Meraj Mohiuddin’s Revelation: The Story of Muhammad (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him): A Critical Review

MERAJ MOHIUDDIN’S REVELATION: THE STORY OF MUHAMMAD (PEACE AND BLESSINGS BE UPON HIM): A CRITICAL REVIEW

In the name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate.

Despite its relatively recent publication, Dr. Meraj Mohiuddin’s Revelation: The Story of Muhammad (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him) has quickly become one of the more popular, publicized, and widely-distributed additions to the growing corpus of English literature on the prophetic biography (sīrah). Boasting an aesthetically-pleasing, simple, and modern design, Revelation enjoys a long list of endorsements by well-recognized Muslim personalities in the West and a foreword by the American Muslim academic Dr. Sherman Jackson. 

The author, a physician by training, has taken great pains to design a book that is rich in illustrations to complement a condensed chronicle of the Messenger of Allah’s life (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). Mohiuddin includes a wealth of graphics: maps, family trees, and timelines that help visualize complex lineages and familial relationships, track the movements of armies, and contextualize significant events in time. Deceptively large in size, the book’s historical material is in fact quite concise, providing first-time readers of the sīrah a summarized version of the contents of, for the most part, Martin Ling’s Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources and Ṣafī al-Raḥmān al-Mubārakpūrī’s The Sealed Nectar: Biography of the Noble Prophet (al-Raḥīq al-Makhtūm). Continue reading

The Attribution of Prophetic Events to the Day of ʿĀshūrā

[I found this somewhat unfinished research on my computer. Seeing as today is the 10th of Muḥarram, or ʿĀshūrā, I thought it would be useful to students of knowledge to post whatever research I had gathered to date on the authenticity of the attribution of certain  prophetic events to this day. Interestingly enough, the 10th of Muḥarram (or possibly the 11th) was the day I was reported to have been born.]

Question

This last Friday, I heard many things about ʿĀshūrā that I’d never heard before. The khatib said that in addition to Mūsā and his people being saved on ʿĀshūrā that it was also the day that Yūnus was saved from the whale, Yūsuf was saved from the well, Nūḥ was saved from the flood, that Ibrāhīm was born on this day, and that Rasūl Allāh (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) was granted special forgiveness, and some other things I don’t remember. I had never heard these things before, so I was wondering if they were true. Please respond at your convenience. (edited) Continue reading

A Call to Muslims: A Transcript of a Speech to the Scholars by Mawlānā Ilyās al-Kāndhalwī

Nearly eight years ago, I came across a rare print of a speech delivered by Mawlānā Muḥammad Ilyās al-Kāndhalwī in a library. I asked a student to help me transcribe it so that it could be edited for language and style and posted online or published in the future. I came across my edit of the piece from years ago and decided to upload it here for general benefit, despite it being incomplete in regards to referencing the hadith and missing citations for certain quotes. I also didn’t cross-reference those quotes to check for accuracy. Lastly, I was unable to locate the name of the original translator. If anyone is able to help with the above tasks, it would be much appreciated.

A message by the late Mawlānā Muḥammad Ilyās al-Kāndhalwī to an All-India Conference of the ʿulamā and Muslim political leaders held at Delhi in April 1944.

In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the All-Merciful. We praise Him, believe in Him, and place our trust in Him. We  additionally invoke His choicest blessings and peace for Muḥammad (a mercy, guide, bearer of glad tidings, and a warner for all times and all peoples), as do we invoke the same for all of his family, his companions, and his followers.

Scholars of Islam and its elite! Continue reading

Planning for Death: Essential Guidelines on Death and Inheritance

In the past few  years, I’ve been asked on numerous occasions to present a lecture on the essential Islamic rules and guidelines regarding death, dying, and inheritance. I’ve also been asked to provide the presentation slides to attendees after the seminar, due to which I am uploading them here. Please be aware that the presentation simply provides main bullet points and headings, not the actual detailed legal rulings and other essential content. It is thus not to be used as a reference source.

Planning for Death

Step-by-Step Description of the Ritual Ablution

Below is a simplified explanation of the method of performing the ritual ablution (wuḍūʿ) in the Ḥanafī madhhab, using brackets to demarcate its farḍ [f], wājib [w], sunnah [s], and mustaḥabb [m] elements. The explanation is part of a workbook I prepared for a short seminar entitled Perfecting Prayer that provided a step-by-step guide to wuḍūʿ and ṣalāt for young adults. Continue reading

Summer English Reading List 2016

My  English summer reading list is relatively shorter this year. I’ve been concentrating much of my time on Arabic hadith works and getting around to finishing some research assignments. However, in my free time, I’ve been perusing some of the following books with a hope to complete some, write a review of at least one, and at least skimming another.

The Accessible Conspectus by Shaykh Musa Furber

For centuries, Abu Shuja al-Asfahani’s legal primer Matn al-Ghayat wa-l-Taqrib (The Ultimate Conspectus) has been a standard text for introducing students of the Shafii school of Islamic law to the full range of basic legal issues. Students will often start their studies by reading it from a basic commentary with their instructor. Many students will read it again from more advanced commentaries as they progress in their mastery of the subject. This volume presents an amiable commentary that makes Abu Shuja’s primer accessible to new students. It uses contemporary language and examples to help readers build a sound foundation in Islamic law. The Accessible Conspectus is a perfect companion to The Ultimate Conspectus. Continue reading

Draft of the First Chapter of a Tashīl al-Naḥw Translation

The following is the first chapter of a translation taken from Qārī Siddīq Bāndwī’s Tashīl al-Naḥw that I was involved in through some editing and translating along with two former students. The project was put on hold in an attempt to first complete another work that was near the final draft stage. I have produced the draft here for general benefit.

Chapter 1

NAḤW

Naḥw (syntax) is a branch of Arabic grammar that studies how sentences are formulated through the combination of nouns (ism), verbs (fiʿl), and particles (ḥarf) and how such formulations determine the state of the end of words in the sentence.

In the science of naḥw, both the individual word كَلِمَةٌ (kalimah) and the combination of words كَلَامٌ (kalām) are studied. The benefit of studying the science is that it protects the one who learns and observes its rules from making grammatical mistakes in their speech and composition.  Continue reading

ʿAllāmah al-Kawtharī’s List of Ḥanafī Hadith Masters

The following list a selection from notes that were compiled for one of the appendices to the forthcoming (in shā Allāh) translation of Imam ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq al-Dihlawī’s Muqaddamah fī Uṣūl al-Ḥadīth. The list has had to be refined, edited, and truncated for publishing purposes. I thought the rough notes would still benefit certain interested readers, so I have produced a portion of them below. Readers should note that spellings, dates, etc… are being revised and are not yet reflected in this post:

Shāh ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq al-Dihlawī represents an important link in a long chain of Ḥanafī hadith scholars, one that begins with Imam Abū Ḥanīfah and his students and continues to this day. The last hundred plus years, however, has born witnes to an unfortunate confusion about the status of the scholars of the Ḥanafī school of law in relation to their knowledge and prowess in the field of hadith and hadith criticism. Nearly three to four generations of Indian hadith masters have since attempted to respond to these misconceptions in the form of biographies of Ḥanafī hadith masters, rebuttals of anti-Ḥanafī and anti-taqlīd literature, voluminous commentaries on the renowned hadith collections, etc…

The late Ottoman polymath, Imam Muḥammad Zāhid al-Kawtharī offered his own refutation of the misunderstandings about the Ḥanafī school in a now well-recognized treatise entitled Fiqh Ahl al-ʿIrāq wa Ḥadīthuhum, which concludes with a list of one hundred and ten hadith masters from amongst Abū Ḥanīfah’s students and adherents to his madhhab. The list was later extended by Imam Muḥammad Yūsuf al-Binnūrī who added 40 names to the list from amongst the Ḥanafī hadith scholars of the Indian subcontinent. We reproduce the first list below: Continue reading

Al-Biḍāʿat al-Muzjāt li man Yuṭāliʿu al-Mirqāt by Shaykh ʿAbd al-Ḥalīm al-Nuʿmānī

After a recent post in which I quoted from my ustādh’s work, I received a number of requests for the book and some feedback about its unavailability. Subsequently, I requested a colleague, Mawlana Kamil Uddin, to help me scan the 92 page work so that I could share it with others even though a new edition (likely with significant changes) is expected to be published sometime soon.

To my surprise, he not only took on the task but he completed it the same evening. May Allah reward Mawlana Kamil for his contribution and bless him in both worlds. For everyone’s benefit, below is linked Mawlana Nuʿmānī’s Al-Biḍāʿat al-Muzjāt:

Al-Biḍāʿat al-Muzjāt li man Yuṭāliʿu al-Mirqāt

Imam ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq al-Muḥaddith al-Dihlawī: A Concise Biography

ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq ibn Sayf al-Dīn ibn Saʿd Allāh ibn Fayrūz ibn Mūsā ibn Muʿizz al-Dīn ibn Muḥammad al-Turk al-Bukhārī al-Dihlawī al-Ḥanafī, more popularly known as ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq al-Muḥaddith al-Dihlawī, was born in the month of Muḥarram in the year 958AH/1551AD in the city of Delhi, India. Recognized also by the agnomen (kunyah) Abu ʾl-Majd and the takhalluṣ Ḥaqqī, his widespread acclaim in the field of ḥadīth earned him his most popular title “al-Muḥaddith al-Dihlawi”(the Delhian Ḥadīth Master). Continue reading