In his comprehensive hagio-biography of Imām Abu l-Hasan al-Ash‘arī (260 – 324 H) Tabyīn Kadhib al-Muftarī, Hāfiz Ibn ‘Asākir (499 – 571 H) quotes a lengthy letter written by Imām al-Bayhaqī (384 – 458 H) to the grand vizier of the Seljuk Empire, ‘Amīd al-Mulk (415 – 456 H), on his views about the personality and theology of Imām al-Ash‘arī. Tāj al-Dīn al-Subkī reproduces most of the letter in his Tabaqāt al-Shāfi‘iyyah al-Kubrā with his chain via Ibn ‘Asākir.
Below we present a translation of the letter, which demonstrates Imām al-Bayhaqī’s great respect for Imām al-Ash‘arī and his appreciation of the efforts he made to defend the ‘aqīdah of Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah. Continue Reading
The following introductory essay delineates the basic creedal differences between Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jamā’ah and the contemporary Salafiyyah on the subject of the divine attributes. It further seeks to support the position of Ahlus Sunnah from the Qur’ān and the statements of the pious Salaf from the first three generations of scholars, including Imāms Abū Hanīfah, Shu’bah, Sharīk, Abū ‘Awānah, Sufyān al-Thawrī, Mālik, Sufyān ibn ‘Uyaynah, Hammād ibn Salamah, Hammād ibn Zayd, Abū Yūsuf al-Qādī and Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybānī (may Allāh have mercy on them all).
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
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
Some people have the misunderstanding that the early Hanafī scholars whose books are in wide use today, like Shams al-A’immah al-Sarakhsī (d. 490 H), Malik al-‘Ulamā’ al-Kāsānī (d. 587 H) and Burhān al-Dīn al-Marghīnānī (d. 593), were unacquainted with hadīth. They base this on the absence of many hadīths quoted in their works in the available hadīth collections or their apparent weakness. These early scholars, however, took hadīths not only from the well-known collections, but also from the works of the earlier Hanafī ‘ulamā’, many of which have not reached us today. The narrations are found in these earlier works generally with their full chains of transmission. Hence, one may not dismiss the hadīths mentioned in al-Hidāyah, al-Mabsūt, al-Badā‘i’ etc. as baseless or forged merely on the grounds that they are not found in the available collections of hadīth. Continue Reading
by Mawlānā ‘Abdul Hayy al-Laknawī
When Jarh (narrator-criticism) and Ta‘dīl (narrator-accreditation) conflict with regards to a single narrator, in that some have criticised him and others have accredited him, then there are three views about this: Continue Reading
Bismillāhir Rahmānir Rahīm
In the following, we will address a 9-page essay authored by Sheikh Hategekimana Hassan of Botswana called, “Perspective on Trimming/Shaving beard.” Sheikh Hategekimana attempts to show that growing the beard is not a precept of religion or Sharī‘ah, but merely a recommended cultural practice inherited from Rasūlullāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). He further argues that there is no sin in shaving the beard, and the widely-held notion that a person who shaves his beard should not be appointed an imam is an innovation in Islamic thought with no basis in earlier jurisprudential writings. Continue Reading
If the obligation of a non-mujtahid is only to follow, or make taqlid, of qualified mujtahids, why do scholars insist on the added obligation of restricting one’s taqlid to a single madhhab?
The paper linked below addresses this question, providing a detailed explanation for the necessity of adhering to a single madhhab in all its rulings.
The obligation and its legal basis are supported by statements and opinions from major early authorities across the recognised schools of jurisprudence. It is argued that this ruling is not only more sound in the present context, but is also supported by strong positions from within each of the four madhhabs, with some of the early scholars having quoted consensus.
An extensive and thorough collection of authentic narrations on various aspects of the Great Imam of the Salaf, Imam Abu Hanifah Nu’man ibn Thabit, with brief commentary and critical analyses of the chains of narration (isnad).
This issue of irja’ (literally: postponement) with respect to Imam Abu Hanifah – which has unfortunately become a common talking point for the denigrators of the Imam – was discussed in great detail by Imam ‘Abd al-Hayy al-Laknawi in his al-Raf’ wa l-Takmil (pp. 149-81).