What is Islām’s stance on a woman being made the sovereign ruler of a country? When Pakistan elected its first female prime-minister in December of 1988, many concerned individuals were asking whether this is permissible in Islām. Hence, Muftī Muḥammad Rafī‘ ‘Uthmānī (b. 1936) wrote a detailed write-up on the issue of female rulership in Islām.*
Along with demonstrating that the Qur’ān, Sunnah and consensus of the scholars establish it to be impermissible, Muftī Muḥammad Rafī‘ addresses some common talking points of those who try to argue against this established ruling, namely:
- The alleged stance of Imām Ibn Jarīr al-Ṭabarī
- The Qur’ānic account of Queen Bilqīs, queen of Sheba
- ‘Ā’ishah’s [raḍiyAllāhu ‘anhā] participation in the Battle of Jamal
- Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī’s discussion on the ḥadīth warning against female political sovereignty being inapplicable to a democratic government
Muftī Muḥammad Rafī‘ also demonstrates the unanimous verdict of the scholars of Pakistan is of impermissibility.
The write-up, authored in December of 1988, was endorsed and signed by major muftīs and scholars of Pakistan, namely Muftī Rashīd Aḥmad Ludhyānwī, Muftī Walī Ḥasan Tonkī, Mawlānā Salīmullāh Khān and Mawlānā Yūsuf Ludhyānwī.
* Aḥsan al-Fatāwā, 6:149-182; Nawādir al-Fiqh, 2:151-94
The following is a translation of Mufti Taqi Usmani’s Urdu article (from his Fiqhī Maqālāt) on the ruling of delivering the Khuṭbah of Jumu‘ah in a language besides Arabic. The article looks at:
- The position of the four Madhhabs on this issue.
- The issue of Imām Abū Ḥanīfah’s retraction. Imām Abū Ḥanīfah held (a) that the obligation of Qirā’ah in Ṣalāh can be fulfilled by reciting a Farsi translation, and (b) that the obligation of the adhkār of Ṣalāh (like the Takbīr al-Taḥrīmah & Tashahhud) and the Khuṭbah of Jumu‘ah can be discharged by reciting them in another language. Imām Abū Ḥanīfah took back his earlier stance on the first issue but not the second. Some scholars conflated the two issues, hence a detailed study is undertaken on this matter.
- The misunderstanding that Imām Abū Ḥanīfah’s position entails that reciting the Khuṭbah of Jumu‘ah and the adhkār of Ṣalāh in non-Arabic is “permissible”. While Imām Abū Ḥanīfah believed that the obligation is discharged by reciting them in non-Arabic, he did not believe it to be permissible to do so. In fact, he regarded it to be Makrūh Taḥrīmī and sinful.
An addendum has been added to explain the theological implications of Imām Abū Ḥanīfah’s earlier stance, on a translation of Qur’ān sufficing as recitation in Ṣalāh. It addresses the important question: “Does this mean Imām Abū Ḥanīfah considers a translation of the Qur’ān to be ‘Qur’ān’?”
Note: The Urdu article is different to, and more detailed than, Mufti Taqi Usmani’s English article on the same topic.
Find the original Urdu article here.
In this book, originally titled Īmān Aur Kufr Qur’ān Kī Roshnī Mein (Īmān and Kufr in Light of the Qur’ān), Muftī Muḥammad Shafī‘* provides a detailed explanation of the principles of Takfīr (declaring someone outside the fold of Islām). As he explains in the preface to the book, most of the academic content is taken from a highly technical and largely inaccessible work by his teacher, ‘Allāmah Anwar Shāh al-Kashmīrī, called Ikfār al-Mulḥidīn. Thus, writing for the benefit of a more popular audience, Muftī Muḥammad Shafī‘ offers a clear understanding of what constitutes Īmān and Kufr, and outlines the principles on which a person who claims to be Muslim while denying core elements of Islām will be deemed a Kāfir.
Since the work was written shortly after the creation of Pakistan, Mufti Muḥammad Shafī‘ also includes a short tangential discussion on the two-nation theory (which was the basis for the creation of Pakistan).
In light of Zandaqah (crypto-Kufr) and Ilḥād (heretical distortion) – concepts discussed in detail in the book – being on the rise today, Muftī Shafī‘’s work is all the more relevant and important.
Some rulings of Islām change based on a person being in a Muslim-governed territory or “Dār al-Islām” or in a non-Muslim governed territory or “Dār al-Ḥarb”. What constitutes a Dār al-Islām or Dār al-Ḥarb is therefore a vitally important question of Fiqh.
In the context of British-rule in 19th century India, Mawlānā Rashīd Aḥmad Gangohī* (1244-1323/1829-1905) provides a detailed answer to this question. There is in particular some misunderstanding over the position of Imām Abū Ḥanīfah. Hence, Mawlānā Gangohī outlines the principle used to designate a region as Dār al-Islām or Dār al-Ḥarb, clarifies the view of Imām Abū Ḥanīfah and then applies the principle to the context of British India.** A translation of his answer is provided below.
What is the Islāmic ruling on forming alliances, joining or working together with non-Muslim political parties, or taking assistance from non-Muslim groups or individuals for state administrative purposes?
What is the Islāmic ruling on taking the assistance of non-Muslim organisations to perform exclusively religious work or work exclusive to the Muslim community, like Zakāt collection/distribution or running a masjid?
In the following article, Muftī Muḥammad Shafī‘ provides an in-depth analysis of these questions. His discussion is written in the context of the political debates of his time in British India, where different political groups fought for independence and power. Should Muslims work with/join Congress, an ostensibly secular party, or should they join the Muslim League, an openly Muslim party? In exploring these debates, the article provides a useful historical background. It was written in the form of a fatwā shortly after the death of Mufti Shafī‘’s mentor, Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī al-Thanawi, and was endorsed by several leading scholars, including ‘Allāmah Shabbīr Aḥmad al-‘Uthmānī and ‘Allāmah Ẓafar Aḥmad al-‘Uthmānī.
The following are several translations from I’la’ al-Sunan, the famous compendium of Hanafi hadith proofs.
These translations were made available previously on different websites and are gathered here for ease of reference:
1. Introduction to I’la’ al-Sunan by Mufti Taqi Usmani
2. Al-Din al-Qayyim on the Necessity of Taqlid by Mawlana Habib Ahmad al-Kiranawi
3. Placing the Hands Below the Navel by ‘Allamah Zafar Ahmad al-‘Uthmani
4. Not Raising the Hands in other than the Opening Takbir by ‘Allamah Zafar Ahmad al-‘Uthmani
5. The Impermissibility of a Literal Joining of Salahs by ‘Allamah Zafar Ahmad al-‘Uthmani
6. The Obligation of Attending Salah in Congregation by ‘Allamah Zafar Ahmad al-‘Uthmani
7. The Prophetic Visitation by ‘Allamah Zafar Ahmad al-‘Uthmani
8. Refutation of “Composite Nationalism” by ‘Allamah Zafar Ahmad al-‘Uthmani
The following article is a translation of a section from the Urdu work, Tasawwuf Kiyā He, by Mawlānā Manzūr Nu’mānī. It comprises of a group of essays written by the author on his observations on Tasawwuf and, in particular, the practices (ashghāl) prescribed by the Sūfī guides (mashāyikh). He offers a strong argument for the need for Tasawwuf and a rationale for the specific practices designed by the scholars of Tasawwuf for spiritual reform. Although the original work comprises of essays by other authors, only those by Mawlānā Manzūr Nu’mānī are presented in this translation. His discussion and analysis is concerned mostly with the practical dimensions of Tasawwuf as they have been observed throughout history amongst its orthodox champions and handed down to its true inheritors in the present time. The other essays (which are not included in this translation) deal with Tasawwuf from its historical and academic/philosophical dimensions also. Continue Reading
Muftī Rashīd Ahmad Ludhyānwī
In a public gathering, Gandhi stated these words while delivering a speech: “I do not understand why I should not recite the kalimah? Why should I not praise Allāh? Why should I not accept Muhammad as His messenger? I have faith in the saints and the prophets of all religions.” Can Gandhi be called a Muslim for saying the aforementioned words? Please attend to the reply quickly, because I have need for it for a religious publication. Explain with proof, may the Most Merciful reward you. Continue Reading
Is performing the Fard salahs in jama’ah an obligation for men? If so, is this obligation discharged by performing them in congregation at home, in the workplace or another musalla? Or is it a further obligation to perform the jama’ah in the masjid?
‘Allamah Zafar Ahmad al-‘Uthmani discusses the answers to these questions in detail in the section from his I’la’ al-Sunan translated in the file linked below. He provides a thorough analysis of the hadiths on the topic and carefully determines the position of the Hanafi madhhab from the statements of its great early jurists, like al-Halwani, Qadi Khan and al-Kasani (may Allah have mercy on them).
The translation includes the chapter of I’la’ al-Sunan that immediately follows on the valid Shar’i excuses that frees one of blame if he were to not attend the masjid for jama’ah. Continue Reading
Below we present a translation from Imām al-Bayhaqī’s celebrated work on Sunnī ‘aqīdah, al-I‘tiqād wa l-Hidāyah ilā Sabīl al-Rashād. In this passage, al-Bayhaqī (may Allāh have mercy on him) discusses the evidential basis on which a Muslim premises his faith. He discusses two basic types of thought processes (nazar) that lead one to believe in Allāh:
- First, deliberating on the created order, the heavens, the earth and the wonders of one’s own creation, and deducing from that the presence of a Powerful, Intelligent, Conscious, Wise and All-Knowing Creator and Fashioner.
- And second, reasoning from the miracles produced at the hands of the prophets – peace be upon them – and deducing thereby their honesty and integrity in everything they relate about the unseen realm, including the existence of the Creator and His eternal attributes. Continue Reading