Learning our Deen (Islam)

April 2, 2008

EVIDENCES FOR ABROGATION IN ISLAM (NASKH)

Filed under: General, Hadith-Hadeeth, Intermediate, Quran — Um Abdullah M. @ 9:42 am

EVIDENCES FOR ABROGATION (NASKH)

Written by brother Abu Hazim al Katib (from the Arabic multaqa of ahl al Hadith)
Translated by brothers: Ayman Khaled & Mahmoud al Misri (may Allah reward them both)
Slightly Edited by Um Abdullah M.

The issue of abrogation is agreed upon by scholars of Islam, it has been stated that it is a matter of consensus to which no one apposed except what was reported about Abu Muslim Al-Asfahani who belongs to Mu’tazilah sect. However, the majority of Mu’tazilah sect acknowledge the existence of abrogation, which is in agreement with the opinion of Ahlu Alsunnah and the people of the Qiblah, the Muslims.

Abrogation is proven by Quran, Sunnah, consensus and logic.

From The Quran:

1) Allah, the most High says: {Such of Our revelations as we abrogate or cause to be forgotten, we bring (in place) one better or the like thereof. Knowest thou not that Allah is Able to do all things?}[2:106]

Ibn Jarir Al-Tabari (d. 310 H.) said:
“Allah means with (Such of Our revelations as we abrogate): we abrogate the ruling of a verse by another to change and replace this ruling. This is by making Halal to become Haram and vice versa or to let what is permissible to become impermissible. Thus, abrogation is only concerned with matters of commands and rulings such like: permissibility and impermissibility, prohibition and Halal … etc. Therefore, previous nation’s news and stories have no abrogation…” [Tafsir Ibn jarir (jami’e Al-Bayan):1/521]

Ibn Kathir said as well:
“Ibn Abi Talha narrated Ibn Abbas saying: (Such of Our revelations as we abrogate) means: what we replace of verses.
Ibn Jarir reported from the way of Mujahid: This part means: the verses we erased” and Ibn Abi Najeh from the way of Mujhaid narrated Mujahid said: “we confirm the verse and its place in Quran but we replace its ruling. This is what the companions of Ibn Masoud narrated as well.” [Tafseer Ibn Katheer: 1/207]

Al-Qurtubi in his book “Al-Jamie’ Li Ahkam Al-Quran” while he was talking about the verse of abrogation:
“Having knowledge about this matter is needed and its benefit is great, to the extent that all scholars need to know about abrogation because only the ignorant would deny abrogation since abrogation is needed to know the rulings of what is Haram and halal” [Al-Jamie Li Ahkam Al-Quran: 2/61]

2) {And when we put a revelation in place of (another) revelation, and Allah knoweth best what He revealeth they say: Lo! thou art but inventing. Most of them know not.} [Al-Nahl: 101]

Ibn Jarir Al Tabari said:

“Allah the exalted says: We abrogate the ruling of a verse by replacing it with another ruling in another verse. In regards the part where it says {And Allah knoweth best what He revealeth}; Allah says there: what Allah abrogates and replaces is for the best of benefit to his creation as He knows the best. The part {revealeth they say: Lo! thou art but inventing} means: those, who associate someone with Allah in worshiping and disbelieving in the messenger, say to the messenger: O Muhammad you are inventing this which means that you claiming that Allah said that while he did not. So Allah replies to what they said: indeed, most of them are ignorant about the fact that what you –Muhammad- bring them i.e. abrogated verses and verses that abrogate another verse are all from Allah.

Scholars of interpretations said exactly as what we said about the above verse. And some of those who mentioned that are:

[..chain of narration..] Mujahid said about this verse: it means Allah lifts up a verse and replace it with another

[..chain of narration..] Mujahid said: Allah abrogates verses, replace them , lift them up and confirm another verse in abrogated verses.

[..chain of narration..] Qutada said: the context of the verse {. as we abrogate or cause to be forgotten,} is same as {we put a revelation in place of (another) revelation}.

[.. chain of narration ..] Ibn zaid said about the part where Allah says {we put a revelation in place of (another) revelation}: they; disbelievers, said to Muhammad you bring something then you say otherwise. So Allah says: this replacement is an abrogation because whenever a verse si replaced by another then it has to be an abrogation. [tafseer Ibn Jarir: Jamie AlBayan: 7/646] and for further readings: Ibn Katheer: 2/774] and AlJamie Li Ahkam AlQuran by Al Qurtubi: 10/157]

3) Abrogation took place in many verses in the Quran:

1. {(In the case of) those of you who are about to die and leave behind them wives, they should bequeath unto their wives a provision for the year without turning them out, but if they go out (of their own accord) there is no sin for you in that which they do of themselves within their rights. Allah is Mighty, Wise} has been abrogated by the verse {such of you as die and leave behind them wives, they (the wives) shall wait, keeping themselves apart, four months and ten days. And when they reach the term (prescribed for them) then there is no sin for you in aught that they may do with themselves in decency. Allah is Informed of what ye do}

2. {It is prescribed for you, when one of you approacheth death, if he leave wealth, that he bequeath unto parents and near relatives in kindness. (This is) a duty for all those who ward off (evil).} was abrogated by {Allah chargeth you concerning (the provision for) your children: to the male the equivalent of the portion of two females}

3. {Turn thy face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship, and ye (O Muslims), wheresoever ye may be, turn your faces when ye pray) toward it} abrogated the command of praying toward bait Al-Maqdis.

4. {O Prophet! Exhort the believers to fight. If there be of you twenty steadfast they shall overcome two hundred and if there be of you a hundred steadfast they shall overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they (the disbelievers) are a folk without intelligence.} was abrogated by {Now. hath Allah lightened your burden, for He knoweth that there is weakness in you. So if there be of you a steadfast hundred they shall overcome two hundred, and if there be of you a thousand (steadfast) they shall overcome two thousand by permission of Allah. Allah is with the steadfast.}

5. {It is prescribed for you, when one of you approacheth death, if he leave wealth, that he bequeath unto parents and near relatives in kindness. (This is) a duty for all those who ward off (evil).} was abrogated with { Allah chargeth you concerning (the provision for) your children: to the male the equivalent of the portion of two females}

6. {And now verily We shall make thee turn (in prayer) toward a qiblah which is dear to thee. So turn thy face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship,} abrogated praying toward madqdis Masjid.

Scholars have written special books about abrogation in the Quran:
Al-Nasikh and Mansookh by Abu Ja’far Al-Nahhas
Al-Nasikh and Mansookh by Abu Ubaid Alqasim Bin Salam
Ma’rifat AlNasikh wa AlMansookh by Ibn Hazm
Al-Nasikh Wa Almansookh from the Quran by Hibat Allah al-Maqri
Nawasikh AlQuran by Ibn Al-Jawzi
Al-Nasikh Wa AlMansookh by Ibn Al-A’rabi
and many other books.

Thus, we can notice that this is a matter of consent by scholars about the existence of abrogation so that you never find a scholar who wrote about Quran Tafseer denying or even doubting abrogation except some recent ones who have no early scholar to agree with them.

Proofs from the Sunnah:

There are many traditions that indicate the occurrence of abrogation in the shari’ah. The Prophet might give an order, and then would say that it has been abrogated, or prohibits from something and then say that it had been abrogated.

Many books had also been authored that speak about this [matter], which indicates the belief of the People of Hadith, Fiqh, and Usool in this matter, and from the books that were authored:

– “Al-I’tibar fee Al-Nasikh wa Al-Mansookh min Al-Athaar” by Al-Hazimi
– “Nasikh Al-Hadith wa Mansookhuh” by ibn Shaheen
– “Rusookh Al-Akhbar fee Mansookh Al-Akhbar” by Al-Ja’bari,
– “A’lam Al-‘Alam ba’d Rusookhih behaqaiq Nasikh al-Hadith wa Mansoukhih” by Ibn Al-Jawzi
“Ikhbar Ahl Al-Rusookh fe Al-Fiqh wa Al-Hadith Bi Miqdar Al-Mansoukh min Al-Hadith” by Ibn Al-Jawzi, and others.

This is also what is mentioned by the commentators and explainers of prophetic traditions in their books, such as: Ibn ‘Abd Al-Bar in “Al-Tamheed” and “Al-Istizkar”, Ibn Hajar in “Fath Al-Bari”, Al-‘Ieni in “‘Umdat Al-Qari”, Ibn Daqeeq Al-Eid in “Al-Ihkam”, and Ibn Al-‘Arabi in “Al-Qabas”.

This is also what is declared by the people of Fiqh in their books, such as: Al-Nawawi in his “Majmou’”, Ibn Qudamah in “Al-Mughni”, Al-Kasani in “Badaai’ Al-Sanaii”, and Ibn Rushd in “Bidayat Al-Mujtahid”.

And it is also what is stated by the compilers of the Sunnah, such as: Al-Bukhari, the authors of the Sunan, Abi ‘Awanah, Ibn Khuzaima, Ibn Hibban, Al-Bayhaqi, Al-Tahawi, and others.

It is also what is declared by the four Imams in their books.

Thus, this matter is the view held by the Scholars of Hadith, Fiqh, Tafseer, and Usool…

As for Consensus:

The consensus [about this matter] was transmitted by more than one [scholar], as it is the consensus of the companions where no one from among them rejected this, and [this consensus] was transmitted by Ibn Al-Hamam in Al-Tahrir (Tayseer Al-Tahrir 3/181).

Al-Bajy said: “All the Muslims are on the view of the possibility of abrogation” (Ahkam Al-Fusool p. 391).

Al-Shawkani said: “Abrogation is possible by common sense, and has occurred in reality with no dispute in this between the Muslims, except what was narrated from Abi Muslim Al-Asfahani” (Irshad Al-Fuhool p. 276).

And refer to: Sharh Tanqeeh Al-Fusool (p.303), Ham’ Al-Jawami’ Bisharh Al-Muhala (2/88), Al-‘Adad ‘Ala ibn Al-Hajib (2/188), Nihayat Al-Sawl (2/167), Sharh Al-Kawkab Al-Muneer (3/535), Al-Muswadah (p.195), Usool Al-Sarkhasi (2/54-55), Al-Wusool ila Al-Sawl by ibn Burhan (2/14-15), Al-Ibhaaj fee Sharh Al-Minhaj (2/249).

As For [it being] Common Sense and Rationally Acceptable:

1) It is said that scholars had agreed that rulings of the sharee’ah have a reasoning behind them that can be explained by the benefit and the interest [arising from them], and these benefits can change, such that something might be of benefit at one time, but not another, and the actions of Allah – the all Mighty – have a good reason behind them, and nothing is done by Him except what has a wisdom behind it and a benefit to His slaves.

2) There is nothing rational that would prevent the changing of rulings and their abrogation. And if there is nothing that would prevent such a thing, then this would imply possibility.

3) That the Islamic sharee’ah had abrogated the sharee’ahs of all those that were before us, and whoever attests to this should also attest that abrogation is possible within our own sharee’ah.

As for rejecting Abrogation, it was transmitted only from Abu muslim Al-Asfahani, who was from the Mu’tazilah, and the authenticity of this about him is differed upon:

– It was said that this is not true about him.

– It was also said that he just rejected calling it that, rather he calls it takhsees (making it specific) not naskh (abrogation). Thus this dispute is only in wordings not on its permissibility.

It was also said, that if what is transmitted about him is true, and he rejected abrogation itself (not just the wording), then his opinion is considered Shaaz [odd, and is] against the Book of Allah, the Sunnah, and the consensus of the Muslims that were before him. Abu Al-Husien Al-Basri, who was a Mu’tazilate like Abi Muslim, said: “The Muslims agreed that it is fit for the rulings to be abrogated, except for a strange narration of a few who [claimed that] such thing is not befitting” (Al-Mu’tamad 1/370).

Al-Shawkani said: “Abrogation is rationally acceptable, and has occurred in reality with no dispute in this between the Muslims, except what was narrated from Abi Muslim Al-Asfahani, where he said that it is rationally acceptable, but never actually occurred. Now, if that is authentic about him, it would demonstrate that he is ignorant about this sharee’ah in an outrageous way. What is even stranger than this is what was narrated about him of the dispute in the books of the sharee’ah, [if that is true, then this would lead to ignoring, any dispute that arise from him] because the dispute of those who attained scholarship is the one that we take into consideration, not the dispute of those whose ignorance reached this level” (Irshad Al-Fuhool p.276).

As for the evidences for this strange opinion (the rejecter’s opinion):

From among the proofs of this Shaaz (odd) opinion (of the rejecters):

1) That Allah says in the Quran: {Falsehood (Baatil) cannot approach it from before it or from behind it; [it is] a revelation from a [Lord who is] Wise and Praiseworthy} (41:42).

The point they are trying to make is Allah the Exalted stated that no falsehood can approach the Quran, thus if abrogation was possible than falsehood would have approached it.

It was replied to them that the meaning of falsehood here is lies, corruptions, and alterations similar to what happened to the previous Books, thus the above verse would agree with what Allah said in another verse: {Indeed, it is We who sent down the message [i.e. the Quran], and indeed, We will be its guardian}(15:9).

It is also said that what is meant by falsehood in the verse is Satan, and that he would be incapable of adding or removing anything from it.

……

Ibn Jarir Al-Tabari said in his Tafseer about the verse: “And the most correct of these views according to us, that its meaning is: One of falsehood is incapable of altering it with all his plots and conspiracies, or changing any of its meanings, and that is what is meant by ‘approaching it from before it’, or making any addition in it, and that is what is meant by ‘approaching it from behind it’”.

2) They said: Saying that abrogation is permissible, would lead to saying that Bidaa’ is possible on Allah the all-Mighty (i.e. means that He ruled something, then discovered something He didn’t know before, so He changed his ruling), and since we must exalt Allah from such a thing, that would prohibit the occurrence of abrogation.

What they mean by Bidaa’ is for something to appear and become apparent after it was hidden, and that is not the case except for He who was ignorant of the thing before it was made clear to him and apparent.

The answer to their claim is:

That Allah – the most High and Exalted – had decreed the first ruling, while knowing that He will abrogate it with the second. He the All-Mighty had already known what was and what is to be, and His knowledge had encompassed all things, thus there is no Bidaa’ here [to Allah], rather this Bidaa’ happened to us when we knew about the second ruling after its revelation.

March 31, 2008

The Concept of Ihsan

Filed under: Hadith-Hadeeth, Intermediate, Tazkiyah — Um Abdullah M. @ 5:07 pm

The Concept of Ihsan

 

by Dr. Jamal Ahmed Badi

 

Abu Ya’la Shaddad ibn Aus, radiyallahu ‘anhu, reported that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, said:

“Verily, Allah has enjoined excellence (ihsan) with regard to everything. So, when you kill, kill in a good way; when you slaughter, slaughter in a good way; so everyone of you should sharpen his knife, and let the slaughtered animal die comfortably.”

[Muslim]

background

Ihsan is a comprehensive concept. It denotes doing things completely, nicely and in a tasteful manner. It comprises four components:

  1. Sincerity (Ikhlas)
  2. Completeness
  3. Tastefulness (doing things in a nice manner), and
  4. Correctness (doing things in the right way).

This concept is translated by commentators and interpreters as Excellence. Being a comprehensive concept, the term Ihsan cannot be translated word for word because there is no word in the English language that gives its exact meaning. Therefore, it is better to use it as it is.

Islam commands Muslims to practice and apply Ihsan in all that they do – hence it is an obligation (wajib).

It has been mentioned in the Qur’an as well. Allah the Almighty says:

“Verily, Allah enjoins Justice, and Ihsan and giving help to kith and kin,…”

[Surah Al-Nahl (16 ): ayat 90]

In Surah Al-Mulk (67), ayat 2 this concept is mentioned as one of two main purposes of human creation, Allah the Almighty says: “The One Who created death and life so that He may test you which of you is best of conduct.”

lessons

The hadith contains a principle and provides an example of applying that principle. This is a Prophetic method, as mentioned previously, to enable Muslims to apply the same principle to other similar situations. It can also be said that providing the example is a way of explaining the principle so it is easily understood. Most of the forty hadiths collected by Imam Nawawi are of this nature. It was also previously mentioned that Muslims have a tendency of taking the example and forgetting about the principle. This may explain why Muslims are reminded of this hadith only once a year, during Eid ul-Adha.

The concept of Ihsan means that a Muslim is a responsible person and a person of quality where he does things in a very good manner, in a complete sense, in a nice and tasteful way and is never satisfied with anything other than a quality job in all that he/she does, motivated by realizing that Allah prescribed Ihsan to everything and to all deeds.

The term ‘amalan in its selected form as mentioned in Surat Al-Mulk ayat 2 implies any kind of deeds. It is not just the religious deeds (ibadah), but also all that we do which is lawful. It should be done according to the concept of Ihsan and we should exert our efforts to live up according to its implications. The way we look and dress, the way we eat, the way we sleep, our work, our profession, our da’wah, teaching and learning, our relationship with our family, relatives, neighbours, and with others in general – Ihsan should be observed and practiced in all these actions. These actions and good deeds can be considered as ibadah thereof.

The superlative form of the verb used in the same verse (ahsan) implies that all good deeds and actions that we do should be done in a competitive way. However, competition in Islam is not for achieving personal interest but rather for seeking the pleasure of Allah.

The hadith mentions one way of dealing nicely or being merciful with animals and that is in the case of slaughtering. In another hadith the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, said: “Whoever shows mercy even when slaughtering a bird, Allah will have mercy on him on the Day of Judgement.” [Recorded by Al-Bukhari]

In another hadith, the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, related this story: “While a man was traveling, he felt very thirsty. He found a well and went down to have a drink. When he came out he found a thirsty dog. He said to himself, “This dog is as thirsty as I was.” He then went back inside the well and used his shoe to bring out some water for the dog. Allah was pleased with him and forgave his sins because of he had done.” [Recorded by Al-Bukhari]

In other hadiths the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, warns us not to frighten animals. While he was with his companions he found a bird making a greaving sound. The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, immediately said: “Who has frightened this bird by taking its offspring?” Then he commanded: “Return back her offspring.” In another hadith the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, warned Muslims not to harm animals. He said: “A lady was put into the hellfire because of a cat. She tied up the cat and did not give her anything to eat nor did she allow it to look for food.”

One more ruling concerning dealing nicely with animals is not to abuse the animals we use for achieving certain work (i.e. carrying things) and not to overburden them. In one hadith (which shows a prophetic miracle), the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, was passing by a farm in Maddinah when he came across a camel. The camel approached the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, as if it was telling him something. The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, asked about the owner of of the camel and called upon him and told him, “Your camel is complaining that you overburden him with work, and gives him too little to eat.” [Narrated by Abu Daud, Al-Hakim, Imam Ahmad, and others and it is an authentic hadith]

Shaykh Abdullah bin Jibrin, a contemporary scholar, is in the view that animals should not be used as a testing instrument in the lab (like what is being done in the West) based on a basic ruling derived from this Hadith 17, where it is prohibited to harm an animal. The testing is only allowed if it can be ensured that the animal will not be harmed. All this shows that Islam is the religion of Ihsan and mercy, which is totally contrary to the image of Islam being promoted in the West. Not only that, but this evidently proves that the West are the ones who abuse and harm animals.

Even in Jihad (fighting enemies), Muslims are to apply Ihsan. We are not allowed to kill the elders, children, women, and those who are not fighting. When killing the aggressive enemy who deserves to be killed, Ihsan has to be applied and observed. We have to make sure not to cause any harm or suffering to anyone we kill. The captives have to be treated with Ihsan as well. It is Islam who introduced a new way of dealing with captives. We are to free them on the basis of them teaching some Muslims something beneficial.

Weapons that cause mass destruction have been initiated, introduced and used by the West. Using them contradicts with the concept of Ihsan. But how about if the enemies of Islam use them against us? Some cotemporary scholars say that Muslims are allowed to use them only in response and as a counter act.

conclusion

By living according to the concept of Ihsan and by applying it to all that a Muslim does, he/she will be rewarded and showered with mercy and forgiveness from Allah the Almighty. Furthermore, by doing that, a Muslim will ensure that he/she will pass the test and be amongst those of the best conduct.

August 1, 2007

AL-NASIKH WA AL-MANSUKH (regarding abrogation)

Filed under: Intermediate, Quran — Um Abdullah M. @ 5:22 pm

AL-NASIKH WA AL-MANSUKH

The revelations from Allah as found in the Qur’an touch on a variety of subjects, among them beliefs, history, tales of the prophets, day of judgement, Paradise and Hell, and many others. Particularly important are the ahkam (legal rulings), because they prescribe the manner of legal relationships between people, as Allah wishes them to be observed.
While the basic message of Islam remains always the same, the legal rulings have varied throughout the ages, and many prophets before Muhammad brought particular codes of law (shari’a) for their respective communities.
The Arabic words ‘nasikh’ and ‘mansukh’ are both derived from the same root word ‘nasakha’ which carries meanings such as ‘to abolish, to replace, to withdraw, to abrogate’.

The word nasikh (an active participle) means ‘the abrogating’, while mansukh (passive) means ‘the abrogated’. In technical language these terms refer to certain parts of the Qur’anic revelation, which have been ‘abrogated’ by others.
Naturally the abrogated passage is the one called ‘mansukh’ while the abrogating one is called ‘nasikh’.
The Qur’an on Naskh The principle of naskh (abrogation) is referred to in the Qur’an itself and is not a later historical development:

None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause it to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: knowest thou that God has power over all things?’ (2: 106). [Some however say that this refers to the revelations before the Qur’an, which have now been substituted by the Qur’an itself. See Mawdudi. The Meaning of the Qur’an, Lahore,
1967, Vol. I, p.102. note 109.]

How it came about When the message of Islam was presented to the Arabs as something new, and different from their way of life, it was introduced in stages. The Qur’an brought important changes gradually, to allow the people to adjust to the new prescriptions.
Example: There are three verses in the Qur’an concerning the drinking of wine. Wine drinking was very widespread in pre-Islamic times and, although a social evil, highly esteemed. The three verses which finally led to the prohibition of intoxicating substances were revealed in stages (4: 43, 2: 219; 5: 93-4).
Why it is important Knowledge of al-nasikh wa al-mansukh is important because it concerns the correct and exact application of the laws of Allah. It is specifically concerned with legal revelations:

 It is one of the important pre-conditions for explanation (tafsir) of the Qur’an.
 It is one of the important pre-conditions for understanding and application of the Islamic law (hukm,
shari’a).
 It sheds light on the historical development of the Islamic legal code.
 It helps to understand the immediate meaning of the ayat concerned.
Tafsir (explanation of the Qur’an) or legal ruling is not acceptable from a person who does not have such knowledge.

How do we know it?
As in the field of asbab al-nuzul, the information about al-nasikh wa al-mansukh cannot be accepted upon mere personal opinion, guesswork or hearsay, but must be based on reliable reports, according to the ulum al-hadith, and should go back to the Prophet and his Companions.

The report must also clearly state which part of the revelation is nasikh and which is mansukh.
Some scholars say that there are three ways of knowing about al-nasikh wa al-mansukh:

 Report from the Prophet or Companions.
 Ijma’ (consensus of the umma upon what is nasikh and what mansukh).
 Knowledge about which part of the Qur’an preceded another part in the history of revelation. [Qattan,
op.cit., p. 199]
Example:
Narrated Mujahid (regarding the verse):
Those of you who die and leave wives behind, they (their wives) shall await (as regards their
marriage) for four months and ten days (2: 234).
The widow, according to this verse, was to spend this period of waiting with her husband’s family, so Allah revealed: Those of you who die and leave wives (i.e. widows) should bequeath for their wives, a year’s maintenance and residence without turning them out, but if they leave (their residence) there is no blame on you for what they do with themselves, provided it is honourable (i.e. Lawful marriage) (2: 240).
So Allah entitled the widow to be bequeathed extra maintenance for seven months and 20 nights and that is the completion of one year. If she wished, she could stay (in her husband’s home) according to the will, and she could leave it if she wished, as Allah says: Without turning them out, but if they leave (the residence) there is no blame on you.
So the idea (i.e. four months and ten days) is obligatory for her. ‘Ata’ said: Ibn ‘Abbas said: This verse i.e. the statement of Allah … without turning one out … cancelled the obligation of staying for the waiting period in her late husband’s house, and she can complete this period wherever she likes.
‘Ata’ said: If she wished, she could complete her ‘idda by staying in her late husband’s residence according to the will or leave it according to Allah’s statement:

‘There is no blame on you for what they do with themselves.’
‘Ata’ added: Later the regulations of inheritance came and abrogated the order of the dwelling of the widow (in her dead husband’s house) so she could complete the ‘idda wherever she likes. And it was no longer necessary to provide her with a residence.
Ibn Abbas said: This verse abrogated her (i.e. the widow’s) dwelling in her dead husband’s house and she could complete the ‘idda (i.e. four months and ten days) (wherever she liked, as Allah’s statement says: …’without turning them out …’
[Bukhari, VI, No. 54.]
This report explains clearly which part of the revelation is nasikh and which is mansukh. Mujahid was one of the wellknown tab’iun and Ibn ‘Abbas was a Companion of the Prophet.

What is Abrogated?
According to some scholars the Qur’an abrogates only the Qur’an. They base their view on suras 2: 106 and 16: 101.
According to them the Qur’an does not abrogate the sunna nor does the sunna abrogate the Qur’an. This is, in particular, the view held by Shafi’i. [For details see Kitab al-risala, Cairo, n.d., pp.30-73; English translation by M. Khadduri, op.cit.,
pp. 12345; for a brief summary of Ash-Shafi’i’s views see also Seeman, K., Ash-Shafi’is Risala, Lahore, 1961, pp.53-85.]
Others are of the opinion that the Qur’an may abrogate the Qur’an as well as the sunna. They base their view on Sura 53: 34.

There is also the view that there are four classes of naskh:
 Qur’an abrogates Qur’an.
 Qur’an abrogates sunna.
 Sunna abrogates Qur’an.
 Sunna abrogates sunna.
[Qattan, op.cit, pp. 201-2.]

In this discussion, we shall only consider the abrogation in the Qur’an, and leave aside the abrogation in the sunna.

Three Kinds of Naskh in the Qur’an
[Ibn Salama, al-nasikh wa al-mansukh, Cairo, 1966, p.5.]
The scholars have divided abrogation into three kinds:

 Abrogation of the recited (verse) together with the legal ruling.
 Abrogation of the legal ruling without the recited (verse).
 Abrogation of the recited (verse) without the legal ruling.

For abrogation of the recited (verse) together with its legal ruling:
‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that it had been revealed in the Holy Qur’an that ten clear
sucklings make the marriage unlawful, then it was abrogated (and substituted) by five sucklings and
Allah’s apostle (may peace be upon him) died and it was before that time (found) in the Holy Qur’an (and
recited by the Muslims). [34 Muslim, II, No. 3421.]

For abrogation of a legal ruling without the recited (verse):
‘O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou has paid their dowers; and
those whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war whom God has assigned to
thee; and daughters of thy paternal uncles and aunts and daughters of thy maternal uncles
and aunts, who migrated (from Makka) with thee; and any believing woman who dedicates
her soul to the Prophet if the Prophet wishes to wed her; – this only for thee and not for the
believers (at large);We know what we have appointed for them as to their wives and the
captives whom their right hands possess; – in order that there should be no difficulty for
thee and God is oft-forgiving, most merciful’ (33: 50).
‘It is not lawful for thee (to marry more) women after this, nor to change them for (other)
wives, even though their beauty attract thee, except any thy right hand should possess (as
handmaidens); and God doth watch over all things’ (33: 52).
This is one of the few very clear examples of naskh, though only concerning the Prophet specifically, since for Muslims in general the number of wives has been restricted to four. (Sura 4:3).

For abrogation of the recited (verse) without the legal ruling:
‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas reported that ‘Umar bin Khattab sat on the pulpit of Allah’s messenger (may peace
be upon him) and said: Verily Allah sent Muhammad (may peace be upon him) with truth and he sent
down the book upon him, and the verse of stoning was included in what was sent down to him. We
recited it, retained it in our memory and understood it. Allah’s messenger (may peace be upon him)
awarded the punishment of stoning to death (to the married adulterer and adulteress) and after him, we
also awarded the punishment of stoning. I am afraid that with the lapse of time, the people (may forget
it) and may say: We do not find the punishment of stoning in the book of Allah, and thus go astray by
abandoning this duty prescribed by Allah. Stoning is a duty laid down in Allah’s book for married men and
women who commit adultery when proof is established, or if there is pregnancy or a confession. [Muslim,
III, No. 4194; Bukhari, VIII, No. 816.]
The punishment of stoning for adultery by married people has been retained in the sunna, while it is not included in the
Qur’an .

The Abrogated Verses
There are, according to Ibn Salama, [Op cit., see pp.6-8 for the names of these suras.] a well-known author on the
subject:
 43 suras with neither nasikh or mansukh.
 6 suras with nasikh but no mansukh.
 40 suras with mansukh but no nasikh.
 25 suras with both nasikh and mansukh.

According to Suyuti’s Itqan there are 21 instances in the Qur’an, where a revelation has been abrogated by another.
He also indicates that there is a difference of opinion about some of these: e.g. 4: 8, 24: 58, etc. [Itqan, II, pp.20-3; Kamal, op.cit., pp.101-9 also gives Suyuti’s complete list.]
Some scholars have attempted to reduce the number of abrogations in the Qur’an even further, by explaining the relationships between the verses in some special ways, e.g. by pointing out that no legal abrogation is involved, or that
for certain reasons the naskh is not genuine
Shah Waliullah (d. 1759) the great Muslim scholar from India only retained the following 5 out of Suyuti’s 21 cases as genuine:

Mansukh 2: 180 nasikh 4: 11, 12
Mansukh 2:240 nasikh 2: 234.
Mansukh 8:65 nasikh 8: 62.
Mansukh 30:50 nasikh 33: 52.
Mansukh 58: 12 nasikh 58: 13.

A case listed by Suyuti, which has no direct legal implication is the following:
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: When the verse: ‘If there are 20 amongst you, patient and persevering,
they will overcome two hundred’, was revealed, it became hard on the Muslims, when it became
compulsory that one Muslim ought not to flee before 10 (non-Muslims) so Allah lightened the order by
revealing: ‘but now Allah has lightened your (task) for He knows that there is weakness in
you. But (even so) if there are 100 amongst you who are patient and persevering, they will
overcome 200 (non-Muslims)’ (8: 66). So when Allah reduced the number of enemies that Muslims
should withstand, their patience and perseverence against the enemy decreased as much as their task
was lightened for them. [Bukhari, VI, No.176.]
Still others hold that there are no genuine (sahih) reports available on this issue, going back to the Prophet, while those going back to the Companions contradict each other. [Ali, M.M.: The Religion of Islam, Lahore, 1936, p.32. It may be pointed out that Ali’s treatment of the subject is not very thorough. Of the three examp1es he cites in support of his opinion (‘in most cases, where a report is traceable to one Companion who held a certain verse to have been abrogated, there is another report traceable to another Companion, through the fact that the verse was not abrogated’ – p. 33) two are definitely not in his favour, while the third can be easily explained. His first case concerns Sura 2:180 (inheritance). It has certainly been superseded by other verses, e.g. 4:7-9 and that is probably all that is meant, when saying it is mansukh Ali’s second case, ‘2:184, is considered by Ibn ‘Umar as having been abrogated while Ibn ‘Abbas says it was not’ . See below, where I have quoted this very hadith from Ibn ‘Abbas (Bukhari, VI, No.32) where Ibn ‘Abbas himself explains why he does not hold it as abrogated. The third case is, like the first one, definitely not in support of Ali: ‘2: 240
was abrogated according to Ibn Zubair, while Mujahid says it was not’. This is wrong, see Sahih Bukhari, VI, Nos. 53 and 54, where both Ibn Zubair and Mujahid hold the verse to be abrogated. Furthermore both Ibn Zubair and Mujahid are tabi’un, and not Companions (sahaba).]
Therefore to them the issue of nasikh wa al mansukh is perhaps not of great importance. However, it is clear from the Qur’an itself, (e.g. in the case of inheritance, 2: 180; 4: 7-9, etc.) that abrogation occurred occasionally. Hence it is wrong to completely ignore the subject.
Abrogation and Specification There is of course a difference between abrogation and specification. By the latter is meant that one revelation explains in more detail or according to specific circumstances how another revelation should be understood.
Example: Sura 2:183 says ‘O you who believe, fasting is prescribed to you …’
Narrated ‘Ata’ that he heard Ibn ‘Abbas reciting the Divine verse ‘for those who can do it is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent’ (2:184). Ibn ‘Abbas said ‘This verse is not abrogated but it is meant for old men and old women who have no strength to fast, so they should feed one poor person for each day of fasting (instead of fasting). [Bukhari, VI, No. 32.]
It is quite clear that the second verse (2:184) does not abrogate the rule of fasting from the first verse (2:183) but explains that in a specific case, that of feeble old people, there is a way of making up for the loss of fast.
In the same way the verses concerning intoxicating drinks can be understood as specifications rather than abrogations (see 4:43;2:219;5:93-4).
Summary The Qur’an, in 2:106, refers to the concept of naskh. However, there is a difference of opinion about the extent to which al-nasikh wa-al mansukh does in fact occur in the text of the Qur’an. The information concerning al-nasikh wa-al mansukh must be treated with great caution as, for all reports concerning the text of the Qur’an, two independent witnesses are required. Many of the examples which the scholars have drawn upon to illustrate this question (and I have quoted them for the same purpose) are based on one witness only. ‘A’isha alone reported that 10 or 5 sucklings had been part of the Qur’anic recitation, and only ‘Umar reported that the ‘verse of stoning’ had been included in the Qur’anic text.
These legal rulings are not included in the Qur’an precisely because they were not considered reliable, being based on one witness only. Similarly, other examples about naskh, based on the words of Ibn ‘Abbas or Mujahid alone, are to be judged by the same measure.
However, as mentioned there remain a small number of verses which, as far as can be ascertained from the internal evidence of the Qur’an, have been superseded by other verses in the Qur’an.

(From: Ulum al-Quran by Ahmad von Denffer)

July 31, 2007

Prophet’s(S.A.W.) saying to Ali (r.A.a): “Will you not be pleased that you will be to me like Harun to Musa?”

Filed under: Hadith-Hadeeth, Intermediate — Um Abdullah M. @ 6:40 pm

Sahih al Bukhari

Volume 5, Book 59, Number 700:

Narrated Sad: Allah’s Apostle set out for Tabuk. appointing ‘Ali as his deputy (in Medina). ‘Ali said, “Do you want to leave me with the children and women?” The Prophet said, “Will you not be pleased that you will be to me like Aaron (Harun) to Moses (Musa)? But there will be no prophet after me.”
Translated by some like this: (‘Your relation to me shall be like the relation of Harun to Musa…) & (You hold in relation to me the same position as Harun held in relation to Musa)

Hadith in Arabic:

عَنْ مُصْعَبِ بْنِ سَعْدٍ عَنْ أَبِيهِ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ خَرَجَ إِلَى تَبُوكَ وَاسْتَخْلَفَ عَلِيًّا فَقَالَ أَتُخَلِّفُنِي فِي الصِّبْيَانِ وَالنِّسَاءِ قَالَ أَلَا تَرْضَى أَنْ تَكُونَ مِنِّي بِمَنْزِلَةِ هَارُونَ مِنْ مُوسَى إِلَّا أَنَّهُ لَيْسَ نَبِيٌّ بَعْدِي

This hadith is not evidence of khilafah of Ali radiyallahu anhu after the death of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, because the comparison is with Haroon alayhi assalam, and Harun alayhi assalam died before Musa alayhi assalam and thus was never his successor after him.The following is an explanation by al Qurtubi -rahimahu Allah- in his tafsir (tafseer of ayah 2:30) regarding this narration:

[There is no disagreement that the Prophet -sallallahu alayhi wa sallam- didn’t mean, by (saying) “you will be to me like Harun (Aaron) to Moses” the khilafah after him, and there is no disagreement that Haroon died before Musa -alayhima assalam- … and was not a khalifah after him, for the khalifah (successor of Musa) was Yusha’ bin Noon, so if he wanted by his saying “you will be to me like Harun to Moses” the khilafah, he would have said “you will be to me like Yusha’ was to Musa“, so when he didn’t say this it proved that he didn’t want that meaning, but he wanted that “you are my deputy over my family in my life and my abscence from my family, like Harun was deputy of Musa over his people when he left to speak to his Lord.]

Other scholars of ahl assunah explained it the same, him being deputy of the Prophet -sallallahu alayhi wa sallam – over the women and children when he went to the battle of Tabuk just like Musa -alayhi assalam- left Harun -alayhi assalam- as his deputy when he went to his appointment with Allah ta’ala.

In a Shia site it says:
((To this we answer that whenever the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his family, left the Islamic capital, he would always appoint someone to act as his deputy. If by comparing Ali, peace be upon him, to Harun, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his family, had intended nothing more than the usual appointment of a deputy, restricted in his authority to Madinah for the period of the Prophet’s absence, why did he not use a similar expression for those other favored Companions he would appoint as deputy? Why did he not use the same or similar words to describe the services they rendered?))

Answer: Those sahabah might have not asked the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam to go with him and not stay behind to watch who is left behind from women, children and others, so there was no need for him to tell them that, but Ali radiyallahu anhu objected to staying behind with children and women and not go to fight with the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, and he wanted to go to the battle instead, so the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said that to him, showing him that he would be to him, by staying behind watching over women and children, like Haroon was to Musa when he left him behind as a deputy over his people, and it is an honor and that he wouldn’t be less than the ones who went to fight in battle.

and here is more on the hadith:

http://www.ahlelbayt.com/articles/hadith/manzilah

July 2, 2007

The Concept of Worship in Islam (2)

Filed under: Ibadah - worship, Intermediate — Um Abdullah M. @ 6:34 pm


By Amjad Ibn Muhammad Rafiq.
The University of Essex Islamic Society
The Messenger of God, peace be upon him, said: “The right of God upon His servants is that they should worship Him (alone) and not associate anything with Him” [Reported by Bukhaaree and Muslim].

Almighty God created us that we may worship Him alone and not associate anything with Him. God has said: “I did not create Jinn and Men except that they may worship me” [Qur’an 51:56]. So what is this worship, what are its types and conditions and how should it be performed?

Worship is a collective term for everything which God loves and is pleased with from among the words and actions, such as supplication, prayer and having patience. Almighty God says (in the Qur’an): “Say: Verily my prayer, my service of sacrifice, my life and my death are all for God the Lord of the Worlds” [Qur’an 6:162], and the Prophet, peace be upon him, said “God the Exalted said: My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more loved by me than the obligatory actions which I have imposed upon him” [Reported by Bukhaaree].

The types of worship are many and include supplication, fear, hope, reliance, love of obedience to God, hatred of disobedience to Him, remorse, repentance, seeking aid from Him, vowing, sacrificing, bowing, prostrating and other things beside these.

Thus the first thing which a Muslim acknowledges is that he has been created for worship and must know of its form and types. The second thing the Muslim should realize is that a necessary condition of worship is sincerity. Almighty God the Exalted said: “So whoever hopes for the meeting with His Lord let him work deeds of righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of His Lord” [Qur’an 18:110], and the Messenger, peace be upon him, said: “Indeed God does not look at your faces nor your wealth but He looks at your hearts and your actions.” Also there is the Hadeeth Qudsee where the Messenger, peace be upon him, said that God said: “I am so Self-Sufficient that I am in no need of having partners. Thus, whoever does an action for someone else’s sake as well as Mine, will have that action rejected by Me to him whom he associated with Me” [Reported by Muslim].

Another vital condition of worship is that it is correct and therefore acceptable to God. Our Worship of God should be as He and His Messenger, peace be upon him, have commanded us. Almighty God says: “O you who believe! Obey God and obey the Messenger and do not let your actions become nullified” [Qur’an 47:33], and the Messenger, peace be upon him, has said: “Whoever does an action which we have not commanded will have it rejected” [Reported by Muslim]. And he, peace be upon him, also said: “Whoever does an action in a way different from ours will have it rejected” [Reported by Abu Daawood – Saheeh].

Fudayl ibn Ayyaad, a taabi’ee (i.e. a member of the second generation of Muslims), said regarding the verse: ” . . . that He may test you, which of you is best in deeds . . . ” [Qur’an 11:7], “The most sincere and the most correct“, so those who were around him said: “And what is the most sincere and the most correct?” He replied: “Action, if it is correct but not sincere will not be accepted and action, if it is sincere but not correct will not be accepted until it is both sincere and correct. Sincere means that nothing but the Face of God is sought and correct means that it is in conformity with the Sunnah.”

So these are two necessary conditions for our worship to be acceptable to God. God has also commanded us: “So call upon Him (out of) Fear and Hope” [Qur’an 6:56], and the Messenger, peace be upon him, used to supplicate: “I ask God for Paradise and I seek refuge in Him from the Fire”. [Reported by Abu Daawood – Saheeh].

A fourth point is that our worship should be in between hoping for God’s Mercy and reward and fearing His punishment. Some of the Salaf (i.e. pious predecessors of the first three generations of Muslims) used to say: “Whoever worships God with Love only is indeed a Zindeeq (i.e. a heretic) and whoever worships Him with Hope only is indeed a Murji’ (i.e. one who believes that sins impart no harm to a persons faith) and whoever worships Him with Fear only is indeed a Harooree (i.e. one of those believe that sins take a person out of Islam), but whoever worships Him with Love, Fear and Hope is indeed a believing Muwahhid (i.e. one who believes and actualizes the Unity (Tawheed) of God).

Another characteristic of our worship is being aware of the presence of God, that His knowledge is with us and He sees and hears us. This point is called Ihsaan – purity. Almighty God says: “The One Who sees you when you stand up for the prayer and when you move amongst those who prostrate themselves” [Qur’an 26:218], and also in the hadeeth of Gabriel (Arabic: Jibreel) when he said to the Messenger, peace be upon him: Ihsaan is that you worship God as if you see Him and while you see Him not yet truly He sees you” [Reported by Muslim].

So these are five points concerning our worship, namely:
1. Acknowledgement that it is the purpose of our existence;
2. Extreme sincerity in fulfilling that purpose;
3. Correctness of our worship by conducting it in the manner of the Sunnah of the Messenger, peace be upon him;
4. Worshipping God by combining Love, Fear and Hope;
and
5. Accompanying all of that with Ihsaan – a keen awareness of God. The example of the one who learns these five points concerning the worship of his Lord and builds all of his actions upon them and the one who does not and is careless about his worship is like the example God has given: “Which then is best? He who lays the foundation of his house upon Taqwa (i.e. God-consciousness) and His Good Pleasure, or he who lays the foundation of his house upon an undetermined brink of a precipice ready to crumble down, so that it crumbles down with him into the Fire of Hell?” [Qur’an 9:108].

So respected Brothers and Sisters, let’s not be careless and make our actions vain like Almighty God has mentioned regarding some people: “And We shall turn to whatever actions they did and turn them into scattered dust” [Qur’an 25:23], but rather let us become cautious and send something foreword for the Day of Judgement, the Day when we will be in great need for good actions – that is our sincere and correct worship.

Ibadah (Worship) and Bid’ah (Innovation)

Filed under: Bidah (Innovation), Ibadah - worship, Intermediate — Um Abdullah M. @ 6:12 pm

By Dr Jamal Ahmed Badi
(Professor at International Islamic University Malaysia)

Hadith 5 Arabic text

 

It is narrated on the authority of the Mother of the Believers, Umm ‘Abdullah ‘Aishah, radiyallahu ‘anha, that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, said:

“Whosoever introduces into this affair of ours (i.e. into Islam) something that does not belong to it, it is to be rejected.”


[Al-Bukhari & Muslim]

According to the version in Muslim, (it reads): “Whosoever works a work which has for it no
command of ours is to be rejected
.”


background

Like Hadith 1, this hadith is one of the most important hadiths.
Imam Nawawi said it should be memorised by every Muslim.

~~~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~~~

This hadith is used as a criterion for judging external actions or performance of Ibadah. If an action is not done in accordance with the Shariah or the Sunnah of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, it will be rejected and not accepted by Allah based on text of this hadith.
This hadith complements Hadith 1, which was a criterion for judging the intentions or the internal actions of the heart. The Scholars say that the
acceptance of actions of Ibadah is based on the above two conditions:

  1. The intention – the action should be done with sincerity, for the sake of only Allah.
  2. It should be done in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi
    wasallam
    .

Apart from Hadith 1 and Hadith 5, the acceptance of actions can also be found in Surah Al-Kahf
(18): ayat 110:

Whoever looks forward to meeting his Sustainer (on Day of Judgement), let him do righteous
deeds, and let him not ascribe unto anyone or anything a share in the worship due to his Sustainer
.

Emulating and following the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, is a Qur’anic obligation.
Allah, the Almighty says:

Verily, in the apostle of God you have the best example to emulate for everyone who looks forward (with hope and awe) to Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah unceasingly. [Surah Al-Ahzab (33): ayat 21].

Say (O Prophet):
If you love Allah, follow me, (and) Allah will love you and forgive you your sins.


lessons
This hadith is related to a very important concept which is following the Sunnah and violating this concept will lead to bida’ah [which will be discussed in detail, insha Allah, in Hadith 28].Scholars classify actions of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, into actions done for the purpose of Ibadah (worshiping Allah) and actions which are not done for that purpose (i.e. customs, actions done haphazardly, etc.).
There are clear indicators for actions done for the purpose of Ibadah such as commands to do or not to do something, warnings for not doing something, etc.
Muslims are only obliged to follow the first kind of Sunnah.

~~~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~~~

Looking at it in a positive way, the actions (i.e.forms of ibadah) that we do should be done in accordance with the Shariah or the Sunnah of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, and to ensure this there is a criterion consisting
of five aspects that will keep our actions in check:

  1. Time
    Any ibadah that we do has to be done in it’s designated or specified time.
    E.g. There are fixed times in the day for the five prayers. For fasting,
    the month for fasting is Ramadhan. The period that we can fast is from
    fajr to sunset. Similarly, there is a specific time in the year
    when we can perform the Hajj – from the 8 to the 12 Zulhijjah.
  2. Place
    The Shariah has specified that certain ibadahs have to be performed
    in designated places. E.g. The places for performing the Hajj, I’tikaf,
    doing Ihram for Hajj have been fixed by the Shariah and this is something
    which is sometimes violated by Muslims, e.g. doing the Ihram (starting
    talbiyyah and niyyah for Hajj) in Jeddah is incorrect.
  3. Quantity
    For most of the ibadahs the Shariah has specified a certain number
    of times that the ibadahs or their components need to be performed.
    E.g. For prayers, there are specified number of rakaahs and sujud
    and for Tawaf there is a fixed number of rounds (7), etc. We should
    not violate these rules intentionally. To violate intentionally may
    make the ibadah subject to be rejected.

  4. Way
    Every ibadah was described or shown to us by the Prophet, sallallahu
    ‘alayhi wasallam
    – being our best model to follow and emulate. The
    way that the ibadahs are performed by him have to be followed
    – it should not be violated. E.g. There are different ways of performing
    different prayers – Salat ul-Janazah has no ruku’ or sujud.
    Even the size of the stones used for throwing at the Jamrat has been
    specified by the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, as not
    to be too big.Before we perform any ibadah, we should know and learn the way
    the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, performed it and we
    should do it in the right way as he did it. The Prophet,
    sallallahu
    ‘alayhi wasallam
    , said, “Pray as you have seen me praying.”
    Many Muslims today violate the way ibadahs are performed, because
    of ignorance or because they do not bother to learn, and they end up
    doing the ibadah in the wrong way.
  5. Type
    If the Shariah has specified a type of ibadah, then we should
    stick to that type. E.g. Al-Udhiah (sacrifice) – the type of animal
    to be sacrificed has been specified by the Shariah and this should not
    be violated. Recently a Sheikh in one of the Muslim countries made a
    fatwa that Muslims can use chicken as sacrifice – this is a violation
    of the type. If a Muslim cannot afford to offer a sacrifice, then they
    don’t have to do it as it is not a wajib (i.e. an obligation).
    In certain years, some of the Sahabahs (companions) purposely did not
    perform the sacrifice so that the people did not think that it was a
    wajib.


~~~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~~~

A clear distinction should be made about the actions of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam – whether they were done only from time to time or whether they were done continuously on a regular basis. For example, some of the nawafil (extra prayers) are things which he, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, would do from time to time. We should observe this. E.g. Certain Surahs being recited on certain days – it is narrated that the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, would sometimes recite Surah As-Sajdah (32) and Surah Al-Insan (76) on Fridays. But some Muslims would recite these two Surahs every Friday. We should be aware of this because if we do something regularly people will think that it is wajib even though it is not.If the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, did something only from time to time, then we too should do it from time to time, especially when we do it in congregation.

~~~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~~~

As it has been mentioned above, the actions of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, were done for different purposes. There were actions which he, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, would do haphazardly. There are things he, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, would do because of the custom of that time. These actions were not done by the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, for the purpose of ibadah. We too should not do these actions for
ibadah – our intentions should match the intentions of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam. The following are some examples:

  • At the time of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, the men used to have
    long hair – it was not done for the purpose of ibadah. So if anyone wants to keep long hair today, it should not be done for ibadah.
  • The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, used to open the top buttons of his shirt – this was because it was hot and not because for the purpose of ibadah.
  • The turban, at the time of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, was worn because it was the custom then.
  • Some hadiths mention the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, using a stick. Again this was not done for the purpose of ibadah.

We should not follow these examples of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, for the purpose of ibadah. How do we differentiate between the actions of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, which were done for the purpose of ibadah and those which were not? The Scholars say if the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, commanded us to do an action or commanded us not to do something, then this is considered an ibadah. Or if the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, mentioned that the doer will receive certain rewards if an action is done, then it is an ibadah. Or if the failure for doing a certain action would result in punishment, then the action is an ibadah.

~~~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~~~

This issue of introducing something which doesn’t belong to the Shariah is associated with the concept that Islam is a complete religion [Surah Al-Ma’idah (5): ayat 3]:

Today have I perfected your religion for you, and have bestowed upon you the full measure of
My blessings, and willed that Islam shall be your Religion
.

Since it is complete, there is no need for additions or deletions to the religion.
Therefore to introduce some new matter into Islam or to delete/omit something from it is an affront to Allah and the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam.

 

~~~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~~~

 

Al-Imam al-Shatibi mentions that if certain actions are taken as ibadah where in reality they are not, this will lead to bid’ah. There is a hadith which tells the story of three men who only wanted to do ‘good deeds’ all the time – one said he will not get married, the second one said he will pray all night and not sleep, and the third said he will fast every
day. When the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, heard this, he said that he, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, was the most pious and righteous amongst the people and yet he did not do the things the way the men wanted to do them. This shows that the actions that the three men thought were ibadah would have resulted in bid’ah as
they weren’t practiced by the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam.

 

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Al-Shatibi also mentions that avoiding eating certain types of food for the purpose of ibadah should not be done. We can avoid these foods for health or other good reasons but not for the purpose of ibadah.

 

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He also says that if there are two ways of fulfilling an obligation, we should follow the easier way. E.g. If the weather is cold and if we have the choice of using warm or cold water (for wudu’), we should use warm water. We shouldn’t
use cold water and inflict discomfort on ourselves, trying to show that we are stronger Muslims and hoping for extra rewards. Or if there is choice of going to two masjids (mosques) of different distances, we should go to the nearer one.
The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, was passing through a place when he noticed someone standing in the middle of the street in the sun. The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, asked the Sahabahs what this man was doing. They said that he made a commitment to fast while standing in the sun. The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, told them to tell the man to continue his fasting (because this was a good thing to do anyway and
fulfilling a commitment is an obligation) but to get out of the sun.

Scholars deduce that we should not attach any hardship to our ibadah hoping that it will make it more rewardable. Shariah is based on ease. Therefore we should always choose the easier way when performing an ibadah because
this will enable us to do it properly – if we were to choose the difficult route then we may, after a while, find difficulty in keeping to our commitment in performing this ibadah. An attached hardship to an ibadah, which has not been specified by the Shariah, should be avoided – we should not place any hardship in performing any ibadah.

 

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The Scholars say if someone violates the Shariah by adding something new to an ibadah, the ibadah is rejected depending on what kind of violation has been done. For example, in prayer if someone violates its conditions,
then his ibadah will definitely not be accepted.
If an action is any kind of bid’ah, then it is subject to being rejected and the person who performed that action will be asked about it and might be subject to be punished. But if there is a valid excuse for doing that action,
the action will not be rewarded but the person may be excused and not punished by Allah.
In worldly dealings and transactions (e.g. Al-Mu’amalat), if someone changes/modifies the principles of the dealings and this violates the Shariah law, then that dealing or transaction is rejected. E.g. changing trading based on haram principles, etc.

Explanation of The Hadith of Abu Hurairah (I Have Memorized Two Kinds of Knowledge From Allah’s Apostle…)

Filed under: Hadith-Hadeeth, Intermediate — Um Abdullah M. @ 5:25 pm

Explanation of this hadith:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

I have memorized two kinds of knowledge from Allah’s Apostle . I have propagated one of them to you and if I propagated the second, then my pharynx (throat) would be cut (i.e. killed).
[Bukhari :: Book 1 :: Volume 3 :: Hadith121 ]
 

Hafidh Ibn Hajar al Asqalani (rahimahu Allah) said in his book “Fath al Bari”, in the explanation of this hadith:

(The scholars took this type of knowledge, that he (Abu Hurairah) didn’t transmit\spread, to mean the hadiths that show the names of the Amirs (leaders) of evil, their conditions and era/period.And Abu Hurairah used to point to some of it without declaration, fearing for himself from them, like his saying: I seek refuge to Allah from the head of the sixty, and the leadership of the youth , pointing to the khilafah of Yazid bin Mu’awiyyah, because it was in the year sixty after Hijrah.And Allah answered the duaa of Abu Hurairah, so he died a year before it…Ibn al Munir (683 A.H.) said: the Batiniyyah made this hadith as a means to making their falsehood correct, in which they believed that the shari’ah has a dhahir (apparent\outer knowledge) and batin (hidden\inner\secret  knowledge), and the result of that batin is dissolution of the deen.
He said: Abu Hurairah meant by his saying: “would be cut ” meaning: the people of injustice would cut his head off if they heard his criticizing\finding fault with their actions ….. , and what supports this is that the written hadiths, if they were from ahkam (rulings), he wouldn’t be able to conceal it, because of what he mentioned in the first hadith of the ayah that condemns who conceals knowledge.and other said: it could mean things related to signs of the hour, the changing of conditions, and the fierce battles at the end of time, so then the ones who are not familiar with it would reject it…)

And  Imam Ibn Battal (449 A.H.) -rahimahu Allah- mentioned in his sharh (explanation) of this hadith in sahih al Bukhari, that the knowledge that Abu Hurairah didn’t spread was related to fitan (trials).Also,  a similar explanation is given by Imam adh Dhahabi rahimhu Allah in his books “as Siyar”.So basically, that knowledge that was not revealed is related to things in future, and trials (fitan),  it has nothing to do with rulings in shari’ah, that are guidance to mankind which every Muslim should and needs to know, and is not allowed for one to conceal.

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