Archive for the ‘Arabic’ Category

Iman Increases Per Events and Not Deeds

Posted: March 9, 2017 by millatibraheem in al-Imaan, Arabic

Whenever the increase of Iman is mentioned, it is due to an incident of an event and not deeds being committed.

In Aali-Imraan 3:173,

الَّذينَ قالَ لَهُمُ النّاسُ إِنَّ النّاسَ قَد جَمَعوا لَكُم فَاخشَوهُم فَزادَهُم إيمانًا وَقالوا حَسبُنَا اللَّهُ وَنِعمَ الوَكيلُ

Those to whom the people said, ‘indeed the people have gathered against you; so fear them.’ But it only increased them in Iman, and they said, ‘Allah is sufficient for us, and He is an excellent trustee.’

Here, it was a fearful event.

In at-Tawba 9:124,

وَإِذا ما أُنزِلَت سورَةٌ فَمِنهُم مَن يَقولُ أَيُّكُم زادَتهُ هٰذِهِ إيمانًا ۚ فَأَمَّا الَّذينَ آمَنوا فَزادَتهُم إيمانًا وَهُم يَستَبشِرونَ

And whenever a surah is revealed/sent down, there are those who say, “Which of you has this increased Iman?” As for those who believed, it has increased them in Iman, while they are rejoicing

The increase here was due to the surah being sent down/revealed.

Allah says,

إِنَّمَا المُؤمِنونَ الَّذينَ إِذا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَجِلَت قُلوبُهُم وَإِذا تُلِيَت عَلَيهِم آياتُهُ زادَتهُم إيمانًا وَعَلىٰ رَبِّهِم يَتَوَكَّلونَ

The believers are only those whose hearts tremble when Allah is mentioned and when His signs/verses/ayaat are recited to them, it increases their Iman and  put their trust in their Lord

(al-Anfal 8:2)

The increase here is by the mere mentioning of Allah and the recitation of his verses or signs, i.e. the creation.

In Surah al-Ahzab 33:22,

وَلَمّا رَأَى المُؤمِنونَ الأَحزابَ قالوا هٰذا ما وَعَدَنَا اللَّهُ وَرَسولُهُ وَصَدَقَ اللَّهُ وَرَسولُهُ ۚ وَما زادَهُم إِلّا إيمانًا وَتَسليمًا

And when the believers saw the confederates, they said, “This is what Allah and His Messenger had promised us, and Allah and His Messenger spoke the truth.” And it increased them only in faith and acceptance.

In Surah al-Fath 48:8,

هُوَ الَّذي أَنزَلَ السَّكينَةَ في قُلوبِ المُؤمِنينَ لِيَزدادوا إيمانًا مَعَ إيمانِهِم ۗ وَلِلَّهِ جُنودُ السَّماواتِ وَالأَرضِ ۚ وَكانَ اللَّهُ عَليمًا حَكيمًا

It is He who sent down tranquillity/calmness/security into the hearts of the believers that they would increase in Iman along with their [present] Iman. And to Allah belong the soldiers of the heavens and the earth, and ever is Allah Knowing and Wise.

Allah says the increase of Iman occurs when He sends the sakeenat into the hearts of the believers.


Arabic Quran for non-Arabic Speakers?

Posted: June 24, 2016 by millatibraheem in Arabic, Bid'ah, History, Rebuttals
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Much discussion has transpired regarding the language of the Quran and the Muslims claim for it to be a universal guide, which leads mankind from the day one is cultured til the day he dies.  Many have professed discontent and are bewildered with the followers of the recital, who advocate the exclusiveness of the Quran being the last testament for humanity.

After all, the Quran is in Arabic, revealed to an Arabic speaker, who ministered to a people in Arabia. These are irrefutable facts which no believer and disbeliever would deny.

إِنّا أَنزَلناهُ قُرآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لَعَلَّكُم تَعقِلونَ

Indeed We have sent it down an Arabic Qurʾaan so that you may understand

(Surah Yusuf 12:2)

The polytheists had accused Muhammad Rasulullaah of learning the Quran from a foreign man who was a servant of the Quraish.  The Quran then refutes their claim,

وَلَقَد نَعلَمُ أَنَّهُم يَقولونَ إِنَّما يُعَلِّمُهُ بَشَرٌ ۗ لِسانُ الَّذي يُلحِدونَ إِلَيهِ أَعجَمِيٌّ وَهٰذا لِسانٌ عَرَبِيٌّ مُبينٌ

And We certainly know that they say, ‘It is only a human that teaches him.’ The tongue/language of the one they refer to is foreign/non-Arabic/‘Ajamiyon, while this is a clear Arabic tongue/language.

(Surah an-Nahl 16:103)

The Arabic Quran reinforces itself repeatedly as being clear, detailed, and comprehensive in Arabic,

كِتابٌ فُصِّلَت آياتُهُ قُرآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لِقَومٍ يَعلَمونَ

A Book, its verses detailed, an Arabic Qur’aan, for people who know

(Surah Fussilat 41:3)

 In consideration of these verses, and others, questions arise as to how can it be for all of mankind when majority of the world does not know Arabic?

How does a non-Arabic speaker, whose mother tongue is foreign, suppose to comprehend and understand a Book that is not in their language and not revealed to a non-Arab audience?

Even more, the Quranic Arabic is from the seventh century that most present-day Arabs do not even speak.

They say, “why should I be held accountable for what I don’t understand?”

Translations of the Quran do not do justice to the Arabic language and are merely an interpretation, trapped into the translators bias beliefs.

In Muhammad Rasulullaah’s time, there were two major superpowers that battled each other; the Persians and the Romans.  These empires had extensive land conquests and included people from all walks of life under their rule.  It would have been reasonable for the Quran to be revealed in Latin (Roman) or Persian (Farsi) as they were the dominant languages that time and not Arabic.  The Arabs were seen as a worthless minority and their language mostly remaining in Arabia.

So, why was the Quran sent in Arabic?

The question may be answered in the following verse, which was revealed after the polytheists accused the Messenger of fabrication, or making it up himself and not receiving it from Allah,

أَم يَقولونَ افتَراهُ ۚ بَل هُوَ الحَقُّ مِن رَبِّكَ لِتُنذِرَ قَومًا ما أَتاهُم مِن نَذيرٍ مِن قَبلِكَ لَعَلَّهُم يَهتَدونَ

Or they say: ‘He has fabricated it’ Nay, it is the truth from your Lord, so that you may warn a people to whom no warner has come before you, in order that they may be guided

(Surah al-Sajdah 32:3)

The people did not receive a warner before Muhammad Rasulullaah, and it was their time for guidance.  They spoke Arabic and it would be unusual to send them a Messenger, or warner, who spoke a foreign language they did not understand.

وَما أَرسَلنا مِن رَسولٍ إِلّا بِلِسانِ قَومِهِ لِيُبَيِّنَ لَهُم ۖ فَيُضِلُّ اللَّهُ مَن يَشاءُ وَيَهدي مَن يَشاءُ ۚ وَهُوَ العَزيزُ الحَكيمُ

And We sent not a Messenger except with the language/tongue of his kinsfolk/people, in order that he might make (the Message) clear for them. Then Allah misleads whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise

(Surah Ibraaheem 14:4)

Muhammad Rasulullaah was sent to the Arabs speaking Arabic.  The Quran was sent in Arabic as a guidance for those people who understood the language and were able to follow it, since the Messenger they were given was well-known from among them.

End of Part One.

Palestine is not Holy Land

Posted: December 31, 2014 by millatibraheem in Arabic, Bid'ah, Current Affairs, History

It has become a popular trend these days to call Palestine the “Holy Land,” even though there is nothing specific virtuous about it as a whole through revelation.  There is only one verse in the Qur’aan that refers to a particular area within what came to be known as Palestine.  Yet, even that area was in reference to Masjid al-Aqsa, which literally means “furthest place of prostration,” and its surrounding platform.  A “masjid” is a ‘place of sojood or prostration’ and “aqsa” means ‘farthest’ in the sense of distance.  So, it’s clearly pertaining to an area that is far away from Makkah.

Allaah aza wajal says:

سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ

Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.

(Surah al-Israa’ 17:1)

And Muhammad Rasoolullaah also mentions Masjid al-Aqsa in several narrations, such as:

لاَ تُشَدُّ الرِّحَالُ إِلاَّ إِلَى ثَلاَثَةِ مَسَاجِدَ مَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَمَسْجِدِي هَذَا وَالْمَسْجِدِ الأَقْصَى

“No one should prepare a mount to visit any masaajid except three: the Sacred masjid, this masjid of mine, and the masjid al-aqsa.” 

*In this narration, it shows us that it is forbidden to prepare a mount [to travel] for a  masjid, except the three that were mentioned.

A question comes to mind, what/where exactly is masjid al-aqsa and its surroundings?  For sure, the surroundings is limited and not absolute, otherwise, more than half of the world would be considered blessed since there are other lands connected to Palestine.

So when Allaah aza wajal says “whose surroundings we have blessed,” it is referring to the mount that it is built upon, and not the entire mass of landscape we call Palestine.  This mount is pictured here:

Masjid al-Aqsa and the Temple Mount

Masjid al-Aqsa and the Temple Mount

As you can see, Masjid al-Aqsa is at the bottom and the Dome of the Rock is at top, with several other masaajid surrounding these two on the perimeter of the mount.  Please make sure you do not confuse the Golden Dome to be al-Aqsa.  They are two totally separate buildings. Masjid al-Aqsa has a greenish dome.

Hence, what we call as Palestine, contains a city called ‘Jerusalem,’ which contains the actual mount that is blessed.  Not the entire country or region.

Ulema Does Not Mean Scholars

Posted: December 17, 2014 by millatibraheem in Arabic, Rebuttals

The term ‘Ulemaa (عُلَمَاءُ) is a plural correspondent of the singular ‘Aalim (عالم), that means “to know” or “have knowledge” about something.  It has nothing to do with becoming an expert in a particular field as the word has evolved.  What will be discussed is its usage in the religious sense.

Allaah aza wajal says,

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ وَالدَّوَابِّ وَالْأَنْعَامِ مُخْتَلِفٌ أَلْوَانُهُ كَذَٰلِكَ ۗ إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَاءُ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ غَفُورٌ

And among people and moving creatures and grazing livestock are various colors similarly. Only those fear Allaah , from among His servants, who have the knowledge [al-Ulema]. Indeed, Allaah is Exalted in Might and Forgiving.

(Faatir 35:28)

This ayah has been translated in different ways, including:

…Only those who fear Allaah, from among his servants/slaves, are knowledgeable ones…”

However, in Arabic it means only one thing, the second translation is the nearest to its correct meaning.  It gives us two main characteristics of the real true Ulema:

1) They fear (خَشِي) Allaah aza wajal

2) They are from the servants of Allaah aza wajal.

That a person who fears Allaah, from the servants, are the ‘Ulema.  Not the one who goes through universities, or a person who is given titles and studies under other so-called ‘Ulema.  The true fear is in the heart and this is only known to Allaah aza wajal.

So the idea of calling people ‘Ulema just because they may have a mouthful of knowledge, or have memorized books, does not make them actual ‘Ulema with Allaah aza wajal.  The ‘Aalim is a matter of the heart and it is unreasonable to give titles to people based on something that only Allaah knows about.

And realistically, many of the people who are looked as ‘Ulema, are the worst of human beings.  They lie on Allaah aza wajal, they break up his Deen into sects, they innovated divisions disguised as schools of thought and made haraam into halaal and likewise, they fabricated reports to the Prophet, especially the fake ahadith about the virtues of scholars, self praise and amusement…and so many other things.  They are also the ones to call each other Ulema, hiding behind the term with their bogus beliefs.

The proper term for a scholar is habr (حَبْر).  It is usually used for a Jewish Rabbi, yet, it literally means “a scribe” or a “learned person.”  The state of the heart is irrelevant and has no connection with fear or being a servant.  Hence, it is more proper to call a scholar – habr, then it is to call them ‘Aalim, since the former is apparent and the later is hidden.

“The books of ahbar and their fatawa

Just because someone may have studied for years and looks like a pious person, does not mean that they are fearing Allaah, or that they are saved from the fire.  One major example are the hypocrites.  Allaah aza wajal says regarding them:

وَإِذَا رَأَيْتَهُمْ تُعْجِبُكَ أَجْسَامُهُمْ ۖ وَإِن يَقُولُوا تَسْمَعْ لِقَوْلِهِمْ ۖ كَأَنَّهُمْ خُشُبٌ مُّسَنَّدَةٌ ۖ يَحْسَبُونَ كُلَّ صَيْحَةٍ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ هُمُ الْعَدُوُّ فَاحْذَرْهُمْ ۚ قَاتَلَهُمُ اللَّهُ ۖ أَنَّىٰ يُؤْفَكُونَ

And when you see them, their bodies please you, and if they speak, you listen to their speech. [They are] as if they were pieces of wood propped up – they think that every shout is against them. They are the enemy, so beware of them. May Allaah destroy them; how are they deluded?

(Surah al-Munaafiqoon 63:4)

Allaah aza wajal tells us that the hypocrites bodies – or forms- may please us when we look at them, and we listen to them when they speak.  They may be good looking, clean, and wear nice clothes.  Their speech may be eloquent and full of poetry.  Yet, Allaah calls them the enemies and warns us against them.  So we must be careful not to be fooled by the “outer shell” of a person.  Islaam is not people, it is only Qur’aan and authentically proven sayings of Allaah’s Messenger.  Nothing else beyond these two sources is Deen.

A narration (with weakness in it) in Saheeh Muslim, Book of Governance, describes a questioning of several people, including a man who was called an ‘Aalim BY THE PEOPLE and praised for his knowledge and recitation of the Qur’aan.  Yet, he was thrown into the Hell-fire.  Please read the hadeeth carefully here.

حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ حَبِيبٍ الْحَارِثِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا خَالِدُ بْنُ الْحَارِثِ، حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ جُرَيْجٍ، حَدَّثَنِي يُونُسُ بْنُ يُوسُفَ، عَنْ سُلَيْمَانَ بْنِ يَسَارٍ، قَالَ تَفَرَّقَ النَّاسُ عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، فَقَالَ لَهُ نَاتِلُ أَهْلِ الشَّامِ أَيُّهَا الشَّيْخُ حَدِّثْنَا حَدِيثًا سَمِعْتَهُ مِنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ نَعَمْ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ إِنَّ أَوَّلَ النَّاسِ يُقْضَى يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ عَلَيْهِ رَجُلٌ اسْتُشْهِدَ فَأُتِيَ بِهِ فَعَرَّفَهُ نِعَمَهُ فَعَرَفَهَا قَالَ فَمَا عَمِلْتَ فِيهَا قَالَ قَاتَلْتُ فِيكَ حَتَّى اسْتُشْهِدْتُ ‏.‏ قَالَ كَذَبْتَ وَلَكِنَّكَ قَاتَلْتَ لأَنْ يُقَالَ جَرِيءٌ ‏.‏ فَقَدْ قِيلَ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ أُمِرَ بِهِ فَسُحِبَ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ حَتَّى أُلْقِيَ فِي النَّارِ وَرَجُلٌ تَعَلَّمَ الْعِلْمَ وَعَلَّمَهُ وَقَرَأَ الْقُرْآنَ فَأُتِيَ بِهِ فَعَرَّفَهُ نِعَمَهُ فَعَرَفَهَا قَالَ فَمَا عَمِلْتَ فِيهَا قَالَ تَعَلَّمْتُ الْعِلْمَ وَعَلَّمْتُهُ وَقَرَأْتُ فِيكَ الْقُرْآنَ ‏.‏ قَالَ كَذَبْتَ وَلَكِنَّكَ تَعَلَّمْتَ الْعِلْمَ لِيُقَالَ عَالِمٌ ‏.‏ وَقَرَأْتَ الْقُرْآنَ لِيُقَالَ هُوَ قَارِئٌ ‏.‏ فَقَدْ قِيلَ ثُمَّ أُمِرَ بِهِ فَسُحِبَ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ حَتَّى أُلْقِيَ فِي النَّارِ ‏.‏ وَرَجُلٌ وَسَّعَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَعْطَاهُ مِنْ أَصْنَافِ الْمَالِ كُلِّهِ فَأُتِيَ بِهِ فَعَرَّفَهُ نِعَمَهُ فَعَرَفَهَا قَالَ فَمَا عَمِلْتَ فِيهَا قَالَ مَا تَرَكْتُ مِنْ سَبِيلٍ تُحِبُّ أَنْ يُنْفَقَ فِيهَا إِلاَّ أَنْفَقْتُ فِيهَا لَكَ قَالَ كَذَبْتَ وَلَكِنَّكَ فَعَلْتَ لِيُقَالَ هُوَ جَوَادٌ ‏.‏ فَقَدْ قِيلَ ثُمَّ أُمِرَ بِهِ فَسُحِبَ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ ثُمَّ أُلْقِيَ فِي النَّارِ ‏”

It has been narrated on the authority of Sulaiman b. Yasar who said:

People dispersed from around Abu Huraira, and Natil, who was from the Syrians. said to him: O Shaikh, relate (to us) a tradition you have heard from the Messenger of Allaah. He said: Yes. I heard the Messenger of Allaah say: The first of men  will be decided on the Day of Judgment will be a man who died as a martyr. He shall be brought. Allaah will make him recount His blessings and he will recount them . (Then) will Allaah say: What did you do (to requite these blessings)? He will say: I fought for Thee until I died as a martyr. Allaah will say: You have told a lie. You fought that you might be called a” brave warrior”. And you were called so. (Then) orders will be passed against him and he will be dragged with his face downward and cast into Hell. Then will be brought forward a man who acquired knowledge and imparted it (to others) and recited the Qur’aan. He will be brought And Allaah will make him recount His blessings and he will recount them. Then will Allaah ask: What did you do (to requite these blessings)? He will say: I acquired knowledge and disseminated it and recited the Qur’aan seeking Thy pleasure. Allaah will say: You have told a lie. You acquired knowledge so that you might be called “a scholar,” and you recited the Qur’aan so that it might be said: “He is a Qari” and such has been said. Then orders will be passed against him and he shall be dragged with his face downward and cast into the Fire. Then will be brought a man whom Allaah had made abundantly rich and had granted every kind of wealth. He will be brought and Allaah will make him recount His blessings and he will recount them and (admit having enjoyed them in his lifetime). Allaah will (then) ask: What have you done (to requite these blessings)? He will say: I spent money in every cause in which Thou wished that it should be spent. Allah will say: You are lying. You did (so) that it might be said about (You):” He is a generous fellow” and so it was said. Then will Allaah pass orders and he will be dragged with his face downward and thrown into Hell.

Authubillaahi min ash-Shaytaani rajeem

Bismillaahi ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem, as-Salaatu was-Salaam ‘ala Rasulullaah

It is not permitted for anyone to change the meaning of a verse from its apparent sense (ظاهر), or to change the meaning of a report from its apparent sense, because Allaah the Exalted says,

بِلِسَانٍ عَرَبِيٍّ مُّبِي

“In a clear, Arabic tongue” [ash-Shu’ara: 195]

He, may He be exalted, said, blaming a people,

يُحَرِّفُونَ الْكَلِمَ عَن مَّوَاضِعِهِ

“They change words from their meanings” [al-Ma’ida: 13]

Whoever changes the meaning of a text from its apparent meaning in the language without proof from another text or a consensus, claims that there is no clarification in the text. He has perverted the meaning of Exalted Allaah’s speech and His revelation to His Prophet (s) and this is a terrible deed. Even if he were innocent of these great sins, he would be making an unproven claim.

It is not permissible for anyone to pervert any person’s speech. How can it be with the speech of Allaah, may He be exalted, and the speech of His Messenger (s) which is prophecy from Allaah, may He be exalted. Whoever uses the opinion of a scholar to stir up controversy about this, the opinion of someone other than the Messenger of Allaah (s) is not proof. We have made it clear that whoever among them stirs up controversy, they, among all of Exalted Allaah’s creation, most frequently abandon the opinions of the Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, let alone others, while the companions of apparent (أصحاب الظاهر), among the people of tradition (أهل الحديث), may Allaah be pleased with them, are those more assiduous in following and agreeing with the Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them. We have made this clear, point by point, in our book entitled, “Reaching Understanding of the Characteristics.”

Praise Allaah, Lord of the worlds.

It is obligatory to avoid altering the meaning of a text from its apparent sense without another authentic text that reports that it is not intended apparently. Concerning this matter, let us follow Exalted Allaah’s statement and the statement of His Messenger (s) as he (s) clarified [Allaah’s] statement, may He be exalted,

لَمْ يَلْبِسُوا إِيمَانَهُم بِظُلْمٍ

“And have not mixed their faith with evildoing” [al-An’am: 82]

By which, Exalted Allaah meant Kufr. As [Allaah,] the all-powerful, the sublime, said,

إِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ

“Indeed, joining others in worship (with Allaah) is the greatest Zulm” [Luqman: 13]

Or unless there be a certain consensus, such as the consensus of the community that His saying, may He be exalted,

يوصيكم الله في أولادكم للذكر مثل حظ الأنثيين

“Allaah commands you, concerning your children, to the male the like of the portion of two females” [an-Nisa’: 11]

did not refer to slaves, nor to the sons of daughters when there is a universal heir (‘asib) — and there are many such similar cases. Or due to necessity that prevents one from interpreting that apparently, such as His saying, may He be exalted,

الذين قال لهم الناس إن الناس قد جمعوا لكم فاخشوهم

“Those to whom the people said, ‘The people have gathered against you, therefore fear them’” [Aali-Imran: 173]

 With the certainty that come from intuition and experience, we know that not all of the people said,

إن الناس قد جمعوا

“The people have gathered against you” [Aali-Imran: 173]

The proof of what we have said, that words should be interpreted in their apparent sense, is Exalted Allaah’s saying in the Qur’an,

بلسان عربي مبين

“In a pure, Arabic tongue” [ash-Shu’ara: 195]

And His saying, may He be exalted,

وما أرسلنا من رسول إلا بلسان قومه ليبين لهم

“We have sent no Messenger save with the tongue of his people, that he might make all clear to them” [Ibrahim: 4]

So it is true that explanation according to us is simply to interpret the words of the Qur’an and Sunna according to the apparent meaning and in accordance with the meaning for which those words were coined. Whoever wishes to shift the meaning from [their apparent meaning] to an allegorical interpretation without a supporting text or a consensus slanders Allaah the Exalted and His Messenger (s), contradicts the Qur’an, makes unsupported claims, and perverts words from their meanings.

Also, it should be said to whosoever wishes to change the meaning of speech from its apparent sense without any proof: this is what causes skepticism and the denial of the existence of truth, because whenever you or anyone else says anything, it could be said to you, this is not meant apparently. Rather, you mean something else. Every time you reaffirm your meaning, it would be said to you, this too is not meant apparently. And you will never be rid of those who say to you, perhaps the denial of the apparent meaning is not intended apparently. And so on, as you can see.

And success comes from Allaah.

Source: al-Nubdha al-Kafiya fi Usul Ahkam al-Deen of Imaam ibn Hazm (r)

English Explanation of ibn Hazm’s “al-Muhalla”

Posted: March 10, 2012 by millatibraheem in Arabic, Books, Fiqh, History

‘Authubillaahi min ash-Shaytaani rajeem

Bismillaahi ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem, as-Salaatu was-Salaam ‘ala Rasulullaah

Alhumdulillaah, a brother has started posting series of lectures in English on Imaam ibn Hazm’s al-Kitaab al-Muhallaa bi’l Athaar.  This book is probably the best work on Fiqh  ever written in history of Islaamic scholarship.  Please spread the word!

Some Guidelines Concerning the ‘Ulema

Posted: November 16, 2011 by millatibraheem in al-Imaan, Arabic

‘Authubillaahi min ashShaytaan arRajeem, Bismillaah arRaHmaan arRaHeem

al-Humdulillaah as-Salaatu was-Salaam ‘Ala Rasulullaah

Defining Knowledge

Allah aza wajjal says in Surah al-‘Alaq

عَلَّمَ الْإِنسَانَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ

Has taught man that which he knew not

And in Surah Yusuf

وَلَمَّا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُ آتَيْنَاهُ حُكْمًا وَعِلْمًا ۚ وَكَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِي

And when he reached maturity, We gave him judgment and knowledge. And thus We reward the doers of good

Knowledge is what Allah aza wajjal has taught us through revelation.

In Surah an-NaHl, Allah aza wajjal says

وَاللَّهُ أَخْرَجَكُم مِّن بُطُونِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ شَيْئًا وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَارَ وَالْأَفْئِدَةَ ۙ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

And Allah has extracted you from the wombs of your mothers not knowing a thing, and He made for you hearing and vision and intellect that perhaps you would be grateful

From our senses, we understand and adhere to this knowledge of revelation (wahi).


And in Surah ar-R’Ad

أَفَمَن يَعْلَمُ أَنَّمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ الْحَقُّ كَمَنْ هُوَ أَعْمَىٰ ۚ إِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ

Then is he who knows that what has been revealed to you from your Lord is the truth like one who is blind? They will only be reminded who are people of understanding

So the knowledge that comes from Allah aza wajjal is the only truth and holding onto it is to be guided.

In Surah al-‘Ankabut

أَوَلَمْ يَكْفِهِمْ أَنَّا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ يُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَرَحْمَةً وَذِكْرَىٰ لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

And is it not sufficient for them that We revealed to you the Book which is recited to them? Indeed in that is a mercy and reminder for a people who believe

Here, Allah aza wajjal clarifies that the Qur’aan and what Allah’s Messenger (s) recited to us is sufficient.  Those who seek other means and learn beyond these two sources are misguided and void of any mercy.

In light of these ayat, knowledge is the truth that was revealed by Allah aza wajjal to His Messengers.  It is revelation.

The Carriers of this Knowledge

In the Arabic language, an ‘Aalim (pl. ‘Ulema) is someone who possesses knowledge about a certain matter.  It is not equivalent to the word ‘scholar’ as usually translated.  A person does not need to be an expert in any field in order to hold the linguistic Arabic title of an ‘Aalim.

However, Islam defines it differently in Surah Fatir

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ وَالدَّوَابِّ وَالْأَنْعَامِ مُخْتَلِفٌ أَلْوَانُهُ كَذَٰلِكَ ۗ إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَاءُ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ غَفُورٌ

And among people and moving creatures and grazing livestock are various colors similarly. Only those fear Allah, from among His servants, have knowledge. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Forgiving

Allah aza wajjal has identified those fearing Him as ‘Ulema.  Fear of Allah aza wajjal is the criterion that separates an ‘Aalim from a less fortunate person.  It is not the amount of years spent studying, memorizing or attaining ijazas.  Rather, the fear of Allah aza wajjal is what makes a person an ‘Aalim.


Allah aza wajjal says in Surah al-Jumu’Ah

مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ حُمِّلُوا التَّوْرَاةَ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَحْمِلُوهَا كَمَثَلِ الْحِمَارِ يَحْمِلُ أَسْفَارً

The example of those who were entrusted with the Torah and then did not take it on is like that of a donkey who carries volumes [of books]

The common misconception taught today, as a result of abandoning the Qur’aan, is that people who have ‘studied’ the Deen can only fear Allah aza wajjal.  This of course is wrong.  The mere memorization of ‘religious’ text does not automatically give a person the ranking of an ‘Aalim in Islam.  It is quite the opposite.

Allah aza wajjal says in Surah al-Baqarah

وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۖ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ اللَّهُ ۗ

And Fear Allah and Allah teaches you

Therefore, an ‘Aalim is anyone who fears Allah aza wajjal, despite not knowing much Qur’aan and ahadith (sing. hadith).  This also applies to the experts of Fiqh (Fuqaha), Hadith (MuHadiththeen) or any other art. They are not ‘Ulema until they reach that degree of awareness.

This means that even a layman can be from amongst the ‘Ulema if he fears Allah aza wajjal.  The greatest knowledge is to know laa ilaha illAllah.

This is how Islam defines ‘Ulema and it is the common theme throughout the Qur’aan and Sunnah.



The Truthful Ones

Today, and in the past, many people hold the title of ‘Ulema, regardless of their carelessness towards the Deen of Allah aza wajjal.  They do not refer to the Qur’aan and Sunnah when a matter arises; rather they refer to their school or sayings of a particular set of Imams.  Therefore, it is important for us to filter out these liars from the truthful ones by using the Qur’aan.

The carriers of knowledge (revelation) are those who fear Allah aza wajjal (‘Ulema).  They can be from the layman to the aristocrats of society.

Allah aza wajjal says in Surah al-Hujurat

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَرْتَابُوا وَجَاهَدُوا بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الصَّادِقُونَ

The believers are only those ones who have believed in Allah and His Messenger and then doubt not but strive with their properties and their lives in the cause of Allah. It is those who are the truthful

The truthful people are those who believe in Allah aza wajjal and His Messenger (s) with certainty and they fight and sacrifice in the cause of Allah aza wajjal.

And in Surah al-Hashr

لِلْفُقَرَاءِ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ الَّذِينَ أُخْرِجُوا مِن دِيَارِهِمْ وَأَمْوَالِهِمْ يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلًا مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانًا وَيَنصُرُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الصَّادِقُونَ

For the poor emigrants who were expelled from their homes and their properties, seeking bounty from Allah and [His] approval and supporting Allah and His Messenger, [there is also a share in booty]. Those are the truthful

Once again, fighting and sacrificing has been mentioned as truthful characteristics along with migration. No one can claim to be from amongst the truthful until they adopt the manners expressed in these ayat, especially if one is looked up to be an ‘Aalim. The fact is they are not from amongst the ‘Ulema as their actions contradict their words.

Imams of Opinion and Analogy Are Not ‘Ulema

An opinion is a belief or judgment based upon uncertainty.  It falls short of the truth (revelation).

Analogy is the process of reasoning based on partial similarity between two compared things. It too falls short of the truth as it is not based upon revelation.

Allah aza wajjal says in Surah al-Ma’idah

الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا

This day I have perfected for you your Deen and completed My favor upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your Deen

He aza wajjal has fully completed and perfected our Deen.  Therefore, nothing needs to be added, subtracted or updated.  Islam is flawless as it is from Allah aza wajjal.

In Surah al-An’am

أَفَغَيْرَ اللَّهِ أَبْتَغِي حَكَمًا وَهُوَ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ إِلَيْكُمُ الْكِتَابَ مُفَصَّلًا

Shall I seek a judge other than Allah while it is He Who has revealed to you the Book explained in detail?

Allah aza wajjal has explained everything in detail. There is nothing in Islam that has been left out without Allah’s Messenger (s) clarifying it.


Allah aza wajjal says in Surah an-Najm

وَمَا لَهُم بِهِ مِنْ عِلْمٍ ۖ إِن يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ ۖ وَإِنَّ الظَّنَّ لَا يُغْنِي مِنَ الْحَقِّ شَيْئًا

And they have thereof no knowledge. They follow not except assumption, and indeed, assumption avails not against the truth at all

Hence, opinions and analogies have no authority in Islam and are not considered knowledge.  They are forbidden and misguidance.


In Surah al-‘An’am

قُلْ هَلْ عِندَكُم مِّنْ عِلْمٍ فَتُخْرِجُوهُ لَنَا ۖ إِن تَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَإِنْ أَنتُمْ إِلَّا تَخْرُصُونَ

Say, “Do you have any knowledge that you can produce for us? You follow not except assumption, and you do nothing but lie”

Opinions and analogies in Deen are equal to lying.

In Surah Yunus

قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُم مَّا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ لَكُم مِّن رِّزْقٍ فَجَعَلْتُم مِّنْهُ حَرَامًا وَحَلَالًا قُلْ آللَّهُ أَذِنَ لَكُمْ ۖ أَمْ عَلَى اللَّهِ تَفْتَرُونَ

Say, “Tell me, what provision Allah has sent down to you! And you have made of it lawful and unlawful.” Say, “Has Allah permitted you, or do you invent a lie against Allah?”

To give an analogy or an opinion is to invent lies against Allah aza wajjal.

And in Surah an-NaHl

وَلَا تَقُولُوا لِمَا تَصِفُ أَلْسِنَتُكُمُ الْكَذِبَ هَٰذَا حَلَالٌ وَهَٰذَا حَرَامٌ لِّتَفْتَرُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَفْتَرُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ لَا يُفْلِحُونَ

And say not concerning that which your tongues put forth falsely, “This is lawful and this is forbidden,” so as to invent lies against Allah. Indeed, those who invent lies against Allah will never prosper

This is the meaning of speaking without knowledge; it is to speak about Islam without evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah.  And to make things lawful and unlawful is the sole Right of Allah aza wajjal.  He aza wajjal has not authorized anyone to make things lawful and unlawful based upon their own personal reasoning.


Recorded in Sahih al-Bukhaari, narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr (r), I heard the Prophet (s) saying

إنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَنْزِعُ الْعِلْمَ بَعْدَ أَنْ أَعْطَاكُمُوهُ انْتِزَاعًا وَلَكِنْ يَنْتَزِعُهُ مِنْهُمْ مَعَ قَبْضِ الْعُلَمَاءِ بِعِلْمِهِمْ فَيَبْقَى نَاسٌ جُهَّالٌ يُسْتَفْتَوْنَ فَيُفْتُونَ بِرَأْيِهِمْ فَيُضِلُّونَ وَيَضِلُّونَ

“Indeed Allah will not deprive you of knowledge after he has given it to you, but it will be taken away through the death of the religious learned men with their knowledge. Then there will remain ignorant people who, when consulted, will give verdicts according to their opinions whereby they will mislead others and go astray”

This hadith is direct evidence demonstrating the misguidance of the people of opinion and analogy.  They are the same people who have split into schools, sects and restricted ijtihad to certain individuals.  They make blind following men besides Allah’s Messenger (s) as mandatory. They are deprived of any fear of Allah aza wajjal, thus giving verdicts from other sources besides the revelation, resulting in misleading themselves along with their followers.

‘Ulema are not People of Authority 

Allah aza wajjal says in Surah an-Nisa’

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ ۖ فَإِن تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلًا

O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [path] and best in result

Recorded in Sahih al-Bukhaari, narrated Anas (r) that Allah’s Messenger (s) said

اسْمَعُوا وَأَطِيعُوا، وَإِنْ أُمِّرَ عَلَيْكُمْ عَبْدٌحَبَشِيٌّ كَأَنَّ رَأْسَهُ زَبِيبَة

Hear and obey even if an Ethiopian slave whose head is like a raisin, is made your authority

And in Sahih Muslim, narrated Umm ul-Husayn (r), she heard Allah’s Messenger say in his Farwell Hajj sermon

وَلَوِ اسْتُعْمِلَ عَلَيْكُمْ عَبْدٌيَقُودُكُمْ بِكِتَابِ اللهِ، اسْمَعُوا لَهُ وَأَطِيعُوا

Even if a slave was appointed over you, and he rules you with Allah’s Book, then listen to him and obey him

Allah’s Messenger (s) himself clarified who ‘those in authorities’ are amongst us.  He (s) never distinctly mentioned the ‘Ulema. He (s) had also restricted obeying authority only in regards to good. This cancels out any form of blind obedience to them.

Blind Obedience to ‘Ulema is Haraam

In Surah al-‘A’raf, Allah aza wajal says

اتَّبِعُوا مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُم مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا مِن دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ ۗ قَلِيلًا مَّا تَذَكَّرُونَ

Follow what has been revealed to you from your Lord and do not follow other than Him any allies. Little do you remember!

To follow anything other than what has been revealed from Allah aza wajjal is equal to polytheism.

In Surah al-Israa’

وَلَا تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ ۚ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولَٰئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْئُولًا

And do not follow that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart, of each of those you will be questioned

Here, Allah aza wajjal prohibits following and spreading things that we have no knowledge about. To follow something attributed to  Islam while it has no basis in the Qur’aan and Sunnah is also Haraam.

In the beginning we had discussed what is knowledge and conclude that it was revelation. Therefore, Islam is what was revealed and not what it is believed to be by some.

Inshallah more will come in the future, Wa Allaho Alim