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talib abdALLAH
17/09/2018, 20h09
اَلحَمدُلِلهِ رَبِ العَلَمِينَ ؕ وَالصَّلَوةُ وَ السَّلَامُ عَلَى سَيِـّـدِ المُرسَلِين
اَمَّا بَعدُ فَاَعُوذُ بِاللهِ مِنَ الشَّيطَنِ الرَّجِيمِ
بِسمِ اللهِ الرَّحمَنِ الرَّحِيم


السلام عليكم ورحمة الله تعالى وبركاته

Asalamu 3alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh







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Meeraath

- The Legacy of al-Basrah -


- Authority in Islam -




- Shaykh al-Hajj Abu Ja`far al-Hanbali -






*





About





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I would like to take this opportunity to welcome every visitor to the Meeraath website, which is the natural successor to the htspub.com website that had been started some 10 years ago. The point of the current website is to take htspub.com to the next level and hopefully benefit the people that have supported us and asked Allah to bless us in their prayers and even given monetary support.


The original website – htspub.com – was opened to draw the attention of the people towards the texts that followed shortly after and to generate interest in what the scholars could offer. Indeed by scholars we mean the scholars of Muslim Orthodoxy (Ar. Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah), the Collective (Ar. Al-Jama`ah) that embraces the Vast Majority (Ar. As-Sawad ul-A`zam) of people in every age that proclaim their faith as Islam. This today equals 1.5 billion people.


The title “Sunni” in English is often used as an abbreviation for the Vast Majority of Muslims down through the ages. Whether the reader is a Muslim or not, it is our firm desire at Meeraath to give a good account of what Orthodox Islam is about and where authority rests in Islam.


Of all the questions that people ask, the most common of queries to ourselves is, “Who speaks for Islam?” Another is, “Is there not some sort of structure so that we might have some idea about what normative Islam is supposed to be?”


Meeraath is the attempt to bridge the gap between the leaders and authorities of Islam (Ar Maraji`) who by and large use the language of Islamic thought – Arabic – and those who either don’t know that language and want established information about Islam or they do know the language and don’t know which sources to consult.


The presentation of scholars here represents the best of the past 1400 years of Islam from the last prophet to walk on Earth, to the clerical class that was established to safeguard the religion all the way up to our day and age and beyond.


This website was set up to be as user friendly as possible for the subject at hand. The layout is as follows:


About Meeraath


Death of a Prophet


Where Do We Get Our Authority From?


FAQ about Meeraath


We strongly recommend the visitor to navigate the site according to the layout given so that the site can be utilised to its’ maximum benefit. If unable to find what you are looking for in the above headings or their subheadings, please send us a question.


We would love to hear from you and read your feedback. So with Allah is every success.


Al-Hajj Abu Ja`far al-Hanbali

talib abdALLAH
17/09/2018, 20h14
Death of a Prophet




Please be sure to read the section entitled: About Meeraath to learn how to navigate the sections in the most satisfactory manner.


Once Makkah was conquered by the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, then he completed the Battle of Tabuk, the people of Thaqif became Muslim and gave the oath of allegiance and then delegations of Arabs began making their way to him from every direction.


This was year 9AH, which was known as the ‘Year of Delegations.’ A delegation from Banu Tamim came and other groups came as well. As they were Muslims, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, paired off these men to be brothers to other Muslims who had great knowledge and would teach them.


Once the delegation of Tamim came to meet the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, they arrived at the masjid and called him to come out, “Muhammad, come out and talk to us because we need to see you.” By them calling the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, from behind the wall of his house, this bothered him greatly. It was due to this that Allah revealed,


Those who call you from behind the dwellings, most of them have no sense. If they had patience till you came out to them, it would have been better for them. Allah is Forgiving, Compassionate. Surat ul-Hujurat (49), ayat 4-5 so that they would not shout like this to him and address him properly.


Thabit ibn Qais also came with his delegation and became Muslim, while other groups of Arabs listened to poetry said by Hassaan ibn Thabit. After listening, they became Muslim due to the great effect that the poetry had on them and the sincerity in the words that were said to them.


The Banu `Amir also sent a delegation that had in their ranks `Amir ibn at-Tufail, Arbad ibn Qais, Jabbar ibn Salma, these people being the heads of their tribe and also the most forceful and argumentative.


`Amir ibn At-Tufail wanted to kill the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, although he had been told that the people had become Muslim and he should as well.


Once `Amir ibn At-Tufail came to the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and was in his presence, he was saying that he wanted to be his friend and that he had someone with him that also wanted to speak with him.


He was Arbad ibn Qais, who was to be his assistant in the assassination. When Arbad did not come to offer assistance, `Amir lost his nerve and had to leave. They argued on the way back but Allah caused both of them to die of a plague. It was about these that Allah said,


Allah knows what every female carries and by how much the wombs fall short of their time or exceed. Everything has been given due proportion by Him. Surat ur-Ra`d (13), ayah 8 all the way to the end of the ayah.


Both of these women died in the house of Banu Salul with nothing but the plague upon them.


Dimam ibn Tha`labah came from the Banu Sa`d delegation and he brought his camel to the door of the Masjid in Madinah, had it kneel down and hobbled it with his `iqal. He then came inside while the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was sitting among his Companions.


Dimam said, “Which of you is from the sons of Ibn `Abdul Muttalib?” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “I am the son of Ibn `Abdul Muttalib.” Dimam said, “Are you Muhammad?”


He received an affirmative reply and then he said, “Son of `Abdul Muttalib, I come to you to ask some questions. I need to ask some very urgent questions, so you should not find any difficulty in yourself as I only know how to ask these questions in this way.” He was told, “Do not worry, I do not find any anger in myself or any hardship regarding your demeanour.”


Dimam started by saying, “You have said that Allah is your God, the God of those who came before you and those who are to come after. Did Allah send you to us as a Messenger?” He was told, “Allah, yes.”


Dimam then said, “Has Allah commanded you to tell us that we worship Him Alone without any partner for Him, that we leave these rivals which are ancestors had worshipped with Him?” He was told, “Allah, yes.”


Dimam continued, “Is it the case that He ordered you to tell us to pray five times a day?” He said, “Allah, yes.” Dimam Ibn Tha`labah then remarked, “So then he has mentioned the compulsory things of Islam, the prayer, the zakah, the fasting, the Hajj and all the articles of Islam.”


He carried on mentioning each aspect and asking questions until he was satisfied. He then said, “Indeed I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. I will discharge these commands and avoid what has been forbidden.


I will neither do more nor less than what I have been commanded.” He then went to get on his camel and go back to his people. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “If he is truthful, then he will enter the Paradise.” Once Dimam ibn Tha`labah came back to his people, he spoke about Islam at length and called his people to listen to him.


In the delegation of `Abdul Qais, Al-Jarud ibn `Amr came to learn about Islam and he had been a Christian before. Upon becoming Muslim, he went back to his people and spoke to them about Islam.


He told them that he had taken the testimony of faith and that they should as well. People in Bahrain continued to send delegations and Islam became strengthened there.


After that, the region of Yamamah sent a delegation that had within it a man by the name of Musailimah ibn Habib. He along with others in the group, came heavily veiled to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, to ask him questions, which he answered but he mentioned that he would not speak any more to them if they kept hiding themselves from him.


Musailimah was a leader from among them, but he treated him the same and gave him the same amount of charity as the others. This angered Musailimah who on the way back apostated and said that he was actually a prophet as well and shared with the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, in prophethood.


As this was happening, the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, saw a vision and later rose to tell the people.


He preached to them, saying, “People, I have seen Lailat ul-Qadr, then I forgot it. Then I remembered it. I saw two bangles made from gold on my arm and I disliked them, so I blew them off and they flew away. I tell you the meaning of these two bangles as representing two liars to come: one from Yemen and one from Yamamah.”


He was referring to the false prophets Al-Aswad al-`Ansi and Musailimah al-Kadh-dhab, respectively.


He further said after narrating the vision, “The Hour will not come until there shall be thirty false prophets, all of them claiming prophethood.”


Not long after that, a letter came to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. It read:


From Musailimah the Messenger of Allah to Muhammad the Messenger of Allah. Peace be upon you! As for what comes next, I share with you some of the matter of prophethood. Let it be that I have half the Earth and the Quraish have the other half although they are a people that transgress.


The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, had a letter dictated in response in which he said,


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


From Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, to Musailimah the Liar. Peace be upon the one who follows the guidance. As for what comes next, the Earth belongs to Allah and He causes among His Slaves to inherit of it whom He wills. The end result of all things is for the pious people.


These events took place in the last of 10AH.


Another delegation came with `Adi ibn Hatim and he was a Christian. After meeting the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, brought `Adi into his home and he was able to see him, `Adi knew that he was a prophet and a messenger.


The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “`Adi, perhaps what is keeping you from entering into this religion is what you have seen of the indigent people? By Allah, you should know that a time is coming in which the wealth shall circulate among them in such abundance that there will not be enough people to take hold of it.


Maybe what is holding you back from entering into this faith is that you see the great number of the enemies against this small people and their small numbers against them?


By Allah a time will come in which you will hear about a women leaving from Al-Qadisiyyah on her camel and visiting this Ancient House without fear of robbers.


Maybe what is hindering you from entering this religion is that you see the dominion and authority with people besides them? By Allah, a time will come in which you will hear of the white castles in the land of Babylon being conquered.”


After some questions and some discussion, he entered into Islam with the delegation.


`Adi later said, “I saw the first two prophecies come to pass and the third was remaining. By Allah, all of a sudden it came to pass. I saw the white castles in the land of Babylon conquered and I saw the woman that left from Al-Qadisiyyah on her camel without fear of robbers until she reached the Ancient House.


Then the third thing regarding the wealth I witnessed and it came to pass.” Numerous delegations thereafter came, including those of Hamdan, Rifa`ah ibn Zaid al-Jidhami, Farwah ibn `Amr al-Jidhami, Al-Ash`ath ibn Qais, Sard ibn `Abdullah al-Azdi and many more.


After that the month of Dhul Qa`dah came and the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, prepared to go out for the Hajj and told the people around him to do the same. When he left for Hajj, Madinah was left in the control of Siba` ibn `Arfatah al-Ghifari.


When they headed out, for the intended the Hajj. Once arriving at the place of miqat and heading on, he told those who had decided to make `Umrah that they had to take their animal that they brought as a gift and sacrifice it.


Whoever did not have a gift with him was to go into a state of hall and take off the ihram. It was during this time that the Mother of the Believers, `A’ishah as-Siddiqah, may Allah be pleased with her, received her monthly cycle.


She did not know what to do until the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, told her that she could do all the rites of Hajj but just not Tawaf as she was not in a state of purity to do that. Once everyone had completed their sacrifices, then the heads were shaved all on the Day of Sacrifice.


After that, our mother `A’ishah wanted to make `Umrah so she set out with her brother `Abdur-Rahman from at-Tan`im and this was the place where she started as it was the boundary of the miqat for going into the Sacred Boundary.


The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, kept his ihram on and did not take it off yet as he still had to wait for his sacrifice to be given at the end of the Hajj on 12 Dhul Hijjah. He had sent `Ali ibn Abi Talib to Najran to preach to the people further and `Ali returned to put on the ihram at the miqat place.


Once he came into the presence of his wife Fatimah, the daughter of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, he found that she had already taken off her clothes of ihram. He did not know why this was the case so he went to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.


After explaining all that had occurred on the journey and his travels, he mentioned his query on the ihram. He was told by the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, to make the tawaf around the Ancient House, go into hall like the rest of the Companions.


He was told this twice, but `Ali responded, “Messenger of Allah, I did the ihram just like you. I said when I put on the ihram, ‘Allah, I have put on this ihram and will wear it just as is done by Your Prophet, Slave and Messenger Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.’ ”


So he was asked by the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, “Did you bring any gift with you?” When he responded in the negative, the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said that they would share in his sacrifice and that he would have to keep his ihram on until that time.


So once the time of the Day of Sacrifice came, they made the sacrifice, did the shaving and went into hall. `Ali ibn Abi Talib was involved in an argument with some people as they had come and began offering clothes to the people but had not come to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, who would normally distribute it first.


Some of the people sought to complain about `Ali arguing but the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Do not complain about `Ali. By Allah, he is just the most fearful about Allah! So he should not be complained about at all.”


The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, again re-iterated the proper Hajj rituals that had been revealed. He said, “Listen, the place at `Arafah is one of the central parts of the Hajj. This includes the mountain that is here. All of `Arafah is a central part of Hajj. ”


When he came to Muzdalifah, he said, “Listen, all of Muzdalifah is a central part of the Hajj. It includes the mountains of the area.” Once the sacrifices were done at Mina he told them, “Listen, all of Mina is a central point of Hajj. And all of Mina is a place where sacrifice is conducted.”


He was sure to show the people the major and minor points of Hajj, the points of departure, where to put on and take off the ihram, the central points of Hajj, the stoning of the large idols, the tawaf around the Ancient House, what was permissible and impermissible for Hajj.


This was the clear message. He made the Farewell Pilgrimage and his speech there and the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, did not make Hajj after that.


Upon completion of the Hajj, the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, sent out many delegations and also sent out armies to deal with hostile tribes. Usamah ibn Zaid was sent to the land of Palestine.


Couriers were sent to the different kings and rulers of the Arabs and the others. They were the following: Dihyah ibn Khalifah al-Kalbi went to the King of Byzantium, `Abdullah ibn Hudhafah went to Khusraw of Iran, `Amr ibn Umayyah ad-Damri went to the new king of Ethiopia.


Hatib ibn Abi Balta` went to Muqawqis, head over the land of Alexandria in Egypt, `Amr ibn al-`As went to Jaifar and `Iyad, the two sons of Al-Julandi in `Uman, Salit ibn `Amr went to Thumamah ibn Uthal and Hudhah ibn `Ali, both kings of Yamamah, Al-`Ala ibn Al-Hadrami went to Al-Mundhir ibn Sawi the king of Bahrain and Shuja` ibn Wahb went to Al-Harith ibn Abi Shamr al-Ghassani, King of the lands of Sham and surrounding area.


Before sending them out, the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, addressed them, “Allah has sent me as a mercy and to all of creation. Take what I give you and Allah will show mercy to you and do not dispute and differ with me as the disciples did with `Isa ibn Maryam.”


They asked, “Messenger of Allah, how did they differ?” He said, “He called them to the likeness of what I call you to now. There was the one who came near to him and loved that and submitted. Then there was the other that went far, showed dislike and refused.


`Isa then complained about them to Allah. The time then quickly came upon them and every man among them spoke in the way of the people that he went out to speak with about the faith.”


Those who the Prophet `Isa ibn Maryam, peace be upon him, sent out from the disciples and followers that came after were the following:


Butrus al-Hawari who went with Bulus (he was from the followers after and was not from the disciples to the Romans), Andara’is and Matitya went to the places where the people practice cannibalism, Tumas went to the land of Babylon in the East, Filibis went to the land of Qartajah in Afriqah, Yuhannas went to Efesus, which was the city settled in by the Sleepers of the Cave.


Ya`qubus went to Jerusalem, also called Yerushalayim and Aila’ which was a place around the Holy Land of Sham. Ibn Thilama’ went to the Arabs and this was the land of Al-Hijaz and Simun went to the Berbers and Yahudhah, who was not one of the disciples, went to Judea.


There were also numerous battles during this time as the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, sent out emissaries who met resistance and there were numerous hostile tribes who engaged them in battle throughout the Arabian Peninsula.


One of the great early Companions was a man by the name of Thumamah ibn Uthal. He was from the land of Yamamah and was taken prisoner while trespassing near the camp of the Companions.


They did not know who he was so he was brought to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, who immediately identified him. The Companions, on coming to know who he was, became angry as he had been implicated in the murder of numerous Companions in the Ma`una massacre.


Although this was the case, the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, told them to tie him to a pillar and bring him good food for him to eat while he was prisoner in the Masjid in Madinah.


After he finished his food, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, asked him to become Muslim but he did not want to and said that if he is killed he is happy and if he is left alive he is happy.


This went on every day with him being told the same thing and treated well. The day came when the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, gave the order for him to be freed.


Thumamah left, but stopped at the area of al-Baqi` and did the purification that he had seen the Muslims doing in the Masjid for the prayers while he had been tied up there. He did the best he could and then headed back and became Muslim.


He gave the oath of allegiance to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and the Companions brought him food thereafter. Thumamah ibn Uthal ate a small portion, far less than what he had eaten before as an unbeliever. The Companions were surprised by this but the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,


“Are you surprised by this man? A man eats with the intestines of an unbeliever in the beginning of the day and in the last part of the day eats with the intestine of a believer. Indeed, the unbeliever eats with seven intestines and the Muslim eats with one alone!”


Thumamah decided to make `Umrah as a Muslim and once he arrived he was in a fight with the Quraish (this was before the Conquest of Makkah) who noticed that he was Muslim.


They struck his neck, but then some of them said not to continue as he was one of the leaders of Yamamah and his trade links for grain and food were crucial. Once freed, he said to the Quraish, “I am upon the religion of Muhammad! I will have an embargo put on you so that no seeds or grain reach you from Yamamah unless you all enter into his religion!”


They belied him so he kept to his word. Soon starvation came to be the order of the day in Makkah. Makkah wrote a letter to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, saying, “You say that you keep relations, but you have cut our relations.


You have killed our fathers with the sword and then killed our children with hunger.” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, when he was informed of this had a letter sent to Thumamah telling him to remove the trade embargo. After all of this occurred, the details of the Conquest and such came to be a reality.

talib abdALLAH
17/09/2018, 20h14
In the last few nights of the month of Safar, year 11 AH, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, began to feel the weight of death begin and it continued into Rabi` ul-Awwal.


He went out one day to Baqi` ul-Gharqad and came back to his family. The following day, it could be seen on his face that his time was little. Abu Muwaihibah (a freed slave and Companion) had gone with him on that night and saw the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, say, “I am asking forgiveness for the people of Al-Baqi` so I would like you to go with me.”


So Abu Muwaihibah went with him and he watched him pray and say, “People of the Graves! There has come to you what shall come to the people; but trials are waiting to come to the living like the sudden appearance of the night and the shadows. One evil time shall follow the other until the time after shall be worse than the time before it.”


He then turned and said to Abu Muwaihibah, “I have been given the keys to the treasures of the earthly life and eternity, then the Paradise. I have chosen between all of that and meeting my Lord and the Paradise.”


Abu Muwaihibah told him to chose this life and eternity but the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, swore by Allah and said that he had chosen the Paradise and meeting his Lord. He then asked forgiveness for the people of Al-Baqi` and turned away.


Our Mother, `A’ishah as-Siddiqah, saw him when he returned. She said, “He came in while I was fixing my hair and I asked if he wanted anything, to which he replied in the negative. He asked me if it would bother me if I died before him and he prayed over me and wrapped me in the burial shrouds and prayed on me and buried me.


I said that by Allah, it surely would as he would go back to my room and spend time there with one or some of his wives. He smiled slightly and then his face filled with colour.


He spent time with each one of his wives until his illness became severe while in the house of Maimunah. He called his wives and asked permission from them that he be transferred to my room and they granted that request.”


During the transfer, he was wearing a yellowish `imamah and supported by two men, one on each side. These were Al-Fadl ibn Al-`Abbas and `Ali ibn Abi Talib. He asked for water to be poured upon him constantly, so much so that Hafsah bint `Umar was told to fetch water skins and pails to do the job. Finally, after having it poured over him so many times, he said, “This is enough. This is enough.”


After some time, the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, came out to speak with the people while wearing his `imamah. He sat on the mimbar and the first thing that he did was to praise Allah and after that pray for the people of Uhud, ask forgiveness for them and he prayed for them greatly.


He then said, “One of the Slaves of Allah has chosen between this life and what Allah possesses and he has chosen what Allah possesses.” When Abu Bakr heard this, he knew exactly what it meant and he started to cry and said, “We would sacrifice ourselves and our children for you!”


He was told, “Be calm, Abu Bakr. Look at these windowed doors in the masjid. Close every pathway to my place except for that of Abu Bakr. I do not know anyone who is better in companionship to me than the two hands from him.


If I was to take any Khalil from the slaves, I would have made Abu Bakr the Khalil but companionship and brotherhood of faith are the order until Allah shall gather us to Him.”


He also made Usamah ibn Zaid in charge of the armies of the Emigrants and the Helpers and the people asked about it. He praised Allah and then he answered them, “People, Send out Usamah ibn Zaid in control of that army. By my life, you have mentioned this about them but you said the same thing of his father before and he is created for this leadership.


His father was likewise chosen for it. Gathering of Emigrants! Be good to the Helpers. Indeed the people shall increase but the Helpers shall not increase more than now. They were the people that were visited and they opened their homes. Mention their good points and overlook their faults.”


Usamah ibn Zaid came to him after the expedition and the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, raised his hands skyward, said nothing but put them on his head. The people knew that he was praying for him. After that, he was heard by our Mother `A’ishah as-Siddiqah constantly saying, “Indeed Allah does not take a prophet in death until he chooses his preference.”


At the time that his death came, he said, “Yes, with the Companions on High from the Paradise.” When our Mother `A’ishah as-Siddiqah heard this, she said, “Oh no! By Allah, he didn’t choose to stay with us! It was then that I knew that he had made his choice from before when he had been talking about making his choice.”


Before his death, he had commanded `A’ishah to have Abu Bakr lead the people in prayer. She responded by saying that her father was a very soft hearted man and used to cry when he recited the Qur’an and that `Umar was a better choice.


He kept on asking and she kept advising until he said, “You are like the companions around Yusuf. Have Abu Bakr lead the people.” Finally the suggestion went forward for Abu Bakr to lead the prayer. `A’ishah was worried as the people would crowd in right after prayer to check on any news or happenings and it would leave her with little time to spend with him.


There was another time when the prayer had come and Bilal ordered the people to prepare as the Adhan and Iqamah had been made. `Umar was told the go forward as the Imam of the prayer but the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, raised his voice, “Where is Abu Bakr?” He was absent at the time. He said after asking, “Oh, Allah. The Muslims are avoiding. The Muslims are avoiding it.”


After `Umar had led the people in prayer, Abu Bakr came forward and was told to lead the people in prayer thereafter. When `Umar noticed this, he asked why he had been put forward for the prayer. One of the Companions explained that when they did not see Abu Bakr they just put him forward. He told him not to do that again.


The next day was a Monday on 12 Rabi` ul-Awwal 11AH. The people were praying the Fajr prayer when the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, lifted the curtain and looked at the people from his doorway. He stood at the doorway of `A’ishah’s house and watched them.


The people almost came out the prayer by seeing that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was happy with them and they were happy. He motioned for them to say as they were and lined up nicely. He then smiled when he saw them lined up in the prayer and how straight they were and their unity.


He then put the curtain down and turned away to prepare himself to join them. It would be the last time he would see the whole Ummah in person and they would all see him alive.


Once he returned to the house of `A’ishah from prayer, she said of the matter, “When he came home he laid in my lap and someone from the family of Abu Bakr came to visit. He had a green siwak in his hand and the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was looking at it intently.


I asked him if he would like it to clean his teeth with and he replied in the affirmative. I then took it and chewed it until it was soft and ready for use. I gave it to him and he used it until he had finished. His head then became heavy and my lap felt heavy. I looked at his face and his gaze met mine.


He said, ‘Indeed, with the Companions on High from the Paradise.’ I said, ‘So you have chosen. You have chosen, by the One who sent you with the truth.’ He then died in that moment.”


At the death of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, he had fought some 27 battles. He had preached in Makkah for 13 years and in Madinah for ten years and died at 63 years of age after receiving his first revelation at 40 years of age.


`A’ishah as-Siddiqah looked at him as his head was between her chest and lap. She set his head on a pillow, raised up from her position and then began to cry with the other women and mourn. `Umar ibn Al-Khattab was so upset that he refused to believe it.


He said, “There are hypocrites who say that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has died. No, he has gone to his Lord just as Musa ibn `Imran went to his Lord. He was gone from his people for 40 days, then he returned to them after that before he died.


By Allah, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, shall return just as Musa did. I will cut off the hands and feet of those that claim the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, died.”


Abu Bakr came out and was at the door of the Masjid when the news reached him and `Umar was speaking to the people. He did not come out to the people until he first went and came into the presence of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him in the house of `A’ishah.


He was lying at the side of the room and he his cloak was covering him, over his face. Abu Bakr kissed his head and said, “May my father and mother be sacrificed for your sake, the death that Allah wrote for you has come and you have tasted it. You shall not be given another death after.” He then returned the cover to its’ place and came out to `Umar, who was still talking to the people.


He told `Umar to calm down but he continued and would not listen as he was still upset. He decided to begin speaking instead and the people stopped their words and listened. He praised Allah much and then said, “People, whoever served Muhammad, then Muhammad is dead; but for the one who serves and worships Allah, then Allah is every living and will not die.”


He then recited to ayah, Muhammad was only a messenger and messengers before him passed away. Will you turn on your heels if he dies or is killed? Whoever turns on his heels, then Allah will never help him. Allah will indeed help those who are grateful. Surah Ali `Imran (3), ayah 144


The people knew this was the truth. The weight of the situation was too great for `Umar, who collapsed under the weight of his own legs. It was then that he could accept that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, had died.


Now that he had died, the people went to their homes and many mourned while others were devastated and did not know what to do. Many of the scholars went to Saqifah to discuss what was to be done next.


Another group stayed with `Ali at his house waiting on what to do next. The decision at Saqifah was that Abu Bakr was to be given the oath of allegiance as the successor to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. This oath of allegiance was repeated later in which all the scholars were present and gave the oath of allegiance.


The people did now know what to do regarding preparing the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and whether they should undress and bathe him as they do the normal dead or leave the clothes on him.


Those in charge were `Ali, Al-`Abbas, Al-Fadl ibn al-`Abbas, another son of al-`Abbas, Usamah ibn Zaid and Shuqran, a freed slave of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Allah caused a sleep to fall over them and from the back of the room they could hear a voice telling them to wash him with his clothes on and prepare him in this way.


Once he was prepared and the burial shrouds wrapped around him, there was a dispute over whether to bury him with the Companions or the Masjid. Abu Bakr then quoted a hadith to them where the Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said that a prophet should only be buried where he died and nowhere else. It was settled and he was buried in the house where he died.


The bed was put in the ground first and then the Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was put on top of it. The men came in first and prayed on him, then the women, then the children, without their being an imam for the funeral prayer like for the rest of humanity. He was buried in the middle of the night of Wednesday. Those that buried him were `Ali, Al-Fadl, another son of Al-`Abbas, and Shuqran.


Our Mother, `A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “When the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, died, the Arabs went through apostasy, the Jews and Christians reasserted their influence, the hypocrites manifested themselves and the Muslims became like scattered sheep as their prophet and shepherd had died, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. This remained the case until Allah gathered the people to Abu Bakr.”


Taken from As-Sirat un-Nabawiyyah by Imam Ibn Hisham, vol.4, pp. 222-231

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17/09/2018, 20h32
Where Do We Get Our Authority From?


Please be sure to read the section entitled: Death of a Prophet before reading this section





Anyone taking a look at the Qur’an would find that there were indeed authorities in Islam, people that have been left in charge; but we must not speak without citing evidences. Allah has mentioned a clerical class of people who are to be given authority and possess the same temporal and spiritual authority as Allah and His Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.


Indeed their power derives from the command of Allah and His Messenger,


You who believe! Obey Allah, obey the Messenger and those in authority among you.[1]


This ayah is using the Arabic expression, Uwl ul-Amr, which literally translated would be the People of Command. These people have the authority and the right to command the people. Obedience to them has been commanded.


After the prophets, peace be upon all of them, these are the best of people and they have inherited the prophetic mantle of authority. The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,


“Whoever travels a path seeking knowledge, Allah makes him travel a path to Paradise. The angels spread out their wings in pleasure for the one seeking knowledge. Every creature in the skies and the earth seeks forgiveness for the scholar, even the fish in the sea. The virtue of the scholar over the worshipper is like the virtue of the moon over the rest of the stars in the sky. Indeed the scholars are the inheritors of the prophets. They do not leave behind any coin or measure of wealth, but it is the knowledge that they leave behind. Whoever should take hold of it takes hold of much good indeed.”[2]


These people also have the right to derive rulings and make judgements in the absence of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and have their word obeyed,


When news of any matter reaches them they spread it about, whether it is of a reassuring or disquieting nature. If only they had referred it to the Messenger and those in authority among them, those among them able to derive the truth about it would have had proper knowledge of it.[3]


Allah commands us to ask them when we do not know the answer to a question,


Ask the People of Knowledge if you do not know.[4]


This same clerical class of people are to delve into the faith and teach it to the Slaves of Allah returning from warfare so that they might understand the religion. They are to teach those in the city so that they might also understand the religion. Allah has revealed,


It is not for the believers to march out altogether. Let there be a group from every party that shall delve into studying the religion so that they might warn their people when they return to them in order for those returning to take heed.[5]


The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “When the judge makes ijtihad and is correct, he has two rewards. When he is mistaken he has one reward.”[6]


The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, sent out authorities (maraji`) who were scholars to explain the religion to people and this was not the providence of laymen.


The word “authorities” is used frequently but this is a translation of the Arabic expression, Maraji` ut-Taqlid wal-Ittiba`, which means, “Authorities and Sources Worthy of Imitation and being Followed”.


Another title for them is Ahl ul-Halli wal-`Aqd, which in translation literally means, “The People who Loose and Bind”. This binding and loosing refers to temporal authority. Imam Mansur Al-Buhuti (d. 1051 AH) describes this for us when he says,


“We have the statement of Allah,


If two parties of believers take up arms one against the other, make peace between them. If either of them unjustly attacks the other, then fight the aggressors until they submit to the judgement of Allah.


When they have submitted themselves, then make peace between them in justice; indeed Allah loves those who are just. Only the believers are brothers. Make peace among your brothers and fear Allah so that you might be shown mercy.[7]


A number of benefits can be taken from the statement above. One such benefit is that a group that is wrongdoing or in rebellion that exits from authority does not leave the faith even though it is compulsory to fight them.


When a group rebels in the manner mentioned, there is lifted from them the normal rulings in order for them to be fought and brought to heel. Permission has been granted to fight anyone who might hinder a right or ruling due from him or against him and the Ahadith on this subject are many in number.


The second benefit derived is what was narrated from `Ubadah ibn As-Samit in which he said, ‘The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, accepted our oath of allegiance to hear and obey when it was enjoyed and when it was disliked and that we do not dispute in the affairs of those who are qualified to speak.’ This is agreed upon by Imams Al-Bukhari and Muslim.


The Companions made Consensus on fighting those who rebel against authority as is evidenced by Abu Bakr As-Siddiq having fought against those who refused to pay the zakah. There is also the case of `Ali ibn Abi Talib when he fought against rebellions in both the incidents of the Camel and the Battle of Siffin.


The Grand Imam discharging affairs for the Muslims is a collective obligation as the people have need of that for the protection of the weak, driving away oppression, establishing judicial punishments, discharging the rights of the people and enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong.


Two groups of people that have the authority in bringing this about are the following:

The people of ijtihad so that they might make the choice of who is to go forward in the post.



Those who have present in them the conditions of holding the post of Grand Imam and the People who Loose and Bind attribute the authority them.



The People who Loose and Bind that will make the choice on who should be the Grand Imam should be outwardly upright, have knowledge connected to who has the right to hold the post of Imam, sound opinion of worldly affairs and the ability to discharge the most sound judgement and bring into effect the one who shall have the post of Imam.


The conditions for establishing the post of the Grand Imam have been discussed by the people of authority, including Imam Musa Al-Hajjawi, who in his words explained that the post can be brought about by the Consensus of the Muslims upon the individual.


An example of this is Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him, the successor to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. His authority was established by the Consensus of the Muslims, meaning the oath of allegiance given by the People who Loose and Bind from the scholars and the high ranking people who stand as witnesses and are outwardly upright. There is no room for the consideration of anyone else’s besides these mentioned as they are considered like drowsy people.[8]


The post can also be filled by the agreement of a specified panel of the People who Loose and Bind on an individual from their ranks. This occurred when `Umar ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, commanded a panel of six Companions to decide upon the Imam after him and the decision settled upon `Uthman ibn `Affan.


If an Imam in the post leaves an explicit statement on someone to succeed him or an Imam has been named to fill his post after him, then in this case the People who Loose and Bind do not have to agree on the matter. This occurred when Abu Bakr As-Siddiq explicitly left the post of Imam to `Umar ibn Al-Khattab after him.


In the case that the People who Loose and Bind make ijtihad on bringing about the office and selecting the one who is most fit for it and deserving of obedience, then this is also valid.”[9]


This should tell you that the People who Loose and Bind enact and demolish government, choose people for posts and so forth. There are a myriad of historical references for the authorities bearing spiritual and temporal authority. Let us look at history.


The Authorities Preach and Clarify Faith


Some of the students of Mu`adh ibn Jabal stated: When the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, prepared to send Mu`adh ibn Jabal to Yemen, he asked him, “How will you answer if an issue arises and your judgement is sought?”


He said, “I will judge according to the Book of Allah.” Mu`adh was asked further, “And if you do not find the answer in the Book of Allah?”Mu`adh then responded, “I will look in the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.”


The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, then queried, “So if you do not find it in the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and the Book of Allah, how will you judge?”


Mu`adh replied by saying, “Then I will judge according to my opinion and exert the utmost effort (i.e. ijtihad).” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, patted his chest and said to him in reply, “Praise be to Allah who caused the emissary of the Messenger of Allah to agree with that which pleases the Messenger of Allah.”[10]


The one chosen to speak to the ruler of Ethiopia was none other than the scholar Ja`far ibn Abi Talib, who was a scholar in his own right and spoke as one when in the presence of the king. Keep in mind the following dialogue.


An-Najashi, the King of Ethiopia – through his translator – asked Ja`far ibn Abi Talib, “What is this religion that you have joined that caused you to part faith from your people and you have neither entered into our faith or the other religions around you?”


Ja`far ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, responded in the following way:


“I will now address you, dear king. We were a people in the Age of Ignorance. We worshipped idols, ate meat found dead, committed all type of perversions, cut family ties.


Yes, we even neglected to help our neighbours, leaving the strong to devour the weak, as well as having this condition in ourselves. This continued to be the case until Allah sent to us a Messenger from among us.


We indeed knew of his lineage, his truthfulness, trustworthiness and chastity and righteousness. He called us to Allah so that we might declare Him One and Unique and then worship Him Alone.


We then left off and put away all of what we and our fathers from before had worshipped of the different idols of stone and idolatrous images. This same Messenger commanded us to be truthful in speech, fulfil our trusts, keep family relations, be a help to neighbours as well as restraining ourselves from violating the honour and properties of others.


We were forbidden from all manner of perversions, bearing false witness, stealing the wealth of the orphan, slandering chaste and noble women. He also commanded us to worship Allah Alone in His Uniqueness and Oneness and not to associate partners with Him as well as making prayer, giving zakah and fasting and more.


So we testified to his truthfulness and believed in him. We followed him and all of what he came with from Allah, the Exalted. We worship Allah, who is Alone in His Uniqueness and Oneness and we do not associate any partners with Him.


We hold to be impermissible what he has forbidden us and declare as permissible what he has declared permitted for us. Due to this our people began to show enmity to us, punished us, put us to task due to our faith in order to push us towards the worship of idolatrous symbols rather than the worship of Allah, the Exalted.


They put us to trial in order to have us consider as permitted all manner of filth. Once they overwhelmed us, oppressed us, straitened affairs for us, put a barrier between us and our religion to try to force us to choose one over the other, we decided to emigrate to this land of yours.


We chose to live with you rather than anyone else, hoping to live as your neighbour and had firm conviction that we would not be oppressed while under your rule, dear king.”


An-Najashi then responded, “Do you have anything with you that came from Allah?” Ja`far ibn Abi Talib responded in the affirmative and An-Najashi asked for him to recite from it.


Ja`far ibn Abi Talib then recited to the king the opening passages of Surah Maryam (19) and the Ethiopian Monarch wept when the words were explained.


The theologian, Ja`far ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, was asked to clarify the theology of Muslims on the topic of the identity of the Messiah, his rank, the position of his mother, Maryam As-Siddiqah, peace be upon him, and her virginity.


The response that Ja`far ibn Abi Talib gave was the following,


“We say what Allah has said in this regard and what our Prophet brought to us, be whatever it may. He, `Isa, is the Slave of Allah, His Spirit and His Word that was imparted to Maryam, the Pure Virgin.” [11]


What we notice from this is that not only did Ja`far ibn Abi Talib speak, but he was chosen by the Companions and even addressed by the king as a representative to speak on these matters.


No laymen among them were chosen to discuss these matters. This should indeed demonstrate to us the rank that these scholars should have in our sight.


In the month of Safar in the year 7AH, when the people of Najd asked for people to come and teach them Islam, there were 40-70 scholars of the Companions sent to complete the task and they were murdered in cold blood.[12]


So it was not just laymen sent to preach the faith and disseminate the faith; but rather it was indeed scholars that were sent to complete the task.


The Authorities Act as Representatives of the Prophets


It was in the year 9AH, in the month of Dhul Qa`dah that Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, another authority, was sent to reteach the Makkans – after they had entered Islam – to carry out the Hajj without idolatrous rituals. When further revelation came, `Ali ibn Abi Talib, another scholar, was sent to inform them of the new revelation.[13]


The great Companion, Abu Umamah As`ad ibn Zurarah Al-Bahili – may Allah be pleased with him – led and conducted the first jumu`ah in Madinah when he was sent by the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him,[14] to accompany another scholar, Mus`ab ibn `Umair –may Allah be pleased with him – in the teaching of knowledge of Islam.[15]


Even the passing of authority has a rich symbolic value, from one authority to another. Take for example the case of Al-Hasan Al-Basri, who upon becoming an authority was given the sash of `Ali that was also used as his `amamah.[16]


The symbolic handing over and wrapping of this cloth on the head, the black `amamah, was a sign that this person was now a successor to `Ali and held the same authority.


The Safeguarding of the Sources of Islam was Done by the Authorities


The authority Abu Bakr As-Siddiq ordered the Qur’an to be in one script in a series of folios and the one in charge of overseeing all the scribes (who were scholars) was none other than Zaid Ibn Thabit.[17]


This is the same Zaid ibn Thabit who was fluent in Hebrew and Syriac, one of the scholars of the Companions and one of the 70 scribes of the Qur’an.


The great Companion, `Uthman ibn `Affan, may Allah be pleased with him, collected further folios and made one mushaf, in which the Qur’an had a leather back and thick script and had it sent out to ten provinces. [18]


He did not just send it out, but he also sent scholars with it to assist Muslims – convert or born – with reading the text accurately according to the rules of grammar and the revealed laws of articulation. [19]


The same thing can be seen just by examining the books of Hadith, Tafsir, Fiqh and all the other 18 sciences of the Revealed Law. They were all written not just by any scholars but the very authorities and highest ranking scholars of this religion.


Wars are Commenced or Led by the Authorities


In the month of Jumada al-Uwla, 8AH, the leader chosen in place of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, to lead the Muslims in the Battle of Mu’tah against the Byzantine Army was Ja`far ibn Abi Talib.


When he fell in the battle, the next one designated to take leadership was `Abdullah ibn Rawahah (another scholar and former Jewish nobleman) and then it was Khalid ibn Al-Walid (a layman) from among the generals after he had been killed.[20]


In the battle of Yamamah, several scholars of the Qur’an were killed as they were leading the battle and guiding the movements of the people. [21]


Global Jurisdiction and the Continents


Imam Abdul Qadir ibn `Umar at-Taghlabi (d. 1133 AH (AD 1738) makes the matter clear to us:


“It is necessary for the Imam to designate Qadis to discharge all duties in every jurisdiction. There are seven jurisdictions where law is discharged and they are, 1) Undivided India, 2) Al-Hijaz, 3) Undivided Egypt, 4) Babel, 5) Rum/Byzantium and Sham, 6) the Turkish Lands, and 7) All of Asia. This has been explained in the handwritten statement of my teacher and master, Shaikh `Abdul Baqi Al-Hanbali.” [22]


Let the reader therefore understand that the scholars and marja` people, in carrying out these activities, are carrying out their jurisdiction, which is global. Undivided India refers to the landmass that contains the nations of Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and a large portion of Afghanistan.


Al-Hijaz is shorthand for all of Arabia while Babel refers to all of Iraq, Persia and the rest of Afghanistan. Byzantium is the former Byzantine Empire which includes Italy, Sicily, Turkey and lower Europe along with upper Europe. Sham refers to the lands now known as Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Israel. As for the Turkish lands, this was a reference used not just for Turks but for all Central Asian people, sometimes including Slavs.


Asia (Ar. As-Sin) was used to refer to the whole continent. As for the Americas, their governing usually was administered by North Africa and referenced by Sultan Mawlay Isma`il in the year AD 1787 in a treaty of the same year with George Washington acting as plenipotentiary ruler over what would later become the United States of America.


When referencing Australia, this is under the same ruling as Byzantium while Antarctica, although uninhabited, bounds against the continent of Africa, which is considered Egypt in general as it was a capital province. This therefore shows that all seven continents have jurisdiction and that jurisdiction is the laws that govern areas with discipline, not ideas, thoughts or personal opinions.


Are Maraji` without Madhhab?


Today’s Maraji` do indeed have madhab. There has not been a marja` that was an absolute mujtahid since the third generation and the last absolute mujtahid was Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal.


Imam Dawud ibn Sulaiman al-Khalidi (d. 1299 AH), may Allah be pleased with him, said the following,


“The last absolute mujtahid was Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal when he was put in his grave and the dust put over it.” [23]


What Type of Authority Do the Maraji` Possess over the Rest of the Scholars?


A great example of this can be illustrated in discussing the Imam, the Marja`, Abu `Abdullah Shams ud-Din Muhammad ibn Muslim Az-Zaini As-Salihi (d. 727 AH), when he prevented Imam Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah (661-728 AH) from giving any further rulings as i[/url]t was creating such dissension. [24]

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How Do We Identify Maraji`?


The authorities are identified in the following ways:


1) Living authorities or a living authority commands them to author an independent book or set of books on the science of fiqh.


An example of this is when Imam Mustafa Ad-Dumani (d. 1200 AH), may Allah have mercy upon him, was asked by one of the maraji` to author a text clarifying issues in the religion connected with worship and transactions.[25]


2) Someone is specifically referred to as a marja` and teaches in place of his teacher (with the permission of that particular teacher) when he is not present.


If someone should look at the case of Imam Mar`ii ibn Yusuf Al-Karmi (d. 1033 AH), may Allah have mercy upon him, it can be seen that there were some 7 citations of maraji` asking him to write his text Dalil ut-Talib and his authority to write it and commentate upon it.[26]


3) Someone becomes marja` after training under scholars, who then find him qualified and declare the individual as such.


What is the Relation Between Maraji` and Abdal?


We would like to start by saying that the matter can in the initial point be summed up by saying, “Every Badal (Ar. sing. of the Ar. pl. Abdal) is a marja` but not every marja` is a badal.”


The reason for this is that the Abdal are either from Sham or Iraq, as the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has stated:


The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,


“The High Ranking Saints of this Ummah are 30 men and their hearts are like the heart of Khalil ur-Rahman, Ibrahim, peace be upon him. Whenever one of them dies, Allah then puts another in his place.” This is collected by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal from the narration of `Ubadah ibn as-Samit and it is authentic.[27]


He, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, further proclaimed,


“The High Ranking are thirty and due to them the Earth is established and you receive help.” This is collected by Imam At-Tabarani from the narration of `Ubadah ibn as-Samit and it is authentic.[28]


He, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, also informed us,


“The High Ranking Saints are in Sham. It is due to them that the people receive help and it is due to them that they are sustained.”This is collected by Imam At-Tabarani from the narration of `Awn ibn Malik and classed as sound.[29]


There is also a narration where he, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, stated,


“The High Ranking Saints are in Sham and they are 40 men in number. Whenever one man dies, Allah replaces him with another. The Earth receives its’ rain due to them and the land receives help against its’ enemies due to them. It is also due to them that punishment gets kept away from the people of Sham.”This is collected by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad as narrated from `Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah ennoble his face, and classed as sound. [30]


Imam Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah (661-728 AH) mentions that there is indeed a pecking order and a clerical class in charge of the affairs of the Muslims on a global scale. Please read the following:


“Those who take hold of the pure and unadulterated Islam – free from deviation and crookedness – they are Muslim Orthodoxy (Ahl us-Sunnah wa al-Jamaa’ah); within them are the righteous and upright holy ones (Ar. As-Siddiqun), the martyrs (Ar. Ash-Shuhada’), the pious (Ar. As-Salihun) – and from them are the great luminaries of guidance (Ar. A`lam ul-Huda), the lamps of goodness (Ar. Masabih ud-Duja) who possess numerous virtues and favours that have and could be mentioned.


Now within this group are the High Ranking Saints (Ar. Al-Abdal) – and within them are the Imams of the Religion (Ar. A’immat ud-Din) that the Muslims have made Consensus on their being upon right guidance – and these are the Victorious Group and Aided Group (Ar. At-Ta’ifat ul-Mansurah) who the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said of them,

‘There will always be a group from my Ummah, upon the truth and manifest with it. Those who oppose them or abandon them will not harm them until the Hour comes.’


We ask Allah that He makes us from them and that He make our hearts not slip after He has guided us and bestowed on us mercy from Himself. Indeed He is the Bestower and Allah knows best.” [31]


Government and Judicial Leadership Lay in the Hands of the Authorities


The First Rulers of the Muslims after the death of their Prophet were high ranking scholars and this continued until the first layman, Yazid ibn Mu`awiyah or Yazid I.


He seized power and this marked the beginning of the scholars who rule by divine right in temporal and spiritual matters and the earthly rulers who attempt to control affairs. His rule was one in which numerous scholars were put to the sword.[32]


When the new cities of Al-Basrah and Al-Kufah were built by `Umar ibn Al-Khattab, he sent scholars from the Companions to teach the people. [33]


This was the case for all the cities that were built by him and for each city an authority was appointed, e.g. Abu Musa al-Ash`ari was appointed the head over Al-Basrah.[34]


Authorities, with the permission and explicit commands of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, executed apostates, like in the case of Mu`adh ibn Jabal (who killed apostates to Judaism that took up the sword against Islam in Yemen) [35] and `Ali ibn Abi Talib (who also executed apostates), [36] may Allah be pleased with all of them; but know that the only people that can carry out such rulings are the marja` people or those appointed by them.


Imam Musa ibn Ahmad Al-Hajjawi (d. 968 AH), may Allah be pleased with him, said the following, “The judicial punishments are not established by anyone except the Imam or his appointed representative and it is not to be done in the masjid.” [37]


Why Do We Need Maraji`?


In order to lead the Muslims, safeguard the religion, establish the faith and eventually hand authority over to Al-Imam Al-Mahdi and the Messiah, `Isa the son of Maryam, peace be upon both of them, at the Second Coming.


This Ummah is led either by prophets or scholars in the absence of a prophet. At the second advent of a prophet, the Ummah is then led by prophets once again.


It is neither permissible nor right and proper for the Ummah to be led by laymen. The first example of the Ummah being led by laymen was Yazid ibn Mu`awiyah in 60 AH. This precipitated the murder of several Companions and countless other innocents.


We are living in a current age of laymen rule. Laymen did not build the observatories, hospitals or invent bifocals in Baghdad, Iraq some 900 years ago. Authorities did.







[1] Surat un-Nisa’ (4), ayah 59


[2] Collected by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal in the Musnad, vol.16, pp. 70-71


[3] Surat un-Nisa’ (4), ayah 83


[4] Surat un-Nahl (16), ayah 43


[5] Surat ut-Tawbah (9), ayah 122


[6] Collected by Imam Muslim ibn Al-Hajjaj in Al-Jami` us-Sahih, Book of Giving Judgement under the chapter of Explanation of the Reward of the Judge When He Makes Ijtihad and He is Correct or Mistaken and classed as authentic.


[7] Surat ul-Hujurat (49), ayat 9-10


[8] i.e. unaware


[9] cf. Kash-shaf ul-Qina` `An Matn il-Iqna`, vol.5, pp. 136-137, Alam ul-Kutub, Beirut, 1418 AH


[10] Collected by Imam Abu Dawud in his Sunan, Book of Judgements under the chapter of the Ijtihad of the Opinion in Giving Rulings and classed as authentic.


[11] Please see `Abdul Malik Ibn Hisham’s As-Sirat un-Nabawiyyah, (Ar.) vol.1, pp.290-291, Dar ul-Jail, Beirut


[12]As-Sirat un-Nabawiyyah, (Ar.) vol.3, pp.103-108, Dar ul-Jail, Beirut


[13]As-Sirat un-Nabawiyyah, (Ar.) vol.4, pp.139-143, Dar ul-Jail, Beirut


[14]As-Sirat un-Nabawiyyah, (Ar.) vol.2, pp.58-63, Dar ul-Jail, Beirut


[15]As-Sirat un-Nabawiyyah, (Ar.) vol.2, pp.56-58, Dar ul-Jail, Beirut


[16] Please see Majmu`a Min Rasa’il is-Suyuti: Ithaf ul-Firqati Fi Rafw il-Khirqah, pp. 37-40, Dar ul-Kitab il-`Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1434 AH


[17] Collected by Imam Muhammad ibn Isma`il Al-Bukhari in his Al-Jami` us-Sahih, Book of the Virtues of the Qur’an under the chapter of Gathering the Qur’an and classed by him as authentic.


[18] Collected by Imam Muhammad ibn Isma`il Al-Bukhari in his Al-Jami` us-Sahih, Book of the Virtues of the Qur’an under the chapter of Gathering the Qur’an and classed by him as authentic.


[19] Collected by Imam Muhammad ibn Isma`il Al-Bukhari in his Al-Jami` us-Sahih, Book of the Virtues of the Qur’an under the chapter of Gathering the Qur’an and classed by him as authentic.


[20]As-Sirat un-Nabawiyyah, (Ar.) vol.4, pp.7-15, Dar ul-Jail, Beirut


[21] Collected by Imam Muhammad ibn Isma`il Al-Bukhari in his Al-Jami` us-Sahih, Book of the Virtues of the Qur’an under the chapter of Gathering the Qur’an and classed by him as authentic.


[22] Please see Nail ul-Maarib Bi-Sharhi Dalil it-Talib Li-Nail il-Matalib, pp. 434-435.


[23]Ashadd ul-Jihadi Fi Ibtali Da`w al-Ijtihad, pp. 74-75


[24]Adh-Dhail `ala Tabaqat il-Hanabilah (2 vols in a collection of 4), vol.4, pp. 314-315, Dar ul-Kutub il-`Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1413 AH


[25]Hashiyah `ala Dalil it-Talib Li Nail il-Matalib, vol.1, pp. 23-24, Dar un-Nawadir, Beirut, 1432 AH


[26]Dalil ut-Talib `Ala Nail il-Matalib, Muqaddimah, pp. 5-14, Dar Tayyibah, Beirut, 1429 AH


[27]Al-Musnad, vol. 16, pp. 410-411


[28] Al-Mu`jam ul-Kabir, vol.10, pp. 179-181


[29]Al-Mu`jam ul-Kabir, vol.18, pp. 64-66


[30]Fada’ il us-Sahabah, vol. 2, pp. 905-907


[31]Matn ul-`Aqidat il-Wasitiyyah (Ar.), pp. 30-31.


[32] As cited from Imam Ibn Al-Jawzi’s monumental historical work, Al-Muntazim fi Tarikh il-Muluki wal-Umam, vol.5, pp.320-335; vol.6, pp.6-21.


[33]Al-Muntazim fi Tarikh il-Muluki wal-Umam, vol.4, pp.231-233


[34]Al-Muntazim fi Tarikh il-Muluki wal-Umam, vol.4, pp.231-233


[35] Collected by Imam Muhammad ibn Isma`il Al-Bukhari in his Al-Jami` us-Sahih, The Book of Calling the Apostates and Rebels to Repentance and Fighting Them under the chapter of The Judicial Punishment to be Carried Out on the Apostate and classed by him as authentic.


[36] Shaikh ul-Islam Sulaiman ibn `Abdul Wahhab An-Najdi As-Sudairi (d. 1209 AH) said of this incident: “The Fanatics, they were idol worshippers and People of Apostasy, manifested Islam until they manifested kufr clearly and openly without any doubt in it for anyone. That is why when `Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, came out to them at the Kandah Gate, they prostrated to him. When that happened, he said to them, “What is this?” They said, “You are Allah!” He said to them, “I am one of the slaves of Allah.” They answered, “But you… you are Allah!” He asked them to repent and threatened them with the sword and warned them, but they refused to repent. He ordered that a series of ditches be dug in the earth and that a fire be kindled in them while he warned them. He admonished them, “If you do not repent, I will punish you and burn you!” They would not repent and continued to say, “Indeed you are Allah!” Imam `Ali then burned them with fire. Once they felt the fire burning them, they said, “Now we are sure that you are Allah, for no one punishes with fire other than Allah!” Taken from The Divine Lightning: The Decisive Speech from the Lord of Lords, the Words of the Messenger of the King, the Bestower, the Statement of the People of Wisdom in Answer to Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab, pp. 134-135.


[37] Zad ul-Mustaqni` fi-khtisar il-Muqni`, pp. 217-218,

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17/09/2018, 20h41
Mujtahid and Ijtihad


Please be sure to read the section entitled: Where Do We Get Our Authority From? before reading this section





One of the great authorities of the past, Shaikh Sulaiman ibn `Abdul Wahhab an-Najdi as-Sudairi al-Hanbali (d. 1209 AH) – may Allah be pleased with him and accept his martyrdom – said the following on the topic of ijtihad and mujtahids:


We begin by saying that you should know that Allah, Glorified and Exalted is He, sent Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, with the Guidance, the Religion of Truth, to exalt it over every other religion. He sent down to him the Book,[1] a clarifier of everything. Allah rewarded him with what He promised him and exalted His Religion over every other religion, and He established this affair until the end of time when the souls of all the believers will be raptured.[2]


He has made His Ummah[3] the best of nations just as He has said:


You are the best Ummah ever brought forth for mankind.[4]


He (Allah) made them witnesses against humanity as the Exalted One said:


Likewise, We have made you a balanced Ummah, so that you might act as witnesses against mankind.[5]


In fact, He chose them, just as the Exalted One said:


He has selected you and not placed any constraint upon you in the religion.[6]


The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,[7] “Out of some 70 Ummahs, you were the best and most honourable of them in the sight of Allah.”[8]


The points of reference that necessitate this understanding[9] are innumerable, an example being where he, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The affair of this Ummah will always be established until the Hour comes.”[10]


He has truly made it compulsory for everyone to follow the footsteps of this Ummah according to the words of the Exalted One:


He who follows other than the path of the believers, We will hand him over to whatever he has turned to and We will roast him in the Fire. What an evil destination.[11]


In this text, the Consensus[12] has been declared to be a decisive proof by Him and it is not permissible for anyone to exit from it. The points of reference that we have mentioned are well known to anyone who has any practical knowledge of the faith. You should know that what Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, came with is that the ignorant one is not to rely on his opinion alone, but it is necessary for him to ask the People of Knowledge, just as the Exalted One has proclaimed:


Ask the People of Knowledge if you do not know.[13]


It has also been said by him, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, that, “The only cure for when someone does not know something is that he ask a question.”[14]


All this is Consensus as mentioned[15] in the work, The Most Far Reaching Answer to the Question[16] The author mentioned that:


The scholars have made Consensus on the fact that it is not permissible for anyone to be an Imam[17] in the religion and the straight and upright way until he has gathered in himself the following characteristics, which are:


1. That he has mastered the Arabic language, its varying types, meaning, poetical metres, types and forms.


2. The differences of opinion of the senior scholars, masters of fiqh[18] and he is a scholar and a jurist,[19] memorising the Arabic, its’ classifications and varieties.


3. A scholar of the Book of Allah, having memorised it with its differing modes of recitation, as well as its different reciters.


4. He must also be a scholar of the meaning of the Qur’an, its verses of judgement[20] and the allegorical,[21] its abrogating verses and those that are abrogated,[22] and also its narratives.[23]


5. He must be an scholar in the Hadith of the Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, able to make the distinction between authentic[24] and baseless,[25] concurrent,[26] interrupted,[27] attributed,[28] documented,[29] well known as well as mass transmitted.[30]


6. He should also be a scholar of the statements of the Companions, which are found written in books that discuss the disrupted[31] and the documented.


7. He must be righteous in his religion and upon the true creed, safeguarding himself with truthfulness and righteousness, establishing his madhhab and his religion on the Book of Allah, the Sunnah of His Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.[32]


When all these characteristics are brought together in an individual, then it is permissible for him to be an Imam, that people make taqlid[33] of him, that he make ijtihad[34] in his religion and gives legal rulings. However, if he has not gathered these characteristics together in himself, or he is lacking one of them, he is deficient and it is not permissible for him to be an Imam, much less that the people follow him.


I will then say further that when these conditions are met, someone will be able to exercise ijtihad and hold the rank of an Imam in the religion. Whoever does not have these characteristics is not fit to be followed and depended upon in any manner. The scholars say, “People in the religion are of two categories: the one who does taqlid and the one who does ijtihad.”[35]


The people of ijtihad are specifically set apart by their knowledge of the religion, attached and connected to the Book and the Sunnah and Arabic, the language of transmission for the two sources.


Whoever knows the Book, the Sunnah, their particular phrases, is knowledgeable of how to establish their rulings and knows what has been narrated by established authority regarding abrogation or other things, such as ellipses, then his ijtihad is valid; such a one may have taqlid done to him by those who have not reached the rank of ijtihad. Whoever is not a mujtahid, it is compulsory to ask someone who is, and make taqlid of him. There is no difference of opinion in this matter at all.[36]


Look at his words! He clearly stated, “There is no difference of opinion in this matter at all!” Imam Ibn ul-Qayyim mentioned in The Notification of the Instructors in Knowledge of Revealed Law from the Lord of All Creation:


It is not permissible for anyone to take from the Book and the Sunnah when he does not meet the conditions of ijtihad, or possess all the sciences of Revealed Law. Muhammad ibn `Ubaidullah ibn al-Munadi[37] mentioned that when Ahmad ibn Hanbal was asked, “When a man has memorised 100,000 Ahadith, is he a scholar of fiqh?”


Ahmad replied, “No.” He said, “Then 200,000 Ahadith?” He said, “No.” He said, “Then 300,000 Ahadith?” He said, “No.” He then said, “Then 400,000 Ahadith?” He said, “Yes,” moving his hand to state the number was sufficient.


Abul Hussain[38] mentioned, “I asked my grandfather once how many Ahadith Ahmad had memorised. He said that he must have answered questions using some 600,000 Ahadith on different topics.”


Abu Hafs al-`Ukbari[39] mentioned that his teacher, Abu Ishaq,[40] said, “I was sitting in the Mansur Family Central Masjid[41] one day when for some reason this issue was mentioned. A man came to me and questioned if I had mentioned that amount so that I could give people rulings. I answered that I had not, but that I only give ruling based on the words of someone who has memorised this amount.”[42]


If we had desired, we could have continued quoting the narrations of the Consensus at great length, but this seems sufficient for the one seeking guidance. I have only mentioned this in the introduction so that as a rule, this point can be referred back to in whatever we will mention next. In this day and age humanity has been tested by those who claim to be going by the Book and the Sunnah and they attempt to extract rulings from its sciences, and they do not care who opposes them.








[1] Ar. kitab (KEY-TAAB). This is referring to the Qur’an. Allah says about his Revelation: That is the Book in which there is no doubt. It is a guide for those who are righteous. Surat ul-Baqarah (2), ayah 2


Allah has said: No falsehood can approach it from the front or behind. It is a revelation sent down from the All Wise, the Worthy of Praise. Surah Fussilat (41), ayah 42


Allah says further: It is a Qur’an that We have sent down to you at intervals, so that you might recite it to people at intervals, revealed in stages. Surat ul-Isra’ (17), ayat 105-106




[2] The rapture of the believers referred to by the author is connected to the end-time prophecy where there will be no Muslims left upon the face of the Earth when the cool wind comes blowing from the Syria-Yemen location. The discussion of this will be dealt with later in the work, if Allah wills.




[3] This word has no satisfactory rendering into English that the translator could find, thus it will have to remain in its original Arabic. The linguistic basis of the word is discussed by Imam Ibn al-Mandhur: “People were upon one Ummah, meaning one faith… so the Ummah means the Way and the Faith.


If someone should say, ‘There is no Ummah for him’, they mean that there is no faith or religion for him. If someone should say that someone is the best Ummah, it would mean the best people of faith.” Lisan ul-`Arab, vol.12, pp.26-27.


The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, meant this and more by the term Ummah when he said, “I saw 120 rows in the Paradise, 80 of them from this Ummah.” Collected by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad, vol.5, pp.354-355, as narrated by the companion, Buraidah al-Aslamah, may Allah be pleased with him, and classed as authentic.


We can see that he is referring to those who believe in him and follow him when he said further: “My Ummah is an Ummah that has been bestowed mercy. There is no punishment for it in the Hereafter. Its punishment in this life is by trials, earthquakes and massacres.” Collected by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his Musnad, vol.4, pp.410-418, and classed as authentic.




[4] Surah Ali `Imran (3), ayah 110




[5] Surat ul-Baqarah (2), ayah 142




[6] Surat ul-Hajj (22), ayah 78




[7] This is a reference to the second form of Revelation, that being the Sunnah. The use of this word ‘Sunnah’ has both a linguistic and theological use. Linguistically the word ‘Sunnah’ refers to a path, a road that is taken. Our concern is with the theological impact. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allah have mercy upon him, defined Sunnah as, “The ways and words of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him. The Sunnah explains the Qur’an; it has indicators on how to practise the Qur’an. There is no analogy in the Sunnah, and one should not make likenesses to it. The Sunnah is not encompassed by intellect or vain desires. It is only for us to follow the Sunnah and abandon evil desires.” Usul us-Sunnah, point #2




[8] Collected by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his Musnad, vol.15, pp. 111-112.




[9] Ar. dala’il (sing. dilalah). Imam Muwaffaq ud-Din Ibn Qudamah, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the word carried the understanding, “So you should know that the dilalah of phrases posseses the meaning that can be put into the following points: 1) dilalah of agreement and complete meaning. So consider the use of the word ‘house,’ which is referring to all of the habitation that we know of when we use the word ‘house.’ 2) then there is the dilalah of the phrase that posseses part of the meaning.


This would include the use of the word ‘roof’ or the word human being for body. 3) the dilalah of necessary knowledge. Like when you use the expression ‘roof,’ which is what goes over the walls. It is not a part of the roof but one cannot conceive of a roof without walls under it. So it is a composite part of the point of speech. So this type of speech cannot be used in investigating matters of the intellect as there are things that prove certain necessary statements.


So there has to come a point when one understands another thing from just one word. Take for example the use of the word ‘roof,’ which necessitates that there must be walls under it. The walls are the foundation holding it up and the foundation of that is the Earth. So if there is a roof, there must be walls.


Thus if there are walls, the rest of the house must be present which in turn is held in place by the earth and rock beneath it. These matters cannot be defined in a limited fashion but on the contrary can be limited to two points, namely that which corresponds and that which is part of the meaning.” Please see Rawdat un-Nazir wa Junnat ul-Munazir, vol.1, pp. 70-71.


The basic summation of all the different forms of dilalah is that the dilalah refers to something that must necessarily lead to another thing or another conclusion. So in the case of the roof, this leads to the understanding that there must be walls holding it up. This is so as there is only one understanding of roof that we have and if there is a structure held aloft and not be walls, then it is not a roof. The statement that the author used that the affair of the Ummah always being established until the Hour comes has a dilalah in it.


If the Ummah is always established rightly, then this means that this was the case before, is present now and will continue until the Day of Resurrection. Anything that would contradict that can thus be rejected. This is how the reader should understand the use of dilalah.




[10] Collected by Imam Muhammad ibn Isma`il al-Bukhari in his Al-Jami` us-Sahih, Book of Holding Fast to the Book and the Sunnah, under the chapter of There will always be a Group from My Ummah Manifest Upon the Truth Fighting for it and these are the People of Knowledge, and classed by him as authentic.




[11] Surat un-Nisa’ (4), ayah 115




[12] Ar. ijma`. Imam Muwaffaq ud-Din Ibn Qudamah gives the meaning of Consensus: “The meaning of Consensus in the Revealed Law is the agreement of the scholars of the Ummah of Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, on some matter of the faith at a point in time.” Rawdat un-Nazir wa Junnat ul-Munazir, vol.1, pp.375-376


An evidence for Consensus is where Allah has said: Whoever opposes the Messenger after the guidance has been made clear to him and follows other than the path of the believers, We shall turn him over to what he has chosen and burn him in the Great Fire, and what an evil end. Surat un-Nisa’ (4), ayah 115


Imam Ibn al-Jawzi, may Allah have mercy on him, comments on this ayah: ‘Whoever opposes the Messenger after the guidance of Tawhid and judicial rulings have been made clear to him, and follows other than the path of the believers, will be left to what he has chosen for himself’. Zad ul-Masir fi `Ilm it-Tafsir, pp.324-325


Indeed, the Ummah follows the scholars and has also been protected from falling into error. What this Ummah has understood has been passed down, as the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, told us: “The believers are the witnesses of Allah on Earth.” Jami` us-Sahih of Imam Muhammad al-Bukhari, Book of Witnesses, under the chapter of How many witnesses are needed for an upright testimony?


The Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, also said, “Whatever the Muslims see as good, Allah sees as good. Whatever they see as evil, Allah sees as evil.” Collected by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his Musnad, vol.1, pp.378-379, and classified as authentic.




[13] Surat un-Nahl (16), ayah 43




[14] Collected by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his Musnad, vol.3, pp. 328-329, Hadith# 3057, and classified as authentic.




[15] As a Qadi and a Grand Mufti of his madhhab, Imam Sulaiman begins to build up the unimpeachable argument that the Orthodox Muslims, when they are not scholars and masters of a science, are required to either quote one or follow one when they do not know something of a particular issue. He has taken his argument from many texts. This has been mentioned in the Prologue in the main body of the text.




[16] Ar. Ghayat us-Su’al




[17] The use of the expression ‘Imam’ here is not referring to the one who leads the prayer in houses of worship or does other activities that Muslims may see around them. Rather, the particular use of Imam in this way refers to the one who is a mujtahid. When differentiating between these and those other imams, one may encounter in the local masjid, the translator has put the latter in the lower care and the former in capitals.




[18] Imam Muwaffaq ud-Din Ibn Qudamah states that this word denotes: “Knowledge of the rulings in Revealed Law in terms of actions, such as that which is permissible, impermissible, authentic and sound, or inauthentic and invalid.” Rawdat un-Nazir wa Junnat ul-Munazir, vol.1, pp.53-54




[19] Ar. faqih (FUH-KEY). This person would also by default be a master of what is known in Arabic as usul ul-fiqh. The definition has been given by Imam Muwaffaq ud-Din Ibn Qudamah: “The evidences of the fiqh taken from the general points of the Revealed Law.” Rawdat un-Nazir wa Junnat ul-Munazir, vol.1, pp.53-54




[20] Ar. Muhkamat (MOOH-KAM-AAT). Al-Qadi Abu Ya`la the Elder, may Allah have mercy upon him, states, “The verse of judgement is the explained ayah, as Allah named the muhkamat the substance of the Book and the substance of the thing is the foundation which nothing is given preference to other than it. So if it is necessary to know that the muhkam is not in need of something else for explanation, then it is also necessary to know that it is the foundation in and of itself and it is not anything else according to what we have mentioned.” Rawdat un-Nazir wa Junnat ul-Munazir, vol.1, pp. 212-213




[21] Ar. mutashabihat (MOO-TA-SHAA-BI-HAT). Imam Muwaffaq ud-Din Ibn Qudamah, may Allah be pleased with him, says the following of the allegorical passages, “The truth and the most preponderant view is that the allegorical passages are the ayat that speak of the Attributes of Allah, Mighty and Majestic.” Rawdat un-Nazir wa Junnat ul-Munazir, vol.1, pp.213-215




[22] Ar. nasikh wa mansukh. This in English is known as abrogation, or progressive revelation. This Arabic word means, ‘to abrogate, invalidate, revoke, supersede, repeal, replace or withdraw’. This is the linguistic sense of the word. In Revealed Law, it carries specific implications that should be known by the believer.


Imam Muwaffaq ud-Din, may Allah have mercy upon him, stated: ‘Abrogation in the Revealed Law has the meaning of when the ruling on something is removed or eliminated, so the removal of the established present judgement in speech is superseded by speech that revokes and unbinds it’. Rawdat un-Nazir wa Junnat ul-Munazir, vol.1, pp.218-219




[23] Ar. qasas (KA-SAUCE), Qissah (sing.)




[24] Ar. sahih (SAH-HEE). All the scholars of Muslim Orthodoxy have said, “The scholars have said that there are three types of Ahadith: 1) sahih, 2) hasan and 3) da`if, and every branch has its forms. As for the authentic, this is any Hadith that has a chain of transmission that is continuous, with trustworthy narrators all the way back without rarities or flaw. This is agreed upon as authentic.” Sahih Muslim bi Sharh in-Nawawi, vol.1, pp. 26-27




[25] Ar. saqim (SUH-QEEM). Imam Abu Sulaiman Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Khattabi, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The people of Hadith are agreed that there are three branches of Hadith: a) sahih b) hasan and c) saqim. The sahih has a continuous chain of transmitters and narrators while the hasan is what is known and popular, bearing popular narrators, and most of the People of Hadith and scholars of fiqh know it and make use of it.


The saqim, however, has three branches, the worst of which is the a) mawdu`, then the b) maqlub and finally the c) majhul.” Sahih Muslim bi Sharh in-Nawawi, vol.1, pp. 26-27. Therefore, this shows us that not everything that is da`if or saqim is a lie or unusable. Indeed the mawdu` (Eng. fabricated) is certainly not fit for use, action or belief and can be rejected, but this is not the case for the others.


Imam Yahya an-Nawawi (d. 676 AH), may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The majhul reporters and reports have different branches, one of which is the narrator whose being upright externally and internally is not known, while there is the report where the narrator is upright externally and his internal is veiled and not known, then finally is the narrator whose identity is not known in the chain of transmission.


The first type of majhul is not valid to use as evidence, while the other two forms are utilised by many of the verifiers and researchers.”Sahih Muslim bi Sharh in-Nawawi, vol.1, pp. 27-28. Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab and his devotees will often use this against Muslim Orthodoxy and his laity by way of threatening, scaring or swaying the faith of these believers, but what the Orthodox believer must do is not immediately translate the word ‘saqim’ or ‘da`if’ as unreliable or untrue. Rather, the believer should begin to ask which type of da`if is being stated, as two of the three forms can be used and utilised with conditions.

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17/09/2018, 20h42
[26] Ar. muttasil (MUT-TA-SILL). Imam Taha ibn Muhammad al-Baiquni (d. 1080 AH (AD 1670), may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Whatever possesses a statement in which every narrator has a connection to the Chosen One, then it is muttasil.” Al-Majmu`ah Ummuhat ul-Mutun: Al-Baiquniyyah fil Mustalah, pp. 43-44




[27] Ar. munqati` (MUN-QAT`AH). Imam Yahya an-Nawawi, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The munqati` is when a chain of transmission is not connected due to one or two narrators being dropped from the chain of transmitters.” Sahih Muslim bi Sharh in-Nawawi, vol.1, pp. 29-30




[28] Ar. mursal (MUR-SELL). This has been defined by the scholars of fiqh and foundational principles, groups of Hadith scholars, including Al-Khatib Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as, “When the chain of transmission of a Hadith is interrupted in any way, according to them it has the same ruling as the munqata`. Groups of Hadith scholars, in fact most of them, say that a narration is only mursal when there is a tabi` narrating directly from the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, without mentioning the Companion.


The position of Imam ash-Shafi`ii and the Hadith scholars or the majority of these and a group of scholars of fiqh have the understanding that this cannot be used as evidence. However, the madhabs of Imam Malik, Abu Hanifah, Ahmad ibn Hanbal and most of the scholars of fiqh say that one may use it as evidence to make ruling.” Sahih Muslim bi Sharh in-Nawawi, vol.1, pp. 29-30




[29] Ar. musnad (MOOSE-NED). Imam Taha al-Baiquni, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The musnad is the one that is connected by its chain of transmission with one narrator and there is no one between him and the Chosen One.” Al-Majmu`ah Ummuhat ul-Mutun: Al-Baiquniyyah fil Mustalah, pp. 43-44




[30] Ar. mashahir (MA-SHA-HEAR) pl. and sing. mashhur (MESH-HOOR). Imam Taha ibn Muhammad al-Baiquni, may Allah be pleased with him, remarked, “Mashhur is a report with three or more narrators.” Al-Majmu`ah: Ummuhat ul-Mutun: Al-Baiquniyyah fil Mustalah, pp. 43-44.


There are different types of this report, with some scholars classifying Mutawatir/tawatur (MU-TA-WAA-TIR/TU-WAA-TUR) as a branch. This term mutawatir or tawatur is defined by Imam Muwaffaq ud-Din Ibn Qudamah, may Allah have mercy upon him, as: “Knowledge of things like the existence of cities like Makkah or Baghdad and so forth.


This is not a knowledge that is felt, for that which is felt is only sensed. The truthfulness of information is what is known to the intellect, as it is widespread. This fifth principle of knowing information is one of the ways of knowing something for sure.” Rawdat un-Nazir wa Junnat ul-Munazir, pp.91-92.


This definition is the linguistic one. As for the definition when discussing points of Revealed Law, Imam Muhammad Ahmad as-Saffarini, may Allah have mercy upon him, observes: “This term refers to when so many people have come to know and agree upon something and establish that the thing agreed upon is impossible to be a lie due to the obvious nature of it.” Lawami` ul-Anwar ul-Bahiyyah, vol.1, pp.13-15




[31] Ar. mawquf (MAO-COOF). Imam Yahya an-Nawawi, may Allah be pleased with him, in quoting the authorities on the subject, gave the following statement, “Mawquf is when a statement or action, whether complete or interrupted in chain, is attributed to a companion.” Sahih Muslim bi Sharh in-Nawawi, vol.1, pp. 29-30




[32] Thus the cultist or the unbeliever could not possibly be a mujtahid, as one of the conditions is lacking.




[33] Ar. taqlid (TECH-LEAD). Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allah be pleased with him, from the third blessed generation, said of the matter of taqlid, “Whoever says that he does not believe in taqlid and that he does not follow anyone in his religion, such is the statement of a rebellious sinner in the sight of Allah and His Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.


Such a one only seeks by doing so to nullify and strip the footsteps given before, and to nullify the knowledge and the Sunnah. They want to stay isolated and alone with personal opinion, speculative theology, innovation and contradiction, and opposition to what came before them.” Tabaqat ul-Hanabilah, vol.1, pp. 33-34.


Imam al-Khatib al-Baghdadi (d. 463 AH), may Allah be pleased with him, when commenting upon these and other statements of Imam Ahmad and other scholars, said: “We have already mentioned in detail the evidence that the mujtahid will use when he looks into knowing the rulings of the Revealed Law.


Now all that remains is to discuss what authority the common person returns to in acting on an issue, and this is known as taqlid. The general meaning is that taqlid refers to accepting the statement of someone without knowing any evidence for it. Rulings are built upon two matters; rational and those pertaining to the Revealed Law.


As for the rational, then it is not permissible to make taqlid in this area, in matters such as knowing the Creator, Exalted be He, and His Attributes, knowing the Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, testifying to his truthfulness and other matters that have to do with judgements and punishments to come in the Hereafter. It has, however, been narrated from `Ubaidullah ibn Al-Hasan al-`Anbari, who said that taqlid in the foundations of the religion is permissible, but this is a mistake due to the Words of Allah the Exalted,


Follow what was sent down to you from your Lord and do not follow those besides Him as protectors. Little indeed do you reflect. Surat ul-A`raf (7), ayah 3. Allah has also said, When it is said to them, ‘Follow that which Allah sent down,’ they say, ‘We shall follow what we found our fathers upon.’ And if your fathers did not know anything nor were they guided. Surat ul-Baqarah (2), ayah 170.


The Exalted One has further said, Likewise, we did not send before you to any town a warner except that its inhabitants said, ‘We found our fathers upon a religion and we shall follow in their footsteps.’ Say, ‘What if I have come to you with more guidance than that which you found our fathers upon.’ Surat uz-Zukhruf (43), ayah 23.


When the following of their fathers prevented them from accepting that which is more guided, they said, We do not believe in that which you have sent to us. Surat uz-Zukhruf(43), ayah 24.


The Exalted One has said, Recite to them the news of Ibrahim when he said to his father and people, ‘What do you worship?’ They said, ‘We worship idols and we are steadfast in maintaining them.’ Say, ‘Do they hear you when you call on them and can they benefit or harm you?’ They said, ‘We found our fathers doing likewise before us.’ Surat ush-Shu`ara’ (26), ayat 69-74.


They, therefore, abandoned giving the answer to the issue due to their inablility to do so and the question actually exposed the falsity of their position. The people mentioned what they had not been asked regarding their fathers and their making taqlid of them.


The Exalted One has also said, ‘They said, Our Lord, we obeyed our leaders and senior folk, and they led us astray from the path.’ Surat ul-Ahzab (33), ayah 67.The Exalted One also said, They took their priests and rabbis as lords besides Allah. Surat ut-Tawbah (9), ayah 31.


`Adi ibn Hatim said, I came to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, while I was wearing a crucifix around my neck made of gold. He said, Ibn Hatim, remove this idol from your neck. I took it off and then he recited the whole of Surah Bara’ah until he reached, They took their priests and rabbis as lords besides Allah. Surat ut-Tawbah (9), ayah 31.


I said, Messenger of Allah, we did not worship them. So the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, Did they make permissible the impermissible and you obeyed them and they made the permissible impermissible and you obeyed them? I said, yes and he said, Then that is worship of them.


Abul Bukhtari said that Hudhaifah was asked about the ayah, They took their priests and rabbis as lords besides Allah, how the people worshipped their priests and rabbis. Hudhaifah answered, ‘They made permissible what Allah declared impermissible and they made impermissible what Allah had made permissible’.”


Imam Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, may Allah be pleased with him, commented further after quoting all this, “So because the principles of the faith that we mentioned have to do with what is awareness and intellect, and the people all share in that matter, there is to be no taqlid in the foundations.


As for the judgements and rulings of the Revealed Law, then there are two points regarding taqlid:


1) One knows by necessity from the religion of the Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, the compulsory nature of things like the five prayers, zakah, fasting the month of Ramadan, Hajj.


It is also known by necessity the impermissibility of fornication and adultery, taking intoxicants and other such things. In these matters, there is no taqlid, for all people share in knowing them and having knowledge of them, so taqlid has no basis in this matter.


2) There are the things that are not known except by investigation and gathering evidence, such as the branches of worship, transactions, marriage, divorce matters and other things that are connected to the foundational rulings. This is a matter in which one does taqlid, according to the evidence of the statement of Allah the Exalted, Ask the People of Knowledge if you do not know. Surat un-Nahl (16), ayah 43.


If we should stop taqlid in these matters that are from the branches of the religion, it would have been necessary for everyone to learn that knowledge, and by obligating this it would stop all occupations, the cultivation of the earth, whether it be crops, livestock or the movement of people from place to place. Thus it is necessary that everyone is not responsible for this knowledge. The one who does taqlid is the layman.


The layman does not know the different ways that the rulings of the Revealed Law are found, so it is permissible for such a person to make taqlid of a scholar and act by his words. Allah the Exalted has said, Ask the People of Knowledge if you do not know. `Amr ibn Qais said of the ayah, ‘Those to be asked are the People of Knowledge’.


It is narrated from Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, that there was a man with a head injury in the time of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, who had a wet dream and was commanded to make ghusl, and upon doing so died. Once this reached the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, he said, ‘They have killed him. May Allah kill them. The only cure for when someone does not know something is to ask a question’.


When the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was asked after that, he answered, ‘If he had washed his body, but left his head and wiped over it, this would have been sufficient’. Because that man was not from the people of ijtihad, it was compulsory for him to make taqlid just as the blind person makes taqlid regarding the direction of prayer.


If he does not have with him the tool of ijtihad in the direction of prayer, he is to make taqlid of the person with sight regarding the matter. It is narrated from one of the Mu`tazilah, who said that it is not permissible for the layman or common man to act by the statement of the scholar until he knows the ruling for it. When he has asked the scholar the matter, then he only asks him to know the ruling and when he finds the evidence behind it, he acts by it.


This is a clear mistake, as there is no way for the layman to go to the evidences except after studying for years and keeping the company of and mixing with the scholars of fiqh for a long period of time.


He will then have to investigate the rules and ways of analogy, know what validates and nullifies it and what is compulsory to give preference to in regards to other evidence and the preference of one evidence over another, but by making the layman responsible for this, one is charging him with what he is not able to do and has no way to reach it.


As for the scholar, is it permissible for him to make taqlid of another scholar? The matter has to be investigated. If there is plenty of time to look into the issue and it is possible for him to make ijtihad, then it is necessary for him to make ijtihad for the ruling and it is not permissible for the scholar to make taqlid.


There are some who have declared it permissible for the scholar to make taqlid, and this has been stated by Imam Sufyan ath-Thawri. He said, ‘Whatever the scholars of fiqh have differed in, I do not forbid any one of my brothers from taking hold of it. When the man sees an action being done that the scholars of fiqh have differed in and you have another position besides him, do not forbid him from the action’.


Muhammad ibn Al-Hasan ash-Shaibani remarked, ‘It is permissible for the scholar to make taqlid of the one with more knowledge than him and it is not permissible for him to make taqlid of the one equal in knowledge to him’. The reason for the principle that it is not permissible for him to make taqlid of one of the same calibre is because of the length of time that he has and the the tools of ijtihad that he can use to make the ruling sought.


In this case, it is not permissible for him to make taqlid of someone besides him as we have said of the matters of the intellect. Now if the time should be short and he believes that worship may be left if he spends much time in ijtihad, then there are two points to this matter:


1) It is permissible for him to make taqlid in that affair,


2) It is not permissible for him to make taqlid so long as he has the tools of ijtihad, so the ruling is the same as if he had plenty of time. It is said that this is the more correct of the two positions. Allah knows best.


Abu Ibrahim al-Muzani said of this affair, ‘It should be asked of the one who makes ruling by taqlid whether he has proof. If he should say that he does, then he has nullified the taqlid, as the proof makes that compulsory for him to follow and not taqlid. If the person should say that it is by other than the proof, then it should be asked about the rulings on judicial punishments and rulings on the lives of people and the charity in wealth Allah has made all that impermissible then you have made it permissible without evidence.


If he should say that he knows the proof and that if he does not know it he will ask his teacher, as he is from the senior scholars, and his opinion in the knowledge takes more precedence. Anything that he might say is only with proof that is hidden from me at the moment. It should then be said to to him that the taqlid of the teacher of your teacher is more befitting of taqlid than that of your very own teacher, as he does not speak except by the proof that has been concealed from your own teacher, and your teacher speaks of things and has the proof concealed from him.


If he should agree to this, he has abandoned taqlid of his teacher to taqlid of the teacher of his teacher and, likewise, whoever is higher until he reaches the scholars from the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. If he should refuse to do that, he has contradicted his own words.


It should be asked of him how it is permissible for him to make taqlid of the one who is less than him and has less knowledge, and it is not permissible for him to make taqlid of one who is greater than him and has more knowledge? Is this not a contradiction?


If he should say that the matter is because the person is his teacher and that even if he has less knowledge, he has gathered knowledge of those above him and added it to his knowledge, so he has greater insight and more knowledge of what has been left. It should be said that, likewise, whoever learned from your teacher, has added the knowledge of your teacher and the knowledge of those above him to his knowledge.


It then becomes compulsory to make taqlid of him and abandon taqlid of your teacher. Likewise, you have more right to make taqlid of yourself than your teacher, as you have added his knowledge and the knowledge of those above him to his knowledge, so by the words of this person mentioned he has contradicted himself.


He has made the one who is less and speaks from the lesser in knowledge of the scholars greater than the taqlid of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and he put taqlid of someone less than a companion over them and the taqlid of the one who is higher, subservient to the one who is less, and this is the case in the analogy.


He has made it necessary for whoever is correct to follow other than his teacher in the mistakes of his teacher, and he is mistaken in this matter regarding his teacher and his taqlid alone’.” Kitab al-Faqih wal-Mutafaqqih, vol.2, pp. 66-70.


Thus, those who are not people of ijtihad of any calibre are obligated in this area to accept the evidence that the scholars have given, even though we do not know all the texts on the topic. One example is Consensus.


Allah has indeed mentioned it in the Qur’an, And whoever contends with the Messenger after the guidance has been made clear to him and he who follows other than the path of the believers, We will hand him over to whatever he has turned to and We will roast him in the Fire. What an evil destination. Surat un-Nisa’ (4), ayah 115.


We know this is the case, but the scholars have given the verses and explained them in such a manner that means, if we ask them the evidence for an understanding (i.e. abrogation, the categories of strong, authentic, weak in Hadith science etc), they state that this is Consensus, but if we ask them for an explicit text upon that which they have all agreed, there is not one present, but just the general texts on Consensus.


This goes back to what the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said of the scholars, “Whoever travels a path seeking knowledge, Allah makes him travel a path to Paradise. The angels spread out their wings in pleasure for the one seeking knowledge. Every creature in the skies and the Earth seeks forgiveness for the scholar, even the fish in the sea.


The virtue of the scholar over the worshipper is like the virtue of the moon over the rest of the stars in the sky. Indeed, the scholars are the inheritors of the prophets. They do not believe behind any coin or measure of wealth, but it is the knowledge that they leave behind. Whoever should take hold of it, takes hold of much good indeed.” Musnad Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol.16, pp. 70-71




[34] This word is explained with two subcategories, depending on the one who is doing the ijtihad. For the Absolute Mujtahid, when he uses ijtihad, it has sometimes been translated, ‘Advanced Juridical Reasoning (AJR)’, while for every Mujtahid besides, it has been translated, ‘Restricted Juridical Application (RAJA)’, although both of them are doing ijtihad.


The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, used this expression when he said, “When the judge makes ijtihad and he is correct, he has two rewards (ajr) and when he is mistaken, he has one reward.”


Collected by Imam Muslim ibn Hajjaj in his Jami` us-Sahih, Book of Giving Judgement, under the chapter of, Explanation of the reward of the Judge when he makes ijtihad and is correct or mistaken. This difference between the mujtahids will be explained further in the work, if Allah wills.




[35] Therefore, there are laymen and scholars. However, the scholars have different divisions, which is why the scholars have discussed this in some length. When discussing people on earth in terms of their knowledge, there are some seven types of people.


1) Mujtahid Mutlaq (Absolute Mujtahid): the scholar who derives principles directly from the text. This one has memorised all the Qur’an (6,236 lines) as well as all its subsciences. He knows all the verses for collective and individual rulings (some 500 in number).


He knows the fullness of the Sunnah (one million Ahadith), having full knowledge of the 500 collections that make up the Ahadith, mastering varying narrations and supporting texts along with all 18 sciences of Revealed Law. This is in addition to what has been mentioned in the main body of the text. Such a scholar has their own methodology for deriving principles from the Revealed Law, as he knows it entirely and completely.


2) Mujtahid Mutlaq fil-Madhhab (Absolute Mujtahid Within the School): a scholar in this case utilises the principles for deriving rulings from the Imam of his school, using these principles to derive new rulings from the text as well as executing them. Although he is using the evidence, he is only able to derive rulings using the principles of his Imam and legal school.


3) Mujtahid Murajjih (Preferential Mujtahid): someone of this category is able to tell the dominant and depended upon ruling in his school by examining the positions and statements of the scholars. After looking at the statements, he can come to the ruling, and quotes those most senior figures, with or without their evidence.


4) Mujtahid Mukharrij (Mujtahid of Derivation): they have gathered together the books, they comment upon them, extract their rulings in new situations as answers for the laymen. They do not engage in a great deal of ijtihad and only comment when there is no statement within the legal school as a precedent.


5) Mujtahid Ifta’ (Mujtahid of Legal Rulings): a scholar who can indicate and explain to an enquirer where a ruling is found, the evidence for it and the like.


6) Mujtahid Fil-Masa’il (Mujtahid in Specific Matters): he is able to give rulings in certain areas that he has mastered, such as language, inheritance and the like, but is considered a ‘lacking mujtahid’ in the sense that he does not encompass all the sciences. That in which he is proficient, he stands as a master. It should also be mentioned that in this case, both this category and the mujtahid ifta’ are not able to implement the law or exact the legal rulings; they may only indicate them.


Within these classifications, there are subgroups of lesser and greater capacity, but the point of this note was not to discuss these areas exhaustively, but only to make brief comment, so the words of the author could be understood in context.


7) Common Muslims (Laity): this includes most people from amongst the Muslims of all ages, as they have not all been commanded to become scholars of ijtihad. They may go directly to the texts for their creed, basic knowledge of what is impermissible and permissible, and enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong. For that which is more detailed or requires specialised knowledge, they must refer to one of the six mentioned.


This has been discussed at length by noble Imams, such as Ibn Hamdan (d. 695 AH (AD 1298) as well as al-Futuhi (d. 898-972 AH (AD 1493-1565) in his text, al-Muntaha, vol.3, under the Book of Giving Legal Rulings, which was commented upon by Shaikh ul-Islam Mansur al-Buhuti (d. 1051 AH (AD 1656). These classifications can be discussed at length in a separate research, but for now they are here for the general knowledge of the reader, so it can be ascertained what the author intends by his words.

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[36] There is almost a word for word reiteration of this statement by Imam`Ala’ ud-Din Al-Mardawi (820-885 AH (AD 1417-1480) in Tahrir ul-Manqul Fi Tahdhib il-`Ilm il-Usul, may Allah be pleased with both of them, who both gave the conditions for ijtihad, “So the conditions for someone being a mujtahid are that:


The one in question would be a jurist, the word jurist carrying the meaning of ‘the scholar of the principles of fiqh’, which means that he has the strength and ability to derive rulings from their primary sources and is knowledgeable about what is depended upon in principles of jurisprudence, that being the Book, Sunnah, Consensus and analogy from its many forms.



He would know how to look for evidence, where it would be found, and the differing principles of the scholars of fiqh. What he must also do is look at the situation that requires the ruling. He would then look at the ruling for that situation and finally how to apply it. He would know when to give precedence to something that would normally be delayed and when to delay something that would normally be given precedence. That type of skill is the instrument of the mujtahid, just as much as the pen is the instrument of the writer.



He would be a scholar of the textual evidence of revelation in all its elaborate detail along with the different ranks and levels of that evidence. While having all this, he would possess the ability and erudition to master the textual evidence with full power to bind, loose, arrange and declare what is authentic and also inauthentic. That is all the providence and responsibility of implementing fiqh. Hujjat ul-Islam Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali, may Allah have mercy upon him, stated: ‘When the jurist speaks and gives rulings in matters that he hears about, but does not speak with the same authority in matters he has not heard about, then he is really not a jurist’.



The individual should be a scholar of the science of that which abrogates and that which is abrogated. He should know about the science of Hadith, whether it be authentic, weak, the point of the text or the chain of transmission.



He would know grammar and syntax, which is the way of coming to know that which is in relation to the Book and Sunnah when one discusses an explicitly worded text, a dominant text, a passage clarified by another text, an independently clear passage, external, literal, figurative and other divisions that reach some 80 subcategories.



The person should know the intent of phrases and statements that are used, and how sentences are structured grammatically. The way things are understood or how they should be understood are crucial, as some rulings are connected to how certain phrases and statements are applied. By knowing this, he is firmly acquainted with grammatical pauses and punctuation. An example would be the statement of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, when he said, “Follow these two after me: Abu Bakr and `Umar.” The way the Shi`ah relate it renders the punctuation, ‘Along with Abu Bakr and `Umar, you should follow those after me’. The way to know the correct understanding would be to comprehend the grammar and construction of the sentence. Situations like this often arise, so much so that in the areas of divorce and affirming evidence, and similar subjects, the jurists make a difference between the one who knows Arabic and the one who does not.



He knows what is agreed upon and what is differed in, and the areas of Consensus, so that he does not contradict or oppose it by mistake.



He would also know the reasons why ayat were revealed in the Qur’an and why the statements of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, were made, so he should know the intent and context of what was said. In this way he would also have access to this knowledge in relation to what is specific and what is general.



More importantly, he knows Allah and His Attributes, His being free from resembling His Creation and other important knowledge. He knows that which is permissible to believe about Him, Exalted be He, and that which is impermissible to believe about Him. He would bear witness and testify to the Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, what Revealed Law he came with that has been given to us and emphasised by definite evidence. He believes in the rest of the messengers, peace be upon them, and all other revelations previous to those mentioned, and what is authentically expounded in the books of the rightly guided Orthodox creed. Please see Sharh ul-Kawkab il-Munir: Al-Mukhtar ul-Mubtakar Sharh ul-Mukhtasar fi Usul il-Fiqh, vol.4, pp. 459-471, which quotes this passage and is discussed in detail by the commentator, Imam Ibn An-Najjar (d. 972 AH (AD 1565).


[37] d. 272 AH (AD 885). He is a student of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal and teacher of Hadith to such students as Imams Muhammad ibn Isma`il al-Bukhari, Abu Dawud as-Sijistani, `Abdullah al-Baghawi and more. Rumoured to have lived some 100 years, he is mentioned by Imam Al-Bukhari in his Al-Jami` us-Sahih under the title, Ahmad.

[38] d. 368 AH (AD 979). Abul Hussain Ahmad ibn Ja`far ibn Al-Munadi, the grandson of Imam Muhammad ibn `Ubaidullah al-Munadi, he wrote more than 400 works and was recognised in the field of creed, fiqh and Hadith analysis.

[39] d. 387 AH (AD 997). He is `Umar ibn Ibrahim ibn `Abdullah Al-`Ukbari, student of scholars of such high calibre as Abu Bakr an-Najjad and Abu Ishaq Ibn Shaqla, and teacher to Al-Qadi Abu Ya`la the Elder. He wrote numerous books such as Al-Muqni`, Sharh ul-Khiraqi and Al-Khilaf baina Ahmad wa Malik, and is remembered for his piety.

[40] d. 354 (AD 965). He is Ibrahim ibn Ahmad ibn `Umar ibn Hamdan ibn Shaqla, known as Abu Ishaq al-Bazzar. Known as a genius in the fundamentals of faith, fiqh, he kept the company of many noble scholars, such as Abu Bakr `Abdul `Aziz and others.
Students of this Imam included Abu Hafs Al-`Ukbari, `Abdul `Aziz Ghulam Az-Zujaj and Ahmad ibn `Uthman Al-Kabshi. As a champion of the faith and a caller to the simplicity of faith, he was always well known for making what were seen as complex things seem inherently simple.

[41] Ar. Jami` ul-Mansur
[42]I`laam ul-Muwaqqi`in `an Rabbil `Alamin, vol.2, pp. 84-85

Taken with Permission from Al-Hajj Abu Ja`far Al-Hanbali’s translation of:
The Divine Lightning: The Decisive Speech from the Lord of Lords, the Words of the Messenger of the King, the Bestower, the Statements of the People of Wisdom in Answer to Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab, from section marked, Prologue

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What is the structure of the Marja System?

Please be sure to read the section entitled: Mujtahid and Ijtihad before reading this section




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FAQ About Meeraath


How Do We Identify Maraji`?


The authorities are identified in the following ways:


1) Living authorities or a living authority commands them to author an independent book or set of books on the science of fiqh.


An example of this is when Imam Mustafa ad-Dumi (d. 1200 AH), may Allah have mercy upon him, was asked by one of the maraji` to author a text clarifying issues in the religion connected with worship and transactions.[1]


2) Someone is specifically referred to as a marja` and teaches in place of his teacher (with the permission of that particular teacher) when he is not present.


If someone should look at the case of Imam Mar`ii ibn Yusuf al-Karmi (d. 1033 AH), may Allah have mercy upon him, it can be seen that there were some 7 citations of maraji` asking him to write his text Dalil ut-Talib and his authority to write it and commentate upon it.[2]


3) Someone becomes marja` after training under scholars, who find him qualified and declare the individual as such.


Could a Marja` Depose Himself or be Deposed?


Yes, one example is of Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (d. 795 AH), who self-deposed due to the situation of his health, the weight of the obligation and the dedication to writing books.


Could Someone Refuse to take the Post of Marja`?


Yes, someone could refuse the post. One example is Imam Ibn Al-Liham (d. 803 AH), one of the great students of Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (d. 795 AH). When the teacher of Ibn Al-Liham gave him the post, the Imam refused to move forward for it.


What Type of Authority Do the Maraji` Possess over the Rest of the Scholars?


A great example of this can be illustrated in discussing the Imam, the Marja`, Abu `Abdullah Shams ud-Din Muhammad ibn Muslim az-Zaini as-Salihi (d. 727 AH), when he prevented Imam Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah (661-728 AH) from giving any further rulings as it was creating such dissension.[3]


What is the Relation Between Maraji` and Abdal?


We would like to start by saying that the matter can in the initial point be summed up by saying, “Every Badal (Ar. sing. of the Ar. pl. Abdal) is a marja` but not every marja` is a badal.”


The reason for this is that the Abdal are either from Sham or Iraq, as the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,


The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,


“The High Ranking Saints of this Ummah are 30 men and their hearts are like the heart of Khalil ur-Rahman, Ibrahim, peace be upon him. Whenever one of them dies, Allah then puts another in his place.” This is collected by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal from the narration of `Ubadah ibn as-Samit and it is authentic. [4]


He, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, further proclaimed,


“The High Ranking are thirty and due to them the Earth is established and you receive help.” This is collected by Imam At-Tabarani from the narration of `Ubadah ibn as-Samit and it is authentic.[5]


He, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, also informed us,


“The High Ranking Saints are in Sham. It is due to them that the people receive help and it is due to them that they are sustained.” This is collected by Imam At-Tabarani from the narration of `Awn ibn Malik and classed as sound.[6]


There is also a narration where he, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, stated,


“The High Ranking Saints are in Sham and they are 40 men in number. Whenever one man dies, Allah replaces him with another. The Earth receives its’ rain due to them and the land receives help against its’ enemies due to them. It is also due to them that the punishment gets kept away from the people of Sham.” This is collected by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad as narrated from `Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah ennoble his face and classed as sound. [7]


Imam Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah (661-728 AH) mentions that there is indeed a pecking order and a clerical class in charge of the affairs of the Muslims on a global scale. Please read the following:


“Those who take hold of the pure and unadulterated Islam – free from deviation and crookedness – they are Muslim Orthodoxy; within them are the righteous and upright holy ones (Ar. As-Siddiqun), the martyrs (Ar. Ash-Shuhada’), the pious (Ar. As-Salihun) – and from them are the great luminaries of guidance (Ar. A`lam ul-Huda), the lamps of goodness (Ar. Masabih ud-Duja) who possess numerous virtues and favours that have and could be mentioned.


Now within this group are the High Ranking Saints (Ar. Al-Abdal) – and within them are the Imams of the Religion (Ar. A’immat ud-Din) that the Muslims have made Consensus on their being upon right guidance – and these are the Victorious Group and Aided Group (Ar. At-Ta’ifat ul-Mansurah) who the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said of them,


‘There will always be a group from my Ummah, upon the truth and manifest with it. Those who oppose them or abandon them will not harm them until the Hour comes.’


We ask Allah that He makes us from them and that He make our hearts not slip after He guided us and bestowed on us mercy from Himself. Indeed He is the Bestower and Allah knows best.”[8]


Are Maraji` without Madhhab?


Today’s Maraji` do indeed have madhab. There has not been a marja` that was an absolute mujtahid since the third generation and the last absolute mujtahid was Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal.


Imam Dawud ibn Sulaiman al-Khalidi (d. 1299 AH), may Allah be pleased with him, said the following, “The last absolute mujtahid was Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal when he was put in his grave and the dust put over it.” [9]


Why Do We Need Maraji`?


In order to lead the Muslims, safeguard the religion, establish the faith and eventually hand authority over to Al-Imam al-Mahdi and the Messiah, `Isa the son of Maryam, peace be upon both of them, at the Second Coming.


This Ummah is led either by prophets or scholars in the absence of a prophet. At the second advent of a prophet, the Ummah is then led by prophets once again.


It is neither permissible nor right and proper for the Ummah to be led by laymen. The first example of the Ummah being led by laymen was Yazid ibn Mu`awiyah in 60 AH. This precipitated the murder of several Companions and countless other innocents.


We are living in a current age of laymen rule. Laymen did not build the observatories, hospitals, invent the bifocals in Baghdad, Iraq some 900 years ago. Authorities did.


Maraji`…Here to Stay?


Authorities will continue to be until the end of the time as discussed above regarding Al-Imam al-Mahdi and the Prophet `Isa, peace be upon both of them.


When Maraji` Differ…?


Whenever there is difference of opinion between the maraji,` it is permissible for the Ummah on an individual basis to follow which rulings speak to their heart.


An example of this was when the people asked Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, about a woman setting off when she received her monthly cycle at the time where the Final Tawaf around the Ka`bah would be done.


When he gave the answer that she could set out if she had completed other forms of tawaf before, the people said that they would not leave the statement of the authority of Al-Madinah, namely Zaid ibn Thabit, may Allah be pleased with him.


Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, accepted this and told them to ask when they arrived back in Madinah. When they did, the words of Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, were verified by Imm Sulaim, may Allah be pleased with her, and this was also the position of Zaid ibn Thabit, may Allah be pleased with him.[10]


Could a Marja` be Mistaken?


Yes, but all of them together will never come to be mistaken. They will never pass down rulings consistently that are wrong. One of the evidence of this is that the foundations of the religion have been handed down to us through them along with the Qur’an, Sunnah, all other sciences of Islam.


How Similar is this to the Shi`ah Understanding of Marja`?


The current Twelver Shi`ah (also referred to as Imami) understanding of the scholars ruling over the affairs of the people, referred to as Wilayat ul-Faqih, is taken from the understanding of Muslim Orthodoxy and defined as Uwl ul-Amr.


Ruhollah Khomeini popularised this and was opposed by the most senior leaders of the Shi`ah of his time, including the high ranking Ayatollah al-Khoei (1299-1413 AH).


The only thing in common between the two groups is that both Shi`a and Sunnis use the expressions Maraji`, A’immah, Abdal and so forth but we pour vastly different meanings into those words.


But are these not Just Religious Scholars?


No, the Maraji` have both temporal and spiritual authority as we attempted to prove in previous articles. The reader may refer back to these for further details.






[1] Hashiyah `ala Dalil it-Talib Lil-Imam Mustafa ad-Dumani, pp. 70-72




[2] Dalil ut-Talib `Ala Nail il-Matalib, Muqaddimah, pp. 5-14




[3] Adh-Dhail `ala Tabaqat il-Hanabilah (2 vols in a collection of 4), vol.4, pp. 314-315, Dar ul-Kutub il-`Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1413 AH




[4] Al-Musnad, vol. 16, pp. 410-411




[5] Al-Mu`jam ul-Kabir, vol.10, pp. 179-181




[6] Al-Mu`jam ul-Kabir, vol.18, pp. 64-66




[7] Fada’ il us-Sahabah, vol. 2, pp. 905-907




[8] Matn ul-`Aqidat il-Wasitiyyah (Ar.), pp. 30-31.




[9] Ashadd ul-Jihadi Fi Ibtali Da`w al-Ijtihad, pp. 74-75




[10] Imam Muhammad ibn Isma`il al-Bukhari in his Al-Jami` us-Sahih, Book of Hajj under the chapter of When a Woman Receives Her Monthly Cycle During the Time of the Final Tawaf After having Made Tawaf Previously and classed as authentic.