Translations

Difference of the Jurists in Their Understanding of a Hadith

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Translator’s Preface

The following is an excerpt from our abridged translation of the masterpiece, Athar al-Hadīth al-Sharīf fī Ikhtilāf al-A’immah al-imagesFuqahā’, by the Syrian Hadīth scholar, the teacher of our teachers, Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwāmah. There were numerous requests for an abridged translation of the work for the benefit of non-Arabic readers, as the original work is relatively lengthy. We will post sections of it in installments and finally publish the complete abridgement in a separate post. We have previously posted the following sections of the book:

  1. Introduction/When is a Hadīth suitable for practice?
  2. The correct meaning of the statement, “When a Hadīth is authentic it is my opinion.”
  3. Is the authenticity of a Hadīth sufficient to practice upon it?

The excerpt before you is an explanation of the second of four reasons of difference among the jurist Imām: difference in understanding a Hadīth. The author explains that this form of difference stems from one of two causes: varying intelligence and the Hadīth containing multiple meanings. In addition, he sheds light on two pertinent issues:

  1. The common misuse of the term “The fiqh of the Qur’ān and Sunnah” and the ulterior motives behind the use of such titles.
  2. The impermissibility of adhering to the isolated views of the scholars. Further, he provides the criteria for ascertaining which opinions may be classified as “isolated.”

It is important to remember that this is only an abridged translation. Therefore, many sections were omitted and some were summarized.  To make the article more reader-friendly, an idiomatic translation was adopted in several places. Those who are interested in more detail are advised to read the original work.

Muntasir Zaman

Ramadān 25, 1435

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When Is a Hadith Suitable for Practice?

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Translator’s Preface

The following is an excerpt from our abridged translation of the masterpiece, Athar al-Hadīth al-Sharīf fī Ikhtilāf al-A’immah al-islamic_calligraphy_2_by_zenoxen-d4qrkc1Fuqahā’, by the Syrian Hadīth scholar, the teacher of our teachers, Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwāmah. There were numerous requests for an abridged translation of the work for the benefit of non-Arabic readers, as the original work is relatively lengthy. We will post sections of it in installments and finally publish the complete abridgement in a separate post. We have previously posted two sections from the middle of the book. We will now post excerpts from the beginning of the book in sequence.

The excerpt before you is the preface and first section of the book. There is no need to expound on the outline, objectives, and theme of the book as the author himself has tended to this in the preface. One can understand the importance of the work by looking at its title, “The influence of the noble Hadīth upon the differences of the jurist Imāms.”

In this section, the author first explains the status of the blessed Hadīth in the hearts of the Imāms. By doing so, he shows that the objective of the Imāms in their differences and choosing some evidences instead of others was solely the pleasure of Allāh and the preservation of His din.

Thereafter, the author discusses the first of four reasons of differences among the jurists i.e. when is a Hadīth suitable for practice. He demonstrates how the task of ascertaining whether a Hadīth is suitable for practice is not simple, as the scholars differ regarding many aspect of a Hadīth, some relating to its chain and others relating to its text. Moreover, he briefly discusses the multiple uses of a weak narration and refutes the misunderstanding that a weak narration is similar to a fabricated one.

It is important to remember that this is only an abridged translation. Therefore, many sections were omitted and some were summarized. Those who are interested in more detail are advised to read the original work. To make the article more reader-friendly, an idiomatic translation was adopted in several places.

Muntasir Zaman  Read the rest of this entry »

Is the Authenticity of a Hadīth Sufficient to Practice upon it?

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Translator’s Preface

The following is an excerpt from our abridged translation of the masterpiece, Athar al-Hadīth al-Sharīf fī Ikhtilāf al-A’immah alnew 2-Fuqahā’, by the Syrian Hadīth scholar, the teacher of our teachers, Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwāmah. There were numerous requests for an abridged translation of the work for the benefit of non-Arabic readers, as the original work is relatively lengthy. The abridged translation has now been completed. We will post sections of it in installments and finally publish the complete abridgement in a separate post.

The excerpt before you is a clarification of  two common misunderstandings. The first is the notion that the mere authenticity of a narration is sufficient to practice upon it. The second is the notion that there is no need to follow the Imams of madhhabs because Allah has only commanded us to to follow the Messenger of Allāh and not so and so. The author adequately addresses both notions substantiating his answer with numerous statements from luminaries of Islām. He also explains the harms of adopting such an approach and its devastating implications on the blessed Sunnah.

To make the article more reader-friendly, an idiomatic translation was adopted in several places.

Muntasir Zaman
Sha‘bān, 25, 1435

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The Correct Meaning of the Statement “When a Hadīth Is Authentic, It Is My Opinion”

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Translator’s Preface

The following is an excerpt from our abridged translation of the masterpiece, Athar al-Hadīth al-Sharīf fī Ikhtilāf al-A’immah al-arabic-calligraphy-3Fuqahā’, by the Syrian Hadīth scholar, the teacher of our teachers, Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwāmah. There were numerous requests for an abridged translation of the work for the benefit of non-Arabic readers, as the original work is relatively lengthy. The abridged translation has now been completed. We will post sections of it in instalments and finally publish the complete abridgement in a separate post.

The excerpt before you is a clarification of a famous statement issued by the Imāms of the madhhabs, “When a Hadīth is authentic, it is my opinion.” In recent times, a literal and overzealous reading of this statement has led to a lot of confusion and misunderstanding. In this excerpt, Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwāmah provides quotations from leading scholars of each madhhab that explain the correct purport of this statement. Moreover, he presents several examples of individuals who attempted to practice on the outward meaning of this statement and as a result were subject to criticism by leading scholars.

To make the article more reader-friendly, an idiomatic translation was adopted in several places. In contrast to the remainder of the abridgement, this section of the work was for the most part left as it is in the original.

Muntasir Zaman
Sha‘bān, 25, 1435

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An Overview of Aspects Pertaining to Salāt al-Tarāwīh

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Translator’s Preface

With the month of Ramadān drawing near, both students and scholars have begun their preparationramadan-kareem-wallpaper-cards by reading books and revising discussions that relate to the blessed month, such as the laws of fasting and Salāt al-Tarāwih. Although countless books are available on the subject of Salāt al-Tarāwih, English readers have asked for a treatise in English that adequately covers the major aspects with their supporting evidences. To address this request, we have translated the chapter on Tarāwīh from the monumental work I’lā’ al-Sunan of Mawlana Zafar Ahmad al-‘Uthmānī. This comprehensive chapter deals with relevant discussions rarely found in other books, such as the proofs for making one complete recital of the Qur’ān in the Tarāwīh prayer. To make the article more reader-friendly, an idiomatic translation was adopted in several places and subtitles were added.

Muntasir Zaman


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Is Giving a Lecture Before Jumu’a an Innovation?

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Translator’s Preface

It has become a norm in our era to label acceptable practices in religion as innovations. Unfortunately, our Masājid haveNew2 become arenas of disputation and debate; luminaries and high-ranking Islamic scholars are branded as innovators. Many issues that have a legitimate basis in religion are rejected under the pretext that they are innovations not found in the early era of Islām. One such issue is the ruling of delivering a lecture prior to the Jumu‘a prayer. Many people claim that the prohibition of delivering a lecture before Jumu‘a can be inferred from Hadīth. Further, they assert that such a practice was not found among our pious predecessors. Hence, it is an innovation.

The article before you is an abridged translation of the treatise “Mashrū‘iyyat al-Dars Qabl Salāt al-Jumu‘a” by Shaykh ‘Abd al-Wahhāb al-Mahiyya. In this article, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Wahhāb has conducted a brilliant research in which he adequately addresses each objection posed by those who assert that the practice is an innovation. He proves that far from being an innovation, numerous Sahāba, Tabi‘ūn and people of knowledge have lectured in their Masājid before Jumu‘a. In fact, he submits that there is a basis for this practice from the blessed Hadīth.

Since this is the most detailed article we have come across on the topic, we felt it appropriate to translate it for the benefit of those interested in the topic. We ask Allāh to accept this effort and make it a means of clarifying any doubts in this regard. Amīn

Muntasir Zaman


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Imām Abū Hanīfah and The Statement of Imām al-Bukhārī “Some People Say”: Between Fact and Fiction

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Translator’s Preface

In recent times, there has been great confusion between two distinct concepts: Ikhtilāf [legitimate disagreement] and Khilāf [illegitimate disagreement]. Many misinformed people, for lack of Suhbah (companionship) of nicetraditional scholars and spiritual guides, read the differences of the Salaf and misinterpreted their Ikhtilāf as Khilāf. Undoubtedly, the Sahābāh (may Allah be pleased with them) were the most united group of individuals to have walked the earth, yet they differed with each other in their verdicts and opinions while remaining within the boundaries of Ikhtilāf. Conversely, the divergences of deviant groups like the Khawārij, Shī‘a and Mu‘tazila in relation to the Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jamā‘a are considered Khilāf, as there is no scope for academic tolerance in issues related to the fundamentals of religion.

In a similar light, we regard the mutual disagreements between the Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jamā‘a as Ikhtilāf, not Khilāf. Abu ‘l-Baqā’ al-Kafawī [d. 1094 AH] writes:

Ikhtilāf is when there are numerous paths leading to one specific destination. As for Kihlāf, it is two separate paths leading to separate destinations.[1]

Thus, the differences between Imām Mālik [d. 179 AH] and Imām Ibn Abī Dhi’b [d. 159 AH], or between Imām Muhammad al-Dhuhalī [d. 258 AH] and Imām al-Bukhārī [d. 256 AH], will be regarded as Ikhtilāf, as they adopted different routes with the intention of reaching one particular destination.

An example of Ikhtilāf misconstrued as Khilāf is the differences that ensued between Imām al-Bukhāri and the Ahl al-Ra’y in a handful of issues wherein the former alluded to the opinions of the Ahl al-Ra’y with the statement “and some people say.” Unfortunately, this mutual disagreement has become a pretext for vilifying Imām Abū Hanīfa [d. 150 AH] and his illustrious students, who were at the forefront of the Ahl al-Ra’y, with the allegation that they showed disregard for textual proofs. In response to this misunderstanding, many treatises and books were written.

In his introduction to one such work, Kashf al-Iltibās, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Fattāh Abū Ghuddah [d. 1997 CE] has presented a brilliant analysis of the topic. He first explains the uniqueness of the chapter-headings of Sahīh al-Bukhārī, after which he shows the role of the Hanafīs in the academic development of Imām al-Bukhārī. He also proves that, although there were many issues of disagreement between them, there are an equal number or more issues of agreement. In addition, he discusses various treatises written on this topic. Finally, he summarizes a study conducted by Dr. ‘Abd al-Majīd Mahmūd on the differences between the Ahl al-Hadīth and Ahl al-Ra’y, in particular that of Imām al-Bukhārī and Imām Abū Hanīfa.

In view of the importance of his research, particularly in today’s times, we felt it appropriate to translate this brilliant analysis for the benefit of non-Arabic speaking readers. We have employed an idiomatic translation of some of the passages to make this work more reader-friendly. For the sake of brevity, several passages that were not directly related to the topic were omitted. Moreover, in the summary of Dr. ‘Abd al-Majīd’s study, which covers all twenty-four issues according to his count, only one example was presented, as the purpose of this translation is to present an analysis of this topic, not of addressing the issue itself for which relevant treatises may be consulted.

May Allah make this a means of dispelling doubts concerning the mutual differences of our noble predecessors, Âmīn.

Muntasir Zaman

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