Politics Aside: Death of Shaikh `Umar `Abdur-Rahman

Figure 1A: A portrait of Shaikh `Umar `Abdur-Rahman.
Figure 1A: A portrait of Shaikh `Umar `Abdur-Rahman.

 

He is Abu Muhammad `Umar ibn Ahmad ibn `Ali ibn `Abdur-Rahman Al-Masri Ash-Shafi`ii Al-Khalwati. Born in the year 1360 AH in Al-Jamaaliyah in the governorate of Ad-Daqhaliyyah, he went completely blind at 10 months due to childhood diabetes.

He was enrolled in the madrasah, Ma`had un-Nur in the city of Tanta when he was only five years of age and he began his primary school education at Al-Azhar University. He completed the entire memorisation of the Qur’an in the narration of Hafs from `Asim when he reached 11 years of age.

After this, he moved on and went to Ma`had ul-Mansurat id-Dini and began his long term secondary education at Al-Azhar in the year 1388 and then not long after enrolled in the Foundations of Religion studies in Cairo at the main Al-Azhar campus.

He received his first ijazah while there with a rating of high and excellent in the section on the study of hadith as well as tafsir. This was in the year 1393.

One year before that, he had been made an imam and professor through the Endowments department. In the year 1396, he graduated from Al-Azhar and was immediately incarcerated briefly after an exchange.

The funeral parade of Gamal Abdel Nasser was passing by and upon being asked why he was not going he said, “It is due to the fact that Nasser was an unbeliever and died as such; it is not permissible to pray upon someone who died an apostate.”

He would soon be released and decided to head back and receive yet another degree (his second) in tafsir from the University of Religious Foundations in 1396 with a rating of very good. He also went on to take his degree in the subject of the Holy Months and their rulings (his third degree).

After this, he was given the position of adjunct professor and was also put in charge of delivering lessons in the central masjid of Fayyum where he courted controversy by discussing the state of society, government and the wickedness of the rulers.

He would be removed from his post and jailed for seven months but not long after be returned to his duties. Only this time, he was far from the people and the masses and under surveillance.

Fayyum would be the same place where not long before he had said on the mimbar in an announcement that it is not permissible to pray on or for Nasser or the other rulers of Egypt as they were apostates.

He would be jailed again in this same year of 1396 until 1397 for some 8 months in Al-Qal`ah prison in cell #24. Upon release he was transferred to a ma`had in Fayyum as senior teacher and then to a ma`had in Al-Minya.

In the year 1398, he received another degree after completing a lengthy study of tafsir and its relation to theology, making this a fourth degree. The Shaikh then moved to teaching propagation and guidance in Asyut in the year 1399 where he also studied for another degree (his fifth) and was then transferred as a teacher to assist in the University of Asyut in the topic of tafsir.  This occurred between the years of 1400-1403.

In the year 1404, he was asked to go and teach in Arabia as Salafiyyah had wiped out most of the tafsir teachers and scholars in the pogroms leading up to the establishment of the Sa`udi empire.

Shaikh `Umar taught there but fell foul of the establishment when he declared that the rulers of the Arab states were unbelievers – including their king – and that their scholars protecting him were also unbelievers (this along with attacking Salafiyyah and terming it ‘Al-Wahhabiyyah’ – please see Al-Mithaq ul-`Amal il-Islami).

The establishment moved quickly, preventing him from propagation, teaching and speaking. He then decided to return to Egypt and his teaching in Asyut. After the assassination of Anwar As-Sadat (president of Egypt after Nasser), he was arrested on 10 counts of conspiracy, calling for the assassination of As-Sadat and other things.

After a long and drawn out trial, he was freed from prison. Shaikh `Umar `Abdur-Rahman made his way to Sudan and also Eritrea as a teacher. He held numerous teaching posts, took degrees and completed a number of books with different teachers.

When he left Egypt and settled in the United States, he had 11 degrees under his belt, which in the Western sense would equal 11 pHds. He started on the West Coast of the United States and spoke against the fratricidal gang war there and in Michigan that was annihilating Arabs.

He would be driven out of that community on account of racism (being from South Egypt makes you darker than other Arabs) and politics, which took him to New York’s Masjid Muhammad in Brooklyn after some time.

It was here that he delivered most of his 500 lectures that are difficult to find – except for connoisseurs – in all different subjects from beginning to advanced level studies.

He would later be accused of conspiring to detonate bombs in Rhyder trucks under the World Trade Center, destroy the Washington Monument and the Capital Building, United Nations, Federal Building, two tunnels in New York and kidnap the then Pope, John Paul II (all this while being blind as well).

Rather than be tried in the media, he took to the airwaves using a translator and explained his entire case in an interview that although grainy shows you that then up until the day he died, he always pled his innocence.

Shaikh `Umar `Abdur-Rahman died on 20 Jumada Al-Uwla 1438, after reaching 78 years of age. It is claimed he died of natural causes that stemmed from complications with his diabetes and blood pressure. The battle is now on to reclaim his body and his legacy. We will see how worthy a judge history…and researchers shall be. We shall see indeed.

Until next time

Al-Hajj Abu Ja`far Al-Hanbali

Q & A: Impregnating Fiance During Engagement

Figure 1A: Pregnancy and sex before marriage
Figure 1A: Pregnancy and sex before marriage

A great question was recently submitted about a growing phenomenon. I hope that this is of some benefit to our readers.

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As-Salaamu `Alaikum wa Rahmatullah, 
 
Noble brother, 
 
Here are the answers to the questions: 
1. Does pregnancy before marriage invalidate the marriage?
2. If they are able to marry, can it be during pregnancy or is it after?
3. Will marriage during pregnancy or after affect the validity and rights of the child?
4. Both parties are Muslim and they repented and married but they want to know if their marriage is valid and the rights of their child.
Imam Mustafa ibn Sa`d Ar-Ruhaibani (d. 1243 AH) said the following on this matter: 
 
“It is impermissible for the fornicatress to marry the fornicator or any other man until she repents, based upon the Words of the Exalted One, So the fornicatress is not to marry except a fornicator or an idol worshipper.  Surat un-Nur (24), ayah 3. This is a statement that carries the meaning of prohibition. The understanding of this is the following statement from the Exalted One, The chaste women from the believers and the chaste women from the People of the Book. Surat ul-Ma’idah (5), ayah 5. 
 
The people mentioned in the ayah are chaste, virginal women and the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said on the day of the Battle of Hunain, ‘It is not permitted for any man who believers in Allah and the Last Day that he pour his seed on a crop other than his own.’  This is referring to having sex with pregnant women. This hadith has been collected by Imams Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi and he said that the hadith is authentic. 
 
Now if the fornicatress is pregnant from fornication, it is not permitted for her to be married by someone before she gives birth. The reason for this is based upon what was previously mentioned as well as the fact that she must also repent from returning to the fornication. The prohibition remains in place until she has repented as it was narrated in a text that someone said to `Umar ibn Al-Khattab ‘How do we know that she has repented?’ He said in reply to the questioner, ‘Whether or not she returns to the act or abstains. If she is still involved and succumbs to fornication, then she has not repented. However if she abstains from fornication, then she indeed is counted as being penitent.’ Imam Ahmad followed this ruling of `Umar ibn Al-Khattab and it became the primary means he used to judge if someone had repented or not.  
 
It was mentioned by Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah that whoever wants to mix with someone in order to check so that he knows that the individual is righteous, sinful or penitent and asks regarding that and this is the position of a body of scholars, such as Muwaffaq ud-Din Ibn Qudamah and others. They state that it is not necessary to check upon someone whether nor not they are looking to commit fornication presently but rather to see if they are truly penitent from what happened previously. 
 
The reason for this is that someone wants to know that the repentance is for herself and not for anyone else. When the fornicatress feels remorse and makes firm determination that she will not return to it, then her repentance is valid. This is as long as she has left that sin of fornication.” Matalib Uwl in-Nuha Sharh Ghayat il-Muntaha, vol.5, pp. 186-187.
Imam Mustafa Ar-Ruhaibani says further, “It has been narrated from Ibn `Umar and Ibn `Abbas that if the woman repents from the fornication and then completes her waiting period, then she may marry the one she had fornicated with like others besides him. It should not be said or spoken of and the woman should not be spied on to look for hidden flaws that are forbidden. Remember the words of the Exalted One, So do not spy. Surat ul-Hujurat (49), ayah 12.” Matalib Uwl in-Nuha Sharh Ghayat il-Muntaha, vol.5, pp. 186-187.
 
Thus they should not marry until she has had the baby. If it was before, they will need to consecrate the marriage again as per the statement of the Imam mentioned above regarding the validity of marriage and times when it is not valid.  Matalib Uwl in-Nuha Sharh Ghayat il-Muntaha, vol.5, pp. 170-187. This covers the prohibited types of marriage and which types are not valid. This type will not be valid until the baby is born as the `iddah (waiting period) has not been completed. Once the child is born and she finishes her nifas (post natal birth bleeding), then they may marry. If they did not do this, they will need to have a nikah done to consecrate the marriage. 
 
was-Salaam, 
 
Al-Hajj Abu Ja`far Al-Hanbali
 
brother in Islam

Q & A: Questioning in the Grave

Figure 1A: The questioning of the grave is established.
Figure 1A: The questioning of the grave is established.

This is another great question that involves the grave and the matters connected to it.

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As-Salaamu `Alaikum wa Rahmatullah,
I had a question:
Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah said, ‘The adīths are mass-transmitted regarding the spirit returning to the body at the time of questioning. The questioning of the body without the spirit is the position of one group, including Ibn az-Zāghūnī, and it has been related from Ibn Jarīr – and the majority refuted him.
There are others who hold the opposite position and say that the questioning is for the spirit and not the body. This has been stated by Ibn azm and others, including Ibn ʿAqīl and Ibn al-Jawzī, and it is incorrect. Otherwise, there would be nothing particular about the grave in this matter.’
The statement is from Majmu’ al-Fatawa, but is that really the final position of Imams Ibn ‘Aqeel and Ibn al-Jawzi?
Are you referring to Majmu`a Fatawa or Majmu` Al-Fatawa. The former is 37 volumes and the sum total of his rulings running in an almost chronological order. The latter is everything in the former but also another collection known as Al-Fatawa Al-Kubra.
 
As for the statement above and the position of the Imams in question, one of the authoritative commentators on the Lum`ah, Imam Najm ud-Din Ibn Hamdan (d. 695 AH), made the following statement: 
 
والنعيم والعذاب للأرواح وأجسادها مع ردها إليها بعينها بعد فنائها وقبله. وقال ابن الجوزي في المنهاج: إنما تعذب الأرواح دون الجسد. وقال أحمد: الشهداء بعد القتل باقون يأكلون أرزاقهم، وقال: الأنبياء أحياء في قبورهم يصلون. وقال: الميت يعلم بزائرة يوم الجمعة بعد طلوع الفجر وقبل طلوع الشمس وإن الله يعذب قوماً في قبورهم. وقيل في صفة الحور والولدان احتملان. ولا يقطغ بإعادة السقط الذي لا روح فيه ولا بعدمها، كالجماد. وأن التناسخ باطل. وأن أرواح المسلمين في حواصل (طير) خضر تعلق في الجنة. وأرواح الكفار في حواصل طير سود تعلق في النار، وقيل: في برموت، وهي بئر بحضرموت. وبإحياء الميت وكلامه في قبره لمنكر ونكير وسؤالهما له، وثوابه فيه وعقابه للروح والجسد وضغط… إلخ 
 
وقال ابن حمدان أيضاً: قال ابن عقيل: ولا يستحب تلقينهم لرفع القلم. 
 
 
Taken from Nihayah Al-Mubtadi’in fi Usul id-Din, pp. 54-55
 
The dispute centres around the issue of the soul when it has left the body at the time of death and gone on the other side of the barzakh. Does it come back to the body for the questioning, does the questioning happen immediately after death and before burial or immediately after burial?
The issue is that that the soul is being asked the question, not the body or both? The position of Imam Ibn Al-Jawzi (d. 597) is that the punishment is for the souls and the questioning as it is what animated the body and gave it life. The punishment of the grave is thus for the soul while the eternal judgement is for both, soul and body. 
 
The same position is from Ibn `Aqil (d. 513), while the depended upon position is that the deceased in his grave is questioned and that the reward and the punishment is for the body and soul as Imam Ibn Hamdan (d. 695) mentions in the quote I gave and upheld by all other commentators and the great preponderance of theologians.
It is a branch issue based on two ahadith on the topic that are disputed about that could go in either direction. 
I hope that this was of some assistance and benefit to you.
was-Salaam,
brother in Islam,
Al-Hajj Abu Ja`far Al-Hanbali