Tag Archives: creed

THE CLEAR AND CONCISE WAY OF MUSLIM ORTHODOXY IN THEOLOGY


وقال الإمام شيخ الإسلام موفق الدين ابن قدامة في قاعدة التفويض:

Imam Muwaffaq ud-Din Ibn Qudamah, may Allah have mercy upon him, said just this on the topic:

والصحيح: أن المتشابه: ما ورد في صفات الله سبحانه مما يجب الإيمان به ويحرم التعرض لتأويله كقوله تعالى:

“The authentic position is that the allegorical ayat are what was narrated about the Attributes of Allah, Glorified be He, in what is compulsory to believe in and it is impermissible to seek its meaning. This includes examples where the Exalted One has said:

ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنُ عَلَى ٱلْعَرْشِ ٱسْتَوَىٰ)  (بَلْ يَدَاهُ مَبْسُوطَتَانِ( (لِمَا خَلَقْتُ بِيَدَيَّ أَسْتَكْبَرْتَ أَمْ كُنتَ مِنَ ٱلْعَالِينَ) (وَيَبْقَىٰ وَجْهُ رَبِّكَ ذُو ٱلْجَلاَلِ وَٱلإِكْرَامِ) (تَجْرِي بِأَعْيُنِنَا) ونحوه.   

(The Most Merciful is above the Throne),[1] (But both of His Hands are outspread),[2] (to the one I created with My Two Hands),[3] (The Face of your Lord shall remain forevermore),[4] (They float under Our Gaze).[5]

فهذا اتفق السلف رحمهم الله على الإقرار به وإمراره على وجهه وترك تأويله.

“And this is what the First Three Generations – may Allah have mercy upon them – agreed in that they would affirm it, pass it by as it was and abandon seeking the meaning.

فإن الله سبحانه ذم المتبعين لتأويله وقرنهم في الذم بالذين يبتغون الفتنة وسماهم أهل زيغ.

“This was on account that Allah, Glorified be He, cast blame upon those who sought its meaning and joined between the blameworthiness of what they did with those who are seeking tribulation and he named them people of division and rancour.

وليس في طلب تأويل ما ذكروه من المجمل وغيره ما يذم به صاحبه بل يمدح عليه إذ هو طريق إلى معرفة الأحكام وتمييز الحلال من الحرام.

“And in seeking out the meaning of what they mentioned before of general ayat and others, there is no blame on someone doing that. In fact it is the opposite. When it comes to the decisive ayat, one is praised for seeking the meaning is this is a way to know the judgements set in the Revealed Law and distinguishing the permissible from the impermissible.

ولأن في الآية قرائن تدل على أن الله سبحانه منفرد بعلم تأويل المتشابه وأن الوقف الصحيح عند قوله تعالى:

“However in the allegorical, it is in this ayah indicators that establish that Allah only has knowledge of the meaning of the allegorical and that a complete stop should be exercised at the place where the Exalted One says:

(وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلَّا اللهُ) لفظًا ومعنى.

And no one knows its meaning but Allah.[6] This means both the wording and the meaning.

أما اللفظ: فلأنه لو أراد عطف (وَالرَّاسِخُونَ) لقال: (وَيَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ) بالواو

“As for the wording, then if it was intended that those well grounded in knowledge [7]also knew the meaning, it would have mentioned and they say, ‘We believe in it’. [8]

وأما معنى: فلأنه ذم مبتغي التأويل ولو كان ذلك للراسخين معلومًا: لكان مبتغيه ممدوحًا لا مذمومًا.

“In terms of the meaning, this is on account of the fact that the one seeking the meaning is considered blameworthy. If the meaning of it had been known to those well grounded in knowledge, then seeking it would have been praiseworthy and not blameworthy.

ولأن قولهم: (آمَنَّا بِهِ) يدل على نوع تفويض وتسليم لشيء لم يقفوا على معناه.

“And also due to their statement (We have believed in it) proves this is a type of tafwid and submission to something that they did not know its meaning.

سيما إذا أتبعوا بقولهم (كُلٌّ مِنْ عِنْدِ رَبِّنَا) فذكرهم ربهم ههنا يعطي الثقة به، والتسليم لأمره وأنه صدره منه وجاء من عنده كما جاء من عنده المحكم.

“This is especially when the statement is followed up with their words (all of it is from our Lord). Thus their mentioning their Lord hear confirms trusting in Him, submission to him and that it came from Him, from His Presence just as the other decisive ayat had come.

ولأن لفظة (أَمَّا) لتفصيل الجمل فذكره لها في (الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ) مع وصفه إياهم بابتغاء المتشابه وابتغاء تأويله يدل على قسم آخر يخالفهم في هذه الصفة وهم (الراسخون) ولو كانوا يعلمون تأويله لم يخالفوا القسم الأول في ابتغاء التأويل.

“As for the statement (as far as) [9] this is to differentiate the sentences and He mentioned the matter regarding the others when he said (those who have a disease in their hearts) [10] with His Description of them in seeking the allegorical and seeking its meaning and that served as proof on another matter that He mentioned the well grounded in knowledge opposed those who had a sickness in their hearts. So if the well grounded in knowledge had known the meaning, they would not have been differentiated from the first group in their seeking the meaning.

وإذ قد ثبت أنه غير معلوم التأويل لأحد: فلا يجوز حمله على غير ما ذكرناه لأن ما ذكر من الوجوه لا يعلم تأويله كثير من الناس.

“Thus when it has been established that the meaning of it is not known to anyone, it is not permissible to bear the ayah on anything other than what we mentioned as it has not been mentioned that any narratives that many people do not know its meaning as has been said in some narratives.

فإن قيل: فكيف يخاطب الله الخلق بما لا يعقلونه أم كيف ينزل على رسوله ما لا يطّلع على تأويله؟

“If it should be said, “How could Allah speak to the creation in a way that they don’t understand? How could He send down on His Messenger something that one cannot ascertain the meaning?”

يجوز أن يكلفهم الإيمان بما لا يطّلعون على تأويله ليختبر طاعتهم كما قال تعالى: (وَلِنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ حَتَّى نَعْلَمَ الْمُجَاهِدِينَ مِنْكُمْ وَالصَّابِرِينَ) (وَمَا جَعَلْنَا الْقِبْلَةَ الَّتِي كُنْتَ عَلَيْهَا إِلَّا لِنَعْلَمَ) الآية، (وَمَا جَعَلْنَا الرُّءْيَا الَّتِي أَرَيْنَاكَ إِلَّا فِتْنَةً لِلنَّاسِ)

“It is possible that He would make them responsible for having iman in what they don’t know its meaning in order for them to be tested in their obedience. Like when he said, (So that He might test you as We know the mujahidin from those among you that are patient) [11] (We did not make the Qiblah which you were upon except so that We might know) [12] and also (We did not make the vision which We showed you except as a test to the people). [13]

وكما اختبرهم بالإيمان بالحروف المقطّعة مع أنه لا يعلم معناها والله أعلم.

“And just as He can test them in iman regarding the surahs that begin with the disconnected letters while the fact is that none knows their meaning. And Allah knows best”. [14]


[1] Surah TaHa (20), ayah 5

[2] Surat ul-Ma’idah (5), ayah 64

[3] Surah Sad (38), ayah 75

[4] Surat ur-Rahman (55), ayah 27

[5] Surat ul-Qamar (54), ayah 14

[6] Surah Ali `Imran (3), ayah 7

[7] Surah Ali `Imran (3), ayah 7

[8] Surah Ali `Imran (3), ayah 7

[9] Surah Ali `Imran (3), ayah 7

[10] Surah Ali `Imran (3), ayah 7

[11] Surah Muhammad (47), ayah 31

[12] Surah ul-Baqarah (2), ayah 143

[13] Surat ul-Isra’ (17), ayah 60

[14] Rawdat un-Nazir wa Junnat ul-Munazir, vol.1, pp. 213-217

THE THREE CREEDS: 2ND EDITION DUE OUT IN 2 WEEKS

Figure 1A: The Creed and Way of Muslim Orthodoxy, 2nd Edition cover.

An amazing thing happened when I looked over The Creed and Way of Muslim Orthodoxy. I gathered together the comments made by people regarding the layout and appearance and I tried to really make it better. The result was, with the praise of Allah, better than the first edition. The comments from readers was a great assistance.

It is my sincere hope that the 2nd edition will be met with even greater satisfaction then the first and that all of the comments and suggestions incorporated into the 2nd edition meet the expectations of the readers.

Until next time,

Al-Hajj Abu Ja`far Al-Hanbali

A Word about Imam `Abdul Ghani Al-Maqdisi

Figure 1A: A picture of the village of Jama`il (alternatively spelled Jama`in), which is an outskirt of the city of Nablus in the province of Palestine in the country of Sham.
Figure 1A: A picture of the village of Jama`il (alternatively spelled Jama`in), which is an outskirt of the city of Nablus in the province of Palestine in the country of Sham.

 

The Name of the Imam

He is the Shaikh, the Imam, the `Alim, the Zahid, the Hafidh, Taqi ud-Din Abu Muhammad `Abdul Ghani ibn `Abdul-Wahid ibn `Ali ibn Surur Al-Hanbali Al-Maqdisi.

He was a renowned theologian and one of the greatest Hanbali scholars of his age. He was also a direct descent of `Umar Al-Faruq, the second khalifah of the Muslims.

Imam `Abdul Ghani Al-Maqdisi was born in the city of Jama`il (in today’s Palestine) in the year 541 AH (1146 AD), on the outskirts of Jerusalem.[1]

As a young boy, the Imam was constantly in the presence of scholars, jurists, Sufis, theologians and masters of Arabic language, most of whom were from his own family, such as his brother Imam Ibrahim Al-Jama`ili.[2]

Early Education

When he began his education, his tutors and professors were all stellar figures, for example his brothers, Imams Muhammad [3] and Ahmad [4] as well as `Abdullah Al-Yunaini.[5]

The most outstanding contemporaries in the time of `Abdul Ghani Al-Maqdisi included Shaikha Shuhda Al-Hanbaliyyah [6] and Imam Baha’ ud-Din Al-Maqdisi. [7] There was also Imam Ibn Al-Manni,[8] who was the Shaikh ul-Islam of his age and the judge of the city of Baghdad.

In his adolescence, `Abdul Ghani memorised the Qur’an, thousands of ahadith and the commentaries of the shaikhs Al-Khiraqi, Ibn `Aqil, Mahfudh Al-Kalwadhani [9] and `Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani [10] in Hanbali fiqh.

As he began to master the sciences of Islam, many scholars favoured him. Although shy to give fatwa, his teachers prevailed upon him to do so until he finally felt the confidence of his competence. Although an accomplished scholar in the realm of fiqh, his main love was theology.

He wrote some three different books in the subject matter of intermediate and advanced theology, making him a living legend in the sight of the people of Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine.

The Scholar and His Students

Scholars from the four corners of the Earth flocked to see him, hanging on his every word and taking copious notes in the lectures that he gave some three times a week.

His students include many, but perhaps the most important of them was Imam Muwaffaq ud-Din Ibn Qudamah, who transmitted many of his documents as well as chains of transmission in the six hadith collections.

Later Life and Death

Thus in addition to being a towering figure in Hanbali fiqh, beginning to advanced theology, Imam `Abdul Ghani was an accomplished master and commentator on ahadith and their sub-sciences.

He would later die in the year 600 AH (AD 1203), having lived a rich and beneficial life that produced books and students that today the entire Ummah of the Muslims still benefits from in manifold ways. May Allah bless this Imam and give him admittance into the highest palisades of the Paradise.

 His Written Legacy:

Theology

Al-Iqtisad Fil-I`tiqad. This is a book on advanced theology that itemises creed into a series of themes.

Al-`Itiqad. A short text that outlines the foundational creed as opposed to that of the cults. This was written in refutation to the rise of esoteric trends that existed in the lifetime of the author.

Ahadith ul-Masih id-Dajjal. A two volume work that collected together the available Ahadith on the False Messiah in put them under bullet pointed chapters. This was taken by Imam Ibn Kathir (d. 774 AH), may Allah have mercy upon him, and popularised.

As-Sifat. A text explaining the theology regarding the Names and Attributes of Allah.

I`tiqad ul-Imam ish-Shafi`ii. The author shows the complete agreement between all the Imams on foundational theology and particularly the Imam’s dislike for speculative theology.

Hadith

 `Umdat ul-Ahkam. This is a collection of the 500+ main Ahadith that are used for rulings in the books of fiqh. This has had dozens of commentaries and inspired Imam Ibn Hajar Al-`Asqalani, may Allah have mercy upon him, to write his text, Bulugh ul-Maram.

`Umdat ul-Ahkam il-Kubra. This is a larger and more expanded presentation than the text above. In this book, the author adds more Ahadith to the topic to enable the memoriser to put together valuable pieces of information with regard to rulings.

Al-Misbah fi `Uyun il-Ahadith is-Sihah. A text composed of 48 subsections discussing salient points around the Ahadith in the collections of Imams Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, An-Nasa’ii.

Al-Kamal fi Ma`rifat ir-Rijal. This particular book covers the names, dates of birth and death as well as reliability of the men that narrate hadith in the collections of Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’ii and Ibn Majah.

Fiqh

Sharh ul-Hidayah. This was a commentary on the fiqh text, Al-Hidayah, which was written by Imam Abul Khattab Mahfuz Al-Kalwadhani. It is in one large volume.

Tuhfat ut-Talibin fil Jihadi wal-Mujahidin. A book on warfare and particular battles of interest, particularly regarding the author’s struggles.

Tarikh

Mihnat ul-Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal. A history of the trials and tribulations the Imam underwent during the Inquisition.

Sirah

Mukhtasar Sirat in-Nabi. This is the text that is on our list to complete.

[1] The name of Jerusalem in Arabic is ‘Bait ul-Maqdis,’ which means, the ‘Holy House.’ Those who lived in that city or the smaller hamlets surrounding it took the last name Al-Maqdisi, symbolising their relation to the city. This was primarily the practice of the Hanbalī scholars, who made this name popular amongst themselves as a sign of the prestige at being born in one of the three most important cities of Islam.

[2] `Imad ud-Din Ibrahim ibn `Abdul Wahid, 543-614 AH (AD 1148-1217). As one of the major commentators on the collections of Al-Bukhari, Muslim and Abu Dawud, he specialised in hadīth codification and the history of the narrators of ahadith. He left behind some ten books in various subjects.

[3] Diya’ ud-Din Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahid, 569-643 AH (AD 1174-1245). He was a famous author, grader, verifier and codifier of ahadith, writing a commentary on the collections of Al-Bukhari and Muslim, a text which many authorities in his time consider better than the commentary that Al-Hakim wrote in his Al-Mustadrak.

[4] Shams ud-Din Ahmad  ibn `Abdul Wahid, 564-623 AH (AD 1169-1226). He traveled to the lands of Sham, Al-Bukhara and Naisabur, studying with the `ulama’ of these areas and receiving ijazahs to teach what he had learned. He and his brother, Diya’ ud-Din were both sons of Sayyidah Al-Jama`iliyyah, the older sister of Shaikh ul-Islam and the decorated war soldier of his age, Muwaffaq ud-Din Ibn Qudamah, which again showed the high rank that both branches of this Palestinian family possessed and the fact that Islam was their top priority.

[5] Abu `Uthman `Abdullah ibn `Abdul `Aziz al-Yunaini 535-617 AH (AD 1141-1220). Although perhaps the most accomplished scholar of Tasawwuf in Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Jordan, he additionally became a celebrated figure for his worship, fighting on the battlefield against the Christian invasions of the Middle East and a donor to numerous charities. He was the first to witness the Christian invasion of the Muslim world from his home city of Ba`labak (in today’s Lebanon), where he became a conscripted soldier in the Islamic army. He left behind numerous texts on devotional prayers, cultivating a more deep and meaningful relationship with Allah and how to survive the temptations of the worldly life.

[6] Shuhdah bint Abi Nasr Ahmad ibn Al-Faraj ad-Dinuri, 480-574 AH (1087-1178 AD). She was a master of hadith, fiqh, theology, as well as one of the graders of ahadith and commentatress on doctrines such as salvation, the angels and the Attributes of Allah. Although perhaps one of the most famous scholars of the city of Baghdad, she was reputed to be down to earth, accessible to all and full of compassion for the poor.

[7] Abu Muhammad `Abdur-Rahman ibn Ibrahim Al-Maqdisi, 556-624 AH (AD 1161-1227). The Imam was a general in the Islamic army that would recover Jerusalem from Christian invaders, but is renowned for his teaching and preaching doctrine and writing one of the smallest and most concise commentaries in his madhhab in history. Until now, his grave in Palestine is a popular place of visitation while he is revered among the people.

[8] Abul Fath Nasr ibn Fatyan ibn Matr an-Nahrawani, 504-583 AH (AD 1111-1187). The scholar known universally by the scholars of his time as, ‘The Advocate of Islam, the Shaikh of the Hanbalis and the faqih of Iraq,’ he was accepted wholly by the scholars of his time as perhaps the greatest male scholar of his time in Iraq without dispute. Every science that he touched made him shine and any book he wrote on every science became a best seller amongst his people. The vast majority of his books remain unpublished manuscripts in museums across the world. His most famous students were the scholars Muwaffaq ud-Din Ibn Qudamah, his two older brothers and his two older sisters.

[9] Abul Khattab Mahfudh ibn Ahmad Al-Kalwadhani, 432-510 AH (AD 1041-1116). The Imam was perhaps the greatest teacher of `Abdul Qadir ibn Musa Al-Jilani and stood shoulder to shoulder with the greatest scholars of the madhhab in his time. The khalifa of his time made him the chief Qadi for the Islamic world and often when scholars saw him, they would comment, ‘Here comes the law,’ referring to his penchant for enforcing justice. Imām al-Kalwadhāni saw no difference between prosecution for the rich or the poor.  But he was even handed, believing no one to be above the law. He left behind some 10 or more books in various sciences.

[10] `Abdul Qadir ibn Musa Al-Jilani, 471-561 AH (AD 1079-1166). He was known more for his spiritual and devotional books, although he was a highly accomplished scholar in all 18 sciences of the Revealed Law. Imam Al-Jilani wrote books in every single science of Islam, most of them being brief manuals to help the novice gain a stronger footing in the faith as well as day-to-day matters in jurisprudence.

 

Book Release: The Creed and Way of Muslim Orthodoxy

Figure 1A: For the first time in the English language, all three creeds of Muslim Orthodoxy are under one cover.
Figure 1A: For the first time in the English language, all three creeds of Muslim Orthodoxy are under one cover.

as-Salaamu `Alaikum wa Rahmatullah,

Allah has blessed us yet again to have made a three release in one book, perhaps the first of its’ kind in its’ genre. Here for the first time in English under one cover is the Creed and Way of Muslim Orthodoxy.

Featured in its’ pages are the three creeds. It begins first with the agreed upon and first creed of Muslim Orthodoxy: that of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allah be pleased with him.

Thereafter, the other two creeds of the later ages are put in their historical order, Imams Abu Mansur al-Maturidi and Abul Hasan al-Ash`ari.

These creeds, vowelled with Arabic on one page and English the other, can be used in madrasahs, ma`ahads, after school clubs, reference settings, university of college reports or even for personal enrichment by a believer or non-believer-male or female-there is something that will be of use in this manual.

We ask that Allah accept this offer from us and give us with means to do more unique and ground breaking works to serve the Ummah. Amin.

And with Allah is every success.

was-Salaam,

Al-Hajj Abu Ja`far al-Hanbali