I had been hunting for more details on assistance with memorising Ar-Rawd ul-Murbi` by Imam Mansur Al-Buhuti (d. 1051)[1] and some students of knowledge had shared with me some possibilities for the affair. A few had asked, “Well, why are you memorising the Rawd. Just do the Dalil”.

So the argument opened up again (as friendly as it is!). There is a friendly discussion among students of knowledge and some scholars about the best text for memorisation when people look at mastering fiqh. One body is composed of the scholars of northern Arabia, Sham and half of Iraq. Their understanding is that the best text for memorisation is Dalil ut-Talib by Imam Mar`ii ibn Yusuf Al-Karmi (d. 1033).[2]

Before we lay out their argument, let us first look at the origin of the discussion. Imam Muwaffaq ud-Din Ibn Qudamah (d. 620),[3] the great Palestinian sage and one of the Renewers of the Religion for his age, wrote a text known as the Sufficer.[4] This was his gathering together all the previous literature on the topic of fiqh and especially the Renewer of the Religion that succeeded the Imam and Shaikh, `Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani (d. 561)[5] in the mastery of fiqh, namely Abul Fath Nasr ibn Futyan – known as Ibn Al-Manni.[6]

After the death of the Imam Ibn Al-Manni there were two main scholars that collected together the books before them, including Ibn Al-Manni’s and perfected the affair. They were the two great Imams, Majd ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 652)[7] and Imam Muwaffaq ud-Din Ibn Qudamah (d. 620).

The former was a detailed writer and put together a systematic but brief approach to fiqh but it was not voluminous. In the latter’s case, he was more voluminous and detailed and wrote an entire curriculum in fiqh. The intermediate text, known as the Sufficer, was taken and commented upon judiciously by scholars down through the ages.

By the time of the 9th century, the great Palestinian Imam, `Ala’ ud-Din Al-Mardawi (d. 885)[8] had brought together two texts that fleshed out the Sufficer, one being the mammoth Way of Equity,[9] while the other was The Rectifier.[10]   

Then came the 10th century and the commentators of that period, Imams Musa ibn Ahmad Al-Hajjawi (d. 968),[11] a Palestinian and Taqi ud-Din Al-Futuhi (d. 972),[12] an Egyptian. They would add additional commentary notes on the Sufficer and also other statements of literature to flesh out meanings and give new insights when the newer issues of their time appeared.

Imam Musa Al-Hajjawi (d. 968) went one step further and summarised the Sufficer in his celebrated work, The Provision for the Seeker of Sufficiency.[13] This was not just a summary but also leaned back on the great Iraqi law scholar, Ad-Dujaili’s[14] text The Brief Exposition [15] to buffer it.

Then the 11th century came and there were the two stand out scholars of that time, Imams Mar`ii ibn Yusuf Al-Karmi (d. 1033) and Mansur ibn Yunus Al-Buhuti (d. 1051). Imam Al-Karmi took his own and Imam Al-Futuhi’s commentary on the Sufficer and summarised it and created a smaller text entitled, Dalil ut-Talib.    

Commentary works on The Sufficer/Dalili

Imam Al-Buhuti took The Provision and made a large commentary entitled, the Enclosed Meadow. After the time of Imam Al-Karmi came the commentary works upon from Imams Ahmad ibn `Awad Al-Mardawi (d. 1101), Salih ibn Hasan Al-Buhuti (d. 1121), `Abdul Qadir ibn `Umar At-Taghlabi (d. 1133) in his Obtaining the Means in Commenting upon Dalil ut-Talib,[16] Muhammad ibn Ahmad As-Saffarini (d. 1189),[17] Isma`il ibn `Abdur-Karim Al-Jarra`ii (d. 1202), Ahmad ibn Ahmad Al-Maqdisi (d. 1204) and Ibrahim ibn Duwayyan (d. 1353). And these are just main commentaries.

Cliff Notes on The Sufficer/Dalil

Next came smaller commentary works like Imams Ahmad ibn `Awad Al-Mardawi (d. 1101), Mustafa Ad-Dumani (d. 1194), `Abdul Ghani ibn Yasin Al-Lubadi (d. 1319), Musa ibn `Isa Al-Qaddumi (d. 1336), Salih ibn `Uthman Al-Qadi (d. 1351), `Uthman ibn Salih Al-Qadi (d. 1366) and Muhammad ibn `Abdul `Aziz ibn Mani` (d. 1385).

Smaller Rhyming Texts on the Sufficer/Dalil

Then scholars made smaller rhyming texts on the Dalil and they include Imams Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Al-Wa’ili (d. 1271), Ahmad ibn Ahmad ibn `Abdul Qadir As-Siddiqi (d. 1343), `Abdul Qadir Al-Qassab (d. 1360), Sulaiman ibn `Atiyyah (d. 1363), Sulaiman ibn Hamdan (d. 1397) and Musa Muhammad Shahhadah Ar-Ruhaibi, one of the students of Imam Ahmad ibn Salih Ash-Shami (d. 1414).

And there it is, in terms of the history of the text and its layout, commentaries, notes, rhyming texts that were smaller that fleshed it out. And it is due to this that northern Arabia, Sham and half of Iraq (and this includes the Hanbalis of Kuwait and northern Iran who actually came from Iraq) have chosen this text for judgement and the courts, scholars and the like fall back on it for commentary and use of day-to-day matters, not just merely pure worship. 

Adherents of the ‘Dalil is best’ understanding lay out their arguments in the following fashion:

Firstly, the sheer volume of literature in commentary on the Dalil, in both large commentaries and also smaller rhyming texts. This then stands to reason that the Dalil is the best choice for memorisation and not The Provision or The Meadow.  

Secondly, there has been more than three hundred years of fleshing out issues and resolving affairs from the Dalil and associated literature. Any ambiguity and the like has been removed.

Thirdly, the text is clearer and easier to work out rather than some cryptic statements that might appear in The Provision. And one of the points of a text for memorisation is clarity and easy use in memorisation. So the Dalil stands in the best position for this act.

These are indeed very convincing statements; but let’s look at the other end of the spectrum for the rank of the Provision by Al-Hajjawi (d. 968) as well as its commentary The Meadow by Al-Buhuti (d. 1051).

As was said, Imam Al-Hajjawi (d. 968) wrote the Provision as a summary of the Sufficer but also included Ad-Dujaili’s (d. 732) Exposition as a big influence. Now understand that this summary spread through most of Arabia, Egypt, big portions of Iraq and most of the Gulf region. And this was indeed the preferred text.

In fact, when the Imam, Sulaiman ibn `Ali Al-Musharraf (d. 1079)[18] found that Al-Buhuti had written his commentary on the Provision, he burned his own copy and told his students to follow only that one alone. The fact that this is the preferred one should be indicative of how high in esteem students and scholars alike held the text. So let’s talk about this some more.

First: the literature on the Provision is very lengthy as well.

Commentary works on The Provision/Meadow

There is a commentary on the Provision by Burhan ud-Din Ibrahim ibn Abi Bakr Al-`Awfi’s (d. 1097) Bughyat ul-Mutatabbi` fi Halli Alfaz ir-Rawd il-Murbi`. The Imam of his time, Ahmad ibn ibn Manqur (d. 1125) wrote his Al-Fawakih ul-`Adidah fil-Masa’il il-Mufidah which follows the Provision quite closely.

Cliff Notes on The Provision/Meadow

This includes `Abdul Wahhab ibn Fairuz’s (d. 1205) notes on the Meadow, Salih ibn Saif ibn Ahmad Al-`Atiqi’s (d. 1223) notes on the Meadow, `Abdullah ibn `Abdul `Aziz Al-`Anqari (d. 1373) also wrote a cliffnote layout on the Meadow. We also have `Abdul Qadir ibn Badran Ad-Dumi’s (d. 1346) smaller commentary on the Meadow as well as another one by Ibn Dawayyan (d. 1353).

There is Ibn `Atiyyah’s (d. 1363) Al-Masa’il which examines the differences between the Provision and the Uttermost Boundary. Then there is also the same author’s Rawdat ul-Murtaad, which covers the most important issues of the Provision, takes Al-Buhuti’s commentary notes and shrinks all of this down into a versified poem spanning 1091 lines.

Second: since Al-Hajjawi (d. 968) wrote the Provision and Al-Buhuti (d. 1051) wrote his commentary, there have been ample commentaries and discussion on the texts together. In some instances, the Meadow is seen as a text and not just the Provision alone. And this is the reason for the commentaries on the Meadow being given added attention.

Third: although some passages of the Provision by themselves are more cryptic, together with the Meadows the problem is solved. In addition to this, far more issues are covered and resolved in the Meadow than its rival and there are no rare issues listed (and Al-Hajjawi asserts this to be the case at the beginning of the Provision).

Fourth: Al-Buhuti (d. 1051) has preference over Al-Karmi (d. 1033) in consideration of rulings and thus it makes more sense to study Al-Buhuti’s works as he has done and published far more.

Fifth: the Meadow is a doorway to all the other texts on the topic by the same author.

Sixth: Al-Azhar has put together a three-volume curriculum that is more expansive and user friendly than the one it collected for Al-Karmi’s work, which would obviously give it higher rank.

Seven: this text, along with the rest of Al-Buhuti’s works, are what is dominant in the Gulf countries, Arabia proper and other locations so it would make more sense to make use of the text as it is more popularly spread.

Eight: this is one of Al-Buhuti’s final works, his final being the `Umdat ut-Talib, which was written about six months before his death and follows along the same track as his Meadow.

Nine: Although it might appear to have fewer commentaries, this is because fewer things needed to be fleshed out on account of how detailed the first commentary was in the first place. All other comments on the texts have tended to deal with footnotes, cliffnotes and other affairs. There are countless advantages to the Meadow that simply cannot be denied.

Ten: the text in print is almost always on yellow paper, which aids for it being easy on the eyes.

Eleven: it has a flow and cadence that makes it FAR easier to memorise.

And it is this that leads me to today’s book review. The book review is covering Hashiyat ur-Rawd il-Murbi`, a two-volume work written by the great scholar, `Abdul Wahhab ibn Muhammad ibn Fairuz At-Tamimi (d. 1205).

In terms of the topic, let us talk about the author first. He is none other than the Shaikh, the Imam, the high ranking and senior scholar, `Abdul Wahhab ibn Muhammad ibn Fairuz Al-Wuhabi At-Tamimi.

The historian and Qadi, Muhammad ibn Humaid An-Najdi (d. 1295),[19] may Allah have mercy upon him, said of him:

عبد الوهاب بن محمد بن عبد الله بن فيروز التميمي الأحسائي. ولد قبيل الظهر يوم الثلاثاء غرة جمادى الآخرة 1172، وأخذ عن والده من صغره فقرأ عليه الحديث ومصطلحه والأصلين، والنحو، والمعاني والبيان، والمنطق، والفقه والقرائض، والحساب، الجبر، والمقابلة، والهيئة, وغير ذلك،

He is `Abdul Wahhab ibn Muhammad ibn `Abdullah ibn Fairuz At-Tamimi Al-Ahsa’ii. He was born at the time of Zuhr, Tuesday at the onset of Jumada Al-Akhirah 1172. He took knowledge from his father[20] in his early years and recited hadith, terminology of hadith and the Book and Sunnah, grammar, expression, public speaking, logic, fiqh, inheritance, general math with engineering, algebra, science and other things besides that.

وأخذ أيضًا الحساب عن

العلامة السيد عبد الرحمن الزواوي المالكي وأخذ النحو عن الشيخ عيسى بن مطلق، وكان عنده أعز من أبنائه ومهر في جميع ما قرأ، وبهر في الفهم حتى فاق أقرانه

He also took general math and engineering from the scholar, As-Sayyid `Abdur-Rahman Az-Zawaawi Al-Maliki. He took grammar from the Shaikh, `Isa ibn `Abdullah ibn Mutlaq[21] and he was occupying a higher position than the sons of the scholar and he mastered all of what he read and excelled in comprehension of his time above that of his contemporaries.

فصار كثير من رفقائه تلاميذ والده يقرأون عليه، وكان ذا حرص واجتهاد إلى الغاية، قليل الخروج من المدرسة حتى إنه اتفق له سبع سنين لم يخرج منها إلا لصلاة الجمعة، وأما الجماعة ففي مسجدها، والأكل يأتي له من بيت والده مع الطلبة، وأكبّ على تحصيل العلم وإدمان المطالعة والمراجعة والمذاكرة والمباحثة ليلًا ونهارًا،

So he became from the most beloved of the students of his father and the students read to him. He strove hard and went to the furthest point of effort and ijtihad. He left only a little bit from the Madrasah until he spent 7 years without having left from it except for the Jumu`ah. And as for praying in jama`ah, then this is in the masjid of the Madrasah. At the time of eating, it would be brought from the house of his father and he would eat with the students at the Madrasah. He spent his nights and days striving to obtain knowledge and was always reviewing, revising, remembering and researching.

لم تنصرف همته إلى غيره أصلًا

And his intent never left from striving to perfect the knowledge.

حتى إنه لما تزوج بأمر والده وإلزامه أخذ ليلة الدخول معه المحفظة فلما انصرف عنه الناس نزل السراج وقعد يطالع الدروس التي يريد أن يقرأنها في غد، ويقدر في نفسه أنه بعد إتمام المطالعة يباشر أهله فاستغرق في المطالعة إلى أن أذّن الصبح، فتوضأ وخرج للصلاة، وحضر دروس والده من أولها، ولم يعلم والده بذلك لكونه لا يبصر، ولما فرغ من الدروس أتى إليه ولده وسلّم عليه فبارك له وبارك له الحاضرون،

This carried on until the time that his father ordered him to get married and he did so but the night that they came to him and the people pulled away to leave him with his wife, he had a lantern brought and sat going over his lessons so that he would have what he needed for review the next day. He carried on doing so by himself and intended that after he finished his review he would consummate with his wife. However, he became engrossed in his review to the time that the Adhan was made for Subh prayer. So he make wudu,’ headed out to Salah, attended the lesson of his father from the beginning. His father did not know he was doing that on account of the fact that he could not see. So when the lessons finished, his son would come to him, give salam and the father would bless him and so did the congregation.

وفي الليلة الثانية فعل كفعله بالأمس ولم يقرب أهله من غير قصد للترك، لكن لاشتغاله بالمطالعة فيقول في نفسه: أُطالع الدرس ثم ألتفت إلى الأهل، فيستغرق إلى أن يصبح، فأخبرت المرأة وليها بذلك، فذهب وأخبر والده بالقصّة،

So the second night the same thing happened as what had happened in the first instance and he did not go near his wife other than the fact that he wanted to be left alone but he busied himself with his review and said to himself: I will review my portion and then I will go to my wife. However, he again became preoccupied and the time for the Subh prayer came. It would be at that point that his wife would inform her wali of what had happened. The wali then went to the father and informed him of what had happened.

فدعاه والده وعاتبه وأخبذ منه المحفظة، وأكّد عليه بالإقبال عليها، وكان رحمه الله كثير التحرير، بديع التقرير، سديد الكتابة، قلّ أن يقرأ كتابًا أو يطالعه إلّا ويكتب عليه أبحاثًا عجيبة واستدراكات غريبة، وفوائد لطيفة،

The father then called his son, rebuked him and stressed to him the importance of going to his wife. `Abdul Wahhab ibn Muhammad – may Allah have mercy upon him – was one who spent a lot of time bringing forth researches, going over written principles, writing on detailed matters. Seldom did he read a book or review it except that he would write some wondrous or insightful points upon it as well as oft missed matters for the reader to ponder, and detailed benefits.

فمنها القليل ومنها الكثير، فمن أكثر ما رأيته كتب عليه “شرح المنتهى” للشيخ منصور ملأ حواشيه بخطه الضعيف المنوّر، فلم يدع فيه محلًا فارغًا بحيث إنّي جرّدتها في مجلّد، وضممت إِليها ما تيسّر من غيرها، وفيها فوائد بديعة، لا توجد في كتاب، وكذا رأيت “شرح الإقناع” و”التصريح” و”شرح عقود الجمان”للمرشدي و”شرح جمع الجوامع” الأصولي وغيرها وصنّف تصانيف عديدة، منها ما كمل، ومنها ما لم يكمل، لاخترام المنية له في سنّ الشبيبة،

Sometimes he wrote a little bit and then at times he would write a great deal. Must of what I saw him write was what he noted upon the commentary of the Uttermost Boundary by the Shaikh Mansur Al-Buhuti. He dictated some things down in very light but illuminated marginalia. He did not leave any page blank but instead he would put it in notes and these notations reached one volume. I looked at some of what he wrote and there were a number of benefits of noteworthy value that had not been present in the original work. I also saw his commentary on The Sufficiency,[22] the Exposition, Well Tied Ropes by Al-Murshadi, the Collection of All Collections in Foundational Principles by As-Subki[23] and other things. He wrote a number of works, some of them complete while others not so due to the onset of difficulties associated with old age.

فمنها “حاشية على شرح المقنع” وصل فيها إلى الشركة، وهي مفيدة جدًا، وممّا كمل “شرح الجوهر المكنون” للأخضري في المعاني والبيان والبديع،

Some of these works include his Cliff Notes on the Commentary on the Sufficer,[24] in which he reached to the Book of Partnerships.[25] And this was a book that was very beneficial. Then there was another text on the Commentary of the Preserved Gem [26]by Al-Akhdari[27] in analysis, public speaking and prosody.

ومنها “إبداء المجهود في جواب سؤال ابن داود” وذلك أن تلميذه الشيخ عبد الله بن داود

There is another in which he had notes on the[28] Exposition of the Ijtihad coming from the Questions offered by Ibn Dawud.[29]

سأله عن القول المرجوح وعن المقلد المذهبي، وعن الناقل المجرد، ومنها “القول السديد في جواز التقليد”،

And this came about regarding a question brought to him by his student, the Shaikh, `Abdullah ibn Dawud[30] who asked about the preferred statement and the taqlid of a madhhab and the transmission of a text from a verified authority.  And then there is another work by him entitled, The Decisive Word before the Deed regarding the Permissibility of Taqlid [31] that was penned.[32]

ومنها “زوال اللبس عمّن أراد بيان ما يمكن أن يطلع الله عليه أحدًا من خلقه من الخمس” وله قصائد بليغة ومقطعات عديدة،

There is also another work Lifting the Doubt regarding the one who wanted to clarify what is possible that Allah unveil to one of His Creation regarding the Five Matters of the Unseen[33] that he put together.[34] He also possesses rhyming texts and a number of other texts that use Arabic letters to rhyme and make poetry.

Imam Muhammad ibn Humaid An-Najdi goes on to say:

وتوفاه الله في مرضه ذلك في شهر رمضان سنة 1205 في بلد الزبارة ومن ساحل بحر عمان، ودفن بها، ورثي بقصائد شتّى من غير أهل مذهبه وبلده فضلاً

عنهم، وعظمت مصيبة أبيه به، لكنّه صبر واحتسب، وأتته التعازي والمرائي من علماء الشام وبغ وغيرهما.

Allah would take him back to himself due to an illness in the month of Ramadan in the year 1205 while in the land of Az-Zubarah not far off from the sea of `Uman and he was buried at that place. Much poetry and the like was recited for him even from people not from his madhhab and land as a blessing and favour from them. This was a great blow to his father but he was patient and remained steadfast. Those coming to give condolences and see the site include scholars from Sham, Baghdad and other locales. [35]

In terms of the work, it is exactly what it purports to be, a brief text that comments upon points laid out by Al-Buhuti. Without too much fanfare or lengthy introduction, the author heads straight into the topic and begins fleshing out meaty issues.

As I am memorising the Rawd after having completed hifz of Al-`Umdah, the yellow/golden paper is a handsome and easy-on-the-eyes aesthetic that eases the process of hifz. There is very little variation between Al-Buhuti and Al-Ahsa’ii and the line in the middle of the page for interlinear style is a welcome approach.

There are no intrusive notes and the only footnotes tend to be the hadith, ayah citations or listing manuscript variations. Neither the publishing house nor the editor has put anything superfluous into the text or the associated notes that belong with it.

Amazing points that will assist you

So here come the notes that should snatch your attention:

1): clear Arabic text without smudging

2): the notes are taken by the commentator and similar terminology is used so that it aids in hifz. You can tell this was the point of Al-Ahsa’ii

3): the commentator has kept the same order as the author as well as the headings

4): the commentator gives grammar points, permitted variations in the original work and permissible ways of reading the text and the subtleties that come with these readings

5): strong pedigree. The commentator comes from a long line of scholars and the text through examination can be seen to have been proofread or at least trialed with students of knowledge. Some of the answers to queries can be seen to have come from post or pre-lesson exchanges that students brought in the first reading

6): the constant insertion of the benedictions upon the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him into the text. This is useful for the one who holds doing so as wajib and is a good reminder for those who hold it as mustahabb.

7): the expression of the mu`tamad or depended upon ruling but also the second strongest statement in the event that the depended upon cannot be carried out

8): he explains the reason for disputes happening, the evidence depended upon by each side and the grammar utilised by each side in cases where it is appropriate.

9): the commentator gives the takhrij of the ahadith and even gives discussions on variances that may exist in individual manuscripts, the commentary citing the hadith and the hadith itself from the original manuscript. And on the same topic he gives some concise but useful jarh and ta`dil on certain narrators and the wording in the ahadith that are cited.

Drawbacks to the book?

Drawback #1: I don’t think this would be too much of a drawback but the notes only go up to the book of Waqf. This is not a problem but only one of the issues with the author dying before completing the topic. And as a side note, the rest of the text of Al-Buhuti is easier to memorise and also sort out so the absence of cliffnotes might not be too much of a loss.

Drawback #2: There seems to have been a battle between the editor and the publisher which from my side I am happy the publisher won as the editor had an agenda. It would appear that the editor had Salafi tendencies that he wanted to inflict upon the text along with numerous spelling errors and slips in attention to detail but the publishers detected this and halted it. In terms of the errata, they were judicious in pointing it out.

Drawback #3: For those that are beginning readers, there is no tashkil on the consonantal text thus one will have to have some knowledge of grammar or perhaps a teacher help with sounding out both the text and the commentary notes.

Drawback #4: The notes from the commentator leave you wanting more as they are so enticing and pregnant with meaning! Perhaps this is not a drawback but more of a desire.

So for the students of knowledge using this as a hifz manual for Al-Buhuti’s classic text or a reference manual altogether when doing research and fleshing out principles, this is a must have!

[1] d. 1051 (AD 1656). He is Abus-Sa`adat Mansur ibn Yunus ibn Salah ud-Din ibn Hasan ibn Ahmad ibn `Ali Al-Buhuti. Egyptian marja` and one of the depended upon sources in the Hanbali School in the later age, he studied with premier scholars of Sham, such as Imams Yahya Al-Hajjawi and others. He became the leading Hanbali scholar in Egypt, even outranking the senior Subki, Futuhi and Sa`di families in importance. He wrote five large works in fiqh and smaller texts on selected topics. The Imam, Sulaiman ibn `Ali (d. 1079 (AD 1674), when he learned that Al-Buhuti had penned his fiqh text, Ar-Rawd ul-Murbi`, burned his own text and told all his students in Najd to follow the Imam. Please see Ibn Humaid’s As-Suhub ul-Wabilah, pp. 472-474

d. 1033 (AD 1623). He is Mar`ii ibn Yusuf ibn Abi Bakr ibn Ahmad ibn Abi Bakr Al-Karmi. Considered by his peers to be a master of all sciences, this Palestinian marja` was the premier scholar of Egypt in his time but studied with the great scholars of Sham as well. Although concentrating his energies on creed and fiqh, he covered many of the most trying issues of his time, such as the widespread use of coffee and cigarettes. He was renowned as a defender of righteouness and an enemy to sin. cf. Ibn Humaid’s As-Suhub ul-Wabilah, pp. 463-467.

[3] 541-620 (AD 1146-1223). He is Muwaffaq ud-Din Abu Muhammad `Abdullah ibn Ahmad ibn Qudamah An-Nabulsi Al-Jamma`ili Al-Maqdisi. Renewer of his age, scholar, judge, jurist and expounder, he wrote some 200 or more books, touching on every subject in Islam. He learned from scholars of Iraq and Sham, combining both traditions successfully to bring about one of the greatest scholars the world had seen. cf. Ash-Shatti’s Mukhtasar Tabaqat il-Hanabilah, pp. 52-54

[4] Ar. Al-Muqni`

[5] 470-561 AH (AD 1078-1166). Reviver of the Religion in his age and one of the two people in history to have permission to give rulings in all four madhhabs, he was a scholar of all disciplines but focused the bulk of his time on purification of the heart, theology and higher mind sciences. Please see Adh-Dhail `ala Tabaqat ul-Hanabilah, vol. 3, pp. 244-253. 

[6] 504-583 AH (AD 1111-1187). He is Abul Fath Nasr ibn Futyan ibn Matar Al-Baghdadi. A great scholar of Iraq and teacher to multitudes, he is the teacher of most of the scholars of Sham and Iraq in his age with respect to the sciences of fiqh, theology and hadith. Please see Adh-Dhail `ala Tabaqat ul-Hanabilah, vol. 3, pp. 301-307.

[7] d. 652 (AD 1266). He is Majd ud-Din Abul Barakat `Abdus-Salam ibn `Abdullah ibn Abil-Qasim ibn `Abdullah Al-Khidr ibn Muhammad ibn `Ali Ibn Taymiyyah Al-Harrani, also referred to as Al-Majd. The second highest voice in the school for canonical texts, he wrote his famous work, Al-Muharrar fil-Fiqh (Eng. The Consecrated and Recorded Matters Regarding Legal Rulings), which quickly became one of two foundational sets of works for cataloguing opinions and rulings of the scholars. Adh-Dhail `Ala Tabaqat il-Hanabilah, vol.4, pp. 201-205

[8] 820-885 (AD 1417-1480). He is `Ala’ ud-Din Abul Hasan `Ali ibn Sulaiman ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad Al-Mardawi As-Sa`di As-Salihi. Judge, jurist, historian and grammarian, he was known for writing books on the narrations and debates within the Hanbali School. He organised the arguments under chapter headings, then acted as chief judge for most of his later life until his death. He wrote more than 20 books and was a mujtahid murajjih. Please see Ash-Shatti’s Mukhtasar Tabaqat il-Hanabilah, pp. 76-81

[9] Ar. Al-Insaf fi Ma`firat ir-Rajih fi Madhhab Ahmad ibn Hanbal

[10] Ar. At-Tanqih

[11] 895-968 AH (AD 1490-1561). He is Abun-Naja Sharaf ud-Din Musa ibn Ahmad ibn Musa ibn Salim ibn Ahmad ibn `Isa ibn Salim Al-Hajjawi Al-Maqdisi As-Salihi. Hailed widely as a mujtahid, theologian, Shaikh ul-Islam, as well as the chief faqih of Sham, he wrote books and made fatawa that caused his fame to grow. Once he reached over the age of thirty, the scholars convened and declared him the source of authority for the school of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his time. The Imam did not rest at this point, happy with his achievement, but continued on, writing numerous texts, summaries and foundational works. One of these was Zad ul-Mustaqni`, which is a summary of the depended upon book Al-Muqni` by Imam Muwaffaq ud-Din Ibn Qudamah (d. 620 AH/AD 1223). A simple yet effective summary, the document is the most widely used and commented summary of the book today. As-Suhub ul-Wabilah `ala Dara’ih il-Hanbabilah, vol.3, pp. 1134-1136

[12] 972 AH (AD 1565). He is Taqi ud-Din Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn `Abdul `Aziz ibn `Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn Rushaid Al-Futuhi Al-Masri. Known as Chief Qadi, Shaikh ul-Islam, Imam Al-Futuhi was one of the greatest Egyptian Hanbali scholars to have ever lived. In his youth, he memorised Al-`Umdah, Al-Muqni`, Al-Kafi and scores of other texts. His first teacher was his father, Imam Shihab ud-Din Ahmad Al-Buhuti Al-Hanbali, and was also in the company of others such as Imams Ahmad Al-Maqdisi, and a host of others. As per the practice of the Egyptian Hanbalis, he then travelled to Sham and studied with the Hanbali scholars for a number of years and then returned and became the most knowledgeable in Egypt of the madhhab, not long after penning his masterpiece Muntaha Al-Iradat, a book that was so lauded, senior judges Mansur ibn Yunus Al-Buhuti and Mar`ii ibn Yusuf Al-Karmi commented on it in their works Daqa’iq Uwl in-Nuha and Sharh ul-Muntaha, respectively. Upon the death of Imam Taqi ud-Din Al-Futuhi, some scholars said that the madhhab died, as there was no one who brought about another legacy as rich as his own and that of his father. Fortunately, others such as Imam Mansur Al-Buhuti came after, and today we have some Subki, Futuhi and Sayyid families teaching the original methods and principles. Students of Imam Al-Futuhi included Shihab ud-Din Ash-Shuwaiki in Madinah and his student, Imam Musa Al-Hajjawi, who would later be the great judge of Sham. As-Suhub ul-Wabilah `Ala Dara’ih il-Hanabilah, vol.2, pp. 854-858  

[13] Ar. Zad ul-Mustaqni` fikhtisar il-Muqni`

[14] 664-732 (AD 1278-1346). He is Siraj ud-Din Abu `Abdullah Al-Hussain ibn Yusuf ibn Muhammad ibn Ad-Dujaili Al-Baghdadi. Born in a town near the Tigris River, he was a faqih, preacher, grammarian, teacher and author, he was known for righteousness and good conduct and was one of Baghdad’s premier scholars. cf. Ibn Rajab’s Dhailu `Ala Tabaqat il-Hanabilah, vol.2, pp. 417-418

[15] Ar. Al-Wajiz

[16] Ar. Nail ul-Maarib

[17] 1114-1189 (AD 1702-1775). He is Abul `Awn Shams ud-Din Muhammad ibn Ahmad As-Saffarini An-Nabulsi Al-Hanbali. Renewer of his era and one of the chief authorities of the Hanbali Legal School in his time, he learned from Grand Imams such as Muhamamd Hayat As-Sindi, `Abdul Qadir At-Taghlabi and others. He acted as judge and jurist for all of Sham. He wrote books in the field of comparative creed, fiqh, inheritance, manners, medicine and grammar. It was this noble scholar who received a letter of assistance from the scholars of Arabia against the Salafi Movement. He wrote five volumes of books against the group, the shorter and more famously known being, Questions and Answers Regarding Najd, which upon receipt by the scholars of Arabia became a rallying point for the Orthodox. Please see Muhammad Jamil Ash-Shatti’s Mukhtasar Tabaqat ul-Hanabilah, pp. 140-143

[18] d. 1079 (AD 1668). He is Sulaiman ibn `Ali ibn Al-Musharraf At-Tamimi An-Najdi. Chief Qadi and judge of Najd in the Arabian Peninsula during his life. Imam Sulaiman famously sat with Imam Mansur Al-Buhuti and learned most of his knowledge. Upon hearing that Ar-Rawd ul-Murbi` had been written, he commanded his students to burn his own fiqh books and use only Ar-Rawd ul-Murbi` and related texts. He had just ten students, but focused on advanced level studies, making them Qadis after him, including Imam `Abdul Wahhab ibn Sulaiman. cf. Ibn Humaid’s As-Suhub ul-Wabilah, pp. 173-174

[19] 1236-1295 (AD 1821-1878). He is Muhammad ibn `Abdullah ibn `Ali ibn `Uthman ibn `Ali ibn Humaid ibn Ghanim An-Najdi Al-Makki. Chief Judge in Makkah, he studied under some of its greatest scholars and in his travels gained knowledge from the Qaddumi and Shatti families. He suffered persecution, and directly witnessed atrocities and other trials under the Salafi movement, which was gaining more of a foothold in Makkah where he resided. He was the author of some ten books on various subjects. Please see Ash-Shatti’s Mukhtasar Tabaqat il-Hanabilah, pp. 160-161.

[20] d. 1216 AH (AD 1801). He is Muhammad ibn `Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Fairuz at-Tamimi Al-Ahsa’ii Al-Hanbali. Born in Al-Ahsa,’ he was one of the torch bearers of truth against the organisation founded by Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab. Imam Muhammad ibn Fairuz (as he is popularly addressed) studied with some of the brightest minds of his time, coming to hold double digit licenses in each of the eighteen sciences of Islam. There is no scholar of hadith in the era in which we live that does not have him in their chain of transmission. After continued opposition and hatred between the Orthodox scholarship and the Muwahhidun cult, the Imam was exiled from the city and fled to Iraq, not before seeing scores of scholars murdered or suffer the same fate as himself. Most of his works remain in manuscript form in libraries throughout the world, such as Princeton, Berlin, Chester Beatty and others. cf. Ibn Humaid’s As-Suhub ul-Wabilah, pp. 400-406

[21] 1179 (AD 1768). He is `Isa ibn `Abdur-Rahman ibn Mutlaq ibn Khamis Al-Maliki. One of the chief scholars of Al-Ahsa’, he was an enemy to Salafiyyah, firm in Religion and was strong against innovation and modernism that was trying to make an appearance. Born with diminishing division, he worked hard in the memorisation of the Qur’an, the Sahih of Imam Al-Bukhari and numerous texts. cf. `Abdul Qadir’s Tahfat ul-Mustafid, pp. 394-395

[22] Ar. Al-Iqna` , the author being Imam Musa Al-Hajjawi.

[23] 727-771 (AD 1327-1370). He is Taj ud-Din Abun-Nasr `Abdul Wahhab ibn `Ali ibn `Abdul Kafi As-Subki. Chief Qadi, historian, hadith scholar and specialist in fiqh who although born in Egypt in the capital city of Cairo moved to Damascus with his father. Coming from a long line of Egyptian scholars with roots in South Egypt, he left behind a large footprint in Usul, fiqh, history and a number of other areas. cf. Az-Zirkili’s Al-A`lam, vol.4, pp. 184-185.

[24] Ar. Hashiyat ur-Rawd il-Murbi`

[25] Ar. Kitab ush-Sharikah.

[26] Ar. Sharh ul-Jawhar il-Maknun

[27] 920-983 (AD 1519-1582). He is Abu Zaid `Abdur-Rahman ibn Abi `Abdullah As-Saghir ibn Muhammad ibn `Amir Al-Akhdari. Algerian specialist in many sciences of Islam, this high ranking judge, jurist and Sufi wrote a number of rhyming texts to assist students of knowledge in learning detailed matters of Islam. Tarjumat ul-Akhdari, pp. 19-20

[28] This came about because Salafis started to try to make a difference between “following the evidence” and being “madhhabi”. And as is typical, Salafis would use violence and death threats to try to spread the new religion. And this is in additional to their repulsive and repugnant theology in which they liken Allah with/to His Creation. As Imam Hasan Ash-Shatti (d. 1274) said, “May Allah curse whoever has this creed”. The Divine Texts, pp. 115-117

[29] Ar. Ibda’ ul-Majhud fi Jawab Su’ali Ibn Dawud

[30] d. 1225 (AD 1810). `Afif ud-Din `Abdullah ibn Dawud Az-Zubairi, Al-Basri Al-`Iraqi Al-Hanbali. Preacher, teacher, heresiographer and soldier, this particular scholar was born and lived most of his life in Az-Zubair, the great stronghold of Orthodox scholarship just outside Basrah. He studied under its premier scholars but decided to go to Al-Ahsa’ in Arabia to continue his studies. He learned from the scholars Muhammad ibn Fairuz and his son, `Abdul Wahhab. As-Suhub ul-Wabilah `ala Dara’ih il-Hanabilah, pp. 254-255

[31] Ar. Al-Qawl us-Sadid fi Jawaz it-Taqlid

[32] This issue was tackled because the cursed Salafi cult that was in Yemen and Arabia came and said that every common Muslim is obliged to be his own mujtahid and “follow the evidence” and that the madhhabs “contradicted the Book and the Sunnah.” So this text was crucial for dispelling some foolishness. As Imam Hasan Ash-Shatti (d. 1274) said, “May Allah curse whoever has this creed”. The Divine Texts, pp. 115-117

[33] Ar. Zawal ul-Labsi `Amman Arada Bayan Ma Yumkin An Yutli`ullahu `Alaihi Ahadin Min Khalqihi min Al-Khams

[34] And this work would break the back of fake Sufis (and is even applicable today) who claim their shaikhs have the knowledge of the Five Things of the Unseen and even some aberrant Sunnis today that try to insist that the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, possessed this, in spite of the fact that the First Three Generations never understood anything of the sort (!) How fitting it is that fake Sufis should have the grandshaikh, `Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani say the following and destroy their sectarian diatribe:

“So Allah the Exalted said of the matter:

And what will make you know what is the Night of Power [Surat ul-Qadr (97), ayah 2].

“So it is as if He is saying, ‘Muhammad, if it was not that Allah taught you it and its grandeur, you would not have known it!’ So everything that is in the Qur’an with the expression ‘what made you to know’ (Ar. adaraaka), then Allah has indeed taught him what it was while the expression ‘what will cause you to know’ (Ar. yudareeka) then he did not know it and did not disclose to Muhammad the knowledge of it. An example of this is the statement of His, Mighty and Majestic,

And what will make you to know? It may be that the Hour is indeed near. [Surat ul-Ahzab (33), ayah 63]

“Thus He did not make it clear to him when its time was to come”. cf. Al-Ghunya, vol.2, pp. 261-262, Dar Ihya’ it-Turath il-`Arabi, Beirut, 1416 (AD 1996) [with editorial and prep. notes by Muhammad Khalid `Umar and Riyadh `Abdullah `Abdul Hadi]

As for the Five Things of the Unseen, they are mentioned by Allah, Exalted be He, in the following ayah:

Indeed Allah has in His Sight the knowledge of the Hour, what shall be sent down of weather, what is the wombs while no soul knows what it shall earn tomorrow and no soul knows in which land it shall be taken. Surah Luqman (31), ayah 34

[35] cf Ibn Humaid’s As-Suhub ul-Wabilah, pp. 277-279, Maktabah Al-Imam Ahmad (no date of print given)


( معيار الاجتهاد والتقليد )

The Pitfalls of Ijtihad and Taqlid

by Shaikh Faaris ibn Faalih Al-Khazraji

رسالة إلى طلبة العلم سواء من طلبة الدراسات العليا أو خريجي كليات الشريعة أو المعاهد المفتوحة .

This is a message to the students of knowledge, whether they be in the highest levels of learning, outside of the universities of the Revealed Law or the open institutes.  

المجتهد من شروطه أن يكون عالمًا بآيات الأحكام ومواضعها ومعانيها وطرق الاستدلال بها ، وكذلك السنة وتمييز صحيحها عن ضعيفها في أقل الأحوال تقليد إمام في ذلك والناسخ والمنسوخ منها ، ومواطن الإجماع ، ثم العلم بأصول الفقه ، واللغة العربية بنحوها وصرفها وبلاغتها على الأقل .

The mujtahid has conditions and one of them is that he is a scholar of the ayat of judgement, their application, means and ways of extracting evidential affairs using them. And  likewise there is the Sunnah, differentiating the sahih from the da`if in the smallest of incidents in taqlid of an Imam in that, knowing the nasikh and mansukh of it, the places where Consensus is established. Then after this comes Usul ul-Fiqh, the Arabic language – its grammar and morphology – with its expression that is lost on all but a few.

سل نفسك هل أنت ممن امتلك آلة الاجتهاد وشروطه المختصرة الذكر آنفًا ، والمبسوطة في كتب أصول الفقه ؟!.

So ask yourself: Are you someone who has the tool of ijtihad? Do you have the conditions laid out briefly just moments ago that are laid out in detail in the books of Usul ul-Fiqh?

فإن كان جوابك : أنك لم تمتلك أدوات الاجتهاد وشروطه فأنت عامي مقلد قولًا واحدًا لا خلاف بين العلماء في ذلك مطلقًا .

So if your answer is no and you do not possess the tools of ijtihad and its condition, then you are a layman, making taqlid and this is one statement and there is no difference among the scholars in that at all.

أما قضية مجتهد مسألة :

Now there is one point that needs expression on the topic of the mujtahid.

فهي خلاف ما يفهمه العامي أنه يجوز له الاجتهاد في المسألة الواحدة دون   امتلاكه لشروط الاجتهاد وتوافرها فيه ، وهذا مما لا خلاف فيه أيضًا ، فمتى ما امتلك شروط الاجتهاد يجوز له ان يسمي نسفه مجتهد مسألة . حينها يمكن لك الاجتهاد

So on this point there is a difference of what the layman understands in that it is permitted for him to make ijtihad on the one principle without possessing the conditions of ijtihad and encompassing them. And this has no difference of opinion in it. So when he possesses the conditions of ijtihad in that area, he can permissibly call himself a mujtahid of a matter and at that time it is possible for you to make ijtihad.

.فمعيار الفرق بين الاجتهاد والتقليد

But the pitfall is the difference between ijtihad and taqlid.

ما قرره الأصوليون من شروط للاجتهاد ، وما سوى ذلك مزاعم لا صحة لها لا في الواقع وقد تكون في ذهن صاحبها .وليعلم أن دعاوى القدرة على الترجيح والنظر هي دعاوى فارغة من المحتوى خاوية لا حقيقة لها .

What the scholars of Usul have established from the conditions of ijtihad is well known and whatever is besides that represents claims that have no validity to them or reality and it is merely something in the mind of the carrier of such thoughts. So let it be know that the claims to be able to join between and examine evidences while not being a mujtahid are empty claims that are devoid of merit and have no reality to them.

وليحذر طالب العلم مهما حصَّل من ألقاب فإنها لن تشفع له يوم القيامة فقد حذرنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال القضاة ثلاثة : واحد في الجنة ، واثنان في النار ، فأما الذي في الجنة ، فرجل عرف الحق فقضى به ، ورجل عرف الحق ، فجار في الحكم ، فهو في النار ، ورجل قضى للناس على جهل فهو في النار » رواه عأبو داود.

Let the student of knowledge beware so that there does not result with him what has happened to others as there is no intercession for such a one on the Day of Resurrection. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “There are three types of judges, one in the Paradise and two in the Fire. In the case of (1) the judge in the Paradise, he is a man that knows the truth and gives judgement by it. Then there is (2)a man who knows the truth but transgresses in the judgement and he is the Fire. And there is (3) a man who gives judgement for the people while ignorant and he is the Fire.” Collected by Imam Abu Dawud.

فأنظر نفسك بين هؤلاء وسلها أي الأقسام انا .

So look into yourself among all of the categories mentioned in the hadith and ask, “Which of these categories do I belong to?”


فارس بن فالح الخزرجي

7 / 5 / 1442

This was written by Faris ibn Falih Al-Khazraji

7 Jumada Al-Uwla 1442


Shaikh Faaris ibn Faalih Al-Khazraji was asked the following:

لماذا لا ندرِّسَ فقه الشوكاني ـ رحمه الله ـ

So why don’t we learn the fiqh of Ash-Shawkani, may Allah have mercy upon him?

إعادة نشر

This is an answer that is being re-published after the question has appeared once more.

منذ عقدين أو ثلاثة تقريباً ظهرت دعوة ــ مُستغربة ـ قائمة بين الشباب السني لالتزام دراسة كتب الشوكاني والشبهة في ذلك :

أنه متجرد للدليل وليس مقيد بمذهب !.

So there are three or more instances, since a type of da`awah has appeared and has become established among the Sunni youth and have led to the question of studying the books of Ash-Shawkani and the ambiguity in the affair.

وجوابنا على ذلك :

The answer to this is from a number of points:

1. من معلوم أن الشوكاني أصل مذهبه زيدي ثم وافق مذهب أهل السنة الا في بعض المسائل ـ واعني بها العقدية ـ كما بين في الرسائل السلفية .

One: It is well known that Ash-Shawkani – as the source of his madhhab – is a Zaidi and then he started to agree with the madhhab of Muslim Orthodoxy except in some areas. And I mean by that with regards to theology and the like. And this is very clear in the book he wrote, The Salafi Messages.

2. بقاء تأثره بفقه الزيدية يتبين من خلال نقولاته عن علماء الزيدية في نيل الأوطار.

Two: he remained under the influence of the Zaidiyyah[1] as becomes clear from his writings and citing the scholars of the Zaidiyyah in the work[2] Nail ul-Awtar.[3]

3.كونه ليس متأثراً بمذهب هذا لايدل على تجرده لأن منهجه بعد الفقه الزيدي كان شافعيًا ويوصي في كتابه ( أدب الطلب ) بدراسة المذهب الشافعي ، ثم تأثر بالظاهرية .

Three: he does not have any influence in any madhhab that is proof of this as his methodology after Zaidi “fiqh” is to follow the Shafi`ii fiqh[4] like in his book Etiquettes in Seeking Knowledge in which he taught the Shafi`ii madhhab. Then he was influenced by the Zahiriyyah.[5]

4. فقهه لا يُعرف عند عامة الأمة ولاشك من أنه يعتبر شاذًا عن الأقوال المعلومة لدى الأمة من مدرسة المذاهب الأربعة ، بالتالي ليس معلومًا لدى الأمة كمذاهب أئمة الهدى .

Four: his “fiqh” is not known of among the body of the Ummah. There is no doubt that he depended upon rare or divergent matters from the well known statements in the Ummah from the study of the Four Madhhabs. And it follows that he is not well known among the Ummah like the madhhabs of the Imams of Guidance.

5. الشوكاني ليس مجتهدًا مطلقًا لتكون له مدرسة مستقلة بل ولاينبغي أن يلحق بمدارس الأئمة المتبعة ، لأنه تأثر بالظاهرية .

Five: Ash-Shawkani was not an absolute mujtahid in which he would have an independent school and he did not even see the importance of attachment to the scholars of the Imams that are followed as he was under the influence of the Zahiriyyah.

6. أصوله مستقلة رجحها هو بنظره ، ولاتنطبق الا على فقهه ، ومعلوم أن المدرسة الاجتهادية الفقهية يأتي من يحرر ويقرر ويجدد لها أما الشوكاني فلا يعرف عنه متبع سوى صديق حسن خان وكتابه الروضة الندية لاتختلف عن نيل الاوطار ، ويكفي ماسطره من طعن بحق معاوية رضي الله عنه في نهاية كتابه .

Six: his “usul” are independent according to his preference and his research. And there is no dependence made use of for him except upon his “fiqh”. And it is well known that the way of fiqh ijtihad comes from bringing out the principles, affirming and setting them down and renewing them or bringing fresh things to light. As for Ash-Shawkani, there is no known follower of him besides Siddiq Hasan Khan Al-Qannuji and his book The Well Ornamented Meadow and it does not differ in practice from Nail ul-Awtar. And it is sufficient the lines that he wrote in disrespect to Mu`awiyah, may Allah be pleased with him, at the end of his book to show Ash-Shawkani’s reality.

7. كون الشوكاني رحمه الله ليس بمقلد هذا مفهوم مغاير لما هو عليه في نيل الأوطار ، لأن الشوكاني قلد في تخريج أحاديث المنتقى الحافظ بن حجر ـ رحمه الله ـ تقليدا أعمى في تلخيص الحبير ومن رام التأكد فليقارن.

Seven: Ash-Shawkani – may Allah have mercy upon him – was not a follower of this understanding and underwent change to what he was later upon in Nail ul-Awtaf  as Ash-Shawkani followed Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar – may Allah have mercy upon him – in his addressing and examination of the Ahadith in Al-Muntaqa. And he is actually the one making “blind imitation” to what is in Talkhis ul-Habir. And whoever wants emphasis proving my point, go and look it up and compare!

8.الشوكاني يخالف اعتقاد أهل السنة في معاوية رضي الله عنه وارضاه ، وهذا لاشك أنه مأخذ كبير .

Eight: Ash-Shawkani contradicted the creed of Muslim Orthodoxy regarding Mu`awiyah, may Allah be pleased with him and show pleasure to him, and there is no doubt that this is a large matter indeed.

9. من قرأ الرسائل السلفية العقدية له ، سيعلم جيدًا مخالفته من يدعو الى دراسة فقهه ، في الاسماء والصفات.

Nine: Whoever read The Salafi Creed Messages as written by him will know very well his contradiction and opposition (to Muslim Orthodoxy) to the one who is calling to studying his “fiqh” and in the topic of the Names and Attributes.

10.عدم العمل بفقه الشوكاني : ففي أي مصر من أمصار المسلمين بل ولا في قرية واحدة يعمل به ، فكيف يلزم بفقهه ، وكيف تدرَّس كتبه .

Ten: No one acts by the “fiqh” of Ash-Shawkani. In which urban centres of the Muslims is it being used? In fact it’s not utilised in one village. So how can his “fiqh” be necessary to look into? How can his books be learned? How can one cling to them?

فإن قيل : ألا يستفاد من كتب الشوكاني :

Someone may ask, “So can one not benefit from the works of Ash-Shawkani?”

فجوابنا : لاشك أن فيه فائدة لكن ليست للدراسة ، ولا للتدريس .

Our answer is that there is no doubt that there is a benefit but not for learning or teaching.

هذه الأسباب التي تجعلنا ننصح الشباب بعدم دراسة فقه الشوكاني رحمه الله ، خاصة في بداية الطلب ، إن لم يكن الا سبب عدم العمل به في عموم الأمة بل ولا في قرية من قرى الأمة لكفى به سببًا.

So these are the reasons that we have put for advising the people not to study the “fiqh” of Ash-Shawkani – may Allah have mercy upon him – especially at the beginning of seeking knowledge and if there is no reason to act by it in the main body of the Ummah, in one of the villages of the Ummah then this is reason enough to not take anything from it.

والله اعلم

And Allah knows best.

وكتب فارس بن فالح الخزرجي

6 / محرم / 1439

As written by Faaris ibn Faalih Al-Khazraji

6 Muharram 1439

[1] This is another word for the Shi`ah cult. Among the Shi`ah are groups such as Twelver (and within them Akhbari and Usuli), Isma`ili (also known as Seveners or Saba`iyyah), but when discussing them collectively, they are known as Rafidah (or in the plural form, Rawafid). Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allah be pleased with him, said of them, “The Rafidah are those who disavow and renounce the Companions of Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and they also curse and consider as low the Companions, along with labelling as unbelievers the four Imams among them, namely `Ali, `Ammar, Al-Miqdad, Salman, and the Rafidah have nothing to do with Islam at all. The Mansuriyyah are a group of Rafidah, but are more wretched and filthy than the others, as they say that whoever should kill 40 people who contradict their belief shall enter the Paradise. They terrorise the people, consider the wealth of them permissible to be seized. They further state that Jibril, peace be upon him, made a mistake when he came to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, with the message. Such a thing is clear kufr, and there is no way of faith in holding this matter. We seek refuge in Allah from this matter. There is among them the sect of the Sabiyy’ah, which is closer to those who oppose the four Imams mentioned before. They deny the description and they say that `Ali is in the clouds and will be sent before the Day of Resurrection, and this is clear lying, slander and open falsehood. The Zaidiyyah are another group with them and they disavow `Uthman, Talhah, az-Zubair and `A’ishah, believing that they must fight against any of those who resisted and went against the children of `Ali, whether they are righteous or sinful, even if they are victorious or overcome. The Khashabiyyah say the same thing as the Zaidiyyah, but they claim that they love the Family and Household of Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, while they lie, for they hate the Family and Household of Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, more than any of the people. The only partisans and lovers of the Family and Household of Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, are the pious, and these are Muslim Orthodoxy, whoever they are and wherever they may be located. They are those who love the Family and Household of Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and all the Companions of Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Those who love them do not mention the Companions with any evil, flaws, hatred or sinful words. Whoever should mention the Companions of Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, with evil or hatred towards them, or disavows any of them, curses them, refuses the oath of allegiance that they gave, such a one is nothing but a member of the Rafidah, filthy and he makes others filthy. The Rafidah label Muslim Orthodoxy as insulters of the Family and Household, yet they lie. They are the ones who deserve this title due to their insult of the Companions of the Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, by cursing and insult. They speak of the Companions in other than the truth, attribute to them things that are not true and say they are guilty of kufr and oppression. This is making a lie towards Allah, Mighty and Majestic, and making light of the right of the Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and the people doing this have more reason to be faulted and shown wrath than the Companions.” Tabaqat ul-Hanabilah, vol.1, pp. 35-37

[2] d. 653 (AD 1266). He is Majd ud-Din Abul Barakat `Abdus-Salam ibn `Abdullah ibn Abil-Qasim ibn `Abdullah Al-Khidr ibn Muhammad ibn `Ali Ibn Taymiyyah Al-Harrani, also referred to as Al-Majd. The second highest voice in the school for canonical texts, he wrote his famous work, Al-Muharrar fil-Fiqh (Eng. The Consecrated and Recorded Matters Regarding Legal Rulings), which quickly became one of two foundational sets of works for cataloguing opinions and rulings of the scholars. Adh-Dhail `Ala Tabaqat il-Hanabilah, vol.4, pp. 201-205

[3] This is actually an attempted commentary by Ash-Shawkani on the original work of the grand Imam, Majd ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah’s legal text using ahadith entitled, Al-Muntaqa. It is always a wonder in the writer’s mind as to why Ash-Shawkani and cultists that agree with him insist on styling themselves absolute mujtahids but then insist on following or making use of other mujtahids’ works when in all fairness they should be penning their very own. (!)

[4] It is thanks to people such as Muhammad Al-Amir As-Sana`ani (1099-1182), Ash-Shawkani and Al-Qannuji (1248-1307) that a body of fake Shafi`iis came among Muslim Orthodoxy saying that they are Shafi`ii in fiqh yet Salafi in “aqeedah”. Now where have we heard this before? And these fake Shafi`iis influenced others in this era such as `Abdullah ibn Judai` (b. 1379) and countless others.

[5] This was a pseudo-madhhab created by Dawud ibn `Ali Al-Asbahani (201-270), a student of knowledge and later shaikh who sat with Imam Ash-Shafi`ii and then decided (although having not completed his studies or done substantial memorisation to have even been a muqayyid mujtahid, let alone an absolute mujtahid!) to found his own school. Claimants to this “madhhab” (which is more like claiming absolute ijtihad) include Ash-Shawkani, Ibn Hazm (384-456), Muhy ud-Din Ibn Al-`Arabi (558-638) and even some in the last forty years claiming to have “revived” it and no less  one of them a former Azhar attendee as well (!) cf. Adh-Dhahabi’s Siyar A`lam in-Nubala, vol.13, pp.97-98


محمد الشيخ زنوب

The Shaikh, Muhammad Zannub Ar-Ruhaibani

محمد حسن علي الشيخ الرحيباني الدمشقي الصيادي الرفاعي الحنبلي, ولد رحمه الله عام (1279هـ) في بلدة الرحيبة من أسرة

تعمل في الزراعة، عمل فيها أسوةً بأبيه وجده.

He is Muhammad Hasan `Ali Ar-Ruhaibani Ad-Dimashqi As-Siyadi Ar-Rifa`ii Al-Hanbali. He was born in the year 1279[1] in the town of Ruhaibah into a family that worked in agriculture, the same agriculture done by his father and grandfather.

Early life

– تعلم القرآن على الشيخ حسين محمد المصري في بلدة الرحيبة.

He began by learning the Qur’an with the Shaikh, Hussain Muhammad Al-Masri while in the town of Ar-Ruhaibah.

– وتعلم العربية والتفسير على الشيخ هاشم رباطة.

He also made a detailed a study of the Arabic language and tafsir literature under the tutelage of the Shaikh, Hashim Ribatah.

– وتلقى علم التجويد على يد المقرئ المعروف في عصره الشيخ حسين قداحة من بلدة الرحيبة .

In addition to this, the Shaikh also came to study tajwid of the Qur’an with the well known Shaikh, Hussain Qudaahah.

– ثم تلقى علوم الحديث والفقه ومعظم علومه على الشيخ محمد حسين أبو زيد: وهو من أهم شيوخه.

Then the Shaikh also exerted himself in the sciences of hadith, fiqh and most of this was done with the Shaikh, Muhammad Hussain Abu Zaid, who was one of the most important of Shaikh Zannub’s influences.

لازم الشيخُ محمد زَنُّوب شيخَهُ الشيخَ محمد أبوزيد فترة طويلة من الزمن حتى أصبح زميلاً له وتلميذاً في وقت واحد، وقد منحه إجازة بقراءة الدرس من كل علم نقلي أو عقلي كما تلقى ذلك عن مشايخه.

Shaikh Zannub kept the company of this teacher for a long time until he became a successor to him in knowledge and a student assistant to him. He was given a license to teach every science they had learned together with chains that had gone back to his teachers previously.

بعد أن تلقى الشيخ (زَنُّوب) علومه بدأ بنشرها في مساجد الرحيبة وفي بيته وتخرج على يده نخبة من العلماء منهم:

After completion of this heady task, the Shaikh and now Faqih, Zannub went about teaching and expounding his lessons in the masjids of Ar-Ruhaibah and his house and a number of scholars would benefit from this teaching.

Scholarly career and students

– الشيخ عبد اللطيف سويدان

The Shaikh, `Abdul Latif Suwaidan[2]

وهو أكثر طلاب الناظم ملازمة له حيث لازمه قرابة عشرين عاماً ونقل معظم علوم الشيخ زَنُّوب حفظاً وتدويناً.

Shaikh Suwaidan was the most regular student of Shaikh Zannub, who accompanied him for some 20 years and narrated most of the sciences of the Shaikh, whether this was by memorisation or written text.

– الشيخ أحمد أبو زيد (ابن شيخه) وإمام وخطيب جامع (زيد بن حارثة) الجب سابقاً.

Shaikh Ahmad Abu Zaid[3] (the son of his shaikh). He was the imam and khatib of the Zaid ibn Harithah Central Masjid.

– ومنهم ولداه الشيخ عمر والشيخ عبد القادر.

Shaikh `Umar Zannub and Shaikh `Abdul Qadir Zannub, the two sons of the Shaikh.

– ومنهم الشيخ قاسم إدريس والشيخ صالح جريش والشيخ حسن دبين والشيخ محمد عباس عليان والشيخ محمد دبين إمام وخطيب بلدة (البحارية) والخطيب المتجول الشيخ محمود دعاس شحادة

Others students to Shaikh Zannub include, the Shaikh, Qasim Idris, the Shaikh, Salih Jarish, the Shaikh, Hasan Dabbain, the Shaikh Muhammad `Abbas `Ulayyan, the Shaikh, Muhammad Dabbain (who was the imam and khatib of the town of Bayariyyah) and finally the Shaikh Mahmud Da`as Shahadah

. – ومنهم الشيخ عبد الحميد شريف الشيخ.

And there was also the Shaikh `Abdul Hamid Sharif Ash-Shaikh[4] also being from their ranks.

Respect shown to him by scholars

كانت تربط الشيخ (زَنُّوب) ببعض علماء عصره الكبار صداقة ومودة، ويأتي في مقدمتهم:

Shaikh Zannub had the respect and love of numerous senior scholars of his time, the most foremost of them being:

الشيخ المحدث بدر الدين الحسني: المحدث الكبير في دمشق، الذي ألبس الشيخ (زَنُّوب) العمامة بيده، وخلع عن رأسه العقال والحطة- اللباس التقليدي لأهل البلد- بعد أن التقاه وتناظر معه وعرف غزارة علمه.

The Shaikh, the Hadith scholar, Badr ud-Din Al-Hasani.[5] He was a major hadith scholar in Damascus and he took the Shaikh, Zannub by the hand, removed his `iqal and Hattah – as was traditionally worn in his land – and dressed him in the `imamah with his own hands out of respect. This happened after they had met discussed some matters of difference of opinion in fiqh and Shaikh Al-Hasani saw the depth of knowledge of Zannub.

كما التقى الشيخين حسن الشطي وجميل الشطي مفتي الحنابلة بدمشق، وتناظر معهما وأهدياه كتاب كشاف القناع إثر حادثة طريفة.

He met and sat in many meetings with the two shaikhs, Hasan Ash-Shatti[6] and Jamil Ash-Shatti[7] (who was the mufti of the Hanbalis in Damascus). He debated with them in fiqh matters and on account of his knowledge they gifted him the book, Kash-shaf ul-Qina`[8] written out and with a new print.

وممن التقاهم أيضا الشيخ عبد القادر القصاب الديرعطاني: وكان بينهما لقاءات متعددة وتزاور وشهد كل منهما بعلم الآخر وفضله.

And among those who he also met was the great scholar and Shaikh, `Abdul Qadir Al-Qassab Ad-Dair `Attani[9] and there were a number of meetings between them as well as visits and each before witness to the knowledge and virtue of the other.

Later life and death

وكانت وفاته في ليلة النصف من شعبان عام 1362هـ

The death of the great Shaikh Zannub would come on 15 Sha`ban 1362. He would be gathered to his people and buried. And may Allah envelop him with encompassing mercy.

[1] AD 1861

[2] 1321-1393 (AD 1903-1974). He is `Abdul Latif ibn `Abdu ibn `Abud As-Suwaidan Ar-Ruhaibani. Referred to as “the scholar, the Zahid, the doctor, the righteous and the scholar of inheritance law”, he took from the premier scholars of his time in Ar-Ruhaibah such as Shaikh Muhammad Abu Zaid Ar-Ruhaibi, Shaikh Muhammad Hasan Zannub as well as his father, Shaikh `Abdu As-Suwaidan. He is the successor to the knowledge of Shaikh Zannub and was made the imam and khatib of Masjid As-Sahah in Ar-Ruhaibah, where he taught until his death. He went through many trials in his life, fought against the French invasion of Sham in a great jihad and also had many students. cf. Ash-Shatti’s Tarikh A`lam Dimashq

[3] 1322-1406 (AD 1904-1987). He is Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Hussain Abu Zaid Ar-Ruhaibani Al-Hanbali. Coming from a family of deep knowledge and insight, the Shaikh grew up under the watchful eye of his father, learning the early sciences of the Religion from him. After the death of his father, he would go on to learn from Shaikh Zannub, also visit Damascus and learn from the great scholar, Muhammad Jamil Ash-Shatti (d. 1379). Attempts were made to poison him with Salafiyyah but they failed miserably as he referred back to the earlier books in which the scholars answered the cult in responsa literature. cf Ash-Shatti’s Tarikh A`lam Dimashq.

[4] 1338-1429 (AD 1919-2007). He is `Abdul Hamid ibn Sharif Ash-Shaikh.

[5] 1267-1354 (AD 1850-1935). Famous hadith scholar and fiqh specialist of Damascus.

[6]  1296-1381 (AD 1879-1962). Fiqh scholar and son of the great marja`, Hasan Ash-Shatti (d. 1274), he was one of the great scholars of Syria at the time.  

[7] 1300-1379 (AD 1882-1959). Muhammad Jamil ibn `Umar ibn Muhammad ibn Hasan ibn `Umar Ash-Shatti. Scholar of his time and one of the great muftis of his age, he has a separate biography that has been covered.

[8] This text is Imam Mansur Al-Buhuti’s (d. 1051) monumental commentary on the original work Al-Iqna` by Imam Musa Al-Hajjawi (d. 968) and is one of the authoritative commentaries in the school of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal.

[9] 1264-1360 (AD 1845-1941). He is `Abdul Qadir ibn Muhammad ibn Hussain ibn Isma`il ibn Ibrahim Al-Qassab. Major and high ranking Hanbali jurist, poet and also teacher of inheritance law, he left behind a large rhyming text of fiqh that summarised Al-Karmi’s classic text Dalil ut-Talib.