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

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

A Suggested Curriculum of Study for the Hanafi Student of Hadith

In our shaykh Mawlānā ʿAbd al-Ḥalīm al-Nuʿmānī’s invaluable foreword to Mullā ʿAlī al-Qārī’s Mirqāt al-Mafātīḥ – modestly entitled al-Biḍāʿat al-Muzjāt li man Yuṭāliʿu al-Mirqāt (Scanty Merchandise for the One who Studies the Mirqāt) – the erudite hadith scholar Imam ʿAbd al-Bārī ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb al-Anṣārī al-Laknawī is quoted from a passage of his prolegomena to his al-Taʿlīq al-Mukhtār ʿalā Kitāb al-Āthār. In the lengthy passage, al-Laknawī provides the following suggested curriculum of study for the “Ḥanafī muḥaddith”: Continue reading

On the Validity of Backbiting in Hadith Criticism

Question:

When we talk about a specific narrator being ʿādil (upright), isn’t it backbiting to label someone a liar or a sinner? How is this justified?

Answer:

In the name of Allah, the All Merciful, the Most Mercy-giving. The act of backbiting (ghībah) as it applies to speaking unfavorably of a person who is not present is without a doubt abhorrent, repugnant, and prohibited in the sharī‘ah. Numerous verses of the Holy Qur’an as well as prophetic narrations clearly explicate the gravity of this sin, equating it even to consuming the flesh of a dead brother. Continue reading

The Solitary Report (Khabr Wāḥid) in the Ḥanafī Madhhab: Selection from an Unpublished Article

The khabar wāḥid (sometimes translated as a “solitary report”), as defined by the Ḥanafī jurists, refers to a narration that is transmitted by any number of narrators that does not reach the level of mashhūr or mutawātir. (Bazdawī 112) It may be narrated by one, two, or any other varying number of narrators at every level of the chain as long as the number does not reach the level of mashhūr.

The khabar wāḥid, or āḥād, is not necessarily a weak or strong ḥadīth, as its strength is decided by the condition of its narrators. However, regardless of the strength of its narrators and therefore the narration itself, the āḥād’s status is one that at best necessitates ʿamal (binding practice) and not ʿilm (decisive knowledge). In other words, the legal status of the āḥād is of speculative authority (dhann) and not decisive authority (qatʿ). This is the agreed-upon stance of all the Ḥanafī jurists and legal theorists. (Jaṣṣāṣ 1:551, Dabūsī 170, Sarakhsī 1:321, Bazdawī 112, Shāshī 172, Samarqandī 448, Asmandī 240-250, Khabbāzī 1:327, Ibn al-Sāʿātī 163-164, Nasafī 2:13-14, Ṣadr al-Sharīʿah 2:8, Fanārī 2:245, Mullā Khusraw 116, Bukhārī 2:678, Itqānī 5:36-37, Babirtī 4:158) Continue reading

Commentary on the Hadith of Shaytan and Eating with the Left Hand

أخبرنا مالك أخبرنا ابن شهاب عن أبي بكر  بن عبيد الله عن عبد الله بن عمر أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال : إذا أكل  أحدكم فليأكل بيمينه وليشرب  بيمينه فإن الشيطان  يأكل بشماله ويشرب بشماله

قال محمد : وبه نأخذ . لا ينبغي أن يأكل بشماله ولا يشرب بشماله إلا من علة

Translation:

Mālik informed us that Ibn Shihāb informed us from Abū Bakr ibn ʿUbayd Allāh from ʿAbdullāh ibn ʿUmar that the Messenger of Allah, upon him blessings and peace, said, “When any of you eat, then let him eat with his right hand and let him drink with his right hand, because shayṭān eats with his left hand and drinks with his left hand.”

Muḥammad said, “We adhere to this. One ought not to eat with one’s left hand or drink with one’s left hand unless there is good cause.” Continue reading

Reading List of Recommended English Books on the Prophetic Biography

The list of available works on the Sīrah, or prophetic biography, is almost too long to mention. I have, therefore, confined this list to English works and, then, to works that are the most useful for students of my Sirah courses (HST101: Prophetic Biography – The Makkan Era and HST102: Prophetic Biography – The Madinan Era). This list, therefore, is not meant to be exhaustive, nor is a student required to read through all of the works. In fact, I would suggest that a student choose only or two works from each sublist to read along with the in-class lectures. Continue reading

Review of Some Commentaries on Imam Tirmidhi’s al-Shama’il al-Muhammadiyyah

By the infinite mercy of Allah, I have been blessed to be able to teach the Shama’il Muhammadiyyah of Imam Tirmidhi twice in the last year and have begun to teach it again this year to students of the Dawrat al-Hadith. In the beginning of the year, students were very adamant on finding a commentary of the Shama’il that best suited their needs, in other words both relatively comprehensive and also concise.

While I suggested that the students try and benefit from all the different commentaries given that each has its own virtues and each contains discussions not included in the others, I was forced to admit that, in my humble opinion and to the limits of my knowledge, the best version that fit their needs is the famous commentary of  ‘Allamah Ibrahim ibn Muhammad al-Bajuri al-Shafi’i entitled al-Mawahib al-Ladunniyyah ‘ala al-Shama’il al-Muhammadiyyah. Continue reading