Tag Archives: hanbali

3 RAMADAN 1442: IS THE JUMU`AH NIGHT OR LAILAT UL-QADR GREATER IN RANK? PT.1

3 Ramadan 1442

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate

And it is in Him that my success is realised.

It was narrated in the handwriting of Al-Qadi, the blessed father Abu Ya`la Muhammad ibn Al-Hussain Al-Farra’ Al-Hanbali Al-Baghdadi[1] – may Allah envelop him in His Mercy – who made the following statement:

Question

Our companions mentioned that the Jumu`ah night is more virtuous than Lailat ul-Qadr.

This was narrated by Al-Qadi Abu `Ali[2] who stated that Abul Hasan At-Tamimi[3] used to say, “Lailat ul-Qadr in which the Qur’an was sent down in is more virtuous than the night of Jumu`ah. As for the rest of the nights before or after the Lailat ul-Qadr, then the Jumu`ah night is surely more virtuous than them”.[4]


[1] d. 458 (AD1063). He is Abu Ya`la Muhammad ibn Al-Hussain ibn Muhammad ibn Khalaf ibn Ahmad ibn Al-Farra’ Al-Baghdadi. Grand marja` and spiritual father to 40 other grand maraji`, he was the first to catalogue the rise of the Ash`ari jama`ah. The Imam’s extensive teaching record and written legacy gave us a number of classics. Please see Abul Hussain’s Tabaqat ul-Hanabilah, vol.2, pp. 166-198

[2]  d. 428 (AD1042). He is Abu `Ali Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Abi Musa Al-Hashimi. Scholar of creed, fiqh and other disciplines, he wrote a text on basic creed for students. Please see Abul Hussain’s Tabaqat ul-Hanabilah, vol.3, pp. 335-341

[3] d. 371 (AD985). He is `Abdul `Aziz ibn Al-Harith ibn Asad. Faqih, Qadi and master of many sciences, he narrated three creed texts and countless fiqh rulings. Please see Abul Hussain’s Tabaqat ul-Hanabilah, vol.3, pp.347-348

[4] cf. Al-Maqdisi’s Al-Furu`, vol.5, pp.128-129

IMAM TAQI UD-DIN IBN TAYMIYYAH AND QADA’ OF SALAH

Here is the second portion of the discussion we had started some time back.

وسئل رحمه الله عن رجل من أهل القبلة ترك الصلاة مدة سنتين، ثم تاب بعد ذلك، وواظب على أدائها‏.‏ فهل يجب عليه قضاء ما فاته منها أم لا‏؟‏

Imam Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy upon him, was asked about a man from the laity who abandoned salah for a period of two years, then repented after that and was stringent in discharging the obligation. Is it compulsory for him to make qada’ of what he missed or not?[1]

فأجاب‏:‏ أما من ترك الصلاة، أو فرضًا من فرائضها، فإما أن يكون قد ترك ذلك ناسيًا له بعد علمه بوجوبه، وإما أن يكون جاهلاً بوجوبه، وإما أن يكون لعذر يعتقد معه جواز التأخير، وإما أن يتركه عالمًا عمدًا‏.‏

Imam Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah: My answer regarding the one who left the salah or one fard from it – whether he abandoned it out of forgetfulness after he knew of it being compulsory, was ignorant of it being wajib due to an excuse while thinking that it was permitted to delay it or one who left it knowingly and on purpose – is to be addressed to each of the two categories just mentioned.

فأما الناسي للصلاة، فعليه أن يصليها إذا ذكرها بسنة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم المستفيضة عنه، باتفاق الأئمة‏.‏ قال صلى الله عليه وسلم‏:‏ ‏من نام عن صلاة أو نسيها، فليصلها إذا ذكرها‏.‏ لا كفارة لها إلا ذلك‏”‏ وقد استفاض في الصحيح وغيره‏:‏ أنه نام هو وأصحابه عن صلاة الفجر في السفر فصلوها بعد ما طلعت الشمس السنة والفريضة بأذان وإقامة ‏.‏

In the case of the one who forgot the salah, he is to pray it when he remembered it as per the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, that is the indicator of that by the agreement of the Imams. So the hadith from him, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, runs, “Whoever slept through a salah or forgot it, then let him pray it when he remembered it. There is no expiation due to him for it except that”.[2] And so this is indicated in the authentic position and other than that in the narrative in which he and his Companions slept through Salat ul-Fajr on a journey. They prayed it after the sun had risen, both the sunnah prayers before and the fard salah, including giving the Adhan and the Iqamah with it.[3]

وكذلك من نسي طهارة الحدث، وصلى ناسيًا‏:‏ فعليه أن يعيد الصلاة بطهارة بلا نزاع، حتى لو كان الناسي إمامًا كان عليه أن يعيد الصلاة، ولا إعادة على المأمومين إذا لم يعلموا عند جمهور العلماء، كمالك والشافعي وأحمد في المنصوص المشهور عنه‏.‏ كما جرى لعمر وعثمان رضي الله عنهما‏.‏

And likewise, whoever forgot taharah from hadath and made salah having forgotten that, then he is to repeat the salah with taharah and this is without dispute. And the same ruling holds whether he was praying alone or the imam, thus he is to repeat the salah; but it is not required for the followers of the imam to repeat it when they did not know about him having taharah and this is according to the vast majority of scholars, such as Imams Malik, Ash-Shafi`ii and Ahmad in popularly known and explicit texts from him. And this was the methodology adopted by the Companions `Umar ibn Al-Khattab and `Uthman ibn `Affan, may Allah be pleased with both of them.

وأما من نسى طهارة الخبث، فإنه لا إعادة عليه في مذهب مالك وأحمد في أصح الروايتين عنه، والشافعي في أحد قوليه؛ لأن هذا من باب فعل المنهى عنه، وتلك من باب ترك المأمور به، ومن فعل ما نهى عنه ناسيًا فلا إثم عليه بالكتاب والسنة‏.‏

In the case of the one who forgot to make taharah from impurities, then there is no repeat of the salah due to him based upon the madhhab of Imam Malik, Imam Ahmad in the most authentic of the two narratives from him and Imam Ash-Shafi`ii in one of the two narratives mentioned of him. This is due to the fact that this is part of the subject heading of actions forbidden from and leaving something he was commanded while whoever did this out of forgetfulness, there is no sin upon this one according to the Book and the Sunnah.

كما جاءت به السنة فيمن أكل في رمضان ناسيًا‏.‏ وهو مذهب أبي حنيفة والشافعي وأحمد‏.‏ وطرد ذلك فيمن تكلم في الصلاة ناسيًا، ومن تطيب ولبس ناسيًا، كما هو مذهب الشافعي وأحمد في إحدى الروايتين عنه‏.‏وكذلك من فعل المحلوف عليه ناسيًا كما هو أحد القولين عن الشافعي وأحمد‏.‏

And this is what has been brought in the Sunnah in the case of the one who ate forgetfully in the month of Ramadan when he should be discharging his sawm. And this is the madhhab of Imams Abu Hanifah, Ash-Shafi`ii and Ahmad. And the same thing goes for the one who spoke forgetfully in salah, who put on sent and wore sewn cloths on hajj forgetfully. And this is the ruling of the madhhab of Imams Ash-Shafi`ii and Ahmad ibn Hanbal in one of the narratives listed from him. And likewise, whoever made an oath forgetfully it is the same according to two rulings from Imams Ash-Shafi`ii and Ahmad.

وهنا مسائل تنازع العلماء فيها‏:‏ مثل من نسى الماء في رحله وصلى بالتيمم، وأمثال ذلك ليس هذا موضع تفصيلها‏.‏ وأما من ترك الصلاة جاهلاً بوجوبها مثل من أسلم في دار الحرب، ولم يعلم أن الصلاة واجبة عليه، فهذه المسألة للفقهاء فيها ثلاثة أقوال‏.‏ وجهان في مذهب أحمد‏:‏

Herein lie some issues in which the scholars differ, for example the one who forgot to pack water in his travel gear and made salah with tayammum. And there are other examples like this that are expounded upon in another place. As for the one who abandoned the salah out of ignorance of its wajib nature, for example someone who became Muslim in Dar ul-Harb[4] and didn’t know that the salah was wajib for him, then there are some three statements of the scholars of fiqh on the matter, two of which are from the madhhab of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal:

أحدها‏:‏ عليه الإعادة مطلقًا‏.‏ وهو قول الشافعي، وأحد الوجهين في مذهب أحمد‏.‏

Firstly, the one in this case would have to repeat the salah without any exception to the rule. And this is the statement of Imam Ash-Shafi`ii and one of the positions of the school of Imam Ahmad.

والثانى‏:‏ عليه الإعادة إذا تركها بدار الإسلام دون دار الحرب‏.‏ وهو مذهب أبى حنيفة؛ لأن دار الحرب دار جهل، يعذر فيه، بخلاف دار الإسلام‏.‏

Secondly, he must repeat the salah, if he abandoned it in Dar ul-Islam but not Dar ul-Harb and this is the madhhab of Imam Abu Hanifah. The reason for this is that Dar ul-Harb is a place of ignorance in which one is excused, that not being the case for Dar ul-Islam.

والثالث‏:‏ لا إعادة عليه مطلقًا‏.‏ وهو الوجه الثانى في مذهب أحمد، وغيره‏.‏ وأصل هذين الوجهين‏:‏ أن حكم الشارع،

Thirdly, there is no repeat of the salah required of him without any exception to the rule. This is the second position of the madhhab of Imam Ahmad and others. The foundation of these two positions is the judgement of the Lawgiver.

هل يثبت في حق المكلف قبل بلوغ الخطاب له، فيه ثلاثة أقوال في مذهب أحمد، وغيره‏:‏

Now then, is the same ruling held in the case of the adult before the information about the ruling has reached him? There are three statements on this matter in the madhhab of Imam Ahmad and those besides:

أحدها‏:‏ يثبت مطلقًا‏.‏

The first statement is that the matter is established without any exception to the rule.

والثانى‏:‏ لا يثبت مطلقًا‏.‏

The second statement is that the matter is not established without any exception to the rule.

والثالث‏:‏ يثبت حكم الخطاب المبتدأ دون الخطاب الناسخ، كقضية أهل قباء، وكالنزاع المعروف في الوكيل إذا عزل‏.‏ فهل يثبت حكم العزل في حقه قبل العلم‏.‏

The third statement is that it is established by the first ruling given and not a statement to come after, such as the ruling that came to the people of Quba’ for the change of the Qiblah or the well-known dispute regarding the matter of the trustee when he does `azl and whether or not the ruling of the `azl is binding before the knowledge has reached him.[5]

وعلى هذا، لو ترك الطهارة الواجبة لعدم بلوغ النص‏.‏ مثل أن يأكل لحم الإبل ولا يتوضأ، ثم يبلغه النص، ويتبين له وجوب الوضوء، أو يصلي في أعطان الإبل ثم يبلغه، ويتبين له النص، فهل عليه إعادة ما مضى‏؟‏ فيه قولان هما روايتان عن أحمد‏.‏

And upon this ruling is others that follow the same methodology. So if one abandoned the wajib taharah as no text had reached in on the topic – like in the matter of one eating camel meat without having made wudu,’ then the explicit text reached him and it became clear to him that the wudu’ is wajib at this point, or he made salah at the place where camels are corralled and then a text reached him on the topic and the explicit text became clear to him – is such a one required to repeat the taharah and/or salah that had passed? There are two statements narrated from Imam Ahmad on the topic. 

ونظيره أن يمس ذكره ويصلي، ثم يتبين له وجوب الوضوء من مس الذكر‏.‏ والصحيح في جميع هذه المسائل عدم وجوب الإعادة؛ لأن الله عفا عن الخطأ والنسيان، ولأنه قال‏:‏

And of a similar capacity is the one who touched his penis with skin-to-skin contact and made salah and then it became clear to him that it is wajib to make wudu’ from touching the penis with skin-to-skin contact. The authentic position in all of these matters is that one is not required to repeat any of the above mentioned as Allah has pardoned from the mistake and forgetfulness as He said,

‏{‏وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِينَ حَتَّى نَبْعَثَ رَسُولاً‏}‏ ‏[‏الإسراء‏:‏ 15‏]‏‏.‏

And We do not punish until a messenger is sent[6]

فمن لم يبلغه أمر الرسول في شيء معين، لم يثبت حكم وجوبه عليه؛ ولهذا لم يأمر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم عمر وعمارًا لما أجنبا فلم يصل عمر، وصلى عمار بالتمرغ أن يعيد واحد منهما،

So whoever did not have reach him the command of the messenger in the specific thing, the ruling of it being wajib upon him is not established. And it is due to this that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, did not command `Umar and `Ammar to repeat one of the salah times one of them was unsure of so `Umar did not pray it while `Ammar prayed with the understanding that he would repeat one of them.

وكذلك لم يأمر أبا ذر بالإعادة لما كان يجنب ويمكث أياما لا يصلي، وكذلك لم يأمر من أكل من الصحابة حتى يتبين له الحبل الأبيض من الحبل الأسود بالقضاء، كما لم يأمر من صلى إلى بيت المقدس قبل بلوغ النسخ لهم بالقضاء‏.‏

And furthermore he, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, did not order Abu Dhar Al-Ghifari to repeat the salah when he was junub and remained for some days without having made salah. And furthermore, the Companions that continued on eating until the eastern light could be discerned were not commanded to make qada’ of the fast.[7] And also he, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, did not command the one who had made salah facing Jerusalem before the revelation reached him to make qada’ of that worship.[8] 

ومن هذا الباب‏:‏ ‏[‏المستحاضة‏]‏ إذا مكثت مدة لا تصلى لاعتقادها عدم وجوب الصلاة عليها، ففى وجوب القضاء عليها قولان‏:‏

And part of the same subject is the woman who has post cycle bleeding when she remained and did not pray for a period of time as she thought that the salah was not wajib for her. In the case of a woman in this circumstance, there are two statements on the topic:

أحدهما‏:‏ لا إعادة عليها‏.‏ كما نقل عن مالك وغيره؛ لأن المستحاضة التي قالت للنبى صلى الله عليه وسلم‏:‏ إنى حضت حيضة شديدة كبيرة منكرة منعتنى الصلاة والصيام، أمرها بما يجب في المستقبل، ولم يأمرها بقضاء صلاة الماضى ‏.‏

One ruling is that there is no repeat of the salah due for her as has been narrated from Imams Malik and others besides. This is because there was someone with post cycle bleeding who said to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, “Indeed I have a very heavy cycle and painful cycle that prevents me from salah and siyam”. So he, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, ordered her what to do from that point in the future and he did not command her to make qada’ of the previous salah.[9]

وقد ثبت عندى بالنقل المتواتر أن في النساء والرجال بالبوادى وغير البوادى من يبلغ ولا يعلم أن الصلاة عليه واجبة، بل إذا قيل للمرأة‏:‏ صلى، تقول‏:‏ حتى أكبر وأصير عجوزة، ظانة أنه لا يخاطب بالصلاة إلا المرأة الكبيرة، كالعجوز ونحوها‏.‏ وفى أتباع الشيوخ طوائف كثيرون لا يعلمون أن الصلاة واجبة عليهم،

So it is established to me[10] according to mass transmitted affairs regarding the men and women – in the Bedouin encampments and other remote areas – that did not have reach them the knowledge that the salah was wajib upon them, or even if it was said to the woman to make salah and she said, “I won’t until I get older and I reach senior age,” thinking that the command to make salah was only given to the adult woman that is elderly and the like and there are people who follow shaikhs in large number that don’t know the salah is wajib upon them.

فهؤلاء لا يجب عليهم في الصحيح قضاء الصلوات، سواء قيل‏:‏ كانوا كفارًا، أو كانوا معذورين بالجهل‏.‏ وكذلك من كان منافقًا زنديقًا يظهر الإسلام ويبطن خلافه، وهو لا يصلي، أو يصلي أحيانًا بلا وضوء، أو لا يعتقد وجوب الصلاة، فإنه إذا تاب من نفاقه وصلى، فإنه لا قضاء عليه عند جمهور العلماء‏.‏

The authentic position for these people is that there is no qada’ of salah due for them – whether it is held that they were kuffar[11] or excused by gross ignorance – and likewise is the case of the one who was a munafiq apostate[12] who manifested Islam but internally was opposite to that. He would not make salah or make salah sometimes without even wudu’ or maybe he did not have firm conviction of the wajib nature of salah. So when he repented from his nifaq and made salah, there is no qada’ upon him based upon the vast majority of the scholars.[13]

والمرتد الذي كان يعتقد وجوب الصلاة، ثم ارتد عن الإسلام، ثم عاد، لا يجب عليه قضاء ما تركه حال الردة عند جمهور العلماء كمالك وأبي حنيفة وأحمد في ظاهر مذهبه

In the case of the murtad who had firm conviction of the wajib nature of the salah, then apostate from Islam, then returned, there is no qada’ upon him from what he left at the time of his riddah according to the vast majority of scholars, like Imams Malik ibn Anas, Abu Hanifah and Ahmad in the dominant statement of his school.

فإن المرتدين الذين ارتدوا على عهد النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم كعبد الله بن سعد بن أبى سرح، وغيره مكثوا على الكفر مدة ثم أسلموا، ولم يأمر أحدًا منهم بقضاء ما تركوه‏.‏ وكذلك المرتدون على عهد أبى بكر لم يؤمروا بقضاء صلاة، ولا غيرها‏.‏

This is the case as indeed the apostates who left the Religion in the time of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, like `Abdullah ibn Sa`d ibn Abi Sarh and others and were upon kufr for some time and then came into Islam again, these are not commanded to make qada’ according to what they left. And likewise the apostates in the time of Abu Bakr were not commanded to make qada’ of any salah nor other things besides.


وأما من كان عَالِمًا بوجوبها وتركها بلا تأويل حتى خرج وقتها الموقت، فهذا يجب عليه القضاء عند الأئمة الأربعة، وذهب طائفة منهم ابن حزم وغيره إلى أن فعلها بعد الوقت لا يصح من هؤلاء، وكذلك قالوا فيمن ترك الصوم متعمدًا‏.‏ والله سبحانه وتعالى أعلم‏.‏

In the case of the one who knew of its wajib nature and abandoned it without any interpretation until the stipulated time ran out, this one is required to make qada’ of that salah as per the statement of the Four Imams. One group – among them Ibn Hazm and other than him – held the position that to do the salah after its time has elapsed is not valid from there people. And they said the same thing about the one who left the sawm intentionally. And Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, knows best.

وسئل رحمه الله عن رجل عليه صلوات كثيرة فاتته، هل يصليها بسننها‏؟‏ أم الفريضة وحدها‏؟‏ وهل تقضى في سائر الأوقات من ليل أو نهار‏؟‏

And he (Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah), may Allah have mercy upon him, was asked about a man who had missed many salah and whether or not he should pray them with their optional prayers as well? Or should he pray the compulsory salah alone? Shall he make them at the times in the night or the daytime?

فأجاب‏:‏ المسارعة إلى قضاء الفوائت الكثيرة أولى من الاشتغال عنها بالنوافل، وأما مع قلة الفوائت فقضاء السنن معها حسن

He (Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah), answered in the following way: He should quickly go to make qada’ of missed salah that are in a large number and this takes precedence over busying oneself with the optional prayers associated with them. In the case of the one who only has a small number of compulsory salah to make up, then he should make up the compulsory salah and their associated sunan as well and this is good.

فإن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لما نام هو وأصحابه عن الصلاة صلاة الفجر عام حنين، قضوا السنة والفريضة‏.‏ ولما فاتته الصلاة يوم الخندق قضى الفرائض بلا سنن‏.‏ والفوائت المفروضة تقضى في جميع الأوقات؛ فإن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏:‏ ‏”‏من أدرك ركعة من الفجر قبل أن تطلع الشمس فليصل إليها أخرى‏”‏‏.‏ والله‏‏ أعلم‏.‏

 Indeed the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and his Companions slept through the salah of Salat ul-Fajr in the year of Hunain. They made qada’ of the optional and compulsory salah. And in the Battle of the Trench, when they missed the `Asr, they made the qada’ of the compulsory salah and not the optional. Making up the compulsory salah can be done at any time as the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Whoever is able to catch one rak`ah of the Fajr salah before the sun rises, then let him pray it and whatever else”.[14] And Allah knows best.

وسئل‏:‏أيما أفضل صلاة النافلة‏؟‏ أم القضاء‏؟‏

He (Imam Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah) was asked about what is better to do, the optional salah or salah that are to be made up?

فأجاب‏:‏ إذا كان عليه قضاء واجب، فالاشتغال به أولى من الاشتغال بالنوافل التي تشغل عنه‏.‏

He (Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah) answered: when someone has a wajib salah to make qada’ of, then to busy oneself with doing that takes precedence over doing the optional prayers.[15]


[1] This ruling is rare and divergent and not to be acted upon and classed among the rare rulings as mentioned by Imam Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali in which he classified this ruling, among others, as rare, divergent and strange. Please see Ibn Rajab’s Adh-Dhailu `ala Tabaqat il-Hanabilah, vol.4, pp.332-334. The strange thing about this is that fake students of knowledge and scholars will site the final portion of the ruling and not the underlying reasons.

[2] Ash-Shami, Al-Jami` bain As-Sahihain: Al-Bukhari and Muslim, Section 3: Al-`Ibadat, vol.1, pp.488-491

[3] This occurred after the Battle of Hunain. Please see Imam `Abdul Malik ibn Hisham’s As-Sirat un-Nabawiyyah, vol.4, pp.60-89

[4] The Imam’s usuli principle for this is the fact that Dar ul-Harb has no laws, as it is a place in which the Muslims and kuffar are battling in which the laws dominant over it in the end will change it to Dar ul-Islam or Dar ul-Kufr respectively.

[5] This is before revelation was given regarding this matter. The Imam, in making ijtihad on this part, is using this understanding as a proof of when there is lack of revelation – either through presence or knowledge – that one is not responsible. And this is a rare and divergent ruling to hold in all cases.  

[6] Surat ul-Isra’ (17), ayah 15

[7] This was before the revelation of the ayah in which distinguishing these affairs was commanded.

[8] This was before the revelation of the ayah commanding the change of the Qiblah.

[9] This was before the revelation on the topic and also due to the fact of the distinguishing characteristics between the monthly cycle and post cycle bleeding.

[10] Notice that he has built the ruling and his ijtihad upon his unique understanding of the texts before, thus what comes after is couched in this understanding.

[11] Notice the statement here in which he referred to those in question as apostates for not discharging it. The people that want to take hold of this ruling need to understand that when you try to implement this ruling, you are not only trying to “find ease” but you are also putting yourself under the ruling of riddah, which affects the laws of inheritance, whether the marriage is valid, children are born in wedlock, one’s property stays in possession and much, much more. Rather than looking to “find ease” in these “bewildering times” perhaps those in question should try to digest the fatwa before jumping to wild conclusions that have real consequences.  

[12] Ar. murtadd. The act of someone becoming an apostate is called riddah (Ar. apostasy). These matters have been defined for us and made clear, so the Ummah has not been left stranded with regard to fundamentals of saving faith and what destroys. Let us examine some of the words of our teachers through the ages.

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d. 241 (AD 855), may Allah be pleased with him, remarked, “So the apostate is asked to repent for three days. If he repents, the matter is resolved, but if not he is to be killed, based upon the Hadith mentioned from `Umar ibn Al-Khattab in this regard. It was narrated to us that Muhammad narrated from his father that a man disbelieved after his Islam, and he was killed. News of this reached `Umar, who remarked, ‘Why did they not jail him for three days and go to meet him with flat bread so that he might repent? The matter would then be returned to that of Allah, Mighty and Majestic’.” `Abdullah asked his father about a man who said, “Son of so and so, away with you and who created you!” Imam Ahmad remarked, “This is an apostate from Islam.” `Abdullah asked if he should be executed, to which Imam Ahmad replied in the affirmative. When asked about the ruling on someone who cursed or insulted the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, Imam Ahmad said that the person should be executed as an apostate. Taken from Masa’il ul-Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, pp. 430-432. When asked about the limits of the judicial rulings being carried out, Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal said the following, “Three things are necessary for the judicial rulings to be carried out on someone, namely that he: 1) has had his first wet dream, 2) has grown the rough hairs on the underarms and pubic region and 3) the one who has reached 15 years of age. These are all the boundaries. This was narrated from the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, so whoever has come to this point may have judicial rulings carried out on him if he should steal, commit fornication and so forth.” Please see Masa’il ul-Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, pp. 431-432.

Imam Abul Qasim al-Khiraqi (d. 334 (AD 946), may Allah be pleased with him, says of apostasy, “Whoever apostated from Islam – man or woman – who is sane and has reached 15 years of age, is called back to faith for three days and is reminded of the time with constraints put on him regarding the matter. If he should repent, then the matter is resolved, but if he does not he is to be killed. His wealth is treated as wealth taken in war once any outstanding debts are paid from it. The same holds true for the one who left the prayer and was called to it for three days. If he should repent the matter is resolved, but if he does not, he is to be killed whether he denied it being compulsory or not. The meat sacrificed by the apostate is impermissible for consumption, even if he apostated to Judaism or Christianity.” Mukhtasar ul-Khiraqi, pp. 189-190

Al-Qadi Abu Ya`la al-Baghdadi the Elder (d. 458 (AD 1066), may Allah be pleased with him, stated the apostate as, “Allah the Exalted has said, Whoever disbelieves in the faith has nullified his deeds. Surat ul-Ma’idah (5), ayah 5. The apostate is to be asked to repent and given a period of three days. If he repents, the matter is resolved, but if not, he is killed. The apostate who is female is killed after seeking her repentance for three days, the same as the man. The repentance of the unrepentant apostate is not accepted; this apostate is defined as the one who conceals kufr, but manifests Islam. There is another narration that states his repentance is accepted.” Al-Jami` us-Saghir fil Fiqh, pp. 304-305

Imam Mahfuz al-Kalwadhani (d. 510 (AD 1116), may Allah be pleased with him, mentioned the apostate as one who, “Does not have firm conviction of the compulsory nature of the five prayers, the impermissiblity of intoxicants, fornication or adultery, homosexuality, usury and whatever is like that, which is agreed upon as being compulsory; one in that situation is an unbeliever. Whoever abandoned the act of prayer while believing that it is compulsory without an excuse has become an unbeliever according to one ruling, and the same is the case for Zakah, Hajj and other obligations. Whoever curses Allah, His Messenger, it is necessary that he be killed and his repentance is not accepted according to one ruling, although in another ruling it is accepted.” Al-Hidayah, vol.1, pp. 150-151. Further to this, he mentions, “It is compulsory that the apostate is asked to repent and after the statement he is given a reprieve for three days according to one narration, but in another narration it is not necessary to give three days, although it is praiseworthy.” Al-Hidayah, vol.1, pp. 150-151

Imam Muwaffaq ud-Din Ibn Qudamah (d. 620 (AD 1223), may Allah be pleased with him, ruled, “Whoever commits apostasy from Islam – male or female – it is compulsory that they be killed, based upon the words of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, ‘Whoever changed his faith, then kill him’. He is not killed until he is asked to repent for three days. If he should repent, the matter is resolved. If not, then he is killed with the sword. Whoever denied Allah, made a partner, consort, son for Him or denied Allah the Exalted, cursed Him, or denied His Messenger, the Book of Allah or something from it, one of the pillars of Islam has also committed apostasy. The same holds true for someone who made the impermissible to be permissible, although the Consensus on it is clear, this one is also guilty of apostasy. The exception would be if this knowledge of what is compulsory or impermissible was not known to him. It that case, he would be told and made to know it. If after that, he did not accept the principle, then he has commited kufr and disbelieved.” Al-`Umdah fi Fiqh il-Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, pp. 108-109. The Imam stated on another occasion, “The apostate is the one who rejected faith after his Islam. Whoever should commit idolatry with Allah, deny his Lordship or Uniqueness and Oneness or one of His Attributes, or declares that Allah has taken a consort of son, has apostated. The same holds for the one who denied a prophet, one of the Books of Allah the Exalted or anything from it, or cursed Allah or His Messenger, all these have commited kufr. Whoever denies the compulsory nature of the five prayers or something from them or declares fornication or adultery, intoxicants or something clearly agreed upon as such is an unbeliever, unless they are ignorant of it, but they are made to know this matter, but if the person is not ignorant of the matter, that is kufr. The one who abandons some of the five prayers due to laziness is not called an unbeliever, but in one instance narrated by Imam Ahmad he is called an unbeliever. It is only Hajj that if one delays they are not an unbeliever in this regard. Whoever should apostate from Islam – man or woman – while he is sane and has reached 15 years of age, is called to the faith for three days with constraints put upon him and reminded of the time. If the person does not repent, he is killed. Imam Ahmad mentioned that sometimes it is not compulsory to ask the person to repent, but it is praiseworthy to do so. It is perfectly permissible to kill the apostate without asking for the repentance. He is killed with the sword by no one except the Imam or his representative.” Al-Muqni` fi Fiqh il-Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, 447-448. He further said, “Apostasy results by either denying the two testimonies of faith or just one of them, cursing Allah the Exalted or His Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, slandering the mother of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, or denying the Book of Allah, Exalted be He, or something from it, one of His Prophets or one of His Books, or some compulsory thing that is clearly agreed upon, like the five prayers. One also apostates if they do that which is impermissible and agrees that it is permissible, like intoxicants, pork, meat found dead, blood, fornication or adultery, and such things as that. If the person is ignorant of that or is new to Islam, or has just recovered from an episode of insanity, they do not disbelieve. They are made to know the ruling and the evidence, and then if they remain in denial they have become an unbeliever. The reason for him becoming an unbeliever is that the evidences are for such clear matters that are openly details in the Book of Allah, the Sunnah of His Messenger, so there is no one who would deny them except that they are denying the Book fo Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger.” Al-Kafi fi Fiqh il-Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol.4, pp. 73-74

Imam Baha’ ud-Din al-Maqdisi (d. 624 (AD 1227), may Allah be pleased with him, made a clear statement, “Whoever apostated from Islam, male or female, it is compulsory that they are killed, based upon the statement of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, ‘Whoever changed his faith, then kill him’. This is collected by Imams Al-Bukhari and Muslim. The People of Knowledge have made Consensus that it is compulsory to kill the apostates as was related by Abu Bakr, `Umar, `Uthman, `Ali, Mu`adh, Abu Musa al-Ash`ari, Ibn `Abbas, Khalid ibn Al-Walid, may Allah be pleased with all of them, and as no one denied it, this is Consensus.” The Imam stated at another point, “Whoever denied Allah, Glorified be He, after affirming Him, and then apostated as he does not worship a god, or whoever made a partner for Him then he is an idol worshipper and not one who believes in the Oneness and Uniqueness of Allah. The same ruling applies to the one who made a rival for Him or declared for Allah a son, he has lied on Allah the Exalted as well. The one who cursed Him or denied His Messenger or cursed him, this one has denied Allah the Exalted and does not consider obedience to Him compulsory. Whoever denied a prophet then he has disbelieved, based upon the words of the Glorified One, Those who disbelieve in Allah, His Messengers and intend by that they divide between Allah and His Messengers by saying, ‘We believe in a part and disbelieve in a part’, and desire to take a way between that, these are the true unbelievers.” Surat un-Nisa’ (4), ayah 150. Likewise, the one who denies the Book of Allah or something from it has become an unbeliever as he is denying Allah the Exalted and renouncing Him. Allah the Exalted has said, The Messenger has believed in what was sent down to him from his Lord, and the believers do as well. Each one believes in Allah, His Angels, His Books and His Messengers. Surat ul-Baqarah (2), ayah 285. Whoever denies one of the pillars of Islam, or makes permissible something that by Consensus is known to be impermissible, he has denied Allah and His Messenger, as the evidence of that is already clearly explained in the Book and the Sunnah, so they would not be concealed from the Muslims and no one would deny these except someone who denied Allah and His Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. The exception would be where one did not have this knowledge of the compsulsory and impermissible things. Such a person should be made aware of these things and if he does not accept it, he has become an unbeliever. A person who has such knowledge concealed from him may be a new Muslim or he was raised in a land far away from the Muslims, so he would be taught and made to know these things. If he should accept after that, then the matter is resolved, but if not, then he is killed as an apostate. As for the one who is living among the Muslims like this, in such a situation he would be an unbeliever and asked to repent. If he repented, the matter would be resolved, but if he did not he would be killed. The reason is that affirmation of all these matters is clear in the Book and the Sunnah, so to reject it or be grossly unaware would be to deny Allah and His Messenger. The person in that case would disbelieve, just as we said of one denying one of the pillars of Islam.” Al-`Uddah Sharh ul-`Umdah, pp.644-645

Imam Majd ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 653 (AD 1255), may Allah be pleased with him, defined apostasy and the ruling on it as, “The one who became an unbeliever after his Islam. Whoever ascribes a partner to Allah, denies His Lordship, one of His Attributes, one of His Books, Messengers, curses Allah or His Messenger, then he is an unbeliever. Whoever due to ignorance denies the compulsory nature of the five prayers, or the impermissibility of fornication or adultery, intoxicants, or denies the permissibility of meat, bread and other things that are are clearly agreed upon rulings, he is made to know and accept them. As for the one who is not ignorant, then he disbelieves due to the rejection. Whoever abandoned the compulsory prayer, zakah, fasting or Hajj out of laziness, with the firm determination that he will never do it or he delays it for a year, as in the case of Hajj when he had the ability to do so, this one is asked to repent as an apostate would as well. If he insists on that then he is killed as a judicial punishment and warning to others, while there is another position that he is killed as an unbeliever. This ruling has been narrated by Abu Bakr `Abdul `Aziz and is his clear choice in ruling. There is one position from Imam Ahmad that he disbelieves in the abandoned prayer, along with another ruling that this includes zakah, when the Imam fights him to pay it. Imam Ahmad stated on another occasion that there is a time when he does not become an unbeliever or commit kufr due to this, just as he is not fought due to fasting or Hajj. The sane person who has reached 15 years of age and has apostated is ordered to repent for three days with constraints put upon him and reminded of the time. If he does not become a Muslim, he is killed with the sword; as for whether asking him to repent for three days is compulsory or merely praiseworthy, then there are two rulings in this regard.” Al-Muharrar fil-Fiqh `ala Madhhab il-Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol.2, pp. 166-167

Imam Shams ud-Din Ibn Qudamah (d. 682 (AD 1283), may Allah be pleased with him, one of the depended upon commentators on the text, Al-Muqni`, narrates the exact same ruling as his uncle, Imam Muwaffaq ud-Din Ibn Qudamah. Ash-Sharh ul-Kabir, vol.1, pp. 783-784

Imam Shams ud-Din Muhammad ibn Muflih (d. 763 (AD 1362), one of the commentators on Al-Muqni`, stated, “Whoever disbelieved after his Islam, willingly or jokingly, some say willingly while some say even if it is by force, the truth is the first. The apostate is so as he has associated partners with Allah the Exalted, or denied an attribute. It was mentioned in Al-Fusul that it is agreed that someone apostates by denying something clearly affirmed or one of His Books, Messengers or cursing Him. Apostasy also results if he claims prophethood. Our shaikh, Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah said, ‘Someone also apostates if he shows hatred for His Messenger or any of what he came with of revelation that is agreed upon. Apostasy would also occur by his refusing to hate evil in his heart, denying a clear ruling that is agreed upon, such as one of the five daily prayers or the impermissibility of intoxicants and such things. Someone who is not ignorant of these matters would commit apostasy if he had such beliefs’. Our shaikh, Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah, also said, ‘Based upon this understanding, the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, did not regard as an unbeliever the man who doubted the Power of Allah and His Ability to resurrect him, as this was before the message had reached him’. There is also the statement of `A’ishah in which she said, Messenger of Allah, whatever the people conceal, Allah surely knows it. He responded in the affirmative. This is collected by Imam Muslim in his Jami` us-Sahih under the Book of Funerals. Imam Muslim in that narration did not have the words, he said, and Imam Yahya an-Nawawi, in his commentary on the collection mentioned that it is as if `A’ishah had said these words to confirm herself and she had replied in the affirmative’.” Kitab ul-Furu`, vol.6, pp. 156-157

Imam Muhammad ibn `Abdullah az-Zarkashi al-Masri (d. 774 (AD 1372), may Allah be pleased with him, one of the depended upon commentators, ‘the great 400’, who explained the Mukhtasir of Imam Al-Khiraqi, mentioned that the apostate in the Revealed Law refers to, “The one who leaves from the religion of Islam to the religion of kufr. The principle that underlines this is where the Glorifed One said, Whoever among you apostates from his faith, dies while he is an unbeliever, Surat ul-Baqarah (2), ayah 217. There is also the authentic Hadith of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, where he said, ‘Whoever changes his religion, then kill him.’ Allah knows best. Whoever apostates from his faith – male or female – while being at the age of 15 years and doing so willingly, is called back to Islam for three days. Constraints are put on him and he is reminded of the time. If he should return to the faith, the matter is resolved, but if he does not return to the faith, he is killed.” Sharh uz-Zarkashi `ala Mukhtasar il-Khiraqi, vol.6, pp. 232-233

Imam Burhan ud-Din Ibn Muflih (d. 884 (AD 1479), may Allah be pleased with him, explained the apostate as being one who, “rejected faith after his Islam. Whoever should commit idolatry with Allah, deny his Lordship or Uniqueness and Oneness or one of His Attributes, or declare that Allah has taken a consort of son, has apostated. The same holds for the one who denied a prophet, one of the Books of Allah the Exalted or anything from it, or cursed Allah or His Messenger, all these have commited kufr. Whoever denies the compulsory nature of the five prayers or something from them, or declares fornication or adultery, intoxicants or something clearly agreed upon as such is an unbeliever unless they are ignorant of it, but they are made to know this matter, but if the person is not ignorant of the matter, that is kufr. The one who abandons something of the five prayers due to laziness is not called an unbeliever, but in one instance narrated by Imam Ahmad he is called an unbeliever. It is only Hajj if one delays, they are not an unbeliever in this regard. Whoever should apostate from Islam – man or woman – while he is sane and has reached 15 years of age, is called to the faith for three days with constraints put upon him and reminded of the time. If the person does not repent, he is killed.” Al-Mubdi` Sharh il-Muqni`, vol.8, pp. 478-480

Imam `Ala’ ud-Din `Ali ibn Sulaiman al-Mardawi (d. 885 (AD 1480), one of the depended upon commentators on the text Al-Muqni`, leaves no doubt regarding the topic of apostasy. “Whoever should commit idolatry with Allah, deny his Lordship or Uniqueness and Oneness, or one of His Attributes or declares that Allah has taken a consort of son has apostated. The same holds for the one who denied a prophet, one of the Books of Allah the Exalted or anything from it, or cursed Allah or His Messenger, all these have commited kufr and there is no dispute in the sentence given at all. The intent expressed is that when someone does any of these things willingly or jokingly, apostasy results. This is after he has become a Muslim willingly while someone said it can be held that this is the case even for someone who became a Muslim under duress.” Al-Insaf Fi Ma`rifat ul-Khilaf `ala Madhhab il-Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol.10, pp. 236-237

Imam Musa ibn Ahmad al-Hajjawi (d. 968 (AD 1561), may Allah be pleased with him, proclaimed the apostate as, “The one who disbelieved after his Islam. Whoever associated partners with Allah, denied His Lordship or His Uniqueness and Oneness, or cursed Allah or cursed His Messenger, has disbelieved. Whoever denied the impermissiblity of intoxicants or something that is clearly agreed upon as impermissible and is not ignorant, he is an unbeliever, but the one who is ignorant is made to know about these things so he can accept them. Anyone who has reached the age of 15 years and willingly apostates from Islam – male or female – is called to Islam for three days and is reminded of the time, with constraints being put on him regarding the matter. If he did not become a Muslim after that time, he is killed with the sword. Whoever cursed Allah and His Messenger, his repentance is not accepted, the same being the case for the one who repeatedly apostated. Such a one in that situation is killed under any circumstance. The repentance of every apostate or unbeliever to enter the faith is by testifying that there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. As for the one who disbelieved by denying some compulsory matter, his return to Islam is with the two testimonies of faith and affirming that which had been denied, or he would have to say words like, ‘I declare myself innocent and free from any religion that contradicts Islam’.” Zad ul-Mustaqni` fi Ikhtisar il-Muqni`, pp. 142-143

Imam Mar`ii ibn Yusuf Al-Karmi (d. 1033 (AD 1624) and the commentator on his text, Imam `Abdul Qadir At-Taghlabi (d. 1133 (AD 1721), may Allah be pleased with both of them, state with authority on the topic of apostasy, “The apostate in the Revealed Law refers to the one who disbelieved after his Islam, which also applies to the one who has reached seven yars of age and does so by speech, belief, suspicion or action, whether by an act of obedience or jokingly. There are three types of this unbelief: 1) Cursing Allah, Blessed and Exalted, or cursing His Messenger or any other messenger, the angels, which is kufr, for if he has cursed one of them it means he has rejected or denied that one, or rejected the Lordship of Allah the Exalted or His Oneness and Uniqueness, or one of His Books or one of His Attributes that is necessarily known for Him, like life or knowledge, or he denies one of His Messengers or the angels who are affirmed and established as being His Messengers and Angels. The one who does any of this has commited kufr as mentioned in the Qur’an, and denial of any of that is just like denial of all of it, as one is the same as denying all in principle in the sight of Allah the Exalted, or if he should deny the necessity of one of the five prayers and purification, or if he claims prophethood or believes the claim of someone else proclaiming prophethood, then all that is kufr, as he is denying Allah, Glorified and Exalted, by His Words, But he is the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets. Surat ul-Ahzab (33), ayah 40. There is also the statement of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, ‘The Hour will not come until there shall appear 30 liars, every one of them claiming that he is a messenger of Allah’. It is also apostasy if he should claim that there is a partner or consort for Him, Glorified and Exalted be He. 2) If someone commits an act that indicates apostasy like prostrating to an idol, the sun, moon or such things, as this is idolatry and Allah the Exalted has already mentioned this: Allah does not forgive partners being associated with Him, but He forgives whatever is besides that to whomever He wills. Surat un-Nisa’ (4), ayah 48 3). Having the creed or belief in which there is a partner for Him, Glorified and Exalted be He, or believing that fornication or adultery, intoxicants are permissible, this is kufr, and so is the belief that things like bread, meat or water are impermissible or anything that has been agreed upon by clear Consensus its being permissible or impermissible. 3) Doubting or having suspicion in anything of the matters of faith. In the case where someone does this and he is not like a forgetful person living in the villages of Islam, then it is kufr, as it is denying Him, Glorified and Exalted be He, and His Messenger and the rest of the Ummah. The one who apostates – male or female – at the age of 15 and with full sanity is called back to Islam and told to repent for three days, as this is compulsory. The three days of commanding repentance is because it is possible he could rectify himself in that time and he cannot be judged before trying to do so. The three days are only given because apostasy happens due to some doubt raised, and it is not always clear at the time, thus it is compulsory that he look at the situation for a period of time and reflect on it, and this is certainly more so in the case of apostasy and being given three days and time constraints. The apostate should be reminded of the time and his constraints, and if he repents in the time in which he was asked and returns to his Islam, there is neither penalty on him by way of killing or legal deterrent nor are the deeds that he did in the state of apostasy beforehand, like prayer, Hajj and other things nullified. If the person should remain upon his apostasy, then he is killed with the sword, which is the instrument of execution, and the aspostate is not burned with the Fire and it is only the Imam or his appointed representative who kill him, whether the apostate is free or a slave. The reason for this is that execution is a right of Allah the Exalted and is done by the Imam, just like stoning the adulterer or executing judicial punishments on the criminal.” Nail al-Ma’arib bi-Sharh id-Dalil it-Talib li-Nail il-Mutalib, pp. 406-407

[13] Again, look at the baseline that the Imam is using for the people in question.

[14] Ash-Shami, Jami` ul-Usul it-Tas`a: Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, Ahmad, Ad-Darimi, Ibn Majah, An-Nasa’ii and At-Tabarani Section 3: Al-`Ibadat, Book of Al-Adhan, vol.3, pp.370-372

[15] Majmu` Fatawa Shaikh il-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, vol.22, pp.98-104, King Fahd Printing Complex, Riyad 1416 (AD1995), 2nd ed. Ibn Qasim preparation

RECITING YASIN AT THE ONE NEAR DEATH OR DECEASED

[ مسائل معتمدة في مَذْهَبُ الحَنَابِلَةِ اعتقد البَعضُ أنَّها مِنْ البِدَعِ أو محرمة ]

Depended upon things in the Madhhab that are thought by others to be innovations or impermissible

مُعْتَمَدُ مَذْهَبِ الحَنَابِلَةِ استحباب قراءة سورة ( يس ) عند المحتضر

The depended upon ruling in the madhhab of the Hanbalis is that it is praiseworthy to recite Surah Yasin in the presence of the one near death.

مما انتشر على أنه مذهب الإمام أحمد والحنابلة رضي الله عنهم ، القول ببدعية قراءة سورة ( يس )  .

It has come to be widely believed that the madhhab of the Imam, Ahmad ibn Hanbal and the Hanbalis, may Allah be pleased with all of them, is the statement that it is impermissible or an innovation to recite Yasin in the presence of the one near death or at the gravesite.

والمعتمد عن أحمد رضي الله عنه ، وعلماء المذهب الاستحباب .

The depended upon ruling from Imam Ahmad, may Allah be pleased with him, and the scholars of the madhhab is that it is praiseworthy.

وسنقدم قول الإمام قبل أقوال العلماء تفنيدًا لشبهة من قال بأن المتأخرين يخالفون الإمام أحمد رحم الله الجميع .

So we will put forward the statement of the Imam before the statements of scholars in in to lift the doubt from the statement that the latter day scholars opposed and contradicted the Imam, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allah be pleased with all of them.

قول إمام المذهب :

The statement of the Imam of the Madhhab is next.

قال الموفق  رحمه الله في المغني ( 2 / 161 ) كتاب الجنائز :

Imam Muwaffaq ud-Din Ibn Qudamah (d.620), may Allah have mercy upon him, in Al-Mughni, vol.2, p.161 in the Book of Al-Jana’iz stated:

قال أحمد : ويقرءون عند الميت إذا حضر ، ليخفف عنه بالقراءة ، يقرأ { يس } ، وأمر بقراءة فاتحة الكتاب . وروى سعيد ، حدثنا فرج بن فضالة ، عن أسد بن وداعة ، قال : لما حضر غضيف بن حارث الموت ، حضره إخوانه ، فقال : هل فيكم من يقرأ سورة ( يس ) ؟ قال رجل من القوم : نعم . قال : اقرأ ، ورتل ، وأنصتوا . فقرأ ، ورتل . وأسمع القوم ، فلما بلغ { : فسبحان الذي بيده ملكوت كل شيء وإليه ترجعون } . خرجت نفسه . قال أسد بن وداعة : فمن حضر منكم الميت ، فشدد عليه الموت ، فليقرأ عنده سورة ( يس ) ، فإنه يخفف عنه الموت .

“Imam Ahmad said, ‘They recite in the presence of the deceased when the body is present and it lightens difficulties from him by reciting Yasin’. And he would also command them to recite Surat ul-Fatihah. It is narrated by Sa`id: It was narrated to us by Faraj ibn Fudalah from Asad ibn Wada`ah who narrated: When the Ghudaif ibn Harith was near death, his brothers attended him and he said to them, ‘Is there someone among you who will recite Yasin?’ One of the people said, ‘Yes’. He said to them, ‘Then recite and do so correctly and remain silent’. So the man recited and did so correctly and slowly. And the people sat and listened. When he reached the portion: Glorified is the One who has in His Hand the dominion of everything and they shall all return to Him. [Surah Yasin (36), ayah 83] Then Ghudaif died. Asad ibn Wada`ah then said, ‘Whoever among you attends to the deceased and the death is hard upon him, let him recite Yasin as it will ease death for him’.  

واختار التقي بن تيمية رحمه الله الاستحباب :ففي  الاختيارات  (ص 91) : والقراءة على الميت بعد موته بدعة ، بخلاف القراءة على المحتضر ، فإنها تستحب بياسين “.

The chosen position of Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah be pleased with him, is that it is praiseworthy to recite Yasin as is discussed in Al-Ikhtiyarat, p.91: “So the qira’ah upon the deceased after death is innovation which is the opposite ruling of making qira’ah upon the one near death. Indeed the only thing praiseworthy is Yasin”.

قال المرداوي رحمه الله في الانصاف( 2 / 466):قوله ( ويقرأ عنده سورة يس ) ، قاله الأصحاب ، وكذا يقرأ عنده سورة الفاتحة ونص عليهما واقتصر الأكثر على ذلك ، وقيل : يقرأ أيضا سورة تبارك . وجزم به في المستوعب .

Imam `Ala’ ud-Din Al-Mardawi (d.885), may Allah have mercy upon him, states in Al-Insaf, vol.2, p.466: “So he recites Yasin in the presence of the one near death as was said by the companions of the School. And likewise he recites Al-Fatihah (1) in his presence. Both of these have been mentioned by the Imam and most of the companions of the School limit the matter to this. It has also been said that he recites Surat ul-Mulk (67) as well and this is specifically mentioned in Al-Mustaw`ib”.

قال دقائق أولي النهى لشرح المنتهى المعروف بشرح منتهى الإرادات ( 1 / 341) :يسن ( قراءة الفاتحة و ) قراءة ( يس عنده ) أي المحتضر لحديث ” { اقرءوا على موتاكم يس } ” رواه أبو داود وصححه ابن حبان ولأنه يسهل خروج الروح .

There is also the statement of Imam Mansur Al-Buhuti (d.1051) in Daqa’iq Uwl in-Nuha Li-Sharh il-Muntaha, also known as Sharh Muntaha Al-Iradat, vol.1, p.341: “It is the sunnah to recited Al-Fatihah (1) and Yasin (2) in the presence of the dying one based upon the hadith, ‘So recite Yasin to your deceased’ as collected by Imams Abu Dawud and declared sahih by Ibn Hibban. And this hadith is thought to refer to the one near death and beneficial as it eases the exit of the soul from the body”.

وكتب فارس بن فالح الخزرجي

١٩ ذو القعدة ١٤٣٨ هـ

And this was written by (Shaikh) Faaris ibn Faalih Al-Khazraji

19 Dhul Qa`dah 1438

RECITING QUR’AN AT THE GRAVE OF THE DECEASED

[مسائل معتمدة في مَذْهَبُ الحَنَابِلَةِ اعتقد البَعضُ أنَّها مِنْ البِدَعِ أو محرمة ] 

Depended upon things in the Madhhab that are thought by others to be innovations or impermissible

(مُعْتَمَدُ مَذْهَبِ الحَنَابِلَةِ في حكم قراءة القرآن على القبر )

The Depended upon Ruling in the Madhhab regarding recitation of Qur’an at the gravesite

مما انتشر على أنه مذهب الإمام أحمد والحنابلة رضي الله عنهم ، القول بتحريم قراءة القرآن وبدعيتها على القبر ، وهو غلط على المذهب .

والصحيح المعتمد هو :  هو استحباب قراءة القرآن على القبر ، واليك الأقوال.

It has come to be widely believed that the madhhab of the Imam, Ahmad ibn Hanbal and the Hanbalis, may Allah be pleased with all of them, is the statement that it is impermissible to recite the Qur’an at the gravesite and that it is impermissible and this is an error being attributed to the Madhhab. The authentic and depended upon position is that it is praiseworthy to recite the Qur’an at the gravesite and here are some statements on the matter.

قول الإمام أحمد رضي الله عنه :قال عبد اللَّه: سمعت أبي سُئِلَ عن رجل يقرأ عند القبر على الميت.قال: أرجو أن لا يكون به بأس.

“مسائل عبد اللَّه” (543).

We have the statement of the Imam, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated from `Abdullah ibn Ahmad who said, “I heard once that my father was asked about a man who recited Qur’an at the gravesite upon the deceased and he responded, ‘I hope that there is no harm in that’.” Masa’il `Abdullah ibn Ahmad ibn Hanbal, p.543

قال سلمة بن شبيب: أتيت أحمد بن حنبل فقلت له: إني رأيت عفان يقرأ عند قبر في المصحف فقال لي أحمد بن حنبل: ختم له بخير.

“القراءة عند القبور” للخلال ص 84 .

Salamah ibn Shabib remarked, “I came to Ahmad ibn Hanbal and said to him, ‘I saw `Affan reciting at the gravesite from the Mushaf’. Ahmad ibn Hanbal said to me, ‘Let a khatam for him be done in goodness’.” Taken from Qira`ah at the gravesites by Abu Bakr Al-Khallal, p.84

قال الحسن بن الهيثم البزاز: رأيت أحمد بن حنبل خلف رجل ضرير يقرأ على القبور.القراءة عند القبور” للخلال ص 84  .

Al-Hasan ibn Al-Haitham said, “I saw Ahmad ibn Hanbal behind a blind man reciting at the gravesite”. Taken from Qira’ah at the gravesites by Abu Bakr Al-Khallal, p.84

قال المرداوي رحمه الله : قوله (ولا تكره القراءة على القبر في أصح الروايتين) ، وهذا المذهب ” (2/ 557).

Imam `Ala’ ud-Din Al-Mardawi (d.885), may Allah have mercy upon him, remarked, “It is not disliked to recite Qur’an at the gravesite according to the most authentic of the two narrations on the topic. And this is the madhhab”. Al-Insaf, vol.2, p.557

قال الحجاوي رحمه الله :ولا تكره القراءة على القبر وفي المقبرة بل يستحب وكل قربة فعلها المسلم وجعل ثوابها أو بعضها كالنصف ونحوه لمسلم حي أو ميت جاز ونفعه لحصول الثواب له ” ( 1 / 236).

Imam Musa ibn Ahmad Al-Hajjawi (d.968) said of the matter, “So it is not disliked to recite at the gravesite or in the graveyard. On the contrary, it is praiseworthy and any deed done by a Muslim to gain nearness to Allah and its reward – some of it, half or it or the like – is attributed to a living or deceased Muslim is permitted and the benefit and reward reaches that one”. Al-Iqna`, vol.1, p.236

هذا هو المذهب ، الذي رجع اليه الإمام واعتمده .

So this is the depended upon position of the Muslim in which the Imam returned to and depended upon.

قال شيخ الإسلام ابن تيمية رحمه الله :

We then have the statement of Shaikh ul-Islam Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy upon him,

وقد تنازع الناس في القراءة على القبر، فكرهها أبو حنيفة ومالك، وأحمد في أكثر الروايات عنه، ورخص فيها في الرواية المتأخرة، لما بلغه أن عبد الله بن عمر أوصى أن يقرأ عند دفنه بفواتح البقرة، وخواتمها”الفتاوى الكبرى (3 / 34).

The people have disputed about the recitation upon the grave and this was disliked by Imam Abu Hanifah, Malik and Ahmad in most of the narrations given from him although he gave a dispensation for it in the latter narration as it reached him that `Abdullah ibn `Umar requested that someone recite at his grave the beginning and ending portions of Al-Baqarah. Taken from Al-Fatawa Al-Kubra, vol.3, p.34

والرواية الثانية : تكره وهي مرجوحة في المذهب وممن اختارها شيخ الإسلام رحمه الله .

The second narration in the School is that it is disliked and it was a preferred statement in the School and that which was chosen by Shaikh ul-Islam Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy upon him.

وكتب فارس بن فالح الخزرجي

26 / رجب / 1442

This was written by (Shaikh) Faaris ibn Faalih Al-Khazraji

26 Rajab 1442

ETIQUETTE WITH THE QUR’AN

The following question was asked of a marja`:

As-Salaamu `Alaikum wa Rahmatullah,

Is it permitted to place the Noble Qur’an in the bedroom, i.e. on a table while the husband and the wife are having sexual intercourse in that room? Does this not constitute a lack of etiquette with the Book of Allah? May Allah reward you with good for answering this question.

The marja, Imam Abdur-Rahman Ash-Shami, may Allah preserve him, answered with what follows,

Yes, what you have said is indeed true. To have sex in the same room where the Qur’an is on the table is lack of etiquette with the Qur’an. What you should do if possible is place the Qur’an in another room.

BIOGRAPHY: SHAIKH MUHAMMAD ZANNUB AR-RUHAIBANI

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.

THE GREAT MUJAHID AND SCHOLAR SHAIKH MUSA AL-AHMAD AS-SAYYID (D. 1400)

The Great Shaikh and Faqih, Musa Al-Ahmad As-Sayyid

He is the from the final students of the Imam and Renewer of the Religion, `Abdullah Sufan Al-Qaddumi (d. 1331). Shaikh Musa Al-Ahmad As-Sayyid was one of those who fought against the kibbutz establishment system brought by Theodore Hertzl’s Zionist movement.

Shaikh As-Sayyid also was involved with the movement against British colonialism, destroying with dynamite one of the British High Commission buildings and being in many valiant battles against the establishment of what would later become the State of Israel.

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