most of his sayings.” [This is also related by Dhahabi in Manaqib Abi Hanifa (p. 32).]

[About Yahya al-Qattan, Imam Nawawi relates on the authority of Ishaq al-Shahidi:

I would see Yahya al-Qattan — may Allah the Exalted have mercy on him — pray the midafternoon prayer, then sit with his back against the base of the minaret of his mosque. Then `Ali ibn al-Madini, al-Shadhakuni, `Amr ibn `Ali, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Yahya ibn Ma`in, and others would stand before him and ask him questions about hadith standing on their feet until it was time for the sunset prayer. He would not say to a single one of them: “Sit” nor would they sit, out of awe and reverence.

Related in Nawawi’s al-Tarkhis fi al-ikram bi al-qiyam li dhawi al-fadl wa al-maziyya min ahl al-islam `ala jihat al-birr wa al-tawqir wa al-ihtiram la `ala jihat al-riya’ wa al-i`zam (The Permissibility of Honoring, By Standing Up, Those Who Possess Excellence and Distinction Among the People of Islam: In the Spirit of Piousness, Reverence, and Respect, Not in the Spirit of Display and Aggrandizement) ed. Kilani Muhammad Khalifa (Beirut: Dar al-Basha’ir al-islamiyya, 1409/1988) p. 58.]

al-Rabi` and Harmala
said: We heard al-Shafi`i say: “People are children before Abu Hanifa in fiqh.”

It is narrated on the authority of Abu Yusuf that he said: “As I was walking with Abu Hanifa we heard a man saying to another: This is Abu Hanifa, he does not sleep at night. Abu Hanifa said: He does not say something about me which I do not actually do. He would — after this — spend the greatest part of the night awake.”

Isma`il ibn Hammad ibn Abi Hanifa
said that his father (Hammad) said: When my father died we asked al-Hasan ibn `Amara to undertake his ritual washing. After he did he said: “May Allah have mercy on you and forgive you (O Abu Hanifa)! You did not eat except at night for thirty years, and your right side did not lay down at night for forty years. You have exhausted whoever comes after you (who tries to catch up with you). You have outshone all the readers of the Islamic sciences.”

`Ali ibn Ma`bad said on the authority of `Ubayd Allah ibn `Amr al-Raqi: Ibn Hubayra told Abu Hanifa to undertake the judgeship of Kufa and he refused, so he had him lashed 110 times, but still he refused. When he saw this he let him go.

Ibn Abi Dawud said on the authority of Nasr ibn `Ali: I heard Ibn Dawud — al-Khuraybi — say: “Among the people concerning Abu Hanifa there are plenty of enviers and ignorant ones.”…

Ahmad ibn `Abda the Qadi of Ray said that his father said: We were with ibn `A’isha when he mentioned a saying of Abu Hanifa then he said: “Verily, if you had seen him you would have wanted him. Verily, his similitude and yours is as in the saying:

Censure them little or much: I will never heed your blame. Try only to fill, if you can, the space that they filled.

al-Saghani said on the authority of Ibn Ma`in: “I heard `Ubayd ibn Abi Qurra say: I heard Yahya ibn al-Daris say: I saw Sufyan [al-Thawri] being asked by a man: “What do you have against Abu Hanifa?” He said: “What is wrong with Abu Hanifa? I heard him say: I take from Allah’s Book and if I don’t find what I am looking for, I take from the Sunna of Allah’s Messenger, and if I don’t find, then from any of the sayings that I like from the Companions, nor do I prefer someone else’s saying over theirs, until the matter ends with Ibrahim (al-Nakh`i), al-Shu`bi, Ibn Sirin, and `Ata’: these are a folk who exerted their reasoning (ijtihad) and I exert mine as they did theirs.” [i.e. Sufyan criticized Abu Hanifa, a junior Tabi`i, for placing his own opinion at the same level as that of the senior Tabi`in.] …

[Mentions of Abu Hanifa’s date of death and of the fact that Tirmidhi and Nisa’i narrated hadith from him.]

End of Ibn Hajar’s words.

I. The “Salafi’s” claim that the grading of Abu Hanifa as weak for his poor memorization” was the position of … Daaruqutnee (as-Sunan p132).”

Answer:

Daraqutni did declare Abu Hanifa weak in his Sunan (1:132), without including him in his Kitab al-du`afa’. However, his opinion of Abu Hanifa carries no weight since he is known to have fallen into extremism in his opinion on Abu Hanifa, and because of this, this particular judgment of his is rejected as required by the rules of narrator-criticism. The hadith master al-Badr al-`Ayni, author of `Umdat al-qari, a massive commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari, said in his commentary of al-Marghinani entitled al-Binaya sharh al-hidaya (1:709):

From where does he [Daraqutni] take the right to declare Abu Hanifa weak when he himself deserves to be declared weak! For he has narrated in his Musnad [i.e. his Sunan] narrations that are infirm, defective, denounced, strange, and forged.

This is a serious charge made against Daraqutni as a narrator, and many authorities have stated the same concerning him. Another hadith master, al-Zayla`i, said in Nasb al-raya (1:356, 1:360): “al-Daraqutni’s Sunan is the compendium of defective narrations and the wellspring of strange narrations… It is filled with narrations that are weak, anomalous, defective, and how many of them are not found in other books!” While Muhammad ibn Ja`far al-Kattani said in al-Risala al-mustatrafa (p. 31): “Daraqutni in his Sunan… has multiplied the narrations of reports that are weak and denounced, and indeed forged.”

Ibn `Abd al-Hadi al-Hanbali wrote a large volume still unpublished on merits of Abu Hanifa entitled Tanwir al-sahifa bi manaqib al-imam Abi Hanifa in which he said: “Among those who show fanaticism against Abu Hanifa is al-Daraqutni.” It is quoted in Ibn `Abidin’s Hashiyat radd al-muhtar (1:37). `Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah in his commentary of Abu al-Hasanat al-Lucknawi’s al-Raf` wa al-ta`dil (p. 70 n.1) also said: “al-Daraqutni’s fanaticism against Abu Hanifa is well-known” and he gives several sources listing the scholars who held the same opinion.

One of the reasons for Daraqutni’s attitude is his extreme bias in favor of the school of Imam Shafi`i. This is shown in Muhammad `Abd al-Rashid al-Nu`mani’s commentary on the book Dhabb dhubabat al-dirasat `an al-madhahib al-arba`a al-mutanasibat (2:284-297) by the Indian scholar `Abd al-Latif al-Sindi. al-Lucknawi also referred to this question in his book al-Ajwiba al-fadila `ala li al-as’ila al-`ashra al-kamila (p. 78):

It is related that when Daraqutni went to Egypt some of its people asked him to compile something on the pronounciation of the Basmala, whereupon he compiled a volume. A Maliki came to him and summoned him to declare on oath which were the sound narrations of this book. Daraqutni said: “Everything that was narrated from the Prophet concerning the loud pronounciation of the Basmala is unsound, and as for what is related from the Companions, some of it is sound and some of it weak.”

__________________

II. The “Salafi’s” claim that the grading of Abu Hanifa as weak for his poor memorization “was the position of… ibn Adee (al-Kaamil 2/403).”

Answer:

Ibn `Adi shows enmity to Abu Hanifa as he reports nothing but criticism, and he relies on weak or inauthentic reports from his [Ibn `Adis’] shaykh, some of them being the strangest ever related about Abu Hanifa (Dar al-Fikr 1985 ed. 7:2472-2479). His narrations are all problematic and none of them is reliable or sound. Imam Kawthari said in the introduction to Nasb al-raya (p. 57) and in his Fiqh ahl al-`Iraq (p. 83): “Among the defects of Ibn `Adi’s Kamil is his relentless criticism of Abu Hanifa — three hundred narrations! — with reports that are all from the narration of Abba’ ibn Ja`far al-Najirami, one of Ibn `Adi’s shaykhs, and the latter tries to stick what al-Najirami has directly to Abu Hanifa, and this is injustice and enmity, as is the rest of his criticism. The way to expose such cases is through the chain of transmission.”

The late Shaykh `Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda, Kawthari’s student, said in his annotation of Lucknawi’s Raf` wa al-takmil (p. 341) that Kawthari examined Ibn `Adi’s excesses against Abu Hanifa in three works of his: Ta’nib al-khatib `ala ma saqahu fi tarjimat abi hanifa min al-akadhib (p. 169), al-Imta` bi sirat al-imamayn al-Hasan ibn Ziyad wa sahibihi Muhammad ibn Shuja` (p. 59, 66, 69), and the unpublished monograph Ibda’ wujuh al-ta`addi fi kamil ibn `Adi.

Following are some examples of the strangeness of Ibn `Adi’s reports:

– Ibn `Adi relation of Sufyan al-Thawri’s alleged statement that “he [Abu Hanifa] is neither trustworthy nor trusted” (al-Kamil 7:2472). However, it is established that Sufyan narrated hadith from Abu Hanifa, and so he would be contradicting himself if he said that Abu Hanifa cannot be trusted, since he himself trusted him! `Ali ibn al-Madini said: “From Abu Hanifa narrated: al-Thawri, Ibn al-Mubarak, Hammad ibn Zayd, Hisham, Waki`, `Abbad ibn al-`Awwam, and Ja`far ibn `Awn.” Narrated by al-Haytami in al-Khayrat al-hisan (p. 74) and al-Qurashi in al-Jawahir al-mudiyya (1:29). Furthermore Sufyan praised Abu Hanifa in explicit terms when he said: “We were with Abu Hanifa like small birds in front of the falcon,” and when Abu Hanifa visited Sufyan after the death of the latter’s brother he stood up, went to greet him, embraced him, and bade him sit in his place, saying to those who questioned this act: “This man holds a high rank in knowledge, and if I did not stand up for his science I would stand up for his age, and if not for his age then for his godwariness (wara`), and if not for his godwariness then for his jurisprudence (jiqh).” Both reports are narrated by Suyuti in Tabyid al-sahifa (p. 32) and al-Tahanawi in his book Inja’ al-watan (1:19-22).

Sufyan’s supposed criticism is qualified by what Ibn `Adi himself narrates further below in his section on Abu Hanifa, namely, the statement of `Abd al-Samad ibn Hassan: “There was something between Sufyan al-Thawri and Abu Hanifa, and Abu Hanifa was the one who restrained his own tongue more.”

If there was any disagreement between Sufyan and Abu Hanifa, the nature of their disagreement was not so fundamental as to impel Sufyan to hold such an exaggerated view as that related by Ibn `Adi, but only pertained to an issue of manners or competition. This can be gathered from Ibn Hajar’s relation in Tahdhib al-tahdhib (10:451) of Sufyan’s disapproval of Abu Hanifa’s words about the senior Tabi`is: “These are a folk who exerted their reasoning (ijtihad) and I exert mine as they did theirs,” whereby he placed himself, a junior Tabi`i, at the same level of ijtihad as the senior Tabi`is such as al-Nakh`i, al-Shu`bi, Ibn Sirin, and `Ata’.

The competition between Sufyan and Abu Hanifa was fostered by Sufyan’s entourage, as shown by the wording of Ibn `Adi’s reports in the following cases:

÷ the dream of an unnamed man who saw the Prophet telling him to take Sufyan’s opinion rather than Abu Hanifa’s (al-Kamil 7:2473). Furthermore, this report contains Ahmad ibn Hafs who is munkar al-hadith — a narrator whose narrations are rejected — according to Ibn al-Jawzi in al-Mawdu`at (2:168, 3:94; see also Tabsir al-mutanabbih 2:733, and al-Mushtabah p. 98, 359); it also contains an unnamed narrator — the man who had the dream — and one whose reliability is not known (majhul), Abu Ghadir al-Filastini.

÷ the contrived style of the narration of Sufyan al-Thawri’s story that “he [Abu Hanifa] is neither trustworthy nor trusted”: Mu’ammal said: I was with Sufyan al-Thawri in his room when a man came and asked him about something and he answered him, then the man said: But Abu Hanifa said such and such, whereupon Sufyan took his sandals and flung them exclaiming: he is neither trustworthy nor trusted!! Furthermore, the narrator of this report from Sufyan, Mu’ammal ibn Isma`il, was declared by Ibn Hibban, al-Sajir, and Ibn Qani` as making mistakes in his narrations, and al-Saji said: “He is not a liar but he makes many mistakes, and he sometimes imagines things” (saduq kathir al-khata’ wa lahu awham).

All the above evidence are some of the reasons why any criticism of Abu Hanifa attributed to Sufyan al-Thawri is rejected out of hand and Ibn `Adi’s reliance on such criticism is not taken into account. al-Taj al-Subki said in Qawa`id fi `ulum al-hadith (p. 195) as well as his Qa`ida fi al-jarh wa al-ta`dil (p. 53-55): “No attention whatsoever is given to al-Thawri’s criticism of Abu Hanifa or that of other than al-Thawri against him.” The same statement is found in Haytami’s al-Khayrat al-hisan (p. 74) and is echoed by `Abd al-Hayy al-Lucknawi’s warning in his al-Raf` wa al-takmil (p. 425): “Beware, beware of paying any attention to what supposedly took place (of enmity) between Abu Hanifa and Sufyan al-Thawri!”

– The story of Imam Malik’s words related by Ibn `Adi (al-Kamil 7:2473): “The consuming ailment is destruction in Religion, and Abu Hanifa is part of the consuming ailment” and “Is Abu Hanifa in your country? Then one ought not to live in your country.” These are extreme statements attributed to Imam Malik by those of his companions who were of the so-called Ahl al-hadith, as for the fuqaha’ among them they reported no such statements from him. This is elaborated by the Maliki authority Ibn `Abd al-Barr in his notice on Abu Hanifa in al-Intiqa’ in which he invalidates the evidence of Malikis against him.

It is remarkable that Ibn `Adi narrates the story of Malik’s statement “The consuming ailment” from Ibn Abi Dawud, while it is established that Ibn Adi Dawud’s own father, Abu Dawud, said: rahimallah malikan kana imaman. rahimallah al-shafi`i kana imama. rahimallah aba hanifa kana imaman and the last part means: “May Allah have mercy on Abu Hanifa, he was an Imam.” It is narrated by Dhahabi in his Tarikh al-Islam (6:136) and, as noted by Muhammad Qasim `Abduh al-Harithi in his book Makanat al-Imam Abi Hanifa bayn al-muhaddithin (p. 201), the strength of Abu Dawud’s remark resides in the nature of his own specialty which is hadith, in function of which he recognized Abu Hanifa’s leadership among Muslims.

Ironically, Ibn Abi Dawud himself said on the authority of Nasr ibn `Ali: I heard Ibn Dawud — al-Khuraybi — say: “Among the people concerning Abu Hanifa there are plenty of enviers and ignorant ones.” Ibn Hajar relates it in his Tahdhib as we mentioned above, while Dhahabi relates it through Bishr al-Hafi in Tarikh al-Islam (6:142) and Manaqib Abi Hanifa (p. 32) with the wording: ma yaqa`u fi abi hanifa illa hasid aw jahil “None whatsoever inveighs against Abu Hanifa except an envier or an ignoramus.”

– Ibn `Adi alleged report of Yahyan ibn Ma`in’s weakening of Abu Hanifa from Ibn Abi Maryam’s saying: I asked Yahya ibn Ma`in about Abu Hanifa and he said: “One must not write his narrations.” (2473) This is assuredly a false ascription to Ibn Ma`in since it is firmly established that Ibn Ma`in considered Abu Hanifa as of reliable and trustworthy narrations:

a) Ibn Hajar in Tahdhib al-tahdhib (10:450) relates from both Muhammad ibn Sa`d al-`Awfi and Salih ibn Muhammad al-Asadi that Ibn Ma`in said: “Abu Hanifa is trustworthy (thiqa) in hadith”; and he relates from Ibn Ma`in’s own shaykh, Ibn al-Qattan, that he relied greatly on Abu Hanifa: Ahmad ibn `Ali ibn Sa`id al-Qadi said: I heard Yahya ibn Ma`in say: I heard Yahya ibn Sa`id al-Qattan say: “This is no lie on our part, by Allah! We have not heard better than Abu Hanifa’s opinion, and we have followed most of his sayings.” This is also related by Dhahabi in Manaqib Abi Hanifa (p. 32).

b) Dhahabi relates in his Tadhkirat al-huffaz (1:306) in the biography of Waki` that Yahya ibn Ma`in said: “I have not seen better than Waki`, he spends the night praying, fasts without interruption, and gives fatwa according to what Abu Hanifa said, and Yahya al-Qattan also used to give fatwa according to what Abu Hanifa said.”

c) Ibn `Abd al-Barr relates in al-Intiqa’ (p. 127): `Abd Allah ibn Ahmad al-Dawraqi said: Ibn Ma`in was asked about Abu Hanifa as I was listening, so he said: “He is trustworthy (thiqatun), I never heard that anyone had weakened him, and Shu`ba ibn al-Hajjaj wrote to him and told him to narrate hadith. He ordered him to do so, and Shu`ba is Shu`ba!”

– Ibn `Adi groundless conclusion: “Most of what he [Abu Hanifa] narrates is wrong.” (7:2479) This is applicable to Ibn `Adi himself. As for Abu Hanifa it is just as Shu`ba and Ibn Ma`in said, respectively: “He was, by Allah! good in his memorization” (Ibn `Abd al-Barr, al-Intiqa’ p. 127), and “Indeed he was more than trustworthy (na`am thiqa thiqa)” (al-Khatib, Tarikh Baghdad 13:449).

III. The “Salafi’s” claim that the grading of Abu Hanifa as weak for his poor memorization “was the position of Muslim (al-Kunaa wal Asmaa) [and] Nasaa’ee (ad-Du’afaa).”

Answer:

It is correct that Nasa’i included Abu Hanifa in his book al-Du`afa’ wa al-matrukin (p. 233 #614) where he said: Nu`man ibn Thabit Abu Hanifa, laysa bi al-qawi fi al-hadith, kufi “He is not strong in hadith.” Apart from Nasa’i’s passing bounds in including such as Abu Hanifa in his book, and apart from the truth or merit of the remark “he is not strong,” nevertheless such a remark does not constitute tad`if as if he had said: “He is weak.” It only means that Nasa’i found something objectionable in him to deny him the rank of strength, not that he considered him weak as a narrator since one does not have to be strong in hadith in order to be a reliable narrator. Therefore it cannot be claimed that “the grading of Abu Hanifa as weak was the position of Nasa’i in his Sunan” for such was not his position. If one insists that it was, then Nasa’i would be contradicting it himself since in his Sunan he did narrate hadith from Abu Hanifa, as stated in the latter’s entries in al-Mizzi’ Tahdhib (10:449), Dhahabi’s Tadhkirat al-huffaz and his al-Kashshasf fi ma`rifati man lahu riwayatun fi al-kutub al-sitta (p. 322 #5845), Ibn Hajar’s Taqrib (2:248 #7179), and al-Khazraji’s Khulasat tadhhib tahdhib al-kamal (3:95 #7526)!

Equally false is the claim that Imam Muslim declared Abu Hanifa weak since all he said in his book al-Kuna wa al-asma’ (1:276 #963) is: sahib al-ra’y mudtarib al-hadith laysa lahu kabir hadith sahih. “The scholar of the “school of opinion,” his narrations are not firm in their wording and he has not many sound ones.” He did not say that he was weak.

Furthermore, generally spealing Muslim’s judgment is tainted by the difference in methodology between him and Abu Hanifa. This is evident in the tone he uses since he calls Abu Hanifa sahib al-ra’i, a loaded term of criticism by which the Hanafis are labeled by those who disagree with them. For this reason, neither Nasa’i’s inclusion of Abu Hanifa in his book of weak narrators nor his and Muslim’s remarks about Abu Hanifa are acceptable as a legitimate jarh or criticism of the Imam. The reason is that one of the fundamental rules of narrator-criticism is that if the critic is kown to differ with the narrator in matters of doctrine and methodology — and it is widely known that the so-called “school of hadith” differed with the so-called “school of opinion” (ra’y) — then the critic must state the reason for his jarh, and both Nasa’i and Muslim omitted to state any reason for theirs. Therefore their jarh is not retained until it is explained and can thus meet the criteria of the discipline.

Finally, it is a rule of jarh wa al-ta`dil that if the unexplained jarh (narrator-criticism) contradicts the explained ta`dil (narrator-authentication) by an authority of authentication who is fully aware of the jarh, then the explained ta`dil takes precedence over it without hesitation, as is the case with Nasa’i’s and Muslim’s jarh of Abu Hanifa not being retained after them by Abu Dawud and others, nor by later authorities such as al-Mizzi, Dhahabi, Ibn Hajar, al-Khazraji, al-Suyuti, and others.

IV. The “Salafi’s” claim that the grading of Abu Hanifa as weak for his poor memorization “was the position of… Bukharee (at-Taareekh al-Kabeer).”

Answer:

Bukhari’s negative opinion of Abu Hanifa in his Sahih and his Tarikh is a rejected type of jarh and considered unreliable, since it is known that he had fundamental differences with Abu Hanifa on questions of principles, fiqh, and methodology, and his entire Sahih is in many parts an unspoken attempt to refute Abu Hanifa and his school. The Indian scholar Zafar al-Tahanawi showed Bukhari’s fanaticism against Abu Hanifa in the book edited by his student `Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda under the title Qawa`id fi `ulum al-hadith (p. 380-384), and other scholars have highlighted this aspect of disagreement between them. Among them is the Hanafi faqih and hadith master al-Zayla`i, who said in Nasb al-raya (1:355-356):

No student of the Science adorned himself with a better garment than fairness and the relinquishment of fanaticism…. Bukhari is very much pursuing an agenda in what he cites from the Sunna against Abu Hanifa, for he will mention a hadith and then insinuate something about him, as follows: “Allah’s Messenger said: such and such, and some people said: such and such.” By “some people” he means Abu Hanifa, so he casts him in the ugliest light possible, as someone who dissents from the hadith of the Prophet!

Bukhari also says in the beginning of his book (Sahih): “Chapter whereby Salat is part of Belief,” then he proceeds with the narrations of that chapter, and his purpose in that is to refute Abu Hanifa’s saying: “Deeds are not part of Belief” although many fuqaha’ do not realize this. And I swear by Allah, and again — by Allah! — that if Bukhari had found one hadith [to the effect that Salat is part of Belief] which met his criterion or came close to it, then his book would certainly not have been devoid of it, nor that of Muslim.

As we just said regarding Nasa’i and Muslim, among the kinds of rejected jarh are those based on differences of school, or `aqida, or methodology. For example, the mere fact that a narrator is Shi`a in `aqida and showing excessive love for `Ali, or if he is Nasibi in `aqida and showing hatred of `Ali, does not automatically mean that he is majruh [defective]. An example of a Shi`i narrator retained by Bukhari is the great muhaddith `Abd al-Razzaq al-San`ani (d. 211), the author of the Musannaf, from whom Bukhari took a quantity of hadiths. Two examples of narrators retained by Bukhari and Muslim although they were accused of being Nasibi are Huswayn ibn Numayr from whom Bukhari narrates the hadiths: “The Communities were shown to me and I saw a great dark mass” and “The Communities were shown to me and there was a Prophet with only one follower, and a Prophet with only two followers”; and Ahmad ibn `Abdah al-Dabbi, from whom Muslim takes one of three chains of the hadith: “I have been ordered to fight people until they say la ilaha ilallah and believe in me.”

Another example is the undue weakening of a scholar of the so-called “school of ra’y” [opinion] at the hands of a scholar of the so-called “school of hadith,” in this case the weakening of a Hanafi by a Hanbali: thus Ahmad’s weakening of Mu`alla ibn Mansur al-Razi (d. 211) is rejected, as shown by Dhahabi in al-Mughni (2:270) and by Abu Dawud before him, who said in his Sunan (book of Tahara): “Yahya ibn Ma`in said that Mu`alla is trustworthy while Ahmad ibn Hanbal would not narrate from him because he followed the methodology of ra’y”; thus Abu Dawud rejects Ahmad’s verdict and narrates from Mu`alla, as did Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, and others.

Bukhari’s narrations, in his Tarikh al-saghir, of reports ostensibly detrimental to Abu Hanifa, just as his narration of Yazid ibn Harun’s outlandish labeling of Abu Hanifa’s student, Muhammad al-Shaybani, as a Jahmi in his Khalq af`al al-`ibad (1990 ed. p. 15), belong to this category of rejected jarh. Such reports are simply dismissed as mistakes for which Bukhari must be forgiven, as he is not ma`sum.

The same is said about Ibn Hibban’s outlandish declaration in his Kitab al-majruhin (3:63-64) that Abu Hanifa is not to be relied upon because “he was a Murji’ and an innovator.” Such a judgment is discarded, as stated by al-Lucknawi in al-Raf` wa al-takmil: “Criticism of Abu Hanifa as a narrator on the claim of his irja’ is not accepted.” The reason is that the so-called Murji’a among the Hanafi Imams all belong to Ahl al-Sunna and are in no wise to be called innovators, such as Abu Hanifa, his shaykh Hammad ibn Abi Sulayman, and his two students Muhammad and Abu Yusuf. al-Dhahabi said in his Tarikh al-Islam (3:358f.): “The disapproved Murji’a are those who accepted Abu Bakr and `Umar but withheld taking a position concerning `Uthman and `Ali.” It is obvious that the Hanafi Imams do not enter into such a definition. Imam Abu Hanifa said in his Fiqh al-akbar (as narrated by `Ali al-Qari in his Sharh, 1984 ed. p. 96-101):

The best of mankind after the Prophets, peace be upon them all, are Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, then `Umar ibn al-Khattab, then `Uthman ibn `Affan dhu al-Nurayn, then `Ali ibn Abi Talib al-Murtada, may Allah be well pleased with all of them: men worshipping their Lord, steadfast upon truth and on the side of truth. We follow all of them (natawallahum jami`an). Nor do we mention any of the Prophet’s Companions except in good terms.

A longer definition of the “Murji’a” is given by Ibn Hajar in Hadi al-Sari (2:179) where he says:

Irja’ has the sense of “delaying” and carries two meanings among the scholars: some mean by it the delaying in declaring one’s position in the case of the two warring factions after `Uthman’s time [i.e. neither following nor rejecting either one]; and some mean by it the delaying in declaring that whoever commits grave sins and abandons obligations enters the Fire, on the basis that in their view belief consists in assertion and conviction and that quitting deeds [i.e. ceasing from obeying commands and prohibitions] does not harm it.”

The Sunni so-called “Murji’a” belong to the latter category but with one important provision: they do not hold that quitting deeds does not harm belief in the sense of threatening to destroy it: on the contrary, they hold that quitting deeds does harm the quitter. As `Ali al-Qari said in the title of one of his chapters in Sharh al-fiqh al-akbar (p. 67, 103), “Acts of disobedience harm their author, contrary to the belief of certain factions.” al-Mizzi relates in his Tahdhib al-kamal from Abu al-Salt al-Harawi this clarification overlooked by Ibn Hajar, whereby the Sunni “Murji’a” is thus called not because he considers that “quitting deeds does not harm belief” but only because he professes hope (yarju) of salvation for great sinners, as opposed to the Khawarij who declare sinners disbelievers, and the Mu`tazila who disbelieve in the Prophet’s intercession for great sinners. In this sense Abu Hanifa and the Maturidi school of doctrine hold what all other schools of Ahl al-Sunna hold. As for the Murji’a who rely on faith alone exclusively of deeds, they belong to the heretical sects, and the attribution of Abu Hanifa to such a belief is iftira’ and fabrication.

The difference with the Imam which Bukhari and Ibn Hibban were picking upon resides in among others in Abu Hanifa’s view that iman — belief — stands for one’s Islam and vice-versa and therefore neither increases or decreases once acquired. It is a fundamental tenet of the Maturidi school with which Bukhari differed and which is illustrated by the latter’s chapter-titles like “Salat is part of belief,” “Belief increases and decreases” etc. in his Sahih as al-Zayla`i pointed out in the excerpt we already quoted from him. The vast majority of Hanafis and the entire Maturidi school of doctrine hold the opposite view, as illustrated by `Ali al-Qari’s naming two chapter-titles of his Sharh al-fiqh al-akbar: “Belief neither increases nor decreases” (p. 126, 202), and another chapter is entitled: “The believers are equal in belief but differ in deeds” (p. 128) and another: “The grave sin [such as not performing salat] does not expel one from belief” (p. 102). All the above is also the sound doctrine of Ahl al-Sunna, as opposed to some present-day extremists who declare anyone who commits a major sin to be a disbeliever in need of repeating his shahada or be killed — and the latter contradicts the view of Imam Ahmad, who insisted that no Muslim should be called a disbeliever for any sin, as shown by Ibn Abi Ya`la in Tabaqat al-hanabila (1:329).

After these preliminaries we may now turn to show why Bukhari’s aspersions on Abu Hanifa in his Tarikh al-saghir are not retained by the scholars, even if today’s “Salafis” attempt to rely on them to justify Albani’s position against the Imam!

1st relation Bukhari said in his Tarikh al-saghir (p. 158): I heard al-Humaydi say: Abu Hanifa said: “I came to Mecca and took from the cupper three Sunan when I sat in front of him: He said to me to face the Ka`ba, he began with the right side of my head [shaving], and he reached the two bones.” al-Humaydi said: “A man who does not have Sunan from the Prophet nor from his Companions concerning the rituals of Pilgrimage or other things, how can he be imitated in questions of inheritance, obligations, charity, prayer, and the questions of Islam?!”

This relation is defective from several perspectives:

÷ `Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda said in his annotations to al-Lucknawi’s Raf` wa al-takmil (p. 395-397) that his shaykh al-Tahanawi said in his book Inja’ al-watan (1:23): “al-Humaydi wished to demean Abu Hanifa with his comments, but in fact he praised him without realizing. For Abu Hanifa was gracious and generous, and he would show gratefulness to whomever showed him kindness or taught him something, even a single letter. He was not one who kept hidden other people’s goodness towards him, or their favors. When he obtained something related to matters of religion from a simple cupper, he told of the cupper’s kindness and he showed him up as his teacher, fulfilling the right he held over him. And what a strange thing indeed to hear from al-Humaydi, when his own shaykh, al-Shafi`i, said: I carried from Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani knowledge equivalent to a full camel-load, and he would say: Allah has helped me with hadith through Ibn `Uyayna, and He helped me with fiqh through Muhammad ibn al-Hasan. And it is well-known that the well-spring of Muhammad ibn al-Hasan’s sciences are Abu Hanifa. Imam Shafi`i also said: Whoever seeks fiqh, let him frequent Abu Hanifa and his two companions; and he also said: Anyone that seeks fiqh is a dependent of Abu Hanifa. And yet, with all this, al-Humaydi does not show gratefulness for the Imam who is his Shaykh’s Shaykh, nor for the favor he represents for him.”

÷ al-Tahanawi also mentioned that Abu Hanifa went to pilgrimage with his father as a young man, and that the incident may well have taken place at that time, since what is learnt in a young age is hardly ever forgotten.

÷ al-Tahanawi also pointed out that in the time of Abu Hanifa in Mecca knowledge was distributed everywhere among the people, and it is not a far-fetched possibility that the humble cupper was one of the Tabi`in who had heard or seen what he knew from the Companions themselves. He asks: “From where does Humaydi know that that cupper was not one of the knowledgeable Tabi`is, and that he either narrated these three Sunan with their chain back to the Prophet, or suspended back to one of the great Companions?!”

÷ al-Tahanawi concluded: “As for Humaydi’s saying: how can Abu Hanifa be imitated, then we know that a greater one than Humaydi did imitate him, such as Imam al-Shafi`i — whom al-Humaydi imitated, — Yahya ibn Sa`id al-Qattan, Malik ibn Anas, Sufyan al-Thawri, Ahmad ibn Hanbal (through Abu Hanifa’s students the Qadi Abu Yusuf and Muhammad al-Shaybani), Waki` ibn al-Jarrah, `Abd Allah ibn al-Mubarak, Yahya ibn Ma`in, and their likes. Then the kings, the sultans, the khulafa’, the viziers imitated him, and the scholars of knowledge, the scholars of hadith, the saints, the jurists, and the commonality imitated him, until Allah was worshipped through the school of Abu hanifa all over the world, and that was because of the good manners upon which Abu Hanifa was grounded, because he did not look down upon taking the highest knowledge from a cupper, and so Allah made him the Imam of the Umma, the greatest of the Imams, and the guide of humanity.”

[Another illustration of Imam Abu Hanifa’s great humility is the narration of Ishaq ibn al-Hasan al-Kufi related by Dhahabi in Manaqib Abi Hanifa (p. 38): A man came to the market and asked for the shop of Abu Hanifa, the Faqih. Abu Hanifa said to him: “He is not a Faqih. He is one who gives legal opinions according to his obligation.”]

÷ Shaykh Abu Ghudda added (al-Raf` p. 397-398): “In addition to the above it is noted that al-Humaydi said: Abu Hanifa said without mentioning from whom he had heard it, and I have not found any proof that al-Humaydi (d. 219) ever met Abu Hanifa at all…. It is clear to us that he was not born when Abu Hanifa died (d. 150)… The report is therefore weak due to the interruption in its chain of transmission, and that is enough.”

÷ Shaykh Abu Ghudda concluded with what we mentioned before, in the section on Ibn `Adi, namely that any criticism of Abu Hanifa attributed to Sufyan al-Thawri is rejected out of hand and there can be no reliance on such criticism to establish narrator-criticism. This particular rule was enunciated by al-Taj al-Subki in Qawa`id fi `ulum al-hadith (p. 195) as well as his Qa`ida fi al-jarh wa al-ta`dil (p. 53-55), also Haytami’s al-Khayrat al-hisan (p. 74), al-Lucknawi’s al-Raf` wa al-takmil (p. 425), and Abu Ghudda’s marginalia on Subki’s and al-Lucknawi’s works.

2nd relation Bukhari also said in his Tarikh al-saghir (p. 174): Nu`aym ibn Hammad narrated to us and said: al-Fazari narrated to us and said: I was visiting with Sufyan al-Thawri and we received news of Abu Hanifa’s death, so Sufyan said: “al-Hamdu lillah! he was taking apart Islam branch by branch. No greater misfortune than him was ever born into Islam (ma wulida fi al-islami ash’amu minhu).”

This relation is even more defective than the first — may Allah have mercy both on Abu Hanifa and his detractors — for the following reasons:

÷ Shaykh `Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda said in his marginal notes to al-Lucknawi’s al-Raf` wa al-takmil (p. 393): “Our shaykh, the verifying scholar al-Kawthari, said in his book Fiqh ahl al-`Iraq wa hadithuhum (p. 87), and in the introduction of hafiz al-Zayla`i’s book Nasb al-raya (p.58-59):

There is a kind of criticism by which the critic destroys his credibility from the start through the fact that his words bear all the traits of rashness. If you see him saying, for example: “No greater misfortune than him was ever born into Islam,” you will notice that there is no misfortune (shu’m) in Islam; even if we should admit that there is — in the centuries other than the three mentioned in the hadith — still, without doubt, the gradations of misfortune vary: and to declare a certain person to be the worst of the worst without a statement to that effect from the Prophet is to claim to know the unseen from which the people of Religion are clear. Such a statement, therefore, destroys the credibility of its speaker, if it is firmly established to come from him, before the credibility of the subject of the statement. In a very precarious position indeed is the one who records such an absurdity to the detriment of the leading Imams.”

÷ “And in his book Ta’nib al-Khatib (p. 48, 72, 111) Kawthari also said:

If such a saying were ascertained from Sufyan al-Thawri, he would have fallen from credibility due to this word alone for its passionate tone and rashness. Suffice it to say in refutation of that narration that Nu`aym ibn Hammad is in its chain of transmission, and the least that was said about him is that he conveyed rejected narrations and he has been accused of forging disgraceful stories against Abu Hanifa.

÷ “And our shaykh, the verifying savant and hadith scholar Zafar Ahmad al-Tahanawi said in his book Inja’ al-watan min al-izdira’ bi imam al-zaman (Saving the Nation from the scorn displayed against the Imam of the Time) 1:22:

“It is a grievous thing that issues from their mouth as a saying. What they say is nothing but falsehood!” (18:5). By Allah, there was not born into Islam, after the Prophet, greater fortune and assistance than al-Nu`man Abu Hanifa. The proof of this can be witnessed in the extinction of the schools of his attackers, while his increases in fame day and night. I do not blame al-Bukhari for it, since he only related what he heard. However, I blame for it his shaykh Nu`aym ibn Hammad, even if the latter is a hadith master whom some have declared trustworthy [e.g. Ahmad, Ibn Ma`in, and al-`Ujli], nevertheless the hadith master Abu Bishr al-Dulabi said: “Nu`aym narrates from Ibn al-Mubarak; al-Nasa’i said: he is weak (da`if), and others said: he used to forge narrations in defence of the Sunna, and disgraceful stories against Abu Hanifa, all of them lies.” Similarly Abu al-Fath al-Azdi said: “They said he used to forge hadiths in defence of the Sunna, and fabricate disgraceful stories against Abu Hanifa, all of them lies.” Similarly in Tahdhib al-tahdhib (10:462-463) and Mizan al-i`tidal (3:238, 4:268) [and also Tahdhib al-tahdhib (10:460)]: “al-`Abbas ibn Mus`ab said in his Tarikh: “Nu`aym ibn Hammad composed books to refute the Hanafis”… [and in Hadi al-Sari (2:168): “Nu`aym ibn Hammad was violently against the People of ra’y”] therefore neither his word nor his narration to the detriment Abu Hanifa and Hanafis can ever be accepted….

It is, furthermore, established that Sufyan al-Thawri praised Abu Hanifa when he said: “We were in front of Abu Hanifa like small birds in front of the falcon,” and Sufyan stood up for him when Abu Hanifa visited him after his brother’s death, and he said: “This man holds a high rank in knowledge, and if I did not stand up for his science I would stand up for his age, and if not for his age then for his godwariness (wara`), and if not for his godwariness then for his jurisprudence (jiqh).”

Finally, we repeat Ibn al-Subki’s instruction to hadith scholars already quoted in the discussion of Ibn `Adi: “Pay no attention to al-Thawri’s criticism of Abu Hanifa” and `Abd al-Hayy al-Lucknawi’s warning: “Beware of paying any attention to what took place between Abu Hanifa and Sufyan al-Thawri….” And Allah knows best.

V. The “Salafi’s” claim that the grading of Abu Hanifa as weak for his poor memorization “was the position of… al-Uqailee (ad-Du’afaa p.432) [and] ibn Hibbaan (al-Majrooheen).”


Answer:

We already mentioned that jarh — narrator-criticism — is rejected if it is based on differences in methodology and school. Another category of jarh that is not taken into account by the scholars is that declared by a scholar who is known for his fanatic or blind condemnation of others. Examples of this category of jarh are the fanaticism (ta`annut) against Hanafis and Abu Hanifa of the following: Daraqutni and Ibn `Adi as already shown, Ibn Hibban and al-`Uqayli as we will show presently.

Of Ibn Hibban’s general method in narrator-criticism Dhahabi said in Mizan al-i`tidal (2:185, 3:121): “He vociferates, as is his habit” and he calls him “Ibn Hibban the Shredder, the most reckless of the ill-natured ones” (Ibn Hibban al-khassaf al-mutahawwir fi `arimin); while Ibn Hajar said in al-Qawl al-musaddad fi al-dhabb `an musnad Ahmad (p. 33): “Ibn Hibban all-too-readily declares the trustworthy to be weak, and acts as if he does not know what he is saying.” The editor of Ibn Hibban’s book al-Majruhin min al-muhaddithin wa al-du`afa’ wa al-matrukin, Mahmud Ibrahim Zayid, says the following in the margin of his notice on Abu Hanifa (3:61):

[Ibn Hibban] did not leave a single device of the devices of narrator-criticism except he used it [against Abu Hanifa], and in so doing he accepted the reports of narrators whom he himself does not trust for narration according to his own methodology. He discarded the reports of those who are considered trustworthy among the Imams of the Umma and he accepted the reports of the most extreme of those who have been criticized for weakness.

Nor did he content himself with what he cited in the contents of his books in such attacks against the Imam, but he also composed two of his largest books exclusively as an attack against Abu Hanifa, and these books are: Kitab `ilal manaqib Abi Hanifa (Book of the defects in Abu Hanifa’s qualities), in ten parts, and Kitab `ilal ma istanada ilayhi Abu Hanifa (Book of the defects of what Abu Hanifa relied upon), in ten parts!

As for the Hanbali scholar al-`Uqayli: he is possibly the most fanatic and least reliable of narrator-criticism authorities. His notice on Abu Hanifa in his book entitled Kitab al-du`afa’ al-kabir (4:268-285 #1876) is, like that of Ibn Hibban on the Imam, a biased selection of weak, very weak, and fabricated reports. As a result of this and other similar displays he does not carry any weight with the hadith masters. To quote his opinion as evidence for the weakening of Abu Hanifa is only a proof of ignorance on the part of “Salafis.”

`Uqayli attacked in his book narrator after narrator of the authorities relied upon by Bukhari and Muslim, in addition to the Imams of fiqh and hadith, hacking down, in the process, the names of `Ali ibn al-Madini, Bukhari, `Abd al-Razzaq, Ibn Abi Shayba, Ubrahim ibn Sa`d, `Affan, Aban al-`Attar, Isra’il ibn Yunus, Azhar al-Saman, Bahz ibn Asad, Thabit al-Bunani, and Jarir ibn `Abd al-Hamid. Dhahabi throws the book at him in Mizan al-i`tidal (2:230, 3:140):

Have you no mind, O `Uqayli?! (afama laka `aqlun ya `uqayli) Do you know who you are talking about?! The only reason we mention what you say about them is in order to repel from them the statements made about them — as if you did not know that each one of those you target is several times more trustworthy than you?! Nay, more trustworthy than many trustworthy narrators whom you did not even cite once in your book… If the hadith of these narrators were to be abandoned, then shut the gates, cease all speech, let hadith transmission die, put the free-thinkers in office, and let the antichrists come out!

One of `Uqayli’s worse traits in his Kitab al-du`afa’ is his putting derogatory reports in the mouth of great Imams, such as the story whereby Imam Ahmad reportedly states that Abu Hanifa lies (4:284)! If this were true, then how could Imam Ahmad allow himself to narrate hadith from Abu Hanifa in his Musnad, as he did with the narration al-dallu `ala al-khayri ka fa`ilihi which he took from the Imam with a sound chain to the Prophet from Burayda? And the reason why Ahmad included it in the Musnad is that no one other than Abu Hanifa narrated this hadith from Burayda. This is a proof against `Uqayli’s above relation from Ahmad since the latter would not have related this hadith if he considered that Abu Hanifa lied.

A more explicit proof against this spurious attribution to Imam Ahmad is his words as related by his close student, Abu Bakr al-Marrudhi al-Khallal: I said to him [Ahmad ibn Hanbal]: “al-Hamdu lillah! He [Abu Hanifa] has a high rank in knowledge.” He replied: “Subhan Allah! He occupies a station in knowledge, extreme fear of Allah, asceticism, and the quest for the Abode of the hereafter, where none whatsoever reaches him.” Dhahabi narrated it in Manaqib Abi Hanifa (p. 43).

Another proof against `Uqayli’s spurious attribution to Imam Ahmad is given by Ibn Ma`in when he was asked: Does Abu Hanifa lie? and he replied: Woe to you! He is nobler than that. We mentioned this report above, in the first part of Ibn Hajar’s notice from Tahdhib al-tahdhib.

Finally, it is established by Ibn `Imad in his Shadharat al-dhahab (1:228), al-Dhahabi in Tarikh al-islam (6:141), and al-Khatib in Tarikh Baghdad (13:360) that whenever Abu Hanifa was mentioned to Imam Ahmad he would speak kindly of him, and that when Ahmad under the whip was reminded that Abu Hanifa had suffered the same treatment for refusing a judgeship, he wept and said: Rahimahullah. [See above, Ibn Hajar’s notice on Abu Hanifa in Tahdhib al-tahdhib.] May Allah have mercy on both of them. We also refer the reader to Ibn `Abd al-Barr’s relevant section in his book al-Intiqa’, where he systematically refutes al-`Uqayli’s narrations against Abu Hanifa.

VI. The “Salafi’s” claim that the grading of Abu Hanifa as weak for his poor memorization “was the position of… ibn Abee Haatim (al-Jarh wat Tadil).”

Answer:

Ibn Abi Hatim’s notice on Abu Hanifa in his book al-Jarh wa al-ta`dil is plagued with grave weaknesses from the viewpoint of reliability. The reason is not that Ibn Abi Hatim is unreliable as an authenticator of narrations, but rather that he is intent on reporting what is damaging to Abu Hanifa at all cost, even if he must turn a blind eye to the inauthenticity of such reports. A flagrant sign of his bias is that he reports only a few derogatory stories, but no positive report about Abu Hanifa, contrary to the rule of fairness imposed on all scholars of narrator-criticism and narrator-authentication. Some examples of those stories:

÷ Ibn Abi Hatim claims in al-Jarh wa al-ta`dil (8:449): “Ibn al-Mubarak [d. 181], in his later period, quit narrating from Abu Hanifa. I heard my father [b. 195!] say that.

The fact is that if Ibn Abi Hatim were to see such a report as this, he would reject it out of hand and never adduce it as evidence for anything. The reason is that when Ibn al-Mubarak died, Ibn Abi Hatim’s father was not even born. How then could a report from the latter constitute reliable evidence about the former, when the chain of transmission of such a report is cut off and misses one, two, or more narrators?

What puts a final seal on its inadmissibility is that it contradicts the established position of the verifying scholars on Ibn al-Mubarak’s transmission from Abu Hanifa, which is that he never stopped taking hadith from him whether in his early or his later period. This is stated by al-Mizzi in his notice on Abu Hanifa in Tahdhib al-kamal and al-Dhahabi in Manaqib Abi Hanifa (p. 20) and is confirmed by the following reports:

– Ibn al-Mubarak praised Abu Hanifa and called him a sign of Allah. al-Khatib reports it in Tarikh Baghdad (13:337) and al-Dhahabi in Siyar a`lam al-nubala’ (6:398).

– `Ali ibn al-Madini said: “From Abu Hanifa narrated: al-Thawri, Ibn al-Mubarak, Hammad ibn Zayd, Hisham, Waki`, `Abbad ibn al-`Awwam, and Ja`far ibn `Awn.” al-Haytami related it in al-Khayrat al-hisan (p. 74) and al-Qurashi in al-Jawahir al-mudiyya (1:29).

– Both Ibn al-Mubarak and Sufyan al-Thawri said: “Abu Hanifa was the most knowledgeable of all people on earth.” Ibn Hajar related it in his notice on Abu Hanifa in Tahdhib al-tahdhib and also Ibn Kathir in al-Bidaya wa al-nihaya (10:107).

– Ibn Hajar also related that Ibn al-Mubarak said: “If Allah had not rescued me with Abu Hanifa and Sufyan [al-Thawri] I would have been like the rest of the common people.” [Dhahabi in Manaqib Abu Hanifa (p. 30) relates it as: “I would have been an innovator.”]

– `Abdan said that he heard Ibn al-Mubarak say: “If you hear them mention Abu Hanifa derogatively then they are mentioning me derogatively. In truth I fear for them Allah’s displeasure.” Dhahabi related it in Manaqib Abi Hanifa (p. 36).

– Hibban ibn Musa said: Ibn al-Mubarak was asked: “Who is more knowledgeable in fiqh, Malik or Abu Hanifa?” He replied: “Abu Hanifa.” Dhahabi relates it in Tarikh al-islam (6:142) and Manaqib Abi Hanifa (p. 32).

The latter report echoes the statement of Imam Ahmad related by Dhahabi in Manaqib Abi Hanifa (p. 41) whereby Nusayr ibn Yahya al-Balkhi said: I said to Ahmad ibn Hanbal: “Why do you reproach to this man [Abu Hanifa]?” He replied: al-ra’y = “[Reliance on] opinion.” I said: “Consider Malik, did he not speak on the basis of opinion?” He said: “Yes, but Abu Hanifa’s opinion was immortalized in books.” I said: “Malik’s opinion was also immortalized in books.” He said: “Abu Hanifa opinioned more than him.” I said: “Why then will you not give this one his due and that one his due?!” He remained silent.

÷ Ibn Abi Hatim also claims in al-Jarh wa al-ta`dil (8:450): Ibrahim ibn Ya`qub al-Jawzajani [d. 259] told me in writing, on the authority of `Abd al-Rahman al-Muqri’ [d. 185] that the latter said: Abu Hanifa would talk to us, after which he would say: “All that you have heard is wind and null and void” (hadha al-ladhi sami`tum kulluhu rih wa batil).

This is another one of those reports which are against rather than for Ibn Abi Hatim’s credit to cite, due to uncertainty in the link or links that may be missing in its chain of transmission.

As for the defect in the matn — text — itself, it is so evident that it would be absurd to pretend that Ibn Abi Hatim missed it. Abu Hanifa was described by the following as an Imam whose fiqh outweighed the intelligence of everyone who lived on earth in his time: Abu Bakr ibn `Ayyash, Ibn Jurayj, Yazid ibn Harun, Shaddad ibn Hakim, Sufyan ibn `Uyayna, Makki ibn Ibrahim, Mis`ar ibn Kidam, `Ali ibn `Asim, and Ahmad ibn Hanbal! All this is related by Dhahabi in Manaqib Abi Hanifa (p. 29-32, 42-43). Would all these testify to the knowledge of an Imam who concludes his lessons by tossing them out into the wind?

In fact, the reality of what Abu Hanifa would say in conclusion of his lessons is linked to his humility and greast fear of Allah as shown by the following reports taken from the same book by Imam Dhahabi (p. 34):

– Muhammad ibn Shuja` al-Thalji said: I heard Isma`il ibn Hammad ibn Abi Hanifa say: Abu Hanifa said: “Our position here is only our opinion. We do not oblige anyone to follow it, nor do we say that it is required for anyone to accept it. Whoever has something better, let him produce it.”

– al-Hasan ibn Ziyad al-Lu’lu’i said: Abu Hanifa said: “Our science in this is only an opinion. It is the best that we have been able to reach. Whoever brings us better than this, we accept it from him.”

The above clarifications of the Imam on his method are a far cry from Ibn Abi Hatim’s corrupt attribution to him of the words: ” All that you have heard is wind and null and void”!

÷ Ibn Abi Hatim in al-Jarh wa al-ta`dil (8:450) claims on the written authority of the same Ibrahim ibn Ya`qub al-Jawzajani that Ishaq ibn Rahawayh said: I heard Jarir say: Muhammad ibn Jabir al-Yamami said: “Abu Hanifa stole Hammad’s books from me”!

May Allah forgive Ibn Abi Hatim and all Abu Hanifa’s detractors for going to such extremes in attempting to discredit him. Such a mendacious report as the above is easily thrown out on the two bases of its chain and its text.

Its chain is weak due to Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Yamani whom Ibn Abi Hatim himself in al-Jarh (1:219) declared to be weak with the words: da`if kathir al-wahm, “He is weak and many times imagines things”! Others who declared this narrator as weak are: Ibn Ma`in in his Tarikh (3:507), al-Nasa’i in al-Du`afa’ wa al-matrukin (p. 533), `Uqayli in al-Du`afa’ (4:41), Ibn Hibban in al-Majruhin (2:270), Ibn `Adi in al-Kamil fi al-du`afa’ (6:2158), al-Dhahabi in al-Mughni fi al-du`afa’ (#5349), among others.

Its text is absurd due to the fact that Abu Hanifa could have easily gotten Hammad ibn Abi Sulayman’s books directly from him, since he was his student for more than twenty years. Furthermore Abu Hanifa was extremely rich, and in no need of stealing what he could obtain by purchase. Finally, Abu Hanifa was reputed for his extreme fear of Allah (wara`), which precludes him, in accordance with all those who testified to his character, from committing such an act. Dhahabi related in Manaqib Abi Hanifa (p. 24): Ibn al-Mubarak said: “Abu Hanifa for a long time would pray all five prayers with a single wudu’,” and Hamid ibn Adam al-Marwazi said: I heard Ibn al-Mubarak say: “I never saw anyone more fearful of Allah than Abu Hanifa, even on trial under the whip and through money and property.”

VII. The “Salafi’s” claim that the grading of Abu Hanifa as weak for his poor memorization “was the position of… al-Haakim (Ma’rifa Ulum al-Hadeeth).”

Answer:

It seems this is but another proof of the fibbing of “Salafis,” since al-Hakim in Ma`rifat `ulum al-hadith mentions the Imam only among the “reputable trustworthy Imams”! as we see from the following excerpt taken from Sa`id Muhammad al-Lahham’s edition (Beirut: Dar al-hilal, 1409/1989):

The forty-ninth kind [of the sciences of hadith]: Knowledge of the famous trustworthy Imams (ma`rifat al-a’imma al-thiqat al-mashhurin):

Among the people of Kufa:… Mis`ar ibn Kidam al-Hilali, Abu Hanifa al-Nu`man ibn Thabit al-Taymi, Malik ibn Mighwal al-Bajali…

VIII. The “Salafi’s” claim that the grading of Abu Hanifa as weak for his poor memorization “was the position of… ibn Sa’d (Tabaqaat 6/256).”

Answer:

Ibn Sa`d’s weakening of a narrator is questionable when it pertains to the scholars of Iraq — Abu Hanifa being among them — according to Ibn Hajar’s words in his notice for Muharib ibn Dithar in Hadi al-Sari (2:164): “Ibn Sa`d’s tad`if is questionable (fihi nazar), because he imitates al-Waqidi and relies on him, and al-Waqidi, according to the fashion of the scholars of Madina, is extremely adverse to the scholars of Iraq. Know this and you will be directed to what is right, with Allah’s will.”

IX. The “Salafi’s” claim that the grading of Abu Hanifa as weak for his poor memorization “was the position of… adh-Dhahabee (ad-Du’afaa q. 215/1-2).”

Answer:

Dhahabi’s authentic position on the reliability of Abu Hanifa is established in the notices on Abu Hanifa in Tadhkirat al-huffaz and al-Kashif fi ma`rifat man lahu riwaya fi al-kutub al-sitta, in the monograph he wrote on him entitled Manaqib Abi Hanifa, and in his mention of him in his introduction to Mizan al-i`tidal. In none of the above texts does he mention any weakening of Abu Hanifa. Therefore whatever contradicts them must be questioned and, if established as authentic, retained, if not, rejected as spurious and inauthentic.

Let us examine the text of Dhahabi’s purported notice in his Diwan al-Du`afa’ wa al-matrukin as found in Shaykh Khalil al-Mays’s edition (Beirut: Dar al-fikr, 1408/1988 2:404 #4389):

al-Nu`man: al-Imam, rahimahullah. Ibn `Adi said: “Most of what he narrates is error (ghalat), corruption in the text (tashif), and additions (ziyadat), but he has good narrations.” al-Nasa’i said: “He is not strong in hadith, he makes many errors although he has only a few narrations.” Ibn Ma`in said: “His narrations are not written.”

This is a spurious attribution to Dhahabi and an evident case of interpolation into the text of his book al-Du`afa. Dhahabi said in Tadhhib al-tahdhib (4:101): “Our shaykh Abu al-Hajjaj [al-Mizzi] did well when he did not cite anything whereby he [Abu Hanifa] should be deemed weak as a narrator.” He also said in the introduction of Mizan al-i`tidal, on which his Du`afa’ is based: “I do not mention [in my classifications of the weak narrators] any of the Companions, the Tabi`in, or the Imams who are followed.” It is established that Abu Hanifa is a Tabi`i and the foremost of the Imams who are followed. Moreover, in his entire book on Abu Hanifa entitled Manaqib al-imam Abu Hanifa, Dhahabi mentions no such weakening nor even alludes to it. Nor does he cite it in the chapter devoted to Abu Hanifa in Tadhkirat al-huffaz! How then could he cite in al-Du`afa’ Ibn `Adi’s and al-Nasa’i’s biased opinions, which flatly contradicts his other works, and his method as established from his own words, without any explanation on his part? And how could he relate in the Du`afa’ that Ibn Ma`in said: “His narrations are not written” while he relates in Manaqib Abi Hanifa (p. 45) and Tadhkirat al-huffaz (1:168): “Ibn Ma`in said: Abu Hanifa is trustworthy (thiqa)” and: Ibn Ma`in said of Abu Hanifa: la ba’sa bihi — “there is no harm in him”? Note that in Ibn Ma`in’s terminology such a grading is the same as thiqa (i.e. he is reliable), as stated by Ibn Salah in his Muqaddima (p. 134) and Dhahabi himself in Lisan al-mizan (1:13).

The reason for the discrepancy is clearly that the passage in the Du`afa’ is a later addition to Dhahabi’s book from those who wanted to put on Imam Abu Hanifa’s weakening the stamp of Dhahabi’s credibility, even at the cost of forgery.

A remarkable proof of this forgery is confirmed by the near-identical spurious notice on Abu Hanifa in Dhahabi’s Mizan al-i`tidal under the name of al-Nu`man ibn Thabit, Abu Hanifa, whereby Dhahabi purportedly said: “al-Nasa’i declared him weak from the perspective of his memorization, also Ibn `Adi, and others” (ed. `Ali Muhammad al-Bajawi, Cairo: al-Halabi, 4:265 #9092). This is an addition by other than Dhahabi, which is found in the less reliable copies (nusakh) of the Mizan and not in the authentic manuscripts. There is a hint of this in the footnote by the editor, al-Bajawi, who says: “This notice [on Abu Hanifa] is missing from two of the manuscripts.”

The proofs that it is an interpolation are both internal and external, as we quote below from Shaykh `Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda’s masterful demonstration in his edition of al-Lucknawi’s al-Raf` wa al-takmil (p. 121-126):

`Abd al-Fattah says: al-Lucknawi gave ample proofs for the tampering of the notice on Abu Hanifa in some of the manuscripts of the Mizan in his book Ghayth al-ghamam `ala hawashi imam al-kalam (p. 146), where he mentions many factors for concluding that it does not authentically belong to the Mizan. I will mention only some of them and direct the reader to his book for the rest. He said: “There is no trace of this mention in some of the reliable manuscripts which I have seen, and the following confirms it:

÷ al-`Iraqi said in his Sharh al-alfiyya (3:260): “Ibn `Adi mentioned in his book al-Kamil every narrator who was ever criticized even if he is considered trustworthy, and Dhahabi followed him in this in al-Mizan, except that he did not mention any of the Companions or the Imams that are followed.” ÷ al-Sakhawi said in his Sharh al-alfiyya (p. 477): “Although Dhahabi followed Ibn `Adi in mentioning every narrator who was ever criticized even if he is considered trustworthy, yet he bound himself not to mention any of the Companions or the Imams that are followed.” ÷ al-Suyuti said in Tadrib al-rawi sharh taqrib al-Nawawi (p. 519): “Except that Dhahabi did not mention any of the Companions or the Imams that are followed.”

`Abd al-Fattah says: Dhahabi himself explicitly declares in the introduction of al-Mizan (1:3): “Similarly I did not mention in my book any of the Imams that are followed in the branches of the Law due to their immense standing in Islam and their greatness in the minds of people: such as Abu Hanifa, Shafi`i, and Bukhari. If I mention any of them, I do not do so except to render him his due (`ala al-insaf i.e. to be very fair). This does not attack their standing before Allah and before men.”

However, the edition of the Mizan published at Matba`at al-sa`ada in Cairo in 1325 (3:237) contains a two-line notice on Abu Hanifa [“al-Nasa’i declared him weak from the perspective of his memorization, also Ibn `Adi, and others”] which contains no defense of Abu Hanifa at all, and consists only in criticizing him and declaring him weak: and Dhahabi’s words in the introduction preclude the existence of such a notice, since it is all faultfinding and renders him no justice….

I looked up the third volume of Mizan al-i`tidal kept in the Zahiriyya library in Damascus under the number “368 New,” a very valuable set indeed, which begins with the letter m and ends with the end of the book, all written in the hand of the savant and hadith master Sharaf al-Din `Abd Allah ibn Muhammad al-Wani (d. 749) of Damascus, Dhahabi’s student, who read this back to Dhahabi three times while comparing it to his original, as declared on the back of folios 109 and 159 of the volume, and elsewhere. I saw no mention of Imam Abu Hanifa in that volume under the letter n [for Nu`man] nor under the paternal names.

Similarly I saw no notice for Abu Hanifa in the manuscript kept at the Ahmadiyya library in Aleppo uner the number 337, a good copy made in 1160 from an original made in 777…

Nor in the manuscript of Dhahabi’s own copy of Mizan al-i`tidal kept in the general storing-library in Rabat, Morocco under number 129Q which is signed by the hand of eight different students of his to the effect that they read it in his presence and were certified by him to have done so….

This is a tremendous and rare examplar in the world of manuscripts, and I did not find in it a mention of Abu Hanifa. Something such as this is a decisive proof for anyone that the notice found in some copies of the Mizan is not from the pen of al-Dhahabi, but was interpolated into the book by some of the adversaries of the Imam Abu Hanifa….

Dhahabi’s Mizan has been tampered with by foreign hands in more than one place, and it is imperative that it be edited and published on the basis of a manuscript that has been read before the author himself, such as that in the Zahiriyya library of Damascus, or that in the library of Rabat….

Our friend the savant Shaykh Muhammad `Abd al-Rashid al-Nu`mani al-Hindi in his book Ma tamassu ilayhi al-haja li man yutali` sunan Ibn Majah (p. 47) also showed another aspect of the tampering done with Abu Hanifa’s notice in the Mizan and I refer the reader to it. The same proof was mentioned before him by Lucknawi’s student, the brilliant verifying scholar Zahir Ahmad al-Nimawi in his book al-Ta`liq al-hasan `ala athar al-Sunan (1:88).

I also took notice of what was said by our shaykh the great savant Mawlana Zafar Ahmad al-`Uthmani al-Tahanawi in his book Qawa`id fi `ulum al-hadith (p. 211) in commenting on Dhahabi’s words — already quoted — from the introduction of his Mizan, whereupon Tahanawi said: “By this it is known that what is found in some copies of the Mizan concerning Abu Hanifa and his weakening due to poor memorization is an ilhaq — something added which was not there originally…. And how could it be there when Dhahabi included Abu Hanifa in Tadhkirat al-huffaz, which he introduced with the words: “This is the memorial of the names of those who were declared the trustees among the carriers of the Science of the Prophet and to whose ijtihad one refers concerning matters of narrator-certification (tawthiq), authentication (tashih), and falsification (tazyif).” End of our shaykh’s words.

I also saw that the Emir al-San`ani said in Tawdih al-afkar (2:277): “There is no notice for Abu Hanifa in al-Mizan.”….

Nor is there any notice for Abu Hanifa in the manuscript of the Mizan that was copied by the meticulous hadith master and muhaddith of Aleppo in his time, Ibrahim ibn Muhammad Sibt Ibn al-`Ajami who finished copying it in the year 789 from a copy that was certified in Dhahabi’s handwriting.

It is therefore decisively ascertained that the notice on Abu Hanifa in the Mizan is an interpolation in some of its manuscripts in which Dhahabi had no part.

CONCLUSION

The great merits of Imam Abu Hanifa are extremely numerous. Imam Dhahabi wrote one volume on the life of each of the other three great Imams but he said in his Siyar a`lam al-nubala’ (6:403): “The account of Abu Hanifa’s sira requires two volumes.” The greatness of Abu Hanifa was never reached by those who followed him, just as his son Hammad had predicted when upon his father’s body he said: ” You have exhausted whoever comes after you (who tries to catch up with you).” He is the first to have put down the topics of Fiqh in a book, beginning with tahara and salat. Whoever followed after him in Islam using that model, such as Malik, Shafi`i, Abu Dawud, Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, and others, are indebted to him and give him a share of their reward because he was the first to open that road for them, according to the hadith of the Prophet: man sanna fi al-islami sunnatan hasanatan: “Whoever starts something good in Islam…” and al-Shafi`i referred to this when he said: al-nasu `iyalun `ala abi hanifa fi al-fiqh = “people (scholars) are all the dependents of Abu Hanifa in fiqh.” al-Dhahabi relates it in Tadhkirat al-huffaz in the chapter on Abu Hanifa, and also Ibn Hajar in Tahdhib al-tahdhib (10:450). And the hafiz al-Khatib al-Baghdadi narrated in Tarikh Baghdad (13:344) that the hafiz Abu Nu`aym said:

Muslims should made du`a to Allah on behalf of Abu Hanifa in their prayers, because the Sunan and the fiqh were preserved for them through him.

Like Imam Bukhari, Abu Hanifa used to make 60 khatmas of Qur’an every Ramadan: on in the day, one in the night, besides his teaching and other duties. al-Subki relates it of Bukhari in Tabaqat al-shafi`iyya, while Dhahabi and al-Haytami relate it of Abu Hanifa respectively in Manaqib Abi Hanifa (p. 23) and al-Khayrat al-hisan. Al-Khatib in Tarikh Baghdad (13:356), Dhahabi in the Manaqib (p. 22), and Suyuti in Tabyid al-sahifa (p. 94-95) relate that Ibrahim ibn Rustum al-Marwazi said: “Four are the Imams that recited the entire Qur’an in a single rak`a: `Uthman ibn `Affan, Tamim al-Dari, Sa`id ibn Jubayr, and Abu Hanifa.” Suyuti also relates in Tabyid al-sahifa that a certain visitor came to observe Abu Hanifa and saw him all day long in the mosque, teaching relentlessly, answering every question from both the scholars and the common people, not stopping except to pray, then standing at home in prayer when people were asleep, hardly ever eating or sleeping, and yet the most handsome and gracious of people, always alert and never tired, day after day for a long time, so that in the end the visitor said: “I became convinced that this was not an ordinary matter, but wilaya.” May Allah be well pleased with His Friend and make him inhabit the Highest Paradise.

May Allah have mercy on Imam al-A`zam Abu Hanifa and forgive his detractors. al-Hamdu lillah it is proven without doubt that Abu Hanifa has been given the three highest gradings by the verifying authorities in hadith since he has been called imam by Abu Dawud, hafiz by al-Dhahabi, and thiqa thiqa by Ibn Ma`in. More importantly, the claim that he was declared weak has been shown to be itself a weak claim no sooner made than proven wrong or worthless. The claims of present-day innovators against him were anticipated and rejected in advance by the hadith master Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani when he said, as related by his student the hadith master al-Sakhawi in his biography al-Jawahir wa al-durar (p. 227):

The Imam and his peers are of those who have reached the sky, and as a result nothing that anyone says against any of them can have any effect. They are in the highest level, where Allah raised them, through their being Imams that are followed and through whom one reaches guidance. Let this be clearly understood, and Allah is the Giver of success.

Shaykh Muhammad `Awwama mentioned it in his book Athar al-hadith al-sharif (p. 116). And Allah Almighty knows best.

Aqeedah Issue with Abu Rumaysah

June 25, 2007

By Samarqandi on sunniforum.com

Assalaamu^alaikum

I was reading an article by abu rumaysah a few weeks back but I just never had time to respond to a certain point he made in which the average reader will be misguided from the facts. Abu rumaysah comments on the verse:

Quote:

Over the verse in which Allaah addresses the unbelievers on the Day of Judgement, “Today we forget you (nansaakum) as you have forgotten this Day of yours”
Keller states, “which the early Muslims used to interpret figuratively as reported by a scholar who was himself an early Muslim – salafee – and indeed the shaykh of the early Muslims in Qur’aanic exegesis, the hadeeth master….Haafidh ibn Jareer at-Tabaree, who died 310 years after the Hijra and who explains the above verse, ‘today we have forgotten you as you have forgotten this day of yours’, as meaning, “this Day, resurrection Day, we shall forget them, so as to say, we shall abandon them to their punishment” Now this is precisely ta’weel – or interpretation in other than the verses ostensive sense….” He goes on to say that this same ‘ta’weel’ was reported by ibn Abbaas and his student Mujaahid.
It is surprising, how a few eloquent words can fool the people, for in reality the meaning of the above words is empty. For all Keller does is betray his ignorance with regards to the Arabic Language for the word nansaakum, coming from the root verb nasiya, yansaa can mean, either to deliberately leave and abandon or to forget and fail to remember [See ‘Lisaan al-Arab’ for example.] Therefore the meaning of this verse is clear and that is ‘Today we abandon you as you have abandoned this Day of yours’ and this is not taking the verse from it’s clear and literal meaning as Keller claims.
This is the tafseer that at-Tabaree gives following ibn Abbaas and Mujaahid, “We will abandon them in the punishment which cuts them off, leaving them hungry and thirsty without any food or drink, just as they abandoned action for the Meeting on this Day, and they rejected preparation for it ….and we have explained clearly the meaning of His saying ‘nansaakum’ previously along with it’s witnesses, so their is no need to repeat it.”
Further the implication that Keller leaves is that the Salafees who take the verses literally must then believe that Allaah forgets, and this is evil and a lie against the Salafees, for no one has ever said this for the very reason mentioned above.

Now if abu rumaysah understood the underlying principle there he wouldn’t have made such a blunder and what does he start to say is that the author is ignorant of the Arabic language.

1. Firstly he should have understood the principle the author was trying to state which is if you lay down a certain principles i.e. taking the verse literally then that principle shouldn’t change but should stay the same.
2. Secondly words within the Qur’an can linguistically bare more than one meaning. Which abu rumaysah himself proves from his above research.
3. In addition that was only one verse that was cited when in fact there are numerous examples within the qur’an in which certain verses are not taken literally hence if there is room for ta’weel on certain verses then that can pave the way for other verses.

The example above which he tries to disprove and then state that nansakum can linguistically bare more than one meaning, THEN the ashari’s state that istiwa, yadd, wajh, saaq etc can linguistically bare more than one meaning, that’s why salaf did ta’weel and if people try to interetate them incorrectly then the ashari’s resort to ta’weel. I will cite a few examples of words that bare more than one meaning:

ISTIWA has 15 meanings: sit, subjugate, to get mature, to equal, to be above by status, to be above by place, established in a place, being above with distance, regularity, steadiness, straightness, evenness and includes other meanings as well (in arabic some of the definitions include: istila, altamam, ishtadda, nadhuja, intaha). Qadi Abu Bakr ibn al-Arabi said that istiwa has 15 meanings among of which are to sit, to subjugate, to protect, to conquer, and to preserve. As mentioned in kitab mukhtar al-sihah by Imam Zayn ul-Deen Muhammad Abu Bakr, also in Qadi Abu Bakr’s commentary to the Jami of at-Tirmidhi called 3aridat al-Ahwazi fi Sharh at-Tirmidhi. Murtada Az-Zabedi who is a famous linguist and a Hanafi scholar and he said that Istiwa can have 10 different meanings as mentioned in it7af al-sada al-motaken fi sharh ihya uloom ud-deen. Ibn Mandhour the author of lisaan ul Arab has demonstrated that istiwa can bare many meanings as well.

YAAD has probably the most meanings; examples will include: when we say in Arabic assda eelay yadda (to do someone a favour), ann yaddahu (with his help, through his good offices), thul yadd (powerful, holder of actual control). Also when we say: ‘Abdul was in safe hands’ which means Abdul was in safe protection. For further examples please refer to the classical Arabic lexicons al-Qamus, Lisan ul-Arab and Taj ul-Uroos.

WAJH this word can bare a lot of meanings as well, face, dominion, looks appearance, outside surface, direction etc the definitions for this word are immense. Refer to the classical Arabic lexicons al-Qamus, Lisan ul-Arab and Taj ul-Uroos.

SAAQ, Imam Jafar as-saadiq has said ‘that SAAQ has 8 meanings, 5 of which are obsolete and the other 3 are the parts of the body between the knee and the ankle, hence saaq can also mean guard or slope of a hill and these are all created’.

That’s should be sufficient in answering abu rumaysah’s claim, insha allah I will post something which I have improved on i.e. looking at ayats and the so-called salafi approach [I posted it before in another thread which I cannot recall]. I believe it to be imperative that we need to look at their methodology since they are always claiming to follow the salaf, but its just a mere claim!

When the scholars of the past mentioned that we should recite the verses but assign the meaning to Allah, they knew the implications when unqualified people start to interpret these verses, such as the so-called salafiyyah. That is why the scholars use taweel as a means to answer them as Imam Nawawi may Allah be pleased with him has stated in his sharh saheeh Muslim;

وهذا أشهر المذهبين للمتكلمين: وقال آخرون لا تتأول بل يمسك عن الكلام في معناها ويوكل علمها إلى الله تعالى ويعتقد مع ذلك تنزيه الله تعالى وانتفاء صفات الحادث عنه: فيقال مثلا نؤمن بأن الرحمن على العرش استوى ولا نعلم حقيقة معنى ذلك والمراد به مع أنا نعتقد أن الله تعالى (ليس كمثله ش&#1574 وانه منزه عن الحلول وسمات الحدوث وهذه طريقة السلف أو جماهيرهم وهي أسلم إذ لا يطالب الانسان بالخوض في ذلك فإذا اعتقد التنزيه فلا حاجة إلى الخوض في ذلك والمخاطرة فيما لا ضرورة بل لا حاجة إليه فان دعت الحاجة إلى التأويل لرد مبتدع ونحوه تأولوا حينئذ: وعلى هذا يحمل ما جاء عن العلماء في هذا والله أعلم

”If there is a need for interpretation (ta’wil) in order to refute innovators and their like, then they (the Salaf) went ahead and applied interpretation. This is the correct understanding of what has reached us from the scholars concerning this subject, and Allah knows best.”

Otherwise we assign the meaning to Allah. What really needs to be highlighted is the so-called salafi methodology when dealing with these verses; since they are obsessed with using the additional terms haqiqan (literally), bi-dhati (physically) etc. And taking the literal meanings, however they have inconsistencies in their methodology since they only choose what verses to take literally and are reluctant to apply the same rule for other verses, as is apparent from their methodology. This has also been stated by Imam al-Haramayn al-Juwayni in his kitab ul irshad: “one of the areas of caution is necessary is opposing the literalists on the basis of the verses where they accept the allegorical interpretation of them so that when they pursue the method of interpretation in one case they open themselves to the use of that same method in areas of controversy…”.

Such examples will include:

“Allah is with you, wherever you are” وَهُوَ مَعَكُمْ أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ} } Suratal-Hadid ayah 4 (literally this would mean Allah is everywhere, which would contradict the so-called salafi understanding that Allah is sitting on the throne in person)

“Allah surrounds everything” {رَبِّهِمْ أَلاَ إِنَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ مُّحِيطٌ} Surat-Fussilat, ayah 54

“There is no conversation among three people but that he is the forth of them, nor five but he is the sixth” مَا يَكُونُ مِن نَّجْوَىٰ ثَلاَثَةٍ إِلاَّ هُوَ رَابِعُهُمْ وَلاَ خَمْسَةٍ إِلاَّ هُوَ سَادِسُهُمْ Qur’an 58:7 (literally this would imply that allah is amongst us)

“Allah’s yadd is above their hands” { يَدُ ٱللَّهِ فَوْقَ أَيْدِيهِمْ}Qur’an 48:10 (literally this would mean Allah’s hand is above the peoples hands, so does it further mean Allah’s hand is in this created world, the question would also arise of how big is Allah’s hand?)

“To Allah belong the East and the West, and where so ever you turn, there is Allah’s wajh” {وَللَّهِ ٱلْمَشْرِقُ وَٱلْمَغْرِبُ فَأَيْنَمَا تُوَلُّواْ فَثَمَّ وَجْهُ ٱللَّهِ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ} Qur’an 2:115 (literally this would mean that where ever you turn you see the face of Allah, the question would arise how many faces does a person see?)

“Everything will perish save His wajh” {كُلُّ شَيْءٍ هَالِكٌ إِلاَّ وَجْهَهُ} Qur’an 28:88 (literally this would mean that even Allah’s hands, shin, and feet will perish according to the so-called salafiyyah understanding)

“And [mention] when your Lord said to the angels, ‘Truly, I will create a man from clay. So when I have completed him, and breathed into him of My spirit, then fall down prostrate to him.’ And the angels prostrated one and all. Save for Satan, who was too proud to, and disbelieved. He said to him, ‘O Satan, what prevented you from prostrating to what I have created with bee-yadayya? Are you arrogant, or too exalted?’ He said, ‘I am better than he; You created me from fire and created him from clay'”

{ إِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلاَئِكَةِ إِنِّي خَالِقٌ بَشَراً مِّن طِينٍ } * { فَإِذَا سَوَّيْتُهُ وَنَفَخْتُ فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِي فَقَعُواْ لَهُ سَاجِدِينَ } * { فَسَجَدَ ٱلْمَلاَئِكَةُ كُـلُّهُمْ أَجْمَعُونَ } * { إِلاَّ إِبْلِيسَ ٱسْتَكْبَرَ وَكَانَ مِنَ ٱلْكَافِرِينَ }
{ قَالَ يٰإِبْلِيسُ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَن تَسْجُدَ لِمَا خَلَقْتُ بِيَدَيَّ أَسْتَكْبَرْتَ أَمْ كُنتَ مِنَ ٱلْعَالِينَ } * { قَالَ أَنَاْ خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ }

Qur’an 38:71-76. (Literally this would mean that Allah’s spirit is divisible, so is Adam peace be upon him, apart of Allah?)

Tradition narrated by Imam Tirmidhi in his al-Jami (vol.5, pp. 376-377, no. 3298, under Kitab Tafsir al Qur’an, as edited by the “Salafi” – Ahmad Shakir) narrated:

والذي نفس محمد بيده لو أنكم دليتم بحبل إلى الأرض السفلى لهبط على الله

Which means: “By Him in whose yadd Muhammad’s soul is, if you were to drop a rope to the lowest ard (land/earth), it would descend upon Allah.”

If the so-called salafiyyah believe that Allah is in the heavens in person then what would this imply, that the rope hits or lands on Allah?

Also the tradition in Saheeh Bukhari:

Muhammad ibn Uthmãn ibn Karãma < Khalid ibn Mukhad < Sulaym ibn Bilãl < Sharik ibn Abdallah ibn Abi Nimr, that Abu Hurayra said: ‘Allah’s Messenger said: “Allah the Exalted has said: ‘whoever harms a friend [wali] of Mine, I declare war on him. My slave draws near to Me with nothing more beloved to Me than that which I have made obligatory upon him. And My slave continues to draw nearer to Me with optional acts of devotion [nawafil] until I love him. And when I love him, I am his ear with which he hears, his eye with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his foot on which he walks. If he asks Me, I surely bestow it upon him, and if he asks My protection, I surely grant it to him. I do not hesitate in anything which I am to do more than in taking the soul of the believer; he dislikes death, and I dislike to bring him harm.”

Does the above tradition mean that Allah comes into the man?

That should be clear unless any wahabi, neo salafi has any side comments!

wassalaamu alaikum

I will continue further since its important to look into a few of the issues that abu rumaysah brings up such as the ta’weel of Imam Bukhari may Allah have mercy on him. This is what abu rumaysah says:

Quote:

Over the hadeeth, “Allaah the Most High Laughs about two men, one of whom kills the other, but both will enter Paradise. The one who fights in the way of Allaah and is killed and afterwards Allaah forgives the killer, then he fights in the path of Allaah and is martyred.”

Keller claims, following Saqqaaf, “the hadeeth master al-Bayhaqee records that the scribe of Bukhaaree, Muhammad ibn Yusuf al-Farabree, related that Imaam Bukhaaree said quote, “the meaning of Laughter is Mercy”.
This statement of al-Bayhaqee occurs in his ‘Asmaa was Sifaat’ (pg. 470) but he quotes no chain of narration for it, and therefore it cannot be depended upon as indicated in the words of Abdullaah bin al- Mubaarak said, “the isnaad is from the deen, were it not for the isnaad, whosoever willed could say whatever he wished.”

Imaam Bukhaaree, may Allaah have Mercy upon him, was clearly upon the way of the salaf, meaning he affirmed the Attributes of Allaah as they befitted Him, and this is seen in his work ‘Saheeh al- Bukhaaree’ and his work ‘Khalq Af’aal al-Ebaad.’ As for the above hadeeth, Bukhaaree mentions it in two places in his ‘Saheeh’:

Book of the merits of the Ansaar, chpt. 10
Book of Tafseer, chpt. 6
And nowhere does he mention the aforementioned ta’weel. In fact ibn Hajr says, after quoting the words of al-Bayhaqee, “I have not seen that in any of the manuscripts that we have come across.” [‘al- Fath’ (8/631)]

As for abu rumaysah’s claim above then the reader should be warned that although imam al-Bayhaqi cited that quote from one of the scribes. Then that still can be used since imam bayhaqi was closer to the time of Imam Bukhari. Also if imam ibn Hajr did not see a manuscript that doesn’t mean that it didn’t exist. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, in his book, Al-Fath al-Bari, Volume 6, page 39-40, said: “….. In reference to al-Bukhari’s saying that the attribute of Allah, ad-dahik, means ‘mercy,’ it is closer to say that it means ‘acceptance of deeds.’ [I was surprised to see abu rumaysah quoting ibn Hajr on this matter]. What further substantiates this is Imam Bukhari’s clear cut ta’weel in surah al-Qasas ayat 88. Now did abu rumaysah miss this part or did he over look the saheeh of Imam Bukhari? This ta’weel can be traced back from today’s scholars with a muttassil chain back to Imam Bukhari and can be found in the manuscripts. Al-albani the so-called muhadith found it extremely difficult to answer this and blurts out this cannot be the creed of a Muslim. Dr muhsin khan leaves it in Arabic in his translation which was signed by ibn baz and matariji has it in his copy as well.

Now the questions to be asked are:

1. Why doesn’t abu rumaysah mention Imam Bukhari’s ta’weel rather what he mentions is that imam bukhari was on the way of the salaf which we all believe since some of the salaf did practice ta’weel.
2. Why doesn’t he class Imam bukhari has a jahmi mubtadi for his ta’weel. Since that what he believes of the people who do ta’weel
3. Where are abu rumaysah’s principles why is he so reluctant to mention this! his misguidance is what prevents him from mentioning this!

Reference for the ta’weel:

Muhammad Ibn Ismail al-Bukhari 194 – 265AH, (belongs to the salaf because he died before the year 300ah and he acquired his knowledge from the followers of the tabeieen):

In the book of tafsir in saheeh al-Bukhari under the chapter of interpretation of surah al-qasas (28) ayat 88. Imam Bukhari’s taweel has not been fully translated by the author into English as can be seen in Dr Muhsin khans translation vol6 page 278, whereas he only translates the ayat but does not translate what imam bukhari has said regarding the ayat. In addition, if you read mahmood matrajis translation of bukhari under the same chapter, fails to translate imam bukhari’s ta’weel, vol 6 page 237-8. ‘kullu shayin haalikun ila wajhahu imam bukhari said the wording wajhahu means ila mulkahu’ (mulk means dominion e.g. paradise and hell). Which would be translated as; “everything shall perish except Allah’s dominion”. Imam Bukhari mentions other information as well. In Tafsir at-Tabari it says wajh can mean huwa (he): “everything shall perish except Allah”.

واختلف فـي معنى قوله: { إلاَّ وَجْهَهُ } فقال بعضهم: معناه: كلّ شيء هالك إلاَّ هو.

Now even Imam Tabari is mentioning that there was ikhtilaf amongst the ulema as to what wajh means!

As for the mubtadi innovating misguided folks who did not answer Brother Abul Hasan’s questions, then we know why they never! May Allah increase your ilm brother Abul Hasan and may allah guide this mubtadi’s ameen!

I will leave it to that and as for the issue of Imam Ahmad’s quote then that has been answered in another thread by brother faqir.

I think i forgot to comment upon what abu rumaysah says above:

Quote:

Abdullaah bin al- Mubaarak said, “the isnaad is from the deen, were it not for the isnaad, whosoever willed could say whatever he wished.”

This is surprising hearing a so-called salafi qoute such statements when they are in a dire need! only if he could apply this same principle to the qoutes he provides in the same article he would know that majority of those qoutes have no sanads or are daeef. also the qoute of imam abu Hanifa, the sanads for that come through the maturidi’s and i believe even the maturidis dont recognise abu rumaysah!

Also how many so-called salafis have mutassil sanads, that would be really interesting to know!

Last remark abu rumaysah in the same article seems to be confused about the ashari’s and the maturidi’s in terms of their principles, he needs to sit down with some ashari and maturidi imams instead of doing his own personal research and look how many people are reliant on him and misguided by his works!

barak allah feekum
Allah guide us all ameen and all mistakes are from me!
wassalaamu alaikum

Abu Rumaysah caught red handed

June 25, 2007

Tamperings of the Salafis

by Dr. G.F. Haddad

In attempting to affirm that their false beliefs are supported by the Scholars of the Salaf, the modern-day pseudo-Salafis go to great lengths, either using weak or false hadiths or in actually distorting the meanings and wordings (tahrif) of statements of scholars of the Salaf and the Khalaf.

Among their beliefs are the following:

We believe that Allah is well above His creatures in His Person and His Attributes, because He says: “He is the High, the Great” (2:22); “He is Supreme over His servants, and He is the Wise, the All-aware” (6:18 ).

We believe that He “created the Heavens and the Earth in six days, then He settled Himself on the throne; He manages everything” (10:3). His “settling on the throne” means that He is sitting in person on His throne in a way that is becoming to His majesty and greatness. Nobody except He knows exactly how He is sitting.

We believe that He is with His creatures while He is still on His throne. He knows their conditions, hears their sayings, sees their deeds, and manages their affairs. He provides for the poor and the broken.”

[The Muslim’s Belief by Shaikh Muhammad as-Saleh Al-‘Uthaimin]

In an article entitled “Shaykh al-Islaam ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah)” prepared by Abu Rumaysah the following statement is made:

  1. <<“Abu Haneefah (RH) said, when asked of his opinion of the one who says, ‘I do not know whether Allaah is above the heavens or on the earth.’ – “He has disbelieved, because Allaah says, “The Most Merciful rose above the Throne.” , and His Throne is above His seven heavens.’ He was then asked , ‘what if he said that Allaah is above His Throne but he does not know whether the Throne is in the heavens or on the earth?’ He said, ‘He has disbelieved, because He has denied that He is above the heavens, And whosoever denied that He is above the heavens has disbelieved.” [‘al-Uluww’ of adh- Dhahabee, also ‘Sharh Aqueedah at-Tahaawiyyah’ of ibn Abee al-Izz al-Hanafee]”>>

In fact this statement attributed to Imam Abu Hanifah is mawdu` and a lie in its attribution to the Imam. Al-Dhahabi himself states [Mukhtasar p. 136 #118; al-`Uluw p. 391 #327] that everything above was reported from the Imam by Abu Muti` al-Hakam ibn `Abd Allah al-Balkhi who is DISCARDED as a narrator according to Imam Ahmad, Ibn `Adi, Abu Dawud, a liar according to Abu Hatim, and a forger according to al-Dhahabi himself as reported by Ibn Hajar in Lisan al-Mizan (2:407)!.

Even so, the text mentioned by the Hanafi authorities is: “Whoever says, ‘I do not know whether my Lord is in the heaven or on earth’ is a disbeliever and, similarly, whoever says, ‘He is on the Throne and I do not know whether the Throne is in the heaven or on earth ‘ is a disbeliever.”

As to its meaning: al-Bayadi said in Ishaaraat al-Maraam: “This is because he implies that the Creator has a direction and a boundary, and anything that possesses direction and boundary is necessarily created. So this statement explicitly attributes imperfection to Allah Most High. The believer in [divine] corporeality and direction is someone who denies the existence of anything other than objects that can be pointed to with the senses. They deny the Essence of the Deity that is transcendent beyond that. This makes them positively guilty of disbelief.” As quoted in al-Kawthari, “Khuturat al-Qawl bi al-Jiha” (“The Gravity of the Doctrine That Attributes Direction [to Allah Most High]”) in his _Maqalat_ (p. 368-369).

Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi states something similar in Sharh al-Fiqh al-Akbar, and others.

A Condemned Report attributed to Imâm Mâlik

Another report used by the Salafis to buttress their anthropomorphist claims is the following:

 <<“Abdullah bin Nafi’ reported: Malik bin Anas said: ‘Allah is above the heavens, but His knowledge encompasses everything. Nothing escapes His knowledge.'” [Abdullah bin Ahmad, as-Sunnah, and others. ]>> This report is not authentic from Imam Malik.

From Mutarrif ibn ‘Abd Allâh – al-Bukhârî’s shaykh – and Habib ibn Abî Habib on the hadîth of descent (“Our blessed Lord descends in the late third of the night”): “It is our Blessed and Exalted Lord’s command which descends <every pre-dawn (kullu sahar)>1; as for Him, He is eternally the same, He does not move or go to and fro.”2 Ibn Rushd in Sharh al-‘Utbiyya – a commentary on an early work of Mâlikî jurisprudence by Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-‘Utbî al-Qurtubî (d. 254) – stated that Mâlik’s position is: “The Throne is not Allâh’s location of settledness (mawdi’ istiqrâr Allâh).”3 The report attributing to Imâm Mâlik the words: “Allâh is in the heaven and His knowledge is in every place” is a condemned (munkar), anomalous (shâdhdh) report of questionable authenticity narrated through Ahmad ibn Hanbal from Surayj ibn al-Nu’mân al-Lu’lu’I4 from ‘Abd Allâh ibn Nâfi’ al-Sa’igh from Mâlik.5 Imâm Ahmad himself declared ‘Abd Allâh ibn Nâfi’ al-Sa’igh weak (da’îf), Abû Zur’a frowned at his name and declared him “condemned” (munkar), al-Bukhârî questioned his memorization, and Ibn ‘Adi stated that he transmitted oddities (gharâ’ib) from Mâlik.6 As for the content of the report, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Fattah Abû Ghudda noted in his commentary on Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr’s al-Intiqa’ that it is contradicted by what is firmly established in mass-transmitted narrations from Mâlik and by al-Sa’igh’s other report from Mâlik omitting the above words.7 The report is made further dubious by the fact that Mâlik was well-known to condemn any statements about the Essence and Attributes of Allâh Most High other than sound reports, particularly statements that suggest anthropomorphism.8 Al-Awzâ’î said: “Whoever holds on to the rare and unusual positions of the scholars has left Islâm.”9

Adh-Dhahabi

3. <<Imaam adh-Dhahabee said in the final lines of his most excellent work, ‘al-Uluww lil-‘Aliyyil-Ghaffaar’ (pp.286-287):>>

I have this edition in front of me and the title is incorrectly reported. The actual title is: Mukhtasar al-`Uluw i.e. the abridgment – in 300 pages – edited by the chief innovator of our time, Nasir Albani. The complete edition is not that of Albani but that of Hasan al-Saqqaf – in over 600 pages – which I also have.

Now, if it was a “most excellent work” then why did al-Dhahabi disclaim it later in his adult career (he wrote the book as a young man)? He wrote on its manuscript with his own hand:

“I have realized it [this book] contains baseless narrations and statements by many people that spoke loosely, and so I neither subscribe to those expressions nor follow those people in them – may Allah forgive them – nor do I consider them binding upon me as long as I live, and this is my firm conviction, and I know that Allah – there is nothing whatsoever like Him.”10

Falsification of Imam Qurtubi’s Position on Anthropomorphism

<<“Al-Qurtubee said concerning the saying of Allaah, the Most High, “Then he ascended (istawaa) the Throne”, We have explained the sayings of the Scholars regarding this issue in the book ‘al-Asnaa fee Sharh al-Asmaa al-Husnaa’ and we mentioned fourteen different sayings therein”>>

I have that book also and al-Qurtubi in it makes abundantly clear that he is against the position of the anthropomorphists!

<<up until he said, “And the Salaf of the very first times – may Allaah be pleased with them all – never used to negate direction (al-jihah) for Allaah and nor did they used to express this (negation). Rather, they, and all of the others, used to speak with its affirmation for Allaah, the Most High just as His Book has spoken about it and just as His Messengers informed of it. And not a single one of the Salaf denied that his ascending (istawaa) the Throne was real and true (haqeeqah) (as opposed to metaphorical, majaaz).”>>

The continuation of al-Qurtubi’s words quoted in Mukhtasar al-`Uluw (p. 286) states:

“And He mentioned His Throne specifically because it is the greatest of His creations. However, they actually did not know the modality or howness of his Istiwa’ for the reality of its modality cannot be known.”

NOTE

The original in al-Dhahabi’s `Uluw [full edition, 600 pages edited by Hasan al-Saqqaf] here states (p. 574): “for its reality cannot be known.” This is also what is found in al-Qurtubi’s Tafsir. This tampering is one among many examples of the mendacity of al-Albani and his followers! The reason for this particular tahrif is that when the Salafiyya were faced with the reality of Tafwid among the Salaf, they invented the subdivision of Tafwid al-Kayfiyya so as to deny that the Salaf actually practiced Tafwid al-Ma`na. So when proof to the latter comes up, they deny it or manipulate it, as in this case.

THEN al-Qurtubi continues, in his Tafsir: 

“I SAY: the `Uluw [exaltation] of Allah Most High and His irtifa` [elevation] are an expression of the `uluw of His Majesty, Attributes, and Dominion. Meaning: There is nothing above Him whatsoever in the sense of Majesty and its qualities, nor with Him as a partner. Rather, He is the Most High in absolute and unconditional terms – exalted is He!”

See the introduction and appendices to our translation of Sayyid Yusuf al-Rifa`i’s Nasiha to the Ulema of Najd for many more examples of their tampering and misreprentations of the Ulema of Islam and their books.

As for the Ghunya: it is not an integrally preserved text and the copies we have today are corrupt. As for the book Ijtima` al-Juyush al-Islamiyya it is crammed with forgeries – like al-Sunna by `Abd Allah ibn Ahmad – and Ibn al-Qayyim is a notorious Mujassim.

Conclusion

Those who call themselves Salafiyyah do not mind lying about the Ulema they quote; make up their own definitions of tafwid and ta’wil; and generally have no idea of the accurate positions of the Salaf and the latter are innocent of them. Allah is our refuge from their bid`a and dalala.

And Allah knows best.

Footnotes

1The bracketed words are only in the wording cited by al-Qâdî ‘Iyâd in his Tartîb al-Madârik (2:44).

2Narrated from Mutarrif by Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr in al-Tamhîd (7:143) with a weak chain because of Jâmi’ ibn Sawada as per al-Dâraqut.nî in Ibn Hajar’s Lisân (2:93). Also narrated from Salih ibn Ayyûb from Habib ibn Abî Habib – who is very weak – by al-Dhahabî in Siyar A’lâm al-Nubalâ’ (8:418). The latter reported in his Mîzân (1:452) from Ibn ‘Adi’s Kamil (2″818) the opinion that all of Ibn Abî Habib’s narrations are forged but this is an extreme statement in light of three factors:
(a) Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr in al-Tamhîd (24:177) mentioned Habib as merely weak, adding: “His reports from Mâlik are full of mistakes and condemned matters”;
(b) Salih ibn Ayyûb said: “I mentioned this report to Yahyâ ibn Bukayr and he said: “Excellent, by Allâh! and I did not hear it from Mâlik.” Narrated by al-Dhahabî who describes Ibn Bukayr in Tadhkirat al-Huffâz. (2:420) as “the muhaddith of Egypt, the Imâm and trustworthy hadîth Master… one of the  vessels of knowledge together with truthfulness and complete reliability… Where is the like of Ibn Bukayr in his leadership in the Religion, his insight in fatwâ, and the abundance of his learning?”
(c) Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr in al-Tamhîd (7:143) also narrates this report from Habib, then goes on to narrate it from Mutarrif, adding: “It is possible that the matter be as Mâlik said, and Allâh knows best.” It is established that Jâmi’ did narrate from Mutarrif, as stated by al-Mizzî in Tahdhîb al-Kamâl (28:71).

3As quoted in Fath al-Bârî (1959 ed. 7:124 #3592). 

4Misspelt Shurayh in al-Saqqâf’s edition of al-‘Uluw (p. 396 #340) and al-Mahdî’s edition of al-Shari’a (p. 293 #663-664). Shurayh ibn al-Nu’mân al-Sa’idi al-Kûfî is a Tâbi’î who died before al-Sa’igh was born.

5In Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr’s al-Intiqa’ (p. 71), al-Dhahabî’s Mukhtasar al-‘Uluw (p. 247), and al-Ajurrî’s al-Shari’a (p. 293 #663-664).

6Al-Dhahabî, Mîzân (2:513-514 #4647); al-‘Uqayli, al-Du’afa’ (2:311), Ibn ‘Adi, al-Kamil (4:242 #1070=4:1556); Abû Hatim, al-Jarh wa al-Ta’dil (5:183); Ibn Hajar, Tahdhîb al-Tahdhîb (6:46-47 #99). Dr. Nur al-Dîn ‘Itr, however, states in his margins on al-Dhahabî’s al-Mughnî fî al-Du’afa’ (1:513 #3396) that al-Sa’igh is very reliable when narrating from Mâlik and that Ibn Hajar declared him trustworthy (thiqa) in al-Taqrîb. Yet, the latter grading was downgraded to “truthful” (sadûq) by al-Arna’ût and Ma’rûf in al-Tahrir (2:277 #3659). Al-Albânî in his notes in Mukhtasar al-‘Uluw (p. 140) criticized al-Kawthari for citing al-Sa’igh as weak in his introduction to al-Bayhaqî’s al-Asmâ’ wa al-Sifat (p. Ø), but he himself cites him as weak in al-Silsila al-Da’ifa (2:231-232) as pointed out by Shaykh Hasan al-Saqqâf in his edition of al-‘Uluw (p. 397 n. 708)!

7In Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, al-Intiqa’ (p. 71 n. 3 and p. 73). 

8For example, Mâlik said: “Allâh is neither ascribed a limit nor likened with anything” (lâ yuhaddad wa lâ yushabbah). Ibn al-‘Arabi, Ahkam al-Qur’ân (4:1740).

9Cited by al-Dhahabî, Siyar A’lâm al-Nubalâ’ (1997 ed. 7:99).

10As reported by the Hadith Master Ibn Nasir al-Din al-Dimashqi in his handwriting on the front page of the original manuscript of al-`Uluw.

Abu Rumaysah

June 25, 2007

Abu Rumaysah is an “intellectual” pseudo-salafi who defends salafism against the “lies” of Ahl Sunnah Wal Jama’ah.

The following is a post by the scholar Abul Hasan on sunniforum.com :

Quote:

Originally Posted by faqir

:salam:

All that is left is to discuss is the following claim made by Abu Rumaysah:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Abu Rumaysah

Over the verse, ” the Day when the Saaq (Shin) will be exposed.”

Keller states, following Saqqaaf, “at-Tabaree says a number of exegetes of the Companions – and their students – held that, ‘A Day when the Shin shall be exposed’ means that, quote, “a dire matter shall be disclosed”…..This was apparently lost upon later anthropomorphists who said that the verse proved, quote, “Allaah has a Shin,” or according to others, “two Shins” as one would be unbecoming. At-Tabaree also relates from Muhamamd ibn Ubayd al-Muharabee who relates from ibn al-Mubaarak from Usama ibn Zayd, meaning al-Lythee, from Ikrimah, from ibn Abbaas, that the Shin in the above verse means, quote, “A Day of war and direness” all these narrators are those of the saheeh – except Usama ibn Zaid whose hadeeth are hasan.”

This claim includes a number of misconceptions, unfounded allegations and distortions.

Firstly: the narrations that at-Tabaree reports from ibn Abbaas via a number of routes, regarding these Shaykh Saleem al-Hilaali says, “Summarising what has been reported from ibn Abbaas on this issue: with this you will know, O beloved (reader) – may you learn the good – that the chains of narration that are reported from ibn Abbaas to do with his explanation of His saying, “the Day when the Shin will be exposed” cannot be used to establish a proof, because they are all da’eef.

Now the problem is, of course, that Abu Rumaysah has not backed up the final statement I have quoted above with any proof whatsoever.

Shaykh Nuh mentioned:

Quote:

At-Tabaree also relates from Muhammad ibn Ubayd al-Muharabee
who relates from Ibn al-Mubaarak
from Usama ibn Zayd
from Ikrimah,
from ibn Abbaas,
that the Shin in the above verse means, quote, “A Day of war and direness”

all these narrators are those of the saheeh – except Usama ibn Zaid whose hadeeth are hasan.

Abu Rumaysah has not given any explanation why in his or his shaykh’s opinion this chain mentioned by Sh. Nuh Keller is “da’eef”!

If we look at each individual narrator then we can see how ridiculous the claim made by Abu Rumaysah is!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nuh Keller

Al-Tabari also relates from Muhammad ibn ‘Ubayd al-Muharibi

1. Muhammad ibn Ubaid:

6120- محمد ابن عبيد ابن محمد ابن واقد المحاربي أبو جعفر وأبو يعلى النخاس الكوفي صدوق من العاشرة مات سنة إحدى وخمسين

– He is Muhammad ibn Ubaid ibn Muhammad ibn Waqid al Muharibi, Abu Ja’far….reliable. (Taqrib Al Tadhib of Ibn Hajar)

روى له ابو داود والترمذي والنسائي

– from him narrated Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi and Nisa’i. (Tadhib al Tadhib, Al Kamil)

Below is one of the Hadith from Tirmidhi through Muhammad ibn Ubaid:

‏حدثنا ‏‏ محمد بن عبيد المحاربي ‏ ‏حدثنا ‏ ‏أسباط بن محمد ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏سليمان التيمي ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏سيار ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏أبي أمامة ‏
‏عن النبي ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏قال ‏ ‏إن الله فضلني على الأنبياء ‏ ‏أو قال أمتي على الأمم ‏ ‏وأحل ‏ ‏لي الغنائم

which is:

‏ ‏قال ‏ ‏أبو عيسى ‏ ‏حديث ‏ ‏أبي أمامة ‏ ‏حديث حسن صحيح

– Abu Isa said the hadith of Abi Amamah is Hasan Sahih.

Simarly another hadith in Tirmidhi under ما جاء في لبس الخاتم في اليمين is also Hasan Sahih and passes through Al Muharibi. The Sharh of Tirmidhi entitled تحفة الأحوذي بشرح جامع الترمذي states the same as Ibn hajar regarding Muharibis reliability:

‏قوله : ( حدثنا محمد بن عبيد ) ‏
‏بن محمد بن واقد المحاربي الكندي أبو جعفر النحاس الكوفي صدوق من العاشرة

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nuh Keller

who relates from Ibn al-Mubarak,

Ibn al-Mubarak

3570- عبدالله ابن المبارك المروزي مولى بني حنظلة ثقة ثبت فقيه عالم جواد مجاهد جمعت فيه خصال الخير من الثامنة مات سنة إحدى وثمانين وله ثلاث وستون ع

– Abdullah ibn Al Mubarak Al Mawuzi Mawla Banu Hanzalah, extremely trustworthy, Faqih….

(Taqrib)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nuh Keller

from Usama ibn Zayd,

Usama ibn Zayd

317- أسامة ابن زيد الليثي مولاهم أبو زيد المدني صدوق يهم من السابعة مات سنة ثلاث وخمسين وهو ابن بضع وسبعين خت م

– Usama ibn Zayd al Laythi, reliable.

(Ibid)

Usama ibn Zayd is a narrator in Sahih Muslim and even in Bukhari (In Ta’aaliq form) as Ibn Hajar states in his Tahdhib:

م البخاري في التعاليق والأربعة ومسلم أسامة بن زيد الليثي

Secondly, even Albani narrates a Hadith that goes through him and states the sanad as “Hasan” quoting Laythi being 1. From the men of Muslim (Min rijal Muslim) and 2. The verdict of Ibn Hajar on his reliability.

وهذا اسناد حسن كما قالوا ، فإن رجاله كلهم ثقات غير اسامة بن زيد وهو الليثي وهو من رجال مسلم ، على ضعف في حفظه ، قال الحافظ في التقريب : ( صدوق يهم

(Silsila Daeefa)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nuh Keller

from ‘Ikrima, from Ibn ‘Abbas that shin in the above verse means

“a day of war and direness (harbin wa shidda)”

‘Ikrima

عكرمة أبو عبدالله مولى ابن عباس أصله بربري ثقة ثبت عالم بالتفسير لم يثبت تكذيبه عن ابن عمر ولا تثبت عنه بدعة من الثالثة مات سنة أربع ومائة وقيل بعد ذلك

– Ikrimah Abu Abdullah Maula Ibn Abbas…Extremely trustwortthy, Alim in Tafsir.

(Ibid)

InshaAllah that is sufficient with regards to Abu Rumaysah’s supposed refutation of Sh. Nuh [may Allah preserve him].

JazakAllah khair to all the brothers who helped me with all of what was mentioned in the above few posts.

May Allah reward you all.

And may He forgive my mistakes.

Wasalaam


Assalamu alaikum

In continuation of what Br. Faqir posted in refutation of Abu Rumaysah and his “authority” in weakening the narration: Salim al-Hilali (plagiarist according to his own brethren in faith!), we noticed sometime back a similar style of weakening of this narration elsewhere!

Amr Abdal Mun’im Salim – (one of the defenders of the late Nasir al-Albani (d. 1999) from Egypt; who was refuted by his fellow Egyptian, the Shafi’i Muhaddith: Shaykh Mahmud Saeed Mamduh on another issue connected to al-Albani’s mistakes in Hadith)

– In his feeble attempt to weaken the above narration said as conveyed by the anti-Ash’ari slanderer: Ali Rida Qadri from Karachi

– who took it from here with taqleed:

الأول : ما رواه ابن جرير في (( التفسير ))(29/24) ، والحاكم في (( المستدرك )) (2/499) ، والبيهقي في (( الأسماء والصفات )) (746) من طريق : ابن المبارك ، عن أسامة بن زيد ، عن عكرمة ، عن ابن عباس : { يوم يكشف عن ساق } . قال : (( هو يوم كرب وشدة )) . ولفظه عند البيهقي : (( هذا يوم كرب وشدة )) وصححه الحاكم .
? قلت : بل هذا سند ضعيف ، ففيه أسامة بن زيد ، وهو وإن كان ابن أسلم أو الليثى فكلاهما ضعيف لا يحتج به ، إلا أن ابن أسلم ضعيف جداً . وأما الليثى : فقال أحمد : (( ليس بشىء )) ، وقال عبد الله بن أحمد ، عن أبيه : (( روى عن نافع أحاديث مناكير )) ، فقلت له : (( أُراه حسن الحديث )) ، فقال :(( إن تدبرت حديثه فستعرف فيه النكرة )) . وقال ابن معين في بعض الروايات : (( ثقة )) ، وزاد في رواية الدورى : (( غير حجة )) ، أى أنه ثقة من حيث العدالة ، إلا أنه ضعيف من حيث الضبط ، وبسط الكلام في حاله يطول.

Reply:

Amr Abdal Mun’im admitted that the narration was declared Sahih by al-Hakim, then went on to weaken it by questioning a narrator in the Isnad by the name of Usama ibn Zayd and his veracity as a sound conveyer of the narration.

This narration is also found in Imam ibn al-Mubarak’s Kitab al-Zuhd wal Raqa’iq, Tafsir al-Tabari (no. 32142) and al-Bayhaqi’s Kitab al-Asma wal Sifat (no. 746) – all via the route of Usama ibn Zayd.

There are 2 narrators by the name of Usama ibn Zayd, one is Usama ibn Zayd al-Laythi and another is Usama ibn Zayd ibn Aslam al-Adawi. Let not the reader confuse these 2 narrators with the famous Sahabi with the same name.

Usama al-Adawi is da’eef as al-Hafiz ibn Hajar al Asqalani declared in his Taqrib al-Tahdhib (no. 315). The one that is found in the Asanid of the Mustadrak of al Hakim, Tafsir al-Tabari, Bayhaqi’s al-Asma wal Sifat and Ibn al-Mubarak’s Kitab al-Zuhd is no doubt Usama ibn Zayd al-Laythi as this is what is inferable from the Huffaz of Hadith who knew this Hadith and its overall grading better than the deceitful weakening and hiding by the likes of Amr Abdal Mun’im, AR Qadri and the pseudo-Salafiyya who close their eyes when it suits them – of some vital facts behind this narration!

Mr Amr Abdal Mun’im admitted that al-Hakim had authenticated it as we mentioned above, hence to al-Hakim, despite his lenience and many mistakes in his al-Mustadrak ala’l Sahihayn knew that the Usama in question was al-Laythi, because he said that its Isnad was Sahih (rigorously authentic). This means that al-Hakim believed that Usama ibn Zayd al-Laythi is Thiqa (trustworthy) as a narrator of the narration he recorded via him in his al-Mustadrak.

Secondly, the unscholarly Tadlis (deception) in this is the fact that Amr Abdal Mun’im hid one vital fact, and that is the fact that in the footnotes to the Mustadrak he used and which I will scan up here Insha’Allah, the critical notes of Hafiz al-Dhahabi (d. 748 AH) were printed from his work known as Talkhis al-Mustadrak (printed beneath the Hyderabad edition of al-Hakim’s Mustadrak)

In the Talkhis al-Mustadrak (vol. 2/p. 500), Imam al-Dhahabi agreed with al Hakim and said that the narration is: Sahih (rigorously authentic)! The reader can decide why this was deliberately left out by Amr Abdal Mun’im and his conveyers do not usually mention this fact also!

The fact that al-Dhahabi agreed with al-Hakim on its authenticity is a direct and clear cut proof that al-Dhahabi accepted Hadrat Ibn Abbas’ (ra) Ta’wil of the ayat mentioning the Saaq (translated by some as “Shin” in English); and I say this knowing full well that al-Dhahabi didn’t advocate Ta’wil but was on the way of Tafweed as we know from his Siyar a’lam an-Nubala. This is a rare example of al-Dhahabi having no problem with Ta’wil when there is a solid proof for its validity, alhamdulillah.

Later, mention will be made of those who either authenticated the above narration further after al-Hakim and al-Dhahabi’s time, as well as those who remained silent on the narration without any critical rejection of it.

For now, let us examine what the Hadith Masters have said about Usama ibn Zayd al-Laythi.

Al-Hafiz ibn Hajar al-Asqalani in his Tahdhib al-Tahdhib (Vol. 1/no. 392) mentioned the following on al-Laythi:


[ 392 ] خت 4 م البخاري في التعاليق والأربعة ومسلم أسامة بن زيد الليثي مولاهم أبو زيد المدني روى عن الزهري ونافع مولى بن عمر وعطاء بن أبي رباح ومحمد بن المنكدر وصالح بن كيسان وعبد الله بن رافع مولى أم سلمة وعمرو بن شعيب وجماعة روى عنه يحيى القطان وابن المبارك والثوري وابن وهب والأوزاعي والداروردي ووكيع وأبو نعيم وغيرهم قال أحمد تركه القطان بآخرة وقال الأثرم عن أحمد ليس بشيء وقال عبد الله بن أحمد عن أبيه روى عن نافع أحاديث مناكير فقلت له أراه حسن الحديث فقال أن تدبرت حديثه فستعرف فيه النكرة وقال بن معين في رواية أبي بكر بن أبي خيثمة كان يحيى بن سعيد يضعفه وقال أبو يعلى الموصلي عنه ثقة صالح وقال عثمان الدارمي عنه ليس به بأس وقال الدوري وغيره عنه ثقة زاد غيره حجة وقال أبو حاتم يكتب حديثه ولا يحتج به وقال النسائي ليس بالقوي وقال أبو أحمد بن عدي يروي عنه الثوري وجماعة من الثقات ويروي عنه بن وهب نسخة صالحة وهو كما قال بن معين ليس بحديثه بأس وهو خير من أسامة بن زيد بن أسلم قلت وقال البرقي عن بن معين أنكروا عليه أحاديث وقال بن نمير مدني مشهور وقال العجلي ثقة وقال الآجري عن أبي داود صالح الا أن يحيى يعني بن سعيد أمسك عنه بآخرة وذكره بن المديني في الطبقة الخامسة من أصحاب نافع وقال الدار قطني لما سمع يحيى القطان أنه حدث عن عطاء عن جابر رفعه أيام مني كلها منحر قال اشهدوا إني قد تركت حديثه قال الدارقطني فمن أجل هذا تركه البخاري وقال الحاكم في المدخل روى له مسلم واستدللت بكثرة روايته له على أنه عنده صحيح الكتاب على أن أكثر تلك الأحاديث مستشهد بها أو هو مقرون في الإسناد وقال بن حبان في الثقات يخطئ وهو مستقيم الأمر صحيح الكتاب وأسامة بن زيد بن أسلم مدني واه وكانا في زمن واحد الا أن الليثي أقدم مات سنة 153 وكان له يوم مات بضع وسبعون سنة وقال بن القطان الفاسي لم يحتج به مسلم إنما أخرج له استشهادا قال وقال عمرو بن علي الفلاس حديثا عنه يحيى بن سعيد ثم تركه قال يقول سمعت سعيد بن المسيب قال بن القطان هذا أمر منكر لأنه بذلك يساوي نسخة الزهري انتهى كلام بن القطان ولم يرد يحيى بذلك ما فهمه عنه بل أراد ذلك في حديث مخصوص يتبين من سياقه اتفق أصحاب الزهري على روايته عنه عن سعيد بن المسيب بالعنعنة وشذ أسامة فقال عن الزهري سمعت سعيد بن المسيب فأنكر عليه القطان هذا لاغير

The above mentions the various positive and negative criticisms leveled against al-Laythi. The likes of Amr Abdal Mun’im, Salim al-Hilali and Co are not Huffaz of Hadith, so they are not considered by the more learned Ulama of Hadith to be in the rank of those known as Ahlul Istiqra – those whose views are taken as a Hujja in finalizing the most acceptable stance on the overall credibility of a narrator or narration under scrutiny.

Imam al-Dhahabi declared Usama al-Laythi in his Siyar a’lam an-Nubala (6/342) to be:

“An Imam, The Alim, al-Saduq (The truthful)”

Al-Hafiz ibn Hajar al Asqalani in al-Taqrib al-Tahdhib declared Usama ibn Zayd al-Laythi to be Saduq yahim (truthful with some suspected mistakes)

Al-Hafiz ibn Hajar said in Fath al Bari (read the red underlined part carefully)

فتح الباري، شرح صحيح البخاري، – للإمام ابن حجر العسقلاني
المجلد الثامن >> كِتَاب تَفْسِيرِ الْقُرْآنِ >> باب يَوْمَ يُكْشَفُ عَنْ سَاقٍ
(Fath al Bari, 8/664)

الشرح: قوله: (باب يوم يكشف عن ساق) أخرج أبو يعلى بسند فيه ضعف عن أبي موسى مرفوعا في قوله: (يوم يكشف عن ساق) قال ” عن نور عظيم، فيخرون له سجدا ” وقال عبد الرزاق عن معمر عن قتادة في قوله (يوم يكشف عن ساق) قال: عن شدة أمر، وعند الحاكم من طريق عكرمة عن ابن عباس قال: هو يوم كرب وشدة قال الخطابي: فيكون المعنى يكشف عن قدرته التي تنكشف عن الشدة والكرب وذكر غير ذلك من التأويلات كما سيأتي بيانه عند حديث الشفاعة مستوفي في كتاب الرقاق إن شاء الله تعالى.

ووقع في هذا الموضع ” يكشف ربنا عن ساقه ” وهو من رواية سعيد بن أبي هلال عن زيد بن أسلم فأخرجها الإسماعيلي كذلك ثم قال: في قوله ” عن ساقه ” نكرة.

ثم أخرجه من طريق حفص بن ميسرة عن زيد بن أسلم بلفظ ” يكشف عن ساق ” قال الإسماعيلي: هذه أصح لموافقتها لفظ القرآن في الجملة، لا يظن عن أن الله ذو أعضاء وجوارح لما في ذلك من مشابهة المخلوقين، تعالى الله عن ذلك ليس كمثله شيء.

In the above words al-Hafiz mentioned a narration from Abdar Razzaq from Qatada making Ta’wil of the ayat connected to the Saaq and he mentioned al-Hakim’s narration from Ibn Abbas. Indeed, this is the very narration under discussion that Amr Abdal Mun’im attempted to weaken, and it is a rule known from the words of al-Hafiz to his Muqaddima to al-Fath, that whenever he remained silent on a narration then it is at least Hasan (good) to him in most cases.

To be more explicit let us show Imam ibn Hajar declaring this narration that Amr Abdal Mun’im and Co weakened to be: Hasan (good) in its Isnad

Again in Fath al-Bari (13/428) he said:

وأما الساق فجاء عن ابن عباس في قوله تعالى (يوم يكشف عن ساق) قال عن شدة من الأمر، والعرب تقول قامت الحرب على ساق إذا اشتدت، ومنه: قد سن أصحابك ضرب الأعناق وقامت الحرب بنا على ساق وجاء عن أبي موسى الأشعري في تفسيرها عن نور عظيم قال ابن فورك: معناه ما يتجدد للمؤمنين من الفوائد والألطاف.
وقال المهلب كشف الساق للمؤمنين رحمة ولغيرهم نقمة.
وقال الخطابي تهيب كثير من الشيوخ الخوض في معنى الساق، ومعنى قول ابن عباس أن الله يكشف عن قدرته التي تظهر بها الشدة، وأسند البيهقي الأثر المذكور عن ابن عباس بسندين كل منهما حسن، وزاد: إذا خفي عليكم شيء من القرآن فأتبعوه من الشعر وذكر الرجز المشار إليه، وأنشد الخطابي في إطلاق الساق على الأمر الشديد ” في سنة قد كشفت عن ساقها ” وأسند البيهقي من وجه آخر صحيح عن ابن عباس قال: يريد يوم القيامة،

Note also, al-Hafiz in his biography of the famous Sahaba, known as al-Isaba fi Tamyiz al-Sahaba, under the biography of the prominent Sahabi: Abu Hurayra (ra) mentioned a chain of transmission from al-Dawlabi via a route containing Usama ibn Zayd al-Laythi. Al-Hafiz said:

الإصابة، – لابن حجر
الجزء السابع. >> [باب الكنى] حرف الهاء القسم الأول من ذُكِرَ له صحبة، وبيان ذلك
(p. 427)

وأخرج الدولابي بسند حسن عن أسامة بن زيد الليثي عن عبيدالله بن أبي رافع والمقبري قالا كان اسم أبي هريرة عبد شمس بن عامر بن عبدالشري والشري اسم صنم لدوس

The red highlighted portion mentions al-Hafiz declaring al-Dawlabi’s Isnad to be Hasan via a route containing Usama ibn Zayd al-Laythi.

These examples serve to show that al-Hafiz considers Usama ibn Zayd al-Laythi’s narrations to be generally good (Hasan) and not da’eef as Amr Abdal Mun’im and his colleagues claimed.

Usama al-Laythi’s narrations were acceptable to Imam Muslim in his Sahih (for Mutabiat/shawahid as some have said) and to al-Bukhari in Ta’liq form (as Ibn Hajar said above in the Arabic quotation from his Tahdhib al-Tahdhib). An example from Sahih Muslim containing Usama al-Laythi

صحيح مسلم – للإمام مسلم
الجزء الثالث >> 25 – كتاب الوصية.

3 – (1627) وحدثنا أبو كامل الجحدري. حدثنا حماد (يعني ابن زيد). ح وحدثني زهير بن حرب. حدثنا إسماعيل (يعني ابن علية). كلاهما عن أيوب. ح وحدثني أبو الطاهر. أخبرنا ابن وهب. أخبرني يونس. ح وحدثني هارون بن سعيد الأيلي. حدثنا ابن وهب. أخبرني أسامة بن زيد الليثي. ح وحدثنا محمد بن رافع. حدثنا ابن أبي فديك. أخبرنا هشام (يعني ابن سعد). كلهم عن نافع، عن ابن عمر، عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم. بمثل حديث عبيدالله. وقالوا جميعا (له شيء يوصي فيه). إلا في حديث أيوب فإنه قال (يريد أن يوصي فيه). كرواية يحيى عن عبيدالله.

Note also that Ibn Hibban and ibn Khuzayma in their respective “Sahih” collections have accepted Usama’s narrations, and the editors of these works have also shown that they hold the narrations via al-Laythi to be Hasan (good). See the Tahqiq by Shaykh Shu’ayb al-Arna’ut to Sahih ibn Hibban (no. 4846) and even al-Albani’s grading of Hasan in the follow up to Sahih ibn Khuzayma’s tahqiq by Dr Mustafa al A’zami (3/174, no. 1851).

The narration from Ibn Abbas as reported in the Mustadrak of al-Hakim was also mentioned by the Hanbali Shaykh: Zaynud-Din Mar’ie ibn Yusuf al-Karmi (d. 1033 AH) in his work known as Aqawil al-Thiqat fi Ta’wil al-Asma wal Sifat wal Ayat al-Muhkamat wal Mutashabihat (p. 174). The editor of this work was the Muhaddith: Shu’ayb al-Arna’ut.

Shaykh al-Karmi did not reject the authenticity of the Mustadrak narration, and indeed Shaykh Shu’ayb in the footnote (no. 4) mentioned that the narration was authenticated by al-Hakim, agreed to be so by al-Dhahabi and that al-Hafiz ibn Hajar declared it Hasan. Shaykh Shu’ayb did not disagree with this; hence his silence is an affirmation of these views from these Huffaz.

Conclusions:

The narration from Ibn Abbas (ra) via the route containing Usama ibn Zayd al-Laythi was declared:

i) To have a Sahih Isnad by al-Hakim
ii) Declared Sahih by al-Dhahabi
iii) Hasan in Isnad to Ibn Hajar al Asqalani
iv) Not criticized by al-Karmi
v) Accepted by al-Arna’ut

Hence, the claims of would be Muhaddithin like Amr Abdal Mun’im, Salim al-Hilali etc and their Muqallids in conveyance: Abu Rumaysah and Ali Rida al-Qadri are rejected and in diametric opposition to the major Huffaz and their grading’s leading to acceptability of this narration.

Scans of the Mustadrak of al-Hakim showing the grading of al-Hakim and al-Dhahabi will be attached below Insha’Allah

Wassalam

Abul Hasan

“Sheikhul Hadith” Albani Unveiled

June 15, 2007

A Concise Guide to the Chief Innovator of Our Time

by Sheikh Dr. G.F. Haddad

Nasir al-Albani is the arch-innovator of the Wahhabis and “Salafis” in our time. A watch repairman by trade, al-Albani is a self-taught claimant to hadith scholarship who has no known teacher in any of the Islamic sciences and has admitted not to have memorized the Book of Allah nor any book of hadith, fiqh, `aqîda, usûl, or grammar. He achieved fame by attacking the great scholars of Ahl al-Sunna and reviling the science of fiqh with especial malice towards the school of his father who was a Hanafi jurist.

A rabid reviler of the Friends of Allah and the Sufis, he was expelled from Syria then Saudi Arabia and lived in Amman, Jordan under house arrest until his death in 1999. He remains the qibla of the people of Innovation, self-styled re-formers of Islam, and other “Salafi” and Wahhabi sympathizers, and the preferred author of book merchants and many uneducated Muslims. Most of the contemporary Sunni scholars warned of his heresy and many of them wrote articles or full-length works against him such as:

– The Indian hadith scholar Habib al-Rahman al-A`zami who wrote al-Albani Shudhudhuh wa Akhta’uh (“Al-Albani’s Aberrations and Errors”) in four volumes.

– The Syrian scholar Muhammad Sa`id Ramadan al-Buti who wrote the two classics al-Lamadhhabiyya Akhtaru Bid`atin Tuhaddidu al-Shari`a al-Islamiyya (“Not Following A School of Jurisprudence is the Most Dangerous Innovation Threatening Islamic Sacred Law”) and al-Salafiyya Marhalatun Zamaniyyatun Mubaraka La Madhhabun Islami (“The `Way of the Early Muslims’ Was A Blessed Historical Epoch, Not An Islamic School of Thought”)

– The Moroccan hadith scholar `Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn al-Siddiq al-Ghumari who wrote Irgham al-Mubtadi` al-Ghabi bi Jawaz al-Tawassul bi al-Nabi fi al-Radd `ala al-Albani al-Wabi (“The Coercion of the Unintelligent Innovator with the Licitness of Using the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – as an Intermediary in Refutation of al-Albani the Baneful”), al-Qawl al-Muqni` fi al-Radd `ala al-Albani al-Mubtadi` (“The Persuasive Discourse in Refutation of al-Albani the Innovator”), and Itqan al-Sun`a fi Tahqiq Ma`na al-Bid`a (“Precise Handiwork in Ascertaining the Meaning of Innovation”).

– The Moroccan hadith scholar `Abd al-`Aziz ibn Muhammad ibn al-Siddiq al-Ghumari who wrote Bayan Nakth al-Nakith al-Mu`tadi (“The Exposition of the Treachery of the Rebel”).

– The Syrian hadith scholar `Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda who wrote Radd `ala Abatil wa Iftira’at Nasir al-Albani wa Sahibihi Sabiqan Zuhayr al-Shawish wa Mu’azirihima (“Refutation of the Falsehoods and Fabrications of Nasir al-Albani and his Former Friend Zuhayr al-Shawish and their Supporters”).

– The Egyptian Hadith scholar Muhammad `Awwama who wrote Adab al-Ikhtilaf (“The Proper Manners of Expressing Difference of Opinion”).

– The Egyptian hadith scholar Mahmud Sa`id Mamduh who wrote Wusul al-Tahani bi Ithbat Sunniyyat al-Subha wa al-Radd `ala al-Albani (“The Alighting of Mutual Benefit and Confirmation that the Dhikr-Beads are a Sunna in Refutation of al-Albani”) and Tanbih al-Muslim ila Ta`addi al-Albani `ala Sahih Muslim (“Warning to the Muslim Concerning al-Albani’s Attack on Sahih Muslim”).

– The Saudi hadith scholar Isma`il ibn Muhammad al-Ansar who wrote Ta`aqqubat `ala “Silsilat al-Ahadith al-Da`ifa wa al-Mawdu`a” li al-Albani (“Critique of al-Albani’s Book on Weak and Forged Hadiths”), Tashih Salat al-Tarawih `Ishrina Rak`atan wa al-Radd `ala al-Albani fi Tad`ifih (“Establishing as Correct the Tarawih Salat in Twenty Rak`as and the Refutation of Its Weakening by al-Albani”), and Ibahat al-Tahalli bi al-Dhahab al-Muhallaq li al-Nisa’ wa al-Radd `ala al-Albani fi Tahrimih (“The Licitness of Wearing Gold Jewelry for Women Contrary to al-Albani’s Prohibition of it”).

– The Syrian scholar Badr al-Din Hasan Diab who wrote Anwar al-Masabih `ala Zulumat al-Albani fi Salat al-Tarawih (“Illuminating the Darkness of al-Albani over the Tarawih Prayer”).

– The Director of Religious Endowments in Dubai, `Isa ibn `Abd Allah ibn Mani` al-Himyari who wrote al-I`lam bi Istihbab Shadd al-Rihal li Ziyarati Qabri Khayr al-Anam – Allah bless and greet him – (“The Notification Concerning the Recommendation of Travelling to Visit the Grave of the Best of Creation – Allah bless and greet him -) and al-Bid`a al-Hasana Aslun Min Usul al-Tashri` (“The Excellent Innovation Is One of the Sources of Islamic Legislation”).

– The Minister of Islamic Affairs and Religious Endowments in the United Arab Emirates Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Khazraji who wrote the article al-Albani: Tatarrufatuh (“Al-Albani’s Extremist Positions”).

– The Syrian scholar Firas Muhammad Walid Ways in his edition of Ibn al-Mulaqqin’s Sunniyyat al-Jumu`a al-Qabliyya (“The Sunna Prayers That Must Precede Salat al-Jumu`a”).

– The Syrian scholar Samer Islambuli who wrote al-Ahad, al-Ijma`, al-Naskh.

– The Jordanian scholar As`ad Salim Tayyim who wrote Bayan Awham al-Albani fi Tahqiqihi li Kitab Fadl al-Salat `ala al-Nabi – Allah bless and greet him -.

– The Jordanian scholar Hasan `Ali al-Saqqaf who wrote the two-volume Tanaqudat al-Albani al-Wadiha fi ma Waqa`a fi Tashih al-Ahadith wa Tad`ifiha min Akhta’ wa Ghaltat (“Albani’s Patent Self-Contradictions in the Mistakes and Blunders He Committed While Declaring Hadiths to be Sound or Weak”), Ihtijaj al-Kha’ib bi `Ibarat man Idda`a al-Ijma` fa Huwa Kadhib (“The Loser’s Recourse to the Phrase: `Whoever Claims Consensus Is a Liar!'”), al-Qawl al-Thabtu fi Siyami Yawm al-Sabt (“The Firm Discourse Concerning Fasting on Saturdays”), al-Lajif al-Dhu`af li al-Mutala`ib bi Ahkam al-I`tikaf (“The Lethal Strike Against Him Who Toys with the Rulings of I`tikaf), Sahih Sifat Salat al-Nabi Sallallahu `alayhi wa Sallam (“The Correct Description of the Prophet’s Prayer – Allah bless and greet him -“), I`lam al-Kha’id bi Tahrim al-Qur’an `ala al-Junub wa al-Ha’id (“The Appraisal of the Meddler in the Interdiction of the Qur’an to those in a State of Major Defilement and Menstruating Women”), Talqih al-Fuhum al-`Aliya (“The Inculcation of Lofty Discernment”), and Sahih Sharh al-`Aqida al-Tahawiyya (“The Correct Explanation of al-Tahawi’s Statement of Islamic Doctrine”).

Among Albani’s innovations in the Religion:

1- In his book Adab al-Zafaf he prohibits women from wearing gold jewelry – rings, bracelets, and chains – despite the Consensus of the Ulema permitting it.

2- He claims that 2.5% zakât is not due on money obtained from commerce, i.e. the main activity whereby money circulates among Muslims.

3- He absolutely prohibits fasting on Saturdays.

4- He prohibits retreat (i`tikaf) in any but the Three Mosques.

5- He claims that it is lawful to eat in Ramadan before Maghrib as defined by the Law, and similarly after the true dawn.

6- He compares Hanafi fiqh to the Gospel.1

7- He calls people to imitate him rather than the Imams of the Salaf such as the founders of the Four Schools, and his followers invalidate the hadiths that contradict his views.

8- He prohibits the make-up performance of prayers missed intentionally.

9- He claims that it is permissible for menstruating women and those in a state of major defilement (junub) to recite, touch, and carry the Qur’an.

10- He claims over and over that among the innovations in religion existent in Madina is the persistence of the Prophet’s – Allah bless and greet him – grave in the mosque.

11- He claims that whoever travels intending to visit the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – or to ask him for his intercession is a misguided innovator.

12- He claims that whoever carries dhikr-beads in his hand to remember Allah Most High is misguided and innovating.

13- He invented a location to Allah Most High above the Throne which he named al-makân al-`adamî – “the non-existent place.”

14- He claims in Tamam al-Minna that masturbation does not annul one’s fast.

15- He published “corrected” editions of the two Sahihs of al-Bukhari and Muslim, which he deceitfully called “Abridgments” (mukhtasar) in violation of the integrity of these motherbooks.

16- He published newly-styled editions of the Four Sunan, al-Bukhari’s al-Adab al-Mufrad, al-Mundhiri’s al-Targhib wa al-Tarhib, and al-Suyuti’s al-Jami` al-Saghir, each of which he split into two works, respectively prefixed Sahih and Da`if in violation of the integrity of these motherbooks.

17- He said: “Many of those who interpret figuratively [the Divine Attributes] are not heretics (zanâdiqa), but they say what heretics say,” and “figurative interpretation is the very same as nullification (al-ta’wîl `ayn al-ta`tîl).”2

18- He suggests that al-Bukhari is a disbeliever for interpreting the Divine Face as dominion or sovereignty (mulk) in the verse “Everything will perish save His countenance” (28:88) in the book of Tafsir in his Sahih: “Except His wajh means except His mulk, and it is also said: Except whatever was for the sake of His countenance.” Albani blurts out: “No true believer would say such a thing” and “We should consider al-Bukhari innocent of that statement.”3

19- In imitation of the Mu`tazila, tawassul (seeking means), istighâtha (asking for help), and tashaffu` (seeking intercession) through the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – or one of the Awliyâ’ he declared prohibited acts in Islam (harâm) tantamount to idolatry (shirk) in his booklet al-Tawassul as did his friends Bin Baz and those who obey them such as al-Qahtani in al-Wala’ wa al-Bara’ and others, in flat rejection of the numerous sound and explicit narrations to that effect, such as al-Bukhari’s narration of the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – from Ibn `Umar – Allah be well-pleased with him -: “Truly the sun shall draw so near on the Day of Resurrection that sweat shall reach to the mid-ear, whereupon they shall ask (istaghâthû) help from Adam – upon him peace -, then from Musa – upon him peace – , then from Muhammad – Allah bless and greet him – who will intercede (fa yashfa`u)… and that day Allah shall raise him to an Exalted Station, so that all those who are standing [including the unbelievers] shall glorify him (yahmaduhu ahlu al-jam`i kulluhum).”

20- He denies that the name of the Angel of death is `Azrâ’îl and claims such a name has no basis other than Israelite reports, although `Iyad reports the Consensus on the Umma on it in al-Shifa’.

21- Like the rest of Wahhabi and “Salafi” innovators he declares Ash`aris, Maturidis, and Sufis to be outside the fold of Ahl al-Sunna and even outside the fold of Islam, although Allah Most High and His Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – praised them! Upon revelation of the verse “Allah shall bring a people whom He loves and who love Him” (5:54), the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – pointed to Abu Musa al-Ash`ari – Allah be well-pleased with him – and said: “They are that man’s People.”4 Al-Qushayri, Ibn `Asakir, al-Bayhaqi, Ibn al-Subki, and others said that the followers of Abu al-Hasan al-Ash`ari – i.e. Ash`aris who were mostly Sufis – are included among Abu Musa’s People for in every place that a people are affiliated to a Prophet, what is meant is the followers of that Prophet.

As for Maturidis, they are referred to in the narration of the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – from Bishr al-Khath`ami or al-Ghanawi with a sound (sahîh) chain according to al-Hakim, al-Dhahabi, al-Suyuti, and al-Haythami: “Truly you shall conquer Constantinople and truly what a wonderful leader will her leader be [Mehmet Fatih Sultan – Allah be well-pleased with him -], and truly what a wonderful army will that army be!” Both the leader and his army were classic Hanafi Maturidis and it is known that Mehmet Fatih loved and respected Sufis, practiced tawassul, and followed a Shaykh. Moreover, enmity against Ash`aris, Maturidis, and Sufis, is nifâq and enmity against the Umma of Islam as most of the Ulema of Islam are thus described.

22- In at least five of his books5 he calls for the demolition of the Green Dome of the Prophet’s Mosque in al-Madina al-Munawwara and for taking the Prophet’s grave outside the Mosque.

23- He states: “I have found no evidence for the Prophet’s – Allah bless and greet him – hearing of the salaam of those who greet him at his grave” and “I do not know from where Ibn Taymiyya took his claim6 that he – Allah bless and greet him – hears the salaam from someone near.” This and the previous item are among his greater enormities and bear the unmistakable signature of innovation and deviation.7<

24- He considers it an innovation to visit relatives, neighbors, or friends on the day of `Eid and prohibits it.8

25- He gave the fatwa that Muslims should exit Palestine en masse and leave it to the Jews as it is part the Abode of War (dâr al-harb).9

26- He advocates in his Salat al-Nabi – Allah bless and greet him -, the formula “Peace and blessings upon the Prophet” instead of “upon you, O Prophet” in the tashahhud in contradiction of the Four Sunni Schools, on the basis of a hadith of Ibn Mas`ud whereby the Companions used the indirect-speech formula after the passing of the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him -. But the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – himself instructed them to pray exactly as he prayed saying: “Peace and blessings upon you, O Prophet” without telling them to change it after his death, nor did the major Companions (whose Sunna we were ordered to imitate together with that of the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him -), such as Abu Bakr and `Umar, teach the Companions and Successors otherwise!

27- He prohibits praying more than 11 rak`as in Tarawih prayers on the grounds that the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – never did and in blatant rejection of his explicit command to follow the Sunna of the well-guided Caliphs after him.

28- He declares that adding more to 11 supererogatory rak`as in the late night prayer (tahajjud) is an innovation rather than an act of obedience on the grounds that the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – “never ever prayed one hundred rak`as in his whole lifetime”10 although the Ulema agree that there is no prescribed limit to something which the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – commanded without specifically quantifying it, and he – Allah bless and greet him – said in three authentic narrations: “Know that the best of your good deeds is prayer,”11 “Prayer is a light,”12 and “The night prayer is in cycles of two [rak`as] and when one of you fears the rising of the dawn, let him pray a single one.”13 It is also established in many authentic narrations collected by Imam `Abd al-Hayy al-Lacknawi in the second part of his Iqamat al-Hujja `ala anna al-Ikthar min al-Ta`abbudi Laysa bi Bid`a that the Companions and Salaf prayed hundreds if not thousands of rak`as in every twenty-four hours!

29- He considers it an innovation to pray four rak`as between the two adhâns of Jumu`a and before Salat, although it is authentically narrated that “the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – prayed four rak`as before Jumu`a and four rak`as after it.”14

30- He declares it prohibited (harâm) and an innovation to lengthen the beard over a fistful’s length although there is no proof for such a claim in the whole Law and none of the Ulema ever said it before him.15

31- He gives free rein to his propensity to insult and vilify the Ulema of the past as well as his contemporaries. As a result it is difficult to wade through his writings without being affected by the nefarious spirit that permeates them. For example, he considers previous editors and commentators of al-Bukhari’s al-Adab al-Mufrad (“Book of Manners”!) “sinful,” “unbearably ignorant,” and even “liars” and “thieves.” Of one he says: “There are so many weak hadiths [in his choice]… that it is an unislamic practice”; of another: “It is ignorance which must not be tolerated”; of another: “Forgery and open lie… His edition is stolen [from a previous one].”16 Such examples actually fill a book compiled by Shaykh Hasan `Ali al-Saqqaf and titled Qamus Shata’im al-Albani wa Alfazihi al-Munkara al-Lati Yatluquha `ala `Ulama’ al-Umma (“Dictionary of al-Albani’s Insults and the Heinous Words He Uses Against the Scholars of the Muslim Community”).

32- He revived Ibn Hazm’s anti-madhhabî claim that differences can never be a mercy in any case but are always a curse on the basis of the verse (If it had been from other than Allah they would have found therein much discrepancy( (4:82).17 Imam al-Nawawi long since refuted this view in his commentary on Sahih Muslim where he said: “If something is a mercy, it is not necessary for its opposite to be the opposite of mercy. No-one makes this binding and no-one even says this, except an ignoramus or one who affects ignorance.” Similarly, al-Munawi said in Fayd al-Qadir: “This is a contrivance that showed up on the part of some of those who have sickness in their heart.”

33- He expresses hatred for those who read Imam al-Busiri’s masterpiece, Qasidat al-Burda, and calls them cretins (mahâbîl),18 i.e. millions of Muslims past and present including the likes of Imams Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani, al-Sakhawi, and al-Suyuti who all included it as required reading in the Islamic curriculum.19

34- He perpetuates lies if they detract from Ash`aris, such as his remark that Imam Sayf al-Din al-Amidi did not pray,20 although Dr. Hasan al-Shafi`i in his massive biography entitled al-Amidi wa Ara’uhu al-Kalamiyya showed that the story that al-Amidi did not pray was a forgery put into circulation during the campaign waged by Imam Ibn al-Salah against him for teaching logic and philosophy in Damascus.

35- He perpetuates the false claim first made by Munir Agha the founder of the Egyptian Salafiyya Press, that Imam Abu Muhammad al-Juwayni – the father of Imam al-Haramayn – “repented” from Ash`ari doctrine and supposedly authored a tract titled Risala fi Ithbat al-Istiwâ’ wa al-Fawqiyya (“Epistle on the Assertion of Establishment and Aboveness”).21 This spurious attribution continues to be promoted without verification – for obvious reasons – by modern-day “Salafis” who adduce it to forward the claim that al-Juwayni embraced anthropomorphist concepts. The Risala in question is not mentioned in any of the bibliographical and biographical sources nor does al-Dhahabi cite it in his encyclopedia of anthropomorphist views entitled al-`Uluw. More conclusively, it is written in modern argumentative style and reflects typically contemporary anthropomorphist obsessions.

36- He derides the fuqahâ’ of the Umma for accepting – in their massive majority – the hadith of Mu`adh ibn Jabal on ijtihâd as authentic then rejects the definition of knowledge (`ilm) in Islam as pertaining to fiqh but claims that it pertains only to hadith,22 although the Ulema of the Salaf explicitly said that a hadith master without fiqh is a misguided innovator! And he defines the `âlim as “meaning, of course, the `Salafi’ `âlim, not the `Khalafi [late Egyptian Shaykh] Ghazali’!”23 Al-Qurtubi said: “One of the knowers of Allah said: A certain group that has not yet come up in our time but shall show up at the end of time, will curse the scholars and insult the jurists.”24

NOTES

1In his commentary on al-Mundhiri’s Mukhtasar Sahih Muslim, 3rd ed. (Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islami, 1977, p. 548). This phrase was removed from later editions.

2Fatawa (p. 522-523) and Mukhtasar al-`Uluw (p. 23f.).

3Fatawa (p. 523).

4Narrated from `Iyad by Ibn Abi Shayba and al-Hakim who said it is sahîh by Muslim’s criterion, and by al-Tabarani with a sound chain as stated by al-Haythami.

5Ahkam al-Jana’iz wa Bida`uha, Talkhis Ahkam al-Jana’iz, Tahdhir al-Sajid, Hijjat al-Nabi, and Manasik al-Hajj wa al-`Umra.

6In Majmu`a al-Fatawa (27:384).

7In his notes on Nu`man al-Alusi’s al-Ayat al-Bayyinat (p. 80) and his Silsila Da`ifa (#203).

8Fatawa (p. 61-63).

9 Fatawa (p. 18).

10 Fatawa (p. 315-316).

11Narrated as part of a longer hadith from Thawban with sound chains by Ibn Majah and Ahmad. Malik cites it in his Muwatta’.

12Part of a longer hadith narrated from Abu Malik al-Ash`ari (Ka`b ibn `Asim) by Muslim, al-Tirmidhi (hasan sahîh), al-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah, Ahmad, and al-Darimi.

13Narrated from Ibn `Umar in the Nine Books.

14With a fair chain from `Ali and Ibn `Abbas as stated by al-`Iraqi in Tarh al-Tathrib (3:42), Ibn Hajar in Talkhis al-Habir (2:74), and al-Tahanawi in I`la’ al-Sunan (7:9).

15 Fatawa (p. 53).

16 Sahih al-Adab al-Mufrad (Introduction, p. 15, 20, 26).

17 Al-Silsila al-Da`ifa (1:76 #57).

18Introduction to al-San`ani’s Raf` al-Astar (p. 24-25).

19Cf. al-Suyuti, Husn al-Muhadara (Cairo 1293 ed. 1:260) and al-Sakhawi, in A.J. Arberry, Sakhawiana: A Study Based on the Chester Beatty Ms. Arab. 773 (London: Emery Walker Ltd., 1951, p. 5-9).

20In his notes to Nu`man al-Alusi’s al-Ayat al-Bayyinat (p. 88).

21 Mukhtasar al-`Uluw (p. 277).

22In his notes on al-Qasimi’s al-Mash `ala al-Jawrabayn (p. 38). On the hadith of Mu`adh see our May 1999 post titled, “[4] Probativeness of the Sunna” and Note 5 in that post.

23 Tahrim Alat al-Tarab (p. 160).

24Al-Qurtubi, Tafsir (7:191).

Wal-‘Aqibatu lil-Muttaqin.

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Radd al-firqat al-Albaniyyah

23 Jumad at-Thani 1420 – October 3, 1999.

As-salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmat-Ullahi wa barakatuH.

Praised be Allah Ta’ala who differentiate between al-Haqq wa-l-batil and between al-hudah and ad-dalalah. He helped Ummatu-l-Islamiyyah by granting us relief after fasad and by removing from the earth tajdid of khawarij by hidayati-r-rushdah, purifying dunya from the presence of the amir al-mudillin and nasir of Shaytan, the leader of ahlu-d-dalalah wa-l-irtidad, the well-known falsified of ahadith and preacher of ‘aqidah al-mufsidah Nasiru-l-Kufr al-Albani al-Kaddhab, and prevented his fitnah and his numberless lies to damage Millat al-Muhammadiyyah anymore.

This is warning bi Haqqi-Llah against ahl of ashaddu sabil and our wasiyyah li-l-Muslimin. This pseudo-scholar was affected in his stone-like heart by a deep hate for Asiaduna al-mukramin of Ahlu-s-Sunnah wa-l-Jama’ah, and his mind was pervaded by the clear determination to extinguish Allah’s Nur, falsifying ‘ilmu-l-hadith and destroying the expertise upon which this science is rooted. He frequently insulted Imam Abu Hanifah (radi Allahu ‘anh) and Imam Shaf’i (radi Allahu ‘anh), and strove to “proof” their madhhayb to be wrong. His misguided followers even dared to “show” that – na’udhu bi-Llah – Imam al-A’zham Abu Hanifah was not a muhaddith, and by doing so they separate by ijma’ of this Ummah al-mansurah even more. He accused many Muslims, including Salaf al-Kiramah, Sahabah and Tabi’un, of being “mushrikun” and issued pseudo-fatawah of takfir against many leading Sunni scholars.

About similar people Allah Ta’ala says:

“These are they who have bartered away guidance for error, but their traffic has brought them no gain, nor are they rightly guided. Their case is like the case of a person who kindled a fire, and when it lighted up all around him, Allah took away their light and left them in thick darkness, they see not. They are deaf, dumb and blind; so they will not return.” (Al-Baqarah 17-19)

Without having ever received a regular ijazah in ‘ilm al-hadith, al-Albani al-Kaddhab claimed himself to be a “muhaddith”, and spread many lies about Rasul-Ullah (sall-Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and his hadith. Many ahadith sharifah that were authenticated as sahih or hasan by authoritative muhaddithun were rejected by him as “false”, on the base of his unlimited fantasy and of the cult he belonged to. He was one of those who perpetuated fitnah al-Wahhabiyyah an-Najdiyyah until today. Rasul-Ullah (sall-Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said about that sect:

“There will emerge from the East some people who will recite the Qur’an but it will not exceed their throats and who will go out of Din as an arrow passes through the game, and they will never come back to it unless the arrow, comes back to the middle of the bow (by itself). The people asked, “What will their signs be?” He said, “Their sign will be their way of shaving.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)

His co-sectarians write today about him: “He was to the sunnah and hadith as Imam Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahab was to Tawheed” This declaration is exact; Mr. al-Albani al-Kaddhab was a falsifier of ‘ilm al-hadith in the same way Muhammad Ibn Abdi-l-Wahhab was a falsifier of ‘ilm at-Tawhid. Ulema’u-l-muhtadun of Ahlu-s-Sunnah wa-l-Jama’ah have refuted both of them, and showed this Ummah how the Wahhabi-pseudo-Salafi cult is rooted in kufr zhahir and incompatible with Islam.

Although – al-hamdu Lillah – dajjals like Ibn Baz and al-Albani are not in this world anymore, other awliya of Shaytan, like their followers and disciples, and active in refuting al-Haqq and preaching al-batil. They are in the service of dalalah, and do not even realize, since Allah Ta’ala took His light away from them, and they are in darkness and do not perceive. The serious risk – na’udhu bi-Llah – is that many Brothers of ours can loose their Iman by following their deviated claims and commit takfir against ahlu-l-qiblah by way of exaggeration. The fard kifayah to refute firqah Najdiyyah in fiqh, ‘aqidah and kalam is today applicable as it was before, and May Allah bless those Ulema who cooperate in raising the flag of Tawhid and refute ahlu-l-bid’ah wa-d-dalalah.

Praise be to Allah and Allah knows best.

W-Allahu ‘ala ma dha naqulu Wakila.
Wa-s-salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmat-Ullahi wa barakatuH

The Majlis of Ulema of the Italian Muslim Association

Shaykh Abu Ibrahim Ali al-Husseini as-Siddiqi, President
Shaykh Abu Omar Abdul Hadi as-Shaf’i, Secretary

Dr. Bilal Philips unveiled

June 15, 2007

In the name of Allah, the Merciful to the Muslims in the World and the HereAfter, and Merciful to the unbelievers only in this World.

BILAL PHILIP’S ACCUSES AHL AL-SUNNA SCHOLAR OF SHIRK AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN FUNDRAISING EVENT

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In the recent fundraising event at Madison Square Garden, Bilal Philips, a follower of wahhabi (=also called “salafi”) ideologies accused a reputable orthodox Sunni (Shafi’i) Shaykh, Nuh Ha Mim Keller, of shirk. The exact words of Bilal Philips, who spoke over a telephone to the large audience, were:

“We also have a distorted view coming from certain religious innovations, most of which could be attributed back to the principles of mysticism, Sufism which has appeared in the Muslim ummah, which though they attribute it back to Prophet (sall-Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), though the form which we cited [?] in half the countries have nothing to do with the Prophet’s (sall-Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) teachings at all….”

Bial Philips continues to say:

“And perhaps the greatest evil which came out of it is the principle of calling upon others beside Allah, where human beings are set up as intermediaries between man and God. And so we find people today, under the guise of Sufism etc., calling for such things. PEOPLE LIKE NUH HA MIM KELLER, IN HIS BOOK “THE RELIANCE OF THE TRAVELLER”, HE SPENDS A GREAT DEAL OF EFFORT AND TIME IN THE APPENDIX OF THE BOOK JUSTIFYING PRAYING TO PROPHET MUHAMMAD (Caps mine)…”

As you clearly see, Bial Philips accused a Muslim scholar of justifying praying to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and when I checked the book, “The Reliance of the Traveller” thoroughly, there was absolutely no indication that Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller was supporting shirk. Rather, Nuh Ha Mim Keller’s book had a whole section on “TAWASSUL,” which is to ASK ALLAH FOR SOMETHING USING AN INTERMEDIARY. Using someone as an intermediary is not the same as actually “worshipping” the intermediary. This is a slander by Abu Aminah Bilal Philips against Ahl al-Sunna wa’al Jama’a who have supported “Tawassul” for over a thousand years. Tawassul was done by the Prophet (pbuh) himself, and was practiced by great Companions (like Bilal ibn al-Harith; may Allah bless him), and others of the pious salaf us-salih (Imam Shafi’i did tawassul by means of Imam Abu Hanifah).

So in actuality, Bilal Philips is slandering not just Nuh Keller, but the Prophet (pbuh), the Companions, and the others of the salaf us-salih, and the ulema of the khalaf who followed their footsteps.

It is not new that Bilal Philips has called “tawassul,” which is a permissible Islamic practice, to be unIslamic. He says the same in his books.

BILAL PHILIPS’ STATEMENT IN HIS BOOK THAT TAWASSUL IS “UNISLAMIC”, AND HIS REVEALING HIMSELF AS A WAHHABI

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Bilal Philips, in his “Evolution of Fiqh,” page 130, says:

“Furthermore, in opposing tawassul…the twentieth century descendants and followers of Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab WERE ATTACKING UNISLAMIC PRACTICES (caps mine).”

The above statement from Bilal Philips tells the readers two things about him. First, he acknowledges to be a supporter of wahhabees and hence becomes an innovator himself. By showing respect to Muhammad ibn ‘Abdl-Wahhab, the biggest innovator of the modern era, he contributes to the efforts of those who wish to destroy Islam. Ibrahim ibn Maisara reported Allah’s Messenger (Salla-Allahu-‘alayhi-wasallam) as saying: “He who showed respect to an innovator he in fact aided in the demolishing of Islam (narrated by Baihaqi).”

Second, Bilal Philips claims that tawassul is an “unIslamic practice” (which is why he accused Nuh Ha Mim Keller of shirk in the Madison Square Garden fundraising dinner). The false claims of Bilal Philips opposes the perspectives of Ahl al-Sunna wa’al Jama’ah (=scholars and followers of the Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki, and Hanbali madhahib, of which 99% of Muslims have been part of). Tawassul is in fact permissible and even recommended by the Sunni ulema and plenty of evidence in the Qur’an and Sunna exists for it. Tawassul (or asking Allah for something by means of an intermediary after the latter’s death — one of the ways of the legal ways of tawassul) is only rejected by the wahhabis today.

WAHHABIS DEVIANCE AND THEIR REFUTATIONS; AL-ALBANI, TAMIMI, AND IBN BAAZ SHARE BILAL PHILIPS’ DEVIANCE AND SPEAK AGAINST TAWASSUL

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To read a refutation of the wahhabee movement, one can read plenty of books by Ahl al-Sunna scholars. “Al-Fitnatul-Wahhabiyya,” by the Mufti of Mecca, Ahmad ibn Zayni Dahlan ash-Shafi’i and “The Beacon of Humanity and the Clarification of Ignorance,” by the great Shaykh Ibn Alawi Al-Haddad.

There are hundreds of other books written by other ulema although the aforementioned refutations are sufficient to expose wahhabee deviance. For your reference, here are a few more sources of refutation against the wahhabees: Shaykh Muhammad Sa`id Ramadan Al-Buti’s “Al-salafiyyatu marhalatun zamaniyyatun mubarakatun la madhhabun islami” [“The Salafiyya is a blessed historical period not an Islamic school of law”], Al-muhaddith Muhammad al-Hasan ibn `Alawi Al-Maliki al-Husayni’s “Mafahimu yajibu an tusahhah” [“Notions that should be corrected”], and al-Sayyid Mustafa ibn Ahmad ibn Hasan Al-Shatti al-Athari al-Hanbali’s “al-Nuqul al-shar’iyyah fi al-radd ‘ala al-Wahhabiyya” [“The Legal Proofs in Answering the Wahhabis”]. One will have ample evidence from these sources to prove that Bilal Philips’ defense of wahhabees is tantamount to defending ignorance and reprehensible innovations.

Claims that seeking an intermediary between Allah and man is unIslamic are also made by other wahhabee “scholars.” For example: Muhammad bin Suleiman At-Tamimi, in his article, “What Negates One’s Islam,” states:

“WHOEVER SETS UP AN INERMEDIARY BETWEEN HIMSELF AND ALLAH, whom he prays to, SEEKS INTERCESSION FROM and puts his reliance in, has BLASPHEMED according to the consensus of the scholars.”

Al-Tamimi is lying in behalf of the majority of scholars because you will read below that the majority of scholars have considered setting up an intermediary between oneself and Allah and seeking intercession a permissible and meritorious act (provided that one believes that Allah is granting the wish and not the intermediary, which is clearly stated in Nuh Keller’s “Reliance of the Traveller.”

Furthermore, a similar statement is made by the so-called Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdl-Aziz ibnn Abdullah Ibn Baaz. Ibn Baaz, in his article “Ten Things Which Nullify One’s Islam,” says:

“SETTING UP INTERMEDIARIES BETWEEN ONESELF AND ALLAAH, making supplication to them, ASKING THEIR INTERCESSION WITH ALLAH, and placing ones trust in them IS UNBELIEF (KUFR).”

What Bilal Philips, Ibn Baaz, and al-Tamimi call kufr, i.e. setting up intermediaries when asking Allah, is in fact a practice of the noble Sahaba and their pious followers. This will be explained in more detail below.

THE DEFINITION OF TAWASSUL

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According to the “Reliance of the Traveller” (the book which Bilal Philips accuses of shirk), the defintion of Tawassul is: Supplicating Allahu Ta’ala by means of an intermediary, whether it be a living person, dead person, a good deed, or a name or attribute of Allahu Ta’ala. Tawassul is a “means” Muslims seek, using an intermediary, when asking Allahu Ta’ala for something.”

One of the many verses in the noble Qur’an which permit Tawassul is:

“Allah the Blessed and the Exalted said: “O ye who believe, fear Allah and seek ye the means to Him” (Sura al-ma’ida, verse34, juz’ 4)

AHL AL-SUNNA SHAYKH YUSUF RIFA’I APPROVES OF TAWASSUL AND PRESENTS THE EVIDENCE

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Shaykh ul-Islam Yusuf ibn al-Sayyid Hashim al-Rifa’i, a Shafi’i scholar, former minister of state, educator, Sufi, and author explains the issue of tawassul very clearly in his “Adilla Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama’ah.” The following is a translation of part of this book by Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller, who added this as a section in his translation of “Al-‘Umdat al-salik” (The Reliance of the Traveller) by Shaykh Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, a student of the famous Shafi’i mujtahid Taqi al-Din al-Subki.

Shaykh Yusuf al-Rifa’i says:

“I here want to convey the position, attested to by compelling legal evidence, of the orthodox majority of Sunni Muslims on the subject of supplicating Allah through an intermediary (tawassul), and so I say (and Allah alone gives success) that since there is no disagreement among scholars that supplicating Allah through an intermediary is in principle legally valid, the discussion of its details merely concerns derived rulings that involve interschool differences, unrelated to questions of belief or unbelief, monotheism or associating partners with Allah (shirk);”

“the sphere of the question being limited to permissibility or impermissibility, and its ruling being that it is either lawful or unlawful. There is no difference among groups of Muslims in their consensus on the permissibility of three types of supplicating Allah through an intermediary (tawassul):

(1) TAWASSUL through a living righteous person to Allah Most High, as in the hadith of the blind man with the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) as we shall explain;

(2) The TAWASSUL of a living person to Allah Most High through his own good deeds, as in the hadith of the three people trapped in a cave by a great stone, a hadith related by Imam Bukhari in his “Sahih;”

(3) And the TAWASSUL of a person to Allah Most High through His entity (dhat), names, attributes, and so forth.

Since the legality of these types is agreed upon, there is no reason to set forth the evidence for them. The only area of disagreement is supplicating Allah (tawassul) through a righteous dead person. The majority of the orthodox Sunni Community hold that it is lawful, and have supporting hadith evidence…”

Shaykh Yusuf al-Rifa’i goes on to present the dalail (proof) of the hadeeth of the blind man, who asked the Prophet (Salla-Allahu-‘alayhi-wasallam) to ask Allah to restore his eyesight afterwhich the Prophet (‘alayhi salatu wassalam) taught him a du’a and instructed him to say it after completing ablution (wudu) and two rak’as of prayer:

“Oh Allah, I ask You and turn to You through my Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of mercy; O Muhammad (Ya Muhammad), I seek your intercession with my Lord for the return of my eyesight [and in another version: “for my need, that it may be fulfilled. O Allah, grant him intercession for me”].”

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) added, “And if there is some need, do the same.” (Related by Tirmidhi and 15 other ahadeeth masters and classified as rigorously authentic (sahih))

Shaykh Yusuf al-Rifa’i continues: “Scholars of Sacred Law infer from this hadith the recommended character of the “prayer of need,” in which someone in need of something from Allah Most High performs such a prayer and then turns to Allah with this supplication together with other suitable supplications, traditional or otherwise, according to the need and how the person feels.”

“The express content of the hadith proves the legal validity of “tawassul” through a living person (as the Prophet – peace be upon him – was alive at that time). It implicitly proves the validity of tawassul through a deceased one as well, since tawassul through a living or dead person is not through a physical body or through a life or death, but rather through the positive meaning (ma’na tayyib) attached to the person in both life and death. The body is but the vehicle that carries that significance, which requires that the person be respected whether dead or alive; for the words “O Muhammad” are an address to someone physically absent – in which state the living and dead are alike – an address to the meaning, dear to Allah, that is connected with his spirit, a meaning that is the ground of “tawassul,” be it through a living or dead person.”

So now it is known that Bilal Philips has not only accused Bilal Philips of shirk, but also Shaykh Yusuf Rif’ai (and the plenty of shuyukh who revised and approved of Shaykh Nuh Keller’s translation of “The Reliance of the Traveller”).

It must be noted that plenty of other ahadeeth exist to prove the validity of Tawassul through an alive or dead person. Shaykh Muhammad al-Hamid, a Hanafi scholar says (as quoted in “The Reliance of the Traveller”): “Those who call on them [the intermediaries] cannot be blamed. As for someone who believes that those called upon can cause effects, benefit, or harm, which they create or cause to exist as Allah does, such a person is an idolator who has left Islam — Allah be our refuge!”

By the Shaykh’s words, it is understood that Allah fulfills the du’as whether Allahu Ta’ala is asked directly or asked using an intermediary — dead or alive. The wahhabees claim that it is only permissible to do tawassul while the intermediary is present and alive, but not when the intermediary is in his grave. Ibn Taymiya said that doing tawassul using an intermediary who is living in the life of barzakh is haraam (which is against the understanding of the Muslim majority), while Muhammad ibn Abdl-Wahhab said that it is “Shirk ul-Akbar” — the “major shirk” which makes one a “mushrik” or polytheist. Bilal Philips, Tamimi, Ibn Baaz, and other wahhabees like Nasirudin Al-Albani, are simply following what Muhammad ibn Abdl-Wahhab said about tawassul, and they are ignoring what the other thousands of ulema said regarding its permissibility.

The wahhabees oppose the consensus of the Ahl al-Sunna majority, and Muhammad ibn Abdl-Wahhab accuses the majority of the Sunni ulema to be mushrikeen. That’s why Bilal Philips accused Nuh Keller of shirk. This is one of many examples of how the Wahhabees revive the creed of the Kharijites who lived at the time of the noble Sahaba.

The Kharijites believed they were the only Muslims while everyone else, including Ali and Mu’awiya (Allah bless them), were Kuffar. The Wahhabees believe that for more than a thousand years Muslims were attributing partners to Allah and were kuffar because they did tawassul.

By such satanic thinking, Ibn ‘Abdl-Wahhab made the blood of countless Muslims halal, and commanded his followers to butcher them in the name of Islam.

Imam Muhammad Amin Ibn Abidin, a Hanafi scholar who passed away in 1836 CE, said in his “Hashiyya radd al-Mukhtar,” volume 3, page 309:

“In our time Ibn Abdl-Wahhab (Najdi) appeared, and attacked the two noble sanctuaries (Makkah and Madinah). He claimed to be a Hanbali, but his thinking was such that only he alone was a Muslim, and everyone else was a polytheist! Under this guise, he said that killing the Ahl al-Sunna was permissible…”

Another hadeeth to prove the legitimacy of tawassul, even after the intermediary is dead is the hadeeth of the man in need. Shaykh Yusuf al-Rifa’i states:

“Moreover, Tabarani, in his “al-Mu’jam al saghir,” reports a hadith from ‘Uthman ibn Hunayf that a man repeatedly visited Uthman ibn Affan (Allah be pleased with him) concerning something he needed, but Uthman paid no attention to him or his need. The man met Ibn Hunayf and complained to him about the matter – this being after the death (wisal) of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and after the caliphates of Abu Bakr and Umar – so Uthman ibn Hunayf, who was one of the Companions who collected hadiths and was learned in the religion of Allah, said: “Go to the place of ablution and perform ablution (wudu), then come to the mosque, perform two rak’as of prayer therein, and say:

‘O Allah, I ask You and turn to You through our Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of mercy; O Muhammad (Ya Muhammad), I turn through you to my Lord, that He may fulfill my need,’ and mention your need. Then come so that I can go with you [to the caliph Uthman].”

So the man left and did as he had been told, then went to the door of Uthman ibn Affan (Allah be pleased with him), and the doorman came, took him by the hand, brought him to Uthman ibn Affan, and seated him next to him on a cushion. ‘Uthman asked, “What do you need?” and the man mentioned what he wanted, and Uthman accomplished it for him, then he said, “I hadn’t remembered your need until just now,” adding, “Whenever you need something, just mention it.” Then, the man departed, met Uthman ibn Hunayf, and said to him, “May Allah reward you! He didn’t see to my need or pay any attention to me until you spoke with him.” Uthman ibn Hunayf replied:

“By Allah, I didn’t speak to him, but I have seen a blind man come to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) and complain to him of the loss of his eyesight. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace said, “Can you not bear it?’ and the man replied, ‘O Messenger of Allah, I do not have anyone to lead me around, and it is a great hardship for me.’ The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) told him, ‘Go to the place of ablution and perform ablution (wudu), then pray two rak’as of prayer and make the supplications.'” Ibn Hunayf went on, “By Allah, we didn’t part company or speak long before the man returned to us as if nothing had ever been wrong with him.”

This is an explicit, unequivocal text from a prophetic Companion proving the legal validity of tawassul through the dead. The account has been classified as rigously authenticated (SAHIH) by the famous Huffaz Baihaqi, Mundhiri, and Haythami.

It is sufficient to accept the hadeeth of the blind man and the hadeeth of the man in need to justify that tawassul by the dead or alive is permissible. This is agreed upon by the majority of the Sunni ulema.

It must be noted that Muhammad Nasirudin Al-Albani, a wahhabi and so-called muhaddith, wrote a book titled “Tawassul” trying to disprove this practice after the intermediary is in his grave. His interpretations are of no significance since he opposes the interpretations of the majority of huffaz of Ahl al Sunna wa’al Jama’ah.

The hadeeth of Ibn Mas’ud, related by Imam Ahmad in his “Musnad,” states: “Whatever the majority of Muslims see as right, then that is good to Allah, and whatever the majority of Muslims see as wrong, it is wrong to Allah.” By this dalil, Al-Albani becomes among the stray and lost sheep because his opinions oppose that of the scholarly Sunni majority.

Al-Albani’s and Bilal Philips’ opinions only represent the wahhabee minority. It is also a fact that Al-Albani is “self-taught” and that he never had a Shaykh to teach him the knowledge of hadeeth. He does not possess a continuous chain of knowledge that goes back to the Prophet (Salla Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam) as the other true Sunni huffaz, like Imams Nawawi, Baihaqi, Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn Majah, Tirmidhi, Nisa’i, and Ibn Hajar do. Hence, Al-Albani’s interpretations and understanding that “tawassul done by an intermediary who is in his grave is Islamically unlawful” is false and meaningless.

BILAL PHILIPS IN ACTUALITY ACCUSES A COMPANION OF SHIRK

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In “The Fundamentals of Tawheed,” Bilal Philips says:

“If someone prays to the Prophet (saws), to so-called saints, Jinns or angels asking for help or asking them to request help from Allaah for them, they have also committed Shirk.”

This statement has both truth and falsehood in it. The truth is that whoever prays to other than Allah is undoubtedly a polytheist.

Therefore, praying to the Prophet, saints, jinns, and angels is indeed shirk because such people are mushrikeen who attribute partners to Allahu Ta’ala in worship. Only Allah is to be worshipped. Only Allah Azza Wajal creates the fulfillment of a supplication, as those who do tawassul by the alive or dead are very well aware of.

However, the last part of Bilal Philips’ statement, “OR ASKING THEM TO REQUEST HELP FROM ALLAAH FOR THEM, THEY HAVE ALSO COMMITTED SHIRK” is an ugly accusation against the Sahaba that they committed shirk! May Allah protect us from falling into the abyss of ignorance as Bilal Philips has.

It is well known that a companion of the Prophet (Salla Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam), Bilal ibn al-Harith, went to the grave of the Prophet (Salla Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam) when there was a drought, and said:

“O Messenger of Allah, ask Allah to give rain to your Ummah; they are close to perish…”

It is correct to call what he did tawassul and istighathah (seeking or asking for help), because he went to the grave of the Messenger (Salla Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam) asking him to save them from the calamity that hit them by him asking Allahu Ta’ala to give them rain. The Huffaz Al-Baihaqi, and Ibn Kathir (in his “Tarikh”) said that this hadeeth is SAHIH. In the issue of tawassul, Ibn Kathir adhered to the majority of Sunni ulema and agreed to the permissibility of tawassul. It is now obvious that Bilal Philips and other wahhabees are also then accusing Hafiz Ibn Kathir of shirk. May Allah protect us from wahhabi deviance.

Al-Albani said that the above hadeeth is unreliable, but his words are meaningless because the real and qualified huffaz of Ahl al-Sunna have classified it has SAHIH. Furthermore, Hafiz Ibn Abi Shayba ranks the hadeeth as SAHIH in his “MuSannaf,” and Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani in his “Fath al-Barri” said its chain of transmission is sound (isnaaduhu Sahih).

One can clearly see that Bilal Philips has actually accused Bilal ibn al-Harith (may Allah bless him), a companion of the Prophet (Salla Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam), of being a mushrik. We seek refuge with Allah from such innovators and we should shun them as much as possible. These are the people who stab the heart of the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad (Salla Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam). They stab the heart of the Ummah repeatedly because they do not refrain from such false accusations even after they are given the dalail (proof) by the pious sunni ulema (like Ibn Kathir) of Ahl al-Sunna wa’al Jama’ah.

HAFIZ IBN HAJAR AL-`ASQALANI AND HIS SHAKYH ZAYN UD-DIN AL-`IRAQI DO TAWASSUL; UNVEILING THE DECEPTION OF NASIRUDEEN AL-ALBANI

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Ahl al-Sunna scholars have been doing tawassul after the death of the Prophet (Salla Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam). For example, Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani performed tawassul by the Prophet (Salla Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam) in his poems known as “an-Nayyirat-us-Sab,” as did his shaykh Zayn-ud-Din al-‘Iraqi at the end of his poem in “Tafsiru Mufradat-il-Qur’an.” According to Bilal Philips’ statements, these scholars would be “unIslamic.” There has never been a scholar who has called Hafiz Ibn Hajar or Hafiz al-‘Iraqi “unIslamic.” Bilal Philips should correct his false accusations and make tawba to Allah.

As for Al-Albani, he quotes Hafiz Ibn Hajar as a reliable source of information in his book, “Tawassul.” For instance, on page 5 of this book, Al-Albani says: “Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr, rahimahullaah…” However, Al-Albani’s deception and hypocrisy is now evident because we know that Hafiz Ibn Hajar did tawassul after the death of the Prophet (Salla Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam) in his poem, “an-Nayyirat-us-Sab!” This is an explicit example of how wahhabees choose statements from a scholar which suit their views, but fail to acknowledge the statements made by the same scholar against them! Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani would definitely refute and testify against Al-Albani for this deception and mockery against Muslims.

What does Al-Albani have to say about this? Does he want Muslims to accept his claims “blindly?”

Moreover, Al-Albani, in his “Tawassul,” page 16 says:

“…such a call for aid (ISTIGHAATHA) IS NOTHING BUT MAJOR SHIRK.”

By saying that istighaatha is major shirk, he now joins Bilal Philips in accusing the Companion Bilal ibn al-Harith (and Hafiz Ibn Kathir, Shaykh Yusuf Rif’ai, and Shaykh Nuh Keller) of “Shirk ul-Akbar” because it has been proven by sahih dalil that he did istighaatha. In addition, to Al-Albani’s surprise (?), Hafiz Ibn Hajar states the following hadeeth as HASSAN in his “al-‘Amali:”

“Ibn Abbas related that the Prophet (Salla Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam), said:’….IF ANY OF YOU FELL IN A CALAMITY IN A DESERT LET HIM CALL: OH SLAVES OF ALLAH, HELP.”

This is without a doubt “istighaatha” (seeking help) so it is now evident that Al-Albani is also accusing the Prophet (Salla Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam) of committing “major shirk” since the Prophet (Salla Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam) taught “istighaatha” to the to the Sahaba. Ibn Hajar is in compliance with the Prophet’s (Salla Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam) words because he accepts “istighaatha” to be valid.

Al-Albani, Bilal Philips, and their deceptive followers can only wish that Ibn Hajar supported their innovative perspectives. Ahl al-Sunna will never be a partner to innovators like Al-Albani. May Allah protect us from the ignorance of Al-Albani and his blind followers. Ameen.

BILAL PHILIPS WRONGLY QUOTES AYAT IN QUR’AN WHICH REFER TO THE MUSHRIKEEN TO REFER TO THE MUSLIMS (AS THE KHAWARIJ DID).

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Bilal Philips, in his “Fundamentals of Tawheed,” says:

“According to the Qur’aan, when the Makkans were questioned about directing their prayers to their idols, they answered, “We only worship them so that they may bring us closer to Allaah.”

“The idols were only used as intermediaries yet Allaah called them pagans for their practice. Those among Muslims who insist on praying to other than Allaah would do well to reflect on this fact (end quote).”

This is an explicit example of how the Wahhabees revive a practice of the Kharijites who lived at the time of the noble Sahaba. Imam Bukhari has recorded Ibn ‘Umar as saying in his Sahih [vol.9,page 50; English edition]:

“These people (the Khawarij and heretics) took some verses that had been revealed concerning the disbelievers and interpreted them as describing the believers.”

The Ahl al-Sunna wa’al Jama’ah have warned Muslims from this Kharijite practice which the Wahhabees uphold today in the name of “Tawheed.” By their lack of adherence and knowledge to the path of Ahl al-Sunna, they misinterpret verses from the noble Qur’an and make idol-worshippers equal in belief to the pious Muslims who are of the Ahl al-Sunna, and commit “takfeer.” The above verse, stated by Bilal Philips in an attempt to invalidate the permissibility of Tawassul, is in fact refering to the idol-worshippers — not Muslims.

The Iraqi scholar, Jamil Effendi al-Zahawi, says in his “al-Fajr al-sadiq fi al-radd `ala munkiri al-tawassul wa al-khawariq” [The True Dawn: A Refutation of Those Who Deny The Validity of Using Means to God and the Miracles of Saints”]:

“The Wahhabis say: the defense of those who practice tawassul is the same apology the idolaters of the Arabs offered as the Qur’an says describing the way the idolaters defended their worship of idols: “We only worship them in order that they may bring us nearer” (39:3).” “Hence, the idolaters do not believe that the idols create anything. Rather, they believe that the Creator is God, the Exalted, by evidence of the following verse:

“If thou ask them, Who created them, they will certainly say, God” (43:87) and: “If indeed thou ask them who is that created the heavens and the earth, they would be sure to say, God” (39:38). God has only judged against them for their disbelief because they say “We only worship them in order that they may bring us nearer.”

“The Wahhabis say: Thus, do people who implore God by prophets and the pious use the phrase of the idolaters: “In order to bring us nearer” in the same sense.”

Shaykh Jamil al-Zahawi, in the section of his book “Refutation of That False Comparison,” continues to say:

“The answer [to the false claims of the wahhabees] contains several points:

(1) The idolaters of the Arabs make idols gods; while the Muslims only believe in one God. In their view, prophets are prophets: awliya are awliya only. They do not adopt them as gods like the idolaters.

(2) The idolaters believe these gods deserve worship contrary to what Muslims believe. Muslims do not believe that anyone by whom they implore God deserves the least amount of worship. The only one entitled to worship in their view is God alone, May He be Exalted.

(3) The idolaters actually worship these gods as God relates: “We only worship them…” Muslims do not worship prophets and pious persons by the act of imploring God by means of them.

(4) The idolaters intend by their worship of their idols to draw near God just as He relates concerning them. As for the Muslims, they do not intend by imploring God by means of prophets and saints to draw close to God, which is only by worship. For that reason, God said in relating about the idolaters: “… in order that they bring us nearer.” However, Muslims only intend blessings (tabarruk) and intercession (shafa`a) by them. Being blessed by a thing is obviously different from drawing near to God by it.

(5) Since the idolaters believe that God is a body in the sky, they mean by “to bring us near” a literal bringing near. What indicates this is its being stressed by their use of the word zulfa — nearness to power — inasmuch as emphasizing something by its own same meaning indicates for the most part that what is intended by it is the literal meaning and not the metaphorical. For when we say: “He slew him murderously” (qatalahu qatlan) a literal killing rushes to the understanding, not that of “a hard blow” in counterdistinction to what we mean when we just say: “He slew him”; for that might mean only a hard blow. The Muslims do not believe that God is a body in the sky remote enough from them to see a literal proximity to Him by imploring God through a prophet. The ruling of Shari`a contained in the verse does not apply to them, whereas since the Wahhabis believe that God is a body who sits on his throne, they do not discover a meaning of blessing which the Muslims intend by their imploring God by prophets and awliya, but only that of drawing near which belongs to bodies. For that reason, these verses are applicable to them, not to Ahl al-Sunna.” (end of quote)

ANOTHER HADEETH WHICH PROVES THE LEGITIMACY OF TAWASSUL

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“Whoever says when he goes out to the masjid (mosque): Oh Allah, I ask You by the right of the askers upon You and by the right of this walking of mine, because I did not go out dicontentedly, or to be praised or for fame; I went out to avoid Your anger and seeking Your acceptance. I ask You to save me from Hellfire, and to forgive my sins; no one forgives the sins except You. Allah accepts his du’a and 70,000 angels ask Allah to forgive him.”

The hadeeth is related by Ibn Majah. Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani and Hafiz Abul-Hassan al-Maqdissi said: it is HASSAN. (We do not listen to Al-Albani’s tad’if (ruling that a hadeeth is da’if) of the hadeeth after these Hafizan said it is authentic).

MUJTAHID MUTLAQ AHMAD IBN HANBAL APPROVES OF TAWASSUL

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Last but not least, one of the greatest scholars in the history of Islam, the mujtahid mutlaq Ahmad ibn Hanbal, approved the practice of tawassul by the Prophet (Salla-Allahu-‘alayhi-wasallam) — during his lifetime and after his death. This was narrated by one of the greatest students of Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Abu Bakr al-Marwazi. This scholar, in copying the saying of Imam Ahmad, said that it is liked during drought to ask Allah for rain by the Prophet (Salla-Allahu-‘alayhi-wasallam).

Imam Ahmad told about one of the great followers of the Companions, Safwan Ibn Sulaym, who was a pious, humble, and very knowledgeable Muslim, that just by mentioning his name, a person would hope the rain would come down as a sign of Allah’s Mercy to the people. The meaning is if the people mention the name of Safwan Ibn Sulaym in their session, it is because of his great status, and as a blessing from Allah, the rain would start falling. This was narrated by al-Hafiz al-Mizzi, al-Hafiz al-‘Ala’i, and Zabidi.

Imam Ahmad was also asked about touching and kissing the minbar of the Prophet (Salla-Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam) for the blessing and about seeking the blessing by visiting the grave of the Prophet (Salla-Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam). He responded by saying: “This matter is not prohibited,” as was narrated by ‘Abdullah, the son of Imam Ahmad, in his book titled “Al-‘Ilal wa Ma’rifat ur-Rijal.

This is far from what the wahhabees believe, who say that it is shirk al-akbar to do tawassul by the Prophet (Salla-Allahu-‘alayhi-wasallam) or the awliya after their death. Muhammad ibn ‘Abdl-Wahhab, and his ignorant followers (Bilal Philips, Albani, Ibn Baaz, etc) are in a completely different direction from the methodology of Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, the pious member of the praised Salaf who narrated more ahadeeth than any other Muslim.

Do Ibn ‘Abdl-Wahhab, Al-Albani, Bilal Philips, and Ibn Baaz claim to be more knowledgeable than Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal? None of these innovators have lived in the time period of the praised Salaf us-Salih as Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and his students have. We cling to the practices of the Salaf — not the so-called “salafi” or wahhabee innovators.

CONCLUSION

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By the aforestated evidence from Qur’an, Sunna, and sayings of the noble ulema, it is clear that tawassul is valid, whether the intermediary is in his grave living the life of barzakh, or living the life of the world.

Bilal Philips, Al-Albani, Tamimi, Ibn Baaz — and others who followed Muhammad ibn Abdl-Wahhab’s deviant methodology — oppose the practices of the majority of Sunni Muslims who belong to either the Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki, or Hanbali madhahib. It is also clear that the wahhabis, although they claim to follow the madhab of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, are in complete contradiction to it. Also, plenty of ulema like Imam Yusuf Rifa’i, Nuh Keller, Ibn Kathir, and plenty of others like Taqi al-Din Subki, Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, Nuh Sulayman Ali, Imam Nawawi, Imam Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, and countless other ulema agree to the permissibility of tawassul. The wahhabees are contradicting the statements and interpretations of these noble Sunni ulema. Last but not least, after quoting extensively from Nuh Ha Mim Keller’s “Reliance of the Traveller,” there is absolutely no indication that Nuh Keller is supporting “worshipping Prophet Muhammad” as Bilal Philips falsely alleges.

May Allah protect us from the wahhabi deviance and keep us in the fold of the Muslim majority who follow the footsteps of the pious Salaf us-salih.

Ameen.

P.S.

Bilal Philips criticized sufism, and called them innovators. However, it is well known that famous ulema have either been sufis or supported sufis.

Some prominent ulema are: Imam Nawawi, Imam Abdl-Qadir Jeelani, Imam Abu Hamid Ghazzali, Imam Izz ibn Abdl Salaam, Ibn Daqiq al-Eid, Badr Din ibn Jama’a, Abdl Ghani Nubulsi, Imam Qurtubi, Imam Ibn Hajar Haythami, Imam Jalal ud-Din Suyooti, Taqi al-Din Subki, Taj al-Din Subki, Ahmad Rifa’i, etc. Can any sane Muslim call any one of these intellectual giants “innovators?”

May Allahu Ta’ala protect us from the Ahl al-bid’a wal Ahwa and their heresy. Ameen.

Italian Muslim Majlis