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

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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

Mawlānā ʿUbayd Allāh Sindhī, the Islamic Revival, and the House of Wisdom

Below is a brief summary of the objectives and action plan behind Mawlānā ʿUbayd Allāh Sindhī’s political/intellectual revivalist movement, the Jamīʿat Khuddām al-Ḥikmah and its centers (Bayt al-Ḥikmahs) taken from my notes on a collection of his various discourses (khuṭabāt) and essays (maktūbāt).

Mawlānā ʿUbayd Allāh Sindhī strongly believed that any effective and holistic revival of the Muslim community had to be rooted in the principles and thought of the Ḥakīm al-Hind Shāh Walī Allāh as expressed through the political and social endeavors of his intellectual progeny, particularly Imām Muḥammad Qāsim Nānautwī and Shaykh al-Hind Maḥmūd al-Ḥasan of Deoband. It was essential, in his view, to the revival and advancement of the Muslim nation that the intelligentsia and Muslim activists alike acquainted themselves deeply with the history, vision, and mission of these leading figures. 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