AND SO SHALL IT BE…pt.4

Imam Ahmad Salih Ash-Shami (d. 1414)

Did Imam Abu Ja`far At-Tabari (d. 310) have Shi`ii tendencies?

I don’t know. Perhaps we should take a look.

قال الصفدي في الوافي الوافيات ج 2 ص 214-213

 دار إحياء التراث العربي بيروت 1420ه

The historian As-Safadi (more about him later) makes this remark:

ولما قدم من طبرسنان إلى بغداد تعصّب عليه أبو عبد الله ابن الجصاص وجعفر بن عرفة والبياضي وقصده الحنابلة فسألوه عن أحمد بن حنبل يوم الجمعة في الجامع وعن حديث الجلوس على العرش فقال أبو جعفر أمّا أحمد بن حنبل فلا يعد خلافه فقالوه له: فقد ذكره العلماء في الإختلاف فقال: ما رأيته رُوي عنه ولا رأيت له أصحابًا يعوّل عليهم وأما حديث الجلوس على العرش فمُحال ثم أنشد الرجز: سبحان من ليس له أنيسُ ولا له في عرشه جليسُ

“…whereas At-Tabari arrived in Baghdad from Tabiristan, those who grew partisan to him include Abu `Abdullah ibn Al-Jassas, Ja`far ibn `Arafah and Al-Bayadi. The Hanbalis came to him and asked him regarding Ahmad ibn Hanbal on Friday in the Central Masjid and regarding the hadith of Enthronement. Abu Ja`far [At-Tabari] remarked, “In terms of Ahmad ibn Hanbal, he is not numbered among those whom his dispute is recorded”. The Hanbalis responded, “No, the scholars have mentioned him on matters of difference of opinion”. At-Tabari answered, “I don’t see anything narrated from him nor any of his Companions. As for the hadith of Enthronement, then it is not possibly correct”. Then he recited the following poetry:

Glory be to the One who has no equal

Nor any on the Throne seated[1] as an equal![2]

This exchange actually came after another one that he had had with one of the Imams of theology in Iraq his time, Abu Bakr ibn Abi Dawud (d. 310).

قال ابن الأثير في المامل في التاريخ ج7 ص 9-8 دار الكتب العلمية بيروت 1407ه

Ibn Abi Dawud mentioned that one of the statements that At-Tabari in a book was similar to the Shi`ii and At-Tabari decided to bring about the following circumstances as mentioned in a stroke of honesty by another historian, Ibn Al-Athir (more about his situation later):

وادعو عليه الرفض ثم ادعوا عليه الإلحاد

“So they accused him of Shi`ii tendencies, then they accused him of denying Allah’s Names and Attributes”.

وأما ما ذكره من تعصّب العامة فليس الأمر كذلك وإنما بعض الحنابلة تعصّبوا عليه ووقعوا فيه فتبعهم غيرهم ولذلك سببٌ وهو أن الطبري جمع كتابًا ذكر فيه اختلاف الفقهاء لم يصف مثله ولم يذكر فيه أحمد بن حنبل فقيل له في ذلك فقال: لم يكن فقيهًأ وإنما كان محدثًا فأشتد ذلك على الحنابلة وكانوا لا يحصون كثرة ببغداد فشغبوا عليه وقالوا ما أرادوا.

“As far as what was mentioned of him regarding the partisanship of the laity, the matter is not like that. It was only some of the Hanbalis that showed partisanship against him and fell into this issue and others besides them followed them in the affair. And that came about on account of the fact that At-Tabari gathered together a book in which the differences of opinion among the fiqh scholars was mentioned – and there was no book like this before – and yet he did not mention Ahmad ibn Hanbal. When he was asked about this, he said, “[Ahmad ibn Hanbal] was not a faqih. He was only a muhaddith”. This ignited the anger of the Hanbalis against him and they were an untold number in Baghdad. They moved against him and said that which they wanted”. (Al-Kamil fit-Tarikh, vol.7, pp.8-9, Dar ul-Kutub il-`Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1407)

So from what we can see from here we notice that after their exchange, Imam At-Tabari reviled and lowered the status of the Imam, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allah be pleased with him, which triggered violence from some of the laity of the Hanbalis (among others) who threw ink wells and such that injured him in his head.

Why should this be a surprise? Anyone who reviles any of the First Three Generations has to expect nothing but something to happen. Most assuredly it is for the Qadis and those among them to make judgement about the individual’s penalty and the like however reviling one of the First Three generations is still reviling one of the First Three Generations. And he ultimately found what he was looking for and faced the outcome of the action.

What is most disgusting about today’s fake Sufis (especially the fake Qadiris) is that At-Tabari’s ending exchange is quoted but not what led to it. People are then given the canard that this statement was just said while he was calmly reading over some book or reviewing notes and it was a fact of history without any background to it. The bad adab and intentions of At-Tabari aren’t even mentioned.

These same diabolical deceivers don’t bother to even give the audience the full chain of events to let them make their own choice. So was At-Tabari a Shi`ii in tendency? It doesn’t appear to be so.

But he spoke out of line regarding Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal and the laity did what any laity would be expected to do whether it was the Companions, their Followers or their Followers. Didn’t the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, say, “A time will come in which the last of my Ummah will curse the first of it”.

The same thing goes for Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi (d. 463) who after falling out with some Hanbalis in Baghdad, decided not to number Imam Ahmad among the Fiqh Scholars of the early generations.[3]

In terms of Al-Wajiz by Imam Al-Ghazzali (d. 505), this is a Shafi`ii fiqh text, so what would be the purpose of why one would look for Imam Ahmad to be used in a madhhab specific text? Indeed, he was not mentioned in the introductory remarks but the rulings that are specific to his madhhab and followers are referenced under sections like Wiping Over the Khuff, Nullifiers of the Wudu’ and so forth. If they had no validity they would not have been cited as disputed matters. This is the fact, yet some duplicitous devils insist on pretending that there is some type of agenda or any other affair.

When discussing Ibn `Abdul Barr’s (d. 463) (الانتقاء في فضائل الثلاثة الأئمة الفقهاء مالك والشافعي وأبي حنيفة رضي الله عنهم) The Most Noble Merits of the Three Fiqh Scholars: Malik, Ash-Shafi`ii and Abu Hanifah and why Imam Ahmad is not mentioned, the answer is simple. His madhhab was not in Al-Andalus and so it had no presence to discuss with regard to rulings. This text was a comparison of Malik (the madhhab of Ibn `Abdul Barr) and the others that had a presence there.

When a presence was established, Imams such as Abu Ishaq Ash-Shatibi (d. 790) made reference to them in both fiqh[4] as well as theology[5] across a number of topics.

Then comes the interesting case of all the Hanafi sources that some quote as proof that Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal was not a mujtahid or the like as they did not include him. They of course would not include him as they were primarily Imam Ahmad’s torturers during the Inquisition.

When the Mu`tazilah came into power in the era of Al-Ma’mun, they completely infiltrated the Hanafi madhhab to the degree that this became popularly known that Hanafis were Mu`tazilah. This would carry on for centuries. Let’s look at what Imam Ahmad said of the Hanafis of his time period:

Imam, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allah be pleased with him, who said of the Hanafis of his[6] time:

وأَصحاب الرأي: وهم مبتدعة ضلال أعداء للسنة والأثر يبطلون الحديث ويردون على الرسول عليه الصلاة والسلام

The people of speculative opinion are innovators and astray. They are the enemies to the Sunnah and narratives through time. They nullify the hadith and reject the Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

ويتخذون أبا حنيفة ومن قال بقوله إمامًا ويدينون بدينهم وأي ضلالة أبين ممن قال بهذا

They take Abu Hanifah and what he says as an Imam for themselves. They judge by their religion and each type of astrayness and who can be shown to be more astray than the one who said the aforementioned.

وترك قول الرسول وأصحابه واتبع قول أبي حنيفة وأصحابه؟ فكفى بهذا غيًّا مرديًا وطغيانًا

Such a one has left the statement of the Messenger and Companions and followed the words of Abu Hanifah and his companions? One can be called astray, rejected and transgressing the bounds for making such a statement.[7] 

The Hanafis in the time of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal had been infiltrated by the Mu`tazilah and they went into the Abbasid government through the ijtihad of one of the students of Imam Abu Hanifah, Al-Qadi Abu Yusuf.

Furthermore, even the Shaikh, Abul Hasan Al-Ash`ari, may Allah have mercy upon him, discussed the innovators that were in the Hanafi School in the Muslim West:[8]

وذكر هارون بن إسحاق الهنداني عن أبي نعيم عن سليمان بن عيسى القاري عن سفيان الثوري قال: قال لي حماد بن أبي سليمان: بلغ أبا حنيفة المشرك أني منه برئ

Harun ibn Ishaq Al-Hamadani mentioned from Abu Nu`aim from Sulaiman ibn `Isa Al-Qari from Sufyan Ath-Thawri who said: Hammad ibn Abi Sulaiman said to me, “Convey to Abu Hanifah the mushrik that I am disavowing myself from him”.

قال سليمان ثم قال سفيان: لأنه كان يقول القرآن مخلوق وذكر سفيان بن وكيع قال

It was mentioned by Sulaiman and then Sufyan Ath-Thawri said, “Hammad said these words as Abu Hanifah used to say that the Qur’an is created”. Sufyan ibn Waqi` mentioned:

سمعت عمر بن حماد بن أبي حنيفة قال اخبرني أبي: قال: الكلام الذي استتاب فيه ابن ابي ليلى أبا حنيفة هو قوله القرآن مخلوق. قال: فتاب منه وطاف به في الخلق.

I heard `Umar ibn Hammad ibn Abi Hanifah say, “My father said to me, ‘The speech someone is to have repentance taken from Ibn Abi Laila is that Abu Hanifah said that the Qur’an is created.’ So he repented from it and went around telling the people”.

قال أبي: فقلت له كيف صرت إلى هذا؟ قال: خفت والله أن يقوّم علي فأعطيته التقية.

My father said to him, ‘How could you do that?’ Ibn Abi Laila responded, ‘I was afraid – by Allah – that the people would come against me. So I gave them what they sought although it was by way of dissimulation or deception’.[9]

This is most likely coming from Mu`tazilah narrators within the Hanafi School at the time in Baghdad that Al-Ash`ari was exposed to and this explains the problems.

The Imam, `Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani, may Allah be pleased with him, said of the Hanafis of his time:

وأما المرجئة ففرقها اثنتا عشرة فرقة: الجهمية والصالحية والشمرية واليونسية واليونانية والنجارية والغيلانية والشبيبية والحنفية والمعاذية والمريسية والكرامية،

The Murji’ah cult have twelve sects within them: (1) Al-Jahmiyyah, (2) As-Salihiyyah, (3) Ash-Shamariyyah, (4) Al-Yunusiyyah, (5) Al-Yunainiyyah, (6) An-Najjariyyah, (7) Al-Ghailaniyyah, (8) Ash-Shabibiyyah, (9) Al-Hanafiyyah, (10) Al-Mu`adhiyyah, (11) Al-Marisiyyah and (12) Al-Karramiyyah.

وإنما سموا المرجئة لأنها رعمت أن الواحد من المكلفين إذا قال لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله وفعل بعد ذلك سائر المعاصي لم يدخل النار أصلًا

They are called the Murji’ah on account of the fact that they claim that one of the people that has said: There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and after that commits all the acts of disobedience shall not enter the Fire at all.

وأن الإيمان قول بلا عمل، والأعمال الشرائع والإيمان قول مجرّد والناس لا يتفاضلون في الإيمان، وأن إيمانهم وإيمان الملائكة والأنبياء واحد لا يزيد ولا ينقص

They also believe that Iman is statements without action and actions are laws with Iman being words alone. The people have no distinctions in Iman and that their Iman and the Iman of the angels and the prophets is one that does not increase or decrease.

ولا يستثنى فيه، فمن أقرّ بلسانه ولم يعمل فهو مؤمن.

 They also do not take exception in Iman while to them whoever affirmed Iman with his tongue but then did nothing, he is classed as a believer.[10]     

In no way are Imams Ahmad ibn Hanbal, `Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani and many other scholars denouncing the entirety of the Hanafi School.

Rather they were contending with elements within the School that were the predominant position for some five hundred years.

This would finally be resolved with the Seljuks and Ottomans who restored the valor and dignity to the long-sullied Hanafi School through their strident doctrinal orthodoxy and emphasis on orthopraxy.

These same superhistorians then forget the fact that the author of the sixth of the Sihah Sittah, Imam Ahmad ibn Shu`aib An-Nasa’ii (d. 302) made the following statement:

وبعد هؤلاء أحمد بن حنبل وإسحاق بن راهويه ويحيى بن أكثم

“And after these came Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Ishaq ibn Rahuwaih and Yahya ibn Aktham”. [11]

But why go through all this hassle when we can just quote the elders of the early generations regarding Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal’s rank in fiqh?

Imam Muhammad ibn Idris Ash-Shafi`ii (d. 204/5) said the following:

أحمد بن حنبل إمام في ثمان خصال: إمام في الحديث، إمام في الفقه، إمام في القرآن، إمام في اللغة، إمام في الفقر، إمام في الزهد، إمام في الورع، إمام في السنة

“Ahmad ibn Hanbal is Imam in eight things: (1) Imam in Hadith, (2) Imam in fiqh, (3) Imam in Qur’an, (4) Imam in Arabic Language, (5) Imam in faqr, (6) Imam in zuhd, (7) Imam in wara` and (8) Imam in the Sunnah”.[12]

`Abdur-Razzaq As-Sana`ani (d. 211), may Allah be pleased with him, said of Imam Ahmad:

ما رأيت أفقه من أحمد بن حنبل ولا أورع

“I have not seen anyone more knowledgeable of fiqh and with more wara` than Ahmad ibn Hanbal”.[13]

Imam Yahya ibn Ma`in (d. 233) said of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal:

فقال: كان أفقه القوم

“He is the most knowledge of fiqh out of the people”.[14]

سئل أبو حاتم عن أحمد وعلي ابن المديني فقال:

Abu Hatim was asked about Ahmad ibn Hanbal and `Ali ibn Al-Madini and he said,

كانا في الحفظ متقاربين وكان أحمد أفقه

“They are close in memorisation but Ahmad is more knowledgeable in fiqh”.[15]

Abu `Ubaid Al-Qasim ibn Sallam (d. 224), may Allah have mercy upon him, said:

انتهى العلم إلى أربعة: أحمد ابن حنبل، وعلي بن المديني، ويحيى بن معين، وأبي بكر بن أبي شيبة، وكان أحمد أفقههم فيه

“Knowledge reached its apex in four: Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d. 241), `Ali ibn Al-Madini (d. 234), Yahya ibn Ma`in (d. 233) and Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaibah (d. 256) and Ahmad was the most knowledgeable of them in fiqh”.[16]

So these are some SIX sources that have been quoted from the early ages that are contemporaneous to Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal or just after his age. Why would someone neglect to mention this after carrying out an a smear campaign against the Imam?

“Well, Abu Ja`far”, they wheeze while wringing their gnarled hands. “They just don’t know. Maybe they didn’t know about these sources”.

The fact of the matter is that they do know and these same people love to tout themselves as the

“Scholars of the Ummah”,

“Spokesmen for Islam in the West”

“Voices of Reason in the Ummah”

 and the

“Personal Imams and Advisors” to the government.

The fact of the matter is these people are theologically sick and this is shown through their spiritual sickness. If you can’t love the First Three Generations then you can’t be guided.


[1] In a grotesque twist, At-Tabari actually has a contradictory statement to this which will come up later in his own words. It then becomes a worry about whether As-Safadi or At-Tabari are both lying, telling the truth simultaneously or doing either. Perhaps this explains At-Tabari’s classification as sadiq by Adh-Dhahabi (Siyar A`lam in-Nubala’, vol.14, pp. 268-282) and not thiqah without restraint.

[2] As-Safadi’s Al-Wafi ul-Wafiyat, vol.2, pp. 213-214, Dar Ihya’ it-Turath il-`Arabi, Beirut, 1420

[3] cf. Ibn Al-Jawzi’s Al-Muntazam, vol.16, pp. 131-132, Dar ul-Kutub il-`Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1412. This was immediately pointed out by Ibn Al-Jawzi (d. 597) yet no reference is made to this text or any other cross referencing by claimants to “the true Sunni path”.  

[4] [4] Al-I`tisam, pp. 16-17. This contains a glowing tribute to the preacher, the, the Memoriser, Imam `Abdur-Rahman ibn Muhammad ibn Ishaq ibn Yahya ibn Ibrahim ibn Al-Walid ibn Mandah ibn Battah (391-470) who was a renowned Hanbali scholar (fiqh and creed) and the things he saw on his travels.

[5] Al-I`tisam, pp. 78-79. Here a statement is given by Imam Abu Bakr ibn Abi Dawud about the danger of injecting one’s opinion into Islam (!).

[6] And the Imam certainly knew the guided from the misguided as he learned from Imams Muhammad ibn Hasan Ash-Shaibani, Abu Yusuf Ya`qub ibn Ibrahim Al-Ansari, Waki` ibn Al-Jarrah and other direct students of the Imam, Abu Hanifah. So we know that for sure his condemnation was not of Imam Abu Hanifah or the entire school but what happened in his time in which most of the school was overwhelmed with this situation. In today’s Egypt, the situation is by and large the same as in the case of Mahmud Shaltut (Hanafi Mu`tazilah) and so many others.

[7] Please see Al-Hussain’s Tabaqat ul-Hanabilah, vol.1, pp. 36-37.

[8] The Muslim West is from Iraq to Andalus.

[9] Please see Al-Ash`ari’s Al-Ibanah `an Usul id-Diyanah, pp. 56-57.

[10] cf. Al-Jilani’s Al-Ghunya, vol.1, pp. 126-127.

[11] Tasmiyat ul-Fuqaha’ il-Amsar, pp. 153-154

[12] Al-Minhaj ul-Ahmad, vol.1, pp. 8-10

[13] Al-Manaqib, pp. 95-96

[14] As-Sa`di’s Al-Jawhar ul-Muhassal, pp. 38-39

[15] Tahdhib ul-Asma’ wal-Lughat, vol.1, pp. 110-111

[16] Siyar A`lam in-Nubala’, vol.11, pp. 199-200

AND SO SHALL IT BE…pt.3

The grandson of the marja`, Imam `Abdul Ghani Al-Lubadi (d. 1319)

So who are the Mujassimah/Mushabbihah/Hashawiyyah?

The greatest theologian of the Ummah and the Imam of Ahl us-Sunnah, Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d. 241) has said the following:

وأما الجهمية: فإنهم يسمون أهل السنة: المشبهة وكذبت الجهمية أعداء الله بل هم أولى بالتشبيه والتكذيب، افتروا على الله عز وجل الكذب، وقالوا الإفك والزور، وكفروا بقولهم.

“In terms of the Jahmiyyah, they name Muslim Orthodoxy to be Mushabbihah. The Jahmiyyah lie as they are Enemies of Allah. In fact they are the ones closest to likening Allah with the creation and lying. They lie upon Allah, Mighty and Majestic. They speak with falsehood and bear false witness and reject faith by their very words”.[1]

Hmmm. Let’s look further.

The Imam went on to say further,

وأما أصحاب الرأي: فإنهم يسمون أصحاب السنة: نابتة، وحشوية. وكذب أصحاب الرأي أعداء الله بل هم النابتة والحشوية، تركوا آثار الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم وحديثه، وقالوا بالرأي، وقاسوا الدين بالإستحسان، وحكموا بخلاف الكتاب والسنة وهم أصحاب بدعة، جهلة ضلال، وطلاب دنيا بالكذب والبهتان.

“The People of Speculative Opinion have named the People of the Sunnah as Nabitah and Hashawiyyah. The People of Speculative Opinion lie and are Enemies of Allah. Indeed they are Nabitah and Hashawiyyah. They have left the narratives of the Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and his hadith and they speak with their speculative opinion. They make analogy in the Religion with what seems fear to them. They have made judgement to what contradicts the Book and the Sunnah and they are people of innovation, ignorant, astray, seekers of earthly favours by lies and false attribution”.[2]

Right. Well this tell us a great deal.

The philosopher and Shafi`ii Maturidi, Abul Fath Muhammad ibn `Abdul Karim Ash-Shahrastani (d. 548) said the following:

القاعدة الأولى : الصفات والتوحيد فيها وهي تشتمل على مسائل :

“The sects of Islam are built upon a number of major rules. There are four rules and in particular the great foundations:

الصفات الأزلية : إثباتاعند جماعة ونفياعند جماعة وبيان صفات الذاتوصفات الفعل وما يجب الله تعالى وما يجوزعليه وما يستحيل وفيها الخلاف بين الأشعرية والكرامية واجملسمة والمعتزلة

“Foundation 1: the Attributes and the Tawhid on the matter. This is in general to do with the Eternal Attributes that were affirmed by one group and then denied by another, as well as making a clear explanation of the Attributes of the Essence and the Attributes of the Actions and what is compulsory for Allah, Exalted be He, what is possible for Him and what is impossible for Him. There is dispute about this topic between the Ash`aris, the Kurramiyyah, the Mujassimah and the Mu`tazilah”.[3]

Hmmm. This is highly informative.

Ash-Shahrastani goes on to say:

وثار من الشبهة الثانية مذاهب : القدرية والجبرية والمجسمة حيث قصروا فيوصفه تعالى حتىوصفوه بصفات المخلوقي

“So the ambiguous and doubtful matter in the second place gave rise to the following groups: (1) the Qadariyyah, (2) the Jabariyyah, (3) the Mujassimah to the point that they fell short in the description of the Exalted One to the degree that they described Him with the attributes of creation”.[4]

Ash-Shahrastani continues:

فالمعتزلة : غلوا في التوحيد بزعمهم حتى وصلوا إلى التعطيل بنفي الصفات والمشبهة : قصروا حتىوصفوا الخالق بصفات الأجسام والروافض : غلوا في النبوة والإمامة حتى وصلوا إلى الحلول والخوارج : قصروا حتى نفوا تحكيم الرجال

“So the Mu`tazilah exaggerated in the matter of Tawhid with their claim until they reached the level of denial by repudiating the Attributes of Allah. The Mushabbihah fell short until they described the Creator with the Attributes of bodily form. The Rafidah exaggerated in prophethood and imamhood until they reached the level that some of them believed in incarnation. Then you have the Khawarij that have fallen short to the degree until they denied the judgement of men in cases of arbitration”.[5]

This should give you a good understanding of things when people go to question whether or not the First Three Generations and their successors had this understanding at all.

Historical accounts tell us that this is not the case with the First Three Generations nor those who came after Imam Ahmad that safeguarded the theology.


[1] Tabaqat ul-Hanabilah, vol.1, pp. 36-37

[2] Tabaqat ul-Hanabilah, vol.1, pp. 36-37

[3] Al-Milal wan-Nahal, vol. 1, pp. 10-11

[4] Al-Milal wan-Nahal, vol. 1, pp. 14-15

[5] Al-Milal wan-Nahal, vol. 1, pp. 14-15

AND SO SHALL IT BE…pt.2

Imam Muhammad Said ibn Muhammad Badran (d. 1435), brother of the current marja’, Imam Isma’il ibn Badran Ad-Dumi.

So in this current time, the same wickedness has reared its head and in the same fashion I have to distance myself from it and make sure that I stay in the third camp. Let us make this clear for all to understand.

I am neither Salafi/Wahhabi or what have you on one end of the spectrum nor am I Maturidi/Ash’ari on the other end of the spectrum. Both interpret the Names and Attributes of Allah and I am virulently opposed to this altogether.

In the case of Salafiyyah, they interpret them so that they are literal in order to insist that this is the case. On the other hand, those who interpret from the other camp do so in the declaration that they are “declaring Allah free from resembling His Creation and according to what befits His Majesty”. (this is almost a word for word account of what Salafiyyah claims).

The situation now that has come to my attention is that I have regularly been accosted regarding my theology (which has its antecedents in the First Three Generations) to the point that recently under a post by a venerable faqih, namely Shaikh Muhammad Jamil Ash-Shatti (d. 1379), I was asked if the early Hanbalis were those who likened Allah with His Creation.

This disgusting and evil intended “query” will be the last such one that I will countenance. I will now endeavour to make a more clear statement in distancing myself from affairs that are harmful to the main body of the Muslims (who are not invested in any of the battles that these groups so diligently chase after) who have been and are of the same theology as Imam Ahmad and the rest of the First Three Generations.

The root of this comes from none other than the missionaries of this thinking themselves. It is not isolated but something that is growing day by day and this same disgusting castigation of the greatest theologians this Ummah has ever known back to Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal continues unabated.

The most recent incident was this following below:

In this presentation (at the 2:02:50 mark in which I believe one of the “imams” takes a question on “hambaalees”) that was sent to me as a recommendation, the “imams” in this video decided to “proclaim the Creed of Ahl us-Sunnah” and in the process of doing so soiled themselves and launched a very sloppy and slovenly smear campaign against the great theologians of this Ummah.

There are atleast two of them that know better than to do something like this but in their cowardice they remained silent (to their detriment on the Day of Resurrection) and allowed this travesty and blameworthy behaviour to continue.

And it is this very vile, vitriolic and utterly despicable behaviour that inspires the indigent Slaves of Allah that leave me the messages in comments and e-mails.

And this is not all there is on the topic. There’s actually more!

The fact of the matter is we know that they are not reading through original, contemporaneous source material. They are only reading what they are told and what they have learned from their “shaykhs”.

And it is this that we intend to get to the bottom of before it is all said and done. This is being propagated, so we have to challenge it.

But they can’t help themselves, speaking things they don’t know about, so we’re going to help them and also resist the takfir on the greatest theologians this Ummah has known.

If you share these men’s opinions and baseless ideas, stay out of the way. I make no apologies for presenting the theology of the First Three Generations, in fact the only theology. All others are judged by how they match with it. This will not be a debate but a presentation like always.

And with Allah is every success.

Until next time,

Al-Hajj Abu Ja`far Al-Hanbali

AND SO SHALL IT BE…

Imam `Abdul Qadir Al-Hattawi (d. 1402), a figure of unity in the Religion.

So in the interim of dealing with the situation of the state of Muslims in the United States, Canada and the UK, we had to contend with a very strong contingent of cultists in the early ’90s. This in particular was Salafiyyah. It came and undermined brothers that had previously been of one accord.

Before their arrival, it did not matter what madhhab of fiqh we were. I ate with brothers who were primarly Malikis and Shafi’iis and some of us were Hanbalis (some of the fruit of the students of Shaikh Abdullah ibn Muhammad Al-Khulaifi and also others) and it made no substantive difference.

When Allah blessed us, we prayed together in jama`ah for tahajjud and also would go jogging after Fajr. In matters of theology however we were of one accord. We had no disputes and our theology was soundly based upon that of the First Three Generations and nothing else.

Up and down the West Coast were social programmes and also Zakat ul-Fitr drives in which the wealth from the Zakah was divided up, food was purchased and we went and distributed it.

I never remember a time, from my youth, all the way to before leaving the US that we did not distribute it in the form of food. Converts were slow but dedicated and grew maturely into upright believers.

Then Salafiyyah arrived. There came the takfir, the denouncing of the madhhabs (remember this is before the time that people would start making the distinction between creed and fiqh with statements like: “I am salafee in aqeedah but hanafee in fiqh” at this time if you were following a madhhab you were running COUNTER to Salafiyyah and you had “manhaj issues”).

The theology discussions went crazy and two Trinities were introduced to Muslim brothers: (1) in day to day life and (2) in creed. The first was Bin Baz, Uthaimin and Al-Albani. With respect to the second, it was the three Tawhids.

Then on the back of that came the discussion of Tawheed ul-Hakimiyyah as per the Jihad Fikrah and Shaikh Umar Abdur-Rahman. Is it three or four? Three or four? We insisted ONE.

It was not just this but Salafiyyah ruined people’s knowledge of fiqh and worship and it caused catastrophic effects. You were either upon Salafiyyah or you were one of “the callers to misguidance”. Then Salafiyyah started to fade as a new group came into the forefront. They weren’t Shi`a people (they started to get popular around the same time as Salafiyyah and it caused the whole Salafi/Shi`a rift. We choose the third option of neither and tribulations ensued).

This new group came in and started to demand that people follow madhhabs. When I visited the Bay Area, I saw that there was some return to the study of fiqh but much of it was hollow. The cult of the trinity of three and sectarianism was replaced by another thing. Introducing the new trinity.

Now everyone had to be Ashari/Maturidi/Sufi vs Salafi or nothing and we choose the third option, which was to not be part of it. This tore what had already been split into more pieces. The Zakat ul-Fitr drives had stopped, the da’awah had stopped (this is strange because they claimed to be calling people to the truth of Islam, just like Salafiyyah) to a trickle.

The converts that were coming in were in large butter like dollops but they were arrogant, violent in some instances and haughty to others that differed with them. All of a sudden, you had to have bai’ah to someone, had to be linked with this and that, had to make takfir on these groups (just like Salafis). Then another reality came into fruition: Ashari/Maturidi/Sufi vs AICP/Sufi vs Salafiyyah.

What the…? Marriages fell apart, brotherhoods were torn asunder. Those of us that had stuck to our guns found ourselves often on the rim with a confused congregation. “I am just trying to perfect my salah, akhi. What the hell is an anthropomorphist?” The brother asked surprised, not sure what the word even meant.

Imaginary enemies that were little more than shadows and phantoms were fought and for what? Nothing came of it. More people fell away. Then I left to go to ma’ahad, leaving the US and Canada (the same thing had reared its head in the Afghani community but I think their stridency kept it at bay; while in Mexico the people just wouldn’t allow it to get a foothold. This was in the Yucatan Peninsula many years ago so I don’t know what it is now).

It was in London. Those of us who were students of knowledge managed to just steer clear of it for the most part, although there were occasional flare ups. Then I became resident in a small city and it started there. People there theologically were of one accord, then it started.

This foolishness reared its head yet again. People theologically were of one accord and then the tribulations began. Now brothers started being divided up. I tried to stop it but was unsuccessful because the cavity had gone too deep. Now it was in the roots.

This same Ashari/Maturidi/Sufi vs AICP/Sufi vs Salafi ruined everything once again. And all the battling threatened to drag everyone into the mud. No one became anymore knowledgeable than they had been and instead they had regressed.

BIOGRAPHY: SHAIKH MUHAMMAD JAMIL ASH-SHATTI

He is Muhammad Jamil ibn `Umar ibn Muhammad ibn Hasan ibn `Umar Ash-Shatti. Coming from a well-known Iraqi family from the city of Baghdad in origin, he was born and lived his life in Damascus.

This very scholar is the cousin of Imam Mustafa ibn Ahmad Ash-Shatti (d. 1348) –  author of The Divine Texts – , the great grandson of one of the Revivers of the Religion, Imam Hasan Ash-Shatti (d. 1274) and one of the students of one of the Revivers of the Religion, Imam `Abdullah Sufan Al-Qaddumi (d. 1331).

Born in the year 18 Safar 1300, he was raised in a house of knowledge from his father, the Shaikh, `Umar Afandi Ash-Shatti (d. 1337). He started his beginning knowledge with him and also his uncle, `Umar Murad Afandi (d. 1314). Then he would go to his paternal uncle, Shaikh Abul Fath Al-Khatib and take inheritance and fiqh, along with whatever he took from his father as well.

He then moved on and took knowledge from his paternal uncle, the Shaikh, Ahmad Ash-Shatti (d. 1316). He studied theology and fiqh with him and also began to make a detailed study of hadith with the Shaikh, the scholar Bakri Al-`Attar (d. 1320).

He also studied hadith with the Shaikh, Badr ud-Din Al-Maghribi (d. 1354), Jamal ud-Din Al-Qasimi (d. 1332) and others scholars of Damascus of high rank and regard. He took ijazahs of teaching and high level from many of these scholars, particularly in the science of hadith, the six collections, tafsir, Hanbali fiqh and inheritance. He was also alive to sit with and take from the peerless author and grand Imam, `Abdullah Sufan Al-Qaddumi (d. 1331).

Soon he reached the level of mufti and was told to give fatawa while in Damascus. It would be not long after reaching the rank of faqih that he would also start authoring books. In the year 1317 he authored a book on the history of the prominent Hanafi family, the Farfur tribe that covered their scholarship and righteousness.

In the year 1322 he printed another text on rhyming together the different sciences of the Revealed Law and making it simple to memorise for students of knowledge. Between the years 1323-1324 he put together a history book on the scholars of Damascus for the past century or more.

The next text came in 1329 when he made more texts and another book that rhymed covering the science of inheritance. Two years later he put together a book on the legal code utilised by the Turks.

After this came his work on Hanbali scholars up to his era which he completed in the year 1339. The year directly after he put together a text dealing with the topic of the Wahhabi cult and their arguments followed by another text in 1350 tackling the topic of the Qadiyani movement (after he received a letter from one of their leaders).

In the year 1360 he wrote stinging rebuttal against a Maliki faqih who allowed the printing of mushafs using modern spelling and contradicting the mushaf of `Uthman. In the year 1363 he printed another text on inheritance that went further with more details and covered modern issues.

The faqih also wrote a book detailing issues differed in with Hanafi scholars particularly when a woman has been raped by her father-in-law and the status of her husband and so forth.

Shaikh Muhammad Jamil Ash-Shatti continued a writing career that inspired him to bring into print once again rare works by his Shatti ancestors. An entire treasure chest of different works was put together and disseminated in Damascus and the rest of the Muslim world. An entirely new generation of students of knowledge were introduced to books that they had not seen before or perhaps had fallen out of circulation among new students.

In terms of the post of Faqih, he was head of some Courts in Damascus in the year 1313 and also wrote the rulings down in the `Ammarah court. He went on to head another court at the Damascus gate in the year 1327 and was made chief judge of his area in the Redressing of Offenses office portion of the Court. He then became chief judge in the courts and head for the Hanbalis in the non-sentencing courts (which brought him to be a Qadi) and head in the Damascus Courts in the year 1348.

Even during this busy time, he was still teaching fiqh, creed and inheritance in the Umayyad Family Masjid from the time he started in the year 1334. In the year 1352 he was asked to be the khatib in Al-Madrasat ul-Badra’iyyah. All in all the Qadi and Faqih left a vast inheritance of books to the Ummah for use by the laity and elite alike.

He would breathe his last in the year 1379, may Allah reward him and give him good.[1]


[1] cf. Ash-Shatti’s A`yan Dimashq, vol.2, pp. 433-435 for the Shaikh’s personal account and then Shaikh Muhammad Bahjat Al-Baitar’s death notice and details in vol.1, pp. 5-11 in the said work.

BIOGRAPHY: IMAM YUSUF AL-BARQAWI

A rare picture of the Imam, Yusuf Al-Barqawi

Known as the Shaikh of the Hanbalis at Al-Azhar, the Shaikh, the teacher of scholars, the well grounded Faqih, the high ranking, complete and virtuous `Alim, the teacher of high level, Yusuf Al-Barqawi.

Born in the year 1250 in the hamlet of Barqaa, one of the incorporated villages of Nablus, he started his career in his village and then made his way to Damascus, where he would sit with and study with none other than the great marja` and one of the revivers of the Religion in his time, Imam Hasan Ash-Shatti (d. 1274).

Imam Al-Barqawi kept company of Imam Ash-Shatti and studied usul, fiqh, inheritance law, grammar and syntax among other things. After the death of Ash-Shatti, he would go on and sit with one of his outstanding students, Imam `Abdullah Sufan Al-Qaddumi (d. 1331), also one of the renewers of the Religion in his time.

He sat with Al-Qaddumi, may Allah have mercy with him, for a number of years and then upon completion of a number of texts and their mastery, headed back to Nablus to teach and assist others.[1] He taught and benefited others before heading to Egypt, where he would finish his final lessons.

After realising this high aspiration, he was made Shaikh of the Hanbalis of Al-Azhar and this drew large numbers of students from all over that came to sit with him. People came to study fiqh and other sciences with him and became one of the most outstanding figures of his time.

He wrote many rulings and a few books, two of them hawkishly bearing down on Salafiyyah. One of his most outstanding students would be another grand Imam and enemy to the cults, Imam `Abdul Ghani ibn Yasin Al-Labadi (d. 1319). The Imam would later die, after a long life of teaching and hard work and be buried in his adopted homeland of Egypt in the year 1320. [2]

[1] It would be at this point that he became the Shaikh of most of the latter day people from the Qaddumi clan and Shattis along with so many others.

[2] cf. Muhammad Jamil Ash-Shatti’s Mukhtasar Tabaqat il-Hanabilah, pp. 210-211